The peace and joy and wonder of childhood!

You know what day it is today? It’s my yearly blog post update day! Yay! Look I just wait for something to really move me before I type. So some of you know that I am setting up a new business, this post is not about that, since if I were to start writing about that I will not be able to find time to set up the business any more. All I can say is its much more resource, money, time intensive than you first imagine it to be, but more on that later, maybe or maybe not. Back to what moved me.

So, Jahnavi is now about 2 & a half and terrible twos would be a huge understatement, one dialogue between me and Ashu doesn’t go by without some background score of a-b-c-d-e-f-g-h-i-j-k-l-o-meno-p-q-your-s-t-u-v-double-u-x-y-and-zee or some other song from that genre. Dance and music is a large part of every toddler’s entertainment and mine prides herself in being a self-proclaimed ‘balina’ (meaning ballerina). We were filled with mixed emotions when her pre-school sent a letter about her participation in the annual concert, mostly we were excited but we were also sad mainly because the costume charge, ticket costs and video recording would set us back by over $100. Anyway, so that happens of coming Friday.

Now if you don’t have a toddler (you would probably not read this) let me tell you that teaching them a dance, or anything, is a HUGE task and the key is practice and more practice. Beginning of this week Janu fell ill so she couldn’t go to school, which meant she missed her practice, today was her dress rehearsal. So, giving it due importance I thought I would take her to the concert hall and get her familiar with the place, loud music, big lights etc. a tiny voice at the back of my head was telling me that wasn’t the best idea but I went anyway. You get an idea where this is leading right? Yes, it wasn’t a great idea, she cried all through the practice, did not dance at all and hated the entire experience and understandably I was extremely sad as well. Only silver lining for me was she had a very grumpy face, while all others were smiling in all her photos, which I thought I would buy at some atrocious price per print (in this era of digital photography) to show her when she would challenge me for being emotional or stupid or other such stuff few years later. Need to be prepared! You might have judged me by now as a mean parent, but I heard lately on Ellen show, ‘What you think about me is not my problem‘, so living by that these days.

She is a very thoughtful person, my little Janu! When we came back home from the concert she slept off and then when she woke up she gave me a photo opp that would save me quite a few  dollars, its a pity the powder-pack was only half full or we would have had a whiter Saturday than that! Notice how she refuses to look into the camera.

 

OMG - One Mad Girl!

 

This incident and especially this picture gave me immense joy for many reasons one of them is, as I am told, I did the same thing decades ago (I am that old! boo hoo!) with kajal and on a beautiful & aspirationally expensive dress which my folks bought to dress me up for diwali. When I did this, my mumma let me just enjoy, the dress was already painted in black with kajal smeared all over, but she let me soak the moment. Some might think that my mum at that time and now I, should have disciplined our child but I think sometimes we should just let them live as they want, not singing or dancing for other’s entertainment but their own, sometimes being covered in powder all over, or blowing bubbles on a very rainy evening aren’t these the joys of childhood that we all yearn when we grow up?

I won’t really change my parenting style but just for curiosity tell me:

Finally I know why children do what they do…

Sometimes when I do not get sleep at night, I like to browse youtube and catch some interesting videos. Last night was one of those nights and I saw a video that answered most, if not all, of the questions that have ever come to my mind about child behavior. I highly recommend this video to all the parents who want to understand why their children behave the way they do. When I was a child, I remember my mum used to instruct me, teach me, guide me to behave certain ways and yet I always used to do something that I knew I was not supposed to do, when she asked me why I did it, I never had an answer, I sincerely used to say ‘I don’t know’ most of the times this would result in me getting beaten up and a lot of yelling and crying.

I clearly remember an incident, I was 5 then, on a lazy summer noon I was playing with my then best friend who was my neighbor the plan was to go out pick flowers, make garlands and marry our dolls. Since guests were expected at my friend’s house her mum asked us to help her clean and decorate the house. It is funny how we clean our houses when guests are expected it’s like an exhibition of our life. Anyway so the task was to spread a bed-cover, I remember it was so bright and colorful with huge daisies printed all over. Once done, we wanted to resume the wedding of our dolls, but we couldn’t go out however we needed flowers, there can’t be a wedding without any flowers we did some lateral thinking and cut out all the daisies from the sheet, spread it back again, tucked all the corners, made the garlands and were so proud of our work we wore the garlands and went to show it to our moms. My mom’s eyes and voice full of anger she asked me why the hell I did what I did. I knew nothing could justify it and I said ‘I don’t know’ of-course you can imagine what happened next…

Then there was this time, I was 6 then, my grandfather’s cousin had passed away and everyone was half mourning half searching for a picture that was clicked long ago at one of my aunt’s wedding which that dadaji had attended, my dad was supposed to send across that picture to the family since they could not find a clear smiling picture of dadaji. So anyway my mum found the picture and everyone was looking at it turn by turn, though it was completely irrelevant to me I still wanted to see and hold the picture, by the time my turn came I was already lost in a movie where Amitabh Bachchan smoked a bidi (Indian hand-rolled cigarette) and fought 10goons simultaneously, so impressed I was that I took the picture rolled it into a bidi and pretended to smoke but there was no smoke so I went to dear mommy and asked her to put some fire to my bidi… when I think of this now it was freaky on so many levels and again I had no answer for my action the rest as they say is history…

There are so many different incidents where I really can’t justify what I did like when I threw a cup full of milk on my neighbor or when put Odomos (mosquito repellent) in my sister’s hair to style it or when I with a friend started a fire right in front of my apartment on level 4 and danced around it till our mothers were throwing water on us which was as enjoyable – what could be the answer to all this? I found it last night! It’s a very simple explanation – ALL CHILDREN HAVE BRAIN DAMAGE! If you know you’re not supposed to do something and you still do it and people ask you why you did it and you say ‘I don’t know’ what else could it mean – it is brain damage.

Well watch it for yourself, Bill Cosby explains it pretty well .