Schools reopened, streets got busier with school buses and children and there seemed to be a general sense of exuberance in the air – for most children and parents. 🙂
Peanut was only too happy to get back to all the materials in his school. Surrounded by his friends and caregivers and yet have a mat to himself to carry out his activities for the day.
For Buttercup it was her first day. Ever since she was born she had been Peanut’s car companion to school. Today was a grand day in that she had her own little bag to carry and she was going to actually get out of the car and be part of the mystery that Peanut was involved in.
And the enigma was worth all the hype. She took to it well and before anyone knew it she was part of the sports time, running around, collecting balls, trying to exercise with some coordinated movement, playing with the balls, talking to other children and some more ball playing. The multi coloured balls clearly caught her fancy and time and again she was back to them. The highlight was Buttercup trying to console another child, reassuring her with a pat and a hug and saying, “ don’t cry”. Nostaligia set in and as I saw her run carefree with other children, attentively listen to her teachers and console other children (all on her first day), I couldn’t help but reminisce about the time when she was a baby and could barely crawl. Children have a way of sneakily growing up way too fast and before you know it they are turning, crawling, walking, running and then with full gusto attending school.
Clearly the novelty of this new experience had a lot to do with her excitement. Her face and eyes practically lit up during breakfast time when she saw a row of chairs tucked into long tables ALL HER SIZE. It was Lilliput land for the adults but for these Lilliputians they had finally reached home. Buttercup carefully chose 2 bowls from the shelf and then settled onto one of the chairs. Then after 5 minutes moved to another chair. I suspect for no reason but that she could do so with so much ease. Then she waited patiently for her food to come, giving the biggest smiles to the cook behind her. Obviously she knows who to please and when and here we are worried about how our children will manage!? She barely ate anything but again it was a start of her independence. When I asked her if she would like me to feed her the mangoes (after I saw her struggle and not manage to get even one piece in her mouth), pat came a stern ‘NO’. I guess it didn’t matter how much she managed to get into her mouth but that she could do it on her own like her fellow children. Ofcourse by lunch time she had gobbled down her food (might I add – independently) with great ease.
Got me thinking that children learn from observing others and others here are children and not so much adults. Secondly the need to become independent as soon as possible is explored by them till we adults tend to thwart that because we are in a rush or don’t want a mess. I’m guilty of the same but now I want to continue what she is experiencing at school and have sacrificed a dining chair for her independent food adventures.
Being a Montesserian, I’m biased towards the Montessori philosophy and having seen the benefits first hand with Peanut, its natural that Buttercup went that route. And from Day 1 it’s looking like a great choice. The layout of the class being suited to their physical structure, the materials being placed at their level and according to their growing basic needs of sensorial, language etc., the ability to choose and work with the materials that catch their fancy and the biggest draw for me – the mix of children in one environment from 2.5 to 5 years.
After a hectic couple of hours at school, Buttercup was ready to go home and within minutes of settling into the car was fast asleep.
My baby no.2 had grown up.