Saturday, June 23, 2018

Meditation debunked!

Me: Manya do you want to learn about meditation? How to meditate ?
M: No thank you.
Me: oh come on, you don’t even know what it is about. Its a very powerful tool. Lets do it.
M: okay, whatever. 
(She is only 5 but i resist the eye roll)
Me: okay, now forget everything only think about your breathing. The miracle of life with every deep breath. Focus on your inner self. You can keep your eyes open or closed - whatever helps.
M: nothing helps. This is absolutely ridiculous. I don’t have an inner self. I have only one self - myself.
Me: you goofball, if you have only one true self you don’t need meditation.
M: wonderful, can we focus on brownies for breakfast instead?

Friday, June 8, 2018

Parenting Lesson #789: Realism in art is passé

M: how’s my painting mom!
Me: it’s great - I love the tree. Have you seen trees like this before?
M: ofcourse not! This is from my imagination - it took me so long to think of something.
Me: wonderful! You can also draw inspiration from nature - like you know what you see?
M: what is inspiration?
Me: when you see or experience something and you like it so much that you want to replicate it - draw it, do it, be like it.
M: you mean copy? why should I want to draw something that already exists.
Me: inspiration is not copying. But forget that - what I meant was if you want to make real stuff or realistic stuff you can observe life around you?
M: no I don’t want to make realistic stuff. That’s boring. I don’t want to make something that’s already there - you can take a picture or just see it. I want to make stuff that nobody has seen before. That’s the whole point. Why should I show someone what they can see on their own.
Me: umm you might have a point there.
M: so how fabulous do you think my painting is.
Me: pretty fabulous!

Monday, May 14, 2018


M: Mom are there any real dragons?
Me: No Manya
M: Are there any real magical fairies?
Me: Nope
M (very offended): Its unbelievable how picky you adult human beings are when it comes to believing things. If you don’t see it, it simply does not exist. Africa exists, dinosaurs existed but fairies and dragons don’t. That’s preposterous! I simply will not take it. What i believe in does exist. You can sit there and go on believing nothing exists. I am done with you and your non believing.
Her highness then actually very dramatically just storms off. I am still sitting here and wondering what did i do to bring on such fury.

Friday, April 6, 2018

[Such a long read that it needs a caption. Let’s call it, “The Smoking Lady”.]

So M has still not reached that age or phase where a girl is exposed to a list of what she must or mustn’t, and can or cannot do because of her gender.
Sure, preschool has brought about conversations around pink vs blue, cars vs dolls, and tutus vs trousers but we have been able to navigate thru these by explaining choice and how what is long being followed becomes normal (which means nothing) but its okay to make individual choices. I feel we have been more or less successful even though Manya pushes back - “Mom, i know its my choice and girls needn’t wear only pink but its my life and my body and I choose pink glitter. Thank you very much.”
Cant argue with that either!
Anyways, going back to my initial point of her not having yet faced blatant gender based discrimination, I was shocked to hear from her today, “Mom, just look at that - a lady smoking!”
Thank you Seattle downtown for giving me endless opportunities to educate my kid. 🙄. During our stay here, we have encountered lines of people leaning against building and burning their lives in smoke, drunken brawls that involve choicest of abuses a five year old needn’t have heard, homeless people begging, property destructions in broad daylight, drug addicts approaching high headed in the middle of noon, cars racing and breaking speed limits, and all the PDAs around touristy spots. I am so ready to move to the suburbs.
But for today the smoking lady is of paramount importance. Here’s our conversation...
Me: Manya what is so special about a lady smoking?
M: How can she smoke. Didn’t you say its bad for health and bad for the planet?
Me: Yes it is. But that holds good for both men and women.
M: I know its bad for all but atleast women should not smoke.
Me (absolutely aghast and fumbling to understand the origin of this thought process): I dont understand manya, if its wrong for everyone, nobody should smoke.
M: yes nobody should smoke but atleast women have more sense and they should know better.
Me: why should women know better than men.
M: because girls are the best?
Me: not true, girls and boys can be equally good or equally bad - you have to talk about individuals - you have boy best friends and girl best friends, don’t you?
M: that’s true, you are right.
Me: I am always right.
M: These people need to stop smoking, I feel like puking.
Me: you are right
M: I am always right.

Friday, March 9, 2018

#Cheeky Brat and Big Words - COMPROMISE

Manya’s time tested tactic to sneak in screen time - whenever she sees me engrossed in a phone call, she’ll start pestering. And mostly if its a call I cant hang up or put on hold to reason out (read as shout and argue), she knows she can get away with. Who cares if mommy gives a lecture afterwards - those stolen moments are well worth it.
Today was one of those days - I was on a rather long call with customer care (you get the drift), and she started the cajoling - already frustrated with the long wait, I snapped at her. She writes this and hands it over to me. I signal what, and she whispers back with utmost gravity, “Mom, I think you should learn to compromise - you should listen to the lady on the phone and to me too. Can I please watch screen. I’ll switch off when you are done with your call. We all will be happier that way.”
With every passing day, I realize parenting is mostly a compromise between what is best for your child and what is best for your sanity.
(P.s. even though my first instinct was to tell her the correct spelling, I just let her watch “my little Pony” instead)

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Maybe "greatness" runs in the family :p

Manya: Mom you make awesome hot chocolate.
Me: Ooh thank you!
Manya (with seemingly great sincerity): You make everything so well but do you know what you make best?
Me (a little unsure where all this sweetness was heading towards): What?
Manya (so matter of factly): Daughters. You make great daughters. You have made the best daughter ever!
I burst out laughing, literally rolling on the floor...
Manya (not at all amused): Okay now no need to get so excited about having such a great daughter.
Oh Lord, deliver us from such “greatness”.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Chutes and Ladders

It’s actually very funny how things esacalate between M and me when we play chutes & ladders...
From such warm hugs and kisses as we unfold the board game,to distancing positions as the game proceeds, to war cries as we miss the ladders and don’t miss the chutes, to frustrated sighs and threatening tears as mommy refuses fo bend the rules, and finally to cold accusing stares as we pack the damn thing off muttering promises of never to play it again with “this lady”.
P.s. Mommy won 3 games in a row. 😂

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

High Five!

Good lord, she is five.

  • She talks non stop - a vocabulary that is far above her age range - she can still manage to surprise us with her words.
  • She reads well above her peer level too. She loves books and has a varied range of interest.
  • Still not very fond of writing - she prefers writing words and sentences rather than focussing on forming the individual letters. She insists that "not writing is alright mom, I will handle it"
  • Doesn't care much for numbers but can write 1-100 and use manipulatives to add and subtract. 
  • Loves drawing, cutting, gluing, coloring, painting, play dough and all kinds of messy projects!
  • She has started saying she is getting bored of martial arts and so we might be ending that soon. I am not too happy but there's no point forcing it so...
  • Swimming is something that continues to delight her - she absolutely loves the water and her swim coach!
  • She is showing a lot of interest in music, instruments and dancing - wants to start learning ballad - we might just give that a try!
  • She absolutely loves school. Has made a lot of friends and looks forward to it every single day.
  • Lot of junk has found its way in her diet - we try to keep a check and I really hope we do better.
  • In the princess and all things pink and glittery stage - Mommy gets annoyed with it but nobody dare argue with the "my life, my choice" stance!
  • very strong willed - with distinct defiant streak -but absolutely adorable still :p

Monday, November 6, 2017

Oh the places you'll go!

Dearest Manya,

Happy 5th Birthday. High five. Really. You are five. I'll never grow tired but I'll definitely grow old exclaiming how time flies! And you are definitely growing sassier by the day.

You got a birthday card from one of your best friends that said why be a queen when you can be a goddess. Oh my god! That totally describes your attitude these days! Strong willed, you almost always know what you really want. While the defiant streak does put mommy and daddy on the simmering pot every now and then, you also possess the uncanny knack to diffuse a situation. And ofcourse that you are adorably cute does help your case!

Your biggest strength is your very plesant personality - you respect others' feelings, are mindful of your words and sensitive to your environment. I pray to god that that never ever changes. This is going to be your biggest asset always.

We are so blessed to have you in our lives - you fill it with infinite craziness but also with eternal joy. Mommy and daddy love you the best!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Lessons from Indian Mythology - Diwali!

Me: It’s diwali today and tomorrow, manya. Happy diwali!
M: Happy diwali Mom!
Me: Do you know why we celebrate Diwali.
M: Uh huh. It’s the Festival of Lights.
Me: But there’s also a story behind it.
M: Oh I know. Hanuman saved somebody’s wife from someone who had stolen her. And right won over wrong.
Me: Yes, Lord Ram’s wife, Sita, was abducted by Ravan. There was a war and Hanuman did play a major role. So we celebrate Diwali to mark their return after the victory.
M: I have a question how did Ravan kidnap Sita?
Me: He went to her in disguise and tricked her.
M: Was Sita very old that time.
Me: No
M: Then why didn’t she defend herself. One roundhouse kick and Ravan would have backed off.
Me: Well But Ravan was pretty powerful too.
M: But did she kick him nice and strong?;
Me: I don’t think so Manya.
M: She should have. The whole war could be avoided.
Me: Hmm that’s a great learning. That’s why everyone should learn martial arts like you.
M: Yes. But I like celebrating Diwali. Will you make chhola puri today?
Me: Sure!
Happy Diwali to you and yours. Here’s to self defense and chhola puri, ofcourse!