After writing about the logistical aspects of starting school, I thought I should also record down the emotional aspects of this big step for us, or me at least.
Even after much prayer, even after committing the little berry to The Lord, I still had a fair amount of trepidation as we sent her to school on the first day. I know every child will take awhile to adjust to school, but it was still heart wrenching to watch her cry and say “Gracie don’t want” as we handed her over to the teacher. I had initially planned to stay for an hour to observe her on the first day, but I think after the initial drama, my obviously distraught expression wasn’t helping the little berry so at GY’s advice, I left with him.
The rest of the morning was spent with GY, trying to distract myself with coffee and croissant and queuing up for famous lor mee. All while glancing anxiously at my phone for updates from her teacher.
According to the teacher, she cried intermittently for the first half of the morning after we left, but settled down and stopped crying after snack time. Although she also did overeat on the snacks and threw up all over her clothes, saying “too much, too much”.
I learnt from then not to pack too much snacks for her coz she probably tried to finish everything. For the subsequent days, I reduced the amount by two thirds and only gave her half a corn thin, a few pieces of seaweed, and 4-5 cashew halves. So far she’s been finishing up everything.
We went to pick her up after breakfast and seeing her not crying was one of the happiest things. She was pottering around the entrance area with her bag already strapped on, waiting for us. She seemed happy to see us and was quite calm. When we brought her out for lunch with my in-laws after that, she was also in a very agreeable mood.
I settled her down to nap after lunch and she fell asleep quite quickly, possibly tired from the early wake-up time and stimulation from school. I laid down next to her as she slept, and my heart broke when she would intermittently wake up and ask “where’s mummy?” I assured her that I’m here, and she went back to sleep.
Watching her and thinking back on all that happened that morning, tears just started flowing from my eyes. I suddenly realised that my little berry is really growing up, she’s going to school and trying to be brave about it.
She’s grasping how to handle being away from her mummy for 3 whole hours, how to relate to others and how to respond to all these sudden changes that have been thrust her way, all in the span of one morning. And she’s been super. I was so proud of her and at the same time, so taken aback by how big a step this marks in her growth. It must’ve been quite funny for her to see her mummy all teary eyed suddenly.
Day 2 in school went much better. GY sent her off alone because I still can’t get my game face on and it doesn’t help her when she sees a distraught mummy saying goodbye in school. According to the teacher, she cried for 10mins after GY left and then settled down – Gracie cried for all of 10 mins today, then settled down to do some work- chopping, transferring pasta w tongs, chinese class n now art.
Day 3 was even better. Even though she cried a little at home and didn’t want to go to school, the teacher said that Grace is doing great- she hasnt cried at all. Did sm work, and is now finishing storytime.
It seemed that she’s been participating in the activities as well, joining in for the songs, etc. I’m super relieved to know she’s transitioning well but am mindful/wary that there may be some kind of relapse next week when she starts school again after a 5-day break.
So far, GY has been the strong one through this whole school thing. He’s the one who drops her off, tells her that she’s going to school, remains calm in the face of her tears and hopeful that she’ll transition well. Whenever I voice out my concerns about her, he reminds me not to project my worst-case-scenario emotions on her, to have faith that she’ll cope. I’m really thankful for his strength and calm demeanor through this.
It’s only been 1 week so far, and the journey ahead is a long time, but I have a feeling it’ll be alright… with God steering the way and all of us on board.