Kit for Kat!
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Kat goes to music school every week and one of her favourite classes is composition. It only takes a good teacher to unravel the artist in a creative child. Kat has shown immense talent in composition and we are SO proud of her. The music school had a concert last week where there was a world premier of all the budding composers – as the pieces tend to be extremely difficult, the faculty played them and it was a heart warming experience to hear Kat’s composition being played so beautifully. Her first piano composition is called Variations and I was mesmerised for the entire time. So proud of her! She is now working on another Oriental one and plans to call it Sachi(for happiness and blessing in Japanese).
Kit, on the other hand is trying to copy Kat and is heavily inspired by her compositions – so the other day she decided to compose a song. She has called her song “You are my only love” and I cannot express how cute it is when she sings along. Of course, her playing on the piano and the notes she has written do not match up so much but she has made such a grand effort!
Now we have 2 singing concerts to attend next week followed by Kat’s 5 day school trip. In between that I have to be in Kit’s school for a celebration and a couple of bake sales and book fairs at both their schools...
As long as the weather stays mild...we can do it. After all, Kat has to wear the black dress and ballet flats for the concerts...Rain God – have mercy please!!
Feeling totally out of sync I answered : "No, has anything changed since last month?"
She said it was a brand new message and the way she smiled made me think Kit must have disclosed some family secrets (she's brilliant at that!) - my heart beating fast I went to the 'wall' and saw this beautiful message from Kit about her family.
Sometimes I ask myself and wonder – has she already been ready for this and I have never let go? Quite possible but there is always time for change and I feel we both are ready now – she is adapting and so am I. Guess there is no real time frame for such things – it just happens when you are ready.
Papa is always the one to push us along with morale and confidence boosters – he came up with the ‘That is the person I want to be’ saying which is now pasted in Kat’s room alongside Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift – very apt for these ‘growing up years’ for Kat as what she learns now leaves an impression forever.
With growing up, come more emotional breakouts, need for frequent reassurances that all will work out fine. We’re working on it...getting there very slowly.
As for Kit, she is always ready to find mistakes in Kat with comments “Why has Kat not cleared the table yet?” or “Look, her clothes are still on the floor!” or the classic “Why is she not listening to you? It’s ok, I will do this for you mummy.”
Kit Kat go to the same school (different divisions and different buses) and although Kat’s is much further away than Kit’s (for a couple of years at least), that does not stop Kit from complaining that she gets hungry on the way back...the school has a "No Food" policy on the bus and I have always stuck to that. Now here comes the problem – I am one of the many mums who will comply with what the school says but when your kid comes across a happily munching kid on the bus, you are in for some serious conversations! While Kat (now of an age where she understands right and wrong...well, I hope!), I am often faced with heart breaking questions from Kit.
Kit: “Why does ABC get candy on the bus and you never allow me?”
Me: *sigh* “Kit you know you are not allowed to carry food. It’s dangerous to be eating when the bus is moving and there is no adult around you. ABC is NOT doing the right thing.”
Kit (sounding hurt): “But she still eats it and I can’t. One day I asked her for candy and she said no”
Me: (this one really breaks my heart – how can someone whose parents are doing the wrong thing be able to hurt MY child’s feelings!) I still go on… “You have to understand Kit. You don’t have to ask her, if you need something, you ask me when you get home” (the bus ride is not more than 15 mins for Kit)
Kit is not fully convinced (I can figure that one out) but turns away and changes the topic. What did I just become? A monster? A horrible mum who allows her baby to look at other kids eating on the bus and whose little girl wishes she had the goodies? Is it ok to be so righteous all the time? Is there an easy way to explain to a 4 yo that what everyone on the bus is doing is wrong but your mum is right?
It angers me when I see how other parents cannot relate to this. Who in their right mind should send a 4 yo with chewing gum on a school bus? I mean it can truly become a choking hazard - are they not aware of that? Are these the parents who are always eager to do everything/anything for their kids because they don’t have time to talk to them or reason with them? It would be so easy for me to send Kit with a little snack for the return trip and that would be the end to all this moaning but then I ask myself “Is that the right thing for me to do for her?” “Am I teaching her not to obey the rules by setting an example myself?” Kit may ‘like’ me more in the short term (if I agree to everything she says) but I am confident that in the longer term, these values will become second nature and she will respect me for that.
Kit has also witnessed me complaining to the Transport Director about this issue and only yesterday I brought it up with the bus driver who has promised this will never happen. So I hope this will teach Kit to fight for the right cause and be strong(er) in the years to come.
Kat took some time to understand the ‘rules’ but now knows very well that I will not stand for anything wrong and this has helped her become much more assertive in her dealings with others. Even if my righteousness brings only an iota of benefit to my girls, I am willing to stick with it.
We have a huge responsibility of instilling virtues in our kids and any parent knows how much hard work (with very little reward, if any) it is. This does not mean we back off – this is our job. Period.
Kit and Kat are slowly becoming the sisters who share and play together (it’s taken a good number of years!) and the most imaginative part of this love is their playtime together (courtesy Kat) – lovingly described as ‘School School’ by Kit.
Kit is seated on her little blue IKEA chair (originally Kat’s) – very straight and attentive. Kat makes up this grown up voice and reads out names from an ‘attendance sheet’ – for imaginary students, Kat makes up different voices to say ‘Present’ – when Kit’s name is called out, she immediately responds and also raises her hand to show her presence.
Attendance over, Kat (still in her grown up mode), announces the schedule for the day. Some days, Kit actually has a sheet with the activities for the day (courtesy my printer!).
Activities include story writing time (where Kit tells and Kat writes), spelling time (making use of a whiteboard where Kat writes ‘dog’ etc and Kat spells it) or going over the big world map on the wall.
School School also includes ‘Kumon time’ where Kat helps me tremendously by assisting Kit with her math and reading sheets (some days though, this JUST doesn’t work!) . Also interesting are the little workbooks that Kat prints from the internet purely for playing with Kit. She has now even started using her own pocket money to buy actual kindergarten workbooks (pocket money that was earlier being spent only on iTunes and her own stuff – very impressive!)
When Kat is done playing in the morning session, Kit is assigned homework which she very religiously completes!
There may or may not be another sitting on the same day but whenever Kit Kat decide to play School School next, out comes the big box from the cupboard filled with folders, colours, worksheets and School is ON!