SAHM 800: Notes of a Mother who loves Psalms and doesn’t stay home TOO much

Note: I call these posts SAHM 800 cos Stay At Home Mum is what am doing right now till the next phase, as a mum we seem to be eternally ‘singing’ and 800 is the bloody number i most frequently dial. I dialled it last night to let the Supermarket hotline know that I have been delivered in addition to mine, the entire consignment of another customer Lisa by mistake, and by the looks of it, Lisa suffers from indulgence issues and mild depression and is no way a gourmet cook ūüėČ ok, ok‚Ķ. well I had to peek to make sure none of it was mine didn’t I?

Finding LEGO

Photo on 2013-05-07 at 09.24

I started working at 19 though I had a Uni lined up. Uni was far too far away: 2 years seemed like a lifetime thanks to the JVP-GoSL insurgency in the South of Sri Lanka. Instead I joined a¬†pharmaceutical company and became a ‘drug-peddlar’ as my former Principal Ms Shanthi Dias n√©e Thambar critically called me. “You should teach Classics Gayathri” she used to say. Lots of people in my growing up used to tell me what to do, it’s the way we grew up. Teachers, total strangers, other people’s parents and useless relatives all had advice on what we should ‘end up’ as, ‘make of’ our life and how to become ‘fully qualified.

Well I became a lawyer and when you become a ‘doctor’ or ‘proctor’ in SL (if you dont understand proctor, ask a Srilankan born there before ’85) they tend to leave you alone under the delusion that ‘she has made something of herself’ and now the only thing she had to do was to ‘settle down’.

Photo on 2013-05-07 at 09.30 #3

Dotted LINES

I survey my life and not even the late Steve Jobs would have been able to join the dots. I survey my 3rd room at home and I realise that I did however bring a few dotted lines across the continental spaces from my growing up in Sri Lanka. For today IS an important day to me: it’s the day that my seven year old sits for her first ‘Term Test’ as we used to call em. She is facing her language paper today ‘Italiano’ and her Maths paper on Thursday and inbetween tomorrow is something which sounds like Invalsa which is an all round exam paper duration 40 mins set by the Dept of Education which all children in Toscana or Tuscany sit for to determine that they are ‘up to scratch in all subjects’.

What did your teacher tell ya about the test I ask her and she replies “Mama, Laura says that the most important thing to remember is NOT to worry about it nor panic” (how relaxed). Well, does anyone panic? I asked her. “Hee hee‚Ķ. yes.. she replies giggling‚Ķ Matteo promptly had to go to the loo‚Ķ. he always¬†panics”.

Well, my princess may be easy about these things but I realised that I definitely had some ‘gotta get good marks and try to succeed’ Robert the Bruce dot instinct which persevered in getting her ready for the big day a la Srilankan mode. One black pen needed, 3 were given: one extra in case the first failed and the second in case someone else needed one. The night before comprehension and dictation took place while I cooked dinner and I must say am amazed at children’s ability to learn multiple languages.


Photo on 2013-05-07 at 09.30 #2

You may ask and not English? Well, she goes to a semi-private good repute neighbourhood school 2 mins by foot, which she loved since 3 years old. Then, we are an exotic household of parents of two continents and two children born in two countries and share 5 languages in our household in varying degrees. So there it is: her world is Italian and she speaks it better than her parents and this makes her possessive of her world. She loves her teacher who will accompany the class from 6 years old till eleven years old each year as the main class teacher.
We did¬†visit the American School for which we have an offer to have fees paid by my husband’s place of work. But how could I move my daughter who plays something like dodgeball ¬†with 14 boys¬†and football with ditto to a little class of 12 kids who complain to the teacher when their neighbour steps on their foot or pulls their books away?The jungle rules seem fine for my daughter and she opted to stay in this school and everyone at the school said ‘leave her’. So there she stays. Well, till she is eleven and everyone leaves to a new ‘Middle or Junior School’.

Photo on 2013-05-07 at 09.29 #2Ru’s WORDS

Ru Freeman said something very thought provoking in an interview to me. “I bring my kids up to love their country” she said. They need to love America as I love Sri Lanka”. I know how important that is now, to me and my daughter and son. The man or woman who detests his country, rejects the place she is living in and longs for another imagined society to the oblivion of the need to accept the community in which he is physically living in is not something I wish to help create. So, there she goes, happy as a lark to the first Italiano test.

And I get to grips with arranging the BIG MESS in the study/creative/spare room. Another couple of dots joined is the internal struggle in getting rid of interesting tins, bottles and boxes which Might Come In Useful for Putting Things In, and Throwing Away Bits that belong to a puzzle or game or larger community of toys. Am happy that I have moved ¬†across homes and countries¬†with each puzzle and crayon that was usable. The Jaffna Thamil¬†community would be proud of me ūüėČ

Photo on 2013-05-07 at 09.31 #4Thass it. Back to work now for this SAHM or Stay at Home Mum who doesn’t intend to Stay Home Long ‚Ķ. when I get that wonderful part-time academic or research job again as I used to do will let you know. Till then, I have time to fraternise on the social digital media and cook interesting dinners, get my daughter to speak English nearly how she should be spoke and should be wrote and teach my son to use his paintbox like a pro.


  1. chandrika says:

    Looks like you are doing a good job and happy about it too! Teach me how to do that.

  2. Sulochana says:

    I will never forget the first time I carried Anjou in that Brussels apartment…Where did the time go? I am sure she will ace all her subjects. Looking forward to spending some quality time with her and Dani and of course you, SAHM 800.

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