Adi is Most Cheerful!

Adi while looking at the fishes.

Adi while looking at the fishes.

Last week, just like any other day after office, I opened my four-year old’s schoolbag to check for his teacher’s reminder. I was not expecting any academic awards from Adi because he was not focused on school. I guess, the more correct way of saying this is—I have accepted the fact that my son will not get any academic award for his first school year.

But really? Was that the case yesterday when I refrained from going to the stage with him just because the only award that he got was “MOST CHEERFUL?” Yeah, I knew about the special award two days prior to yesterday’s graduation. I expected something like “Best in English” or even “Best in Arts” but the least that he got was “MOST CHEERFUL!” What does it got to do with school?
I don’t know if my husband felt the same way. Anyway, he was the one who went with Adi on stage to receive the award. My officemate was pushing me to go to stage to join my “mag-ama” and she even grabbed my digicam to capture that supposed special moment but I was firm in my decision not to oblige. And you know, I realized that I made a very BIG mistake yesterday.

After receiving the award, Adi went straight to my location, showed me his medal and planted a sweet kiss on my lips. I realized that Adi treated the award as a precious gift he could give to his parents. I felt guilty for not going to the stage with them. I felt guilty for asking too much of his young mind. I felt like I would explode and make a scene yesterday!

How could I belittle such an award? “Most Cheerful”—the school said. How could I measure Adi’s progress and achievements on the academic level when having a high emotional quotient (EQ) is just as important as having a high IQ? Adi is a happy child—no more and no less. I don’t mean to say that his classmates are unhappy but my son’s cheerful disposition is just hard to ignore. My son is a happy person, period! And the school acknowledged it.

I kissed him before bedtime and whispered, “Thank you for the award, you made me proud and happy.” He smiled and said, “I love you, Mama.”

Toddlers in School

Adi's favorite

Adi’s favorite

I enrolled my toddler in a summer school. I’d like to ready him for schooling on June. Summer class is supposed to be short (one month) and sweet. I’d like Adi to learn how to socialize with other kids his age (3 and a half).

My eldest child was the one who brought him to school this morning so I have no idea yet about his day at the school. (I’m excited to go home to hear it from him).

To motivate him to go to school, I bought him a Cars-designed bag, Ben Ten covered notebook and 24-colors crayon. (He’s fine with 8-colors crayon, actually). I lectured him about what to expect in school and how to behave in front of his teachers and classmates. (As if he could grasp all of my lectures!)

The toddler was excited to go to school; he was holding his bag most of the time last night. This morning, he ate breakfast with me because he thought that working people and students SHOULD eat breakfast. While I was dressing up for work, he knocked on my door and asked if I would dress him up for school. I told him that his Ate would be the one to dress him up. The toddler patiently waited for his elder sister at the sala.

I realize that kids today are much smarter than kids of yesteryears. The emotional intelligence and independence of kids today are much higher than the kids of my time. (I still had separation anxiety until 10 years old!) On the other hand, older people think that we are exposing our children to stress at an early age. If my grandmother were still alive, she would have criticized me for sending my 3 and a half to school because being a teacher, she should know better that kids of that age are still babies emotionally. But this is the system that has been going on for the past decade; sending kids to nursery, then to kindergarten, then to pre-school before the formal primary school begins. Being a working mother, I belong to a generation wherein parents expect the school to teach our kids the alphabet and numbers.

Will home-schooling be an option should my toddler decide that he’s too young for a regular school? I don’t know. But I will give him the opportunity to explore and learn new things in nursery class; should he feel deprived of his liberty to play and have fun, then I’ll cross the bridge when I get there.