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Time for School – First Day of Preschool and Beyond


April 22, 2018 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Diary of a Baby


Time for School - First Day of Preschool & Beyond | Baby & Beyond

This post is part of a series of posts I am writing titled Diary of a Baby chronicling the candid confessions of a baby from 0 to 2 years old.

You can read the previous post in the series here: Baby’s First Fancy Restaurant Meal – Eating Out with Baby

You can find the entire series here: Diary of a Baby


Age: 16 months old

 

Dear Diary,

 

All of last week Mamma has been prepping me for something called “school”. She says I will be going there soon and its a really fun place. So she got me a red and yellow bag (my favourite colours) and today we packed my water bottle and a snack in the bag. We pretended we were going out but we actually sat and played with toys, read books, sang rhymes and coloured. It was a lot of fun. Mamma says school is exactly like this but ever more fun because there will be lots of other kids too…It sounds exciting and I can’t wait to go!

 

Time for School - First Day of Preschool & Beyond | Baby & Beyond

Time for School – First Day of Preschool & Beyond | Baby & Beyond

 

Day 1:

Its Monday morning and Mamma seemed to be in a rush to get me bathed and ready. Then Mamma, Papa and I piled into the car. “Oh what fun! We’re all going out!” I thought. We came to this place which had a garden outside with a swing, slide, see-saw and trampoline. Inside there were rows upon rows of toys and books. And lots of little kids like me. “Oooo a play area. Fun!” I thought. A sweet looking aunty came up to us and started talking to me. She seemed to know my name. I should have sensed the danger right then, but I didn’t. She held my hand and took me in to the toys. I went along and picked up some blocks. I turned around to show them to Mamma and Papa and out of the corner of my eye I could see them receding out the door.

 

Naturally I went running as fast as I could towards them but the aunty seemed prepared for such an eventuality. She picked me up and took me back to the toys. I tried screaming for Mamma-Papa but they probably couldn’t hear me because they didn’t come back. I looked around and all I could see were faces I didn’t recognize and quite frankly, the other kids seemed quite upset too. A few of them were crying and I finally lost control myself and started bawling. I spent the next few hours (Mamma says it was just 30 minutes but I swear it felt much longer) crying and screaming for Mamma. In her defense, the aunty (who called herself “teacher”) tried showing me a lot of interesting-looking toys and books but I just wanted my parents back. I refused to eat my snack. Eventually they came to pick me up and to be fair, they seemed glad to be reunited with me too. I vowed never to return to that place again.

 

Day 2:

I was at that place again. But this time my game plan was ready. This time I refused to walk but insisted Mamma carry me instead and then I refused to get down when we entered the school. The teacher came and tried coaxing and cajoling me away from Mamma but it didn’t work. But she was pretty insistent and Mamma reluctantly handed me over to her. “What is going on? Why is Mamma doing this to me?” I kept thinking. I spent most of the 30 minutes crying, as did a few other kids (are they sure it’s only 30 mins? Seems much much longer.) The teacher did this thing called circle-time where she made all of us sit in a circle and told us stories and sang rhymes. I admit it was fun, but I just wish Mamma was there to enjoy it with me too. Anyway it was over soon and Mamma came to pick me up. I spent the rest of the day clinging on to her and not letting her out of my sight.

 

Day 3:

I had accepted the fact that I would have to come this place again. So I might as well make the most of it. There were honestly so many toys and books, much more than I have at home. I sat through circle-time and even clapped along to Wheels on the Bus. It wasn’t all that bad. I even decided to eat a bit of my snack. No point staying hungry and it’s just a matter of 30 minutes after all, no big deal right? Except it wasn’t just 30 minutes that day, because Mamma didn’t show up after circle-time. She came a whole hour later! Needless to say, I was pretty anxious and spent most of the remaining time crying and calling out to her. Apparently the first couple of days were just to “acclimatize” us to the school environment and school time is actually going to be 2 hours long!!

 

Book-time at daycare | 6 Unexpected Benefits of Daycare - Baby & Beyond

 

Day 4:

Today after circle-time and snack break, the teacher made us all sit at a table and gave us sheets and crayons. I love colouring and time flew by. Before I knew it 2 hours up and Mamma was back to pick me up. Honestly this school thing isn’t so bad.

 

Time for School - First Day of Preschool & Beyond | Baby & Beyond

 

Day 5:

I was actually looking forward to going to school today. I really like playing with the other kids and it’s nice to have people my age to talk to. Today the teacher took us out to the garden to play too. I like school!

 

Day 6:

I was up early and waiting to go but Mamma didn’t seem to be in any rush. She was ambling along and not taking any action in getting me ready. Apparently there’s no school on Saturday and Sunday. What? Just when I was really starting to enjoy.

 

Day 7:

Sundays are Papa-time. I love Sundays. I wish everyday was Sunday. Why must Monday come? Why can’t Papa come to school with me? I don’t like school. I’m not going to go back to that place again.

 


Baby N actually started daycare first, since I am a working mom, and then transitioned to preschool. But his first week went pretty much like this. By Friday he was well adjusted and running into school, but by Monday morning he refused to go in and we were back to square one. Having said that, he did settle in to school fairly quickly and easily. In fact at that age, kids adapt to new situations really well. It is we parents who get emotional and have a hard time letting go.

 

If your child is starting preschool soon, here are a few strategies that could help you and the child sail through this phase.

  • A few days before the first day of preschool, start talking in an upbeat and positive manner. Talk about all the books and toys, the other children, the fun activities.
  • Start adjusting the child’s schedule (waking up, eating, napping) as per the school’s timings at least a week in advance
  • On the first day of preschool, keep your goodbye short and sweet. No point in prolonging the misery for either of you. Just move away and trust the teachers to do their job. They have been through this situation several times before
  • Keep smiling. You may be nervous, anxious or crying a river on the inside but don’t let that show to your child
  • Make a big deal about the reunion when you meet your child again after school. This helps them cope with separation anxiety. Read more about how to go about this here.
I am participating in the April A to Z blogging challenge

I am participating in the April A to Z blogging challenge

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Comments
  1. Aesha shah said on April 23, 2018 11:44 pm:

    You rightly said that the parent should not transfer the anxiety on to the kid. Kids sense that in your behaviour. Baby N is very cute and I am glad that by the end of the week he was fine and eager to be at school again.

  2. Anshu Bhojnagarwala said on April 25, 2018 8:32 pm:

    Loved the way you have described his first week of school. I agree with you, more than the kids, we are more anxious and end up stressing them up too! As I was reading through your narration, I was thinking, yes, that’s what must have happened with my daughter too, she must have thought the same things.

    1. Baby & Beyond said on April 25, 2018 9:37 pm:

      Yes kids adapt very fast is what I’ve noticed. We get caught up in the emotions ourselves

  3. Anshu Bhojnagarwala said on April 25, 2018 8:39 pm:

    Loved your narration Mahak! As I was reading through it, I was thinking that this must be exactly what my daughter would have thought of in her first few days of school.