Tag Archives: Parenting

Jai Nuttie Mata ki! 

Oh good! Now you can spend time with the elf.

What made you leave your job now? After he is 3 years old.

Don’t you feel it is so much better for the elf that you quit your job?

If you were the random aunty or those “holier than thou human beings” I would smile and say yes. While I seethe inside. Do people really think that a mother would do something which is not good for their kid as they are implying me going to work was. Do they really mean to imply that I was being selfish because I chose to work over staying at home. 

How do I explain to them that I am not a bad mother nor do I love my kid less  because I felt no guilt at going to work. Don’t get me wrong, I had my days of guilt, my days of wondering If it was all worth it – but on an average I was happy! 

I don’t believe in living in guilt. I have always maintained that the elf was my priority and the day I felt that the elf was suffering or I was suffering because I went to work I would give it up.

I don’t believe the elf is better off or worse off because I worked for the first three years of his life. Online you will find all the pros and cons to working mothers. So I am not going to elaborate. 

Coming back to me – No, I didn’t quit out of guilt. I didn’t have a eureka moment 3 years later that I horror or horrors sent my kid to a daycare. 

I quit for me.

I reached a point where the next steps in my career in the banking sector didn’t ignite a passion in me. I felt empty. I felt I needed to do more for my soul. 

Sure being at home would make things logistically much easier because the elf had started school but that wasn’t my primary reason. 

The main reason I quit was me.

In India, for a woman the word ‘me’ is taboo – you always quit because of marriage or kids or parents or because your husband changed locations. 

But imagine a mother saying she chose not to work to find herself . 

Quitting for yourself is tough to explain. It’s tough to tell people that today if I find something I am truly passionate about I would go back to working. Sure I will look for more flexibility because I wanted to spend more time with the elf but yes I want to go back into the workforce. 

I have realised I can’t explain myself.i explain myself to the ones that matter. I think they see my view point. But to the rest of the world I am ok being the “good mother”

Beta good thing you quit. See elf is more friendly now –

Yes Aunty – all for him!

Now everyone say Jai Nuttie Mata ki! 

(Loosely translated to All hail mother nuttie) 

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W is for Wisdom

Many many centuries ago i wrote a blog on the wisdom I had acquired in my twenties. Going through the list I realised now almost in my mid- thirties I didn’t have much to add. Pretty sad huh?

The only wisdom I have acquired is a few motherhood truths that i have learnt. Don’t yawn! Read – I am the bodh gaya (tree of enlightenment) type of wise ! 

  • There are no right or wrong answers. Do what is best for you and your family and only you and your spouse can decide that. So stay at home, work, daycare, no nanny, Co-sleep, blah blah blah as it works for you. Don’t ever try and convince another mom that your way is the best way.
  • It’s ok to prioritise yourself.You are still a person – not just a mother. Go for that night out, the girls trip or the spa. Don’t feel guilty.
  • Motherhood will give you million opportunities to feel guilty and can be overwhelming. Your kid will exhaust you mentally and physically. You will do things you are not proud of you – you will cry, scream, yell or sulk. And that’s ok. Don’t beat yourself up. Once you will feel better, resolve to do better the next day/next hour
  • Your spouse is a parent too. Let him do it his way. Let him change he diaper, or feed the kid the “wrong way”. The baby and he will survive to tell the tale. I promise. 
  • Your child is a person too – respect their need for space, their need to bend the rules, their need to throw a tantrum. Don’t we all do so once in a while.
  • As much as possible, don’t lie to them. Give them logic and hear their view point out.  In a popular Facebook forum – a mother was bemoaning that her 4 year old drank frooti everyday. The universal suggestion was to make frooti and put it into a used carton. My suggestion to make the kid understand junk food was blown away as he is too small. My only point being how long and for how many things will you lie and make up stories. Anyway, living up to the non judgemental part of parenting – I shall move on.
  • And lastly but most importantly spread the word that being a parent is awesome. Don’t tell them about the lack of sleep, the exhaustion, the questions you are asked , the questions in your head, the utter terror your child can be when they make up in the morning.

Coz that way you won’t be the only one being driven crazy imps.

<insert cruel laugh>

This is part of the April Atozchallenge and this is my entry for W. 

S is for Sonshine

When the Elf was born, I was a bit disappointed he was not a girl. It helped that I felt that babies were genderless, but now as he becomes a little boy, I have genuinely started to believe boys are so sweet.

So this is for my sonshine and all the other sonshines who make our hearts beat out of both fear, exasperation and love – alternately and together.

Something so innocent and impish about them – alternately and together. Little girls you are just as awesome I am sure.

But back to little boys…

Little boys are piglets. They will touch and lick everything. Every single thing. Sitting on the ground of a restaurant, a dirty shop or a puddle is common place.

So much so that we don’t even notice anymore. All my friends who have little girls are aghast that the elf spends so much time under the table at a restaurant. My standards are very low – I am just glad he doesn’t sit on the floor at a public loo.

FYI I make him stand in a public loo with his hands up which I hold with one hand so that he can’t touch anything.

Anyway as a result they are always dirty. I have never seen such black hands, legs or nails in my life!

– They run. Like just keep running or if they are on a cycle , they run on the cycle. It’s like they are testing us – how fast can you chase us. How strong is your heart to sustain the fact that I can just run off and you won’t know where I am. And yes just to show you how strong I am – I will jump off things and if there are no things to jump off – I will just keep jumping !

– Also they are not bothered about who is joining them to play. I notice the little girls who come down to play, pick and choose their companions. I feel sad to see them already start these excluding some girls and all boys from play. With boys and the tomboys they play with (at least as of now) it’s like you have feet, you got a car – let’s run with your feet while we drive the car over all the messy puddles and muddy pots.

Speaking about mud, elf just saw a couple on TV having a mud bath and demands one himself. I fear the next time I turn my back on him, that’s exactly what he will do.

– Which brings me to the next point never turn your back or close your eyes for 5 minutes unless you want water poured into your toothpaste, a mixture of powder and cream carefully spread on your bed, lipstick put on their shirts, oil put on their heads or paper shredded and thrown into water.

– Little boys come with an extra attachment – cars. It’s like cars, cars, everywhere – you develop great expertise in jumping over the 32 hot wheels cars that permanently inhabit your floor and the 25 other non hot wheel cars and vehicles . Serious hopping skill sets being developed.

– They are rough. Good lord, entertainment for the elf is me pushing him on the bed, wrestling with his dad and playing kabbadi by himself.

– Major irritants with little boys are watching sports, the potty jokes and the absolute inability to pee into the pot. For a kid who can throw the ball so accurately while playing, his aim while peeing is hard to believe.

– Little boys are the biggest ego boost ever. Mama looks so pretty in her old slacks and t-shirt, mama makes the best fish, mama knows everything, mama leave your hair open – it’s pretty, mama is prettier than the Aunty on TV – take that Aishwarya Rai. Also dadu can’t sit near mama, no keep distance, no coming near – yup no siblings happening in the near future. I have a friend whose 5 year old kid will yell if his mom is not the first face he sees.

If the elf sees me in the kitchen for long or if I am reading in another room, he will make frequent trips to visit me updating me on all the things I have missed in the world in the last 2.5 minutes I have been away from him.

– They don’t like kisses or hugs. They will squirm, and struggle and act like you are torturing them. And your heart will be a little sad that the baby is really growing up.

But then at night when the lights go off, you might feel like a lizard has fallen on your waist but it’s a little hand trying to hug you to sleep, the little cheeks want kisses, he wants to know if you love him and wants all the petting you can give.

He is then just my little vulnerable boy !

And as I go to sleep – i sing in my head.

You are my sonshine,
My only sonshine,
You make me happy when skies are grey.
You’ll never know just how I much I love you. You will always remain my sonshine forever.

I know he will outgrow this someday but I will cherish it forever and I do believe every now and then however big he is – he will find a way to let me know *he thinks I am da bomb I mean mom*

This is part of the April blogathon and this is my entry for S.

H is for holidays

So on 28th of March my house was stuck by an earthquake and on 29th by a tornado and the subsequent jolts, quivers and speedy breezes have continued since. I am surprised that the walls in my house are brave enough to stand.

The floor has given up and understands that its existence is going to be dotted by 32 small hot wheels cars and innumerable others cars and vehicles of different shapes and sizes.

My feet understand that until June every time it takes a step, a Lego will attempt to pierce right through my foot.

My sofas have put on a brave face and steadied their springs to the incessant jumping!

The artifacts around the house quiver when ‘
the whoosh of a ball passes them.

My fridge groans in despair after it has been opened for the 10563th time in the day.

My lap and nose and various body parts wonder in silence where they will live to see my 35th year of existence

As I walk around my house, I feel their accusingly looks and if they could talk they would say

Why nuttie why?!!

Sure every school has holidays but haven’t you heard of summer camps. Every Meena, Teena and Ameena is sending their kids to advance the kids skills while the mothers maintain their sanity. What bravery medal were you aspiring for when you decide your kid should be free during summer holidays. You wanted him to be able to do as he pleases during his holidays just like you did as a kid. Unstructured play it seems. Pfft…imagination some more pfft,

I take a deep breath and tell them only 7 weeks more.

I hear the low hum of chanting/praying and beseeching to the Gods while I walk away!

this is part of the Atozchallenge – unofficially of course and this is my entry for h

D is for dramebaaz

I have always been called a drama queen, a nautanki, a dramebaaz – though I don’t have a clue why.

Of course years ago I did declared that my whole life was ruined because my mom didn’t buy me an anchor cross stitch set.

And yes I do give the husband dialogues of how he will miss me when I am dead and gone when he chooses to stare at the TV rather than pay heed to what I am saying.

But that’s like normal human behaviour now isn’t it?

So anyway, the mater had many years ago started calling me Meena Kumari and while recounting my baby tales has let others very kindly know that I was/am a Meena Kumari.

Whatever. Talk of rumours spreading. No basis at all.

Anyway it would seem that Meena kumari ka aulaad (meena’s kumari’s offspring) has arrived on the scene and threatens to take away my title.

The elf declares tragic expression in place that the scratch on his hand is the worst in the whole world and that it will never ever go away for all his life. The scratch is reminisced months after the skin has grown back with same tragic expression on face.

And God forbid any living being dead or alive was involved in causing the said scratch. The poor person shall live on in bad books till kingdom come

Much like the boy who whacked him on the birthday. Any discussion on the elf’s bad behaviour has him bringing up with a very sad expression how that boy hit up and that too in his birthday.

And quite often I have been diverted from what we are discussing and drawn into a conversation of how it was not good of said boy to hit him.

He accuses me of never ever taking him swimming if I miss a day or how I am always late to pick him up if by mistake I am a couple of minutes late for the bus.

The performance standards of motherly behaviour have to be A-ok else I am immediately rated with an F grade.

So in addition to all things that are good in his looks and personality – I have also conferred on my son a great deal of dramebaazi and dealing with it is bringing about in me a deep sense of sympathy for myself.

Aaah karma

Oh wait didn’t I start off by declaring I am not a drama queen.

Ironically while i was categorising my post I realised I had created a category called drama queen

This is part of the #AtoZchallenge for April . Unofficially of course Coz I didn’t know of the challenge till late but whatever 🙂

Baby boy…baby boy!

Anyone who knew me while I was pregnant knows how much I wanted a baby girl, how sure I was that the elf would be a girl. Obsessed almost…

Till today I crib about not having a girl…

A lot of it is of course the drama queen in me and the opportunity to blame the tall one for wrong sex baby.

I have to admit a lot of me wanting a girl has to do with me wanting to play dress up. But then you hear the girls are more sensitive and more attached to parents and you want that too.

Last night as I scrubbed the kitchen clean – using the time to just think. My me time. I send Tall one and the elf outside to eat watermelon. A little voice comes behind me – what you doing mama, why you doing and starts his endless questions, I find ways to send him out telling him play with your blocks colours etc etc. But he keeps going out taking a bite of watermelon and comes back and hangs out with me.

Go out elf
No mama I will stand here while you clean. Coz I like you no ! Everyday I be with you.

Reminds me of years ago when I hang out with my mom in the kitchen, talking away. Just like that I have a little helper – always watching me cook, clean, always wanting to know what I am doing!

He even watches me dress and comments on my clothes. The criticism is always private, the praise public. Mama you look so nice Dadu looks fat.

I don’t know what the future holds, will he still be mama’s little helper? Most likely not. I have no expectations of him wanting to look after us or hang out with us.

But for now (while he also makes me want to tear out my hair) I love how important he makes me feel. I am not entirely sure I deserve such love but I am grateful for it.

I am tempted to say it aloud – it doesn’t matter if the child is a boy or a girl, its something just the way they are built and what they learn that makes me them who they are.

this is my 100th post (yes yes finally I know) but I can’t think of a better person or topic to dedicate it to. This is a tribute to all boy children coz they deserve it too

Day 3- Elfisms

Elf: I like Only T, N and E (for tall one, nut and elf)
Nut: who do you like most?
Elf: I like T and N

awwww baby who taught you to love
———————–/——————————–
My grandparents are visiting us, my grandfather is struggling to get off the sink in couch, elf stretches out his hand and says muthasha come I will help you
I ask him who told you to help muthasha? He says mama!!!

Way to make me look like mother of the year!
——————————————————–
My mom who is also visiting us is bathing the elf and opens the shower by mistake. 5 drops of water fall on his head. He wags his finger at my mom saying – I will tell my mama!
Oh my god , such confidence in my abilities
——————————————————–My mom is playing with the kid, he whacks her in a moment of annoyance, she says you hit me so hard, shall I tell your mama. He lowers his voice saying no no don’t tell my mama

yup I am scary. Ask my kid
——————————————————–
Elf, tall one and I are in the car and like all good Indian kids, elf is sitting on my lap in the front seat. Fiddling with the Ac. (Dude it’s winter in Mumbai – a whole 20 degrees Celsius), the tall one is attempting to switch it off. This goes on for a bit. Elf wags a finger at tall one saying – Dadu just drive

someone tell him his teenage years are yet to come
——————————————————–
Every night he goes in to say goodnight, tuck his great grandparents to bed: first he puts Vaseline on the lips of everyone in the house, then the 3 victims are told to ‘LIE DOWN’ in a bossy tone, a cover is put on them after much effort and then they are told in an even more bossy tone to close their eyes, non talking and sleep!

The victims think the elf is ‘da bomb’

I fear for my grandchildren