A few days ago, I woke up to attend my first day with Grade 1 Google Classroom. I learnt the signs for ‘do re mi’ in Music class. I was thoroughly entertained – it felt great going back to school.
Comical – but great.
My son meanwhile, was lounging on the bed, since in his mind he was still on holiday.
Then came the actual assignments. I was advised by a great number of well wishers (my mom, friends who didn’t have children and the general Indian advise giving brigade). “Just sit beside him while he completes his work. You can catch up on your reading or you can write a blog. There’s so much you can do while he works.” I brighten up – maybe the possibilities are endless and I can finally do all the things off my free time wish list.
This is an illusion that I want to shatter for all of you once and for all. You can’t just sit passively next to a sick child or a studying child – EVER. They need your constant, mind boggling, soul piercing and loving attention – ALL THE TIME. Definitely, till 6 .5 years of age, which is where I’m at.
Nirvaan, my son interrupted my book reading on Day 1. He can’t navigate Google classroom on his own. “Why?” you ask. It’s because you have told me, ever so often to keep him away from all screens. He can’t possibly learn overnight. So, I control the mouse pad and the clicks and the scrolls. And then I type – cause you can’t realistically expect me to wait beside a kid who types with one finger – searching out each alphabet each time.
Moreover, it’s his mum sitting next to him. No reason why he can’t ask you the spelling of words like – annoying. Or he just feels like validating a few points before noting them down. Or he needs appreciation for each and every line of his line art. You can’t tell him to stop talking – oh no no no – that’s a total no no in todays’s parenting. And then, just when you’ve settled in with coffee and a quick shower you are called to action – AGAIN. You now need to photograph, upload and email each assignment.
My excitement over going back to school died down quickly.
However,stay positive – I told myself. I made a very rational decision – one I was very proud off. If I had to be involved, I may just as well do so 100%. I can work on his areas of improvement and get things done neatly and efficiently. Maybe, just maybe I can be the grade 1 class teacher!
So, I threw myself into the task wholeheartedly. The next day we finished work in record time and everything was as neat as can be. Then I got an email, more a snub I believe. It said, “Wonderful job Nirvaan, looks like you got a little help today !”
So, what do I do now? I just say, “Please go ask daddy, sweetie.”
By Dr. Payal Mehta Agarwal, Periodontist and mom to a 6 year old.