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Kit is a great swimmer for her 5 years of age but this age also has its moods – sometimes great and sometimes a true troublemaker. Kat on the other hand, is a serious swimmer who prides in doing laps and endurance swimming. What this means is that when I send the two swimming to the pool downstairs, some days are just perfect (mostly when I am watching them) or some days are miserable (mostly when our nanny is watching them) and Kit comes home crying or sulking with a vow to never go swimming with Kat again (a vow which is easily forgotten by the end of the minute!)
So, today when they came back with Kit howling at the top of her voice, I did not think it was anything different – till Kat explained the whole situation to me. Apparently, Kit was getting bored in the pool today as there was not enough space so she started splashing Kat and pulling on her bathing suit and generally causing her trouble. At this point the lifeguard beckoned Kit with her finger (!) and scolded her and warned her that she can never enter the pool again if she behaves this way. What way, may I ask? Kit knows when she is being scolded and does not take it well when she thinks she is not wrong (sometimes even when she is wrong) – so she started crying at which point the lifeguard scolded her again!
This same lifeguard was on the other hand allowing a little boy to take her rescue tube and play with it in the pool (bumping Kat several times with it when she was doing her laps) - now how professional is THAT!!
So first when Kit came home crying with Kat, I lost my cool – there is something about sobbing and the inability to make out anything what is being said that truly frustrates me. After I heard the story from Kat and our nanny, I called up the resident manager and explained the situation. Sadly the lifeguard had left for the day but she has promised to talk to her tomorrow and get back to me. She says the protocol is to explain to the parents first or the adult with the children and if that does not work, parents should be contacted – they are not allowed to scold children (5 years old?) directly- absolutely not their business!
Kat always likes to hear me fight for the right – she says it gives her confidence – so I guess something good did come out of this situation today.
Once all sorted I explained that everyone was in the wrong and no one can make that right. Kit was wrong for having acted in a way that prompted the lifeguard to get angry. Kat was wrong in having cut short her already short exercise routine and not having controlled the situation with Kit. Nanny was wrong in not having protected Kit when she was being scolded or interfered or called me. I was wrong (and surely crazy) for having trusted them all and sent them together believing everything was going to be OK!
Now that the anger is out of me, I have a severe migraine – all that blood rushing did me no good. Did it?
Every afternoon (after having ‘worked’ on her loose tooth for the majority of the bus ride) Kit would come running to me after school to show me the progress. It was actually adorable – the way she wouldn’t brush her teeth hard (I think that one might have been intentional!) or chew on that side. She wasn’t even happy about drinking, always fearing that she might accidentally swallow her tooth and then she would have nothing for the tooth fairy...
SO when it happened in the morning, Kit was overjoyed! From the moment she had noticed a loose tooth, Kat had given Kit her own tooth fairy box. Within minutes the great little tooth was wrapped up in tissue and placed inside the box – right next to the window (in case the tooth fairy lost her way and spent too much time looking for it!)
Kit kept on telling me all day how her friends had told her that the tooth fairy gives chocolate coins, so naturally I made a mental note to buy some before night so I could do the same. It was only around bedtime that I realised that I had forgotten to do the single most talked about task – I had totally forgotten about the chocolate coin!! Kat was very disappointed in me and when I put Kit to sleep, I had no idea what I was going to do...
As always, I got into the kitchen and invited food to talk to me. I know it sounds weird but sometimes I actually do that – when I have no way of knowing what to make for dinner, I open the refrigerator and the pantry and somehow can see food that I can cook by using what I have. I like to think these are the makings of a great cook but never the less, this saved me! When I opened the pantry, I immediately saw some Disney chocolates which had not been eaten (surprisingly) for a while. I knew I could not use these as such so I carefully took out the chocolate part and very creatively wrapped it in foil paper and voila the chocolate coin was ready!
Imagine Kit’s surprise when she found the coin in place of the tooth (it rests safely in my ‘baby’ drawer) – chocolate eaten, enjoyed and the whole adventure of the first tooth gone is over...I have to admit, Kit looks awfully cute with that little gap in her teeth!
It has been a never ending round of packing and unpacking suitcases this month (latest being the one we packed few days ago in case we had to rush downstairs when Irene struck)...all is getting back to normal now (sort of!)
Kat was actually sad to get out of the rental car (aka our mobile home) because she felt that it had been her home for the last 2 weeks (I don’t blame her – with all the snacking we did on the road, it did seem like ‘Mom’s kitchen’!) On the other hand, Kit was sad as the end of the road trip meant a stop to endless snacking (anytime, anything!) and the uninterrupted Backyardigan after Backyardigan episodes she watched on the iPad (courtesy Kat who had the brains to download these before we left).
Call me ‘weird’ (it’s actually trendy to be weird now!) but I will miss the constant running around and the checking in and out from so many hotels en route. However, the most I will miss is the bonding time Kit Kat had over this holiday; both with us and between themselves...cherished times!
One such display of sisterly love was when Kit Kat were floating on the tube (attached to our boat) at Lake Tahoe. Sunny sky, warm water and peace and quiet in the air – the only sounds we could hear were from Papa driving (so fast!) and all of us shouting in excitement.
After several rounds of duo floating together, Kit wanted to do one turn on her own (more so, because Kat had one!) – Papa and I agreed and Kit had a ball!! Beaming from ear to ear, she held on to the tube with all her strength and at some point, Papa got so excited that in the flow of it all, he suddenly accelerated – Kit caught on well but the other second, she lost her balance and fell into the 1000 ft (at some parts 1500ft I believe) deep lake.
Of course, Kit Kat had their life jackets on all the time but still the sight of a tiny Kit in the vast expanse of water was chilling. We reversed the boat right away and would have got there in a few seconds BUT Kat was already in the water – going to save her little Kit! There was a look of extreme alarm on Kit’s face when she fell but I could not miss her joy on seeing Kat swim up to her. Our expert swimmer made it to Kit before us in the boat and swam back with Kit. Since then, Kat has been the official lifeguard for Kit (rewarded with hugs and wet kisses from Kit much to Kat’s eww!‘)
Moments like this and I am truly convinced that no matter how much the sisters fight, there IS a special bond between them…most days, I am almost positive that given a chance, they could pull each other’s hair, teeth, clothes, books and everything apart!!
Of course, the minute Kat touches the piano for her practice, Kit will magically appear from somewhere and this will be the beginning of a heated argument dominated with “I want to practice my piano” from both sides. In the end (always), Kit can be seen sitting (with a victorious grin) on the piano stool playing some music and singing something totally impromptu...(after all, how much MacDonald can one practice?)
So, this is what happened last week…
After much fighting when Kat had resigned to the rocking chair with her Taylor Swift Speak Now lyrics and piano music, Kit first walks up to her “I want that book” – even before she finishes the sentence, she tries to snatch it from Kat, who has now become an expert at dodging Kit (it’s a survival trick!) quickly hides it behind her.
Kat: “If you are not going to play the piano, I will”
Kit, realising she is not going to get the book OR the piano if she does not decide fast, decides to go straight back to the piano (without wasting any more time – split second decisions here!)
I am in the kitchen right next to the living room where the piano is and I am desperately wishing all this fighting away...in vain. It’s the typical Please Stop – Please let me finish this last thing situation – of course my dinner is not ready yet so this is not helping at all! To make matters worse – I told Kat’s teacher to come early today which has taken away 30 mins from my cooking time – what a true martyr!
I silently peep from the kitchen and see Kat singing her Taylor Swift lyrics softly (if she’s too loud, Kit will think it to be more interesting and will immediately do something to end Kat’s fun!) and Kit is busy working on her left hand (her most recent piano homework).
I go back to the kitchen before I can be spotted and loaded with complaints.
All of a sudden...I hear music being played by two hands. At first I think Kit Kat have made truce and are playing together but then when I walk out of the kitchen, I see that Kit has placed her play Casio keyboard on the piano and is playing her right hand on it and is slowly but surely playing her left hand on the actual piano – I am speechless...this is a huge achievement for her. Anyone who has played piano will know the significance of playing with two hands for the first time. It is a totally different feeling and it takes time to get used to the feel of it…of course, after that you learn to appreciate the sounds more when you play with the left hand as an accompaniment. To see Kit playing this naturally, figuring it all on her own is GREAT WORK. As soon as she finished (all this was MacDonald by the way), I point this out to Kat (who has been watching anyway) and she then tells Kit to play without Casio but on the piano itself and Kit DOES IT! She's got the hang of playing with both hands!!
Fights forgotten, Kit Kat share a hug and when Kat says “I’m so proud of you” to Kit, you can literally see stars in Kit’s eyes. Kat’s praise surpasses everyone else’s. Such is their love hate relationship...
Ditto at our home. Although Kit sings the Sparks Fly, Mean or It’s Magic, you know by Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez very animatedly (notes and lyrics perfect), she also happens to enjoy the good ol MacDonald in a big way. Still...to hear her sing the same song while playing the piano herself was a very emotional moment for me.
YES, Kit had her first piano lesson yesterday. Those little fingers actually played the keys and after a 45 min (originally intended for 30 min) lesson I was overwhelmed, to say the least. For someone who has been trying to get her to focus and at least remember the middle C on the piano, it was a magical moment for me.
After her lesson, Kit was super excited to show me what she had learned. I was not prepared to hear her playing so sweetly – a proud parent I am, yes I am!
Our piano is a major feature in the living room and Kat has matured immensely in this art of music – credit to our most wonderful piano teacher, Kat has truly blossomed. Maybe it is this familiarity (and of course the competition!) that playing the piano (with the same teacher) has come so naturally to Kit. Whatever it was, it was a big FIRST for her and I am so proud of her.
All morning today, Kit has played her ‘Piano Homework’ umpteen number of times (and definitely over and above teacher’s expectations). The highlight of Kit’s achievements was a special notebook presented to her by...who else but the role model KAT and with a pen too – this has become the most valuable gift of all times!
Waiting (already) for her next lesson next week...Kit is on her way (I hope) to join Kat in this wonderful world of music...