विचार, आठवणी, अनुभव, भावना, हितगुज , मतं….आणि बरंच काही! eveything that life is about….
It was as usual a busy day. In fact, I was feeling like I was the busiest person in the whole world and the reason behind this feeling was obviously my son, Gandhar. Today he is 3 and a half and this was about 6 months back.
While playing in the kids’ play area with his friends, he got injured on one of his knees and he was therefore, little cranky for last two days. But, today, in fact he was okay and his teacher had promised me that they would take very good care of him in the school (It was in fact a day care center where he used to go for half a day). But I, being a little more worried about my child, and with a mom-special-feeling of ‘he is not well and so he must be wanting to be with his mother’, I decided not to send him to school for one more day. My husband was actually not happy with my decision.
“He is okay now. Why are you not sending him to school?”
“What if starts playing with the other kids and gets hurt again? He still has got a little pain in his knee. Have you seen him walking? He is still not able to bend his left knee. I feel that he should take rest for one more day.”
“But they said that they would take care. Right? See, I have to go little late today. I can drop him to school and then go to the office. You don’t have to drop him. Just call them up after some time and check if he is okay.”
“No, I think he should not go today. I will see to it that he doesn’t run around with his sore knee. I am planning to keep him busy with some sort of activities like puzzle, drawing, book reading for him etc. That way, he will be sitting at one place for most of the time.”
My husband didn’t want to argue with me while getting ready for office and of course, as always, even this time, I was the decision-maker. So it was decided that Gandhar would stay home.
After some time my husband left for office.
I finished my work in the kitchen (I didn’t finish actually, I decided to wind up to spend some time with Gandhar) and came out. I saw him playing with his aeroplane and just when he was about to stand and jump on the sofa to pretend that his aeroplane was going higher, I called him…
“Gandhar, come, lets work on your favorite puzzle. It will be fun”.
He was excited to see that I was going to sit with him for the puzzle. It was quite a few weeks since he last opened his puzzle.
We started working on it and I saw him taking interest in it. After 5 minutes,
“Gandhar, you do this. I will just be back .Okay? ”
“Otey aai” (He pronounces Ke as te).
I decided to cut some fruits while he was working on his puzzle. While I was collecting all the fruits from the refrigerator,
“Aai, I want watermelon”.
He was standing just behind me.
“What are you doing here? Go and do your puzzle. I will be back in 2 minutes.”
“No, I want watermelon.”
“Not now, after some time. You finished your milk just 15 mins back. Go, complete your puzzle first ,then we will have fruits.”
“I want watermelon.”
I looked at him and came to know what he was up to.
After all the drama of Gandhar crying and shouting and me trying to keep calm, I finally promised to give him watermelon .
“you go and start with your puzzle. I will get the watermelon for you. Just give me some time. Okay?”
“Can I do the puzzle while eating the watermelon, aai?”
I gave him ‘speechless’ look. I had to agree because I didn’t want that drama again. It is not always easy to control our frustration and anger. I put the pieces of watermelon in a bowl and kept the bowl in front of him.
“come now, lets finish this puzzle and watermelon together”
“No I want green watermelon.”
“What? Watermelon is red. Not green. You know that”
“No, I want green”.
He wanted to eat the outer green hard layer.
“It’s called the ‘rind’ shona. Nobody eats that. We cut it and eat the red part inside. It is yummy. Right?”
“No, but I Want the green part. You eat red and I will eat green. Otey aai?”
“You cant really eat it Gandhar. It is very hard and not good for your tummy. If you eat it, your tummy will start paining and I will have to take you to the doctor. Then he will give you a big injection. Do you want that?”
I had finally taken out my ultimate weapon.-doctor and his injection.
“Then eat this red watermelon, and you have to finish it fast.”
He looked at the bowl.
“but aai, I want big watermelon. Mala he nato (I don’t want this)”
“Watermelon itself is very big, sweety. You saw it just now. But how can we eat such a big fruit? So we cut it into small pieces and eat. Everybody eats like this.”
“No I want big. Calliou sarkha (just like Calliou eats it)”
Calliou is one of his favorite TV program that comes on the kids channel.
I finally went in the kitchen and cut a big slice from the watermelon and gave it to him. He was happy.
“Let me hold it for you. It is a big slice. This way both your hands will be free for the puzzle. ”
“No aai, I want to hold it. “
After 2 minutes, while he was trying to hold that big slice in his tiny hands, the slice itself fell down on his T-shirt. When he tried to pick it up, it fell down on the carpet.
I was in the kitchen to quickly finish the fruits-cutting job thinking that he was busy eating the watermelon on his own. I was not really very happy as I had to agree upon all his demands. “its okay. At least he is sitting at one place and eating something. While he is eating, I will finish up my work quickly and then read some books for him.”
After 2 more minutes, I got a bit worried because of the complete silence. It is just not possible when Gandhar is around. I came out from the kitchen to see what he was doing. He was eating the watermelon that was lying on the carpet and he also had tiny pieces of watermelon in his hair, his face and all over his T-shirt.
“Gandhar, what are you doing?”
I said, trying to control my anger but my voice volume naturally gone up
.”I have told you so many times not to eat the food that is dropped down on the floor and look at yourself. You look so dirty and your shirt is also dirty. Are you a small baby?”
“No, I ‘m a big boy”
He hated being called baby and he often used to stand up on the sofa to show us that he was now a big boy.
He ran towards the sofa and quickly stood up and started bouncing and said,
“bagh, mi big boy aahe (see I ‘m a big boy)”
“Gandhar please, you are making all mess. See watermelon pieces are everywhere. Come, we will clean up everything”
By this time, he had started enjoying his bouncing. But as I came closer, he jumped down and started running all over. He was laughing aloud while running as I was chasing him.
“Don’t run. Your knee will start paining. Come, be a good boy and help me clean this up”
“Aai, you want to chatch me (catch me)?”
“We are not playing now. Come with me, FAST”
I grabbed him, cleaned him up. Changed his T-shirt and shorts, cleaned all the mess in the living room.
“lets read some books Gandhar.”
He really likes to listen and give his comments when I read books for him. He ran towards his table where all his books were kept. (Actually, to keep all (& only) his books on his table was my original plan, but now, the table was all covered with the puzzle pieces, toy cars, fire trucks, railway tracks, train engines, soft toys, one big size and one small size ball and finally his books scattered all over the table. Huff……I decided to ignore the mess in Gandhar’s ‘play area’ for some time. He went near the table and started looking for his favorite book. He finally could find the book under the piles of other toys and he pulled it out. After a moment, all the toys, the puzzles, cars, books were scattered all over.. Wow…I can start my own Toy shop with so many toys.
He handed over the book to me. “Calliou learns to share”
“Again calliou? We have read this book so many times. Have you learned to share your things with your friends? No, you just make me read the book but you never learn from it. Go , get some other book. I have read this book at least 10 times in last 5 days.”
“No, I want Calliou. I like Calliou.”
“okay, I will read it for you. But after that, you have to clean up all that mess. You have to sort the toys and keep them in proper place. If you promise me, I will read the book. Will you do it?”
“Otey aai” (He had started using this word recently and he used to say it every time whenever he wanted to say ‘Yes’. It was obviously not deliberate on his part, but whenever I heard him saying ‘otey’ instead of ‘yes’ I somehow got a feeling that I was requesting him for something and he, being a broad-minded, matured person saying ‘okay, I will go ahead and do what you have requested’. but I should confess here that, his “otey” sounded very, very sweet and innocent and every time he said it, it left a smile on my face)
He made me read the same book three times. But, in the meantime, I did a lot of work. He asked me for the cake which was kept in the refrigerator (It was for Gandhar and his playdate friends who were supposed to come in the evening. Gandhar had seen the cake when he saw the watermelon in the refrigerator but I have to admit, that he was smart enough not to ask for the cake and watermelon together). Again after a little drama, he got a piece of the cake. He ate half of it and messed with the leftover cake. I had to clean him again.
While reading the book, I could visualize the messy kitchen and half-cleaned kitchen platform that was left undone in the morning. I had also planned to do laundry today. The worst thing was playdate was at my house in the evening and I still had not thought about the snacks to be prepared for the kids. Damn, I had a lot to do. Cleaning up the kitchen, cleaning up the living room and making snacks. In the meantime, I also had to make my little monster eat his lunch and take nap in the afternoon.
It was my husband who came for the rescue. He came little early from office as he didn’t have any meetings or calls in the office and it was possible for him to handle his work from home. After finishing up with all my work, it was really relaxing and refreshing to sit and enjoy a cup of hot coffee with hubby while Gandhar was taking nap.
“I am sorry, you were right. I should have sent him to school today. I was a little more worried about him and forgot about my other plans for the day. Moreover, he did not sit at one place at all. He was running all around all the time. He has become so aggressive these days, I just couldn’t stop him from eating chocolate cake and making mess. I could not make him sit and complete his puzzle, drawings. I read the book for him but I was thinking about my kitchen work all the time. I just couldn’t enjoy my time with him and I am sure, neither he could. He would have been happier in the school with his friends. I just don’t understand. Am I lagging behind as a mom? “
Tears rolled down on my face.
“Come on, now don’t think like that. We know that he has become aggressive and he doesn’t listen most of the times. We need to find out some solution. Don’t blame yourself. You tried your best but that may not be enough to make him listen to you. We will work it out. Don’t worry and now get ready for the playdate and I will wake him up. I have to go out for some time. We are planning to have a tennis match this weekend and I really need to go and practice.”
That night, after both my sweethearts went to bed, I was sitting alone in the living room. My hubby was really tired, they really practiced hard and he was the best player among all his other friends. My little monster was obviously tired of his whole day activities and his play-date. I was also feeling exhausted and sleepy but on the top of it, I was feeling sad. I remembered how I struggled every morning to make him drink and finish his milk. I remembered how I was never able to change his mind when he had some obstinate and unreasonable demands. I remembered how I was never able to handle him when he was stubborn. I remembered how I had to compromise every time I tried to make him listen to me and follow my instructions. When you are sad and alone, you always get these kind of depressing thoughts, at least I do.
I closed my eyes. After a moment, I realized that I needed to speak with someone about this. I thought of someone who could exactly understand my feelings and who could give me the best advice. It was my mom. My friend, my guide and of course, my mom. Most of us reach out to our mothers when we are feeling depressed, sad, hopeless, when we are unable to focus and make any decision and the most wonderful thing about moms is, irrespective of wherever in the world they are, they are always there for us, when we need them most.
I called up my mom. My mom is and has always been a housewife. I never saw her going out and earning money for us, but I always saw her as the best person to manage the entire house. Yes, she is the best in her own departments and nobody can really replace her. She always has solutions to almost every problem that I have. She always has answers to each and every ‘why’ and ‘how’. When she explains her approach and her thoughts about something, it often makes me realize my own mistakes or entirely changes my way of looking at the same thing and this has always worked positively for me. My parents have always taken a lot of interest in the personal and professional growth and development of me and my brother. They always made sure to help us find the correct path and have always taken a stand that it is their responsibility as our parents to be with us all the time as our friend and guide. This is so true. No matter how successful we are, how financially independent we are, no matter how supportive and understanding our partner is, we always need our parent’s support in terms of their love, guidance and experience.
That night, when I spoke to my mom for almost 40 mins, is the most special night in my life so far. I went to my bedroom. My kiddo was sleeping peacefully in his toddler bed. I sat on my knees to come closer to him. I slightly kissed him on his cheeks and he smiled. I was looking at the most beautiful baby in the world. Innocent and happy baby. My baby, my son. My eyes filled with tears. I thought about my busy and hectic day. I remembered about ‘green watermelon’, I remembered him eating the big slice of watermelon, his bouncing on the sofa, his innocent look with watermelon pieces all over him, his messy ‘play area’ and it brought a smile on my face. “You are such a cute little monster, I love you shona”
“Thank you mom for everything. Thank you for giving me a different approach to look at the things. Parenting is not easy, you have a long way to go to become good parents but because of you I can assure myself that I am on the correct path. I am sure it’s a long way to go. Look at me. Today I have become a mother but my mom’s job of being a good parent is still on..to be with her daughter and guide her all the time”
In the following sections of this article, I will be sharing a few tips or ways to make sure you have taken the correct path in this long journey of parenting, with regard to your behavior with your little one and your reactions to your kiddo’s actions. I am no perfect. I am still a learner and I still have to struggle a lot of times to keep up my energy and my patience. I still have to talk to my mother when I get some negative feelings of not being a good mother and all. Even I lose my patience sometimes while handling his stubbornness. I am still trying, trying and trying. But when I look back, I realize that I have started on a right track, I realize that I have improved a lot and I can be a much better mother if I continue walking on this path using these tips. I never heard my mom saying all these “tips to become a good mother or good parents” directly but they were rather more implied from her actions and her thoughts. So welcome to the world of Parenting.
I will be discussing about a few do’s and don’ts in parenting, ways you should react to your child’s actions and also a few other important tips. Hope my readers find this article and also the upcoming sections under this topic helpful and hope you all can relate the incidents, thoughts discussed under this topic to your everyday life and activities.