Friday, January 7, 2011

Marcus' Debut to Primary School

*** This is the 1000th post of this blog! I can't believe it! *** 

The day began at 6am when I gently woke the boy up. Perhaps because he slept at 9pm the night before, he woke easily with nothing more than some whispers and a few light pats on his arm. 

Within the next 45 min, I got him washed up, packed him two snacks and made sure he finished his breakfast before dressing for school. 

I was anxious that we would miss the school bus on the first day, and I really jumped when I heard a loud honk, wondering if I had remembered the wrong pick-up time. Luckily, when we got down, it wasn't our bus. 

I had considered walking him to school on the first day, so that he would not feel so lost and 'alone'. I can imagine how intimidating it can be to alight the school bus and be surrounded by a sea of unknown faces and unfamiliar surroundings. But we decided it is better for him to start on the school bus straightaway and have faith that there will be guidance from teachers and older children once he gets there. 

While waiting for the bus, he was rather chatty. Though he didn't say it, I could sense his apprehensiveness. I briefed him of what to expect and spoke positively about the experiences to come. A quick kiss and tight hug before watching him get on the bus with his spanking new bag.  

As the bus drove off, I felt a wave of mixed emotions sweeping over me.

There goes my little boy, on his first journey to his new school, all on his own. Without me! 

He has grown up. He is big enough to carry his big bag (though it was filled with just 2 snack boxes, a water bottle, pencil case and small box of colour pencils that day). 

He is going to love his new school and make loads of new friends! He is going to enjoy learning and all the new experiences! 

He is growing up too fast! Soon, he won't need me anymore. Soon, he won't want to spend time with me anymore. Ohh.... 

Then I snapped out of those crazy thoughts and back to reality. Ok, he will be fine. He is a smart boy, he will find his way around and I will see him at recess. 

I headed home for a quick breakfast before strolling to his school, well ahead of the time for recess. 

By 8.50am, parents were pouring in from all directions. Within minutes, we had lined ourselves along the corridors that connect the classrooms to the canteen. Majority was armed with cameras and video cams, chatting excitedly while waiting for their stars to walk down the 'red carpet'. 

Closer to the place of action, there were also hoards of parents who parked themselves on both sides of the canteen to have a good view of their sons eating. :> Some even took a few test shots to make sure they had the perfect angles. Haha! They are not called parents paparazzi for nothing! 

I was expecting to hear a loud alarm ring to signal the commencement of recess, just like what I was used to in my times, but there wasn't even a buzz. All we saw were lines of little kids walking out of the classrooms in pairs. The Primary 1 kids were all assisted by a Primary 4 or 5 boy. Some of the older boys were actually really good at looking after their younger charges, guiding them along protectively, which was very impressive. 

But I can't really say the same for the boy who was paired with M. They didn't even walk together. But M didn't seem to care. He was like this cool papaya swinging his lunch bag as he made his way to the canteen, oblivious to the bystanders. I wouldn't be surprised if he was thinking of the designs of the next robot to make!! Haha! 

Unfortunately, I couldn't take any good shots of him due to where he was seated in the canteen, though I caught glimpses of him just before recess was over. 

Everywhere I looked, there were parents with goofy smiles, cheering quietly as they observed their little boys nibbling down snacks brought from home or bought with the help of the older boys. Like them, I smiled a mega smile and waved like an overly excited girl whenever M made eye contacts with me. Thrice! I hope it assured him that everything will be fine. 

After recess, I headed home still beaming with pride, yet occupied with slight feelings of uneasiness. I wondered if he had made any friends and if I had given him enough food. 

The school had emailed parents a week prior to the start of school term about the week long orientation programme. Proper lessons will only begin in second week. I thought that was a gentle way to ease the children to the new routine. 

A few hours later, I was waiting for him at the lobby when his school bus pulled in. Off came my boy, looking a little disheveled with an untucked shirt and unkempt hair. He was obviously weary from the long day.

He couldn't wait to play his toys and badly missed his brother. 

Did he have fun on his first day? It was a loud and clear NO. The school was boring. The day was boring. There was waiting, waiting and more waiting. He was grumpy about having to wake at 'this ridiculous and ungodly hour and having to take the rotten bus to the rotten school'.  He told me he had enough of the school and was not going back there anymore. Hahaha! 

Ok, I didn't laugh in his face when he expressed his thoughts. He got a pep talk instead. 

Clearly, my little boy needs some adjustment time. I am glad he is talking about his feelings though, which will make it easier for me to help him. The school had understandingly allowed parents to visit for the first three days, so I was there during recess on the 4th, 5th and 6th Jan. He looked fine, not chirpily happy but there was nothing out of the ordinary that deserved attention either. 

I am sure in a week or two, he will enjoy school more once he has made some friends. 

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