Sunday, September 9, 2012

First day of School


Last week..I packed ALL my children, yeah!!! including Richa, into a Big yellow bus and sent them to a place that they feel is as good as home, infact better...It is SCHOOL, people!!  Its back to school time!


I felt thrilled about it as much as they did.  Just as the bus left, I stopped clicking. I had wanted to celebrate the moment. I wanted to run inside the home, close my eyes and feel the quite of the home, sink into my head.

The kids felt no different. It was obvious from their excitement when they came back from school. Each of them shouting at the top of their voices to tell me all the fun they had and all the fun that was in store for them.

We were both happy. They were happy, for getting back to their routines, without which they seem lost. Happy about getting back with their friends and I, was happy for regaining my freedom!!

I had been happy when the summer holidays had taken off. Even the kids couldn’t wait for it..but, a week into it, reality hit us both.  I had realized what an important part of my everyday was taken away from me....the quite, the independence to decide when I can cook, the ability to hop out any moment and go anywhere, the liberty to give them money and say

“Go buy lunch, today!!”

Now, I was tied down. I had to think logistics..the kids, the situation, in case I needed to step out, find someone to take care of them in case I couldn’t lug them along. Always make sure there is something for them to eat.

Those sweet moments of quite and serenity that I had taken for granted, were lost to cacophony and mindless sibling brawls.  Even the onus of keeping their minds engaged had fallen back on me which I never succeeded in engaging anyways!

Sitting in the steam room today, joined by other mom’s in the same situation..we had been getting our skins unclogged, our minds distressed after that strenuous workout..which actually didn’t feel so. Maybe it was the joy…and we couldn’t help but gloat at our new found independence, our new found peace!!

Freedom from child care, from cooking 3 meals a day, all that mess, from everything that comes with having kids around us…

One of the moms was so happy to be free from those frequent reminders..

“Mom! its 11.00am….what’s for lunch?!”

She said…she was able to give cash to her kid and say..

“Go dear!! Buy lunch!”

Wow! Life was getting exciting again.  I have been guilty of all these too, although I have to acknowledge that as much as I hated my freedom taken away….my peace of mind robbed with the constant jarring unmelodious sounds of their quarrels…We did end up enjoying each other’s company..after all.

This summer, I had introduced my girls, to the art of house keeping ..or let me just put it plain as it is “the pain of house keeping”. They helped me fold laundry that by the end of summer…it had become more than a fun activity, it had turned into their responsibility.

Ah! now you know why they were so excited to get back to school!…Reminds me of the quote from Calvin and Hobbes..

Trust me, they were all set to design a robot to fold the laundry coz, they were so tired of it..

They had enjoyed, heating up their own Rotis, spreading Dosa batter on the pan, unloading and loading the dishwasher (I guess, I’ll just skip the part where they spread water everywhere around the sink and the kitchen floor, while doing it!).

They sorted and fixed up rooms, folding and putting away laundry (again! the part where we could never find our clothes because they were all misplaced can be left out…especially when Papa shirts didn’t fit right and mine didn’t either, or when I couldn’t find my undergarments and I knew very well..I had stocked up on them. That was really puzzling!!) …

On a side note..I wonder why such faux pas by your kids..don’t seem to irk us, moms, the same way as when your spouse does those same goof ups.

Trust me! they do that on purpose!! That’s my take Smile

I remember cooking for my Dad one time, during my teen years..when my mom was away visiting her Dad…I remember making upma with idli rava.  And he didn’t crib an ounce. He just ate it like he enjoyed each bite.  This coming from a person who was so fussy about how his food tasted.

I also remember cutting okra and soaking them in water,just like we do with other veggies in Indian cooking…and what a shock it was for my mom who had javascript:;just come back from work.  She helped me fix it..without a word!

I’d been one of those kids who had wanted to impress my parents trying to cook some new dish, when they returned from work..and most times I had ended up with the first time I tried to make Medu vada batter.  Everytime, they smiled and fixed the situation and I got a little more wiser.

Now, I find myself in my parents shoes as I watch my kids trying to do their part of chores.  It had been a team work for them. It was such a joy to watch all the three of them folding away that mountain high pile of laundry while I sat and worked on my computer!  I’m going to miss all that pampering.

Richa did notice all this imbalance and couldn’t help containing it inside of her..She said..

“Mama…You sure do put the clothes in the washer but, Didi’s  fold and put them away.  What other work do you do?”

She was the loudest one..when she came back from school, today! No, it wasn’t preschool that she had returned from!!

This year, my youngest and the most rambunctious child, stepped into the public school system and boy! wasn’t she glad she did?!  She seemed to be on cloud nine.  She had seen off her Didi’s to the Yellow bus for some many years…  Well, almost all her life!!

Her turn to be on that bus never seemed to come…

At last, she was on that bus, today!


What a was, Today! A momentous day in her life. What a joyous day of her life it had been. She was really proud of this achievement.

She never came across any moments of nervousness or butterflies. That, she’d be going to that big building they called elementary school. That, she’d have to find her way to her classroom…what if she got lost?! None of these thoughts even crossed her mind. 

She was prepped with the personality of her teacher, to the dot!  How her classroom would look like. About the big school bus in her class. How her teacher would appear and what are her teacher’s routines,  by her Didis. of them had Mrs C, for their teacher in kindergarten too, you see!!

I call this, getting the scoop of Insider information..kindergarten style!!!

Well, we parents are guilty of this deed too, aren’t we?! As soon as the announcement of the teachers happen, a swarm of emails float around..between us parents, asking each other if they know such and such teacher. Everyone of us, wants some insight into her/his personality…what to expect for their children for this year!  Like as though, our story of the school year needs a prologue.

The kids jump into this info gathering effort..too, by looking up to the elder ones for any insider scoop on their newly assigned teachers..any insider information that would put them on a higher pedestal than their classmates.

The elder kids brainwash the younger ones with any knowledge they have about the respective teachers. Richa was fortified too!

“Mrs C is very nice…”…they told her.

“She lets you sit in the school bus (human sized replica in her class) if you are good and lets you read a book in it”

I had my own input too. I told Richa..

Mrs C … gets mad if you don’t brush your teeth..

Mrs C … gets mad if you don’t do your homework..

Mrs C … gets mad …….

Mrs C … gets mad…….

Well, for the time being, this seems to work for me because Richa desperately wants to impress Mrs C. I am going to use this to my advantage, for as long as I can get away with it. 

So, when Richa returned from school on the first day…she gave the verdict…

She loves TC elementary and she loves Mrs.C  because she took her to the library and met with Mrs H. 

She suddenly feels grown, she feels she can measure up with the other kids who used to brag around her..about being able to get on the school bus and go to school, talk about all the fun they seemed to have at school.

She’s one among them, now! Suddenly, her voice is louder, its bold, confident! Now, she will have her own stories from school to share about friends, about activities, about goof ups and makeups and breakups.

Although her school is technically only for 2.5 hours, and she still spends the rest of her school day in pre-school, it doesn’t matter to her. She has earned the right to ride the school bus just like all the kids in her neighborhood do.

She is one of the youngest among the kids around her home so, you can understand her angst! …

Here’s to wishing my sweetie pies a very fruitful school year and wishing them their dreams come true..although..if you listen to them say “I wish..I could..” I would be scared to say “I wish all your dreams come true”!

I had put together a video of pictures of what I clicked as she got into the school bus on the first day of school.