We sent Sameer to a summer camp in the second week of May. He was exactly 2 years 2 months. We wanted to see how he'll cope to being away from home for about 2 hours on a daily basis. I was hoping that he would enjoy it. Lately he had really started enjoying pretend play. He would become a vegetable seller at times. Then, on occasion he would imagine driving to his dada-dadi's house or nana's house and ringing the doorbell and have imaginary conversations. I really felt that he would enjoy getting out of the house and meeting children his own age and play with them. We chose a playschool near our house. There are several. This one is called Ananda. Their summer camp was just two weeks long and that too the daily session lasted only 2 hours. In most schools the summer camp lasts for a full month and each session is usually 3 hours long. For Sameer that would have been too much. So it looked like a good way to give him and us a sense of what to expect. I specially was really keen on admitting him in a regular session from July. It did not work out that way though.
He was constantly crying and becoming whiny, not just in school, but throughout the day. If I disappeared for even just 10 minutes he would have tears streaming down his eyes. Although there was one day when he did not notice my absence at all. That was on the second day. The third day onwards it kept getting tougher. If I stayed with him in the class, it was ok. But in that case, he wanted me to join him in the class activites as well. And if I left, he would cry the entire time in the class. This lasted the entire two weeks.
In the evenings, he usually wanted his dad once Rahul was home from work. But now he dare not leave my side, lest I went away. The school teachers felt that we should just brave it up and let him cry. They talked about cases where children took 3 months or even longer to settle down. A few days or a few weeks might have been ok. But I had a feeling that for Sameer this could turn into something similar, where each day would be a struggle. Neither one of us was ready for it or interested in pushing him so much at this time.