Last Thursday a friend rang me and said that our boys (they’re in the same class) had decided that they wanted to have a sleepover at the weekend, and would Vins want to go…
Wow… A sleepover? To be honest, I was kind of excited about having the TV to myself for a whole evening. But – would he be ok? Would he cry when it was time to sleep because he wanted to come home? Would we get a middle of the night phone call asking us to pick him up? I wasn’t worried about safety or him being in any danger – my first sleepover was with his friend’s mum (many moons ago) when I was the same age! I knew he’d be fine.
I figured I’d speak to Vins and see how he felt about going. For all I knew, he could have been excited when they talked about it at school, but then thought about it some more later and changed his mind. Anyway, he was quite insistent that he wanted to go, that he would be fine and that he was going to have the most awesome time! He was so excited, I can’t even begin to explain…
Come Saturday afternoon, I dropped him off at 5pm and tried to say goodbye. I also tried to get Vins to say goodbye to Booni. But it was futile. He was off, running around the house with his friend in wild abandonment.
LagosDad and I decided to stay in that evening (actually, I decided to stay in and his plans fell through <evil laugh>) just in case that middle-of-the-night phone call came. My friend messaged at about 9.30 pm to say they were having a ball and didn’t show any signs of going to sleep yet!
I woke up the next morning and the first thing I thought was, “Hey! He made it through the night!”
Can you believe it? Can you believe that my Vins made it through a sleepover in someone else’s home? Without either parent or yaya (nanny)?
He really does infuriate me sometimes, but I’m so proud of him!
I was looking for a post I wrote about 18 months ago. A post about the children’s nanny and the fact that she was away/had been away for about 6 months…
Anyway, so that time has come again. Annual leave time.
E (the children’s nanny) left yesterday for a month.
It all happened rather suddenly. She wasn’t meant to go until the summer, but something came up and she had to leave this month. While I spent the last two weeks worrying about the children and how they’d cope, worrying about how I’d cope and worrying about who would do the laundry (I suppose I’ll have to be a bit proactive!), I realized that this was actually a good thing. At least I can have a summer holiday too, then!
Anyway, so the post I was looking for had to do with Vins’ bedtime and the fact that I had to pat him and sing him to sleep. Not sure if you remember that one?
So last night, when it was bedtime he asked me to put him to bed. I said, “Of course I’ll put you to bed!” I thought, “ARGH!”
I tucked him in, he closed his eyes immediately. I patted him for a few minutes, but didn’t sing. It looked like he was asleep, so I stopped the patting and studied his face (in the dark), hoping he didn’t suddenly sit up and ask to sleep in my bed. After about a minute, he opened his eyes, looked at me and said, “You can go now.”
So the time has come. The time when he doesn’t need me (or anyone else) to sing Dream A Little Dream to him. And he doesn’t need to be patted to sleep (finally). He even stayed in his own bed (until 4.45am).
He’s really growing up, isn’t he?
So this morning, Vins walked in on LagosDad and I, ummm, being “intimate”. Oops.
Anyway, he looked at us, rolled his eyes and said, “Lovebirds!”
Then he grabbed LagosDad’s phone and left.
Where does he learn this stuff?!
I know, I know.
For those of you who missed me – I’m so sorry!
I don’t even know where to begin…
So, we spent the summer in Dubai with my parents. My kids were so happy – we swam every morning (it was too hot in the afternoons) and spent most of the day in various play areas.
The kids hadn’t met my parents or sister for over a year, and my brother, sister and I hadn’t been together for four years – so it was lovely to all spend time together.
School started at the beginning of August.
I’m loving being back at work. But I’m also feeling a bit like a headless chicken. I’m trying to balance time with the children and time at work, as well as time with LagosDad and fitting in other stuff. I’m not managing too well, actually. School seems to be winning!
I feel guilty that I’m not always home when my kids might need me. I feel guilty that they might not be getting enough attention from me. And I feel guilty that I’m not spending much time with them. On the other hand, it’s great to be able to be doing something for me.
Anyway… More soon.
My kids have been sick.
One day it’s one and two days later, it’s the other. This has been going on for about a month. I’m pretty sure there’s something in the air.
Anyway, yesterday, Vins was complaining about a headache. He has NEVER complained about headaches before. He threw up a few times. He whinged and he whined and I started worrying about malaria, as he’s been getting fevers on and off for a couple of weeks.
Finally, he told me that he wanted to go to the doctor. “Mama, please take me to the doctor. I just want to get well now.” Vins wanting to go to the doctor? That’s when I knew he really wasn’t feeling good and was probably in more pain than I realized.
He threw up on the way to the doctor. And was pretty upset that his clothes were wet and dirty, and he started crying. My FIL kept telling him not to cry as he was a strong boy and that he should be brave.
This did not go down well with me – but I couldn’t say anything to him (directly, at least). The only thing I could do was tell Vins (in front of my FIL) that if his head hurt and he wanted to cry – he should cry. If something else hurt so much that he wanted to cry, then he should cry.
I will not have my son growing up thinking that in order to be a strong boy, or to be a man, he can’t cry. That is complete and utter nonsense and I won’t accept it. The boy is only five, for God’s sake.
He is who he is and I won’t change that. For anyone.
P.S. He has a tummy bug, not malaria.
While I’m thrilled (and a little surprised) that Booni has adjusted to nursery so well and so quickly, there’s a flipside. Isn’t there always?
The flipside is that he’s become SUPER clingy. And although it’s to be expected, it’s driving me a bit nuts.
He wants me to carry him all the time. If I won’t carry him, he holds my hand and drags me to wherever he wants me to go. And he’s strong!
If I leave the room, he cries. And screams.
If I watch him playing in the garden (from the balcony) and I go inside, he cries.
If he’s hanging in my room and needs to go have a meal, a bath or whatever else, he cries.
I know he’ll be fine soon. But I’m going a bit bonkers.
Today we reached another milestone and I have never been so proud to be Vins’ mama.
About 4 weeks ago, Vins’ teacher emailed me and told me that he had volunteered to introduce their class assembly. I was surprised, but pleased. I also wondered if he’d actually go through with it on the day!
Well… Today was that day.
He introduced the assembly confidently and clearly. He had a second speaking part and after that he had a non-speaking part (dressed as a huntsman). The kids sang two songs – he sang both of them. And he did the actions.
He was wonderful. (And I cried throughout.)
If you’re a regular reader of my blog, or if you know Vins personally, you’ll know what a huge deal this is for us and how much it means to me.
Vins: Mama, what celebrations are there in January?
Me: What do you mean?
Vins: You know there was Thanksgiving in November and Christmas in December. Are there any celebrations in January?
Me: Well, there’s new year’s day on January 1st. And another very special day in January. It’s mama and papa’s wedding anniversary. It will be our tenth, so that will be a celebration.
Vins: Oh. OK.
Silence for a few seconds.
Vins: Mama, when it’s yours and papa’s anniversary, can we go for pizza to Pizze Riah for dinner?
Me: Umm… Well… Usually mamas and papas go out by themselves for dinner on their anniversary.
Vins: But why?
Me: So they can spend some time alone together.
Vins: But mama! What about ME?!
Me: Maybe we can go there for lunch the next day, OK?
Vins: OK mama. But you’re still not going anywhere without me!
I don’t know what it is – but Vins has really been playing up recently. It could be the lack of routine. It could be that he’s bored. It could be that he needs to be back in school. It could be that he’s at “that age”, or it could just be that he’s being an ass.
I’ve just given him a talking to about his behaviour, general lack of manners and respect for others. And I may have even threatened him with boarding school. I know – that was a terrible thing to do!
He was silent. He just stared at me. And then he left the room. I felt bad. He looked a bit shocked.
He came back a few minutes later, piece of paper in hand, and said…
“Mama, I’ve made you a behaviour chart. When you’re bad, I’ll give you a cross and when you’re good, I’ll give you a check.”
I stared at him dumbfounded. I didn’t know what to say to him!
Eventually, I said, “That’s fine. But what will we do about your behaviour?”
He shrugged and walked off.
Lord help me.
So I went to Bali without LagosDad or the children. Vins wasn’t happy about it when I told him, but he was ok when I left.
It was so nice to be away and not have any responsibilities. But I really did miss them all. Also, there was no time to just chill! I got there on a Tuesday afternoon and all the wedding stuff started on the Friday morning and was non – stop until Sunday night. (You can see photos on Instagram (@lagosmum) or #AnViLivedHappilyEverAfter)
During each flight I took, I thanked God that I decided not to take the kids. Eight hours from Lagos to Abu Dhabi. Eight hours from Abu Dhabi to Singapore and two and a half hours from Singapore to Bali. It was so… long. And uncomfortable! And a week later I did it again in reverse order. There was no way I’d have survived with the children. Nor would I have been able to watch all the movies that I did!
Anyway, so I’m back now. I got back on the 23rd. Vins was super clingy that day. And I was thrilled that Booni remembered me. He jumped straight into my arms and gave me lots of cuddles and kisses 🙂
I can’t believe that Christmas has come and gone as well!
Where is the time going?
I hope you’re all having a good time. Merry Christmas and happy new year!