Thank God It Is Saturday!9:48 AM
This week has been a accumulation of all the things that should be cumulated: Solo Parenting + last minute unforeseen week off school + intense Mumbai October heat. This end up all summing to: chaos, boredom, irritation and lack of productivity.
Ishita's school send us an SMS of doom last Saturday announcing that due to urgent electrical repair, her floor would be shut down and the kids were to stay home on Monday and Tuesday. This has been quickly replaced by a new more apocalyptic SMS on Monday night announcing that the school would remain shut the whole week long...THE WHOLE WEEK LONG!!!
If that alone was not going to ensure my entire blog and work schedule would be disrupted greatly, lets throw in DH going away on a business trip...you know just for the fun of it. This ensured that I would be on my knees by mid-day with a 1st Grader bored out of her mind (and voicing it) with no chance of any spousal moral support.
But wait! There's more (insert over zealous sales person tone and picture an equally overzealous enthusiastic face to go with it).
Because having a 1st Grader home the whole week and no chance of spousal back up is clearly not enough to drive a person insane (at least not a veteran like myself), let's add the heat into the mix.
In true blue Mumbai fashion, October sees a comeback of Summer, making it absolutely impossible to be out between 9am and 5pm without steaming, sweating your entire being to a puddle and possibly evaporating in the atmosphere. during the actual real Summer break I have the option of sending her to the neighbour to play (and we usually take turns taking the kids). This week she was the ONLY school going kid NOT to be in school in our neighbourhood!
How do you keep a 1st grader happy at home when there is nobody to play with until 5pm? HOW??? I tried to put her to work, but it wears thin quickly, so does a few hours of TV, and a couple of craft projects, and a grocery shopping trip here and there (trips that nearly killed us in the heat). It inevitably always ended up with Ishita whining at 1pm saying "Mama I am BORED", and me feeling dead beat and terribly unproductive hearing it.
Came 4pm we would be out the door, thanks to some of my friends who were in the mood for play dates, both indoors and outdoors. Oh boy did we look forward to the end of the afternoon just to get out from a home that felt more like a messy prison than a home.
Thanks to this past week though, nothing has been achieved on the blog front, and all the plans and projects I had on the art front (including some big ones) went out of the window. I even had plans to do fun cooking with Ishita, but that also went out of the window due to the intense, burning heat from hell in the kitchen (it's that bad in Mumbai folks!). I also got submitted to the school whatsapp group rants as every single parents in her class were as sapped and frazzled as I was. With many having to rearrange their office work week with their boss.
Because the school didn't take time to consider what a burden it would be for working parents. Didn't plan on alternative arrangements and simply made the assumption that ever woman in India is a happy go lucky housewife with no life beyond the the lives of her own progeny. We are still all trying to get the school to explain what kind of "emergency" that electrical repair was. Especially after I noticed two days ago that all the lights and AC units were on and clearly working on that floor. The school has instead chosen to not pick up the phone, and to not reply to emails. The very few lucky souls that got them to pick up the phone only got a cooked and canned reply of : "It was for the safety of the kids". Without elaborating any further, or explaining how serious the electrical problem was, or even coming with an answer to our questions about their plan to compensate for that lost week of curriculum.
This, my dear sends two very disturbing message to people :
1) Women better stay housewives for eternity in India, because their wanting to have a career is incompatible with the whims and fancies of schools and the ridiculously heavy government holidays list.
2) Education is to be taken as a joke, schools can decide how much of it a kid is entitled for as part of the school fee, and decide at the last minute to slash into the allotted time for any reason they feel like giving.
Us parents should only nod and be happy about it, because hey, some of us might end up kissing a promotion at work goodbye, or see their bum on the company's ejector seat. But hey! At least our kids are safe from a phantom electrical emergency the school didn't even feel like explaining to us...