Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sonny Starts School - Day 1

When sonny turned 2 last year, I checked out the neighbourhood Montessori preschool. I made a list of all the qualities I wanted in the school and rated this school on those parameters. I even wrote a post about how I was dis-satisfied with the school in question. To my surprise, not all moms shared my views - especially moms of school going children.

After all this hue and cry, we travelled non-stop, returning only end-Feb, by which time I was already 5 months pregnant. Prior to this, sonny and I worked most mornings either reading or going over his numbers or alphabets or colors or shapes or whatever caught sonny's fancy. Strangely enough, once we returned, sonny showed little interest in all this. He was most interested in taking his 'sakoo' (cycle for the uninitiated) for a ride outside. A hugely bulging me, battling nausea at one end and dizziness on the other was just unable to oblige. Sending a 2 and half year old by himself, was out of the question.

So sheer desperation sent me back to the preschool. This time however, the caretaker was different. She took me around the premises again (though I had seen it last year as well). What seemed majorly different was her attitude. She was willing to be flexible. I peppered her with my issues.
School started at 8am - but sonny was a late riser. She said I could send sonny as late as 9.30am or 10am.
Sonny didnt speak English. That didnt seem an issue. Most kids didnt speak English here.
Sonny had just about begun toilet training. There were 2 weeks until the new term started. We could polish on his skills until then and even after that sonny could go to school in his pull-up.
Sonny wasnt great with eating on his own. He would learn. They would help him initially, gradually leaving him on his own.

Most importantly, they had openings in the 2-3 year batch - while the other age-groups had long waiting lists. So sonny could begin immediately or wait until the new term began, mid-March.

Either all her answers seemed right to me or sonny had driven me so much round the bend that I was willing to be accommodative. Either ways, after many discussions with hubby I finally enrolled him here. Mid-march was when sonny was due to begin.

In the meanwhile, we had much to do. Start brain-washing sonny about the nice-ness of his school. We bought him a school bag (way too large for him), water-bottle, lunch box - the works to get him all excited about the school. Prep him on a few English words, so that he wasnt completely at sea. Rigorous implementation of toilet training. Keep him entertained until school started.

Hubby and I enthusiastically name-dropped school. About what a fun place it was. How sonny was going to meet tons of kids there to play with. How sonny was finally becoming a big boy. Oh and all the new stuff that we would buy for him to use at school. Sonny however had other ideas. Every time we asked him,"Sonny would you like to go to school?" his answer would be "no!" O dear!!!

March 15 rolled by and we took him to school at 9.15am. Not knowing what was in store for him, sonny happily traipsed along. His teacher took him in the class. The moment he got in - he realised what was gonna happen. I told him to go in and that I would be back later to take him home. And sonny burst out crying. I waved him a shaky bye and very intently turned out not wanting sonny to see my quivering lips that stood between me and breakdown. Hubby and I walked out - and we could still hear sonny crying.

I got home, not knowing what to do next. I waited patiently by the phone. I'd given them instructions to call me if sonny didnt stop crying soon - or if there was any issue.
10am - Still silence from the school. No phone call.
Since the school is barely 6 houses away from mine - I was sorely tempted to walk down and hide behind the hedges to see if sonny was still crying.
10.15am - Phone rings. I lift it in half a ring. It was hubby wanting to check if the school had called. Put the phone down - I yelled at him. What if they are calling right now. Why dont you call them and check for yourself, he suggested.

So I called them. Turns out sonny cried for a few minutes and made himself want to throw up (sonny often does that - he cries real hard and makes himself throw up. that makes softies like me stop whatever we are doing to him - usually innocuous stuff like getting him a hair cut). So anyways they cleaned him up and now he was playing in the play area and seemed fine. He'd refused all food and drink (naturally) but he was getting along well.

Called hubby back with the news. What time do you want to pick him up, hubby asked me. Let him stay till the end of day (about 12.45), I bravely suggested. However, I wasnt sure, if my frayed nerves would last till then. I checked and re-checked Dr. Spock. If he goes in late - let him stay till the end of day. Who knows, maybe he's enjoying himself. Ok,I thought. I'll wait. And time just would'nt move. At noon I freshened up and spent the next 20 mins pacing up and down.

12.30 I walked out of the house.
12.32 I was waiting at the gate of the school.
I saw my neighbour S, whose daughter was in the same class as sonny. She was here to pick up her daughter too. "You let him stay the full day? And that too on the first day" she asked. Guilt completely over-ran me. "They said, he was happy playing", I squeaked. "O come on" she said, "we know better than what they said". O dear, what had I done!!!

Just then sonny came running out and clung at my legs. I smothered him in kisses and picked him up. We walked home - sonny parroting 'accha school' (good school) and 'mazaa aaya' (had fun) after me.
Since sonny still doesnt speak much, I only had his teacher's version to rely on. After the first crying bout, he quietened down and spent a major part of the day playing.

So thats how ended -sonny's first day at school.

Oh and after we got home, and ate lunch, hubby turns up home. Really unusual. What are you doing home at this hour, I screech. I came to pick him up from school, he yells back. You told me you were going in at 1pm, I thought I'd surprise you both by being there to pick him up. Now you've ruined everything.
O dad!!!!



At 2:05 AM, Blogger Emaan said...

shudder* school, ive heard of it...its the land where monsters roam freely and babies are held captive.
made to do tiresome chores and exercises they are tortured with subjects like english and math.
if my mommy puts me in one of them im gonna run away...with one of the cute teachers.


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