Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The Elf on the Shelf! Me Too!!

So after years of avoiding the marketing gimmick of "Elf on the Shelf" I finally succumbed to the pressure and popular demand. I am ashamed to say that I am the proud owner of not one but 2 Elves! However I am proud to say I did not completely fall for it. I bought some cheap elf stuffed toys so technically "They" did not win!

Tootsie is a sucker for every popular toy. She is every marketer's dream kid. She wants every single
thing to hit the market! And she has been begging for an Elf on the shelf for years now! Now this is my little minx who long lost the "Santa fantasy". For that she blames her older brother! So she knows the truth about the Elf, but that has not stopped her.

She is 8 now and every year I tell myself, she is too old for this stuff! So why now? Well I am a sucker too I guess! We have a neighbor who indulges her kids and I get to hear all about it when Tootsie comes home. This year she helped decorate their tree, spent a night making christmas ornaments with them while mom here has no lights, no tree (tree still in box). So I got guilt tripped! and decided time to get into the christmas spirit! And fell for the trap!

But I am no pro! So I do everything in reverse! The little elf dolls arrived and took a spot on the mantle in the living room. Tootsie took a look at it and said "Thats not the elf on the shelf, those are stuffed toys!" She also added, "I guess they are better than the little wooden pinnochio doll of last year" "Which" she had to point out "never moved!" Ugh!! The demands!

4 days later the elves on the shelf still sat there and Tootsie with her "atleast you tried" look just huffed! This bad mom forgot all about moving the elves! Now I tried to buy my way back in, so she got early christmas presents. She got a really nice camera that she thought was pretty impressive! But I decided I needed to top that!

Finally today the elf made a move! He was found sitting on the kitchen counter guilty of attempting bad selfies with said camera! He even left a note!

Tootsie was tickled to see it and it was worth all the effort that this mom went through. Then the neighbors kids came over! And 3 kids gathered around my fake elf! It sure felt like judgement day!
"Are you sure that's a real elf" asked my neighbor's kid suspiciously eyeing it!
"Yes I am positive" I croaked
"The magical kind? But you cant be touching it or it will lose all its magic!!"  as I tried to extract the note! Hey I had a point to prove!
Even maybe even he could smell the incompetence, and knew I needed all the help I can get!
"Ofcourse it is!" I said. "See it left a note and everything!"
And with that I rushed them off. Time to switch topics if ever they was one!

Later that day Tootsie declared cynically “I really wish I didn’t know the truth! My friends still believe in Santa!”

Well, I  am not so sure about that!  But lets all just pretend in the fantasy for a little bit! Why not! So Tootsie and I talked about how much fun this is even if we are pretending. And as always we kind of lost track of who was the adult for a bit.

But Tootsie I can tell is into it. She made the elves this little bunk bed after school! And we even printed real Elf poems and named them Elfie and Elfolina! Talk about doing everything backwards!

Edited to add: And guess what awaited her this morning. More Elf mischief! Elfie was caught making some smores this morning! While Elfolina just seemed to have been eating a lot of candy! Wonder who she got that from!!

She thought it was really funny! Its a struggle though. With Cheeky trying his hardest to be the obnoxious older brother and pointing out every few minutes the flaws of fantasy! And Tootsie swinging between wanting to believe and knowing the reality! I was the only one who was all dreamy eyed but I am proud to say insanity prevailed. And we made it through this morning with all the giggles. Even cynical teen had to admit (not out loud, never out loud but the smile was a give away) that there was fun in it!

SCORE!! But christmas season is not over yet! And this mom is going to need a lot of help to keep it entertaining! At least I think this means I don't need to take the tree out of the box or go outside in the cold and hang up lights! I wish!

Tootsie left the house this morning saying "I wonder what he will do tomorrow!" Oh Sigh! Google please help!

So you think I am really going to keep this up? I wouldn't place my bets on it. But if you are, I sure hope you win!!

 P.S. I need to thank fellow blogger Abha for the wonderful "Elfie notes" idea. I love her little posts this year of Elfie tales and shamelessly stole the idea! Thanks Abha!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The little femnist

In this day and age of feminism I have a little Pixie who never needed to be taught the word. She was just born as one. She is the 2 yr old who changed every rhyme with boys in it to say girls. She sang "Baa baa black sheep.. with little girl who lived down the street". She enjoys reading about Rosa Parks and Malala at Age 7. She questions every single atrocity to women. Did you know women did not have the right to vote? That's ridiculous! She says. She also adores Martin Luther King and has books about Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King. Also made me buy the movies Selma and Mahatma Gandhi so she could watch them.

She is the little girl who decided she wants to wrestle in the junior wrestling team next year. She couldn't this year as other activities interfered. But she came home one day and told me "I am going to be on the wrestling team next year!" Being a wrestling family, she has wrestled before and my son is on the wrestling team, so I didn't think much of it. But I did not have to wait long for an explanation. Indignant she says "The boys in my class think they are stronger! I'll show them!" One of the kids in her class wrestles on the team and she is hoping other boys in her class will show up too and she can teach them a thing or 2. I had to tell Ms. Firebrand that she cant be caught wrestling someone on school grounds! "I know mom!" she says rolling her eyes! "Just on the mat!"

This week she has been tasked with doing a project about a famous personality. Her teacher said pick a personality that changed the world! And the examples were of Walt Disney and such. So we were surprised at her pick "Juliette Gordon Low" Apparently she is the lady who fought for Women's rights and established Girls Scouts. Tootsie sits there on her tablet reading about Low and watching videos about her biography so she can be well informed. And then she comes to us and says "I dont get it!If boys and girls are equal why is there a boys scouts and a girls scouts?" Fair point I tell ya! And after learning more she has decided she wants to be a cub scout! I had to defend Juliette Low saying she was first trying to get Girls to join the scouts which is why she formed a special club! So with that defense we continue on the project of Juliette Gordon Low. But we are unimpressed that the 2 clubs have not yet been merged!

I think I have a politician in the making here! #EqualAllTheWay #GirlPower

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Do we need Women's day? When is Men's day?

Tomorrow is Woman's Day. Now is the time when many people try to show their respect for Women. Men and Women alike post videos and articles about how celebrated women should be. They are after all the Martyrs that sacrifice their life and hope and ambitions. For what? To be a dutiful wife, mother and daughter in law. And what do they expect in return, your respect, your acknowledgement, your time! But yet you want to watch your favorite sport on TV, or belittle their art, or sleep in on  a Sunday! How sacrilegious of you to not notice her martyrdom!

Every year there is that one video, one Chetan Bhagat open letter or one picture that makes it to everyone's facebook page, or whatsapp group. There is one such video this year as well. Unfortunately it drives me up the wall. It shows me how little we think of women. How we have not moved forward at all over all these years! What is Woman's day about? Is it a day to thank the women in your life for all the sacrifices she has made? Is it a day to celebrate how truly great she is because she is such a door mat?

Now lets look at the other extreme? Is Women's day the day to celebrate the liberated woman who no longer cares for the family. Is it the day to declare she will no longer be solely responsible for raising her kids. She will no longer be the cook and provider in the household? After all we are all feminists now aren't we?

So when do we celebrate Men's day ? The other 364 days in the year?

Why do we need to "liberate" women? Why do we have to celebrate their "sacrifices"? Only because we suppress them. We expect them to give up their hopes and dreams for us right? Because we judge them, define what we term as success for them. Force fit them into these martyr shoes that don't want to fit.

You can be a woman or a man. If you are a parent, teach your kids about gender equality and not about liberating woman. Teach your kid that choosing a day to remember a woman is teaching him to forget the rest 364 days. Teach your son's that there will come a day to pick roles in the household. They should be picked because of interests and likes. Not because you are a man or a woman. Teach your daughter that she is equal to any man or woman. But that does not mean she needs to be a man. She needs to embrace herself and her uniqueness and be what she wants to be. If she wants to be a caregiver thats her choice. As is being a Corporate Moghul. Be comfortable in your skin that is what is important.

We dont need a day to  be patronized or celebrated or validated. We need a day, every day to be who we are without being judged. Be empowered my dear girls. Conquer the world!

Starting today teach your son's and daughter's gender equality not women's liberation. Lets move towards not having to celebrate "Woman's Day". Every day is Human day!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Do not test me!

We don't take to testing. At all. That's the challenge of the year. We are having terrible 6's in our household. Earlier in the year we hated math because of fast facts. There was so much drama till I had to teach her how to not care how she did. Which of course means she tells me "Mommy I did better than yday and that's all that matters".
In counting on the  last report card she made a 2 grade. Which translates to "approaching standards". All other math standards were at 3 or 4 (exceeds std). That was puzzling.. the teacher said she was asked to count to 120 but apparently only did to 100. Ask the pixie "They didn't ask me to stop so I thought 100 is a big number. They Must Be Really Tired Listening. And I stopped."
Accelerated Reading  (AR) is the most miserable story. She reads her books but refuses to take any tests. We have tried every single tactic but nothing helps. I hate comparing my kids to other kids, but thought thats a tried and tested method "peer motivation"!  She told her friend in unequivocal terms "Lets talk about something else" and me "Mom I am unique! Do you want to be X's mom? No right? Then stop talking about her" Oh Well! Since when do 6 yr olds talk like this?

I guess we will just have to wait to meet Math standards and take tests! After all this is the same kid who went to an eye exam and refused to open her mouth. She was 2 and they were showing her pictures of objects and the objects kept getting smaller and Tootsie stopped talking. Mom and Doctor were bewildered. "Why arent you saying anything, cant you see what it is?" 
"I told you already. You are not listening!" She said. So there went the eye exam, we were just left guessing how well she could see!

Some kids are just not test takers I guess. Only option now is to change the education system!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

In a league of her own

I am re-learning parenting this time around. None of the parenting tricks I have learnt works, and re-learning is not an option. No parenting book or self help website is of any use with this new brand of kid we have produced. For Tootsie is truly in a league of her own!

But life never lacks for entertainment. Thats a given. We get these elaborate feminist notes taped on our wall. Be it about the fact that "Boys are not allowed in our room.. except Daddy and boys that sometimes need to sleep in the room"

Or a venn diagram about the likes and differences between gingr bred man and grl! Here is a picture

Yes kindergartener's are being taught about venn diagrams. And my little pixie thought this was a good opportunity to put together some feminist thoughts. After all she is the kid who turned every rhyme to the feminine gender. We can't let boys have all the fun can we?

How do you make friends? For years I have taught my kids to be friendly. If you see a kid who doesnt have a friend, go be friendly. If you see a new kid at school be her friend. Always pick the right thing to do.. and blah, blah and blah.

So guess what Ms. Firebrand does when she sees a kid sitting by herself on the ground

Mom I saw this girl sitting by herself on the playground. So I went and asked her "Are you new?"
She said "Yes"
I asked "Do you have any friends?"
The girl said "No"

At this point you would assume the obvious. But here is where we are in a league of her own

Tootsie "So I told her ...let me teach you how to make friends. You walk up to someone who you want to play with and ask 'Hi can I be your friend. What would you like to play'. And then you just play what they like to play"

The clueless mom ofcourse had to ask "But Tootsie couldnt you be her friend? Maybe include her in your game?"

Tootsie "No mom I have my friends I want to play with"

So there we have the whole concept of lead the horse to the water down pat!

And there is more. One day Tootsie comes up to me and says "Mom is that a need or a want?" So now everytime I want something I am asked "Is that a need or a want?" Everytime she needs something "Its a need". But I need toys, how else will I play? And when I explained to her what need and want really is she changes that to "But I need toys to grow smarter"

Sigh!! This little fire brand has us dancing to her tunes! She has us fumbling at parenting and giving up.. we are just guided by the little missy.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

5 yr old truant!

Cheeky is growing.. He is now 11 years old! 11 years old and head spinning busy. The kid loves every sport there is, is good at academics but treats that as his last priority. So ofcourse he is the tiger mom's nightmare. He wants to become a UFC fighter and trains for it like he means business! Not for the faint hearted let me tell you that!

So for this birthday I decided my busy kid needs a little break. So we were going to play truant and take a mom and son day. Cheeky loved the idea convinced dad it would be a mom, dad and son day just no sister! Well it is his birthday, so we agreed and all was set. Till the bday dawned. The little monster caught a whiff of the plan.

Day of, she woke up and could barely speak. Looked tired and with a nasal tone said "Mom I am so sick". We knew what was going on here, but she is 5 yrs old. So we gave her some credit, gave her a doze of cold medication (she did have a cold) and tucked her back into bed. After I was overheard calling the school to tell them she was out sick we heard the little rascal bounding down the corridor. "So guys lets go get the cake" she squealed!

The day was a whirlwind of fun.. now armed with both kids we went to the park, ate out, hit the bounce house, had an icecream cake and finished the day off with a movie! Never again is Tootsie going to let us plan a Mom and Son day! I did get a confession from her "I did not want to miss out on the fun activities" she says swinging upside down from the play structure!

What are we going to do when this kid turns 15.. she claims she doesnt understand what the word "fib" means but we dont believe a word of what comes out of that innocent face!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Kindergarten Diaries

"Mommy we dont shower in Kindergarten" was the first update I ever got about Tootsie's Kindergarten life. You would wonder why my kid thought that was an important bit of information to divulge to parents? Well.. We got a long voluntary supply list for Kindergarten. Every year for Cheeky that meant going to the store and buying a ton of stuff. But it was always a long drawn exercise, looking at folder colors, arguing about what characters needed to be on said folders.

This year everything was ordered online and packed and put away without much room for arguments. But there was one thing Tootsie was allowed to pick. A bath towel for Kindergarten! She was very surprised and amused at this request. Hence the important update. The bath towel is for rest time after lunch. After all the work that these munchkins do, they need to rest and watch tv at school!

A lot of my friends have been asking me "How was kindergarten? How is she holding up?". My response has been "Perhaps you should ask the teacher this?". Because so far it looks like Kindergarten has been the hardest on the teacher! Tootsie settled down in Kindergarten a few seconds after entering the classroom. Since then she has kept the teacher busy.

I decided to pick her up on her first week of school. And Tootsie thinks its completely unnecessary for me to indulge in all this drama! She has actually rolled her eyes at me and asked me when Ms. G will be picking her up. She will be going to after school care with Ms. G and Tootsie adores her! I must add, Tootsie has also offered to just walk home by herself in the mean time. Whats with my children??

On the second day of school, Tootsie came up to me and said "We need to bring the folder and school supplies!" I was shocked. Just the previous day I had turned in 2 large bags packed with school supplies. In fact I had turned in more than what was requested as in a number of cases I got big economy packs! And now they needed more? I decided to ask the teacher. She says "You know I think she wants to take the school supplies home."
Me "What? Why?"
Ms. D "I tried to explain that school supplies stay at school. After listening, she asks 'but can I take my folder home?' Could you please explain to her that they stay in the classroom?"
Me "Hmm. Tootsie what do you want to take home?"
Tootsie walks me to her cubby, shows me a pink folder thats in there and says "When can I take that home?"
Me "It stays at school, you will use it here"
"But mom its mine. I want to take it home!"
Sigh.. this kindergarten thing is challenging!

Next Tootsie walks over to her teacher "When are you giving us IPads?" she asks
Ms. D "Can you explain to her that we dont have funding for IPads"
Me "I think she is asking that because of the headphones she brought in. Besides they had IPads at her private pre-school!!!!"
Ms. D "Oh maybe we will get Chrome books later in the year"

After that I decided Ms. D definitely needed to call it a day and took Tootsie home. Earlier that week, Tootsie had asked me when she could have her own phone (like brother) "so I can use headphones". After some more convincing, I thought we had put the tale of school supplies and IPads to rest.

Next morning as we walked to school Tootsie asks "Mom do you think they will give us laptops today? I am going to ask Ms. D"


Poor Ms. D. Being a kindergarten teacher can sure be demanding. And to think she has 20 other kids asking her all kinds of questions! I can certainly empathise with her!

About Tootsie.. I can tell this kid will survive Kindergarten well! If her teachers will, remains to be seen! Back to work mom, no more excuses!!

The Elf on the Shelf! Me Too!!

So after years of avoiding the marketing gimmick of "Elf on the Shelf" I finally succumbed to the pressure and popular demand. I ...