Tuesday, January 08, 2008

First day at school

Yesterday was a very important day for both my son and me because yesterday was his first day at school. Though it's only a pre-school, both of us were overwhelmed by the fact that my son has just reached another important milestone in his life. I got more excited than any one else including my son. It doesn't sink in his brain yet that when he goes to school, his world is not just mommy, daddy, and his nanny. He needs to learn to interact with his new friends and his teachers. He needs to learn to be independent. It is important that he develops his social skill as well.

On Sunday, we went for shopping to buy more pants and cloths for my boy because he doesn't have his uniform yet. I prepared him as much as I could so that he wouldn't be too overwhelmed by the situation and the new things at school. I trained my son to sleep early at night and wake up very early in the morning because usually, he sleeps at midnight and would wake up at 10am. A week before his first day at school, I trained him to learn to sit down and feed himself. Normally, he wouldn't stand to sit down for more than 5 minutes and it took about at least an hour to feed him. He needs to be able to sit down and feed himself because I was afraid that my son would walk around while his friends enjoy their meal. My son is learning very slowly about this. I don't get much support from others who stay with us because every one wants to teach my son his/her own way and my son knows that there will always be someone that is willing to feed him. D'oh I am really frustrated about this but I can't be too hard on him or he will be frustrated too and he will refuse to eat.

So the 1st day at school came.

My husband and I couldn't sleep because we were afraid of waking up too late and I could feel that I was very nervous about my son's reaction on his first day at school. I heard from so many people that usually first day at school is a crying day because the kids will not want to be separated from the parents.
I tried to calm myself down and prepared my son to go to school. My son still didn't realize why he had to wake up and get ready so early that day. He thought we were going to church. He was very excited and got ready with no fuss at all.

When I saw him ready to go to school with his small water bottle on his shoulder and his small bag that he dragged here and there, I could not hide my emotion. Oh my boy has grown up so fast. Seems only yesterday I gave birth to him and now he is ready to go to school. I hugged him tightly and kissed him. If only I could paint, I would have painted this moment. I did take many photographs but I don't think the photos really show the emotion I experienced that day.

The first day at school was not only for my son but it was also for me and my husband. We were not too sure what to do the moment we arrived at my son's school.
As for my son, he got so excited to see so many kinds of educational toys around and no one seemed to say "No" to him when he played with all the toys. He jumped from one section to another taking different kinds of toy but one thing that attracted his attention so much was the computer set. He was so happy to see the computer he is very familiar with. He played with the computer and quickly forgot about his mommy and daddy. When every one saw him quite ok with the new situation, the teacher assured us that he would be fine. So, off we went. My son didn't even hear us saying good bye to him. He was so busy playing and discovering his new toys.

Then when we came back to pick him up again after school finished, he run very fast while screaming and crying so loudly the moment he saw us walking towards his classroom. From the teachers we found out that he cried for hours when he realized mommy and daddy were not around anymore. He hugged my husband so tightly and screaming that he didn't want to go back to school anymore. Oh poor my little boy! He got so trauma with the new situation.

For the whole day yesterday, I kept on talking and talking to him, trying to calm him down and convinced him that mommy would not leave him anymore.

Today, I was so afraid that my son refused to go to school at all, but he forgot about the incident yesterday. He woke up early and got ready quickly. He still thought that he was going to church (again)... :)
But then, when the car made a right turn to his school, his trauma came back. He screamed and cried so loudly that he did not want to go to school.
I hugged him and gave him assurance that mommy would always be with him. Mommy would not leave him alone this time.
So, I had to carry him out of the car and comforted him while walking down to his classroom. Then, the moment he saw the toys and the crayons and the computer, he wanted to go down and dragged me around the classroom. He showed me where he played and he showed me what the computer did.
Again, I was so overwhelmed. I could not hide my emotion but I didn't want him to see me crying because then he would think I was sad when in fact I cried because I felt very proud to be his mother. I could not believe I managed to help him to reach this milestone.

On the second day, slowly my son got used to the situation and the surrounding. I slowly retreated to the back of the school joining a group of parents who were waiting for their children.
When the classroom door was closed, I could hear so many children crying, including my son. He forced to open the door and stormed towards me with so much fear in his face. When he saw me, he hugged me tightly and said, "I want mommy! I want my mommy! I only want my mommy!"
I saw many other younger kids crying looking for their mommies. 1 teacher had to comfort 4 crying kids. Oh what a stressful situation!
I tried my best to comfort my son and assure him that I would never leave him alone. But it was not easy to gain his trust back. So, I had to sit down inside the classroom until his teacher took the children out for an outdoor activity.

Most children love the outdoor activity. They stopped crying at once and got busy playing with the sand. My son was so busy playing with the sand he completely forgot about me. For another 2 hours, for the first time, I saw him following his teacher's instruction and not even bother to look for mommy.
Then it was time to go back home, but my son did not want to go back home! After more talking and persuading from me, he said good bye to his teacher and promised to come back again tomorrow. Wow! I could not believe my ears...:D
For the whole day today, he was so proud that he did not cry anymore at school and I use this opportunity to lift up his spirit more so that he won't be afraid to go to school again tomorrow and hopefully, by next week, I don't have to stay at school anymore so that he can learn to be more independent.

Oh what a great experience as a parent!!

1st day at school. Still trying to explore the classroom and the surrounding.

Showing daddy the new toy.

That is my favorite thing, the computer!

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