Monday, September 13, 2010

Children as Teachers!


Interesting question it was that my husband asked me last night. “At what point do we start learning from the kids.” “Now!” I answered immediately.  The reason he asked me the question was because, I had been telling him of the incident from that morning when one of my kids asked me what a “splint” is? I told her ‘its a sharp object’.

She clearly explained to me saying, “Mama, I’m not asking you about a ‘splinter’, I asking you about ‘splint’ “. Realizing that I don’t know what that is, I told her lets go and find out.

We went to the computer and typed the word in Google. Then I came to know that ‘Splint’ is a medical device that is put on the hand when the hand is broken to help with the mending of the bone.  I wouldn’t have known that word thanks to my kid. I couldn’t believe that I didn’t come across this word before this second grader helped me find out what it was.

This is just a tiny example of what we learn from our kids. There is so much more than just vocabulary that one learns from our children. We learn about ourselves..our personalities, we learn to love unconditionally, to be patient, be forgiving, both of which,  I still have a long long way to go but, I hope I will get there some day. Everyday has been a struggle for me. I can clearly remember shouting at my husband and mom, during labor in the hospital. 

“Why do people have kids…Why did we put ourselves into this situation”.  while my husband quietly taped all this to prove to me what I was like during that moment (which I would otherwise, have conveniently denied).

Later, when I saw my baby in my arms. There was no recollection of all that drama that had just happened in the labor room. It was just this overwhelming feeling and I couldn’t help cry and think I could go all over this a thousand times if I have to.  Another thought crossed my mind, (may be for the first and last time), that we haven’t made any mistakes yet in raising our kid(s). And I felt relieved that, I’m not there yet, with those mom’s, the bad moms, the mean moms (as they call themselves!).

Even after the first year, and the second year of my triplets birth..I felt happy that I had still been a good mom. I had been careful with each of their doctor visits, had changed their diapers on time, got them potty trained well in time, encouraged them to share, had made the choice to breast feed ALL of them,..even though it meant no sleep for me,   carried all 3 together on my riding(thanks to one of them being so feather weight), built a good pair of biceps carrying 2 at a time on my hips. I was very proud of myself until then.

Then, slowly they started to develop personalities, or let me say, peculiarities. That’s when I realized that this is not going to be a cake walk for me…One kid, who is so gregarious, cares less about picking up her dresses or cleaning up after herself or offer her help for a chore (although she wouldn’t crib when asked to do it, she would plainly deny having made any mess). She has come up with such innovative ways to hide her food from her plate. Just the other day, we found food inside the pillow covers of the sofa. I haven’t seen her use her mind this way, when it came to her homework. or, that kid who is such a cutie pie in general but, can start to cry at the slightest provocation or that kid, who is so shy that her being quite creates more misunderstandings and trouble for her, than help her hide her clumsiness, and the last kid, who is smart enough to understand that she can take advantage of her situation of being the youngest of the lot.

Dealing with these peculiarities, I often tend to loose my cool only to realize later, I could have dealt with the situation with patience. I’m sure that I have no more reasons to classify myself in the good Mom category now. I must find myself in the meanest of categories there is. I fail miserably everyday.  Each day I promise myself that tomorrow I’m going to be that good mom who will be an epitome of calmness and will be more forgiving to my kids.

On their part the kids are so great in forgiving my shortcomings as a mom and love me unconditionally.  I feel so proud that I’m a mom to my kids and again today, just like everyday, I have made the resolution to be a better mom tomorrow in the same way that Scarlet O’Hara would say “well….I’ll think of that tomorrow”. I can almost hear the rest of the world telling me “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn”


Ramaa said...

Gayatri...frankly I don't know how you manage 4 kids. I just have 1 kid so far and I lose my patience and cool so fast, esp now. I keep realizing my folly as a aftermath and keep reminding "next time I have to be in control"...but that next time doesn't happen often. But you are so right, kids do forgive us and love us much that it simply melts your heart.

Satya said...

You are really a great mom ... n ur kids will definitely be proud of u when they grow up...btw thank u gayathri for trying my recipe...n happy to know u liked it. It is my favourite too : )


gayatri said...

Hi Ramaa, I don't think the number of kids would matter when it comes to loosing our calm when dealing with kids. The hard time that Richa gives me, I don't remember the three of them ever giving me such a hard time. yeah! but, realizing that we could've dealt with the situation creatively..always follows. I'm sure comparing ourselves to what we were before having kids..might be the start to feel better that maybe we are on the right path...

gayatri said...

Thanks Satya..for your words. I hope I can live up to that. I'm sure every mom in the world is striving for that. To be that good mom.

But, the stage the kids are right now..they always feel that we are at an advantage making all kinds of unfair decisions for them. That if they were grown up they could decide for themselves. They think being grown up is cool!