My little rock stars

Memoirs of my mommyhood


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I love summer vacation

Today is the last day of Venky’s school. Tunmun’s last day is already over. Hence I get to laze in the bed with her while Vibhu gets Venky ready for school 🙂 I really was looking forward to summer vacations!! No more early mornings. Yayyy!

After Venky is sent off to school, we go about our morning chores, getting ready for office. Tunmun plays with her Lego blocks in the living room. Vibhu tells me,

“You know, I asked Venky, what will you do at home starting tomorrow..”

“Hmmm…”

“He said, I’ll take care of Tunmun, what else!”

We laugh. Tunmun looks up. She has caught a bit of our conversation.

“Yes! We have to take care, because it is expensive!” She chimes in.

Yes, of course, my priceless chatterbox!

We laugh yet again.

Aaah… What’s better than starting a day with a  lazy wake up and lots of laughter 🙂 Did I say that I love summer vacations?

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Gadget junkies

Like true gen ext kids, my children are gadget freaks. The availability of Smart phones , Tabs and Laptops around the house has made them totally at ease with the world of games and internet. For quite some time now my 6 year old AND my 3 year old have been downloading games and apps on these gadgets at the drop of the hat.

The laptops and mobiles are monitored as they have to seek our permission for the use, the Tab is totally at their mercy. They had been downloading games and apps on it left, right and center and our internet data usage went over the limit.

Result? Vibhu disabled the internet connection on the Tab so that the kids would not have a free run. Here’s how Venky makes a case for getting the internet enabled on his Tab

“Mommy! Enable the internet connection please.”

“Why?”

“I need it to do my research.”

“What research?”

“I need to research what are the good games out there!”

And I need to research how to not be outsmarted by 6 year old. And I need to do that ASAP!


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Tough Question

Venky and his friend Tejas often play the quiz game with us. We ask them questions, mostly academic and award them points for correct answers. They compete with each other on that. Tejas does better in English and General Knowledge. Venky cracks Math. Sometimes, Vibhu throws in random, trick questions too.

Today, one of the questions to Venky was

“What is Tejas’s uncle’s nephew’s name?”

“I don’t know.” Venky was totally confused.

“Alright, who is Amitabh Bachchan’s son’s father?”

Venky racked his brains.

“Amitabh Bachchan!!!” It dawned on him.

“Good. Now tell me, what is Tejas’s uncle’s nephew’s name.”

“Uh…. Amitabh Bachchan?”

Intelligent guess by Venky!!! J

 


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Tiger Mom

I never thought I would be one. I never hurried to teach my kids letters, much less writing them. I have put them in the new age, low – pressure school. I always believed in letting them be. More into playing, than studies.

Slowly, we started realizing that Venky is good in maths. We gave him questions that were beyond his age and he cracked them. So, we upped the level, he cracked them too. So we upped the level again.

Through his summer vacation, we gave him maths problems to solve while we were in office. Venky did pretty well and again surprised us by solving relative speed questions!

School started a month back, so that rhythm got broken. Now he comes back from school, keeps playing till 7. After that, it is pretty much dinner and bed time. So, when I gave him some maths problems to solve a few days ago, he was neither willing to do them nor he could figure them out.

I goaded him. These were the questions he was solving easily during his vacations. I gave him hints. None of them seemed to work. I found myself getting frustrated and yelling at him. Finally, he did solve the sums, but he was on the verge of crying.

Hence, introspection time. My child already has advanced skills. When he showed a little regression from there, it frustrated me. Now, I have slotted 1 hour everyday as problem solving time for him. This means he has to cut his play time (not too much though, just half an hour from his 3 hr play time 🙂 )

But the point is, I am NOT the laid back mom I imagined myself to be. I am pushing my child to excel and maintain his lead. When I look inside more, I having been doing that in other fields too. Like, always reading books higher than his level to him. Like, pushing him to go for swimming classes without fail. And I do secretly feel proud when he does well in the above.

So, I am the typical Asian Tiger Mom after all. My kids are set up for a hard time, and I have an evil grin on my face.


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What’s in a marriage?

Summer holiday is in full swing. There is no compulsion for the kids to sleep early. They are making the most of it. Every night they want a “role play” session once we are on the bed. Tunmun is the one who gets to decide which story. Sometimes it is “The little red riding hood”, or “Jack and the bean stalk” or maybe the “The little red hen.” Yesterday, she chose “The jungle book.”

For the jungle book role play, their dad always gets to be Baloo. After all he is the one with spongy tummy ;). Vibhu was down with cold yesterday, so he refused to let Tunmun (who was now playing Mowgli) sit on his tummy. “Mommy is Baloo today.”, he said. 

I refused to be Baloo. After all, I have already done my share of letting the kids lie in my tummy for 9 months. I am totally done with it. No more sleeping in or on my tummy!

Venky racked his brains, “Okey, mommy is Bagheera then. You can climb on her back Tunmun.”

“No way, I am mother wolf. Come, give me a kissie.” (Mother wolf gets to lick her kids ;))

“No. You will be Bagheera.”

“No. I will be mother wolf.”

“No. Baloo and Bagheera are best friends. You will be Bagheera.”

“How does that matter?”

“Papa is Baloo. You and papa are best friends,so you will be Bagheera.”

I was listening now!

“Who told you we are best friends?”

“I know.”

“How?”

“That is why the two of you married. Now you become Bagheera.”

Parenting is a tough job. You want to perform well there. In fact you want to excel. But you have no clue of how you are doing. Feedback is none/ limited/ vague. Your bosses are judging you 24X7 but not telling you. And by the time you get your report card, it’s often too late.

These sudden validations are relieving and heartening. Two important points to note here are

1. Venky thinks his parents are best friends.

2. Venky thinks marriage is about friendship.

So, as far as marriage is concerned and more specifically his parents’, we are giving him the right picture 🙂 Phew!


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Thoughts and moments

It’s been a while since I posted. Well, blame it on busy life. I’ll try to be regular now. I can’t afford to forget all the cuteness that surrounds my life right now.

On that note, yesterday during bedtime, Venky and his dad were discussing his career options

“I will be a doctor”

“That’s a good option. I can surely benefit from that during old age.”

“Uh… naaah… I’ll be a soldier (doctor is too boring)”

“Hmmm…”

Tunmun chimes in, “I’ll be a Bow Wow.”

Talk about setting hard goals! 🙂

While the Mayan’s Doomsday did not happen, our year ended with a bad cut on Tunmun’s forehead. It was a long and deep cut, so we had to get it sewed. The main torture was the general anesthesia that was given. Already in pain due to cut, she had to go without food or drink for almost 12 hours 😦

As my reputation goes, I do not cry easily. But when Tunmun was taken to the OT to be stitched I broke down. And I suspect Vibhu was wiping his own wet eyes as he strolled outside. Later that evening, when my daughter was back in her spirits I couldn’t help thinking what Nirbhaya’s parents must be going through on seeing their battered daughter.

I always promised myself that my daughter will never realize that once upon a time sons and daughters were brought up differently. But can I really do that? The day steps out on the street, she’ll have to be ready to face some form of sexual harassment. Stares, lewd comments, groping, molestation, rape, death. Brace up because you are a woman and you dared to come out of home. Not that it does not happen within the confines of a home.

The common Indian man is taught to have such low respect for women and their rights that this is not going to get fixed any time soon. The women who protested at mid night in Hyderabad were harassed as soon as they dispersed after the protest.

I remember every single “incident” that happened to me. Thankfully, there were not too many (probably around 10 – yeah, that is not too many in India) and not too major. Mostly something was said, shown or an unwanted brush. The first memory I have of it was when I was 6. And it was well within the confines of my home while my parents and grandmother were there too. My daughter is almost 3 and she spends most of her time without either parents around her. This will be increasingly so. I like to believe that she is protected. But, well.. is she?

So, I was saying that I remember every single incident of sexual harassment that I witnessed. And every time I think of them, my blood still boils. Not to mention the misery that I went through for some days/weeks/months when they happened. And I promised myself that my daughter will face none of this.

I also promised that my daughter will get the freedom she deserves. Now, I often wonder how am I going to keep both the promises.

Coming back to Tunmun’s fall. When Vibhu heard me and his daughter shout, in a bid to come to her rescue soon, he hopped, skipped, jumped and sprained his ankle. During the course of the day, he had to carry her many times for long durations and he did all of that effortlessly.

Finally, when we were home with Tunmun doing fine that he complained of pain. He said that it had never pained during the course of the day. Vibhu’s ankle had swelled and he couldn’t walk properly for next 3 days. I wonder if it was perfect timing, or did his mind block out the pain when his daughter was in need? A dad cannot get more doting than this 🙂

Finally, all is well and we are off on a vacation soon. Will post pics once am back! It’s a long post but well… it’s been a long time and I’ve been writing it for last 3 days.


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Graduation

Venky graduated from Pre-primary. His school conducted the ceremony with all the fan fare. The teachers and lot of parents were getting all emotional. But I found all that quite funny. The kids looked extremely cute in their robes and caps. Like little harry potters.

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Venky is really excited about becoming a big boy and moving to grade 1. Post summer vacation, he’ll be gone from 7.30 am to 4 pm. Can you believe it? This means that he’ll not get his afternoon nap and hence he’ll go to sleep early. Which means I’ll barely get to see my son on weekdays. That same little boy who demanded my attention 24X7. Alright, I know I am just doing the usual parent rant.

A few days ago, Vibhu asked me,

“How many years since you graduated from B.Tech?”

“12 years”.

“Seems like a flash, doesn’t it? Where have these years gone?”

“Yes”.

“Do you know in how many years our son will go to college?”

I calculated, “TWELEVE years!!!”

“It’s pretty much tomorrow.” Vibhu smiled.

I have been pestering Venky with “How can you leave me and go?” ever since. To which Venky replies very patiently that everyone has to leave their parents to study and one cannot stay with parents forever. It also makes me realize that there is not too much time left to gather the money required for our kids’ higher studies and that we need to seriously start planning our finances now. We cannot continue to do “Oh! there’s a lot of time for that.” anymore.

I suddenly feel all grown up (along with Venky).