Monday, 1 June 2009

Maya goes back to school

Over the past few days Maya has definitely been feeling much better which is a relief. Every time we've mentioned nursery to her - or 'school' as we're now calling it, she has reacted in one of two ways, depending on her mood. Either she's been gripped with pain once again (good grief, she's not yet three and she's already learnt that trick!) or, more happily for us, she's seemed genuinely excited, puffed out her chest and crooned 'I going to schoooool!'

These dual emotions come as no surprise because this is exactly how she's feeling I imagine: both excited and apprehensive . So many questions keep whirring round my head - Should she really be going? Is this the right place for her? I say I want her to be treated equally, but then I'm setting her apart by asking her to be given space and for her not to be 'manhandled' there's lots of conflicting emotions for me too at this time. I'm sure that the times that Maya gets excited about school is when she remembers climbing the tree, snack time, dancing and singing and being surrounded by other children. But we can't choose when bad memories creep up on us too, and at the times she's 'ill' again, she's remembering the brusqueness, the rough boys on the push-along cars in the playground, the endless pointing to her BCG scar and wanting to know what it is (there is a constant weary fascination with this), the communication problems and the well-meaning but over-attentive helpers.

So yes, a nervous day for us all. Andy too, as school now starts at 9 rather than the 10am of summer camp so he will now drop Maya on his way to work. Imagine our surprise then when Andy took Maya in this morning, only to be told that for the first week back it's just a half-morning, and parents are to stay with their children to get them settled. Actually, I think it's a very good idea but it's fairly helpful being informed of these things! So I dragged poor sleeping Lily out of her tent and we went and took over from Andy. I think, I hope, I think, I hope it may be okay this term. Although upset initially to be there, Maya soon cheered up when she spotted all the fun activities to do and the cars in the playground.

When we left, I asked Maya if she'd like to go back the next day. 'Of course!' she replied in her 'der - what a stupid question' voice. I know this could change from one minute to the next but her first day back, at least, we have got through without any scenes and we can all high a great big collective sigh of relief.

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