Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Things We must Tell our Kids

And here, I am including the link of an article written by another mother. It is so important to remember these things when you are at your angriest, or stressed or tired and the little darling tops it up with something really naughty. 

But I hope and pray that I manage to remember most of these things majority of times and for me the most important of them is No.6, To say sorry to your kids when you believe you were wrong. :) 

So here is a fantastic list from a fantastic photo blog that is a mommy blog as well. But then, I guess it is impossible to have a mommy blog that isn't a photo blog anyways. Have Fun!


Friday, December 7, 2012

Boy of Routines

I am not sure if it is a trait all little ones have or if it's just a 'Sid trait'. But even as a little baby, everything, every single little thing, especially that he enjoyed a lot, always became a routine, almost religious in its repetition and perfection. This means, an event, a game, a dialogue, anything that took place spontaneously one time and was enjoyed then, had to be played out like a scene, like purposefully creating, living, a déjà vu. 

This one really is a little tough to explain in words here. You have to see how deliberate and thought out the 'silliness' is, to realize that things have ceased being silly really and are now a planned, enacted play, no matter how silly the actual routine looks like.

Let’s see. So one day, Sid and I are lying in the bed being silly and Sid is excessively giggly. He makes some weird sounding words which I repeat and ask "What?! What is that?" in a funny, confused tone and he bursts into a fit of giggles. He kept doing this for some time bursting into uncontrollable laughter every time I repeated the words and the question.  This was months and months back. Then a few weeks back, when we were getting ready for bed, Sid suddenly remembered and repeated the same set of gibberish. When I didn't  seem to get it at first, he actually repeated what should  be my exact response verbatim, with the right words AND funny sounding tone. However, this time he quickly realized it was not very funny anymore (Big boy and all that) and moved on.

I had noticed this in Sid from very very early days. Every single thing he said, did, every action, every song and dance, every conversation session, every random act of play, everything in his life becomes a kind of set routine such that the next time he sings that song, reads that book, says some silly sentence or just decides to play some random game, he expects us to follow up with the exact same word/actions we did last time.

Another example is when Sid  is getting into the car to go to school. He pauses and looks at the black rubber (washer?) parts that jut out at the open end of the door, examines them, asks me what they are and if he may pull them out. The first day I explained to him about the parts being there so as to close the door securely and that they definitely may not be pulled out. And from then, every single day he has paused before entering the car, looked carefully at those things and asked me the same question with a very knowing, naughty smile.

Another one is when we are about to leave the car to enter the school and I take his bag and water bottle. One day he asked me to take my bag as well so I could join him at school. I laughed and explained why that wasn't possible. Since then, every single day the same naughty, knowing, "Oh how much I love pulling your leg" look returns and he asks me to take my bag as well, while leaving.

There are a hundred other such examples that I can narrate here. Especially because of months and months of repetition, there is hardly any chance of my forgetting them. Similar are play routines. If one day he does some silly act and I say something and then he says something and it becomes a fun narrative, then every time after that he wants the same narrative to play out. 

This makes me wonder. 
I wonder if he even enjoys these games because they are games no more. 
I wonder if he is having any fun doing them because they are not fun, spontaneous, silly and crazy things that they were the first time. 
Why does he feel this need to play things out exactly as they were once? It is not “let's play and have fun" anymore because now it is "we have to make it exactly like the last time cos then we had lots of fun".
He does have loads of spontaneous fun with us when we initiate games and conversations.  However, if he starts to do something, it is always deliberate and played out. 
Wonder if it's a reflection of things to come. Hmmmmmm......

And they say women are hard to read. Whoever said that hasn't tried understanding the mechanics behind a child's mind, I'm sure. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

IF, A poem by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

But, Of course!

Sid has this habit of having breakfast on his bed, watching one of his favorite animated movie. Have been trying to get him out of the habit but it is the one thing he is adamantly holding on to. It is as if that is what sets the mood for the day, kick starts it for him.
Good morning! Up from the pillow and hello Tangled.
Or, were we serious about Buzz rescuing Woody? 
Now the new problem we are facing is...ANTS. The last couple of days, these tiny, tiny ants have started appearing all over the bed and giving all of us some tough times, especially the baby skin fella. So last night I explained to Sid why he will be having breakfast at the dining table, just like all other meals. Surprisingly, he was pretty agreeable to the idea, probably cos as they say, once bitten...etc., quite literally.

This morning, I had his breakfast on his plate and asked him to come over to the dining table. He had forgotten the conversation from last night, of course (I guess, the "shy" lasts only so long), and insisted we go upstairs to the bedroom. So, I very sweetly reminded him about the teeny ants that bite and make him itch (in an effort to avoid extra efforts) and in under two seconds comes the reply "then go bring you laptop downstairs" in the 'But, Of course!' tone. (Or maybe 'Are you stupid?' tone?) Sigh! 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

"It's Who You Are"

A song by A J Michelka.

This day started with me being lucky enough to read a beautiful message written by my closest friend and then mother-to-be, to her precious little daughter who was yet to be born. The little darling arrived on Dec 2011 and has now bloomed into a beautiful, beautiful angel whom I was so lucky to meet earlier this month. :)

By the end of the message, I was so touched and (obviously) had moist eyes and I was so, so sure I had to share this message with you, cos no matter how many times I say this, it will not feel enough in these times of fierce competition, comparisons and peer pressure. 

So I immediately went searching for the song. And the song itself is so very beautiful,

Dear boy, I have said this before in that little message I had written to you the other day, and here I am saying it again through this song. All that matters is "who YOU are". At the end of it, that is all it is. Do things for yourself, do things that make you happy without stepping over others, do things that don't hurt others because honey, that's who YOU are. :)

And I will always, Always love you for being this person I was blessed to have as my son, no matter what comes and goes in the way.

Thank you so much Teena, for sharing the post with me this day. :)

Cry Baby

And how!

When Sid was little baby, when his only option of communication was crying, he hardly ever came about as the crying kind. In fact, he cried very, very less. And so, every time he did cry I used to get extremely worried because I knew he wouldn't scream out like that with no good reason. A lot of people have criticized me saying "babies do cry", "Just leave him alone for some time" and other such stuff. I do agree with them, except, as a mother, one instinctively knows how much a child will react to various scenarios and discomforts and so, she will react when she believes the level of discomfort needs addressing. 

Anyway, I am digressing. Yes, so as a baby Sid did not cry at all. And now, here I am wishing he had just finished his crying quota right then. As a little baby, everything would have been brushed off under "how else will he let me know he is hungry/sleepy/thirsty/wet etc." And now? Now there is JUST NO EXCUSE.

Sid's temper tantrums redefine the term "Terrible Twos". And to think, this is actually a positive development stage, because most normally developing babies do go through this at around this age. In fact, as some experts put it "...you should always remember that your child isn't trying to be defiant or rebellious on purpose. He is just trying to express his growing independence and doesn't have the language skills to easily express his needs. This can also be the reason why your toddler frequently gets frustrated and resorts to hitting, biting, and temper tantrums when he doesn't get his way."

So, what do I say to myself when Sid is bawling at the top of his voice at 9 in the night asking to be taken to the park? I say "Yay! My son has developed into his next stage. Let's celebrate!" NOT.

In the best of times, I say (or think), "You KNOW the language. In fact, you speak it better than me. So, speak it to tell me instead of bawling and more importantly LISTEN to what I am saying because I know very well that you understand it". And, this is the best of times. (Sigh! I know. Don't shake your head, please.) 

But anyways, this is the stage where we are.Thing is, when in a decent mood, if Sid is told why he can't have/do a thing or go to a certain place, he is a very manageable. Calm, logical explanation is accepted without any tantrums at all and I LOVE him for that and feel so proud of him (as well as myself. :D)

But, if this happens when he is a little tired or close to sleep time, then hell hath no fury like....etc. etc. And, if he really doesn't manage to provoke me into refusing him anything normal, then he just picks up the weirdest of things he can ask for at that time of the night, knowing I'll have to refuse. Something like "I WANT TO GO TO THE ZOO RIGHT NOW" at sleep time. And, the moment I open my mouth to explain calmly how all the animals might have gone to sleep, and locked the gate behind them, like we do at home (logic that he usually understands and even loves to imagine, at other times) he scrunches up his face, and starts his ear splitting scream. And in two seconds of the start of this pretend cry, the tears start to rain. No. Pour. The crying happens in so much shock and angst, you would think I denied him something that he NEVER imagined could be denied and that was the most essential and obvious things he should have gotten at that moment. And then, because if not stemmed early, this crying goes on to a crescendo where he becomes unable to stop till the coughing and hiccuping start, I do everything from coaxing and explaining, to threatening (everything wrong, according to parenting experts) to get him to stop! Oh! this is a daily routine I am never going to get used to. Next stage please, already!!!

Anyways, the one good thing we do here is, after he has calmed down, Sid and I have a heart to heart where I ask him why he cried. His usual answer "I don't know". Then I ask him what he got from all that crying. He says "you scolded me and got upset. Nothing else". 
So I tell him (every single time, every single day) that crying gets us nothing. Cry if you are sad or hurt or upset but not because you want to throw a tantrum or think it will get you anything. I know he doesn't understand most of this right now. But, I also know this is one of the things I really want him to know, to eventually understand. The stages will come and go, but I think the life lesson needs to be learnt. The spoilt brat phase needs to be avoided.

I also know that all that scene we had and the "stop crying"s he heard would have created an unpleasantness that will only go away when we talk calmly about this topic, then about other things and till I tell him I love him, to which he usually quickly smiles, gives me a hug and sometimes promptly goes to sleep in my arms.

Know this baby, arguments and "fights" are just momentary. But,the love and relationship stays. No argument is long term till we want it to be. An "I love You" and a smile, and everything is forgotten. :) 

All that said, I wish some expert told me how long the terrible twos usually lasted!!! - A Harassed Mom. ;)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Conversationalist

In conversation since Jul 2010
Because I wrote here yesterday, I took a closer look at the blog today and the most heartbreaking thing I saw was that the year 2012 had one post in it, just the one. And, we are already in September. But don't blame me. In this rush to keep up with all the development and growth and events and changes, I hardly get any time to log them stages. And most importantly, cos of all the important conversations we have been having

Sid seems to have been an early talker. He started forming full sentences since almost an year old. And yet, it was like a barrage breaking and him trying to make up for all the initial months, when he wanted to tell us so many things but did not know the words for it. Especially, "NO!", "I don't want", "I will not eat", "I want xyz..." AND "I want to go to the park". All in Malayalam. 

Yes, we do need to start him off in English and other languages soon, but try to get your toddler to do something you want and he doesn't, and you would know why trying anything else but the language most familiar with seems like the stupidest idea in the world. Especially when, even that, he suddenly seems to stop understanding.

He has been saying some very outrageous things recently that have me and mom simply stare at each other in shock and wonder "Where did THAT come from?!". And all this when the "questioning phase" has not even begun. From calling his grandmother a "naughty woman", very matter of fact-ly, because she did not do something he asked of her, to saying stuff like "ee ammayudey oru kaaryam" (I don't even know how to translate that into English!), if I did something sloppy or a little silly, he has all of us wondering from where and how quickly he picks up this stuff.

It is not really the exact "topic" of conversations or even the way he says them that are shocking as compared to the actual words he uses to express them. Simply put, he has this ancestral, old man style of presenting things.

 A couple of incidents:

Sid: "And you know what happens next?!"
The other day we were going out to meet friend N and he probably pciked up from some conversation at home that that was who we were going to meet. However, while waiting for N on the way, I told him we were going to meet friend P. Pat comes the reply "Nammalkku thalkkaalam 'N'indey koodey maatram poyaal mathi. Kurachu kazhinju 'P'ineyum kaanaam."
Now, I can't explain why that sentence is shocking. It is not the preference he expressed but the words he used and the way he frames the sentences. Trying to explain in normal English would be to say "Let us go out with N for the time being. Then, in a few moments, we shall meet P as well" instead of "we will meet N now and P later". (You notice the things I have written in bold? Yeah. Those are his "regular speech" words. One thing is for sure, I am not the source at all).

A new tact the fellow has learnt is that it is easier to spell out a compromise than a loud "NO". So, when I ask him to come for a bath in the morning, he says very sweetly and seriously, "nammalkku kurachu neram koodi kalichittu poyi vegam kulikkaam". The closest English translation may be "We shall play for a while longer and then go take a quick shower".

I know, when I mention them here they are simple conversations, not much to report. But to me, hearing new words and sentences from him, words and sentence formations that I didn't realize he knew, is quite an experience. And then to hear him speak a slightly more formal, proper word or sentence, words and sentences that we usually don't even use in day to day speech, is even more astounding. Call me an "unnecessarily" proud mother if you may, this guy shocks us every single day with some of the things he says.

A nighty-night story for mom