Tag Archives: parenting

Expressionless parenting

We were out for dinner last night at a restaurant in the vicinity. My son brought along a book to read. We were like any other family, having bursts of conversation peppered with arguments, and then moments of comfortable silence.

As we waited for our food to arrive, we lapsed into one of those silences. When I caught my husband’s eye, he signalled with his eyes, to someone or something behind me. 

When I turned around to look, it was the cutest little girl (maybe five years old), in a pretty pink frock, who was standing away from the table that her parents sat at, looking so angry and adorably sweet all at once.

She had her arms tightly wrapped around her body. Watching her furrowed eyebrows and pointed stares at her parents, we couldn’t help but smile. The parents ignored her, and got busy with their starters. She stood her ground, our little girl.



Courtesy – iStock

My husband and I walked down memory lane, remembering our kids behaving in a similar fashion, and throwing a tantrum or two. Times when we had also sat stone-faced, trying to teach great lessons to our children by not giving in to their demands.

Children grow up, but some things don’t change. The only difference now is that my kids do not leave the table or strike a pose to convey their displeasure.  Now, we have to contend with silent rebellion and rolling eyes.

As parents, we still sit with expressionless faces!

As for the little girl, the only concession she made was that she had moved closer to the table. Maybe she would reach the table when her hunger finally overpowered her annoyance. 

The Mom Image

I was coming home this evening from the supermarket. As I entered the lift lobby, there was a young mom with her two children, a boy and a girl. They were between 4 and 5 years of age. They were getting off the school bus.

We did the polite smile exchange cum nod, and got into the lift together.

The boy suddenly looked at his mom and asked, “Did you wash her (pointing at his sister) lunch bag?”

The mom asks, “Hmmm..yes, why?”

Boy: What did you put in it? It was stinking.

The mom looked at me. I so…. knew what she was thinking. Was I judging her or forming opinions about her?

The mom said, “Will see it when we go home.”

Boy: The whole school bus was stinking…it was baaaaadd (this in a booming voice).

By this time the lift had reached my floor and I stepped out with a nod. I could see the mom sighing in relief.

I smiled as I unlocked the door. 

I want to tell that mom that we cannot control what our kids say. Kids have this ability to say funny things at odd times.

I remember, when we were kids, one of our neighbours had come to visit our grandmom who was unwell. The said neighbour had come to our home directly from work, and had a biscuit packet with her, presumably for her children.

When she saw my sister and me, she opened the packet and gave us two biscuits each.

 My sister piped in, “Why can’t you give us the whole packet?”

My mom looked mortified, and we got a few of her choicest ‘mommy looks’ that we decoded and analysed, knowing what was going to come our way.

There are many such incidents, when we as kids have embarrassed our parents, and now, as parents face such funny situations.

Most of the time, we worry about our ‘Mom Images’ for a while, but then motherhood being what it is, we get on with our busy schedules and love our children more and more.

                     

Image Courtesy – Good Morning Quote.com

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. 

What’s really important?

This afternoon, after a crazily busy month, I finally got some free time. I lazily flipped through the hundreds of TV channels that never seem to stop churning out programs.

I finally decided to watch a movie. The channel I watched was playing a blockbuster Bollywood film from the eighties. And this movie triggered memories about an incident that happened during my childhood.

In the small town, where I grew up, we had a club house that screened movies, every weekend, for its members.

Our slot was on Saturday evenings at 5.30 p.m. The movies screened were usually blockbusters or those that had won critical acclaim. So, Saturday evenings were quite exciting.

On one such Saturday, my sisters and I were on pins to watch the movie being screened, as it had been released just a few weeks ago, and was a huge hit at the box office.

We were ready from 3.30 p.m.,waiting for my parents to finish their chores, and get ready. At around 4.15 p.m., the door bell chimed.

We had visitors. Two of my grandma’s friends had decided to pay grandma, and all of us, a surprise visit.

Those were the days, when social networking was actually done in person! So people just dropped in unannounced, and were welcomed with joy and fanfare.

My grandma was visibly excited. So were my parents.

I also have to tell you that my grandma & mom were life members of the ‘Whoever visits our home will not leave without a heavy meal’ Club.

So, as my grandma caught up with her buddies, the aroma of filter coffee, masala dosa, and rava kesari, wafted in the air.

My sisters and I were really down. The movie….? The clock was merrily ticking away, fast approaching 5 p.m. The club house was a 7 minute walk or a 4 minute run, so there was still some hope.

We were in our room, feeling sorry and worried. At 5.10, we quietly slipped into the kitchen to ask mom if we could leave, as grandma could keep her friends engaged till we came back.

I will never forget what my mom told us. Our ears rang as we slunk back to our room.

She said, “There are some things in life that are very important. Whenever guests come home, they take precedence over everything else. Our priority is to be good hosts and feed them well. This movie that you want to see, will be there forever. When you grow old, or retire, you can sit and watch it anytime. Now, go to your room and play a board game, I will bring something for you to eat.”

That was an important lesson. The simple joys of being with loving friends, and all the camaraderie that goes with it.

At that point in time, my sisters and I moped and sulked; Mom’s lesson totally lost in our sorrow.

But what an important lesson!

We never got to watch that movie after that, but funnily, this is the very same movie that I watched this afternoon, just as my mom predicted – when I had all the time.