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My baby’s first day at school

Loise Kabai could not get off her head the image of her son crying on his first day of pre-school trying to wrestle himself out of the teacher’s arms as she said goodbye. One week later, she tells us how her child is coping

Sandra Wekesa @SandraAndayi

Tell us about your son

His name is John Kabai. He is three years old and he is my only minion (chuckles). It has not been an easy ride with him, but he has grown up so fast, I am amazed!

He has not had any challenges achieving his milestones. He started feeding when he was four months old and was up and running at nine months. It is a super exciting experience.

How did you decide when to take him to school?

It was a last-minute decision. I wasn’t really sure if I wanted him to go to school at such a tender age. It had been a long holiday as well, and I wasn’t really prepared but somehow I made up my mind.

Then came school fees! My budget was really small; I had thought that for a child his age, I wouldn’t need to break the bank to pay his school fees. I was shocked! But I am glad I eventually made it possible.

So how was his first day at school?

He was brave until the last minute. Earlier, he had been so eager and excited to go to school, he actually woke up before everyone else. He kept on asking me how other children look in their uniforms, how far the school is and all.

Then?

When we got to the school, I was surprised to see him following the teacher around as we did the registration and orientation. I thought, it was going to be easy for him when I leave.

John, one week later, still, doesn’t like school. Photo/SANDRA WEKESA

Did he wave goodbye to you when you eventually left?

Yes, there was a deafening scream as I left the gate.

I was confused and I kept on wondering what changed within that short period of time. Who would have thought that he would scream so hard after all that?

How about you?

It was mixed emotions for me too. It feels bad when your child cries at school drop off, the sound of him screaming and yelling gnawing at my head was close to traumatising.

What informed your decision to enrol him to that school?

I took him to St Francis Nursery School in Kapsabet because it’s close to home. I had asked and done my research about good schools around my area and it stood out! I didn’t want him to hate school early. I always wanted somewhere he could feel at home, and also a place that could encourage him to look forward to going to school.

It is now one week down the line, any difficulties or is he all excited about school now?

John is not excited at all; in fact, he doesn’t want to go back to school anymore, it is a struggle everyday. On the second day, he refused to wake up alleging that the teacher had disciplined him the previous day, and he did not like it. He even fell sick and I had to take him to hospital. I’m actually waiting for him to calm down, then maybe I could take him back to school.

What are you eager to see him learn first?

I was so happy when he came home and started counting numbers to me and also singing a song although I couldn’t grasp it well. The first words he learnt were “hello children.” He kept saying those words through the night. I have very great expectations of him because I know he is a great person. I know with school he will be able to read and write some more, as well as socialise with other children.

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