A week of summer school

(Updated) It’s the last week for Akira’s summer school. In July, she’s officially a preschooler.

I’m going to let that sink in for now, but I’m probably going to overreact and get all emotional again when school starts.

My prep for summer school started as early as Saturday. I decided to hit the Salcedo Saturday Market for fresh vegetables for a frittata I was planning to make for Aki. So she has healthful snacks for school.

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The next day, I got carried away shopping for school stuff. Aki only needs to bring snacks and a change of clothes for now, but I decided to get other things in advance, she’ll be needing them anyway.

I bought a new fork and spoon set, a spill-proof container, and a lunch box that took me about an hour to finally decide on. In the end, I’ll always be a sucker for green and since she has a thing for dinosaurs thanks to The Good Dinosaur and George Pig, I chose the lunchbox from Beatrix New York. She got a laugh out of us pointing out that her lunch box has a fat dinosaur on it, and eating his veggies too, no less.  All of these I got from Rustans:

I also bought a new water bottle that’s made of stainless steel (we needed a smaller one than the personalized bottle she got from tita Anel one Christmas, and the cute glass bottle she got from Anton’s birthday already broke), a travel toothbrush set, a small foldable umbrella (not for now but for when the rainy season kicks in!) and a teddy nametag from Art Box. They have so much cute stuff.

Summer School Day 1

We were so early we decided to hang out in the car for a couple of minutes before finally going inside the school at 8:30. Class doesn’t start until 9AM.

The crowd of adults consisted of both parents and nannies. A lot of the parents looked like they were still going to work that day – a mom in black pumps, slacks, and a button down; a dad in short-sleeved barong – while others look like they took a leave just for that day.

We all kept to ourselves, busily taking photos or videos of that momentous first day at school. Another mom told me once, I think it was Jenny, that something just happens once the kid goes to school. It’s when they start doing and wanting to do a lot more things on their own and they start shedding off the things that made them babies. I constantly pray that this process be really slow, I don’t think I’ll ever be ready.

At 9, two teachers made their way out, introduced themselves, and asked the kids to settle down. They led the class to some fun dance-y exercises before herding everybody off to their respective classrooms.

Sometime that morning, Teacher D, one of the school’s directors, told us parents that today was going to be a ‘chill’ day – it was the first day after all. Her exact words were somewhere along the lines of “chill lang tayo today, it’s just the first day”, with a big warm smile, and that instant I knew I picked the right school for Aki and for us.

In my head, I imagine our school routine consisting of me kissing Aki on the forehead, saying goodbye, leaving for some writing or reading in a café, and then picking her up when she’s ready. Today I got a good reality-smack-in-the-head.

The place was familiar to Aki, so it’s not like it felt new and alien to her. When we were here last for her assessment, she had a great time playing with the school’s rainbow rice (rice grains in different colors in a huge tub), and that’s all she wanted to do that day, play with the rainbow rice. She didn’t listen to the teacher, she wasn’t interacting with anyone, and she still looked for me and cried. Teacher D said we could sit outside the classroom in the meantime so the anxious children could see that we were just there.

I couldn’t help comparing how she was doing with some of the other kids. I apologize if it sounds mean or wrong, but I consoled myself with the thought that at least she wasn’t the clingiest kid of the bunch. To be totally honest, I really admired this other little girl who just seemed to have it all together quite well for her age. Her companion was the nanny, but she never fretted.

I remember one of the feedback on Aki from ClubBambino was that this early, she’s beginning to show leadership tendencies, and I’m just wondering where did her confidence from Bambino go, and why was she being so stoic and bullheaded here. I know, I’m being stupid or silly.

Summer School Day 2

It was just Aki and I today. Seeing that most of the kids had stuff like Skyflakes and Fita biscuits for baon, I decided to take it easy and let her choose her snack for the day, which were Inipit and her favorite Silk chocolate soymilk.

This usually happens to J, but today I forgot to bring my wallet (which had my driver’s license). It’s not the only uneventful thing to happen.

A little boy didn’t take being left without his mommy very well today, and just bawled. He bawled and bawled and clung to his nanny and demanded to see his mommy. It was sad to watch him, but I was also a little afraid that other kids would get the same idea.

I don’t know if that’s exactly what happened (they hear ‘mommy mommy’ and another kid crying and they end up looking for their mommies too), or as Teacher D said, it’s like they just remembered out of nowhere to cry, but Aki ended up crying a lot as well, and I had to stay nearby where I could come to her right away.

Her teacher tried to appease her with stamps, and I couldn’t believe they didn’t work because she loved playing with stamps. Told myself tomorrow is another day.

Summer School Day 3

Out of all the companions waiting outside till the kids are done, there was just 2 of us that are moms and the rest are nannies. We both let the time pass with our phones.

Today, my kid still refused to do morning dance, and could be friendlier, but she went through school without needing me. In fact, nobody had to go inside the classroom and console a child today. Our youngsters are finally getting the hang of it!

Due partly to boredom and to J wanting a constant and detailed update on how the kid is doing, I decided to tweet him my updates. It’s the most fun I’ve had with Twitter. And if I’m not mistaken, this is the most fun Aki has had in school so far.

She tells me they painted using their hands, and that it was messy but they washed their hands afterwards, and that she played with play dough again, but made little snakes this time.

Since yesterday I was getting a little frustrated, so I spoke to Aki before leaving for school and told her that when she listens to her teacher and is a good girl, she makes me very happy.

And yes, I think very much that she wants me, her mommy, to be happy. We are going to be alright, we got this. 🙂


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