16 April 2013, by Mandy Loh
Cristan started playschool today!
Unlike most other moms, I was terribly last-minute about my preparations. I wanted to buy a new school bag for Cristan, but couldn’t find one that I really liked, so he ended up using his doggy backpack that could barely fit his water bottle and a change of clothes in it! I also realised, with a tinge of horror, that I couldn’t find the packing list that the school provided. At around midnight last night, I was racking my brains trying to recall what we should be bringing to Cristan’s playschool! Thankfully, I was spot on – diapers, wet wipes, water bottle and a change of clothes was all that was needed for our half-day programme. Phew!
I had every intention to reach his playschool half an hour earlier than the start time, so that he could ease into the environment gradually (a good tip given by fellow blogger Yi Lin). However, despite my best efforts and an early start to the morning, Cristan dawdled through breakfast, and we only managed to arrive at the school on the dot at 9am!
The good thing is, Cristan’s playschool starts off each day with unstructured outdoor play, which suits him just fine! Right after entering the gate, he immediately made a beeline for the cars lining the driveway.
I’m sure most moms would know what I mean when I say that I was more excited about the first day of school than Cristan was! I grabbed him to take a photo for keeps, but he wasn’t too pleased to be away from his toys.
Tim got a MUCH better photo with Cristan, because I started playing peekaboo and making funny faces behind the camera.
After the obligatory photos, we let him get back to the toys, and he wasted no time checking out the motorcycle, his current obsession.
We watched him for a couple more minutes, and then bade him farewell and left. Surprisingly (and to our immense relief), there were no tears, separation anxiety or tantrums. He just kissed us back and said “bye-bye!”, then promptly turned around and attempted to snatch the scooter that the girl (in the picture above) was playing with. Oh, my little hooligan!
When I went back to pick him up at noon, he was happily poking around at the sand pit with a little net, looking totally at home. I was also really delighted when his teacher told me that everything went wonderfully – in fact, she said it did not even seem like Cristan’s first day at school at all!
I suppose there are two main reasons for such an excellent first day: Firstly, he’s starting at a later age (22 months vs 18 months), and has shown signs of being ready for school (as he’s been extremely bored at home). Secondly, he’s already been attending Sunday School for a while now, so he’s probably used to the concept of “school”. In the last few days, I’d also been talking to him about school, pointing out the playschool everytime we drove by, and telling him how much fun it would be. Perhaps that worked too!
I’m just crossing my fingers that he’ll stay happy in school, even after he realises that hey, this school thing will be happening rather regularly from now on! For now, I’ll leave you with this shot, taken at the exact moment Cristan realised I was back at the school to pick him up.