Sunday, April 27, 2008

Drama! Drama! Drama!!

Last week was one with a helluva drama!
Starting with T1’s fall – that was maybe a deserving drama – she did see a lot of blood.
Hey, Big sis can’t be the only one getting all the attention. We had to put a couple of band-aids on T2 as well…for nothing…to give her some needed attention!

Then started the real drama of T1's Standardized Testing (did I mention she is a Kindergartener??)…
Here is a note we got from T1’s class teacher prepping us!

Dear Parents:

As you all are aware of, next week is Stanford Testing. Just a few reminders for the week:
Please make sure your child gets enough rest and sleep.
Eat a nutritious breakfast - RICH in fiber, protein, calcium and LOW in sugar.
Bring a bottle of water. Research has shown that water actually boosts brainpower.
Kindly have your child in the classroom by 9:15AM to allow the children some time to relax and unwind. The test will be administered first thing in the morning.

I'm tempted to add "YADA...YADA..YADA" to that note, but will refrain from doing that ;P
We got a pep-talk note of this kind every single evening!

And, another one every day after the tests! The first day we got a note saying that the entire test took about 50 minutes.
And that they were given time to "stretch and flex" in the middle.

And the icing on top of all this was when I went to drop T1 off on Wednesday, the entire class was in the playground, getting some “fresh air”, so they can be relaxed before the test.
I think we'll be basket-cases by the time our kids finish High School!

And the drama concluded with T2 having a fall at the exact same spot that T1 did! OK!! Not the exact same spot...but it was at the same park.
Just a couple of minor scrapes...but we're talking about T2, who needs band-aids when "akka" (big-sis) has a boo-boo, need I say more about all the attenion she demanded?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Add new values, Please...?

I just got back home after attending a meeting conducted by our County's School Board. The topic - Health, Safety, and Wellness - Food allergies being the focus. This was more a joint effort by our area's Allergy Network of which I am a member, and the School Board to discuss issues in Public Schools regarding Food Allergies.
It was very informative and reassuring to know about the steps that the School Board has taken to train Teachers, Nurses, Cafetaria workers, Bus-Drivers and even Substitute Teachers. The School Board takes Food Allergies very seriously.
But (there is always a but!), there are some basic rules across the board, and that is not enough to deal with the increasing proportions of children with food allergies.
The Schools primarily worry about allergies from Peanuts and Tree-nuts, as they are the most common allergens. Most people are not aware that an allergy to milk or wheat or eggs is just as much likely to cause an Anaphylactic reaction as an allergy to peanuts. A friend's daughter has had a severe reaction after being touched by another kid who had just eaten pizza (from the cheese).

One of the suggestions in this meeting was from a parent who has had a very good experience from her School including Thoughtful and Considerate Teachers and Staff. She brought about an important point that it is the parents of other kids, and even the kids themselves who need awareness! I never knew the serious ramifications of having an allergy until T1 tested positive to a whole slew of allergens when she was 7 months old.

I have some work to do here too, especially since she goes to Public school this fall. I was actually taking her allergies for granted after she started outgrowing some of them. But recently she broke out in a terrible rash when Pup touched her after eating some walnuts (this despite testing negative for Walnuts)!
She has eaten Cashew-cake (kaju katli) before, but when she had it last year, her throat started itching after just one small bite (my guess - possible contamination with peanuts)! Fortunately, she ate just one small piece and some Benadryl was all she needed to get better.

So the point of my post is to humbly implore the rest of you to add a few more values when raising your kids, some simple things - like "NO SHARING FOOD" in school, "WASHING HANDS THOROUGHLY" after eating (before touching other kids), and "NOT RIDICULING" kids with allergies.
And as parents, if we can be considerate to other children in the class when taking special snacks or party treats, that will be very highly valued!
Simple things, but they can go a long way.
Thank you.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Puppy Birthday!

I mean, Happy Birthday, Pup! I should have published this post yesterday, but turned out I had other things to do!!
Don't ;) yet...
It turned out to be quite a day!
Started out at 7.30 with me calling Pup to wish him. 37! Wasn't it just a couple of years back that we celebrated his 30th? No? Hmm...
Anyways, He answered the phone in a groggy voice from his hotel in NY City. He was in NY for a couple of days meeting with clients. He was just waking up after a long night of Cut-throat Pool with his colleagues! The girls and I took turns wishing him, and then my parents (They are visiting from India for a couple of months).
Fast forward to 2.30PM...Pup called me from LaGuardia to let me know he's getting on an earlier plane and should be home by 4.30 - YAY!!
So I wrapped things up fast at work and headed out to pick up T1 and T2 from school. They were both as excited as I was.
Thanks to my mom, we had some awesome food awaiting us including Rasa-Wangi (an eggplant daal, if you will) and "kan-kan" paayasam (or saboodana kheer), two of Pup's favorites!
We then headed out to my sister, Sis-S's place for the night. More awesome food :)
T2 slept on the way over to Sis-S's house, and T1 was having fun with my nieces, P and A2 (A2 is visiting from India - She deserves a separate post - coming soon!). Seemed like T1 and T2 would not miss us, So we decided to head out to watch a movie. Terrible movie it was! Pup was joking that they could have wrapped the movie in 5 minutes! Seriously!!
Anyways, we got back to Sis-S's place close to midnight and T1 was still up watching a movie. Then, she said that she had something to show me - I thought it might be another card for Pup...Instead, she showed a big bandage on her knee!
Rewind to about 10.00PM. They were returning from the Tennis court, and when stepping on an uneven surface, T1 slipped and fell on her right knee.
Both my girls are delicate darlings (sigh!) and all she needed was the sight of blood to keep her wailing for a really long time! Poor sis-S and bil-K!! She must have scared them out of their wits! Sorry guys!
They brought her home and cleaned up her wound and tied a loose bandage around her knee...Thanks!!
I was quite upset when I saw the bruise...for the timing of it - Being Pup's birthday and also because she has Stanford 10 exams next week (ok, I know she's only a Kindergarten-er, it's not like its the SATs...), but still...its her first one of this kind...
Ok! Who am I kidding? I know the real reason is the guilt! For being selfish and wanting to go out to watch a movie...I seldom take up my sister's offer to baby-sit my Ts, cos I worry too much about things getting jinxed...Irrational Fear? Paranoia? Whatever you want to call it...!

T1's obviously still hurting from the pretty nasty scraping. We took her to her Ped. first thing in the morning, who wanted us to x-ray it just to be sure her knee is OK! Which we did. She's mostly ok now...with some Motrin to help reduce the pain...

Anyways, I'm sure it was definitely not how Pup expected his birthday would turn out to be! Sorry Hon! I'll make it up to you...I will take care of the laundry this weekend ;)

Friday, April 4, 2008

Karma Chameleon

Nothing to do with Boy George, here's a glimpse of how T2 can change her colors in a split second!
This happened yesterday...I woke up after snoozing the alarm a few times like I always do. Soon T1 woke up, her usual joyous self. I brought T2 to our room and let her lie down for a few minutes - she needs some transition time to wake up (like mommy, like daughter)!
She asked if she could sleep for 5 more minutes, I glanced at the clock...and said yes. It was only 7.30 and we had some cushion!
Soon T1 and I were almost ready and T2 still did not want to wake up...
She complained that she was sleepy and wanted 5 more minutes (Was she snoozing me??)

It was 8.00 already, aka time for PlanB! So, I got all silly and whooshed her to the bathroom like I do often times. She usually loves it. But not today, No siree!
And then it started - just out of the blue came her high-pitched crying.
It started off so high that there was no sense in trying to reason.

I reluctantly left her in the bathroom crying.
I heated up milk for all of us and threw a couple of our favorite Fig and Flax waffles in the toaster oven.
I thought I'd give her some time to calm down, and she did...if only for a minute!

So I braved it back to the bathroom and she wanted her blue blanky. That's a good sign, I thought. The sight of Blue-blanky usually mellows her down.
I asked her what letter she wanted her paste as...
This is another brush-time routine - it's usually "C" for Caterpillar, after her favorite book, "A Very Hungry Caterpillar".
She really wanted to trouble me today, cos she decided she did not want a letter, she asks for me to draw Piglet if not Pooh!
Draw Piglet or Pooh on her brush with her paste?
No kidding! I could almost see a smirk in her 3-year old face. I find it hilarious on hindsight...

It was about 8.20 by then, and I somehow managed to convince her that I'll write a "P" instead. She agreed!! WOW! That was easy!
I thought too soon that her tantrum ended.

Next, she simply refused to get off of the potty to brush her teeth. Gimme a break now, sweetheart! I had to whisk her again and brush her teeth through her screaming.
It was actually a bit easy cos her mouth was open all the time :)

Through her crying, she gargled and then I bathed her, again more crying.

And suddenly the crying stopped. That's it! Just the way it started - no warning!
Like the aftermath of a storm, she was completely calm and gave me a bright smile.
She changed her colors faster than a Chameleon...

She loved the dress I had picked for her (more because she got to wear stockings, I think). She wanted a big huggie. She got 10.

In the next ten minutes, we were out of the garage after getting dressed, drinking milk, taking Vitamins, and having a spoonful of Pankaja Kasthuri, all buckled up and ready for the day!
Slowly I broached the reasoning pep talk...and she nodded her promises to me briskly...