16 July, 2014

Entitled to the world?

For the past four years, thanks to our DD, I'v been exposed to a lot of children. At social do's, parks, events, schools, etc. And I've observed all kinds of them. Sometimes, intentionally- so that I can observe if our DD is lagging health, milestones, education-wise, anywhere. But at other times, you come across some shocking conversations or behaviours, without even meaning to.

One such experience has been with one the DD's schoolmates.
When Nursery school started, she was the one greeted at the gate, after school by her mum, with a toy, every day. For quite a few months. Everytime I happened to notice her parents speaking to her, was in a pleading, cajoling, coaxing manner. Everytime I noticed her speaking to anyone, she seemed to be ordering them, instead of requesting or even asking plainly. Each time, she happened to speak to me, she spoke in the same manner. As if, every individual in the world was her minion. Pampering grandparents, obliging their precious miracle of a child parents and a nanny or two, following her every instruction, turned out to be the reason. Even though, the mother was a stay-at-home one, in the given case.
Another one was, when we got invited to one of the DD's classmate's house, for dinner. The first time we had visited them for a playdate, DD had observed that this classmate didn't have any toys. So, at the dinner get together, she took her own to share with her friend. At several points within the three-hours stay there, while we chatted her parents, and DD played with the classmate, I noticed that the said classmate seemed to be keeping her own toys (and her younger sister's), from our 4yrs-old. And playing with DD's toys, alone. At the end of the dinner, I asked DD to pack her toy-bag and bid goodbye to everyone there, so we could leave. At least three of DD's toys had gone missing. Apparently, while DD had been generously sharing her things with this friend, the friend had started hiding DD's toys in many of her hiding-places at home. When I realised that DD's favourite toy, a toy phone, was one of the missing items, I stated looking around everywhere they had been that night. DD had started crying by then too. But I easily found it, peeking from behind the classmate's other toy-phones, in her toy area. When I gave it to DD, the classmate started wailing. I looked at her parents for help, but they didn't do a thing. Didn't give a word or a hug to their daughter. I couldn't see the classmate crying like that, so promised her that I would buy her that same toy-phone the very next morning, and drop it off. Perhaps the idea of getting a new-one, cooled the classmate and we could leave soon.
Apparently, another kid in DD's class keeps teasing everyone. When I mentioned it casually to the kid's mum once, she actually beamed at how creative, free-spirited and extrovert her child was.
Another playdate was a wild experience, because of the other two girls involved. While the DD kept following them and asking them to play with her, the other two kept running away from DD and teasing her and hiding their playthings from DD.
I shudder when I wonder how they'll ve, when they actually become teens and tweens, honestly!

This has been my experience of the first year pf DD's school.
Girls from poor families seem quite, shy, reserved. While boys are on the verge of being rowdy and aggressive.
Girls from well-to-do families, are well on their way to become 'mean-girls'. Whereas the boys seem a lot more well-behaved and generous than the previous generation.
As a matter of fact, all the boys that we have had one on one interaction with, has been extremely friendly, generous and even sensitive, without exception. Thanks to their highly-educated, working, or worked-for-years-before-child mothers' attention.

But the girls, have been shocking me, over and over again, for more than a year now. And the majority pf girls have been similar, by the way.
Maybe its the fact that their mother's waited to have a child for years, while they studied/worked/ had late marriages. Maybe its because they were born after their parents had to go through several rounds of fertility treatments. Maybe they were, in fact, miracle-births. Maybe the parents in India have now become a bit too pro-female-child, unlike the earlier times, when female-featucide was a more common than natural-births. Maybe the mothers are trying not to treat their daughters with descriminqtion, unlike their parents had.
Whatever the  cause might be, but I sure have seen a generation of more mean-girls around our DD in the past year, than I've personally come-up against in my entire life.

Thankfully, there still are a few sweet girls around. The quintessential girlie girls. They love to dress up. Stop to stare at flowers, butterflies and bubbles. Have the cutest voices and mannerisms of speaking. Want to marry their Dads when they grow up. Follow their Moms around the house. Copy their teachers, when they come back home. Get worried when anyone, even a stranger gets hurt. Cry when their loved-ones are troubled. Want to help everyone. Like nothing more than taking care of kids younger than themselves.
Thankfully, some such girls are still around.
Hopefully, ours will remain like that too. The way she is right now...S m i l e

15 July, 2014

Second innings...

When I was a child, I remember, all my friends would claim to want to be, doctors, engineers, soldiers, policemen/women, teachers, etc, when they grew up. But I always only wanted to be a 'Mamma', ever since I can remember.
I never saw myself as anything else. Grew-up, studied, worked hard, for years, like everybody else. But every time anyone asked me, where I saw myself, five years hence, I always lied and told them that I wanted to be successful at what I wad doing, and at least, five levels-up the corporate hierarchy. While honestly, I only wanted to have my own child.
When I was a teenager, I had decided that I didn't want to work, for at least 4yrs, after I'd had my child. That I didn't want to leave my baby with anyone else, with questionable hygiene standards, or regressive fundas, and even more so, with someone who wouldn't really care for my child.
Also, I was one of the kids, who didn't even know, which stream to opt for in 12th/high school. I took the subjects that interested me the most. But still knew nothing of which course to apply for in college. Long story short, I studied the most coveted genetic subjects, at the most respected college, I could get into. After that, I worked at the most respected companies that I could find. Changed career paths, when I started losing interest in the first field. Took up highly demanding jobs, with insane working-hours, when the 'get married' pressure started going berserk. Happened to meet my Mr.Right there. Got married. Changed career path again, as I didn't want the insane work-hours and travels any longer. So, took up the first job offer that came my way. Since, I still knew nothing of my true calling, career-wise.
I still knew that in my case, whichever career path I took, would take a backseat for half a decade, while my peers climbed up the corporate ladders. So, I never took my career seriously. Did every job earnestly and worked hard and grew at office. But I was prepared to drop it all and become a Mommie, when my kid came.
Now, after that magical '4yrs' mark has been crossed, the DD has settled in school and I get these four hours free, while she is there, the only thing that comes naturally to me, is 'writing'. On the positive side, at least I know which career I want to pursue. On the negative, at 35, without any formal training, experience in the field, the only offers that come my way, are the mundane. Travel, fashion, etc. Whereas, the only genre that comes naturally to me, is human-interest, parenting, and related topics.
Ironically enough, if we had career-counselling at our schools/colleges, I would have discovered my love for writing in secondary school itself. Even then, back in the early 90's, I loved writing journals, letters, reviews of movies/tv shows/travels and what not.
I had started blogging in 2002. Even wrote an e-book, which gained quite a readership. But then, I deleted all my blogs when everyone in the world with an email account, seemed to have become a blogger.  Now, each time I try to ask someone for guidance in this career, they tell me to blog.
Therefore, this new beginning. Fingers crossed...S m i l e

10 July, 2014

OCD, or being hands-on, or just plain miser

My mum worked, when we were kids. So, I grew up with a nanny. And my only memory of her is when she was sitting in front of me, while digging her nose.
I've seen my sisters' kids' nannies too. And how these skeleton-like young women, would come from there villages. On a year-long contract. To earn money for their weddings. And after that year ended, they would go back home, at least triple their original size. While the babies hardly ever looked like they were getting any bigger. I had heard of enough abuse, thefts, hygeine issues with nannies as it is. I also remember how I hated my nephew's nanny, because the nephew was so attached to her, that he refused to cone to any of us (grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins), even if he saw us, evety weekend.
Once, at DD's playschool, on their Sports Day, I noticed a kid came first in a race. Then beamed back to the spot, where his family was sitting. Both mum and nanny, opened-up their arms, for a hug. That kid ran back to the nanny.
Even with supervised nannies, it seemed like you did everything yourself, after the nannies tried and failed to do anything. Grandparents need their tv, naps, etc.
Giving opium to kids, who won't sleep, unhealthy food, unhygenic toilets, not complete attention were the problems, I realised Daycare centers had.
Which is why, right from the age of 20 or so, I knew, I would take a sabbatical, for at least 4yrs, and then work part-time only, after I had a child. No nannies. No daycare.
My DH hated me for it. Said, it was like going back to cave-times. That we must get at least a part-time help. But I didn't budge. Didn't want the added responsibility of watching a stranger, while they took care of my kid.
Instead, every few months, I bought all the little extras for DD, with the money we saved by not keeping a nanny...car-seat, bouncy-chair, highchair, playyard, diapers, diapers and diapers. I wanted all the comforts, myself, so that I could care for DD and yet not be completely exhaused by dusk, every single day.
Thankfully, it worked for us. And gave us the freedom, opportunity and resources, to be able to bond with our LO, as her sole-companions...S m i l e

Getting used to the new life

I woke up with the cries of pur little DD. Instinctively, I said, 'its all right, Angel. Mamma's right here. Come to me.' Just the way I had been speaking to her, for 9months, before then. And amazingly, she stopped wailing, immediately.
My Mum passed the little bundle to me. I don't know how I knew she was hungry. I don't know how she learnt how to suckle. And I don't have any idea, how I learnt to feed. But we managed very well, right from the first time, that day. After that I just held her, staring at her beautiful eyes. DH came back, after washing at home. And he has remained sappy right from that day. Like, he'll cry any moment. Like, she can ask him to make it rain, and he will make it happen. Like, if she were the most precious thing, he had ever come across.
Since I had got admitted at 8pm, and DD was born the next morning, they had to discharge me the very next day. Apparently, it was a two nights only, maternity package. So, 24hrs after delivery, I waddled back out. DD remained unmoved through the relocation, as long as I was cradling her. DH held his breath, throughout the 10min drive home, while he was on the wheel. My Mum had moved into our house that day, and promised to help me out, for a month.
We reached home, showed DD around the house, and then we both passed-out, once again. Without a care in this world. Just happy that we got each other..
S m i l e

Sakhi became a Mommie

Four years ago, we were blessed with the sweetest, loveliest, daintiest and cutest little girl, we had ever seen. It was love at first sight for the DH. While I had been in love, for at least 8months already, till then. We both wept, as our Ob, still had her hand inside me, without one bother in the world, just doing her job. The Paed was hovering over, like a hawk, wanting to make sure we won't drop the little bundle, I guess. And DH was just weeping. I had honestly never seen him cry in the 5yrs, we had been together, ever. But all I could think, was, 'How on earth did I get so lucky? How did God ever think that I could be blessed with her? How did I come to deserve such a miracle?'
Then when the Ob had left, and the nurse wad still cleaning-up, they finally let my Mum & elder-sis come in. The nurse literally went bonkers, staring at my sis, and then me. I, of course have been used to this for years. So, just told the nurse, 'you still have your hand inside me. So, I am the new mom, obviously. And she's my sister.' Everyone laughed. The medical staff approved that I still had my sense of humour left, after more than 12hrs of labour.
After that I passed out. Content. Happy, like I had never been. And in love, like I never knew, I could be!
S m i l e