Monday, 26 February 2018

Got the priorities wrong...

I am very upset and feeling depressed because of my parenting choices.

Rewinding back to a long time ago.. the little one loved books from the time he started recognizing colors. Compared to his peers of the same age group he learned colors and numbers very early on. He wanted a book all the time. Would not go to potty without Amma reading / showing pictures . So it was very easy to potty train him too.

Even though he was good at numbers , colors , fruits and animals .. we never taught him alphabets or never prepped him for school . Later we moved to the US right in time for his kindergarten and he had a difficult time.
For one , he did not speak English like his classmates. And two because we were in a neighborhood with a high percentage of Indians , every kid knew how to read fluently and write quite well by the time they were starting kindergarten.

The teacher assured us that he would catch up and he did. I did not take an extra effort for this. I trusted the teachers and let them teach him. They did a good job.

In first grade , he had a senior teacher who made them work really hard. Again, I left it all to the teacher. My mom and most of my extended family are / were Professors. So I somehow had this feeling that I should not interfere or force him to study. I believed and still believe that teachers are the most qualified hands for this job. He was not a bad student either. He did his homework himself and the teacher had mostly good remarks about him.

Come second grade and he has the youngest teacher in school as his homeroom teacher. As parents, my husband and I agreed that we should not push him too much . We never sent him for Kumon / Extra math things. Instead we did enroll him for extra curricular activities. This was also because the winter is awful here and he would have no exercise or fun during these months otherwise. He enjoys it too though he isn't particularly great at any sport.
This weekend I realized that they did a lot more in first grade than they do now in second grade. This has made him very lazy , he is bored with the school as he does not learn enough and does not seem interested any more.

I do not want to blame the teacher. She is young and has her limitations. Maybe second grade is more relaxed than first grade. I feel the syllabus is also like that.. first grade was a big leap to new things. Second grade was more like a revision . But now the son is super lazy and I feel I am to blame for not seeing this sooner.

I do not want to make him a rebel , I do not want him to be lazy , I do not want to make him feel that Amma is putting too much pressure on him. I am upset. He does not seem to want to read any more. I used to and still read a lot . But I cannot find the books I read as a child. He loves Wimpy Kid , Captain Underpants and the like... But I cannot get him enough and he reads as it is a chore now.

I know I went wrong , I was lazy , too engrossed in work , too busy in trying to be the perfect working mom who puts hot food on the table for every meal.

I regret . I should have set my priorities right. I will !!!

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Mom , MIL and Me ... Cooking

I never considered my mom to be a great cook when I was growing up. We rarely ate out those days and we when we did my mom made it a point to dissect the food we liked in her brain and try it out later. It was mostly a success. She baked cakes, cookies and puddings in those days when people rarely had ovens. We never bought any pickles or jams or fruit squashes(concentrates) , mom made it all.

Even when I moved to a hostel during my Engineering days and the food there was barely edible , I still did not give her the credit. I just assumed that every mom was a good cook or maybe that all home cooked food tasted good . 

Soon after school, I moved to another city to do my Graduation. It was supposed to be a good choice for an Engineering college . Then I got a job and moved further away. All through this time I made sure that I came home every weekend. I hogged on my mom's food but did not appreciate her cooking skills. Nor did I try to learn or try or even watch to see how she cooked. 

When I was dating my husband he often gushed about his mom's cooking . I told him that my mom is just an average cook. I was in for a shock after marriage. With all due respect for my MIL , she wasn't the cook I expected her to be.  Today I realize it is because of circumstances. She stayed in a joint family where the other elders did the cooking. She never went out a lot so she did not know anything other than the traditional fare. And their traditional fare was not what I have had and took me a lot of time adjust to. My husband on the other hand found my mom to be a great cook and would polish off whatever she made and ask for seconds. 

Then life happened and we moved to the US. And I realized that though I knew a lot about theoretical cooking thanks to the cooking blogs I read, I did not know how to cook at all.  It has been some time here now and I have come a long way from where I started. 

I am happy with the progress but then when I look back I keep thinking of some of the kitchen experiments that became an unexpected success. I wish I had those recipes to recreate the magic. I am planning to document my recipes keeping it in mind...  

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

#100 Happy Days - 1

Oct 17- 2017

John called me to ask if I am interested in a new role. I am happy he thought of me when the opening came. 

I am in a dilemma . The brain wants me to take it. But the heart wants to me consider my current team and project which is going through a difficult time for no reason of mine.
I am still not sure...

The mad rush ..

So the husband went on a vacation to India all by himself for a month. Many ask me how I manage . It makes me think I am odd but I love the space and distance once in a while (or maybe more) . I wonder if they think that we are going through a rough patch . No, we are not. We are two individuals and we love our "me" times to do what we like to do. 

Now things are not as good as I thought it will be. Coz the little one has school and all those extra activities that we send him to. To add to it , Murphy came round the corner . He has to. My work went into a crazy pitch since the husband left and I am struggling to balance it along with managing the kiddo , his food, school etc etc. But even then I am not complaining , I am still liking it. 

The silver lining in the cloud : 

The little boy and I went to the museum in New York that we always wanted to. The husband keeps putting it off coz I think the word museum scares him or bores him . 

We ate out quite a bit and ended up a few pounds heavier and super guilty too.  We tried out places and cuisines that we wanted to but was sure the husband will not like.

We read lots of books. Now that he reads by himself I get more time to read for myself. We went to the library quite a lot and as per the routine we had icecream from the local home run dairy after every library visit. 

The cons:

To fit all the things we wanted to , I had to stretch myself and push my work to the midnight hours. Sometimes it left me rushing to catch my breath ...

I have zillion other things to get done before he is back and I have no idea how. Enjoying the moment for now ...

Monday, 27 July 2015

At the icecream shop

There is one little icecream shop in my hometown.
My hometown is a busy town , though it has the tag of a city. Now years ago , when my sister and I were in school , we used to go to this big shopping center . Mom and Dad would go to the super market and we to the icecream shop. At that age, when sundaes were not the norm , they had brilliant flavors and mixes. Pineapple passion which is tall glasses of pineapple and vanilla icecreams with the occasional sweet and tart syrup and loads of pineapple or the Orange Temptation with vanilla and orange icecreams and sugary orange pulp . Even though I have my salted caramel and honey nut favorites now , this icecream shop and their icecreams are still a favorite.

So now I am all set to move to the US , I have this sharp pain that hits me when I think about leaving mom here. She is composed, she speaks about being happy for me , she does not show the slightest hint of pain.

Today I wanted to go to the quaint little icecream shop with her . She being her normal self, complained that it was time for lunch , complained about the weather and what not. But I could tell she was happy , very much ..

Now the catch is that the little boy cannot have icecream, he was (or maybe still is ) allergic to milk and I do not want to take chances. But he never asks for it , he doesnt seem to miss it . Mom thought it wasnt right for us to go with him in tow , she thought it was cruel . I bought some goodies from my favorite bakers down the street and he gobbled his share in the icecream shop.

We had our favorite icecreams , It has changed. My icecream was too frozen , and they had smaller glasses . and changed the brand of icrecream too. But it didnt matter to me.

While we were enjoying my son finished his "baked goodies" and made a sulky face. Without thinking I gave him my phone and told him he could play subway surfer. Sulk gave way to a broad grin and he told me : "I knew it , whenever I appear to be sad you give me the phone"  I realized I am doing it wrong but didnt care . 

Thursday, 19 March 2015

We will not react

Today started like any other day .

At around 10 AM a colleague blurted out that “R” passed away. Now “R” was not my close friend , or I have not even talked to him once . But then he was someone whom I saw everyday , it doesn’t seem real.

He was a very tall, very slim ,a vegetarian. And with the tag of a “workaholic”.
For many days , maybe since October , he hasn’t been sleeping well coz the project was in a bad shape. He was an architect , he did not have to take responsibility for the project .  But he did and the managers took undue advanatage of his dedication and passion to work. This meant that he has his own work , he had to mentor and help out the juniors and he did the job that his managers should have done. And he was sleep deprived…

It hurts me , he and his wife were expecting a baby and she was in the hospital for her delivery when he collapsed. He was shuttling between home , hospital and work since the past few days.

What really worries me is that this is not an isolated incident. There have been so many cases that I personally know of , where sleep deprived , hard working people get a pain in the chest and pass away before they reach the hospital next door.

My concern here is that management is least affected by this. Today , his manager commented that “R” didn’t have much of a work load. Everyone knows its not true. No one reacted.

We do not react, Organizations want to make money and they bid for less money, they make employees work and work . We lose a few of our collegues but we do not react. Is it pure selfishness ? Or is it about being scared ? Or is it the feeling that it will never happen to you.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

The Guests...

So the crowd has gone. It was a long weekend , the republic day and a "hartal" made it a super long weekend. I am exhausted cooking and cleaning for the Entire Inlaws clan. Now it is back to business as usual.

The guests over the weekend loved to sleep. Occasionally they would check if I needed help in the kitchen

I resorted to the readymade gravies and coconut pastes instead of doing it from scratch as I always do. Was a big relief.

One of the guests asked for "sambar" or some lentil curry when lunch was served. Luckily , I had some in the fridge. I do not understand how a guest can say - I need some curry other than chicken curry along with rice. I mean , isn't it rude. And there was fish fry , cutlets , veg stir fry , the usual pickles and curd ... and he wanted a "loose" curry he said.

The first day fish fry did not meet expectations. I tried my special fish fry masala with rice flour which makes the fish crisp on the outside and soft and well cooked on the inside. They consider that "uncooked" . They wanted fish to be be fried crisp till black like coal. I used to think it was a mistake , but realized that people do like it that way too. The next day I made it that way and they all loved it. I thought it tasted like a piece of burned something, could not taste fish anywhere.

They judge food by the amount of spice in it. The spicier , the merrier. Glad that I understood it , coz then i would make hot hot spicy curries . I thought the spice killed the curry , it was too spicy to get the real taste but everyone else would be happy. Great dish they would say. The husband bought some fish from the hypermarket, it was cleaned and cut . To me , the fish was starting to rot , the husband would not agree. I fried it with enormous amounts of chilly and pepper and they all loved it. I couldnt even think of tasting it . That is the magic of chilly and peppers.

I had to take Pran for skating lessons early in the morning . The guests would sleep all day . By 8 PM they were all refreshed and ready to start the day . I would be dead tired and waiting to hit the sack. Finally the last day , I apologized and asked my SIL to put dishes on sink when they were done with dinner. I had to wake up early in the morning and could not stay for a minute more.  Maybe they felt bad but I could not help it.

Now that they are gone , I am heaving a sigh of relief. Too lazy to start my office tasks. Too lazy to cook a normal meal . Too lazy , yes.