Banking lessons and Democracy

So we had a banking lesson yesterday. And a lesson in democratic parenting for me 🙂

I was shopping and daughter saw me enter my credit card pin, and managed to see the number I entered. She was so excited that she almost shouted it out loud, much to my horror. Dragging her out of the shop, I explained to her that the pin number is very special and is different for each of us. If we let others know our pin, if you card gets stolen, by mischance, someone else could use our card and buy things – that would similar to someone stealing our money. So we should never tell anyone else our pin numbers, and never say it aloud, even if you see me enter it.

So then started a bunch of questions.

Q. When can I have a credit card?

A. When you are a grown up.

Q. When I am eighteen?

A. Yes, when you are eighteen.

Q. So Amma, I have a doubt. When you are about to become a grownup, when you are about to turn eighteen, how do you get your pin?

A. *Now that needs a lot more explanation, doesn’t it? So I gave a short, retail banking overview – on how you open an account, and then request for a card- I even explained credit cards and debit cards -don’t even ask me to repeat it here 🙂 And then the bank sends you your secret pin number, which you have to keep to yourself.

Daughter: OK. I get it now! And now, I know your pin number too –  it’s ****!

In full volume by the way! Arghh!!! I should have just gone the non-democratic parenting way and told her, ‘One  word out of you and no toys for life’! That would have worked far better 🙂

On another motherhood note, TGND shared a post about motherhood and aspirations for our children, it had me nodding away. Do share what you feel.

The trials and joys of motherhood

There are times when I struggle hard to not be competitive with daughter’s milestones. Reading Sari’s post, reminded me of what I had been doing in the last few months.

I have been quite a laid back mother, in comparison to some of the people I know. I have normally let her have fun, learn things when she is ready for them. I knew people who taught their 9 month old, the alphabet or the numbers. I consciously tried not to do that. I mean, there is plenty of time for all that, isn’t there?

Motherhood, unfortunately comes with all sorts of self-doubts and second guessing oneself, doesn’t it?? There came a time, when I started doubting my methods. Poohi had started phonics last year in the nursery, and she had started writing her name – she knew the sounds of some letters, but refused to read. I would try to get her to read a few simple words, but to no avail. She would be too busy trying to get me to do the reading.  I would have not bothered, had it not been for some of my friends who told me that their child started reading all by themselves, by the time they turned four. Now that had me worried. None of these children had been exposed to books as much as Poohi had, and yet they seem to have learnt to read faster. She loves books, loves being read to, and yet did not want to read? What was I doing wrong? Their mums said that they would spend time every day teaching them to read. And I never did that. I was so worried that I was not helping her enough.  Husband said that I was being too hard on myself, and once she starts, there would be no looking back.

I started trying, but it never worked. She knew every story in every book that we owned and would just rattle off the story, without even trying to read it!  All she wanted was for me to read the stories to her. I was torn between trying harder or letting her be.  I did not want to be a pushy mother, but at the same time, did not want to ‘not push her enough’, if you know what I mean.  I was also scared that I might end up putting her off reading altogether, if I tried too hard. That’s when I decided to buy her a set of ‘Read at home’ books, that she had never read before. I told her that these books had to be read by her – I was not allowed to read it to her.

Every time, she expressed some interest in the books, we would sit together and look at the pages. Initially, she was more interested in the pictures, and then, when she realized that I was not going to read the story to her, started reading – just like that! She knew the sounds, and could easily read the words. I would help her with the tougher ones, but it was mainly her own efforts. Now, she picks up the books by herself, with no prompting from me, and reads, whenever she fancies it. Not just that, she also tries to read my books, and is delighted when she finds words that she knows like ‘and’ or ‘this’.I still don’t know if it was that new set of books that did it or it was just the right time for her, but I am just happy that she is reading, and is reading because she enjoys it, not because I am pushing her to read. Because she wants to, not because she has to.

There she is, grabbing a few minutes after breakfast this morning to read. I can’t tell you how much that sight gladdens my heart. I just hope that her interest in books and stories stay with her all her life.

And here is her little library that houses her books

The Trials of Motherhood

PnA’s post, reminded me of how I have crossed over to the other side of the divide.  I am now a mother tut-tutting away at all that I consider ‘inappropriate’ for my daughter, while she looks for ways to flout my rules 😦

Poohi is extremely girly, in a way, I never was(and still am not). She loves nail colour, and long nails, and is absolutely unable to understand why she can’t have all of it.Thankfully, she is more fond of school than nail colour and all that jazz, so telling her that she can’t wear nail colour because school does not allow it, works.

This last holiday, however, she found a way to get around that rule.

And if nail colour was not enough, she also wanted some body art!

and some more 😦

Disclaimer – Those long nails are the effect of not letting someone’s mother cut nails 😦 Thankfully school is far more exciting than long nails, which is a mercy 🙂

Not Without My Daughter

The other day in the library, Betty Mahmoody’s Not without my daughter’ caught my eye. I had read it a few years back, but wanted to read it again, yes, I am one of those mad people who re-read books.

The last time I read it, it had moved me, but this time, I was practically in tears. I guess being a mother made me feel what she was feeling much, much more.

The mere thought that someone who you trust(or had trusted), enough to have a child with him, could turn out to be so different and would not think twice before taking away your child from you, is devastating, isn’t it? We dread anything that might take our children away from us, but how would we react when someone as close as your husband decides to do it? And even worse, when he takes you to a country where a woman has practically no say in anything at all. Where a child is always a man’s property. For a while, she was praying for her husband’s death, only to realise that on his death, her child would he his family’s property – not hers! She says, she stopped praying for that as soon as she realised that.

Betty’s chilling tale of how she managed to escape the country with her daughter,Mahtob, will stay with me for a long time. Her determination to leave with her daughter. The embassy in Iran gives her the option to leave without her daughter, which she refuses. She stays determined to leave and leave with her daughter. She explains towards the end how while in the US, she had seen another side to her husband, Moody. She had checked divorce as an option, but had backed when she realised that divorce would give her husband visiting rights at the very least, to her daughter. She decided that she had to take the risk and take her daughter to Iran at least once so that Mahtob is safe forever.

Trapped in Iran, with no friends or help, at times imprisoned in her house by Moody, she wonders if she did take the right decision. Thankfully for her, it all turned out well,in the end. It does make me wonder about how many women go through similar experiences, in countries across the world. Even in countries where laws are equal and fair, things like this could happen if the woman is not strong enough or independent enough. Betty had met another American woman in Tehran, who had accepted her fate and chose to be with her abusive husband in Iran, because she felt that she could not manage on her own, given her lack of educational qualifications.

In so many cases, in our own society, women are held hostage(so to speak) in marriages they are not happy in. While they might not be imprisoned in a physical sense, they are held captive by their lack of confidence, qualification or just the lack of societal support.

The book is thought-provoking in so many levels. It made me thank my luck that I was born where I was.

The Amazing, Fun, Crazy Rollercoaster ride of Motherhood…

of motherhood.. I know it sounds cliched but I absolutely love everthing about being a mother- atleast so far 🙂 I may change my mind later- but I am certainly loving it as of now!

Goofy Mumma tagged me with this tag about listing 5 things I love about being a mother.. Just five things? oh – this is going to be tough – to select just five things 🙂

One of the greatest thing motherhood has taught me is to appreciate my parents even more.. It makes me appreciate everything that I had taken for granted so far – their unconditional love, their putting us ahead of everything else, the way our happiness comes first and foremost, and with it, my own emotions of wanting to be there for them, in any way that they might need me.. I always felt this way – but I think it has become even stronger after I became a parent. If I could do half the job that they did, with me  – I would be thankful..

I think it would be fair to say that motherhood has changed me beyond my wildest dreams.. While, I was always the mothering kind, the strength of the emotion that I feel for my daughter – still surprises and amazes me.. All those times, when some little thing freaked me out, of how I was on the phone to the NHS Advise line, because she threw up as a one month old.. Yes, all the books told me not to worry – but I still needed to be reassured.. Like Goofy Mumma, I was totally freaked out when she fell from the bed at 5 months – though she fell to a carpetted floor and was fine.. Rushing her to the emeergency because she fell head first from the sofa and having to wait there till 9:00 in the night, on a night that my husband was not in town.. So many insecurites and so many triumphs! The joy of seeing her turn over or smile at me made up for every worry that might have come my way. I used to pour over books and the internet to check out everything – I remember asking a doctor why she was not smiling at 3 weeks – I was worried she was autistic – little knowledge! Motherhood has been a truly roller coaster ride. So many things that bring a smile to my face, so many things I wonder, if I should have done differently.. How I used to love the way, she used to crawl her way to me, sometimes over other children at the daycare, when I would go to pick her up 🙂 And how everyday, when we used to drop her off, she was so eager to start her day – that she would even spare us a second glance.. So many things, so ways she has touched our lives, and  taken over it completely

So now, to do the actual tag, five things I love about being a mother.

1. The amazing fact that you can so totally be in love with another person, even if she manages to do really gross things at times.

2. The fact that being a mother has totally changed my perspective towards life.. My goals, ambitions, had been so different, just three years ago..

3. The way, sometimes, when I read her a bedtime story, she just hugs me and tells me ‘ I lub you, Amma’ – out of nowwhere!The way she hugged me today and told her dad to get me tea – coz I was in bed, unwell! And the way, she started crying and got upset, because I was unwell..

4. The way she hugs and thanks us for something routine, as giving her, her favourite strawberry milk or buying her a pair of shoes! Her emotion when she thanks us amazes both of us!

5. The way she jumps and runs towards her dad everyday, when he returns from work. And I will never forget the way, she clung to him at the airport, when we got back from vacation.
How she is moved, by any child that cries, and tries telling them – ‘Don’t cry, baby’!

Oh there are so many things.. that move me, amaze me and make me thankful that I am a mother and that I am able to experience all this.. I know that I am no perfect mother, nor can I ever reach that – but I know, that I will do everything to try and do whatever I can to make my daughter’s life better.. I have doubts about my parenting style all the time.. I worry about mollycoddling her too much, and then about being too strict with her.. But all I can say with any sincerity is that ever since I have become a mother, I want to do my very best for her.. I do think that motherhood has brought out the best in me..

I believe this tag is about linking mothers across the world.. Most of the mothers I know have already been tagged, So I am tagging.

Happy Kitten

Varunavi

Manju

Hip Hop Grandmom

NM

N

Sandhya

 

Edited to addRenu – Don’t know how I missed tagging you – Apologies!!!

And Daddy bloggers – Masood and Rakesh – I love your baby posts!