Field Day

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!

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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…

I Have A Cough

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.

*face palm*

I Don’t Need These!

Last week V and I went grocery shopping. He’s very good at remembering what we need (or I could just make a list?).
Anyway, so we were browsing in Goodies, looking for Dettol wipes (does anyone know where I can find the multipurpose ones! by the way?) when we came across nappies, baby wipes, panty liners and sanitary pads. I was checking the price of things when I saw him pick up a packet of pads.
I don’t know what brand they were, but there was a picture of a woman in her vest and pants, sprawled across the front.
So he picked it up, looked at it and said, “Ugh. I don’t need these. These are only for mamas!”

Yuck!

I took a really good look at V this afternoon as we walked out the school gates.

Me: V, didn’t you have PE today?
V: Yes.
Me: But why aren’t you wearing your PE clothes? You wore them to school this morning.
V: I had to change.
Me: Oh. Why?
V: Because you know XXX? He did a poo and it came on me.
Me: Huh? HOW?
V: He did a poo when he went down the slide and I didn’t know and then I went down and poo came onto my shorts and my T-shirt and one of my shoes. So my teacher changed my clothes and the new teacher cleaned my shoe.
Me: Oh no!
V: But it’s ok Mama. The lights on my shoes still work! See? *stamps foot on the ground*

Sigh

Yesterday evening V decided that we were going to have cuddles. Him, me and LagosDad. Three of us at the same time. It’s been a long time since he’s instigated the cuddles, so we were happy to comply.
What usually happens is that we all lie in bed with V in the middle. And when he gives the command (he’s good at that), LagosDad and I roll inwards and put our arms around each other. And V gets squashed in the middle.
We were having a lovely time. Giggling and hugging.
Then…
V: Mama, why is your tummy still so big?
Me: Mmm. Because I need to exercise. *wanting to die*
V: Yes you must exercise. Look at papa’s tummy. It’s become so teeny tiny because he exercises.
Me: *avoiding LagosDad’s smug look* Yes. He does exercise a lot, doesn’t he?

So now… I have to start.
Soon.

Christmas Stuff

This is the first year we’ve been in Lagos for Christmas for a really long time. My third time in the last ten years. The last time we were here was when I came back with V1 when he was twelve weeks old. We put a tree up that year – but didn’t do presents or anything like that.

This year, I wanted to make it really special for V1 and for V2 as it was his first Christmas (not that he would remember.

So I just wanted to share a few of our Christmas pictures.

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The Elf

This Christmas (or is it now last Christmas?) we got an Elf for the first time and V called him Fisbee.

I thought I’d use Fisbee as a tool to encourage good behaviour – you know to earn extra points with Santa. Fisbee left him a couple of notes – reminding him to say good morning to his grandparents and to do his Kumon (I know, I just can’t let it go).

I know the point of the elf is for the kids to find him in all sorts of weird and wonderful situations each day – but you know what… I’m not that creative. And I couldn’t be arsed.

Anyway – so V was ecstatic to look for Fisbee in the mornings. He wasn’t just sitting on a shelf somewhere. He was hiding amongst the Christmas presents one morning, hanging off the Christmas tree another. One morning he was hanging off the chandelier, and another reading a book. Ok – so not the most exciting – but V was happy.

Pretty soon (after a couple of days) V got bored with the notes and letters asking him to do stuff. So I decided I wouldn’t bother anymore.

Honestly, it was enough to see his face light up every morning when he spotted him.

I suppose that’s what it’s all supposed to be about!

Christmas Concert

They have a classroom blog at V’s school. The teacher updates it once a week (over the weekend) and basically lets us parents know about upcoming events, etc. It’s really useful and great to read all about (and see pictures) what the children have been learning.

At the beginning of December she posted to say that the Christmas Concert would take place on the 19th of December and that the children were going to sing We Wish You a Merry Christmas, Dancing Christmas Tree and that they would need to wear a Santa’s hat.

I groaned almost immediately. 1. Is this boy of mine going to actually sing? On a stage? In front of people? 2. How am I going to get him to wear a hat?

We were asked to practice the songs at home. V was (surprisingly) very happy to sing at home. We sang many Christmas carols together, actually. It made a really nice change. But he kept saying that he wouldn’t wear the hat. Ever.

I asked his teacher to please tell the children in class that they all had to wear one – and suddenly he didn’t mind wearing it! He wore it at home for days before the 19th!

The morning of the concert arrived and I don’t think he really knew what was going to happen.

As LagosDad and I arrived at school, we saw his class walking through the courtyard to the hall. And he was wearing his hat. Success!

As soon as he got up on stage and spotted us (and a sea of other faces), he took the hat off. And when it was their turn to sing – he wouldn’t.

He just stood there. Without his hat. Then in the second song, he started pretending that he was a dinosaur (a brachiosaurus to be exact). He stood on his tip toes, stretched his neck upwards and started ‘eating’ leaves from the trees. While still on stage.

LagosDad and I knew exactly what he was doing. Other parents must have thought he was a bit… Odd. Very odd.

I was a little disappointed. I already knew in my heart that he wouldn’t sing, but I was still disappointed.

When we collected him off the stage, I gave him a big hug and a kiss and said, ‘Hey Vins! I thought you were going to sing?’ And next to me another mum said to her son (in V’s class), ‘I’m so proud of you!’

Crap.

I’ve still got a lot to learn.

Rescue Me!

V1 is four years old. And like most other four year olds, he’s into dinosaurs, animals and every type of vehicle. He knows so much about the things he’s interested in, it never ceases to amaze me.

However, there is one thing about him which I don’t think is like other four year olds…

See – usually when you ask a child what they would like to be when they grow up (or what they want to dress up as for Halloween), they probably say things like: doctor, nurse, fire fighter, policeman, etc.

V? No, no, no… He says he wants to be a rescue vehicle. He wants to be the fire engine, the ambulance or the police car.

Strange kid.

Oh wait. I just remembered. Sometimes he pretends he’s a brachiosaurus eating leaves from the trees. *head desk*

What Happened to the Advent Calendar?

So I’ve been very lazy about updating my blog. To be honest, lazy isn’t the word. It’s busy. I’ve been too busy to update! Oh – and tired. So all my posts about Christmas and stuff are a bit late – but whatever!

So remember about the Advent Calendar? I had the brilliant idea of using the chocolate as a bribery for Vinay to do his Kumon each day.

He was actually very excited about it – and we started off really well. It worked! But only for two days.

By the third day he said, ‘You eat the chocolate Mama. I don’t want it.’

WTF? Where was my son, the chocoholic?

Anyway, so LagosDad and I ate all the chocolates (from two calendars). We just stuffed our faces whenever we wanted *ashamed face*.

It turns out that V didn’t mind not having any chocolate because his Dadi (paternal grandmother) had been giving him chocolate every day on the sly (I’m not willing to discuss this right now. All I will say is, ‘GRRRRR’).

So we’ve abandoned the Kumon for now. I’ve tried to reintroduce it from time to time – but my son knows his mind and when it’s made up, it’s made up.