A mum's account of her child's first day at school
Rose Ling shares her son's first day of school with us.
For months and months, I just dreaded this day — the first day of school — because I already anticipated that lil Justin will be wailing the moment I drop him off in his teacher’s arms. I know because a few months ago, whenever I brought him to the Cherie Hearts branch where I worked, he would cry loudly whenever I stepped away to work. Even if he sees me working in my office through the glass window, he would still cry as if I’ve abandoned him!!!
Day 1 (the first day of school!), we reached his school at 9am. A friendly staff took his temperature and checked his hands and feet for signs of HFMD. Then we proceeded to “report” at the playground where the teachers and all the other kids were.
Gosh, we were greeted by a bunch of crying kids, about 10 of them. There were 2 who were not crying only because they looked like they’ve cried enough. There were no other parents around because it was already day 3 for most of them and this school does not allow parents to accompany their kids to go through the lessons like what other schools do.
We were encouraged to just drop off our child on the first day of school, because according to their experience, this is the fastest way to let them adapt to the new environment.
If we are really worried, they will allow us to accompany them at the playground on the 1st day. Strictly no no to follow them into the classroom. So anyway, as we were late (kids were supposed to leave the playground for the classroom), the teacher allowed us to stay 15 mins with him at the playground and after that it is goodbye. I panicked!
I watched him roam around the playground, one moment looking confused at all the crying kids and another moment excitedly trying out the slides, climbing and getting in and out of the cars.
I pulled him aside and wanted to tell him ” Mummy and Daddy are going off now but Justin is going to stay here with your teachers and friends. Justin is going to have so much fun because school is such a wonderful place. Mummy and daddy will be back in a while to pick Justin up to bring you to nai nai’s house. Mummy and daddy love Justin.”
Well, emotion got the better of me and I choked up before I could complete my sentence. Then it was time to say goodbye at the entrance.
Usually, he does not let strangers carry him so I was expecting whining when I dropped him in teacher’s arms. Strangely, he did not complain. No crying too which is good, but then again guess he was too confused about the event to notice?
Hubby and I walked to KK Hospital to have breakast at Delifrance to wait for time to pass. Our target for day 1 is to pick him at 11am (2 hours at school). Time crawled slowly and I couldn’t pay attention to anything the hubby said. I checked the time, it is 10am and I wondered “How is he? Is he crying now?” Gosh, I finally couldn’t stop those tears from falling.
Ahh… Retail therapy is the best solution for such times. I picked myself up and went shopping for a gift for lil Justin when I meet him later 🙂 Bought a nice bag tag and a Disney Car Balloon. The time just passed more quickly while I looked around and checking those Thomas the train sets out planning what to get for him next 🙂
As we walked back to school and classroom, I was getting mentally prepared to meet a tear-streaked face Justin. I still hear kids crying as I approached and there is he!
He’s alright and NOT crying. Instead, he’s sitting peacefully in teacher’s lap and reading a book together. No words can express my feelings of relief, really!!! I called his name, and he bounced up from teacher’s lap and shrieked “mummy” with that face. Awww, again, no words can describe that face, but I will always remember it till Justin’s wedding day and long after.
A chat with his teacher left me swelling with pride for this strong, special little boy I have. Justin cried about an hour after we left but the teacher managed to distract him by bringing him to the playground. Thereafter, they read 2 books together (this is a first for him as he isn’t too keen on reading), did a little art and teacher already managed to find out that cars are Justin’s favourite things.
As I carry him in my arms, he rested his face on my shoulders with the look that says “I feel safe now.” Before today, I told myself that day 1 is the toughest day and all we need is to get over day 1 and we’ll be fine.
Now, I can’t help worrying for Day 2 as I’ve heard from friends and his teacher that some kids don’t cry on day 1 but they start crying on day 2 and after! Duhh, I guess it is like that when you become parents? The worrying never stops! But just let me get over day 2 and I promise I’ll stop worrying then.