Monthly Archives: January 2016

Turn of Energies

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Ok, I am almost mid-way through my pregnancy and have just begun to feel mild movements where my tummy lies (or rather where the baby lies!). And I must admit, its a great feeling. Even amidst all my doubts and conflicting thoughts about this unplanned baby, the slight activity inside has stirred a lot of positive emotions of affection, love and wonder within me.

Ofcourse my body has slowed down physically, but emotionally and mentally I feel extremely active and charged up. The result? I am intent on doing and trying things which i had planned to for very long. For example:

The Cakes
Ever since i started baking the basic cake with my first OTG a decade back but lost touch due to my academic and professional commitments, i had vowed myself to get back to it asap. Not that my professional or personal commitments have taken a dip in the last one month; but I made sure that I take some time off for trying out the seasonal cakes. This has led me to bake almost 30 pounds of cakes in various flavors. These included the traditional chocolate mud cake with truffle cream icing, the seasonal carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and the orange cake and last but not the least the Rich Fruit Cake which has taken away the trophy with admirers across states.

The Crotchet
The year Nick was born I had got some yarn and started crotcheting a shawl. The pace went down and the activity eventually disappeared as Nick grew more active. But around this Diwali, I decided that this shawl will have to be used this Winter season and thus with a relay effort between my mom-in-law and myself, we were able to complete it. I am going to use it next week when I visit my parents’ place in North India next week.

MommyTincture
The uncountable conflicting thoughts about having a second baby, having to leave my job almost drove me nuts. relief saw some dawn when my mentor ASB of Pikturenama suggested that I start penning my experiences in the form of a blog. Once I had registered the name MommyTincture on WordPress, it still took some 15 days to formulate my thoughts and finally start posting. Thanks ASB for the idea and encouragement.

And Ofcourse my Job
Can’t forget that I still hold a place in an organization that expects me to deliver on my KRAs. Though I have been privileged enough to have flexi-timings in the office, I am still squirming through a whole lot of tasks to be completed before I call it quits. Also, there is a lot of emotional combat as I work towards closure of a significant chapter of my life.

And in all this there is this little monster who needs constant attention and care-taking that is fun and exhausting both at the same time. Wooff !

I hope this positive turn of energies sustains itself throughout my pregnancy and thereafter. I am going to need a lot of positivism to prepare for full-time motherhood and keep up with stuff to keep the rest of me alive and living.

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Humor Bites

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Kids sometimes go on to do or say such things that you find it hard to comprehend how the young uninitiated mind works. Nick too at times does or says stuff, which sends my heart into mini-seizures. I have decided to documents such instances here, for everyone to read and enjoy.

P.S. – I hope Nick doesn’t hate me for this when he grows up and discovers this blog.

Humour Bites #1 – Of the Potties and Bathrooms

This happened when post dinner one day, we decided to meet a friend couple for coffee at CCD. The idea was to just catch up and nothing special. Given that CCD was just 5 minutes down the lane, I did not put Nick into a diaper and instead counselled him that should need to pee or potty, he should raise an alarm.

So we had been sitting and chatting for around half an hour that Nick came upto me saying that he wanted to go potty. A glimpse towards the wall clock and I thought, as it is its time to make a move, I hurried everyone into leaving for the day and told Nick that we would be home in just about 5 minutes and that he should hold on. ‘Nidhi’ – my friend in company then made an observation that this boy wants to go potty everytime we go somewhere. (It is worth mentioning here that we mostly go out with this particular couple only). I gave it a quick thought and reverted saying, “yes he does.” And just that, and made a move without giving it any further thought.

As we placed ourselves in our car and Ajay began to drive, I realised that Nick wasn’t very happy about us going back home on pretext off his potty, “Mujhe ghar jaane ke liye potty nahi jaana tha. Mujhe toh wahaan par hi potty janaa tha. Bathroom tha toh udhar.” (I didn’t want to go home to shit. I wanted to use the bathroom there at the restaurant itself. It did have a bathroom right!”

I and Ajay were left dumbstruck. So much so for my 2.5 year old Bathroom explorer!

My Aggression My Guilt My Confession

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When I set out to read some self help stuff on how to tackle my aggression in reaction to tantrums thrown in by my 2 and a half year old Nick, I found very less material on the world wide net. What I found instead were numerous articles and write-ups elaborating on how to manage aggressive toddler behavior.

I sighed at the futility of trying to manage his rash behavior when I cannot check my own knee-jerk reactions to his one naughty act here or a tantrum there.

One primary reason for my impatience while dealing with my son is that being a working mother, I always have a long To Do list which impacts my willingness to be a little more patient. And over the years, I have got into a mold where even when I don’t have anything urgent to do, my mind is always on the run and thus resulting in knee-jerk reactions to Nicks naughtiness.

With this internalization, I continued my quest to look for material to help me towards a non-aggressive being. Well, I did come across some meaningful stuff.

Having read a lot of it, I did some introspection myself and the first step was to figure out when is it that Nick ticks me off? The little list went as follows –

– When he throws a tantrum. Eg. He wants to wear his party clothes instead of his night wear.
– He refuses to understand adult logic. Eg. He shall insist on having water directly from the tap. The concept of only filtered water for drinking does not
go down well with him .
– He involves himself in behavior which I feel are ethically and socially unacceptable. Eg. hitting someone, or, peeing in his pants.
– He refuses to calm down and sleep even after I have had a long day and am
desperate to retire for a comfortable nights sleep.

In hindsight, all of the above are a violation from my list of should’s and should not’s. And what I forgot to remember while reacting is that he still doesn’t understand the meaning of “should and should not”. He is only exploring his capacity to “Can’s” and “Cannot’s”. My aggressive behaviour is leading him to observe a repetitive behavior pattern and making him register the same in his mind as a “Can do” behavior.

So, what do I do about it? And How?

Taking cue from articles mentioned in clicks above, I decided to follow a couple of things –

Do Not Shout
I think the entire instance of shouting and reacting to what Nick has done, makes me feel worse once the moment has passed, because I am immediately repenting my shouting on the little monster. So the rule is, “Do Not Shout”. Instead go about doing whatever needs to be done with my mouth shut.

Take A Time-Out
I shall just move away from my child so that I will not be able to reach him and get back to him in a violent way. I can do this conviniently, coz there is my mother-in-law to look over Nick in the meanwhile. I know she too might react to his mischief, but will never get aggressive enough to casue any harm.

Evaluate
Well, my Mother-in-laws reactions to Nick’s behavior, especially on those which get me mad set me thinking some more. “How can you not be mad for such an act?”, is what I asked her yesterday. Her answer was, “I am equally upset about his behavior. But lashing back at him isn’t a solution. He doesn’t even realise what he has done. He just acted on his toddler impulse. But if we react to him aggressively, he will co-relate in his mind that because mom or grand-mom behaved in a particular manner, its ok if I too do so. So in the next opportunity when he can be angry or aggressive, he will emulate us.” I thought over it, and I think I agree.

She later told me, “Listen! what is it that upsets you? That he isn’t peeing in the loo yet? Every child on this earth eventually realizes that the bathroom is the place for pee and potty. Another 2 years or so and this problem will not exist.So why create a negative impact by reacting to something that’s not even a permanent problem. Rather being patient and taking it in your stride is a much better way to deal with it.”

Ummm! That’s kinda true. Most of what ticks me of is actually temporary stuff. So my new Mantra, “Be Calm. It Shall Pass.” 🙂

After all this introspection and internalization, when I get back home from office and Nick comes running into my arms with elation, the biggest reality strikes me in my gut. “I am his mother and I love him the most in this whole world and vice versa. So just learn to chill a bit and everything will be fine!”

Happy Parenting !

Will My Child Grow Up To Be What He Should Grow Up To Be?

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Oh No! Please do not judge me as a mother who has already set the goals for her son to grow up to be a doctor, or an engineer or even a dancer or musician for that matter. At the same time neither am I sure nor do I commit to be that liberal mother who might just take it in my stride when Nik might grow up and come up to me saying, “Mom! I want to be a communist activist! I will fight against the capitalist system that is ruining our country!”

Then, the question that the title of this blog holds bold is, what is it that I am really scared of? Before I answer my own question, let me take you through a small background of why this question has been troubling me for a couple of days.

Around a week back, we took a family outing to a multiplex to watch Bajirao Mastani. Apart from the visual spectacle that Mr. Bhansali present to us, I personally found little originality in the plot. It was a period love story afterall. I felt I was watching a little twisted and “Marathised” version of Devdas or Ram Leela. Leaving that apart, one particular scene that gripped my attention and set me pondering was the one which included a dialogue between the female Protagonist “Mastani” (Ms. Podukone) and her son “Shamsher Bahadur”.

For those who havn’t seen the movie, I will elaborate on the scene a little bit. “Mastani is all chained in a prison along with her son and being coaxed into leaving “Bajirao” and the Peshwa territory, which she obviously refuses to because she deeply, madly, truly loves “Bajirao” and cannot think of a life without and away from him. Her keepers one day try and put her in fix by taking her son away from her in a threat to finish him off.

The exact dialogue there is “Bachche ko utha lo”(Pick up the child!). “Mastani” at that moment reverts saying “Bajirao ka beta hai. Khud chalkar jaaega” (He is Bajirao’s son. Will walk away on his own). This is followed by a series of courage enticing questions she shoots at her some 6 or 7 year old, to which the son responds quite dauntingly for his age. And then he hugs his mother and walks of with the guards.

And, this set my mind rolling.

On one hand my heart went out for that boy, who had been given that “Taleem” of fearlessness and heroic that runs in his blood. And simultaneously, my minds reeled with a daunting possibility that may be in reality this 7 or something year old must have clung to his mothers side saying that he does not want to go. It could have so happened that he was scared and pleaded to his mother to do whatever it takes to keep him along with her.

when I voiced my thoughts to my husband his reply that agitated me even further. He said, “Bajirao aur Mastani ka beta hai. Courageous toh hoga hi” (He is a son of two extremely courageous people, and so is bound to be courageous himself)

Since i had this reply from Ajay, I have been quite uneasy and unsure of how such expectations impact a childs upbringing and his future. In my own family, I have heard comments (or may be they think these are complements) such as, “His parents are so educated and extremely qualified. He is bound to do well in his studies.” This is what I say with a lot of humility, people say about my Nik. While I or Ajay have not started saying this aloud to Nik ourselves yet is because we realise that he is too young to understand and may be we should not impose on him the burden of of we made out of our lives. Yet I wonder, how long will it be before we too begin to do the same and make our son carry the baggage of our achievements and backgrounds on his psychic?

I know I have always carried the baggage of my parents expectations from me, which i feel has been a major factor in me doing decently well for myself professionally. And I think, something similar has been the case for Ajay too. Coming from that typical middle-class bckground, I would confess that we’ve not been very out-of-the-box in our approach towards life. While I do appreciate those among my peers who have made it big as social volunteers, e-tail entrepreneurs, I feel I have done decent enough given my circumstances and obligations.

Today I may enjoy and appreciate success stories of engineers turned musicians, economics graduates turned actors, promising investment bankers turned sculptors etc; but will I be equally cool about Nik taking up a path that would lead him to chose a very non-conventional profession. For example, I know of photographers who set out as amateurs but turned into professional full-timers just by virtue of displaying their work over blogs. How so ever exciting and a dream run kind of a story these may seem, am I prepared enough to allow Nik to experiment with his life?

And thus the question, “WILL MY SON GROW UP TO BE WHAT HE SHOULD GROW UP TO BE?” Am I providing or rather, do I have it in me to provide my children with a truly unbiased learning environment which will help him experiment with his skills and abilities and look for his very own niche in this jungle of a world? Will I not ever be influenced by the aspiration of being a parent to an academic prodigy or a sports genius or a gifted artist? How far am I willing to risk the perceived financial security of my children’s future and let them just be?

Let alone the professional aspect, am I even prepared let my children not be burdened by the do-don’ts of the civilized society and develop an independent view of what is right while making their decisions. Will I be strong enough in the face of the moment of truth to just let go and stand by my children in whatever they decide for themselves?

This only time will tell. Till then, Happy Parenting !

Cute DIY gifts for Daddy Dear

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Well, ever since Nik was born, I have wanted to gift something personal to my husband. Tell him that it’s both of us who are wishing and gifting you. Ofcourse, this would be easier when Nik is a little older, because then he can (or atleast I expect that he will !) use his creativity with some of my guidance to create something special and personal for his DAD. But until then every year since Nik’s birth I am left with a mind boggling job of deciding on a Birthday gift for Daddy dear.

In Nik’s  first year (that was in 2013), I embroidered a cute yellow Baba Suit whose back said “U Think I’m Cute, Just Look At My Daddy” and a ‘Little Tiger’ winter cap. When Nik presented himself wearing the suit before we cut Ajay’s Tea cup shaped huge cake, Ajay’s experession of happiness was ofcourse priceless. Amidst the hectic work routine and taking care of a 6 month old I tried to spare atleat half an hour everyday to this project and voila! I was done with it in 15 days time! Have a look at my work –

The cute little tiger cap

The cute little tiger cap

Well the 2014 birthday went quite uneventful as I was struggling with my job and an extremely demanding 1 year old. So the birthday gift had to suffice with a wallet. That was it!

This year I was determined to create a nice gift for Ajay. A month ahead of Ajay’s Birthday, I wondered if he was old enough at 30 months to help me create a gift for his DAD? The possible ideas ran mostly in the background as I was now dealing with a three month old pregnancy, a job that I need to wind up asap and ofcourse a hyperactive monster of a son. pheww !!! Nonetheless I did manage to create this –

daddy gift 2015

It was a very simple DIY gift, except for the part when I had to request, wait a minute no plead , oh no coax (oh shit ! what was it that I did) a 2.5 year old monster (who has just begun to have a mind of his own) into posing for pictures with letter card in his hands. Yet, i think I did a decent job 🙂

The photo processing and printing was done at a studio. And the rest of it is all hand work. I used Nik’s palms to create the V in LOVE and my own to create the rest of it.

Result ! Ajay loved it (me smiling).

PS: My mind’s already musing over what our next gift will be for Ajay’s birthday, 2016. Nik will be a year older and in all possibility more creative. Ahh ! My heart’s taking somersaults thinking about the infinite possibilities….