Tuesday, March 31, 2009

And finally, the tail end of March


And as March runs out on us, a few more posts for the Learning Disabilities Awareness Month.

By Cee Kay:
Being an advocate for your child.
And
ADHD and Learning Disabilities

By Girl Next Door
Treating and Managing Learning Disorders
And this one from Itching to write blogs
Unlearning for Learning Disabilities
And Art Navy wrote this on
Enabling Learning Disabled Parents
And this was sent in by Kodi's Mom. Though it isnt a post per se, it is very relevant and I thought it would be good information for those who would like to go through it.

Edited to add: One gadzillion apologies...Here's Sue with her straight from her heart post about her brother.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Of when mamma lost her temper

As most folks will tell you, mamma is the type of mealy mouthed creature who couldn't say boo to a rabbit. Brat has that figured out and mamma has been at the receiving end of much outrage and outright disobedience and open revolt in recent times. Incidents escalating over the past couple of weeks to the point where mamma's normally tepid simmer had reached boil. Of course, kind folks who had in previous incarnations been at the receiving end of mamma's nuclear level blow outs had also conspired to keep the brat ignorant about the need to avoid mammas temperature escalate byond boiling point.
It was a long Sunday. Mamma was already gritty eyed with the loss of an afternoon nap. And that, as Pappa would have informed brat, had he cared to ask, was treading on dangerous waters. A mamma un napped on a weekend is a mamma who is as surly as grizzly poked out of a nice winter hibernation by insensitive trekkers wandering into caves. The brat went down for his dance class. Surly mamma paced while he was put through his paces. And when it was done Mamma hoped to get back home to a steaming cup of tea. The brat, living upto his moniker, had other ideas. Maybe life would have been different had I called him the angel child on the blog. Maybe he would have sat still and paid attention and stayed put when requested.
Anyway, the brat raced up to the garden. Which is blazing five pm full creek side exposed zilch shade area of sun fury. Mamma yelled and yelled but brat was having none of it. Refused to get his self back to shadier precints. The sun settled squat on the horizon and sank down while mamma shielded her non sunblock applied face with a puny extension cord board.
The lights in the garden came on. Still no truck and outright disobedience. And open and loud defiance of instructions to get down from the slide right now. And as a coup de resistance outright ignoring of mamma. Finally simmer reached boil, mamma grabbed a surprised brat as he zoomed to the bottom of the slide and planted him some hurting ones on the butt. Forgetting her regular rule of not whacking the critter in front of his peers. And dragged him begging and pleading back home. And refusing to speak to him.
The brat was horrified. Not by the whacks, this mamma has given harder ones but by the complete rejection. Blabbered apologies. Clutched mamma's feet. Begged her to speak with him. Mamma fed him, changed him, all without speaking a word to him. Finally, the brat sat silently in a corner sobbing. "Mammaz nodtalkin to me," he replied when the Pappa went to enquire.
Mamma finally took him on her knee and gave him a talk about why it is not done to ignore mamma. To be openly defiant. In public. Or at home. And how it feels when someone ignores you.
Did the message sink in? Mamma doesn't know. She hopes it did. What she does know is that those tears hurt her much more than the brat would ever know.


Sent from BlackBerry® on Airtel

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

We met the Sue...

Ayaan dives for cover. Dont miss his fave Crocs.
I've got the brat collared under the table. Literally. I'm holding him from pummelling Ayaan.
The two who ate their meal in peace, Parul and Sue.


Sunayana and Rohini, and Ayaan.



A rare shot, when the partners in crime were not tearing the place down.



Yup Sue, of the Bhablet fame, was down in Mumbai and what better excuse for us Mumbai mommy blogging types to plan a mommy blogging mini meet. Yup, yup, at the rate at which we're throwing mini blogging meets, I think we can now safely print mommy blogger business cards and start throwing mommy blogger conferences, with name badges and files and such like.
The venue selected after careful deliberation taking all factors into consideration, which included very valid point of the possibility of the hungry, tired, dragged straight from school brat throwing mega rolling on the floor and eardrum piercing level tantrums for daal chawal chicken kandoori or lollipok (I'm feeling terrible as I write this, because the child of my womb has now started pronouncing the above respective items of ingestion the way they are meant to be pronounced. Its only mommy dearest hanging onto the mispronounciation hoping against hope that her boy doesnt grow up too soon!), and tear the joint down. Therefore safe and sure North Indian food place Moti Mahal was selected by mamma, after bludgeoning all suggestions of places with more exotic fare on offer, knowing those would be sneered at by brat on a growling stomach.
The thought that Ayaan was going to be met with, made for extreme suspicion of mamma's intentions when Mamma decided the brat needed to go home for a quick stopover to change out of his school uniform and rolling on the floor (as much as one could roll on the car floor) tantrums later and refusal to emerge from car and take self to home in case mamma changed her mind and vamoosed off to meet Ayaan without him in tow, resulted in the ensembles being brought down to car for choice. Much in the manner of them film star types with hapless, harassed lackeys following them around as they march imperiously through sets, to changing vans, dragging piles of outfits borne on clothes stands with wheels, mamma of course, being said lackey.
A Next striped shirt in blue was chosen, and worn with absolutely unsuitable multipocketed jeans, with said shirt left untucked and full sleeves left full and unbuttoned. Luckily, the brat was keen on putting on the 'choke' button, so named because if the topmost button is too tight, he feels 'choking', but Mamma discouraged him with the valid point that he had to eat lunch and that could not be eaten with said choke button buttoned up. Finally, Mamma staggered back into car, sent rejected clothes back up and sagged into the seat, dripping with sweat thinking she'd got the equivalent of an hour's cardio getting the brat changed
We picked up Parul (more details on her blog) and Sue close to the venue, and the brat was whisperingly shy. And silent. And pulling mamma's clothes off her in an attempt to mumble a demanding and insistent "I wanfood, I wan daalchawalchicken." continually into her ear. Ayaan arrived with his mamma, Rohini, and promptly dived at his mamma's feet and clung on for dear life, refusing to emerge, overwhelmed with the oestrogen at the table, I'm sure. Both mammas bookended their respective brats into a banquette space where they assaulted each other, fought over their "redurngeef" books, the lovely paper puppets Sue had got them, flung some food around and created such a general racket that both mammas were ready to disinherit them by the end of the meal. Yup, Mamma definitely needed the two Disprins she always has handy in her wallet.
While we played referee to freestyle wrestling, protected crockery and glassware from being flung around, and listened to the brat threatening Ayaan with being packed off to Jurassic Park, the place for very naughty children, lunch was over faster than one wished. And it was time to drop Sue to the airport. We missed Sana and her mamma. But in retrospect thought it a good idea that the gentle girl was spared the onslaught of these ruffians.
And Sue, the next time you come down, pack the Bhablet in your hand luggage. You are so banned from entering Mumbai without him.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Picnic to the park

The brat went off for a field trip yesterday. To Jogger's Park, Carter Road, Bandra. In the heat of this cruel sun. Naturally Mamma packed in cap, fruit juices in tetra packs and appropriate and copious amounts of snacks into said school bag and instructed and double instructed the brat to continually ingest liquid at all appropriate opportunities, which did not include the bus journey given the state of our roads, and physically threatened violence if the cap was found to be in untouched condition upon his return.
The brat, proving true to his retrosexual inheritance from his pater, nodded absently and continued filling said bag with d Ben 10 Omnitrix, his Bakugan brawlers and assorted crap that made mamma want to take a trolley for said bag. Mamma gently began removing the contents of the sadly depleted toy basket which had made their way into the school bag, explaining to the brat that toys were not meant to be taken to the school picnic.
"Bud teacher said we is to play in the picnic. In d park. Den how we play widoud d toyz?"
Mamma counted to ten and spoke about how he played down in his building park without the accompaniment of toys and ran around playing chor police and Ben 10 aliens being squished by Omnitrix aliens or slides and swings or cycling race or Spiderman versus Superman and Batman versus Joker or doctor doctor which, thankfully, does not include examination of private parts yet, or so mamma hopes and prays, and keeps head on swivel mode while doing her evening walk to check for.
Brat, being the brat was not convinced but the sheer weight of the bag was crushing. "Brat, if you put so many things in your bag, where will I keep your snacks."
"Don keep snacks. I wont have time to eat d snacks."
He returned red faced from the sun, the cap in pristine condition in the bag, his tshirt the colour of mud and his knees scraped and mud encrusted.
"I climbed d coconut tree," he grinned. "An den I fell down."
Mamma thought back to her childhood and all the trees climbed, and jamuns eaten and mangoes plucked, and smiled happily, ruing the sadness of living on reclaimed land with no trees just potted plants and manicured lawns that is now the destiny of the child. And plans a trip to a park with real climbable trees from him to climb, swing and fall from.
The carefully packed tiffins with varying delicacies had been opened in a haste and deposited back unclosed into said school bag which was now awash with jam sandwiches, hakka noodles and wafers in a congealed mess. Mamma recoiled in horror. "Brat what is this mess in your bag?"
"I tole you notogiveme snacks. I dint have time only to eat dem. We was very busy."

Monday, March 23, 2009

Of smells and Tarrrr sounds.

Brat sitting on bed with mamma, and being fed dinner. Fed for the simple reason that the menu comprised fish curry and mamma, being paranoid mamma is convinced that the brat will down a big huge fish bone even if mamma has mish mashed the entire fish piece to pulverised pulp. Brat opens mouth like them baby birds, while Cruella de Ville Mamma thumbs it up on the Blackberry.
"Mamma, Aaaaaa," says brat irritably. "Mai Moud iz empty. Why you not feeding me?"
Said with a huge frown creasing his face.
Mamma apologised abjectly and shovelled a morsel, duly mashed and triple checked for the presence of any errant fish thorns, etc. Brat masticated morsel placidly while watching Bhen 10 Alien Fource, and occasionally slamming on his omnitrix watch on the wrist in solidarity with Ben Tennyson, in the new green sports jacket, turning into newer alien lifeforms that mamma knows she must now be prepared to fork out good hard cash or credit card slips to accumulate action figures of, most of which will be unfailingly dismembered within their first day of living as part of the household.
The brat then looked up. "Mamma, kuch smell aa rahi hain!" wrinkling his pug nose and sniffing away furiously. Mamma sniffed too, but her nose isnt so fine tuned to pick up finer aromas and is known to slather on enough perfume to anaesthesize a herd of elephants. She sniffed said fish from the plate in her hands for any sign of obvious decay or spoiling but found none. "No smell love, maybe its coming from the creek in front."
Next morsel shovelled into mouth, and the brat lifted his head once again. "Mamma, ek sound aa rahi hai. Suno, tarrr, tarrr."
Mamma felt the mattress beneath her vibrate a bit, and realisation dawned. The brat threw himself on the bed and rolled around chortling, "I did a paadh. I did a paadh."
Yup. Su su, potty and paadh are current favourite items to bring on bouts of hilarity. And are used interchangable with abuse amongst fellow three footers in the park. As for mamma, she knows Pappa will be proud of the chip off the old block.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

About frenship with the dinosaurs

The brat, his mater and his dadi sat on the bed in dadi's bedroom while the gruesome TRex bared its yellowed teeth at screaming folks trapped in The Lost World.
"Mamma," pipes brat. "How T-Rex brush hiz teed?"
Mamma thought long and hard, and scrambled as quick as her lard would allow to the brat's bookshelf where The Incredible Earth and The Big Book of Dinosaurs were hunted down and scoured through for any mention of how teeth were maintained at reasonable levels of killer breath. Come to think of it, all them dinos needed to do was breathe into the faces of intended lunch, knock them out cold and eat peacefully, using the odd fingerbone as a tooth pick.
But Mamma, being Mamma got into a detailed explanation about how animals don't really brush their teeth, except for pet dogs thinking back to dearly departed pet dog who could slay with a loving whiff within a few days of non brushed status. "Bud I see'd Barney brush his teed. Wid d other chillun."
Mamma gave up and commanded him to watch rabid meat eatind dinosaurs chase screaming children and informed him kindly that any reluctance to do homework would see him despatched to said Park as dino prey.
A few minutes of quiet prevailed. Then he looked at Mamma and dadi. "Bud how d dinosaur wash his bum?"
Eh, went mamma. Why do you want to know?
"It doesn't brush his teeth. Is not havingabaath. Is not washin hizbum. T-Rex is a smelly dinosaur. I donwanna be his fren."
Sent from BlackBerry® on Airtel

Friday, March 20, 2009

All it takes is a simple "I'm sorry"

And goodwill is restored.
Gaurav Chopra (remember the incident when he almost ran over Krish?) came over a short while ago. With two boxes of chocolates for Krish. And a sincere apology.
Which I accepted. Of course. It takes courage to apologise.

And I also write about it since it is only fair. Thank you for the incredible wave of support I got from all the blogosphere. And yes, the brat is ODing on his windfall since Cruella de Ville mamma keeps the refrigerator consistently stripped of chocolates and other instruments of tooth decay.

Yes. It does take a fair amount of courage to apologise. Apology accepted, Mr Chopra.

Sent from BlackBerry® on Airtel

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cometomyhauz. For Pizza Pahty.

The brat bounded in from school and picked up the intercom, and quickly dialled his current Best Friend in the Whole Wide World. "Hello? Whu iz speakin? I wantu talk to A!." The intercom one surmises, was handed over to A. "Hey, A, tu skul se aa gaya? Evening ko mere hauz aana, pizza Pahty hai. Mazaa aayega."
Mamma quickly grabbed the phone out of his hand and plonked it down firmly on the cradle. "Brat, what is this? Who is having a pizza party? Why are you inviting everyone?"
Brat looks up at khadoos mamma with a sulky expression. "I is having a pizza pahty. I is calling all my frens. I already called I and R and T."
Mamma fell to the floor. The sturdy Marbonite tile which is reported to take any terrible impact you can imagine almost shuddered and cracked under the pressure. Smelling salts were brought around and Mamma propped herself up on one elbow gingerly, checking if all body parts were in working order. "How many friends have you called for the pizza party today?" she asked gently, preparing herself for the worst. "Ony L and A and A and P and R from skul. And I and A and R and T from d building." On cue, Mamma's cellphone began buzzing with various other mamma's enquiring what time the respective fruits of their wombs needed to be dropped off for said pizza party, since all, mamma was told, were tearing at their leashes like hounds on scent.
Cold compress was called for. And applied to mamma's fevered brow. Plan B was quickly dragged into place. Being the menus of all the pizza joints in the vicinity. Mamma took a glance at the prices and fell to the floor again. The brat, strangely enough, for all his newfound enthusiasm for throwing a pizza party, doesnt eat any pizza and asked the cook to make daal, chawal and chicken for him.
Papa Johns was speed dialled and assorted personal pizzas ordered. The mites trooped in, tore the toy basket apart, painted all over the new handloom bedspread, ate up their pizza slices and drank their Coke/Juice, served on hand and foot by eager brat, who mamma thinks now post that display has an excellent career option as restaurant waiter if dance master doesnt take off. And vamoosed or were dropped off when the last ends of the pizzas turned rock hard and unchewable. Mamma got round to clearing the rooms of the toys scattered around in hurricane struck zone mode. Once done, she sat with the brat who was downing his daal chawal chicken having not touched a single slice of pizza. "Why did you call all your friends over for pizza party, brat?"
"Jus like dat. Fer a treat. Cauze they are my frens."
Mamma wasnt convinced. Nor was the solid dent in her wallet. "But why pizza? You could have just called them for wafers and juice and sandwiches. I would have made lovely sandwiches."
Brat looked at Mamma like she had lost it.
"A treat is pizza or burger. Nod sanwich Mamma. Sanwich is fer tiffins."

Monday, March 09, 2009

Learning Disabilities Awareness Post: How parents can work with their child.


What you can do as a parent if your child has LD




Disclaimer: This post is compiled through online research. In no way does it claim to be comprehensive, exhaustive and put together by an authority on the topic. If you suspect your child has a learning disorder, please do consult a specialist on the topic immediately.




When Tharini of WinkiesWay came up with the Food Allergy Awareness Month, a few months ago, I thought this was a brilliant way to bring the blogosphere together to create awareness about topics that needed awareness spread about them and my immediate thought was that it would be wonderful if we had something on similiar lines for Learning Disabilities. I grapple with it on a daily basis albeit on a mild scale with my son. He has not been tested for Learning Disabilities, but he is definitely slow to pick up.

In this era of acute competition, with school syllabuses incredibly fast paced and unforgiving, what is a parent to do when his or her child is confronted with a system of learning that is beyond their abilities? Or if they are highly intelligent, yet unable to process specific information. I've tried to put together a guide to how you can work with your child at home, apart from the help your child should receive at school and a professional special educator if required.


First, if your child has been diagnosed with a learning disorder, learn as much as you can about it.


Figure out how your child learns best. What are their special skills, talents, and interests? This information can help you motivate and foster your child's learning. Be open to other ways of learning. The senses, movement, and listening are all ways of gathering information. What works best for your child?
Encourage your child to work on their special talent. When they can really shine in some area, it helps them feel like a success.
Give your child unconditional love and support.
Accept your own mistakes. Model for your child that mistakes do not equal failure! Show your child that mistakes can be useful and lead to solutions.
Help your child understand their learning problems and talk about them. Focus on coping skills.
Help your child stay strong in body and mind by providing good food, enough rest, play, and family outings.
If you're having trouble coping, get professional counseling. It can be tough handling difficult behavior from your child and difficult feelings of your own.
Join a support group for parents of kids with LDs. A support group can help you feel less alone, get information, and learn strategies from other parents. You will find a number of resources for finding support at the end of this page.
Helping your child with his or her school education.


The first step is to get involved.


Involve your school with your child's learning issues. Speak to the teachers and the coordinators. Ask teachers how you can help provide consistency and how you can reinforce and expand on what's going on in the classroom.
Talk with your child's teacher about both academics and behavior.
Plan homework strategies with your child's class teacher.


Help your child with their homework to the best of your ability without applying too much pressure on your child.
Provide an organized home with time and a place for study.
Ensure your child understands and values the need for a good academic record and works towards it.


Inculcate good study skills and independent studying habits.




According to research, children whose parents are involved in their education benefit all round with:


Better grades
Better attendance
Higher graduation rates
Better self-esteem
Less drug and alcohol use
Less violent behavior
Fix a daily study routine which makes study time an integral part of your child's day. Have a fixed spot for study.


Keeping tabs on kids’ after-school activities and making sure they are supervised.
Showing your kids you value learning, self-discipline, and hard work.
Setting realistic, but high goals and standards for your child.
Guide and supervise TV viewing, read aloud, take educational trips with your child, having books as an integral part of your child's life, and doing interesting activities that stimulate your child's mind.


Going to the school regularly, so your child will view home and school as being connected, and will view school as an important part of the family’s life.
Self Esteem issues can crop up with children who have learning Disabilities. It is your role as a parent to ensure that you reassure your child to develop a strong sense of self worth, by reassuring them, working with them and building on their unique talents and skills.




Tips for how children with learning disabilities can succeed at school
Ways to help a student with a learning disability succeed at school
Accommodations - these can be as simple as being seated in the front row, having extra time on tests, or can involve electronic equipment and auxiliary personnel
Compensatory strategies - ways to use their cognitive strengths to offset weaknesses. If they have poor auditory memory but strong visual memory, have them draw or write down the instructions
Special education - instruction taught by specially trained personnel in smaller classes which focuses on working on specific skills
Self-advocacy skills - empowering students to ask for what they need in order to learn in the most effective way. Motivate the child to ask questions if they don’t understand the instructions
Working with your child at home
When you work with your child at home on academic and life skills, you help them recognize their own strengths and increase their self-esteem. Examples of activities you can implement at home fall into several categories – accommodations, organization, critical thinking, and emotional support.
Ways to cope
Take frequent breaks when doing homework
Accommodate for the child’s primary learning style by allowing them to pace around, listen to background music, attach visual displays to the walls, or wear earplugs or headphones if distracted by noise
Provide a computer for written assignments if the child has difficulty writing
Organization
Model and teach them how to make “to do” lists and prioritize their homework
Set aside a regular time each week for organizing workspace, belongings, schoolwork, and activities; make a game of it or provide a reward
Give your child a task that requires organization: grocery shopping required for a recipe, planning a birthday party on a budget, using a map to figure out the route from one place to another
Critical thinking
Play games of strategy
Talk about current events and ideas with multiple points of view
Encourage all sorts of age-appropriate reading and writing
Emotional support
Praise your child for the positive qualities they exhibit during the whole process of doing homework not just when they finish their homework
Engage them in social problem-solving: how to resolve conflicts with friends, teachers, and kids who may be bothering them at school
Encourage activities that your child enjoys and excels in
Keep open lines of communication so your child feels comfortable discussing feelings with you
Let your children know that you enjoy their company by playing and talking with them. It’s important not to ignore other children in the family. Many activities geared for learning disabled children can include and benefit children without disabilities as well


Set reasonable expectations Try not to expect more than the child is capable of doing, but expect the best that he or she can produce, with and then without assistance. Many young children with learning disabilities have significant problems with visual-motor integration. Some do not know how to hold a pencil or draw the simplest figures. In these cases, an occupational therapist or specialist in learning disabilities may be needed. Parents can, however, assist by having children draw figures in sand, make designs with finger paint, etc.
Introduce mathematics as a meaningful, pleasurable activity, not a rote memory skill. While most parents play simple counting games and sing number songs (all of which are helpful), we also recommend activities which strengthen the language of mathematics and one-to-one correspondence. Some children with learning disabilities have difficulty counting systematically; others have difficulty with words such as more, less, few and other relational terms. Encourage children to help estimate, measure, pour water or milk, not only to learn some of the quantitative terms but to help them acquire certain visual- spatial-motor skills.
Simple games with dominoes can be used to match quantities, to strengthen counting skills and one-to-one correspondence. When reading to children, have them note the numbers of the pages and say them. Some youngsters learn to count, but they do not learn how to read numerals.
Seriation (ordering objects according to size) is an important aspect of mathematics which parents can encourage. When children are given pots and pans of various sizes to stack in order, they are learning the rudiments of seriation. When they stack various size rings on a peg they also learn about the smallest and largest figures.
Simple problem solving can begin with activities such as setting the table. How many more forks do we need? Do we have enough spoons? These same types of activities can be used when playing games-- Do we have enough players, cards? etc. Many simple board games with dice are excellent ways of teaching counting, one-to-one correspondence, and turn taking.


Above all, be an involved parent. You are the only person who can truly hone your child's potential to its maximum. And you are the rock your child will turn to for reassurance.




(Parts of this article are compiled through online research.)

Dance pe chance mar le...

The brat was feverish on Saturday morning. A cough that set his ribcage rattling ominously. And therefore, the mater dragged him kicking and screaming to the doctor, where antibiotics were promptly prescribed. But a budday pahty begged to be attended, and a dance class to follow, therefore, there was no chance that the little man could be persuaded to slow down. Kicking, screaming and rolling on the floor tantrums were employed to persuade Cruella de Ville Mamma to take him to said Budday Pahty. A guest appearance was put in to appease the wrathful mini monster and then fruit of womb dragged off home kicking and screaming, and persuaded to get some shut eye. What mamma, in her bid to get the feverish son rested had not reckoned with, was the fact that a dance class was scheduled. And the afternoon nap would occasion the brat to miss it. And rise in a temper even viler than that displayed in the earlier part of the day when it was gently suggested that maybe, the budday pahty could have been given a miss.

"Why yu din sen me faw d dance class. I donlikeyu. Yu not nice mamma." This played on loop through the entire evening, while he moped around morosely, having been denied the additional pleasure of going down to the garden to play given that the rest of the pint sized critters who compose his brat pack were running around with water tanks strapped to their backs like yellow and pink oxygen tanks and spraying each other to an inch of their skin with cold water. "I hate you. I is nodtalkin to yu today." So having summarily dismissed mamma, he moped around in assorted corners of the home, until mamma hit on the wonderful plan of getting medicine down the hatchet by insisting that he needed to get well enough to get to the dance class the next day, and surprise surprise, the devious strategy worked. Worked well enough to have the brat jump up at six am the next morning insisting he had to attend dance class ridenow. Much persuasion and Cartoon Network later, he was pacified enough to deign to have his breakfast and lunch and do his homework and wait patiently for the clock to strike four oclock. Mamma retired for post lunch nap. It being Women's Day and all that, the least she thought she could indulge in was a nap. At three thirty, her eyes were prised open, and five year old determined brat sat on her chest. "Gerrup, gerrup. Take me to danceclass."

Mamma swatted him away, but he is not one to be persuaded so easily to let sleeping mammas lie. Therefore Mamma did the next best thing she could think of which would easily give her at least half an hour more of undisturbed shut eye. "Brat, go decide what you want to wear." History is witness to the fact that whenever the brat is assigned the task of deciding what he is to wear, traffic has to be called into the excuse when we reach late. Yesterday however, he was done before mamma could shut her eyes again. "I already decided. I is wearing my Guess jeans and Ben 10 tshirt and eagle jacket (which God save us, happens to be a particularly vibrant shade of orange). Mamma unpeeled eyes and patiently explained to the child that dancing meant tracks and tees, and no jackets. "It will be too hot to wear a jacket, child," said Mamma. Okay, replied the brat, and took out a cotton shirt and wore it, buttons undone, and tried to knot in at the waist. "Like Dhoom Macha Le."

Yes, yes. Mamma so has to cut down his movie watching.

Finally Ben 10 tshirt and jeans were pressed into service, Mamma reluctantly rose and shone and was dragged by brat down the lift and to the dance class being conducted in the lobby area of the building complex we live in. The four other mites were around, looking warily at each other, sizing each other's dancing skills up. They already were fairly aquainted with each other's fighting skills. The dance class started with some games, cap in the ring, some somersault training, some train running, which was all too well, and mamma could just see the brat itching for the music to start. And it did. And of course, in consonance with the brat's preferences, the music is pure Bollywood tripe. And mamma saw the brat's head start moving to the beat, bobbing rhythmically while the other kids looked at the dance master for cues on what they had to do, the brat was on his own trip, making up his own steps, with the curious half smile he has when he knows he's being watched. The dance sir, who choreographs for Bollywood, stood back and watched. And watched. Till the song got over. The other kids stood back and watched. The music stopped the brat stopped too, and looked at me for validation. I didnt need to give him any, it was all around. "Fantastic," says the Dance Master. "Yeh bachche ne pehle kahin se sikha hai?"

Mamma beamed proudly, feeling her head swell to insane proportions, which just begged for a string to be tied to her feet to keep her from floating into the stratosphere. "No," she replied, with as much calm as she could muster, "He learns from the television."

"Fabulous. Raw talent," says the man, and returns to his charges with some more filmi dance numbers blaring in the background. The hour is up, the music stops, the brat emerges, sweat pouring down his body. He glugs down the bottle of Glucon D mamma carries along these days. "Mamma, you see'd me?" "Yes, love." "I wuz dancing alright?"

"You danced very well, my beta."

His eyes lit up. "I think I wantu be a dance master. I don have to go to skul to be dance master?"

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Saving the earth

The theme of the month at the brat's school is Saving The Earth. Knowing the brat, and knowing the topics being covered which included stuff like ozone layer depletion and CFCs which, honestly mamma still has to figure out herself, of which the only thing she is clear about is the fact that flatulent cows are doing serious damage to said ozone cover, and therefore all grazing cows should be given bottles of Digene with immediate effect, Mamma set about educating herself first. And so she sat down with the atlas and google baba. The brat peered over her shoulder between making Spiderman, Superman and Batman get into fights which could have well been refereed rounds at the WWF Slam Dunk.
"Wotchyerdoin?" asked brat in all earnestness, seeing mamma with atlas in lap, given that the atlas is only referred to most times when the brat is made to sit in one place under threat of no more Bakugan Brawlers, and countries of the world pointed out to him till his eyes glaze over and he drops into a snoring heap.
"Some work, beta," replies mamma, pushing back her spectacles to bridge of nose, them having slid to tip from oil oozing out of pore geysers in current Mumbai heat.
"Yer teacher tole yutodo Padhai," asked the brat, a small smile of glee on his face.
Mamma played along. "Yes, beta, mamma has to do padhai."
Batman, Spiderman and Superman were promptly junked to the floor and left to battle unrefereed. And brat took upon himself the noble task of ensuring that mamma educated herself succintly.
And positioned himself in teacher mode right next to mamma. Taking out fly swatter just in case mamma needed some prompting in earnest concentration.
"Mamma, wotiz this country's name?"
"This is a continent," replied Mamma. "This is Antartica, at the south pole of the earth. Where all the Penguins live."
"This is the Happy Feet country," asked brat, "Where all the penguins are in dsnow. And is very cole?"
"Yes, my son, but because we are burning so much petrol and chemicals and the ice there is warming up and melting and its getting hotter and hotter, and soon there will be no ice there for the penguins to live on."
"Where dpenguinzill go den?"
Mamma pondered. "They will die out, beta, they will have no place to stay."
Brat scrunched up his face. "No mamma, we call them here, to our houz. We keep the ac on whole day and they won feel hot."

Monday, March 02, 2009

Mamma, Never Mind...

Says the brat to the Mamma. "Mamma lesh not gotuskul tuday. Never mind."

And another, "Mamma, I donwanna drink gu gu now. Never mind."

And yet another, "We do homewurk tumaru. Never mind."

And yet another, "I go to A's house tuplaynow? Never mind."

Mamma has got to delete the "Never minds" from her speech when she cuts said brat a little slack.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

March is Learning Disabilities Awareness Month


On the Mommy Blogosphere....

Over the next month you will see a slew of Mommy Bloggers writing posts on various issues relating to Learning Disabilities, with the prime aim of sensitising and making parents aware of this issue and helping parents deal with it.

As anyone who has been following my blog knows well by now, I have had quite an uphill struggle with my son with regards to academics. He has been late in developing his finer motor skills. He had been diagnosed with PDD/NOS. He is also born at the end of the year. Which sets him back an average of six to eight months from the rest of the class. That apart, the pressure on academics in our schools is mounting to insane levels, eroding a child's self esteem. That is the scariest part. I have seen my child sobbing at night, refusing to go to school, begging me to come sit with him in class and help him because "I donno wattudo in class. Evvyone is laffing at me." I do this for my son, and for the others like him, for whom going to school is an everyday battle. And thank you to all ye kind mommas who have willingly agreed to give your time and efforts to this.
The first post on this topic is up here.
And the second is up here at Winkiesway
Keep your eyes peeled for these posts. Write in with topic suggestions. If you would like to write about a personal experience on your blog, do let us know and we will link to you.