the kid’s into his 4th week of school now. at his 2nd week, his chinese teacher reported that not only has he not cried, he has also stopped asking about me (which he did, intermittently before that).
initially, school has presented the kid dilemmas. he enjoys being in school tremendously yet he absolutely hates the separation. he finds the freedom exhilarating but at the same time, the independence daunting. he’s excited to spread his wings but is finding the experience unnerving. the change of routine is refreshing but he’s feeling insecure with it.
for the 1st week, i had 2 different kiddos. in the morning, i had to deal with a very whinny, negotiating kid who kept ranting on and on and on about how he doesn’t like school, he doesn’t wanna go to school, that he wants me to stay with him for 15mins in school which then became a looong time, which then became the whole day with him in school. then i’d remind him that he said he enjoyed school the day before, which came the reply, “but, but, i don’t like school TODAY!” (read with a droning whine) this whole negotiation process started right at home (while he’s still willingly getting himself ready for school, mind you!), through the bus journey (about 20+mins including waiting time) and continued as we walked up the slope to his school. some people on the bus looked on at us smiling to assume that mom & son were engaging in intense, meaningful, bonding conversations…intense, O definitely but little did they know the emotional turmoil & distress we both were having…the moment we reached the school gate, & the moment he saw his teachers coming to greet him, he’d bawl out in big tears & begged me to stay with him. 2nd day the whole drama lasted about an hour before i left him still crying in the principal’s office. 4th day i had a bruised lip from his sudden protest when i bent down to kiss him bye on his head. 5th day i could finally left him at the gate without him grabbing or clinging to me, altho still crying big tears. On all of these days, i was told, the crying only lasted at most 10-15mins, then he’s off to his class doing activities, arts & crafts, rattling, asking questions non-stop…i cried on the 2nd & 4th day after i stepped out of the school compound.
the 2nd kid appeared when i fetched him from school each day at that 1st week: this kid will happily skipped to me, all smiles. when i asked him if he had fun & enjoyed school, he nodded enthuasiastically. he would tell me some of his new friends’ names, how they are all very friendly towards him, some ‘smoothed’ his face when he cried, some comforted him. how he likes the teachers and all the kidsy in school. and we’d go have snacks after school, ice-cream, dim sum etc…
and, the 1st kid will re-appear again the next morning…i was so emotionally drained at the end of the week that i was totally wasted came saturday, literally wasted on the bed almost the entire day till i had to get me butt off to have some me-time before i had to deal with it again the next week…
2nd week was a huge progress, the 1st 2 days, the kid actually asked me to leave & to just drop him off at the gate, but he cried big tears once he stepped in and he could still wave bye to me as huge drops of tears fell on his chubby cheeks. 3rd day of 2nd week marked the day!!! he didn’t cry!! but i saw a tinge of sadness in his eyes as we waved bye. he didn’t expect learning to be independent is such tough task! but he was so brave & courageous, i was so proud of him.
well, the experience were overall pretty fun & the change is, in fact rather refreshing…the teachers were all very patient, encouraging & assuring. we had the kid signed off on each little card we gave to them at the end of the week. the teachers were very impressed at how well the kid articulates, how expressive he is. the principal said contrary to what we told them about him, he’s chatty, relates well to the teachers & kids alike, asks lotsa questions, speaks confidently, initiates interactions (held his classmates’ hands, touched their faces).
and finally, this was what the principal recorded as she found the kid rather amusing, walking about in her office & rattling non-stop…this was just the 2nd day..