Alex has a huge crush on one of the teachers at daycare.
I went to pick the kids up the other day…got Alex first, as usual, and then got Julia. Came out of Julia’s room with Julia, her lunch bag, a bag of her clothes that needed to be washed, and my car keys, thumb all ready to press the remote unlock button. I had Alex’s lunch bag over my other shoulder and took Alex’s hand as we went down the hall and turned left to head out the door.
But then he broke away from me. And raced all the way to the other end of the hall. Looking for her.
"I find Miss Teffy!" he shouted determindely.
Her legal name is not Teffy, but this is what the kids call her. She’s very nice, good with the kids, kind of quieter than some of the other teachers…and my son would propose to her if he was tall enough to apply for a marriage license.
He raced to the end of the hall and peered into the room that he thought she was in, while I followed along behind, Julia and bags in tow. "Come on, Alex, time to go home!" I called, encouragingly. It’s really hard to chase him down when I’m carrying all the other stuff (and Julia). I knew I could do it if I really needed to. But I was hoping to just convince him that going home without a fight would be a fun thing to do.
When he didn’t find her at that end, he decided, just as I reached down to grab his hand, that perhaps she was way at the other end of the hall, where we had just come from. So he took off again, laughing like a maniac. I lumbered along after him.
Of course she wasn’t there. So I got him by the coat this time and we marched, once again, toward the door.
But Cupid was conspiring against me. There she was. Miss Teffy. Coming from somewhere down the hall (the other end) and, with a smile and a wave at Alex, disappearing into the office.
The office area has a little reception area that is visible from the little entry hall. Off of that, to the right, is the main office, with a few desks and computers and so forth. You can see whoever is in there through a couple of windows that look out into the halls. And also off of the reception area, to the left, is the break room, which you can see through a window in the foyer.
Anyway, Miss Teffy disappeared into the breakroom and I thought we were home free. We almost got to the big glass front doors, but then Alex wiggled away from me and raced into the reception room. He’s gone in there before to say hi to whoever’s working there. No one was there today, and he kind of hesitated, and I thought I could grab him, but he darted to the right – into the office, where the owner was having some work-related conversation with one of the teachers, and the office manager was at a computer typing something. When I got to that doorway, Alex was getting a hug from the office manager. I called to him – with good-natured mommy-patience (because I don’t want to look like a banshee who can’t control her toddler…though that’s what I was starting to feel like) "Come on, Alex, let’s go home and see Daddy!"
He headed toward me – and ran past, into the break room, where Miss Teffy had gone. I followed, "Alex, Alex, come on!" and saw him race down a hallway that I didn’t know was back there. I thought she had gone into the bathroom, and I was afraid he’d try to follow her in there, but he didn’t. He turned right down another hallway and ended up out in the main hall where he had tried to find her the first time.
I had no idea where she had disappeared to, and I hoped she’d stay hid, wherever she was. Alex had paused, undecided about where to go next, so I got his arm and started to pull him gently in the right direction, but he spun away from me and lost his balance and landed on the floor. So of course he started to fake cry. Which brought another teacher running from the room. She picked him up and transferred him to me…and that’s how we ended up leaving the building – me with a kid in each arm.
My left arm – the Julia arm – was numb.
The next morning on the ride in, when we were almost at daycare, Alex announced "I go see Miss Teffy….I like her!"
Well, she wasn’t there when we arrived, much to his disappointment. But that afternoon when I got there, she was one of the two teachers in his room. He came to give me a hug, and then began the mating dance.
He just started running from one end of the room to another, with a goofy grin on his face. It was not just an "I’m-going-to-make-Mommy-work" kind of running to and fro. It was more than that. He was performing. He was demonstrating his speed and agility. He was showing that he could outrun all the other two-year-old boys in the room and was therefore most worthy of Miss Teffy’s attention. The other teacher just watched him go and looked at me and laughed.
He beamed at Miss Teffy and raced around the room again, this time shaking his head so all his straight blond hair flew away from his head like one of those pencils with that fluffy stuff at the eraser end, the kind that if you roll the pencil really fast between your hands the fluffy "hair" would stick straight out…I hope you know what I’m talking about.
Anyway, in order to help me escape the building, Miss Teffy came over, smiling at Alex, and asked him if she could zip up his coat. He just beamed at her, googley-eyed. She asked if he wanted her to give him a hug, and he smiled even bigger and goofier, and moved toward her in a trance. She zipped his coat up, and picked him up and gave him a big hug.
I saw his face. I think he nearly fainted from joy.
On the ride home, I knew for certain that she is the ONE. He started singing "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" – which really means he wants me to sing it and he will tell me what animals Old MacDonald has. It goes like this:
Alex: "I wanna sing Oh-BaDonno had a farm ee-i-ee-i-oh and on that farm he had a Alex the lion…say that."
Me: (singing) "Old MacDonald had a farm, ee-i-ee-i-oh. And on that farm he had a Alex the lion, ee-i-ee-i-o, with a roar roar here and a roar roar there, here a roar, there a roar, everywhere a roar roar – "
and then Alex typically interrupts with the next animal – "(some other family member) the (some other animal)" and I launch in to the next verse.
Well, one of the new animals on Old BaDonno’s farm is now "Miss Teffy the kittycat."