Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Guilt city

Yesterday I finally made it to taking H to his ’gympa’ (gymnastics) session organised by nursery. He hadn’t been attending before, as he wasn’t so keen, and also the nursery were being stubborn about us having to meet at the nursery early in the morning. The hall they use for the session is actually in the school that I can practically see from my kitchen window so I thought it would be more sensible to meet them there. The special needs teacher and her supervisor seemed to think it was a useful session for H to attend, to help his Swedish comprehension, so pressed the nursery to be more flexible. However I doubt we’ll be attending again. I expected it to be forward rolls and jumping off things on to soft mats. However today was more the ‘musical movement type thing’ Biryani started screaming as loud Swedish children’s’ songs came on (including Pippi Longstocking) and I had to take her out. I was thinking to take H too but he looked quite happy running round with his hands on his ears! Well thankfully it didn’t go on too long and they did a running around ‘port starboard’ type game for the 2nd part. Although H did seem to willingly take part he came to me at the end with tearful eyes, and even the prospect of vegi sausages could not persuade him to go back to nursery with them. Anyhow to top it off many of the kids had the almost obligatory shower, absolutely no qualms running around starkers. There does seem to be a certain obsession with schools getting kids to shower after P.E. even if no sweat has been produced. Do they think we don’t teach personal hygiene at home? Or is it the lack of use of anti perspirants that make it necessary, I’m getting flippant here, but I can’t remember it being an issue at the schools I attended in the UK. I don’t think my primary school even had showers.
Teaching modesty is important for kids, although it’s been suggested to me (by a non Muslim of course) that maybe it could cause future hang-ups! When I read the Swedish news, so often it’s full of shocking stories, often involving kids. My kids are very reluctant to undress even for the doctor, when I was present, but I’d rather it be that way as I expect they’d scream blue murder if anyone else tried to get them to remove clothes.
H was typing a word document yesterday, with a great look of concentration in his eyes. O f course it was all gobbledy goop but once I showed him how to get the ‘=’ sign he made some sums, except they contained both letters and numbers! But I told him that when he gets bigger there will be sums like that. He also asked me why , if 4 plus 4 is 8 why 5 plus 5 is 10 and not 9 (he’s thinking 5 is only one more than 4?)
S and I had a bit of a row yesterday. He’s fed up with me not taking him anywhere as I’m ‘ill al the time’. This was one reason that I actually wasn’t in a hurry to have more kids as I do feel I’ve unable to give anything like 100% for a long time as either pregnant or breastfeeding since 2002. The other difficulty is that his best friend lives in a different town and we live a way from the school friends he might want to see as well. It is a fact I’ll have to accept, but finding interesting things to do gets harder with age. Biryani was fascinated by the water in her bath at around 6 months old. The wonder in her eyes made me think of how an adult might feel if they were suddenly in a bath full of flubber, or some other substance we’d never experienced. H is still highly entertained by just pottering in the playground. M was v excited last night about the prospect of making a weekly menu chart. But as we experience more it takes more to get us enthusiastic, I suppose that’s what drives us humans to discover more and more about the world Allah has benefited us with, and to make progress. It’s summoning up the energy to do activities that stretch and inspire a 9 year old’s imagination that’s difficult right now, esp without a dad to participate.
The worst bit was H was hiding in his bed and came to me, tearful again, saying in a croaky voice ‘I can’t speak’ I asked why, and it turned out my raised voice had scared him. I suppose it’s good in that it shows that I don’t do it too often so it was a shock for him, but those big brown watery eyes are the biggest guilt-inducers.
I had the first ultrasound scan yesterday too. I was hoping for a nice, kindly midwife, but as I heard my surname being called, no effort made to say my first name although it’s a common Swedish name, I realised I’d got the stern one. Another expectant Mum was called at the same time and was called by her whole name. I thought, well maybe this one is better technically at her job. I think I’d actually had her for a previous pregnancy scan. Once she realised I speak English she warmed up a little. So many countries in the world have this inferiority complex about their own language as if English is so ‘cool’. Nowadays I try to speak Swedish in order to practice but it gets so frustrating when they insist on speaking English with me and it limits my progress. There are times when I am grateful for others to be able to speak my language, e.g. when having to ring emergency services in a panic, my Swedish doesn’t come out so well then.
The other mother to be came out at the same time, with, I noticed, a 3-d picture as well as 2-d one, huh!
Anyway, Alhamdulilah everything’s ok and there’s only 1 in there as far as the midwife could tell. On the way back we happened to have run out of some vegetables. I was carrying them home I realised that the weight of them was 4kg, approximately what us pregnant ladies have to carry round in the last month or so. Wow, we have great stomach muscles, us mums, even if they don’t look like it!!


ummrashid said...

I think we all feel guilt about something or other in the way we make decisions or bring up our children. Most mothers I know have a worry. Also, interestingly, I'm hearing about more moans coming from the kids as they reach 8, 9 or 10 years. So its a normal thing for you both I think!

'EF' x said...

I cried reading this post, but please don't feel guilty about that, and I am going to put a 'LOL' here because it is one of those bitter sweet things.

You'll get through, I know you will.

There is lots of stuff you have to contend with, but you'll figure it out.

S is just so enquiring and bright he is probably feeling like boredom is consuming him, but that isn't your fault (or even your responsibility), at some point he will be able to understand that he will encounter these feelings throughout his life..it's a drawback of being that intelligent. My kids moan constantly about how bored they are and how I am failing to provide them with entertaining and interesting opportunities. *sigh* Sometimes it makes me wonder why I bother. LOL, oh yes, now I remember -the bigger picture.

Love to you, lots of it xxxxxx