Sunday, April 28, 2019

#BedtimeMusings

In all earnestness, M goes, “Mommy have you noticed to become great or famous either your parents must be poor or dead. With normal parents not much greatness is possible.
Like you know so many scientists in this book (our bedtime read currently is Women in Science: 50 Pioneers who changed the world) or like even characters in books - like Harry Potter”
It took me a couple of minutes to stop laughing and formulate an answer around how many a times extreme circumstances/ experiences inspire you or give you the much needed drive to excel as against having everything already available to you. I don’t think she got much of what I was trying to say and she was sleepy too. Another day perhaps.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

History Lessons!

Manya: Mom, let’s play pretend n play.
Me (with complete disinterest): Okay, what are we playing?
Manya: Just lie down on the bed peacefully, close you eyes and relax.
Me (with renewed enthusiasm): Oh sure. Then?
Manya: So you are Pearl Harbor and I am Japan.
Before I am able to process this information, she comes and crashes onto me with full force! And that hurt!
Me: What the hell Manya! What was that! It hurt. Why are you so violent! Why did you hit me so hard!
Manya: Because you wont buy and sell stuff from me.
Me (raging mad by this point): What the...!
Manya: Yep, that’s why Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.
Me (absolutely furious): I don’t care. You talk to me first and no hitting - not even in play.
Manya (very cheekily): It was a surprise attack Mom. Everybody was shocked - nobody was prepared.
(PS: She is reading a book on Pearl Harbor and is thoroughly fascinated)
Me: You wait. Ill show you how US retaliated. I am sure your book doesn’t talk about that.
Manya (sensing danger): But mom this Japan and Pearl Harbor will now talk and sort issues - lets kiss and makeup.
Me (slightly melted): Yes and lets not play war. War is not a game - it’s sad and destructive. War does no good and we should learn from the past and not repeat those mistakes.
Manya: Okay mom. Let’s play another game. You stop me from entering your shop because i am black - then i will protest, okay?
(PS: The other book she is reading is about the civil rights movement in the US.)
At this point, I am officially done with Spring Break.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Maneuvering thru Parenting Labels...

(Context: This article!)

It’s so difficult to meander thru the many labels parenting gets. Every once in a while I panic - am I being a helicopter parent? Am I a lawn mower? Am I letting my child fail enough? Am I giving her opportunities to learn enough and grow enough?
I agree with all these articles and people that talk about failure, and acceptance of it being such an important aspect of shaping young minds but in everyday moments it is tricky - when do I hold back, when do I let go, when do I save her sand castle, when do I build her a snowman, when do I let her fall, when do I carry her in my arms...

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Eavesdropping at a Play Date!

Play date with three girls. Still overhearing as I write...
G1: i had such a horrible day at school today.
G2: mine was bad too.
G3: mine sucked too!
G2: there are these few boys who keep pushing everyone during recess. I hate most boys.
G3: i hate boys too.
G1: what are you saying! I love boys! I hate my teacher.
....
G1: Have you watched the descendants?
G2: no, my mom says it’s not age appropriate.
G1: but I am some months younger than you and I watch it all the time. Your mom is wrong.
G2: but she is older she can’t be wrong.
G1: everybody can be wrong.
G2: even if my mom is wrong she is never going to admit it.
....
G3: there’s this boy in my class with a very funny name, bucket.
G2: that’s a very funny name
G3: but he is so handsome i might just marry him.
G1: but did he give you a ring yet.
G3: that can happen only when we are grown up
G2: yeah there’s this guy in my class i really like and want to marry but i will wait till i am my mom’s age to marry. Oh and he doesn’t even have a funny name.
...
G1: can i be the boss now?
G2: no, the person who is hosting the playdate gets to be the boss
G3: why cant we all be bosses
G1: that makes no sense - you cant be a boss till you have someone to boss over.
....
G2: i have a crush on you.
G1: awwwww i have a crush on you too.
G3: you guys are so funny.
All: awww aren’t we just so adorable - we love each other.
#KindergartenConversations 🙄🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️
(P.s. G2 is mine)

Friday, January 18, 2019

I have a dream...

Sometime last week, Manya rushes to the door as I wait to pick her up from school - hurries to the car, plops herself onto her car seat, and I hadn’t even started the ignition that she exclaims, “Mom did you know had it not been for Martin Luther King Jr., you and I wouldn’t even get to ride the public transport in America. Thank god you came to America after everybody became equal.”
Her teacher tells me she has been all ears, absorbing everything around the subject and pouring over related books in the school library too. She wanted to warn me about the discussions that might ensue. And they sure did. What interesting (and uncomfortable) conversations have we been having!
M’s words:
“Doing good for people could get you shot.”
“Why did the whites think they were superior - how did the blacks not think that” “why did the white get to rule over”
“How did it all - saying we are not equal -start?”
“How can some people think it’s okay to treat others badly - everybody knows what is bad and good behavior - how can the government support such a thing”
“Color does not matter. Character does”
Explaining all this to a 6 year old is tough, let me tell you that! I have been dreading every “mom did you know” “mom why do you think” “mom I was wondering”, lately.
And ofcourse the most interesting aspect is that M is actually fascinated by MLK Jr’s wife more than him. She says Rosa Parks was so great and so brave, why do people not talk about her enough.
And so this pint sized researcher on race in America was found in the political biographies section in the library today, with an eager and thoroughly amused librarian, to help find books on Manya’s current hero - Rosa Parks!
(PS Manya also got to hear the famous “I have a dream” speech at school and again at home, and I don’t know how much she understands but every now and then she very sweetly repeats random mismatched lines from memory.)


Thursday, January 17, 2019

Well done Sister Suffragette!

I introduced a childhood favourite to Manya this past weekend. We thoroughly enjoyed the original classic - Mary Poppins, especially the songs.
When i asked M what was her favourite, i was sure she would choose between the evergreen A spoonful of sugar or the fun number Chim chim cheree. She shocked me by declaring the Sister Suffragette has her absolute favourite. Its strange how i had never given the song much thought all these years ago and never in between. However, now thanks to Manya listening to it constantly for the past few days, we both have learnt the lyrics and enjoy “marching” to its tune!
The lyrics and the song for you to enjoy...
We're clearly soldiers in petticoats
And dauntless crusaders for woman's votes
Though we adore men individually
We agree that as a group they're rather stupid!
Cast off the shackles of yesterday!
Shoulder to shoulder into the fray!
Our daughters' daughters will adore us
And they'll sing in grateful chorus
"Well done, Sister Suffragette!"
From Kensington to Billingsgate
One hears the restless cries!
From ev'ry corner of the land:
"Womankind, arise!"
Political equality and equal rights with men!
Take heart! For Missus Pankhurst has been clapped in irons again!
No more the meek and mild subservients we!
We're fighting for our rights, militantly!
Never you fear!
So, cast off the shackles of yesterday!
Shoulder to shoulder into the fray!
Our daughters' daughters will adore us
And they'll sing in grateful chorus
"Well done! Well done!
Well done Sister Suffragette!"


Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Move over Rudolph!

Move over Rudolph - this holiday season Dominick, the Italian Christmas donkey, is the rage. M has been singing this on auto-loop all day and we have been hee-hawing with her.


Monday, December 3, 2018

Letter to Santa from a minty new 6 year old

(Lesson well learnt: Always have options ready.
Lesson to be learnt: All options need to be practical.
And as for how dot com savvy Santa is - that remains to be seen.
Oh, and also, recess used to be my favorite thing at school too. So many lunch break and cafeteria moments come rushing back!)


Friday, November 30, 2018

#FeelingHilarified

M was recalling some incident from school and she goes...
“Mom it was so funny. I was hilarified”
Me: hang on what happened to you?
M: I was hilarified!
Me: That is a great spin to the word hilarious Manya but it’s not really a word you know.
M: it should be.
Me: you mean you found it very funny... you were so amused...
M: no, I exactly mean that - I was hilarified. There’s no other word that describes what I mean.
Me: well nobody uses that word - it isn’t even in the dictionary.
M: too bad. I use it. It should be added to the dictionary.
Me: 🤷🏻‍♀️
(PS: I googled the word and actually found that even though it is not obviously in the traditional dictionary, it does find a place in the “urban dictionary”. I am absolutely ridiculified!!!)

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Turning 6

Here's a milestone update as Madame M turns 6.

- Let's get this out of the way - boy, she can talk. talk back. talk loud. you get the drift.

- She is on the taller side for her age - I used to think she'd tower over the other kindergartners, but looks like she blends right in.

- We are in that terrible princess - rainbow - glitter - unicorn phase. I can't wait to move beyond.

- For every thing that mom says - first try to say no. Or argue. Or offer a deal. A yes right away would make it to the headlines.

- She is a reader alright! Has been devouring chapter books for many months now - notable ones - The Princess in Black series, Heidi Hecklebeck, Ivy and Bean, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlotte's Web, Magic Tree House series....

- She is getting better at writing - I am beginning to understand that her part frustration with writing is that she has all these big words that she wants to express herself with but can't get hold of the spellings - so she tries to consciously choose simpler words to make it less painful. ALso, she is plain lazy - would rather not write. 

- She is doing basic addition and subtraction - learning to use her fingers - trying teh counting by 5s and 10s.

- Art - painting, cutting , gluing, coloring, drawing -she can spend hours on this. We tried some art classes over the summer and she absolutely enjoyed them. We'll go back next summer too.

- Swimming continues - she doesn't take it competitively - loves the water though and that works for me!

- For all her declarations of being grown up and wagging her finger ta me telling me "You are not the boss of me", she still finds her way at night to snuggle and sleep with us!

- Still enjoying school too - her favorite part of the day is recess though!