Thursday, June 26, 2014


If you have been following this blog every now and then, you'd know that M has quite the temper - which manifests itself in tantrums, crying and what not. She is also extremely naughty - downright cheeky - a chipmunk for whom NO translates into look into trying harder to challenge restrictions and boundaries. On the other end is poor me, who often tries to balance the mommy in me with the impatient person that I am. It is not difficult then to imagine the number of face-offs we both have in a single day.

So in order to tame the little shrew and give myself some cooling off time, we introduced the concept of timeouts. For my lucky non-parent friends, you can look up the term on wiki here. The first time, I explained to her (yeah right, explained to an 18 month old!), what I was going to do, and why. And I also told her I love her blah blah - so basically all the parenting gyaan from the books and Internet was shared offloaded. It was a breeze - about 2 mins of timeout and she was back to being the golden girl that she is the rest of the time. The second time, which happened a couple of weeks after the first, was effective too. And just when I thought I had this whole disciplining and parenting thing under my belt, my daughter throws a googly!

At 18 months two timeouts, come the 19th month, timeout has become a joke. I had reserved time outs for only the big tantrums, the absolutely ugly bad behaviour instances. But this chit of a girl has gotten the better of me. Now, the minute I say Manya, No, she looks into my eye, and asks, Timeout? The first time she did it, I could have died of guilt - Was I being extra tough? Did she hate me for it? Aww, my poor baby, I hugged her tight and told her that timeout was not for everything, only when she was being a very very bad girl. She promptly went to her sippy cup and poured the water onto the carpet, and again asked me, timeout? I swear I could have pulled all my hair out, but I forced myself to be gentle - so I told her yes, if she'd continue behaving like this timeout would be given. 

And then what my 19 month old toddler did, stunned me - she went to her room and banged the door shut and said timeout! She played for a couple of minutes and came out as if nothing had happened. 
As if this was not enough, one day Vish came home tired and she kept on pouncing at his cell phone, when he gave her one of those rare annoyed looks - she closed the door on him and said, timeout!

Now, close to 20 months, this is our situation - for every small thing, from morning to night, he keeps asking me, timeout? I try ignoring her and the one or two times that I say yes, she goes off on her own. So, when she is actually behaving badly, I am at a loss of what to do - there is no long term benefit of giving a timeout - she continues to behave as badly as ever irrespective of the timeout! 

What takes the cake away is that the other day I saw her fussing for a piggy bank at a store - my mommy instinct told me this was going to quickly turn into a full blown tantrum - so I gave her my gravest look ever - and you know what she did - she said, timeout? I said yes, at home, if you behave like this we are going for a timeout, okay? And she coolly looks at me, and says, okay. And continues to demand for the piggy bank! WTF. I have never felt so helpless!!!

So, what do we do now? I take a timeout instead! 

Any experienced parents who'd like to guide us here? 

Monday, June 16, 2014

First Flight!

(P.S. I am trying to tick off the long list of overdue posts. But thought of starting with this.)

So, like I mentioned in my earlier post, we moved from Virginia to Portland at the end of last month - it was a close to a 6 hour flight - thankfully (or not) non-stop. And it was M's first flight ever!! Ever since M was born, we have somehow always postponed any long distance vacation plans for some reason or the other but finally the inevitable became evitable. Weeks in advance I started talking to Manya about the move in general and the flight journey in particular. We don't know how much of it she really understood but if you asked her where are you moving to, pat would come the reply - Potand (her version of Portland). Then if you would asked her, how will you go, she'd say Ayhpaayne (airplane) - and shaking her head vigorously she'd tell you, 'Faaah vehyy vehhy faah' (far, very very far.)

And then came the actual day that started on a great note. M was elated at the airport - all the planes, so many people to wave to and talk to (by this time you do know that her highness is a social butterfly), TSA agents to play peek-a-boo with (yes, yes, she actually played peek-a-boo as we were being screened), lot of space to run around. With the result by the time we actually boarded the flight, the poor thing was fast asleep! She did not stir when we boarded or got seated or even when the plane took off! All this seemed to good to be true and as I browsed through Facebook using the in-flight wi-fi, I had those warning bells in my head going strong. 

A mother's instinct is never wrong (aah, well mostly) - about an hour into the flight, Madame M wakes up and looking at all of us in our seats - with the window open with a view of the sky - she just panicked! From then on was perhaps a nightmarish flight for us the parents and a few people around (though I must make a mention that everybody was so very supportive - no irritable glances or WTF expressions thrown our way - mostly elderly crowd who kept on cheering us up and told us she was doing great even as we were on the verge of losing our patience completely!) 

While Manya didn't exactly howl her lungs out - I am sure in all the din of an aircraft only one or two rows in front of us and next to us would be able to hear her - but as her initial cries gave way to some sobbing and then the most annoying thing of it all - constant whining. She kept on tugging at Vish and me and telling us - "Get up, Get out, no airplane, car driving". She went on an infinite loop with these phrases - God I'd give anything to jump out of the window at that time! Imagine for four hours, every 10 minutes to listen to that! No options for distracting her worked - books, coloring, even the tablet! What finally did work was I handed her the baby wipes which she pulled out and began profusely cleaning the seats, the food tray, her self, her shoes with it - wow! I wondered why didn't this idea strike me in the beginning!

Like all good things, nightmares also come to an end. Fortunately for us, we landed half an hour before time (we joked with our co-passengers that the pilot had also had enough of M), and the minute the wheels touched the ground M was back to her cheerful self - after which she tried to compensate by being extra patient :). Aww, poor little girl.

We have an India trip coming up in the year end - that is a 26 hour haul start to end with two layovers and a total flying time of about 18-19 hours. And what is better news is that I will be flying alone with M. That will be some experience and I already can feel my head spin thinking about  it - but what must be done has to be done. Here's what I plan to do differently this time - try to keep her awake at boarding and take off, get her used to some basic apps on the iPAd and get her use to some baby earphones, take more coloring, sticker options along, take an extra box of baby wipes for her to clean everything (I am serious) - what suggestions do you have?

Monday, June 9, 2014

Mommy is not being lazy!

I am sure if M could read, she'd nod her head in disapproval at the lack of posts on this blog and she'd definitely reiterate what she keeps egging me on with these days - get up, lazy - please, lazy - she suffixes lazy when telling me something to do so many times that I actually shout back saying I am not lazy!

So, if mommy is not being lazy - what has she been busy doing - well we just moved - bag and baggage - to the west coast all the way from the east. It has been a crazy month and we are yet to settle down - as they say! You can read more about the first impressions in my blog post here. 

I have like a trillion updates pending - some from before our move - and some from the move (I am sure you are dying to know all about the nightmare Madame's first flight experience was) - and a few from our brief stay here in Portland! I will have all of these coming in the next few days, I promise!