Saturday, 25 April 2009

MY blog, not yours!

(NB – Sorry to those of you whose emails I haven’t replied to. Please keep ‘em coming…We’ve just got internet sorted at home so will have more of a chance to respond in the coming days.)

Sorry to keep banging on about nursery, but it is a source of constant angst and difficulty, both for Maya and myself. The child I take at the beginning of the day is not the same child I pick up at lunchtime. Let me give you a snapshot first of ‘lunchtime Maya’: she is grinning from ear to ear, running around happily, hugely proud of her daily artwork and blowing kisses at kids, teachers and helpers. And ‘morning Maya’: she bares her teeth and snarls at everyone (I’m not kidding), thrashes her arm out when people approach and begs me to stay with her. You see my dilemma? When I pick her up I fall into the daily trap of thinking phew, we’ve turned a corner. She seems genuinely happy. But then the same thing happens the next morning. I’m flummoxed. Any suggestions?

Because of the morning theatricals, the principal yesterday drew me to one side and asked me if I liked being in India.

‘Yes,’ I reply enthusiastically. ‘I love it.’

She looks incredulous. ‘Really? But what does Maya think about it?’

Good question, and definitely not one with a straightforward answer. What does Maya think about it? The little lady reminded me yesterday that this is ‘my blog, not yours!’, which draws to light once again that I am just her scribe and I know that if she could write, she would doubtless be correcting me as I go along. What I’m trying to say is that it’s impossible for me to really truly know what Maya is going through, I can only make guesses, knowing her as I do. But, in her mummy’s humble opinion, here are a few things that I think Maya thinks about being here:

  • That it’s brilliant she gets to eat so much sugar, watch so many dvd’s and go to bed late
  • That it is absolutely detestable that so many people pinch her cheeks, call her ‘baby’ and treat her as public property
  • That the sun is far hotter and brighter than what she is used to
  • That her new hobby, swimming, makes her very happy
  • That apart from Anya, she can’t remember or pronounce any names of the kids she goes to nursery with
  • That she misses her nursery from England and certain friends and family a great deal

This final point is the most important one, and when I find myself becoming short-tempered because the whining record is on replay, this is what I need to keep remembering. This is hard for Maya. She walks around with her little toy mobile phone and makes phone calls to Auntie Nu-Nu, Osric and Cousin Daisy to mention a few and there have been many occasions when she has asked to ‘go to the other nursery later’ or see so-and-so later. She is only two – she doesn’t have the vocabulary to truly express how much she misses people and places. But it is evident from certain things she says and certain behaviour.

But, but, but…because it’s far better to end the blog on a positive note…there is so much she is experiencing here on a daily basis that Maya will keep inside and will become part of her; some very special experiences. Take two incidents just last night - we witnessed dramatic thunder, lightening and monsoon rains, the heaviest rain I’ve ever seen. There was a powercut and Maya and I huddled by the dim light of the window with chai and biscuits watching the rain coming down in thick sheets and flooding the roads (Picture no.1 above, Maya watching the rain and being very excited by it). Secondly, later in the evening we went out to watch a Kathak dance performance (An Indian classical dance which, at 1000 years old, is one of the ‘younger’ forms of Indian dance!). There were just two dancers, one male and one female (pictures no.2 & 3) and Maya’s eyes were so wide she barely blinked througout. She had never seen such costumes, such makeup and probably such beauty and grace and her pleasure and awe were palpable. These are the experiences that make it so worthwhile being here.


  1. I had 3 kids and sometimes similar 'nursery' experiences. It seems like her morning reactions are saying, 'Don't go, don't go, because in many ways I'd rather you didn't, even though I quite enjoy it when you've gone, and I just thought I'd keep trying to see if you'll agree to take me home with you.' Then her reactions when you pick her up are saying, 'Thanks, Mum, for not giving in to me earlier on because, you know, I've actually had a good time here.' Stay strong! Some day soon she will give up on the morning routine. One of the ways I coped with bringing up 3 kids and their tantrums and protests was to only believe half of what they said - they are very good actors if they feel it's necessary. Lecture over! But I hope it helps.

  2. Thanks Fran, yes, that does help. I think this has been my gut reaction, yet despite that the guilt creeps in when I leave her each day. So it's good to hear that you've experienced something not dissimilar. You're right about them being good actors too - the way children can adopt and discard very convincing expressions so rapidly is pretty impressive!