The sleepy kid
The little soul has no time to take delight in daily sunrise
It’s too early in the morning. Sun is still draped in floating clouds. Very few birds have begun chirping. Except a few stray dogs and a few persons lined up at baker’s shop, the streets are deserted.
He is still in bed. In deep sleep. Enjoying the dreamscape of stories and characters he likes most. Frolicking in thoughts, unmindful of worldly worries, his eyes are weaving beautiful imaginings. A slight smile gets reflected from his innocent face, conveying he is relishing every sec of his sweet sleep.
‘Wake up, dear!’ his mom cajoles him. The clock ticks gradually as he takes another turn, putting his back towards her. While as mom continues to caress him, he starts hiding his face with his pillow or pulling over his blanket to scroll under it sluggishly. He is not willing in leaving his wonderful dreams unfinished. However, mom has no other choice but to wake him up against her own will. He tries hard to slip away from her arms, but she manages to lift him up. She hears the slow sound of words as he murmurs to himself, babbling different and funny dialects of his resentment. Mom just smiles and flatters his infantile ego.
Throwing all kinds of tantrums, he allows being taken to washroom for a face-wash. The moment the water drips down, he tries to escape and crouch again in the bed. The drama continues for some minutes. Eventually, he is fresh and takes few nips of milk, but with eyes half-shut, feigning he hasn’t yet woken up completely. The drama continues. When the tantrums get too ‘sleepy’, the wet tissues and sipping straw help poor Mom to handle the master actor. Overall, the breakfast is messed and ultimately missed. A few scenes from Doraemon cartoon series stir him and Mom quickly starts putting on his school uniform while he is engrossed with his darling robo-cat. The clock is ticking faster. The whole home comes to a standstill. His dad settles his bag, granny prepares lunch-box, and grandpa combs his hair. So, the school bus is here! With his face pulled down, he sets off, waving his hand quite casually.
Every school-going morning is same. The little soul has no time to take delight in daily sunrise. Before the sun actually dawns, he is made to rise from his dreamy bed. He is made to behave mechanically, ala the animated robo-cat he likes to watch. And every Mom of such tormented kids has a same story to narrate.
Are all of us utterly helpless in re-christening the innocent infancy of our kids? As the childhood of our kids is getting packed down under the burden of so-called modern-day competition, its ‘norms and demands’, aren’t the parents and teachers equally responsible for this unpardonable crime?
It’s a pitiless affair. And, unscientific as well. In one of her articles titled ‘The Early Bird Gets the Bad Grade’, Nancy Kalish, an internationally acclaimed journalist and an author, wrote-“For those still searching for a policy that might have a positive impact, here’s an idea: stop focusing on testing and instead support changing the hours of the school day, starting it later for kids and ending it later for all children” (The New York Times, 14 January- 2008.)
Similarly, in one of his research papers titled ‘Poor Sleep, Poor Grades’, a professor of pediatrics at University of California-San Diego, Howard Taras, who specializes in community pediatrics and school health, writes-“In a series of research articles, the relationship between children’s performance in school and various health problems was examined. Of all the health problems investigated, poor sleep was among the most unexpected and definitive causes of poor academic achievement”. Taras also writes that one of the reasons for this shortfall includes early school-start times.
Over here, the scenario is quite unusual. Without any proper research and findings, the government and other reputed private institutions claim to bring efficiency and competence through the mantra of ‘morning timings’ for the schools.
Astonishingly, the results cannot, at least, be craved for a kindergarten where kids don’t have to be pushed up for any academic battle. The innocent buds need time to bloom. They have to flower. We can’t prod them to be gigantic trees. And that too, in a sleepy state!
But then, ironically, this is the way the general mind thinks about this issue. The players involved are just exploiting the same.
(The columnist teaches at Media Education Research Centre, MERC, University of Kashmir)
Lastupdate on : Sat, 12 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 12 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 13 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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