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AtoZ Challenge 2018Kid HumorMotherhood

Free – Will of a Toddler – AtoZ Challenge

posted by Anupriya April 6, 2018 0 comments

Amrita had put Nik into a Montessori when he was 20 months. She personally thought that it was a little early, but everyone around seemed to be fussing over the fact that everyone starts going to playschool at 18 months. So she conceded. Nik was extremely enthusiastic about going to school. Amrita had deliberately chosen to put him in a play school that was closer to home and did not believe in hoarding kids for commercial gains. What she liked best about the place was that is was spacious, airy and had an ope play area with a grass lawn and swings in it. Nik absolutely loved his school. He was popular with his classmates and his teachers loved him. Everything was going well for the first six months. But one fine day Nik started throwing tantrums that he didn’t want to go the school. Amrita thought that Nik may be finding going to school very taxing after the 3-day break that he had to take due to his viral fever. But she to her plight even after a fortnight Nik continued with his reluctance to go to school and began to cry the moment she started getting him ready for school.

His behavior got Amrita worrying. Ever since the time Nik had started going to school, he had been be extremely excited at the prospect of meeting his friends and the outdoor play time at school. This turn of attitude was something that Amrita had not pre-empted and took her by surprise giving her enough reason to ponder upon what could have possibly gone wrong.

Toddlers are and extremely unpredictable species. One could be caught off-guard with toddler logic and not be able recuperate from it for a very long time. Amrita went through another week of turmoil while she tried to figure what was going on.

One of the days after Nick started throwing tantrums while getting dropped to school she tried to reason with him, “My child, one has to go to school to grow into a big boy. You will become a strong boy like papa if you go to school.” She continued with her pep talk with no real response from her son.

But it didn’t seemed to be working. Another morning she decided to change her approach. Amrita pulled him close to her and put Nik on her lap to make his comfortable and assured him that she wouldn’t force him to go to school. The following conversation followed–

  • Amrita: So we won’t go to school today. Are you ok with the idea?
  • Nik: Yes.
  • Amrita: Will you not miss your friends like Amreek, Tejas, Anushka (named a few more of his playmates) and playing with them?
  • Nik: I want to play with them.
  • Amrita: In that case you have to go to school dear.
  • Nik: Nooooo…
  • Amrita: Why? Does your Miss (the instructor) scold you?
  • Nik: (looked up into my eyes, very teary eyed himself) hmmm..

Now this came as a little surprise to Amrita. She was completely convinced that the instructors could be insistent but not rude with the kids. The Montessori was after all run by an extremely experienced lady who had been running it for more than 16 years and did not believe in hoarding in large number of kids to make profits. She was very clear with her belief in inducing only as many kids in her system, as many she could tend to personally.

  • Amrita: Why? Why did the Miss scold you?
  • Nik: No reply.

Amrita braced herself for some probing action.

  • Amrita: Did you bully another kid?
  • Nik: (shook his head in negative)
  • Amrita: Does she scold you when you play in the garden?
  • Nik: Nope.
  • Amrita: Do you not speak your rhymes when she asks you to? (getting a little impatient now)
  • Nik: Naah. I speak my rhymes nicely (still extremely grim faced)

Amrita held on for a minute. She thought about the other reasons that could instigate a stern behavior from an instructor? As Amrita thought over and over again, she recalled that Nik had not been having his lunch at the school. For the last one month the tiffin she packed for Nik had returned with signs of little or no consumption.

  • Amrita: Does Miss force you to finish your lunch box?
  • Nik: (still looking down) I will not have any lunch at school.

Bingo!

  • Amrita: You don’t want to have tiffin in school?
  • Nik: No.

Ok! This was a significant breakthrough in the enquiry.

  • Amrita: Okay then! That’s no big deal. Today you may tell your Miss that you told mamma that you won’t have your tiffin. Alright?

There was a relieved or even a winning smile on Nik’s face ! And that was it. Amrita concluded that Nik didn’t want to go to school because he didn’t like being coaxed into having his lunch. And all this drama for a little man’s free will !

One can’t beat the spirit of a 3 year old with logic. Amrita realized that she had to somehow work around Nik’s convictions without forcing anything onto Nik and make him feel heard and empowered.

P.S. : Amrita packed vanilla cake with coconut truffles for lunch that day. The box came back empty and clean !

I am participating in the challenge of April with #Blogchatter

Read my AtoZ Challenge posts here

AtoZ Challenge 2018MotherhoodParenting

An Embarrassed Parent ? AtoZ Challenge

posted by Anupriya April 5, 2018 0 comments

Amrita shoved Nik into the back seat of the car and herself got into the passenger seat in the front. She reclined the seat some more to make space for her bump that was still a good 6 weeks from the due date. Sensing the hassle that Amrita was in, Raghav turned the AC regulator to increase the cooling and pulled out a bottle of water from his door-side pocket holding it in Amrita’s direction. As he turned on the ignition, he caught a glimpse of his son who was sitting all glum and tight lipped.

‘Thanks for this lift. Though I was about to book a cab.’ Amrita said with a sense of relieve after gulping down some water.

‘Oh! I was out for a meeting with a client and thought of just checking with you. It so happened that the timing matched and I reached here just in time to pick you up for a ride. But where are your shopping bags? You said you were out at the food mart to buy stuff for the home?’ Raghav enquired as he drove cautiously through the evening traffic that was bustling in an urgency of the masses to return to their home.

‘I booked for their home delivery service. It’ll reach home by tomorrow.’ As Amrita said this she turned in her seat to glare at her son and looked ahead again, resting her head on the head-rest of the seat.

Sensing some tension between the mother-son duo, Raghav tried to remain cheerful through the remaining of the journey back home. On the way, he stopped over at the new food joint that claimed to serve the best waffles in town. This break seemed to lighten Amrita’s mood and helped turn Nik a bit more cheerful, though everytime he looked at Amrita he was visibly grudging.  Raghav took note of this and decided to take it up later with Amrita.

Later that night, once Nik had been put to sleep and the couple were preparing to retire to bed themselves, Raghav broached up the topic,

‘So happened at the food mart today? You looked completely hassled and Nik too was out of his elements. I could clearly make out that something had transpired between you two.’ Raghav said, raising his hand and resting his head on it.

Amrita tried to find her extra cushions to support her bulging tummy and lied down facing Raghav.

‘Tell me one thing! Why do these people at the retail marts place all kinds of chocolates and mints and candies, just near their payment counters?’ Amrita was exasperated.

Raghav raised his chin in contemplation, ‘That’s because they want to cash in on that one trait of their visitors which will make them pick up things on impulsive while they wait for their turn at the cash counters.’ With a big nod of his head he turned to look at Amrita, ‘You get it, right?’

Amrita landed a blow with her fist on Raghav’s shoulder, ‘Thanks for reminding. But no thanks. Remember, I too passed out from the same MBA batch along with you. I know all this marketing strategy shit. But my problem is, it’s just so unfair to the parents.’ Amrita was so agitated that she wanted to sit upright, but it had taken her so much effort to adjust herself in a comfortable lying position that she dropped the idea,

‘Today Nik created such a scene at the mart. He wanted that useless candy pack that contains a peanut size chocolate and a mini toy. I refused to buy him that over priced thing and he threw a tantrum. Oh God! Everyone was looking at us.’ Raghav saw the horror that Amrita had felt at the mart, in her tone and her wide eyes.

‘Some were looking at Nik, thinking what a brat he was. And there were others who gave him a sympathetic look and saw me with contempt. As if telling me ‘why don’t to buy it for him? It’s just 40 bucks’. I mean it was a terror to pay the bill and walk out in a haste, pulling on a howling 5 year old’s hands.’

Raghav wore a smug expression as he adjusted his pillow to turn sideways.

‘Amrita, do you remember the KYC seminar we attended at Nik’s school around 3-4 months back?’

‘KYC? Oh yes, the Know Your Child workshop. But what’s that got to do with all that happened at….’ Amrita bit her tongue before she could complete her sentence and looked apologetically at Raghav.

Raghav shrugged and rolled his eyes, ‘So much for attending a 2 hour workshop with one of the best child psychologists in the country. No cheer up and go to sleep.’  Raghav straightened his back and turned the other way signaling that he was switching off his battery.

Amrita lay wide awake thinking about what Raghav had just reminded her.

Mr. Ramanath Murthy, the chief secy of the SSI group of schools. It was in one of the city branch of the same group where Nik studied. Mr. Murthy was a renowned child psychologist, counselor and educator. Every year he conducted a workshop by the name ‘Know Your Child’ where he helped the parents identify issues they faced at home while dealing with their kids and discussed the same in detail. He had a unique style of analyzing the problems raised by parents and provided unbeatable anecdotes that brought out an unfathomable perspective to the entire thing.

In the last workshop that Amrita and Raghav had attended together, this very issue about kids throwing tantrums in malls and shopping marts was broached up by a parent. Amrita still remembered the entire conversation verbatim

Parent: I really get embarrassed when my son throws a tantrum in the middle of a shopping complex. I do not want to give in to his demands and neither do I want to create a scene on the spot.

Mr. Murthy: How many parents face the same problem?

Almost 80% of the parents present raised their hands.

Mr. Murthy: That means it really is not the child’s problem. It is a behavioral characteristic.

Loud murmurs

Another Parent: But it really is very embarrassing!

Mr. Murthy: Let me tell you a story. As a young professional I had to travel a lot. In those days most travelling happened by train. Invariably there would be toddlers in one of the compartments in the boogie and they created immense raucous to keep light sleepers like me awake all night. I have to confess that I would swear under my breadth to those parents who could not manage their kids.

Around 10 years later when I was taking my first flight with my 2 year old daughter, I had the worst nightmare of my life. My toddler was a restless bag of springs, and just would not stop running around and wail if we tried to constrict her. I still remember the “embarrassment” I felt for having to travel with such uncontrollable child. There was this old gentleman who had been watching me getting hassled over my daughter. He walked upto me and gave me a benign smile. What he said next with a wink, has stuck with me till date. He said that,

‘You have an adorable daughter. She will give you enough memories to recall when you will be an old man like me. Do not fret over the mess that she seems to be creating. People who have had kids, completely empathize with you. And the younger lot will understand, when the time comes for them to travel with their tods, like you are today. It just doesn’t matter. Look at her and savor her valor.’

With a pat on my shoulder he went back to join his family.

With all the worry creases eliminated, Amrita took a deep breath and went off to sleep.

I am participating in the challenge of April with #Blogchatter

Read my AtoZ Challenge posts here

AtoZ Challenge 2018MotherhoodParenting

Death – AtoZ Challenge

posted by Anupriya April 4, 2018 6 Comments

Amrita put Nik in the car and took the driver seat herself.

‘Don’t fidget with the seat belt Nik. If you don’t put it on, Police uncle will come and take us to the jail.’ Amrita screeched at her son and then sighed at the futility of her own words. At 4 years, Nik really did not understand the gravity of ‘Police uncle’ and ‘Jail’. She turned the car keys to ignite the engine and raced off across the street to drop Nik to his skating classes.

Amrita was 8 months pregnant now and was struggling while driving. Her bump did not allow her to sit upright to have a clear view of the front bonnet of the car. She had to recline in her seat a little more than she was comfortable with as a driver. It was just that years of driving on the road had refined her traffic judgment and she was able to ply safely on the road. Besides, she loved driving.

She was disturbed by Nik’s squeal and abruptly applied the break, cautious enough to not ram her bump into the steering.

‘What happened baby?’Amrita plied the car on the left before coming to halt.

‘Mamma! There was a cat infront of the car. I feared it might get hurt.’ Nik’s innocent concern left Amrita smiling.

‘Oh! I am sure it’s ok. These street cats and dogs have a way of remaining safe on the road. They are experts at that.’ Amrita turned on the car to resume her drive.

And then a fear engulfed her. Had the cat died, what would she tell Nik? Nik did not yet know what words like ‘dead’ and ‘death’ meant, or atlest she thought so.

As Amrita dropped Nik to his activity class, more lines of worry appeared on her forehead. How was she going to manage the situation in her house next week?

Raghav’s first cousin Mita had passed away of lung cancer at a rather young age of 40 years, leaving behind her husband and two sons aged 12 years and 3 years. The entire family had been devastated. They all found it difficult to cope with their favorite cousin. Though Amrita empathized with the loss that Mita’s husband Deven had suffered her heart went out more for the kids. Especially for young Vansh. He had hardly spent any time with his mom since his birth. Mita’s cancer had been detected right after his birth and had since been struggling with the harsh treatment that the disease called for. Little Vansh was only aware of a person called mom in the house who was mostly ill and hardly had any opportunity to experience the joys of childhood with his mother. And now Mita was gone, forever.

Amrita tried to keep stress at bay by avoiding thinking too much about Deven and the boys. But her worries ran deeper. An element of this tragedy was about to touch her own life. They had invited Deven and the boys to visit them so as to ebb out the awkwardness that Deven felt since Mita’s demise.  Next week Deven would be here with the boys and stay with them for 2 days. Amrita’s fear was what or how would Nik react to Mita’s absence.

No! Nik obviously was too young to be attached to Mita, but he was very likely to be curious by absence of Vansh’s mom.

How was she ever going to explain to her 4 year old that Vansh’s mother wasn’t with us for good! Her fears got confirmed later that week when Nik came up hopping to her,

‘Mom! Grandmother says that my cousin Vansh is coming to our home next week. Is it true?’ Amrita nodded kindly.

‘Will Vansh come with his mom and dad? Because I hear that he is even younger than I am.’ Something tugged at Amrita’s heart as she pondered for an appropriate reply.

‘Tell me mom! Which room will Vansh stay in with his mom and dad?’ Nik nudged further.

Amrita held Nik by his shoulders and engulfed him into a bear hug. She then made him sit by her side, her arms still around him,

‘Baby! It’s true that Vansh is coming to stay with us next week. But he is coming with his father and elder brother. Remember Gora bhaiya? You met him on our last visit to Jaipur? Vansh’s mamaa was not well, she is in the hospital for treatment. So she is not coming with them.’ Nik heard Amrita’s words with a lot of concentration and nodded as if on cue.

With a heavy heart, Amrita continued, ‘Baby! Vansh might miss his mother. So you must not ask him anything about her.’ Her hold tightened a bit around Nik’s shoulder. She was very skeptical about the effect of her words on a tender 4 year old mind. By now Nik was really distracted by the noises of kids playing right outside their home and nodded absent mindedly before running out to see big boys play gully cricket.

Next week when Deven arrived with the boys, Amrita and family welcome them with warm hearts. They tried to make their stay as normal as it could be for everyone. It was quite evident that everyone was missing that one person who had bound them in the past and now the common grief of her absence put them together. Amrita kept her fingers crossed for Nik to not make true her worst fears. He was extremely friendly towards Vansh, but never once did he check with anyone on where Vansh’s Mamma was.

Two days later when the guests left, Amrita took a sigh of relief. She dreaded the moment when she would have to tell her little boy about what death or dying meant. For now she had managed to keep the question from surfacing,  but she wondered for how long would it be before she would have to face the demons of parenting.  And as she feared, the moment came very soon.

‘Mamma! Vedansh bhaiya was very upset in the car pool today’ around a fortnight later, Nik spoke out as he returned from school and out his shoes back in the rack.

‘Why so?’ Amrita knew Vedansh was a companion in the car pool that Nik used to ply to and fro from the school. He was around 3 years elder to Nik.

‘He said that his pet dog had died.’ Nik said concern lurking in his eyes.

Amrita stopped short in her tracks, as she heard Nik’s words. She turned to look at Nik who was busy pulling out his tiffin box to keep it in the kitchen for washing.

‘Mamma! Vedansh Bhaiya said that his dog was very ill and could not eat or drink anything. He became so week that he had no energy to walk around. Last evening he did not wake up. They had to put him to permanent sleep in some other place, where he would not be disturbed.’ A tear rolled down Amrita’s eye as she heard a child account of what death meant. She felt all blood drain out from her system as Nik came to her and hugged her legs. In an impulse her hands went around her son’s head.

Such was life. That day Amrita realized for the first time that this world was warm and harsh both. Parents fear for their kids’ getting exposure to the harsh realities of life. We protect them as much as we can, yet there is no running away. Life finds its way towards kids. They come to understand everything, as and when the right time comes.

I am participating in the challenge of April with #Blogchatter

Read my AtoZ Challenge posts here

AtoZ Challenge 2018Kids LearningMotherhoodParenting

Competition – AtoZ Challenge

posted by Anupriya April 3, 2018 5 Comments

Amrita finished with her daily house chores and sat down with her liquor tea to have some time to herself before her elder son Nik, returned from school. She checked upon the time once again, worried why her mother-in-law wasn’t home yet. She had gone out grocery shopping 2 hours back and should have returned by now.

The bell rang, and Amrita cautiously rushed to open the door for her panting mom-in-law.

‘It took you a little longer than usual. Isn’t it?’ Amrita asked as Radhaji handed over the plastic bags to the domestic help. Amrita signaled to the help to bring her a glass of water and ushered Radhaji in the living room to relax.

‘I met Shilpa on my way and spent some time chit chatting.’ Radhaji told Smita as she gulped down the cold plain liquid that the domestic help had just brought her.

‘Oh! Shilpa. How is she? And how’s Somansh. He is going to school now, isn’t it? He’s just 6 months younger than our Nik.’ Amrita inquired. Mention of Shilpa piqued her interest as a long standing family friend. Her husband Raghav and Shilpa’s brother had been classmates at school and Shilpa had come to live in their neighborhood after her wedding.

Radhaji widened her eyes as she let her hair lose to detangle it and tie it back into a bun. ‘Somansh is now going to the good old school where his father went. She was all praises about the school. Somansh seems to be doing very well there.’

Amrita narrowed her eyes into a slit and grinned with her lips towards one side, ‘Doing good? How do you measure the performance of a 3 year old who has just started school.’

Radhaji clucked her tongue, ‘It’s not that. She was telling me that Somansh nows how to write all his alphabets and number up till 70. I mean, I was like already, our Nik knows nothing in comparison. Do you think it was a mistake to send him to this new age school. I sometimes wonder what they teach the children their.’

Amrita listened to Radhaji, all amused about the way she was making it sound all dramatic. She nodded her head unalarmingly, ‘Mom! There’s nothing to worry. Nik is just 4 years and they have started with numbers and alphabets in his school just a month back. And what’s the rush, eventually every child is expected to read and write only when they reach the age of 6 years.’

‘No! But I did not like it when I had to admit to Shilpa that our Nik was lagging behind in his skills and abilities. It was almost mortifying. You must make a visit to the school and talk this out with the teachers as to why are our kids not at par with kids in other schools.’

Amrita arched her brows and bit her lower lip. She couldn’t believe her ears. ‘What was it with their parents’ generation? They  seemed to be so tied down to my-kid-is-better-than-yours way of life.’ Amrita thought not daring to speak her mind, lest it may offend the old lady.

‘Mom! It’s OK. Seriously I am not too worried about Nik’s capabilities. I know for sure that we are raising him well and that the school he is going to is doing their job. He is developing all the required skills for his age. Please don’t get into such rat race kind of discussion on ‘my child knows this, how about yours’. It will do nobody any good.’ Smita folded the newspaper and got up to stack it on the shelf.

Radhaji puffed out a mouth full of air, ‘Leave aside this discussion. Go and have some rest. Once Nik comes home you will have no time to even breathe.’

Amrita nodded unenthusiastically, ‘I don’t know what’s up with this boy. I have to force him to his skating and dance classes every day. If I don’t drive him down to his classes, he just won’t go. How will I manage him once the baby arrives?’

Radhaji smiled empathetically. Raising the elder child with a younger one on the way always came with a mixed bag of emotions. There was joy of having a child and giving your elder child a sibling. But there were more anxieties about how to cope up with the elder child who seems to get into a war for attention from the parents. Smita sure had some difficult months ahead of her.

‘It’s OK. Nik is very young. He can re-join the skating classed once you are back in action after your delivery. Let him enjoy at home only till then.’

‘No Mom! It’s not done. There’s so much competition these days. Every child knows everything. And if we don’t start young, he will get caught in the rut of school and academics. He will never be able to develop any interests or passions. He ought to go for his extra-cirricular classes.’ Amrita sounded very determined.

Radhaji smiled at her daughter-in-law who stood with her hands on the small of her back. She observed that it was now just a matter of time. They may have to rush to the hospital anyday now. But she did not like the creases of worry on Amrita’s forehead. And for what reason? Because Nik hassled over going to his skating and dance classes!

‘Amrita! Aren’t you contradicting yourself here? Sometime back when I was fretting over what Nik was studying at school, it was you only who assured me that everything will fall in place with time. Then why are you now fussing in a similar about his willingness to go for his extra-curricular classes? You should be unfazed by competition and focus on the unique requirements of your kid.’

Radhaji’s words hit at Amrita. She realized that while she had internalized the fact that her son will come around academically, she was worried that he may lose the race of over-all development by not being very keen on his extra-curricular activities. Amrita then reminisced her childhood, where her parents had always been focused on the studies and often mulled that their middle-class roots did not allow them to think beyond academics. Extra-curricula’s and extra classes were for the affluent.

She was probably fighting her own demons when she pushed Nik to participate in activities other than academics. She was scared that her son may lose out on this very important avenue of learning and enjoying his life. Nik really was very young. She must give him time and nurture him to an age where he may be able to decide his own passions and have the courage to follow them. Her role was that of a facilitator, ad that she could do later too.

I am participating in the challenge of April with #Blogchatter

Read my AtoZ Challenge posts here

AtoZ Challenge 2018MotherhoodParenting

Baby Blues – AtoZChallenge

posted by Anupriya April 2, 2018 0 comments

Smita reached office and hustled to the lobby in order to make a personal call. Initially she had planned to work from home for the entire week that her mother was scheduled to be in Hyderabad, but things had not gone as per plan. Neither Smita’s plan nor Mrs. Gunjal’s. After she and Sharman refused to go to the gynecologist with her, Mrs. Gunjal had taken to giving them both royal a cold shoulder. In the last two days, she only joined them for meals and then left to spend her time in the recreation centre of their residential complex.

‘It’s boring in your flat and there are other women my age with no grandchildren who also come there to spend some time.’, she had explained mournfully . Sharman had suppressed laughter at this statement of hers, while Smita had groaned in irritation. She decided that working from her office was a better option than to become a witness to her annoyed and unreasonable mom.

Amrita picked up the call almost instantly,

‘How are you babes? Hope the weather at your place is fine.’ Smita did not miss the sarcasm in her big sister’s voice. Obviously, Mrs. Gunjal had shared the reason for her visit to Hyderabad to her. Amrita had messaged Smita on the day of their mother’s arrival. The message read, ‘Tell me how it goes!’ followed by 5 winking emoticons.

‘Mom went ballistic.’ Smita declared, ‘She has decided to remain stoic while she is here and make us feel miserable for deciding to not have a child yet’ Irritation rising high in her voice. Amrita replied with a little giggling sound.

‘Take her out today evening for a nice dinner. She’ll come around.’ Amrita knew the way to her mom’s heart.

‘Hmm! I’ll ask Sharman to check out for a North Indian restaurant and be home early today.’ Smita said as she leaned on the railing, ‘How about you? How’s your health? You really were glowing the last time we spoke on the video call.’ Smita set aside all her worries and turned her attention to her sister.

‘Uffo! Silly girl, just don’t imagine things. The pregnancy glow does not show until the last trimester. And considering that…’ Amrita stopped abruptly, not sure if she should continue. Smita was quick to sense something amiss.

‘What happened di? Considering what?’

Amrita bit her tongue between the side of her jaws and contemplated if she should speak her heart out.

‘Di! Are you there? What is it? Please tell me…’ Smita was almost panicking.

‘Ugghhh! Nothing yaar. You know this child was not planned. Even though Raghav is quite enthusiastic about this kid, I am not. This child will mean the end of my career. I cannot continue to work with two kids towing my life.’

‘But Di! Think about Nik. Wouldn’t it do him good if he had a sibling? I mean, look at us, even if we have lived miles apart for almost a decade now, you and I know who to fall back on whenever there’s a crisis.’ Smita restrained from sounding paranoid, but she was really scared for her sister.

‘Common Smita, both of us have friends who are only kids. And their life is good enough. It’s not that they are not happy being. And about Nik. He will have his cousins for sure.’

‘Di, you are the only one in my life right now who feels it’s ok if I and Sharman do not if to have a kid. And I can’t even tell you what a relief it is. Incase you do not wish to have this child, it’s your choice. I’ll stand by you no matter what.’ Smita was structuring her thought’s simultaneously as she spoke, ‘But I am all in favor of Nik having a sibling. I can’t even how my life would be without you.’

Amrita did not respond, but Smita knew from the noise of her flaring nostrils that she was still listening, ‘Di! When life is all hunky dory, it doesn’t matter if you are an only child. But it I during personal challenges and testing times especially those that involve the parents, that an individual becomes lonely in the absence of siblings. I only want to say that just because you fear that your career will get de-railed, do not decide on an abortion. You and Raghav jiju are financially sound even if you do not work and life is much more than a career.’ Smita was now walking back towards her cubicle.

‘Hmm! Maybe you are right. But I am still not sure.’ Amrita was in a rocking state of mid and did not wish to speak much. But Smita’s work’s had set her thinking, once again. She wished her sister better luck with their mom and disconnected the call.

That night, when Amrita retired to her room she was in a disheveled state of mind. Her conversation with her sister had rendered her vulnerable for the entire day and she had left Nik to his grandmother’s care after feeding him and excused herself to get some rest. As soon as Amrita hit the pillow, she snoozed with doubt still looming large in her mind.

When Raghav’s mobile went live at 4 am in the morning, Amrita instantly knew what the news was. Raghav’s best friend Sameer’s father had been in the intensive care unit for last 4 days and the doctors had given up on his multiple organ disorders. They had visited him at the hospital only last evening. Smita had been heart broken at how lonely Sameer had been. His wife was at home to take care of their 2 year old and other than a couple of friends, there was no one that Sameer could fall back on. All his relatives live far away in his native city. His parents also stayed in the same city untill last year when on his insistence they had shifted to live with their only son.

His call at this hour meant only one thing. His father had passed away. Raghav and Smita rushed to the hospital after leaving Nik to sleep in his grandparents room. As they walked into the corridor where they expected to meet Sameer, Smita was shaken by the silence in the hospital. Smita’s eyes widened and her heart went out to Sameer as they saw him sitting on the bench at the end of the corridor. He was sitting with his head lowered and covered by his palms.

Amrita suddenly woke up with a start. She felt sweat beads on her temples and it her a couple of seconds to start breathing normally. The sight of Sameer, all lonely and putting up a strong front to get through the formalities at the hospital after his father’s demise had haunted Amrita for days. Raghav had told her that Sameer was really shattered yet was not allowing himself to stand weak lest there would be no one would look after mother. She had often thought that if he had had a sibling, who would have stood by his side during these testing times, Sameer would have a shoulder to cry on and join hands while dealing with the loss. The sight of Sameer sitting alone in a dark corridor still haunted her.

As Amrita kept back the glass of water on the side stand, her conversation with her little sister came back to her in its full meaning. There were numerous people she had known who were only kids, yet she herself had never felt a pang of jealousy with them ever. While she knew for sure that the vice-versa wasn’t true. Her friends who were only kids, often regretted the fact that they had never enjoyed the bickering from a sibling, or had never known the feeling of having their back covered whenever they were up against their parent’s will.

In that moment, Amrita looked own and rubbed her hand on her belly. She realized that the life in her womb, was going to bring only joy and love in their lives and in Nik’s life. As her baby blues faded away, Amrita slumped back into her sleep. This time a peaceful one.

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MotherhoodParenting

I Resolve To Sham Mommy Shaming

posted by Anupriya January 18, 2018 5 Comments

They say that Happy Mothers raise Happy Kids. Thus my most important resolution for the year 2018 is to be a happy and contended person. But the challenge is that I am a mother of two kids under 5. Now the expectation in the former statement just does not seem to fit in with the latter one. Isn’t it? Yet I have decided to give it a shot, and a sincere one at that.

When I reflected on things that put me off during the last year, I realized that most of the reasons found their roots in one master reason. That’s the fear of judgment. The call it Mommy Shaming!  Continue Reading

Kids & Women LifeStyleMotherhoodParentingWork and Life

Tumhari Sulu – 5 Parenting and Lifestyle Cliches Highlighted

posted by Anupriya December 13, 2017 7 Comments

When I decided to go and watch ‘Tumhari Sulu’, I was looking forward to a care-free Vaidya Balan sway to the tune of ‘Banja tu meri Rani’ and curl my own toes. In the beginning, I thought I was going to set up some couple goals similar to those of the lead couple. It was so much fun to watch them enjoy their life within their limited resources. My heart really warmed up to this very average middle class household whose protagonists never stopped dreaming. But as the plot revealed itself, I became more and more uncomfortable and kept shifting in my seat. There were moments when I gritted my teeth at the way this enterprising lady in her 30s was expected to submit to the norm and not dream big. Everyone around kept telling her to focus on her house, her child and not harp on the possibilities of making it big in a job that no one had an iota of idea about.

I kept wondering through the second half that the cliches highlighted by the story teller are not new. There is nothing unique about what the female protagonist is facing or suffering. Continue Reading

Kids & Women LifeStyleMotherhoodWoman EmpowermentWork and Life

Want to Return to work? Watch out for ReStartHer

posted by Anupriya September 13, 2017 17 Comments

When I asked Neha Bagaria, Founder, JobsForHer as to why according to her Indian women find it so hard to get back to work after a break, her candid reply was,

“The ecosystem just does not support the comeback.”

But she was quick in adding that the corporate world was definitely headed for a transition. Several multi-national companies now realize that diversity isn’t just important because it puts them in a more socially acceptable space. Diversity is also important because it directly impacts the bottom line of their business. There is concrete research Continue Reading

Your baby is growing up fast, enjoy it till it lasts
Kid IssuesMotherhoodParenting

Moms Get Unplugged – Don’t be too harsh on yourself

posted by Anupriya September 1, 2017 13 Comments

Ever since I decided to become a mother, I have seen umpteen messages, graphics and videos that recount experiences and overwhelming journeys of mothers across the globe. Now that I am a mother of two, I identify with most of these experiences yet I feel that these narratives are highly skewed towards creating a rosy picture of motherhood. Especially in India, where becoming a mother is still considered to as be-all and end-all of the life for a woman, I often wonder why many mothers don’t embark on the dark side of motherhood.

Yes, the dark side! For starters, there’s this lost sense of individual space along with this continual trigger that keeps them thinking about their kid even when they are away from their little one. Continue Reading

MotherhoodParenting

A Second Chance At Motherhood – Things I Am Doing Differently

posted by MommyTincture July 6, 2017 6 Comments

Mostly every mother has this clear picture in her mind about how she wants to bring up her children. Yet, in the rush of events of becoming a first-time mom, a lot remains fogged due to lack of experience.
For me, the birth of my first child was a milestone I managed to meet before I turned 30. Actually, I was not quite ready for a child, yet we as a couple decided to have one because I also firmly believed that if I grew any older, it would be impossible for me to have the patience to raise any kids.

A lot went haywire and in retrospect, I feel that my little Nik and dear husband were at the receiving end most of the times. I was like, if I am going to have a kid, I rather raise him to be that perfect kid who every mother would envy. (I am laughing at my naivety of having such a goal.) Continue Reading