This year, my little boy started playschool. His first time away from people he knew, his first time out of his comfort zone and so many other firsts for him. The first day, we walked hand in hand through the gates of the school, all cheery faced and eager to explore a new place. This soon changed. With many kids like him, coming to school for the first time, there were lot of tears and wails. My boy, who, a few minutes before, was all eager and curious about the new place, all of a sudden didn’t want to leave his Amma’s hand. It didn’t matter that there was a big play area or there were toys in there to play with, he just wanted to have me by his side.
The same thing happened the second day as well. The boy was least interested with what was happening. He didn’t want to leave my side and take a step further. There were times when he cried and other times, when he wanted to let go and play but wasn’t sure of leaving my hand. However, on the third day, I nudged him to go inside all by himself. Almost all the kids inside were crying and that in itself was a trigger for the others who were yet to decide whether to cry or not.
So, the boy went inside and then realised that his Amma was not coming in with him. There came the tears. He cried. He cried because he wanted me next to him. He cried because it was a new world to him and he was clueless of what was happening? He cried because until now I was by his side all the while and now, all of a sudden, I left him to face the world on his own. I’m sure he just wanted to break away from there and run back to me!
It was not just my little boy’s story. It was a similar story for all the babies and mammas there. While some shed just a few tears, there were others who cried their hearts out. Yet, they had no way out. We, parents, turned a deaf ear to the cries and sent them inside with a peck in their cheek. And, while our babies were inside, trying hard to cope with the new surroundings and make friends, we stood outside striking up conversations. And of course, our topic mostly revolved around the babies crying and making a scene not wanting to go inside. And it made me think about it.
For two (or three) whole years, their world revolved just around their family. All of a sudden, they were in a whole new environment with so many new faces and not even one familiar person to turn to for comfort. To add to this, the fact that they had no idea where their parents were, while they just wanted to be by their side would have been scary for the little ones.
Isn’t it the same for us too? Every time I have to say a goodbye to someone I love, I do that with a heavy heart. Every single time I had to hug my parents goodbye, I was screaming in the inside and at times, even shed a few tears. Even now, in spite of being a wife and mom, I miss my parents. I worry if I don’t get them on the phone. I just want them by my side, assuring me that all is well, whenever I am go through a difficult time. If this is how I am, at 30 years of age, then I’m sure it is worse for my two year old.
Until then, I was one of those mammas who would take no nonsense and despite the little one crying, I let the aunties at the playschool take my little boy away, even breaking my heart in the whole ordeal. Now, when the boy tells me ‘I don’t want to say bye, Amma’ or ‘Stay with me, Amma’, we take a step back, pause for a minute, tell him how Amma has work which she will finish while the little one plays with his friends and Amma will be right there to pick him up as soon as he is done with school. This seems to be working well for us.
Because now, I have a happy toddler who waves a goodbye kiss to his Amma as he walks inside the school gate knowing well that his Amma will finish her work while he plays with his friends and be back right in time to pick him up, saving me the guilt trip for dropping my crying little boy at school when he doesn’t want to leave me and letting him figure out what is happening around him on his own. And of course, I am at the school gate, right at the time when it opens to see my little boy come out with a huge grin on his face, telling me how he enjoyed his day at school!
Mother to a toddler and lawyer by profession, Atheetha is someone who loves her space and time as much as she loves her family! She is a bookworm, a foodie and a travel enthusiast amongst many other things! Her passion for her words drew her to blogging and now she blogs about her life in general and mostly about her mommy hood tales.