What I am feeling – Jan 2017

I am going to start a series called “What I am feeling” which will appear on my blog each and every time I feel overwhelmed or too emotional or lost or even confused. This will be an honest look into a situation or a problem that I am facing at a particular moment and I will be looking forward to opinions, advice, and any form of help from all of my readers based on their experience or knowledge. What I am not looking for is judgement.

 

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Image courtesy: Pixabay

So this time the person leading to the messed up state of my mind is my little almost 5-year-old. Vi, has never been a stubborn child, he didn’t have the terrible twos nor did he give us any kind of trouble up until his last birthday. I don’t know if people would believe it when I say that even as a baby he was totally manageable. He was not the crying howling babies that people scare you with when you are pregnant. He was so calm that when my friends and relatives would visit us, they would say that it doesn’t even seem like there’s a baby in this house. Last weekend we had a specially difficult time. We had gone shopping with him and he was, as usual, running around the place. I would keep telling him to slow down since both N and I am not able to keep up with him. This shopping space was a huge open area with at least a million people. Finally, in between his running around, he went and dashed into a lady. Luckily they didn’t fall over. But I gave him an earful when N told me about this. Vi was so upset that he said he’s going away and that he doesn’t want to see us again. I didn’t take it seriously and went off to order food since I was super hungry by that time. N had gone to get him. And he comes running back in 2 minutes saying that he can’t find him. Now we both start panicking. We run around trying to find him and I am on the verge of crying. N tells me to calm down and walk back the same route. He walks towards the information centre to see if he can speak to a security officer and I walk back slowly the same route I had taken. As I walk slowly and look around, I see Vi hiding in between the plants. Feeling completely overwhelmed, I am in tears as I hug Vi tight. He tries to squirm away but I don’t let go. I call N and he comes over and sees that we have found Vi. Vi says he doesn’t want to talk to us, be with us and he is really upset that we didn’t listen to his version of what happened and scolded him. We tell him that he could have got lost. His response is ‘Let me get lost’. Both my husband and I are really upset but we control our emotions and just hug him. We know that getting angry and upset is not going to do any good at that particular time. We tell him that we don’t want to lose him. Vi goes on to explain that he was hiding so that we don’t find him. It breaks my heart to hear my baby saying that. To imagine that he prefers to be lost than be with his Amma and Papa. Finally, after all, the emotions have settled we go to have lunch.

Later that evening at home, we have our normal, tried and tested and failed fight for more TV time. Vi throws a tantrum saying he wants to watch more TV and I lose my cool and give him a tight whack on his bottom. All the pent up emotions from the afternoon are released. He goes away upset and I go to my guilt space. That night I am not able to sleep. I just can’t understand what I am doing wrong or different, what is happening to my little boy and what to do to improve the situation. It makes me feel helpless and somehow useless too. My husband N tells me not to worry. He is one amazing father and I have to say that if I didn’t have him by my side, I would have been a parent that I would never be proud of. He gives me an idea, he tells me that anytime I feel like I am going to lose my temper with Vi, to try and get down to his level and understand him. At least I will be able to cool off. He tells me to think of him as an adult too. I will try that and see how it works.

 

Please do read this:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-5667c315-a69c-4e5d-a683-e4e7771eb04d

This is an article I saw 3 days after we had this incident and it scared the life out of me. I thought for a minute that what if.

So let me what you think? What would you have done in a similar situation? Have any of you had similar experiences? Please do share what you feel, about the incident, our reaction, and any advice regarding what we could have done differently.

Update: This post was written almost 2 weeks ago.  And I have tried what my husband suggested. I try to think of Vi, as any adult whom I would interact with. It doesn’t mean that I would give into all his demands. But there is a  respect in the way we communicate.I don’t say a blanket no. We talk why the particular request may not be viable at a particular time. I feel there is a small change and we are seeing fewer tantrums.

And in the days that followed the incident, we had a few stories of rabbits that get lost and wolfs that get taken away by elephants and police ants who have to help find the lost animals 😛 .We would never miss out on opportunities for a story!

But this is not a chance I ever want to take. Of losing my little boy. I couldn’t live without him.

 

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Our trip to the Police Station #BarWoWe

policewoman-986048_1280Around this time,2 years ago we had to pay a visit to a police station. It was an adventure on its own. The reason leading to the visit wasn’t much of an adventure, it was more of a nightmare. So what happened was that being a very careful person, I lost my wallet which had some very important documents(very very very important) and some cash (ok, not some, a lot of cash). The better half points out that I could have bought a diamond pendant if I hadn’t lost the purse. Sad, sad.

So we needed to have an official police complaint if we wanted to apply for duplicate documents. For the first time in my life and vi’s, we visited a police station. It was a real fun experience and very unlikely from the ones that you have seen in the movies. We were expecting to meet the sub-inspector but since he had to go out for some reason we were asked to meet the head constable. As I stepped into the compound of the police station, I felt a sense of panic overcome me. I tried to calm myself down, you know I hadn’t done anything wrong than lose my purse full of important stuff. Ok, let’s not get started on that. We can argue about the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ of things later. So as per IPC, I haven’t done any kind of crime. Carelessness is not a crime YET 😐.

As we entered the station, we were asked to sit in a corner and wait. Vihaan during this time was busy checking out the place. He was just over 2 years old then. He has got my curiosity bug so I milk it as much as possible when we go to places where adults wouldn’t be normally given access to. He went to check out the lockups and there were two of them. Inside one of them, they had kept a lot of paperwork and guns. Yeah, the real antique guns that seemed like they have never seen the light of day. But that’s good, isn’t it? Looks like crime rate in our area is very very low. The other lockup was the lean mean one (where they would put you in the lockup :P) and Vi wanted to know what the hole in the middle was for. I told him as quietly as possible that it was to pee. In the background, the husband and father in law were telling us to come back and sit in a place trying to remind us that we are not a sight-seeing trip. As I was slowly trying to guide Vi towards the chairs, he asks me as loud as he possibly could, “Amma, who will pee there???.” Opps!! Talking too loudly will attract police attention and it did. The lady constable came up to me and Vi, and asked what happened, why are you shouting? The little mouse decided to act shy for a while and hid behind me. This entertained the lady and she started asking him questions (in a totally non-police kind of way). She asked him where he lived and he replied France, she asked Francis road?? (a road in our town). I wanted to laugh out load but thought better shut up. Then the son went on to say no, it’s France. She was a bit sceptical, she thought the little one was bluffing. So she asked me where we lived…hehehe…I said we live in France but our native house is nearby. This conversation went on for a while and we managed to register a complaint. In this time, Vi got really friendly with the constable. Next thing I see is him trying to take her cap. I jumped from my chair to stop him, which led to more howling, “Police, toppi venam” meaning that he wants the police’s cap. Slowly trying to distract him, I showed him the lockups again. Then his next demand was the guns. He went to the head constable and asked him if he can have one of the guns. The head constable was trying to keep a straight face. Finally, he said why don’t you look around the whole station and see the place with the ‘aunty’ (the poor lady constable who had just managed to save her cap from the little monster). She being very kind, obliged her superior’s instructions and thus I and Vi had a guided tour of a normal police station. As usual, Vi wanted to know what each and everything was for. He was really surprised to see a kitchen in the police station. I explained that they would make tea and coffee since the police station is open 24/7 and police also feel tired and need to refresh. The constable was amused by this inquisitive 2-year old who seemed to have no fear of anything. Finally, we came out of the police station. At the exact time, a police jeep came and stopped in front of the station, and as expected Vi wanted to get on that too. Luckily the husband and father-in-law came out right on time, else I would have got into a police jeep too (eeps!). Hence ending our trip to the police station

Hence ending our trip to the police station. I learned a few things during that visit. One, humans are the same everywhere. The police are a hard working section of our society who don’t really get all the facilities they should. But even then they were so kind. Second, kids have a special power to bring out the softness in any adult. Their innocence and inquisitiveness is something so precious that disappears somewhere along the road of life. Third, we may have a lot of pre-conceived notions about things and all of them needn’t be true. And people who spend their lives aiding or helping to make the lives of others easier are truly wearing a badge of honour.

***Written in response to the Wordy Wednesday Prompt by Blog-a-rhythm***

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It’s okay to say “NO”

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This incident happened when you were 3 years old. One day, as usual, you had played with your toys and they were thrown all over the place. So when your play was over, I asked you to clean up your toys and then we will eat apples. So here’s how the incident progressed:

Amma: Vi, pick up all your toys from the kitchen, please. Keep all of them in your room and then we’ll eat some apples.

Vi: No

After 5 seconds

Vi: NO, NO!

I was naturally surprised at your aggression but decided to play it down.

Amma: Okay. Then I am going to cut the apples and eat them.

Vi: NO! I want apples.

After 5 seconds of thought

Vi: Vi keep toys inside and then eats apples.

I was happy that you decided to change your mind and came around by yourself after giving the options a thought. We hugged and made up. I helped you with the keeping the toys inside and we had apples later.

What I want to tell you now is that Vi, it’s perfectly okay to say, “NO” at times. There will be a lot of situations in the future when you don’t really feel that it’s the right thing but are not able to express yourself but I hope you will find your voice to say NO to things that you feel aren’t right. I have been a “YES” person for most of my life. In most of the situations, to avoid conflict I have chosen to just nod my head and say Yes. But not anymore. Now I say what I feel and sometimes I go too far😆 (I am still learning dear).

Your Papa and I have talked about a few situations where we have told you to exercise your “NO”.

1. When someone touches you in a way you don’t like, yell “NO”.

2. When a kid hits you or tries to hurt you, show him your disapproval and scream “NO”.

3. When you don’t want to eat what is being served, a polite “No”.

4. When you see someone hurting another person, be compassionate and say “NO”.

5. When you grow up and go out with friends, if you see someone or even your friends misbehaving to a girl, slap a resounding, “NO”.

6. When someone you love, asks you for a help that you know you can’t do, a gentle, “No”.

7. As you grow, you may feel the need to do things that you don’t really like but do it only out of peer pressure. When you come to a juncture like this, I hope and pray that you can say a confident self-assured “No”.

It is really okay to say “No”.

Word of the year 2017 #WOTY #BarWoWe

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This year has begun on a good note. We had good food, good company and good memories to start with. I have been realistic as far as my resolutions are concerned. I didn’t make any as always. The new year has never inspired me to make a resolution but this year I would like to choose a word which I would like to carry throughout the year. The word that I have chosen for this year is “FOCUS”. I have always felt that I lack focus in whichever task I aspire to take up. Be it my writing, my artwork or sometimes I feel even in my relationships and daily interactions. I guess the other word I am looking at in this new year is “MINDFULNESS”. To be present in the moment and be able to complete any set task and then move on to the next. At present, I am such a scatterbrain that I have at least 20 posts in my draft folder, 6 art projects done halfway, a house that is a complete mess and a son who is distraught.

         Anyways I am happy that I am in the first step. The step of self-realisation, without which none of the later steps will follow. So first the realisation, then hopefully I will arrive at the phase where I am completely and totally in the moment and be able to focus on one task at a time and arrive at an end. To be honest, I have no goals at the moment. But, I am hoping that by the end of this year I can at least start having a goal or an aim to work towards. At present, my only goal is to “Be Happy” and “Give Happiness”.

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***Written in response to the Wordy Wednesday Prompt by Blog-a-rhythm***

 

Why you should travel

Dear Vi,

We are just back from a trip and this trip was, I think, the worst trip for you. We had lots of tears, lots of disappointments and a whole lot of tantrums. Blame it on the age you are at, but I had to say these things to you so that you never lose the interest to travel and are always as excited as you were until last year about getting on an aeroplane and going to see something “amazing” (your words). There are the few things I learned on the few trips we have taken. As a child, unlike you, all my trips were to India to meet family during vacations and then some trips within India to religious places. Most of my exposure to the outside world started very late after my 30s. And in these few years I feel that I have evolved so much as a person and travelling around the world has brought a few changes in me.

Travelling to a foreign country specially one that doesn’t speak your language is a challenge in itself. It makes to realise that you are just a tiny spot in this whole wide world. A hidden opportunity in this is to learn at least two or three words in a another language like the basic hellos,  thank you and bye byes. For example, I can say thank you in 3 different languages(non-indian) and I learned it on our trips.

wp-image-310772441jpeg.jpegTravelling opens up a whole new world to you. The people,  the locality, the food all are experiences that you could never gain if you don’t take on the world. There are so many stories associated with each place that you will believe in the immense capabilites of humans and be in awe of it. Buildings, structures all hold so much of history in them that you will not be able to gain from any textbook.

Another benefit of travelling is the companionship. If you are travelling with family or with friends, the bond you have with them undergoes a sea change with your travels. I have learnt so many things about your Papa on our travels together. Be it in India or now outside. wp-image-1532009639jpeg.jpeg

I hope travelling around the world will help you find yourself and realise the goodness in strangers and also find humility in the greatness and vastness of the world you discover.

Time to say goodbye

It’s that time of the year again. The school year ends in a few more days. This time, Vi is super excited about school closing since we leave to India immediately. Every day he asks me “Amma, how many more days left?” I am all too happy to indulge him since it is going to be one month away from Papa. We both will miss him a lot (that’s a huge big awful lot 😦 ). So I want Vi to be happy and okay to leave. I think I have managed to accomplish that. Yesterday all of us were talking about the trip and I was telling N, that I would miss him. So, Vi tells me, “Amma, I know you are sad, but don’t worry Papa will come soon. After he finishes work.” I was happy and sad at the same time.

This was the first year of public school for Vi, and I am very satisfied with the teachers, method of teaching and the atmosphere in the school. It has been a year of relaxed learning for Vi. In the French system, they take it very slow. So unlike the kids of his same age, Vi hasn’t started writing or reading. He likes to write and that he does at home. At school, it’s more to do with learning life skills like how to behave in a group, listening to your teachers, and following instructions. Here learning is a more wholesome activity and isn’t based on rote or writing.

This year we decided to make something for his teachers. The two teachers who guided him, helped him discover and taught him so many new concepts. As usual, he was very excited in the beginning to make the gifts. He had made gifts last year too for his kindergarten teachers. He decorated the plate and I wrote the initials of the teachers on each plate. I think it’s turned out well 😉

 

vi painting

 

 

A birthday and a few lessons

 

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Image courtesy: Pixabay

 

Dear Vi,

I hope by the time you are big enough to read this, you know that June 20th is Amma’s birthday. My birthday was a few days ago. Let me first tell you what we did. Papa and I accompanied you and your class to the Ile de Margarite, near Cannes. It was a nice and sunny day. We had fun running around the place, searching for treasure and acting like pirates. All thanks to your maitresse (Class teacher) Magali. She sure knows how to make things interesting. So that was how our day went. A whole day spent with you and your friends made me understand you a little better. We spoke about this later that night.

Amma turned 34 yesterday and I guess I am halfway down my life. I wanted to share with you a few lessons I have learned from life. Hoping that at some stage of your life you may find these useful.

  1. Be yourself and be the best version of yourself – whatever anyone tells you, know in your heart that you are enough. Strive only to be the best of yourself. Change yourself only if you want to. Changing for someone else is not worth it. Neither is expecting someone to change for you.
  2. Be content with what you have – This is something you should learn from your Papa. He’s always happy with what he has. Although he works hard, he doesn’t have too many expectations. He’s someone who’s happy with whatever he has.
  3. Be grateful – Always have gratitude and be thankful for the people around you, the situation you are in and the comforts you have in life. From being able to see to having food on your plate. All things you need to be grateful for.
  4. Happiness is truly a choice – Amma took some time to realise this one. The onus of making ‘you’ happy, rests on you. No one else can be responsible for that. And, to find that happiness on a daily basis is easy if you look around you.
  5. Don’t judge anyone – Open up your mind, learn to be accepting, and don’t judge anyone. Not based on their attire, not on their gender, not on their origin and not on their religion. It will be very easy to for your opinion based on the various stereotypes you see around you. But in reality, each person is different. Take time to know a person before you make up your mind about them.

 

That’s all I want to say today, Vi.

Love and hugs and kisses,

Amma