Sunday, August 27, 2006

IKEA madness

27 th August 2006

It was one of the rare times we have all 6 of us gone out to a shop, and IKEA should have been ideal with its crèche. However due to its size and the fact they put the restaurant right at the back so we have to trudge through the whole shop to satisfy the young hunger pangs, we had an escapee (again). M. decided jogging to the restaurant was a good idea but we could not keep up and hence got lost. DH had to get them to announce his disappearance over the tannoy, and eventually he was brought back by a Swedish couple to the information desk. I wasn’t in quite such a panic as in earlier years when this has happened (London, went for a stroll up the road aged 2 by himself – major worry, police called, and Bauhaus, age 3 (slightly less worries as in Sweden and a little older). Anyhow the crèche time is never enough to decide what you want, find the shelf its located and stand in the lengthy queues to pay. This is esp relevant when you are called on the tannoy to pick your child up early due to excessive ballpool ball-throwing (as has happened on previous occasions).
As Ikea did not have exactly what we wanted, the day after we tried Bauhaus, with a much smaller play area with no staffing, so fairly pointless as you have to stay with the kids. After approx 5-10 minutes we gave up, as at least 2 children at a time were crying and this is not conducive tio decision-making, made harder by the fact the stuff they had was useless. In the end our builder could not keep his appointment so it was of no matter we didn’t have everything he needed to do the work, it’s just put off until a lter date, hopefully when all young bodies are being supervised elsewhere. Moral of story, only fo shopping with kids when you know what you want and where in the stor eits located, and get in and out as quick as possible. This had to be ignored when we had to do shoes shopping which requires said children’s feet to be present for fitting. I shall not go into this as pulse will probably start to race, sweaty palms etc.
On a more positive note, M is enjoying his Quran and Arabic classes, and is happily reciting surahs to himself which I must say is better than the usual cartoon dialogues he manges to memorise. Driving back and forth to Rosengård (the muslim/ immigrant area) for school, and classes makes the children a captive audience where they are happy to listen to quran cds etc. At home its more difficult as there are other activities which raise the noise level and nothing would really go in.
Hafsah’s now enjoying playing with her feet. Weight gain again is not quite up to scratch so was recommended to start solids. I thought I’d got away with this till 6 months due to new guidelines, but no ,Skåne (the region we live in) still recommends 4 months. I hate all this pureeeing and mashing etc, all to be regurgitated and spat out, and it doesn’t even make them sleep better. In fact the honeymoon is well and truly over. I love the first couple of months where there is no choice but to feed them, and no silly meals to prepare. You also still have a small reserve of stamina for sleepless nights left. Now is the time when ‘sleeping through’ and ‘controlled crying’ is looming, when you are so tired you have to go to bed before your 3 year old. You know you don’t have the stamina to let your child ‘cry it out’. Anyhow was woken this morning by M tickling my feet, and hence a v grumpy mummy ensued.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

back to school

22 Aug 06
First day of school yesterday, and I really don’t feel happy about M’s new class. The kids seem ok,’There will be no playing , we will be doing WORK’ Allah y’alam if M will actually take to it or hate it. He does love to do workbooks etc, so may be he will, so I will give it a couple of weeks and see. Alhamdulillah there is another class that he could maybe change to, the one with the less academic kids (the ones who are probably more of a handful and want to play, they are only 6 years old for pete’s sake).
S’s new class where the teacher is very nice and only has 13 kids in. , so I am quitehopeful for this year.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Be grateful

Hafsah’s developing fast, sucking her fists and any other thing she can grab. Still likes to grab people’s hair. I thought it might be reflex action but actually does only happen when she’s awake, I tried it when she was sleeping. She can bring both hands together in the midline, and looks at any object she’s holding intently. Woe to anyone who tries to take away what she’s studying . As she has since very young, v happy to stare at ht eTV when on or will try to turn to its noise if you turn away from it, not auguring well eh?

M has started Quran and Arabic lessons. Probably could teach him this level myself, but some sort of routine is needed to keep us going with it. I am panicking quite a bit about S’s English and Arabic/ Quran.. He’s not seeming v self-motivated with academic stuff at the moment and I really hate teaching when the there’s no interest from the child’s part, seems to defeat the point of education. I suppose I still am in the habit of comparing him to other’s children, or to expected targets of certain age groups.
There’s probably much more I could write at the moment but I’ve managed to develop an intense backache and my first cold of the season over the last few days, so I feel to be frank, rough, Alhamdulillah. It’s always easy to take good health for granted. Someone told me a person who’s ill sees a healthy person it’s like as if the well one is wearing a crown..

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Pillar to Post


Aaah! My entry under ’occupation’ on all these forms should be ’bureaucrat’s work provider’, Sweden still ceases to surprise me with its bureaucratic, rules and regulations (which they can break/ make mistakes about if they want, but oh no, you citizens must accept will be followed to the letter with NO flexibility (even if it is non-sensical to follow them).
Yes I am referring to how the first day of DH’s leave has had to be spent on the phone to the tax office (which also registers births to make sure those little babes pay their taxes). As we want Hafsah’s surname to be the same as her siblings (which is spelt differently to her parent’s surnames, which was in order to ease correct pronunciation, the number of times: ‘no my name is not Mrs ***’)
Now if you’re still following me, the Swedish tax office say they will only change if we get some form of evidence from British consulate, and British consulate say they can only issue a birth certificate with the same surname as given by the thus mentioned tax office, we are stuck in the middle, as well as in the country as cannot get passport without Swedish documents, unless we give in and call her by the original spelling. Anyway our last ditch hope is to appeal on the grounds that child number 3 was in exactly the same situation as Hafsah (i.e. born in Sweden) and then there were no problems. (One Swedish bureaucrat said they must have made a mistake last time!) The immigration department also made a mistake about my MIL’s visa fees and didn’t realise until the third time she got her visa extension.

Other stress yesterday was Hafsah’s ENT appointment. I don’t know if it was because she is a girl or what, but I just got all tearful and had to leave the room when the doctor was going to put the tube down her nose, so DH had to hold her while I ran off, seriously holding back the tears. In the end my DH said it wasn’t so bad. It was just they said she WILL cry and then I knew this was not going to pleasant for her Alhamdulillah it only seems to be that her epiglottis has some floppy tissue, but they had to check there were no tumours etc.
I had been sceptical as to whether I should let her go through the procedure and I did double check with the doctor if she really had to have this done. Afterwards I realised that it probably was a good idea as if a tumour had been missed, then it could have been v. dangerous.
Hafsah also had her Health visitor check recently with a different lady as the normal one was on holiday. It was vaccination time and she asked me at least three times if I agreed for her to have them, to the point where I was wondering if they were going to give her something controversial (like the MMR) but I knew that the other 3 had had them with no problems. I think it was down to my dodgy Swedish and she just wanted to check I had understood. She had to give the jab in her thigh and the health visitor was surprised at how strong her legs were, maybe down to the extra training she did when in the womb. She now also raises her head up quite steadily when on her tummy, as well as being stable enough to go front ways in the baby Bjorn sling now. She also has started examining her hands and often has her hand and arm in a sort of Highland fling position with little finger stretched right out. She is also getting a little extra training from M. who’s taught her the movements for prayers, and most recently how to do breastroke kick (with accompanying Swedish phrases) Finally Hafsah’s latest habit is to suck in her bottom lip, she really is a toothless wonder !
Sleeping pattern is sort of, sleeps around 10 pm wake around 3 or 4 and then again around 7 or 8 depending if another child has woken the house up. Did try to feed her before I went to bed so that she can go for longer but that means I don’t get my wake up call for Fajr so I think I’ll stick at her 10 ish pm feed and hope her maturing sleep patterns coincide with Fajr getting later and later as Autumn progresses. Anyhow I still have at least one other human alarm clock to request assistance on toilet, milk, juice supplies. ! I read today that it’s the first 4-5 hours of deep sleep which can keep you going. If they are disturbed, then you’re in trouble. I also read (I think in Penelope Leach) that its not the number of hours missed but the fact that your sleep pattern is disturbed (i.e. you are woken up when not ready for it) that makes you feel so zombified. I am starting to get sleep-obsessed again, but it is something that impacts on the rest of your day.

Picked the first 2 blackberries the other day (literally the first ones as all the rest were green or light pink) and it is a bit early for them at the nice little park nearby (lilla skogen = little wood). They were very tasty and I hope we can find more. H determined not to let me have a sit down and needed assistance on the bars which were different heights so he learnt ‘medium-sized’ today. H also has been saying recently ‘on Sunday’ = ‘another day’, not sure why he chose Sunday?
Went back to doing the dreaded clocks/telling the time. S hates it and I was trying to explain the potential usefulness of it. However when I thought about it, how necessary is it for him to know this right now, when he is still not yet independent and relies on me to get him to places on time (which he knows I’m not too good at- one thing to improve on) . So really we are just going over it because we have to as part of the curriculum before he starts class 3. The other confusing thing is the way time is described in Swedish, and I had to check my Swedish books myself. E.g. for half past 2 you say ‘halv 3’ i.e. half an hour before 3. twenty five to is equivalent of ‘5 before half past in Swedish. Most of the work we’re having to do for year 3 he finds quite boring ,either because he’s picked it up from general discussion, or because it just does not interest him. The problem is he has to learn the more specific vocabulary in Swedish. A few subjects can spark interest and I wish we had time to follow them up rather than just skim over the surface of many areas. E.g. the chapter on spring today did bring up some interesting questions about eggs hatching and how they keep warm etc, which had come up just the other day as S thought there must be a chick growing inside the eggs we get from the shop, or they could get growing if we warmed the egg up.
M is as always, can say his ‘s' quite well if reminded but difficult to generalise. H able to imitate M as in ‘yeth’ for ‘yes’ so I hope I don’t have two on my hands to ‘treat’..