Monday, August 27, 2012

Of yet another PTM

The brat had the first PTM of this year last Saturday. Unlike previous PTMs, he was very clear that he was going to accompany me and even laid out his uniform the previous night in preparation for going to school and sacrificing his Saturday morning sleep in. After I had clunked my jaw back into place, he managed to get it to hit ground again by asking the pater if he was coming along. For a pater who likes his weekends to be calm and unruffled, and who can be lion awoken from sleep if roused on a weekend, this was an act of bravery worthy of some gallantry honour.
The pater agreed. This, in that sense, would turn out to be a historic PTM for purely the fact that this was the first time in the brat's entire scholastic career beginning from playschool that the father had attended a PTM. The brat, I decreed, had more courage than I would have thought he had. Given that the brat has always skeetered around the fringes of scoring in most of his assessment sheets, taking the father to the PTM would mean leading the bull by the ring into the arena. Metaphorically speaking of course. And of course, the pater is a Taurean.
Bathed, perfumed enough to knock out cattle at 10 paces, and dressed to the teeth, we set off to school. The brat was happy and chirpy enough. "Wot yu'll ged fer me if I ged good marks?" was played on a loop on the drive to school. " Let's see your marks first, I reminded him gently, wondering if a trip to Hamley's was on the cards post PTM.
We entered, the brat happily took us to his classroom, seated us down, handed over his file of assessment sheets and waited expectantly. I went through the papers. He had scored decently in every subject except Hindi. Not pathetically, not great, but average. I asked his teacher if this was all his own effort, given that he used to enjoy concessions like spelling errors overlooked, no marks deducted for bad handwriting, extra time, questions explained to him, assistance in doing the answer sheet with his special educator, etc, until the last year. This year, I had opted to have him not avail of any concessions. And she assured me he had not received any concessions. Whatever he had done was his own effort. I was rather proud. Not, this was not grade A level. But it was a respectable B. Except of course, the Hindi. Which was Mother Earth Swallow Me Now. But admittedly, I haven't been looking at the subject, given my own difficulty with it.
This also was the shortest PTM I've ever attended, with the teacher being kind enough to not present me with a point by point laundry list of complaints about the brat, except to tell me gently about his giggling fit issues, where he begins giggling and can't stop until he's made the entire class giggle with him. She was calm about it. I would have been frothing at the mouth and snorting steam at the nostrils.
We emerged blinking into the sunlight, where I assured brat that he had done okay, but he could do better. No, he didn't get a toy. He'll get one when he gets into As. No, I'm not pushing him. He will push himself to do better. Just as he pushed himself to become good enough to do his assessments on his own.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

This is something nice I came across...

Received this in my inbox today, and the song I love because I have lovely memories associated with it, and the cause I'm impressed with. Ergo, the share. 
 
"....Jumpin has recently launched a new video http://bit.ly/jumpinNaniVsNaani titled ‘NaniVsNaani Faceoff’, that is very entertaining and has brought back the much-loved song of yester-years, “Nani teri morni ko mor le gayi..”.

As a part of the CSR initiative, Jumpin has come up with a ‘Share the Video’ campaign where for every share of the video, Jumpin will donate INR 2 to the NGO Save The Children. Save the Children is the world’s leading independent organization for children that works to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives."

Thursday, August 16, 2012

And we celebrated Independence Day

The brat has always been a firm proponent of the fact that if there is opportunity to perform in public, he will be there in the first spot in the queue, hair in the metaphoric braid. Ergo, when the notice went up on the notice board of the building that children interested in participating in the Independence Day celebrations by either singing a patriotic song, or being part of the fancy dress competition needed to register their names at the society office, he trotted off without a by your leave and signed himself up for the patriotic song singing competition.
He came home and duly informed me of the same.
"Mamma, I signed my name for patriotic song," he said, in what has now become trademark surly manner. (Yes, yes, I'm suspecting this is to ease me gently into when he finally hits adolescence).
"Okay," I replied, after I had peeled myself off the floor knowing that my darling son possesses many talents, but singing is not one of them. Sure, he has the energy, the enthusiasm and the charm in truckloads that makes one forget the need of an actual singing voice, but. Nonetheless, I continued gravely. "Do you have a song in mind?"
"Yus. I will sing Nanha Munha Raahi Hoon." He had mugged up this song a week ago for a school performance and it was still relatively at the surface of his rather shallow memory.
"I wanta soljer costum," he stated. This being a day before the event and me not being of the maternal genus that will raid costum shops and ensure that the son is togged out in appropriate costume in time for the event in question.
"If I can find a soldier costume I will get one for you, else you will just wear a kurta pyjama," I informed him, matter of factly.
He rolled around on the floor tantrumming for around ten minutes and then said. "Den I will wear orange Tshird with green pants and blue cap." The mind's eye turned red at the thought.
The day of the singing dawned bright and cheerful. The brat rehearsed his song a couple of times before trotting down, giving air to the larynx freely. he consented to wear a kurta pyjama but drew the line at a green and blue stole.
The kids started singing. Kid one-Nanha Munha Rahi. Kid Two-Nanha Munha Rahi. This went on till Kid eight. Who happened to be the brat. Obviously many parents had thought the song was the only one amongst all the patriotic songs we have which was appropriate for kids. The brat was unfazed, he took the mike confidently and started out. Para one went smoothly. At Para Two, he blanked out and stared at me in shock. He then recovered enough to sing the refrain twice in a row and then inform the audience that since everyone sang the same song they already knew the words and bowed politely, saying Dhanyavad.
The audience, god bless their souls, was generous with their applause.
He returned home with stars in his eyes. "I'm goingtu be a singer. Everybody claps for me."

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Happy Friendship Day to you too.

The brat woke up yesterday morning and pipped up, Mamma, tuday is frenship day? Yes, I assured him it was. He ran to the intercom and called up around one dozen of his pintsizes wishing them all a Happy Friendship Day, arm twisted them into assuring him he was their first best friend and pleased with a morning's work well done, he got into the Sunday morning, milk, breakfast, homework routine. Then we had a couple of birthday parties to attend, the first being at a suburban mall playzone.
When we staggered out from the playzone birthday party, the migraine demons in Mamma's head doing the shimmy on her eyeballs, the brat was a little morose. He was casting fervent eyes at all the kids around brandishing what looked like enough rubberband power on their wrists to keep Chewbacca immaculately groomed and plaited.
"Mamma," he said, his voice, normally enough to pierce eardrums at 50 paces, now soft and muted. "No one gave me a Frenship band. Not even a gurl. No one is my true fren."
Mamma's heart wrenched into obscene yogic contortions."Don't worry," she tried explaining to him. "Friendship is not all about friendship bands. Real friendship is that friendship which doesn't need a friendship band."
He didn't quite appreciate her philosophy and mopped away a stray tear with the back of his hand. "Come son, I'll buy you a friendship band," Mamma said.
He rejected it soundly. "You're not my friend. You're my mamma."
The rest of the day passed uneventfully and he went down to the park to play in the evening. When he returned home his arms till his elbows were wreathed in friendship bands of all hues and textures and he was beaming so widely, I feared his jaw would dislocate.
"Lookit my hans, Mamma," he chirped. "I got so many frenship bands. I gave some away also."
"I have so many frens. I am a boy wid many frens. I am a frenly boy."
Errm, yes, okay.
"I am everybody's besht fren. I am the most fren person in the complex."
Yes, child, I get your point, now cap the gloating, I said in not so many unkind words.
"Do I ged a prize fer having mosht number of frens."
Ah well, I guess it was worth a shot.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Mint Lounge: The rise of the techno mom

A new survey reveals surprising truths about the strategizing, information-toting, tech-savvy urban mother
In the years since liberalization, Mother India has reinvented herself. “We are seeing a marked change from conservative, gatekeeper, victim of circumstances, burdened with the responsibility of the family, to smart strategist, game changer and family visionary,” says Jitender Dabas, executive vice-president and head of strategic planning, McCann India.
McCann Truth Central, the in-house research facility of the McCann Erickson advertising agency worldwide, launched in July and has just published its first survey, The Truth About Moms. The survey, conducted online, spanned 6,800 mothers in 40 focus groups across the UK, US, China, Mexico, Japan, Brazil and Italy apart from India. Surveyors also processed qualitative reports about mothers from 12 markets, including Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai.
“Mothers have always been a key target for advertisers but the role of women in society is changing, and therefore so is the role of a mother. We needed to examine the scope of their influence, how they take to technology, their economic independence, etc. What we found was that moms today consciously use the Internet, direct information and exist in co-dependent systems where they share the knowledge they gain with each other. Technology aids that process,” says Dabas.
Author Kiran Manral, mom to a nine-year-old, is a blogger and tweeter. “I use the Internet in the same way that one used to head to a book store. You can research anything from developmental stages to behavioural problems. I know a lot of moms reach out to each other on online parenting communities. Through my own blogging, I have shared the developmental issues my son faced and bonded with other moms facing similar problems, so in that sense yes, there is a sisterhood of sorts.”

Read more here.