Smart Charades


My mobile phone rings, and its call is insistent. I drop what I am doing to pick up the call. It is an important call, and I settle down with pen and paper, jotting down notes, and doodling unconsciously, eyebrows furrowed and shoulders hunched forward, my concentration absolute.

Image courtesy – fotosearch.com

A few minutes into the call, I sense rather than see a presence. A momentary lapse of attention, and I refocus. In another minute, the presence becomes palpable, I look up to see my son waving at me.

And then the game begins. A game that has its own unique rules. A game that I call the Smartkids game. I am sure that most parents are familiar with this game – maybe each of us plays different variants, but the basic game goes something like this.

The parent is on an important call. The child now tries to sneak-in a request to do something that he or she would normally not be allowed to do, when the parent’s attention is fully focused on them.

So, back to my call. My son waves. I wave back, and I signal that I am on a call, as he can see. The game of dumb charades begins.

My son signals for permission to play games on the iPad.

I shake my head and mouth a ‘no’. He has already used up his quota for the day.

He shows his ten fingers and the clock. 10 minutes and makes a pleading expression.

My eyes roll an exasperated NO in capital letters, bold font!

I am trying to keep my wits about me – to hold my telecon together.

My son goes away, but he is back with a pen and notepad. He writes, “Please, at least 5 minutes.”

I scribble a hasty big NO, font size 72.

Another PLEASE…and I am teetering on the brink of an eruption.

I stand up, and with violent hand gestures, and rolling eyes, I signal a final DECISIVE NO.

I can picture myself, trying to hold a sane conversation on the one hand and trying to play a rather difficult version of dumb charades on the other.

My son shrugs and frowns. He walks away. My call ends at the same time.

Game over. Phew! I have lost a few rounds in the past, but now I know how it works

My son knows that there will be other calls on other days, when I will falter and give in.

Simple notes to my children


I am just like any other mom of two children, constantly nagging my children to pick up stuff, to keep their rooms clean, to eat healthy, to stop squabbling, and the hundred other things that moms need to keep repeating – with limited success.  And all these constitute the everyday mundanities in every mom’s repertoire.

But then, when I am not playing referee to a sibling fight or yelling to be heard, I do have those moments of clarity. Moments where I see my children in the future as responsible adults, facing life’s challenges. And it is in these moments that I make these ‘simple mental notes’ that I would like to share with my children. The list keeps growing, but here are a few of my favourites.

#1 – Try

My first note would just have this one word. Keep trying, the results are not in your hands, but the effort definitely is! So TRY.

#2 – Give

You are blessed to have what you do. So whenever opportunities present themselves, GIVE. Give in kind or Give generously of your time. Give…

#3 – Keep your word

#4 – Value other people’s time as much as you do your own.

#5 – Read, read, read

There cannot be a greater joy!

#6 – Show your gratitude

For all life’s blessings, both ‘small and big’ that have come your way.

#7 – Live in the moment

#8 – Learn to laugh at yourself

Words of wisdom that I hope my children will embrace. 

The Book


We are already into the month of June. The first half of 2016 seems to have flown past. Where did those 180 odd days vanish?

You may wonder why I’m rambling on thus. This is because, earlier today, I found The Book. 

The Book?

Yes, The Book.

The Book is a small palm sized notebook, with creamy white pages, and a lovely quotation on its front cover.

image

      Courtesy – http://www.migoals.com

I acquired The Book in the last week of 2015, with great ideas and ideals.

Drawing inspiration from a movie, I named it The Book of Possibilities, aka The Book.

The Book would catapult me into 2016 with clear-cut goals;  long term, medium term and short term plans clearly stated and defined.

It would be my partner, and inject me with bursts of optimism and energy, when I went off track. It would be so many things. The Book, my book.

However, before I inscribed my 365 day future on the creamy white pages, I vowed to myself that I would only ever put down things that I would surely endeavour to accomplish – with this book, I would walk the talk.

No making larger than life plans (read lose 15 kg in a year, or workout everyday, or don’t shop etc).

The diaries from years before had been filled with my plans, big plans…that remained trapped in the pages of those diaries, never having seen the light of day.

So for 2016, I picked up a small, compact book, The Book. No fancy big diaries for me.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, The Book surfaced this afternoon, when I rummaged through my papers for a document that I needed.

I sighed. The Book’s empty pages stared blankly at me.

I have not quite decided on what I want to accomplish. Hmmmm….we have another 180 days to go…