Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Be local, go global or transform into glocal?

I'm a frog in the well. Cushioned and protected most of my life, I've never really been "out there", "on my own" kind of stuff. It's been a fairly protected (sometimes overprotected) life I think.

So when it comes to Sonny Boy, I'm wondering what to do. His life is already like that. And I dread to think his life will be like mine.

It's not too bad. But it's every mother's bounden duty to worry about all sorts of things, right? Otherwise how do you live up that image of "mom"?

I was born in a hospital not more than half-kilometre from my grandparent's place. Then we moved into the ancestral property when I was about four or five. I've lived there ever since. My school, which was like LKG to Class 10, was  about 1.5 kilometres from home. College was the first time in my life where I stepped beyond that three kilometre radius, so to speak, on a regular everyday basis. PG was another one kilometre further!!!
My first workplace was within the same compound as my PG college! Hah, yeah laugh at me.
My second job took me another three kilometres further and my third job brought me back to about seven kilometres from home!
Jeez, after marriage, I moved four kilometres away from my folks, and now I'm back to being half-a-kilometre from them.

Even as I write it, I realise I can measure my life in kilometres! I mean, people change cities, countries, go out, move away, go live in hostels, in independent pads -- God! most of my life's over and I've had none of it.

Sonny Boy, I fear will also be the same. His playschool is across the road from my parents'. Planning to admit him in a school later, which is down the road. By the time he's in college he can decide (and his interests and marks can) where he'll be. Then It's his life, his call.

All logic points out that this is how it should be -- you go to a neighbouring school to avoid making young children travel long distances. It's safe for them, less worrisome for you. You become rooted in a neighbourhood and develop a strong sense of community, a pride in it, and therefore are more involved in the development of the place around you.

There's also that compelling option of of being "glocal" in nature (which many of us today are) -- where you're connected with the world, know what's happening, are in with it, are imbibing from a variety of  people and tapping into multiple resources, and yet, choose to be in your own community and give back to it in your own way, without causing a brain drain and resource drain.

Yet, there's life, calling out to you, beckoning. To come savour new experiences. And you're choosing to nod your head, and choose the cosy comfort of familiarity. Now, the thought of moving to a new city or country to start a new life honestly scares the hell out of me. There's a complacency and a smug belief that despite being home, I know everything. It's strange, this feeling. It's disconcerting.

And these days I think of it too much, worry about it too much. How much do we deny ourselves? How much of our life is our own choosing? And what do we learn or gain from it all at the end?

PS: Dear Rama, thanks for the wake-up call. Needed it. I know I haven't been posting regularly. There's been travel, attending a yoga retreat (my next post!), plumbing issues in the house (and much plumber chasing), a travelling job-changing husband to deal with, and increase in responsibilities at work. Of course, add to that plain ol' laziness to blog! But now that I've done it -- written this post -- I'm feeling better and energetic. Good to be back. Thanks for that much needed pinch :-)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Gone in 60 seconds

List of things that have been tossed out of our second-floor apartment window over the last few days by Sonny Boy :
1. Brand new blue baby-friendly fork
2. Stacking barrels
3. All sorts of packing material
4. Today he tried throwing out the ketchup bottle (stopped him in time)
5. He almost threw out the house keys (stopped him in time)
6. Husband's Old Spice after shave and powder
7. My chapati-wrapping foil

8. Souvenir fridge magnet
9. His favourite green plastic ball
Things Sonny's been emptying on the floor, all bottles and cups, bottoms up
1. Water (everyday from my bottle)
2. A whole bottle of moisturiser on my silk cushion cover :-(
3. My MIL's homemade groundnut chutney sent across hundreds of kilometres (couldn't save it)
4. Salt from the jar on the table (a few spoons every day)
5. Today morning, my lunch box full of curd rice (stopped him in the nick of time).
What is it with kids this age and wanting to throw things out the window, spill it on the floor?
Uncontrollable desire to destruct?
Joy of seeing mommy erupt like a volcano after she comes running faster than most athletes from the kitchen?
I can't figure it out.
And it's annoying, keeping an eye on him always and trying to guess what he's going to attack next.
Next I'll have to put a net across the windows -- what all must one do to tackle these phases?
Or, just sit back and watch
In the hope that tomorrow (or as soon as that) he will be a different person.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Your child is insecure, intoverted and cries all the time: We give up

It was anything but a warm welcome after the travel-intensive office conference trip. The little joys of me time were swept way by a flood of criticism, pointing fingers and accusing statements.

Landed back home to realise we're due at a parent-teacher meeting at Sonny Boy's playschool. It was our first, and boy! Was it a disaster!

The school's director and his class teacher, in no un-certain terms told us that Sunny Boy was insecure, introverted and shy, refused to mix with other children, didn't want to participate in any of the class activities, doesn't sing rhymes, only does actions sometimes, refuses to jump on the trampoline, refuses to change class or teacher, was even scared of holding a crayon! That he cries too much, doesn't eat what's in his box, that other children were losing out on a whole lot of fun because Sonny Boy was pretty un-handlable!

THAT i thought was the last straw.

They said they had "given up" on him because he refused to "settle down" despite being at the playschool since June.

They told us that we must make him more secure and loved, wanted. We must use more physical touch to give him the reassurance.

It was a hard slap for me across my face. Because at home, he's never like this.
He loves his crayons and colouring.
He sings all his rhymes with action at home.
Yes, he cries a lot and throws tantrums -- a problem we're trying to solve too.

What hurt most was the curt way in which they told us he was beyond control. And that we were to blame. They asked us for solutions.

Agreed as a parent, we must be actively involved in solving the issue at hand, but doesn't the teacher play any role in this?
We put him in this playschool simply because unlike others, they seemed informal, ready accept each child as an individual, with different rates of development.
The classes or groups were small -- his initial group had six kids and three teachers -- that was good I thought.

What happened along the way, I wonder? He would come back initially happy with rhymes. Now he wakes up in the morning absolutely refusing to go to playschool.

In the last about 36 hours of desperation and depression I have read up vaguely on autism, stumbled upon selective mutism, childhood insecurity, separation anxiety, toddler anxiety....I've considered changing playhome, considered quitting job and staying home with him, pulling him out for a few months from any playschool....

Feeling guilty that I didn't notice all this till now, miserable that we may have caused it and vicious against the teachers for being so mean about it.

Confused, and searching for answers....