October Rant

October so far has been filled with a lot of patience-testing moments, tantrums and minor setbacks.

The daughter has been having Annual Day Dance practice almost the whole day everyday in school. This has resulted in tiredness, leg pain, frustrating meal times and a full-blown return of her tantrums and crying spells. I have been having a tough time controlling that impatience of mine and have been talking more than I should at more instance than one.

Then there was (is) that nagging lower back pain which had me struggling through most of my everyday chores. Even while the body craved for a much-needed break, I just couldn’t give it that. Add to it the side-effect of the muscle relaxants that I had for the pain! I generally avoid taking medicines and go for it only when I don’t have any other option. So, there I was, all drowsy and dizzy for two full days and struggled to remain awake all through the day.

Even before I could fully recover from the drowsy effect which made even the back pain a lot more tolerable, Diwali was fast approaching and that meant more standing and more work.

So I made a yummy Mysore Pak, a super soft Badam Katli, omapodi, the classic mixture and, finally, the Deepavali Marundhu which took up almost a whole day of mine by, at first, becoming one solid hard mass which refused to come out of the box into which I had poured it to, to later becoming watery all thanks to the multiple rounds of warm water that I had to pour on it to liquify it enough to take it out of the box. But despite all the time and trouble, the final result turned out to be perfect in the correct texture.

On Monday evening, as I was washing the last of the huge number of dishes, I heard me telling myself that I wish I could get a week’s rest for all the exhaustion resulted from the last few days. That’s when I came to know that my daughter was having school holidays from Wednesday till Sunday! Wow!

Later, when my sister asked me if it will be really a rest for me with so many days school holidays, it struck me how we sometimes prefer the routine since there will at least be some predictability in it, making it seem easier to tackle. My daughter loves going to school, but given the tiredness caused by this Annual Day Practice, I am sure that this time, she will love this break from it.

As for me, yes, it will be tough keeping both away from TV for long, but given all the physical and emotional exhaustion that I have been going through this month, I know that I will enjoy every moment of this much-deserved break.

The Kids’ Mealtime Struggles

Yes, every mother goes through it at some point of time or the other. You wake up in the morning, take one glance at the clock which has you running into the bathroom to take a shower and get out of it in a jiffy, rush through the preparations of cooking at least a basic meal and finally run to the nearest fan with the cooked food in your hand just so it could turn warm from hot sooner so that you can feed your kid on time before his/her hunger pangs could turn into tantrums or crying spells. That’s when comes the first refusal and then total rejection from the kid who outright says that he/she will not eat the food.

This everyday struggle at almost every single mealtime, including in the form of unfinished lunch boxes from school gets on your nerves enough to launch off into a rant on why you even cook anymore, doesn’t it? I really wouldn’t mind if either of my kids didn’t eat properly at a few of their mealtimes if it didn’t result in all the crying or naughty acts from them. While my 5-year old resorts to crying for anything and everything, my 2-year old launches off into full-blown naughtiness, throwing things, biting/hitting us and jumping on the sofa. Diversion from it all and having a backup food like Magnum icecream or Lays chips ready for such times is what works most of the times. But, sometimes, even that doesn’t work. And that’s when frustration sets in on us. Ah the immense level of patience that is required from us! Just what exactly do kids love to eat???

The Amber Shower

It was yet another morning and it was raining yet again. Waking up, I gazed out of the window to see the falling raindrops glowing under the streetlights soaking its amber colour. The amber shower against the backdrop of the green leaves of the tree just when the sun had risen looked so beautiful! Oh these natural colourful and beautiful frames waiting to be discovered in the most ordinary places!

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Did I tell you that the reflection of the light on the wet floor looked so beautiful too?

Mindful Talking – A Self-Reminder

Writing at length about how I had let impatience take over me at several instances in the last couple of days has made me realize that not only was I getting stressed out unnecessarily, but I should also not let myself get back to my old ways even for fleeting moments. Here is a quick self-reminder on how I should get back full-fledged to my mindful talking ways:

  • Be mindful of how much you talk and, more importantly, the way you talk. The words should come out at a slow pace and in a soft voice. Lengthy conversations with me being the prime talker is a strict no-no.
  • Do not shout – not even across the room talking. Sometime, last month, my daughter said, “I could hear your voice from the other room.” That is precisely how much the volume of my voice shouldn’t have been.
  • Do not talk in a whispering voice.
  • Do not sing or hum.
  • Do not polambify (Don’t I love Tanglish!) / rant about anything – be it something mundane or something life-altering.
  • Be completely relaxed.

I already have these written on a post-it on my fridge in the kitchen and read through it on a daily basis or whenever I feel I am not sticking to any of the points. Writing these here will help me be a lot more mindful.

As an aside, don’t these points ultimately boil down to having immense patience and improving your patience level with every passing moment?

 

The Downhill Days

The moment I wrote the last post here on how I was in a relaxed mode, I knew that Murphy would soon strike. After all, smooth rides don’t last forever in life. My daughter had her full-blown crying spell on Thursday morning and got delayed to school by half an hour! But I would give myself a thumbs-up for handling it calmly. But I too was to soon stop being calm.

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Pausing to let the kids be….KIDS!

The last three months have been a self-challenging period when I had to be mindful of the way I reacted to every single thing happening around me. In order to talk less and, more importantly, to talk in a soft voice and not shout/yell and not show impatience/anger, I had to take things easy. I had to keep doing a self-counselling on a regular basis that it was okay if the child didn’t eat a meal properly or it was okay if the siblings continued to fight and make each other cry or it was okay if we got delayed to school by a few minutes. It meant slowing down, pausing. And that’s when I realized that all I had to do was pause to let my kids be kids!

How many times was I reminding my daughter to swallow her food and not keep it inside her mouth without biting? How many times was I asking her to stop dancing around while I was combing her hair? How many times was I reminding her to walk fast lest she gets delayed to school? How many times was I asking her to stop playing and come back home lest her brother starts feeling hungry and starts becoming restless?
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Dinosaur

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I asked my daughter who was the ‘Sir’ who was outside the school yesterday and my 2.5-year old son replies, “Dinosaur!” Such is the fascination he has for dinosaurs!

Imagine how he would feel when he comes to know that dinosaurs are now extinct. He wouldn’t even believe me if I tell him that because, earlier this year, while visiting the Singapore zoo, he wanted to see a dinosaur and to his surprise and ours too, we got to see not one, but many huge dinosaur models all moving its neck and making scary sounds, fascinating my son to no end.

The Everyday Adventure

At 1 pm on today’s sunny afternoon, the day so far had been smooth and having sat with my son for the last 3 hours, I thought that I should now get on with the household chores and started doing the dishes first. After all, the little one seemed so busy playing with his toys that he didn’t even look at me and I thought it was time to start tackling one chore after another.
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