Monday, April 23, 2007

It was the glasses

I was so so tired for a while there. It was the glasses.

I had changed to a different pair and when I clued in and changed back... voila. No more eye strain, no more feelings of exhaustion. I should probably get my eyes checked while I'm here anyway and get those lenses replaced.
So now that I'm feeling fine, I can catch up on all that's been going on.
Nicholas's birthday was Friday and he had a good day, but we're dealing with some strange 7 year old attitude. Not wanting to help out, backtalking, easily distracted (yes, the norm, but amplified) and extreme persistence in asking for what he wants. Another way of saying he won't quit and won't take No for an answer. None of these are good progressions and the past five days of being 7 have not been impressive.
Last night I treated his head again. It seems to be a yearly thing, of something akin to cradle cap. I do the regular baby oil soak followed by washing with head&shoulders and he's back to normal, but these patches will thicken again and I don't know how to prevent that without using a harsh chemical ridden wash like head&shoulders every bathtime. That's not good for little kid, right?
Saturday after the girls' piano lessons, we searched the pet store at Spencers for a product to remove cat urine. Nice, I know. The cats, or a cat, has taken a liking to Nicholas and Rebecca's beds. They are forbidden from the rooms now, but the damage has been done and something like Nature's Miracle is called for. We didn't find any but our neighbor thinks she has some.
From Spencers we went to USA Day at the Feldmann's and I did my bits on Christopher Newport. All the explorers of the time were searching for treasure and none of the North American wanderers found any. Not of the gold variety at least. So after a little bit of talking and map work, we cracked out geodes. Sometimes you find treasure, and sometimes you don't. One of them was still wet inside, I thought it was pretty cool. The other explorers were Cartier, Columbus and Ponce de Leon. The kids ended with Ponce de Leon and a search for the Fountain of Youth in the yard, a bucket filled with squirters.
We had soaked kids but that didn't stop us from going to Cottage Industries, three floors of handicrafts all at reasonable (higher than norm but not Expat High) and -fixed- prices. We bought nothing but I took a page of notes of items of interest and cost. Thursday I go back with a friend to purchase gifts. Fixed prices are a blessing for those of us who do not enjoy haggling, especially over a large number and assortment of items. I don't want to spend the time bickering, and it's very unIndian of me.
Sunday was church, lunch at Cappucino (the paneer and pesto sandwich is tasteless, though I did ask for no peppers and maybe that's where all the flavor lay), heavy duty cleaning and organizing under the stairwell and some pool time. Our Caterpillar buds came over to swim, and the Feldmann kids too, so it was a little party.
Monday, well, Monday I made difficult all on my own. The house is a disaster and I can't function well in a mess, but I had other things to do so I spent a good amount of time going in circles getting nothing accomplished. In the end, I did get the auction items to the school for the PTA fundraiser after stopping at Anokhi for gift bags and Amma Naana for chocolate. The sets included a movie pack (family movies, popcorn and a blanket I made a while ago), a wine rack with a bottle of chocolate vodka, a S'mores pack (everything to make S'mores, with instructions), an Xbox pack (our xBox dance pads along with games) and an Africa pack (a jumper from Ghana, a t-shirt from Togo's entry to the World Cup last year, 2 books and a framed print of the Lome' fetish market taken by Katherine). Since we won't be at the fundariser I figured it's what I could do. And it gets rid of a bunch of crap from our house too.
I had an unpleasant chat with the interim Kindergarten teacher and another Kindergarten parent, about Jonathon. Unbeknownst to me, he's targeted one particular kid and that kid is now down a Power Rangers roller backpack due to Jonathon stomping on it. Totally unacceptible and he has repaid it with every cent he has and an additional week of chores without pay. But the bigger issue is his focus on this kid and how he just doesn't like him. I'm never quite sure how to judge other kids and their parents because some things that I would teach my kids to ignore or incidents that just don't warrant a whole lot of angst, really rile up other people. Jonathon calls this kid names. Her example involved a description of his chicken pox scars and how Jonathon called him "chicken pox boy." Yes, I could see how that would bug someone. But where I would tell my kids to ignore it or turn it into a game by acting like a chicken, this really offended his mother. I can't negate her reaction, but I didn't react as shocked as I think was expected. When we asked Jonathon later that evening if he played with this boy, he said he did sometimes. I get the feeling that the two kids have it out for each other. Jonathon sees him as an easy target when he's frustrated and the other kid is using complaints against Jonathon to garner sympathy from mom. That's just my guess, and yes, I'm biased because Jonathon is not a malicious kid. I'd be ticked about the bag, and I'd make a kid repay it somehow, but what I didn't hear from her was what her kid did to instigate anything and as we all know, there's always another side. I just didn't hear it.
To finish the day I took the middle two to the dentist. Rebecca had fillings,sealants and fluoride, Nicholas just had sealants and fluoride. I spoke with an orthodontist. Last time I had full mouth xrays and a mould done. The ortho took digital photos and told me his initial assessment is that braces wouldn't do much. My jaws are misaligned. Flashback to high school when my mom brought me to the ortho and he said the same thing and I passed on the surgery to correct it. Now I'm faced with the same option, do it or don't. Does the state of my mouth warrant a surgery that will have me in pain for a good long while? It's bugged me since high school, should I pass up the opportunity to get it changed? Or does being "bugged" by something give enough of a reason at all? I go back on the 5th to learn more. It's a good time, Ian will be with me for that. Decisions, decisions.
In the meantime, we're missing the PTA Caribbean Night in order to traipse along with Ian for a work trip to Cochin, Kerala. I don't know how many folks know this as I didn't before moving here, but India has it's own States and each State has its own capital and its own language. Here in the south of India, we are in the state of Tamil Nadu, the capital is Chennai (formerly Madras) and the language is Tamil. In the state of Kerala, the capital is Thiruvananthapuram (formerly Trivandrum, all the names are changing back to more Indian forms) and the language is Malayalam. Thankfully, English and Hindi are two other official languages in India and the ones most widely spoken across the nation. Speaking of (heh) I should get back into learning some Hindi.
So that's what I've been up to.

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