COLUMN: Unleashing Mama bear

It was a challenge adjusting to the pitfalls of a new preschool.

We were a little apprehensive about putting our daughter in a new preschool this fall – of course, it didn’t help that our greatest fear came true.

Standing outside the portable with the rest of the parents and students who were laughing and reminiscing about their summer vacations, I realized Molly was likely the only new kid in class.

When my pint-size scholar is nervous, she has a tendency to twirl her curly hair. On this particular day her little fingers were spinning furiously.

“What if I don’t make any friends?” she softly whispered, while eyeing up her new classmates.

Some stared, others smiled, but there was a particular little girl who left an impression – one that left my stomach in knots.

“Eww, I hate that girl!” she said, pointing a little index finger in our direction.

I looked left. I looked right. I even looked behind me.

After doing a full 360-spin, I realized the comment was directed to my four-year-old daughter.

“Shh,” said her mother, who ushered her quickly into the classroom without making eye contact with either of us.

Fortunately for Molly, she didn’t appear to have heard the young girl –  I certainly wasn’t about to bring it to her attention.

I had a tough time saying goodbye that day.

While Molly didn’t appear to have any separation anxiety, I found myself fighting the urge to take her home and never look back.

But there was that little voice inside me saying ‘just let her go.’ I listened – begrudgingly.

On my way home, my mind raced thinking about what Molly could have done to have caused the ill feelings from her peer.

Was it the way she was dressed? Was she getting too much attention from her new teachers? Was it because she’s so small for her age and shy?

It didn’t take long for the confusing to turn into anger. Mama bear was unleashed.

“That’s it, I knew this was a mistake – we’re enrolling her back into her old preschool,” I said to my husband, who was equally distraught.

Despite the fact that it would mean an extra 80 minutes of driving, instead of conveniently walking across the street to her new school, it seemed like a solution. The only solution.

At pick-up, I was the first mom in line – I couldn’t wait to bring my baby bear back to her den.

“How was your first day?” I asked on our walk home, nervous to hear her response.

“I liked it but there was a girl who told everyone they couldn’t play with me,” said Molly. Her downcast eyes stayed glued to her pink gumboots.

It took a hot bubble bath, a glass of wine and a long chat with my husband to come to the decision that switching schools was impractical and hasty.

Molly’s teachers were taken aback by the situation and assured me they’d keep a close eye on both girls. I was still worried, but had faith she was in good hands.

Next time around, my baby had a little pep in her step on the way home from school and a grin from ear-to-ear.

“I have a new friend!’’ she announced proudly, pointing her finger to a little girl and her mother. Just then, the girl turned around to wave.

And wouldn’t you know it – it was the same child who had given us – or, more like momma bear– so much grief.

Suddenly she didn’t seem so threatening anymore. I actually felt a little guilty for harboring so much anger at a four-year-old child.

School has been in session for over two months now and we’ve stopped worrying about how Molly is adjusting.

She loves her new teachers and has even begun asking when her new friend can come over to play.

While I may have taken longer to feel at ease about, my back-to-school jitters have finally subsided and the bear claws have been retracted… for now.

Kristyl Clark is a stay-at-home-mom and founder of the family blogazine, She’s a Valley Mom ( She writes monthly for The Leader.










Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Semiahmoo Peninsula girls to host Black Lives Matter fundraiser

‘We are doing this because the world is full of systemic racism,’ organizer Sabine Lapointe said

Community fruit harvest program returns to Surrey, White Rock

Sources will send a team to harvest fruit trees, so less goes to waste

Semi and BMW collide on South Surrey highway

At least one person to hospital, both vehicles sustained significant damage

East White Rock crosswalk, speed bumps proposed

Report on costs and implications requested by council

White Rock dogs-on-promenade survey shows majority approval

City figures suggest that off-season program could continue

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

Friends, family remember victim of Langley possible triple-homicide fire at memorial

Memorial held for one the of three found dead at a house fire in Langley Meadows last month

Fraser Valley Bandits, CEBL bringing pro sports back later this month

Abbotsford-based basketball team kicks off CEBL Summer Series on July 26

Family and friends mark birthday of teen who died after being discovered in Langley park

Carson Crimeni suffered an apparent drug overdose, his final moments broadcast on social media

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

Most Read