Friday, February 29, 2008

Since I know someone is listening..

I have never had many visitors to my blog but thanks to mad momma and her schooling rant, some of you visited and its heartening to be reassured, even falsely so that my shy, meek little kids are Ok and there are others like them. I have been called to their school several times, primarily since mine is an inter religion marriage and sometimes the teachers have felt that must be putting pressure on Ruhi, also since I think most Delhi schools do not understand or approve the concept of full time working mothers...I have been forced to lie several times when I tell the principal that I will take a sabbatical till Ruhi is ten years old. 

The last time I was summoned was ten days ago when they told me, I need to work on her confidence levels since she is too soft spoken and mild and that she cannot get her voice heard in class. She does not play football with the others and sticks to a certain group of girls. I was told that she refuses to play with the boys and they think its because she comes from a " errr, how do we say offense meant...but errr...a muslim family" 

But they also said she had been showing improvement. I told them that her closest friend was her cousin brother and she spends days with him without any bias about his sex. Also that I spend all my waking hours thinking about how I can give her more emotional support and that except for those hours hours when I am in office, I am talking to her on the phone - leaving a bunch of things for her to do in my absence, instructions with the maids...

I came back heavy hearted, and took it out on my husband. Blamed him for not having the time for her while he looked bewildered and confused. In his simple way he counted the number of hours he had spent with her in the last week - double my count. So there !! 

I knew clearly, it was about me and not him. I just didn't want to accept that. I told myself I would works things out, be a better manager of my time and energies and all the other things we women think we are capable of ! I couldn't change a thing though...

Ten minutes ago I got a call from school again. I have to meet the Principal Monday morning 9 AM. This time about BOTH my kids. 

I am ashamed to admit this but I cried after the call. 

I know now that I need help. 


Aditi said...


Looked up on your blog via the Mad Momma. You write beautifully.

And keep writing, we're listening.


ps: if it's any help, remember the biblical song that goes 'the meek shall inherit the earth'? good luck.

GW said...


Preethi said...

That was so heart wrenching.. but since when is being shy or meek a crime? I think the school's attitude is ridiculous.. Not all kids are extroverts nor are they all go getters. Every kid has a unique personality and if the school cant understand this I would be at loss too. And what does religion have to do with anything.. do you think changing schools will help? I know I am being drastic.. but don't teachers understand shy kids anymore?
Hugs to you! Take care!

GettingThereNow said...

I just started reading your blog so don't know much about you and your family but reading about the calls you have received from your daughter's school raised my hackles. Why can't they let her be? So she is quiet and shy? There are other ways to deal with it. Like gently encouraging her to participate more. I mean the TEACHERS - they can call on her for topics they know she is comfortable with and build her confidence.

I am bristling so much because I was like Ruhi - shy and quiet. Only after I got gentle encouragment at school (after I changed schools) and was told that I was better at some things than others did my confidence develop. Had I been pressured into not being shy and quiet - yes, no prizes for guessing - I would have gone deeper in my shell. I know that.

Can you talk to the principal and teachers FIRMLY about working on this as a team and not playing the blame game (she is like this because she is form a muslim family or because her mom works full time or some such bullshit. My mom worked full time too, for the record, and that was NOT the reason for my shyness)

GW said...

Pinaki sent you a message.
(no subject)

When I was in school, my teachers felt (and told my parents) that its very difficult to imagine me being able to fit in the competitive world (and it was the 80s!!!!!).
They said I did not participate in sports, did not spk much to others and looked confused in my classes..
My teachers would not accept me any of the clubs (as they wanted someone who could contribute)

But I guess my parents kept the faith. And I may not be the best, or the sharpest, but i have definitely bettered the projections that my inspired, loving and nostardamus teachers had made.

Please keep the faith. Yr kids teachers have a job to do. You have a loving responsibiliy to fulfill.

PS : My parents are not fm different religions.. but they are fm diff cultural set ups (too different at times). It really didnt affect me negatively. So I guess its not an issue till you make it out to be one.

A famous poet said : the best is yet to be!


the mad momma said...

oh Preets... i can imagine how much it upsets you. what can i say? will meet you after the monday meeting if you wanna talk about it. hang in there okay?

Preethi said...

Hey linked to your post on mine.. made a related post.. come read

Preethi said...

I added this to my post.. thought it will help you

Some advice for parents with kids like Nantu. I prepare Nantu every time we go out. I tell him what we are going to do there, who he is going to meet and what kind of questions he is going to be asked. For example, we went to the dentist today and I told him she is going to look at his teeth , say hello, maybe ask him his name and age and so on. And amazingly that seems to prepare him enough to open up. He answered all the dentist's questions today, in a low voice but answered it nevertheless. I have found this prep talk to help, you can try it too.

Mala said...

Came here via MadMomma - please don't be so hard on yourself ! I'm a working mom with an 8-month old, had a working mom myself and never regretted it - it breaks my heart to think of you being put through crap by the school because you're working - or even worse, because of the mixed marriage. Please don't be so hard on yourself - she sounds like a healthy and happy child, I can't imagine why the teachers would be so insensitive. Especially when the principal (in one of your earlier posts) seemed to have the right attitude. It seems like we're becoming more intolerant as the years go by, not less - I don't remember any teacher ever making cracks about my mother working, or making her feel bad about it.

Hope this gets sorted out. But please don't beat yourself up - it is NOT about you.