Two years since I had two surgeries and two children. And sat down and wrote the book that has taken THIS long to release! And now the children start playschool. Amazing.
This morning was busy because Peanut was starting school after the summer holidays and Pickle-Papad were also to be packed off. The household was in a frenzy of excitement and activity from 7 a.m. As a consequence, we got the twins ready too early and they were mighty annoyed with Peanut zipped off in her schoolbus and they found they were expected to wait. Luckily, some birds in the park proved to be enough of a distraction to let Vijay and me escape home for a while to get ready, and by 9.30 a.m, we were all driving to the playschool.
They were terribly excited, the two of them. I was so glad because my attempt to put them in daycare last November was a total Fail. This time, they were ready though, and primed accordingly. Last week we had bought them little school bags and big tiffins and water bottles and they had a pleasant time dismantling everything. Yesterday we had a 'pretend' school session where I was the teacher, and we sang songs as they sat on the floor and pretty much ignored all of my instructions. In fact, in the middle of what I had thought was a particularly inspired bout of 'Wheels on the Bus', young Papad picked up his bag and told me casually 'Buh-bye' and took off. I called after him that this was not going to be acceptable in school, but he trotted off to sit in his cupboard cubby hole, and was shortly followed by his brother and sister.
I tried to explain to them that their real names are not Pickle and Papad, but much confusion ensued. I thought I had nailed it at one point when they started to answer properly. However, when I asked again, it was:
Me ( to Papad): What's your name?
Me: Noooo....it iss.....( prodding with expectant expression)
Papad: ( renewed confidence): PICKLE!
And the reverse was then acted out gleefully by Pickle.
Anyway, so we reached the school this morning and were greeted by warm hugs by the lovely founder - we had pretty much known this is where we would send the twins because Peanut had really flowered here. In fact, they were quite happy to see that there was a photo of two-year-old Peanut studiously playing with some blocks right there on the gate. They were pretty much at home as they stepped and then started to create havoc. Vijay left for work and I stayed around to watch them.
They played in the sandpit, ignoring the teacher's request to refrain from carrying the mud in pails in order to dump them in the splash pool.
They watered the floor with the watering cans instead of the plants.
They got sand onto the swings and all over their shoes.
They happily occupied the rocking horses for so long that other children lost patience and left.
They climbed up the slides - from the wrong side.
They tumbled and fell.
Papad got pushed out of a house by a tiny little belligerent girl.
They got tattoos and a hug at the end and didn't really want to leave.
All in all, it was a great success and I find myself breathing a sigh of relief that they seem to be settling in so well. ( touch wood and all that jazz).
Tomorrow, I accompany them again for the one hour that they are there this week, and day after tomorrow is the big day - when I wait in the car and the teachers see how they manage without me. ( The teachers as well as the kids, I think! )
But all in all, I think they will all do very well and be quite happy in the warm, playful environment that is this particular play school. And yet another milestone is being crossed in this all-too-short journey of childhood.
I find myself really glad that I actually have the time to spend settling them in well. One of the advantages of the sabbatical.
P.S - the principal and founder both were talking about my book - they had read the sample chapters on Facebook and really loved them. I gave them a copy of the book and they were delighted - and started to advertise it to other parents immediately! :-)