My little munchkin was quite active, social and smart for a toddler who hadn’t even turned two. She knew her ABCs, days of the week, months of the year, counting till 20 and most of the nursery rhymes even before she had started her preschool. Kindly excuse me if I sound as if I am bragging which I am trying my best not to but you know how mothers will be mothers.
So when I put her in playgroup, it was with the sole intention of encouraging her to interact with kids her age. I was confident that she would do well at school. She was inducted in her class quite early, well before the others kids. This only re-affirmed my knowledge. All was well!
Her first open house. I went with supreme confidence. I was expecting a glorious report. I knew my daughter was good. The teacher confirmed, “Aanya is good.”
“Ok,” I thought but I felt there was an unspoken ‘but’. It surely was a precursor to something unappealing. I waited and..
“She doesn’t talk at all.” The teacher finished.
“What do you mean, ‘doesn’t talk at all’?” I pounced at her immediately. Had I misheard or misinterpreted?
“She doesn’t talk to anybody. In fact, we haven’t heard her speak at all in the last 3 months.” I was shocked. This couldn’t be happening to me. I had expected accolades and here I was sensing censure.
It was a mystery that such a social girl doesn’t talk at all in the preschool.
A few doubts crept up in my mind. Doesn’t she like her school or her teachers?
Might be that some fellow classmate bullies her? (some toddlers hit other kids in aggression)
But this couldn’t have been the case, because she didn’t make a fuss while going to the school nor did she come back home with bruises. So I let the matter drop.
Come December and I was summoned to another Open House. Hoping she might have changed, I met her teachers with some trepidation.
I was handed a Report Card. Yes, unbelievable isn’t it? A report card for a 2 year old. Anyways, this time I got a glowing report of her. She plays and successfully completes all toys and puzzles. She talks a little too in the class. Thank God for small mercies. I heaved a sigh of relief.
“But….” the teacher started. Of course, there had to be a ‘but’.
I looked in anticipation. “She doesn’t talk in English. May be she doesn’t understand the language and also she doesn’t sing her rhymes.”
Another big shocker. My child doesn’t know and understand English. It was the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard. I told the teacher, “You may find I am exaggerating here but seriously she knows more English than any Indian kid her age can possibly know and speak.” I’d also wanted to add, “She knows more rhymes than all the teachers here combined.” But I thought it wise to keep it to myself.
It’s curious isn’t it? I don’t know why she does that, becomes a different person altogether in the school. Though I would like to know I may never find the real reason. I have only come to the conclusion that a child can behave differently in different circumstances. Some kids might be expressive at home but introvert outside. While others might be silent at home but be unbelievably interactive outside.
Have you experienced this curious behavior with your child?