Just when I was finally uploading Adi's birthday pics, I get a message that there is no space for storage and that I have already used up the allocated 1 GB. I don't want to pay for additional space. What do I do now??
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.
Well, today has been dedicated to "blog update" and I want to update most of the events, incidents, travels that has happened this year - posts that have been in my mind but have not reached my fingers!! One significant event is that I managed to make my son aware of sexual abuse. Cannot claim that he is completely aware but at least I spoke to him about it and I check with him periodically to see if he remembers. A few of my friends had blogged about it, but I didn't know the right way to explain this to my son. Until the TV show Satyamev Jayate happened. I guess it was the 2nd or 3rd episode of Satyamev Jayate and it focussed on child sexual abuse. Towards the end of the show, Aamir Khan had a workshop for the kids where he explained about "danger parts" and how to deal with a situation where a stranger touches the "danger parts" without his or his parents permission (when doctors are involved). And I just had to show this to Adi - AK explained it so easily, in a way kids could understand. We were in Delhi at that time and so my Sis and I showed this program to Adi and his cousin Bhoomi. As expected, there were questions and we answered it. And then they were amused by the whole idea of it and kept giggling away talking about it :))
Anyways, every other month I ask Adi if he remembers what the danger parts are and if anyone has been messing around. And he does remember. I think I owe this education to Aamir Khan - he was brilliant in his teaching and explaining.
I wish we were educated about this when we were children. As a growing girl I have been touched, groped, pinched - in the streets, trains, buses, shops - many times when I my Mom was around - but I never had the courage to tell her. I think this has left a lasting effect on me - where I am not comfortable with guy friends touching me unless I know them really, really well. I do not want my son to go through this (yes, I think boys can be abused too) and want to give him the courage to share anything that happens with his parents. And God forbid, if something does happen, he is able to come and talk to his parents about it. I can only try to my best to make him understand - I hope he does.
Now that I got the top 10 Mommy Moments done, here is a list of things that I would like to do with Adi or for him know and understand as he is growing up. Again in no particular order.
1. Share his first cigarette - yes, when he is old enough, I am going to give him a cigarette myself, make him try it, explain what harm it can do and why it's not good to smoke. I am thinking maybe around 4th std coz when I was in 5th I knew of a few boys my age who smoked and I experimented with smoking when I was in 4th! But who knows, with kids these days, it could be earlier.
2. Watch the Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, The GodFather movie series back to back with popcorn and if he is old enough, a drink!
3. Answer all his questions as truthfully as I can even if it is not age appropriate - so far I have answered questions on how a baby comes out of the mother, marriage (have given him options of being with someone he loves with or without marriage), kissing on the lips!!
4. Make him understand that kindness is important and also it is more important to give than receive
5. Do one of those overnight camping rock concert events
6. To teach him to live life fully, be passionate about whatever he wants to pursue and to dream big
7. Let him know that he should never, never, never lie to me - no matter what it is that he has done - I am still working on this one
8. Help him to never let go of his imagination as he grows up. I believe in all his stories, even when he comes home and tells me that he stepped on a tornado or that he runs so fast that no one can see him!
9. Let him develop his own personality and not make him like me or his Dad
10. Make him understand the importance of friendship - good friends are a life long treasure
11. Let him teach me things I do not know - starting with Hindi :))
12. To be positive, be happy and take life as it comes
13. To love freely and deeply
14. To develop a love for reading - don't think this one is to be and I am willing to let go
15. Make him understand that I will always be there for him, forever and ever and that he will be always be my baby :)
16. Teach him to respect his elders at all times
17. Pass on the love for travel, to learn from each culture, to embrace the differences
18. To give him as much exposure as possible, encourage him to be independent and make his own choices and decisions
Year 2012 is coming to an end...already!!! It seems like it was just a couple of months back that we had the new year party at our place and we were all excited about the beginning of a new year - a year to look forward to, a year of new beginnings, a year of new friendships. I was reminiscing about the year gone by and I thought that I should list the top 10 Mommy moments - moments that made me feel special, cared for, proud, loved, happy, exited. These are in no particular order - just the order they came to my mind...
1. Adi's first day of Grade 1 - was a very proud Mommy seeing my son in his school uniform and going off on his own in the school bus. One of those teary eyes moment (don't think these moments will ever come to an end - it's a lifelong disease!!)
2. One of those rare days when I actually had fever (and not just imagining I had one!). We were in Delhi at my sister's place and I was shivering on a hot summer day. Adi didn't want KG or anyone else to take care of me - he gave me my medicine, made sure I was covered with a blanket at all times, patted me to get me to sleep (like I do to him) and just kept telling me that I will be ok and that he will take care of me. Oh, my adorable brat, I LOVE YOU SO!!!
3. Seeing Adi on stage performing the "kola aata" on his UKG annual day - no matter if he is just standing still on stage, it still gets me all teary eyed (full emotional we are - like all mommies, I guess!)
4. Seeing him cycle on his birthday - without trainers for the first time and he just refused to get down!! Ended up buying a new cycle on the way back home from the party!!
5. Adi's excitement when I took him cycling on the main road!! I needed some groceries and with hubby away at Korea, I decided to walk to the shops and take Adi along with his cycle. Since it was early morning, I thought it would be safe enough to take him cycling on the road. And boy, was he happy!! He was out on the "BIG ROAD" and he was quite proud of himself! Even "parked" the cycle while I shopped :) And made me promise that when he turns 8, he can cycle up to Pizza hut (which has opened closed to home) and order for home delivery :)
6. When I asked Adi "What will you do if you meet your birth mom?" and he replied "I will still be with you - because you are my mommy and I love you very much"
7. All the crazy talk and crazy games we play at bed time - we don't say "good night" anymore, its "bad night", "sussu night", "potty night", "wierd dreams night" and lots of other nights :)
8. When Adi said last night that he was no longer the slowest in writing in his class. Seems like my baby has finally caught up after a very late start :))
9. When Adi shared his packet of chips with a beggar lady whom we see regularly on the way back from his drum class. He always wants a few coins or some money to give her but that day he decided to give her his packet of chips and he told me "Mama, when I grow up I am going to be a kind person"!!
10. When he was in UKG and got a certificate for standing 6th in chess :) And this after zero encouragement from home - coz we never played chess with him because he ended up crying if we won and I would not "fake" a defeat
And one more:
11. When Adi beat me in chess this year - all of 3 times :D yes, I do play with him now :)
There are many, many other moments but will stop at this for now...maybe another post at the end of December :)
I haven't been photographing Adi as much as I used to and today as we were chatting during bedtime, I had a sudden thought that I should take some pics of Adi wrapped in the blanket. And for a change (did the sun rise from the west today??) Adi was willing to be photographed and even gave me a few nice poses. I think he is well on his way to becoming a professional model :))
Were the funnest days of our childhood. The school holiday, the family get-together (our entire family of aunts, uncles, cousins would celebrate together in our grandmom's house), singing bhajans with our grandmom and the rest of the family, the special food that is made for each festival, watching "vesha's, visiting the Naga bana and Ganesh pandals, bursting firecrackers on Diwali, enjoying Biryani on Id, christmas cakes and decorating the christmas tree, etc, etc - all made festivals very very special and occasions to look forward to.
With the times having changed so much and a lot of family members living in far locations, I don 't think Adi will ever get to celebrate a festival like we used to. Last year I tried to go back to Malpe for a few festivals so that Adi will get to experience it in a small way. However this year, we were kind of stuck in Bangalore due to some 'well-timed' events or assessments at school. So we tried to do our best in Bangalore itself - although it was nothing compared to what it is like back home. We visited the Krishna temple on Janmastami, cooked mutton biryani on Id, read a story about Mahabali on Onam, and visited a Ganesh pandal on Ganesh Chaturthi. So far I have not ventured into cooking a full fledged festival meal - maybe from next year.
Some pics from our temple visits - all the pics in the Ganesh pandal (except the ones of him) have been taken by Adi with his camera. He specifically asked for it and wanted to take it along!!
These one's are at Chinmaya Mission Krishna Temple on Janmastami.
Reading this blog it may seem like I am a perfect Mom - but I am not. I absolutely love being a Mom and feel that motherhood has been the best ever phase in my life, but I also feel that I can be much much better at being a Mom.
Although I give Adi the freedom to do what he likes most of the times, there are times when I am very impatient with him and shout at him, forget that he is just a 6 year old boy and expect him to behave like an adult, make him do things that he wouldn't want to (just because I feel it's good for him) and the worst of all and the one which makes me feel very bad about myself and which I am desperately trying to stop - give him a couple of whacks when he doesn't listen.
I think I was the most patient with him when he was a baby and a toddler. All I did then was make him laugh. If he threw a tantrum, I would patiently wait until it passed. If he cried, I would gently calm him down. If he didn't listen, I would come up with inventive ways to make him listen and do what I wanted. If he misbehaved, I would scold him, but he never faced any consequence. I still do all this - but now I shout at him, hurt him and make him cry too - and this hurts me a lot because I have absolutely no memories of my parents scolding me, hitting me or making me cry. I dont think I hit him at all until he turned 4. And then I saw some friends of mine doing it and how it made their child behave immediately and I gave it a try - and it worked!! Of course, I don't hit him black and blue - it's just a whack on his back - but he ends up crying - mostly because of the shock rather than the pain I guess. And now its become a habit and I do it whenever I am really angry, sometimes involuntarily - and then when I think back, the anger is not justified at all. I could have handled it better, I could have remained calm, I could have managed without hurting my baby. I have to remind myself that he is just a child and he cannot be perfect - nobody is. The days I am definitely in the wrong, I do explain to him why I hit him and also apologize - and then there are days when he gets angry that I hit him and asks me to apologize!! I should have never gotten into this - never done it even once in the first place. I will regret it forever.
Since he turned 7 last week, I have promised myself that I will never ever hit him again. I will scold him if he misbehaves or doesn't listen, but I will not hit him. This is a promise I am going to try my very very best to keep.
A friend of mine posted this on facebook recently and I read the line 'Hands are not for hitting' and realized how true that was. I have printed this and stuck on my closet door to remind myself every single day.
This year we decided to celebrate Adi's birthday in a different way (separate post to follow on the birthday celebrations). Firstly, we had a birthday party in Bangalore instead of Malpe (so far, only his first birthday was celebrated in Bangalore) and secondly, we decided to keep it "gift free" for all the guests. We requested the quests to give us cash or cheques instead of presents and all the money collected would be donated to Relief Foundation to help them set up libraries in their resource centres (http://www.relieffoundation.org.in/).
I had discussed this idea with Adi before sending out the invites and if he was disappointed about the fact that he wouldn't be getting lots of presents - he didn't show it. I told him that he would get whatever he needed from us and maybe a few more from his family. So he was OK with this idea and told me to go ahead. We had planned for two parties - one for all his friends and one for family. The first party which had many guests - we kept gift free and the other we didn't specify so that Adi would still be excited about getting some gifts (after all which child doesn't love getting a present!).
In the first party, most of the guests gave us either cash or cheque and we managed to collect around Rs.18000!!!! A whopping amount which we never expected!!! We told Adi and he was happy that he could help other children with this money. He said 'now many children can read story books like I do' :)
During the second party which was after a week, my cousin gave him an envelope with cash in it - with two notes of 1000. Adi looked at it and said - 'Mama, one note is for the school and one note for me'. This was something which I never expected - that he would actually give away his gift himself. It was one of those 'teary eyed' moment for me and also a happy one because he was learning to give. Adi's Dad and I were so thrilled that we decided to keep both the notes in his money box!! :) He certainly deserved it!
Since my darling baby was born - to his birth mom whom I am sure loved him dearly. When Adi was born, I am sure she held him tight, smiled at him, cooed at him, hugged him warmly and did all the normal things that mothers usually do. Maybe in the few days that she was his Mom, she gave him as much love as she possibly could - knowing that she could not be with him forever. I can only imagine her hurt and her pain when she had to give her son up for adoption - I am sure she had a good enough reason. I normally don't think about Adi's birth mom - except when I am trying to tell him about it. But I always remember her on 4th Sept, on Adi's birthday - and I wonder if she is thinking of him that day, missing him, wondering where he is, if he happy, how he looks like, if he is naughty, if he is clever, which school he goes to, if his new parents treat him well, if she will ever see him again. I am a mother to this beautiful, energetic, funny, vivacious boy because of her, because she chose to leave her him in an adoption centre and not just abandon him in a random place. I have experienced pure joy and happiness, feel blessed every single day that I have been with my Adi, all because of this woman who I dont know and probably never will. Every year on Adi's birthday, I send out a quiet prayer saying thank u and not to worry about Adi. This year I asked Adi to pray for his birth mom too and he closed his eyes for a few seconds and said that he prayed for her. I hope she can hear us.
Since we are on the topic of excuses, here's a classic one that Adi made up to skip swimming class at school. Adi has swimming class once a week in his school and after the first class he realized that the water was too cold for his liking. I also think or rather know for sure that it's not just the cold water, but that he is scared that he will have to venture to the deep side without floats and since his parents will not be around, he will drown if he does that.
Next week, on the day of the swimming class, he cried a bit in the morning and told me that he doesn't want to attend swimming class as the water is too cold and I told him that it is his decision whether he wants to get used to the cold water (I guess with the Bangalore weather being what it is, we cannot really expect the pool to have warm water other than April/May) or stay out of the pool and that I am ok with both. However, the condition was that he would tell his teacher himself that he wanted to stay out and that I would not send a note. So, the kid went to school with knitted brows and full of thoughts - I guess trying to figure out how to skip class.
The day went by and when Adi got off the school bus in the evening, he was full of smiles and the first thing that he said was 'Mama, no swimming today, only playing!'. I thought he probably got into the pool but didn't have to do any swimming and that the instructor let him play in the pool. When we got home, I realized that his costume as dry and my interrogation began :)
Me: Did you have swimming class today or was it cancelled?
Adi: We had swimming class
Me: Did you get into the pool?
Me: What were you doing?
Me: How did you manage to stay out?
Adi: (very sheepishly) I told teacher that I fell in the school bus and hurt my hands and that I wont be able to swim
I was both shocked and thrilled at the same time. Shocked because I did not expect him to make a fake excuse. Thrilled because he was smart enough to figure out a way to escape class all by himself!! I should have probably told him that it was a wrong thing to do, scolded him for lying, etc etc. But I didn't do any of that. Just listened to his story and decided that I will give him time to get over his fears, apprehensions and wait until he is ready. I know my son and I know that he will NOT DO something that he doesn't want to. So I just let it be.
The next week, I packed his swimming costume again in the hope that the teacher will call his bluff, but the kid had a new excuse!! This time it was the real one - that the water was too cold for him - and I also think he cried although he didn't tell me (well, it slipped out of his mouth once but he didn't mention it again).
The third week I decided not to send the swimming costume so that he wont have to make any more excuses. I shall wait until he is mentally ready for the class.
And what better excuse to not blog than the two month long, super fun and super lazy summer holidays!! And then one whole month and a little bit more to recover from the holidays, get used to Adi's new school routine and get back to my old routine!!! Now that the excuses are over and done with, am trying to get my life back on track and am back to my favorite time of the day - remembering and writing about my dear, naughty son - never fails to bring a huge grin on my face :)
Was feeling extremely lazy today and wanted to make something simply and easy for breakfast. Asked Adi if he wanted to help and he was eager to as long as it was something from his own cook book. I had french toasts in mind (easy to make and delish to taste) and kept my fingers crossed that his cook book would have a recipe on frech toast too. Opened the book with a silent prayer and voila! my prayer was answered!! Adi seemed to like the picture and the no of ingredients involved and so we set off to make some french toasts.
I let Adi break the eggs this time and he did it quite well (which means without making a mess!!) and he did his usual bits of adding, whisking, cutting etc and I did my usual bit of frying. The toasts came out tasty and Adi loved it too!
Once we were done with the cooking, we had a pretend "MasterChef" session. Adi was the judge and I was the participant. I had to take the toasts and give it to him to taste - and he tasted it just like how the judges do it in MC and asked me to describe the cooking process!! Then we had to pretend it was night time, sleep and wake up next morning ready for the next session where the winner would be declared. After all this, he said Hayden was the winner (and not me!!) and that he would go and cook in Hayden's house!
I've been hearing that there's a MasterChef Junior program going to be aired soon. I am sure Adi is going to love it and I cant wait for it to start.
A couple of days back while Adi and I were having a chat, I asked him 'Adi, what will you do if Mama is not there anymore?'. And he says 'I will take a knife and stab my heart'!!!! I ask why and he says 'Coz, I can't live without Mama'. GAWD!! Where's the kid learning this from?? Although it sounds nice when he says he can't live without me, I wish he was not thinking whatever he was. Need to do something about this and get him to start thinking that he CAN live without me.
There was a time when Adi kept asking us if we would die (this was about 2-3 years back when he realized that his Ajja had 'died' and not become a star). If we said yes, he would get very upset and if we said No, he wouldn't believe it and thought we were lying. He would keep telling us to eat healthy and keep exercising so that we don't die (cute to hear but for him it was a very serious matter) and live forever, along with him. Last year it got pretty bad and Adi would ask me every single night if I would die and then tell me not to die and that he couldn't live without me (same for his Dad as well). I would really worry and wonder how I could pacify him, comfort him and more importantly convince him that death is a part of life and unavoidable and that life goes on after that. I tried giving him various answers, including we will never die, but nothing stopped the worried questioning. And then one day, I told him 'Adi, after I die, I am not going to go away. I will continue to live within your heart. I will always be with you and love you'. I repeated this a few times and somehow Adi seemed consoled. After this answer, the 'death' question has hardly been asked so I guess its not worrying him anymore.
But now this knife in the heart business has kind of thrown me off balance. I am going to let some time go by and check for his response again - hopefully he wont be thinking the same anymore. Fingers crossed!!
This post has nothing to do with my Brat!! I baked Banana Walnut bread yesterday (which Adi was supposed to help me with, but he was busy playing outside), the result of which I was quite pleased with and hence could not resist posting the pictures! :D
Adi and I went to the Second to None market today. Before we left, I told Adi that I wanted to buy some plants and asked him if he wanted one to take care of himself. He was really excited by the idea and said he wanted to choose his plant himself and that he will take care of it and water it everyday. When we reached the place, it was too small and crowded and I didn't want to take Adi through the stalls (I was sure it would make him impatient). So I found a nice little place for him, in the Hamsah farm stall (the owner knew Adi quite well) and left him there with his DS and asked him to help John with the sales. He was more than willing to do it - as he had also done it earlier in the 100 hands exhibition.
After going through the stalls and meeting some friends, I found the My Sunny Balcony stall - from whom I wanted to buy some planters and plants. Unfortunately, most of them were already sold out but I found one indoor plant in a blue recycled planter and thought it would be perfect for Adi's room and for him to take care. I went and got Adi to the store, he liked the blue planter as well and so we got the plant home.
Adi was almost like a "papa" to the plant right from the time we bought it. He spoke to it and said we were taking it home and that he was going to take care of it. He then wanted to name it and asked me if it was a boy or a girl. Just to see his reaction, I told him it was a girl - and he quickly named it "Petal". But then, as expected, he asked me how I knew it was a girl and I told him I knew it because it had a pink label on it. That was it - he said you could put a label of any color and so the plant could be a boy as well - and the name was changed to "Ricky" :)
Adi held on to Ricky all the way home and kept speaking to him. Once we reached home, he took him around all the rooms and showed all the other plants to him. He then wanted to keep him in a safe place - which happens to be our balcony seat. I suggested many other places ( as I didn't want it to be kept on the seat) - but apparently Ricky does not feel safe anywhere else!! So there he is now, nicely watered and taken care of. I hope the love lasts and more importantly the plant survives the love! :) It was sure nice to see Adi all loving and caring and that too for a plant. Everyday there's something new to rock his boat :)
Adi has no flair for art but loves dabbling in paints and colors anyways. He's been wanting to paint a peacock the last few days but with all the playing, he had not found the time for it. Today, we were having a quiet time at home and I suggested that he could paint his peacock instead of watching TV. So out came the colors, the paint brushes, the plastic mat, sheets of paper and some water and Adi started off with his 'finger painting'. After dripping his hands in colors, painting his palm and splashing lots of water all around, he ended up drawing a peacock and a tornado.
I love it when he draws something out of his imagination - something that I have never been able to do myself. I guess it's in the way kids are being taught these days - where they are allowed to self-express and not just copy what the teacher has drawn on the board. No matter how much we crib about how education has changed in recent times - some of the changes are definitely for the good.