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..!

Child Safety

Dear Mother-to-be, if anyone every told you that motherhood is about love and nurturing and happiness then understand that its (mostly) humbug. You would hardly have time for all this when your world is filled with Paranoia..!

With the recent stories on (every god-forsaken) news channel and new-age cinema about child abuse, the next set of paranoia sets in. (As if we don’t have enough things to worry about..! Like, Pogo, get off the kitchen counter and away from the burner..!! and I mean NOW..! and No, that does not mean u play with the knife..! enough.. Oh.. and beware of child abuse..! )

So, the good mother in me (who wakes whenever I read such horrible news) goes on to teach Pogo about personal space (as if he needs it, he hardly lets me touch him.. but alas). So, I tell him that (in spite of the amazingly humid Chennai weather) he has to always wear clothes to cover his body. That no one should see him in his underpants nor should anyone see him naked. I spent the whole week drilling these safety aspects into his head.

Over the weekend, we go to a friend’s home for a get-together. As always, a TV is playing in the room whilst we chat about things under the sky. (and once again, the world conspires against me). We were hardly paying attention to the TV (then turn the damn thing off..!) while many (many many more) useless commercials were playing on TV. Suddenly there comes a unisex lingerie ad.

Unnoticed, Pogo had been watching the ads and loudly proclaims “Mamma, uncle & aunty (lingerie ad artists) have forgotten their clothes while coming on TV” runs around the room singing “Shame Shame puppy shame all the donkeys know your name”

Proud that he has learnt his safety guidelines and embarrassed enough to hope that he stops with the singing and forgets the ad. I run into the kitchen away from his singing.

PARENTING 101: There is so much more to the “Don’t let your child have screen time” advise.

The Prep Work

Oh thank the lord..! We got an interview call letter..! (I didn’t screw up.. happy dance time…!!) And then slowly the shock sets in, by interviewing Pogo, I as a parent would be put under the societal microscope for dissection.

As always, with shock comes panic and with panic comes the urgent need to do-something-about-it.

So, beating myself up for falling for the rat-race, I drag Pogo off his usual dose of TV and sit him down to prep him for the interview. Lets do a stock check –

  1. Pogo knows a couple of rhymes.. (flashback of all those tiresome nights when I lay exhausted while Pogo recalled every single damn rhyme he has ever heard…!! every damn single night..!!)
  2. Pogo knows his colors (yes, riding across the street whilst your toddler drags your handle bar across to show you a red car at the other end of the street is highly engaging)
  3. Pogo knows his shapes
  4. Pogo is extremely friendly (Yup, says the random woman I met at the local kirana store who was so sure of pogo’s school schedule – Is it time to be paranoid)

Growing up, we had this simple Q&A exercise, wherein changing one word of the question would give your answer (Example – Who was ABC’s best friend? Ans- Pogo was ABC’s best friend.) So I decide to prep Pogo with general questions that the school may throw at him.

Pogo completely lacks interest in this session. (Dude.. 15 years later when you are proud of your alma matter, I shall throw this evening up at you..!) Desperate to run away to his next toy, Pogo reluctantly responds to my questions.

Pogo baby, “What is your name” he says “Pogo.” (Mono syllable answers are fine with me. As long as I can get the response.) Pogo has caught on to the key word – name. Now, every other word I said to him and all the shenanigans that I did to garner his attention was lost.  Pogo baby “What is your mother’s name” I say with fingers pointed at me. “pogo” he say. Noooo my love, I am asking for mumma’s name. Mummy’s name is “Manasi” Now tell me again, what is mumma’s name. “Straight faced, he says “Pogo”.

Exhausted after 7 attempts to register my name in his little head, and failing, I let go. (maybe I should change my name to Pogo and say he is Pogo Jr – Always the easy way out huh..!)

Parenting 101: Exams have begun..! AGAIN..!


The First Project

Pogo has been going to a small play school at the end of our apartment complex for the last one year and he has got his first assignment.Almost a decade since MY last project, I sit down with a project in hand. Oh the joys of parenting..! (Yaawwnnn..!)

We are assigned “Parts of the Body” and upon completion, Pogo would have to identify the parts of the body.

As always, we missed the week long time that the school gave us (hanging my head in guilt as I feel the disapproving nod of the Perfect Moms). As the student snored away (thankfully), we ended up burning the mid night oil (we here refers to me-mostly and GK who joined towards the end to click pictures and keep me from sleeping). Armed with chart paper, crayons (or what Pogo has left behind) and scissors; snippets of paper strewn across the room as I snip-snap away to doing the project. IMG_0362.JPG

Though it looks weird (yes.. that’s a face.. No its not mine..!!), the project actually enables the child to remove the parts of the face (eyes, mouth, ears, hair – and hands-ya I know its not part of face – its the only other part I could draw) and re-attach them as a form of identification. (we used velcro to do that).

Most fun aspects of doing the project (well past midnight) was not that it rekindled the creativity (Don’t you judge me.. lets see you draw a straight line first) in me. It was how I was more focused on the little fishes on the boy’s underpants (sleep deprivation I guess), laughing about running out of ink and how my husband (who cant seal an envelope) was encouraging me to do better while struggling to keep his eyes open.

When we were done, we were laughing and throwing the small rolls of paper on each other till we were absolutely exhausted and ended up sleeping amidst the dump.

Parenting 101: Guess school projects (even average ones) are good bonding exercises too..


Just image those tiny hands wrapped around you in a warm hug..!! I love it..! I am a sucker for hugs and kisses. Its an inborn trait and there is nothing I wish to do to change it. Now, God gave me Pogo, who is an especially a don’t-infringe-my-personal-space kinda kid (read HERE). So what do I do? I train him to give me a kiss/hug every time he needs something from me. (wink-wink)

Like, while playing, when he wants to borrow a toy from me, he would have to say “Mamma, I want the yellow car please” and then give me a hug followed by “thank you” when I hand it over to him. Everyone at home loved this little game. (Cuz everyone wanted a hug from Mr.I-am-too-cool-to-hug Pogo.)

All’s good when you are hugged and cuddled by your little munchkin. But then, the munchkin grows a loooonnnggg tail and behaves like the little naughty monkey that he is. One morning, my adorable lovable husband brought home chocolates (Do I look like i need any more sugar in me?) to celebrate our anniversary (Bcuz that’s the quickest he could grab on his way home) and little Pogo saw it.

Schools and birthdays take a toll on your dietary habits and Pogo LOVES his candies. (we have been trying to reduce his sugar intake at least at home)  Mr.Anton Ego (Read Here) who usually likes anything that is not-cooked by his mother immediately wanted a chocolate for himself.

So he located me in the other room, dragged me to the refrigerator, pointed at the chocolates and said “Mamma, I want chocolate please”. Horrified, I said “Pogo, those aren’t chocolate..!” (Who am I kidding, he knows every brand by the color of the wrapper). Sensing that I am taking him for a ride, Pogo immediately hugged me and says “Mamma, please, give pogo chocolate”

Melting at heart and holding on to my stern face (desperately trying to hide the smile that’s forming on my lips) I say “Pogo, Chocolates are not good, they’re spoilt, chi-chi, no to chocolates – okay?”

And Pogo drags me into a tighter hug, kisses my cheek and says “Mamma please” – head tilted to a side with a coy smile. And Alas..! Another battle lost.!

Cuteness overload is something that’s impossible to resist.

Parenting 101: When you teach your kid to be cute, he automatically learns when to be cute..


It is that time of your life when your paranoia reaches epic proportions. Your heart is competing with Micheal Shumacher on the race track, eyes are palpitating, hands are twitching and you are all sweaty. Its time for SCHOOL ADMISSIONS..!

(The South Indian Tam Bhram community’s affinity to) Education in India is absolutely a mad hatter’s tea party..! Everyone has an opinion and your are distraught. The reputed schools are far and few and the decision would change the life of your little one forever. No matter how cold a parent plays to the ADmission MADness around, everyone covets for an admission into the A-Grad Schools.

Pogo is 2.8 years old (Catch them young – I guess) and we too have taken a plunge into this (would-it-ever-end) rat race. Waking up at 3:30 am (Wow- I did not know this time existed in this world) sitting in front of the system, eager to be an early bird (If only I had taken so much effort for other aspects of life) and yet be 135th applicant..! (see- THAT is why I didn’t take the effort..!). Having downloaded the form, we then rush to the school to hand over the physical application (reaching late as usual – gosh the traffic…!). Only to learn it wasn’t the traffic at all, it was parents flocking the school gate trying to get their applications in. (Really??)

All the worldly wisdom (or whats left of) tells you its stupidity to venture forward. “Its all for POGO”, you force yourself to go on. Pushing, pulling, half-distraught, your robes stewn across your disfigured body  while your outstretched arms try to reach the application counter. Finally handing over the documents.! Sigh.

At nights, I now dream of being away unable to collect the post indicating his interview time. I event dream of the letter getting missed..! Does the nightmare ever end?

If this is a part & parcel of parenting… What have we gotten into?

Grain Train

What is it with mothers and food? My whole life seems to revolve around making dishes for pogo, trying to get him to eat (Read Here) and gobble up the remaining; only to start making new dishes over again.!

SIGH…!! If you thought labor was a pain in $***$ wait till you see the disapproving nod of your toddler, it will hurt beyond words and you cant even scream at him (the nod is so devastatingly powerful – Sob).

So, I took the advise of another (very smart) mother who said “The best way to make toddlers eat, is to hand them the food choices and act like it doesn’t bother you that they don’t eat”  Okay, I admit that I am no sucker for Reverse Psychology or anything but hey, after gobbing up enough of pogo’s sweetened, salt-less mashed and steamed food; I thought why the heck not!

Early Sunday morning, waking with with new found zeal, I hurry to make (what I think are) Pogo’s 3 favorite dishes. (what is it with #3  dishes? seems to have some special significance in my life?). After making Pancakes, Paniaram (South Indian Savory Dish) and Vada (South Indian Savory Dish). I silently walk into (even Ethan Hunt would be proud..!) pogo’s room while balancing the three dishes as he was busy with his toys.

Silently placing the dishes near pogo, I run out like my life depends on it…!! (I have no idea why this was important, need to consult my friend) Again, without making noise..! (Achievement.. Achievement…) Now was the time to practice what my friend thought me.! To ignore Pogo.

I peeped (Well, I was born with an inquisitive gene – blame my parents for it) into the room eager to see if the trick worked.  (More so to seek the ever-denied approval from Anton Ego himself). And what I saw reaffirmed my belief.

A gleeful pogo held up to me a piece of pancake in his tiny hands (Happy dance time…!! as always..Nope!) A hooting toy trained carried the rest of his breakfast around the room chugging along were the crumbs…! SIGH..!

Parenting 101: When a mother is smart, her kid is born smarter and then there is always a nanana.