Monday, 8 June 2009

Highs and lows

Oh to be at the age again when you can just kick your feet back and dance to your heart’s content, no matter who’s watching and no matter what you look like. The photo above shows Maya dancing on – ahem – a drain. We’d just got out of a taxi and she launched into a fabulous, impromptu dance (doubtless inspired by the Bollywood music that the taxi driver had been blasting out) which lasted about five minutes and then off she went on her way again. The other photo, incidentally, shows the road which Maya's school is on. (If you want to see any of these photos bigger, you just have to click on them.)

I am very, very happy and relieved to report that in the past several days Maya (on the whole) seems far more settled and content than she has done in a while. I’m sure there are a few reasons for this. For a start, her urinary tract infection, whilst not completely cleared up, is almost on its way out. There is also the matter of her impending third birthday which, when mentioned, sends in into such a frenzy of delight and excitement because there’s a new pink dress waiting for her and there’ll be a chocolate cake with a tiger on top and balloons and dancing and sooo many presents and, and, and….well the anticipation if it all is almost too much for a two-nearly-three-year-old to bear. Maya goes round sticking three fingers virtually up the nose of any person who’s happened to ask how old she is going to be. It’s wonderful though – her excitement is truly infectious.

The other, and possibly most significant reason why I think we’re being reunited with the old Maya is because she is no longer bored in the mornings. School, so far, has been a great success. The fight she puts up upon arrival is, according to Andy, incredibly half-hearted and once she sees that lots of the other kids are upset (Maya is the ‘big girl’ of the class, one of if not the eldest), she sets about comforting them and exerting her authority, knowing the place as she does from her summer camp days there. Although we go out every afternoon, a single morning can seem like an eternity to a little person, particularly if they're insufficiently stimulated. I feel bad about this now, because even though I was only escaping for about an hour or so to write in my bedroom, I do think that Deepa's attention was far more focussed on Lily rather than Maya and by the time I'd really figured that out, it was the end of the summer holidays anyway. So, let's hope that this new contentment at school lasts.

Having said that Maya is happier at the moment, there are two matters in which I am really, really struggling with her and I would just love some help or advice on these. Firstly, if she has a nap in the afternoon (instigated by her when she's tired - I no longer ask for her to lie down), the mood she wakes up in is something akin to a scene from an Alfred Hitchcock movie. It has got to the point that I dread it if she drops off because I can pretty much guarantee what'll happen later. Parents among you, have you ever experienced this? Sometimes I can distract her with stories / snacks / drinks / songs etc etc but on other days, like yesterday it can take as long as two hours to get Maya to calm down from the complete state she has worked herself into.

Which leads me to the second matter that I'm finding it difficult to know how to deal with. Maya is a daddy's girl, no two ways about it. That's absolutely fine, but what is not so fine is that at some stage most days (often during one of her post-nap meltdowns), Maya clocks that Daddy is not there. And she wants him to be. Knowing that he is at work and cannot come home makes her desire to see him there and then even stronger and everything gets very emotional. Short of me morphing into Andy, I don't know what I can do. I've tried reasoning with her, promising that he'll be back soon, trying to put her on the phone to him...all kinds of things. But more often than not I end up feeling like a wicked stepmother rather than Maya's flesh-and-blood-Mama! Help?!?! What to do, what to do....

Andy keeps reassuring me that what we are experiencing with Maya is completely normal. I tell myself that he's right, but I must confess there are times when I watch her writhing around on the floor in what looks like phyiscal but is actually emotional agony and I think What is going on? And what on earth can I do? More reassurance needed, pleeeeease!!

ps - On another note entirely, does anybody own the book 'The Reader' and would be prepared to send it to me out here??? A bit cheeky asking I know, but books here are quite pricey. I recently saw the film and really enjoyed it but am sure the novel must be even better.


  1. Hmm. Napping is quite a struggle isn't it?

    I have just come to the conclusion that 3 is an utter nightmare. You are lucky that you can get her to sleep. My daughter naps maybe 4 days a week, wakes up fine, then bedtime is a struggle.

    My only advice? She'll grow out of it.....

  2. The threenager stage, I remember it well.