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School Holiday Bloglet

There comes a time in every parent’s life (mainly the mothers) where they realise that their child is more like a cartoon character than they previously realized. It’s not always a happy realization. Imagine telling yourself, “Crap. I gave birth to Woody Woodpecker.”

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Travels With An Impatient Child

Imagine having to catch an early morning flight. With a 6 year old in tow. First there’s the getting up part: which can be smooth as silk or rocky like the mountains depending upon how badly your kid wants to go on the trip.

Then comes the incessant babbling about going to the airport through a mouth full of toothpaste foam, with foam flecks flying in all directions. Always a lovely sight.

Then it’s a linear progression to a series of “Are we there yets?”, “when will the plane take off?”, “when will they get the food, I’m HUNGRY!”

And you’ve been in air for about 20 odd mins, been up for 3 hours and are wondering yet again why you don’t check your kid into cargo when you travel.

Happy Holidays!

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Parenting Chronicles

We landed up at my parents’ place for a month (poor them) a few days ago. This was preceded by a mini family vacation to the Northern part of India, a nice, fun wedding, loads of pictures (no surprises there) and some amount of barfing- MLM.

But that’s not the crux of this post. I had another REALIZATION. I write it in caps since it’s no less than an epiphany and one I’ll need to heed in order to make things come together for me at a personal level and my child and the memories we can make together while he grows up and we try to be good parents.

A lot of children are adaptable. Flexible. A lot of kids are rather inflexible and have adjustment issues. My child falls rather squarely in the middle. He adapts and adjusts to brand new situations depending upon his comfort levels and a certain amount of identification with the issue. I guess he looks for that little spark of familiarity and then goes about his own way of learning something.

We had taken a trip to a lovely little city up in the hills, Shimla, and this child was fairly bored out of his skull. Now is it fair to want a proper break for Red and I? Yes! Is it fair to want to expose our child to new experiences? Yes! If it fair if he doesn’t take to them and wants his comfort food wherever we go and be a baby about being carried about and generally being a poopyhead? Sadly…yes. Kinda at least.

Forget the part about kids being creatures of habits. It’s not always about unleashing kids on a theme park that can ensure a successful holiday but taking them to places which require long periods of travel- I defy any parent of kids above 2 to tell me the last time their kid sat calmly on a road trip that extended beyond 2 hours and didn’t fidget or go down the “are we there yet” road!

My child can quite easily let go the gadgets. He sees me taking pictures and wants to emulate. Does a fairly decent job. Hands don’t shake too much. Pictures aren’t too hazy either. But given that it’s an expensive gadget and one that could take a tumble from small little paws, I put aside my dreams of him being a photography prodigy and become the kind of mother who lets him take one picture for his contentment and then promptly repos the camera for good. Well until next time anyway.

He ate what was put in front of him but only if it was familiar. He didn’t care much for the crowd at the events preceding the actual wedding or for the wedding itself. Totally understandable. We lugged around the last love of his life, an inflatable, nearly 4 ft tall T-Rex up and down hilly roads because he hadn’t been able to bring himself to stay away from Mr.Dinosaur. Again understandable. Not appreciated but you can tell when a kid’s in love.

But this holiday was so much more about me and what Red and I wanted to do that we kind of factored in our enjoyment and just brought him along gadgets in tow and thought he’d be able to wing it. At nearly 5 it’s not always viable and we should have known better. The wedding possibly, wasn’t something we could’ve avoided but everywhere else we took him that was aimed at his amusement, he enjoyed. Thoroughly. The boating, spotting ducks, chasing monkeys…all are aces in a child’s book of Fun Things To Do During Summer Vacations.

Sitting still and behaving while his mother chomps down momos in a tiny little restaurant wasn’t something that was designed to please him.

At while at my parents’ I find him bratty and trying on and off but he’s more relaxed. No more travelling to and fro from one place to the other. No more slathering of sunscreen and having caps jammed on his head or posing for pictures near places he doesn’t know, doesn’t care about and sure and hell won’t remember.

He wanted his Play Doh. Wanted to recreate the situations he saw in his cartoons and play with this dinosaur, swing, slide, jump, hop and have his everyday life. The interlude of a family holiday that took him from the plains to the hills and back again in the midst of unknown people whom he doesn’t know; did nothing for him at all.

But that being said, it was good on multiple levels for Red and I and next year we’ll try again but possibly keep it to a place that has more activities designed towards holding the attraction of a little boy. Because let’s be honest, if seeing fish swimming around is what gives him happiness, it’ll be sensible (and that much less stressful) to take him to a park with a pond, or a zoo rather than visit a world-famous pilgrimage place that boasts of a pool of water no child should get near, dip his fingers in or even peer into.

That kind of wasn’t fair. Of them that made the rules or us who made him try to follow it.

Summer holidays are what bring out the kid in everyone…now he’ll get a chance to do exactly what he’s meant to do. Because at the end of the day what a kid really wants is just a dinosaur to play with, isn’t it?

I just hope the rest of us survive till June when his school reopens 🙂

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Summer Holidays- The Scary Truth

Don’t be fooled folks, moms and stay-at-home-moms especially are terrified of summer hols. The concept essentially is fine up to a point- for about 2 months there’s a drop in the madness that comes from trying to wake up a sleepy child to go to school, get them to brush their teeth, sit on the potty BEFORE heading out the door and of course managing to drop them at the school and make your escape for a few (sadly..VERY few) hours.

The vacation means that they can get up at 8:00 am instead of 7:30. It means you can delay the power struggle that comes with the brushing of teeth for up to half an hour. It means breakfast can be french toast, aaloo paratha instead of a glass of milk/ 1 piece of toast with jam or peanut butter. It also means that you get to actually drink your coffee instead of mainlining it or snorting it to save time and kickstart the caffeine rush.

It also means longer bath times (for the kid…NEVER for you), a bit more time in front of the telly and a bit more munching throughout the day. That the playtime gets extended is a given so am not listing it out elaborately.

But the scary, and I mean scary, part of vacations are- BOREDOM. MLM has already starting off with his plaintive, ” I want SUMPHING (something)” cry. Sumphing changes from hour to hour, minute to minute and stuff that you suggest to them comes with a variety of riders (for the kids, not you). And if you have a child who goes through his “sumphings” like a hot knife through butter then you can end up exhausting the entire week’s quota of activities right on DAY ONE and then be left twiddling your thumbs throughout the remainder of the weeks and gazing longingly at the calendar, waiting for the schools to reopen.

The thing is kids need routine more than we do. Adults need routine because we have a shitload of stuff going on in our lives and that needs to be prioritized and tackled ergo routines. But kids need routine to keep them from vegging out and not having enough stimulation to think and create. Even if the creation includes messes, mischief and mayhem.

But a bored kid is unresponsive and a mini-zombie and that’s NEVER desirable. They start channeling their curiosity in different directions, some quite undesirable, and all in all; it’s a non-productive endeavor.

Enter Summer Camps ( fanfare, trumpets and confetti in the background)…they don’t have the rigor of schools, keep little minds and hands (AND LEGS) busy and give you enough time away from the little monsters…erm darlings to actually start missing them or girding up to roll with their antics.

Now that I’m faced with an impending summer vacation I have to say I’m looking at a bunch of resources to help occupy MLM’s time and mine so we get through the next 2 months without needing a strait jacket (for him) and actually having a good time throughout the entire duration.

Hang on…how about a summer vacation for moms? Away from the home and hearth? Kids? Husbands? Days full of spas, jazzerobics, Zumba, good cuisine…?………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………Sorry. Got lost in the beauty of the idea.

Till then…it’s back to taking care of the troops and trying to keep a tight hold on my sanity.

Toodles!

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Image courtesy- http://www.clipartguide.com