Dear R2

You are here. And you proved that you share your sister’s penchant for jewelry when you managed to wound the umbilical cord around your neck, not once, but twice!!!!

The doc had to operate Amma midst a labour where she had already dilated 10 cms but you wouldn’t come down. Twenty mins of mayhem but the doc finally put her foot down when your heartbeat started to fall down drastically. And you had to be removed surgically. You managed to panic your Appa and your Amma was like okay whatever.

When your Barodu thathi went back home from the hospital to pick up your akka, you decided to come out. And when Appa called up home to inform thathi, R akka had just come in and picked up the phone.Her first reaction to the news was

” Yayayayayayayayayyaya I got a baby sister yayayyayayayayayayayyayayay”.

She has been the epitome of the proudest and most helpful older sister. Of course, I dont know how long the excitment will last, but till date she talks to you, waits for you to open your eyes, sings for you, gets me diapers when you do potty, even throws away the water n cotton after cleaning your bum. In short she is everything I was sure she wont be. Of course, there are spurts of I want my amma and baby stop crying when amma is reading to me but all in all she seems to have accepted you with full heart. She got all her building friends home to ‘SHOW’ you off :). She has a million queries from why the cut below my tummy to how all I eat gets transformed to milk to how your potty is not like hers :)

Appa is over the moon. All through the pregnancy he maintained a stoic silence when folks asked him if he wanted a girl or a boy. He and I both would mention we wanted a healthy baby. I dont know what his reaction was when the doc went out to tell him that he got a baby girl, but he has resigned himself to the fact that its going to be a 3:1 ratio in this household :) He has moved around like a man possessed, between hospital and home when ma was with you there. Getting food from home, meds for both of us, juggling between ferrying R akka n thati. In short he was there with a 100 hands and 1000 legs doing everything and anything.

And your Barodu thathi…what can I say? I am just plain blessed to have a mother like her and you are blessed to have a nani like her. Whether it was going back to pick up Akka from the bus while her daughter was in OT or cook food for the family or spend sleepless nights in the hospital or just pick you up and sing you to sleep – she did it all and without a single sigh. With loads of love and honestly a LOT of will power too! She has been the pillar of strength for all of us. Taking care of akka, getting her to school, making her tiffin, doing everything for Amma n you….you are lucky,darling, to have a thathi so wonderful. And whatever you n Akka do,you can never ever repay her for all this!

Your name has been decided by Appa since I got the opportunity to name Akka :)

And all your blog aunties and uncles. Sigh! what do I say darling? You have had so many good wishes pouring in. Folks in a particular blog group I am in gave us the surprise of our lives by sending across a beautiful crib even before I got back home from the hospital. And half the folks in the group I havent even met!!!You are a lucky gal surely!

Whether it is sending across the traditional medicines all the way from Kerala by courier or sending me some maternity stuff, my blog friends have done it all :)Thank you so much folks!

I wish you all the love luck and happiness in life darling…I still cant believe am responsible for another human being. The thought scares me a little but hopefully, Appa and I wont goof it up too much.

Loads of love
Amma

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PS – Sorry for the silence on the blog and thanks for all the emails and messages. I am lucky to have a group of virtual friends who are so amazing :)

PS 1 – Am going to be silent here for a while as I go through the entire routine of sleepless nights, feeding, potty cleaning. You all be good and I will be back with more updates :)

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Dear R

Sometimes in life, you need to stand up for yourself and speak. Sometimes in life, you need to be a leader and not a follower. And sometimes in life, you just need to leave friends who are fair feathered and be alone.

I hate to tell you all this when you are all but an innocent 6 year old, but unfortunately, this bullying happening on you is getting out of hand. Amma and Appa have not yet interfered, because both of us firmly believe, that kids sort out their own problems and the lesser adults interfere, the better it is.

But yesterday, was kind of horrible for me. Your Baroda thathi has always told me that ‘delivering a child into this world is perhaps one of the easiest tasks, its the bringing up the child which is the toughest part of parenting’ I didnt believe too much in her, but I think I have now started agreeing to that. And she also told me when I would crib as you were an infant, on when you would grow up. She told say this age is much easier to handle, the older they grow, the tougher it is to parent them. And sigh! I must admit shamefacedly that she is right.

The 10 year old in the building has no business bullying you, poisoning your friends’ ears against you, calling you ‘Kali’ or saying that you would cry even if a leaf falls off the branch. He has absolutely no business doing it. While fights are totally fine, and show that you guys are normal, he is now going towards bullying you badly! and the sad part is your other friends who are your age are just following what he is doing. He is instigating them to ignore you. Yesterday when I came back from office late at 8.15 and Appa had to rush upstairs to catch the maid, I saw you standing forlorn in a corner, with tears brimming in your eyes, and you gave me such a weak smile as if to tell me everything was alright. But kid, remember, I am your mother. I understand every emotion of yours. The other three kids including Mr. Bully were standing on the other side of the building and whispering something pointing out to you. I just asked you to accompany me to the house and you agreed immediately without any arguments.

In the lift, you broke down and told me how your friends including that bully were ignoring you and how he was instigating them and calling you names. And this is perhaps the 3rd or 4th time, this is happening.

I must admit, darling, that for a second, my heart broke. I felt helpless as a mother. But I realised that I cant fight your battles for you. You need to learn to stand up to that guy and put him in place.

Remember how he pulled the hair of that other didi who is about 10 years and she gave him back to him immediately saying you touch me, and I will beat you to pulp. Well, I dont ask you to do that, but at least, tell him that yes I am what I am and no, I dont need you to tell me what to do and what not to do.

You have to do it beta, because there are so many more battles you need to fight, in order to survive in this world. Unfortunately, human relations are not as simple as they seem in childhood. Hundreds of layers, thousands of shades, and millions of egos. All this will be there in every relationship and each needs to be handled differently.

Yes, Amma and Appa told you yesterday to fight it out and not take it lying down. Remember, when push comes to shove, we are always always there for you. We will not let you down. I promise on that.

Loads of love and always here for you

Amma

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Since I Wanted to Record This

I must confess its more than 2 weeks since I have read or commented on any blog..I have been busy at work and at home and reading blogs which used to be a kind of obsession is kind of slowly burning down..I dont feel incomplete without reading blogs any more..and I have also realised that getting comments on any post is directly proportional to the number of comments you leave on blogs…its like a symbiotic relationship I guess.

Anyways, this one I wanted to record because when R grows older, I hope to make her read my blog.

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Dear R

As typical of you and to prove you have my genes in you, you have managed to misplace your computer textbook. And typical Amma, discovered it just a day before your computer exam. I searched around the house, asked your daycare, but finally gave up. I wrote a note to your teacher, asking her if its with her. Or else I would just buy a copy of the book again!

I thought, you could just study from whatever was given in your worksheet.

Yesterday evening, I was in for a big surprise. Your teacher is so wonderful that she sent across HER copy of the book to you, with a note saying,

Dear Parents, please note that R’s book is not with the computer teacher. For now, I have given R my copy of the text book so that she can study for the exam tomorrow. Please return the book tomorrow.

You are lucky, kid. Very lucky. I dont know of any teacher who would go out of her way to send across her copy of the textbook, for a child who has managed to discover that her textbook is lost at the last moment. Appa and I were pretty astonished to be honest. We are grateful that you have got a teacher who cares so much for the child. She may be strict, she may have her own issues, but this one incident shows that you are in good hands. You have a teacher who genuinely cares for you.

Lucky you, kiddo, lucky you.

I hope and pray that you learn a lot from this incident in life! I have written a thank you note to your teacher today. Hope you remember to give it to her :)

So grateful that you have such positive influences in life

Amma.

 

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Navratri!!!

This Navratri…

We managed to keep a pseudo Golu

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The Iranian Dolls

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The Goan Lanterns

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The Japanese Frogs

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More Iranian Dolls

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Bears from Germany

Managed to dance to the tunes of Garba most nights!

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The Brat’s Garba Dress

Managed to visit a Pujo Mandal and hog on the Bhog, egg roll, chowmein, chop

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Durga Pujo Pandal

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The Pujo Prasad which RD claimed was almost as good and as original as you get in Calcutta!

Hope everyone had a great Navratri…now looking forward to Diwali!!!!

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Two Times Three Now!

R says Amma, two times three is six!

Honestly, I dont feel an year older than six at times..but unfortunately, time and tide wait for none and hence I did turn two times three yesterday, to turn 33!

Amma, you are sooooo old, giggled the brat, when I told her how old I turned. Yep, darling that I am :)

Funnily, this birthday, we did nothing dramatic. Not that we do anything dramatic every year, but this year was pretty subdued.

I had my star birthday a couple of days ago and RD and R got me a yummy chocolate cake in the evening. When I came back from work, the brat wasnt playing down in the building and I was very surprised. I went up and she went going up and down saying ‘Amma aayi Amma aayi’

Much to my surprise, I got a yummmmy chocolate cake which said Happy Birthday Amma :)

Sigh! RD even went and got a candle for me to blow (candle to blow karne ka Amma, otherwise what birthday!! asked the brat when I was like forget the fuss!)

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I blew the candle, wished for everyone’s good health and cut the cake. And RD has improved. No surprises at all. He had asked me what I wanted for my bday…I had asked for this long time ago.

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The guy was kind enough to get me two of these :) And dont laugh, do you know how useful that bag is it to keep the soap in?

And then yesterday, we didnt go out at all. Except a trip to the temple.

R had another bday party to attend in the afternoon in the building and she was all excited about it.

So what did you do, people are asking me today.

I said, I made all my favorite food

Breakfast – Sabudana khichidi
Lunch – Awesomely yummy (though a bit of salt would have taken it to another level) egg biryani thanks to Smita
Dinner – Schezwan noodles made my style

And I even baked an eggless banana chocolate cake thanks to Smita again.

In short, it was a birthday where I just received calls from loved ones, loads of messages, unexpected ones as well and rested doing nothing except cooking.and of course, the brat and her dad gave me the official birthday gift. A bag. A college/school bag which was much needed since the current one I take to office is torn and tattered.

RD is really proving to be an excellent learner as far as giving gifts are concerned :)

I guess, this was one of those birthdays, where I realised that, the whole party thing is pretty over rated eh?

Yep would have perhaps enjoyed, going out, but had equal fun sitting at home and resting peacefully.

Ok. Now its official. I AM DEFINITELY OLD!

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I Wish…..

Inspired from Smita’s  post

…folks on escalators would realise that they need to stand on one side for others to pass. One stands on right, other stands on left, and I feel as if I am weaving a web when I am walking past them

…folks would stop walking in pairs on narrow stairways. Its such a pain when you are in a hurry and need to get to that train..and here is a pair walking with all the time in the world as if they are going in a garden!

…folks would stop stopping suddenly on staircases and stare at their phones. Thrice in the past week, I have bumped against them, when I am hurrying to get that train and they are walking and STOP they go to check something on their phone!

….folks stop peering into their phones while walking in public places. Apart from the safety aspect, they dont look around and often end up bumping and blocking way!

….folks would stop taking life so seriously and lighten up a little

…people would stop writing off the new Govt without giving them an year’s time. I am sick and tired of reading that they are a failure. Fine. They are. But then at least give them time na!

….I could remember all the subplots in Jaya by Devdutt Pattanaik. I am reading the book currently, but keep forgetting all the subplots he has so superbly presented in it

…I could get a job in the country of my choice. I would go there, settle down and go to work without cribbing eh?

…..I could let go of this guilt everytime I buy something for myself. I went and bought some clothes for myself on Sunday and have been consumed with guilt ever since. Why? I dont know. Its weird. Its not that it was some million dollars or anything. But somehow the guilt hasnt left me!

…..I could understand why MBAs think they are superior to ‘just’ graduates…I know doing a PG is not easy at all, but dont treat us like dirt eh?

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Being Strict is Wrong?

From the drafts, written a few weeks ago and then re-worked on!

Today morning, when I woke up the brat, she got up with a start and said ‘Amma, amma, check my calender’

RM: What happened

R: There was Hindi assignment..

RM: No da, there was a note saying open house tomorrow

R: No, Hindi teacher had given an assignment and I had kept it in first page

The next 5 minutes were spent searching the entire bag, but we couldnt find it!

R got super panicky.

R: Amma, abhi teacher gussa karegi..I promise Amma, I kept in first page, woh kahan gaya..

RM: Its okay day, dont worry, I will write a note and tell teacher you lost it…and you can show her the note and apologise

R: But amma, she will give me punishment

RM: What punishment

R: Stand with your hands on the head

RM: I dont think she will, but if she still does, go on and do it

R: It hurts na Amma

Ah well, this got me thinking. The parenting method now a days seems to frown on the whole punishment thing. I have read many many many articles which say dont punish, talk it out, dont shout, discuss, etc etc.

But as a parent, especially someone who spends very few hours with her child, I must admit, I am the yelling types. I lose my temper easily, I scold her, and yesterday evening when we were sitting for her dictation revision, she said ‘I dont like you Amma, I want another Amma’

I told her to go and get another one

She told me she will speak to her father about it seriously. :)

But as per my mother, I am a pretty laid back mom. She says, I let R get away with a lot of things she wouldnt have let me or bro get away with. Having said that, she did let me know that everyone has a different parenting method and there is really no right or wrong as far as parenting is concerned.

I have been thinking. Do all children really understand discussing, talking, making eye contact, or do some children respond only to strict discipline? My MIL has always told me that I let R take too many decisions on her own – What to wear, whether to drink milk in the morning or not, etc etc.

RD does sometimes tell me, that we have given her too much freedom! May be we have, I dont know.

But I digress.

My point is with teachers. Should teachers be strict? What is the limit they can go to?

My mother confesses she was a very strict teacher. The one who would just have to go and stand on the stage during assembly and there would be pin drop silence just as she stood there. But she was also the one who was most loved. A lot of children have come back to school just to meet her and thank her. When Amma started her career, she has even whacked some kids for indiscipline, until the rule came in that teachers cant hit students. She admits she has scolded children and shouted at them and given punishment like sit alone, or stand on the bench, or something in those lines.

But she had one rule. Before the day ended, she would go to that child, talk to the child politely, tell the kid why she thought he/she were wrong and then make friends with the kid before sending the kid back home.

She always always did it.

This Teacher’s day, apparently a student of her’s called her (He got her number from some other teacher). Amma couldnt really place him but he insisted that she would remember him because he had been shouted at and punished a lot of time by her. Finally Amma could place him. He told her, ‘Ma’am, you have scolded me so much, I was so bad in studies, but one thing which you always told us in the class so many times is that ‘Nothing is impossible in this world if you try really hard’ and yes I realised it because I am doing my computer engineering from a prestigious college now. My parents still cant believe that I am doing this course. But all thanks to you. What you told us in every lecture got drilled into me so much that I have realised, truely nothing is impossible’ Amma told me this on the phone the other day :)

When I had gone for R’s first open house, the Hindi teacher had confessed that she was a strict teacher and would be strict to the children. At that time, all the parents said, yes yes be strict, our children need strict teachers. etc etc. (now that they are cribbing about it, is a different issue!)

So how do teachers discipline students? Do they shout, do they ignore, do they give small punishments, or do they be really really strict? Handling 40 to 45 kids in a class is no joke, especially those who are young. Should children fear their teachers? Or should they act super friendly with the students? Should teachers be allowed to give punishment to children, or should they use the current parenting methods of trying to be firm and yet loving?

I dont know. How do teachers do it now a days?

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