Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A lesson learnt....- Part I

So kuttan had his annual day on Saturday. The day started as days such as this are wont to start. Hubby was claiming he has a sense of deja vu at the way I was rushing them to the venue. I behaved in exactly the same fashion as I did on his Sports Day. Had butterflies all over and was running around like a chicken with its head cut off shouting instructions to a bewildered kuttan and a mutinous looking hubby.

Let me put it on record here that I HATE being late and am a VERY punctual person. And the invitation explicitly read that we were supposed to be there at 9.45 AM. Now with small children, you cannot always expect things to go along expected lines. So when you tell me 9.45, I'm thinking...hmm...9.30. And considering the Bangalore traffic and the fact that we had to have breakfast at Adyar Anandha Bhavan before we got to the venue, I had the troops marching out the door at 8.45 in the morning. Hubby's protests that the venue was only one kilometre away fell on deaf years and off we went jauntily.

When we arrived at the venue, kuttan's headmistress looked positively horrified to see us so early and shooed us out telling us to come back at 10.00. I mean, does'nt anyone respect time anymore? So there we were, twiddling our thumbs, wondering what to do - a very embarrassed and indignant me, an ironic and resignedly amused hubby and an impatient, bounding ball of excitement in the form of kuttan at 9.30 in the morning. Suddenly inspiration stuck and we decided to go to a park nearby - where all the Saturday morning joggers gave us queer looks trying to understand why 3 people who look dressed in all their finery are sitting on a dew covered park at 9.30 in the morning.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Crazy 8s

So kuttan was tagged by Aryan to confess his crazy 8s. So here goes:

8 things I am passionate about:

1. Snatching the phone from amma whenever she is talking to anyone ranging from grandmom to amma's irate client in New Zealand and talking their ear off for about half an hour. Throwing loud tantrums if I dont get the phone.

2.My Ice Age CD

3. Playing with Adarsh and Aarav and rushing out and opening the door if I so much as HEAR them outside.
4. Taking out my books and pretending to read them in a voice loud enough to wake the dead.

5. Music. I LOVE listening to music which ranges from MS' Ganesha Pancharatnam to the latest Shivaji Ballelakka.

6. The lastest song 'Bum Bum Bole' from Taare Zameen Par. I love singing this over and over and over again till amma's and appa's ears threaten to drop off.

7. Playing my baby drums and my toy guitar.

8. Using my water colors to paint the floor, the carpet, the sofa, the maid's ears..just about everything except for the painting book itself.

8 things that drive my mom crazy:

Are you sure I need to stop at 8? I think the number is closer to 80.

1. The way I defy all laws of nature by continuing to insist that I live on air. I mean, literally, going for days on end without food of ANY kind.

2. The way I bang my car all over the place and especially against amma's legs when she is slaving over the stove in the kitchen.

3.The way I HAVE to lay my hands on any piece of paper that comes into the household. It could be anything from a pamphlet to our apartment documents. I need to have them and say 'It's very important' and glower at amma as though she is in danger of tearing them all up at any minute.

4. The way I insist on getting off the potty every 10 secs to flush and then demand to be picked up and made to sit again.

5. The insanely long amount of time I take to chew my food.

6.The way I insist on staying awake till I make sure BOTH my parents are asleep before going to sleep myself. Now I cant trust them to be alone, unsupervised, can I?

7. The way I ask amma a thousand questions and keep on calling for her incessantly when she is doing something else. This really drives her up the wall.

8. She gets really mad if I try to express my creativity. Just the other day both amma and appa threw fits when they came back home and saw the painting I had made....

all over the wall...

Did I tell you we stay in a rented apartment?

8 things I say often:

1. Innikku school vendam (No school today please!)

2. Mammam porum(Enough food!!)

3. Innikku school la amma amma nnu azhudhen.( I cried asking for you in school today.)

4. This is very important. Ok?

5. Amma..amma...amma...incessantly repeated through the day.

6. Po..pesadhe....(Go..dont talk to me..)

7. Appa thittara( appa is scolding)

8. I ya you..roughly translated to ..I love you!!

8 books that I have read

1. Polar Bear, Polar Bear..what do you hear?

2. Good night stories

3. Panchatantra stories by Amar Chitra Katha

4. Good Manners book

5.Men at work book

6. Alphabet book

7. Ramayana

8.Numbers book.

8 songs that I like listening to over and over again:

1. Smart cookie

2. Ballelakka

3. Bum Bum Bole

4. Twinkle Twinkle

5. Ba Ba black sheep

6. ABCD...

7.Ten Little Monkeys

8.Ra Ra...

I tag anyone else who wants to take up this tag

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Raising strong children

I am most horrified to read the newspapers these days. 2 days back, I read that a XI standard student had shot herself in the head because she had not done well in her exams. And 2 days before that, I read that a 4th standard student(seriously!! Can you believe that?) hanged herself because her mother scolded her. What on earth is going on? Why are our youngsters emotionally and spritually so weak that such small lil bumps on their paths makes them go completely over the edge? Who should we blame for this?

Should we blame the media for playing out such ghastly stories over and over again till they are imprinted on the viewers' young, susceptible minds and puts ideas into their heads? Parents for running around in a crazed quest for money and not paying enough attention to the children? Society as a whole, for not creating and nurturing strong enough role models for the children to believe in and look up to?

Actually, I am totally confused. When I was growing up, my mom stayed home all the time and appa was hardly ever home. He used to work on Saturdays. He used to work till 7 in the night on weekdays. And amma, even though she used to be a SAHM, never used to be at my beck and call. She was always busy with something. With a neighbor. In her stitching classes. With the cooking or the cleaning. I used to be left alone many days for stretches of time to amuse myself. But I never resented the fact. And I grew up never wanting for attention. In fact, I still remember the sound thrashing I got when I interrupted my mom when she was talking to a neighbor.

Today, both Hubby and I reach home by 5.30 in the evening and play with kuttan all evening. Weekends are totally dedicated to his highness. And we still feel guilty about not spending enough time with him. When he calls us, we drop everything we are doing and rush to him. And yet I am worried about the kind of teenager and adult that my son will become.

My mom tells me that raising a child was a lot less complicated in her times. You had a child, gave them a good education, taught them good values and protected them till they were old enough to distinguish between the good and the bad. You waited till the values you had given them asserted their place in the children's lives and then you had nothing to worry about.

Back then, the only thing you needed to worry about, if you had a girl was that she would fall in love and marry someone 'outside' the community. If you had a boy, you had no worries till his graduation, after which you worried that he should get placed in a good job. And oh, with boys, you had to make sure that they didnt get into smoking and drinking and other bad habits either. Raise a child without falling into these pitfalls and you were pretty much assured of your place under the sun.

Compare this with the crazed parenting styles of today. Along with choices, I believe our confusion has also increased. Today we have to worry about every decision that we take about our children's lives. Mad Momma has written about her worries on privileged childhood. I do not trivialise her fears. I understand and agree with them. I worry about my son's early schooling too. I worry that he is 3 years old and is still not able to count objects correctly. Sometimes. He gets them right mostly.

I worry that my son is not getting enough to eat. I worry that my son is growing up too aggressive. I worry about all the strangers who my son may meet in school. I worry about who is allowed to touch my son when I am not around. I worry about the lil dry patch of skin in his left cheek. I worry that I am not there for him enough. I worry that he may grow up emotionally scarred just bcos I did not get him that battery operated car which he breaks in a jiffy. I worry that he may grow jaded if I do. I worry that if I do not get him admitted into that perfect school, he will never have a career. I worry that if I do get him into the school, then he may have too much academic pressure and not enough time and space to explore his interests. I worry that I am making him my parenting-style guinea pig. I worry that I am being too staid and not trying different enough things for him.

But on the whole, I think I worry too much. I think, as a generation, we are far less relaxed than our parents used to be. I know that the threats were lesser then. I know those were simpler times. But still, on the whole, I think, if we are more prepared to go with the flow and less ready to take on the blame any time anything goes wrong with our children's lives, then, probably, our children will grow up to be stronger individuals.

This may be an over simplification of the issue. It probably is not that simple. And then again, probably our parents were only pretending to be relaxed while they looked over us with an eagle eye and pulled us up for the smallest transgression. See, I am confused again..and worried!! What if I have gotten it all wrong?