Sunday, March 2, 2008

Peek-a-boo

I decided to pop in and say hello. I am running around preparing for a long vacation and can't stop grinning.. but since the end of internet will never happen to me, I will be blogging no doubt about it! But my posts will probably be more sporadic in the coming months!(Oh yes I said months.. are you jealous now? Anti-Jinx Anti-Jinx!!)

I have not been off blogger completely.. I have been reading some wonderfully interesting blogs. It seems to be the season for discussing personalities. High Strung Kids and Shy Meek Kids seem to rule the roost. One particular post really had me shocked - read it here. Its about meek precocious Ruhi. Since when is being shy a crime?I was a kid people probably ran from.. I cornered every stranger and subjected them to an earful of preschool prattle.. never ending as it was, I bet I was feared!! I was high strung that way, I could not stop talking. My sister was this shy kid who hardly talked to strangers had few good friends, and had some really profound thoughts in the confines of our home! To me going on a stage and talking about anything under the sun prepared or not was a no-brainer. Mostly because I don't think I ever gave a thought to making a fool of myself! Needless to say, my sister hated public speaking. And now she blogs!! Talk of a turn - around!
As I grew up I would go through these silent phases every once in a while. It happened when I was working once. For about 2 months I couldn't think of anything interesting to say to this group of friends I had lunch with. And two months later I was back to talking non-stop and shocked them with my volte-face!
Anyway when Cheeky was born it looked like he was going to take after me. He started cooing at 15 days and coo-ed non stop every waking minute! He uttered his first word at 6 months, had no stranger anxiety at 9 months and would go off gallivanting with anyone who would take him. I had to tell all my neighbors that I did not want him to go anywhere without me! Imagine what they thought of me! At 1.5 he started talking in sentences and talked to every stranger on the road. There was no doubt where he got this from! And I of course got no sympathy from the family!!
At 2 this boy picked a fight with a 5 yr old who was taunting him at the play area. I had to drag my son away kicking and screaming! He was like the famous dialogue in Tamil goes "Naan nallavan kku nallavan, kettavan kku kettavan" (I am good to the good, and bad to the bad). He would share and play with the kids but every time the other kid grabbed a toy Cheeky was sure to retaliate! Sometimes I wasn't even sure how to correct this, after all he was just standing up for himself right?
Moving on, at 2.5 my son surprised me.. by becoming shy and sometimes meek! I just could not believe it. He refused to let me out of sight every time he was out playing and there started a down slide. He did it all, hid behind my legs, refused to answer to our friends. There was no way he could be lured to talk to them, not even with candy. There was nothing that would tempt him! Yet at home as most of you know he is the non-stop chatterbox!
Many have commented on his shyness and some can be truly thoughtless in their honest comments! I learnt to take it all with a smile. I think of my sister and what she is today, so this shyness doesn't really bother me!
However I must say that his teachers at school have been very supportive and understanding. They do their best and try hard to get him to his comfort zone. I try to get him to talk enough to be polite at least. And he has made some progress, though not much. When he is with our friends, he answers questions and that is progress. He still does not talk to strangers but that is ok I guess!
There is a surprise factor here. He is very comfortable with kids. He plays with kids his age and older without any trouble at all.. and he will make the first move even! This has been a source of surprise to us and his teachers. They say Nantu is so good with new kids and befriends each of them and plays with them. Last week there was a new kid who bawled every morning as I dropped Cheeky off. As they stepped out into the playground, Cheeky found out that the kid loved to run (big surprise there), so for the full half hour he ran around with the new kid and put him at ease!!! Haha!!
I often wonder how to describe his personality. And most times I am at a complete loss. But then he is being himself.. indescribable Nantu!!
My pediatrician told me once "Nantu is cautious and I think that is a good thing!". I think back of when he would go away with strangers and I believe this is a good thing indeed! I realize I am very lucky to have the support and understanding of his teachers. Shyness is not a personality flaw.. and it upsets me when people think that! Each one of us is different and we need to be appreciative and supportive of this difference in our kids! Thats what makes them unique!
[Edited to add: Some advice for parents with kids like Nantu. I prepare Nantu every time we go out. I tell him what we are going to do there, who he is going to meet and what kind of questions he is going to be asked. For example, we went to the dentist today and I told him she is going to look at his teeth , say hello, maybe ask him his name and age and so on. And amazingly that seems to prepare him enough to open up. He answered all the dentist's questions today, in a low voice but answered it nevertheless. I have found this prep talk to help, you can try it too.]
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I have a couple of pending tags, I promise I will get to them in a week or so. I will be vacationing though and like I said earlier I will be around but will be playing peek-a-boo for a while!

Post Update - New one on Creative outbursts - Empowered - A tale about Rani Lakshmi Bai
And another one My Time Capsule - A tale of love and family.

21 comments:

GW said...

Read it pronto ! "Many have commented on his shyness and some can be truly thoughtless in their honest comments!" - that happens to me all the time, mostly from relatives, even my own mother who would say "what use is it to send her to "that" school when she won't even learn basic manners " !!! "that" school is the best pre school in town and "basic manners" are to grin and greet elders, hug them and make polite conversation.

I have also noticed that like your Nantu, Ruhi is very comfortable with Kids, very friendly. She only feels threatened with grown ups. My boy is shy of everyone - children, adults, even dogs !!

Guess shyness becomes a flaw when in school concerts and fancy dress and daily assembly when they clamp up on stage and there is instant comparison with those children who come winging up on stage and perform. Those will become the performers, mine will become something else I am sure but till then its a rough ride for me :)

Wanted to say thanks again, I have been wanting to delete that post from my blog - makes me sound a bit hysterical and but then I let it be. I've got wonderful advice from you and its helped.

Aryan said...

VEry well said..Shyness is not a personality disorder..I totally agree to this. He is indeed a cheeky human. Nanthu's personality is indescrible..I remember a post about him..being nice to a new kid in the school...
Aryan's mom

Rambler said...

hey have a great vacation!

Swati said...

months of vacation ..i am sure jealous :(

Thinking aloud said...

hey...u've been busy gal...not seen u in ages!!! :(

each kid has his/her own personality and te sooner we understand this the better...my kids are poles apart...the younger is more social, outgoing with strangers too...the elder takes his time to even acknowledge you...some mistake it for arrogance/rudeness...i've stopped caring about what people think!:(

Preethi said...

GW - See, Ruhi is not shy at all.. just cautious. As for your son, he will get there too.
Aryan's mom - yeah but sometimes people dont realize what they are doing when they act like it is!
Rambler - Thanks :)
Swati - That was the intention ;) (wicked grin)
TA - Yeah people act like they have never seen shy-ness!! God!!

Kodi's Mom said...

chatterbox on the inside, clam on the outside - sounds a lot like the toddler I have at home :) I like how you said shyness is not a personality flaw - it isn't, it is our perception of it that is flawed. yes, I've also seen that preparation helps a lot. and like you, I prefer it this way than having to worry abt him walking away with some random stranger.

Preethi said...

Kodi's mom - Glad to know we have company :)

rayshma said...

i was a terribly shy kid. a lot of people who know me don't believe it... but i was. i needed my mom ALL the time when i was home. and i didn't talk to people till i got to know them. i hated adults who'd come and try to talk to me.
i think i've turned out okay! :D

Preethi said...

Rayshma - see this is what I wanted to say.. same with my sister!!

Rohini said...

I am a big fan of prep talk - it's got my brat to take to playschool without tears, move to a toddler bed in the blink of an eye, be an awesome pageboy, sit on a horse in the baraat - amongst other things- stuff that he would never have done without the prep talk.

Preethi said...

Rohini - wow, see you are the testimonial to the success of Prep talk... and you are right it works so well!! :)

MAYG said...

Great advice about preparing kids in advance.. I have been doing that unconsciously with my little one but now that I realize how it must be doing wonders for her self confidence, i'll try to make a conscious effort at it from now onwards.

K 3 said...

Vacationing for months!!! oh common on ... I am soooo jealous!

Where do I go for Nantu updates, what about the stories! I am depressed ....

hoping a guilt trip would get you back online! :)

Gledwood said...

I was pathologically shy as a youngster... I asked my parents why they did nothing about this and certain other problems I had they said that because when i really needed to assert myself I could ... i have had a lifetime of spin-off problems from a bad childhood... while I don't blame EVERYTHING on the past I was a psychological wreck at some points

i know shyness is natural in children but there are degrees!

keep up the wonderful blog

;->...

Angel... said...

Have a good vacation to you and your family.

Angel

Neera said...

Vansh is quite like that too and I like you am glad that he is cautious and sticks by my side rather than wandering off on his own in the mall which he did when he was a little less than 2 years old and was unfazed when I saw a security personnel (thank God it was a security personnel) bringing him back to us. And he does warm up after a bit. I think its a coping strategy as its easy for kids to get overwhelmed when faced with questions from a new person. It still overwhelms me, these are little kids here!!

You incidentally have a great vacation!!

Preethi said...

mayg - Prep talk helps and a conscious effort is sure to do wonders
K3 - Hehe nothing can keep me off blogging!! :P
Gledwood - Very interesting point that you make.. shyness is not a big thing.. but we need to help our children get out of our shell.. so they don't grow to be adults who cant express their mind!!
Angel - Thanks
Neera - Yes you are right.. it is probably a coping strategy!! and we are in the dark ;)

Angel... said...

Ur welcome... and thanks for stopping by on mine as well.

bye Angel

Aryan said...

Hei preethi..even though you take break post something..Just got used to reading your blog everyday...
Aryan's mom

Preethi said...

Aryan's mom - Madam nothing can keep me quiet.. not even a vacation and loads of work now... :P I made a post today... maybe it hasn't appeared on your reader yet !!