Obsessivemom

Obsessivemom

Friday, January 30, 2015

When friendships change

Dear girls who play with my son,


Last time I found H in a scrambling match with one of you and took him to task. You remember that I'm sure. A few days back I found two of you again, walking away. One of you was in tears and the other, outraged on her behalf, for the same reason - a scuffle with a boy during a game, where her t-shirt got pulled.

Okay I'll admit my first thought was, "No, not H again!" It wasn't.

But that's not the issue at all. The point is, there are some things you will need to understand when you play together. In a game that needs some amount of physicality, when one of the children is supposed to catch another (and count to ten while the other tries to free himself/herself), t-shirts will get pulled, dresses will fly, hands will be twisted, feet will be stepped upon.

You know the rules, right? You are the ones who put them in place along with the others. You cannot then, in all fairness, start to cry, or get angry or quit the game either. You will simply come across as a bad loser.

You're growing up, I know. You're becoming more conscious of yourself and the changes in you and that's just how it should be. But don't let it take away the fun from your playtime. Don't let it take away from your friendships.

Soon you'll all be grown up and out in the world - working, competing, playing and socialising with men, on an equal footing. Each time a situation like this crops up you cannot break into tears, you cannot get outraged and worse, you cannot withdraw. 

You cannot.

If you do, just like in the playground, be prepared to be laughed at, or what's much much worse, patronised by the others. You'll hate it, take my word for that. Just as you will be left out of the game now, you will be shut out from the more exciting challenging opportunities to learn and grow and prove yourself.
Most importantly you'll miss out on many many good friendships. Men do make for wonderful companions - easy, uncomplicated, fun. I say that from experience. And that would be truly sad.

For now, I'll repeat the five simple rules I keep telling H - 
1. Set the rules before the game - Make it clear what is acceptable and what is not. Do be reasonable and practical.
2. Dress for the playground - Wear sensible clothes: shorts, tights, jeans, running shoes.
3. Be prepared for some amount of rough play - It can be fun once you give up your 'I'm a girl I shouldn't do this' self image.
4. Accept no nonsense - But don't be over sensitive.
5. Assess the situation, the intention - An unintentional pull of the T shirt is NOT a bad touch.

Remember these rules. They work in the grown up world too - Set the rules, dress sensibly, be prepared to fight rough, accept no nonsense and asses an intention fairly.

For now, stop being girls or boys - just be friends.

Love and hugs
Mom of H.



Linking to ABC Wednesday , after a long long time, for the letter C for Change. It's good to be back here.




Tuesday, January 27, 2015

#Microblog Mondays - Morning Musings

Mornings are special times, aren't they? Quiet, peaceful, full of energy and optimism - heralding the beginning of  a brand new day.

When the twins came along all the peace and quiet was replaced by adventure and suspense. And if you ask why - well then that simply implies you don't have kids. The dash for the school bus is something that needs to be experienced not explained. It has very little to do with how early I wake up the kids. They can get ready in half hour flat or dawdle about taking thrice that time. Some days we are really early and then we put on music and forget about the bus and then ... yeah that same dash.

Then there are morning alarm issues. There are days I wake up before the alarm rings and lie waiting for it. Such bliss!! That lazy time before I hear it go. Or there are the times, the not-so-good-times, when I switch the alarm off with no recollection of doing so. Thank Goodness for the sun (and for my large east facing windows) that comes calling, jolting me awake.

Last week was bizarre. My phone set itself to Myanmar time (Don't ask how. These android touch phones quite have a mind of their own and tend to be temperamental). I jumped up right as it rang and after I'd wrapped up all my chores and was about to wake up the kids I realised there was a full hour to go! There I sat mourning my one hour of lost sleep. 

Don't get me wrong - I like mornings. I love them. There's just one small catch - the waking up. That kind of takes away all the fun. If only there was any other way to begin a morning than waking up!

So what's your morning like? The 'newspaper and tea' variety or the 'hurry hurry hurry' kind? 



Linking to # Microblog Mondays hosted by Mel at Stirrup Queens where we're talking about life hacks. Do stop by and share a tip.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Dancing shoes for everyone please!

Last year, much against our wishes, we bought H a Play Station (after daring him to an almost impossibly consistent score in his spelling tests which he went to achieve, to our complete shock).

With strict rules in place - that he'd play only on weekends and only within specified time slots and not at the cost of outdoor play or studies - we left him to it. However we still weren't too happy with the games he played. He enjoyed some WWE kind of fight moves, which he proceeded to try out on N.


A friend

Then H found a new friend, A, with an X Box and a passion for dancing and he got hooked. They'd spend hours together before his XBox copying the moves.



During Christmas...

..holidays we had a family get together. With the oldest cousin at 15 years and the twins at 8, they found they had little in common. There were days when we stumbled upon them all sitting together busy with tabs, computers, iPods and the television with zero interaction among themselves. 

The sight was depressing to say the least. 

Come New Years Eve we decided to have a 'talent show'. And H showcased his dancing skills. He's quite bad actually, but hours of practice, simple steps and groovy music made the difference and before we knew it all the kids had joined in one by one and were dancing together.

And then they were dancing

Since then the PS3 has been put to such good use. What's more, you don't even need a PS3 or an XBox. Our oldest one, the family techie, hooked up the laptop to the television, tuned into YouTube and the kids had a wealth of dance videos to follow. It was such happiness to watch them - the good and the bad, the shy and the uncoordinated ... all together. Once H's glasses went flying off but he didn't pause to pick them up continuing to squint at the screen yet dancing away. What a sight it was!


We were pretty happy because...
The kids were all having fun in a good, healthy way.
They kept busy.
They had some great exercise.
They kept away from tabs and laptops.
And they bonded.. Wonderfully.

If you're fed up of your children playing mindless games on the PS3 or the XBox try getting them a dance CD. Or simply switch on to Youtube.

What's more you can join in too, even if you have two left feet. If an uncoordinated 8 year old can do it, well so can you. And if you're still feeling self-conscious check out their video - No, don't watch it, just listen to the music and the laughs.


video

You can check out the original video they are trying to copy.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Bunker Diary - A Review

Today I have on my blog a book review by a guest - a young guest. Meet Varun, a student of class IX. He is an avid reader and loves a good game of basket ball. He has the brain of a techie and the heart of a book-lover - some combination, isn't it? He blogs, though infrequently, at www.asiaticvrun.wordpress.com.

Here's what he had to say about himself -
Hi I'm Varun. My interests are game development and writing. I aspire to become a game designer-cum-author. I like to - 
  • Read storybooks (and then re-read the awesome parts)
  • Watch good TV shows (and  repeat the cool lines before the mirror or in my sleep)
  • Watch movies with a solid IMDb rating
  • Play basketball (I'm still learning, albeit rather slowly)
  • Make my ideas come to life in form of little video-games or animation (my works are not perfect but I enjoy developing them)
  • Write little stories or even cool sentences in my head (usually I feel too lazy to put it on paper)
  • Kill the bad guys, hurt the bad guys, or beat 'em up (in video-games, for scores...)
  • As for the things I hate - there's nothing much (except the bad guys...in games)



The review


Title - The Bunker Diary
Author - Kevin Brooks


About the story
The Bunker Diary is a record of the time teenager Linus Weems spends in a reconditioned nuclear bunker held hostage by 'the man upstairs'. Written in first-person, the book begins with a dazed narration by Linus describing the bunker where he was immured. The writer then attempts to hook the reader with increasingly sinistrous mystery. The readers are told about a stranger who lures Linus into his van, drugs him, and throws him into the bunker. But never reveals his motive.
Soon, Linus is joined by five other people in the bunker. His diary describes their daily activities, escape struggles, and demises. Throughout the plot these characters are subjected to cruel abuse. 'The man upstairs', their kidnapper, controls everything in their prison- temperature, electricity, illumination, water, availability of food, and even the perception of time.

Writing Style
Kevin Brooks makes good use of punctuation to emphasize and express.
Since the book is written in first-person he alters his diction to befit Linus' character. 
His writing style morphs with the characters' development and shows when they are dazed, distressed, dejected, deranged, drugged, or dying. He also deliberately arranges the text with some extra spacing here and a line break there for subtle expression but his language is raw and forthright.
Here are some excerpts from the book -

"12.15 p.m.
      Nothing moves.
      Time is slow.

 "I thought he was blind. That's how he got me. I still can't 
 believe I fell for it. I keep playing it over in my mind, hoping
 I'll do something different, but it always turns out the same."

"Jenny dies in my arms. 
     Goes to sleep, doesn't wake up.
     My tears taste of blood. "

My Thoughts
This book is awash with morbidity. The plot is enveloped in darkness with only traces of light. I was thoroughly disappointed by its unusually dark ending. "What was the point of reading this book?" I asked myself at the last page.
If this book had been a literary work, I might have relented. But this is dark and pointless fiction. It isn't even poignant or plausible. You might argue that I have a different taste in literature, an affinity with the positive, and that's true indeed. But I can see the clear line that separates praiseworthy poignancy and psychotic morbidity.
********** 

Note: I asked for a review of The Bunker Diary because it is an award winning book with a teenage protagonist written for 'young adults'. I thought a young perspective would be good. And then right away I was apprehensive wondering if it would be too morbid. However I needn't have worried.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails