Kit for Kat!

Tag: growing up

Into the new year 2012
Posted By SLK on Friday, January 13, 2012
Not been writing for so long...no excuse really...except that I am raising 2 girls with varied personalities and OMG what attitudes...not to mention the recent bouts of muscle sprains (Trip 1 skiing cancelled) followed by pneumonia(!) (Trip 2 Mexico cancelled) followed by Penicillin allergy (Trip 3 London almost cancelled) and several instances of UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections) in between – I am so exhausted!! Here’s hoping for a healthy and happy 2012 to one and all:)

Bat Mitzvah The recent craze in our house is Kat’s invitation to a Bat Mitzvah – I have heard that it is the most important event for a Jewish family. We’ve never been to one (since it is celebrated when a girl turns 12 and now Kat’s friends are reaching this milestone slowly). I have no doubt that this is big deal for the family involved but in our house, this first Bat Mitzvah for Kat’s friend is such a big deal, I mean SUCH A BIG DEAL! We have had numerous discussions on the gift (Kat comes up with a gift idea almost every single day after some conversations with friends). A dress in white was specifically bought for this occasion and only recently have the golden ballet flats arrived. There were talks about getting hair done but I think Kat realised she was pushing me too far and she has forgotten this for now (I hope!)

At one point, Kat got so carried away with all the fun her friend was going to have, she asked me: “Mummy, can I have a Bat Mitzvah?”!! I almost fell off my chair...

Funny enough, Kit has not realised all this fuss (yet!) – once she figures out that Kat is going for something special, there will be confrontations and arguments about why her friends do not have Bat Mitzvahs yet (they’re only 5 year olds now!) and that IT IS NOT FAIR!!

Updates on the dress and shoes next...



Middle School Transition
Posted By SLK on Friday, October 7, 2011
Middle School is such a change from Lower School – as if by magic, Kat has matured in the last month or so. Doing all her work systematically, putting reminders in calendars, packing her own bag, making sure everything is in order for the next day – all these have become part of her daily routine. The ‘grown up’ bit is overflowing to the other areas at home too – having a tidy room, making sure phone is charged after school AND is placed in the backpack in the morning, putting dishes away properly, clearing up the table after dinner, leaving the bathroom neater and not cluttered with dirty clothes after a shower...and of course, going to the school bus stop all by herself (it’s only across the road though)...all these are BIG changes for Kat but she is learning them well and is taking it all in her stride as she grows. Of course, she needs to be reminded every now and then but that’s OK.

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.

That's the person I want to be 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.”

Oh well...



No eating on the bus
Posted By SLK on Friday, September 23, 2011
It happened with Kat and now its happening with Kit...whilst sending them off in the school bus is a great bonus for me, the downside is the food issue that I had to deal with Kat and now with Kit.

No eating on the school bus 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.



Go Nemo Go!
Posted By SLK on Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Kit - our littel Nemo I have always wanted to be a good swimmer – forget about good, I could have been an “okayish” swimmer but even that has not worked out :( Learning how to swim at 30+ years is never easy (there is SO much to fear!) but I somehow (surprising to me too) overcame that barrier and once I have my fins (or mermaid feet as Kit calls them) I can actually swim! Getting there...VERY slowly.

Maybe it is this lack of swimming instincts from my end (Papa does great!) but both of us are...er...very pushy parents when it comes to swimming for Kit Kat. This is one sport that is not taken lightly at our house (oh yes!). Kat has been a great swimmer and was in the swim team for some time but then she started ‘fearing’ the instructor (he was very very strict) and her twice a week lessons became a major challenge for us. Kat promised that she would swim in the pool downstairs as many times of the week as she could manage but she could no longer swim in THAT place with THAT instructor – she did stick to her promise for a long time but now with Middle School, even walking with the backpack on is a challenge (the new gym routine made her so achy in the first week – where has all the calcium and energy gone? – one can only wonder at the 3 months long summer vacation which has thrown everything and everyone out of sync)

Swimming, we believe is a great way to tone a body and has no bad effects on your bones etc. It’s a super way to keep fit especially now that Middle School for Kat has a great selection of lunch…

Little Kit started on her swimming as early as 6 months or so. First it was the “mother and baby” class where I went in the pool with her (it’s not deep at all so no lifeguard skills needed – yay!), followed by independent swimming in the teaching pool – she went through several unrecognizable names of classes until finally she completed Beginner 1 this summer. Well done Kit!

Kit in the pool

A huge step for Kit last week was her first Beginner 2 class in the BIG Olympic sized pool. Since her first exposure to structured swimming, Kit has always been in a warm, small sized pool. This was the first time she was in a class aged 5-8years (Kit is not 5 yet) and in a much cooler, big sized pool. I watched her with pride as she struggled to complete a length – she was running out of breath and her kickboard was going in all directions once she lost her strength but her determination was admirable. She carried on and never once gave up in the middle of her lap. She was swimming with big boys but that did not dampen her spirits at all…she was breathless after the 45mins class but was overjoyed to have achieved it. Parents are allowed to be on deck in the first class – after every lap, Kit would turn around and ask me if I was taking pictures and videos of her for Kat and Papa – I surely did and she proudly showed those off when she came home! Not sure if the determination will be the same this week or not but my gut feeling is that Kit has the will to go through it. As a parent it was a proud moment for me and I could not help but think of her as a little Kat who went through the same process few years ago – the resemblance was so striking.

These are little baby steps as Kit follows in her sister’s footsteps – every step is precious, challenging and unpredictable – sometimes Kit Kat push us along with them effortlessly, sometimes they struggle and so do we – but we have to keep on reminding ourselves that we will get there with love, patience, understanding and appreciation and that we WILL have all these skills one day, some day!

As for Kit, go Nemo go!!



Lifeguard on duty
Posted By SLK on Wednesday, August 31, 2011
OK - August has been very eventful for us. 2 weeks driving down the West Coast from San Francisco to LA (around 1500 miles in all). An earthquake last week and then Irene (a hurricane and then a tropical storm) – all these combined with several migraine attacks! We’ve been busy...

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!‘)
Kit's fun ride at Lake Tahoe

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!!