Sunday, 12 June 2011

Round Three

So the school year starts again. We are veterans by now, of course. This is the fifth year of school for the monster, not counting those years and months spent in the semi-nursery. She remembers some parts of that nursery, like the time her 'best friend' bit her on the thigh (she bit back, on the neck, a few days later, and we mommies had a good time with that one). I remember many more parts, like how she would lisp 'Maala Aunty' - insisting on hanging out with one particular lady and refusing to go to anyone else. And how she used to terrorise me every evening, insisting she did not want to return home...Those things are from a long ago time.

III Std. - thats what my girl is in these days! How quickly the sands of time flow, I can feel it all slipping through my fingers. I want to hold on, I want to let go. This dilemma always for me. I love the conversations we have these days, and I can imagine that it will get better as she becomes older. But I miss those earlier times too, the sitting down and learning the letters of the alphabet, the jigsaw puzzles we used to do together...

Whats new with this year? Well, we have a few resolutions I hope we keep.

1. Handwriting - I have theories on why her handwriting leaves much to be desired. In Mumbai, she printed. Here in Chennai, she was immediately asked to go cursive - something her classmates in I Std. had already been doing for a while. Because everything was brand new, I let this go without aggressively making her practice. As in, she (& I) figured out what 'cursive' implied and she wrote confidently, but never neatly. In II Std., the teacher and I discussed it and for about half a year, we said let her be, it will pick up. Then towards the end, we thought some practice wouldn't hurt. But then we all got caught up in various activities, and that really didn't happen. She started disliking writing altogether, at which point I let it be. But now The Time Has Come. It doesn't hurt that the husb. is also finally decided to Take Charge. So, we have the idea that this is an area for improvement. At least, the rest of the adults feel that. Me? As always I insist that she LIKE this part - writing, writing neatly, accepting that her handwriting requires work - but I don't see us getting to that one anytime soon.

2. Reading - Well, its time to scale back. Seriously. I love reading and gorging on books as much as she does. But really, its time for her scale back the reading. Not because I fear I will run out of books, but because of her eyes. And the potential social stunting. Again, I let go of this a bit when we first moved to Chennai - the upheaval, I argued. Missing all her friends, I justified. Its in her blood, look at my own granny, I rationalised. But all that notwithstanding, there is a need to scale back. Not because I feel she must work on 'school stuff' - nope - that stuff is fairly easy, except possibly for Tamil. But because she overdoes this, and her eyes.

3. Activities - Right now the time might be right to carve out a few serious activities. I absolutely deny the lack of energy - school winds up by 3 pm. She NEVER naps. She might be tired a few days here and there - maybe because of a cold or whatever - but she has plenty of mental and physical energy after school. Chennai is a wonderful place especially for cultural stuff, we have to figure things out. Parenting-wise, a bit of a conundrum is 'How much to push?' - my tendency is definitely to be a bit laid back (and, as I call it in my head, soft). On the other hand, I feel a twinge of regret occasionally that my parents did not push me sufficiently. Not that I would trade my current life for anything, but I have gone all over the map with sports and singing and so on without coherence. And occasionally I feel like maybe a bit of parental push would have been good. But then we don't want to be the William's father. Since we are both a bit impatient (very) and passionate and aggressive, I worry about that. At 37, still not sure of the ability to keep sight of the long term, at all times.

4. Eating - School mornings are chaos. The monster and her father are not morning people. It does not help much that I am the opposite. Sure, it is practical. I wake up and get all sorted out with things that need to be done (and, of course, I run, or bike). But they struggle to wake up and get ready. I hate it, I don't understand it. I just don't get how anyone can lie down when someone else is running in and out of the room. When my eyes open in bed, I put my feet down. Sure, I snooze a bit, occasionally, with the alarm and so on, but awake is awake for me, especially when its light out. Anyhow despite this, we hope to do better, not get at each others throats so much, and eat something of a healthy breakfast including desi things, and cereal, and fruit, and what not. And yes, the lunch dabba, and night dinner, are usually heavy on veggies, and curd, so sort of okay on that. Its such a shame - I see kids around me that are allergic to nuts. And I have one in my house that just dislikes nuts. Its just such a shame, as the easiest option for snacks are ruled out entirely. But I hope she will work with me on this. Her indulgences are kurkure, aloo bhujiya, chocolate - hoping to keep them as indulgences, still!

Well, its all something to look forward to. If there is one thing I like about the thirties, its that I have accepted that its possible to work on things, bad habits, and good ones, and to change, and get better, and feel calmer and happier and satisfied - er with life. So let me hit publish, on this note!


dipali said...

Good to have a post from you after a while. Each year in a child's life brings so many changes, and yet so few too! I'm sure that your daughter will remain a huge reader despite all your efforts to reduce her reading time. All the best for the feeding and writing.
I get you on the morning person, non -morning person- it drives me quite batty!

Choxbox said...

Echoing Dips on the huge reader bit!

And hey just might see you later this month. Details in mail.