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Mom of a pre-schooler.. sounds so weird... Agastya my son is now 2. He has become somewhat independent. A parrot who literally repeats everything we say. He speaks in a language only the inhabitants of my house will understand. A mix of Hindi & Marathi. And even as I type this my mothers nagging voice plays in my head how he doesn't know my mother tongue Telugu at all and how our relatives will never be able to talk to him.
But I digress. This post is about how once your toddler is finally a toddler and enters his terrible twos, has become slightly independent, is able to communicate better, have their choices & opinions. its actually a bitter sweet feeling. You are elated that he lets you be and doesn't physically stick to you the whole day and has more than 30 seconds of attention span towards his toys or books. He now knows who is a friend and who he doesn't want to be around. He started playschool. At first it was a nightmare. Felt like I was a heartless stone of a mom who left her child in a cage for a whole 2 hours. while he cried and cried until he no longer had the energy and sat quietly through the rest of the class. This lasted for about a month.
Then it was 'Christmas & New Year holidays' 'Lag gayi', I thought. it will be the same drama all over again on Jan 2nd where he would have forgotten all about playschool. Come Jan 2nd, its D-Day, from the moment I woke him up, I started singing the rhymes he hears at school, preparing to say 'good morning teacher' and how every morning all good babies go to school. Everyone at home followed suite and started building u school as the place to be for him. He was reaction less. Usually a chatterbox who had a reaction or quip to whatever is being spoken to him , this time he just IGNORED everything we were saying about school. A
Anyhow I managed to put him in uniform, and husband and I went to drop him at school.We expected the usual crying and howling and braced ourselves to be heartless. we even made a strategy that we will first take him to the play area, distract him and then slyly leave him with the teacher. We get down from the car and start walking towards the school gate. He walks up to the security lady who rather loudly greets him ' GOooooooddd Morningggg agastyaaaaaaa''.... He goes.. 'Doo monin' in a volume that only an ant could have heard. but I did notice it and was slightly amused. Next up , the teacher while checking his tempertaure with the automatic laser thingy... goooddd morning agastyaaaaaa.. you are a healthy baby lets go to class" and then what happened next was to me close to a miracle. The teacher opens the door, he walks in cooly and calmly ignoring another teacher who had her arms already spread out to pick him as he would resist going in. He walked in without looking back at us or waving good bye. Removes his bag and head further in and the door closes. Me and husband look at each other and go 'what just happened" ... if this was a Bollywood film, we would break into a celebratory Bhangra dance performance while Dhol players would magically appear around us. But it wasn't and this was real. What I felt that moment is exactly what is called a 'bitter sweet' emotion.
While I was over the moon that our child has finally embraced the concept of school and is okay being on his own without one of us around him. What? He was OKAY without us being around for a whole two hours? He no longer cries his lungs out for Mamma? a small part of me was sad that all this was happening too soon. Cliched but this thought must be crossing a mother a zillion times any given day. Slowly and steadily he started enjoying school and used to look forward to wearing his uniform and bag and going to school everyday. He says the loudest BYEEEEE to his Ajji (grandmother) before leaving home.
WOH 2 ghante..Those 2 hours when the brat is at school is the kind of freedom one would probably feel after years of jail sentence... You feel like you can conquer the world. Take the longest shower without anyone knocking or crying at the bathroom door.. go crazy on social media and stalk everyone... Have a peaceful breakfast with noone tugging at your feet.. heck Take up an online course.. do yoga.. learn recipes.. BUT these are mere plans.. by the time your excitement peaks and you make all sort of plans its time to pick him up back from school.. Damnnnn!!!
And one day I came back from work and the first thing he says while pointing at a wall where a small star sticker was stuck " Mamma woh dekho Starrrr.. teacher ne mere haath pe lagaya star.. Main Doo Boi (Good Boy) hoon" tsk tsk (my heart was crying and saying.. Mere beta bada ho gaya.) I hugged him like I would never let go and for the rest of the evening his proud Ajji was telling the neighbours, thier dogs, thier maids everyone on how Agastya got a star today at school.
Play-school Milestone - CHECK