Sunday, 29 April 2012

Hide and Seek no more!

Lesson for self : When everything is going fine, don't get creative !

The Husband is away and won't be coming over this weekend, so I had laid out a weekend of Mum and Tara, in place of Papa and Tara. Our current "arrangement" involves me relinquishing all of Tara's playing to The Husband on weekends, and getting on with other things. I'm not complaining, and The Husband who craves his little princess all week, indulges her with his time and attention.

Back to yesterday. Everything was going fine with fairies floating in imaginary empty tissue box boats, painting of pistachio shells and milk bottles. (I know... I'm fantastic with play ideas that don't involve going to the toy store)

Then I suggested hide and seek...only in the downstairs area, involving one or maybe two rooms. No safety issues here. So we hid and found each other a few times, until it was my turn to hide and I decided to do a 'good' job of hiding this time, carefully camouflaging myself amongst the clothes on a clothes stand. Tara counted to 10... came in... looked around... couldn't find me, so she went to the other room, while I shouted, "Find me Tara!" She came back in, tried again for a few minutes, while I kept silent (Bad idea!!)

She found me a few seconds later, but instead of cheering, she collapsed in my arms and cried like she hasn't cried in ages. I was shocked. She said between gulps, "I thought you disappeared and I was alone..I was frightened Mummy." I was calm but silently debated how to react. I just hugged her and gently explained I was only hiding in the room. Louder wails filled the room, so I just cuddled her and reassured her I was right here.I waited for her to calm down ,then switched on the TV to distract her...Yes, I am aware of my 'limited TV viewing stand', but this situation needed special measures.

Situation under control..I wondered..What happened back there? My guess is :

1. A mildly unwell child
2. Child missing Papa
3. Mummy made boo-boo

Personally I vote for option 3. But all's well that ends with chocolate ice cream :-)

Saturday, 28 April 2012

That afternoon on a bench..

Sometimes the night before determines whether the following morning begins with cheery "Good Morning!" or a grumpy, "Hmmmphhh."

Tara has a cold since last week. But this one seems different. Either it's just a mild cold, or Tara's little body has grown to learn how to deal with it. Nights with a cold have been one of the greatest challenges for me, because if Tara doesn't sleep, I can't either. It would be an understatement to say that I don't function well without sleep. Lack of sleep changes me into an unrecognizable wreck. But back to Tara's cold. The last few nights she has somehow figured out how to sleep with a cold and not choke herself awake every half an hour.

I'm not sure if she's breathing through her mouth. That is something I can't do. Unlike most people I just don't know how to breathe through my mouth. Whatever the reason, Tara is sleeping better with a cold.

I was rather surprised at the number of people who told me that the first year of raising a child is the easiest, and it get tougher after that. My own experience has been the opposite. I found the first year incredibly difficult, and every 6 months just got better and better, and finally fun entered into the equation too!

I guess it depends on the definition of 'easy' for each parent. Some parents like me rate the physical aspects as difficult and the 'involvement and engagement' as easy. Other parents find dealing with the physical aspects easier than spending time engaging with the child, which I agree does increase exponentially every 6 months. No one is right or wrong. Just as every child is different and special, so is every parent.

I will never forget the words of a stranger as I sat on a bench with Tara, my emotions perhaps visible on my defeated face.

'Right now, you may not believe that you are the world's best Mum, but for your little one, there can be no better Mum than You."

That brief meeting had a lasting impact on me. Fighting agonizing physical disability, stressful emotional battles and raising a young life, had taken it's toll, and I  do believe that the stranger was an angel sent just for me. Those words came at a time when I needed them most. They taught me two important things. To reach within myself and tap into the incredible reserves already there. More importantly they taught me to reach out, beyond what I think is ego, and ask for help. I did, and help came in unparallelled numbers.

If someone out there needs to read these same words, they will. I hope you find the the same strength and courage as I did that afternoon on a bench, when a stranger reached out to me.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Which is the natural state?

I was watching the news, and a thought popped into my head.

Are humans fundamentally peaceful by nature, until circumstances and injustice (perceived or real) turn them to violence?


Are humans innately violent beings, who contain themselves in fragile shells of peace until selfish motives, lust for power and greed bring forth their innate selves?

I would like to think the former, but glancing around this little planet today, it does seem to be the latter.


Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Birthday party etiquette

Tara has never had a birthday party for friends before. We have celebrated her special day as a family, but now that she is in 'proper' school, I was toying with the idea of having her first party on her 5th birthday.

I want to invite all her classmates, as I don't like the idea of leaving any child out,  especially since young children can be quite cruel bragging about parties and who is invited or not. Tara doesn't brag...yet, mainly because she has never had a party before, but I think she is quite aware for her age about not hurting other's feelings. But things happen in a classroom. It also appears to be the case that most of the parents have invited all the children in class for most parties till date, so I think I should too.

Now, strange timing, but this afternoon one Mum was talking to a few other Mums giving them directions to her little boy's party this weekend. Tara wasn't invited. She didn't seem to mind and hasn't said a word about it to me. My knee jerk reaction was to feel a twinge of "feeling left out" on behalf of Tara..if that makes any sense. I got over it within the hour anyway :-)

There is so much that goes into planning a party especially for a novice like me. I am completely ignorant of children's party etiquette and how to go about things. Who to invite? What to do? When to do it? The cost..the list seems to go on and on.

It will all be worth it I hope. It will be Tara's first party and I want to make it special...just like her

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

A bubble bursts

Someone just burst Tara's proverbial bubble yesterday.

"Mummy," she said, "Is it true that there is no real Mickey Mouse in Disneyland and some person is inside him?"

I looked at her, not knowing what to say in that instant. I searched every corner of my brain frantically and started, "Well...", and Tara smiled sadly and said, "Never mind Mummy."

There is more to come - Santa,  Easter bunny, Tooth fairy. I  just hope all of those bubbles burst at the right time, not any sooner. My Tara is a wise girl but her Mummy is not ready yet .

Monday, 23 April 2012

More wisdom from a four year old lady

"Mummy," Tara said as I was tucking her in bed, "If you tell a child something nicely they will do it, shouting makes naughty children do more naughty things." I stopped tucking her midway and looked at her. She looked back at me, then looked away.

I asked her what a Mum should do if the child does not listen when asked nicely. Tara said she wasn't sure, and rolled over.

I do suffer from occasional "short fuse days". But when the "shouts" come , they really drain me of all energy. I try to schedule my "shouts" for those days when The Husband is around. He has a rather sophisticated, inbuilt  "shout sensor", and when he feels it beep, he takes off with Tara for a walk or to the shop to get some milk or eggs....or something that is urgently required. This does not get rid of my bad mood, but gives me the liberty to not smile, not talk and generally carry the big fat grey cloud freely over my head, without any interruption.

The last two days, I've been a bit touch and go. I'm not as involved with Tara as I usually am. It probably has something to do with The Husband's job situation and the underlying insecurity. But I try not to beat myself up over it. Sometimes trying to work off a bad mood within the confines of the school run doesn't prove to be effective, and I don't have the luxury of an open ended time scale to work things out of my system. That doesn't help sometimes, but as Tara said, I must try....and I do...

Tomorrow will be another day...

Sunday, 22 April 2012

A nugget or two of Tara's wisdom

Tara's teacher has a game of addition and subtraction that she plays with the kids at toilet time. (Yes they have 'toilet time' apparently). She asks the children to solve simple addition or subtraction sums, and whoever gets the answer is off to the loo first. Saves queueing I guess.

So Friday her teacher decided on subtraction and the children sat around.

Miss : So today children we are doing take away.
Tara : I love takeaway! Chicken nuggets for me please.

They all laughed together, including Tara. I'm still not sure if she meant it as a joke. It did make me think about Tara's eating habits.

I have always prepared home cooked meals for Tara from scratch, and occasionally got her a takeaway from Mcdonalds, which she loves. I do believe that ideally home cooked meals are good for children's  health, but sometimes I do wonder if I could have managed her eating habits a bit differently.

Today Tara is happy, eating at school or at friend's parties. A few months ago it was a different story. One of the many things that made her first few months at school a traumatic experience, was lunch time, and to a smaller extent snack time. Tara was so unfamiliar with the food served that eating it was a baffling experience for her. She felt pressured, incompetent and scared. I was so worried she might grow up having a bad relationship with food or be termed a 'fussy' eater.

Meals at home looked different with a lot of 'good stuff' disguised by me in various sauces, dough etc etc. I made funny shapes with peas, and eyes with tomatoes. I made wholegrain chapattis and tortillas with all kinds of veggies mixed (hidden) in them. I used to puree a whole lot of fresh fruit into delicious puddings, with different toppings, which went down rather well with Tara.

 I  had rather naively decided that as long as the good stuff went into her it didn't matter how or in what form. Great for early stages, but not so great when your child has to venture out into the 'real' world of school and beyond. 

I rarely took Tara out to eat, choosing instead to feed her well at home. Post pregnancy complications and trauma didn't help. The occasional treat was brought home as a takeaway....but quite occasionally. Not  a great decision again. Initially Tara just wouldn't eat at children's parties, so unfamiliar was the food. She was probably the only child who didn't like chips or nuggets.

Travelling with Tara was a nightmare. Only home cooked food when you travel to the other side of the  world was ridiculously stressful.

I look at it two ways. 

1. The effort I put in along with Tara in the first few months of school should probably have been put much earlier. I could have introduced a wider variety of food which may not be all that good for her, but which could have been served in  moderation keeping in mind a child's social development.

2. The other view is that, during Tara's very important early developmental years, she had the best of nutrition, with no unhealthy stuff. The other challenges, food and social, were overcome within a few months of her starting school.

Today there are no problems with food or at social situations. She eats well both at home and outside. Carrots, peas and beans, co-exist peacefully with nuggets, chips and sausages.

Hindsight is a very annoying, patronizing thing. At that moment in time, as Mummy I did the best I could for my child. I'm not perfect, never have been, never will be. But my intentions come from a good place, and shall continue to do so. 

Saturday, 21 April 2012

What happened here?

I logged on to my simple little writing space yesterday, and saw that everything looked different. Between sorting out Tara and finding my way around, I couldn't get much done. Today still with some time constraints I thought I would get a few things down and not run away.

Nature, and sometimes our computer screens give us little warning signs of impending change. Human nature however chooses to disregard these warnings, until the issue looms large at us and necessitates action.

Change is like that...uncomfortable and inevitable. We either go with the flow and adapt or reject change and stagnate. At the moment I'm at the 'uncomfortable' stage, when it comes to where I am in life, or this writing space. I will stand still for a moment, but it's full steam ahead soon!

Thursday, 19 April 2012

My apple tree.

I love apple trees.

I've always wanted to have an apple tree in my back garden. In my mind's eyes I can see my tree, with its glossy green leaves, and big, red, juicy apples. I lie under my tree in my beautiful printed frock, sheltered from the bright sun in the corn blue summer sky. The gentle breeze moving through the dancing branches, shadows dancing on my face.

Back to reality. I don't really have a proper back garden. In fact calling it a garden is a teeny tiny stretch of anybody's imagination. I'm hoping to move house once The Husband gets a permanent job. The idea of leaving my precious apple tree behind is too difficult for me to even contemplate.

So it grows in the garden of my mind, where the skies are blue and the sun always shines; where I am always immaculately dressed in the poshest of frocks with no traces of  finger paints or tomato sauce anywhere in sight. My apple tree is eternal, it is beautiful, it is always there for me.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Good vibrations!

Okay this is strange. I was missing Tara and not doing very much today, so I decided to browse the internet and look for new things to read. I came across a website that listed 'important' people who blog. I picked one at random, because I just happened to get good vibrations from it.

I read a few of the lady's posts, did not quite understand the context of many of the things she wrote about, but just felt compelled to read a bit more. What threw me completely was the sheer aura of confidence in her writing. What threw me some more were the comments of some people to her posts. Very strong would be an understatement. Is she a provocative writer? I don't know. Do people really feel so strongly about someone else's opinions even if they are not directed at them personally? Apparently yes!

The cyber world out there is indeed strange. Yet we 'put' ourselves out there. Why does one feel hurt when a perfect stranger, who is not even physically present attacks us or our words?  I should re frame that question. Does one feel hurt when attacked by a perfect stranger in the cyber world out there?

I put that to the lady. And I got a personal reply from her as follows :

"Ash...welcome to the cyber world. It is a jungle out there. Ignore them, stay calm and keep blogging!! "

First let me be honest here. I felt like a giggly school girl who has had a close encounter with a celebrity type person..lots of good vibrations felt..

Second, I was impressed by the lady's guts and ability to carry on even under such attack. Maybe she thrives on it. I wish her well. She is after all a woman who has made it in a cut throat world.

Me? I'm okay to remain Tara's Mummy blogger. I am very 'important' in my little girl's world at the moment. I have nice mummies 'visiting' me sometimes. They say hello, and sometimes pep me up if I'm feeling low. Anything louder than that, I may have to reach for my smelling salts..

Love to all ! 

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Teeth trouble

The last couple of days, while eating a biscuit or something else of a hard texture, Tara kept pointing to her upper tooth saying it felt funny. Luckily so far we have always had an all clear from the dentist during our annual check up. Tara has pretty decent teeth with no cavities or any other problems.

I left the matter be for a day or two. This afternoon waiting to pick up Tara outside her class I joined in the conversation of two Mums who were discussing their child's wobbling tooth. Now most kids in Tara's class will be six this year. My little one being August born has a few months to go before she is five. I wasn't ready to let go of her little teeth yet!

Apparently children start to feel discomfort in their teeth as the new adult teeth that are just forming, gently push upwards. My poor little baby. I was grateful there was a simple answer to her teeth trouble, but just a bit saddened that if it were her new teeth coming up, it was too soon!

I'll let the dentist decide. I must make that appointment.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Hoppity-Skippity to school

School started today, and I was worried Tara may be sad or might miss me, or worse get clingy and cry.

Wrong...all wrong! Thank goodness. I never thought I'd be happy to see off  Tara to school. But when you see your child's face, with a half smile, eager with anticipation at seeing her classmates, wondering if the tadpoles grew to 'froglets', or what lessons they might have, you can only be proud and happy.

It didn't happen overnight. My earliest posts have saved for posterity, the trauma we both went through at the transition from home to school. But a few experiments and strategies paid off, and we are on our way!

Out of the car, bags in tow, Tara set of hopping and skipping, pulling at my arm, towards her school gate. Once in, she was off to join a group of girls, and chatted away animatedly. A quick wave, and I left. Relaxed and feeling free. I'm sure we will hit a rough patch sooner or later. That's life...up and down. If I can wallow in negativity in difficult times, surely I can learn to float when things are good!

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Top 9 reasons for child not sleeping

These are my Top Nine reasons for kids/babies not sleeping well at night, alongwith possible solutions. Just couldn't think of another one to make it a nice neat Ten top reasons. Any new suggestions are most welcome.

1. Hungry
Solution : Feed them

2. Wet nappy/clothes
Solution : Change them. Tara could magically wet her outer baby clothes but have her nappy quite dry. Never figured out how she did it. Could be something to do with her sleeping position, with her crouched up with her bottom high in air. (Can't believe I never took a picture of that! It was the cutest sight ever, but I was petrified of waking her up after she had just slept.) Or maybe I was just a bad nappy changer. wasn't the only thing I was not good at!

3. Too Hot/Cold....(wrapped up in too many layers or covers slipped off )
Solution : Take off layers/cover with a blanket. Not a good idea to have a fan directly facing baby. Also not a good idea to have the window open if baby is near the window.

4. Nightmares
Solution : I was once told not to ever reach out and grab a child in the middle of a nightmare. It terrifies them more. Do things like gradually increase light in the corridor outside the room or other ways to get the child roused. When they are awake, comfort briefly, take them to the toilet, get a drink of water and tuck them straight back in. All this preferably without talking. Talking about 'it' in the middle of the night is not a great idea, as the child may become wide awake with the talk. With some luck they may not recall anything in the morning

5. Feeling unwell/coming down with something
Solution : Nothing to do I'm afraid. Using Calpol as a preventative measure, or to get the child to sleep is not a good idea.

6. Blocked nose
Solution : I must have tried every solution under the sun for this one. All during the day though. In fact I might write a separate post about it. But a cold must run it's course and a blocked nose just means bad nights for child and Mum.

7. Feeling insecure ...just want Mum
Solution : Mixed opinions on this one. Each to their own. I always comfort Tara. One night in bed with me will do her no harm. I feel it will only do her good. Mum's love is the purest forms of love. How on earth can it be bad for a child?

8. Needs burping
Solution : Burp them. I found sitting baby on my lap with the throat and neck resting lightly on my left palm forming a 'V', and lightly tapping her back helped gets burps out before tucking her in. Or else the good old over the shoulder back tapping.

9. Worst of the reasons...horror of horrors. Pinworms!
Solution : Back breaking to get rid of these. Medication, bottom cleaning, high levels of hygiene, for a long long long short cuts.

The important thing is to get the child comfortable and back to sleep as soon as possible to avoid a complete wake up- playing cycle that ruins the rest of the night's sleep.

Tara's sleep switch got turned on at 18 months, after which, all things remaining well she slept through the night. I cried that night. Pure joy!

Happy Nights Mums. It does get better. Hang in there..

Friday, 13 April 2012

Pigeons and Statues

"In life sometimes you are a pigeon, and sometimes a statue. "- Unknown

Sometimes we do things that are not very nice, whether intentional or un-intentional...hopefully the latter. Other times people do not-very-nice things to us, and we don't have a choice but to take it. It's not about whether we want to accept or reject certain situations in life. Sometimes there is no choice in the matter. It's more important to figure out how to deal with it and carry on.

Rain falls on both pigeons and statues. If you are a pigeon today, watch where you sit...(no pun intended), shake the drops off your wings and fly again. If you are a statue, the same drops will roll down you and wash you clean soon, ready to stand tall and show off your splendour again.

Either way, 'in every life a bit of rain must fall'. And it's not all good... or all bad...all the time.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Back to school on Monday

It's been a tiring but fun filled Easter break with my little one. The weather's been mixed bag but it gave us equal opportunity to do things indoors and outdoors.

Tara's a bit low about school opening on Monday. I always wonder if giving a child a fun filled, fully involved holiday makes going back to school just that bit more difficult. Maybe the last few days of a break should be so mind numbingly boring at home that going to school seems a better option. Hmmm...I'll stick with the former and risk a sad face for a day at the start of school. It doesn't last anyway. Once Tara gets into the routine again, she quite enjoys school.

Holidays are a marvellous opportunity to build memories that will be of great value to our children when they are older. No need to go abroad or even to a fancy resort or destination. Fun can be had, as I discovered in the boot of a car that can transform into a cave.; or the garden shed which can be the house the wolf can't huff and puff down. Strange potions can be mixed with a bit of water, pebbles and weeds, and fences can be painted with water and a sturdy paintbrush....many times over

I suspect I will be the one with a sad face when I drop Tara to school on Monday. But as I explained to her...It's only when we go to 'work' (school ) that we get to enjoy another holiday.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Treasure vs Junk

While cleaning the living room yesterday, I noticed the hundreds of small 'treasures' that Tara had collected over the past two weeks.

I felt like scooping up the great big pile and throwing it straight in the bin. That wouldn't go down very well with Tara. So I wait till she is out of sight, then scoop up everything in a bag, and hide it in the shed for a week or two. If she doesn't miss it, it goes from the 'holding area' to the bin. If she does miss something I fish out that item and give it to her for a few days before it joins the rest of the pile again...hopefully

Luckily most of the treasure does end up in the bin and doesn't become a permanent fixture. Except a few things like the twig that's been sitting on my bedside table for the last two years. I quite like it now actually. It's like a low maintenance pet which does....nothing really.

Funny how something can be a treasure to one person and junk to someone else.  It's not the thing itself but the feelings and memories associated with it that make it what it is. It brought back memories of the many days of moping that were brought on by my Mum tidying my room and throwing away a jar of pebbles I had saved under my bed for what felt like ages.

Hence the 'holding area' in my shed. I can't handle many days of moping...not from an almost five year old.

Monday, 9 April 2012

School competitions

So we have yet another competition at Tara's school. Why does everything have to become a competition?

We had a note in Tara's bag at the start of the holidays, that the children have to make a crown to wear at school for the Queen's Jubilee function. Not a bad idea I's a bit of fun. The next para said that all crowns had to be completed and submitted by the end of this month so they can be entered into a crown competition. Parents were of course allowed to help, but the child had to do the majority of the work.

I had seen that part before in the numerous competitions where children were supposed to have done the majority of the work. Tara has always done her own competition entry, with me looking on adoringly at her efforts and chipping in where absolutely necessary. Needless to say Tara has never won anything. Her Christmas card entry was the cutest snowman near a wobbly tree, but the winning entry was an amazing three dimensional, work of art with impeccable handwritten words emblazoned on it. Other times there were caption contests with very creative captions. The winning masterpieces are obviously done by the parents or we have some genius five year old kids in Tara's class.

This is nothing new. It happened even when I was in school. So what is going on here? If I was a judge at a children's school, I would really look at the work, and pick some little child who has taken a lot of time and effort, and poured his or her heart and soul into their craft.

On the other hand...welcome to the real world my little Tara. Honest work is sometimes not the only criteria for success and credit is sometimes not attributed to the deserving. I was tempted just for a second to get out there and buy the best crown money could buy and have Tara touch it with a brush before I submit it as her own. Having allowed myself the luxury of that wicked thought, I let it go. I don't need an ego boost, and what lesson would Tara learn if I did that?

So it's back to the drawing board for Tara and I. I'm sure we will make the best crown Tara can possibly imagine....and most important of all? Tara will wear it with pride.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Of bunnies and flying reindeer

It's been questions galore all day yesterday...right through to bedtime...

"When will the Easter bunny come?"
"What colour is he?"
"Does he live in a burrow?"
"Will he know I've been good?"

And many, many more. Tara is excited it's Easter and is waiting to look for Easter eggs. This is like Christmas all over again and the questions about Santa and Rudolph and how big bottoms fit through small chimneys.

My own transition from wide eyed wonderment at fairies, feathered creatures, flying reindeer and present bearing chimney sliders to reality, had been trauma free and uneventful. I attribute that to my Mum. While she celebrated all festivities like egg hunting adventures, and decorations etc. she did not go on and on about the legends associated with these fun filled activities. So Mum was never responsible for shattered illusions. She kept us immersed in the fun part without dwelling on the 'hows' and 'whys'.

I'm treading a fine line here with Tara. Last year I over did the 'be good and Santa will get you presents' bit. This year I have hidden Easter eggs with chocolate paw prints and a map for Tara. She is barely four and a half and trusts me implicitly. Should I be weaving these tales for her? Maybe not. I am aware of how far I should go and for how long, and I will taper off these activities..slowly. Today I'm busy hiding Easter eggs and loving it!! I hope she does too.

Happy Easter everyone! 

Friday, 6 April 2012

Tips for saving water

1. Tara says, "No more baths." Well I agree. Instead of a bath, how about a short shower instead. Even better than a shower is to fill up a bucket with enough water and use a sponge/wash cloth and a rinse cup..or mug..or beaker type thing.

2. Turn off water when brushing teeth. Running water is wasted while we brush. So fill up those glasses and turn off the taps.

3. Do laundry sensibly with a full load.

4. Don't take too many clothes out all at once. Tara sometimes likes to wear trousers in the morning and a frock a while later if she has dropped something on herself. Nothing wrong with a bit of a smudge on clothes.

5. Don't wash the car too often. If the car needs to be cleaned, how about avoiding the hose pipe and using the good ol' bucket and sponge instead?

6. I know it's a bit of an ask with summer around the corner but how about reducing the water level in play pools.

7. Get a water saving device for the toilet flush.

8. Wash the fruits and veggies in a bowl instead of under running water.

9. Make sure taps are turned all the way so there are no wasteful drips.

10. Collect rain water in empty pails or containers.

11. Do you think someone could clean up some of the water in the oceans around this little island so it can be used?

Can't think of anything else yet but I'm sure we can find a few more ways...

What is Drought?

Question : What is Drought?
Answer :  When human demand for water exceeds the available supply of water, it results in a Drought.

The severity varies from country to country, making us introspect about how we can attempt to acknowledge the sheer scale of suffering and sacrifice in our own small way.

A hose pipe ban has been introduced in some parts of the United Kingdom in the last few days. Drought has been declared. Below: the River Derwent (source

Sand and dry land as far as the eye can see. The rugged landscape strewn with the bones of cattle, dead zebra and other forms of life that once was. Some pictures too difficult to post here. I tried putting myself in this Mum's shoes for a second, and I  jumped right back out as the sheer scale of horror I felt at her helplessness. Below: a family in Somalia (source

A farmer and his means of survival, both on the edge. Many of the farming community in India have been driven to suicide as they are unable to provide sustenance to their families. This desperate act leaves behind vulnerable women and children with further consequences to face. Below: a farmer in India  (source

The Husband is out with Tara climbing rocks somewhere, while I'm supposed to be relaxing. How can I? My mind is racing faster than usual. After I finish cooking, I need to sit down and list out ways to save water. Will get Tara to help too. I try not to shield her from life and it's challenges, but given her age, I have to hold back as well.  There is a fine line between trying to make a child aware, all the while not frightening her with too much of stark reality. Age appropriate, that's important.

If anyone chances this post, do share it around...and don't forget to share ideas too! My next post will be a list of ways to save water. Do add your ideas to comments. I will put it all together and perhaps print it out for local libraries, schools etc. What do you think?

Thursday, 5 April 2012

When a Mum falls apart...

I have written before about my strange circumstances. I'm on hold. It's been difficult not working and looking after Tara full time. Difficult financially, but tremendously rewarding on the personal front. The Husband is working away and trying very hard to secure a permanent post so we can all be together like a proper family. Finally after a meeting at work today, there was talk of something permanent coming up towards the end of this month. No promises but a "strong possibility."

I can't bear it! Which is so strange. The last year and a half I have been keeping myself together and keeping our little home held together with positivity and optimism. Many times I lulled my brain into a false sense of security, just to stay above board and keep things going, because when a Mum falls apart-the home falls apart.

The news of a possibility today should have reassured me. Instead I have a splitting headache and am losing the will to keep things together. Why was I able to cope for all those months, only to be on the verge of collapse so near the finishing post?

It's the Easter holidays. The Husband has some rare time off to spend with us till Tuesday. My logical brain is telling me to get a grip and enjoy it. But I don't feel that way. I need some alone time, which is not happening with Tara being around me all day, and me not giving in to the television or the computer.

I think I have finally decided what the toughest thing about being a Mum is. It is not having the luxury to fall apart at will. Not when you have a four and a half year old looking up at you with adoring eyes. Because as I said earlier, when a Mum falls apart - a home falls apart.

Having written all that down, I have recharged myself for another few hours till Tara is in bed. Then I have scheduled a controlled meltdown, obviously not spontaneous or ideal...but someone has to have a ear on the baby monitor. 

Tuesday, 3 April 2012


It's really a surreal experience writing knowing fully well that no one is reading. But I still do it. Why? I'm not entirely sure but will try to explain.

Reason 1. Documenting Tara's experiences for her to read when she is older. As an adult whatever her life experiences, she will realize that she has experienced her Mum's unconditional love, through the daily grind of life and its many challenges. I LOVE YOU TARA. MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE..EVER..You have taken my human experience to a whole new level.

Reason 2. Writing is therapeutic. It is like talking aloud to someone non judgemental. Many of life's difficult times are made palatable by writing things down, and breaking them into bite sized issues that can then be addressed one by one. Sometimes this introspection throws up a life lesson that can be enriching.

Reason 3. Just as the body needs a bit of exercise everyday, so does the mind. Writing is like a lovely cat stretch for the brain.

Reason 4. It's like looking for life in our galaxy. Am I alone?  Or is there someone out there who has visited my world. Someday...someone may actually read my thoughts and leave me a comment or just say hello. It would make me all fuzzy and happy if that happened. Don't know why :-)

I don't think my life experiences mean anything to anyone else. Though I do have some golden tips on certain subjects that might prove useful to many Mums out there.

Until then, I float around with my thoughts in my little world..Alone.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Six months later

It will be six months since Tara started school. Decisions taken six months ago proved fruitful.

When Tara turned four in August, we were inundated with paperwork about school, choices, catchment areas etc. etc. I just went with the flow and got her into the best school I could find. I did feel it was a bit too early for school, Tara having just turned four. But being a first time Mum I did not know about my options about school starting dates, shorter days etc. So off Tara went to school, looking a little too small in the uniform that engulfed her little body.

It was one of the most traumatic times I remember, and I sometimes shudder going back and reading the previous posts which remind me what my little girl went through. I was wavering about sending her to school, questioning if I had put her in the right school, and a whole lot of other things. The teachers who are probably used to this drama playing out every year, were unruffled and told me to wait it out for a while.

Here we are six months later. Tara has settled well in her school. She actually skips into school humming a little ditty, and hugs and kisses me goodbye every single morning. That was all I ever wanted. The first time she did it was right after our winter vacation. Like a switch had gone on in her brain. I cried in my car that day. This time the reason was different. Pure relief.

I learnt a valuable life lesson too. Give it time, whatever it is. Whether it is a floundering relationship, a prospective relationship, a new career, or even a cake in the oven. It takes a bit of time sometimes.