Monday, 31 December 2012

Happy New Year

To my Dear Daughter,

As the clock ticks away, leaving behind 2012, and towards 2013, I imagine my little baby growing up to be six years old next year. Time does march on. I would be lying if I said it flies, because the passage of time, rather the perception of passage of time depends on the nature of events that transpire in our lives.

The happy times we had over the last few years were wonderful, warm and lived to the fullest. The sad ones linger, taking their time to leave us. We have lived through both, respecting each moment for what it is, and what it taught us.

The over riding feeling I have at this moment my dear "Pickles" is that I am in a state of deep gratitude for having you in my life. You bring freshness, and purpose to my life. You say things each day that remind me of what a blessing it is to have you enrich my journey on this planet.

Today you held my hands and said that you wanted my love with you for all your life. May you live many, many years more than me. But I promise to leave so much love for you that you will keep drawing on it and it will never finish. I will teach you to reach that special place where Mummy will be with you, forever.

Christmas was beautiful. This year I had no family around me except The Husband and you. And boy did we have a good time...We learnt how to make good a limited situation, and we did it with aplomb. Your words at the end of the day were, "So...when is the after Christmas party...?" That's the spirit ! We must find reasons to celebrate a day, any day..

Circumstances don't allow me to write, to document all your little words and experiences regularly. But not for long. This in itself is a life lesson. Things happen, we go off on a different track, but we return, as shall I.

I love you so much my dearest. Have a wonderful New Year 2013.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Nativity 2012

Tara came home two weeks ago and asked, "Mummy, do only blonde and beautiful people get to be angels?"

Just when I think I'm prepared for anything these days, Tara throws me a curve ball. Luckily I have also mastered the skill of quick recovery.

I said calmly no that's not true. Everybody can be angels. But there are many parts that children play in a Nativity show, and not everyone can be angels because then it wouldn't be a Nativity show. Tara smiled and said she was to be the Star that showed the way to baby Jesus. In fact she was a Superstar with sunglasses.

I joined in enthusiastically and we talked about her part and how much I was looking forward to seeing her in the 'starring' role. At the end of it all, Tara said, "Well I guess it's okay not being an angel. At least I'm not a sheep like Sean."

There we go, another life lesson for all of us. We can't all be angels but at least we aren't sheep! Spare a thought also for the poor little boy called Sean who was made a sheep. Sean the sheep..? get it?

Sunday, 2 December 2012

There is life..

I look around my chaotic life and think to myself...hang in there, there is life ahead...

It's not anything worrying or traumatic, just a phase in my life where I find myself in too deep, yet managing to stay afloat..just about.

I miss this place, I miss writing here. At the end of another day, my body protests and brain goes into shutdown. Thoughts abound as my head touches my pillow. But I am weary and cannot type as the pain in my hands is excruciating these days.

Life is ticking along. Tara is happy at school, but coming up to the holidays is exhausted and touchy sometimes. The Husband is working hard, still away from home but doggedly driving down 8 hours every weekend just to spend one day with us. I am battling physical challenges, loneliness and my biggest enemy, my anger flare ups. Sometimes I think I need time and space, not real space, just some space in my brain to set myself in order. But I find none.

And so it goes...

Saturday, 1 December 2012


It's been a while since I've written about Tara and our life. Time has flown past in a flurry of activity. There have been life changes, health issues and adjustments - just to get on with life.

I need air, and tonight I just breathe...breathe...breathe.

The blast of oxygen makes me dizzy. Isn't is funny how something as simple as breathing takes a backseat to everyday life?

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Is it a school day?

The last few days, as soon as Tara wakes up she asks, "Is it a school day?" I say no, and she gets on with her day. I started getting a bit anxious and had an attack of 'what ifs". What if Tara is upset at going back to school? What if she worries about lunch time? What if....and it went downhill from there.

This morning Tara asked me the same question and I said it's only Sunday and school is not until tomorrow. She groaned and mumbled, "Why isn't it Monday yet! I can't wait to show my earrings to my friends!"

Is that all it was? I ruined my peace of mind with worries that didn't warrant any of my precious brain time. With every passing day I'm getting closer to reaching my place of repair and restoration. This is just another incident that reaffirmed the need for mental regrouping, balance and getting focus back in my life.

The Husband is going back to work today. He won't be back for two weeks. It will be hard but as usual I will  manage. It is easier when Tara is in school. I miss her but can get a lot done. And life goes on....

Friday, 2 November 2012

Getting there

What I like about this hallowed writing space is that I can express what I feel. No one reads it and I  freely 'speak' my mind.  Would I write differently if a hundred people read my random ramblings? I think not. I have a fairly unremarkable life at the moment. I have good days and bad days. I write about them all.

What I would like to say, is that every day with my Tara has been a special day. Some days are full of happy thoughts, others I shudder to revisit. But the fact remains that Tara has graced my life and enriched my existence on this planet simply by being here with me, in good times and in bad. For that gift I am eternally grateful.

Back to mundane issues. This half term has been terrible. My PMS made me unbearable, the Husband was distracted and unable to relax, the weather kept us indoors etc. etc. When one looks for a reason to complain about why something isn't right, one can keep finding reasons unfolding. Realization dawned on me, a bit late when the week has almost past, but I've stopped fighting the situation. The Husband has gone out with a few friends to watch the latest James Bond film, while I put Tara to bed patiently and had a healthy introspection session afterwards.

Inspite of it all Tara had a reasonable time. She is still innocent, and finds joy in little things.

Today I have taken steps to address my PMS symptoms, having ordered some natural supplements and herbal teas. I will soon revive my Reiki practice and regain control of my body and mind. I'm not there yet. What is "there"? It is a place of positive action I need to get to, where I will take a stand against negativity, against binge eating, against my out of control rage. At this point of time I am close to that place but not quite there. It is perhaps part of a greater plan that I suffer these ills for a while - maybe it serves a purpose. The core of me is a place of love and peace. I will get's almost time.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012


Tara had been counting down to Halloween since....last Halloween.

She was excited all day, inspite of the pouring, incessant rain. At 6:30 pm, wrapped up warm, she stepped out with The Husband in her ghost costume with her Disney basket and pink wellies, to go trick or treating in the rain. This year was different. People opened doors and gave a coin or some sweets. This year also saw the little ones out at around 6:30 pm, (nice and early), and the absence of teenagers pounding on doors after 9:00 pm. I wondered why? Whatever the reason it felt nice

I reciprocated and handed out sweets to many little ones, their excited faces wet in the rain but happy, priceless smiles shone through. Tara returned with her basket of sweets, content and wet.

There were many Monsters out and about today, but none compared to the worst of the lot - me. I am a prisoner to my rage and snappiness. Ten or so days to my period and I am an out of control freak. The Husband's constant connection to his various gadgets, from twitter to his ipad have been my trigger point this time. I wanted half term to be about family, with each other in the real sense but I cannot get past all the icrap surrounding our lives these days. It brings me to boiling point to see him glued to some device every minute of the day. It's a modern addiction and I can't stand it.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Pretty Pink earrings

It was a quick and easy dual ear piercing. Tara is now proudly displaying tiny pink earrings. She wanted the Hello Kitty ones but I said she had to have a discreet pair for school. I know what's on her next birthday list though.

More than the actual piercing it is the after care that is making me nervous. Moving and turning the ear rings so they don't have build up and cause infection is not something I look forward to to three times a day. The whole process takes around six weeks. After this Tara has to keep her earrings on for 6 months to ensure the hole does not close up.

So with Saturday behind us I was hoping to get on with a happy family half term week. It's not going to plan and I am quite sad.

My PMS has kicked in big time and I find myself unable to control my irritability and snapping. This was fuelled by The Husband who came back from work with a sulk and a distinct lack of enthusiasm for any family activity. That is one thing that gets to me, and PMS not helping it's been a disastrous few days.

Poor Tara, poor Husband and poor me :-(

Saturday, 27 October 2012

It's the dreaded Saturday today..

Well "dreaded Saturday" for me actually. Tara is over the moon.

Later today I am taking Tara in to get both ears pierced. I am frightened beyond belief, but Tara is excited. Maybe she doesn't realize the full scale of what exactly transpires in having her ears done. Or maybe as a Mum inflicting discomfort (limited discomfort I am told) voluntarily on my flesh and blood is making me ill with anxiety.

All the people Ive spoken to (including little children) have said it's no big deal and the pain is short and  bearable, but I'm still not relaxed about it. It's got to be done at some point so now is as good a time as any. The Husband is home for the week, I've already booked a doctor's appointment in advance should something go wrong, and Tara is excited at the prospect of going back to school with "real" ear-rings.

So once Tara is back from her classmate's party we're off!! Wish me luck!! 

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Half Term sleep

The best kind of sleep is half term sleep. No alarm clocks, just good old sleep..for all of us...hmmmm.... Snuggled up in her duvet Tara woke up with a silly smile as she sleepily said, "There's no hurry's half term!" We lay back and cuddled for a few minutes more and then the day began.

Of course after that it was back to back stuff to do. I gave in around mid day and allowed her to watch a Barbie movie. There's something about movies and Tara. She is Focus personified when she watches movies and does not expect any interaction or participation from me. In fact she prefers I say nothing at all as she immerses herself in the plot. You could even believe she wasn't in the house.

While I am a strong advocate of limited television and technology in Tara's life, I also believe that school holidays are a time to relax the rules a bit. The novelty of a movie, unsceduled and accompanied by some snacks is hard to beat!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Itchy Teeth?

Tara has been cranky and has been having little accidents all over the house today. Every time I turn to do sometging I hear an "OW!!" as Tara has bumped her head on a wall or a table for the hundredth time. On top of all this she has been complaining of "itchy teeth" for the last few days. I know her permanent teeth have started coming through and she has a wobbly tooth too, but I haven't heard of anyone complaining of itchy teeth before.

Growing up is not easy business :-(

I wish I could make things easier....or at least figure out what "itchy teeth" means.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Harvest Festival

It was the Year 1 Harvest festival today. I feel like a veteran after one year of watching Tara on stage. I still remember how my eyes filled up with tears the first time I saw Tara perform in her slightly too long school uniform.

Today was different. I was tired, not teary, just not enthused at the whole affair. I smiled and nodded at Tara who looked exhausted but did her part very well. It must be her teeth troubling her, and of course the exhaustion that accompanies kids near half term. The good news is that Tara's Papa has a week off for half term. This weekend is a birthday party, and I plan to get Tara;s ears pierced. (gulp) It's just got to be done, better sooner than later. Someone's got to inherit all my lovely jewellery :-)

I must remember to have everyone rested, fed and watered. I must also remember to keep my temper in check and not shout.

Friday, 19 October 2012

So, so tired

Tara and I are so tired today. I actually wanted to keep her off school today, but the kids are practicing hard for their harvest festival show on Monday. tara has a line or two and a couple of songs so she has to get her rehearsals done.

I'm tired and I should go to bed. Late nights, after Tara is in bed and all the little jobs are done, are for quiet times, to get things done, watch a bit of television, or to come here - to my little world and just write. It's important to me, but so is my sleep.

Tomorrow is the weekend. The Husband will be back. He's a bit under the weather, so it's not looking like a fun few days ahead.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Speed it up Tooth Fairy!!

Tara has been irritable, and poking at her teeth for a few weeks now. One new tooth is pushing up behind a lower baby tooth and is causing all sorts of 'itches and ouchies'. Poor thing...why isn't the Tooth fairy hurrying up?

Tara knows she will get a coin for every tooth she loses, and told me very seriously that she needs to have a bank account to save all her riches. A sense of financial responsibility at five?? I am impressed. I will take her up to the bank this week sometime and open a little kiddies account. It won't take away her 'ouchies', but will reassure her that the Tooth fairy's coins will have a safe home.

Lots of kisses..

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Weepy Wednesday

Tara was tired this morning. But she had a busy day with a school trip and some extra classes lined up as well. She complained of a ticklish throat this morning and came back home with a bleeding knee after she fell over at school.

Later this afternoon she was clingy and wept for no reason.

Tiredness? Or is she coming down with something...or both..

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Two for Tuesday

As promised I collected the little boy along with Tara, and we came home. I had two very tired children with me. So I did the unthinkable. I gave them ice cream and switched on the television. Mickey Mouse and an ice cream cone did the job.

After that the children played with each other for a while and after the little boy's father picked him up, Tara collapsed in a pile saying she wanted to eat dinner and go to bed.

I have a feeling she is coming down with something...

Monday, 15 October 2012

Manic Monday

Tara had the "dawdles" on Monday morning. It's funny how the week before half term, children get tired and listless. It always reminds me that half term is or should be a time of rest and recuperation. Many times we try to fill the half term holidays with "things to do", when it should be a lot less to do.

I had a frantic call from another Mum. A nice lady with one little boy. She had a problem picking up her little boy after school tomorrow, and wondered if i could take him home with me for an hour.

No problem. Happy to help :-)

Sunday, 14 October 2012


We washed the car, not much else...missing The Husband..

Saturday, 13 October 2012


It's been an incomplete weekend without The Husband, but we managed.

A bit of art, a bit of cycling, a bit of reading and an afternoon movie. It was fun, but incomplete without Tara's Papa.

Until next week..

Friday, 12 October 2012

Weekend without Papa

It feels awful on a weekend without The Husband. Tara is aware of the fact that he won't be coming today so is looking towards me for some playing time.

What's wrong with me these days? I can summon energy to do all the house work and more, but am so averse to playing kiddie games with Tara. I used to do it with all the sound effects and enthusiastic participation when Tara was smaller, but now the very idea of play acting, holding a doll brings on a headache. I am always over compensating for the fact that Tara is an only child and has only me to play with at home. Even her school has gone more academic with much less play time than Reception year, so Tara feels the need to squeeze in as much play time after school than before.

But off late I just cannot bring myself to "play". Why? I don't know. If anyone does, please help! 

Thursday, 11 October 2012

I just want Mummy..Waaahhh...!!

So that's what happened when I went to pick up Tara at 5:30 pm after her 2 hour session at school aftercare. I was very shocked when she came racing into my arms sobbing. I looked up at the teacher who also looked quite shocked. Tara hugged me, was quiet all the way home, perhaps slightly embarrassed.

I said we would talk at home. At home there was more cuddling and sniffing. At the end of my fact finding I concluded that:

a) Two hours was a bit too long for first time aftercare
b) I discovered that all was going well until the other children's parents picked them up - some at 5:00 pm others at 5:15 pm, leaving only Tara and another child alone in school with their teacher.

I was under the impression that everyone left together but was wrong. Shivers ran down my spine when I remembered what my school felt like devoid of children - scary and ominous. Maybe Tara felt the same way. I told Tara that she chose to go to aftercare, and she didn't have to. But if she did want to go again, I could pick her up sooner.

Tara took a while to settle down yesterday. Luckily her spirits soared when her Papa walked through the door to sort out his car issues. He was there this morning to take her to school and again this afternoon to pick her up in his new (second hand) car and play with her afterwards. He will go back early morning tomorrow, and not be back this weekend.

It might be a long weekend. :-(

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

After care

Tara finally got her way, and I'm reluctantly sending her to her school after care tomorrow. Sometimes I wonder if schools subliminally feed messages to children, encouraging the pester power in them. I have never seen a child so eager to stay back after school hours.

Time will tell..

Monday, 8 October 2012

Tooth fairy

The Husband ended up taking Tara to the birthday party yesterday. I could breathe properly again almost instantly as he said he would. He must love me  really :-)

Yesterday was another event in our little world. Tara's first adult tooth has sprung! Not the way we imagined or preferred, but it did. Tara's got what is commonly called a 'shark tooth'. It's an adult tooth that's come up behind her lower milk tooth. After an initial panic, we researched a bit and calmed down.

Now we await the Tooth fairy...

Sunday, 7 October 2012


Tara has a birthday party to attend today. It's at a strange time, neither morning nor late afternoon, and it's three hours long, as opposed to the usual two. It is also The Husband who does birthday party duty, but because of the timing he may not be able to. He usually drives back to work on Sunday afternoon.

So why am I nervous about taking Tara to a kid's party? That's because the venue happens to be an aquarium, and a parent is required to be at the premises. I struggle to breathe in any environment that has anything to do with outer space or under-water. Growing up, I was always the butt of jokes when the entire family sat together to watch a movie like Star Wars or even Moonraker. Everyone was having a good time, except I who was gasping like a goldfish. I always tried to stay the course of the movie, so my evil cousins didn't poke fun at me, but struggled horribly as I was unable to breathe.

Old memories are flooding back and I have been a bit out of breath all day yesterday. Let's see. A good book, a quiet corner and a strong cup of coffee should help.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Back where we started

The money The Husband earned by doing overtime when we were away in India is in the bank account. We also found a decent car, (within budget) to be collected and paid for this week. Money in - money out.

We are back where we started, ready to start saving again for that all important Disneyland trip we promised Tara. It had been within touching distance...but that's life. 

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Revolt !!!

It was the funniest thing I'd seen in a long time. Tara's school has a policy of collecting the children in the playground in the morning. When the teacher in charge on the day blows a whistle the children get in line to file into their classrooms.

Today the teacher in charge happened to be very mild mannered, and the kids were in a militant mood. When the whistle blew, the older children formed a conga line and started doing the conga all around the playground! The poor teacher blew her whistle repeatedly but to no avail. Tara looked at me longingly and I gave her the go ahead nod to join the conga line.

I couldn't stop laughing. A few other teachers showed up to set the cheeky monkeys in order and all was quiet.

Tara's cheeks were rosy red from laughing, and we shared a knowing look before I went my way.

 My sympathies with the teacher but what a laugh!!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Nails and tales

I got Tara back from school in the pouring rain. We did a bit of homework, and a few experiments on magnetic and non magnetic materials. Everything was going fine, till she started pressing a few wrong buttons and my "shouts" started to rumble inside me. I almost lost it, but pulled back just in time to set the day back on track.

Hasty conclusion of homework, experiments, a quick dinner and a bath later, I decided to cut Tara's nails. It turned out to be a very good idea. Tara watched as I tackled her nails, then started regaling me with tales about her day. Very rare but I enjoyed it. I pulled out my nail file and picked at little bits of sand just under her nail. Now Tara was very impressed that she was being treated like a big girl - file and all! After that we read a few books and my little girl went to bed.

It's very obvious but being self aware is so important. Ever since I made the decision to be really "aware" of how I behave or react, things are much more in my control. I still have some way to go, but I'll get there.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Winds of change

I can feel winds of change. I can't put my finger on it, but off late have this sense of major changes afoot. Life has good and bad changes so I don't know what to expect. Instead I am preparing myself for change. If things turn out good, I will savour with gratitude. If not, I will attempt to face whatever comes like a true Mummy warrior.

Tara has been going to school as a matter of routine now. There are no major issues, and she seems to enjoy herself. She asked me yesterday if she could stay for a day in after care. Now either she likes school too much, or it is a reflection of my incompetence as a Mum. I hope it's not the latter. Apart from the money aspect, it may not be such a bad idea to see what Tara's thinks of school after care. As a lonesome mummy, with no husband in sight and no family around, it might be useful to have a back up plan. Will give it a try after talking to The Husband this weekend.

The Husband's car has been officially written off, and we are in a hurry to buy a half decent and safe car before the insurance reclaims its courtesy vehicle at the end of this week. No shortage of effort, just a shortage of cars within our budget.

It must be crazily difficult for The Husband to make an eight hour journey every week to see us. When he is here Tara is all over him and wants to pack everything in the one day she has. It never works out that way as a day flies past with not much achieved, The Husband ready to drive back, and Tara dejected. I play the annoying Mum spouting wisdom about being grateful and happy with what we have. I do mean it, but I do feel guilty wanting a bit more.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

It's raining outside...

...and I feel inspired and grateful. The rain does that to me. It reminds me of the washing away of grime and layers of negativity. It whispers soft tones of renewal and revival. It makes me want to write.

What a wonderful career writing is. To those people who write about anything and everything and make their living from it, it must seem a divine blessing. Millions of people go to work everyday, making ends meet, putting away some money for a rainy day, or for that special get away to spend with their loved ones. Most are probably working not for the love of what they do, but for the practicalities of bringing home a wage to live on.

I was one of them. When I recollect my time at the workplace, I remember stress, worry, sometimes fear  but rarely satisfaction. Today I say three cheers to all that follow their dream and don't think twice before making a career of something they love to do, not have to do.

Friday, 28 September 2012

It's magic

I've noticed something. If I have a crisis looming, a solution usually appears a few weeks before it actually happens. Now there may be two ways of looking at this. One, I am a pretty well organized person who plans ahead for most of life's eventualities. Second, I am a special being who is 'looked after' by unseen forces. 

All logic aside, I choose the second option. Life and people in general don't usually have a habit of making a person feel special, so why not choose to believe that I am special and 'chosen'! Once that thought process takes root actions, thoughts and behaviour sub consciously help make 'special' choices. Things acquire a sheen...and magic happens.

To put this in context, The Husband worked many extra hours when Tara and I were in India. He couldn't think of anything else to do. Consequently he earned some extra money, but forgot to put in his claim. Today we suspect his car will be written off by the insurance company and were wondering how to get money together to pay for a half decent car. Suddenly The Husband found his claim form and spoke to his workplace who were happy to pay him for the extra work he did. It may have been a forgotten form, but it felt like someone was watching over felt like magic. :-)

Wednesday, 26 September 2012


Is it the calm before the storm? Or shall I just appreciate the warm sun streaming into my room and my life...

Following on from my previous post my car was looked at by The Husband's roadside assistance service, as my car was also covered under his plan. (Whew! No money spent.) It turned out to be a simple issue and was resolved in 10 minutes by a wonderful person who actually showed up 10 minutes after the call was placed.

Tara had a good day at school and was proud when she showed me her new Speech lesson book. Safe to say she enjoyed her new lesson! Even the lunch box was wiped clean so it's good news! My worry about the lunch time issue coming in the way of her school activities is well and truly put to rest now.

Tomorrow is another important day when The Husband will learn if his car can be repaired or written off. It will be a huge financial burden if it is written off, but we will handle it either way.

It's not's pouring!!!

...and I'm not talking weather here.

The washing machine leaked all over the kitchen floor
The shower has a leak and water is flowing non stop
The Husband's car got smashed into when it was parked
Today, my car won't start.

The washing machine seems will cost a bit :-(
The local handy-man will come over when he's free to sort out the shower..will cost a bit too.. :-(
The Husband's insurance company is talking about writing off his car and handing us a cheque for an amount that won't buy us four tyres, let alone a whole car :-(
My breakdown cover does not include home start and it will cost me almost one hundred pounds to add home start :-( this point of time I should be really down and out. But I'm not! Even when I was struggling to stay alive while giving birth to Tara, I was thinking at each step, "I can take this, throw me your worst!" What I have are financial setbacks. But I will land on my feet again.

So rain on...I choose to smile :-)

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Sleeping Beauty.

This morning Tara just wouldn't wake up! First I waited, then I checked if she was breathing. Suddenly  she grunted, rolled over and snored, snuggling deep into her pink pillows.'s Tuesday, and my daughter is all curled up and refusing to move. I got out of bed, finished all the lunch boxes, got her bag ready, got ready myself then returned to gently switch on a few lights, and make some soft noise around the room. I have learnt one thing about Tara. If she is woken up and not had her fill of sleep, I will have a grizzly little monster for the whole day.

So I left her to it. An occasional late day at school isn't the end of the world. As soon as the thought crossed my mind, Sleeping Beauty stirred, stretched and slowly sat up in bed. I kissed and cuddled and she flopped over her pillows again. Tara is usually asleep at around 8:30 pm and wakes up at 6:30 am, no toilet breaks or drinks in between. I am very grateful for this, very, very grateful.

It was almost 7:45 a.m. now, and Tara finally made it out of bed and down for breakfast. It was a quick affair as i got her sorted and we made it to school just in time. For a change I wasn't going crazy or stressed over this. Life's too short to make an issue out of an occasional dawdling day.

Tara went smiling into school as her Papa and I walked her to the playground. We played a game called, 'Guess who woke up late and nearly made us all late.' Tara laughed as she skipped along singing, "It wasn't me!"

A good end to a few good days with The Husband. He leaves now for his long drive up to work. Tara says she will miss him but Friday doesn't feel too far away when Papa leaves on Tuesday.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Papa time!

The Husband had work cancelled, so he came home early on Thursday night. He leaves tomorrow afternoon. Yes, there is lost earnings,  but invaluable time spent with Tara. Worth it in my books!

There was fairy tale reading when it rained, kite flying and playing catch on the hills when the sun was shining. There was a lovely family dinner 'at night', as Tara had requested, and a party to attend one morning. All this topped with Papa putting Tara to bed. Heaven for my little girl.

Tara did come up to me, cup my face and seriously explain that she wasn't ignoring me. "It's just that Papa is away and misses me a lot. You have me all the time so I hope you don't mind Mummy." she said yesterday, a bit concerned.

I was only too happy just soaking up the solitude. But I took the higher ground and assured Tara that I was perfectly alright with her spending time with her Papa.

Tara is overjoyed that her Papa will be home when she comes back from school today. Over the weekend she had a serious chat with him about wanting to do an extra speech and drama class at school, which I reluctantly arranged today much to her delight. I hope she stays the course. It is during her lunch hour which I am not happy about, but Tara has assured me that she is fine with her packed lunch and will be able to make it in time.

Let's see. In the mean time, I have a happy home. 

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Is everyone shouting now?

I am pleased to report that I have stopped shouting at Tara. Hurray !! Whatever it was, seems to have blown over. I am however sorry to report that my "shouts" may have been contagious. The Mums at Tara's school are up in arms against Tara's class teacher who according to Tara changes colour as her shouts get louder over the day.

Now I'm (wrongly) making light of the situation because it doesn't directly affect my child...yet. But on a serious note, many of the children in Tara's class have been back home telling their parents they don't want to go to school anymore bccause of the class teacher's attitude. She is a fairly large lady who alongwith her shouting must appear quite intimidating to children.

There are two Mums who have meetings lined up next week with the head teacher to sort out the issue or get their children to change school. I just want the issue sorted out whether my child is affected yet or not. Having being what I believe "a victim" of the shouting bug I wonder if the class teacher has issues she needs to deal with or change her style of teaching. Tara is as good as gold so probably has escaped shouting for the minute. But I don't want her all clenched up with fear all day in school either.

The whole lunch time issue is resolved but the trauma is still raw. I just want Tara to have a peaceful year, a good education and be a happy child. I'm sure that's what all Mums want for their children.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

This is not a rehearsal...

Many years ago I collected quotations. I cut out inspirational words from old magazines, newspapers etc. and pasted them inside my cupboard door. The posters on my wall were of achievers..mostly sportsmen and women. (Okay, I will admit to the George Michael one too...but 'Careless Whispers' was one of my favourite songs, chubby George Michael, loose white shorts and all!)

I went from a teenager dreaming of a glittering future set to the background of music from 'Rocky 2', to an adult facing the real world. At what point of time the music stopped playing, and how the quotations faded from my cupboard is a blank in my memory.

One quotation that returned to me yesterday was,

                                                                                     - Unknown

I reflected further, and noticed that important phases in my life so far were like distinct chapters - seven in all :

1. Early childhood and school
2. Early teens, and a life of sporting achievement and failure
3. College life, crushes, University and goodbye to childhood pursuits
4. First time in the workplace and an explosion of social life
5. Marriage
6. Life post marriage
7. Motherhood

I was intrigued that I could easily divide my life into chapters! Each chapter had its share of good and bad memories. A song, a smell, sent moments rushing back. Some I enjoyed re-living, some made me recoil. A few more chapters then this book will be shut.

What am I doing wasting time worrying about things? There is so much to live, feel, experience and it doesn't necessarily involve climbing Mount Everest or winning an Olympic medal. My recent trip to India opened my mind's windows just a tiny bit more. I enjoy the fresh breeze wafting in through this window. It will dispel the stuffiness one day. In the mean time, I am more aware of my existence, limited as it is, and very grateful for it.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

It's all okay...just pack it in a box!

After dropping Tara at school, I spoke to another Mum who said I was being too hard on myself over the whole shouting at Tara issue. Most Mums do it - apparently. So I decided I would believe her, and I packed my shouting guilt in an imaginary box and threw it out of my house. It may sound strange but I feel uplifted and in better spirits since I did that.

The important thing is that I decided to pack the issue. No amount of reasoning, advice etc. works on any of us, until we are in the right place at the right time.

I also realized that my intrinsic nature is conflict free and gentle, and any thing that goes against that disturbs me disproportionately. Now my inner self is facing up to new issues that come with the territory of being Mum. Yes, shouting and losing it on the odd occasion is part of that. So I have to learn to manage it and not hit myself on the head with my imaginary hammer so often.

Some might have noticed by now that I have many imaginary things around me, boxes, hammers and a lot more. It's's all okay, it's all good :-)


Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Crash !

The word that sums up my day is "CRASH!"

The Husband called at the end of a busy day. He has a habit of talking to me as he walks out of work to his car. He suddenly stopped mid sentence as he saw his car smashed and pushed to one side. He was shocked and I tried to understand what was going on. It was parked in the usual place at work the whole day and now, it was smashed with a note stuck on the windscreen with a mobile number.

After recovering from the shock, The Husband contacted the number and a woman informed him that she had accidentally reversed into it, and took full responsibility. Now The Husband has to speak to the insurance companies, sort out transport to and from work, see if he can get it repaired and get a courtesy car.

All I wanted was to see him this weekend :-(

Sometimes I just want to roll over, and declare, "I GIVE UP" to fate or higher power or whatever it is that orchestrates our lives. But the very next second, I pull myself together and think, it could have been worse. There is a tired, worn me that really wants to give up, stop fighting and surrender. But there is another bull headed, battle weary, slightly arrogant me that would rather die fighting than meekly comply.

Tara could tell I was down and out, and asked what was worrying me. I just curled around her while she played with some activity books. It was adequate.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Monday Morning

This morning, there is peace on earth...I mean my little piece of earth.

Tara went back to school after three mad days at home. Her cold is following the usual pattern and descending downwards towards her chest. At this point she coughs, in the mornings first, then at nights. From here it goes either ways. She fights off the virus and it's all clear, or the cough gets into her chest and we end up with antibiotics. Early days.

The Husband is very concerned about me. I have always been one to tell him everything about anything that happens in our day. Even after the full knowledge that he is working in a different place and under work pressure, I still cannot hide things from him and spare him further worry. Until a few years ago, The Husband assumed, (wrongly as most men probably do in this instance), that when a wife tells you about a problem, she is expecting a solution too. With time and experience he finally figured out that when I tell him about something that's bothering me, I'm doing just that...telling. I am not expecting anything more from him than to be a listener. No solutions, no quick fixes, no critical opinions...just listening. Things are much better since that penny dropped for him :-)

I'm working on my internal chatter too. If I tell myself many more times not to shout or be provoked into shouting it will eventually register at some level. Like a fellow Mum told me recently. "All mums shout..don't be too hard on yourself."

I need to get a life of my own, and not constantly have my thoughts occupied with Tara and what's best for her. I know that, but my reality is a bit different. Until the Husband gets a job and I have another person helping with parenting, and some security and routine in place that will allow me to take up a part time occupation, I have to maintain the status quo.

If this is how I feel, imagine how a five year old must feel not having her Papa around or having to deal  to deal with only her Mum all day and night. On a positive note it will be Friday soon, and The Husband will be home. Tara had asked if we could take her out in the dark. She's never been out late in the evening and really wants to go out after dark.

Maybe we will go out for an early dinner and a walk under the stars, weather permitting. The very picture brings a smile on my face. It's always the little things that do it...

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Turmoil again...

Last week The Husband had arranged that he would have a Skype video call with Tara on Sunday. This morning when I told Tara to get ready to talk, she gave a big sigh and said she didn't feel like it, and wanted to play. I was very annoyed but didn't shout. Instead I explained how her Papa worked away so he could look after us, he was alone, and we should talk to him anytime he wants to, and play later.

Tara said she understood and we started playing paper models waiting for The Husband to call. The phone rang and I asked Tara to answer it. Sure enough The Husband asked if she could talk to him on Skype. To my dismay she said she was playing and didn't want to talk. I was very annoyed, took the phone away from her and made her Skype anyway. So far so good. Then the crazies in my head took over and I told her off right there. She started crying while her poor father watched the drama unfold.

After the call, I pulled myself together and started playing dolls with Tara. We had a fun time till it was lunch time and I playfully used a baby crying voice that I was hungry. Tara immediately told me not to use that tone. I countered that I was her mum and she wasn't to use that tone with me. She suddenly came close to me and said, "well..take that!!". I felt a sharp kick on my already injured toes. Within seconds Tara realized she had made a serious mistake and blubbered a hasty sorry. I glared at her in rage, then just walked away to avoid any outburst from me. I quietly laid out her lunch and let her eat alone in silence.

Now she's downstairs and I'm upstairs typing this post wondering what to do next..I've got no clue...

Saturday, 15 September 2012

A weekend without Papa

The Husband had to work so he couldn't come home this weekend. For the first time I saw Tara really feel the absence of her Papa.

After last week's highly charged atmosphere that had me shouting at the drop of a hat, I was of firm mind to make this weekend a peaceful affair. Thursday afternoon Tara came back from school with the most awful cold. She was tired and miserable. I kept her home on Friday, and just cuddled and talked to her. I also skipped her swimming lesson today and spent the day playing with her in the pleasant sunshine. We painted some cardboard cartons and played a few games. Her nose is still blocked but she looks a bit better.

The only thing I noticed in her painting was that the smiles on her drawings were replaced by downturned mouths. I asked her what that was all about and she said, "I miss Papa."My perceptive little five year old must have seen the brief look of sadness in my eyes and quickly made thought bubbles with smiling faces next to the morose ones. She said, "That's what I will feel when Papa comes home."

May your wish come true Tara. It's not about me anymore. I hope someone up there listens to your little prayers soon.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

The morning after..

Tara and I had blocked noses last night. Too much crying I think.  :-(

With morning also comes the dawning of realization. Tara's behaviour is always affected by her feeling unwell. Why do I forget that all the time? She is quite even tempered usually but if some little bug has invaded her system, her behaviour alters. Irritability, disobedience and belligerence are almost always followed by illness. This behaviour brings out "the shouts" in me, when I should be more in control and aware that my little one is not feeling well, hence the change in behaviour.

I also had a crazy start to the time of the month. This morning I also realized with a shock that today is the day we lost my new born nephew only two days after he was born a few years ago. Isn't it strange how certain events stay with us the rest of our lives. Isn't it strange how these life changing events affect our behaviour subconsciously much later in time?

As the memories of the battle to save the newborn came rushing back, further memories rushed in about how he gave up the fight after two days and left my family broken and still reeling. Floods of tears came suddenly and I shot off an email of love and hugs to my brother and his wife. We don't talk about it any more, each suffering in their own way. But every year I send a text of love as my message of solidarity and comfort.

None of this is an excuse for my shouting at Tara. But realization, compassion to self, acceptance and understanding is the beginning of any planned change. 

Today there is no routine, no plan to my day.  Just contemplation and anything that restores calm and comfort to my bruised heart. Mums need to look after themselves so they can look after their children. 

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Dear Tara

Dear Tara,

I write today surrounded by the gloomy cloud that descends on me at "the time of the month" .

First of all I love you so much.

Second - I am so, so sorry for shouting at you again.

Third, I am alone, so alone in my life and here on my blog. I know that no one reads my words but I still write - for you. When you are older you will read my words, and hopefully still love me with all my short comings.

I love you a lot my little one. It's just that some days I struggle more than others. My body and my mind are both fighting battles every day. I win most days but fail some. I feel that small when I fail. Please forgive me. You don't deserve my shouting.

I watch you sleep and I weep as I type. I let the tears flow and hope they wash away everything awful from within.

Sleep well my angel. I love you

Monday, 10 September 2012

Crossed the line?

So when does one know when one is a normal Mum shouting at their kids or one has an anger problem?

The "one" in question is obviously me.

This morning I placed Tara's porridge in front of her and went about sorting her snack pot, water bottle, and now her lunch bag too. I reminded her to keep eating while she watched TV. (Yes I allow TV in  the morning, so sue me!!) Tara dawdled, and was really slow this Monday morning.

I had cuddled her this morning and wake up time was very nice. I expected it to continue. After a couple of reminders to eat up, I suddenly exploded and told her to eat up or it was straight to bed! Tears in her eyes she quickly ate her breakfast, looking terrified. I felt as small as as ant but managed to pull myself together, put things back on track and the day went on with no more hiccups, except for a quiet child and a guilty Mum. Drop off was alright at school. Tara knows the correct line to stand in, place to park bags and boxes and the routines.

I left still feeling horrible. It's taken me all day of furious housework to calm down enough to fetch her from school. I want to hug her and pretend it never happened.

I am due my period any day now so that explains my mood but can someone tell me if I am crossing the "shout" line? Or can I forgive myself and get on with being the mum I know how to be.

If someone actually ever reads my inane mum-talk, this would be a good day to leave me a comment...please..


Sunday, 9 September 2012

The next week.

So Year 1 commenced on Wednesday and we made it to the weekend with no major incident. Long may this continue and life can go on.

I had made up my mind to use Tara's shoes from last year. But as always a trip abroad invariably results in a growth spurt so all her shoes were tight when we got back. I tried to convince myself that feet curling up while I pushed them into the shoes were normal, but didn't quite convince Tara or me to be honest.

So a jet lagged Mummy and her grown up five year old trotted to the shops to get shoes for school, for PE, a few pink drawstring bags and other small pink things that made us both feel happy. It's not often we indulge in retail therapy, (albeit small scale retail therapy) so it was fun. We got ourselves extra chocolately ice cream, topped with chocolate sauce and a chocolate finger each, found a bench in a play area, and sat together  on a bench - happy with life in general....till a lady sat next to us and lit up a cigarette with a belligerent expression that proclaimed that we were in the open so she was within her rights to do so.

Okaaay..I'm all for freedom of choice, but why would you light a cigarette sitting right next to a Mum and small child? But with my new found attitude on life, I decided that we should just move away and let the woman get on with her slow suicide.

The Husband drove 4 hours on a Friday night to be with us and left this afternoon for another 4 hours of return journey. If that is not true love, what is? It will all be over in a flash and we will be together...soon. On Saturday I took Tara to her swimming lesson which went well. That afternoon Papa and daughter went to a party. Tara wore a new ball gown she had made for her by a kind auntie who happens to be a big designer there. After the party she went out to the playground with her father and they had a good time.

Sunday was a relaxed affair as the weather has turned grey and dull again. We stayed home all day lazing around, and later it was a trip to the playground again. I got Tara's stuff together for school, and we had a good bedtime with no issues to report.

The Husband is not back next weekend so it will be a hectic two weeks for me till he comes back again. But as the famous words go, "Tomorrow is another day."

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Day 1, Year 1.

The all important packed lunch went swimmingly well. Tara finished first and said she had to wait for the others to catch up. Result !!

She was a bit nervous when I took her to school, but after we found her class line, her new teacher and familiar faces she seemed alright. School pick up was good too. She was chatty but as usual wouldn't go into details of what happened during the day. She did say she had a good day, which I suppose is something.

Back home, we had an ice cream given the glorious weather, and she played in her sand and water pool in the back. A lovely dinner, a bath and she was ready for bed.

My guard was down as the lunch time issue was now resolved. We kissed and hugged and said good night, when a tiny voice Tara says, "Mummy..." (uh..oh..I'm scared of that tone!) "I like Reception more than Year 1 Mummy." I took a deep breath and in that second understood that Tara was one of those people who needed a pet worry at all times. A bit like a father...and me perhaps..

So I said I would talk to her school and send her back to Reception, while all her friends went to Year 1. Tara quickly said she was okay with Year 1. So we hugged and kissed and she was asleep in a flash.

I guess I have to learn to not react to every thing Tara says. But then again, I cannot disregard what the little one says either. we go again.. I guess I'll see how things turn out in the days to come. Something tells me it won't all be smooth sailing.

But that's what raising a child is all about. 

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Lunchtime woes no more !

I couldn't sit back in the sun in India without thinking about Tara's lunchtime. So I wrote an email to the school, in the middle of my holiday stating clearly and calmly that my child was moving to packed lunch.

Yesterday I got a simple reply that it was fine.

Just like that.

All that worry...all that stress...all the imagined battles I was geared up for...all a waste of precious energy.

This realization was a big one for me. Not just about Tara's lunch time but about my general attitude towards life situations. Maybe it was the sun in India or something else, but this realization has the potential to transform my life...or anyone's life.

Most of the situations in life I stress and worry about hardly every happen. Calculated efforts and correct steps ensure that things resolve themselves. But the amount of stress that worry causes me in the process is huge. What a waste of my life! Wallowing in all that imagined misery and fear. A waste...a colossal waste. I can't say it often enough.

I made a simple decision yesterday. I wasn't going to 'live' a bad situation in my worrying brain before it actually happened, if it did happen at all. As soon as I made that decision a dead weight flew off my chest. This weight had been there for ages so it felt strange and I felt breathless at that moment. It's very hard to describe but it was life changing. Tara's lunch issue battle, the Husband's job situation, losing a valuable helper at home, given my fragile health, money worries anything else...they will all have to become 'real' before I give them a share of my energy.

All sounds good?

I will report back on my state of mind in a few weeks after the vacation dust has settled and see if I still feel the same. No bets please !!

Friday, 24 August 2012

Lunchtime worries.

If ever there was a sign that a Mum should take their child's concerns seriously, it is this.

Even on the other side of the world, surrounded by every imaginable fun things to do, wonderful weather to enjoy and toys piled so high, they could be a hill, Tara's last thought at bed time is dealing with lunch hour at school. It annoyed me at first, but now it's the last straw. I need to stop taking suggestions and get on my daughter's side and sort it out for her.

Packed lunch it shall be..rules or no rules. I'm geared up like a bull ready to charge if the school puts up resistance. Enough is enough.

Now back to my last few days of India. Mixed feelings now. Sad to leave but looking forward to my real life home, with all its comforts and's still my home. 

Monday, 20 August 2012

Coming up for air!

I haven't been writing here for one reason or the other. Internet connectivity and power outages are perhaps excuses for not writing. I am taking in the India experience rather greedily, saving the details in my somewhat unreliable brain, to post ten days later when I am back in the comfort that only one's own home provides, however humble.

Having taken a long deep breath, I am ready to immerse myself in what is to come in the next few days.

Ciao !!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Birthday Party no. 2.

Tara had her "real" birthday party in India....again..

After the extravaganza back at home, I thought that woud be it. But here in India when people got wind of the fact that it was Tara's birthday, they pulled out all the stops and we had birthday party no. 2...with a difference.

A custom made ball gown was made to order....Cinderella style. When I say ball gown, I mean a real ball gown. There were fittings and adjustments till it was just perfect. Then there were the decorations..breathtaking. The food..scrumptious..and the guests from around the place, excited and exuberant. The party kicked off with a magic show with Tara playing magician assistant to her delight. Then there was food and drink, dancing till the little one's dropped, loads of presents and Tara barely changing her clothes before she dropped off to sleep without as much as opening a single present.

What a day..

Tara did mention the small matter of party number 3 for her beloved father who missed the whole event. Hmmm.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Help !! Thief !!

Remember the fresh fruits Tara and I bought at the local market? Well they're gone. The only pieces of evidence left behind are the piles of mango peels and a few broken plates on the table.

The thieves in this instance were a pack of monkeys. We never saw them around the house until the fruit arrived. After our tiring outing we had barely left the fruits on the dining table and gone into our rooms to cool down, when they made a feast of the mangoes, right there on the table. To top it all the monkeys rather maliciously cracked a few plates on the table and left.

I felt rather sad as my host calmly picked up the broken pieces of her fine plates, and asked Tara to be careful she doesn't cut herself on the fragments.

Typical Indian hospitality. Their guests come first, all else much later..

I have to go now as the mosquitoes are having a fine feast on my arms as I type..

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Restless still

I learnt something today. Actually "learnt" is the wrong word, reinforced is more like it. You can travel all around the world looking for peace, but real peace is what exists within us.

Temples, retreats, scenic spots, stunning locales, mean nothing when the disquiet within is louder than the silence without.

I miss The Husband. I despise the situation he is in. I feel helpless. I feel powerless. We will turn a corner soon. I only hope it is sooner rather than later.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Bugs Shmugs...!!!

This morning Tara and I woke up full of energy and enthusiasm. Covered in mosquito repellant I took Tara in an ice cold air conditioned car to the local markets. We bought some fresh fruits, looked at some small market stalls, bought a few inexpensive things, then hopped back in the car where our poor driver was frozen stiff, unaccustomed to the low temperatures of our air conditioning.

He told us about a temple nearby and Tara seemed enthusiastic. So off we went, Tara kneeling on the back seat looking out the rear window. Seat belt laws in India are pretty lax, but the traffic flow is so random that speeds beyond second gear are few and far between.

We reached the serene place surrounded by monsoon fresh greenery. We were almost alone since it is school time and most families are busy at work or school. We admired, wandered around the peaceful surroundings then succumbed to the mid day temperature and headed home.

A lovely day for Mummy and daughter..

Sunday, 22 July 2012

The last two days

Tara's body has been ravaged by bugs. I feel terrible. I'm not sure if it's mosquitoes or ants or something else. I have been using anti insect lotions/sprays etc but each day sees a fresh red spot. Tara is everywhere. The freedom from heavy coats and lots of open space to run has her laughing and excited all day long. In this situation I can either curb her or just keep putting more lotions on her.

Tara is now an expert in ants. The red ones are "evil" and the black ones "just run around all crazy"

Then there are all other insects which are being looked at closely.

Life is exciting...

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Jet lagged and disoriented

I'm in India. It is green and beautiful...a bit humid but warm. The "koel" bird sings all day long. After initial admiration Tara said, "Now, it is irritating me!" So much for appreciating Nature :-)

Our flight two days ago was horrendous. The cabin was too hot and and that inevitably makes Tara ill. Poor little girl did her best not to vomit and was miserable during our 11 hour ordeal.As we landed at the airport in India, she vomited all over the floor, and apologized promptly to the officer in charge. Poor thing. Once in an ice cold air conditioned car she felt a bit better and we were whisked off by our concerned hosts who came to pick us up at an ungodly hour, around 4:00 am.

We reached our destination after another hour of driving. Tara was not in good shape but being very good for a child so exhausted and sleep deprived. I quickly settled her in bed and turned the room air conditioner on immediately. We slept till noon the next day not quite clear headed.

Two days later I made it to the computer, to post my thoughts.

Must go to bed now, so I can string together some coherent words.

By the way, The Husband didn't get the job. He is very hurt and upset as am I. But we each put on a brave show for the other. I could wring the neck of his employers who sucked him dry, and pulled the carpet from under his feet just when he needed a steady foothold in life.

I'm still not cursing fate or destiny.

I still feel the job best suited for us is around the corner. Better get to sleep now..

Monday, 16 July 2012

Flying tomorrow

Tara and I fly tomorrow. Non stop for 10 hours. I'm always on edge on these flights, at least till I'm checked in and through security and finally waiting for the flight to board. I tend to finish Tara's lunch at the airport. She cannot stand the food served on flight, and I don't blame her. Full of salt and not much else.

Once on board the first two to three hours are alright, then it's a bit tricky handling Tara who gets increasingly restless, till the last two hours when she realises the futility of her struggles and slumps over till the flight lands at some unearthly hour, and the mosquitoes come a-buzzing at the prospect of fresh blood.


I must try to get some sleep. Luckily Its an afternoon flight so no crazy hour rushing around.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

We miss him already :-(

So The Husband transported us to London like a good responsible Dad/Husband. We are staying in London for a day or two before our onward flight out. He drove back to our home, looking low at the thought of being away from us. Once there he will sort a few things out and then drive another few hours to his place of work.

The Husband is hoping to get a few extra hours of work to be able to save some money. He also has a job interview soon. What a life the man has! I always believed it is my holding back and hoping for a job where we live now, that has been a Karmic impediment to The Husband getting a permanent job anywhere. The Buddha once said, if you chase something it will always be a step ahead of you. But if you wish for something, stop chasing, and release that wish to the Universe to fulfil, it will come true.

Seeing him leave today something inside me shifted. I am now fully resolved to blindly follow him, set up my nest again, and support him in his efforts to keep us afloat, day in and day out. Tara will be devastated at leaving her school and home she loves so dearly behind, but it is my job to teach her how to overcome these life changes and still emerge the better for it.

Watching The Husband drive away, alone, I let go...I am now open to the Universe to bring into my life all the things we need to keep our family together.

It will happen. Watch this space

Friday, 13 July 2012

Hello Tara

After I finished writing my previous post, I felt like saying hello to Tara. Not my little girl of today but my grown up girl whose eyes will be reading this record of her life in the future. And my eyes are filling up with tears after writing those two words.

Someone I know lost their only child - a four year old little girl in a horrific road accident two days ago. In a split second, the little girl let go of her Mum's hand and walked on to a road, only to be hit by a heavy construction vehicle. She had no chance, and was gone...just like that. Her mother saw her worst nightmare unfold before her eyes. I have been trying to avoid facing up to the horror of that. In fact I stop my mind from venturing anywhere near the scenario, as I would not be able to deal with it. The parents....heaven help them.

As parents we have dreams for our children. I don't mean dreams of them becoming doctors, architects or rocket engineers, though that would be nice :-) I mean more like our children growing up happy, content, self reliant human beings who enrich their own life experience on this planet, and ours by allowing us to be a part of it. Those dreams for our children become the focal point of our life.

If I had one wish today it would be that no parent outlive their child. There are many more important things to wish about, but just for today that would be my wish.

Tara, your Mummy was an ace problem solver, (usually) and you are a part of me. When you were four and a half years old, one of your favourite stories used to be how you were born out of Mummy's egg, in my tummy. You laughed aloud when I enacted how you kicked inside me. You always said you grew from me, so you would be just like me. It gave you great security and satisfaction when you heard that story because in your eyes, Mummy was a rock who could do anything, and you being "just like me" made you feel powerful too.

I love you Tara. When you are grown up and read this, I hope you realize that your Mummy loved you more than anything or anyone else. Use that love to be your strength and guide you through any situation or challenge in life.

Last day of school

Life goes full circle.  started writing this blog when Tara started her reception year. It's been a wonderful year, with our share of challenges, and the satisfaction of overcoming those challenges, and emerging all the better for it.

Today I dropped Tara off at a local church for an end of year school performance. After that they go back to school for a party with games and dancing. Tara has been very excited. At bedtime Tara couldn't wait for morning to arrive. She asked me at least six times if I had set the alarm for the morning, just in case I'd forgotten and we missed the whole day.

There is nothing more satisfying than a child raring to go to school, and nothing more heart breaking than a child who doesn't like to go to school. I think a child's attitude towards the school going experience depends on three major factors :

1. The child and their personality. Something not in anyone's control
2. The home environment and inputs from parents in preparing the child for school
3. The school and every member of staff from the Head to the dinner lady and the cleaner.

It is a matter of great luck...even a blessing to have all three factors slot into place.

I have to say I am emotional at the thought of picking up Tara this afternoon. I'm sure she will be fine..I'm not so sure about me. I have no regrets about the way Tara is growing up. I don't miss or dwell on the years gone past or worry much about what lies ahead for her. I just love being with my Tara in the present.

Tomorrow we travel..

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

I love lists

I really love lists. First the making of the list, very relaxing. Consigning the contents of the brain on a list liberates me. The said list works best on paper, though off late I have been leaning a bit too much on the iPhone calendar. Writing on the list with a top quality pen or well sharpened pencil is of course vital.

Once the list is drawn, and a cup of tea had, it's the thrill of completing each task and ticking the list that is extremely satisfying.

Halfway through task completion, a good list maker realizes that a messy list with scribbles alongside is no good. It must be re-done with only the remaining tasks listed. A few more tasks can be added at this point, and another cup of tea downed.

On with the tasks, till every one of them is done. Mission completed...Satisfaction, followed quickly by a dip, a strange feeling. The kind of feeling one gets when a wonderful vacation ends. A cup of tea to regroup, and start all over again.

With all my travelling, before and after I had Tara, my list was a life saver. Travelling with a baby is challenging to say the least. So I created a master checklist on my computer that included every object I needed, big or small. The list was printed before any trip, and it saved me a lot of time and stress. As the years pass many items have been deleted from the list.

I love lists.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Job interview

It's finally happened, not according to plan but it has happened. The Husband has been called for a job interview next week.

I am relieved that The Husband finally has the elusive interview. On the other hand, we were all booked for a family holiday abroad, and now Tara and I are going without The Husband, flying out a day before his interview. What does that make me? A few words come to mind. Selfish, crazy, etc. etc. I would offer 'practical' as an option. Our tickets are of the non refundable, non changeable types, and it's a known destination full of familiar places and faces so we decided to travel. The Husband, by the way is insisting we go.

Maybe I give myself too much credit. Maybe he will have better luck without me around, or at least less stress seeing me trying to make everything comfortable and better. Maybe all this self talk will make me feel less guilty and focus on Tara and the new experiences that lie ahead of her.


Monday, 9 July 2012

Parent-Teacher meeting

It was another meeting at school. This time only me, no Husband. I felt quite out of place because I had nothing much to say. I saw other mums waiting their turn with little notepads, and pieces of paper, and felt a bit odd.

I was happy with my daughter's work and her in general, what else was left to ask or say? The teacher said Tara was very good and working well above average and that was that. I thanked her and then went off the look at her school work. Shortly after, I had Tara in the car and we were going back home.

So, what is wrong with me? I love my daughter, I want her to have a good education and be happy, safe and secure in her school. What I don't want to do is be paranoid and enlist her in every possible club and class that is available, to fill every bit of spare time she has. Some people feel I am not doing enough for Tara, but she is barely five. Childhood is transient and it's not long before it is replaced by worldly worries and ambitions. I must be doing something right if my child is above average in everything, and still finds time to play and laugh with us.

I was once asked what I wanted my child to be when she grew up. I replied, "Happy and Self reliant." I stand by that.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Rain, and more rain

I'm almost embarrassed to say I love the rain. With all the damage and devastation, and in some countries, the loss of life that the rain and ensuing floods have caused is shocking.

The fury of Nature. I'm not enough of an authority to say that human activity is the cause of this strange weather. They may well be, or maybe not. No one has lived long enough to experience the changing mood of Planet Earth.

Logic and reasoning aside, all I can see are fellow human being suffering, some due to incessant rains others through drought. With all the scientific breakthroughs and Higgs bosons being discovered, why can't the great minds figure out a way to channel excess water to the drought ridden areas? I know it's a silly question, but I'm feeling quite low at the moment.

Tara's school shuts on Friday and on Saturday we travel, to the other side of the world. A new perspective, more learning, more astonishment, more surprises.

Friday, 6 July 2012

First Report Card day.

A year has almost passed since my just-turned-four year old toddled into her classroom. Tara always hated being the youngest. She found courage in her little heart and gave it her best. There were many tears, months of adjustment, upheavals, until finally she settled into her happy routine, more or less.

Today was report card day. In my eyes my little one had done very well, so it was only a piece of paper that I went to collect in that sense. From another point of view it was a very important piece of paper. The feeling I got was similar to the one parents might have when they give away their daughter's hand in marriage. How strange! What a comparison. But that's how I think I felt. Happiness tinged with sadness, pride and hope for a better future for my Tara.

With that report card in hand I was handing my daughter over from her baby year to year one. A new step, a new direction, the start of many steps she has to climb in life. So what did her report card say?

Tara achieved all the set goals, and was above average in some areas. She was even recognized as "gifted" in music and art. What summed it all up for me was the comment by her class teacher. "Tara is a little girl, but very mature for her age."

She may be "gifted" according to her teacher, but she is the best "present" a Mum could have ever dreamt of receiving. For that I thank the Universe.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Performing arts day

It was Performing Arts day at Tara's school. I was tempted to give it a miss, but better sense prevailed. I sat in the school hall and watched one performance after another, including my little Tara looking radiant and super sweet in her pink tutu as she danced happily with her classmates for a short song.

I must be getting old because I had tears welling up at the performances of all the children. What was I getting emotional about? There were no child geniuses rendering soul stirring performances. Far from it. Performances were at times out of tune, out of step and ill timed. But that was what my eyes saw, not what my heart felt.

My heart saw little children, putting their best effort, after days of practice, up there on the stage, vulnerable and some lacking in confidence but still carrying on. I saw a little girl her hand in her mouth and eyes on the floor throughout her dance, I saw another child forget her dance steps and collide with others on stage as she tried to find a space to fit in. I saw a shy little girl who stood in a corner every morning when I drop Tara off at school, now transformed...her face lit up and posture straighter than ever, lost in the dance she performed. A tall lanky boy, trembled as he played the piano, another's voice barely emerged as he sang a song.

I clapped and smiled for all. No other emotion showed on my face. The last thing a child needs is a pity filled face. They are brave little soldiers doing their best, and I for one was very impressed with them all.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

And...the passport is back!!

Life is a roller coaster. Ups, then downs, then ups and get the idea. I had submitted Tara's passport renewal application on Thursday and the passport is back today! Hurray! That's another load off my mind. Isn't it funny how my headache is gone now.

I think stress is the worst thing for the human body. It destroys us and renders us immobile. It's not possible to avoid stress. But I believe it is an essential life skill to handle it and reduce it's impact. I'm all for it, because while I am very good at handling the stressful situation, I don't think I'm very good at avoiding the damage that the stress does to me, while I'm sorting things out.

The only positive is that while I am aware I don't digest the ill effects of stress well, I am dogged in my determination to learn how to do it.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Flurry of activity

Friday went past in a flurry of activities.
Saturday was Tara's party
Sunday was post party recovery
Today - Getting ready for school on a beautiful rainy day.

Till later !!

Sunday, 1 July 2012

My definitive party check list

I am not a kid's party planning virgin anymore. Yayy!

Okay I hadn't done everything myself but I had planned the whole day, right down to the smallest detail and made sure all boxes were ticked on my giant check list. Since it was Tara's first ever party it had to be extra special. Tara of course made sure she told each and every child she was not yet five.

I will put up my party checklist here. It is simple...and effective, and may well help another first-kids-party-planning-virgin Mum.

Number of children
Cost per child
Invitations - date of distribution
                  - date of RSVP
                  - date of Reminder
Party bags
Party supervisors/hosts
Entertainment: examples, Face Painting, Balloon modelling, Disco, Games
Thank you cards

Tara's day was very special and left us all tired and happy, and full of lovely memories to cherish. 

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Tara's first party

June 30th 2012 - Tara's first birthday party for her school friends. It wasn't yet Tara's birthday but we decided to have one as we may be travelling later on. Tara made sure she told every child she was not yet five as they walked in on the day. No one seemed to mind as they were looking forward to the fun ahead. Nineteen children in all had a super fun day.

Tara wore her flouncy sparkly party dress, so she was very pleased. We hired a large play park which had every imaginable thing to jump and slide in it. There was also a person in a large dinosaur costume who played with the children. Actually the children punched and pulled his tail and he had to be all happy and funny..poor person. We also had 2 assistants to conduct the party, and the parents who stayed for the day had a table arranged with soft drinks and cappuccinos. Everyone was happy.

We had face painting. Tara had a butterfly painted, and the other children had everything from pirates, to superheroes and pixies. After all the faces were painted there was a sit down buffet dinner. Tara sat pleased as punch at the head of the tables on a throne!  The huge menu included sandwiches, sausages, chips, crisps, pizza, chicken nuggets, cucumber/carrot, fruits, wafers, biscuits, chocolates, jaffa cakes, birthday cake and topped with ice cream. The kids ate well, except for the fruits and veggies...obviously.

After dinner was disco time followed by party games. We had a party room with disco lights and a glittering revolving disco ball. At the end of it all Tara gave away party bags to her friends who with their painted faces were a very happy bunch. In the party bags we had chocolates and sweets, fairy/monster themed pencils, erasers, sharpeners, rulers, paper fans/pirate moustaches and eye patches, whistles and a helium balloon each.

After the party finished at 1:30 pm Tara and some friends continued partying/playing till around 3:00  when we finally went home. 

Tara ended up with fifteen presents, for which we have made out our thank you notes.

I was quite busy running around making sure everything was going well so couldn't take as many pictures as I would like. But the images are etched in my brain forever. All in all a perfect birthday. Couldn't have done it any better. At night Tara hugged me and simply said thank you Mummy for a perfect birthday party. My pleasure Tara. You are such an unspoilt, gracious and good little girl, you deserve all this and more.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Another world...

Today was my mad train journey to London to submit Tara's passport renewal form. I hadn't slept a wink at night worrying about leaving Tara with trusted folk who she is comfortable with. But I still can't stand leaving her.

The journey was easy, the passport office experience - smooth and I came back satisfied with a job well done.

What amazed me was the full on assault on the senses of our magnificent capital - London. I live in the rolling countryside in peaceful surroundings. I boarded the train peacefully, with no jostling or shoving and a few hours later, wham! The full force of the buzz and energy of London hit me as I stepped off the train. People in a hurry - everywhere. Different races, different faces but all a part of the great melting pot - London. I used the underground and then a taxi, which stopped parallel to a road full of cheering people. It happened to be Her Majesty the Queen! Inaugurating something or the other, but I was thrilled.

The dead pan faces in the underground make me uncomfortable. No eye contact with anyone is the unspoken rule. It fills me with an urge to go hug someone and ask them how they are doing! But I didn't want to get thrown off the train so I joined the others in looking into the distance at nothing in particular.

Job done, I came back home and hugged my lovely, well behaved child who apparently deserved every reward star under the sun for extraordinary good behaviour and patience for being away from Mummy for so long.

After hugs and kisses I tucked her in bed and she went out like a light. I'm off to bed too. Feels like I've just returned from another world, back to my own.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

And later today...

So Tara came back from school and we did some painting together. It was relaxing and a good way to spend time together without too much involvement. A good start of the rest of the day, ending with a wonderfully straightforward bed time.

I am a bit relieved. I have an early train to catch tomorrow morning for Tara's passport renewal in London. I get a bit anxious before any trip, but am fine once I get my newspaper and seat. Hopefully it will all go well and I get Tara's passport back in time. Then I can relax and get ready for our holiday in mid July.

I find travelling with small children stressful. But the good news is that it gets easier every year. Travelling with a baby is a nightmare. Worry about how they will manage, worry about milk and bottle sterilization, worry about the toilet , worry about the altitude and its effect on baby's ears..the list goes on and on. Our last trip in December with Tara being 'almost four and a half' was much easier, partially because we were upgraded and it was great being able to lie flat and stretch out for an eleven hour flight. Tara also discovered the joys of inflight entertainment and travelling in luxury.

Once I submit the passport paperwork I will head back late evening tomorrow. I can also focus on Tara's birthday party on Saturday and make it a memorable one for my little girl. She deserves better from her Mummy, who has not been 'there' for a few weeks. Time flies and I am aware that Tara is growing up. I cherish my time with her so much, but having lost my way recently, I feel the need to get things back on track and be the Mum I want to be.

Still fragile

I'm much better, in a fragile sort of way. My head, though pain free feels like a battlefield after the war is done. Grey smoke slowly rising from ashes, a general air of devastation after the battle. That's how I feel.

With all the fury of the raging headaches behind me, I am still wondering, "What on earth happened back there ??"

I have to go pick up Tara so will stop now, but am still a bit bewildered.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Love, love and more love

My headache refuses to shift. I've tried painkillers, drinking water and elevating my legs. Still no relief. The ache has spread to my forehead and cheekbones now and my eyes feel heavy.

At times like these, why do I forget that I can apply Reiki to myself? Why is it so easy to provide its loving energy to others and not to myself? Deep down do I believe that I am undeserving? Or that this suffering is something I should bear all martyr-like and dramatic? Tish-tosh!! If the Reiki I know and practice is anything to go by, then it is loving, healing and unconditionally available to all....including me. I put it down to laziness, plain and simple.

Saying that, the pain is so acute now that once I tuck Tara in bed, I will heal myself for a while. I need some love, and nothing provides a better divine hug than Reiki.

When all else fails, it is love that shows a way.

Monday, 25 June 2012


Sometimes when we seem stuck in a pool of misery, self doubt, lack of confidence and general hopelessness, it takes something (big or small) to jolt us back to our senses and give us perspective.

Case in point my visit to the dentist a few weeks ago, that triggered a tsunami of emotions which led to a downward spiral and landed me in a crumpled heap. That was a check up which led the dentist to suspect more ominous goings on after an X-ray. Today's appointment was a follow up to those test results. My head started aching when I woke up this morning and my heart, heavy with the anticipation of bad news.

As soon as I walked into the dentist's office, my eyes welled up even as she asked me to sit down. The Husband had taken time off to accompany me and was well aware of how I was feeling. After a nerve wracking few minutes of poking and prodding my mouth the dentist said there was nothing apparent on examination and we would wait another year to see if there are any changes to my X-ray. I didn't understand if I should be happy that nothing was wrong, or be further stressed that she wanted a follow up X-ray after one year. One whole year??!! What am I supposed to believe in the mean time? That I am fine or a ticking time bomb??

I burst into tears right there and apologized profusely for I don't know what. I couldn't even understand if my tears were of relief, or a further breakdown. The Husband led me out and hugged me silently. He took me home, got me a cup of tea and we sat down. He had to go back to work and was worried for me. After a few minutes I asked him what happened back there. He said there was nothing wrong. If there was, we wouldn't be called back after one year. But he added he was sorry that I was so anxious and it didn't matter if I wanted to cry. So I did.

By this time my dull headache had turned into a massive pounding that wouldn't subside even with two paracetamols. The Husband suggested I might be dehydrated and should drink water and try to relax. I couldn't do either and my head continues to pound as I type this.

The Husband has gone back to work, and I felt for him having to drive to the other side of the country with no sign of a permanent job contract. Tara has caught a cold, and is feeling under the weather. I have to go to London on Thursday for the passport renewal, and Saturday is Tara's party. 

Quietly, realization dawned that nothing was wrong with me in this moment in time. I shuddered when I thought what would have happened if something was found which could have changed all my apprehensions to a living nightmare. I fell on my knees and cried my heart out, this time with gratitude. It felt like some kind of a second chance. I could not waste it on negative and horrifying thoughts. If mere thoughts of terrible things which did not exist had turned me into such an unhappy person, why couldn't the thoughts of good times make me happy again ?

I am essentially a peace loving and content soul. How did I lose my way? How did I create this hell, when all around me were ingredients of heaven? 

Time to reflect, regroup and not be too harsh on myself. 

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Unwell :-(

I am ill :-(

I don't feel great, and that's putting it mildly.

I have so much to do this week, including a day trip to London to renew Tara's passport which I discovered to my horror is expiring in a few months. Many countries now require a six month passport validity for entry. We are supposed to go on holiday in July. When I was checking my passport, (which is fine) I assumed Tara's was fine too as it was issued with me. But her passport is expiring in October. Now I agree it's all my fault. As I'm not one who usually makes these kind of mistakes, I'm feeling worse...and incompetent.

I managed to get a premium service appointment for Thursday, so have to take a train to London and back on the same day after submitting the paperwork. If all things go well, I should have the passport back early July. The word 'premium' almost always entails excessive expenditure. This is just extra stress and cost I don't need. Feeling unwell doesn't help either.

On the other hand, every problem I've been handed in the last two months, has been sorted out with a bit of effort. Maybe that is the thing to focus on...hmmm..I can try.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

We adapt, we adjust and life goes on.

When I sat here today, on my space - to write, my fingers froze for a while. I always have a million conversations going on in my head. So much to say, so much to write. But today I froze. So I sat and stared at the computer screen, till my eyes lost focus and blurred my vision.

The day was fine, it rained, Tara went to school and came back, all the dinner and bath routines were done, and she went off to sleep nicely. It's been five months since The Husband went off to work in a different place. It was a bit disorienting initially, then human adaptability kicks in and now I find myself getting into a different routine without him. His being here or not isn't a matter of choice. My attitude and outlook is a matter of choice.

We have been together for fifteen years, twelve of which have been in holy matrimony. Would either of us want it any different? A resounding "NO." This situation is temporary....a few months more. Until then we get on with life. The first month or two of living apart, we were lonely, sad and had huge feelings of guilt if we did anything that remotely brought us joy. Now, it's a bit different, we adapt, we accept and we set free.

It still feels incomplete not having The Husband around. But the feelings of guilt when ordering an individual pizza or going out for a walk alone have subsided...but only a little bit. I have practised allowing them to subside...because there is Tara to consider. If I allow myself to go into self imposed denial of all of life's little joys, it would inevitably feed my loneliness and negativity, which then impacts the little one, for whom we are making these sacrifices to begin with.

So we adapt, we adjust and life goes on. 

Sports Day

It's sports day at Tara's school today. I'm banking on the rain pouring down and the event being cancelled. Terrible I know...but what can I say, I don't feel like it today.

I'm not feeling well enough to go sit on the wet grass, or take part in a Mum's race. The children at Reception year usually sit and watch as they are too small to take part with the older children. Love of sports and children aside, I really am not interested in facing either today.

Saying that...if it doesn't rain, I'd better get my 'positivity head' on, just in case.


AND IT RAINS..!!!!!!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Party Politics

We've never had a proper birthday party for Tara so have organized one for her at the end of this month. She still has a month or two to go before she turns five, but with the school holidays around the corner, we decided to have it early so all her classmates could come.

We've hired a play area, disco room, face painting ... the works. We also decided to invite Tara's entire class. I just cannot bring myself to leave out some child because they didn't invite us to theirs. This is one kind of party politics I want to stay clear of. I think almost all the children have accepted the invitations so it will be a full house and hopefully the kids will have a good time.

Monday, 18 June 2012

If only I could...

I wish..I really wish there was a way I could stop myself shouting loudly at Tara. When she pushes my buttons verbally, I try to walk away from the situation to try and calm down. But if she hits me I lose my control in less than a second and shout...I mean really shout. It reduces her to tears and she says sorry immediately, saying she will never hit again.

The peace lasts for a few weeks till she has a little moment and head butts me right in the middle of playing. The trigger is usually when we are playing rough. By rough I mean when we are laughing and throwing cushions or soft toys at each other, or running after each other playing tag. In the midst of this play, she suddenly makes a fist and lands one on me. All the playing stops suddenly and the shout emerges.

Its not a big hit, but I can't stand hitting! Maybe it's my problem, but the person ending up crying is Tara and the person ending up feeling guilty and one centimetre tall is I. It is amazing how a situation goes from laughter and playing to shouting at tears within a few seconds.

I don't know if hitting should be ignored a bit like some of the other Mums say they do. If they are right then it is I who needs to change. If hitting is simply not acceptable as i believe then obviously Tara must stop doing it. My shouting is obviously not stopping her from doing it, so there has to be another solution.

I wonder what it is?