I called and was able to reach Chris. He was also angry. “I can’t keep going over there!” “They won’t clean her. It’s you or me and you’re closer.” Another low point. More sobbing and crying at my desk. The insinuation from the director was that Ella was not welcome to stay at their school until she was 100% potty trained (contrary to previous conversations I had had with the director). I was panic stricken. What had I done? I pushed her too hard not realizing the potential negative outcome.
Not being sure of her future at this point, I called her old school to see if I could slip her back in. “Oh Carol, I’m so sorry, but I gave her spot away already.” MORE sobbing and crying. This time on the phone with her old director. (Pretty embarrassing to cry in front of someone who can say, "I told you so!")
I tried to do some more work, but scenarios of bankruptcy and a future socially anxious teenage daughter (due to pushing potty training and the shame of this day) ran through my head relentlessly. As I headed home around 5:00 PM, I called the new director one more time. “What does all this mean?” I asked. “Can she come back tomorrow?” Long pause. “No. She’s not fully potty trained.” “But they gave her old spot away.” “I’m sorry. Why don’t you just stay home with her for a few days and work with her. I’m sure she’s almost there.” WHAAAAAAAAAAAAATTTTT???? I work full time. I’m going away for five days. What planet do you live on???? More crying. Ulcer starting.
After a conversation with my husband, who was rightfully freaked out, and Beth, who was a savior and comforting, I settled into a state of numbness. I didn’t really know where I was nor was I able to concentrate on anything. I walked into Harrison’s classroom, in the same non-poopy-underwear-cleaning-school and looked all over for him. He wasn’t there. I ran out to the car and called Chris. “Where’s Harry?” “With me. I told you I was getting him.” No recollection.
The evening was again hard. Ella was again really whiny (who can blame her) and we were not the most patient. Chris’ dad finally landed in Green Bay and was able to go check the house. Thank God he didn’t find the worst. In fact, he couldn’t find anything. It was good news, but didn’t really make much of a break in the huge dark cloud that hung over our house.
Wednesday morning I called in sick and pulled out the phone book. I looked for the numbers of preschools I had heard of and others in our general area. Ella and I ran over to Beth's as she had offered to help me with all of this. She grabbed the phone and dialed the number of the first place. “Hello? I am new to the area and am looking for care for my daughter….” Wink, wink, nod, nod. I was glad for the help because Chris and I had another blow out an hour prior (stress induced, I’m sure) and I was an emotional wreck on the edge of tears once again. We made two appointments and then enjoyed some bagels. I was glad for the emotional break.
I spent the morning and early afternoon with Beth talking and brainstorming what I could do. She came to my second appointment and we both agreed that it was a nice place. They have It’s a small preschool in a converted little house with three college educated teachers. The owner has 21 students right now and was glad to see some potential business coming her way. It felt good, so after a couple hours of thought, I called her back and asked if Ella could start the next day. She was happy to accommodate. Also, somewhere in here, I received a call from Chris letting me know that his dad went back over to our Wisconsin house and discovered an upstairs toilet running that must have caused the water bill. He has even offered to fix it this weekend.
I won’t say the heavens opened up, or that rainbows filled the skies, but the boulder that was on my shoulder became about the size of a small rock. Ella must have felt the shift in the universe because she finally stopped whining. She started laughing and playing. We made a train out of chairs in the kitchen and she asked for about twenty snacks (she hadn’t been eating well prior to this.) I was finally able to start thinking about my trip and the packing I had yet to do.
It was a late evening, but a pretty good one. Chris decided to work late, anticipating his inability to work extra while I’m out of town, so I had both kids to myself. We had a wild dinner out with Beth and her boys and then settled into our bath and book reading routine for bedtime. I was comforted by the regularity of it. The acid in my stomach started reducing and I was finally mentally ready to try on my summer clothes to see if anything still fit.