Tag Archives: Toddler

I’ve lost my sleep.

I was one of those people who could sleep anywhere, have even slept on an x-ray machine once. But the past ten days have been terrible, and I just can’t sleep.

And there’s a reason. My daughter, on the day she turned two and a half, got burnt with hot tea. It happened in a flash, and it was horrible. Horrible, horrible.  I didn’t know how badly tea can burn, but now I do.

But, the good thing is that now she’s healed well, after many visits to the pediatrician and other doctors. She got it mostly on her chest, but could have been her face, eyes…anything.

The first few days I kept wondering why this happened, and the image replayed itself in my mind endlessley, like a bad film on repeat, and the more I’d try and get it out of my mind, the more it would persist.  Then, I looked at my daughter and realized that she was far braver than me, for she, even with her would, all wrapped up in bandage, was running around the house as before.

It was then that I told myself to snap out of it, and it was then that I stopped asking why this happened, and thanked God for what did not, because it could have been much much worse.

She’s a trooper I told her and she smiled. When I took her for her bandage changes, she cried, obviously, but not much, and kept telling me, all the while, what a good girl she was. “Mama, I am a good girl”, she’d say through her tears, trying hard to put up a brave front while the doc cut her bandage and cleaned her wound. I wanted to hold her and cry but I had to be brave for her, for she was looking to me for support. I clenched my teeth and didn’t let a tear fall out of my eye, not in front of her at least. She kept repeating how good she was some fifty times while the dressing was being done. It was heart wrenching to watch her do this, she was doing it for she was scared, and hoped that if she was good, she’d not get hurt. This from a two year old.

One underestimates one’s children. I didn’t know my daughter, my little delicate doll, who would cry if she spotted a life size Winnie the Poo at a birthday party, had such fortitude in her. She went with me to the doctors without as much as a peep out of her, and when there she complied better than any adult I know. She’d turn, sit, stand, lie, as the doc said. When I gave her medication she’d open her mouth and gulp it down without any resistance. She was unreal, and I salute her for it. I would have not been this good had it happened to me.

The worst is now over and she’s on the mend.

Now I need to find my sleep.

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A Smile On My Lips, And A Tear In My Eye.

My daughter started pre-school last week. She cried, of course, and I felt terrible when she clung and didn’t want me to leave. I told the teacher that I would stay till she was a little settled, and I know what the debate on that is – that they don’t settle till they can see the mother, and there’s truth in that, but, I still knew it was not going to do her any good if I left her crying like that in the first week. Each child is different and I know that in her case she needs to feel a little secure before she likes anyplace, otherwise she develops an aversion. I wanted to give her the security that I was not leaving her there. So, I was the only (or one of the only) mother sitting inside with a child, not that that bothered me in the least. She looked at me and said “mama, don’t leave me here”. I promised I would not till she liked it.

I think it worked. The first week I went in with her and the next I would go in, like all the other mothers, but leave in about ten minutes- never slipping out, but telling her that I was going to be waiting outside, so she need not worry. She cried for a few minutes, of course, but not in the hysterical fashion she had done before. I told her that I’d be right there and take her home in a few hours.  Somehow that worked. She was alright without me inside, maybe because she knew that I was around, or maybe not. I don’t know what worked, and I also know that part of it is cyclical, she’ll probably still cry sometimes.

But the thing is that she’s aware of the fact that now she has to do this, and I am not sure she loves it yet, but she likes her teachers, which is good.

The first day she put her little Dora bag on her back and walked away, I smiled and yes there was that silly lump, don’t know where it came from, but there it was in my throat. She looked back at me and smiled, told me she had just spotted a little Tellytubby doll.

She’ll probably learn to let go soon. Now, I have to do the same.

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Two, No Wait, Few Birds With One Stone.

I decided to solve the clingy problem with all the will I had left in me.

Last month I had told myself that after my vacation, I would seriously tackle the what-am-I-doing-with-my-life issue.  But that cannot be done with a toddler holding your leg and wailing . You need peace to think, and I haven’t had any in the past two weeks, because my daughter decided she needed her mommy 24-7 and no one else. Flattering as that was, I began to lose it after a while; something needed to be done, fast.

So, this is what I tried. I got up in the morning and asked a friend if she wanted to watch a film, which she did, and I trotted off and told my horrified looking maid, who had been witnessing the scenes around the bathing and eating, to do what needed to be done – the bath, food etc – and put her to bed in the afternoon. I planned to return only after she had taken her nap.

And guess what? She didn’t shed one tear or throw one tantrum. I was told happy stories about how she laughed and played in the water and also during lunch. All that drama was, of course, only for mommy dearest. So overjoyed was I with this outcome that the next day I decided to take off in the morning again, and went shoe shopping, something I had been wanting to do for a while. And sure enough this time too she was happy as a calm and was sound asleep in her cot when I returned home, to peace and quiet.

So I am not sure I’ve successfully solved the problem – mommy hood has taught me not to celebrate achievements too early, and sometimes not all all, they have a way of resurfacing just when you think you’ve crossed that bridge – but I am feeling chuffed. After all not only did I manage to wean her off me for a while, I also got to watch a movie, catch up with a friend and buy some shoes in the bargain- not bad, not bad at all!!!

So now I am wondering if my good luck will last and somehow, miraculously, she’ll love school when she goes, for the first time, on Monday.

Too much to ask? I thought so. But, it’s worth a shot, in case someone up there is listening.

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The Big Day – Part II

In my previous post I had declared, with a lot of confidence, that my two year old would scream her way through the school interaction she had today for getting admission into the toddler group of this sought after school that I have my eyes set on.

I am happy to say that I could not have been more wrong. No qualms admitting it, there are times when you want to be wrong and this was one of them.

That said, I must add, since no one else will, that I had somewhat of a hand to play in the good behaviour. The truth is that she hates the mention of school and whenever she sees a crowd, she wants to run the other way, so I was dreading this day, convinced that she’d not co-operate. But, I decided I had to deal with it, instead of wishing it away. And it worked.

In the morning, she realized, from the general have-to-leave-on-time atmosphere around the house at such an early hour, that all was not normal. First, she looked at me and said “Mama, I don’t want to go to the doctor”. Then, when she was assured that that was not where we would be heading, she declared that she didn’t want to go for a party either. Again, I reassured her, while trying to speed things up. But she was confused, and worried, and wanted an answer. I had decided to tell her in the car, so I somehow distracted her then.

When we sat in the car, she wanted her answer. So I told her, very patiently patting her head and saying that we were going to a place (I was still afraid to use the word school, so I was deliberately vague about what exactly it was) where there would be lots of kids and people and that she’d be asked some questions. At first she didn’t like the idea, and said “no, there won’t be lots of people“. But, I explained to her that there was nothing to be afraid of, that I’d be there with her throughout and not leave her. It was strange, but for the first time I felt that she was growing up and understanding every word I said, every little word. She nodded and blinked her large pretty eyes and said “then we’ll go home?”. Her tone had such optimism, that it felt more like a statement than a question, like she was telling herself that once it was over, we’d go home.

I said : “yes baby, we’ll go home” , and then I added something that psychologists may or may not approve of, depending on which side of the reward theory there are on. I told her that if she’d not cry and play around, I’d take her to the slide and play area in the mall, somewhere she loves going.

I don’t know if it was that or something else, but she was such a gem throughout that I was speechless. I’d warned the teachers about her taciturn behaviour so they’d be prepared. But when she got to the room, she chatted and laughed while I was asked polite questions about her hobbies, about my husband’s long working hours, about my decision to quit work- the stuff schools love to query you about, judging and slotting you all the while.

And while I may have done ok, it was my daughter who deserved to be patted. It may not seem like much, but for her, it was a big deal to have interacted the way she did.

It made me think about how we underestimate our children sometimes. I had been so convinced that she’d want to run away from the situation that I was trying to avoid talking about it to her, little realizing that all that mysterious behaviour was only making her more suspicious. All I had to do was tell her straight, which I usually do, and she’d come around to it.

Of course, a little carrot never hurt, so I dangled it! And it worked.

Now for the results.

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