September 30, 2009
Two weeks ago, my friend in Dubai, asked me if I could take tuition for her son. And he studies in – would you believe it, KG 2. I was, hmm… what should I say, shocked, surprised. Tuition for a KG2 student? What will I teach him? Isn’t school more than enough for a 4 year old child?
I talked it with my husband. He asked me to help her and go on with the tuition. He might have thought that a tuition would bring a change in my otherwise boring nothing-to-do life. And so I decided to go on with the tuition.
I called my friend, S, next day to tell her that I’m ready to help her son. We talked a lot.
“I cannot make him do his homework as I have my five month old daughter to look after. ” She explained her helplessness. I thought of my mother.
My brother was five, when my mother delivered me. He never had any kind of tuition. But that was in India then, where we lived as an extended family with uncles, aunts, cousins and grandparents. So taking care of the little ones was not a big issue. When I was one and a half years old, we moved to UAE. My mother gave birth to my younger brother when I was two, and then another brother when I was 5, and the youngest of us, the fifth, when I was 11. All these from UAE with no one to help her, and no one to help us. Dad did his best during these times, but he couldn’t do much because he was a polio victim and has trouble in walking.
The part that still surprises me is that, none of us went to the KG classes of our school. Mom taught us at home the lessons, and we took the exam to get admission to first standard. I think we got a strong base in our education system, because of the procedure. Mom was able to take care of our education very well, because she had only one kid to teach at a time, contrary to the school method. She was our mother-cum-tuition teacher till our 5th standard. I wonder why parents with even one child sent their little kids to tuition, as if school was not enough for them!
My student, in KG 2 now, doesn’t know the full English alphabets yet. S told me that he has missed his second and third terms of KG1 and first term of KG2, ‘coz she was in India for her delivery. To make things worse, he learned the alphabets ( a totally foreign language for him as him mother tongue is Malayalam) in normal handwriting earlier, but now its in cursive they teach him. The boy is burdened with a lot of work. He has started hating English, for the cursive. While doing his homework, he ‘draws’ the alphabets instead of writing it. Does this come in the section of child labour?
Wasn’t it best for the Mom to keep the kid at home and teach him the basics thoroughly, and then sent him to school? Isn’t it best to miss a year now and get a strong base than to miss the whole education? I think it that way, but may be everybody won’t. Parents hurry to get their first child to school, and they dream of the day he/she starts earning and taking care of them, while they can retire peacefully. But sometimes this dreams gets shattered because of their haste. I am not able to make S understand all these. I don’t know how she will take my words. May be I could change some of your minds, if you are having a child of 3-4 of age, and you are sending him to a tuition class. So I thought I would write about it.
September 27, 2009
I thought every children were the same. Just a bag of cuteness and helplessness when they are born, then the tiresome work of learning to lie on belly, to crawl, to sit, to stand, to walk and then run. Next comes the tongue practices – the long and difficult words and sentences. They taught us like that in the home-science classes. Everything is same for everyone. Is it? No. Everything is different for everyone.I learned it from the kids itself.
It happened when my SIL was feeding her daughter, N. N was not eating ans so my SIL took a doll of N’s and started acting as if she was feeding the doll. N came running towards her to take the food, crying “Mamma you should feed me, don’t give the food to the doll.” Possessiveness is the word we use for this in our home-science class. And as per the ‘science’, every child will have different amount of possessiveness from age one to four/five.
After a few days, at my home, I was feeding my brother’s son, M. He was also not eating as he was very busy with his own works of driving, cycling, cooking, washing, breaking home appliances etc etc. There was a picture of Mickey mouse on his cycle, and I had an idea. I took the food in a spoon and started acting the same way my SIL did, giving the food to the Mickey. I called out to M, saying that I am feeding the good Mickey, and that I don’t want to feed bad boys. M came to me and watched me feed the Mickey, for a few moments. According to him, the Mickey was not eating at all. He took the spoon from me, and he started feeding the Mickey!
He never ate the food, and I had to clean the whole room and his cycle when he finished ‘feeding’ the Mickey. Who said that every children are alike?
September 11, 2009
It was after I read Salma’s blog that the idea of sharing my grief came upon me. Sharing really works a lot. Not only for me, but also for people who have had same losses like me. My hubby asked me to be strong and stop crying over the spilt milk (??). But crying is also a way of getting around, isn’t it? There are so many things that bother me now, right like Salma.
- I don’t have anything of my boy, Hamdu Mon, to keep with me. His photo, his dresses or anything. I don’t know why nobody thought of keeping it for me. I asked my hubby to keep one of his dresses, but he didn’t do that too. May be he thought it would be better if I never saw it. But my loss is my loss, isn’t it?
- I don’t have anything to keep me busy. Not much books to read. We don’t have a stable net connection or anything of that sort.
- I want to do some social works badly, but don’t know where or how to start. Anybody in Dubai, who is reading this, please help me if you can.
- I wasn’t able to attend Hamdu Mon’s funeral or go to his grave.
- I wasn’t able to hold him or even touch him.
- The nurse at the hospital never listened to my request for a second look at my Hamdu Mon.
- I was not able to call him the name I wished to call.
- The way my family struggled to keep me happy and occupied all the time, especially my mother.
- And not being able to spend some time alone
- The troubles my mother had to suffer, as the midwife who promised to look after me broke her word at the last moment.
- The allergies due to the medications.
- The look of grief on the faces of people who loved me so much.
- The sadness I feel when I see or go to places I have gone when I was pregnant.
- A sense of loss when I see babies the age of my son.
- The fact that I have to wait for months (or years) to have another baby again. But still, will that ever replace the lost one?
- The lost 9 months plus 2 months of bed rest. Wasted almost a year.
- The no-crying, no-laughing, no-talking, no-reading rule imposed during the post-delivery time.
- The fear of happening this again in my life.
- Not being able to forget all this stuff.
September 3, 2009
Show me your light, O Lord,
Give me your lihgt, O God,
I need a ray from the devine light,
To lighten my heart and purify my sight.
Light of heaven, light of earth,
Like light coming from a glowing berth,
With a lamp inside, covered in glass.
Shinig like a star, with the devine oil,
From the olive tree of the desert soil.
Its branches going, neither east nor the west
All day long upon it, the sun rays rest.
Light upon light, O Master of all,
Guide me to the Light, or I’m sure to fall,
Into the darker corners of the hell,
Where to eternity, the cursed, will dwell.