Driving Instructor

Weekends are truly more exhausting than weekdays. What with having two kids at home (Read here), trying to de-clutter my home before the big move (we are relocating again.. sob..sniff..) and routine work to add to the chaos.

In the evening, to over come the exhaustion, we decided to go for a fun drive along the highway. Pogo was buckled into the front seat with his father, and grandmother comfortably settled in the back seat. Before reaching the highway however, we had to drive down a few kilometers. As you are aware, Chennai roads offer more roller-coaster rides than any theme park in the world.

So, as we were bumping our way to the highway, my driving instructor say “Oh Ho mummy, Careful..!” Shocked at the sudden outburst from the front seat, I say “Pogo baby, the roads are bumpy, mummy’s driving fine.” In response, pogo said “Oh mummy, drive carefully, I am bumpy”  as my co-passengers smirked at my inability to say anything. (Grr… Dude.. seriously, its not my fault..!!)

As we were about to turn at the corner, Pogo said, “Oh mummy, we have to go right” (Ahem, baby, the highway is on our left). I turned left anyway. And out came the monstrous  roar, “Mommy, I say right..! no left..” said Pogo angrily.

Sigh! from then on, I was only a pawn, whilst my driving instructor showed me the way as I drove across the town.

Parenting 101: When you are a parent, you are a pawn even in your dreams.

Catch 22

Your baby is your bundle of joy, your little angel and the center of your world. But he is not the same for others. As a working mother with limited support for child care, I had opted to place Pogo under day care for the past one year.

Unfortunately, the play school we chose did not handle Pogo well and Pogo has speech delay, has become more adamant, irritable and hits at the slightest provocation. All I am left to do is wonder how we ended up here.

One of the many reasons I re-joined work is for Pogo to feel proud of me, to understand that I didn’t stop my life to be with him; but made most of what I had to give him the very best. (Read here)

Pogo means the world to me. I listed all the schools in the neighborhood, assessed their facilities personally. Shortlisted a few, took my husband to a few and then zeroed in on this fateful school. Yet, we failed. In the important milestone of his life, Pogo has stepped back.

As a mother, the guilt is killing me. My choices have created a setback for my little munchkin and its more that I can handle. Do I blame the society that failed to provide the support one needs to raise the next generation, Do I blame the school that failed to live up to its promise of nurturing my child – home away from home, Do I blame myself for choosing to follow my dreams and not sit back and wander my fruitful years away?

Women in general fail to have a successful career after motherhood. We may blame the societal double-standards for this. But on the other hand, when I see my son, his struggle in the last one year; all the new age feministic ideologies ran down the drain. I know I am capable and so do those I have worked with. I have nothing to prove to anyone and yet, the thought of not going back to office, not working looks me in the eye trying me, challenging me, – laughing at me.

In all, I have come to the conclusion that some factors are more significant than others and my life would be dictated by Pogo. After all, it’s all for love.

Parenting 101: Parenting I have learnt is about making mistakes, acknowledging them, picking yourself up and once again doing what’s best for your little angel.

Doctor’s in the house – Ouch

Pogo has never really reacted to a doctor’s clinic. He neither loves it nor hates it, he hardly cares if we scare him with the usual “If you don’t finish up your breakfast mister, the doctor is gonna give you a huge injection.” Pogo was gifted a doctors kit recently.  We also recently got Pogo vaccinated. (Two separate – seemingly unrelated events that changed my bum..! ouch)

This time, our loving nurse decided that the vaccine would be administered to Pogo’s tooshie. And what a wail he let out! Pogo has never winced this much for any of his previous vaccines. Consoling him, I said “Pogo baby please don’t cry, these injections make your stronger” As his wail subsided into small sobs, we went back home. We were worried and spent the night applying balm and ice packs to his now red tooshie.

A week later, as routine would have it, I was busy making dinner. Suddenly, Dr. Pogo, a Stethoscope around his neck and injection in hand, runs to me yelling “Mummy stronger, mummy stronger” and jams a plastic injection into my tooshie. OUCH…!!

Parenting 101: Age does not weaken you, kids do. Ouch Ouch Ouch.

Power of Choice (I-Day)

A fortnight of prepping pogo (and his father) has all been for this fateful day. Will they or wont they. Our fate awaits.

If submission of the application form sent me into a frenzy… then the day of the interview was a whole new ball game.. I was probably sleep walking or dazed or drugged or all at once.. b’cuz I have no idea how I reached the school and managed to get there with Pogo.

Always friendly by nature, Pogo refused to even enter the interview room (Whom am I kidding, I was scared to death, he just ran away). After a few (very long traumatizing) minutes, we (read I, while my darling husband had gone and conveniently settled down in the interview room) convinced Pogo to enter the room.

The interview was conducted in Pogo’s (fingers crossed) soon to be classroom. We were split into two groups – the parents and the child. While GK and I were asked to sit facing a teacher, (is it time to faint yet? ) Pogo was asked to sit on a child-friendly chair surrounded by books, colors, toys and puzzles.

Whilst sitting on his chair, Pogo was busy coloring and playing and refused to respond to any question. (Really dude? you bite my ear off with all the things you gotta say and now you play mute??!!) I jump onto the other section and join Pogo’s table as I nudge him to respond. “Wow Pogo, you are coloring beautifully, what color are you using” I say. Excited to have me at the table, Pogo goes on “This is puu (blue) color, this is olange (orange) color” and so on.

Happy that he has finally begun to respond, I  nudge him more to identify shapes and objects and colors. (Simultaneously uttering a million prayers to ever god that I can think of – hoping they don’t ask GK to identify anything – read here) Pogo responds correctly to most of my queries. (Happy dance time..!! well, no again..)

The teacher who was interviewing Pogo says “Well Pogo, you have your mother here with you, what is your mothers name” Oh damn.. the worst question she could have put forth to Pogo (read here). As expected, Pogo said “Pogo” In a rather loud voice, the teacher said, “Huh, your mother’s name is Pogo too” Pogo looked up, got upset and refused to do anything more.

Despite all my nudging, and the teacher’s repeated questioning of “Pogo, What’s your mother’s name” pogo didn’t budge. (Note to self – damn you, cant you stay off butting into his interview..!! he would have responded to generic questions anyway..!!!)

Finally, (I guess exhausted by the repetition) GK responded “Manasi”. Laughing, the teacher said, “Well, aren’t you an adamant little munchkin; since your father responded, he gets a pack of biscuits” and handed over a pack to GK which Pogo swiftly took.

Parenting 101: Butt-ing in causes more harm than good..!

P.S. Pogo got the admission.

Oh Deer Lord! (Prep Part 2)

We (read as me and me alone – dragging my silent partner & co-parent my darling hubby along) are prepping pogo for his school interview (which feels more like MY exam than that of anyone else’s).

Pogo has his quirks, well he is two (and a half) and he is supposed to. (read Pogo’s prepping quirks here). Prepping him is a task by itself but yesterday, all my dreams of guiding Pogo towards World Presidency twenty years later went straight to the drain. (or further below straight to hell..!)

Taking a break from the strenuous prepping sessions, Gk, Pogo and I went to visit a relative. There, we saw a few toys scattered around and pogo began playing with those. I was in the kitchen helping my aunt with the evening snacks.

Pogo was playing with a toy; loudly and clearly my adorable, darling husband says “Oh pogo, the lion says Roar” Pogo happy with his father’s (sudden, once-in-a-while)  involvement, immediately caught on to the name and kept repeating “Lion – Roar… Lion-Roar”

Unaware, I walk into the room with the snack tray only to be aghast! Pogo was playing with a cheetah toy.. merrily singing “Lion-Roar.. Lion- Roar”  (My week long animal identification training down the drain… controlling my now exploding anger,) I explain that it is a cheetah toy to both my lovable munchkin and darling husband.

“So what?”  exclaims GK, “they are all animals after all” while pogo continues to merrily (and now quiet irritably) chant “Lion – roar… lion- roar” with a cheetah toy.

Parenting 101: Try and try until someone else destroys it for you and then try again..!