Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Eating Out

For a while know I was craving the peri-peri chicken from an authentic Portuguese restaurant not far from where we live.  I have been there once before for an office-lunch and the food was delicious.  So last night I finally convinced hubby that we should have supper there.

All went well until we actually arrived at the restaurant and Stella's ability to listen to us disappeared into thin air and Nika started to whine about anything and everything!  I was horrified!

We had a constant battle with Stella to sit still and Nika kept trying to run out the front door...  Let me just add that this restaurant is situated on a VERY BUSY road.  We've tried everything to keep them quiet but with no luck!  It was so embarrassing.  The restaurant is divided into different rooms and we were alone in the one room when we arrived and there were one or two diners seated in the room opposite from us.

On the menu it says that it takes ±30 minutes for the kitchen staff to prepare the peri-peri chicken.  After about 10 minutes the waitress came to us saying "your food is on the way and someone from the room next door already complained about the noise!".  Instantaneously I felt like running out the door myself.  Needless to say, the chicken was not properly cooked and still very raw when it arrived.  We did not complain.... We finished our meals as quickly as we could and left the restaurant.  It was an awful experience and highly embarrassing.

Hubby went to the car with the girls while I paid the bill.  The waitress recited her line she is supposed to say when diners leave "we hope to see you again soon!", but the look on her face was a completely different story.  Lets just say we are not planning on dining there again soon in the foreseen future!  Oh I forgot to mention, the manager glared at us on several occasions while we were trying to eat at a record speed to get out of there.  Especially when Stella handed him her empty plate when she was finished with her food.  He was not impressed.  She has got this idea that she must help clear the table when she is finished eating.  Which is fine at home, not so much when you are at a restaurant.  When we got home the girls were as good as gold....

Friday, February 21, 2014

Firmness vs Fighting

Yesterday was such a mission getting Stella and Nika to school.  Before we even left the house Stella started whining... "Mommy, I want a different teacher.  My teacher is fighting to me".  (she always says 'to me' instead of 'with me').  I have come to the conclusion that she misinterprets firmness as fighting.  She says the same to us when we are being firm with her.  The reason for this, I think, is because at her school she was at last year she was pretty much left to do whatever she pleased and is expecting the same now.  Thankfully this school is quite strict on discipline so hopefully she will realize soon enough that she needs to obey the teachers (and us of course!!!).

I have mentioned to her current teacher that discipline never seemed a high priority at her previous school and that we really want this to improve significantly.  She knows about saying please and thank you, but when it comes to listening when she needs to sit still or do something we ask her to do or wait in line it is a completely different story.  For my own sanity I keep telling myself that this is just a phase and it will improve...

Anyway, back to yesterday, so it was a nightmare dropping them off because Stella refused to get into the car, then refused to get out at school, then wouldn't go into the pedestrian gate...  Eventually once we were inside, little Nika's eyes were so big and her teacher asked her what was wrong.  She obviously was in shock by watching her sister behaving so badly.

This morning I was dreading the trip to school because it is quite embarrassing and enormously frightening if you are screaming like a crazy person when your child runs up the sidewalk on a busy street!

I can honestly say I was pleasantly surprised.  She was behaving so well and was nice to everyone for a change.  She hugged the teachers, even smiled at them!  Can't wait for the day when she actually says good morning to the teachers when they greet her!

Okay, rewind back to last night... I forgot to mention this little bit of info... We were having a casual conversation in the lounge when I mentioned something about Stella's teaching saying that she is doing her schoolwork so well when little Miss Stella said as if it is nothing "I have a boyfriend" and carried on with what she was doing!  I mean, really?  She is 4 years old!!  When I was that young my friends and I all thought boys had germs!  It is quite obvious that she doesn't really understand the term "boyfriend" but to hear your 4-year old daughter tell you that she has one is quite a shock to one's system!

Her teacher has told me a few times that Stella only plays with this one boy at school or rather chases him around all day.  She must have joked about it and that is most probably where Stella must have heard about the little boy being her boyfriend.  Maybe it is time to schedule some play dates with some girls from her class.... :)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sisterly Love

Last night we went out for supper.  Nika fell asleep in the car on our way to the restaurant.  Nika's nickname is "Chickle-bum".  No, there is no logical explanation for where that name came from.  Stella obviously heard me (I am the only one calling her that) calling her little sister that so now she also calls her that from time to time.

When we arrived at the restaurant I heard Stella saying in the back of the car "Chickle-bum, wake up, it is food time!".  It was so sweet!  It actually made me laugh.  The way she said it was just too precious.

As I mentioned in my previous post Stella is struggling to adapt to her new surroundings, but I am happy to say there were no bad reports when I picked her up from school.  At times she still struggles to speak clear enough for people to understand her the first time so I think that it is frustrating her which could also lead to conflict.  Although her speech improved significantly since July last year it is not 100 % yet.  I am so proud of how far she had come in such a short time.  Less than a year ago we couldn't understand even 10 % of what she was saying.  Now we can talk non-stop for who-knows-how-long and understand most of what she is saying.  We might have to ask her to repeat something a few times but in the end we know what she is trying to say.

This morning went much better when I dropped her off at school and she didn't scream at all.  She sat down, unpacked her snacks and said good bye to me with no tears.  Hopefully today will go well.

Nika wakes up with a smile in the mornings.  She is so excited when she sees it is time to get up.  This morning I got so many kisses from her!  This is something that she didn't easily give at one stage and I just love "baby kisses".  Lately though, she just dishes them out and even blows kisses at strangers and anyone who just looks her way!

On Saturday night we took them out to see Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs 2.  At one stage Nika got so excited, she climbed onto my lap and out of pure excitement bit me on my shoulder!  There still is a bruise to show for it!

Behaving Badly

Stella had her birthday party at school yesterday.  Turned out that sometime during the course of the day she kicked her teacher.  This is not like her at all and I'm not entirely sure if it is true as I haven't heard it from the teacher, but this is what one of her classmates has said.

For some reason I am tempted to believe her as Stella has really been acting out lately.  To say it is worrying is to say the least!  The move and new school and new surroundings seem to be having a bigger effect on her than we thought.  In fact I was more concerned about how her little sister, Nika will adapt as she is the shy one.

By last night I was so worked up over this that I could hardly sleep.  I would never have thought that this is an issue we would ever have to deal with!  One might worry about them being bullied (which I still worry about), but not that they would be bullying others.  By the way, apparently she also hit another child yesterday.  I arrived at school to find her alone in the classroom with the cleaners, crying.  Her teacher came in explaining that she had hit another child and she was told to apologize and instead she ran into the classroom crying.  I have no idea why she hit her or why she was crying.

I have asked her to apologize to the little girl and she did.  She might have misunderstood the teacher when she asked her to apologize.

I've received advise (which I have asked for :) ) to maybe see a psychiatrist who specializes in dealing with young children with behavioral issues.  So last night Stella's Dad and I were talking about it.  We haven't made up our minds yet.  I phoned the school this morning to ask that they must please tell us when Stella acts out otherwise we won't know if she needs help or even if we just need to talk to her.  The lovely lady at school assured me that they will let us know if there is anything to worry about and that Stella is just trying to find her place still in her new surroundings.  She said that they know that kids can react in this way when they are in a new environment and that they know how to deal with them.  I'm so glad they don't just label her a 'problem-child' and start treating her differently.  They really seem to be caring for the children and it really is comforting to know they are in good hands.

I feel so much better today.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

New School

The girls started at a new pre-school this month.  The first two days Stella was so excited and couldn't wait to get to her new class.  After that it went a bit pear shaped.  The moment she realized that I had to leave she started screaming at the top of her lungs!  The first time she did that I was terrified that she might act out and kick or hit her teacher who tried to help her up from the floor.

Apparently, as they normally do, she stopped screaming the moment I was gone.  The past two days it has been better again.  We will arrive and she will start unpacking her bag and hand her snacks to the teacher to put it away.  She even smiled at her teacher when we walked in yesterday morning which is definitely huge progress.  She normally is a very friendly child.

Nika on the other hand adapted so fast!  I was more concerned about how she would handle moving and going to a new school, but she only cried the first two mornings and after that she was completely fine with it.
The second afternoon their dad and I both went to school to pick them up.  Nika saw us through the window as we were walking down the stairs.  She obviously must have thought that we would simply climb through the window to get to her, but was she shocked when we had to go around the corner out of sight to come in through the classroom door!  Shame, she got very upset.  She did realize soon enough that we cannot climb through the window though so now it is less of an issue when she sees us coming in.  I saw another little boy reacting the same way yesterday when he saw his dad.

After 11pm last night Stella woke up and climb into bed with us.  It was the 4th time she had woken up since she went to bed.  Every time I would take her back to her room, sit with her a little until she falls asleep and go back to our room.  By the 4th time I told her dad that something is obviously bothering her so we must just let her sleep in our bed so that she could at least get some sleep.  Next moment she whispered to me asking where her friend from her previous school is.  They have known each other since they were born and she obviously misses him.

It might be all the big changes that are only getting to her now that is keeping her up at night.  Hopefully she will get back into her normal routine soon.  Luckily she makes friends easily and she already made new friends at her new school.