A friend of mine and I were doing our daily SCS (short chat session) when she told me that she was all nerves as her son was to start going to day-care for 4 hours, 3-times a week; and that the much dreaded "First Day" was the very next day !!
I tried to pacify her, and told her not to worry and that kids these days are very smart and that they love new places and people. Her only worry was that her son is not used to eating on his own and may not take food from anyone other than her.
I think most Indian mothers would worry about that, as we do not encourage our babies to feed themselves. Even I feel it is a very motherly thing to feed our baby with our own hands. I like it.
As I kept thinking about my friends dilemma it brought back memories about my son's first day at playgroup. I too was nervous, but I knew my son would love being with other kids & enjoy all the activities there. For me the primary reason to put him in a playgroup was to give him a chance to interact with other kids.
On the first day, we woke up really early, had bath, and clicked some snaps while getting ready. After some breakfast my son & I headed to the school. We entered the classroom and the teachers began with some good-morning song and greeted all the kids. They then introduced my son to all the others.
By this time my son had seen all the toys around and was up from where we sat and went to explore all the toys. This he did while all the rest had heard a story from the teachers and some more songs were sung.
Then it was time to sit at the table, and my son refused to sit down on his chair and wanted to play in the other room. I was like 'goshhh my son is never going to like school if they make him sit down on a chair !!'
Finally after a lot of cajoling by the teachers, he did sit down, but within few minutes he motioned me to say 'mumma lets go home' !!
At snack time he did not like what was given to him, there again I was worried that he will never eat what is given at school.
After snacks there were 2 more lessons in number counting and coloring.
When they were busy with their coloring I decided to step out to see how my son reacts at finding himself alone with new people.
I sat down at the lobby and 2 minutes later herd my son cry for me, my heart tore apart!! A part of me wanted to rush inside the classroom and take him into my arms, but another part said 'let him be, let his teachers comfort him', 'don't worry he will be OK'...
I was so troubled and did not know what to do...this went on for 20 minutes. Finally the school time was over and the teacher brought out my son in her arms.
While handing him over to me she said 'tell him you will wait here for him everyday'. I said what she asked me to say and saw that my son looked into my eyes as if to say 'You will be there na...for me..' I re-assured him with a hug and lots of kisses.
My son was finally at a juncture where he had to leave me (for a while) for his own benefit. Lot of people told me that it was too early for him as he was just 17 months old, but I knew what my son needed and continued sending him.
Now after 5 months of playgroup he is the most favourite student of the teachers, and obeys them. Most importantly he enjoys every bit of his time there.
Except that he still hates his snacks there !!