Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Sonny School Developments - Week 1

People have told me - that the first day at school passes off fairly easily. Its Day 2 thats the bigger problem. The first day the child has no clue how long he has to stay in school, what is expected of him, etc. By Day 2 he is fairly aware, and hence even more difficult to deal with.

We had our own set of issues on Day 2. None of which we were warned about.

Day 2, sonny was sent to school as usual. Like Day 1 he happily got dressed and walked to school. A tiny lil wail and then all quiet. Hubby and I were fairly pleased with this rapid progress. 10am I get a call from the school's director. She wants to know if sonny is toilet trained yet. Yes, of course, I tell her. She tells me sonny has had an accident at school. Apparently, he had a poop job, luckily he was in his pull-up. The problem happened when they took him to the bathroom to get cleaned up. Sonny screamed blue murder, refused to sit on the adult toilet seat and got his clothes all completely soiled. Anyways, not to worry, she says, we've cleaned him up, he's fine now. I wonder what her defination of 'fine' is.
When I pick up sonny a while later, the teacher agrees with me, it could be because sonny is used to a kiddies seat at home, while the school only has the regular adults pot. She urges me to get sonny trained ASAP on the adults seat.

I have a niggling worry about exactly what would have happened at the school toilet. Sonny is normally not a tantrum-y child. For him to raise hell, he must have been through hell.

My various questions about what happened at school get no replies from sonny. The day passes off uneventfully. The night is a different issue all together. Sonny cried a lot in his sleep, woke many a times and had to be soothed back into sleep. Its like he kept having many bad dreams. By morning, he was running a mild temperature. If either hubby or I felt, it was related to the previous day's experience at school, we didnt tell each other. But we did agree that sonny was to be kept home.

By afternoon, sonny's temperature was gone. He was his normal happy self. He slept well at night. The next morning, he told me, his mouth was hurting. I checked and re-checked his mouth, his gums, teeth, as much of the throat as I could see - nothing. If sonny was making something up - this was the the very first time. And I had to give him the benefit of doubt. Besides he did have a mild temperature. For a second day, we kept sonny at home. Again by afternoon, he was fine.

The following day, was the last day of the week. There was a weekend following and 2 weeks of Spring/Easter Break. Sonny refused to get up in the morning - telling me he was very sleepy. What the hell, I thought, let him stay at home. And so sonny stayed at home.

Looking back, I dont know, if sonny made up any of those teeth/gum/throat aches. He did run a temperature - though people tell me, fear can often create a temperature in kids. He showed no fear or reluctance to use the bathroom at home. Experienced moms tell me, sonny could well have had some trauma (how I hate that word), from his experience at school. His poop-smeared clothes do tell me that he must've put up some resistance to get poop all over his shirt and pants.

So thats how ended Week 1 in sonny's school experience. He stayed at home more than at school. No that does not bother me one bit. What does bother me, is what did happen in that bathroom? What did my child go through? I know its not life scarring and its not all THAT major. Yet, what did happen? And did the following 3 days of school reluctance in any way point towards the school experience?

I guess, 2 weeks later when school would re-open would give me all the answers.


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sonny Starts School - Day 1

When sonny turned 2 last year, I checked out the neighbourhood Montessori preschool. I made a list of all the qualities I wanted in the school and rated this school on those parameters. I even wrote a post about how I was dis-satisfied with the school in question. To my surprise, not all moms shared my views - especially moms of school going children.

After all this hue and cry, we travelled non-stop, returning only end-Feb, by which time I was already 5 months pregnant. Prior to this, sonny and I worked most mornings either reading or going over his numbers or alphabets or colors or shapes or whatever caught sonny's fancy. Strangely enough, once we returned, sonny showed little interest in all this. He was most interested in taking his 'sakoo' (cycle for the uninitiated) for a ride outside. A hugely bulging me, battling nausea at one end and dizziness on the other was just unable to oblige. Sending a 2 and half year old by himself, was out of the question.

So sheer desperation sent me back to the preschool. This time however, the caretaker was different. She took me around the premises again (though I had seen it last year as well). What seemed majorly different was her attitude. She was willing to be flexible. I peppered her with my issues.
School started at 8am - but sonny was a late riser. She said I could send sonny as late as 9.30am or 10am.
Sonny didnt speak English. That didnt seem an issue. Most kids didnt speak English here.
Sonny had just about begun toilet training. There were 2 weeks until the new term started. We could polish on his skills until then and even after that sonny could go to school in his pull-up.
Sonny wasnt great with eating on his own. He would learn. They would help him initially, gradually leaving him on his own.

Most importantly, they had openings in the 2-3 year batch - while the other age-groups had long waiting lists. So sonny could begin immediately or wait until the new term began, mid-March.

Either all her answers seemed right to me or sonny had driven me so much round the bend that I was willing to be accommodative. Either ways, after many discussions with hubby I finally enrolled him here. Mid-march was when sonny was due to begin.

In the meanwhile, we had much to do. Start brain-washing sonny about the nice-ness of his school. We bought him a school bag (way too large for him), water-bottle, lunch box - the works to get him all excited about the school. Prep him on a few English words, so that he wasnt completely at sea. Rigorous implementation of toilet training. Keep him entertained until school started.

Hubby and I enthusiastically name-dropped school. About what a fun place it was. How sonny was going to meet tons of kids there to play with. How sonny was finally becoming a big boy. Oh and all the new stuff that we would buy for him to use at school. Sonny however had other ideas. Every time we asked him,"Sonny would you like to go to school?" his answer would be "no!" O dear!!!

March 15 rolled by and we took him to school at 9.15am. Not knowing what was in store for him, sonny happily traipsed along. His teacher took him in the class. The moment he got in - he realised what was gonna happen. I told him to go in and that I would be back later to take him home. And sonny burst out crying. I waved him a shaky bye and very intently turned out not wanting sonny to see my quivering lips that stood between me and breakdown. Hubby and I walked out - and we could still hear sonny crying.

I got home, not knowing what to do next. I waited patiently by the phone. I'd given them instructions to call me if sonny didnt stop crying soon - or if there was any issue.
10am - Still silence from the school. No phone call.
Since the school is barely 6 houses away from mine - I was sorely tempted to walk down and hide behind the hedges to see if sonny was still crying.
10.15am - Phone rings. I lift it in half a ring. It was hubby wanting to check if the school had called. Put the phone down - I yelled at him. What if they are calling right now. Why dont you call them and check for yourself, he suggested.

So I called them. Turns out sonny cried for a few minutes and made himself want to throw up (sonny often does that - he cries real hard and makes himself throw up. that makes softies like me stop whatever we are doing to him - usually innocuous stuff like getting him a hair cut). So anyways they cleaned him up and now he was playing in the play area and seemed fine. He'd refused all food and drink (naturally) but he was getting along well.

Called hubby back with the news. What time do you want to pick him up, hubby asked me. Let him stay till the end of day (about 12.45), I bravely suggested. However, I wasnt sure, if my frayed nerves would last till then. I checked and re-checked Dr. Spock. If he goes in late - let him stay till the end of day. Who knows, maybe he's enjoying himself. Ok,I thought. I'll wait. And time just would'nt move. At noon I freshened up and spent the next 20 mins pacing up and down.

12.30 I walked out of the house.
12.32 I was waiting at the gate of the school.
I saw my neighbour S, whose daughter was in the same class as sonny. She was here to pick up her daughter too. "You let him stay the full day? And that too on the first day" she asked. Guilt completely over-ran me. "They said, he was happy playing", I squeaked. "O come on" she said, "we know better than what they said". O dear, what had I done!!!

Just then sonny came running out and clung at my legs. I smothered him in kisses and picked him up. We walked home - sonny parroting 'accha school' (good school) and 'mazaa aaya' (had fun) after me.
Since sonny still doesnt speak much, I only had his teacher's version to rely on. After the first crying bout, he quietened down and spent a major part of the day playing.

So thats how ended -sonny's first day at school.

Oh and after we got home, and ate lunch, hubby turns up home. Really unusual. What are you doing home at this hour, I screech. I came to pick him up from school, he yells back. You told me you were going in at 1pm, I thought I'd surprise you both by being there to pick him up. Now you've ruined everything.
O dad!!!!


It takes a village...

It takes a village to raise a child.

So goes an ancient saying. Didnt realise how true this saying was - until mom and dad in law left us and returned back to India. Sonny was then 5 months old. I still remember retuning to an absolutely still house. Hubby and I retreated to our own shells - pretending to be really really busy with who knows what.

Slowly as we adjusted to them not being there - came the first whammy. One entire night when sonny wouldnt sleep. We rode around in the car, fed him, bottle fed him (hubby's constant theory - my son is hungry), rocked him, ignored him, fought with each other, yelled at each other, nothing worked. It wasnt like he was crying or anything - he just wouldnt sleep. He finally fell asleep at 4 or 5 am (by then who cares - the night had passed away - sleepless).

And everyday sonny had something new for us. New, ignorant parents that we were - we only had Dr. Spock for company. We didnt want to worry the parents living thousands of miles away at every lil thing. So we stumbled and bumbled and fell and picked ourselves up again.
Why has my perfectly healthy 10 month old child not eaten in 18 hours?
He's spouting his front 3 teeth at go, you silly goose.
No one told me that - and ignoramuses that we were, we rushed him to the hospital.

Why wont my chld's diaper rash go away?
Stop using those damn wipes. Use cotton buds and water instead.
See, now that made sense - the rash went away in half a day.

Why is my child slow at crawling?
Well, if you out him down from your lap - will he realise that he's gotta move around on his own, dodo.


And millions and millions and millions of lil things like that. For each we'd tell ourselves, "I wish I knew this", "Why didnt anyone tell me this earlier?"

For for that one needs a village. Full of wise, intelligent women with lil tit-bits of gyaan to be doled out. Inspiring anecdotes when you are down. And when nothing else works - loads of hugs.

Its true - it takes a village to raise a child. And you my doula gang - are my village people.


Saturday, April 26, 2008

If only we knew

Ok unlike my other posts - this one is being typed in directly. No editing, no saving, no later corrections. Just a gush of emotions - fresh, raw and as I feel it.

No wise cracks, no humor - just a whole lot of tears.

Its 4pm and sonny is taking his afternoon nap.Tharini just sent me an invite to see the online baby shower. Its been 10 mins since and I am still wetting hubby's precious laptop with copious tears. And they just wont stop.

Thank you guys for everything you've done. Thank You for the thought you've put into it. Thank you for your wishes. Thank you for taking time out of your daily schedules, your babies, your household chores for thinking about us. Thank you for not just thinking but also doing it for us. Thank you for the chase. Thank you for the riddles. Thank you for the rhymes. For the beautiful artwork on the page. For the gyaan. For the inspiration. For everything that you've put together for us.

For us - who are these nameless, faceless women you meet on blogosphere. For us - who are these hormone ridden, pregnant women whose life seems to revolve around these 9 months. For us, who appear and then vanish at will and then re-appear out of nowhere (mea culpa). For us, who arent related to you by any means - except by a thread called motherhood.

Thank you - for the best baby shower ever.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Status Update

Now that I've begun blogging again I just cant stop.

So here's the status update.

No of pregnant weeks : 32

Due date: June 23

Sex of fetus: Female (its a girl, its a girl, its a girl - I cant stop singing)

No of kilos gained: 10 (this inspite of all the throwing up - thank you Fanta!)

Food Preferences: Mostly vegetarian. Havent eaten chicken all through. Can just about stand fish.

No of hours of continuous sleep possible: 2(max)

No of nightly awakenings: On an average 6

What hasnt bloated: My poor lungs (currently my diaphragm has squashed them). Everything else has gone up 2 sizes(min)

Fully functional organs remaining: errr... ummm.......

Clothes in the wardrobe that fit me: 4 maternity pants if worn under the belly, a couple of stretch T-shirts (really really stretched)

Whose clothes am I wearing: Hubby's (obvious advantages of having a hubby chubbier than you ;) )

Sonny's reaction: Ma pet mein chotu baby (there is a lil baby in ma's tummy) and Ma pet bandh (cover you tummy ma)

Hubby's reaction: Kitna natak kar rahi ho(such pretense), this didnt happen the last time

My reaction to it: If there is such a thing as next life, I hope you're born as a woman who gets pregnant 5 times. Hmmmmppppff!!!!!!


Finally - Something Said!!!

Poppins, nm, Just Like That, Tharini, art, TAP, fuzzy, orchid, mad momma, and all those who stopped by and wondered, "what the hell happened to her?", I owe you guys a HUGE apology. 6 months and not 1 word - you have a right to be angry and mightily pissed with me.

But I hope the news I will share with you - will alleviate - if only a bit.


And the last 6months have been spent - running.
Running to throw up - for the nth time
Running to hide my nose - for fear of the unknown smell that'll cause a throw up.
Running to chase sonny.
Running to keep in-step with a jet setting hubby.
Running to shop (o yes that too)
Running to take sonny to the bathroom for fear of an accident (in all this - I even attempted toilet training)

Finally the last 2-3 weeks have been reasonably peaceful.

And so I have been trying to clear my in-box(monumental task that), get the house in order, rest, sleep, cook...... the works.

I discovered I was pregnant, 5 days before we were to fly to Canada to get our visa in order. In the midst of all the other things to take care of - I had to run around, find a doctor, get tests done, get 3months worth of anti-nausea pills and other medicines prescribed, wind down the house and fly to the US.
Sis-in-law graciously agreed to house this pest(and her lil pest) while hubby went criss-crossing between the US, Montreal, Ottawa to get the papers in order. Like a sentinel she (and her hubby) guarded me, pushed food down my throat, made sure medicines went down, kept an eye over sonny, kept him entertained, took me around to see the place, took me shopping (hoping that would keep my churning tummy diverted) and became my doctor, my mom, my friend, my philosopher, my guide.....thank you so much BB and AB. I can honestly never, ever, thank you enough for all that you've done for me.

That done a 13 week pregnant STS, then flies to India - where she leeches onto her parents-in-law. While hubby's visa issues were taken care of in Canada - moi required a visa to be issued out of New Delhi. Hubby chasing out of Riyadh(yes he had to come back and re-join work), and us chasing out of Lucknow, going back and forth many times - we finally got the damned visa. Not to mention trying to explain - why a pregnant woman cannot (unless under dire circumstances) get an X-Ray - to doctors, visa officials, agents.

Finally a 6 month pregnant STS lands back in Riyadh. To a house where hubby has been living for the past 2-3 months. And yet STS needed 2 weeks to clean it enough - so that it was habitable.

Decided to get sonny enrolled in the neighbourhood Montessori. Which required toilet training. So for over a month I labored, bent, heaved, ran just to make sure sonny understood exactly what was required of him - on the pot.

As we stand today - sonny has begun school. His school experiences are matter for another post. I get 4 hours everyday - to rest, cook, organise and now even post, until sonny gets back.

I am hoping for some peace, at least for a month. Hopefully by then in-laws will be here to ease the burden. And then the mad-house will get active again when the baby arrives.

P.S. : I hope someone reads this post - and not everyone has given up on me.