She is fairly active and inquisitive child. Though I have always tried to spend atleast 4 hours of quality time with her playing, reading and doing something creative everyday, but still I thought going to school would add to her learning process and so after alot of research about play schools in the vicinity we decided to put her to Euro Kids.
As we have been preparing her for the D day from long, she was very excited about the idea of going to school. School where her Arya bhaiya, Advitya bhaiya, Diya Didi, Janavi didi,,,etc etc goes everyday to have fun. And in that fun, the cherry on the cake was the shopping for bag, water bottle, tiffin and other small stuff which are associated with going to school. Next came the arrangement of the driver to drop her to school and pick her up. After alot of interviews, we finalized the last part of it as well. One parent had to accompany the child for first three days, so I wasnt worried about the first three days, as after two years of being with the child u know what can make him happy and sad.
Now came the D day, when all excited our little princess got all dect up for her fun place. Since it was the first day, both Ashish and I went to be with her. Usually taking a day off from office is a big deal for working couples, but when it comes to the little one, there are no second thoughts.
We were informed by the teacher that only one parent can accompany the child, so obvious choice was I. However close the child is to the father, but its the mother's birth right to lead over the father when it comes to the kid. And with that birth right, I went inside.
Looking at all the colourful toy cars and toys in the sand pit, Khushi refused to go inside the classroom. For her the fun place is here, other things we will explore later. I had to convince her that there are more fun things inside so lets explore everything then come back here. Seeing other children crying and howling, Khushi felt like an elderly kid who
wants to console the little babies that school is a fun place, so no need to cry!! And she was saying some of the cranky kids,, "Maat Ro baby,,,maat ro". And sometimes observing what are the other mischevious brats doing? She is overly sensitive and vulnerable when it comes to voilence, so looking at some kids pulling each other, she was complaining about them to me.
First day was not much of an action. Normal 1 hour session with her class teacher "Hema Mam" telling us all the rules and regulations about the school and anxious parents asking her all sorts of funny and weird questions. I had nothing much to ask as Khushi is generally a silent child and also a quick learner. I was sure I will never get complains from her school as for her age she is very well behaved and intellegent. Eating manners, general etiquettes, cleanliness, patience are some of the virtues which I didnt have to really work upon much with her. Touch wood!! But still I was listening to all the queries attentively. And at the end of it, kids were allowed to play as they wish for another 15-20 min, so as
expected Khushi was more than happy in the sand pit.
I would never be able to understand what is so exciting about the sand? I would be excited about the sand which is near the beach as I love beaches, but dry sand? I think i need to go back to my toddler days to actually know whats so exciting about playing with sand!! First thing Khushi will notice in a toy shop is either a book or a bunch of sand toys.
And that was the end of our first day to school. As soon as she came out of the gates she ran towards Ashish and told her the details about her first encounter with Aunty(her mam) and the toys she played with. The rest of the day was more of any Saturday and Sunday (we call it FUNDAY) when its a ritual to do things only keeping Khushi in mind. Going to the bouncing castle, Saphire for toy shopping, swimming in the indoor pool, Doremon time, story time and then Mango icecream as a finishing touch.
For all the expecting parents out there, finish watching the movies you want to see, the restraunts you want to eat out
and also the friends you want to visit before ur bundle of joy arrives as afer he/she is out, your world will revolve round them forever!!
Then second day was also fun as it was the Mom and ME activity day. Meeting other mothers, knowing what they have to say about parenting and schooling and learning ryhmes with them was fun. Surprisingly for me, most of the kids were taught the same rhymes as I had taught Khushi. "Twinkle Twinkle", "Baba Blacksheep"," Rain Rain", "Old McDonald","Humpty Dumpty","Chubby Cheeks", "Crooked man" etc etc,, were all there. And Khushi instantly connected to it and was soo happy and fascinated about the idea of everybody singing along. She also insisted on "Machali jal ki rani hai" and "ringa Ringa Roses" as her rhymers are never completed without them.
We also made an icecream candy cutout, coloured it and stuck it to a wooden stick with her name on it. That icecream candy was treasured by her for quite sometime, infact i wanted to treasure it as her first creativity in school. But as usual she would sleep with it, eat with that in hand, and not leave it even for a second as it was the most priced possesion of her for sometime.
On the Second day to school more kids joined khushi's class, couple of them very soo notorious that the teacher had to
declare play time as nobody could listen to the kids shouting. I was wondering about the poor mother who must be having a tough time with such hyperactive, cranky kid!! Khushi spent the rest of the time in the ball pool and jumping on the fun mats laid in the coridor.
Third day was going to be the last day of me in her school, so I went happily with her. But as soon as we reached there,
we were told, today mothers will be not allowed. They will be called inside the gate only on SOS basis. If the child cries
you need to come and comfort and go back, if she doesnt, you should wait outside. Everybody was anxious, all mothers were not expecting this today. This was the plan for coming Monday(next working day) and suddenly such an announcement led to chaos. I was positive that I would need to stand the whole one hour outside, and that only happened. I was hearing kids cry and mothers being called, but Khushi was happy playing on the sand pit and toy cars. Meanwhile I got chance to discuss with other mothers about the school, their future prospects and their feedback about good schools around. Its always exciting to hear what housewives discuss. Sometimes I feel, can I ever make a good housewife? Their world revolves around hubby, kids, mother in law, maids, movies and food. Well, this is about the typical ones, not the ones I know with great poise and knowledge. Their thoughts and creativity are commendable and they can give a run to any CEO/CFO for their money.
If I am ever required to be at home, I would love to be in the second category, not the first.
Anyways, that day was also over and Khushi was happily coming out of the gates swinging her hands and calling me from the gate. Everybody along with other mothers and her teacher were quite positive that she would be the least troublesome kid in her class. She never cried when she was alone and she never needed attention from anybody there.
Then came Monday, the actual start of her school. When she was going to go alone. Going to explore a completely new world, with complete strangers and nothing in the past was like the one which she was going to just experience. The doll who was never left alone for 10 minutes even at home was going to be all alone with strangers for 1 full hour. And being the first kid she was always explained everything in length if shez not supposed to do something. It was never a NO for her. It was a full story to describe why NO, so who was going to have time to tell her the story behind NO in a school? But because she had a wonderful history for three days, I was keeping my fingers crossed.
But then the inevitable would happen. First day alone to school, didi left her inside the school gates and she started
howling to go out. It might be the affect of other kids crying, but why did the effect never showed up with I was with
her? She knew somebody is outside and she wanted to get back to her comfort zone. She was not ready to be inside.
I could only get in her shoes and think why this drastic change in behaviour? Whats the fear of strangers? I can never get answers to it as i can never think the way a two year old thinks. But we had to be strong, we had to let go of our
protectiveness towards her and be tough to her. It was for her good, but it wasnt easy for us. The rest of the day was
tough for both of us. Seeing or even imagining her crying for one hour was very painful. I remembered something told by Ravi Jiyaji long back when he visted us in Bangalore " Kids are stress busters, bundle of joy but parenting brings with it equal amount of pain, when u see apple of ur eye in pain" and that I experienced second time that day.
Its not easy to raise kids. The constant conflict of loving and being correct in ur upbringing makes it a tough job. When
you are giving her joy, you need to be sure u r not spoiling her. For example, when I first gave her choclate after 1 yrs,
I knew she would love it, but then I had to make sure I am not over doing the joy!! When I bring her toys, I need to
restrict Ashish of buying her everything she wants as she will not learn the value of gifts/toys if its over flooded to
her. When I am listening to her good and bad stories, I have to make sure I dont promote lie and I am strict in not
allowing unexpected behaviour from her. There is no good book for parenting, you have to write your own rules and follow them. Hence I would say, there are no good and bad parents, everybody is learning.
Next day I was very nervous. Kept my fingers crossed and prayed that she doesnt cry. And God heard me, she did not cry that day. And that was the day when she got her first star. When I heard about the star, I couldnt wait to see it. It was my baby's first star, and I was the proud mother that time. I knew it wasnt anything to do with any achievement, but still getting a star feels like a rock star :).. When I went home, she had not washed her hands to show the star to me. She has got one star in each hand. It was not a very hygenic thing at her teachers part, but then the happiness of Khushi made me forget the hygene and kiss her hands as if she has received a Noble prize from the President of India.
Now, the khatta meetha stories of her school have become our routine. She is still crying while leaving for school, but as
soon as she enters the gate of school she is busy and happy while coming out. So we have compromised on it. The new words she is learning, the improvement in her drawing skills are noticeable. She plans her new drawing in advance and discuss with me that she is going to get a butterfly/flower/moon on her hand tomorrow. She remembers some of the names from her school all the time, but she isint the age in which they have permanant friends. She gets an organizer from school in which they request whatever the school needs or about the holidays and PTA's. For her that is her book and the photo on that book makes it special for her.
Ashish attended her first fathers day in her school on Tuesday. Khushi gave him a Invitation card for the same which was handmade (ofcourse with the help of teacher) which made it very special. They had a fantastic afternoon together in the school. They played games and made a joker cap together. As usual, men are not great in expressing, so I couldnt get the petty details yet from Ashish, but overall it sounded like they had spent some quality time together. I was a bit J of the fact that it was Father's day first and not Mother's day. But have to live with it at times.
Khushi's journey of education has begun. Now there is no looking back,,, once it starts,,it is there forever with you. You
feel great about it but at times, you miss your small cuddly baby who would convey everything through you. Khushi's
vocablary reminds me of the first year where she used to hardly speak and we used to teach her small small monosylables like YEs and NO. And today, she has a brain of her own, with alot of immagination and expressions in it. Alot of things to learn from her... the Journey begins!!