The Young And The Restless


 There are days when I look at my soon-to-be five-year-old and be awed about ‘how mature he is and how logical his thought process is.'


And as I sit there and virtually pat myself on the back for having managed to do a reasonable job with him so far, the mood suddenly changes. From someone who perfectly understands what you’re trying to tell him, to someone who pretends to be dumb - the swings in mood are both amusing and scary.


Amusing, if you’re an on-looker.  Scary, if you’re the parent.
You’ve probably heard that phrase -  The Terrible Twos. Well, I did too. And then I experienced it and found out the reason why they call it that. Of course, what I didn’t realise was that it would then turn into the ‘Terrorist Threes, where a lot of things (including the lovely glass Bric-à-brac in my showcase ) would develop a tendency to blow up without any warning.   But then again, a lot of people continued to tell me that things would only get better. Someone, even told me that the worst was over. And I believed it. Until he turned four.   Year Four too has been one of many discoveries and learnings, much like the ones before. And just like that, I’ve also discovered that my son has graduated from the illustrious League of Ordinary Toddlers to a gang of the Young and the Restless. If you too have kids in this age range, you’ll probably be able to relate to some of these. For the rest, enjoy the laugh. After all, one person’s **** is another’s entertainment ?
You will be subjected to almost-FBI type enquiries, at any point in time. Where did you go? What did you do? Who did you meet? What did you eat? Why didn’t you take me? What did you bring for me? I don’t think even my wife and I have asked each other so many questions about our daily activities, despite having known each other for so many years.  
You’ll find yourself constantly pitted against your partner, despite your numerous conscious efforts and decisions to not say yes when the other one says no. Somehow, they always manage to find the weak link with the precision of a CIA Interrogator. In our home, I am always the weakest link.
Your phone calls will be constantly monitored and interrupted by a tiny dictator who orders you around. You will also discover that most of your phone conversations will frequently end with ‘I’ll call you back later, okay?'
Remember the time I told you about my adorable little munchkin using the wall as his canvas? Well, the little Picasso has moved on from there. Now, he’s into free art - where anything from the television screen to your white shirt is a possible canvas to express his artistic capabilities. Might be a great time to invest in a painting company.
 The moment you walk in through the door carrying a bag - any kind, really; from luggage to just grocery shopping - it will be scrutinised in great detail, and even more thoroughly than the security officer at the airport.
 You will also soon discover that they love reading. Yes, they used to earlier too, but most of the times they would just turn the pages of the book and just admire it. Now, they love it when you read to them. The same thing. Over. And over. And over, until you’ll be muttering the lines in your sleep. [Also valid for movies  - *sings the Minion theme song*]
At some point, you may also find yourself having to explain to neighbours about how the screaming in the bathroom is merely the result of failed attempts at getting your kid to brush their teeth.
Your cardio workout involves running after a tiny human being, trying to keep up with them. And sometimes, you will be holding the pants that they were supposed to be wearing.
You constantly find yourself negotiating - from food to sleep. It’s like living with a 3-foot tall salesman, who is damn good at their job and isn’t afraid to twist your arms to get what he/she wants.   Time and again, you’ll find yourself sitting outside the loo singing loudly so ‘someone’ can poop; that is when you’re not answering questions about what you are doing inside the toilet and if they can accompany you.   You will be always prepared for a tantrum at the most public location that you can imagine - from malls to train stations.  
You’ll wonder why they have to wait until the absolute last fricking minute to tell us they need to go to the bathroom. It’s always like an episode of ‘Nina Needs to go’  
The likelihood of them repeating something you said is directly proportional to the kind of the crowd you’re with. The more 'politically incorrect' the phrase, the higher the probability.  
Your idea of a holiday is now having a lie-in and breakfast in bed, without having to worry about anything else.  
You're constantly being threatened to be poked in the eye by an object they want you to 'see'


The probability of you wanting a hug from them is inversely proportional to them wanting to give it to you. Prepares you for rejection.
And of course, if you do happen to catch them on a good day, put on your most charming smile and ask them why they behave the way they do, you’ll probably get an answer like this:
‘Because I can!’
Suddenly, everything makes perfect sense. Your 'Because I said so!' now has a valid counter argument.


[tweetbox design="box04" float="none"]Someone smart said: Parenting guides should end with recipes for strong cocktails.You will need it.[/tweet_box]



It is often said that teaching is an art. My mother is a teacher, and if her students are to be believed, she's excellent at what she does. And I tend to agree. Why, she even teaches English to  one of the local Sheikh's kids. And we all know how Arab Sheikhs always HAVE to get the best of everything. So going by that "belief", I might even go on to say that she's the best English teacher there is, in her city.

But here's the problem. She's never ever taught me or the class that I've been in. Yes, she did teach in the same school for years. But for some strange reason, she went out of her way to request that she never be given my class to teach. Now I know we were an unruly bunch, but deep down I think it’s just because she didn’t want to get into the “politics” of teaching. Even though it sounds like I’m tooting my own horn (which by the way, I totally am), English has always been one of my stronger subjects. I mean, it’s probably the one class that I’ve always looked forward to, right from Pre-KG to the first year of engineering. (No, I have no clue why we were taught English as one of the modules during our first year in engineering). So I suppose, had she taught my class and I ended up getting top marks in English, people would talk. We are a bunch of gossip-mongers after all.

Anyway, long story short - Teaching is really tough business. It is an art form that requires  immense levels of patience. So it should come as no surprise to hear that, we (as in my wife Janaki & I) had decided that teaching our son Rishi would primarily be her responsibility. Though this had more to do with the fact that she is much more patient that I am, her being a University rank holder during Engineering did tip the scales in her favour. Also I suck at teaching (Yes, I used the S word!)  Don’t trust me? Ask any of my classmates or even my fellow core teammates from Project 365. I am impatient, child-like and incredibly short-tempered. And trust me when I say - None of these are qualities you want when you are trying to teach your child something new, especially when you are trying to make him understand phonetics and words.

Of course, there's another reason why I knew it would always be my wife, who would be responsible for my son's education. I've been told that as a child, I'd often had trouble strumming letters together to make meaningful words. So for "Cat", I would often say "shat" (which by the way is completely different to cat, though it rhymes pretty well). And for 'car', I would often say "bar" (which come to think of it,  might explain my fondness for alcohol). But here’s the thing. I wasn’t the only one. My cousin sister (who for the record is technically the same blood as me, since her father is my dad’s elder brother and her mother, is my mom’s elder sister - yes, confused the hell out of me too! Kind of reminded me like one of  those family-drama-sitcom kind of situation there for a moment!) also had trouble with certain words. Like no matter how much her mom tried teaching her the world “SWING”, she would say “Ting”. I even have an audio cassette which plays this fun moment over and over again. Ah, nice memories.

Ever since Rishi started talking, we’ve been trying to get him to say words like Dad, Mom, Grandpa, Grandma, GOOGLE (come on, he needs to know that word!) and the likes. Needless to say, he says “Mumma” exceptionally well, and “Papa” when he wants something from me. All other times, he refers to everyone else as “Hey!” (The kid’s got quite an attitude, I tell you!). But now that he’s turned two, he has started to say some words a bit more clearly. So Janaki’s teaching skills are finally being put to good use. Or that’s what we liked to believe, until the following happened.

Yesterday’s word of the day was “Banana” - Because B for Ball is so old-fashioned, and we’re proud to give Rishi his literary five-a-day. After all he was born in England, the land of enunciation.

Here's a sneak peek in to how the "Banana" episode unfolded.

Janaki : Rishi, today’s word is B for ….. Banana Rishi : (excited) B…B…B…B…… Janaki: Yes Rishi. B for Banana Rishi: (Continues to say) B…b..b…b…b..

This continues for a few minutes, after which Janaki tries a different approach.

Janaki: Rishi, BA - NA - NA Rishi :(smiles cutely) “Ishi….Baby!” Janaki : Yes, Rishi. B is also for Baby, but today we are learning ba-na-na Rishi: (Turns his head a little bit and babbles something) Janaki: Rishi, say BA Rishi : “Ba” Janaki: Good boy Rishi. Say NA Rishi:(Thinks for a little while and says) “NA” Janaki: Excellent. Now say NA …again…NA Rishi:(visibly excited since he thinks this is a game, says) NA Janaki :Brilliant job, Rishi. Now let’s try saying it all together. BANANA Rishi:(Looks at her confused and pouts his lips downwards.Doesn't utter a word) Janaki : Look, it’s easy. Let’s try saying it separately once again.

And then she starts from the beginning again. Amused, I sit there thinking that it's kind of like the “Lather, Rinse, Repeat” process that you see advertised on shampoo bottles.

Janaki: Let’s say it together BA-NA-NA Rishi: Pa-pa-pa (to the tune of Janaki’s Ba-na-na, sticks out his tongue and blows a raspberry, complete with surround sound and salival rain)

Janaki sighs loudly and says, "It's like Phoebe trying to teach Joey french!", as she walks away.

Well so much for patience. Mom, if you are reading this, it's time to come home. Your grandson needs a teacher :)

I reckon he's just pretending to read. Thank you Sakshi Nanda for the amazing books.
And for those of you who aren't familiar with the "Phoebe and Joey incident", here it is: Phoebe teaches Joey French

(Warning: IF you haven't seen this clip before, or even if you have, it's hilarious. May cause bellyache from all the laughing)


Kid’s Nutrition, No More A Frustration! - An info graphic look

As you may know, I also contribute bi-monthly to this amazing parenting website community known as "Parentous". Follow this link to know more about them. The team at Parentous have been kind enough to utilise my article titled "Eight simple rules" (Link here) and develop a creative info-graphic based on the same. I'm proud and honoured to be able to share this with you today:

Kid’s Nutrition, No More A Frustration!

Thank you Team Parentous :)

Eight Simple Rules

To start of, apologies in advance if this sounds like a “Mommy” post. It might appear so primarily, due to two reasons:

  1. It is often perceived that this topic is “usually” a mother’s concern;
  2. This post is really inspired by the missus’s (let’s call her Ja) continued attempts to try and get our 18 month old (let’s call him … say Ri) to eat good nutritious food
If I could tag people as on Twitter or Facebook, a lot of my fellow Parentous contributors would be the recipients of thank you notes, for having inadvertently inspired me to touch this topic – unfortunately, I can’t seem to find such an option; So here’s a big fat Thank You  – you know who you are!

This post was originally published on the parenting blog "Parentous". For the complete list of our "Eight Simple Rules" to feeding your toddler, just click on the link : Eight Simple Rules @ Parentous