Thursday, 31 May 2012

Bed time fears

Tara is fine all day. She is so busy playing that any emotional discomfort or fears stay subdued...until bedtime. As we get her ready for bed, her voice goes small and her tears start to flow. Her anxieties surface and she tries to explain her side of the matter in question to me.

This is the worst time she could bring up her problems. We are both tired, and Tara needs to relax and sleep on time to be sufficiently rested for the next day. I feel like the worst Mum on the planet when I find myself unable to deal with Tara's issues at bedtime in a controlled and efficient manner. The last two nights I could really have done with Tara sleeping on time, with a smile on her face so I could find my own time to release my feelings by crying, or writing or cleaning up.

Tara's tears at bedtime have been very hard for me to take these last few days. The issue this time is the same old one from the recent past - lunch time at school and the teachers telling her to finish her lunch, and Tara crying and forcing herself to eat. I am furious, exhausted and very upset for my little girl all at the same time.

I have written to the class teacher and hopefully things will be worked out soon.

I cannot afford the luxury of taking my own time and allowing myself the liberty of feeling down and low. I feel the pressure of getting myself sorted out as soon as possible. I love you Tara. Mummy's super hero cape has a few holes that need to be patched up...soon. I'm seeking inspiration in the words of a wise old man called The Terminator who once said "I'll be back!" 

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Tara's play date or is it mine?

Typing now, the familiar feeling of fear is spreading across my chest as the impending visit to the dentist looms at a distance. I was rushed off my feet all day organizing the house and getting things just right for Tara's play date.

This time the little girl was almost a year older than Tara so her style of playing was a bit different. It threw Tara a bit to begin with, but they worked out a system as the day went on. After dinner the little girl and Tara wanted to play with me and we had a good time finger painting and face/arms/toes painting. I was suspicious after a while that play dates at our home may be becoming popular, more due to my participation than my poor little Tara. This is not what I had in mind when I wanted children to come over and play at my home.

Will these play dates do more damage than good to Tara if they necessitate my involvement and participation? I am exhausted and still stressed over the whole dentist fiasco. I just need to sleep...and maybe generate  a bit more enthusiasm for the Queen's jubilee. It's a historic occasion and I'm not getting 'into' the whole spirit, wallowing instead in my inconsequential worries.

Then there's my sister insisting that I spend half term with her and her inlaws!! Very kind...but no thank you. The Husband may be getting a few days off during half term so making the most of that is my priority.

Good night.

It's a new day..

Yesterday, I cried...a lot. The reason is trivial for most but for me it is more than trivial. I am frightened of dentists. It's one of those things that defies logic but just is.

The fear and terror that grips my heart as soon as the word 'dentist' is uttered is beyond anything I have felt. I've had this all my life. The strange thing is that I've always had check ups, and always walk away with a good report, except for the occasional clean, which by the way is a borderline heart attack event for me. No work has been done in my mouth...ever. The dentist always compliments my teeth when I get up to go.

We had a family check up last Saturday. All was fine. I pulled myself together more so because Tara was in for a check up too, and the last thing I wanted was to pass on my phobia to her. It all went well and I survived the chair and the check up.

Yesterday I got a call back from the dentists office that the X-ray had picked up what was probably a small cavity and needed me to come in to sort it out. As I write this tears are welling up in my eyes again at the prospect of undergoing a procedure for the first time in my life. The Husband who has had a lot of work done over the years, says it's no big deal and I will be fine. He probably doesn't know what I'm going through at this moment. To experience this level of terror is not normal. I have to drive Tara to school, get some shopping done and a whole lot of everyday stuff, but all I can feel is this strange old chill down my spine, like I'm being taken to the gallows...or something like that.

I don't have pain, I'm okay, so why a procedure? I can't see anything when I open my mouth. Can't I deal with the whole thing when it is symptomatic? Why rock a a boat that's sailing alright? So many questions? I have made an appointment for a consultation but I will be getting a second opinion. At some level I will find the courage and means to overcome the procedure but if I have a gut feeling not to mess with my teeth which are perfectly fine...I won't

Monday, 28 May 2012

Another playdate..we're on a roll!!

So another little girl from Tara's class is coming over for a playdate. Tara is excited as is her friend. It will do Tara good to play with other children once in a while. It takes the playing pressure off me a little bit.

The last 2 weeks I must admit I have not been playing 'properly' with Tara. It could be down to the instability in our lives at the moment and The Husband's absence that is getting to me. This could also explain Tara's behaviour, as she is trying to get my attention...maybe

I failed with my 'ignore' tactic on day one itself. I will try and get back on track tomorrow. tired.. I stay awake when I should be asleep because a) I want to be able to have a life after Tara has gone to bed and b) I cannot sleep on demand. The first one is a wish that is not supported by my tired body. The second is a fact.

Writing here on my space is one way I unwind, share my thoughts, concerns, frailties and experiences, feel the human connect with others and then I go to bed.

Good Night everyone.

Sunday, 27 May 2012


This past week Tara's attitude and behaviour have been...hmmm..difficult? trying? inflammatory? All of those. It's as if she's trying to test her boundaries, assert herself, or just act out after behaving well in school all day. I noticed this pattern in her coming up to half term before too.

A lot could be down to tiredness, copying her classmates, or generally a part of growing up.

After a stressful last week, I have decided to take a new approach. Ignore...Ignore...Ignore. Not forever, just for a few days. It will be hard for me. It may or may not work but I will give it a go.

Saturday, 26 May 2012's Mummy the villain again!

It happened all through my growing years...and it's happening now in my home.

I'm disciplining Tara, and explaining how saying sorry doesn't necessarily fix a mistake. My lecture done, I sit her down and leave her to think about what I've said. Tara follows me to my computer saying sorry again. Once again I explain that I accept her apology but she needs to sit where I told her to and think about what I've just said. One minute later a loud wail shakes our walls. I pop downstairs to check on Tara and see her clinging to The Husband who is holding her in his arms and rocking her.

I looked at him in rage, he looked back at me with that most awful of expressions - innocent confusion.

I feel undermined.

I feel hurt, and

I'm the villain now.

My Mum went through years and years of trying to control her wild brood, while my father and grandparents and uncles and aunties all repeatedly undermined her authority. My father was my hero. He never shouted at me, always comforted me and hid my mistakes. He taught me gross things and habits that made us laugh out loud, and my mother cringe. I felt safe and comfortable with my father, and treated my mother like a fire breathing dragon.

I don't have to wonder how my mother felt, because now I know. Her situation was a hundred times worse than mine; as must be her anguish.

I'm upstairs now, while Tara and her Dad are playing downstairs. My blood pressure rocketed further when I heard The Husband explain to Tara that she had been bad so Mummy was upset. Did he just say she had been bad??? I always separate behaviour from the person. I always tell Tara she is a good girl but a particular action or behaviour was not good. I avoid negative labels like bad or stupid because they stay in a child's psyche. The Husband was unravelling all my efforts within a ten minute span!

I'm better off bashing my words on my keyboard now, because I'm so annoyed and confused that I can't deal with my feelings and how I am supposed to react to either Tara or her father at this point of time. If I can pull myself together sufficiently to get Tara's bedtime routine going, without causing serious damage to the two other people in this house, it would be a monumental achievement for me.

"Is it just me?????" I wonder how many times my mother said that to herself.

I love you Mummy, and I miss you so much today.

Friday, 25 May 2012

A Caribbean breeze...

After dropping Tara at school this morning, I had my windows down as I drove back. The breeze was warm and humid; and brought back memories of when I first stepped off the plane on to the airport tarmac in St. Lucia. 'Heaven', was the first feeling. It felt like that for a few minutes today. This morning I covered Tara in sun block as advised by her school. It was the same brand I had used many years ago in St. Lucia. The smell made me long for a return trip. won't happen at the moment. The last trip to the Caribbean with The Husband was a few years before Tara was born. It was a spur of the moment decision. I mean the destination. The holiday fund had been going for the last few years. We saved for a few years, not going on any short haul holidays, because we wanted a luxurious, special holiday....and we did.

Isn't it strange how smells, sounds etc. have such a power of association? A whiff of the sun block lotion and the balmy breeze transported me back to that time, when for a few days we had no responsibilities, no plans. Just the two of us, sandy beaches, banana plantations, volcano treks, and good food.

That's what life is to me, a road which we all travel on, collecting experiences and memories as mementoes and reflecting on them till the end of our days.

I have to take Tara to an after school birthday party today, so I need to sort her stuff out for that. Must go and look at some pictures and sniff that lotion again before I get on with the rest of my work for the day.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Glorious Day!

It's been hot this week. Everyone I meet says it's been glorious. It probably is. Now I might sound supremely ungrateful but it is true when I say I can't handle excessive heat or excessive cold. Between 14 and 17 degrees will keep me comfortable.

Tara got back today repeating what she probably heard in school. She must have said it ten times this afternoon. "Mummy isn't it a gloorriusss day? We should be outside"

So out came the paddling pool, play sand, swimsuit and sunblock. After an ice cream she played all afternoon declaring how gloooriusss the day was. I could have passed out with the heat. Intolerance to heat started with my pregnancy. I was so hot all the time that simply wearing clothes felt uncomfortable. Of course I still wore them! It was then that The Husband bought me a portable air conditioner. Now I can't do without it.

After a full day of playing, a hearty dinner and bath later, Tara sank into bed and was asleep in minutes. Today I feel the absence of The Husband from our lives. I take a lot of pictures of  Tara during the day. I feel the need to send her pictures to The Husband everyday. How easily us humans carry on as normal, adapting to circumstances as we go along. There is always the danger of distance causing irreparable damage to relationships. I believe and am very aware of it. It's just that we have given our situation a time frame. Once that is up we need to regroup and assess the situation again. Tara's education and stability is important too. The idea of The Husband living alone just to make our lives comfortable makes me very sad. I have put my needs aside for Tara, as has The Husband.

We've survived worse...this too shall pass. In the meantime, let me check on my little one who had the most gloooriouss day today.

Good Night everyone. May your dreams come true.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The best present!

It amazes me every time I notice things about Tara that are so like me. A tiny beauty spot on the cheek or a particular expression; childhood pictures where I could pass off as her.

The best similarity I feel is our love of cardboard boxes. Big boxes, little boxes, white boxes, or brown boxes...any boxes. Tara and I enjoy the boxes more than the presents within...usually...with some exceptions of course, I'm not all weird :-) Our creativity is at at its best when we find a box! I had ordered some things for Tara online and it came in a very sturdy cardboard box today. Nice my first reaction when things arrive in the post. If I could, I would save every box that entered my house and do something with it. For all those who now visualize me in a house full of cardboard boxes..nope..not happened...yet :-)

After we opened up the box, Tara cast an eye on the contents, then raised an eyebrow and said, "Nice box." It was hilarious and it made me very happy for some weird reason that my little girl likes boxes as much as me.

So we put Tara in the box and pushed her around the back yard yelling choo-choo for a while. Then we got the paints out and painted different shapes on it. Tired out, Tara ate an orange...yes...sitting in the box. We loved it.

Tara is eating dinner now. The box still sits outside. There is plenty more playing potential in it, till I reluctantly consign it to the recycle bin...well and truly recycled with our play anyway! Back to Tara's usual toys after that...until the next box arrives..and we do it all over again!!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Successful first play date.

I am very pleased to report that Tara had her first ever play date today, and it went very well! I think a play date can be deemed a success if the invited child doesn't want to go home, and the host child doesn't want them to leave either.

After very reluctant goodbyes, I was tired, Tara was tired, and the house still looked tidy...very tidy. I do go overboard with tidying up on any given day, but more so if someone is visiting, even if it is a five year old child. Tara's room had all her toys arranged creatively so the children could play together, no laundry was hanging out in the back garden, the kitchen was clean, the table laid out with all manner of princess themed table ware, ice cream sat in the freezer and we were set.

The little one arrived - a bit shy at first but soon got into the swing of things. Tara was over enthusiastic, piling all her favourite toys in front of her friend wanting her to play with them. Dolls were played with, costumes worn, hearty dinner eaten, double helpings of ice creams had. The weather was in our favour today so the girls busied themselves with painting a giant cardboard house I had bought Tara two years ago. Value for money-that's what this toy is. The number of times it has been painted on and decorated - with scope for more is unbelievable. Then out came the coloured chalks for scribbles on the back patio, and funny faces on all the flower pots. A bit of rain will sort that out...sooner or later.

After her friend left, Tara hugged me and in the most eloquent of words explained how each time I ask her to play by herself, with all the toys she has, she feels lonely. "I miss not having someone to play with Mummy." Having grown up in a madhouse full of people, I felt a momentary twinge for Tara. But it was just that - momentary. The grass is greener on the other side. I've been on the other side, and now I appreciate the solitude of my own patch of grass, in my own corner of the world.

Tara is secure and happy in our little world. She has a large family spread all over the world, who love her and enjoy her company when ever we visit. ..which in the last four years has been 2-3 months a year! It is my job to teach her to enjoy the good times with them, and appreciate and value her own life too. She is a happy and sociable child who will no doubt have her own friends as she grows up. Meeting and parting ways, happy and sad times are two sides of life's proverbial coin. Appreciating the present, being balanced about the past and visualizing the future - that's what life should be all about.

Monday, 21 May 2012


As predicted, Tara seems to coming down with a cold. She woke up with a few sneezes and when I hugged her I noticed some traces of dry blood at the opening of her nose. I have not dealt with nose bleed with Tara so am a bit worried. It's a school day and she seems alright, but I don't like to see my good natured little lady in the strange mood that inevitably accompanies her illness.

Tara's friend from school is coming over to play tomorrow. She is excited about that. My little girl (thankfully) is unlike me in that respect. She loves being amongst people, interacting, playing and attending parties. I don't regret being the way I am....I quite enjoy solitude, reflection and quiet days. When I'm required to get social and interact, I just put on a mask for a few hours and get the job done. No one can tell. It's okay.

I still find that the world is a more welcoming place for people who are outgoing and permanently high on doing stuff. There are so many things to do out there that boredom and staying still is not an option for many. I sometimes struggle to keep up with Tara's need to constantly be doing something. Even school doesn't seem to wear her out. She is ever ready, active, inquisitive and up for a game right after school, until the minute I tuck her in bed.

There is something in the old saying:

'Most of life's evil stems from a man being unable to still still in a room'

But then again :

'An idle mind is the Devil's workshop'

Balance...that's the key I suppose

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Peaceful Sunday

This morning I got Tara and myself bathed and ready for the day first thing after breakfast. It made a huge difference. Feeling fresh and revived we had more enthusiasm for things in general.

Tara has been coughing intermittently since morning. That explains her cranky behaviour. With time a Mum learns to watch out for signs specific to their child, as does a wife for her husband. For Tara a cranky behaviour almost always precedes a bout of illness. I've whipped out my tonics and Manuka honey pots, more as a reassurance to myself - that I'm doing something for my child. The efficacy of these supplements remains unproven in my opinion.

The Husband is still pre-occupied, and seems quieter than usual. To query or leave him alone? It might be the latter this time.

On the whole it's a peaceful Sunday...uneventful and quiet. But it will do.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Strange atmosphere

It's Saturday today. The Husband is home, it's Tara's day to have fun, and mine to relax. At least that's how it usually goes. Today was different. Everyone seemed fine this morning, then it all went downhill. The Husband started to look pre-occupied, Tara was sensitive to everything, and I was so tired, I just wanted to sleep.

All of us just couldn't do anything right. So late afternoon, I had a nap, The Husband did some crafts with Tara, then I woke up and The Husband went out to get some fresh air and some groceries while he was out. In the mean time Tara was fed and bathed, as was I. By the time The Husband got back home, Tara was relaxed. They are reading books now and I have to get Tara ready for bed soon after.

Sometimes things get thrown out of gear for no apparent reason, and they resolve with equal ease. Swimming against the tide and dissecting the cause was not a good idea today. Each one of us might have reasons for our behaviour at a subconscious level, but I'm glad we went with the flow and are back on track today.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Mixed feelings

Today Tara was bit sad. Her classmate is leaving school as her parents are moving away, and Tara was told she was never coming back. I reassured her with a bit of logic and a bit of philosophy. At the end of it she nodded but declared that she was okay at her school and never wanted to leave..."Till forever."

The Husband is coming back for the weekend tonight. A few minutes ago we spoke on the phone, and he said there was a good chance of a permanent position where he is. I should be grateful at the prospect. Instead if I am completely honest, I feel nervous and confused. I like to believe that events unfold according to how we visualize them. so I'm also worried that my lack of gratitude may disallow the new job to come to us in the first place.

People say that children surprise you with their resilience, especially at this age. I will admit Tara has surprised me on many things before. What I cannot forget is the first few months of sheer trauma she went through to adjust to big girl's school. Am I reading too much into it? Maybe I am. Can I pretend I don't feel bewildered and confused today? I cannot. I will try tomorrow. Pretending is good for situations like this.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Little old soul

Today Tara sat near me as I cooked dinner for her. For some reason she is very concerned that she doesn't know how to cook yet. This has been a pattern with Tara since she was a baby. She just doesn't like the fact that she is a child and wants to be able to do everything.

As a baby she never acted baby-like. My Mum says it is down to me because I always spoke to her as if she was a grown up. In my defence I argue that Tara never seemed babyish at any time. If I did attempt baby talk she would look at me as if I was very silly, and rolled her eyes as if to say, "Grow up Mum." This is not an exaggeration.

Last weekend she declared, "My life began at three years old. " When The Husband asked her what she meant by that, she said she only remembered her life from that age, and she "wasn't there" before that. Now I'm used to my child talking this way. Tara has been an easy and trouble free child - totally unlike my pregnancy, which was the most difficult and traumatic experience. A lady sitting next to us on a flight once looked at her and said, "This little girl is an old soul in a baby's body." I laughed politely but knew she was on to something there.

Tara has never thrown a tantrum in a shop. If I say I don't have enough money to buy something, she says, "I understand Mummy. When I go to work we will save money together to buy things. I will pay for half my car too. When can I start work Mummy?" If I forget to bring her something I promised she says, "Never mind it happens. You can get it next time." If I miss my parents or The Husband, she picks up on my feelings, fetches the phone, puts her arm around me, and says, " will feel better." A few minutes ago, as I struggled to carry her in my arms, in a wobbly display of affection, she stood on the sofa, cupped my face in her hands and said, "Don't worry Mummy, even when I'm big you can still hold me. I will climb on this sofa and it will be easy for you." My favourite one is, "I wish I could make you a cup of tea Mummy, but the kettle look hot, and my hands are too little."

It sounds so silly when I say I have a good friend in Tara, who is four and a half years old. But people who know her will back me up on this. She is an unusual child...and I am blessed to have her in my life.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Telling lies? Me?

There was a strange role reversal today. It had me cringing and admitting to lying, while my four and a half year old daughter looked me straight in the eye, (looking rather scary with her eyes wide open,) and told me that telling lies is wrong.

I don't tell all. Truth has landed me in difficult situations at times in my life, but I stand my ground of no telling lies. I have had important relationships die because of lies, but it was better that way. I admit to an occasional white lie to avoid hurting feelings but on the whole my no lies policy is a pretty sound one. Tara obviously notices my conduct, as was evident today.

We were playing dolly dressing, and I was distracted watching the news at the same time. I don't usually watch TV while playing, but today I had to for some reason. During play, I shifted some of the doll's clothes to another side of the doll house without paying attention. Tara turned to me and asked me if I had done it. Engrossed in my news clip, I mumbled a 'no' without thinking.

That was it. Tara opened her eyes wide and said, "You lied Mummy, how could you lie." Her hero (that would be me, by the way) had stooped so low that she was shocked and disappointed. I was flustered. Whatever the distraction, I had lied.  I turned to her and said sorry. I explained that I was distracted, and it was wrong to lie. Yes, I had moved the dolly's clothes.

Tara hugged me and said it was alright, and

Whew! Crisis over and doll's clothes set right, I thought how much of an impact my conduct and words had on my little girl. Tara will grow up to be an adult and live in society with her own value systems and choices, but at this time, it is my responsibility as her role model to set a good example.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

No running for me thank you!

I started exercising yesterday, and my body parts are in conversation with each other, wondering how the other is doing after months and months of being idle.

Given my sporting background and athletic past, I am astonished at how I had recently moved to the opposite end of the spectrum - to complete inactivity post Tara's birth. Yes, there were physical limitations as a result of my pregnancy, followed by periods of intense rehab to get me going again. It took me more than four years to become 'normal' again. Then I relaxed...and haven't stopped relaxing for months now.

I don't know if it's a genetic blessing or years of professional sport that's behind my reasonably slender body frame. But my shape and weight usually stay the same. Pregnancy and birth, horrific as they were, somehow didn't affect my shape or weight either. Strangely I don't have a single stretch mark to show I was pregnant. It all went right back to how it was. Until recently - when my jeans needed that extra tug to do them up.

I know why it happened. I cannot pretend I don't know what happened. In addition to physical inactivity, there was a whole lot of food involved. The whole of April, until yesterday has seen plenty of cream on strawberries (I know... I know.. it should be strawberries with cream on, not the other way around!) and one too many cream teas, (those scones are evil!) My sister and her family visited after ages and we ate out at every given opportunity. Of course I had to join the kids for ice-cream - everyday. I don't know about anyone else but when my food wagon starts rolling... it rolls. For a long time with no stops in sight.

A valuable lesson someone once taught me is that if you notice the slightest fluctuation in your weight or dimension, the key is to act NOW, not next week, not next month. With that in mind I started exercising yesterday. I also ordered emergency evacuation of all ice creams and cakes from the house. I have to mention at this point that The Husband still works away, and Tara spends most of the day in school, so that left Yours Truly for the evacuation. Now I don't believe in throwing away perfectly good food, and it's not nice to invite friends to partake of half opened stuff. So I did the right thing, and ate it all. (Oops!)

That done, I bought fresh fruits, and decorated them in a nice bowl in the living room, got my old skipping rope and stretchy band-thing out and here we are now at day two. I don't like running. With all due respect to those that do, I'd rather stay still, get teeth pulled, have triplets, anything but run. I am also fully aware that when I run, I shed weight faster than you can say "Jack Rabbit." But I'd rather not. Running and I go back a long way. Memories of running before the crack of dawn, with weights tied on my ankles for extra resistance still sends shivers down my spine. At one time I could happily play tennis for five to six hours at a stretch. I have also been known to dance all night, or jump rope 1000 times each session, but I won't do running....anymore.

I have made a beginning, I have a modest target. I just need to get a kilo off a month for the next two months and I'm back on track again. I have done it before, and will do it again.

Wish me luck...someone...anyone?

Monday, 14 May 2012

Weary spirit

I am weary today. I cannot decide if this weariness is because of physical or emotional reasons, but it is palpable.

So many times we seek shelter in the security of our spirituality, faith, religion or other philosophies we hold dear. We hope to find answers and rationale in them. But sometimes life events unfold around us with such ferocity that a numbness descends, so thick and impenetrable that our belief systems fade from view, leaving us vulnerable and lost.

I cannot call this a crisis of faith. It is to me being human - and reacting. Eventually the fog will lift and things will be clear again. I will find my way. It's what I do when I'm lost that is important. Silence works for me. As does introspection. The heart feels bruised and still for what seems an eternity, then it starts beating again.

My weariness could be down to something simple like inadequate sleep. Tara had a disturbed night with dreams of dinosaurs asking her to wee!! I also started a spot of exercise this morning, and maybe now my body is talking back.

So I will sign off, and try to turn in. I usually sleep well, but an over tired body doesn't bode well for a restful night. Maybe I shouldn't have given Tara that drink before her bedtime either....maybe I shouldn't have exercised at all today..maybe I should just go now..and sleep.

Good Night all. Have a peaceful night and calm day.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

My inner pool

I liken my "inner self" to a little pool. I make every effort to keep that pool still. It is a delicate balance. Sometimes, a pebble or a twig falls in the pool and causes ripples. The ripples stay awhile, disturbing the calm of my pool with their outwardly moving inevitably they fade and disappear, leaving my pool calm again.

The human body has an amazing capacity to cope with emotional trauma. It carries on regardless of circumstances…until someone shows compassion and acknowledges the emotional trauma carried thus far - quite stoically.

Compassion and acknowledgement can single handedly break down all vestiges of strength and make hitherto brave persons cry and feel their own pain that was so far controlled or managed without expression.

Something disturbed my pool today. It has made me uncomfortable and agitated. That is what I feel at this point of time. Past experience stays firmly by my side, reminding me that this too shall pass, my pool will be placid again. 

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Easier said than done?

I've heard people say, "It is so easy to offer reassurance when you are not the one with the problem."

I was thinking about this today. Is it really easy to offer reassurance? I'm not so sure. If the intention is to really help someone suffering, it is quite hard to reassure. The over riding fear is that your words can be misunderstood, your timing can be off and you may end up making the person feel worse.

It may sound simplistic, but as people we usually face similar problems and life situations. What is different is each one of us - shaped individually by birth, experience, and circumstance. How we react follows from that. Sensitivity to this difference is lacking today.

Is it better then to stand on the sidelines for fear of rejection, or to instinctively reach out?  I prefer the latter. I could (barely) survive having my love and concern thrown back at my face. If that happened I would suffer greatly... for a few days or weeks perhaps. But I couldn't walk away from someone in pain. It would haunt me and make life difficult.

I suppose it depends on each person. As I told someone today, if some suffering is what I get for staying true to who I am, and upholding my belief in goodness and fair play, so be it. I will emerge from this, not necessarily stronger, but not weakened either to alter who or what I am.

With love..and more love...that's all there is in the end.

Friday, 11 May 2012

What's in a colour!

Tara woke up this morning with a grumpy "Good morning." She rubbed her eyes, looked around her and sighed, "Why does my bed always look pink? When I'm five, I want blue."

Happy days!! I was beginning to think I have some kind of eye condition where every time I looked around my house I saw pink. This does sound like double standards after my previous post a day or two ago, when I wrote about different human choices, and each to their own.

But with my Tara, I'm treading a fine line between her choice of colour, (rather the same colour, all the time, for everything)  and pink torture, especially for me whose favourite colour is white.

Hope springs eternal! There will be other colours soon!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Tara's first proper joke

Tara came back from school, armed with yet another joke. Now much as I love her, her jokes are..hmm...not funny. I still display appropriate interest and enthusiasm, sometimes missing the punch line (if you can call it that) entirely.

Today's joke finally got us past the old favourite one, which lasts a good ten minutes and involves a dog who climbs a tree, jumps between branches, and finally falls asleep. Yes..that's the part I am supposed to laugh at.

Today's joke is actually funny. It goes like this:

Mummy and Daddy frog are talking.

Daddy Frog : Ribbit, Ribbit

Mummy Frog : Ribbit, Ribbit
Daddy Frog : Ribbit, Ribbit
Mummy Frog : Ribbit, Ribbit
Daddy Frog : Tibbit, Tibbit
Mummy Frog : Now don't change the topic dear!!

Okay Tara's version wasn't as well formulated, but I got it ! Must remember to tell Papa Frog...I mean...The Husband when he gets back this weekend. He misses all these gems from Tara's growing up years, and I do make an extra effort to tell him.

I have to go, Tara wants to tell me another joke. I hope it's not the tree climbing dog again! 

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Each to their own..or is it?

I'd like to believe that we all live and let live. Every human being is a unique person with their own set of preferences and sensibilities. Someone likes orange, another prefers yellow. It doesn't make one colour correct or the other wrong. It is a matter of personal preference. Someone likes a particular movie, another doesn't. Each to their own is the way it should be, but is it?

Magazines, television and other forms of media 'guide' a person on the 'correct' sense of fashion or colour combinations, while popular charts declare a certain musical composition or movie a hit or a flop. Food critics label a particular dish palatable if the sauces combine with the dish in a prescribed fashion. Some drinks are supposed to go with some food. If one doesn't abide by these popular guidelines, one's taste is considered bad. Isn't that strange?

When no individual on this planet is exactly alike, how can one standard apply for all? It's not uncommon to hear loved ones exclaim, "You couldn't possibly have enjoyed's terrible!" This is usually after a statement of fact that one has indeed enjoyed something. Taste is individual. If someone enjoys their fashion, food, music or anything else, and doesn't impose their choices on others, so be it.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

It's another first..

Today is Tara's play date with her classmate. For the first time, my Tara is without me at someone else's house. Tara has been on one other play date, but I was there the whole time, making small talk with the other Mum, while the children played.

This time, the other Mum invited Tara over and suggested I leave her and collect her in a couple of hours. I was reluctant because a) I didn't know the lady well enough, other than the occasional chat at the school gates and b) I wasn't sure if Tara could cope being by herself. I was put in a spot, so accepted the invitation, but texted later to say I would come over with Tara to settle her and then leave if she was okay with it.

That sorted, Tara and I went over today after school for the play date. Just as I started explaining to the other Mum how my little girl was shy and I might spend a few minutes settling her in, I noticed that Tara was off like a shot, on the trampoline, laughing and playing with the other children in the house! I stood there gaping and trying to put some words together while the other Mum smiled and said she would be fine. It was obvious who the anxious one was, and it wasn't Tara. It was Tara's Mum. Tara throws me a lot of curve balls. I always prided myself at being collected and in control of most situations, until Tara came into my life. Nothing was predictable anymore.

So I came back after leaving my not-yet-five year old, wondering what I was feeling. I was proud that Tara had the confidence to be without me and have a good time while she was at it. I was a bit nervous if I had done the right thing leaving her. Saying that, the other Mum was friendly and loving to Tara as were the children. Even the Grandmother was around for the day, and I got a good vibe from it all. But deep down, I feel a strange sadness. What is this feeling? I think it has something to do with my child not needing me. I know it's irrational, and every Mummy bird instinctively trains her Baby bird to fly and leave the nest eventually.

I just wasn't ready for 'eventually' to be today. Ten more minutes and I can pick up my Baby bird. Thank God she can't drive yet! :-)

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Busy, busy weekend

It's been a busy bank holiday weekend. My sister and her little boy came over to visit. It was a surprise for Tara who adores her older brother...that's my sister's son...not my secret first born :-)

Saturday started with picnics, and icecreams, while today was all about the beach, pub lunches and still more ice creams. We decided to ignore the weather and get on with having fun. Now its tired parents watching the news, and two blissed out children playing iphone games.

My sister and I are from a family of three, and we have one child each. My sister would have liked more children but had to settle for one, while I wanted none but decided on one. I don't think either my nephew or Tara feel deprived of siblings, neither are they spoiled children. They are both gentle, well mannered children who meet each other with great affection everytime they meet.

A lot of theories abound regarding only children and the disadvantages of being one, thankfully many of them disproved by this lovely boy and little girl totally content and happy playing together, and equally happy when they are by themselves.

The festivities continue! Bring out the pick-your-own strawberries and cream!

Friday, 4 May 2012

It's been three days since I've written and I do not enjoy the feeling. My blog space is my friend...a friendly friend, a non judgemental friend, a friend who does an amazing job of keeping giving me clarity and  perspective.

For three days, things in my life went awry.
1. The Husband who is never sick, fell sick.
2. Tara developed constipation and was a troubled child.
3. In my distracted worried state, I accidentally deleted my entire life's work from my computer - permanently.

Three days ago I would have rated the above events differently in order of trauma to self. I am surprised at how I reacted to the events of the past few days, and how quickly I proceeded from shock and horror to  realization, that as long as I have love, health and determination with me, nothing is as bad as it seems. I also noticed how much I agonized over events I had no control over. Shakespeare's words never rang 'truer' - "What's done cannot be undone." He should have also added, "Just get over it" or "Get on it with".

The computer. What can I say? Everything I had ever achieved, my past work, awards, records of achievements, my writing which I had hoped to publish someday, my insurance details, my correspondence records with various people, and some more...all gone. I was in the process of changing my computer, and was transferring data from my computer to an external hard drive. Things happened. All gone. I stressed, cried, tried every possible mode of recovery, then heard The Husband wheeze and collapse.

I checked him and he had a fever and was coughing and holding his head. He was due to drive back to work in a few hours but couldn't make the four and a half hour commute in this state. Knowing The Husband, he doesn't fall ill often, having taken only a day or two sick days in the last few years. I have never seen him so wobbly and ill. I had barely sorted him out when Tara's loud screams from the bathroom made me sprint to her.

She was inching away from the toilet, recoiling away from it, refusing to sit for a poop overdue by two days. That is a whole different story that ended with me playing midwife to my screaming daughter's giant, hard, never-seen-anything-like-it poop.

That was three days ago. This morning, the Husband is back at work, Tara is normal and getting ready for school with a smile, my data is lost forever. I can't do a thing about it, so I rationalized the issue, looking for some straw to clutch. I'm not back at work yet. Could this be a sign for me to re-think my work life? Does this give me an opportunity to re-train in something I really want to do, without the baggage of past achievements in a field I excelled at, but did not enjoy?

It will take me a while to really get over my data loss. I remember telling The Husband, my eyes full of tears, "I feel like a part of me does not exist anymore." That moment was very, very difficult. Then my little family had it's health crisis, and made me realize that I was still 'Mum' who has 'stuff' to do I will.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012


Attention all men! Attention also, all women who are lucky enough not to suffer from PMS.

PMS is real. It is not a figment of imagination. It affects the lives of millions of women worldwide, who have to fight the additional battle of how they are "supposed" to feel, against how they "really" feel. Some men, especially at the workplace, remark that it must be the "time of the month" should a woman not be even tempered on the day. Some women who do not experience PMS themselves, are also surprisingly insensitive and critical of their fellow sisters.

PMS is sometimes accompanied by a deeply uncomfortable physical aspect, where the slightest touch feels sharp, and parts of the body wince to the touch. It has varying degrees, from mild symptoms in nearly all women, feelings to extremely debilitating symptoms in some unlucky few.

Women with partners who are kind and sensitive to her during "those" days are very lucky. A hundred strewn socks and mugs are forgiven for them, and rightly so. I've had various post pregnancy health issues since having Tara, mercifully all of which were resolved this year. I probably suffer mild PMS once in a while, and still get very annoyed that I do. I do feel for women, especially Mums who have severe PMS. Life as a Mum is challenging enough, but adding loss of control on top of how one feels is terrible.

I wrote this today because of someone I know who has suffered quite severely, but considered herself too strong to seek help. Yesterday she finally decided to approach her doctor for relief. I hope she finds that relief without losing her self confidence or her belief that she is indeed a strong woman. Seeking help for PMS should be viewed as seeking help for any other medical condition, but it is not. Like depression.

It also struck me that my little girl who is four and a half will grow into a woman one day. I have to "talk" to her about changes to her body and what to expect. I don't remember my Mum having any "talks" with me. Things just happened and she showed me how to deal with it as we went along. I was fine with it. Do I want to follow the same approach with my little one? Not sure. Schools these days give a lot of information to very young children than they did before. The timing is not necessarily in the parents' control either. Under such circumstances, it is perhaps prudent for Mum to "get in there" first.

I am not looking forward to it. Maybe I shouldn't think about it...yet. The time span of innocence is getting shorter. Right now I want tolive in a world of dolls and fairies, bubbles and pink things, and all those things that little girls grow out of quickly.

I love you Tara. I will look after you the best I can. Can't wait for you to get back from school today. Mummy needs to give you a hug.