December 12, 2002 - Thursday
As a special thank you to parents, Harry's Preschool stayed open an extra two hours this evening until 8:00pm, allowing his mother and I to go out for the first Indian dinner we've had in quite a while, likely since Harry was born. It was a nice dinner and everything worked out just fine, but we hadn't plan ahead very well and that gave Harry a chance to throw around the weight of his whimsical two-year-old desires.
We did not bring Harry's pajamas to school in the morning, nor did we tell him in advance about the exciting pajama party that was going to happen there that evening. Part of that, although not all, was thinking that I would get Harry at 3:00 as usual, then drop him off again at 6:00. But, as the day went on and it became obvious that the better solution, for us and the boys, was to leave both boys with their respective daytime care situation until the evening and not break it up. Harry's school confirmed that they had the staffing to watch Harry (an effective extra child) during his non-regular afternoon hours.
With Jeremy, this was really the obvious choice. If I had picked him up at the normal time, we would have dropped him off again right after his mother returned home and that probably wouldn't have set very well with him. His baby-sitter readily agreed that not jerking him around would be best and happily agreed to keep him through the afternoon. She reported that he was a little sad around the time I would usually have gotten him, but he likes it there and had little trouble after a little snack.
Harry was trickier. Since I hadn't brought his pajamas or told him that he'd stay all day, I figured I really had to go at the usual time and invite him to stay for the party. That didn't seem like too much trouble since Harry likes school a lot these days and almost always tries to dally when I pick him up and almost as often says he wants to stay at school and not come with me. Today, I'd go with pajamas and tell him he could stay. Nice theory, but I had a suspicion that it wouldn't be quite that easy.
Maybe that was my problem. Maybe by my manner, Harry, like a cat or dog usually happy for attention staying away when sensing they are really wanted, knew I was trying to pull something. Maybe I shouldn't have walked in holding his pajamas so overtly as to have pre-decided his fate. Maybe it was just Harry being contrary. Maybe he was sincere and for the first time I was successfully calling his bluff by not taking him away from school when he'd really rather be with his dad. But, when I ask Harry he had heard about the exciting pajama party and told him he could stay, he said he wanted to come with me.
I don't know whether he was serious or just giving me the business, but I ended up staying and playing with him outside at school, per his intructions, for about an hour before leaving him there with his school friends. Of course, he had a great time and didn't want to leave at all when his mother and I came to pick him up.