A few weeks back as I nuzzled the top of Laddu’s head as she curled up against me in the afternoon, I felt an intense need to keep her close and never let go. It hit me that this child will soon be in Kindergarten, taking the bus with her sisters. This time I get with her, every afternoon after I pick her from daycare is numbered.
I remember mulling over the idea of pulling her out of daycare and maximizing the time I have with her before she starts formal school. An hour later, I convinced myself I was romanticizing the idea of keeping the child home. She needs the social stimulation and the structure of a preschool, I told myself.
Fast forward this week, I get an email from her daycare asking me to pick up the tuition schedule for the new year. I stopped by in the afternoon yesterday and picked up a padded envelope. Back at home, I fed Laddu the remnants of her lunch from school and slit open the envelope. Apart from a couple of forms that needed my signature was a simple sheet with rows of numbers. Conspicuously absent was a schedule for the half-day sessions Laddu is enrolled in. The rate increase was steep and I felt indignation wash over me.
I let it stew for the rest of the day. By the time evening rolled around, I was convinced it was not worth paying a minor fortune to keep my child in school for a few hours of play. Saathi agreed and I shot off an email stating I was pulling my child out of school starting in the new year.
This morning, however, I realized we were out a good chunk of December and I stopped by the office to see if I could pull her out effective today. The kind lady at the office said she would look into it. I reach home and find an email from her stating she was able to do it and Laddu’s last day of school would be today.
It has been bittersweet. I know she will miss school and her friends. I also know a part of me will cherish the idea of luxuriating in the company of my last child before she becomes too old for cuddles and kisses. I am intimidated by the idea of engaging with her day in and day out for the next nine months before she starts public school.
Like they say, be careful what you wish for. It just may come true.
Wish me luck people!