updated 11 Dec 2011, 10:19
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Sun, Dec 11, 2011
Philippine Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network
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Great moments to remember
by Lea Salonga

AS I WRITE THIS, I am filling out paperwork: a few sheets for personal information; a separate checklist of requirements; immunization records; a birth certificate; passport photos — all this in preparation for the next step in my daughter’s development: pre-school.

Gym program

To be honest, I wasn’t sure if she, at 3 years old, was even ready for anything remotely academic. A few of my friends had already sent their children to “play schools,” but I opted to keep my child at home a little while longer. I don’t know, call it paranoia or whatever, but I felt it best for her to stay out of school for another year.

When she was 2, my husband and I enrolled her in a parent-and-child gym program to help in socialization with other children her age, as well as increase her physical ability, fitness and motor development.

Crying and clingy

At first she held on to us like a monkey on a tree, not wanting to participate. She was crying and clingy. After a while, she joined in. A few weeks later, she started to open up and enjoy herself. She explored the equipment, ran around like crazy, and had a blast.

Early in June, it came time to move her up to another program, with no adult companion in the room with her. This opened up another list of anxieties in my mind. Can she do it? Will she be clingy all over again and ask for either Mommy or Yaya? Will she cry? Her teacher assured us that it was normal for a child this age to call out for the adults in her life, but that it wasn’t a cause for concern.

Ready for pre-school

We headed to her gym, opened the door, and in she ran without so much as a backward glance. Ha! She was more ready than even I was.

She would from time to time look at us through the large picture window, strike a pose and smile, the little ham that she is. She would pretend to be in trouble and got the attention of a boy or two.

Her teacher reported how imaginative and creative she is, which made me proud of her. One full hour without Mommy or Yaya ... and she had fun.

It’s that initial hour that let me know that she’s now ready for pre-school. And I think I’m ready, too.

So here I am, late in the evening, going through a checklist to see what she needs, and what we’ll need to hand over to the school to get things started. Yes, I’ll probably experience a little separation anxiety of my own, but it’s a moment that I’ll always remember. -Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN

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