17 May 2010
I have never written public blog letters to you and your sister. I had my reasons. Now, Mieja, this is my letter to you. My first public, blog letter to you. I have my reasons.
If I ever write your biography, the chapter that covers 3.5 years – 4 years of your life will certainly be titled HEART ACHE. To call the past six months as turbulent will be an understatement.
Your motto has always been Vini Vidi Vici – you came, you saw us all and you conquered us all with your laugh, love, expression and attitude. You make me laugh like there is no tomorrow. When I hug you, I feel this sense of contentment swell inside of me. You have multiple facets, all of which I enjoy. Heck, I enjoy even your ‘padagamani'( adamant and aggressive ) side. You have always gone by ‘naan oru mudivu pannital, appuram nane yen pechai ketka maten’ (Translates to: If I decide something, then I will not listen to me convincing myself to change my decision.) and in the past I have found it awfully cute. The thought that this child is my last child softens parents in many ways. It is an abstract feeling that can only be experienced and cannot be explained.
Any thing goes is definitely not what flies in our house. Your appa and I believe that discipline is not a dirty word. We view it more as setting safe limits within which you and your akka can explore. It will be false to say that we do not have any expectations on you and your akka. Though the two of you are young, we do have expectations, age appropriate expectations on you both. We are not new, inexperienced parents any more. Tantrums neither scare us nor embarrass us. We are level headed to view it as mismatched expectations and are willing to work through it.
Now, something happened. Or may be many things happened….. I am not sure, but I can only make educated guesses. May be you moved from what Dr.Montessori would call ‘just existing’ to ‘conscious existence’. May be you are trying to learn your limits by pushing our limits. May be you delicate digestive system is still in the process of maturing and you are suffering from the same lactose intolerance and acid reflux that made you scream in pain 24X7 the first two weeks after you were born. May be you are trying to define your niche in house and in school. May be you are trying to run with the top dogs too soon. May be you are competing with your sister. May be you are competing with your self. May be you found that by screaming you get my attention sooner that anything else and decided to take that short cut. May be you are feeling insecure…..
As a result of this, the past six months have been non stop crying and plain unhappiness – mostly for you. What shocked me was the rage, the anger that emanated from you and that you blamed me for your unhappiness. It was not just me, but your teachers also noticed it. What started as hugging my legs and refusing to say goodbye to me when I drop you off in your classroom, only worsened over the past three months. You regressed in certain areas I thought you had already mastered. Your teachers were surprised that you were having separation anxiety after being in same classroom, with the same teachers for the past two years.
We had a conference and discussed certain things that have been sending red flags right, left and center in my mind. Most of the red flags, your teachers said, were ‘preferences’. Strong, rigid and to some extent eccentric, but they did put my mind to ease by saying that there is no cognitive dissonance.
The real slap in the face came to me, when the head teacher of your classroom, the director of your school, a very patient, kind and nurturing soul called me aside and gave me ‘the note’. After an unhappy good bye in the morning, you were sitting with your teacher and she made conversation with you. After long probing you told her that you were MAD at me. Your teacher suggested that you write a letter to me. You dictated. She wrote. And I am holding the note that says, “To mommy, Mommy, I am having fights with you. That makes me sad.” Slap. End of story.
Since then, I have been trying to get a break. One thing I strongly believe is that, when you are desperate for something, the universe conspires to give you exactly what you ask for. It may not be packaged in the way we want it. But you get it. The challenge is to recognize it and make the most of it.
The break I have been asking for came as a real break…. in my tail bone. I fell on the stairs and broke my tail bone. The positive aspect of it is that I get to stay at home and spend some time with you. Real, quality time that is not measure in minutes but in love. I am able to slow down and give you the focus you need without cutting down on the time I spend with your sister.
You will be four in a week. Hoping that the chapter about your fourth year will be titled CONTENTMENT.
More love than you can ever imagine