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 :)


Meira said...

hahaha! It takes approx 11 years! That's heartening :))

Ugich Konitari said...

You know what, I just admire your children for responding to clearings /coughs of the throat. My daughter would do anything under the threat of grounding her swimming. And the older, my son simply was never within throat hearing distance.

Numbers up to 5, or 11 years, I think the fact they come asking , is totally amazing.

Monika said...

11 yrs so u mean I have to keep trying for 10 more years

sigh :(

brocasarea said...

hehe....4.9 seems a deadly no!!!!....

Pavi!!!! said...


N I think YOU REALIZED that they u’stood the cough meant sumthing.. only after 11 yrs..n to their credit, they successfully managed to keep the u’standing hidden from u for so many yrs :D

Ur sis is a genius to make the counting thingy work….don’t think that ll work too well with this generation of kids no?

WhatsInAName said...

I always thought this 1 to 5 was my original idea ! But yeah you are right i stretched 5 to infinity at times ;-)
And glad that finally you are heard. i lost hopes long back ;-)

Rohini said...


Joy said...


Kavi said...

Congratulations !! Congratulations !!

My moms throat clearing didnt get her very far. But when her hands reached the the rod and before the rod found our bottom, the numbers stood counted !


Lovely read !! :)

mummyjaan said...

:D. That *was* very funny.

(@Pavi, I use counting and it works fairly well most of the time. When I remember to use it, that is.....)

Trish said...

Hahahhaha funny!!!
a deep throated hmmmm worked till my brat turned 2..now she just tries her own hmmm LOL!!

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Mehar said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Prats said...

Lol!!!! You are such an amazing momma...and trust the technique to have a slow motion effect..but it did at least have one...

The cocktail mix of subtle gestures flop miserably when guests are around only to show up in true blue form when there is no need for any such actions...sad, but it does bring a lot of good memories though

Anonymous said...

u r just BRILLIANT..commenting for the first time here tho reading u since many months..fabulous fabulous narrating skills..keep it up..and keep writing..

sraikh said...

Hey I do the counting thing to .
But the clearing throat is brilliant.
Need to try that one.

See they are listening all the time :)

PS: I couldnt leave comments logged in.

Mama - Mia said...

awesome!! i am so glad you are writing more often!! :)

i need to find some such techniques too. my screaming banshee act isnt too popular! sigh!



Reflections said...

LOL.....the last bit was too good;-D. I do the "It better be done in 5 mins otherwise....." & thankfully its usually done.
But ur clearing of the throat is a very good idea...my dad used to do tht & I'd almost forgotten;-D

Sumana said...

Suma that was awesome. Never mind the 11years, atleast the victory is yours now. Here no amount of throat clearing, decibel increase works with the younger one, slightly works with older till date.

Suma said...

Meira: : you better start with the hubby first. practice makes one perfect as i said :)

Ugich: : heh heh, true they have to be within hearing distance, my kids have an extremely stubborn mother when it comes to telling them things :)and a lil grounding works like a charm!

Monika:: come on now, that kid of yours is such a baby...

dr bro:: you should wait when i reach 4.99..by then they have generally done what they have, taking pity on me :)

Pavi!!!!:: hehe..heh..that's true..though they do know when i'm really serious, thank god for that lil mercy :)

haha..hang on there, and keep oiling those vocal chords, you never know when the kids will listen

Rohini, Joy:: :D

ouch! that must have worked the best.

thank you..counting thing does work, mostly when they are smaller

trish:: haha..that must have sounded soooo cute :)


prats:: i agree...i'm sure i did that too when i was small

Anonymous:: thank you so much for that fabulous comment. I would be happier if I knew from whom it came :)

you must have a whole lot of tactics up your sleeve. I wonder why u couldn't leave comments, is blogger acting up again?

Mama mia:: screaming for that lil cubby? he is still a baby :p

your girls sound adorable :) and naughty perhaps?

Sumana: sigh, what are the younger ones made of?

Toady said...

Hmm, something to try out in the future. Hope it works for me faster than it did for you :-)

P.S. - what does aalochane mean?

Rambler said...

aha..now this is something which all kids and some grown up likes me hate about our moms..its one of those times when you hoped your mom forgot numbers after 3 :)

Just Like That said...

ROFL! You the better parent than your sis, S! Even G responds to your hints/warnings.....LOLOLOL. Bet you were totally flummoxed tho :-D

Preeti Shenoy said...

OMG! I too do this counting in decimal bit :) and while in company I speak (rather hiss) in Konkani :D They usually listen as konkani is used only for something really important :)

Nice post!


Neera said...

Such a delightful read :) So the magic number's 11 hanh?!

So what happens when you reach 5? LOL

I am the only one who has temper tantrums now ...so they really do stop with the kids?!

Suma said...

Toady:: 'aalochane' means 'thoughts' in kannada

rambler:: hee..hee...she still does it? tsk tsk

JLT:: i'm definitely the louder parent :D

Preeti:: yes, i do that too, slip into the 'native' language so they know they better listen or else!!!!

:) some work , some don't but i guess you will always figure out the right way

Monika said...

congrats for the tangy tuesday pick