Starting school was a big day in our lives and I guess all the more when it’s your first born and only one. I think some of us, these days take parenting very seriously – I do!
He was just two and a half years old when he started playschool. Of course, he was not the only one – there were 14 others around the same age, some even younger. But for me, he was the only one.
It was not just about the fact that my son was starting a new phase; my apprehensions and concerns were higher because we had just moved to South Africa from the UAE and there were so many things I was unsure of.
The cultural difference to start with. Back in the UAE, he was used to seeing a lot of Indians around him and in his class he was the only one. Communication was also a big concern because we would speak mostly Hindi at home. Of course my son could understand English but I was not confident about his ability to convey his feelings in the same manner. And not to mention, the accent! It took the teacher a whole term to get to pronounce his name right!
I went with the whole process of mentally preparing my child that I won’t be with him for a few hours every morning but he will have a teacher to help him with everything and that he will get to play a lot with other children and hoped it would be easy for him. Of course, my dream of having the perfect start was just that – a dream.
There was a lot of explanation and stories that I had to tell my son so that he would understand the concept behind why mummy can’t be with him but will come and fetch him as soon as school is over.
We struggled emotionally adjusting to the fact. But thankfully it took me a week to get used to it and then I started enjoying the routine. My son took a month and a lot of scolding, explanations and stories.
The questions always were – “Why can’t u play with me in school? and Why do I have to go to school every day? When I would come to pick him up once school was over, he would always greet me with a big bear hug and then say that he cried because he missed me so much. “I don’t like it without u,” was a sentence I heard a lot and it would sometimes kill me. But I tried very hard to ensure that he did not miss a day and maybe that helped build his confidence with his teacher and classmates.
It took him a month to get confidence that I will come and take him back home – quite a challenge but I sincerely think had it not been for the kind teacher and assistant this job could have been herculean.
And then it happened. The day that I had been waiting for arrived.
I dropped my son to school gave him a hug and kiss as was the ritual and said I will come soon and got the reply “Bye Mumma, see you soon. Don’t miss me, okay?”
experience of her son’s