Monday, January 31, 2011

Todler Taking Care of An Infant

Yesterday, I was sitting and taking rest on a chair in the mall. My daughter was doing her mall walk as it is very cold outside. I normally walk with her but I had a rough night on Saturday with my breathing so I decided to sit and watch people go by. There is a small area with little cars, fire engines, trains and rides for kids. The kind where you put quarters and they start. It is fun to watch kids do all kinds of cute things. Yesterday a toddler, ( or may be a nursery school age boy) came with his Mom and an infant brother in a stroller. Sure, he was quick to climb in the little fire engine and watched his Mom put the quarter in. The ride started and the Mom nicely brought the stroller close to the ride. Then she stepped up to the Hall Mark Card store and peeked in. The store was closed. She took out her I phone ( or smart Phone) and started using her fingers and her thumb. Her son in the ride called out "Momy!". She kept on typing and said, "I am right here."
The little boy called out again, "Momy!!". Same answer, "I am right ". She looked up and started playing with her phone again. The kid called out the third time,"Mom !!!" Same answer, "I am right here". this time the tone was a little stronger. The ride stopped and he got off. Then he came to the stroller, pulled the belt tight and yelled at the infant. "Don't try to get out !!! OK !!! Momy is busy !!!.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mom's Multi -tasking Unsafe for the Little Ones

When we moved to Rhinebeck in the summer of 1977, my older son was three years old and my younger son was a couple of months old. It is very easy to take care of an infant. They say in India that even a blind person can take care of a baby up until six months of age. So until the baby started crawling, it was very easy. As soon as he started pushing on his stomach he became really ambitious. He wanted to hang out with his older brother and did not want to stay behind in anything. Before we knew, he was crawling like a racer. The house was an old fashioned, side hall colonial with beautiful hardwood floor and beautiful wood railing and huge windows. Now you think I would be thrilled to live in a place like that?  Man, the beautiful landing after twelve steps had me on my toes almost round the clock. When I told my grandmother my situation about the safety of my son, she suggested a playpen. No way was I going to put him in a playpen and make him miss out the fun he could be having with his brother who would never confine himself in a playpen at the age of three. So, the only thing left for me to do was limit my other chores to a minimum. I did that. I would cook a basic entree and rice for dinner. For breakfast and for lunch we limited ourselves to cereal, sandwiches and fruits. Our friends and relatives could not believe that being from India I have become so basic. I would some times eat cereal for dinner too, so my husband could have the leftovers for lunch if he wanted to. This way while my two boys would play in the hall running and crawling on the steps, I ran after them as well.
Earlier this week they said in the news that a young mother left her two kids in her car so she can shovel the snow. By the time she finished shoveling, the two boys had passed out because of the fumes. How I wish that I was her neighbour so I could keep an eye on the kids while she was taking care of the snow. With my daughter, I was lucky to have two older brothers who watched her in case I had to do some chores while their father was at work.

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Teacher Remembered

When my daughter told me about the twenty fifth anniversary of the tragedy of "Challenger " for a moment I did not recollect the space mission. She had to remind me and then all of a sudden I remembered that there was a teacher on that shuttle. I know that my daughter was only three years old but she remembers the tragedy as if she had understood the seriousness of it even at the age of three. It could be because of the fact that she was very much fascinated by space and astraunauts and cool people like that. As far as I am concerned my sympathies were for all of them, but more so for the teacher. Teachers are people who kids look up to and I was afraid that thousands of kids (including my own ) must have been heart broken. They were but thanks to President Reagan (then president) they did not loose faith. Kids are resilient and they bounce back. The same people who were kids then are now adults, and some of them have understood the gravity of that day and cannot help but cry.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Baby's Cuteness, not an Excuse to Stay at Home?

My husband and I were having a discussion about whether or not women should go to work. I think that it depends on the situation. I went to college to make sure that I have enough education to be able to support myself, my husband and  my children if my husband were to get sick or lose his job.  Today women are going to work because they like to have a career. Now the question of them working or not working arises only when they have kids. My opinion is that if a woman is married and her husband is making enough money to be able to have the basic necessities of life plus a little extra and some security, (six months' cushion,)  then a woman should be able to stay at home with her baby. One of my co-workers used to cry until half a box of tissues would be used up, because of the fact that her babysitter was enjoying watching her babies grow, she wanted to be the one to read stories and doodle with her babies. She used to say that she'd rather not own a house or a car than not be with her kids. She always used to regret being out of the house. When our company offered a severance package she was the first one to take it. Some people say that women were made to raise a family. I resent that statement. Some men are great with babies. My brother is an excellent cook. So we should be able to do what we do best. When it comes to kids, their safety and well being takes presidence over every other factor there is.
Our neighbours' baby is a doll. My husband feels bad for her Mommy, when he sees her dressed up for work carrying her baby in the infant seat in this cold weather but we do not know their situation. I can only hope that when they have their second baby she does not have to go to work.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Prepared For Compliment Day

I was prepared, so prepared for Compliment Day. I made a sign for the hall so all the residents in the building can see it. I wrote a note for the lady who delivers our mail. Then when I went to the supermarket I paid compliments to people who were working there. They were genuine compliments, not hollow. I also suggested to the lady at the customer service desk to tell her manager that it was compliment day and he should compliment his associates. She was happy and she said that she will. Wow, that made me feel better. Then there was an old lady who was shivering in the cold (one degree below zero) who looked at me and smiled and said, "That's it I am moving to Florida." I smiled back and asked her, "Do you want to be warm?" Before she said anything, I informed her "Today is compliment day,give your husband a compliment and you will feel warm." She laughed and smiled at her husband, who was walking towards the store after parking his car. I told my daughter what I have been doing all day. She was happy that I had a good day making people happy. I know that it did not cost me a thing. Being nice can be catchy. Compassion is needed in this world. May be all of us who claim to be religious can learn that if Love is Divine* and if God made us in his image then we should be compassionate. I see that compassion is nothing but an image of Love. (* like Seal says.)
Yesterday I miss spelled the word Compliment. My son caught that mistake but said that he likes the way I write. I know he is honest and so is his compliment.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Being Prepared, Key To Keeping Promises

The temperature this morning was one degree Fahrenheit. That means frigid and yet I was not feeling as low as I was feeling a couple of days ago. I think I am getting used to the cold weather finally. I should have been used to winter by now. With three feet of snow from the day after Christmas there were plenty of reasons to feel dull. The energy that was stored from spring, summer, and fall was helping me cope and I think finally fatigue is beginning to set in. So from now on, I will make sure that I eat right and yes, I will make sure that everyone eats right too. So, for next winter, I will plan ahead and eat extra healthy so, my energy level does not go down as the temperature goes down. I just have to make sure that I do not over eat.
Looking at baby pictures of my kids helped me a lot. A lot of people had told me that as you get older, you start feeling sad, because you keep missing your kids. I always miss my kids but on snow days and school closings I miss them even more. So for young parents I have some advice. Enjoy your kids on snow days instead of thinking that they are a handful and they keep you from your daily routine or they make you miss work. Once they grow up and go away or even have their own things to do, you can have plenty of time on hand. You can still work on your hobbies at old age, but kids are kids only once.
Hey, I kept my promise to enjoy writing.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Promises We Make

I promised myself that I would write every other day at least. Writing is something that makes me feel better. I guess sometimes you do not want to do anything, not even the things that make you feel better. I guess that is typical of winter feelings. I did not realize that we need the sun so badly in our lives. It has been a really cold winter so far. Although 1995 winter was supposed to have had the most amount of snow. I wonder why I did not feel that winter has ever been so tough. I mean, we used to shovel a six car drive way then, and now we do not have to shovel even. Looking over the years, winters in the past do not seem so bad, may be it was because kids were home, the things that were lined up to be done were enough to keep your mind busy and the things you do for your kids are so much more satisfying than just sitting and watching TV or reading a magazine. So now on I promise to be active and do things that I like then look in the picture albums of my kids as a reward.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Kids in People

They say that when someone does not know how to prove a point they either become really offensive in conversation or  behave immature. For a long time young people were not allowed to present any argument in front of their elders. So, naturally when an elderly relative made a statement that would not make any sense at all, we would just purse and press our lips so we wouldn't  get into any trouble. Throughout the ages we got lucky because our parents learned to recognise us as people and we were allowed to politely disagree. A lot of times it so happened that we made more sense than some of our elders and instead of admitting that we were right they would say that we were being rude and that was offensive. "Man, we can never win, can we?" one of my cousins would complain. So we promised ourselves that when we would become mothers we will let our children present their argument and if they prove us to be wrong we will not hold that against them. I keep my promise and go in the freezer and have some ice cream instead of feeling like a loser.
Ricky Gervais remarked "Thank God, I am an atheist"  in presence of a lot of people who believe in God.  That reminded me of a sentence that a brother in law of mine (who is older than me) once said, "Do not disregard an atheist that he is hopeless, who knows he might utter the name of God in the midst of trouble".

Monday, January 17, 2011

Grown up Kids

When you hear that your son is homesick because of cold, cough, and fever you want to fly to his place and make him some soup. Parents are like that. We rather have the sickness ourselves than hear about our kids getting sick. They say that God puts a tiny piece of his own element in us when we become parents. I could never be a doctor because I know that I would probably cry my eyes out whenever I saw people suffering especially a terminal illness. That is one reason that I have compassion for any cancer sufferer. Last night when Michael Douglas lost the Golden Globe award to Christian Bale (not that he did not deserve the award). I felt really sad. I was thinking of Kirk Douglas. I remember his devastation when he first found out about his son's cancer. Michael Douglas was upset that his Dad getting upset more than his own cancer.
We did not watch the whole show as my husband was getting tired. We can only take so much of glamour.   When I read online that Michael Douglas was on stage anyway,and his wife was listening to him from the audience, it made me feel a little better. Now I feel bad that we did not stick around for the whole show.
I was also excited to see Katey Segal go up and get her award. I always pictured her as a wife of an underdog, under-privileged shoe sales person. Then I realized that Married With Children was only fiction.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Kids are People Growing up

Kids are people growing up. Yes, so respect them just like you would respect a grown up. Two days ago, my son went to work late because of the snow. The good thing about that snow storm was that he was able to send us videos of our grandson washing his mouth right after he lost his first loose tooth ( as he calls it). It was monumental as my daughter puts it and it needed documentation as the Dad recorded his announcement. My grandson was natural and uninhibited about the whole thing. He is getting not only a dollar but also a marvel super hero. (wow, what happened to a dime or a quarter?). This is great and very, very cute indeed.
We are proud and happy about each milestone in our kids life. You know, first word, first tooth cutting, first step (even with a fall) and first time potty and so on and so forth until , oh ! oh !, first you know what ---- what else first pimple, or zit or break out or whitehead, black head and what have you. Kids get offended even at a suggestion for a remedy or treatment for pimples. I have a habit of learning from other people's mistakes. So I learned my lesson when someone else suggested one of my kids a treatment for pimples. I do not mention the word at all. I even keep quiet when young people complains about nothing working for them. No matter how young people are, they are people, so people please learn to respect our children.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sadness, Happiness, Things are how We Acheive Them

I was reading an inspirational line from Dalai Lama, my daughter said that he is cool. He certainly is. Anyone who says things to benefit humanity is always good in my eyes.
I was sleepless for the last four or five days. I know too many people who have kids. The nine year old girl who was robbed of her life is going to rest in peace today onwards. For some reason, I kept seeing the scene where a young man simply goes and buys a gun. I am wondering where are we going wrong as parents. Do people not have time to sit down even for a few minutes a day and read or talk some inspirational talk with their kids? It was not too long ago, that the twenty-two year old lad must have been a teenager.
New Jersey teachers may be in hot seat because their school district is making them go through some efficiency test routine. They want better teachers. So we make sure that academically kids are sound. What about human aspect? I hope that they add a "Civics" class to the curriculum. I know that when we were kids we found great benefit in that class. It does take a lot of different aspects of education to make a kid a good human being. Those of us who are parents of real young children should speak up and add a class of human behavior. It is not going to be against democracy as humanity is the religion of all of us.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Life,Kids,Hope and Politics?

I am not taking sides, but is this the time to point fingers and pin blames ? They have the suspect. Let the experts try him and analyze him in private. Televise that when things calm down. People have lost their loved ones here. Can anyone tell children around the country that things will be Ok, that the grown ups are going to make sure that this will not happen again. Common Leaders!!! has it been so long since since your kids exchanged valentines, looked for Easter eggs, dressed up for Candy and wrote a letter to Santa? Do not let politics desensitize you to this extent.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Public Figures, Greivances, Patience and Violence?

"Things will be OK." These were the words we remember our elders used to console us with, whenever a tragedy took place. Any sad news what so ever, within the family or neighbourhood or even at a national or international level, would be followed by consoling words for the people involved and outsiders just the same. We kind of knew that our grownups themselves were not a hundred percent sure that every thing will be OK, but I guess in order to save people from having to go through the tragedy being repeated, they covered their doubts and made things look calmer than they would be. At the most they would say things like "There was nothing much we could do," or even words like "It was meant to be," or even "If only we knew."
I guess what I am arriving at is the fact that the fear of economy going bad has been so much televised that people are scared stiff. They are blaming things on people they should not be blaming. Also, has anyone told us that things are not as bleak as they are made to look. It is not too late to realize that Americans have the most resources any nation can have. It is just because we are used to luxuries (compared to other nations) that we start weeping when we get a little less. Don't get me wrong, I have felt the pinch of bad economy as well. I do not like to put the blame entirely on the government though. Well, if you want to improve the economy start under your own roof. Do not keep the windows open and keep the thermostat on high, or run the washing machine just for one pair of jeans. This is a new year. Watch how you spend your money and see that things may start looking OK.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Music,Voice, Hope,Redemption

As I was growing up, I saw at least three to four flowers in bloom every single day. My parents loved plants. We had flowers from Roses to Lillies to Jasmine to Hibiscus, to annuals like Zenias,  Dhalias and Sun Roses. Every time a flower would wither and fall off my father would point to the one that was blooming or already in bloom. He always said that it was an example of things getting better right when you think that things are bleak.
In the beginning of the week, we heard about the musician who made "Baker Street." It was sad to know the background of that song. I was feeling really bad about the people on the street and just like my feelings were felt by someone up above, we hear about the homeless man with the velvety golden voice, his reunion with his mother and his ex-wife's good hopes for him.
Almost everyone is holding their breath hoping that he will not ruin his life again like he did in the past.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Loving Their Music Is Honoring the Musician

I heard the name Gerry Rafferty in the evening news today. For some reason I could not recognize the name. I have been in this country long enough to know the Jazzy beginning of "Baker Street". The reality is that when we came to America in 1974, we were still hanging on to our Melodies from back home and some music from England like songs from the Beatles, Shirley Basey, Tom Jones, Gilbert O' Sullivan and the Monkees. We still do. To us today's Bollywood music is foreign. The thing is, whether it is American Music or Indian we mostly enjoy the music of the times when we were younger. When my daughter played the song on Youtube I still did not remember the singer. The wordings of the song seem very familiar but I could not mentally connect them to the Jazzy beginning. For the longest time I thought that the Saxophone was by Kenny G. Even today when I hear old time popular melodies like the one from The Godfather, Dr.Zhivago, the original Romeo and Juliet, and even Love Story, the memories are not of the artist but of the time I used to listen to them. It is very hard to understand a human mind.
As far as my kids are concern, the Jazzy beginning of "Baker Street" is associated with Lisa Simpson.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Life, Health, Sickenss and Heaven?

The first day of New Year, I feel sick. Well it is not unusual to feel sick the day after New Year's Eve, but I neither drink nor party. I did not think I would blog today, but I think that a blogger should not just write about good days only. Actually, this makes me feel better, I mean writing about my experiences so others can benefit from them. It is funny how feeling better makes me think of heaven. I hope in heaven each one of us get to do things that make us feel happy. I don't feel like eating even though I should be, I do not want my sugar to drop. Now in heaven, I am hoping that no such rules exist when you have to eat even if you do not feel like eating. I thought that rules are meant for the benefit of mankind. So, between happiness and benefit is there a place where we can have some tranquility. I think I may be getting somewhat delirious right now. Oh well, I will get over this. I know I will. Life has to get back to normal.
When we lost two of our cousins in an auto accident, one of my cousins was consoling me by reminding me that all of us are going to be together. As much as it was hurting to lose cousins who were our best friends the thought of getting back with them again in the heaven gave some kind of solace. I will only know about heaven after I die but until the I would like to think that heaven is a place where we gt to hang out with people we care about.