One of the most bittersweet moments in a mom's life HAS to be the first time she sends her little one off to the wonderful new world of preschool.
On the one hand, she's finally free to do whatever she pleases for a few hours without having a toddler attached to her hip. Then again, it's a bit terrifying and sad to give up control and walk away -- especially the very first time she drops her "baby" off.
It goes a little something like this. May I present the 13 phases moms go through upon turning their child over to an adult they probably barely know for the first day of preschool.
1. You wake up. Today's the day. Your pride and joy is going to school. You're not sure whether to laugh or cry.
2. You get him up, dressed, and fed. You sniffle a little. Then beam with pride. He's such a big boy! Plus, after you drop him off today, you get to go wander the aisles of Target ALONE.
3. On the car ride there, he's all happy and perfect and has no clue what's about to happen -- and then the mom guilt kicks in. You're about to abandon him.
4. You pull up to the school and start feeling a little verklempt. This is it.
5. You go to get him out of the car seat and realize there's a stain on his shirt from breakfast. Oh well. Mom fail. Too late now.
6. As you start walking to the building holding his little hand, the real panic sets in. You can't believe what you're about to do.
7. But then you get to the classroom and the teacher is all smiley and assures you that everything will be fine. You're somewhat convinced.
8. But then you switch gears and decide you aren't so sure. And that's why you slowly move backward toward the door. Inch by inch.
9. He's interested in a toy and doesn't notice you're making your way out, but you're sure at any moment, he'll realize you're leaving and lose his shit.
10. You manage to get out the door and start walking toward the car. Then you feel the urge to go up to the window for one last peek. You just can't help yourself.
11. He's in there playing with the other kids, happier than a pig in shit.
12. You swallow your tears. Smile. And realize you're totally doing something right for raising such a well adjusted kid.
13. And then you run to the car like a school girl and high tail it over to Target. This is YOUR moment, baby. You earned it.
Have you done the first-time drop-off yet?
Image via Beau Lark/Corbis