When we enrolled Mischa in Nursery for the coming school year, I was glad that the school will offer summer classes to familiarize the kids so that come June, they will be more or less adjusted to going to the idea of going to school. They would have done away with the expected crying, making habol the guardians dropping them off, and other kid-peculiar behaviors normal during first days of classes.
April 17 marked a very special day in our household. It certainly felt like we were all going to our “first day”. Being a first time mom, with a toddler on the threshold of yet another milestone, I was hard pressed in containing my excitement. The hubby and I even asked for some time off from work so we could be there for her on this momentous occasion. And while it was just “practice” school, both the hubby and I took it very seriously while the kid just went on her daily routine without a care in the world. Well maybe, except for Dora and Barney, and whether the fish has eaten.
So I got up early (truth be told I had a fitful sleep. kept on dreaming I was left behind on a field trip. lol), prepared her school bag complete with baon, and prepped her. For her, it was just like any ordinary day as I dressed her up. She was probably wondering whether it was Church or the grocery. Had a hearty breakfast then off to school we went.
I didn’t really know what to expect. As soon as we entered the school grounds, we saw that there were already a few families inside, some with kids entering school for the first time, too. Mischa was hesitant at first as the school owner and the teachers greeted her. She literally got behind mommy’s skirt, and I gently prodded her to play first. She seemed to warm up as she saw a handful of kids running around with plastic balls, and going up and down the slide. She was beginning to get her groove then, when all the kids–including kinder and prep pupils–had to go inside.
The class started off with the usual prayers and songs. There were about twenty of them all together in the room with ages ranging from three to about eight or nine. Mischa was easily the smallest, not having reached the age of three yet. And she was the most active.
All throughout the two-hour session, she just stood and ran around the room. She couldn’t be put down! I was actually at a loss if I should tell her off, or let the teacher do her thing. So I just kept quiet and watched her. She didn’t seem to care whether I was inside the room or not, but I was afraid to go out lest she comes after me. But as expected, as soon as the teacher (a stranger to her) began talking to her, she shied away from her, showed a little defiance, and ran as far as possible. She didn’t answer the questions, which I know she knows the answers to, like the colors, kinds of fruits, her name, etc. She also didn’t want to sit down when they were given a piece of paper with two apples to color. She skipped from table to table (like a supervisor, lol), and basically just did her own thing.
She finally followed suit when the teacher announced that it was time to wash their hands when it was recess time.
The class was broken down to the specific classes, and Mischa was left in a group of six Nursery students. They were given activity time outside again, and she was at her element this time.
It’s been two weeks since that first day. Mama is the one bringing her to school now. She dutifully reports that, while Mischa still could not be contained, she has began following instructions, and started joining the class songs.
Mama and I have had arguments about slowly letting Mischa go. I now find out that the grandma is having a harder time letting go of the baby in Mischa. She still insists on staying in school rather than coming back for her when school ends as the school is only four blocks away. I tell her it is about time we let her be a kid one day at a time, instead of treating her like a baby. I’m all for letting her practice independence. I don’t want her to grow up lampa, and dependent on an adult with every move she makes. But she couldn’t start learning when the adult is not ready, yet.
Or maybe I’m just jealous it is not me seeing her progress each day. It is not me she proudly runs to first whenever she gets a star. I want everyone else to let her go because I couldn’t hang on to her each day.
I am just glad she always thinks that she couldn’t have the star on her hand erased without showing it to mommy and daddy when they get home from work.
These are bittersweet moments.