Dear Namnam,

Sorry, da.

There are so many things that I want to say sorry to you for. Many times I do say it to you, but a lot of times I forget. Actually the fact is that I forget because you make it so easy for me to forget.

Because YOU forget.

You forget that I was horrible to you. Then, you ever so easily put me back in your “my Amma is the best” space!

I’m not the best yet da. You deserve to be treated so much better by your Amma. But I sometimes get so caught up with things happening around me and even more, inside my mind that I go astray and cause mayhem while dealing with you.

So let me say it again. Sorry for the many things that I do or don’t do even, that eventually hurt you or disappoint you. You may just say, it’s ok, Amma and move on, like you always do. Because that’s the kind of person you are. A child still. Ever so forgiving. But that, in no way, means that I can get away, right.

I hate myself, Namnam, absolutely hate myself when I take out my monster self on you. I yelled at you today. I yelled at you last night. And the day before. Each time, probably making you wonder if it’s something that I am beginning to enjoy as a hobby.

Now, sometimes you ask for that monster mom to be pulled out, we can’t deny that, can we! Like today? I did start off by being soft on you, all the while trying my best to keep my lava boiling inside my panicking-mind from bursting, when you had to be coaxed and prodded to dress up fast. But despite being aware that you were running late for school, you had to run back upstairs in the nick of time to get your book!! And the result? The lava burst and out came the monster-mom spitting fire!

Or what about last night? When you were well past your bed time but you still couldn’t help making that feeble attempt at staying awake for that extra minute by sneaking out of your bed on the pretext of getting some water to drink? I had no choice but to resort to a roar loud enough for you to crawl back in bed meekly.

Of course I instantly regretted roaring at you, when you kissed me goodnight with a tight hug as though nothing else but your love for me mattered.

So, sorry, kanna, for being hard on you. But sometimes, that’s the only way to get you back in track.

And then there are times when I wonder if I am a little too dismissive. When you pretend to be a baby and ask to be carried and cuddled like one. Or creep and crawl to the bathroom and ask that you be given a shower. I dismiss all of your pleas at times, tell you off and remind you of your “big girl” status. Much as I hate reminding myself that you are growing up, times like this when you remind me otherwise, make me wonder how strange and weird life is.

Sometimes, much I sense that I am unfair to you, I find myself pushing you to give your best, ignoring that you probably are giving your best afterall. I ignore still, just so that you can belong to the peer you represent. I’m really really sorry for that, Namnam. I genuinely am. Sometimes I get buckled under peer pressure of my own. And I realize very well that I need to take it easy and curb my anxieties.

So please forgive for being what may seem unjust.

You are my pride. And there’s not been a single day that I haven’t said this to myself. I have re-iterated it to you at every occasion. I must say it more often, I realize that. You are the best in your own right. Be the best in your own eyes, on your own terms. Thats all that matters.

With the hope that you will be as forgiving as you are..

Love always,

Amma.

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Rambling #14- decoding the F-word, the dilemma of it all

This again is more like an introspective post like many of my other posts where I seek an answer to my confusing thoughts as a parent. Now before I begin I must mention that I am one of those parents who believe in being honest and truthful to their kids, especially when it concerns their growing curiosities. I don’t like covering my child’s curiosity or doubts howsoever uncomfortable they may be with a garb of lies. I’d rather explain things to her in as appropriate for her age as possible than cook up some stories which may stub her curiosity for the moment but later on  confuse her even more if and when she comes across a finding far closer to the truth.

She and I have had chats about breasts, about giving birth and such in the past. And yet, recently when she wanted to know what the F word stood for, I found myself evading the question. I dont know if evading would be the apt term. Rejecting would be more like it I guess. I refused to tell her what it stood for and also told her in clear terms that she was not to utter the word ever to anybody. She was quick to reply though, “How will I utter the word when I don’t even know what it stands for, Amma?”

I personally am dead against mouthing cuss words. Probably because of which I panicked when I realized that my daughter was getting exposed to them and I couldn’t possibly have any control over it. Having said that, I must admit though that I did enjoy the AIB roast. But that’s besides the point 😛

Anyway, it got me mulling over and a bit critical about my own method of tackling the situation. I have been wondering whether it would be better that I deciphered it for her and explained what it meant, than letting her learn about it from elsewhere. I did ask her whether her friends from whom she got to know about ‘the word’ knew it themselves to which she said that even they were as clueless as her. To make me ponder further, the other day she came up to me asking whether raising the middle finger meant ‘that F-word’. I blurted a quick yes and left it at that. 

And now I am seriously pushed to think whether I should just decode the word to her. Should I or shouldn’t I? Frankly speaking I cannot afford to have her thinking that she cannot come to me whenever her curious mind seeks answers. But at the same time I’m not sure whether she is at the right age to know the answer yet..

february ramblings

Rambling #5- Reading vis a vis Watching- the conflict

This is what greeted me in the morning when I went up to wake Namnam up

 

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Now being someone who simply cannot kickstart her day without brushing her teeth, I felt compelled at first to scream at her for not doing the same. But then I also felt nice and proud to see her so glued to her book. I feel this way every time I see her taking to reading far better than I did while growing up. Touchwood.

Even though I love reading, I have never considered myself to be an avid reader and have certainly never done what Namnam does in the pic above. But I have had many people recount their stories about how they used to read at any given opportunity. Amma has told how there had been so many nights when she used to read in the dead dark, under her quilt, using a torch! And there have been plenty of occasions, when I have caught Namnam reading her books in the same manner. Under the comforter, using the torch on my or R’s phone. I have even had friends tell me how they would read while eating, drinking, washing. Even ironing, yes! Smitha tweeted this and I couldnt help myself from laughing and also feeling much in awe of her at the same time! The kind of reading-stamina that she has, is something that I wish I could imbibe from her. However I see a similar drive for reading growing in my house when I observe my child. For which I couldn’t be gladder.

Namnam has been jumping around all excited about her grandparents’ visit, the reason for which has also got  a great deal to do with a bundle of books that they are bringing for her :).

Having said that, I must also mention that Namnam has shown similar dedication towards watching shows on YouTube as well! She sometimes insists on watching it while having her dinner, in the same way she insists on carrying a book to read in the car, even if the journey is a 10 minute ride! Oh she has even woken up once in the middle of the night, to watch a scene from her favourite show that she had missed out. Now R & I are fully aware of the shows she watches. We have kept a tab. We can safely say that she has benefited a great deal  even from a lot of them, in terms of learning, enhancing knowledge and improving her command over the language.

Probably the exact similar way reading helps.

Of course there are times when we have had to curtail her watching whenever it bordered on addiction. But that’s something we have had to do a couple of times with her reading-fixation too. Especially whenever it interfered with her studies or some important activity. Imagine a situation when she decides that her books need her more than her assignments and homeworks. Or when we are already late for her after school activity and instead of rushing out, she is found sitting with her book oblivious to pressing situation. You get what I mean? 😀

And yet what I find worth pondering is how the reaction changes drastically when we speak about our kids’ reading vis a vis watching. To speak for myself, I know how much pride I take when I tell people that my daughter loves reading. Even when I sense her addiction towards it, I love it! But when it comes to acknowledging her love for watching shows that are just as entertaining and informative, I feel the enthusiasm lacking.

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february ramblings

Parenting guilt of another kind?

The kind where you’re torn between feeling compelled to stand up for your child when she is being unceremoniously snubbed by a friend and miserable when you corner that friend into submission, probably even making her feel sad and alone in the process.

I have nothing to say in my defense aside the fact that all I had in mind was this inane urge to protect my child from feeling alone herself. I didn’t want her to sit there and feel helpless despite her attempt to convince her friend that her point of view was far more reasonable and the way she acted in a certain situation was right.

But that still doesn’t make what I did any right, does it? I am a horrible person :(. I feel so miserable because the friend in question is a very very sweet child otherwise. She is Namnam’s first friend in Dubai and a lovely person at heart. Its just that sometimes she tends to get a bit rude and argumentative with Namnam which bothers me. Especially when I see it happening in front of me.

I know that I should ideally be telling my child to stand up to herself in situations like this. And I do tell her more often than not. In fact we had a long chat yesterday after a similar friction with the said friend on her way back from school. I asked her whether she felt that her friend was curt and rude to which she said yes she had felt so. And I firmly asked her why she didn’t respond to her in the same rude manner. She said she didn’t want to be rude to her or anybody simply because she didn’t like being rude. She had rather ignore that person or stop talking to her than engage in an unpleasant argument. Fair enough, I thought.

Anyway, I understood her point well, but I also tried to make her understand that if she didn’t approve of anyone being mean to her then she had to be bold enough to speak up and tell them that she did not appreciate being talked to in such a manner.

So today, when a situation presented itself where the friend questioned a certain action of Namnam that occurred in school the previous day. I was happy to see my daughter standing her ground and explain why she acted the way she did.

She believed what she did was right, and in my eyes, as I listened to their conversation, she was every bit right too. But this friend of hers kept arguing otherwise. I would have probably let them sort it by themselves. And should have.

But the parenting guilt, somehow, crept in because I was unable to stand up for her yesterday which made me all the more aggressive this morning and go all out to shield my child from getting hurt again.

Unfortunately that gave way to another guilt of hurting another child. I know I wasn’t rude, per se. But I was curt enough to make her face droop. And that really made my heart go out for her.

Here I was trying to prove to my child that she could rely on me, only to end up setting a wrong example.

Parenting, sometimes, throws such awkward situations at you! Sigh!