Behind the scenes

Just another day, not today. But a sample of what happens on many days.

6:45 am: Got up, awake yet slow. Brushed my teeth, looked at myself in the mirror. Need to get my hair coloured. It looks weird, unkept and dry. Note to myself – Call my hair guy and set an appointment. It is Diwali this weekend. Yay!! Party!!

7:15 am: The kid’s tiffin packed. Breakfast, lunch and dinner planned out. Stuff for breakfast laid out. Time to go wake the kid. Oh, it rained last night and there is water on the terrace coz the f$%^&& idiots made the slope wrong. Need to get that cleaned when the maid comes in. Put in the laundry? Sky looks cloudy. What does that have to do with it? You can put it on full dry mode. Naaah! Just forget it today. Don’t feel like it.

7:25: The kid and his dad are still snoozing. Yank the blankets off! Mean me. The dad takes one look at his smart phone and has something urgent from work. I swear I could throw all phones into the Dead Sea. So he is unavailable from now on till whatever he needs to do gets done. Note to self – Pretend he is out of town.

7:55 am: The kid is ready for school. Finally!! After very “patiently” talking, role playing, subtle cajoling and just short of pleading. It took 25 minutes of cuddles, PDA, sweet talk, playing silly games and 5 minutes to actually get into the uniform. We march down the stairs for breakfast.

Expected time of Departure from home to catch the school bus is:

Easy breezy walk – 8:00 am

Power walk – 8:05 am

Run – 8:10 am

Run for your life – 8:15 am

We manage to make it 8:00 am on most days, but today doesn’t seem like that day.

8:00 am: The breakfast is toasted slices of bread with butter and jam and a glass of milk. Easy simple, what’s so difficult about that. Trust toddlers to come up with the most innovative ways to delay, refuse or whine about things. The young one wants to “cook” his breakfast. He wants to make something at 8:00 am when he is supposed to leave for school. Aaarrrghhhh! I want to scream out loud. But I don’t. I have house guests. I am trying to be nice and well behaved. I tell him we will cook together for lunch or dinner.

8:03 am: Looking at the calendar on the kitchen wall. Oh sh%^^ [don’t worry, I did not say that out loud]! I need to submit an article by tomorrow, an article that I haven’t started writing yet!!! Note to self – Finish it today. Tomorrow will be too late.

8:05 am: Back to reality. I am still pushing and gently prodding the little one to finish his glass of milk. 3/4th of the glass is gone. He refuses to drink the remaining. I am thisclose, yes THISCLOSE to screaming again. Pause. Think Simran what can you do now. I ask him why don’t you want to drink. He says it is cold. I do the finger test and it is frigging warm-on-the-side-of-hot. Before I can say anything he repeats “It is cold mama!” I take a sip and it dawns on me. I say “You mean there is less sugar?” His eyes become big and round and he nods. “Then you need to say it is not sweet enough. We don’t call it COLD!!”

I say it out loud, to myself “How irritating!” I hear the husband’s voice saying “How funny, right?” I get it! He is trying to make me see it in another light. I don’t want to see it from any other angle. Hmmphh!

I add sugar and give it to him. He is still not budging. I take away the glass and say ok no milk. He stares at me with the I-can’t-believe-this look. And I continue “No watching that movie-that-we-recorded-to-see-on-movie-day”. Totally mean me! I know, this is against all the rules of perfect parenting. But I DON’T WANT TO BE A PERFECT PARENT right now!!!! All I want to do is YELL – LEFT, RIGHT AND CENTER. But I don’t.

Bingo! It works. He gulps down the last bit of milk and is off to school. One down.

8:10 am: The good byes and I-love-yous are done. My cousins who are visiting are gone too. I warm up my milk and toast my bread and sit down for breakfast. Ding dong! There goes the bell. The maid is here. Back to a cold toast after giving her directions. Who cares!

8:20 am: The contractor calls in saying he will be here with his army of 5 men to finish off pending tasks. Okay 😦 Whatever!

8:55 am: The bell rings. The contractor walks in and 5 men with him. The maid looks at me and says “Phir se kaam shuru karange yeh log? [Will these people start work again?]….

… Such is life, it isn’t always what it seems like!! Yet we live it, love it and it is beautiful the way it is.

Have a lovely week ahead. May you have the slow moments that you crave for and the fast, hectic, crazy ones too. May you have the best of both worlds.
Happy Monday!!

From a baby to a little person

N and I read and talk before he goes to bed. Tonight’s conversation, was a wee bit inspired by this post from Mindful Dad.  We sat opposite each other and I told him why I loved him – all the reasons I could think of and more 🙂 I did not expect him to say anything back, after all he did not understand why or what I was doing; he hadn’t read the article. Or so I thought.

Turns out, he does understand the language of love, of emotions, of feelings. So he told me, what he loved about me. He loved that I took care of him – whether he got hurt or not, that I read to him every night, that I brought things for him or not sometimes, that I took him running with me, that I gave him kisses and hugs, that he could talk to me about anything (including his crush on a girl in his class – yep his first), that he wouldn’t ever go away leaving me or wouldn’t want to change me for any other mommy in the world!! Yay!! Oh boy it was one of the best feelings in the world, the way he said it in a very matter of fact tone, as if this was the simplest, truest, fact. Even better than S telling me why he loves me. Sorry S! Your li’l guy just took over 😉

Oh and before sleeping, N thanked god tonight for “Giving me 15 days of holidays so that I can be with my friends in Malpe!”

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Me to N:Please roll up and button up your shirt sleeves. That will look nicer.

N: I don’t like rolling up the sleeves. That makes me uncomfortable around the elbow.

Me: The last time you wore it you had sleeves down. Can’t you do it just this once, for me?

N: I don’t feel like mamma.

Me: Okay! (Pouty face – coz I seriously felt that the shirt and N would look better with rolled up sleeves)

N [calmly]: My life, my choice. Your life, your choice.

Me [Thinking is this kid seriously just a 5-year-old??]: N there are some things you can choose for yourself but there are other things that you will have to leave for mom and dad to decide till you are a li’l older.

N: Ok Mamma – I will listen to you for all the important things. But this is not an important thing no? Just my shirt sleeves.

Me [As if the light just went on inside a dark room]: Yes, N. you are right, this ain’t important. Keep your sleeves whichever way you want them [Smiling to myself on the inside, the kid has his fundas clear,  reinforcement works and choose your battles Sim – it is the important stuff that matters!] 🙂

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Read this yesterday – http://butterflywriterblog.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/17-things-boys-need-from-their-moms/ and like it! Very thoughtful, sweet and emotional article.

Happy Holidays or Happy There-will-be-holidays-very-soon 🙂

N speak latest

N: Mumma when will daddy come home? I miss daddy. I miss him a lot.

Me: hmm I miss him too sometimes. He will be back soon [from the office].

N: But I know he is working hard. For us, his family! He is working very hard so that we have money to have fun.

Me: Umm hmm

N: Like I am working hard……. for my school, for Bangalore, for India!! [Now where did that come from??] We all are working so hard. It is good to work hard. Hard working people………..zzzzzzzzzz

That completes our just-before-sleep lecture!

🙂
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N: Mamma I am writing my ABCs and I forgot how to write B. Can you come and help me?

Me: N I am in the middle of something. I will finish it and come. Can you please wait?

N: I can, but I don’t want to. [What??? Why??? Ok whatever. Fair enough]

Me: Hmm. You can ask Naani [grandmother].

N: [Wide eyed, I-don’t-believe-this look] Naani knows ABCD!! Cool!!

!!!!????

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N’s first self dictated story

Once upon a time there was a tiger. He was walking, then a hunter came, then he started to run. Then the hunter caught him.

Then a rat came and got the net and bit the net.

Finish!

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N was sitting in his daadu’s (grandfather) lap in the balcony. Both of them were enjoying the views of night lights.

Daadu to N: I am sorry that you got hurt today [The kid had scraped himself at a couple of places while riding his scooter in the evening, with daadu supervising him].

N: Why are you sorry daadu? How is it your fault? You did tell me to stop and go slow. Don’t worry, I will be fine soon.

Daadu smiling, mommy smiling too 🙂

Child Sexual Abuse – an online questionnaire. Please fill in.

2 days back I received an email from Shruti who is a student of design at Srishti School Of Art, Design & Technology in Bangalore. She is currently busy with her diploma (final dissertation) project. The project is aimed at “protection of children from child sexual abuse”.

She says “After preliminary research I have found that not all Indian parents are aware of how to empower and safeguard their children. As part of my research, I have constructed a questionnaire I would like for you to fill out. 

Your responses will help me validate my enquiry. And I could end up designing any of the following:

A manual for parents who want to talk to their child about body safety rules.
A storybook that a parent reads to their child.
It could even be material that talks to parents on why it is important to talk about this issue. (as there is such a strong social stigma attached to this topic) 

(this questionnaire is anonymous, and you do not have to fill your name).”

Child Sexual Abuse is something people normally tend to brush under the carpet or not think about. BUT it DOES happen and could happen anywhere, to any child.

I filled the questionnaire. It takes 5 minutes. Please fill the survey in and as Shruti says “let’s work together in safeguarding and empowering our children to become stronger individuals.”
Thanks!!

Oh no! Am I raising a Kleptomaniac? Or a Shoplifter?

I watched as my son stirred in the bed today morning. He was about to wake up. He opened his eyes, sat up and said “Sorry!”. In a split second my mind was racing to find the reason behind the sorry. Why did he say that? Did he wet the bed, spill the milk, lose his new car, hurt someone, break something in the house?

I asked him what happened.

Mamma I brought something from my friend’s house. [Pause]. Without asking anyone.

For your reference – The kid had been dropped off at a friend’s place the afternoon/evening before while the husband and I had to go shopping for fans, geysers, lights, exhaust fans, mirror frames and kitchen countertops. Phew! And whoever has been to City market/BVK Iyengar road knows that is no place to tag a kid along while shopping.

My whole body and mind went onto alert stage. This would be an ideal case study for the practical exam of Parenting 101: How to handle delicate matters without losing your cool and getting the message across!

I was calm, very calm outside. Inside too actually, or else the conversation would be very different from what it was.

I asked him what did he bring? He fished 2 toys out of his pocket. A Ben 10 thingumajiggy and one of those Hotwheel kind of cars. And then came out a few coins. He had been sleeping with these in the pocket after dozing off in the car on our way back from their home.

He said sorry again and from his face you could make out he knew he had done something wrong. So in a see-the-silver-lining-in-the-cloud way, I felt good that the concept of right and wrong was there in the kid’s mind.

He said “I took it without asking A, (the friend), or P aunty, (the friend’s mom). I took the coins from the piggy bank.”

My usual self would have gone ballistic by now, giving all gyaan about why he shouldn’t do it, why this was wrong, what would the friend and his mom feel, what should he have done, and the whole schpeel.

But today for some reason, I let nature take it’s course with a few prompts, of course!

So I said, “How do you feel about it?”

He said “Not good. I shouldn’t have done this.”

So far so good.

Me: “Do you think this is a good thing to do? Taking things from anywhere without permission from the people who stay there?”

N: “No. We shouldn’t take anything from anyone’s homes or even shops without asking them.”

Me: “Or paying for them when it is in a shop.”

N: “Yes”

Me: “How would you feel if your friend takes something of yours without asking?”

N: “Not nice”

Me: “Hmm. I wonder how A will feel when he realises his toys are gone.”

N, with eyes wide open, the thought of that striking him: “He will not like it. He will be sad. He won’t let me play with his toys ever again.”

Me: “Hmm, do you think there is a solution to this? Can we do something to make it better?”

N: “Yes, I will say sorry to him. Hold my ears go up and down (now where did he get that from? Discussion topic for the future!) And promise that I will never ever do this again.”

Me: “I think saying sorry is a good idea. Should we also tell P aunty about this? She was the grown up in the house whom you could have asked for permission.”

N, a little reluctant: “Umm, if I tell A, won’t that be enough? I will just say sorry to P aunty.”

Me: “That should be ok, i think. Can you tell me why you did it?”

N: “I really liked these toys and wanted them.”

Me: “Hmm, what did you think would happen if you had asked A for it?”

N, shrugging his shoulders: “He would have said no.”

Me: “He could have said no or yes. But we don’t know his answer because we did not ask.”

N: “I know. Asking is good because when we ask, we get to know things we didn’t know.” – The mantra we use at home sometimes 🙂

Me: “What do you think we should do next time, we really like something at someone’s house or in a shop and we want it for ourselves?”

N: “Ask them if we can share it for sometime. If I really like something in a shop, I will tell you or daddy and we will add to my wishlist and buy later.”

Me, taking full use of the self discovery and problem solving by the kid, pushing it a li’l bit further: “What will you do if your friend says, no you can’t have that toy?”

N, looking at me as if that wasn’t possible: “I will request them again and if they say no, I will show that toy to you and you can buy for me the same one” Big grin on his face.

Me: “That sounds like a good plan. We can discuss if we want to buy that toy later on. Let us remember this the next time.”

N: ” Ok, mamma. Next time we go to A’s house, I will take all these back and give it to him. Can you keep them safely for me?”

I am not particularly proud of what N did but then there is a first time for everything and it is our responsibility as a parent to guide them and raise that voice inside which guides their conscience. But I am happy that he realized things himself and was willing to work on a solution, there was no drama from my end and the communication lines between me and N were not damaged 🙂

I hope the message has gone through and if not I shall repeat and reinforce.

Happy Parenting!!

Have a lovely weekend folks 🙂

I am sharing my Do RIght Stories at BlogAdda.com in association with Tata Capital.

 

Nuggets from N!

N woke up this morning and took one look at me and said :”Are you back from running?”

Me: “No, today is rest day”

N: “No, no, can’t rest mamma. We have to do 5 laps every day. I never give up, how will I defeat you like that boy on TV?”

The “boy” in question being the boy in the Bournvita ad, where the boy and his mother run and train.

N and I after a weekend run

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N came with me for my Sunday run this past weekend. I had to run a 4K. He ran along for about 3 and then declared he was tired!

Once back at home, my sister asked him: How much did you run N?

N: 3K

Sis: Wow! 3 km, that is great.

N: 3K not 3 km!!

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N to S (my husband): I think I should sleep with mommy tonight.

S: Why?

N: That ways when she gets up to run, when it is really dark outside, I can also get up and go with her.

🙂

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On the Sunday run N saw a friend of mine wearing the arm band to carry a phone.

N to friend: What is that on your arm?

Friend: This is to keep my phone.

N to me: Mamma you should have one of those. Then you can listen to music or listen to me when I call and you are running.

Me: Lets tell daddy about this when we get home. Maybe he can gift this and a few other things to mommy 😉 🙂

Progress? Don’t Know. Maybe!

If someone asks me if the magic has happened yet, if I feel I can run 10K smoothly. The answer would be umm err <pause> I don’t know.

Frankly I think my state of running has gone a little down hill from when I started. I feel like I get breathless soon, muscle cramps, fatigue, sleep deprivation all of these have set in. This is Week 3 of running. Experienced runners say it gets better after the first 3 to 4 weeks. I am looking forward to see things getting better 🙂

Apart from that I ran my first 4K last Saturday which was pretty decent. I ran/walk the distance and felt good after that. But on Sunday I felt breathless soon and did more walk than run. Had cramps in upper thighs too after the whole workout which are better now.  Lets see how this weekend goes. I think I just need to do it easy, slow and steady.

This would be a lovely run path along the water, won’t it?

run path

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Turned 33 last week. Now I believe that saying “Age is just a number”. Doesn’t feel like 33, however that is supposed to feel. It is exciting. So much to do, so much to learn, so much to experience. Loving it! I know I am on a high and expect a low coming soon. I believe in cycles in life – highs and lows. Natural rhythms. Karma. Destiny.

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N is growing up into a lovely kid. All moms believe that of their children, I guess. He has a lot of compassion and empathy now. Is curious, questions everything around him, innovative, loving and charming 😉 Is sensitive too.

May all these qualities flourish and may I have more patience to raise him, be a mother, a bodyguard (as he calls me sometime), a confidante. Amen!

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We do our bit of how-was-your-day, what made you sad today, what made you happy, at night before we sleep. Last night N tells me a boy in his class called the teacher “Hey sexy babe!” And then that child got a time out.

Then he told me he learnt a new “S word” from friends in the park. S-hole.

Hmmmmm

I asked him if he knew what it meant. He didn’t. I told him he shouldn’t use these words at this age. They are rude and show disrespect towards the other person. When he grows up and understands the meaning he can decide for himself.

He said Okay mumma! Gave me a good night hug and kiss and slept off.

Love you my baby!