He is loving his meals – whether fresh or out of a jar – and always wants more. Fruit, veg, meat, fish, whatever – he wants more.
I think this is a good thing. But I’m a bit confused…
I’m tempted to feed him until he doesn’t want any more. I think it’s a good thing to load him up so that he’s full and doesn’t wake at night. No? But, if he eats so much he won’t finish his milk. And then doesn’t take in the recommended daily 600 – 700 ml.
Last Friday was V’s Field Day (Sports Day) and he was so excited to go to school in the morning.
His class had practised the skills needed in each of the five races. There was an obstacle course, a carry the beanbag on a bat race, wet the sponge, run with the sponge, squeeze the sponge and run back with the sponge race, a sack race and a couple of others.
V knew that LagosDad and I were going to watch him take part. And he had been talking about healthy eating and running fast all week – so he was all set.
On Friday morning we dropped him off at his classroom and made our way out to the field. When his class came out, he was ok. Refusing to wear his hat, but ok. I think it was a few minutes later when he had a chance to look around that everything changed.
Yes, they had practised. But he didn’t know that they would be doing Field Day with four other classes. He didn’t realise that there would be other parents (apart from us) there and none of us knew there would be very loud music in the background.
Once they started, parents started moving from the viewing area next to where the races were taking place so they could cheer on their children. LagosDad didn’t know if we should or not. On one hand, V was likely to play up if we were too close. And on the other hand, he might feel bad that all the other parents were there cheering on their kids and his were just plonked on the bleachers.
As soon as he did his first race (the beanbag on the bat one) we knew the rest of the morning was going to be a disaster. The other children understood that they had to run, that they had to get back to their line as fast as possible. V walked. Slowly. His beanbag slid off the bat as soon as he started moving. He didn’t stop to pick it up. He kept walking. LagosDad and I shook our heads in resignation.
The second race was an obstacle course. We decided to cheer him on from next to where the race was.
And that is how enthusiastic he was.
After that race, all the kids went back to their area to have a rest. And LagosDad and I went back to the parents’ area. Next thing I know, a teacher comes to get me because V is crying. I went over to him to see what was wrong, but he was sobbing away and couldn’t talk. All I could make out from his hand gestures is that he wanted me to sit with him. And then hold his hand while walking to the next race. And hold his hand DURING the race. WTF? Not LagosDad. Me.
So for the next three races, I held his hand and tried to guide him through whatever he was meant to do. And he was extremely unenthusiastic about all of them. I was irritated with him. None of the other kids were crying to hold their mum’s hands. None of the others were refusing to participate. He was letting his team down. Luckily none of them saw it like that – it really was all just for fun. No one was keeping score (thank goodness).
Just look at his face!
I don’t think I was much better during my Field Days though.
So once it was all over, we were free to take our kids home. I asked V if he wanted to come home or stay in school for another hour (ridiculous to ask him when we all know what the answer is!). His face lit up. He collected his bag from the classroom and he was immediately a different child.
He was animated and chatty. LagosDad looked at me with a WTF expression on his face. I could only shrug.
On the way home, I attempted to bring up the drama of earlier that day. ‘V, why did you cry? Why didn’t you want to do Field Day?’ His reply? ‘Because of you.’
What does that mean, because of me? Does it mean he will always play up when I’m there? Does it mean that I’m not supportive enough? Does it mean he doesn’t want me there? WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
I told him that if he’s going to cry ‘because of me’ and not participate ‘because of me’, then I wouldn’t go to school for any more events. He said ok.
I don’t understand. Does he not want me there? Won’t he feel sad if he sees that his friends’ parents are there, but not his? Doesn’t he realise that we love him and want to experience these things with him (stupid question – he’s only 4)?
Maybe next year will be different? Perhaps I will go in disguise…
You may remember (but probably don’t) that about a year ago I was stressing a bit about V’s after school activities. He didn’t want to do things like football or gymnastics and I didn’t know what to do with him. Remember?
Anyway, so he still doesn’t want to do any of those things, and that’s fine with me. He’s in school until 2.30 pm every day and I figure he’s getting enough stimulation and interaction during that time.
However, before we went to London last Summer, he started phonics lessons with his friend K. Ms T goes to K’s house twice a week and V joins him. They’ve diversified a bit now and incorporated a bit of numeracy and science. It’s helped him a lot – he’s started reading a few words and has made a lot of progress. Does he enjoy it? Yes. Does he need it? No. He always makes a fuss to go, but that’s because once he comes home, he wants to stay home. He’s happy in the classes though.
So today when I collected him from school, I told him that he had Ms T and that we were all going with him. He asked what I meant. I told him that his baby brother, yaya (the nanny) and I were going with him. He wanted to know why. I explained that K’s mama and I had to go somewhere together and I couldn’t leave Baby V at home alone.
V said he couldn’t go to the class as he had a cough (cue fake coughing). I told him he had to go as we hadn’t given Ms T enough notice to cancel the class (more fake coughing).
V: Mama, I can’t go if I have a cough. K will get my cough and he will get sick *cough cough*
Me: V, you have to go. Ms T will already be on her way.
V: But I’m coughing, mama! *cough cough cough cough cough*
Me: You’re absolutely fine, V.
This went on for the ten minutes it takes to get home – him fake coughing and me trying to reason with (and not throttle) him.
Finally I said to him: Ok, you know what? Just go to K’s house and play. Ok? If Ms T comes, then you can sit with her. Otherwise you play.
V: No. I have a cough. *cough cough cough*
We got home and he went straight to yaya and started the fake coughing again.
He eventually came to my room and said: Mama, I will go to Ms T, but I won’t do anything with Ms T because I have a cough.
Ok – we were getting somewhere.
Me: Oh ok. But that’s a shame because Aunty A said that Ms T was going to do art and craft with you today.
V: Oh. Oh. *cough cough* Mama, my cough says I can go.
This afternoon I collected V from school and decided to stop at a nearby supermarket. I pass it every day but have only been in there once. And that was about a year ago.
I wanted to see the range/variety of baby food they had. It wasn’t extensive, but better than my other local store.
V and I picked up a few things for Baby V and we were still looking at other stuff when I decided I needed a basket. There weren’t any around that I could see.
I asked a cashier (in a red uniform) where the baskets were. She waved over her shoulder, indicating that they were near the entrance. Duh. You’d have thought I’d look there!
As I started making my way over, another lady (also in red, just like the cashier’s uniform) came walking towards us with a basket in her hands.
I thought that was nice of her – she’d heard me talking to the cashier. As she reached me, I made a move to take the basket from her and said, “Thank you so much!”
She looked at me, pulled the basket away and said, “Excuse me?”
And I realised my terrible mistake.
She didn’t work there! And she wasn’t giving me a basket!
I hastily apologised and explained. But she looked at me as though I was something she found on the back of her shoe.
I’d seen a couple of babies wearing little black and gold beaded bracelets and decided I wanted one for Varun.
I never got any for Vinay when he was a baby as he never liked to wear anything around his wrists or his neck.
The bracelet is to protect the wearer. Protect them from anyone who may be giving them “the evil eye”.
Anyway, since my mum was in India I asked her to get me one. She very kindly did. And she sent it to me through a friend of hers. I received it last Tuesday.
See the bracelet? It was a bit too big for Varun. And the next day I took it off him. Vinay asked if he could wear it.
I happily put it on him.
When I collected him from school on Thursday, he was carrying it. He said it had fallen off.
I put it back on him as I didn’t have any pockets or my handbag. And I made a mental note to give it to LagosDad to have the clasp changed when he goes to India.
After being at home for a couple of hours, Vinay went outside to play. I could hear him and his friends running around, shouting and bouncing on the trampoline.
He came upstairs a sweaty, dirty mess. And I said to him, “Where’s the bracelet?”
It had fallen off in the garden. And we still can’t find it.
I was very cross. But quickly realised it wasn’t the poor boy’s fault. It’s mine. We’ve been out there every day looking for it but have had no luck.
And I can’t tell my mum.
It has taken me this – losing an expensive gold bracelet – to realise that Vinay is not meant to wear anything.
Let me explain.
As a newborn baby we tied a black thread (same reason as the lost bracelet) around his wrist. It fell off. We tried again. It fell off. We tied one round his ankle instead. Also fell off. This went on for months.
When he was 13 months and we had to shave his head, I put a gold chain with a baby Krishna pendant on it round his neck. The chain broke. I tried a slightly thicker chain. The clasp broke. And when I was sure I’d found the perfect chain, the pendant broke!
So that’s that. My son is not “meant” to wear any of that stuff.
What will I tell my mum??