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November 06, 2007

The school saga begins again...

After the previous fiasco, I was glad we were going to India and taking a break from the school heart break. Ashu of course had a fabulous time in India and whenever the word school was mentioned, she said NO. My dad promised her she never has to set foot in a school if she does nt want to. (To his credit, he said the same to me when I was a kid!) When we came back to Zurich in mid September, I started looking for a School. The day care she went to earlier is nt much for 2 1/2 year olds and both my friends have taken their children out of there and put them in English schools. So Ashu wont even have a familiar friend there. And the peer pressure got me as well. After looking high and low for an English school which was nt in the other end of the city from where we live, we did nt have much choice. And the English schools are ridiculously expensive too. So it took a month for us to visit the schools, get the info and decide on one. This pre school has a special programme for kids between the age of 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 in the afternoon. 1pm to 3 pm is an odd time for school and its Ashus nap time as well. But I wanted to stop her afternoon naps and liked the fact that I dont have to get up early in the morning to hurry her up to school! (Always the selfish me!) This school is a bit far too, 20 mins drive. And I don't know what Im going to do the 2 hours she is gone. But anyway, what has to be done has to be done, right?

Ashu first day was on Nov 1st. Hd and I were with her for 10 minutes and left the room. She started screaming and crying "Amma, Come! Amma come!" We both sat in the car in the parking lot and wondered why it has to be so tough for us. Then we saw the class coming out to the garden and playing in the slide and swing. One of the teachers was carrying Ashu and whenever the teacher attempted to put Ashu down, she started crying. She did nt want to go in the slide or the swing. Hd and I left after spying for 10 more mins. At 3 pm, we went in and I was all ready for an ear piercing scream and the whole world going deaf! But, yes there is a BUT, she saw me, said Hi Amma and bye to her teacher and walked with me to the car! Thank You God! The teacher said she slept for a while, got up and started playing. Ok! Thats Day 1.

Day 2 was predictable. She said No school and started crying while I was getting her dressed at home. "I will stay at home Amma, I will stay with you Amma", she was repeating. I packed her and plonked her in the car and she slept before we got to the school. Hd and I woke her up, gave her to the teacher and ran away. She was crying but the parent who went to drop off her kid after 5 minutes told us that Ashu has stopped crying and is playing. Relief. 2 hours later, she said bye to the teacher and gave me a hug and came home without a whimper. Thats Day 2.

Day 3 was yesterday after the weekend. Hd left for London for a couple of days. So for the first time, I had to drive without him in the passenger seat and it was scary. I remembered most of the Kandha Shashti Kavasam even though it has been decades since I recited the Shloka! I reached the school safely. Though Ashu was crying, she readily went to her teacher and said a teary bye to me. I decided to visit my friend who lives in the same area. Took a bus to her place. 2 hours later, came to pick up Ashu and she was all smiles and proudly showed the library book she had checked out by herself. Came back safe and sound. (I worry more about the what do I do if I get lost more than what if I hit another car. So some experience should take care of that fear.)

Day 4 was today. With Hd being out of town, Ashu and I had a relaxing morning and after lunch, I dressed her up and when I asked her to go and wear her shoes, she did nt protest. She happily climbed into the car. I drove the car with crossed fingers! Thankfully, she did nt fall asleep today so she was all bright when we got to the school. She went in and said a big hai to Miss M and then she said "BYE AMMA"! Not a whimper! Yippee! When I went to pick her up, the class was just coming in from the play area. Ashu gave me the warm Hi Amma and showed her dirty boots to me as it has been slightly raining outside! (While driving back home, got stuck in a tunnel in a slow moving traffic for 45 minutes and then saw the accident scene which was the cause of the traffic jam. One of the cars involved was crashed heavily. Do I need this when I am driving alone with Ashu for the first time? I ll take back what I said before. Getting lost is better than getting hit!)

I was really worried the first day and thought that it will be weeks before she settled down. I was telling Hd how Brat, Ayaan, Anushka, Ddidi, Chula and now Kodi have all settled down in school like THAT and how this is only happening to me because of the grave things I did in my past life! Hd gave me a dirty look and asked me to shut up. I agree now that I deserved it.

Some of the things that have helped the smooth transition -

Ashu is old enough to understand bribes and blackmails!

This school is better than the previous day care. She has activities to look forward to.

Theres a big play area and they take the kids out come rain or shine, snow or wind. Ashu likes that.

Theres a nice library and thats Ashus idea of heaven. Yesterday, she came home with a book which she had selected and checked out herself. ("The Best Party of them all" by Hiawyn Oram and Lucy Su)

Miss M is ultra nice. I think Ashu is in love with her and thats the reason she settled in pretty quick.

1 to 3 pm is an odd time but since she goes after a proper lunch with full stomach, shes less cranky.

Inspired by Utbt, Im copying her style of update. This was how Ashus first day was.

What was playing in the car?

The Pre K nursery rhymes CD. Usually, its the Sivaji songs which blast from the speakers. But I decided to make it special for Ashu!

What was Ashu wearing?

Blue jeans from my Sis, Dora t shirt specially bought for the first day, white sneakers and a pink plastic band on her curls. Oh and a backpack. She took her ABC book, a pencil, a wind up toy butterfly and her broken sun glass in the backpack. Needless to say, she packed the bag herself!

What was she most excited about?

The big play area in the school and her backpack with the said contents.

What did she eat for lunch?

Rasam Rice with carrot and a cup of Yogurt. Possibly, the she will eat the same before her first day to college as well. I ll bet my last penny on that!

What was in her snack box?

Biscuits and a carton of Apple Juice. (She finished one biscuit and the apple juice and told me that Sam had eaten a banana and she wanted a banana to take to school too. Idhukku onnum kurachal illai!)

Where is she schooling? Why this school?

We live in Zurich. We have no other option! (Ok, not many!)

How is Ashu taking to School?

Go to the beginning of the post please.

The day before first day of school.

She was very excited about the "Park school"! She said she ll go to school happily, she ll have fun, she wont cry, etc... I totally believed her.

The one thing that was more difficult than picking out the school itself.

The school supplies. We were given a long list of items like Rain boots, rain gear, snow boots, snow pants, cap, scarf, some over all jacket thingy,... I have nt bought anything other than the rain boots yet. (Dora boots! It was either this or Princess, ok? So don't judge me, Utbt!)

What I found most disturbing?

That people have a problem with Dumbledore being gay. Oh you mean with the school? Nothing! ;)

Today just before climbing out of the car Ashu said, "You wait in the car. Ok Amma?"
I promise, my little darling. I will. Always.


Anonymous said...

thats nice to hear that kutty ashu is adjusting in her school. guess you have got the license! i know how tensed you would have felt when driving for the first time with kid! anyway you have done the job and congrats for that. ( i am still trying to overcome that fear for driving)

Tharini said...

Sounds...well...just perfect, if you ask me! I think she's quite awell adjusted little lady! Just one q...why did you want to cut out her afternoon naps? Oh wait...its the early to bed at night thingy, isn't it?

Sounds sooo familiar...considering its what I didwith Akhil. Only now, he wants to sleep, when I don't want him to! :)

Sunita Venkatachalam said...

Awesome. good job Ashu !!

Suni said...

Kudos to little girl she is....and yes...kudos to her mom too...:)
Ashu's first week in school is so very similar to that of my son's experience....he also howled his heart out for the first two days and then he was fine.... :)
good luck for the days to come!!!

B o o said...

Anon - Still driving with the Indian license which is valid for a year, until Feb that is. Got to get my license before that and I am shaking with fear!!

Tharini - Ashu sleeps 3 to 4 hours in the afternoon and got all cranky if it was made any shorter. So this was a perfect oppurtunity to stop the looooong nap! The short nap she takes in the car seems to be enough. And yeah, she goes to sleep by 8.30 pm as opposed to 9.30 pm and that one extra hour means so much to me!

Poppin - Thank you!

Suni - Thanks. I need all the luck! :)

Savani said...

she look so adorable! I am glad she did not fuss.. she is growing up to be a little lady!

Premalatha said...

All the best to both of you. Use a P (new driver) board, if it helps you.

Every little drive used to be a like a mission for me when I first started driving alone.

All the best to Ashu.

upsilamba said...

what are you talking about, Boo? It all seems to fit in perfectly and just in a matter of two days, she has settled in beautifully. You stop crying, Boo.
Now, that was the all matured Upsi talking.
Back to my real old self --- I totally realte to what you are saying.*wiping away my tears* My lil one will go in January and he will be 21 months then. Then it would be my turn to say "Brat, Ayaan, Anushka, Ddidi, Chula, Kodi and now Ashu...they all settled in. Why God! Why not my lil one".

Stay put, Boo. more q: how did you have Ashu sleep for 3-4 hours? I would love that for my lil one.

Anonymous said...

such a lovely post.
its but natural that a child has some apprehensions abt school for a few days. and its so nice that little ashu has got over it in a quick span of time.
and wow, driving alone? good .see, neenga appo bayanthathu ellam ippo konjam konjama maranju poidum. best wishes to ashu.

Anonymous said...

Boo, if you dont mind can I ask you wat is that thing that u always put on her forehead? I've seen it in almost all her pics.. Is it necessary/holy/religious and whats the purpose? If u dont mind.. :)

Anusha said...

woo-hoo!! nice to see the quick settling in this time.
but really you shouldn't have worried comparing her transition to Kodi's - he goes for a full day, not for 2 hours. but I do understand the first day jitters - as moms our job is to think the worst - making ourselves more miserable than we deserve! :)

By Deepa and Supriya said...

How lady-like (being non fussy) that is!
and as for you BOO, that last line says it are a good mom!

mnamma said...

Good job Ashu and pat on the back to you :) Glad that she has adjusted well to school. And checking out a book by herself - wowww! Way to go little lady :)

Daisy said...

She is such a lil trooper.. just 3 days to settle in?? thats great!

"Today just before climbing out of the car Ashu said, "You wait in the car. Ok Amma?"
I promise, my little darling. I will. Always."

Very very profound and touching... *wiping off tears*

and ur "idhuku onnum koraichal illai"- so typical.. I remember all thise times when my mother uttered those same words..hehe

Laksh said...

My first time here. Manchus passed on your link. Ashu looks adorable and you have a wonderful way of sharing!

Just Like That said...

Happy Diwali, boo, Ashu and HD! :-)

and good to hear Ashu's having fun

Collection Of Stars said...

Ashu seems to have adjusted pretty quickly to the school :)
Pray KT will do the same.
I think the new school must have made a lot of difference no?

Premalatha said...

Happy Diwali Boo

Maggie said...

Well done Ashu - 4 days to settle in to school is quick! Have fun!

Anitha(Nikki's mom) said...

Way to go Ashu! She looks all adorable and innocent with the vibhoothi on her forehead.

Anonymous said...

Ashu is fine. Looks like you are the one that is having tough time :-)

Anonymous said...

You are a funny girl and Ashu look like an angel - curly haired cherub. I hope she never loses her curls.
Ditto on the Dumbledore!

Rohini said...

Wow! That is really great that she has settled down.

Manchus said...

Congrats Boo!! She finally did it.
BTW Happy Diwali to you, HD & Ashu. Waiting for a post on Diwali.

I came across this video that translates the Tamil is hilarious. Since you did the deed of translating Kandukondein2 song :) Here it is

noon said...

Awesome! Wow - just trying to read a few posts - haven't read any in a while. COngratulations! I loved your grayed out remarks as well (idukku onnumkurachal illai! :) ).
Seriously - these kids are their demands! :)
Oh man - I am happily waiting for spring to start kutti boy off in pre school/play school whatever...the one I liked has a ridiculous waiting list. I may** get an afternoon spot in Sep 08 when he would have just turned three yrs old (this having put in his name when he was 19m old!). Boy I hope I have this smooth a time in getting him started off in school!

Timepass said...

Wow, so Ashu is now settled in school. thats great..awaiting pics of ashu in her diwali dress!

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