Becoming a soccer mom

Hello there again! I know its been 3 months since I came anywhere near this blog, but what can I say? I have just been lazy or busy devouring books from the library. Have you read “The Girl on the Train” or the “Book Thief” or “Me before you?” – go read them. I enjoyed them all.

But that is not the reason for this post. I thought I have to document these happenings somewhere because I am slowly becoming what they call here “a soccer mom” – in my understanding is a mom who drives her kids around for all their various activities and kind of dedicates her life to them?

a. Last week on Wednesday, Sam had a school field trip to watch a live show of ‘Madagascar’ at a theatre near by and we got the chaparone slip home the week before. I kept thinking if I should take a half day off and do it (I chaparoned last year in NJ when we went to the Crayola factory – and I see that I have not documented here! tsk, tsk)  or not. Sam came home on thursday and said “Amma, tomorrow last day – did you give that pink slip saying that you will come?” There, that did it. I sent the slip with a warning to Sam saying that its last minute and its going to be a lucky draw so I might not be selected and he shouldn’t be disappointed. In less than an hour of school opening on friday, I get an email from his class teacher saying that my name was drawn out of the hat! So, we went, sonny boy and me – all happy happy, sitting next to each other in the bus and at the theatre and it was a half day well spent.

b. Hubby has been travelling for the past 3 weeks and had to be at work on saturday too. So, all the driving Sam to classes  has fallen on me. I managed the 1 mile drive to ice-skating and the 1.5mile drive to the swimming pool on saturday and sunday and still went along with a friend for the evening swim lessons. However, this past saturday, Sam had soccer from 10am to 11am and ice-skating from 11.05am and the soccer field was a good 4-5miles away. I panicked. I told hubby to ditch soccer and ice-skating I can manage. Huh! Which husband listens to his wife? 😦 Nothing doing, he said. So, I packed ice skaing clothes, water,coat etc; got Sam ready and off we went driving all the way to the soccer match. I left home 10mins early, just so that I don’t panic while driving. Once his soccer match was done by 10.50, I told him, he needs to strap himself and then change clothes in the car while I drove. Surprise, surprise! the boy who is always lost day dreaming managed to get his cleats,long tight socks, shin guards and change from soccer shorts to fleece pants and regular socks and managed to drink the juice – all in the 10mins it took me to drive from the soccer field to the ice-skating class!

I was thrilled, I felt so happy and confident that I wanted to dash off this post on saturday, but I felt silly too. So many moms do this on a regular basis when the husbands travel. So, I slept over it, mulled over it, but it still feels like a personal achievement for both Sam and me! Now, I can say I can drive the kid to all his classes without sounding fake! yaay! I can drive! *wait wait-I am still not going to drive to walmart though 😛 *

 

Day 30- Books recently read

The best part of living here are the amazing libraries. Even more so, the online access – I can sit at home and take books on loan for 14days. Even those that do not have a hard copy available yet. I have finished all the latest Danielle Steele and Nora Roberts and Debbie Macomber.

One that I recently read was Jeffery Archer’s last book of the Clifton Chronicles – This was a Man. – Definitely not as fast paced as the previous ones but I think it had to slow down by the time the hero’s life ended too – right?

For Sam, after reading Sangi’s post, I picked up Joy Berry Wilt’s books on – Whining, interrupting and being forgetful as these are the issues that we are facing every single day. There are more on these behaviour issues that I intend to pick up the next time around. Thanks Sangi!

I also picked up Guess how much I love you – which Sam read within a few minutes and also made his Dad read it for him 🙂 and Free to be You and Me. Problem with Free to be You and Me is that it has more poetry that Sam could not relate to. One look through the book and reading a couple pages and he said he did not want to read that anymore.

I finally picked up The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton to start Sam with more chapter books with lesser pictures. We read 1 chapter every night and I am glad that he seems to be looking forward to it and talks about it. I hope this helps him with the comprehension issues that he teacher has been talking about in class.

Next in list is Diary of Wimpy kid that a friend graciously has lent. Said her son who is Sam’s classmate reads and enjoys them.

I read a few more books the last couple of months but I am unable to recall them right now 😦 I also have the following books placed on hold from the library:

a. Harry Potter and the cursed child – I STILL haven’t been able to get my hands on this book!

b. Me before you – after reading at many of your blogs

c. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseni

d. the Spy by Paulo Coelho

1 each of Nora roberts/Danielle steele and Debbie Macomber. There are plenty of Jodi Picoult too but each time I get it until checkout and drop it in fear that it will affect my mood. However much I love her books, i kind of get depressed or it gets too heavy for me to read it all at one go. And I am not ready to get more depressed than I already am what with this lousy weather and not going out anywhere.

One thing I really miss in these libraries are the Indian Authors and the historic fictions. I should hoard them the next time I go to Bengaluru.

Day 29 – Are we behind the curve?

Like I said before, Sam goes to quite a few classes – Monday music class, monday and tuesday an hour extra primetime in school (now that it is winter and he cannot play outdoor)for Chess and Lego robotics, saturdays are for ice skating. We plan to also get him to start swimming come February. Ofcourse the spring soccer in April.

All these classes are as a hobby. Neither hubby nor me think much about this. Even Karate, soccer and swimming are more of something that can help him get rid of the excess energy and we keep thinking of such activities for him. We are not very keen on sending him to Kumon or Russian math or any other language classes or for that matter art because a. we know he does not have interest in sitting through art class b. these classes feel more educative and again class room-ish than fun and activity.

But, we see a lot of parents who do kumon and math classes. The parents take these classes more seriously than the kids and driving them around 2-3 days a week. All 5 days have some class or the other where as we have wed,thur and fri free. Infact we try to keep the weekend free too for purely selfish reasons that we don’t have to drive him anywhere or we can make other weekend plans.

We have never considered these activities as competitive sport either. Swimming is a life-skill we think and skating is fun. Soccer is something all kids do here and you know…while in Rome…When we meet and hear other parents talking about how the kids are performing and what next- oh! this club for soccer and this for swimming and we want them to compete… I wonder – Are we behind the curve? We never tell Sam to be competitive, we always only tell him to do his best and enjoy the sport. It is ok if he is not the best. And I am wondering today, after another such discussion, are we not telling him the right thing? Should we tell him to be competitive and push and rush and enter the race?

 

I am very confused right now and taking this to bed with me…Good night!

Day 28 – Ice Skating Saturday

Winter in Chicago – everyone knows how cold it can get. Along with it comes some fun activities like the sledging we did during that snow storm or playing with snow. More organised are the classes – Ice skating/ice hockey even performance skating.

The town where we stay has its own program and events for spring/summer/fall and winter and when the booklet for winter came home, we saw ice skating for kids. It sounded fun and since this is something Sam can learn only here, we enrolled him for 50mins class every Saturday morning.

The very first class we went, I was all excited, I told the hubby that we could rent skates and try to skate for an hour someday once Sam learns how to do it. Then, during the class I saw – I saw how everyone was falling – every kid was falling on his/her butt and falling real hard! Poor kids… I felt really sorry for them. But being the smart adult, I backed out of trying it myself. 😛

Poor Sam, he doesn’t know he has a choice of backing out 😛 Evil parents that we are, we promise him warm bath tub time and take him to class 😀 Today, was the 4th class and he has finally learnt to skate a little without falling flat on his back! But each class is a challenge. Every class they teach them to bend knees, touch toes, wiggle their waist and today it was lifting leg and skating on 1 leg! My God! How the kids fell and how well they all just got up and tried again! Kudos to all the kids who come there with the determination of learning!

Me? I’m the insensitive mom who giggles when he falls. Here’s a picture of Sam trying to learn to skate:

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And hey! I have to add, I drove him to the skate class today because hubby was travelling and was still returning from the airport. Times like these I feel like an achievement on the driving front! Should just get out there and do it!

 

Day 27 – Sam Updates(3)

Sam always has an ear for music. He used to catch the lyrics of Hindi songs that played on the radio even in Bangalore so I am not surprised that he learnt quite a few songs from one of his friends in school.

During Thanksgiving 2015, while my in-laws were visiting, we were in Washington DC at a relative’s house. Their son, a nurse at a hospital close by was home for the holidays too, and to spend time with us. On day 2 in their house, he comes and tells me – I hope you know Sam has learnt this new song from school. My only question was “Is it appropriate for him?” And Abhi says, yes, it is the top of the charts right now and Sams says he learnt it seeing some kids dancing to this in school. I was quite surprised that Sam hadn’t mentioned it to me. So, I put the song on youtube and watched/listened to it until i was convinced that it was ok for Sam to know. Now, everytime I hear this song, it reminds me of Abhi and this incident 🙂

The American boy that he is becoming, here are some of the songs he has learnt from friends around him. Some of them are fine, some of them I am not OK with the lyrics, but hubby says not to make a deal of it as all kids are singing these songs. One more song I liked that Sam sings:

I had never heard of him before, but apparently Charlie Puth is quite famous on the music scene now. Here are a couple of his songs that I hear all the kids here singing: (Not very happy with these songs though 😦 )

And then finally, my boy has become Amreecan:

On Tuesday, while having bath, he asks me “Amma, is it ok if I love anyone else also, other than you?”

Me “Yeeesssss, who else do you love? Appa?” Wondering where this is going

Sam “Nooooo….. I think I love I” *My heart stopped beating and Sam was looking at my face for a reaction*

Me “Who is she? In your class?”

Sam “Yes”

Me “Why do  you think you love I?”

Sam ” I like her, I like talking to her”

Me “OK”

After a few seconds of me not saying anything else

Sam “Don’t worry Amma, I will always love you”

Abbha! Thank you God! My son is giving me assurances that he will love me forever!

But I couldn’t stop smiling or worrying if this was ok. What? He just turned 7 and he is talking about love? In my head I’m thinking “You can’t even wash your bum properly yet or have your own bath and you are in luuvvv???”

I called the hubby and told him. He says”I thought this was coming, he has spoken about I a couple of times before” My eyes just popped out – what? Aren’t you worried? He says “Why worry? See think like this, now you know your son likes girls” Duh!! really? and he says “Relax R, this is the age when he starts liking girls, I also remember I was in 2nd grade when I first liked some girl”

After that I am left thinking – Am I retarded or what? Why I didn’t know what crush was until I was in 9th grade. Stupid me!

Sigh… I just hope he – I mean Sam! comes and tells me about all the girls he ‘likes’ *rolling eyes* and patting my heart to get it to normal rate again…

Happy Weekend folks!

Day 13- Sam updates (2)

It’s Friday again, so I will make this a Sam update post. Rather how we as parents, procrastinate 😦

I wrote last week about how things are at the school. Maybe I will write more about studies in another post, but this is more about everything else.

While we shifted, within the week, we thought we should get Sam to start his swimming and karate so that there will not be too much break. I did my online research and we went and inquired for both karate and swimming close to home. At least, I thought, I could drive him for the swimming myself. All planned and set and the fellow fell ill. It took him a good 1 week to get back to normal and became very weak. To add to it, it was beginning to get cooler too. In between, hubby got him into Fall soccer club too while I wanted to wait for a couple of weeks until he feels better to start any classes.I panicked. There, that started the procrastination. In the meantime, the DeepawaLi evening was organised in the community and I got him to join a group dance taught by one of the moms right across the street here. I also got to know of a lady who teaches Carnatic vocal within the community and started to send him to it too. He has a good ear for music so I thought maybe he can learn if it interests him. So far, touchwood, he seems to be enjoying it. I joined dance class myself. There was bombe habba and my travel to NJ on work too. Between all these, Sam’s swimming and karate took a back seat. Oh! And there was soccer on saturdays as well.

Post DeepawaLi we thought we will send him to classes now and he fell sick-again! This time more severe with antibiotics and all. Again, a stop to all classes. Except, we got him to join the winter session of Prime Time classes for 2 days a week. 1 extra hour in school until 4:30 of Chess and Robotics that he seems to be enjoying. Then came December and holidays. All classes closed. Now, here we are in January, and apart from the primetime, he continues to go to music class and starting yesterday his ice skating classes have started. the other 3 weekdays he has fun with the apartment boys with the 2hr playdates. For us, as long as he continues to expend that energy and able to sit through the classes, it is sufficient. The gaps in swimming and karate have taken a backseat. Sometimes I wonder if he will have to learn Karate from scratch again, but if that is how it is to be, then so be it…

 

Day 8- The birthday Tshirt

Those of you who have been coming here, know that I try to paint a Tshirt for Sam every year. What to paint is his choice. There has been Chota Bheem, Chipmunks and last year he asked for Spiderman. I did my best but when he saw it, he said “This is uncle Spidey” 😦 Though he did wear it for his birthday party, I made sure that he never wore it to school.

This year, he said he wanted Ninja with specifics – a Golden Ninja with a dragon. So, I showed him images on google, and he showed me a picture of ninja in action while I was showing him a simpler just a Ninja face. *sigh* I asked for it I think. I told him that I cannot do a Ninja sitting on the dragon but i could try to do a Ninja in an action. Thankfully, he was satisfied with the result this year. Hubby said it has come out very well, so I even let him wear it to school this year 🙂

Look at the 2 pictures and give me your opinion:

Day-6-Sam updates (1)

I remember the times I used to do Friday fun Chuktu posts. Now that the boy has grown up so much, there doesn’t seem to be too much of fun stuff to write. But I do want to put some things that are currently happening and how he throws me these googlies that are hard to handle sometimes!

Now that he is in 2nd grade, there is a lot more expectation from him in school. Time and time again, we have been told he is impulsive. There was a call from school one day that he threw the milk carton into the trash sitting in his place which fell down and spilt on the cafeteria floor. The call came from the Assistant principal. I was worked up, completely. I had no idea what had happened. He comes home and gives me the most simple explanation – that someone was blocking him from getting up and walking so he got worried that he will not be able to put it in trash before the trash cart was pushed away – so he had to throw it. Hmmmm…. I told him to wait and walk himself once he got the chance and then trash it.

The next time, he got pulled up for talking. Once in the line on the way back from cafeteria (“Amma, I was telling Vivo to watch out otherwise he would bang into ….I dont remember what it was now) and once in the bus(“Amma, I was planning a playdate with A) Phew, the impulsiveness! I had to seriously tell him that I did not want to be called from school again for these things. But I also felt sorry for him – I am like that, impulsive and quite loud 😦 Something comes to my mind, it needs to get sorted out as quickly as possible.

Then,just before the vacation started, he came home crying one day “Don’t scold me Amma, but I had to go to Asst.principal again today”. Why? Because the girl D was hitting boy I and Sam could not keep quiet because I is his friend and he had to help his friend. So, he stood up and he asked her to sit down and interfered while the 2 were fighting. This happened in the bus again where nobody is supposed to stand while the bus is in motion. All 3 of them were sent to the office by the bus driver. Now, what am I to do? Tell him to mind his own business and curb his nature to help those he thinks are in trouble? Or tell him it was the right thing to do and to continue helping others even though it gets him into trouble in the process?

But when it comes to taking care of himself – he cries and complains to his teacher if someone is bothering him. His teacher says he is the sweetest kid in class who does not raise his hands AT ALL. She told us that she has told Sam, he will get her full support but he needs to learn to stand up for himself and so, speak back if someone is trying to bother him/bully him. What a contradiction!!

How do we bring up this child?

Day-4 – What happened next…

In my last post I said, we moved mid August and found us a good community apartment and met people. Those were the high lights.

What also happened was that the little fellow fell sick. Continuously. Like how it used to be a few years ago in Bengaluru. The doctor here refused to see him even after telling him that his medical papers from NJ were on its way to his office. I was furious with the system. My baby was running a temperature of 103/104 deg F and the doctor refuses to see him. They do not hand over any of the medical papers or the school papers to the parents either! Thank God for wonderful family. We called hubby’s cousin who is a pediatrician here, rather Facetimed with him, he spoke to Sam, told us to give him steam,give him fever reducing medicine  and continue to monitor his temperature through the night. He gave us confidence that it might not be as bad as it looks and that do not hesitate to take him to emergency if necessary during the night and if something like that happens – to keep him posted. Thankfully, after every 4hrs of medicating him the fever remained at 100/101F and by next day the medical papers had reached this doctor here and we could meet them. It was a viral at that time. Within 3 weeks, he fell sick again! this time more severe with Bronchitis and had to be put on Antibiotics 😦 To top it off, we had to get a fresh medical done for the school with blood work and eye test. The eye test result was that he was diagnosed to have short-sight (yeah yeah just like his mom sadly) and now wears glasses.

With all this happening, we could not take Mom and Dad out as we had planned. Finally, the weekend before they had to travel back, Mom stayed back 1 day with Sam while we took Dad to the Art institute of Chicago to see the Vivekananda way and the place where he gave his speech. The next day, hubby took them both to the temple and Vivekananda ashrama where his statue is erected while I stayed home with Sam.

The weather did not help either. It was (continues to be) extremely cold and windy and snowed too without school being closed. I still have no idea how warm he keeps himself while he plays outside at school though he told me that they do not allow the kids to play without wearing caps,snow boots and snow pants.

With all this, he missed 8 days of school and was worried that he will not be able to participate in the class play while i worried that he is missing the lessons and falling back on the reading and the math.

I hope the beginning of the year brings some immunity and good health to all of us too.

The First Sleepover Saga

I am wondering where to start this post from. Sam thinks he is now grown up to make his own decisions. He has been having play-dates with his friend (both going to grade 2 now) within the community almost 3 days every week and both kids are very comfortable in either home. But, they both need their mommies at night. Last week, suddenly this friend of Sam’s decided he wants to have a sleepover. The mommy said she is fine with it because she wants the kid to try it out.  Thinking that it is going to be here in our home, I agreed too. Come Monday, the friend chickened. Sam, who had gone to their house for a playdate decided he wants to stay over for the sleepover that night. I asked him to come home for sometime, change into his pajamas and take his toothbrush for the next morning. I also had to ask the daddy’s permission, guess what?! daddy, who is in Chicago, said ‘NO’! There began a huge tantrum “I want to do, what I want to do”, ” I have promised him that I will come and I will become bad if I don’t go” etc etc; Since I was comfortable with the family and knew he would be safe I thought it would be a good idea to try. Also, I wanted to show Sam that we trust him to take some decisions on his own now and this would be a good time, I thought. Also,  I secretly hoped that he will come back in the night 😛

A few calls later, I managed to convince daddy that we should try. By then, the little monster who Mom had taken out walking (my parents are here, remember?) came back. When I told him that he can go, a whole new can of worries cropped up in the little head. Now, he panicked. He didn’t want to go. What if he got nightmares? What if he wanted to huggie-sleep? Can I also go with him for the sleep-over? Call and tell aunty that I don’t want to go…He got so worked up about it that he began to cry again! By then it was 8pm and I wanted to calm him. I told him to think about it while I fed him dinner – yes, I fed him dinner because he was so worked up and worried that I knew he wouldn’t eat – so much, that he said his tummy ached! It was in knots! I finally got him to calm down and began to feed him dinner and think about it, that I will call and cancel if he did not want to go even after dinner. Before dinner could end, they all came home to pick him up. Aunty, uncle and the friend! So, someone forgot all worries and got into the car happily. They all watched a movie until 12am and then apparently the worries began again. He made sure aunty slept next to him, held her hand, told her to not switch off the light and spoke to her until 1am before finally falling asleep.

Here I was, frantically messaging mommies asking if it was the right age to send him for a sleepover, sulking that he did not tell me good night and missing him all night and checking my phone every hour or 2 for messages or calls that might say they will drop him back home because he isn’t able to sleep 😦 A sleepless night for me and a fun sleepover for him. He did not even want her to call me! Maybe because he was worried it will weaken him?

Time now, I realize that I begin to accept that I will have to start letting go!  He is ready, am I?