01 September, 2006

Abhay's First Day at the Kindergarten

The "Ready for School" Picture

For a person who normally wakes up around 6.15 - 6.30 am, Abhay decided to sleep in late today. Much to the consternation of Mummy who was huffing and puffing like a steam engine, the clock kept ticking towards 7 am but Abhay continued to snooze.

While Mummy was in the middle of carrots, peas and corn kernels in the kitchen (no - I had not started farming in the kitchen - I was busy making Appu's lunch box - fried rice), Abhay woke up and toddled to the living room.

Seemed to be in an unusually foul mood today. No - not my imagination - he really was. Refused to brush his teeth or have it brushed. Then wanted to brush his teeth with mummy's toothbrush. Mummy had to put her foot down and say "You have to brush your teeth with your toothbrush. Not anyone else's". That was the cue he had been waiting for - a loud howl ensued.

Finally, he came around to the bathroom and brushed his teeth (with his own toothbrush - just in case anyone's wondering). Had his milk and then settled down with his books.

By then it was time for Appu to go off to school and after she left he dilly dallied a while before coming into the bathroom for his shower.

Got Abhay ready for school by 8.45 am and we were off to school at 8.50 am. I did not want to go in too early, so as not to give him any wrong ideas about Mummy staying behind in school too. Cos parents are allowed to stay in the classroom with the kids till the bell rings signalling the start of the school day.

In the elevator of our apartment block, we met another little girl who was on her way to school too - she was perched in the arms of her grandmother and was wailing at the top of her voice. Abhay, in the meanwhile, was busy comparing notes - she was wearing the same uniform, carrying the same backpack, wearing the same white shoes ........

Once we reached school, I had originally planned on dropping him off near the classroom door but that was not to be. He turned around and started out of the classroom with a pretty alarmed look on his face. I had to step into the classroom with him and then carry him in.

The orchestra was already on in the classroom as most of the other kids were crying. One of them was clinging on to her mother for dear life. Abhay was quite quiet through all this. The bell rang at 9am and all parents had to leave. I sat him down on one of the small chairs and told him that I would be back at 10 am to fetch him and take him back home.

That was when the penny dropped !!!!

"AMMAI MENAM" screamed the little guy.

I did not wait in the classroom, neither did I look back while on my way out. That would just have made things worse. Just as I was stepping out of the class, I hazarded a half look his way only to find him pushing at one of his teachers with one hand with the other hand outstretched towards the door.

Sentimentality did kick in when I looked at the scene unfolding, through the eyes in my heart - I mean, he looked so small, so puny, so vulnerable. But then wiser counsel prevailed and I told myself that he has to get used to the idea of being in school by himself. Moreover, there were two experienced teachers in the class who knew exactly what they were doing.

This, I guess, is every parent's nightmare. The initial settling-in phase when the children have to come to terms with the fact that there does come a time in everyone's life when they have to step out into the world by themselves, and that they are no exception to this thumb rule.

Today, school was just for an hour. So around 9.45 am I went back to school to fetch Abhay. Met up with couple of other mom's there.

At around 5 minutes past 10 am we went in and found the classroom door open. I peeped in and found Abhay making faces at one of the teachers. The kids were all set to go home with their backpacks on.

When he saw my face near the door, those little lips did curl downwards. He then came out of the class and there were a few sniffles but he recovered pretty quick.

We came back home around 10.20 am.

After he had changed out of his uniform and had apple juice to drink, I asked him "Abhay - what did you do at school today ?"

The reply was quite instantaneous - "NO-thing".

The "Back Home From School" picture.

2 voice(s) said so:

mommyof2 said...

I think he did great:-) There are tears in my eyes reading about his first day. It is not fair that they get new friends to play with and we mothers cry at home until we see them again.. Good Luck.

Hunky Dude said...

the dude looks surprisingly clean after he was back from school...boy was i a mess when i used to be back...that shows how much i used to love school!...huh?!?!?!?