Day 24: Guest Post – A book by Daughter

We have a budding writer in our family. Daughter. She has been writing books, chapters and all. Me, being the lazy me, haven’t typed it out to showcase her writing. Today, she has been adding a new book to the popular ‘Malory Towers’ series by Enid Blyton.Here is what she has written so far.  So over to her.

Bluebell at Malory Towers

Chapter 1: New Arrivals

“Come on, Come on”, shrieked Felicity Rivers to her best friend Susan while running to the Malory Towers train.

“The train is here!”

Susan said, ” I can’t wait to back and see June, Freddie, Nora, Pam and everybody else.”

“I wonder if we have any new girls in our form this term”, said Felicity.

Suddenly two very familiar figures leapt out of the train. It was June and Freddie.

” Seen any new girls?”, calls Susan to June.

“Sure have,” said June grinning, ” Meet Bluebell and her twin sister Buttercup”, and out came the twins, one gracefully, the other leaping out enthusiastically.

“This is Felicity and Susan,” said Freddie to the twins.

To be Continued….

P.S. She has also created a ‘cover’ but refuses to let me photograph it.

Day 5: Conversations..

Husband and I were watching CNN-IBN
after ages. We get only NDTV here, and it was nice watching something else for a change.

Me: (watching Rajdeep Sardesai) He looks so much older now. But then my memories of him are from 2002-2003.
Husband: And so different from 1994.
Me: 1994? I don’t quite remember seeing him then.
Husband: No? You haven’t seen Qayamat se Qayamat Tak?

That was when it sunk in. He was talking about Aamir Khan who Sardesai was interviewing, while I was taking of Sardesai. Sigh!

On a lazy Saturday, I was cuddling up to daughter and talking nonsense. It went on until she got fed up and said,
‘ Can you please not talk for a while? I’m trying to read!’

I had big plans of trying to wear a little make up, for a change, when I went back to work. Of course, that never happened. Most days I am in such a rush, that I’m lucky that I’m dressed completely. New Year’s Eve, I decided to dress up a bit. I had just put on some eyeliner. A tiny bit. Daughter takes one look and says,’ You look like an old woman with wrinkly skin.’

Well, just as well that I can’t do make-up.

The first of the holiday period, that I left Daughter and husband and went to work, she was in tears. However she soon copped on to the fact that she could get away with doing nothing the whole day, more easily with Daddy. At the end of the day, I would be greeted by a ragamuffin of a child. I suspect the only way I can change that is if I carry out my threat to chop off her hair if I see her all untidy like that 🙂

So Daughter loves Harry Potter. She has read and reread the Harry Potter series, a million times. She’s still reading them like she is doing a thesis on them. And every so often she tries to test my knowledge of the series. I’ve been alright until she started asking me things like people’s middle names and stuff. And nothing makes her happier than seeing me at a loss for words!

While on Harry Potter, daughter had never watched the movies until these holidays. We worked through the movies one by one. Of course, someone would hide behind a cushion at times, but would refuse to stop watching it! And of course there were some ‘ But that’s not the same in the book!’ moments 🙂

image

The Generation Gap

Husband was telling Daughter that we didn’t have television while we were growing up.

Pat came the question, ‘So how did you watch the telly, on the phone? Or on YouTube?’

After we stopped laughing, we told her that at her age, we didn’t even have a phone in the house, asking her, ‘Can you imagine how tough it must have been to call our friends and relatives?’.

‘So did you communicate using emails?’

It is funny how Daughter finds it so difficult to even understand how different lives were while we were growing up. She couldn’t bring her head around the fact that so many things that she uses on an everyday basis, was not even part of our lives, when we were her age.

So much so, that she had to ask, ‘So, did you feel like you were living in the olden times?’

Just for the sake of recording things.

I don’t write too much about Daughter these days. I guess the fact that she is older and far more independent helps, plus the fact that I don’t want this place to be about me being a gushing mommy.

But some things need to be recorded. Like the way she has been a super trooper this last year. I have always said that the only reason I was able to do all the relocating and the re-relocating was because Daughter was such a star. The first two weeks in India was manic. And she was right there, patiently reading a book while I sorted out the plans for the new kitchen or helped me select sofas by trying each one out, being a star even when she was tired. All that I needed to do was bribe her with some books. At the end of long days, we would stop at Landmark and pick up books. That would be enough to keep her spirits high.

The whole time in India, wasn’t easy on her. She was missing her dad, and yet she did not act up as much as she could have. Just as we got settled in, plans changed and we had to move back. For her, moving back was more fun, she was going to be back with her dad, and in a lot of ways, she missed the UK. I realized how much only when we got back here.

Coming back here, going to a new school, making new friends, she did it all. Before we knew it, she was settled in, happy. I was worried about how she would cope up because the syllabus here is much more vast, but she did fine. The teachers and the school were great, and she did fine.

Yesterday was the last day of school for her. This school is only until Year 2. Next year they will transfer into another school. It made me wonder how she would manage, after all she has changed 3 schools in 14 months. This change, of course, is the easiest because quite a few of her classmates would going to the same school with her and she is excited and looking forward to it.

Sometimes, I would wonder if all our shifting around would have had a negative impact on her, but thankfully she seems quite alright for it. Yes, she doesn’t have close friends who she has known since she was a toddler or anything, but she has learnt that she can make new friends. If anything, I’m hoping that it just gave her an experience to cherish and learn from. One of the things I have realized is that children are truly resilient.

One of the things that I worry about is the peer pressure. Although there is nothing much we can do, apart from helping her be secure and confident. Slowly, I can see influences creeping in. Daughter and her friends discuss more than Disney movies, for instance. These days they seem to discuss Simon Cowell and 1 Direction. And the other day,while watching Despicable Me 2, there was this scene in which a teenage girl is falling in love with a boy, and she turns to me and giggles and says,’ She’s falling in love, Amma!’. And this from a child who watches only age appropriate stuff!

The other day, she went to a birthday party where they discussed what each of them wanted to be when they grew up. Apparently, all the other girls wanted to be dancers and singers. So I asked her about what she said. Apparently, she stuck to what she wants to be a ‘Dinosaur Scientist'(her own words, and what she wants to be, at the moment), and apparently they others gasped. She went on to tell me that some of the girls ‘changed’ what they wanted to be, just because they wanted to say the same things as their friends. ‘But that shouldn’t matter, should it, Amma?’ She asked, ‘ We should say what we really want to be, not what our friends say!’.

That, I have to say, certainly made me happy. Fingers crossed, she will remain this way. Knowing her mind and confident in her choices.

The best sort of worries..

…have to be the unfounded ones…

One of the biggest worries I had with all this shuttling back and forth, across countries was Daughter.

One of the reasons I wanted to move back to Bangalore was to put an end to our nomadic lifestyle and put down roots. The dream that I had of daughter growing up in one place, with friends that she would have known for ages. Not a huge deal, I know, but one can fantasize..

Clearly that was not what was ordained for us. And it really worried me that we were turning daughter’s life upside-down, too much, too often. The biggest challenge has always been getting the right school. By the right school, what mean, if course, if the right environment for her, where she is allowed to be herself, while being pushed into improving herself.. Too much to ask for, I know. Any school will do, as far as she’s happy, I guess. In India, I just went with the only school where I managed to get admission into, hoping that it would be fine. It was, thankfully, and it also had loads of children from our apartment so things were smooth.

Moving back to UK, came with its own set of school related worries. Especially since it was midterm, and chances of getting anywhere decent would be slim. I had resigned to the fact that she might get into some not-so-great schools, as the others would certainly be over subscribed.

To my absolute astonishment(delighted astonishment, I have to say), she got into a very good school. A bit farther than I would have liked, but that hardly matters, does it, as far as she is in a happy, secure environment.

It was her first day today, and she is back happy. Can’t ask for more.

Little things..

..that make a world of difference to me these days..

– over hearing daughter’s friend saying,’ your mom’s really nice’ and daughter agreeing,’ Yes, she is, she’s the loveliest mum!’. That just made my day.

– help pouring in when I need it the most. In the form of play dates for daughter, getting people who might be interested in buying my furniture. Even forwarding an email, makes so much of a difference. Meena, you are one of those angels:)

– friends travelling from the other side of town, just to meet us, some with their tiny babies.. Makes me feel so blessed.

– getting free books at Landmark:) We got so many three for two deals, that we hauled back far more books than we had thought possible. Of course it threw all my planning out of the door, but books are certainly worth the trouble, no?

– seeing furniture go. The first time it happened, it broke my heart. The next time onwards, my heart shouted out in glee. One more gone! One less to worry about.

– losing and finding things. If I had a penny for all the things I lost and found in the last few days… Finding them again is so delightful!

– Rain! Never thought I’d say this, and will probably nor say it again until we get back to India again, but right now, rain makes me want to go dance in it:)

– family, friends, neighbors checking on you. Especially friends and neighbors, people who I have known for less than a year, but yet have grown close to. The one big advantage of frequent moves, has to be, getting to meet so many new people.

As I type this, I realize that I am indeed blessed. Most difficult things in life, do come with a silver lining.

Just to make note of a milestone..

.. daughter’s very first exam!

She did take a ballet exam last year, but this would be her first academic exam. And I am the only one worried about it, it’s just another day for her!

She woke up at 5:30 this morning, and says,’I can’t wait to get to school today!,’ my ears couldn’t believe it! Really? That excited about exams? But then she went on to say, ‘I can’t wait to wish S on his birthday!’. It’s her friend S’s birthday, and clearly birthday are far far more important than exams 🙂

If she remains this cool about exams, I would certainly be the happiest mum!

Because I have too much to say..

.. I post when I can ill afford to. And then check the comments and can’t resist responding to them. Before I know it, the day’s gone and nothing has actually got done.

What do I do, sometimes there is just so much for me to say. Husband says I always have too much to say, but let’s forget that for a moment, shall we?

Yesterday daughter came home saying, ‘Amma, you know S? Her mum has 3 daughters and now she has one more baby in her tummy! How is she going to manage four children? Amma, if you had 4 children, would you have given 3 away for adoption and kept only me?

I was aghast! Clearly my daughter knows how inefficient I am! ‘No, darling, if I had 4 children, I would look after them, just as I look after you’.

Her: ‘ But then may be I would have to learn to cook and everything, because you wouldn’t have time to do everything’. What can I say, just goes to show that my inefficiency is very, very evident to my daughter 😦 Yesterday, we did miss the school bus, but in my defense, we got delayed because we were having a very interesting discussion on something. Maybe, husband does have a point about me talking too much. Sigh!

Talking of children and how having them affects things, Rahul Gandhi seems to have his priorities sorted. Such a patriotic man, he is giving up on having children just so that India gets rid of ‘high command’ politics! Now, that has to be called dedication! Can we think of any others with such lofty ideals? Oh wait! Maybe, that’s what Mayawati, Mamata and Modi have been doing too! See, we are so quick to condemn politicians, while all they’ve been doing is making such huge, huge sacrifices for the country. Forget having children, they even refuse to marry. Because of course, marriage is only for procreation! It’s just us ordinary mortals who believe in marriage being for other things like companionship and joys of having a soulmate.

I’m having a steady stream of visitors at my place – tenants viewing the house and removals surveyors. It feels like it is never ending. And sometimes when you cancel other stuff and wait for them, they don’t turn up. Argh! The whole process of packing up is scaring me. So much to do. So many things to get rid off, to give away, to pack away.. I hadn’t realized how many things have added up since we came here. Plus craft work! What do I do with all of daughter’s craft work. Too precious to throw away, nobody who would want to take it away.. and no way of taking it back with me. And too many things to take to my parent’s place already without adding these as well.

I’ve got to run now. Too many tasks staring at me while I type away at the laptop.