Friday, 30 September 2011

Im tired..

I'm feeling really tired today. Maybe it was the hot uncomfortable night that had us all tossing and turning, or its my astronomical water bill that's knocked the wind out of my sails....or maybe I've done it to myself by revolving like a satellite gone crazy around Tara and her life. I admit I am a bit of a control freak and want things just so...

If Im not ensuring that Tara's weekdays go well, Im planning how to make her weekend an extravaganza, for doing well at school all week.

I am tired. The Husband is at a critical stage of his career. He needs to make a crucial leap that will see us all better off. So Im leaving him to it, as talking about it makes him sigh just that bit louder.

What about me? Weekdays or weekends are just the same ...

Im just tired.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

What's going on in that little brain?

Dropped off Tara at school with no dramatics this morning, thank goodness. Last evening was a different story.

After school, its usually bath time before Tara's dinner. After dinner its playtime, snack and story time, then bed. Its the routine that's been working ... more or less. Last evening during playtime, Tara was huffing and puffing trying to get little plastic Minnie Mouse dressed up in her plastic shoes and dress. It's quite tricky even for grown ups to get this right and it just caused a mini fuse to blow in Tara's head! She stood up put her hands on her hips, lips quivering declared, she would throw the toy in the bin as it did not work.

At this point what I should have done is let the matter blow over, but no...I decided to be all Mumsy about it and extolled the virtues of being grateful for what she has and how she should play with something else instead. Bad call ! Tara lay face down on the playmat and cried and cried and cried. At first I made the situation worse by saying that I wouldn't play with her if she was that way. Bad call... again! She cried and cried and cried some more, until I changed tactics, took her in my arms and just cuddled and rocked her, all the while asking her to calm down. When she did, I gently asked her what happened. And it came out..

"Mummy, everyone tells me what to do ALL the time, all day in school. Now even you tell me what to do ALL the time..."

I stayed quiet and it dawned on me. My 4 year old is growing up and is going through a major life change starting school. As adults it takes us just a minute to flare up when we feel undermined or controlled. Yet we expect children to fall in line every time, no questions asked. How would that make them feel? Children starting school makes many parents heave a sigh of relief as it gives us more time to do things while our children are "taken care of" in school.

4 years old and suddenly having a mountain to climb is traumatic, even if the mountain comprises, being able to pick up your own coat and bag, get in line, change your clothes, use the toilet, eat your lunch quickly, clear out your plate and tidy up after you, fend for yourself in a playground full of older children, do your work in class...........all without Mummy. Having to learn something in order to survive is not necessarily a pleasant experience for many children. They figure things out eventually because they have to, and slowly may even enjoy their time in school.

But till then, a little extra love, a little extra understanding, and maybe a bit less lecturing and lots more cuddles will not go amiss. I get it Tara...I do...I love you, I miss you and Im proud of you. Today you can decide what we play and how...

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

What day is is today?

As much as I love Tara and her funny yet interesting questions, there is one thing that drives me nuts. Every morning, every single morning since she has started school, and kindergarten before that, its the same words..

Tara : "Which day is it Mummy, weekend or weekday?"

Mummy : "Its Tuesday, so its a weekday"

Tara : " that a school day?"

Mummy : "Yes it is"

Tara : "Can I play on my computer?"

Mummy : "You certainly can.. on Saturday"

Tara : "Is it Saturday today?

Mummy : "No its Tuesday"

Tara : "Is it the weekend?"

Mummy : "Its Tuesday, so its a weekday"

and so it goes on and on, in a loop, until I lose my cool. Which makes her sulk or get teary, and its the start of yet another day...

I came up with a good idea of a whiteboard with the days of the week written on it, numbered and color coded. Tara has to tick each day at the start and put a line through the day at bedtime. It worked well for a few days, then the novelty wore off.....and its back to the daily days of the week tussle...again, and again and again....

Monday, 26 September 2011

Under the weather

Im feeling a bit flu-ey today. Heavy head and running nose. Being this way makes everything around seem unpleasant too.

Tara seemed to be settling well at school last week. Just before bed last night she asked me why the teachers keep shouting, eat, eat eat at lunchtime. She also said that one of the boys in her class hit her sometimes. Maybe it was my flu or just the protective mum in me, I almost lost the plot at the idea of my precious, well behaved girl being hit. Thoughts zipped through my head while I calmed Tara down and put her to sleep. Later I could barely get dinner down my throat. Its a good job I had a whole night ahead of me, else I might have exploded like a bomb on the school authorities right then.

The night was unbearably long, which in hindsight was a good thing as it gave me time to think.

The next morning as I got Tara ready for school, there were luckily no tears, and during a general conversation, I asked her what she thought we should do about the naughty boy who hit her. "Ignore it Mummy", she said with so much wisdom and maturity that it threw me off balance.

I thought about it and my 4 year old was correct. All my built up confrontation melted away. After I dropped off Tara at school, I did put in a quiet word with the teacher, keeping her informed of the little boy's antics. She said, "That's just boys being boys". Now that could have pushed me over the edge and made me box Miss's ears, while I said, "That's just me being Mum", but I remembered the words of a very wise soul...Ignore I walked away.

If my little Tara can pick her own battles, so must I.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Turning a corner

After trawling the internet looking for websites, finding solutions to a 4 year old's crying problem in school, I was amazed at the number of suggestions of medication for anxiety.

I mean...come on! Tara is 4 years old, never been in a full day school setting and is finding new routines a bit daunting. As a mother it's up to me to be calm, re-assuring and positive about school, not shove medication down her throat after 2 weeks ! Im shocked.

On the plus side, the last 2 days were heaven. Tara and I discussed all the challenges and routines in school, and arrived at solutions to each one of them. Now school time is good! I leave a child at school who smiles and waves bye-bye, sometimes Tara even throws in the odd 'see you later alligator'

It seems we may have turned the proverbial corner!

Monday, 19 September 2011

Starting Primary School

As if battling pinworms wasn't enough, Im now deeply involved in another battle in the form of Tara starting 'proper' school 2 weeks ago. Having recently turned 4 years old, Tara has started at reception year in school.

The pinworm battle is a long one, lasting about 6 weeks. Round 1 was a success, and it seems we are on the home stretch...and winning! Hurray. Another few weeks will rid us of the problem...for this time at least..

School is something else...I have to take a deep breath, look calm and take Tara to school now. Her lower lip is starting to quiver, forming a pout ready to send some tears out at the school gate. We have talked about how things are, found a few problems and solutions but still have some way to go...Fingers crossed..

I think I need to accept the inevitable and stop crying at the wheel of my car (after I drop her of course). then I can convince her that its all okay. Will take me a bit longer...I miss her.

Sunday, 4 September 2011


Im exhausted. Tara managed to get pinworms and it has sent me on a physical and emotional rollercoaster.

First reactions:

1. I am not a dirty person. How could my child have pinworms or any worms
2. Physical revulsion at the thought of creepy crawlies
3. Guilt, at how I could let it happen

After first reactions, as usual I went through a cycle of shock, worry, anger, snapping at The Husband, then resolution to solve the problem. So I go into overdrive.

First I hit the internet and become an expert on the subject. Then I find out causes and am re-assured that its not my fault. Next is the doctor's appointment where I feel a bit more reassured. Finally the solution, one dose of medication, followed by back breaking cleaning for 4 weeks that's left me physically shattered.

It will take me up to 2 weeks to know if we are rid of the worm problem...till then my life will probably be on hold ..I wont't let some creepy crawlies win will I ? Its another matter that its very easy for Tara to bring more bugs back from school.

Its funny being a mum. A child's illness puts everything else on the back burner. And unfortunately with children, illnesses are usually back to back, so my life will be on the back burner for a long time I suspect...But for Tara I wouldn't have it any other way...That's what mums do.....

Back to, cleaning, more sanitising and disinfecting...