Of Not Being First..or Of Being Last?

Now a days, R has this thing of always wanting to be first…I dont know where she got it from because neither RD nor I have really ranked our accomplishments to her..or ever told her that you have to come first…I think this is one of the issues of having your kid in the daycare, everything becomes a competition…

Amma, main first milk drink karungi, or Amma, main first dahi finish karungi..and God forbid if we finish before her, there is a major tantrum throwing session…

I wonder why the teachers teach such things..is it because there are 40 kids in the daycare and they need to wrap up stuff on time, or what?

I must admit here, I have absolutely NO ISSUES with her daycare teachers…they are like mothers to R, perhaps even better than I…but again like her weird liking for Barbie thanks to her friends in the daycare, this is another issue…

So I have started telling the ulta thing to R…I dont see anything wrong in being last…I like to drink my milk slowly and enjoy it…I like to be last in the race to the potty…I like to be the last to get up from the dinning table and so on…I am not trying to teach her that last is good or you HAVE to be last in everything…, I am just trying to tell her that its okay to be last, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it…

…I dont want her to race in life, I dont want her to come first, I dont want her to believe that its either first or its finished…not at all…I just want her to be a normal kid, an average kid, a kid who enjoys her life more than worrying about grades…I dont expect her to top the class, or win the running race or sing the best in the class…I dont want it…

As long as she becomes a good human with decent manners and strong sense of values, I am absolutely okay with it..
and for a change, both RD and I agree to…

I have realised now in life, that coming first or securing 100/100 in maths didnt make me earn more money or have an easier life than my friend who was an average student and got only 75/100 in maths…She infact, earns more than I do, lives a more relaxed life and absolutely enjoys her life!

I think the children of today or even tomorrow (if we are considering R) have more choices…they can be chefs (Which I want R to be) or hair dressers (Which RD wants R to be 🙂 ) and yet stay afloat..who says success in life is all about having a house, a spouse and children….a life can also be about living it alone, enjoying the solitude, going away on nature trails and roaming around the world eh?
I read this article in Hindu in relation to the Olympics…Go on and read it…

There are so many 100s of unspoken heros in the Olympics which we seem to forget, which we seem to miss out on…for some reason the article gave me a lump in the throat…to forgotten heros who compete but are not Micheal Phelps or Usain Bolts (I have deep respect for them as well) but these are unsung heros from various countries who try and work to the best of their abilities, who dont make it to the top 3, but are definitely the top 10….They believe in themselves, they persereve, they work hard, they want the medal, but they dont get it…yet for me, each of them is a winner, because they tried their best..

This is what I want my daughter to be..give it your best, but dont expect yourself to win or come first…

Winning isnt everything in life, sometimes, just participating in life is the most important thing!


On the Julia/Julie project, Recipe #10

Dal Khicidi

Now this contains rice, so I dont know how many people will agree to this being a ‘healthy’ option, but I think its healthy because we used brown rice to make it…yaa yaa..RD and I both cheat that ways 🙂

Anyways, this is a dish I have eaten only after I came to Bombay..its soothing, its refreshing and its exactly what your Amma ordered you to eat when your throat ache is bad and its raining badly outside

First, boil the dal…we usually use a mix of moong dal and tuvar dal..RD gets a bit enthused and adds channa dal as well….(thankfully he has not gone to the stage of adding urad dal *rolls eyes*)

Chop some onions (2?), tomatoes (2?), green chilly, ginger (you can add garlic, though I dont add in this one)

Now in a kadai, take some ghee ( I use like one spoon), add some jeera, turmeric, hing,kadi patta, then the onions, tomatoes, green chillies, ginger, let it cook a bit and then add the dal, some dhaniya jeera powder (a pinch) and salt…let the dal cook, ensure the dal is a bit watery and not too thick..

Of course, before that, when you are boiling the dal, you please cook the rice along 🙂

After the dal seems a bit cooked, add some coriander, and a dash of lime (I love this phrase eh?)

and then add the rice and mix well and cook for 2 minutes and put it hot hot on the plate and eat away..

of course, you can eat it with some bhaji like aloo, but in our house, RD eats it with papad and pickle, I eat it just like that and R eats it with a ton of ghee splattered on it 🙂

10 recipes, not bad eh?


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75 Responses to Of Not Being First..or Of Being Last?

  1. Mathangi Vijay says:

    Hey I think these things do come up from school/day care. But sometimes I dont really bother too much about it and thought may be they themselves will wear out of it soon.. Or at least if it persists even after the next couple of years, I’d talk about it then. Because I feel at this point they really dont know what is being first and last all about. So I leave it at that.
    And Yay to your Julia/Julie project. You are really going steady and coming up with nice recipes.
    Hope your health is better now!

    • R's Mom says:

      you are right….these things will definitely wear out..guess I am getting a little overboard eh?

      health is still not okie honestly, but definitely on the path to recovery..hopefully should be back to normal in a couple of days..thanks 🙂

  2. Amit says:

    I think you should keep pushing in her mind that it is all right if she is not first. Children do get this competitive feeling when they study and play in groups but somehow it should not overwhelm them.
    I know this because I went through this till I was in 12th. I was always amongst the top three and there was always an immense pressure to stay there. It was only after I started developing a brain that I realised that it was all nonsense.
    And about eggs – I will tell you a few things I have tried but let me try this new thing which is in my mind from some time. I will hopefully try it on Sunday and then let you know. 🙂

    • R's Mom says:

      wow! by class 12 you realised that you neednt come first..thats awesome Amit..saachimein…I think I got that maturity only after I turned 27 or something after R was born, because thats when I realised that in life, coming first hardly matters, what matters is the quality of life…

      Waiting for your egg thing…so so waiting 🙂

  3. sandhya says:

    Bang on! I topped my school in the 10th, and I’m a professionally trained-not working now- stay at home mom dabbling in books. And the class duffer is a big builder in Mumbai.

    You go, girl.

  4. My Era says:

    I totally agree on the importance of teaching our kids about sportsmanship and the importance participation over winning 😀
    I had learnt to make a khichdi of this kind from my friends in hostel during undergrad…but we use only the skin on- moong dal with rice.

    • R's Mom says:

      oh thats another khicidi..we call its mugdal ni khicidi..thats with sprouts I guess…I should post that one as well..thanks..will try it and post the recipe 🙂

  5. Wow. 10 recipes is not bad at all. 🙂 Good going, RM.

    The dal khichdi sounds yummy. We make it at home, but without the ginger, green chillies, onion and tomatoes. Will try this version out soon. 🙂 It is a great idea to make it with brown rice.

    Love your thoughts on the subject of it being OK if you are not always first. Yes, I have seen average students from my school and college having a better life than mine. You don’t always have to be the first or the best in whatever you do – but it is important to do YOUR best. I agree with that, too. Hope you are able to communicate the idea to R effectively. Sigh! Parenting is such a tough job!

  6. Sangitha says:

    These days bringing up these balanced kids is the biggest issue. Everyone wants to win and not lose and those who lose need support to try again and not give up. “Average” is the new first…every parent wants such a child! 😀

  7. Chaitali says:

    I think RM ur rite.. the way ur bringing up ur daughter..
    You need not be first, its important that u enjoy what you do..
    And since this is ur 10th recipe.. u mite hv to post pics for next recipes..
    but worry not scribby has offloaded u with that task 😉

  8. Many kids are obsessed with coming first, RM, and all of them pick this up in school where they are encouraged to do their work fast because, like you said, they have to wrap up things in time. My elder daughter had this thing about always being first too–thankfully she grew out of it as most kids do.

    About the need to impress upon her that there is nothing wrong in being last, umm, I don’t know. I think most kids realize on their own, after some time, that there is little to be gained by always being first, finishing your milk first, brushing your teeth first and so on. So I’d say maybe just give her time and let her figure it out herself?

    Loved the bit about the unsung heroes of the Olympics. So very true!!

    • R's Mom says:

      Thanks for this SH..so basically kids do outgrow it..but has your younger one started this now??

      I do realise perhaps I am going a bit overboard with it, but with R persisting on this behaviour for over 2 months, I was getting a bit scared…but I guess, I should just try and do as much as I can, without being too obvious eh?

  9. Sujatha says:

    My son also has this habbit..I think its bcoz of the school these kids develop such things.. Infact the teacher puts a star in the hand of the kid for finishing the lunch first

    • R's Mom says:

      aiyo..start for finishing lunch first..then toh R will get one everyday, she eats as if she has been hungry forever :):)

      • Ashwathy says:

        Consider yourself lucky. I was a terrible eater as a child… Amma would forcefully feed me every single day. Your life would have been a living nightmare if R had been like that! 😛

        • R's Mom says:

          yep even my Amma tells me the same thing about my brother…but honestly Ashwathy, I think your mom and my mom are great..I doubt whether I would have force fed R…having admitted that, I guess its easy for me to say it now that R is not a fussy eater, may be I would have put in efforts if she was NOT 🙂

  10. Jazz says:

    Nice thought RM, completely agree and must mention in my book for future parenting.

    And this is new type of Khichdi for me, is it like dry or slightly watery in the end ?

  11. lifesong says:

    I used to give my daughter chocos with milk for her evening snacks at daycare. One fine day she comes and tell me to give her only milk, no chocos as she ends up coming last in the race to drink milk as some other kids who bring only milk are able to finish faster 🙂 I think the daycare factor is there, it helps the teachers there because in the race and trying to beat each other, the kids at least end up finishing their milk 🙂
    I think it is important to teach kids that it is important to participate and give your best to it and not worry too much about the results. Gita Paath 🙂
    Your khichdi sounds intersting 🙂 We make it the simple way, just put dal rice … in pressure cooker and cook till ready 🙂 Will try making your way too.

    • R's Mom says:

      nah you are right..its not Gita Paath…I agree to what you say

      Errr…thats the direct normal khicidi rey..even we make that..but this one definitely tastes different and I think better 🙂

  12. rainmusings says:

    Hmm,RM , probably it is a phase. S also rushes to be the first to brush her teeth, drink milk ,bathe and get ready on time before her father . This helps us to get her ready for school in say 15 min comfortably with no crying tantrums etc. I haven’t noticed her eagerness to come first in anything else so far. Will have to watch out for it now.

  13. ashreyamom says:

    yes i agree with u RM, its not first or last which bothers, it is the completion of task.. in fact after knowing this rule, wanting to follow, i do get disappointed when my boss doesnt send me for promotion or gives me the expected increment.. :)..

    wow, congrats on 10th recipe.. i think from now on we can expect pics… :).. so this is revised version on pongal for me.. 🙂
    RM, u still need to get the art of telling proper proportions and quantities to add.. 😛

    • R's Mom says:

      Well pongal we directly put the dal and rice together like the normal khicidi na..in this one its cooked separately 🙂

      okie..will try and get that right 🙂

  14. greenboochi says:

    I just wish every parent thinks like you RM. You are doing the right thing!

    And I make this rice-dal khichdi too. I call it arisi upma 🙂

  15. MiniNair says:

    Your post is so relevant. The kids pick it up from school/daycare/playground. Like you I emphasise that it is not important to be the first. The last savours and enjoys:))
    However, when I am at work the lessons I give are undone by teachers/grandparents who goad the twins sometimes against each other. But the surprise was yesterday, my younger twin wrote in her diary ,’ I want to be a good person when I become big(sic)’. Of course spelling pooch pooch ke dimaag khaya!!!!!!!
    mini nair

  16. summerscript says:

    I am taking notes RM for both – Recipe and Parenting! 😀

  17. Swaram says:

    Very well written RM. I was good throughout my studies and work period too. And the first thing people told me when I quit my job to work in the social field is that I was wasting my *education* and *intelligence* Teaching our kids to be good humans and also good at whatever they are (chef, hairdresser etc.. :P) is what carries all the value for me 🙂

    Hugs and hope u are feeling better now – the throat I mean 8)

  18. techie2mom says:

    Hmmm.. I think you are right.probably her teachers do that do make things faster. But you are doing a good thing by teaching her that there is nothing wrong with being the last.
    Daal khichdi!!! Yummm….but I rerecently read that at some places they add head daal also tothe khichdi I think it was in a article on khichdi in newspaper. So if RD wants to add that then let him do it 🙂

  19. Ashwathy says:

    At a certain level, kids turn competitive. I remembering during my days in the primary classes (class 1 -5) I used to make sure I am the first person to alight from the school bus as well as get into it. Would not let the other kids come in front of me. Of course a lot of the other kids wanted the same too. On some days I got what I wanted, on some days, they did.

    Did that make or break me? Not really. It hardly made a difference. It was just the joy of being able to move first through the bus-door that brought a grin to my face. Momentary pleasures.

    My suggestion is, leave her alone. If she chooses to be competitive, that’s upto her. Eventually she will realize herself that it is not worth it. Being unique is more important than being ‘first’. 🙂

    She is too young at this point for you to be fretting over this. As long as you are setting the right example for her and teaching her the right things, which you are anyway, it hardly makes a difference. It will in time even out.

    • Ashwathy says:

      I just read what I wrote and realized I sound like a proper granny 😐

      • Zephyr says:

        You do indeed. Because that was exactly what I was going to tell RM. It is just a phase and unless it becomes a stressor, it should be left alone. The thing is to teach them that it is ok to compete in such silly things, but not kill oneself over coming first in class and being the best in everything. In fact, this will take off the stress of excelling in everything. Don’t ask me how or why, but take my word for it. Just don’t give it too much importance, that’s all.

    • R's Mom says:

      agree agree and agree..and no you dont sound like a grandma at all…you just have your head screwed at the right place 🙂

      • I read your post in the morning only and have been meaning to comment what Ash has written. Exactly the same words I had been framing in my mind.

        Just let R be, RM. These are all smaller momentary pleasures in life. I really doubt if she will even remember this as she grows up. As long as she doesn’t take this ‘first’ business to life, I guess you (and she) should be fine! 🙂

  20. Very true, I think kids dont enjoy childhood, moreover this is dangerous to be first all the time, because life is not like that. That is why kids these days get heartbroken all the time,

    In life lots of ups and downs so we shud take it. In our stride.. In a race only one person wins majority dont.

    Rush rush rushhhh always not good.

  21. N says:

    I was an averager throughout school. Strted topping in college (Eng Literature). Then I guess I got too used to it and kinda became obsessed… Since most of my friends wr chauvinistic guys during school days I had this thing about ‘playing better than guys’ (Badminton, BB & Cricket)… I still do. I rarely lose a game of badminton or squash, but if I do, I brood for 3-4 days. Yes even now at 26… Talk about immaturity! 😀
    I think you’re saving R from lotsa unnecessary brooding in future

  22. Smita says:

    Hmmmm my two cents?
    On one side we are against the pressure that is put on the kid for coming first and all that but then we are also in a way putting pressure on them to not give too much thoughts on these things. Catch 22? I think the best we can do is make them understand the facts and then leave it to their judgement. I love your thoughts on how to bring up a child but sometimes it is too idealistic. Chill a little and do not give too much thoughts to things that are not very important (like her liking the barbie, kya fark padta hai re?). I dunno I am making sense or not.

    • R's Mom says:

      no you are right Smita…RD often tells me that my way of trying to raise her is too idealistic and doesnt always work..so thanks for telling me this…

  23. R’s Mom, Aapki post ne ek post inspire kar di ……on my blog! :-))

  24. Tanishka says:

    You know somehow I felt I was talking to my mom… She thinks exactly like this… She has always told me that its about making an effort and not winning but trust me RM I never realised that until I actually ruined the peace of my mind, won it n then realised that winning did not make much of a difference… And like you said people who did not win also have a good life, a better one sometimes… And so since then I stopped caring about ranks, grades, and blah and I’ am happy….

    I think its ok if R also wants to come first… Its just so natural to think that ways coz of the competitive environment around us but I’ am sure at some point even R will understand that its more important to enjoy things rather than win… And till then RM is anyways there to tell R that being last is ok… 🙂

  25. meenamenon says:

    Hats off to u on teaching her tht its no biggie to be first… she will grow up to be a girl with less burden on her shoulder!

    BTW me tried the tomato parata today… But my bad tht my propotion of tomato n flour was completely skewed n so the tomato flavour realy dint come out! But hey this seems to be the easiest paratha around!

  26. Have been there R’s mom. You know peers takes over in a child’s life after age 5 till age 25 I guess. So you will hear this more often from R. I hear it from J a lot too. But then I feel winning really gives a strong positive feeling so I try to discuss with J about her, situations and societies limitations and how that can affect the wining and loosing. Also we try to discuss and practice the art of participating in something full-heartedly. See my take on this topic

  27. LittleFinger says:

    Very well written post RM, I salute yours and RD’s spirits, I too agree that the childhood is to enjoy than focusing on being first. You did 10 recipes, well I have to go back and read them 🙂

  28. what a beautiful post!!! i so identify and agree with you!! in a school where everyone seems to be driven and competitive, i did worry when my son started wanting to be ‘first’… but telling him that its ok not to be first, and that it was more important to enjoy himself seems to have worked, at least as of now… he loves to participate in all events, whether academic or sports, and doesnt even bother about who came first or second… and i am really happy with that.. on the other hand, other parents come up and ask me questions like how i prepare him for a quiz or a test, and dont believe me when i say i dont!! they really find it hard to grasp the idea that the idea is to enjoy what you do, not excel at everything you do….

  29. Why no new post today?

  30. Scribby says:

    Where is todays’ post by the way? 🙂

    Hmm RM I’ve similar thoughts on what C should become as a person…as long as she is independent and a good human being at the core, we are more than happy 🙂 ranks,medals and trophies alone cannot earn respect and friends for a anyone!

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