Yesterday was Sameer's first day at playschool -- Gunjan. He was supposed to get there by 9:30 am. So I tried to get him to atleast finish his breakfast and brush his teeth. I was planning on walking him to the school initially. However, by the time we got out of the house, I realized that it was already 9:25. So we took a cycle rickshaw. We were there well in time as the school is a 10 minute walk from our house. Frankly, I was happy that we made it in time. I expected to be really late.
When I picked him up an hour and a half later, he was a little upset, which I expected. What was funny was the way he expressed his resentment at being left at school, without mom or dad.
The daily session at the school lasts for three hours from 9:30 to 12:30. I kept him there for only an hour and a half. At Gunjan, they do not let the parents stay in the classroom. They have close circuit cameras in most of the rooms. I watched Sameer on it, when he was in the classroom. Most of the time one of the teachers was holding him in her lap, trying to calm him. It would work for a short while, when they would play a VCD of children's songs on their computer, after which he would again start asking for me. When it was close to an hour, I told them I want to take him back now. They fed him an early snack that they usually serve at 11:30. Once he came to me, he was taking small sobs. He told me, "Mumma nahin thi to Sameer ro raha tha." He was a bit upset at me as well for having left him like that. Part of the reason could have been that I never really got to say a proper bye to him. When we entered the school premises, he wanted to go into the playground. So I told him I need to put his bag away and I'll be back. Later the teachers asked me not to see him right now, as he is not crying .
On the way back home, at first he repeated what he had told me earlier, "Mumma nahin thi to Sameer ro raha tha." Then he just stopped walking and wouldn't move. As I bent down to talk to him, I could see he was trying to control his sobs. So I picked him up and carried him in my arms and tried to distract him a little. Later, I started asking him a little bit about school as well. He did not want to talk about it. And then when we were just about to reach home, he says, "Sameer mumma se naaraaz hai." I felt like laughing. On the other hand, I was happy that atleast he was letting me know how he felt.
Today was his second day. And it was worse than yesterday. Initially he did not want to go to school at all. So I told him, today mumma will accompany you to the class. I did not try to hurry him too much. So we finally got there 15 minutes late. Today again I took the cycle rickshaw. Sameer wanted to know which color rickshaw we will take and was busy telling me how the rickshaw owner was pedalling etc. Once we got to the gate, however, he started crying. I had to carry him into the school. He calmed for a few seconds when I told him I'll take him into the class. We went inside the class with the teacher. But as soon as he saw the room, he was bawling again. The teacher had to wrest him from my arms. I tried consoling him by telling him that I am right outside and so many other kids come here without their moms and they have so much fun. But nothing was helping at that point. So I finally left him in the teacher's arms. I could hear him asking for Rahul, "Papa chahiyen," as he could see mumma wasn't being much of a help.
They again fed him a snack before we left today. This time they asked me to wait outside the gate and they'll bring him. However, when he saw me he just turned his back on me and walked away. He added for further clarity, "Mumma nahin chahiye." Again he got a ride in my arms, all the way home. However, once we got home, I was able to chirp him up to his usual self a little bit earlier than yesterday. Although, he did not want to talk about school today as well. Just hoping Monday will be better for him.