Category Archives: Life’s Like That

Cooking, Cleaning, Clutter Clearing, Celebrating

Fourth Saturday after today, I’ll land in Madras. Yes, it’s school vacation time and I can’t tell you how excitedly we are already doing the countdown!

Before that, Deepavali is the one thing that has all of us excited about. From the ‘fireworks’ (Do sparklers and other fire-less party poppers count as fireworks?) sessions with different sets of friends to the yummy sweets and snacks preparation to the family having holidays during Deepavali, it is going to be lots of fun. And lots of work too.

The house is at its clutter-max what with the kitchen sink overflowing with vessels to be washed, the ever-present colourful mess of toy cars and all sorts of vehicles strewn all around the house and the washing machine waiting with the full load of clothes to be washed!

I woke up in the morning thinking that I’ll not start Deepavali sweets/snacks preparation today, yet I suddenly felt that I shouldn’t let myself end up with too much to be done in the end. So I made lunch and dinner in the morning itself and started off the preparation for making Badam Katli.

That’s when R refused to go with his dad and S for the swimming class. While he cried and asked me to come with him, I knew S was rejoicing that he was doing a good job of it and I’ll definitely go with them. I am sure the husband too would have been happy to have some me-time at home.

Thus, the family succeeded and now, here I am, sitting by the swimming pool thinking of all that I could have completed at home had I had these two hours to myself. Then, it strikes me that I do have this one hour just for myself. But can I truly relax when I know that I have a long day ahead of me?

Did I tell you how I always find these swimming and water play sessions for the kids very tiring? I hate the wet and smelly changing rooms and toilets at these places and the wet and slippery floor around the pool too. From the moment we leave the pool it’s a lot of work till the children are given a nice, long bath and fed well. Not to forget the work later on when S’ long hair has to be dried and plaited.

Even as I write about all these routine chores which every Sita, Gita and Rita (how about a change from Tom, Dick and Harry since they, anyway, won’t be doing most of these chores?) do, I also realize how a major chunk or almost the entire day goes off in doing all these. Now, can someone tell me how does a SAHM find some quality me-time for herself?

On tantrums and crying spells

Murphy always strikes everytime I take a resolution of any sort. Here I was hoping to revive the mindfulness routine when Murphy’s law struck in full force within a few hours. S had a full-blown tantrum that evening right after coming back from school. At the end of a crying spell of any sort, which while happening will always look like it will never end, the child looks calm and, in fact, looks refreshed. But what about the parent?

From breaking one’s head at that time to think of anything to stop the tantrum and calm the child or finding it tough to maintain inner calm while the crying and yelling continue to blow out of control or pondering it all over once again trying to figure out on when and where I went wrong, it is exhaustion of sorts that I always feel. Imagine hitting a hat trick with this happening for three days in succession with the third day featuring an epic meltdown of sorts right in the play area in front of all friends, acquaintances and people whom you meet every single day! Embarrassment, helplessness, anger directed towards self at how, even after so many years, I am still not able to handle it ALL – you name it and I was feeling it all! Later that evening, S was completely calm and relaxed. She had finally let out all the tiredness of the last couple of weeks arising from all the excitement.

Just when I thought that I was done with all the crying from S, along came the icing on the cake from R. Now, he is one boy who is crazy about cars, or rather, all sorts of vehicles, robots and superheroes. And he always is choosy, going in only for specific toys which he will continue to cherish long after buying it. I was looking forward to being in the relaxing company of a good friend after all the exhaustion of the previous few days and took little R with the friend and her child to a fair/carnival. Fairs in Singapore are all about fun and interesting activities for kids and freebies. FREEBIES – that is where it all started. He really wanted a superhero soft toy at a stall, but he didn’t get it.

By now, considering the number of fairs that I have taken him to, one must have expected him to get used to luck, disappointment, winning, losing and all that. But, when the toy in question is a superhero, is it even fair to expect understanding from a 3-year old?! He really was in a big disappointment that he couldn’t get that toy! R had what is akin to an epic meltdown of sorts for his level, crying for an hour just for that superhero toy! While he is no match for his sister when it comes to tantrums, of late, his crying skill seems to be improving.

The last one week in itself has been similar to hitting a jackpot of sorts when it came to the children’s moods. Yesterday, by the time it was evening, I felt completely drained. In a miracle of sorts, both the children slept earlier than usual. That was how tired they were.

As for me, I ended up with a splitting headache and just couldn’t sleep. At 4 am, with a cup of hot coffee in hand, I sat down in front of the computer, reading random news. Then I decided to write this here to track my progress on maintaining patience. PATIENCE – just what is that??!

Reviving Mindfulness

Last year, I did a revival of sorts to this blog when I had a restriction imposed on my talking. Though I am giving this update here 10 months late, my voice did get back to normal and I revived my singing, albeit slowly from a few minutes at a stretch and bid adieu to the restrictions on talking too. But I continued to be mindful of how I was using my voice as much as possible, till a few weeks back.
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Post Navaratri Musings

Written last Sunday….

As I walk down to the play area from my home, I realize that it has been ages since the kids had what I presume their we-playtime in the play area without their friends for company. The sweltering morning sun has suddenly hidden behind the clouds and we now have a low rumbling thunder for company even as a pleasant breeze blows.

My thoughts wander to how fast the last one month has swung by. The Cambodia trip, the start of a new school term for my daughter S after a short break, Navaratri preparation and then Navaratri itself. It has been a busy month, albeit a nice one.
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Parenting Musings

I sit by the Swimming pool. While 6-year old S has been going for swimming class on and off for the last one year, 3-year old R is having his first trial class today. He starts crying and shouts I am scared. The coach asks me to stay put in my place. He takes my children farther away from me to the other side of the pool. Just when I think R’s cries have subsided and he is happily kicking, I hear loud cries again. Then I suddenly see him smiling and happily enjoying kicking his feet water splashing all around. Then the crying is back.

My thoughts turn to dream as I think about how someday, hopefully in a few weeks from now, he might stop crying completely and start enjoying his classes. Maybe then I can put that one hour to good use by sitting back and relaxing with a book or two.

My thoughts wander to how parenting is filled with so many stages of letting go of the need to protect the child and letting them move away from the safety net of the parents and try new things because that is what they want to do or that is what they should be doing at this stage in their life. I also think about the immense level of patience that parenting requires.

I have seen this Swimming coach not using his kindest tone or showing patience even once with my Daughter. That had seemed his way of teaching the children. Today I see a different side of him as he patiently deals with my son’s crying.

I type all this and more just so I can process all my thoughts and clear my head.

Beaches – The love for waves!

Pre-2000, waves and beaches would have meant only the sea. Post 2000, the year of release of my favourite movie, Alaipayuthey, sea and beaches do bring to mind everything about the movie and the oodles of beautiful memories associated with the movie too. But, hey, this post is not about the movie. It is, as the title says, all about my love for waves.

View from Sentosa island beach

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I wait for the words to pour out, but the mind is blank. Words refuse to come. About which new happening will you write which hasn’t been already written about? About what will you rant and whine which you haven’t done already? I ask myself all these and more and let silence continue to dwell here….

Interests Rekindled

You know how Google Photos (I used it a lot more frequently when it was still Picasa and there was no WhatsApp.) often throws up those ‘Rediscover this day’ photos, don’t you? Those photos from the past belonging to the same day but a different year. It was one of those albums from 2009 which popped up sometime in late March that had all my erstwhile interests rekindled in full swing, reminding me that all those dreams and interests were still there inside me in all fervour. The photos were from a trip to Mysore that I had gone to with my friend.

And dominant among all those was the wish to explore different places – be it in Singapore itself or elsewhere in the world. I also realized how much I was missing visiting all the old temples in Southern India – all architecture marvels and divinity personified.

The Long Walks

My husband and I share the love for going on long walks and in the initial months after moving to Singapore, we did so much of walking and explored a major part of the roads, lanes and places of interests in Singapore by foot. With just one infant to carry, we could easily walk in a good pace and have a good conversation and get a good workout done too.

But, nowadays, we rarely go for long walks and no longer walk in our own fast pace and have had to slow down. I, especially being the SAHM, rarely get the chance to walk in my usual speed since I either have to carry my toddler or slow down at regular intervals to talk with my children.

I didn’t realize how much I was missing walking at my own pace until I went for a solo walk a couple of weeks ago. A brisk 30-minute walk later, I was feeling refreshed and I also got to work on my mindfulness, relaxation and all that. It also struck me that it has been about 6 months since I stopped carrying my son and going for a long walk on a daily basis to make him sleep. That walk used to be my time to think through things and relax.

I realized how much I was missing my favourite activity of walking and have since revived walking on a daily basis for a continuous chunk of time, if not at a very brisk pace, at least at a reasonably fast pace. We also went for a few long walks recently with the kids enthusiastically running along.

Another change in the routine is my son suddenly having lost his interest in running to and fro the daughter’s school and the bus stop and asking me to carry him. I am forced to carry him on the onward walk to school lest we get delayed. But the point is at least that negligible distance of running that I was doing on a daily basis is now almost not there at all. Here’s to more walking and becoming more active!

When Crazy Moments Outnumber Tranquil Moments

The past few weeks have been crazy. A major part of March saw both my children being down with cold and fever which translated to plenty of sleepless nights and unfinished meals. While April was definitely better than March, it also saw the reopening of school for my daughter after a ten day break.

The first couple of weeks of the new academic year saw us struggling to get back to our morning routine after the previous month full of half-a-day school and study holidays and annual vacation. The mornings were becoming stressful, there were shouting and yelling too and plenty of naughty acts by the little one too. We seemed to be at least 4-5 minutes late to school everyday.

Then after a round of self-counselling, I started becoming a lot more calmer in the mornings and now for almost three weeks now, we have been reaching school well on time. My daughter and I have almost bid adieu to our morning stressful moments.

Forget about me-time, there is not even relaxing moments on most days. With my husband having a crazy, hectic schedule at work, the kids are fully only with me for most of the day and I can see the three of us getting on each other’s nerves every time the same naughty acts get repeated or the same little safety rule not being followed or the same refusal from me for telling a very lengthy bedtime story at the end of a crazy, tiring day.

Even as I refuse to play or tell a story or scold them for yet again leaving the tap open or forgetting to put the markers in their place, I also feel guilty – guilt at not being able to handle it all in a better way.

Recently, sitting at Kailash Parbat waiting for our food to be served, my topmost concern seemed to be to make sure that my naughty little one didn’t end up pushing or breaking the serveware. Despite being offered a nice, cozy seat and served tasty food in a restaurant with such a nice ambience, I just didn’t seem to be fully relaxed.

Maybe it is these crazy days or those physically tiring days or maybe the lack of intellectually stimulating activities or maybe that annoying worrying habit of mine which surfaces way too many times in a day when my child walks at the very edge of the platform or runs down the stairs all alone or refuses to eat a proper meal all through the day. It is time I started relaxing a bit more.