Friday, February 1, 2008

Life with a preschooler-Part I

Life with a preschooler seldom has dull moments. Yes, frustration and exasperation crops up from time to time but dull moments are rare.

These days my daughter is full of questions. I think this is a phase that all children go through. Yesterday she stared at my wedding photo and asked me "Maa, why didn't you take me to your wedding?". I was naturally in splits.

Bed times and mealtimes are a bit better now (because I guess the terrible twos are almost over) but Ibnat is still very fussy about eating. Sometimes I fear that she might be suffering from malnutrition. When Ibnat was two,everybody used to think that she was atleast three or four but nowadays many people can guess that she is three (her third birthday is just round the corner)......which means that her rate of growth has slowed down. Brushing her teeth used to be quite a difficult chore but after explaining to her why it is important to clean one's teeth before going to bed she is now more open to it. Ofcourse I have to be playful and imaginative during the brushing ritual. I tell her "Yes, I can see a big "poka" (insect) inside your mouth and so open your mouth wider otherwise it will destroy your teeth."

Ibnat wants her "baba" to take her to bed. They chat for a while and sometimes Faisal scares her with "Mamdo Bhoot" and "King Kong" so that she closes her eyes.

Another new development is that Ibnat is now quite friendly with her baby brother.She is still insanely jealous of him (her dad cannot cuddle the little one without risking an outburst from her) but now they interact and play with each other. She is still interested in wearing her little brother's clothes but I think the realization that she is a girl and therefore has a different set of clothes is slowly coming to her.

Ibnat loves school but she hates the "getting ready for school" part and ofcourse the breakfast part. My maid , very patiently, tries to make her eat by diverting her with "Mr. Bean" cartoon but most of the time her efforts do not yield any results.

The way she enters her classroom gives me a lot of is clear that she just can't wait to go inside. She becomes very indifferent towards me and sometimes even forgets to say "goodbye". After school she is very reluctant about coming back home and always says that she wants to go to "Thomson Plaza"(which is mall near our condo) instead.

Keeping a preschooler busy during the long afternoons is really a big challenge. Painting is something Ibnat likes but now the problem is that her baby bro Nayaz "attacks" the water colors and creates a mess. A few days ago he even licked some of the colors and smeared them all over his face. I keep her busy with books and peg puzzles. Cartoons do work at times but Ibnat is not a child who is fond of sitting in one place. In a way this is a blessing in disguise because I do not like the idea of kids being too addicted to TV.

I take her to the playground everyday because there she can meet the other kids and socialise. She loves the playground but is very reluctant to greet the other kids even when they greet her first. She takes time to warm up to them and I think language is also still a barrier to communication for her.

To keep up with a three year old you need a lot of energy and patience. That is why I have started going to bed earlier (I used to be quite nocturnal) and I am also thinking of taking up yoga (that is, if I get the time!).

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