Monday, June 14, 2010

The next inevitable milestone

has commenced.

Jillu has become a preschooler. We have enrolled in her a Montessori school. We have spent the past 3 to 4 months preparing her (brain washing, drilling, ore ore build up) for the school. The build up could be any of the below or all

- you will have lots of annaas & akkaas (brothers and sisters) to play with
- lots of play time and activities - Jhoola, slide etc
- Daily taaataa
- Make lots of friends and bring them home
- Draw, Color, Paint, et all
- Learn ABCD, etc

And also that
- Amma/Appa/Others will not always be there with her in the school and the said people are just for dropping and pick up (this to a lesser extent when compared to the above)

After months and months of such talk, she was looking forward for June 7th (the first day of the school). When she was queried about her plans for school, she would say June 7th even before the name of the school. In fact, she still says even today "June 7th, school ponum la" :)

Day 1, Monday : 
We left early on day 1, went to temple, witnessed the "archana" and then proceeded to the school. The school was particular about arriving 15 mins early as they wanted to let the kids play outside first, bring them in the mood and then take them inside for the regular stuff (Its totally a different matter that kids play inside as well and as its a Montessori, learning happens the play way method:)). I like the idea very much and in fact try to leave her early every day so that she can play, adjust and gets the same routine everyday.

To get back to Day 1, it was only for an hour and I was allowed to be with her for the whole hour that day. While she was playing outside, i went out of her sight for a couple of times just to gauge her re-action. She was okay for a few minutes and then her eyes would start searching for me. "Ammaa....." 
And then we went inside, got introduced to her class mates, the "Aunty" sang a song, some play and  then  it was time to come home.

Day 2, Tuesday : 
1 hour of school, but we had to drop her and go. No lingering in the premises. (The whole of the week was only for an hour)

The teachers aka the Aunties receive each kid warmly (by name) at the school gate and take them inside. I had told Jillu that I would be dropping her in school, go to the tailor, (just like I did  when I left her with her best buddy "I" at her home the last time) and then come back to pick her up. At the school gate, when it was time for me to leave, I was waiting with bated breath for her reaction. She didn't cry. But she didn't go in as well. Was just standing there with no reaction. Then the "Aunty" gently took her hand and led her inside and she went away slowly.
We chose to cruise along the 4 streets of the neighborhood to while away the hour and pick her up. No point in going back home, if they happen to call us in between (they said they would if she cried hard). The hour was up with no phone call. But then, it didn't mean that kids were not crying, as we observed after the hour was up. 
They were being brought out one by one, some crying hard, some whimpering, but there was no sign of Jillu. When I checked with one of the "Aunties" I was told that she was on her way. The suspense and the tension was killing me. And I couldn't ask how she had behaved because Jillu's Aunty was not present at the gate then. Seconds and minutes passed slowly...
And then, she came, a tiny figure carrying her snaks boss (snacks box), walking ever so slowly, with the same neutral expression, just the way she went in. Had she cried ? What had happened? Did all the build up work? or not? But, she was looking dull for sure. 
An anxious me to her aunty : How was she ?
Aunty :she was just fine
Me : She didn't cry ? She didn't ask for me at all ? (disbelief)
Aunty : No. In fact she was saying "Azhaa koodadhu"("You should not cry") to other kids who were crying !

Me : caught between joy, pride and delight that even our extra coaching of pacifying other kids (we suspected she could  start crying if she saw other kids crying) had worked so beautifully and (dare I confess?) a slight let down that she hadn't asked for me even once ? but then, the pride over played and I scooped her up in  my arms :). I never once thought that she would say what she did (what we taught) to the crying babies!

We are so proud of you, baby :).

Day 3, Wednesday :

We came back home and returned to the school to pick her up. She was fine and no issues

Day 4, Thursday :

The dad dropped her (Mom didn't go for the drop) in the school  and Mom picked her up. 
Me (to the aunty) : How was she today?
Aunty : No problems with her. She has been fine.

Day 5, Friday:

Appa and Thathaa dropped her :) She was elated:). Amma went along with Thathaa for the pickup

I was waiting for Jillu's arrival with no qualms, at peace, unaware of the happenings and then was shocked to learn that she had cried for me and then thrown up as well. :(
Apparently, she had wanted to go home immediately after having snacks (the class is dispersed after snacks time), had put on her slippers, taken her bag and started to leave. On being told otherwise, she had started demanding and crying for me :(

Day 6, Monday :

Again an hour's session only due to the weekend break :)

Same routine as Friday, crying for me during snacks time.  Not sure of the difference in the routine the last 2 days. The only set back I could think of was her cold (too many climatic changes) ! But I guess, each kid is different and settle in differently.

Staring tomorrow, the duration has been increased to 2 hours. Well, I am preparing her for the extended session as I type,but I am not sure how well she is going to manage. 

Will hope for the best and post updates as they progress!

Jillu, you are doing great! We love you, sweet heart and are proud of you ! God bless you !


  1. How wonderful that she has settled down so quickly, Lavanya. Looks like all your prep talk paid off.

  2. she was saying "Azhaa koodadhu"to other kids who were crying ! - She is a supergirl :)
    WTG Jillu .. wishing u loads of joy and success in life :)

  3. Hey Jillu! All the very best for a brand new chapter in your life. It is going to be a wonderful new journey and you are going to enjoy every step of the way.. in those few instances that u might not, appa and amma will be there to look out for u.
    It has been a great first week and being ur blog aunt, I share some of the pride your parents and g'parents feel for u.
    You continue to rock lil girl. All the best once again.
    Ajcl aunty

  4. Jillu's doing great and handling the transition beautifully !!

    It usually takes a week for kids to realize that the preschool routine is for real, and for the initial novelty factor (the new books, toys, overall environment) to wear off a little bit

    Then the crying starts. So from her Week 2 performance, she's alreday begun to adjust to this schedule

    Equilibrium is usually reached in about a month's time - and then we usually stand with a lost look as they cheerfully wave goodbye and run off into school

  5. Jillu all the very best for the new and very important beginning of your life... you will sure rock :-)

  6. Jayashree : We knew that preparing helps a lot from past experience. But still we were skeptical and could not take it for granted.

    Swar : Thank you, Swaram Aunty :). She parroted what we taught her :)

    AJCL : That was such a beautiful message and blessings to kutti Jillu. Thank you so much. And Jillu says "Thank you Aunty" with a beaming smile

    PV : Hi PV, welcome here :). I get what you are saying with regards to novelty wearing off. it is very logical. Experience speaks, hmm ? :)

    Ani : Hi Ani, welcome here :) and thank you very much for the best wishes

  7. Kutties a paarthukara miss ku evalo porumai venum. Ippadi dhideer nu paiya thookindu oru podisu kelambaren nu kelambiduthu naa ... eppadi samaalikaradhu ... goiyaale sema thrilling aana job aa iruke idhu :)

    Yov ... nambale evalo naal office poga azhudhurukom ? office pona udane veetukku poganum nu evalo naal thudichurukom. Ellaam poga poga seri aaidum :)

    But plsssss 1st rank thaan vaanganum nu adam pudikaadha ... enga appan appadi thaan adam pudichaan ... vidalaye naanu ... oru vaati kooda 1st rank vaangalaye ... enakku adam pudichaa pudikaadhu ;))))

  8. Sat : LOL :)

    anaa, unakku yevalo adam ? first rank vaanga maatennu ? neeye adam pidichittu, neeye "enakku adam pudichaa pudikaadhu" solriyaa?

    But, on a serious note, this is a Montessori environment. so test laam romba kidaiyaadhu. play way learning dhaan

  9. Send me email if you wish - will share loads more experience on the perils and pleasures of preschoolers

  10. PV : thanks so much for the generous offer :) will take it up :)

  11. MY comment is always missing here.
    Well first four days of day care was more than smooth.later she started crying.Then i stopped daycare.But school,am wondering what will happen.good luck to u n jillu.

  12. AA : oho ! after a couple of complaints, i changed the settings to let anyone comment including anon users and now it seems to be better. Are u still facing that problem?

    And the crying sets in late sometimes. And then they get used to it after a week or so. Thank u for the wishes

  13. As u rightly said, each child is unique. Hope jillu gets aquainted and enjoys. Bt do give her a small present for just braving the fear and stepping into school on the first day without tears. That itself warrants a celebration. All the best jillu

  14. CG : Thank you for the wishes :). I am waiting for her to settle down completely for the whole of 3 hours. Then will give her a grand treat :)


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