We had prepared Ram for the transition well in advance. “Ram, you will be going to preschool starting in September. There will be lots of books, new toys, and many friends. Amma will go to office but your teacher will be there. You will play outside. You will go downstairs for nap time, and play some more.Then, amma will pick you up in the evening ok?” He had visited the classroom during orientation the earlier week, so he knew what to expect in the new school.. His teacher had written a letter to him over the summer, and had paid a home visit subsequently, so he was introduced to her as well.
Knowing something intellectually is one thing but practically facing it is a different ball game, isn’t it? Ram, like many toddlers or even grown ups for that matter, thrives on familiarity. Familiar surroundings, familiar routines, and familiar people. He takes time to warm up to change. So I had my fingers crossed for the big day.
Bright and early, he was one of the first kids to arrive on the first day of preschool. Holding on to my little finger, he skipped and hopped while my stomach was in knots. Normally, I can be the grown up in the situation and put it in perspective for the child. But a travel commitment the following day had my anxiety level a notch higher and my maturity level a tad lower. In hindsight, may be I was projecting my emotions on him. As soon as we entered his new classroom, he sprung to the table and started playing with his play doh matter-of-fact. I lingered a little longer to give an extra hug in case the enormity of the situation sunk in later than expected and he had a meltdown.
I needn’t have worried, the kid knew what he was getting himself into. He turned out to be quite the trooper ordering me around – “Go to your office mommy. Bye bye, and have a good day”. Giving him a tight hug and a loud kiss, it was my turn to walk with a spring in my step, as I sent a silent thank you to the powers above. .
.After 8 years of parenting and two kids, if there is one thing I have learnt, it is this – you never know how it’s going to turn out!