Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Big Changes

Hmmmm....where do I begin!

I am going back to work!!! After 3 years of being a stay-at-home mom, I am going to work! (Hooray!). I think it's going to be a job I'm going to love--it involves a lot of research and writing.

How is H1 taking it? Quite well I think. A lot of thoughts and preparations went into getting to where we are today. Even before I started applying for jobs, we got H1 enrolled in daycare. It took almost a month for her to settle down, but we finally got to a day that she didn't cry when leaving for daycare. It took a lot of planning and patience, but it finally paid off.

I think we took these decisions at the right time. H1was getting bored at home, as I couldn't give her my full attention all the time. There were chores for me to do --the cooking, cleaning and washing, and these were the times she was left to entertain her self. These too were the times when she got fuzzy and threw tantrums to get my attention. She was also becoming increasingly shy of strangers, lacking social skills and being extremely selfish (consequences of being an only child).

So, enrolling her in daycare was the best thing to do. She gets to know how to interact with people other than her mom and dad, how to have good social skills, learn how to make friends, be independent, learn to share; things I can't teach her at home effectively. Just yesterday, her teacher told me that H1 makes friends easily, and that she gets along with everybody in school, and not just the kids in her class. The teacher said that she is always hugging and kissing the other kids. And also that H1 has taken the youngest kid in school under her wings--that she is always guiding the little kid and makes sure that the 'baby' is not left out. I'm glad she is getting a taste of what its like to have a 'sibling' even though she doesn't have one of her own--yet.

When I was sure that a job was about to come my way, Hubby and I wanted to prepare H1 for staying the full-day at daycare (she was going half-day while I was applying for jobs). This too, we did with a lot of preparations. Throughout a month or so, I kept dropping hints about staying the whole-day to H1, that she might have to have her afternoon nap at school, how much fun it's going to be. Of course whenever I did say these things, she would protest saying "No!, I want to sleep with Ammi!", or "No! I want to go home with you". But I think it slowly went into her mind that these things will happen soon.

So, when the day came that we decided to keep her for more than half a day, things were not too bad. The day before that, I spoke with her teacher, told her of my intentions and got her to help me prepare H1. When I went to pick H1 up, I casually told her, "Ammi might get a little late tomorrow OK? So, you might have to have your nap with the other kids". And the teacher and I kept saying how much fun it's going to be. Then I took her upstairs to where the other kids were getting ready for their nap and showed her how much "fun" its going to be. Of course, H1 was protesting and crying. But when the day it self came for staying longer, she was quite OK. When I went to pick her up, she was her usual happy self, but told me that she "cried a little", but that the teacher laid down beside her and hugged her until she fell asleep.

Over a period of two weeks, I gradually extended the hours she stayed in daycare, so that she didn't notice the change. The first day I picked her up at 3.00 p.m. ; the next day at 3.30 pm.; then at 4.00 p.m.; and so on.

I am extremely happy with how things have turned out. And I am so gratefull for those lovely teachers for looking after my baby with such loving care. I am totally confident that H1 is happy there, that she doesn't have time to miss me; because, they are constantly engaged in fun activities and play. When I pick her up in the evening, all I see is a happy kid, and she is in no hurry to get back home. And I am determined to give her my full attention once I get back home and during the weekends, so that she will still feel secure in the knowledge that though Ammi is not around as much as she used to, she is as much loved as she always was.

So, I have no guilty feelings for 'letting strangers take care of my baby'. I feel I'll be a better mom and a person now that I'm working again, because I always felt that a part of me was missing while staying at home. I feel proud that I gave 3 total years of undivided attention to my child, but feel that time has now come for a big change....for all of us.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Shooting Party

A couple of weeks ago, H1 told me that when boys play, they go "'Peow, peow', when they don't like you!" She said this while holding out her hand in a shooting gesture.

A few days ago, after coming home from daycare, she and I were sitting on the floor chatting about the day.

Baby : "Oochiya was naughty today!"
Me : "Oh! Why? What did he do?"
Baby : "He pushed me! And disturbed me!"
Me : "Oh dear! Did he push you and disturb you?"
Baby : "Yes Ammi! He did both!
Me : "So, what did you do?"
Baby : "I said Peow! Peow!!"

Oh! The violence in this world, even at such a tender age! ;o)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Sweet Smells

Do you remember that sweet sickly smell of Kindergarten? The smell that's a mixture of baby-talc, fruit-juice, pee, and honey? That's what H1 smells of when she comes back home from day-care. From head-to-foot she reeks of it, and I'm immediately transported back to my Kindergarten days--back to my all-time favourite teacher who used to squeeze my tummy and call me "Bandigediya" (I don't think there is an English equivalent to this--it sort of means 'one with big tummy', I think).

Do you remember how little babies smell when they are less than a year old? The smell that's a mixture of cologne, baby soap and breast milk? I miss that smell. I truly do. I used to inhale deeply when kissing my baby, just to get a full blast of that sweet smell.

Do you notice that little babies don't have bad-breath, even after a full nights sleep, even after sipping milk throughout the night? We used to wonder about that a lot, Hubby and I. But once they pass the two-year mark, babies start to smell just like us! (what a pity).

I wonder what other smells I'll start to miss as my baby grows up....

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Why Oh Why!

H1 has started driving me crazy (nothing new!) by asking me "Why?" most of the time we have a conversation.

Me: "Phew! We are in the shade now."
Baby: "Why?"
Me: "Because, we are inside a building."
Baby: "Why?"
Me: "Because, this is the way to get home."
Baby: "Why?"
Me: "What do you mean 'why'?"
Baby: "Why are we going home?"
Me: "Because that's where we live!"
Baby: "Why?"
Me: "Because, that's where we live!!" (secretly thinking "For heaven's sake!!")
Baby: "Why?"
Me: "Because......"
Baby: "Why?"
Me: "Just because...."
Baby: "Why?"
Me : "That's why!"
Baby : "Why?"
Me : (Thinking "Grrrrrrrrrrrr" and deciding to remain silent.)
Baby : "Why Ammi? Why?"

Imagine having 2 or 3 conversations like this per day! Exhausting, I tell you!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Night-time Fears

H1 has suddenly become afraid of the dark. If I leave her in bed alone (even for a few minutes to go to the bathroom), she starts crying, saying, "I'm scared of the dark". I know this is normal for pre-schoolers, but what is troubling me is that it is hampering my attempts to get her to learn to sleep alone.

I suppose this means I have to go through the torturous ritual of putting her to sleep at least for a few more months!

Monday, March 12, 2007


This blog entry is not about my kid--it's about me!

There was a parents-teachers meeting at H1's daycare last Friday, at 7.30 in the evening. As Hubby had to go to university for classes, I took H1 along with me.

There I was, walking hand-in-hand with my baby to a parents-teachers meeting, when it suddenly hit me--I am a mother!!! Anybody would think it's silly to realise that you are a mother after nearly 3 years of being one! I mean, I knew I was H1's mom all along, but that Friday evening it really hit me hard, that here I am, completely responsible for this tiny human being walking and skipping besides me. And I felt like shouting out loud, "Hey! I am a Mom everyone!!"

It was such a wonderful and scary feeling at the same time. I had flash-backs of going to school with my mother, and here I was taking my baby to school-- and me being the Mom, instead of the daughter.

Aaaaaaaaaah! Its so hard to explain how I felt, but I'm sure all mothers can relate to that. That one day you suddenly realise for sure (after existing in that role for sometime!) that you are more than just a human being! That you are a MOTHER!

Friday, March 9, 2007

Baby Songstress

Whenever Hubby would sing to H1, she would answer him appropriately with her own version of the song. Mind you, all this is done to perfect tune.

I'll give you a few examples:

Hubby: "Have I told you lately that I love you..."
Baby: "I love you toooooooo..."
Hubby: "Oh Darling...I'm telling you now..."
Baby : "Oh Thaathithi..I'm telling you now..."

While giving H1 her evening wash;
Hubby: "When I kiss you like this..."
Baby : "When you wash me like this..."
Hubby: "And when I hold you like this...."
Baby : "And when you put water like this..."

The list goes on. Unfortunately I can't seem to recall any at this moment. But it really amazes us the way she readily comes up with an appropriate verse at the blink of an eye.

Monday, March 5, 2007


When H1 plays a make-believe game, she really gets into the role. If she is playing "Farm", she becomes a "Milly Goat", and I think she really and truly believes that she is one. She would go "Baa....baaa" and ask my husband (the farmer) to feed her through the pen. She would get highly annoyed if we address her in any other way than we would to a Billy Goat. If I call out "H1" to her, she would say "I'm NOT H1. I'm a Milly Goat!"

Yesterday, H1and I were playing "Supermarket". She was the shop assistant and I was the customer. She was really into the game, and was having a great time until she banged her head while reaching out for the shopping basket. She started crying while saying something which I couldn't understand through her sobs. I picked her up and rubbed her forehead, but she still kept on crying and saying the same thing over and over again. After carefully listening to her, I finally figured out what it was. She was saying "I'm still H1....I'm still H1."

I think once she banged her head, the world of make-belief fell apart and she was no-longer a shop assistant, but a little girl. She must have thought I was still in the play-role, and wanted to make sure that I understood that I would have to come back to being Ammi and take care of my little H1Girl.

Friday, March 2, 2007


When we enrolled H1 in Day Care, she had a few teething problems. (Thankfully they are all over now.) One was that she was not used to some of the food served for lunch, as she was used to Sri Lankan food and not Chinese. To entice her to eat what was served, we came up with a bribing....er....I mean rewarding system. If she ate what was served, she would get an ice-cream.

Initially, the teacher would tell me whether she ate or not, so that if she didn't eat that day, I could feed her again when we got home. Now that it is almost 3 months since she started Day Care, H1 is used to the food and would get her ice-cream almost daily. (I want to stop this practice now, but can't figure out how to!)

But, there are still days that she doesn't eat. This is a conversation we had on such a day:

Me: "Did you have a good lunch today in school?"
Baby : "I didn't eat all the vegetables."
Me: "Oh! Why? Vegetables are good for you. How are you going to grow big and strong if you don't eat them?"
Baby : "Ammi, I don't like vegetables. Don't buy me ice-cream today OK? Buy me tomolow when I eat all my lunch OK?"

I hope this kind of honesty will last when she is in her teens!