Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Handling with Kid Gloves

I watched “Taare Zameen Par” recently & was overwhelmed with emotions. Many scenes towards the end reduced me to tears but there was 1 scene which cut me to the core. The scene where Aamir Khan talks about Soloman Islands……..
Just a gist of the scene:
Child's Father : My wife has been reading up all about Dyslexia on the Internet. We don’t want you to think that we don’t care about our child.
Teacher(after a moment) : Have u read up on the Solomon Islands on the internet? When the people living there want to clear the forest to build houses they don’t cut them. They just stand around & curse the trees daily. Within a week or two they’ll find the tree beginning to wilt & rot by themselves.

The scene hit me like a sledgehammer. Made me feel guilty. Made me question myself. How many times I have hurriedly pushed the kids aside when they want to tell me something, with “Tell me later, I’m busy now”, “we’ll talk after u finish ur homework”, “please don’t make me lose my temper”, “U first listen to me”…..I cant bear to go on. I see the faces crumpling with disappointment & frustration but it is easier to not acknowledge it.

When my Nikita was born, I never felt the instant bonding or love which most mothers claim. During those days my mother in law was around & so she handled her most of the time. By the time Naina was born my mil had shifted back to kerala & I was on my own. I had to start from scratch but it was worth it. I loved it & gradually realized what ‘bonding’ actually meant.

But I don’t think I’m MOMMY enuff, if u know what I mean. I hate it when they cling to me for no reason. When they get cranky I have no clue how 2 calm them (yes I offer them food, hug them, read a book & all that). But if they are still not pacified then I lose my temper. I also am aware of the fact that I’m not very free with outward affection…like hugging them all the time or encouraging them at every given opportunity. When I am busy with something & they interrupt I give them 2 chances to redeem themselves. After that I reach for the stick. No, I don’t beat very often but I show the stick atleast 4 times a day. And yes I raise my voice a lot.

Talking about voice…. when I talk with them my tone is not exactly ‘soft’. I sort of talk to them like they r adults(this happens especially when I’m angry). My husband never fails to remind me that they r children & we have to treat them accordingly. It’s just that when I get mad with them I just let loose… vocal cords.

In my defense I can only plead that my kids are hyper active & thick as thieves. They know me inside out & take MAXIMUM advantage of my weak points, & think it is their birthright to drive me up the wall. Other kids play with dolls & do coloring but my kids' fav game is "Lets Make Mama Mad".

Don’t mistake me…I love my kids to bits. I do everything(well almost everything) for them & can give up my life for them. But again I don’t think I’m made up of the IDEAL MOMMY stuff. A few simple examples will give u an idea of what I’m going on & on & on about:

Situation: Kids are hungry & so am I
Ideal Mommy: will feed the kids first & then eat.
My Solution: I eat first & then feed the kids.

[in my defense I can only say that they take an hour to eat and I take just 3 mins]

Situation: Child wants mama to play a game with her
Ideal Mommy: will put aside her work & make time for her child
My solution: you finish your homework & I’ll finish my housework & then we’ll play.

Some days I even forget to call home 2 check if the kids r back from school. IMAGINE…….(ofcourse there is somebody at home looking after their needs but still).
The ideal Mommy would have called atleast thrice to ensure her kids welfare

[In my defense: Even if i dont call them they call me atleast 12 times after they come back from school]

Anyways, after watching the movie I resolved to make a few changes within me……to be more gentle while dealing with them, nurture their budding talents, admonish them gently when they r wrong. I mean, its just not enough to bring children into this world, feed, clothe & educate them. Our duty as parents doesn’t end there. We also have to be there to catch them when they fall, instill confidence in them to try again & support them till they are ready for their first flight.

But 2 hrs in my children’s company brought my original nature back to the fore.

I havent given up..........yet.


  1. How true. believe me there are no ideal or supermoms. from what i read.... u work, so u r doing the best ur nature gives you. Children understand grown-ups better than we think they do, so ur child knows who you are but there is always room for improvement right:)

  2. yes,there is a whole huge ballroom for improvement:-p. but as u rightly said preethi, the kids knw me very well :-).

  3. I loved this post Nancy. It was so honest! :)
    I mean, I just hate it when some mothers pretend to be super-moms and claim that they are doing the right thing and go on to dole out parenting tips to others. One doesn't really know whether the decisions are right / wrong. Its just what works for that particular kid. Even a mother is human and every child understands that (later in life).

  4. Rohitha, I totally forgot abt this comment u had made.
    I have to admit tht I find it easier to deal with them nowadays because they r older and I can really 'talk', like communicate with them. Maybe my problem was tht I was not at my best with babies and toddlers;-P
    There is a good chance u'll never read this as I'm reply after so long but I simply had to coz I was very touched to read ur point of view. Thank U!!!!


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