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In the same way, we try to fit in as many activities we can (and can afford) into a child's schedule to keep them busy and make them smarter! The same happened with Kit. A typical day for her used to be - go to school at 8am, come back at 4pm, have an after school activity (gymnastics, swimming, art, ice skating) till 5:30pm, shower at 6pm, dinner at 6:30pm and then prepare for bed by 7:30pm. - wow! exhausting!!
It was during one of these tightly packed days that I asked Kit if she could hurry up finishing her puzzle (which she had only just started) so we could be on schedule for shower and dinner. She looked up at me with her big eyes and solemn face and said - "Will I ever have time for life, mummy?"
Although I did not think much at the time, when I thought about it later at night, I realized that Kit was right. We try so hard to make them smart that we forget to let them be kids. Let them have fun.
So I learnt my lesson this year. Kit has an interesting schedule with activities AND fun included and most importantly, there is time for free play. There is definitely TIME FOR LIFE!
It's become a weekly ritual - we get on the bus and Kit knows that she has to find a seat and sit while I punch the card. Last Saturday, it was so hilarious - as we got on the bus, Kit wanted to sit on one of the front seats. Here is what happened next.
Kit: "Can we sit on these front ones - please, please , please?"
Me: "No. It's no point - these seats are for disabled people and if someone old gets on the bus, we'll have to get up. There are so many seats at the back, lets take those ones instead."
So we both, went at the back and sat down. I then told Kit, "when mummy gets old THEN we can sit on those seats at the front."
It was meant as a joke to get a conversation started but Kit on the other hand took it very seriously and remarked: "Actually mummy if you're lucky, it would be even better if you had a wheelchair because then you would get a seat even if one wasn't available as the chair ties on a different place"
What could I say??!!! Yeah Kit - looking forward to my old age!!
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?
The appointment was for yesterday but the preparation started a couple of weeks ago. All the right friends were texted, all information gathered from the internet. Ready, Set, Go...
We had the appointment at the European Wax Centre, just two blocks away and those 2 blocks were probably the longest ones for Kat. She was so nervous and kept checking with me if it would hurt. Of course it does hurt but how do you explain the nature of the pain to someone who has no idea about it. So, I did prepare her a bit but the rest she had to learn:(
I must say times have moved on since my days…I had my laser treatment done a few years ago and have not had the need to visit a wax centre for the last several years now. I was amazed at the self drying wax that you peeled off the skin, just like that! (no more cloth strips) – I was with Kat in the room and I could not help but stare at the wax wonder…very neat indeed!
A lot of pain for Kat followed by a day or so of feeling very strange and wobbly (in her own words) but now she is fine and back to normal – of course the end result was marvellous – she cannot wait for the next one!
So Kit sits down to watch this fairy movie (Barbie - A Fairy Secret) with stars in her eyes already – believing in it already even before it starts. The 1 hour something passes without many comments, Kit mesmerised by it all. (*adorable*)
You would think that was it – another end to a nice movie perfect for that age. What is funny is that children are truly like sponges, absorbing everything they see and hear. This movie really hit it BIG with Kit! (Who would think Barbie could be so compelling!!)
As its summer break, Kat has now taken over the story reading job at night time for Kit and likes to put her to bed (I love it so much – suits me JUST FINE!) That night, after putting Kit to sleep, Kat comes to me and says:
Kat: “Mummy, you’re never going to believe this. Kit thinks she is a fairy and she is serious!”
I couldn’t do anything but smile as it did sound super cute but Kat promised me not to tell Kit and said she would get her to tell me herself so I could be more convinced.
So next morning, Kat talks to Kit and then Kit comes to me:
Kit: (all shy and eyes down) “Mummy, I have to tell you a secret”
Me: “Yes Kit, what is it?”
Kit: “I am a fairy for real. YES I know I am!”
Me: “Really?” (trying not to smile too hard so as to give myself away – trying to be serious). “How do you know that?”
Kit: “Actually at 10 minutes past midnight, I get up every night and I get these fairy wings and can fly. That is why you don’t see me because it’s so late at night. I get them because I believe in them”
Me: “That is so interesting and magical!” (Not mentioning the fact that my eyes are almost glued to the video monitor in her room every night)
Kit: “See I can jump so high as well – this is ONLY because I am a fairy!”
And Kit jumps a very average jump but her eyes tell me that she believes this jump was enormous (truly a leap of faith!) purely because of the fairy magic involved.
The conversation ends with me acting very convinced with the fairy magic discovery and Kit content that I was convinced. She jumps back to her room – ready for another day of dress up and make-believe and I am left wondering where have all the years gone by? It seems like a few years ago when I would have done something like this too…these days are truly precious – life is so simple and really magical.
God bless little girls!