Tag Archives: parenting

The Plan

It is 6 in the evening.

The kids are out in the playground.

Rehaan is getting ready to join his friends for a game of hide-and-seek. They have already started. Rehaan could hear them shouting happily. Perhaps, someone has been spotted. Must be Ananya. That girl is scared of insects and even before she gets spotted, she comes out of her hiding place and gives herself away.

Rehaan has to hurry up. He is missing all the excitement. But where are his cargo pants? He is most comfortable in those.

“Mom, have you seen my cargos? I am getting late for playtime,” Rehaan called his mom.

“Look carefully, Rehaan. It’s right there in the cupboard,” said mom, without looking up from her papers.

“It’s not here, mom. I’ve searched the entire cupboard,” Rehaan was irritated.

 

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Why can’t mom help me with this? I am getting late!

“Why don’t you put on something else, Rehaan? Please don’t disturb me now.”

Rehaan sighed and put on his pajamas. He couldn’t find his sports shoes too.

But he didn’t bother asking his mother.

He wore a pair of slippers and went downstairs to play.

The kids had started playing football. The game of hide-and-seek was over.

 Football in slippers!

Rehaan played anyway. But he couldn’t score. And at the end of the game, his legs started hurting.

When he got back home, Dad was back from work and was watching the evening news.

“Hey champ! How are you?”

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And that was it. Dad didn’t wait for Rehaan to answer and busied himself with a phone call and the news.

Rehaan’s parents were busy. Always.

His mother never goes to the office. But works from home, harder than any mom who goes to work.

His father is busy with work, news and phone calls.

When Rehaan was younger, his mom used to go shopping with him, read him stories and helped him with his homework. His dad watched cartoons and played board games with him.

Then they bought a bigger house with two extra rooms and a bigger balcony.

Rehaan knows that the house is so expensive that his parents have to work extra hard for the extra money.

But he hated that.

Today was a bad day. Like any other day. His legs were hurting really bad. He limped up to his mom and with tears in his eyes, told his mom that he can’t walk. It’s hurting.

To his surprise, mom jumped up from her work, shut her laptop down and took him in her arms.

“Can’t walk? What happened baby? How did you get hurt?

She made him sit on the bed and massaged his legs gently.

Rehaan was loving the attention and pampering. His father came into the room looking very concerned. The TV was switched off.

He made Rehaan his favorite cheese omelet for supper while mom sat and chatted with him for hours.

Next day, at 7, Rehaan got a bad tummyache. He went to his mom and started crying.

Mom hugged him. Got him some milk and buttered toast thinking that he was hungry.

He cried harder and dad came into the room and held him in his arms. They chatted over milk and toast.

It was great!

The next day again, Rehaan came back from the playground, went up to his mom and complained of a bad headache. Mom was worried. She made him lie with his head on her lap and gently massaged his head. Dad got him hot and creamy soup. And the three talked about school, friends and more.

On the fourth day, when Rehaan came back, he said he fell down while playing and hurt his left knee.

But mom noticed he had a limp in his right foot.

Mom knew something was wrong. She hugged him and made him sit on the bed and massaged his knee.

Dad was in the room too. He made Rehaan lie down with his head on his lap.

Then mom asked, “Rehaan, when you were younger, you never lied to us. But I think, with time, you have learned to lie. I think you are not hurt.”

Rehaan looked up at his mom. He was surprised to see that she wasn’t angry.

“Mom…,” he didn’t know what to say.

“You can tell me. I promise, I won’t scold you,” said mom.

Rehaan had tears in his eyes.

“Mom, dad, you are always so busy. You never spend time with me nowadays. And when I don’t get to talk to you, my entire day goes wrong. I can’t play, I can’t study, I can do nothing. I love being with you. When I get hurt or sick, you leave everything to be with me. I thought that’s the only way to get your attention. I am so sorry.”

When Rehaan finished talking and looked up, he saw his mother’s eyes full of tears.

From that day, Rehaan’s parents made sure, they spend more time with him. He was very happy.

And he also learned to talk to his parents about what he thinks and never lie to them.

 

 

 

 

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My Mom’s a Sleepyhead

This is Sam.

He loves to read magical stories.

He loves to play boardgames.

He loves to watch cartoon shows on television.

And he loves to do it all with his mom.

But there’s a problem.

Sam’s mom is always sleepy.

When he wakes up in the morning, she is no mood to watch the squirrels play in the patio or the birds twitter happily. Sam counts her yawns. 20, sometimes 25 times in an hour! Who does that!!

When she is back from work, she enters yawning. Again, not in a mood to play a game of chess or Scotland Yard with him. She is irritated and shouts at Sam.

“Sam, for God’s sake! Just look at your room. There’s no place to sit. Everything is so messed up. You are 7! Old enough to clean your room.”

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She cleans the room herself as she shouts at him and yawns. Cleaning, shouting and yawning all together. Then she cooks a quick meal and asks Sam to finish it fast.

“Mom shall we watch television while having our dinner?” asks Sam hopefully.

Mom shoots one angry look at Sam and he knows her answer.

“Finish your meal and go to bed”, said mom.

At night, Sam wants to listen to a story.

“Mom pleaaaaseee,” says Sam.

“Okay. But just one story,” mom agrees. Sam is overjoyed.

“Once upon a time, there was a king and a queen. They had a beautiful daughter. One day, an ugly ogre took the princess and started eating his salad. Suddenly… the clock struck 12 and beauty gobbled up grandma. Then she ran leaving her glass shoe behind…..the donkey and the cat started to race … zzzzzz…zzzzz….

Sam could not believe that!!

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“Mom! Mom! Wake up! Urgggggh”, Sam was very upset. He swears he will never talk to his sleepyhead mom again.

Today, Sam is in a bad mood. He cannot focus on what’s going on in the class. Sam’s teacher notices that he is upset for some reason. She calls him in the staff room and asks what happened.

“My mom’s a sleepyhead. She’s sleepy in the morning. She’s sleepy in the evening. She doesn’t read or play with me. All she wants is to sleep. I will never talk to her again,” says Sam.

“Sam, you are a good boy. You should try to understand your mom’s problem before getting mad at her. Do you know how hard it is for her to do everything at the office, at home, for you and for the rest of the family?”

Sam blinks.

“Have you seen a mobile phone? What happens when you play your favorite mobile game, watch a funny video, read about dinosaurs and talk to your grandma without charging it?

“It just switches itself off?” says Sam with a shrug.

That’s because the phone’s battery has no power left for more work. It’s the same with humans. We all have our energy bundles. And if we don’t get enough rest, we’ll be tired always. It’s the same with your mother. Maybe she is overworked.”

Sam realizes that it’s true. Mom works at the office. She comes back home and there’s more work waiting for her.

“If you want to spend time with her, you need to make sure that she has enough energy left for you,” teacher smiled.

Sam understands. He is ashamed to have behaved like a child. How could he not see that mom is tired?

In the evening, when mom comes back home, she is so surprised to see the room spic and span. Sam has done his homework too.

“Mom, let me help you with the dishes. Together, we’ll finish everything fast,” says Sam with a smile so sweet that her mom’s stress vanished instantly.

Sam is now able to save his mom’s energy for better things like bedtime reading, board games, cooking etc.

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And life is happy again.

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The ‘Pumpking’ Soup

King Sondumal was just like his name. Always sleepy and lazy. He had a huge kingdom but he didn’t try to make it rich, strong or happy. People came to him with their problems, but they were always sent back saying the king was resting.

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King Sondumal’s kingdom was in a bad condition. People were poor and unhappy. But do you know who was the unhappiest person in the kingdom? It was the royal cook. He worked hard to grind the spices, cut the vegetables, cook them into rich curries, but the king never liked what he cooked. Everyone else loved what he cooked. But it was just the king who never even finished his meals.

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“What a tasteless curry! You call yourself the royal cook? You don’t know how to make a simple potato curry. Take it away”, the king would shout and go back to bed.

The cook prepared the next meal with even more dedication. But it was impossible to please the king.

One day the cook had an idea. He went to the king and said, “My Lord, I want to treat you to the tastiest meal in the world.”

The king made a face. “ You cannot make a simple

“ You cannot make a simple daal and you talk about treating me to the tastiest meal?”

“Yes my lord, trust me. Pumpkin soup- it’s the tastiest meal in the world.”

“Would someone take this madman away? or should I throw him in the jail? Pumpkin soup is the most tasteless thing in the world. Do you understand?” yelled the king in frustration.

The cook was unafraid. He said, “What if I prove you wrong? I have a ‘pumpking’ growing in my garden.”

“A pumpking? What’s that??” asked the king.

“It’s a royal pumpkin and the tastiest breed of pumpkin. It’s so royal that when anyone who is not a king touches it, it rots immediately. So all I want from you is to go to my garden and bring that ‘pumpking’. I will make you a soup so yummy that you would want it every day. If I fail, you can put me in the jail.”

The king was surprised at his confidence. And he was curious about this ‘pumpking’ growing in his garden. So he agreed.

He called for his chariot.

“My lord, you cannot take a horse or a charioteer with you. They are not kings. The king has to go alone to the garden and pick the pumpking”, said the cook.

So the king walked towards the cook’s home. He found that the cook lives uphill. He started climbing the hill on foot. In just 15 minutes he was sweating and panting heavily. And the cook’s home was still far.

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The king kept walking and walking for 2 more hours and reached the cook’s home at the top of the hill. He found the ‘pumpking’ in his garden.  It was huge. He picked it and carried it back to his palace.

The ‘pumpking’ was too heavy and the road was too long. The king walked for another 2.5 hours before he reached his palace.

He was fuming.

“Now if you don’t make a good meal out of this, I am going to kill you,” said the king.

The cook went inside and quickly made the ‘pumpking’ soup- bland and tasteless.

He served it in the royal bowl to the king who was very tired and hungry.

As soon as he saw the soup, he gulped it down.

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“I can’t believe this! This is definitely tastier than anything I have tasted till now,” declared the king.

And then he asked for two more bowls of ‘pumpking’ soup.

The cook was happy. Back in the kitchen, the cook’s helpers tasted the soup.

“There’s no salt! It tastes horrible,” said the helpers.

“I told you, it’s a royal pumpkin. Only the kings will find it tasty”, said the cook smiling to himself.

 

But kids, you are smart. You know the truth, right? The king worked hard for the first time. He walked for hours carrying the pumpkin on his shoulders, got tired and hungry. So he found even the saltless pumpkin soup tasty. Those who work hard, enjoy their meals the most.

 

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Daddy’s Girl

‘I love my mom.’

And…

‘My Nani.’

And…

‘My Dadi’

And your Dad?

‘O yes, I love him too…’

 

When Simi Auntie was talking to Mia, Dad was reading a newspaper right behind them.

That’s what he does. Reads newspapers. Mia has never seen her Dad doing anything other than that.

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Dad gets Mia everything she asks for.

Mia is full of questions. When mom doesn’t know something, Mia goes to her Dad. Dad always has the answers.

But there’s something missing. Mia is not a Daddy’s girl like most of the girls she knows are.

When she sees a lizard, she cries ‘Mum!!!’ (Though Mom is equally scared.)

When she’s hungry, she looks for Mom, not Daddy.

When she’s sad, she wants nothing but Mom’s lap.

She almost never misses her Dad. It feels good when he is around. But she never feels lonely or sad when he is out on an official trip.

One morning, Mia woke up to find Mom in a very bad mood. She seemed as if she is in a hurry.

‘Mom, what’s the matter?’

‘Mia, Nani is not well. I need to rush to her. You’re a big girl. Please stay with your Dad for a few days while I am away taking care of your Nani.’

Before Mia could say anything, Mom was gone.

She didn’t help me brush my teeth.

Who will give me my breakfast?

Who will get me ready for school?

How can she just leave?

I won’t talk to mum.

Mia stood there thinking so many things, all at once.

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Suddenly, somebody picked her up. It was Dad!

Mia saw him grin broadly.

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‘Why is my princess so sad? Mom’s gonna be back soon. Till then, Daddy’s here for you.’ said Dad.

‘Yea but…’ Mia  doesn’t know what to say.

Dad quickly helped her brush her teeth. Then he made a nice, fluffy omlette for Mia.

Mia was surprised. It was so yummy!

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Dad can cook!

Then Dad drove Mia to school as always. But unlike other days, he kept talking to her and cheering her up. He even told a lot of Dad jokes. Some were good. Like

The waiter asks a Dad, how would he like his steak. What does the Dad say?”
-On a plate, please.

 

Mia laughed and laughed.

Some were bad.

“What did Dad’s tie say to his neck?”
– Do you mind if I hang around?

Mia still laughed. She loved her Dad this way. And wanted him to stay so. He was adorable!

When she got back home, lunch was waiting for her. It was not as delicious as mom-cooked food. But she was excited to see Dad doing so well in kitchen.

At night, Dad even told her a nice story. Mia loved it. She was having a great time with Dad.

Suddenly Mia saw something on the wall. It was a lizard!

Mia screamed ‘ Dad!!!’

To Mia’s surprise, Dad wasn’t scared. Infact he shooed it out of the room.

Wow!

Dad’s my Hero!

 

When Mom came back she found Mia reading the newspaper with Dad. She could see Mia was now Daddy’s girl.

 

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SAFE or DANGER? (Age 3 onwards)

Rohan and Roohani were waiting eagerly for their mother to get back home. Evening lessons with mom were always fun.

“Mom said she’s gonna teach us about something called ‘Dungeon’” said, 3 year old Roohani.

“No dumb. It was about something called ‘Stranger’” said Rohan, elder among the two.

Just then the door bell rang.

Mom has come back home!

“Good evening my hero. Hello my princess. How are you two?” mom gave a loving hug to the kids. She had been equally eager to get back home to kids.

“Mom, Roohani is so stupid. She said you were going to talk about ‘dungeon’ today. Ha-Ha-Ha. I told her it’s not ‘Dungeon’. It’s something called ‘Stranger’. Isn’t it?”

Mom smiled.

“Good guesses. I am so pleased to see that you are so interested in our evening lessons. Today we are going to talk about something called ‘Danger’.

Say it with me D-A-N-G-E-R.

The kids spelled the letters in chorus.

Then mom started explaining. She took out a huge poster from her bag. It had a familiar sign.

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Mom: Have you seen this sign anywhere?

Rohan was the first to reply.

Rohan : Yes mom, I saw it on the huge box under the lamp post across the road. And I also think I have seen it on the bottle that’s kept high above the shelf in the bathroom.

Mom : Very good, Rohan. You are so observant! That must be the electric transformer. And this sign is also on the acid bottle in our bathroom.

Roohani looked a little nervous.

Roohani: Mom isn’t it scary?

Mom: It is, my love. And it is meant to scare people. Warn them. Tell them to KEEP AWAY.  Because it is the sign of D-A-N-G-E-R. I’ll tell you what that means. What happens when you play with fire?

Roohani: We get burns. And it hurts.

Mom: So that’s a dangerous thing to do. Playing with fire is an example of D-A-N-G-E-R. Tell me what happens when you try to switch off the lights and fans with wet hands?

No one answered.

Mom: You get the shock! That’s again another kind of D-A-N-G-E-R. What happens when you try to cross a road when the lights are green? You can get hit by a vehicle. D-A-N-G-E-R again!

Rohan: I got it! Anything that can hurt you is D-A-N-G-E-R.

Mom: Right. So this sign warns you of things that can bring D-A-N-G-E-R to you. And we can keep danger away only by being careful.

Now let us play a game. I will tell you few things. And you will tell me, if it’s SAFE or DANGER? Ready?

Kids: Yesss, mom.

Mom: You are playing in a park. Safe or Danger?

Kids: SAAAAFFFE

Mom: Good. You are crossing the road holding mom’s hands. Safe or Danger?

Kids: SAAAFFFE

Mom: Hmm.. You are playing with a knife and a scissor. Safe or Danger?

Kids: DAAAANGERRRR

Mom: Ha ha. Isn’t this game fun! Okay. You are playing with your friend’s pet dog. Safe or Danger?

dog

Kids: Hmm…Safe?

Mom: Yes. We can say that. But what if, you throw a stone at him or kick him for fun?

Kids: DAANGERRRR

Mom: Excellent. Again. You are bitten by a dog and you come home and don’t tell your parents about it.

Kids: Hmm..

Mom: Danger. You should always be careful with animals and in case you are bitten by one, you should, at once, tell me or your dad.

Kids: Yess, mom.

Roohani: More, more. We want to play more.

Mom: Sure. You are coming back from school. You are tired and want to get back home quickly. Just then a man in a car came to you and asked you – Hey kid, are you tired? Come let me drop you home. Safe or Danger?”

Kids: DANGERRR.

Rohan: We should never talk to strangers.   

Mom: Lovely. You are sleeping and some thieves sneak in. They try to open your cupboard and take all the money. Safe or Danger?

Kids: DANGERRRR.

Mom: May I ask why?

Rohan: Because the money is ours. How can anyone touch our cupboard without our permission?

Mom: Very right. You should never let anyone touch a thing that belongs to you without your permission.

Now do you know all your body parts? Can you name them?

Kids: Yess, mom.

And the kids named their body parts one by one.

Mom: Wow. I have two very intelligent kids, I must say. Do you know that some of these body parts are your private parts? Places where you should never let anyone touch you. And if someone touches them, it’s DANGERRRR. What are these parts?

The kids didn’t answer. But they were listening with rapt attention.

Mom: There three private parts in our body.

One, Two, Three

Listen to me,

The parts of your body,

No one should touch or see

 

One, Two, Three,

No one is free

To touch something

That is yours, you see?

 

One Two Three

Just say No and flee,

When touched by strangers

On your chest, bum or from where you pee

Roohani started giggling. Rohan was amused too.

Mom smiled and continued.

Mom: So who will tell me, what are the three private parts we have? One?

Roohani: Chest

Mom: Two?

Rohan: Bum

Mom: Three?

Kids: From where we pee.

Mom: Cool! So what if an uncle or aunty touches you on your private parts?

Kids smirked. But didn’t answer.

Mom: You would say loudly, “NOOO. Don’t touch me there” and run. As fast as you can.

Kids: And come to you?

Mom: Yes. Run and go to your parents, teachers or any safe adult who is there. Again, what if the stranger touches you and scares you, “If you will tell anyone about this, I will kill you or your parents.”

Kids looked scared.

Mom: If anyone says so, you will be strong kids and still come home and tell your parents. Mom and dad will have the police take him to jail. Okay?

The kids laughed.

Mom: Let’s play the game again. An uncle who is your dad’s friend and has given you chocolate once asks you to come with him. Safe or Danger?

Kids: Are you talking about Ryan uncle? He is a nice uncle.

Mom: Ryan uncle or Suresh uncle or Sakshi aunty. If anyone asks you to go with him, without mom’s or dad’s permission, it’s DANGERRRR. You must tell him, “Uncle, I will come afterwards with my Mom-dad.”

Kids: Yes, mom.

Mom: What if a man in your school tries to touch your private parts when no one’s around? Safe or Danger?

Kids: DANGERRR

Mom: Great. I have much smarter kids now. When something happens that may hurt you, remember the Danger sign and Stay Away. Be careful, be safe.

Mom with kids

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Awed Eyes

Oooh that’s lovely!

Aha, how nice!

Mamma, this thing called world

Is a treat to my eyes!

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Why do you look at me?

Why do you stare?

While I cannot take my eyes off

All that glitz and glare

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Don’t you find them amazing?

Better than me?

Mamma, look at those colors,

Oh! Is it only me you see?

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Butterflies in my Stomach

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It was a Saturday morning. 4-year-old Mini woke up feeling happy. No school today! And mom will also be home all day! They can chat, go shopping and do some painting together which is the favorite pastime for both Mini and her mom.

She got down from the bed rubbing her eyes and went straight to the kitchen where mom was preparing breakfast.

“G’morning mummy”, said Mini cheerfully.

“Good Morning, my princess. You look fresh!”

“It’s a Saturday. What are we planning to do today, mummy?”

“Whatever you say, honey. We can paint, go for some shopping and bake some cupcakes together. What do you say?”

“Super! It’s going to be a great day!!” Mini was over the clouds.

“Amm.. but to start with, we have an important appointment today, Mini.”

Mini was puzzled.

“Appointment? With whom?”

“With the doctor. It’s your vaccination day, honey.”

Hearing this, all the excitement vanished from Mini’s face. She became pale instantly. She was scared of doctors and injections, like every other kid of her age.

But she was brave too. She never cried. She always wanted to be like her mom who she has never seen crying. So Mini just went to her room, got ready and sat with her mom in the car.

Suddenly, there was some strange feeling inside her stomach. As if something was moving inside!

“Ouch! My tummy hurts!” cried Mini.

“What happened, Mini? I hope you aren’t hungry. You didn’t finish your milkshake,” asked the worried mother.

Mini said nothing.

At the doctor’s clinic, the thing inside her stomach moved faster.

“Mom, there’s something in here. I can feel.. feel.. something fluttering its wings inside my stomach,” Mini fought hard not to cry.

Mom knew what it must be. She said, “I know what it is. Does it feel like..like having.. ‘butterflies in the stomach’?”

Mini was surprised! How does mom know?

“Yes mummy, they are all over my stomach!!”

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Mom smiled and to Mini’s surprise, she started singing!

When you are nervous

About giving a test

Or scared to visit

A doctor you detest

They flutter their wings

Like a garden in springs

You say, O God, mummy

There are butterflies in my tummy

“I think we should go inside and end this suspense at once,” said mummy mischievously.

Mini squealed.

“Nooo mummy. I don’t want to go. I don’t want injections. They hurt!”

“But the doctor is not going to give you any injections. In fact, he’ll give you few drops of medicine to drink.”

“Really mom!!”

Whoa! The butterflies cannot be felt anymore! They are gone!

On their way back from the doctor’s clinic, Mini was very happy.

“Mummy, now I am certain, the day’s going to be great! I love Saturdays!”

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