On 7th December, 2006, I had the repeated privilege of attending the parent teachers meeting for my son who is in the LKG section. With schools making it compulsory for parents to be present for these meetings, I think most parents are aware of how their wards are faring in their initial days at school.
It would come as a surprise to most of us, that our wards exhibit a completely different outlook in school and at home. We did be amazed at how they change their behavior to suit their needs depending on the situation. Compared to the first PTA meeting, I had gone this time expecting a better review from his teacher. However, my wife was in for a shock. She had never expected him to behave like this. I was cool to it, because he is a kid and moreover a boy. Boys/ Girls need to have fun, surely in their way.
My wife has never dreamt of him playing in the mud, and in the process getting coated with mother earth. I think it is a primitive instinct. When she heard the teacher saying that he is more interested in playing and that too, by rolling in the mud with his friends, she could not take it. She tried to put in a brave face in front of the teacher and me. She gave me a glance from the corner of her eye, eyeing her concern at his playing methods. Sensing her discomfort, I pretended to be listening attentively. But in the back of my mind, I had this feeling “Kids will be kids”. There is no way you can stop them. They have so much of creativity in them and you’d be surprised to see them enact out things they have in their mind.
Once home, she was trying to mask the irresponsible behavior by putting in some good words into his memory. Let me put down those instructions.
a) Do not play in the mud. Only bad children play in the mud.b) You should always study in the class.c) You should not quarrel with other children.
I guess, these were her commandments that she wanted to transmit to him. But do you think, he would listen.
He listened in rapt attention to her. Once she had completed, he smiled for a moment. No, not a straight smile, but a smile that had the hallmark of mischief. I dunno if his memory would be re-written with these commandments. I only one thing for certain, that he is not going to assimilate any of these commandments. You see, we can’t force kids to follow a set routine. I looked at my son and gave him a mischievous smile. He nodded his head and let out a chuckle. He knew what I meant. I believe, we cannot stop them from enjoying their days at school. Very soon, when realization dawns on him, he will change from a mischievous kid to a kid, constantly under pressure to perform in this rigid educational system of ours.
Until then, let him enjoy.