The Malady of Summer Holidays

I’ve noticed that there’s a strange and inexplicable condition that happens to kids, especially mine over the summer holidays. They become deaf, louder, motor movements mimic being like marionettes with their strings cut or like mini Boomerang videos. Polar opposites but somehow they seem to be able to switch between them effortlessly enough.

The specific keywords that they don’t seem to comprehend are these:

  1. Get up.
  2. Slow down.
  3. Enough.
  4. No more (pool time, t.v., iPad, laptop, playing with water…till infinity)
  5. Get out of the pool.
  6. It’s late.
  7. Come home.
  8. Go away.
  9. SHUSH.
  10. GO. TO. SLEEP!!

Barring that it’s the same ol’ symptoms of childhood+boredom+curiosity all rolled into one delicious little buck-toothed package of silliness!

How To Talk So Kids Will Listen

This is going into the category of a bloglet viz it’ll be brief.

There’s a book my husband bought me once the brat started pre-primary…it’s called How To Talk So Kids Will Listen And Listen So Kids Will Talk. Since the book did not mention anything about how to talk so husbands will listen and stop leaving wet towels all over the place; I decided not to do much about this book reco.

I already knew then and still know how to talk so my kid would listen- dress like a giant lollipop, have Play-Doh in one hand, the t.v. remote in the other and preferably enter riding on a dinosaur!

Maybe then….and maybe Utopia is just around the corner! Pshaw!!

utopia_in_four_movements_filmstill5_utopiasign.jpg (1650×1050)

 

Oh Snap!

The brat has his little friends. They can be quite a handful from time to time.

One of them came over a little while ago and was practically nose-to-nose with the not-small t.v set. When I asked her to move back a bit, she scooched back barely half an inch. So I asked her to move back a little more and pat came the reply along with little arms akimbo, “if you don’t let me watch t.v. from here, why did you keep the sofa so close to the t.v.?”

After I did my goldfish impression viz mouth opening and closing my mouth wordlessly a few times, I remembered that I was in the role of the responsible parent and told her that it might spoil her eyes if she kept watching television like that, she again answered with a, “no! and glared at the t.v to come and spoil her eyes if it dared!

I don’t think the television will be taking up the dare.

 

Making Digital Media Your Friend

I started my kid out on digital media way too early in life. And I still regret it. But I absolutely CANNOT deny how wonder it has been for me as a mother and how helpful it is when I need more information, especially for my kid.

Today barring the frivolous stuff that he watches ( Spongebob and its ilk) he watches programs which fall firmly in the category of edutainment.

He started out with animated programs like Octonauts, Little Einsteins and is currently hooked on a program which I find very original and instructive without being too goody-goody- Wild Kratts.

The good thing about animation is it keeps things interesting for kids while not making it too stark. Like wild animals being trapped, poached or even tortured. And yet the message behind it is undiluted- respect all forms of life. Even a little worm does some good and even a gigantic whale is vulnerable.

My son has learnt about pangolins, aardvarks, giant squids and speaks of them so enthusiastically that I’m tempted to sit down with him and binge watch the entire series. He also hums tunes from Tchaikovsky, Handel and Grieg without knowing much about the composers but still being moved by their music.

I doubt I’d have been able to broaden his horizons like this on my own. Books help but young kids tend to a mix of learning styles until they end up favoring one style over the other.

Two thumbs up from my side. YouTube, Disney Junior and others stop the television from being the idiotic box in this day and age. So rather than fight the tube, we get the stuff on the tube we want the kids to watch. Easy Peasy!

Now excuse me while I go catch up on the Big Bang Theory reruns!

 

What I Learnt From My Kid’s School

Image courtesy- www.financialeducatorscouncil.org

Courtesy Facebook’s memories I get to know about how and what I was thinking not only on a time a specific time in the past but also how I was feeling. And when I wrote this post I was a bit more of an anxious mother, fretting about my kid’s school, academic “career” as it were and basically uncomfortable about not knowing what lay ahead. Fast Forward two years I’m still sipping at the font of wisdom that is Life and learning loads while my kid goes to school. Here’s how it is…

  • A child will learn at their own pace no matter what!
  • A teacher who loves kids (genuinely) will probably be able to teach more through affection and warmth rather than another more knowledgeable individual who is distant or doesn’t form relationships with the kids.
  • Digital media, chalkboard, flashcards are all props…native intellect needs to be stirred and awake for learning to occur.
  • Making things interesting is all fine and good but it helps that the biological age increases and life experiences help kids understand why they need to learn.
  • Getting a good night’s sleep and cutting off from anything academic goes a long way in learning taking place.
  • Physical activity- silly and unstructured or properly regimented aids in learning as well.
  • Learning can come from various sources provided it’s pitched at the right time and the right way.
  • Parents need the teachers’ presence more than the kids…just to be assured that all’s going as it should.
  • Taking a small step back from policing the child (even with all the best intents in the world) is a fantastic thing to do while they’re below the tweens.
  • Reflecting on what were turn-offs and stumbling blocks while we were students helps empathize and give the child space to assimilate their learning material.
  • Accepting that there’s a Bell Curve and your child will grow into a more permanent place in it, helps be good parents as well.
  • Trusting the people you entrust your kid’s physical, emotional and overall well-being to and yet realizing our role is constant in the whole scope of things.
  • Acknowledging that improvements- slight, steady or sporadic; are still a step in the right direction give you a good night’s sleep.

Long story short? The AC bus and the pool helps because trappings are important. But a teacher who makes sure your kid has a balanced meal daily and who can come back and share positive and negative feedback with indemnity goes a long, long way in knowing how to be supportive while your child learns about life. Be it from a tablet, a workbook or just from a walk in the park. Because a big part of being a parent is taking a backseat while your kid gets the controls of life just right. You have to deal with not always being able to call ‘shotgun’.

Here endeth the lesson.

Movie Review: Rustom

It’s good to watch movies. Good or bad. Gives one an idea about the kind of things film makers are thinking about and if they do have the pulse of their audience. With Rustom they succeeded in breaking out of the run-of-the-mill Bollywood masala grist and yet failed to craft a taut film that makes the movie goer sigh/nod in appreciation.

Based quite obviously on the Nanavati case that rocked the India of the 50s, the movie has a very staged look and feel with the characters not quite coming across as convincing in the roles they are essaying.

Akshay Kumar looks good in uniform. For a man his age he is in fine form physically but is rather wooden. He doesn’t come across as a Parsi at all and wears his uniform throughout the movie without it ever getting creased or dirty even while he’s incarcerated. Full marks to the jail dhobi!

Illeana D’Cruz looks pretty as a picture. Wears simple and elegant sarees and is quite effective as an ornamental prop. She neither carries the weight or punch that the role requires.

Esha Gupta smoulders like a femme fatale would and is by turns slutty and pull of pouty attitude. If attitude was the only requirement that the role had then she aced it and how! Barring that, she too has very little meat in her role and comes across as a spoiled rich socialite and not much else.

Arjan Bajwa is quite well cast. You can feel the smarminess come off him in waves and I can see him getting typecast as a Lothario in future projects.

People like Sachin Khedekar are rather miscast and arereduced to being ranting buffoons who really don’t belong in a biopic; even a loose one.

Anang Desai, Kanwaljeet Singh and Usha Nadkarni in their supporting roles add the necessary flavor and yet, despite it all, the movie leaves you wanting.

It doesn’t end in a manner which satisfies but neither does it disappoint in toto.

A bit of a limbo of a film and yet it’s good to see Khiladi Kumar embrace more roles of this ilk. He’s moved way past his Churake Dil Mera days...

Let me start by saying that I’ve usually felt that Salman Khan is akin to a horse’s ass. He isn’t that good an actor and the only thing I can say in his favor is that at his age, keeping up with that kind of body and dancing like a lunatic takes stamina. So yay…kudos for him.

My lack of gaga factor over him is due to the frivolous roles he’s usually done and the fact that he can’t keep clothes on his body and needs to strip down to his bare torso or an undershirt whether the role calls for it or not. I haven’t seen too many of his movies because they bore me. I consider him a ham and a bad one. But that’s enough about me and what I think. The rest of his audience viz most of the paanwalas and autowalas out there, think he’s aces and so be it!

This is what’s happening with this “paragon” of Bollywood who happens to run an NGO, donate to charity and generally does his bit for philanthropy when not allegedly running homeless pavement dwellers over, shooting endangered wild life and also making highly inappropriate comments. After a rather hectic (so he said) shooting schedule for his upcoming film (which he gets to legitimately have a reason to be bare-chested), he likened himself to a woman raped due to his weariness and inability to walk.

Ok. Let’s drop a bomb on him for saying that. If only stupidity could be punished thus then GW and quite of few of our own home-grown politicos would have disintegrated by now.

Was it unwarranted? Yes. Should he have known better? Yes. Has he goofed up in the past and seemed content to be branded as an enfant terrible? Umm…yeah! But is that the only thing at play here?

I personally feel the media usually conveniently plates up someone to be carved up by a host of others and sits back to watch the mayhem. Couldn’t the media persons have said, “that was an inappropriate comment to make”? on the spot and seen what kind of turn things took? Yes they could have. But clearly they didn’t. At all. They seem to prefer to see this 50-year old, whose brains are probably addled from all the blows (fake or otherwise) he seems to have taken while shooting for Sultan, be made a spectacle of again rather than move onto something more meaningful or relevant like him retracting things a split second later. When that brouhaha gets done with they’ll move onto his bachelor status (again) or his bracelet (gimme a break!)

This isn’t merely about a right or wrong. This almost seems like the media telling tales and tattling on SK all over again just to sell some papers or get hits on their website.

And what about the main in question, Mr.Foot-In-The-Mouth himself? Well, his father’s issued an apology and he seems to have been apologetic as well so that ends there. Whether Twitter lets up on him or the  rest of the country does is anyone’s guess. His movie will get released and he’ll make money and go back to doing what he does best…be shirtless. And in time, people will move onto something else to be outraged and gasp about..oh wait! they are already moving onto another topic of vital importance.

Read about something else people. Leave the celebs to their own lives. People say stupid things all the time. For once give the poor rich man a pass and read about something of substance! Because this time instead of Being Human, he was just Being Inappropriate.