Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bringing up mom - 1

Many many years back, there was a wee little boy who made his way into our hearts even before he was born. We first saw him when he was 10 months old,. He was my sister's son and the first baby in our house. He was the most fussy and tempermental baby i had seen but we were his willing slaves and he knew it. We still are, even now that he has grown into a smart handsome 18 yrold and he knows it :).

My sister was an awesome parent. I would always notice how well she handled him and later on his brother. One technique which intrigued me was her counting till 5 . She would ask them to do something. As usual they would take their time getting to it. She would then start counting 1, 2, 3, 4. By the time she reached 5, the job would be done. MAGIC! i did wonder what would happen when she reached 5 and they still ignored her.

The other technique was clearing her throat! Whenever she saw any of her kids doing something they shouldn't, she would clear her throat. This was most useful especially when she had company. It was a discreet way of telling them something. and it worked like magic again!

So when i had my kids, it was but natural that i should try it out.

The counting worked fine, if you ignore the fact that it took half an hour for me to reach 5 from 4. I managed to divide that 1 unit into 50 or more subdivisions. Sometimes for variety they would hear me say 4.1, 4.23, 4.67...sometimes i would go into fractions.

The clearing of the throat was disastrous..I had to have a coughing fit for any one boy to know that i was trying to attract his attention. It is true when they say practice makes us perfect. I'm an expert cougher now.

So now i've devised my own parenting tool. The decibel level, the tone of the voice, the intensity of the glare, mix them up just right. It works well most of the time. Sometimes i overdo the glare bit and my eyes feel like they may pop out. The times it doesn't work, you can find me in the bathroom cooling off.

Now they've grown a bit and the only one who has temper tantrums is me, so life's good!

It has been ages since i've practised my 'hand me down' parenting technique. The last time i tried doing the counting thing for my 6 yrold, the 11 yrold asked me 'so what happens when you reach 5?" You wouldn't want to know what i retorted but it kept him shut!

The other day i was in the kitchen, when G, who was in the study and therefore deaf to the world, hollered: "do you need anything? did you want something?"

I was puzzled by his asking, for this guy needs a megaphone to get his attention.

I screamed back a NO! (i've learnt somewhere that every action deserves an equal reaction)

Then the 6 yrold appeared by my side. 'did you call? we were just playing?'

Now seriously flummoxed, i asked him "no i didn't call you! not unless my thoughts can magicallly reach you. Why did you ask?"

He replied airily " oh, anna sent me to find out why you were coughing"

The dim bulb brightened! I had cleared my throat a few minutes back.

I had finally got everyone's attention! after 11 years of parenting! even G's!

And i wasn't even trying.



Thank you BlogAdda, you made my day :)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

spreading sunshine

This is a story of a little boy with his sunny ways,

A little boy i know, six years young and full of life.

Has a smile on his lips and his feet on springs,

Sunshine is most certainly his other name

It was hot that day as it had been for so very long,

He was grumpy in the taxi, a tantrum brewing strong

His mood was black as the sun shone bright by his side.

He declared: "I hate the sun! why is it always on me?

It is too bright, it makes me hot and i cannot see!"

The mother 'who knows everything' said,

"You are our sunshine, I think the sun likes you,

though you can sit on my side if you wish to"

A minute later, a little hand waved out to the sun

'Ofcourse", he said, "that's why the sun always follows me,

Even when i cross the road, or just still

It likes me because i'm a friend, because i must be fun"

The 12 yrold giggled because he knew too much,

The mother nudged him into silence because she knew better

This was a moment for her to savour,

when faith and innocence, her two great friends

Joined hands to make a little heart believe

A little boy made friends with the sun that day

All because he had faith and innocence firm by his side

and let's not forget, a little help from mummy too!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

It fits too well!

I have many memories of my son as a child putting his little hyper feet in our shoes and then clomping about.

It was a cute sight to see those tiny feet in the huge shoes.

You think to yourself "look at those tiny feet. there is so much time to go before he can fill them up'

till suddenly a moment arrives

when you realise you don't have your gym shoes with you and you try your son's shoe half-heartedly, expecting it to be small

And it fits perfectly. Even though i have big feet

Soon he may not fit mine anymore. A sweet moment salted with just a dash of wistfulness.

Happy 12th birthday to my ubercool dude who is so like me and yet not so!

Now go fill your dad's shoes.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Mirror talk

Had i mentioned how awesome i was for managing without a full-length mirror for two years?

Now I have not one but two full-length gigantic mirrors to preen before. One in the hallway and one in my bedroom. It is H.U.G.E. For one who managed with one measly square of reflecting surface, this is enormous, so pardon the 'gush' talk. Besides this is temporary accomodation, so I am making the most of it.

It took me a few days to get used to the one in the hallway. It is at one end of a corridor and initially it was a bit of a shock to come sleepy eyed and see a scary looking figure walking towards you, when it was in fact you walking to yourself.

This particular mirror also sees some serious getting in touch with the inner self.

For instance,

A certain 'she who shall not be named' (forgive me, i just watched harry potter 6) sashays to and fro before deciding that the visit to the gym is overdue. Tucking in that stomach is getting to be a pain.

A six yrold is often caught making funny faces to himself and practising something which looks a cross between jumping, flaying arms around and moving different parts of the body in 4 directions. He calls it dancing.

The ubercool serious dude, soon to be 12, has been spotted coaxing those lil curls in front into a spike. and ofcourse a few choice soccer moves are mandatory.

The big guy has also succumbed to the charms of the mirror, there has been a fair amount of looking at side profiles and critical appraisals going on.

We may have just discovered narcissism, our inner selves and the fact that mirrors don't lie.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Do you remember the time when....

A memory comes floating back to me.

Of the 'once upon a time' phase in my life. Of cupping our palms under a tap at school and tilting it just so, the cool water from the tap wetting the parched throat. Of standing in queue at railway stations impatiently waiting for our turn. Filling giant waterbottles for the journey till the next station, apprehensive that the train may leave without us.

And then because all good things must come to an end, bottled water and water filters made their appearance. Water could not be drunk without double boiling it or passing it through the RO process. It was a necessity. Mineral water became a must on everyone's table.

And with it the usage of plastic and waste grew.

This memory got placed in the 'once upon a time' slot in my mind. All it needed was a trigger to get it out. Which happened when I saw this

At Singapore

and this was in Sydney

I used to love it when the boys would cup their hands under the tap and drink greedily. The water fountain required some practice, and it was fun to watch them trying to place the mouth just right, splashing themselves in the process. It was a luxury to not worry about the water being safe or unsafe, to drink water straight from the tap. It was nice to see something as basic as water being easily available to us, thanks to the government.
I'm glad that the boys got to try this simple pleasure even if it was for a short while; because, sadly, we are back to boiled and bottled water.
And this memory will slowly go the way most memories do, back in its slot, waiting for its next trigger.