Seven Days

It has been seven days since Booni started nursery – and I think we’re doing rather well!

He started on a Tuesday. And he cried – every day that week. And he cried when he saw me at pick-up. I spent the week picking him up about an hour and a half earlier – just while he got settled.

On Monday (April 11) he was excited to get dressed and go in the car. Once we arrived and he saw the nursery gates, he started whining a bit. And when I took him out of the car and walked through the gates, he started crying. Even though he was crying, he went to his teacher willingly. And he waved goodbye to me through his tears. When I picked him up, he was so happy to see me! He ran to me, laughing. I told him we needed to get his bag before we left. He dragged me over to his cubby-hole and got his bag out. It was a lovely sight.

On Tuesday (yesterday), again, he was thrilled to go. In the car I said to him, “Where are we going?” And he pointed to his lunch box. His face fell a bit when we arrived, but he didn’t make a sound. Usually I carry him, but yesterday I put him down and he held my hand and walked in. He saw his teacher and made a bee-line for her. She picked him up, hugged him and kissed him. He turned to look at me, I waved and his face fell again. Then he started pointing at the swing and his teacher went off with him. When I collected him (at normal pick-up time), he was tired! He saw me and started whining – but got his bag and left quite happily.

Today is Day Seven and we had the same again this morning. He saw his teacher and made his way straight to her. He took her hand. She picked him up and put him on the swing. He looked a bit wobbly when he turned and saw me, but I think he was ok.

He’s adjusted SO well, don’t you think? I’m so proud of him and I my heart feels so light when he doesn’t cry.

Is that a dumb thing to say?

Nineteen Months

My little Booni baby is 19 months old now. Where on earth has the time gone?!

He is (as I’m pretty sure I’ve said over and over again) so different to his brother! They are like chalk and cheese. Booni has ants in his pants. He can’t sit still – not even for a minute. Not even to watch television (I realise it’s not something I should be encouraging – but we all need a bit of peace and quiet). He is very, very active. He hits (out of excitement, I think) and he throws stuff (I’ve got bruises from various toys that have made contact when I couldn’t move out of the way fast enough) and he has to touch every thing. He has to be watched for every single second that he’s awake! He loves food and eating (just like his mama) and will try anything. Books we’ve had for years and years only made it through a day or two once Booni got his hands on them. I keep finding pages here and there. He is not speaking yet, but he communicates extremely well and he understands everything.

He’s like Animal from The Muppets. He’s like an exuberant puppy. He’s like a tornado or a hurricane. A bit like the Tasmanian Devil.

He’s hard work and he’s exhausting. But he’s hilarious! His expressions and gestures make everyone laugh. His incessant appetite is a pleasure to see. He’s a gorgeous, loveable boy.

So while I’ve been substituting, I’ve been leaving my gorgeous, loveable boy at home. He spent a couple of mornings a week with one friend and her son and a couple of other mornings with another friend and her son. So he was busy doing stuff – but he needed more.

He needs to get out of the house. He needs to be doing something at all times. He needs to be busy.

All. The. Time.

So I decided to start him in nursery. Vins was two when he started. But Booni is different and I think the structure would be good for him.

His first day was last Tuesday. He was SUPER excited to get dressed and get into the car. But once I handed him over, there were tears (his, not mine). And there were tears on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday as well. His teacher, however, said that he stops crying after a few minutes and is ok for the rest of the morning. The owners of the nursery tell me (every day) how naughty he is and how different he is to his brother (I’m not sure if this is something I want to hear every day). This morning he started whining when he saw the nursery gates. He went only to his teacher. And he cried – but only a little. So we’re getting somewhere.

PicMonkey Collage



No School

Today is Nigerian Independence Day.

We got a letter from school last week asking all children to wear traditional Nigerian clothes to school on Monday 30th.

I found some leftover (beautiful) fabric from a dress I had made a few years ago and called the tailor.  He made shorts and a shirt for V to wear to nursery.

V tried it on.  It fit.  We were all excited about him dressing up on the 30th.  Admittedly, I was a bit more excited than him.

Come Monday morning, the child refused to go to school.  He was screaming and crying and kicking the dog while hanging off my leg.  He just didn’t want to go to school.  I gave him the option of choosing his own clothes, if it was the outfit that was bothering him – but that wasn’t it.  I told him I’d come to nursery with him and stay there (I wouldn’t have, but I needed to get him there) – but that didn’t work.  I told him we’d go to the nursery library and choose a book and come home.  No.

He just didn’t want to go.  I couldn’t work out why.  He’s usually very happy to go in the morning.  So what was different about today?  I thought it might be a good idea to ask him!  So I said, ‘V, why don’t you want to go to school?’  I had to ask him about five times before he calmed down enough to actually hear me.  His response?  He shrugged.

So he doesn’t want to go to school.  But he doesn’t know why.  There was no good reason for his tears.

I eventually (after an hour of crying) told him he could stay home if he wanted – but that everyone at home would be busy and no one would have time to talk or play with him.  He got more upset.  I explained to him that LagosDad was going to the office, I was going to do my exercise and that yaya (his nanny) would be busy ironing his clothes.

I thought that might convince him to go – but it didn’t.

I told him (repeatedly) that he had two choices.  ‘V, you have two choices.  You can either go to nursery and play with your friends and have a lot of fun.  Or you can stay at home and play by yourself and no one will talk to you.’  I showed him two fingers to indicate his two choices.  He kept saying, ‘This one!’ and tried to pull up a third finger!  Quite clever, I thought.

Anyway – so he stayed home.  Everyone ignored him.  And you know what?  He didn’t care that no one would play with him.

I couldn’t force him to get dressed without one of us getting hurt.  I got dressed myself and tried to leave the house, but he just kept hanging off my leg.

So now what do I do?

What did I do wrong?  What should I have done differently?



So… V is two.  Two and three months.  

Old enough to understand a little about Christmas, right?  Santa, Christmas trees, lights, gifts, etc.

I hate to admit it – but I haven’t really introduced him to any of those things.  If we were staying here for the holidays, I’d have put up the tree and had him help me decorate it.  But since we’re leaving next week, I decided there was no point.

I knew he’d do a few Christmas activities in nursery, and I thought I’d just build on that at home.

Not very fair on him, I know…

Anyway, so he’s seen the Christmas lights nearby – and I showed him the tree and presents, etc.  

At school they decorated a tree, made snowmen and Santas.  And then we talked about it when we came home.  But I didn’t make too much of a big deal about it.

So you can imagine my surprise when…

Two days ago we were in the car and Jingle Bells came on on the radio.  And he started singing along!

And this is even with the lack of input from home.

I feel so guilty!  The first things he’s learnt about Christmas he’s learnt at school!


Two weeks ago (I can’t believe I forgot to write about this before) I went to pick V up from nursery.  I was waiting outside the school, standing next to a lady waiting for her child.  V’s teacher was standing in the doorway, calling for the children as their parents arrived.

The mum next to me said to the teacher, ‘I want to see who is Vinay.’ (English is not her first language).

My first thought was, ‘Uh-oh, what’s he done?!’

The teacher pointed at me and said, ‘This is his mum.’  

I smiled at her (wishing I’d washed my hair that morning) and she said to me, ‘Your son is in love with my daughter.  All I hear at home is ‘Vinay. Vinay. Vinay.”


The teacher piped up, ‘Oh yes.  There’s a big love story in our class!  Lots of hugging and hand-holding!’

Vinay had mentioned this little girl’s name before.  Lots of times.  But I didn’t think anything of it.  I just figured it was one of the names he could pronounce.

He and his new friend came out together. I scooped him up and her mum scooped her up.  The two children looked at each other, smiled and hugged.

Since that day, when he’s made a fuss to get ready and go, I just tell him that X is waiting for him.  And before I know it, his backpack’s on his back and he’s waiting at the door!

He’ll be talking/babbling away to himself and all of a sudden just start repeating her name over and over again.

He walks in through the school gate in the morning, looks around the playground and says, ‘Where’s X?’

It’s just too cute.  

Vinay’s first love 🙂

He Ate It?!

If you follow me on Twitter I’m sure you have read a whole lot of tweets from me about what a fussy eater V is.

He won’t eat food that look strange to him.  He won’t eat foods that have certain textures.  Sometimes he won’t eat the food he usually loves.  Not uncommon for a toddler, I know.

But what irritates me is that he won’t try anything new!  He may get all excited about the prospect.  He’ll say his usual, ‘nummy nummy’ (yummy yummy), but when it comes down to it, he won’t eat it.

This is why I’m shocked.  Shocked, I tell you.

One of his nursery topics this term is Food.  

When I dropped him off one morning last week, his teacher told me that they were going to make (and eat) sandwiches that day.  I said, ‘Oh that’s great!  I hope he eats it!’  Already knowing that there was no way in hell he was going to eat a sandwich.  Toast, yes.  A sandwich?  No chance.

When I picked V up after school I asked him what he did that day.

He told me he made a sandwich and that he put cucumber and tomatoes inside.  I asked him if he ate it.  He said, ‘Yes.  Mama, nummy!’

I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t believe him.  Vinay? Eat cucumbers and tomatoes? Hahahaha

The next morning I asked his teacher how the sandwich-making went and if Vinay ate his.  She said it went very well and that they not only put cucumbers and tomatoes in, but also cheese.  And yes, Vinay ate it.


How was this possible?

Since that day I’ve asked him if he wants a sandwich.  

‘No mama’.

We can put cucumbers and tomatoes inside?  Like in school?  

‘No mama.’

Do you want to make it yourself?  You can show mama how you did it?  

‘No mama.’

I’m going to be tearing my hair out soon!


An Official Mid-Term Progress Report

Vinay got his very first mid-term progress report from nursery.  It’s very simple – just a check-list with a space for a comment at the bottom.  Apparently his December report will be more detailed.

Here’s what it says.

Number Skills – Needs Improvement

Language & Literacy Skills – Good

Social Skills – Good

Art & Craft – Good

Fine Motor Skills – Needs Improvement

Gross Motor Skills – Good

Comment: Vinay is very well settled in class. He displays great enthusiasm and initiative in all his class activities.

So here are my thoughts…

1. Awww – my baby has a report card!

2. WTF? His number skills need improving?  What should I start doing with him at home?  Is it because he mixes up four and five when he counts?  Is it because he’s only *just* learnt to count to 10?  Is it because he can’t count to 10 reliably?

3. There must be something wrong with me – the child is only two.  Obviously his number skills need improving.

4. Oh – his language and literacy skills are good!  That’s excellent, considering not many people can understand what he says most of the time.

5. I’m going to Google ‘Improving Fine Motor Skills for Toddlers’ and start doing some activities over half-term.  Maybe he should do more colouring and/or painting at home?

6. Jesus, I really don’t want to be one of *those* parents.

7. We’re going to do lots of counting over half-term.

8. If his numercy skills don’t improve, LagosDad is going to say he takes after me.

9. Should I make an appointment to see his teacher to discuss what we can do at home to help him?

10. Get a grip, woman!  The child is TWO!

Any thoughts?

Give Me Strength!

So…  Vinay’s been home sick since last Thursday.  Today and tomorrow are public holidays for Eid (so nursery is closed) and all of next week is half-term.  

Now, don’t misunderstand me – I love him to bits.  And I can’t wait to pick him up in the afternoons.  But I also love that he actually *goes* to nursery!

Poor baby.  He has been unwell.  But he’s been in very good spirits (most of the time) and has been his usual destructive self for the last week.  

And now he’s home for *another* week! *throws self on bed and weeps*

Funny how when I was teaching I couldn’t wait for public holidays and half-terms.  I would count-down to them and wonder why all the mums were complaining about having so many days off school!  Didn’t they want to spend more time with their precious darlings?!

Can someone please tell me – WHAT am I supposed to do with him for a whole other week?!


I’ve been rather anxious, as you know, about V settling into nursery.  It’s only his second week – and I *do* know that some kids take longer than others to adjust to such a huge change.  I thought I’d help him along…

On Monday morning he was a bit teary and clingy in the car.  We were five minutes late, so all the other children were already inside.  The nursery helper came and took him, and he went without any fuss.  When I picked him up, I had a packet of Buttons.  He’s never tried them before.  He’s never had chocolate before (chocolate cake doesn’t count!).  I tried to give him one on the way home.  He resisted at first, but then decided he wanted to try it.  

His face was priceless.  He immediately said, ‘More!’  Dammit.  I should have known better.  

I told him I’d give him another one after he had his lunch (we were back home by now).  He started throwing himself around the room until he got another one (yes, I gave in).

On Tuesday morning, he was a bit fussy again.  I told him I was going to drop him off and go and buy dudu (milk) and yogurt (which is what I tell him everyday).  Then I told him, ‘And I’ll bring you a chocolate when I pick you up!’  No jokes, he was ready to leave in five minutes!

I took the packet with me, as I promised and gave him a Button in the car.  And the ‘More!’ started.  We’d already agreed I was only going to give him one, so what was this nonsense all about?  Repeat tantrum like the previous day.

Clearly the boy didn’t understand bribery.  Clearly I was dumb enough to think he did.

Yesterday I had a brainwave (maybe common sense to others?).  I put three Buttons in a clear sandwich bag and handed the bag over to him on our way home.  He ate them all.  And said, ‘More!’  I made him look at the bag and see they were all gone.  ‘Mama buy more!’ was the response.  I told him I would buy more tomorrow after I dropped him off.

And that was it.  Problem solved.  No more crying or screaming for more!

If only I’d thought about this on Monday.

Now I have to figure out how to stop the Button thing!


Yesterday morning V got ready for nursery without any fuss.  He put his backpack on and got his lunchbox and called for me.  Smiling and laughing.

Wow!  This was amazing!  I’d woken up with a nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach – and all for nothing!  

Just the night before he got all cranky and whiney when the ‘s’ word (school) was mentioned.  He got upset when I opened his cupboard to take out his clothes for the morning.  He screwed up his face and threw himself onto various bits of furniture.  It was actually quite funny.

LagosDad said, ‘Wow!  Are you ready for school already?’  

And V replied, ‘No! Birthday party!  Mama!  Birthday party!’

Uh-oh.  He thought we were going to a birthday party.

I explained that we *were* going to a birthday party, but not until the afternoon.  He had to go to school first.  He ignored me.

In the car, he became more anxious, repeating ‘Birthday party! Birthday party!’

In hindsight, I’m sure he knew he wasn’t going to a party.  He’s a clever one, that one.  Not much gets past him – and I know he doesn’t associate his backpack or lunchbox with birthday parties!

I tried to distract him with buses, tankers and trucks.  It didn’t work.  He just kept repeating it over and over!

We pulled up to the gate and he started wailing.

I took him out of his car seat and carried him into the school.  I felt terrible.  He was clinging to me, arms around my neck.

His teacher came, took him from me and went inside.  

I was standing with the two owners of the schools – they were telling me not to worry, and that he’d be fine in a few days.

And I burst into tears.  

They consoled me for a few moments and I left.

I could hear Vinay crying inside.

Fingers and toes crossed for a good Friday morning.