Wednesday, March 27, 2013

First day at Playschool : excerpts from an anxious Mom's diary.


Every Mom dreads that day. The day their little one goes to a daycare for the very first time.

Mine was no different; given that anxiety is my middle name. Thanks to my parents who abundantly bestowed the most exquisite gene pool to me, anxiety and tension being the two most prominent traits. 

My baby was at home from birth until he turned 20 months old, and I was at a stone’s throw at office visiting him at regular intervals and a housemaid managing him when I was not there. My mother visited a couple of times too, and things were going smoothly until one day, my maid got enlightened from the other world. She decided to play hard-to-get, increased her wages, and started being irregular for lame reasons. This was unacceptable and we started thinking seriously and browsing aggressively for good daycare centers.

And we landed one.

So my next step was… to get anxious. I started chatting with all Moms I have on my chat list asking them what was the ripe age to go to playgroup. Given that my kiddo gets hyperactive around other kids his age was a sure sign that a forty year old housemaid is no company to him. Many of my friends were happy to help me get myself together over an endless list of queries and worries I had. I got a sense of reassurance from them. I visited the daycare center a few times, and shed some tears while talking to the teacher in charge because I am an emotional mess most of the time i.e whenever I am not sleeping.  I ensured the daycare was certified, made careful observation about cleanliness, the children to teacher ratio and most importantly how engaged the kids appeared whenever I visited. I noticed that none of the kids including babies were crying and they all were engrossed in something or the other, as the big bright room had enough toys and stationery to keep tiny tots busy for a long time. This boosted my confidence a little bit. I must tell you, I’d been at the crossroads of life many times and in do-or-die situations (read examinations) too, but I've never been through such emotional stress, ever.

As weekend falls on Thursday and Friday in this part of the world, Saturday was the first day of the week. Then came Saturday, February 23rd 2013.

Before that, I will let you guys peep into how February 22nd went. Complete disillusionment. Yes we went out to buy lunch and snack boxes for him, during which I was still in a state of complete delusion. I did not sleep that night. My mind wandered around his playschool and I pictured him in the worst scenarios. I was not helping myself in the belief and faith part of prayer. Soon my alarm went off, and I realized that nights are very short when you are preoccupied. Nights are also short on examination eves, but that is a different story.
So on that day, I woke up at 5:00 a.m, that’s when my working day starts. The kitchen schedules were completely reoriented to pack his lunch, thus pushing our breakfast into a second priority. Diapers, dresses, napkins, lunch, snacks, milk, water – Check. Around 9:00 am, we left from home. My hands were sweating like crazy, while my son was humming away a random tune.

Soon we reached the nursery and were welcomed by smiling teachers and a lot of kids of different age groups and nationalities. The bigger kids had assembled there before going to their classrooms. As they left the play area seemed bigger and brighter with all sorts of toys and little rides. Four other toddlers almost the same age as him stood there playing among themselves. When he saw the big bright room, he struggled himself out of my hands and walked towards the toys. He got into one of the rides, and turned and smiled at me. I stood there for a while, and he occasionally turned to look at me, not knowing that I will not be there for long. I fought back tears. Seeing my constipated expression, my husband intervened and asked.. “So you think the parents of those kids dumped them here because they don’t like them?”

“No..”

“Then what? See how happy he is now. He may miss us, but this is where he wants to be during the day. Not at home watching those useless serials with the housemaid”.

Okay that went above my head, and the teacher consoled me that he will be fine and that they were all there for him. She also told me not to stay there looking at him too long.
I slowly left, with a heavy heart, wiping tears. I also called up the nursery like ten times and they said that he was not crying. However the nursery being a new place for him, he did not sleep on the first day.

I picked him up in the evening, and he was little tired but still smiling. He came home and caught up on sleep.

The days after, for around two weeks, he cried when we dropped him, and clung to me refusing to go. This literally broke my heart and I cried excessively on my way back to office every single day. I wailed, hyperventilated and became the loudest drama queen ever in the history of motherhood. Not to mention the levels of productivity at office on those days.

It is his fourth week at playschool now, and my prayers have been answered. Since last week he looks forward to go ,  has made new friends, sleeps and eats on time and is happy by the grace of the Almighty. The day has come that I can wave to a happy face when I drop him in the morning. The day I was praying so badly for, is finally here. That smile, and the way he waves at me is directly proportional to my sanity and presence of mind that day.

This is for all the mothers, working or not, who dreads a nursery or a playgroup and cannot imagine sending their precious child to one. I assure you, from experience, kids always love to be around other kids than with us. 

27 comments:

  1. I will be soon sending my lil girl to a playschool/preschool before admitting her in school next year.... and your blog came as a comfort letter just in time!

    At times like this, all we can do is trust & have faith in our Lord to take care of our kids and to bless the caretakers and teachers with His wisdom.

    Thanks!

    love the way u highlight things... for example:"maid's enlightenment fromt he other world" Lolz!!!

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    1. I am so glad the write up was of some comfort to you :-) During such trying times all we tend to do is to lean on something or someone for support. I wish your daughter finds joy and wisdom in her new place and may her caretakers give her love and affection she needs.

      Thanks :-)

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  2. Good One Anita and at the right time for me :-)
    My girl is 2 now and we are also thinking of sending her to a playschool although my Maid has not had any "enlightenments" yet.

    I was truely having all the same thoughts and now I feel really confident to send her to one.

    Thanks a lot for this!

    Keep blogging and I must say you are one of the best among my blogger friends :-)

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    1. I am so happy it came at the right time for you too. Thank you so much for reading me, leaving a comment and for the compliment. I am really happy to have helped you boost your confidence. Stay strong. Its an emotional moment, but at the end of it all you will feel thankful to have gone ahead with the idea. I hope your daughter finds the best caretakers and friends !

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  3. Aww.. If I were in your place.. I would have reacted in the same way! We are soooo similar :)

    I'm glad your little one is fine.

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    1. I guess most mothers would react the same way! He's fine now Nisha..thank u !!

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  4. We are in the same boat and our toddlers too :)
    In fact the current post in my draft has a similar story to tell.
    Seena

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    1. Wow that's a coincidence ! Waiting to read yours.

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  5. Anu, my beloved daughter ! First, let me say that your bog is good and enlightening. Every woman loves her children, more her son ( Sigmund Freud) !! :). I was loved by my mom, I am one among the six. Please note. She entrusted me to her mom when I was hardly five, roughly 60 years ago. No medicine, hygiene, no nothing at that village, Palappallam ! She only prayed and prayed till October 2007. I am OK I believe. I thank God. Do not worry and always think about people in Africa and other countries. You are blessed.take care. God bless. Love.
    Hats off to HAC, you write well.
    Papa

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  6. Rite of passage sadly... I know a friend who went through the exact same thing.. first few days mom and kid were both crying as she left him... now its four months later and she's already worried whether he's got a girlfriend and when he's gonna come home with her :D

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    1. Lol aaron already has a girlfriend who comes to school in a hummer! I'm not complaining:-D

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    2. Hummer !!! Daaaamn ! Ask Aaron is his girlfriend's mom is single and available ? :D

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    3. As people do not believe in monogamy in this part of the world, but fiercely despise motherhood outside marriage, I dont think you stand a chance :D

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  7. Awww you broke my heart just reading your post. It reminded me of my own first experience at a new school. My parents had transferred me to a Spanish speaking school so that I could learn the language. I used to cry and throw myself at his feet begging him not to leave me. I was terrified. Luckily I survived (and am fully bilingual hehehe). Congrats on doing what was best for your child despite how it made you feel. Its what good moms are made of :)

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  8. its very difficult to leave your child in playschool for few hours for mothers especially.. i remember my niece, she was 3 years when she went to playschool and one guy pushed her in the bathroom .. her clothes were covered with filth and there was none to help her .. so she kept weeping till her mom came to pick her up... bhabhi, she cried all day for sending her to that stupid playschool .. it was a trauma the innocent child went through that day!

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    1. Hey Rahul thanks for your comment but I'm still not ready for such incidents. ..I really can't take it in...

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  9. The write up is good but the whole thing just went above mt head! :P Sorry if I seem insensitive but what more can you expect from a 23 year old boy! :D
    I heard stories of how my elder brother used to cry daily morning till he was in 1st standard, every single day. .

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    1. haha...yeah cant expect you to understand but appreciate that you chose to comment after all :-) Thank u for that !

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  10. We are in same boat...my son will start preschool on first April :)

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    1. Be brave, follow your instincts, wait for a week or two, pay surprise visits, and if you are not convinced, do not hesitate to keep looking. Ultimately it is the happiness of the child that matters.

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  11. awww so cute...actually reminded me of my mom and hw she tells me about my kiddie days of nursery!
    I too used to bawl my eyes out and even bite my teachers.
    You are such a proud mom :)

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    1. Haha My son Aaron got bit by a guy in his first week there...but that incident dint move me much as he had bitten another kid before..that too on the face :-( anyway this nursery is a good place to learn how to defend oneself !

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  12. I'm glad...so happy for u that all went smoothly...I mean it all settled down within a months time. My Naina took 2-3 years to completely settle down in school, those were terrible times;-(

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    1. Oh I know...so terrible that we dont even want to remember them...ever !

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  13. Nice post. Cradle2crayons is one of the best playschools nagpur because of our faculty and environment we present to the children in our school.For enquiry contact 7304252216 or visit Cradle2crayons.

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