After a rather successful first day of school, I was lulled into a false sense of complacency. Yes, I had heard of children who seemed perfectly fine throughout the first week, then started crying a week later, but I was really hoping that Noah would be too busy playing to miss me.
When we got to school the next day, Noah was still pretty cheerful. He had spent the previous night singing the songs sung during the school’s assembly, and talked about about his school. He asked me to take a photo of him in his school uniform again before we left for school, and excitedly exclaimed that it was his “*school’s name* school” when we got there. He went into class cheerfully, and started playing with the toys again. There were quite a few crying kids there, and after a while, he looked uncomfortable, ran over to me, and started hugging me tightly. His teacher came to get him from me, and that was when the waterworks began.
Playing happily before class
When we peeped in at him, he was seated on his teacher’s lap, crying away. C had a flight to catch later that afternoon, so we left. When I returned to pick him up after school, Ms G told me that he had sobbed for almost the entire day, and had refused to eat or play. He told his Chinese teacher repeatedly, “Don’t sit here! Let’s go! Let’s go outside to find mummy. Mummy is upstairs. Let’s go upstairs, okay? Okay?”
Noah clung to me tightly after school, and kept asking for daddy, so I rushed to the airport to see if we could see C before he left. Unfortunately, I couldn’t manage to contact C to inform him of the change in plans, so we had to make do with waving at him through the glass at the Departure gate. On our drive home, I somehow managed to drive over a huge rock, bursting the front tyre in the process. Thank God that I was still able to drive to a nearby carpark, and called a mechanic to help change the tyre. It was a horrible second day, and I spent the evening giving Noah little pep talks about school.
On the third day, Noah woke up late and happy, but was more clingy than usual. He kept asking for hugs and cuddles, so we lazed around in bed, and took some photos together. He was a little reluctant to put on his school uniform, but was still quite okay on our drive to school. He started getting teary when we entered the classroom, and started crying when I told him that I was going to leave. I hugged him and prayed with him, but in the end, his teacher had to pry him away from me. It broke my heart to see him bawling and reaching out for me, but I knew it was something that we both had to get used to. I returned slightly before school ended to peep at him, and saw him holding the principal’s hand in class, and following her around. At pick-up time, Ms G informed me that he managed to eat about half of his lunch, but still refused to participate in class. He talked to himself quite a bit, telling himself, “I sit down here now. Mummy will come soon.” but cried every now and then when he thought about me.
Smiley in the morning
Less smiley on the way to school
Crying is exhausting!
Someone on my Dayre suggested that I give Noah a photo of us to keep in his pocket when he was at school, so the next morning, I printed and laminated our latest family photo for him. I talked constantly about school, but each time I mentioned it, Noah would get teary and say he didn’t want to go to school. I distracted him by baking cupcakes with him in the morning before going to school, and he was pleased that he got to help with the baking again.
Baking before school
Showing me our family photo
He cried buckets again at school, and had to be forcibly carried away from me. I stayed outside the hall and classroom to peek at him, which was a mistake because he saw me and kept telling his teacher that he wanted to “go find mummy”. I left quickly after that, and his teachers told me at pick-up time that he although he finished his lunch, he didn’t play in class at all, and followed one of the school’s helpers around the school the entire day, just walking around and holding her hand. He whined a lot, and kept bugging her to bring him upstairs to look for me, until she threatened to send him back into class if he kept whining. He then offered her his little finger, and said, “Promise.” Apparently, he kept his promise and followed her around quietly for an hour, until it was almost dismissal time, and he started getting teary again. When he saw me, he hugged me tightly, and told me, “Time to go, mummy. Open the gate now. Let’s go.”
His Chinese teacher observed that he is pretty selective about who to bug. He looks around to see which teacher is most likely to “help” him, then goes to her, and cries to be carried. Then, he insists on leaving the classroom, to walk around the school, in search for mummy. I’ve already told him that I will no longer hang around the school, and will only be back to pick him up, so hopefully, next week will go better. It’s really tough seeing him like this, but I also know that this too, shall pass, and that this is a good school for him, so we will persevere. Please pray for us!
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