The Parenting Series: JAILBREAK

I knew she loved climbing things. But when I picked her up that day, I didn’t expect to hear that my daughter was the mastermind behind the Great Preschool Jailbreak of 2012.

It was a failed attempt. A teacher caught her climbing up the fence and called her name just as she was lifting up the latch to the gate.  When I spoke to her about it, I asked her to explain to me what happened.

“Ronald didn’t want to be here,” she said, “and I wanted to help him get out.”

“Well, where would you go?” I asked.


“How would you get there?”

“Oh, in Ronald’s car. Ronald knows how to drive.”   Ronald is three years old.

While appreciating her daredevil nature and her exceptional agility for being four years old, I still told her not to climb the fence anymore and explained to her why it was so dangerous to try to open the gates of the school.   I told her that if she left, Mommy and Daddy wouldn’t know where to find her.

I wasn’t convinced she wouldn’t try again. She had this expression on her face that was a strange mix of pity, whimsy, and invincibility.     This is a very determined little girl who loves flirting with danger. Her eyes told me, I shall not be defeated by a mere fence, and this really disturbed me. Luckily for my sake, she heard my plea and seemed to feel sorry for me.

She looked at me with her big black diamond eyes and said, “Ok, Mama.” She was sincere. I felt it. Or at least I was hoping she was.

Little did I know that by this time, my daughter had already developed quite a reputation amongst the children as the new Moses. The following morning, when I dropped her off, the children would gather around her and whisper, “So when are we breaking out?”

“Shhh. Shhh. My mom is right here!” my daughter would say.

Before I left, I had to remind her, “Ok, please don’t climb the fence. No matter how unhappy you are or how unhappy another child is, don’t try to escape. Otherwise, Mommy and Daddy won’t know where you are.”

“Ok, Mama,” she said.  And then I left, hoping that when I came to pick her up, I wouldn’t see a mob of kids overflowing into the parking lot.

My husband and I discussed this later that night.  He turned to me and said, “You know we about to be in the principal’s office everyday, right?”

I held my head, rubbing my temple, “Yes. Yes, I know. I know.”

Copyright © 2014 Janet Stickmon


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