Kindness in Kids

ryansunlr

I have a tiny one at home. A five-year old.
He talks incessantly, laughs monstrously, imagines creatively, and uses good adjectives like a pro.

A few days back, we were re-reading ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar,’ and he creatively thought of how funny it would be if the hungry caterpillar from the book wormed out and fell on the ground. In fact, he built up an entire story on this which you can read here, however, this post is intended to point out how important it is to inculcate kindness in a kid, especially towards our tiny harmless co-creatures.

If I were to keep in mind that a kid thought of a caterpillar making its way out of a book and falling on the ground, the next thought I would have is that he or she would squish the poor larva.

However, he didn’t do that. He didn’t end the story right there by squishing the larva. He built an entire story by taking care of the tiny creature and budding it into a butterfly right in his home.

 

I’ve seen more instances of his kindness towards pets and people alike. Sometimes it makes me feel that he could be a 10 year old boy, but one look at him is enough to know that he has learned to be kind irrespective of his age.

Speaking of kindness, we all teach our children to be kind. We instruct, and we preach the importance of kindness. We read out stories of kindness from books. However, it is our own actions which speak more than our teaching. If we as parents show kindness to animals, both tiny and big, they remember our actions and try to imitate them. If we teach them to appreciate the smallest bugs and not squish them, they learn to appreciate the beauties of nature.

Instead of hurting a caterpillar, if we point out how beautiful it looks, how pronounced are the dots on its body, how its legs carry it from the head to the end of the body, our kids will also look at it with kindness and beauty and not really stamp it.

While I’m not saying that kids imitate everything parents do, or that all their actions are a reflection of parents, or that kids don’t have any individuality, I’m only pointing out how important it is for us as parents to show kindness towards smaller creatures and set an example before the tiny tots.

*Note that we are also definitely teaching him how to remain safe from harmful creatures.*

*Also, this is not THE only way to inculcate kindness in our children, but it is definitely one good way to do it*

Irony of a mom’s life

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I saw your eyes droop. You mumbled ‘Mama’ and slept.

I watched you sleep. I don’t know for how long.
The home is quiet. Absolutely quiet. Slowly, I disentangled my fingers from yours, careful not to wake you up.


You have already started sleeping in your room alone, and, to be honest, I don’t like it one bit.


Not one bit.

A lot of these nights, I just go and tuck myself in beside you. I love to hold your hands and sleep next to you. I pull your comforter on me and we sleep like the best buddies ever. I hold you, and you put your hand around my neck.


Let me tell you, as a parent, there is nothing more comforting than the hands of your sleeping little one around your neck. Nothing!

I love it when you hold me and sleep. I love it when you pat me in your sleep asking me to turn towards you.
I love it when we share the same blanket.
I love your smell.


I love it when, suddenly, some mornings, you come over and sleep on my bed curled under my quilt. When I sleepily ask you what happened, you say that you were cold. I hug you tight and we sleep facing each other, your little nostrils breathing warm air down and your tiny chin facing up. I want to hold those moments forever.
It is funny that if you are cold, you can just pull your comforter over yourself, but it is warming to know that you choose to slip in under ours. My eyes open the moment I can hear the silent patter of your feet walking up to our bed.

I can hear you.
In my sleep.


Yes, I can.

And now, now that you are growing up so fast, I feel insecure that these days will never come back. I feel that time is slipping away from my hands, and I’m trying to fist it up.
Harder and tighter. And faster before it slips away.


I notice how big you’ve grown. 5 years already, and I’m scared.
I’m scared that soon, you will not run after me because you will, consciously, be a bigger boy.
I’m scared that soon, you will not talk endlessly to me.
I’m scared that soon, you will not start everything with a screaming ‘Mamaa…’
I’m scared that soon, you will not hug me every time I stretch out my hands to you.
I’m scared that soon, you will not jump on my lap anymore.
I’m scared that soon, you will not curl your hands around my neck and sleep.

Soon.
Very soon.


Am I already feeling what they call the ‘empty nest syndrome,’ just a little early?

I have already realized that life can often be terribly ironical for a parent. Just until a year ago, I was trying to have you do a lot of your own work. That way, you could be independent, and I could also focus on the more mundane things we always strive to finish. Wearing clothes, taking a shower, eating, combing your hair, helping me with my work were few of the things on my to-do list for you. One step at a time, you helped me strike off these items on my list. Each time I struck out a bullet point, my heart both sank and danced. I felt weird.
My heart breaks when I see that you are getting so independent, but at the same time, it is very fulfilling to see your little nimble hands work out things for yourself. It is immensely satisfying to see your little fingers, soft palms, and tiny nails tugging at drawstrings, patiently buttoning a shirt, rubbing soap all over yourself.


While on one hand, I want you to grow up fast, on the other, I want to hold on to your childhood and not let it go! Grow up kid, just not so fast!
While on one hand my selfish mommy heart wants to hold you more and more, on the other hand, I understand how you are bracing yourself up for the times ahead, and how important it is to make you ready for your own life.

That consoles me.
That puts me at ease.
That makes me love you more.
And more.


Icecream with a 4 year old

ryanicecreamlr2-1Eating icecream with a four-year old is a hilarious event in itself. However, all my sympathies and empathies lie with the icecream being discussed. The creamy journey of its life turns out to be pretty bad if it falls in the hands of a 3 or a 4 year old. This is what happens.

We buy an icecream. The stick comes out of the icecream wrapper which gets crumpled within a flash of a second, and I hear ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ and slurps of visual satisfaction as the entire icecream makes its grandiose show. Ryan looks at it from all angles trying to decide which is the best bet for the first lick.

Me: ‘Eat it fast. It will melt.’

My words fall just next to where the icecream wrapper was thrown a few seconds back.

After a complete visual survey, Ryan licks it. His eyebrows shoot high. His eyes become wider while his lips spread to his ears on both sides. I hear a never-ending ‘ummmmmmmmmmm’ which makes me take a sly look at the icecream. I find it still holding itself strong.

Somewhere close by, I hear the loud squeak of a squirrel. Ryan’s icecream reverie is almost broken and he looks up at a suspected tree with queer eyes. I notice the white droplet of icecream on his nose. One look at the icecream and I see it drip. One drop falls on the ground. A white circle; radius, circumference, and area undetermined.

That’s the beginning.

It’s starting. It’s starting to melt. It’s starting to melt.

The first tissue comes out of the wad that I bring along for our icecream sojourns. The top of the icecream is the low hanging fruit for him, and he works at it faster. I remind him that the bottom of the stick also needs some attention.

Me: ‘Eat the lower side too. It will melt.’

He looks at the lower side of the icecream. His warm mushy looks melt the lower end which rivers down his right hand, right down to the elbow. Had it been a few decades earlier with the same scene between me and my mom, by now I would have got a resounding whack on my back reminding me to eat it faster.

I am a more patient mother.

More tissues come out from the thinning wad, this time faster, one pulling the other, and the other pulling out more of the others frantically.

Racing against a trickling icecream is a tricky job for a mom. Jumping to my feet, I run to the store next to me and get a paper plate to hold the gathering white puddle. The icecream is in sad danger.

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Soon I realize that the paper plate is not enough to hold the white liquid. It needs depth. I run back to the store and get a paper glass this time. What a strange turn of incidents for the icecream. The unsuspecting big bodied thing gets reduced to a mere colorless puddle that is collected in a paper glass.

Finally, it’s time. The momentous moment when the icecream soup is to be sipped. And it gets sipped.

The icecream. gets. sipped.

Here ends the sad life of an otherwise cool icecream.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a pic of the icecream being sipped because I was too busy wiping my hands off the sticky liquid.

5 Hilarious/Weird questions for the SAHM

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I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for a tiny, few years now. Though I’ve been true to the nomenclature ‘stay-at-home,’ ( I don’t know where else I would have stayed otherwise), I have been almost as much in a professional domain as any other working mom. It is just that I’ve not really attended meetings in person, or sent out worksheets, or talked to clients, or been to an office office per se, but I’ve constantly remained in mainstream work with the little time I had in hand. Now that I am making a direct foray into work, I looked back and revisited questions asked to me by other moms and some of my friends who have seen just that mommy face of mine. Here they go:

1.’You have a laptop?’ with eyebrows shooting up to the stratosphere. Im too flabbergasted to reply. What is the big deal if I have a laptop?

2.’You use a power bank? For what?’  Oh gosh, this one! What can a power bank do?

3.’Eh, you don’t watch Bigg Boss? But you are at home right?’ I fail to understand the connection between Bigg Boss and my being at home!

4. ‘Whose Macbook was that in your house?’ I reply ‘Mine.’ Pop comes the followup question ‘Yours??!’ The reaction is often surprising to me, and the reason could be that the people who asked me this were Windows users.

5. The master blaster question ‘What do you do the whole day?’ Again a question that doesn’t even deserve a rant. If I were to mention what I do from 5:00 in the morning till 11 in the night,  you would want to run away.

It is fun and weird at the same time to answer questions of such an elevated nature. I have been honored to face such incarnations of curiosity, and I’d love to meet some more! Im sure there are a lot of such questions the SAHM group may have faced. What has been yours?