Monday, January 23, 2017

Another Monday morning


As the alarm rang today morning I got out of bed without hitting the snooze button even once. Some feat, that! For a change I was ready to meet the new week, on this rather warm Monday morning, with a smile on my face. I felt well-rested and happy.

Forty-five minutes later the tiffins were done - snack and lunch, bottles filled with fresh water, milk glasses at the table and eggs beaten and ready to go on the pan.

Then I went to wake the children.

As usual they were reluctant to get out of bed, snuggling in deeper, begging for the last five minutes. I gave them ten. Finally they got up complaining of aches and pains like a bunch of old fuddy duddies — 

‘My stomach hurts,’ said N.
 ‘Go sit in the loo and you can skip the milk today,’ I told her.

‘I sprained my foot yesterday,’ complained H as he made his way to the washroom with an exaggerated limp. ‘And I couldn’t sleep all night because I was coughing.’
‘Can you please write a note for my teacher?’ 
‘To excuse you from football?’ I asked, a trifle surprised since that’s his favourite sport.
‘No, of course not,’ said he, ‘I can manage football. Ask her to let me put my head down and sleep during social studies if I feel tired.’

No, I didn’t ask how he could play football with a sprained ankle. I refused to write the note, though because I figured if he could play football with a ‘sprained’ ankle he might as well sit through social studies too. 

Instead, I sprayed pain reliever and wrapped up his foot in crepe bandage, smiling when he said he felt ‘better already’. I gave him his inhaler since the cough and wheeze were genuine. Meanwhile N’s stomach ache had subsided magically at the suggestion of the milk-holiday.

Finally after all the pains, real and imagined, had been taken care off, I could wave the kids off to school.

All it takes, to make a happy beginning, is a good night’s sleep.

How has your week started?

Monday, January 16, 2017

Why I sweat the small stuff


Dear H and N,

You know as well as I do that mornings aren’t the best time of the day for us. The stepping out of that warm quilt, the quick shower, the scramble for the id-card, the rush to the bus-stop - not quite your favourite things. I know.

A lot of these things aren’t really mandatory at school - like the bath or the ID card. And yet I insist. No you cannot stay up late on a school night, you cannot stay home just because you are feeling lazy today, you cannot go without a bath and you have to put your towel out to dry, yes you have to wear your ID card every day and yes you have to make two ponytails.

“But my teacher doesn’t mind,” you had whined today. You have a point, of course. So why should we struggle and worry and pick an argument every morning?

No I’m not crazy, though you may not quite believe it yet.

Let me begin at the beginning.

I was brought up in a disciplined household where we were taught to respect rules, at home and in school. Like you, I didn’t always agree with my parents. Many days I scrambled for the bus. I trimmed my nails on the way to school, I cut up my ribbon to make the mandatory two ponytails when I forgot. And when I couldn’t ‘manage the situation’ I was prepared for the punishment aware that I was at fault. Not that I had a choice.

It’s tough, isn’t it? Doing it the ‘proper’ way all the time?

As I grew I learnt that it was okay to stretch the deadline, be a little late, bend the rules and then further I learnt it was okay sometimes to not be completely honest. Yes I learnt all of that and I did it too.

So, I hear you ask, when we have to grow up to live in an imperfect world why not begin to learn its ways right now? Why struggle to learn things we will need to unlearn later? It’s the easier way, the more comfortable one, after all.

Here’s why..

Imagine my mum had told me it was okay to tell a lie occasionally, rules don’t much matter and punctuality was useless. Would I, then, have even tried to do any of those things? How would I have even known right from wrong?

There lies the difference.

Each time I took the easy alternative I knew it wasn’t quite right. And I did try ever so hard to stick to the rules before I took up the other way. Even while I’m aware that I live in an imperfect world, I continue to appreciate and value a good habit, a disciplined lifestyle, an attempt at doing the right thing. The awareness of good and bad is the first step to striving for the good and it is my job to pass on this awareness to you, dear children, in as undiluted a form as I possibly can.

For now you will simply have to believe that the rules are there for a reason. In another few years you’ll be gone, studying and living on your own. I know then you will dump many of them. Do that, by all means, enjoy the freedom, stay up late, skip the bath, miss the bus. I did it too. What you do later in life, how you use your childhood lessons, whether you use them at all, will depend entirely on you.

I am hoping, however, that when you’ve had your fill of freedom, reason will return, like it did to me. I am hoping, as you grow you will see the wisdom of these age old values. Not all will stand the test of time and that is fine. You will question them and change them and make some of your own.

But when it comes to the really big things, I am hoping, you will know right from wrong and that you will find the courage to do the right thing.

I am counting on it.

That’s why I sweat the small stuff now - because often it is the small stuff that makes a big difference.


Love and hugs

Ma

Pic: PIXABAY

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Wet towels and crazy mornings #momdialogues


Cool Mom: Is leaving a wet towel on the bed reason enough to spoil everyone’s morning, and that includes yours more than anyone else's?

Agitated Mom: It’s not just the towel and you know that. It’s ‘put away your plates after breakfast’, ‘put cream’, ‘pick up your jacket from the floor’, ‘take your tiffin’, ‘put in your bottles’ and on and on endlessly. To have to remind them every single day for every single task is just crazy. That towel was just the last straw. Besides, who does it if they don’t? I, right? That’s how I’ll be spending my entire day - cleaning up after them. What's even more ironical I’ll also have people saying, 'What do you do all day?' The kids are grown up now.' Hah! Grown up!!!

CM: Sigh! Such a long tirade! You could simply leave the towel on the bed.

AM: What?? Just leave it? So the bed and the towel become wet and stinky?

CM: Yeah well it’s the kids’ beds. They have to sleep in them. Let then sleep with the stink. That’ll remind them to put out the towels next time round.

AM: And what if they don’t? What if they don’t mind it at all? What if they get used to it? How hygienic is that? And what kind of a life-long habit am I helping them form?

CM: I’ll repeat - choose your battles. Choose your timing. The other option is of course to lose your patience, to give them an earful and then feel lousy all day long. As for life-long habits - they have time yet to pick them up. You want the kids to look back on their school days and remember only crazy mornings?

AM: No obviously not.

CM: The trouble is not with telling them to do stuff, the trouble is with you losing your cool when you do so. So how about playing some peaceful music, taking up your cup of tea and thinking happy thoughts - like the time N made you tea, remember? They do some good too. Oh and don't forget to put yourself on repeat mode till they learn to finish their tasks, okay? It’s just one crazy hour, after all.

Picture Credit: Pixabay
*************

This isn't the first time I have had multiple mums fighting it out in my head. You can read about other mommy wars herehere and here.

Friday, January 06, 2017

International Blog Delurking Week




Hiya people,

Today I’m not here to talk about myself. I do that all the time, don’t I? But today is different. Today is about YOU.

This is blog-delurking week. Is that a blank look on your face? Don’t know what I’m talking about? The thing is - the number of people who drop by here for a look is way larger than the number who leave a comment - just a minuscule percentage do that.

But I’d like to know ALL of you - specially you the silent ones. If you’re one of those quiet lurkers, now’s the time to show up and say a hello. I’d love to hear from you even it’s just this one day in the whole year.

So come now don’t be shy. A simple hello or a hi would be fine. Of course, if you’re in a garrulous mood you could tell me something more about yourself - your family, your profession, a favourite hobby, a film you watched recently. Or ask me something, anything.

Or you could simply tell me what makes you come here (that essentially means you have to say nice things about the blog).

PS: This invitation includes family members and close friends too. Reveal yourself guys. I know there are some among you who never admit you read me but the one time I blogged about something I didn’t want my parents to find out - a rather scary car accident a few years ago - news reached them faster than I hit publish. So come now, own up, show yourself.


That’s all from me for today. Go on say something.

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