Last week my younger one was down (as usual) with throat pain, and couldn’t swallow her saliva. She eventually stopped eating. Naturally taking her to doctor fell on my shoulders. This is the problem of being a half working – half stay-at-home mom. You can’t ignore either of the responsibilities, for which you are answerable.

Anyway, as my GP knows me for the past thirteen years, I usually get the appointment without any fuss. And on Mother’s Day, my baby went down with antibiotics and Calpol. The childcare has a rule that, if a kid is on an antibiotic, they won’t accept her/him for the first 24 hrs- which means that, in case she becomes allergic to any medicine, they don’t want to face any consequences, or which might even lead me into suing against them, for negligence.

So , there she was near me spitting the greenish yellow phlegm.

I told the doctor “This winter I have lost count, how many times she came here for stronger antibiotics”.

“Is she going to childcare?”


“Then you can’t do anything, Swathi. We have to wait till she develops immunity to live in this cold climate and flu.”

Very well. Do we ever hear such opinions from Indian doctors? – developing immunity!

Monday, I sent her to daycare after giving her the morning dose. And asked her carers to give it, after lunch. All was well and good till Wednesday. Then she started sniffling again. Thursday morning it worsened again into a fully blown throat infection (still her last amoxicillin solution hasn’t even reached three-quarter of the bottle).

 It has been raining and windy all these days. So, I guessed they might have taken these, bored kids outside, at the first ray of sunlight.


Here the kids are taught English using phonics. i.e. A is the alphabet, and (ah) is the sound (as in Ant), B is the alphabet, while b (b is the sound as in b-at). i.e. how they learn to read in phonics.  So one fine day their school principal calls all junior infant kids’ parents for a meeting, and gives us a class about Jolly Phonics and above all “how to teach them”.

Last time when I went to India, with this in mind, I had to erase all that I learned about English alphabets and re-learn using Jolly Phonics.

As I wasn’t familiar with this way of teaching, I wrote all the phonic sounds in Malayalam, learned myself first and then taught her.

But now we both reached a stage that she is correcting me the pronunciation of th in the, th in thought, th in thanks etc.(unfortunately, along with my Indian accent!)

Now with the second one as I had already learned my lesson, I teach her , the sound of each alphabet too.

It will be more or like :

A is for അ-അ- അ- അ-  ആpple

B is for -ബ-ബ-ബ      -t (bat)   and make it a song.

I know ,it looks and sounds strange. But that’s how these kids are taught to read. And if parents don’t go with the schools teaching style, our kids will end up thoroughly confused and clueless.

They don’t send workbooks to home. Only a plastic folder with two books, as per their reading level (mine is in level 7). Sometimes with photocopies of  ‘ut’ words and she will ask me any new ‘ut’ word that I can tell her.

Because of this , I took Irish Senior Infants syllabus from IXL Learning and made her do assignments for Maths and English from it. Now she has started reading ‘leapfrog’ library books.

Also, sometimes I get books from Thankfully they have a shop in a mall near me.  Of course, she is not very interested, but I don’t have to face much resistance from her. As she sees me reading, she also wants to read.

Now, this weekend was St. Patrick’s day weekend. St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and His day is  actually the traditional death date of Him. So, we (I mean kids) wear green and go to school. There will be St. Patrick’s parade in town, too. (We have never been to the parade in past 13 yrs., as the climate will be very cold then)

On a note: Patrick is the most common Irish name , which shortens into Paddy.

(According to tradition, Patrick came to Ireland to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity. It is said that he spent many years evangelising in the northern half of Ireland and converted “thousands”. Patrick’s efforts against the Celtics (who were pagan) were eventually turned into an allegory in which he drove “snakes” out of Ireland. Ireland never had/have any snakes).

Now another scary thing that is hunting my mind, is that my husband is going to Budapest(Hungary) for a conference. We are used to this. He went to Belgium leaving four months pregnant me with a year-old child . He went to US, two years before for a week, leaving  a two and a half yr old and four yr old with me.  And it seems like they don’t care too.

Now he will be away from 19th to 23rd.  Guess what!!!

Easter holidays start on 22nd March to 9th April.

Now that’s what is scaring me more than anything. A bored child with tons of energy is one grave problem. But what about TWO of the same.

Fistfights start, which then develops into pushing, pulling hair, screaming, crying, accusing each other….  And most of the time drives me to the toilet, just to get some quiet time.

Nowadays, I recently noticed that I have started to spend more time on the toilet just to stay calm. And today I noticed that the kids are also happy when I tell, “mummy is going to the toilet” – but from the toilet I can hear all the scuttering like rats and giggles and something or the other falling, drawers opening and closing. And by the time, I open the toilet; it’s a sudden rush to put everything in order, and they will sit as if nothing had happened.

One day I quietly came out and watched the drama going on. After some minutes when they found that , i was watching all the mess in front of me, they froze.

That is when comes the blue stick (to scare), and the threatening of time-out. I have already told daddy not to come into our room when such things happen.  The elder goes suddenly “I want daddy”. She will never say it, till she is sure that mummy had caught her.

Anyway, today as decided daddy didn’t come, and when he came, they had their tablet confiscated as a form of punishment.

I still can see the strange look in them that their “divide and rule” didn’t work this time with mom and dad.

And now please wish me well for:

1.      When my husband is in Hungary.

2.     When Easter holidays start with just girls and me in the house!

O, dear God!

-Swathi Sasidharan

  1. Jose Eddison 2 years ago

    Very good keep writing Swathi

  2. Siddi Perfect 2 years ago

    Excellent write up Swati
    Happy Holidays

  3. V Thomas 2 years ago

    Wish you all the well…

  4. Sapna Anu B.George 2 years ago

    Great narration Swathi, simple and to the point…..

  5. Shamna 2 years ago

    Very good write up swathi…even I had a similar situation (throat pain and infection) when my kids were small.initially I was not happy with my gp and when I visited India took him to manipal Bangalore…they suggested tonsillectomy and were more curious abt the hospital room rent and charges…more than the disease they talked about these…astonished.. and.came back ….took a wise decision to refrain from surgery…no human values money rules….pathetic…

  6. Mohanan 2 years ago

    Good note. All the best…

  7. Arun 2 years ago


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