It has been almost 3 weeks since the bub started N1 and boy did I have the jitters. Yes, you read me correctly, I was the one with the school jitters. Now, let me explain.
Junior has never been very good with strangers or crowd and takes time to warm up. Especially in places he is unfamiliar whilst everyone fusses over him. It’s a different story if he is at home base. And because his cousins live so far away, he rarely get to see them much less play together. While we try to go on as many play-dates as we can, it is often just us; the 3 musketeers. Precisely because of that, we were thinking it might be good for Junior to start attending school so that he can learn how to interact with others. Unlike a home environment where Junior can choose what to do at any given time, a school environment might be a little more controlled with some discipline in place (i.e. sitting together with the other kids / waiting for his turn etc)
Initially I was really apprehensive about sending Junior to school at such a young age given the fact that we have awesome family support. I definitely would have liked to keep him at home for a while longer. So I procrastinated and ignored the fact that I had to start looking for schools earlier in order for him to be enrolled (maybe I was secretly hoping that all the schools we were looking at were fully subscribed). In the end, we visited a couple of schools near our vicinity because I wanted it to be easy for my parents to drop him off and pick him up.
Truth is I wasn’t very particular about the kind of curriculum the kids will go through, although structure is definitely high on my priority. More importantly, I wanted it to be a safe place, a place that not only instil discipline but also encourages them to do their best with nurturing teachers. I was impressed by what I saw in the centre the day I visited. The kindy kids were really independent and the centre was like a think tank for creativity and I was sold.
The days leading up to the start of the school year had us prepping Junior at every possible time. We tried to prep him as much as we could and tried to draw references from Sunday school. Secretly, I think we were trying to psych ourselves up, especially me.
Although it’s a child care programme, we were only sending Junior to school for the first half of the day. Since my parents were agreeable and much to our delight and gratefulness, as we wanted a slower transition. And I was glad we decided to do that because the first week was HARD! One parent for each kid was allowed to attend class for the first 3 days of the school year. This is so that the kids can get adjusted to the environment and teachers before they are no longer accompanied. The teachers would encourage the parents to slowly move away at some point just to see how their kids react and for the teachers to start bonding with the kids. Boy, was that hard for me to do with Junior bawling and wailing away. “Mama, come back”, “Mama Mama where are you?”, “I want Mama baccckkkkkkkk!”. My heart literally went out to the poor boy but some things just have to be done and I need to have some faith in my little boy and his teachers.
For almost a week following that, he was still crying during drop-off and in class. Sometimes he will wake from his sleep screaming for “Popo” assuming he had a nightmare of her leaving him in school perhaps. I questioned myself so much in that week whether we’ve made the right decision in placing him in school so early. I was also praying so hard for God to make things better and give me a direction. Even though he started not wanting to change into his school uniform, he wasn’t entirely resistance in going to school which we took that as a good sign. It was probably just separation anxiety like what most mummies’ been telling me so we decided to bite the bullet and stake it out.
He is slightly more confident now, while the crying at drop-off remains, I can tell he has started to make some new friends and is taking well to his teachers. In time to come, I hope that he will enjoy school even more. For now, I’ll just keep a hopeful heart and praying that God will watch over this little soul. For with HIM, nothing is impossible.