Friday, August 22, 2008

Finally the Mite Goes to School

Yes, it is true, my little one is in school! He started on the 20th. On the 19th the Mr and I agreed that there is no reason for delaying the matter any longer. His cough was better, his nose had stopped running, he was his active self talking away till 11 at night and not sleeping in the afternoons. So we dug out the application that I had got from the nearby play school over a month back and filled it up. The headmistress was taken aback so see me pop up suddenly out of the blue! "I thought you will not come" she said smiling in surprise. We completed the formalities and quietly slipped away while the mite was engaged in counting the fish in the aquarium. I was told to collect him at 11 on the first day. I rushed off to the temple while the Mr went to office. The visit to the temple reassured me and I did my daily chores till it was time to bring him back. I went with beating heart only to find him enjoying a nice picnic with the helper in the playground. There were two other babies with him. I had sent his favourite autorickshaw toy with him. One of the babies had taken a fancy to it, I saw the mite snatch it from the hapless child! No auto for him from tomorrow, I decided. He was very happy and excited all through the day. He went off to sleep after lunch. He refuses to ly down now a days, he just sits on my lap while I sing or recite a poem and he slowly passes out and then I wait for sometime and put him on the pillow! "Amake borro laal ball diyechhe" (they gave me a big red ball) he said excitedly. On the second day I was told to fetch him at 11:30. As I entered I saw him trying to squeeze himself behind a girl on the plastic see-saw. He managed to sit with both the legs on one side and not finding the position comfortable he stood up again and was about to try a different strategy when I intervened. "he has taken a fancy to the see saw" said the headmistress indulgently. While going to school he had said "Mamma tumi thakbe" (Mother you will stay with me) to which I had said that I will be waitng outside the gate. On the third day he said "school e jaoa hoye gechhe, aami auto chhalabo", (school going is done now I want to play with the auto, at home obviously). But when I said see saw he was ready to go. He had started doing school work too. On the second day his madam showed me a whole page of colouring that he had done. He had shown the eyes, chin and cheek on a doll, to the surprise of the teachers. If they knew that he knows and can point out the forehead, eyebrows and eyelashes in two languages, then they would really be amazed!

I continue from where I left off two days ago. I was very concerned about the mite regarding two things- I had taken him along for so many saree buying sprees that when he played make believe in the afternoons he would say- "aami shari kinte jachhi" (Iam going to buy saris) he cleared a toy shelf and then put his head inside it reaching for saris then he would be asking me (I will be sitting or lying down trying to take an afternoon nap) "tumi kon colourer shari nebe? " (which colour sari will you take?) I would mumble some colour then "tumi kirokom blue shari nebe?" (what type of blue/red/etc sari will you take) I would mumble some pattern-stripe, dot or check. Then he would take himself out of the shelf along with the make believe sari and land on my stomach " aami tomake poriye dichhi" (I will make you wear it) " botam lagiye dichhi" (I will put on the buttons!). Thereafter he would buy a sari for himself and wear it buttons and all! I knew then that he must go to school and quickly! He occassionally goes for make believe vegetable and fish shopping with a little bag but I do not mind that!

Another cause for consern was his habit of watching the hindi film music channel 9xm. The brat and I watch it and the mite likes it too specially the katrina Kaif numbers! Now, whatever other programme we watch he will appear and ask "eta kon gaan hochhe"( what song is playing) even if it the news channel or discovery or cartoon network. I would proceed to explain that all programmes are not songs but he insists on asking "eta kon gaan? " even now! This too would change I hoped after going to school.

There is yet another sign that my mite is developing intellectually. Previously if I asked silly questions like- "Ke choco drink khabe?" (who will have chocolate milk) he would say "Babu khabe" because that is what he calls himself. Now he answers "aami khabo" (I will drink) so he has learnt to put the pronoun in place of first person, which is a sign of verbal development.

The mite brought some homework for the weekend! Drawing standing and sleeping lines and colouring a square and a triangle! He did it all by himself! he got carried away with the standing line and on some places he drew the lines all across the page when he had to make half page lines. When I explained it to him he did the work swiftly and even asked me to make other drawings on which he could make standing and sleeping lines. This morning he cried a little when I said we are off to school. then he said "auto kore jabo" (I will go in an auto). In school I stayed for a little while talking to his teacher- he therefore started crying in the hope that I will take him home. I slipped away quickly and swore that I will slip away right after handing him over to the helper from tomorrow!

We spent a wonderful Sunday afternoon at the Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum. The Fun Science Pavilion was a treat with lots to do. The Brat and the mite had a lovely time there. The ground floor has the mechanical sections with trucks and models explaining the use of water , air and animal power, There is a moving dinosaur too on the mezzanine floor (but the dinosaur gallery at the Science city in Calcutta is a lot better) the Fun Science gallery is on the second floor and the most striking thing was that all the displays were in excellent working order inspite of being fiddled with by all and sundry. The scientific toy shop in the mezzanine floor and the book shop on the second floor is very good. We gave the third floor a miss because we were hungry. We expected to find a huge canteen on the fourth floor but it was a disappointment. it had nothing but samosas and chips and icecream. The children had pop corn and some banana chips that I had brought along. There was coffee and juice too. The museum authorities should develop the canteen they can do brisk business for a round of the museum can make one very hungry! Anyhow we called it a day and told ourselves that we will be back soon.

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