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Category Archives: Growing up

The party is over.

Conversations

‘Ma, is there a rule that only Caucasians have to party to bring in the new year’ asked Akank last night as we sat down to dinner at home, on New Year’s eve. We had discussed this a few times before but nevertheless, Akank has her way of bringing up the topic with the hope that she could exasperate us into taking her out to one. She also knows what the answer is going to be and she knows the next thing to say to you when you finish saying what she predicts you will say. So the conversation last evening went like this:

Me-  Akank, it is not like we have never taken you out for a New Year’s eve party.

Akank – Then, why aren’t we doing that anymore!

Me- You will get your chance to party when you are older.

Akank – But, I have been out to party when I was way younger than now.

Me- Well, that was because we were young and went to parties with friends and we took you along.

Akank- You are not so old that you have to stop partying! You are barely in your 40’s and Appa is not even 50 till next year!

I don’t answer this one. I already told you that we have done this many times before and I know what comes next. So, I just ignore her comment and busy myself with what I was doing. Akank pauses for a while and then mutters: Now, I have to wait to be 14 to party!

That caught my attention and I quickly commented that she got the year all wrong. She doesn’t become an adult till she is 18, I reminded her. What she said next is what has changed about this generation – Ma, are you going to control my life till I turn 18?

That made me sit up. Is that what it is called now?

Taking care of your daughter is control?

Keeping tabs on who your daughter hangs out with when she is not at school is control?

Making sure she has her school diary updated and all school work complete is control?

Feeding your child a healthy balanced diet that takes care of her growing years is control?

Making sure she respects everyone she interacts with and correcting her when she does not is control?

I had to make a conscious effort not to show any emotion in my next question to her. I wanted to know what she really meant. I asked her if she thought I was controlling her life now. After a moments hesitation, she said ‘Sometimes’.

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Posted by on January 1, 2012 in Conversations, Growing up

 

Say no to giggle attacks

Being giggly has never been something that anyone worried about. Not when you were a girl. Girls outgrew their giggly selves around high school or about the time when they find out that being giggly was not lady like. A few weeks back, I found out that like everything else that changes, giggles from girls who hadn’t yet become lady like, has become unacceptable. Especially when they were on the way to school in the school bus.

Akank had warned me about a proverbial storm brewing between the bus aunty and two of them (her friend and herself). I discouraged Akank from challenging the lady in charge of the discipline en route to school. Yet, a few days later, I did come to hear of it from the management of the school transport.The message was – ” The girls are allowed to whisper. But thëy ought to realize that there are other children in the bus and their loud giggles disturb the driver and the other children”.

Much to Akank’s indignant surprise, we took the side of the school transport management. A few more weeks went by smoothly. When I went back one morning to check on the status with the bus driver, he whispered – As long as one of them is not on the bus, there is no trouble. But the moment they get together, they are back at it again. And just to make it sound less unfair, he added – It is not your daughter, maám. It is the other girl! ( at that instant I knew he had said the same thing to the other parent)

I don’t want to admonish Akank for giggling in the bus with a dear friend that she loves spending time with.

I don’t want to call the transport management to request them to change the preassigned seat for Akank to some place closer to the front of the bus so that she will never giggle again.

I don’t want to blame the bus authorities for being non indulgent to giggly girls.

Instead I have asked Akank to cheerfully greet the bus aunty and the driver in the mornings when she boards the bus.

Instead I have made Akank realize that they wake earlier than she does in the mornings, just to make sure she reaches school on time

Instead I have asked Akank to respect the authority that their jobs give them to make sure everyone is safe in the bus until they reach the destination.

I know Akank thinks I am  ‘totally unfair’ yet I hope that she never gives up giggling. Not until she becomes a lady 🙂

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2011 in Growing up, Trouble

 

Being 12 is not easy.

Another school year has begun. Akank turned a year older too. So we have a 12 year old in Grade 7 at home now. Not any 12 year old, please be assured. An assertive, confident, knows what she wants 12 year old. I wonder if it is the entire generation that is like this or it is the environment and the peers that make them the way they are. Gone are the days when what we said was irrevocably accepted as rules. Now everything we say is challenged, questioned and scientifically examined. Unless we can back up anything we say with a plausible explanation, the idea is not considered. Not much works because ‘I said so’ anymore.

For a long time now, our conversations have bordered on the lines of yelling. Another reason why I have not enthusiastically updated my blog. What do I tell my blog? That I have issues with my 12 year old? I am not able to make her see reason anymore? She is grown up now and does not have to listen to reason anymore? But memories of her growing up has to be recorded somewhere for posterity. So that someday when she has her own children to bring up, this could serve as a guide. To show her that she was not easy at 12 either.

What are the things we argue about, you may ask. Well, where do I begin? You don’t remain a favorite parent when you repeatedly refuse to allow her to take her iPod classic to school. Listen to this –

Akank -Everyone has an iPod.

Me – So do you Akank.

Akank – What is the point of owning one when you cannot take it to school?

Me – Word. But when you are sending a $400 dollar worth gizmo to school with a 12 yo, one is not too sure you will see it again.

Akank- Oh come on ma, no one is interested in my iPod Classic. They all have an iPod touch!

And so it goes on.

She has been wanting an iPod touch ever since her last want was met. She wanted a Yamaha digital piano instead of her PSR keyboard which “didn’t do any justice to her maturing music skills”. “I need higher octaves to practice my music and my hand span can accommodate more keys now. I won’t ask for anything more if you buy me a digital piano!” What we missed was the I won’t need anything more…. ‘for a few months’.

Then began the request for an iPod touch. “I am not asking for an iPad ma. Everyone has an iPod touch! It is so cool to be able to download apps and play games when I am on the bus. It gets really boring on the way to school”. She managed without the iPod touch for a few months with the iPad I own. She downloaded about fifty games among which I kept losing sight of the few apps I downloaded.

On her 12th birthday, her dad indulged her with the gizmo of her dreams- a snazzy smart iPod touch. We even let her take it to school on her birthday. That evening she came back home to tell us  that her ‘social life rocked’. However, it did not take too long for her to go from ” You guys are the best “to “You are so mean” when we refused her the permission to carry it to school everyday. Now it is back to “Can I take my iPod classic at least?”

The latest quest is for an account on Facebook. I have denied her an account for a year now and she was alright with the rule that she had to be 13 to have an account. Now that she is in her 13th year, she has stopped seeing reason. So it goes –

Akank -When can I have a Facebook account, ma?

Me -Not until you are 13, love. You know the rules?

Akank – All my friends are on FB. They are all bonding and sharing and doing fun stuff there.

Ma -There is nothing special happening on FB plus you meet your friends at school everyday. Bond with them there.

Yesterday when she got back from school she had this to say to me – ‘I have a message from my friends for you ma. They asked me to tell you to hurry up with the decision to allow me to have an account on Facebook’.

Sigh. I am giving up fighting. I don’t want to be thought of as mean because I didn’t allow my daughter on Facebook. I have agreed to allow her to open an account with a few plausible conditions.

I will soon have a 12 yo as friend on my Facebook list of friends.

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2011 in Conversations, Emotions, Growing up, Trouble

 

My little bird grew wings!

I know the title is a tad dramatic, but allow me to explain. Akank went to her piano class on her own yesterday. It was her first time on a bus, on her own. She has been wanting to attempt going on her own for sometime now. Even though we knew it was completely safe for her to attempt that, It is just that we thought she was still very new here and anyway one of us was always free to accompany her, so we never really made the effort or encouraged her into going on her own.

Our helper is away for a fortnight and that meant everything she did at home and outside has been my responsibility. Though it might not seem much, between walking Maxx four times a day, feeding him twice, the usual odd chores around the house, washing, cooking et al, I barely have the energy nor the time to do much else. Maxx has never been left alone at home from the time he has come home and so yesterday I was unable to go with Akank to class. When I asked her if she wanted to go by herself, she was hesitant at first. She asked if she could skip class instead. That was the easy way out. But being mom has its perks, where you can insist that the class not be missed. She did not need much convincing. She went armed with her hand phone,her wallet with emergency expense money,her bus access card and her head held high on her shoulders. She called thrice in the span on an hour – Once when she reached her class, then as soon as she was done at class and from the bus on her return.

The only hitch was it had begun to rain by the time she got done and I knew she hadn’t carried her umbrella along. When I told her she could grab a cab and reach home, she offered to buy an umbrella from a store at the mall and walk up to the bus stop and ride the bus back home.

She came home with a big grin, a brand new umbrella and a lighter wallet. I am so proud of you, Akank!

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2011 in Growing up