Potty Training Woes

Have you ever dressed up for going out, lined your eyes with mascara, put on your favorite perfume, double checked yourself in the mirror, only to……

……. become the toilet seat for the next bio break of your child. Phew! What a waste! ! This has happened to me two days in succession now. Either I should stop trying to dress up, or I should stop trying to potty train Yog n switch back to diapers. 

Power of Cinema

Bollywood plays a vital role in defining the sense and sensibilities of people in India. After all, it is the biggest forms of recreation for the entertainment starving 1 billion people. The film industry, in this context, holds a lot of power in its hands. It can use this power to nuture values and ethics or spread obscenity and cultural violence. 

Sadly, under the pretext of making money, most filmmakers choose the easier route of generating trash and feeding it to the minds of gullible, junk loving Indian audience. In many ways, our film industry is responsible for the increasing violence against women by showcasing women as sex objects having nothing more than glamour to add on screen or in real life.

Just when you think there is no hope of any sense prevailing in this industry, you are surprised by few brilliant, exceptional movies that rock you the core and reaffirm your belief that “No!!! Bollywood can definitely be a change agent that our country needs.” Mardaani played by Rani Mukerjee falls in this category. So real, so fun, so gripping and at the same time so strong in its message. I recommend all adults to see it.

After watching this movie, I feel so strongly that cinema can be entertaining and yet responsible. I am willing to lend Rs. 1 lakh to produce a movie that sends the right kind of message that our society needs. I am not a millionaire, and this is a very big amount for me, but I am willing to pledge this in the hope that there are more filmmakers out there who really want that change, as much as I do.

Time Out Time

Having been through terrible twos once already on my own, and having listened to numerous tales of terrible twos, one would expect that I would be completely prepared to handle Yog as he approaches that stage. Alas! I admit I am not at all prepared. Somehow, when I held in my arms for so many months, kissed him good night, twirled his little fingers in mine, I always considered him to be an angel sent straight from heaven to save me.  Deep down inside my heart, I always belived Yog would be different. He would not throw tantrums over food, not break things apart, not jump from chairs and above all, not disobey me. Sigh!! How wrong I was.

He is barely fifteen months old, and I was forced to give him his first time out today. I know it is shocking. How could that adorable baby already reach this milestone!!?!

Heres the story behind this milestone.

 

I have been suffering from a serious back pain since some days. To avoid aggravating it, I try not to bend to pick up Yog whenever he demands to (which is like 90% of our waking time together). This morning was as choatic as any other morning, as Toyna prepared for school and I prepared for breakfast. In addition to the already existing chaos, my hurting back was making me slow and grumpy. As expected, Yog oblivious to the choas and my hurting back, wanted to be carried in and out of the kitchen. We somehow managed to send Toyna to school and stepped out for a morning walk. I was hoping that Yog would let go of me and enjoy the flowers, friends and rocks on the road. But today, Yog didn’t want any of that. Maybe he sensed my withdrawl from him in some way, and wanted to make up for it by clinging extra close to me throughout. I literally ended up carrying him for most part of his walk. If I would let him down, he would scream his way right back up. Figuring that this was not working out as expected, I dragged myself and him back home. As we climbed the steps inside, Yog reached out for my cheek (in a way you approach someone for giving a kiss) and bit me hard on my cheek. Ouch! I screamed in pain, and landed him in a corner of the room – Time Out Time had finally come!!!

He sat there screaming his heart out and was rescued by his grandmother. My heart cried for abandoning him when he needed me, but my back couldn’t take the strain anymore. Looking back, I realize, there was nothing different about Yog today. He was just behaving the way he normally behaves. What was actually different in todays equation was “me”. My hurting back was my problem. How could Yog understand that? All the grumpiness from my sickness was actually making Yog also grumpy. He was just bouncing back the same emotion that he was catching from me. Maybe, the person who actually needed a time out was not him, it was me.

Paradox of Life

A recent lesson I learnt in life – The biggest paradox of life is that in order to make any change happen, we have to first accept life as it is, with all its beauty and its ugliness.

We have to accept that some days we will be cheated.

Some days we will be hurt.

Some days we will cry till our heart breaks.

When we have accepted these facts and are at peace with ourselves and with those around us, it is then, that we can hope to start the process of change.

Maybe

There are two challenges I continuously encounter when taking Yog out for his daily walks. One, he loves automobiles irrespective of the fact whether they are stationary or moving. If he sees a car coming towards him, in place of moving away from it, he will try and run towards it. Even a split second distraction on my part can have him hugging the moving automobile in no time.

Two, we have explored almost all nooks and corners of the road in our neighborhood so Yog is itching to go some place new each day. I don’t yet have the courage to take him to busier, unknown streets so he is pretty much confined to the same 200 meters of road and trees of our neighborhood. But of course his thirst for new territories remains undeterred. In order to continuously expand his area of exploration, he now pushes out on all the gates of our neighbors houses. Which ever gate relents to his tiny hands, he enters that house as if the house was all along waiting to welcome him. His speed and sense of purpose as he enters this new territory is very impressive. He quickly takes a 360 degree assessment of the area and runs towards his key areas of interest – water taps/buckets/puddles (basically water in any form) and of course automobiles. I let him wander for a while and then try and distract him back to the road again. This works for a few steps, till he comes to the next gate on the road and the same sequence repeats itself.

Most neighbors are very friendly and love having Yog enter their homes uninvited. However, some are not so.  When Yog approaches their house, I have to literally pick him up and carry him till we cross the house.  As I deposit him back on the road, he runs back to try the same gate again, cause that is one of the few ones that has not yet relented to his gentle push.

For me the dilemma of how to make him understand continues. How does one explain to a 14 month old child that people have made boundaries to their houses for a purpose? How can he understand that in today’s world people eye uninvited people in their houses with suspicion, even if it is just a toddler and his mother? How can he understand that the land that we live on has been divided between people till the last inch available and not everyone is willing to trust and share?

I am pretty sure he will not understand all this right now.  At the same time, I foster this small hope in my heart that maybe he will not need to understand. Maybe, by the time he grows up, the world might be a little different.  Maybe, the gates will not be so strong and maybe the hearts will be a lot softer. Maybe he will be free to wander not only in his spirit but also in his world.  Maybe, just maybe…

Classic Classy

One thing that I am quite happy Yog has taken from me, is my love for dogs. We don’t have a dog at home so we are always out looking for dogs on the road. There is a very well mannered pet dog in our neighbourhood by the name “Classy”. As soon as we turn the corner where she lives, our eyes strain to find her. As soon as Yog spots her, he runs after her to catch her tail. Classy on the other hand, doesn’t share the same feeling for Yog. She is quite scared of Yog because he often steps on her feet or hits her (when trying to pet her). She is quite fond of the older children on the road as they are pretty well behaved and often have treats on them that she can eat.

Evening time, today, was quite exciting. It all started with the older kids playing hide and seek in an empty house in the neighborhood. They ran up and down the steps trying to hide and find each other. Classy being so fond of them, ran behind them. However, most of these boys are scared of dogs so they hid on the roof, refusing to come down till Classy was there.

Yog spotted Classy running up the steps and he ran inside the compound wall to catch her. Now Classy who had climbed one floor, refused to come down, scared that Yog will hurt her.

I was on the road calling Yog, who was inside the compund calling Classy. Classy was, in turn, on the first floor wagging her tail and trying to get attention of the boys on the roof. The boys in desperation, were trying to call me, seeking my help to take Classy out of the house so that they could come down.

What a commotion it was! I couldn’t help but laugh at the fact that while the bigger boys were scared of Classy, Classy herself was scared of miniature Yog.