How time flies. Seems like only yesterday when my little son was learning to take his first baby steps. However. what really happened yesterday was that he went to primary school for the first time, lugging an oversized school bag filled with textbooks. Mrs Wang and I tagged along to make sure that everything was okay on his first day at school.
It was largely unnecessary. My son didn't seem to have any difficulty adjusting. He cheerfully made a few new friends within his first hour at school, and rapidly became good pals with the boy sitting next to him. Pretty soon they were chatting happily and comparing the stationery in their respective brand new pencil boxes.
I do remember that on my own first day at school (yes, a few decades ago), I did feel quite nervous and shy. Back then, I think that was fairly usual for six-year-old boys on their first day. In fact, I remember that I had a few classmates who cried or panicked, when their mummies "abandoned" them in the strange, unfamiliar classroom to go wait outside. Separation anxiety, and all that.
My son had no such problem. Not only that, I noticed that none of the other Primary One boys seemed to have any such problem. The parents looked more concerned than the kids themselves. Most of the kids looked secure and confident, and a few even looked bored, like they'd seen it all before. In general, it was as if the kids knew exactly what was happening; why they were here and and what was expected of them, even though this was just their first day at school.
This, I suspect, is one unintended consequence of the modern Singapore style of raising little kids. Before they ever step into primary school, the kids have already gone to Kindergarten One, Kindergarten Two and Nursery. In addition, many would also have attended one or more of the following - playschool; swimming class; music lessons; Chinese enrichment class; ballet class; art lessons; maths class etc etc.
So at quite a young age, these kids have already been exposed to a variety of different environments. Been there, done that, and survived, no sweat. Steady, lah. They might only be six years old, but they're already adaptable, confident, cockily self-assured.