My son has been my constant companion since the time he was born. I can count the number of times when we have been apart, on my fingers. There are two reasons why we have been inseparable for the past 19 months –
> I am the primary care-giver for him: like so many other couples, we have dealt with everything as a husband-wife team only. Neither my husband’s parents nor mine live with us.
> I am a control-freak: For the things close to my heart, I need to do things my way. Parenting and parenting choices are my areas of focus at the moment. I read a lot about various parenting choices and opinions. I do not like to compromise on my choices for my son (one of the reasons why I am happily sitting at home).
So, basically you got an idea why my son is stuck with his freak mother, who pushes a camera to his face and who plants a million kisses on his cheeks at every single opportunity.
Well, as the New Year and the euphoria settled down, it dawned on me that possibly by the end of this year, my little ‘star’ will embark on a new journey – school! It is going to be life-changing for him and a huge transition for me too. So, here’s the Plan to deal with my issues.
I get worried the moment I don’t know what ‘the star’ is doing. ‘Has he climbed up to the sofa arm-rest, ready to jump? Has he pulled the chair to the balcony railing? Has he pulled out a glass jar from the cabinet?’ I always think of the worst.
After his 2nd birthday, I am going to practice leaving him with a trusted friend or a family member for some time, may be half an hour to begin with. I cannot suddenly leave him among strangers after being with him 24X7. I don’t want him to feel betrayed when he starts going to school. I need to let him explore the world outside and realize that it is not too bad a place.
- Return of Postpartum Depression:
I am so used to seeing him around the house that it is going to break my heart for the first few days, when he begins his school. I go out sometimes to catch a movie leaving him with his dad, but I go ‘OUT’. When I am home, he is always around.
But of course, I crave for my me-time. So, I will have to programme my mind to believe that he needs his own experiences in life. I may want to but cannot hover around him all the time.
- People skills / Language skills:
Honestly speaking he does not have much exposure of play dates or playing with other kids yet. In the next couple of months, I am going to put in extra efforts to provide him opportunities of playing with other kids of his age.
He speaks a few words, some clearly, some vaguely; but he understands pretty much everything. I decided long time back that he would start school only when he is able to express himself clearly – to the school people as well as to me.
- Health concerns / Safety concerns:
It is no secret that the kids pick up diseases from other kids once they start school. I will have to provide him enough nutrition and balanced food to improve his immunity. I have always been particular about his diet. And just pray to God that he remains healthy.
I have read and heard so much about risks of child abuse that it is one of the biggest concerns I have. We are certainly going to do the pick-up and drop ourselves because I am going to send him to a school in the vicinity. No matter how good a school is if a child spends a lot of time in commuting, it does not make sense.
- Expanding horizons:
And most importantly, I know, once he begins school, his world will expand. His Mamma isn’t going to be everything any more. I am going to enjoy the next 9-10 months of almost exclusive attention and bask in that glory forever.
Wish me Luck!
Reema Sahay is a stay-at-home mom who spends her days running after her very curious toddler, ‘the star’, and catching up on books when he naps. She writes about charms and challenges of life at Pen Paper and shares her passion for books at Recommend Books. She sometimes feels that her 5.5 years stint in Marketing Communication was in another life.