It took me two years, but I finally realized that I can't ask Henry about his school day. Such questions are met with mute rage and the eventual declaration that HE WILL NEVER TELL ME. Henry once barked at me, "Don't ask me about my business." (Apparently he's been watching the Godfather.) He will not tolerate questions about what toys he played with, how much fun he had, who administered a wedgie to whom, etc. The fact that I was expressly told that I could not know what had occurred at school rendered me even more desperate for information. Once I actually used the argument that I deserved to know about school because I paid for it. As if that makes an ounce of difference to a preschooler, who considers it my unique privilege to wipe his butt.
So after too many days and weeks and months of asking, I took the hint and shut up. And of course he started spilling his guts. Usually this happens well after we've arrived home, after the snack, after he's had some time to decompress, watch a little television, quietly rearrange some Legos. The inside scoop is just as boring as you'd imagine, but I love hearing it. The controversies over blocks! Who ate what for lunch! I can't get enough. I'm still amazed that my son does stuff when I'm not around, talks to people and engages in activities and pees in the correct receptacles. It's like he's a person.
Now that I've learned my lesson, when I pick him up, the only thing I say is, "I'm so happy to see you." He takes my hand, and we walk home together in silence. Then at some point during our walk he'll say, "I'm so happy to see you, too." It takes every ounce of strength not to consider that an invitation to barrage him with questions. It's also difficult not lunge at him and gnaw on his sweet head, which I'm pretty sure is made of marzipan. Fortunately I have developed some self-control, in my advancing years.