Day 13- Not Before You

So, the other day I was getting ready to pick Namnam up from school.  Her school finishes at around 3. Even though I am just 5 minutes away from school, I leave more than half an hour early so I can claim a good parking spot in time and save myself from getting squished by other vehicles scampering for space. Its a mad rush otherwise!

Now on most of the days I wait till she is back from school, to have my lunch with her. But that day I was very hungry so I ate before leaving to pick her. When she was home she didn’t fret about having to eat her lunch alone because she knew I had eaten mine. And she was cool about it. Since I have done it a couple of times before, she was probably convinced that it was not such a big deal that her Amma had eaten lunch without waiting for her 😀

Every time I do this, my thoughts take me to my grandmother who would have been disappointed, if she were alive. She would have scolded me for my nonchalance! She was someone who always waited for her husband, her children and later on her grandchildren- that’s me and my brother- to get home from wherever we would be, till she served us our meals and then sat with us to have hers.  So there was always an underlying message where she subtly insisted on waiting for us whether we wanted to be waited for or no.

A lot of parents behave in this manner, I have observed,without realizing the undue pressure they may be putting on their children. While I know the intention is to convey that they care, but I find the gesture pretty constricting.

I remember a friend mentioning once how terrible she and her husband felt when they came home after a late night dinner only to eat again with their parents because they were waiting for them till late!! And they felt guilty to have made them wait, despite informing that they would be late.

Its like suffocating our kids with our impractical love, isn’t it?. By making them feel guilty with our claustrophobic show of love, we aren’t making them love us more, instead we may be driving them away from us.

I sometimes feel bad when I can’t keep up to the expectations I might have set in Namnam’s mind. Then I realize that by setting an impractical bar of expectation in my kid’s mind, I may be knowingly or unknowingly misleading her. She may get dejected if for some reason I am not in a position to keep up to that expectation.

So it’s best to establish a more practical understanding of each other where there’s no room for disappointment or undue pressure on either.

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Lessons from a Grandmother…

always stay in your  mind.

And when those lessons are in history being imparted by a teacher, who has breathed-lived-walked-eaten-drunk History all her life, to her granddaughter, it becomes all the more a moment worth the while 🙂

Amma's happiness knew no bounds when she found a keen and patient ear in Namnam to pass on her knowledge and wisdom..
Amma’s happiness knew no bounds when she found a keen and patient ear in Namnam to pass on her knowledge and wisdom..

Although am on vacation still, couldn’t help sharing this as a keepsake.

Moments like this are what memories made of, aren’t they?**

 

**RM’s post inspired me to say this :D. Yeah,yeah, go ahead..call me the Anu Malik of blogging!

And thus the tooth fairy comes visiting us too..

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Namnam had been waiting for this day forever!

I wish I could show the excitement and thrill writ large on our faces here! Yes, it’s not just Namnam, but her father, mother and grandfather who have been jumping around with joy at this milestone! I am laughing as I type all this…we are one crazy family, I tell you!

I had to literally twist, pull, twist, shake and pluck the tooth out since the new tooth was already beginning to peep its head out. As for Namnam.. well, she had a big wide smile splashed on her face through the entire extraction, all the while blood oozing out of her mouth! She kept screaming ‘OW!’ and at the same time happily jumping with each twist loosening her tooth!

As soon as the tooth was out, she squealed, I squealed, we all squealed out loud in delight! 🙂

Namnam kept going to the bathroom to swish her mouth to rinse, each time coming back to tell us excitedly how the ‘water went THROUGH the gap’ in her mouth! 🙂

The rest of us, then took out our respective cameras, kept running after her to get shots of the million-dollar toothless smile from various angles :D.

The tooth has safely been kept in a box for the tooth fairy. Namnam has expressed a desire for money as her gift, so Amma fairy tooth fairy shall be granting that wish of hers soon..

Of talking about money, saving, needs, etc. with your child…is it too early?

Thank you BlogAdda!

*Terribly hotch-potch, incoherent thoughts being scribbled, more like an introspection than anything else*

This is something I have been asking myself for quite sometime now. I’m at a stage of parenting where I am unable to decide how appropriate it is to talk about money to my 6year old kid. Is it too early or just the right time or am I late already in instilling the importance of the ‘M’ word to my child?

Of course, like any parent, I want my child to understand the value of money. I want her to know that she need not get all that she asks for. Every little trip to the toy store or book store or any shop for that matter need not mean that she gets to pick up any thing and bring it home. Sometimes she may have to earn to get what she wants. Which is why we have started playing this li’l game lately, where every time she does something good- eg. eat her meals on time, sleep on time, finish her homework, treat people around her well, clean up her room, etc. etc.- she gets to earn a point- each point valued at one riyal- that she has to note down in a book. And at the end of the month based on the number of points, she earns riyals which she can use to buy anything that she wants.

I cant claim this game a success yet, though, for there still are days when those trips to the toy store and grocery store end up in a massive tantrum-throwing and ‘nobody-loves-me’ session because, “Amma didn’t buy the kitchen set” or “Papa didnt get the chocolates I liked”. Yes there are days when she goes on a rampant ‘lets buy this dress’, ‘I want that shoe’, ‘I want this’, ‘I want that’ spree and I explain to her about how all those things require a lot of money and that she needs to learn to be happy with what she has.

There are times when she finds something interesting at a friend’s house or in a TV show and asks for a similar one for herself and I end up denying her mostly because I know it is just a momentary fascination that she will not fancy for long, and eventually will dump it inside her toy-chest never to be taken out.

And at other times when I deny her, I tell her that it is expensive which her Amma and Papa cannot buy for her.

Whenever I see her disregarding her toys and her other possessions, I have found myself drilling into my child, the need to give due importance to money, the importance of learning to understand the genuine need to have something before demanding for it and learn to forgo the things that she doesn’t need because her parents are working really hard to bring in the money and manage it so she can get what she wants. So its only natural that she is thoughtful enough to consider all of that.

The other day her constant fiddling with the TV had me chide her for rough-handling something that was very expensive and how we cant afford a costly repair on it, so she had to be more cautious and less clumsy.

Such conversations with her have resulted, I observe, in her going through a change in the way she approaches us and things around her in general.

Now, when something catches her fancy, instead of jumping around with excitement at the prospect of buying it, she merely asks us, ‘can we buy this Amma, does it cost a lot?’ or ‘I wish the doll house wasnt so expensive!’

Thats when I sense her holding herself back and wonder if I am being a little too harsh on her by pushing her to grown up too fast, if I am denying her the little pleasures way too soon..

On another occasion, at a family gathering in a restaurant, Namnam dropped a soup bowl on the floor leading her to a nervous query, ‘Amma, will I have to pay for this bowl?’

When I see her running around the toy store looking for that perfect toy and settling in for the next best because- in her own words- ‘it costs so much!’, I feel a tinge of guilt seep into me! I feel immensely overwhelmed at seeing her growing up so fast so soon! Does she have to grow up so soon?

I do want her to learn about saving, to prioritize her needs, to value money, to manage finances. And I know life will teach her all of that. But is it really the time to introduce her to that phase? Am I going overboard? Would I rather let her be? God am I crazy?

I really dont know what is the right thing to do here…