On how Moo handles issues

Post dinner Moo and I have our us-time everyday. We bring out two baskets of toys for Boo so that she doesn’t disturb us while Zack winds up everything in the kitchen. Tonight we had a conversation which made me think what a fine young girl she is turning out to be 🙂

A bit of a background – This has been a new school as well as a new year for Moo so she doesn’t know a single student in the whole school. Her old school she was friends with every third kid. And she is the only brown kid in her current class of 20 white kids.

Me: So how is time at school Moo, are you enjoying your break times?

Moo: Yes Amma, I walk around the school after lunch and know most of the areas now. My favourite is the monkey bars in the play area and the big green playground. I walk around it seven times you know.

Me: Wow! 7 times is a very big. But that won’t leave you anytime to play with anyone.

Moo: My classmates do not want me to play with them Amma. When I ask them can I please join you they behave as if they have seen a ghost and say No in a loud voice.

Me: That is not the right behaviour. Did you let your teacher know? You shouldn’t accept any words or talks that make you feel uncomfortable and let the teacher know immediately.

Moo: My teacher tells everyday just before the lunch break that everyone should include the new students of the school in their games but they don’t it. Today my teacher asked a group of girls to include me in their game but you know Amma they were holding hands and walking together in the playground and didn’t even notice I am behind them. I walked behind them the whole time and they didn’t care.

Me: That must have been so sad. Do you want me to speak to your teacher?

Moo: No Amma, it’s ok, I love walking around and knowing more about the school. It is a very big school and I feel alone but I am pretty sure I will make friends soon. Till then I will take a book to read during lunch breaks.

Me: Are you sure Moo? Amma wants you to be happy at school and you have to share if it gets too lonely for you. I will come talk to your teacher.

Moo: Ammmaaaaa…I dont want you to talk to my teacher. What are you going to say? That the new girl in school has no friends? It will take time Amma…I am happy Amma..

I was still not convinced and mentally had already written to the principal and teacher on the injustice and exclusion and what not when I saw her playing with her little sister laughing boisterously. I tell myself that it’s only a week in and I am trying to control this aspect of her life when she herself has the confidence to face it. My dear Moo, so proud of you 😘

On learning during parenting

There have been some learnings for me during my parenting journey the second time over. I want to share it here for two reasons. First is it will be on record here and second is once I put it down in writing, I never forget. So handy when times are overwhelming and miserable and I need to get everything on track again.

Kids need one-on-one attention for minimum 10 minutes no matter what age.

There is an almost six year age gap between my children. Many a days and nights Moo would come to me and say ‘Amma can you play with me’. Only later I would understand its code for ‘I want you to talk only to me’. We have our private sessions whenever baby Boo naps or during weekends when I wake her up early. I make her favourite breakfast-of-the-day and we chat on the dining table solving word games from the newspaper. When it comes to Boo, she is very quiet and unassuming. Many a times we forget there is a baby in the house. But when she needs attention she makes it known loud and clear. Now her attention I thought would be limited to carrying her around. But for the youngest in the house it is physical play. I bounce her, make loud noises and twirl around carrying her with elicits the oh-so-lovely baby gurgles. She is content with that and goes off to find something to chew on. Took me 6 months to figure out why the girls behave cranky when everything is going on well 😳😩

Eye contact is a must for kisses, compliments, hugs and meltdowns

Many a times I would be feeding Boo or checking the phone for email from Moo’s teacher ( during home schooling ) and Moo would come to me showing a painting she did. ‘Amma do you like it’. ‘Ofcourse baby, it’s beautiful, I like the colours you have chosen’. I would glance at the painting for a second and be back feeding or on phone, uttering these words but never looking her in the eye. She ended up telling me that I speak such things just for the sake of telling. I was taken aback and asked what made her think so. You never look at me Amma. Point taken Moo, point taken 🙂

Live in the present

With kids growing we keep thinking how tiny they were and how big they are now. When I was expecting Boo, I used to feel I have forgotten how I handled Moo as a newborn. When I had Boo in my hands, time flew like anything even if it dragged for everyone what with lockdown and isolation and being indoors 24*7 during post partum period and suddenly I felt she no longer is a newborn. She is now an infant. I felt like it was rushing too fast and stopped to think how about I take in every moment of her with her one step at a time. I believe nostalgia is something you can cherish when you led a life in the present. I no longer miss Boo’s newborn days because her entry into toddler hood is keeping my hands and heart full. Moo has found out how her long hair is naturally straight and spends hours combing it when she has to step out 😂😂.

I want to continue writing but feeling really tired. It was a working day and my brain has buzzed enough. Probably will do a continuation post sometime later 🙃

On perceptions

Few events in the week gone by haven’t been good on our mental health. Zack is more affected than. We have two littles to take care of so we don’t let both of us go into a shell commiserating on what happened. But when we get time we end up speaking our mind out in a language not understood by Moo ( yet ). I never sugarcoat or divert her attention when she asks adult questions. Like for example she knows how breastmilk is made and how Boo feeds amma to fill her tummy with milk 😄

The reason we don’t include her in ‘other language conversations is because I don’t want her to get any kind of perception regarding the event or person. Like in a recent case a close friend and his wife caused much heart ache by an action. Now Moo is very fond of their daughter and they gel with each other really well. When Zack and I want to talk about our feelings we want to be honest about what we feel and let it all out. But we don’t want Moo to think of them as wrong doers. Because mistakes happen. If she perceives them as people who make her parents sad she carries it to her heart and maintains a distance with everyone/ everything related to them. We want to keep her thoughts and feelings regarding somebody completely exclusive to ours.

This is not to disregard her feelings on what she thinks when she meets our friends or any adult really. One of my favourite things to talk about with her is what-do-you-think-about-this-person and believe it or not, little miss 6’s perception about people can rival anyone. She is accurate 95% of the times. But she takes my word to heart and goes against her judgement which is what I am working against.

Friends are silly and close friends are sillier gooses who need a good whack sometimes😉