Thursday, 29 October 2009

Bottoms Up

With Ro out of town (in-laws unwell), Adiv and I found ourselves alone for a day and night, before my parents arrived. Not in the least bit apprehensive, I saw Ro off telling him we'd be just fine. So after he left, the routine went on as usual. We went to school, did some shopping, came back, took a nap, and then I decided to do some cooking. I put Adiv with his toys and made frequent trips between the kitchen and bedroom. Everything seemed okay. Adiv hadn't yet asked for Ro, and I promised him an outting after my cooking was done. Then I went to stir something on the gas. When I returned, I found Adiv on the bed with a bottle of his cold medicine. It was open, and empty! Fear tugged my heart. Had he drunk it up? I found a lot poured on the bedspread, but I still wasn't sure if he'd had any. If he had, how much? How did he get the bottle that I thought was far away from his reach? What do I do?
Calming down for a second, I decided to call a pediatrician who is available on the phone. He barked instructions on the phone. "Get him to throw up. Give him salt water, put your finger in, and tickle his throat. I ran to the kitchen, got some warm salt water and tried to get him to drink it. "No", he screamed angrily. Then I put my hand in to get him to puke. He resisted by biting my finger. I continued to try. After a few failed attempts, I called the doctor again. This time he was annoyed.
"How can you give up? What kind of mother are you? If he doesn't throw up, he has to go to the doctor and get his stomach flushed."
By now, I was in tears. I was scared, and someone screaming at me didn't help. I made more attempts to get Adiv to throw up. No luck. We both cried. I was scared and he was angry.
Wondering what I should do next, I called an aunt who I knew would understand the state I was in, and act calmly and quickly. She came immediately, and said we'd just have to observe Adiv. She'd spoken to some doctor friends and they said if he wasn't unsually drowsy, he'd be fine. Afterall it was only baby's medicine. It couldn't be dangerous. However if he was drowsy and not his usual self, we'd have to rush him to hospital. Adiv by then was running around and playing. When my aunt arrived, he welcomed her with a smile and showed her new additions to the house since her last visit.
"Sinx", he said pointing to a teeny Sphinx that his grand uncle brought us all the way from Egypt.
Then he flaunted his helmet, his riding skills, and eventually begged for some crisps.
"He seems perfectly okay", my aunt assured me.
I was also quite sure that he was okay. However, we'd have to watch. In the meantime the floodgates were let open. I wept; mostly because I was relieved. I prayed he'd continue to be fine. "Let it all out", said my aunt. "You'll feel better."
Meanwhile Adiv cycled from room to room.
Then my aunt suggested I go stay at her place. I agreed immediately. I had to return the next morning before the maid arrived, so I took my car. Adiv was buckled up in the car seat, and we drove to my aunt's house. When we got there, Adiv was welcomed to the sight of all my aunt's grandson's toys. He loved his car, the talking Elmo, a teddy bear as big as him, and the lawn to run on. He explored, played, ate his dinner, and eventually slept tired. The day had ended on a happy note. He was happy, and we were quite sure he hadn't drunk any of the medicine. I was exhausted from all the worrying. Nevertheless, I was happy. I made a mental note of all that I'd have to lock away with a key; medicines, harpic, washing liquid....!I had to now prepare for this curious toddler, who would explore and try to get his hands on anything and everything. For now I was just glad that he was okay. I made my last call to Rohit who had been quite worried. Then I lay down thanking God for watching over little Adiv.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

The toughest part of motherhood is letting go! Nevertheless, feigning some courage, I drove Adiv to school today. He was happy. He ran in smiling looking for aunty, little knowing that I'd been asked to wait outside.
"He is friendly. He'll be fine. And he loves the teacher", the principal assured me.
They asked me to return at 1, but I decided to hang around outside. Apprehensive, I walked to the car, tried reading a book, sent Ro nervous sms messages, and kept checking the time. Half an hour later, I decided to peek in. I knocked at the door. The minute it was opened, I heard his voice.
"Mimiiii..Dadaaaaa..", he wailed.
I rushed in, and picked him up! The teacher wasn't very pleased. She argued that if i kept coming in, he'd never get over this fear.
I argued the whole point of this toddler program was that the parent would be allowed to sit in. She pointed to the older kids, some happy, some weepy. I pointed to Adiv and reminded her that they were a lot older than he was.
Ro and I share similar views on schooling. I'd chosen to be a stay-at-home mom, so I'd be around for him. Unlike a lot of working parents who had little choice, Adiv didn't need to be booted off to school early. Some argue that these kids cry and eventually get over it. I argue, why put him in school early and upset him. Adiv has always been a friendly happy child, and we weren't over-ambitious parents who wanted him to start school earlier than necessary. However, when I heard about the toddler program, I thought it would be fun. They'd let me sit in, and he'd get to interact with other kids and develop some social skills.
The first two days were good. He seemed to like his teacher, and was having fun in the confines of a room with a teacher, an aayah, the pink toddler, and me. Today when I peeked inside, the scenario was quite different. I found the room filled with older kids. The pink toddler sat on the aayah's lap with a toy, the teacher was busy with the older kids, and Adiv was stuck to the door crying. I was livid. Ofcourse it broke my heart seeing him weep. Nevertheless, I was angry that they had put him with the older kids who were learning alphabets. They tried explaining it to me by saying he was smart and therefore ready for an older class. I told them quite clearly that I wanted him to have fun with kids his age. I didn't want him in a class with older kids, feeling lost and lonely. I wanted him to learn in his own pace. I wasn't going to force any ambition on him.
I'm not sure they got the point, but I walked out with him. I said I'd return the next day and sit in with him till he got comfortable there.
Adiv cried himself to sleep in his car seat. I drove back worried! Adiv is a happy, intelligent young boy, and I didn't want anything to scare him. Tomorrow is a day I'm dreading, but I have to make my point clear just once more. Unlike a lot of parents who were preparing toddlers for a rat race, Ro and I are quite content just letting him do things at his own pace. For now I merely want him to play, make new friends, and learn something. I don't want a baby sitter for 2 hours.
Praying tomorrow is a better day for us both!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

First day at school

Armed with a bag carrying some water, my wallet, a book (in case of free time), and a snack, I walked past the school gates. Like all newcomers, I was a wee bit apprehensive, but very eager to make new friends. The teacher who was seeing off the previous batch of students, smiled and ushered us into a room filled with cars, balls, hand puppets, and several montessori kits. Adiv's first day began well.
Unlike a lot of preschoolers who were weeping piteously, the toddlers were allowed to bring in their mommies. So I sat down gingerly on one small chair, praying I'd not break it. Adiv chose a green chair for himself, before climbing off to examine the cars and the little animals. Picking one he proudly announced, "Car"! When that generated some clapping, he picked a cow and said very emphatically, "cow"! Then he went on to identify the "Bow wow", the "meow", and the "deer" (Deeya), before diverting his attention to the differently sized cars.
"Vrooooom vrooooom", the car rushed across the floor.
"Big car..there..door", he bragged to the indulgent teacher.
By then he'd decided he liked his teacher. He wasn't sure what he could call her. Since she was wearing trousers and a short top, he went with "Chichi" (chechi).
"I'm aunty", she said. So after that, he was his aunty's tail. He flaunted his language skills, opened and closed doors for her, and flashed her some endearing smiles.
The only other toddler present was a younger girl in pink. A true gentleman, Adiv showed her all the toys. "Babeee...take", he said offering her all her toys. Inbetween he looked to us for signs of approval. The teacher and I clapped, and he got even more generous. This lasted till the aayah brought out a rocking elephant.
"Ingyaaa" (his word for elephant) he screamed, hurrying to climb on to it.
"Baby's turn first", said the teacher. "Adiv, you'll get your turn."
He waited patiently, pointing to the elephant's eyes saying, "aaayee".
"eeyaa" (ears).
Soon he'd lost all his patience. "Auntee..turn", he enquired. The teacher smiled and let him have his turn. After that all chivalry was dead. He refused to budge, and the pink toddler had to be distracted with other knick knacks.
Eventually he lost interest and settled for some basketball. Everytime he missed the basket, he'd scream, "Oh noooo." Two minutes of that, and then his attention was on the handpuppets (owls).
"Auntee..owww", he said.
"Very good Adiv. Did you see the owl in the zoo?"
"Zoozoo...aaaaah", he said grinning reminicing about the zoozoo ads he loves watching on youtube.
Then the montessori kits were brought out. After stacking a few circles one on top of the other, he lost interest again. The pink toddler sat patiently with it.
During snack time I brought out neatly cut apples. They'd browned a bit, so he said, "darty" and took one. The pink toddler began begging for some. I asked the teacher if I could give her an apple, but she said they didn't encourage sharing between toddlers because different kids were allowed different things to eat.
"Get her snack", the teacher said. The pink toddler's mother had packed cream biscuits for her. Adiv immediately threw away his apple and began eyeing the cream biscuits.
"No bikkis now", i said. . Luckily, it was time to leave. The promise of leaving by car distracted Adiv who was "vrooooooming" again. He blew kisses at everyone, said elaborate byes (bey bey) and we left!
So his first day was very satisfying! He enjoyed himself, and now I'm getting ready for day two. Maybe I'll take two biscuits (just in case)...and some fruit!:)

Monday, 12 October 2009

10 Honest Things About Me

Thankyou Abhilasha for my first online badge. I'm rather kicked about it.
Anyway without wasting much time, I'll get to the 10 most honest things about me!
  • My life revolves around Adiv. We do a lot together. If we aren't playing games, I draw him images that vaguely resemble cows, television sets, elephants, cats, and cars. We go out together, read together, sing all Elmo's songs together, and fight battles during meal time.
  • I cry easily. Funerals and unpleasant events make me sad, but I even cry when I'm angry.
  • I can't draw or dance, but I do both to entertain Adiv. I might even dance in discos when everyone is either too drunk too laugh, or too blinded by the lights to notice.
  • I trained as a carnatic singer for 8 years. Now I only sing at home, all day long, for Adiv.
  • I consider "Gone with the Wind", the most romantic novel ever!
  • I don't get friendly very easily, and I'm told I exude a certain reserve that is often misunderstood for snobbishness. However, once the ice is broken, i'm told i'm quite the opposite.
  • I hope to write a book one day; the plot and characters are alive in my head. Now i have to put them on paper.
  • I'm Josh Groban's biggest fan. I wish he'd come perform in India.
  • I like writing lists. Lists give me a sense of order and direction, though I might not always complete my "To-do" lists.
  • Family comes first, and i'd be lost without them. Being torn away from family never to return to them or find them again is my ultimate nightmare. That is probably why I empathised with Kunta Kinte (Roots) as much as I did.

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