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!



Another Milestone 

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. 

Bill, Please!

LagosDad and I took Vins out for an early dinner this evening.
Vins doesn’t usually speak to people he doesn’t know (or people he does know, for that matter). But today was amazing. Once we’d finished and ready to leave, I heard him mumble, “Bill please.” He repeated himself a couple of times but the waiter didn’t hear him.
I told Vins that he had to say “Excuse me” first and then to ask and to use his manners. And he did it! “Excuse me! Can we have the bill please?”
Unbelievable! I am so thrilled with him at the moment!

Leaps and Bounds

I know one of my last posts was about Vins and how he’s making so much progress socially – but this one is too. I’m just so proud of him.
Firstly, his teacher said he’s doing really well in school. He’s getting more involved and participating more in whole class activities – especially the singing and dancing 🙂
We still have meltdowns at home. But they’re less frequent than before. And he’s become more independent.
He’s always been happier in smaller groups. But if he spent a whole day with a friend and then I turned up or if his friend’s parent turned up, he’d become quiet. I cannot begin to count the number of times a friend has spoken to him after school and has been ignored. Or the amount of times someone has said goodbye to him after school and Vins has pretended he can’t see him/her.
Yesterday was soooo different! Two school mums and myself took some of the kids out for lunch. There were six children in all. They had a ball. They ran around screaming and playing Hide and Seek. Luckily the restaurant was empty! They ran outside in the garden and they played with a bunch of Hot Wheels cars that Vin took with him.
I didn’t think Vins would join in as much as he did – and he was so happy! It was almost as though I wasn’t there!
The best part was when we were leaving. He put the car window down and started shouting, “Bye X! Bye! See you tomorrow!”
I’m so proud of him.

Catching Up

It’s been ages, hasn’t it?

I’ve been a bit lazy about updating my blog since I left Lagos – but I can’t put it off any longer!

You saw my last post, right?  About leaving Lagos?

Well – lots to report!

1. I don’t know if you know this or not – but Motilium does NOT help with airsickness.  Not in V’s case, anyway.  As with our previous flights, he slept for a bit and woke up whining.  He woke as the meals were being cleared.  I honestly think it’s the smell of all the food that makes him feel queasy.  He started throwing up when there was three hours left of the flight.  This is pretty much the same as the last two flights.  Maybe next time I should find some medication to knock him out for the whole eight hours?  Once we got home (at about 4 am), he decided he was hungry and wanted an egg and chocolate milk.  He ate so fast – he projectile vomited all over the kitchen!  My mum was thrilled.  Not.

2. It took him a little longer to ‘settle in’ this time.  About three days.  He wouldn’t communicate with my parents or my sister much at all.  His tantrums were frequent and loud.  My mother said they were ‘excessive’ (implying it was all my fault).  On the third or fourth day he had a slight temperature – slept all afternoon and woke as a different child.  Smiling, laughing and affectionate with the others and not only me!

3. We were in Dubai for Christmas last year as well.  Last year, if the ‘S’ word (Santa) was said, there would have been meltdowns.  V was terrified of him!  Pictures, statues – the whole lot.  This year was a different story.  He talked about Santa a lot.  We wrote Santa a letter, Santa wrote back, V knew he was going to get a gift, etc.  So I decided I’d take him to SEE Santa.  We went to Wafi City Mall.  I’d heard that the grotto there was fabulous – so that’s where I was going to take V.  The queue was very long – but we finally made it to the front!  It cost 60 dirhams per child (that’s about $19) and it included a gift from Santa and a photo.  V got more and more tired (and hungry) as we waited in the line, but he managed not to have a total meltdown.  Before seeing Santa, we had to wait in a little area that had been decorated with elves, Christmas trees, snow, presents, etc.  V was frightened of the reindeer that moved its head – but as we got closer, he didn’t mind it so much.  I was nervous as I didn’t know how V was going to react when he actually saw Santa.  I needn’t have worried.  He was shy.  But he sat on Santa’s lap and told him that he wanted a bus for Christmas (he was a bit disappointed that he got a rag doll instead).  I swear, I had tears in my eyes when we came out of there.  I couldn’t believe it.  Was this my child?

4. V loves Barney.  You know that already, right?  However, he’s always been scared of people in those big Barney costumes (or any other character costumes).  This doesn’t work well when we go to birthday parties where they have ‘characters’.  One of the last parties we went to, they had someone dressed up as Simba.  V freaked.  Anyway, so once I got to Dubai, I saw that there was going to be a Barney show at the Dubai Marina Mall.  It’s not exactly close to us, but I decided I was going to take V and he was going to like it – whether he liked it or not.  I kept talking about the show and how much fun it was going to be – and he got excited about it.  Come ‘SHOW DAY’, we took the Metro (because V was dying to go on the Metro) and got to the mall just in time.  I’d never been to one of these shows before – so I didn’t know what to expect.  I didn’t even know where the show was going to be.  As we walked into the mall, there was a stage right in front of us.  There was a small area around the stage that was cordoned off and there were people EVERYWHERE.  The cordoned-off area was for the children – and no adults were allowed to sit inside with the kids.  Eh?  My friend and I took V and her son in to settle them (because that was allowed).  We sat them down – though they fussed a bit and didn’t want us to go.  But they stayed.  V’s friend came out crying a few minutes later – he didn’t want to stay.  And I started worrying about V.  How would he sit alone?  He’s scared of these big character people, what will he do?  What if he cries?  I moved round and positioned myself (among buggies, nannies, babies and other mums) so I could see him.  He didn’t see me at first, so I was able to watch him.  He was a little scared when Barney came out – I couldn’t see that from the way he was sitting and his fingers were over his mouth – but it was only for a minute or two.  And then he was fine!  He caught sight of me and I saw this made him more confident.  He didn’t sing to any of the songs, but he did follow instructions (for once) and close his eyes when Barney told all the children to.  Honestly – I don’t know if I’ve been prouder.  I may have cried *embarrassed face* The only downsides were… a) The sound system was crap.  And b) When the show ended, there was no system for going in and getting your child.  The security just lifted all the ropes out of the way, and adults and children were free to move in or out of the area.  This is something they definitely have to think about and come up with some sort of system!

5.  And lastly…  Today is New Year’s Day.  And LagosDad and I are in Doha airport in the lounge waiting for our flight to Bali.  V is in Dubai with my parents.  He was kind of ok about us leaving – we didn’t tell him where we were going or that we were going by airplane, or he’d never have let us leave.  The last time I left V was 18 months ago.  I went to London for a week and left him with LagosDad in Lagos.  He doesn’t remember that.  And this is the first time we are both leaving him.  He has an exciting few days planned – my dad is taking him to the airport tomorrow to have ice cream and watch the planes take off and land (V’s idea of heaven).  My sister is going to take him to a new wildlife park over the weekend.  My mum will take him to the pet shop every couple of days (he likes to go and see the animals).  And then we’ll be back.  We’re not even there yet and I miss him already.

My son – my darling boy – I can’t believe how much progress he’s made in recent months.  I could make a list here – but I won’t bore you to death.

I’ve got photos – but I’m using LagosDad’s laptop – so will include at some point!

Happy New Year everyone!