I have been thinking a lot about this is past few days and so its best that I sort my thoughts out here.
Last week Aryan got a book from school library which started like ..there was a girl (forgot the name) whose mother had died and she had a step mom who was very cruel. After reading those 2 lines I kept the book back in his bag and brought a Tulika for him to read. Why not the new library book , he asked and I said , I dont like it.
Why did I not like it I asked myself. For 2 reasons :
1. Why does the kid has to read a story that starts on a sad account of dead mother. It may intiate a thought process of sad and unforseen events in his mind. Ofcourse we read books as food for thought but I sincerely dont think that he can handle thoughts of death , especially of mother’s death. Nor I think I am mature enough to anwer the questions that will be born from these thoughts.
2. Why are step mothers always cruel. I am sure this world has many step mothers who are not cruel. Why don’t someone write a story on those mothers.
I also thought , if at all I would want my son to think about my death , I would want him to think that he will be able to move on and will have nice people around him and not a cruel step mom.
And then this weekend Aryan was watching Chota bheem on TV while I was lying next to him and happened to see what was coming. I know much had been said about TV shows for kids not been good. But then also I don’t believe in banning TV for kids (the why ..is for another post). So we have an agreement that he will choose 1-2 shows with agreement with Mumma.
Chota bheem was one such show that I allowed , thinking that it is about a well behaved nice kid , sorts of a super hero , set up in indian back drop. Not too harmful at a glance. However when I watched it closely that day , I saw that girls in the show dont fight wars and dont do kung fu. They are supoosed to sit and take care of injured or cheer for the fighting men. Why ?
Gender stereotyping is already hard to fight and a TV show that encourages that ?
My son loves to help me with household stuff. I helps me with every single work that I do. Sometimes thats a pain too , uninterrupted , the work can be done faster. Sometimes thats a scare too ,especially when he helps me in kitchen , what if he touches a hot pot. But I have never ever discouraged him to help me. However some people sometimes do tell him not to tag along with mumma for its ladies work. I feel a strong itch inside me when that statement is made. I do tell my son later that he can ofcourse do that work some other time.
I sincerely hope atleast the next generation doesnot grow up with gender stereo types like these. Why is it a girls work to cook and wash ? Men also eat , can they not cook ? I would like my son to do all house hold work as I would want my daughter. I don’t mean to teach him all this now , but I am happy that he feels the need to help mumma in daily chores and does it with a full heart.
I would want my daughter to play foot ball / basket ball / judo or whatever else she would want , if she enjoys that. I would not mind if she doesnot enjoy cooking and if house hold stuff does not come so naturally to her. It still doesnot come naturally to me 😛 However I would love if she learns to cook well and learns to take care of home well too , but thats a wish list and not a mandate.
Chota Bheem is a craze for now and cannot be banned so easily , however I just wish that he gets some good things from it and not the bad ones.
About the book , I was so pissed off that I wanted to write to school to check if these books are apt for kids.
But then there are lot of fairy tales , indian and non indian and lot of anctient tales which talk about harsh realities amd stereotypes. Somehow we avoid such books. Which is why Aryan doesnot know about Cindrella and snowwhite.
Not sure if this is the right thing to do though.
Any thoughts ?
P.S : Second post in a day ..not bad !
and suggestions on what qualifies as “acha sa” school snacks in your house.
Here anything with bread /parantha as base is not “acha sa” anymore 😦
Maggi and pasta are the only 2 yummy things that are qualified and this mumma is not ready to give maggi more than once a week.
So please help the mom ..sob sob
I do not know why I am writing this today. Today is no mother’s day or father’s day nor its their birthday. Nothing special happened today. Its just one of my usual working days.
Still suddenly I found myself thinking of those eyes. Eyes of my mom , when she saw me in my wedding attire. She held my cheeks and said that I look beautiful. But her eyes said much more. My mother , who never expresses her emotions in words. We have never heard her saying that she loves us or that she is worried about us. We have seen her like this forever and so we don’t really mind it. But that day , I saw a pair of eyes full of emotions , happiness and satisfaction.
Also that day I noticed someone who looked more beautiful than the bride. Yeah , my mom. She looked really pretty at my wedding. She got lots of compliments too. She attributed it to her makeup and hair do. Since she never goes to parlour , she said that the change made her look different and pretty. I don’t agree , she looked beautiful for she was happy, may be happier than the bride.
Thinking about those eyes , I also remembered about a man , who told me that he is blessed that he has a daughter like me. I just could not believe my ears. I have given him enough troubles. I would have disowned a daughter like myself perhaps , I thought. Still this man says he is blessed ??
What did God make parents off ? Will I be so giving/forgiving ever ? Can I be a good parent ?
Yeah ..I am already halfway and it deserves a post atleast. These 20 weeks have been full of ups and downs in my life.
There was a lot of stress at work. And I spent most of my time thinking about those things. There were times when I felt that I am doing injustice to the baby by not thinking about her/him as often as I should.
On top of that I had nausea , especially in the evenings and lots of acidity and gas. And my cook decided to leave us alone when we needed her most. Ofcourse together we managed the cooking somehow.
All this left little time for us to really realize that I am expecting and so time passed pretty fast. The baby however decided to tell mumma about her/his existence in 16th week , earlier than mumma thought. May be because mumma used to keep forgeting about her.
Since then she gives me a knock off and on whenever she wants attention. Since then mumma has decided to dedicate some of her time thinking about the little one.
The older brother however makes sure that we talk about baby every single day. Earlier it was mainly about excitement and waiting. In between he suddenly became envious. Then one day he told that the baby is bad since he is making the wait too long and not coming out 🙂
These days suddenly the baby is not that bad again. He loves to know about the size of the baby and I used to give him comparison with fruits , inspired by baby center’s news letter.
So yesterday when I told him that baby is as big as a banana, he could not think of a fruit longer than that. So he was like now baby should come out 🙂
We will have our next scan this month end and this time we plan to take Aryan with us. I am all excited to see how my kids react when they see each other for first time 😛 , well not literally though 🙂
So long , so good ..keeping my fingers crossed.
I expected this but not so soon. These days if I am slightly loud with him , his response comes as one of these “Baby se gussa ho mujhse nahi” , “Baby ko daanto mujhe nahi” , “Baby bad hai” , “Aap keval mujh se paaru karo , baby se nahi”
And most of these times the reason for the scolding or me being loud has nothing to do with baby. The baby is no where in picture, but the elder brother blames the baby for everything. Sometimes he has gone to the extent of slapping my tummy , since that represents the baby.
I need to learn to handle this. Any suggestions are welcome.
A few bloggers are observing this month as CSA awareness month and they are doing a fantastic job. I always knew that there are incidents of CSA around us but I never knew that they happen so often and multiple times with same victims. A lot of stories on the blog left me in shiver.
I believe a kid should be educated about his body and should be told about what is acceptable and what is not but I am not yet sure how much is appropriate at what age. I do not want my child to be scared about every around him. I don’t want to get paranoid and raise paranoid kids. However I do need to do something since I have realized that it is must.
So I started with thinking what did my parents do ? I realized that my mom did advice against letting my father’s cousins hugging and cuddling with me. I do not know if she observed or sensed something or she was just cautious. I do not remember any of my uncles behaving badly with me. However my mother’s advice (I do not remember how it was given, in what words and ways) did impact my relations with them. I was always concious in their presence. I somehow felt that they are not good people and I need to be alert with them. Was that correct , I do not know till date.
Did my mother do the right thing ? I don’t know. She may have protected me with potential threat. But she did impact my relationship with those individuals. What I do not know is may be she saw some real threat and so she actually saved me, since she never adviced me against , playing with my grandfather or father. However I do not remember my grandfather and father hugging and cuddling too much with me ever since I realized that I was a girl.
Now that I bring the topic of gender , my brother was never adviced any of these things. He was allowed to hang around with same uncles without my mom being around. It was considered safe for him.
Except for those uncles also , my mom always reminded me that I am a girl and I should behave a certain way to avoid troubles. I know that many of us , even myself do not consider it a correct way to protect a child from abuse , but then we cannot blame them for what they did. They had little control on outside world and all they could do is influence us. However she never spoke to me clearly about what is private. What should not be allowed etc.
I think my parents did a fair job by protecting me in whatever ways they could. However some of their ways did make me feel rebellous , angry at that age mainly because I felt its happening only to me and not my brother. But as an adult I do not have any complaints against my parents , though I am also certain that I will not use the same approach for my kids.
What have I done till now ? I have a son and he is 4.5 years now. He goes to a daycare and I am not around him all the time. But we do a lot of talking , since he was barely able to speak. I have always encouraged him to tell me about his day , about his feeling about kids and adults around him. I have always repected his feelings. If he doesnot like one of his two teachers because she is strict , he has all rights to feel that way. If he doesnot want to be friends with one boy , it definitely okay. He usually share his feelings with me if not all the details of his day. He sometimes ask me as well about my day at office and I do tell him things that I would expect him to tell me. Like what I ate , how mcuh of work I had , that I missed him , that I had a argument with my boss ,everything that would matter.
Until recently , I had always told him that he should not run around the house naked. I have also told him that he should not pull off his pants in front of all. However about 3-4 months back I realized that I need to take this education to next level. This was when he told me that a kid who is younger to him pulled his pants in daycare to see his stuff. That kid was too small to think of CSA , he might just have been curious. However thats when I told him that those are his private parts and they should not be shown to anyone. And no one should be allowed to touch them as well. And if someone does , you should say NO , I will tell Mumma and should scold that person loudly.
I have been reenforcing the message slowly every few weeks. Recently took a step further and told him that he should also not touch anyone else’s private stuff. I am now sure that he has the word PRIVATE in his mind.
Is this enough for now. I do think so. I do not want to get overboard. If I will have a girl next I plan to do the same with her as well.
What do you think ? How much have you told your 5 year olds ?
If you haven’t anything , then you sure need to visit the CSA blog. If you have , then do share it with all.
Lets all protect our kids!
I got a mail yesterday asking me about how I introduced books to my son and how I plan his book reading. I realized that I just never gave it too much of thought. It happened quite naturally for me. Though I do not know if I did right or wrong , let me put up my reply to her here :
I never planned my kid’s book reading much. I just did simple things. I went to landmark and bought 4-8 books at a time , every 6 months or so. I provided variety , with simple story books which he reads with me , sticker books , colouring books , magic scratch pads.
About his first books , I remember buying a Pooh board book , because pooh has been his favourite character , a Animal picture board book (Navneet) because Animals fascinate kids and a sticker book. The sticker book was done in a day. The animal book was a daily routine , where he would point at a animal and ask what it was and I would tell him and it slowly went vice versa. The Pooh bear book was again a bed time reading book where I started not by reading but showing the pictures and slowly started reading.
My son is not a bookworm but he likes books. We usually read daily at bedtime but there have been phases when he doesnot want to touch books for a month or so. Then I realize that its time for new ones 🙂
Thats all I have been doing.
Recently though we bought some books from the book fair. We got a lot of variety there and Aryan enjoyed those books a LOT , especially the CBT and Pratham books.
Also I have enrolled to a library for myself and they have quite a many kids books too , so I am planning to introduce the concept of library books to him as well from this month.
Plus I have to see some Tulika books asap. Have been wanting to grab some for long time after reading so much about them.
Also , I would like to mention , buying books for kids doesnot means investing lots of money. I realized that only when I started buying. There are a lot of thin , nice and economical books available for kids. Navneet, Vikas , CBT , Dreamland , Sterling, Pratham and Tulika (I dont have any Tulika 😦 though) are some of the names.
What are your thoughts ?
I have been thinking about it from quite a while. I read poppins some time back and then I read Kiran. Am I doing right ? What more should I do and how ? And how much is enough ? How much should Aryan do at this age ? How should I train or enable him to do what he should ? I also saw a very nice TV program on doordarshan where the speaker used a phrase “age appropriate independence”. The phrase has been on my mind since then.
I know discipling kids and making them independent are two different things and I am kind of mixing them up. But there is something that relates them.
Aryan CAN do a lot of things on his own but he won’t do them , unless he feels like doing them. So though he will show off his skills every now and then , it doesnot always solve the purpose since he would anyway say “Mumma” at the drop of a hat.
For eg , he can fetch a glass of water from kitchen , which includes taking out the glass from drawer , opening and closing of tap and getting a full glass out without spilling , but he would still call me when he wants water. Though sometimes he agrees to fetch it himself.
He can bath himself , but the soap will only be over the tummy and hands.
He can wear his own clothes with perfection 99% of times , if the clothes don’t have buttons.
He can wear and take off his shoes.
He can eat with a spoon with perfection but he usually demands to be fed.
I do not expect him to do things better than the way he does now. I definitely do not expect him to wash his plate , but ofcourse i do expect him to clear the toy mess he creates , which ofcourse he knows how to do , but doesnot want to do.
Now why am I mixing all of this. According to me Aryan almost has “age appropriate independence” , which means a kid should be able to do what he is capable of at his age.
But that does not solve the trouble , even if the kid is able to do ,what if he doesnot want to do. How to handle that ?
Aryan loves to show off that he can wear his own shoes and clothes and thats great , but he doesnot love to show off that he can eat on his own. He can ofcourse keep his toys back in place , but he never wants to do that. And here comes the discipline
How do you discipline your kid ? Do you scold them to follow instruction ? Do you bribe them ? Do you let them cry ?
And its not just doing things. Its about so many other things too. For example ,having milk. He once loved milk but he has stopped having it. What do I do ? Shall I sit with a glass of milk for hours prodding him to drink. I have never forced him to eat. But milk is something thats essential. So sometimes he drinks with incentives like new mug , different glass and all that. And those times he even asks to refill , which shows that he loves it even now. But I cannot get him to drink it every day.
So the problem lies in not making them learn to do something but making it a habit. And thats where I fail. Any ideas ?
Aryan is no longer a toddler, he is a school going child now. A big leap , isn’t it 🙂
Thanks to all the friends who have pinged , commented and messaged me to ask how did it go. I thought I would wait for a week before I say anything coz a day or two is too early to say anything. Its a BIG leap after all ..and he deserves minimum of a week to adjust.
I am happy to say that it did not go too bad. It did not go great as in he did not wave a smiling by yet , but I did not expect that from him. For me , I am fine that he is happy after he is back. And he doesnot resist the idea of going to school. I am more than happy.
Its a different feeling for me which I cannot explain in words. I know all kids go to school some day. But its the first time for mine. Its nice to see him travelling alone in the bus on the way back (we drop him in the mornings) , holding the handle on the front seat , getting down the bus with his bag and walking with his care taker to his day care. Grown up , yeah my piece of heart has grown up to be a big boy 🙂 Its and exciting and happy feeling and also a strangely emotional feeling.
His eyes do search me around when he is walking inside the school and he cries when he sees that I am out of sight. His eyes do search me around when he walks from his class to his bus and then from his bus to his day care. But he puts a brave front in the mornings and evenings and never complains. Infact he is happy and excited about his day , which he doesnot say in words but in his actions.
I wonder some day he would run inside the school , without waiting for me to say a bye.
Parenting is strange and funny , you get happy and emotional all at the same time for strange and silly reasons 🙂
P.S : Read the day by day details here , if interested.
Am I doing right things as a mom ? Is Aryan getting enough attention ? Is this the right way to react in such a situation ? Should I react to his behaviour or should I let him be him and wait for some days / some time / some months ?
Some of the hundreds of questions I ask my self yearly , monthly, weekly, daily and sometimes hourly. I am sure husband does that too.
Its now and only now that I realize how difficult it is to be a parent and raise your kids into good human beings. Its now and only now I realize what my parents would have gone through to make whatever they could from me.
I know , I know , I am not a master piece but then to make a normal , average human being with a positive attitude to life , love for family and non-destructive nature is enough an effort, is what I know now.
There are days when I just give up. I feel like I cannot do more ,I cannot handle his tantrums ,or cannot take care of him , play with him etc, I need to do what I want , sleep when I want etc etc. Yeah I sound like a horrible mom ..but then this is my blog and so I am confessing..take it as you like it.
But then I know that its not possible. Its a commitment for life , forever , till I die ,I have to be a parent and I cannot be irresponsible , thats not the right God has given to parents. Kids , husbands and wives can be irresponsible at times , but not parents , coz each of their actions reflect on their kids. Since my son is quite young as of now I have afforded to me irresponsible sometimes and husband did cover for me , but it will not be possible when he grows up.
Also its only now I realize the love of parents for their kids. How I can keep loving him always, even when he hits , bites ,scratches me in anger , why do I not hate him. Had it be anyone else , I would have never forgiven him/her, but I cannot hate him more than a milisecond. Yeah , I do, (I confess again) I do get mad and hate him for a milisecond when he is a complete brat , but never more than that. I wonder how many times I would have made my parents feel like that even when I was an adult myself.
I do not know why I am writing this post , I do not know what is the point I am trying to make. What I know is that I need to be patient , a lot more patient and a lot more responsible in life. I need to be a good parent, without being stressed out about it 😛
I also need to thank my parents , for being what they have been. They may not have done an excellent job(knowing what I am,myself) , but whatever they have done is not too simple to do. (And plus perphaps they have done an excellent job but I was not good enough :-P) Thanks mummy and papa !