Monday, August 30, 2010

Random questions and conversations

"Amma why does the kangaroo have a pouch? Will it not pain for the kangaroo because the skin in stretched so much? Does blood come out from there because the skin is open?"


"Explain to me how whatever I build in lego (using the online digital lego designer) comes out exactly the same when I take a print out? What is the internet? How does the drawing that I do, go through the computer and to the person I send it to?"


"Amma, it's ok if I spill a little bit of food on the's food for ants!Let them come and eat it!"


"Even though this Santa in Lifestyle gave me a gift, I know that the real Santa will come home and give me what I asked him for Christmas"


October 2011

"Amma why do you light a lamp everyday in the puja room when you tell me that God is everywhere?

"Why is it that all the Gods in these stories that you tell me kill people, or steal things, or get angry?"


On Diwali day, the sky thundered and there was a burst of rain......
Raghav looked up at the sky asked me: "Amma, are they celebrating Diwali up there??!"
Why do we burst crackers on Diwali?
How are crackers made?
If crackers are so dangerous, why do we have to burst them?


Why does that white smoke come from the fridge when we open it?

December 2011

Me: Raghav, why is it that you will only do things your way and when you want? Even when you have actually finished something and I ask you "have you finished?", you will say no to me and then when I am going away, you will call out to me and say "amma I have finished!"

Raghav: Yes, I am like that. God made me like that.

Me: Who is God?

Raghav: He is everywhere and in you, in me, in this cupboard, in the poochis.....
He only made everything.

Me: If God is everywhere,, then why should you be scared at all? Of darkness, insects and so on...?

Raghav: Because they look scary, even if God is there. But actually you should not be scared because God is there.

Me: So even if I am scared when I go up to a high place and look down, I should not feel that way?

Raghav: Yes, actually when we are scared of something, we should not be scared because God is there.


Raghav said this to me just before he slept one night :"Amma! you have the cutest face! You are as if you are one year old!"


After building the lego Taj Mahal, that had 5792 pieces Raghav had this to say:
Ämma, now I learnt that I have the patience to build the Taj Mahal. I thought I would not have the patience, but I did!"


Raghav and I had been to the aquarium a few days ago. Today he built a clown fish with his LEGO blocks. He was showing this to me and I was telling how well he had built it and how he could perhaps try and build a sea anemone too with his blocks. He immediately said : "Amma that is impossible!"
I told him that nothing was impossible in this world to which he promptly replied:" Amma, you cannot say that. Some things are just not possible........see - can you make all the fish in this world go away right now?" I had no answer but a smile for what he had just revealed to me!


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Raghav's first brush with death

Today we went down to play as usual in the evening. Raghav was busy riding his cycle and chatting up with some of his friends while I was sitting and enjoying the fresh air and watching the kids. That is my favourite pastime! I love watching the kids play and chat – I have learnt so much from these observations! The place we stay in is a huge apartment complex with 4 blocks of flats – about 150 - 200 families I think! So one gets to see and interact with different age groups of kids and that is really nice as these little interactions tell me so much about what they think, how they think and so on. Today there was a small gang that was biking and suddenly they all stopped and peered down at the ground. There was a small grey mass on the ground and a few crows were cawing loudly. One of the boys screamed “ hey, it is a dead crow…..a baby!” Immediately Raghav stopped biking and came to me and asked me what happened. I told him that it was a baby bird that had just died as it had been killed by the crows. He immediately hugged me and had tears in his eyes – “amma! I don’t want the baby bird to die! I don’t want the crows to peck at it! I don’t like it!” I hugged him and could feel all the pain he was feeling…….so much sensitivity these little kids have! How much of that do we all have left inside ourselves? How much of it do we brush aside and attribute to immaturity? How often do we feel ashamed to show this kind of feeling? I could understand what he felt instantly, because I too am like that I guess. However, the mother in me took over and felt he needed comforting and some explanations. So I explained to him how crows were and what they do and how the bird had already died.
He finally mustered up enough courage to go near it and see it. He listened intently to the other boys talking. And then, he came and told me that it was a baby pigeon, that there was a hole and blood was coming out and that the crows had pecked it. It was interesting to see how each kid reacted to death – some showed disgust and made a face saying “yuck!”, some just walked past with indifference, some said “ yeah man! That’s the way it is…..why are you stopping the crows from eating it?”, some showed fear and kept a distance – peering from above, some stood close by and talked matter-of-factly about whether the pigeon had a heart, one boy went to the office and asked someone to come and remove it, another sat down and peered closely at it. Myriad reactions to an ordinary event that everyone goes through.
But this was Raghav’s first brush with death. And my son, well what did he do??! He stood guard there with his cycle, ringing the bell now and then! And do you know why? Because he saw that when there was no one around, the crows were swooping down and trying to move the pigeon with their beaks and he didn’t want them to hurt it! every time he saw a crow, he would come charging down with his bike and shoo it away!
(26th August 2010)

Raghav's dream

Today I asked Raghav about the dream he said he had the night before last about God, and at the end of it, I had tears in my eyes…..tears of joy! many more surprises is this little son of mine going to give me I wonder! He described to me whatever he had visualized in great detail…….this is what he had to say…….
“Amma I dreamt that God was making me!”…..”How did he look Raghav? What did he make you with?” I asked. “ He looked like me amma! And he was making me with a machine……putting me into a shape just like me!”….”a mould like you use with your play dough?” I asked. “Yes amma!....he was putting me into that and making me as I am”…..”and then what did he do?”, I was curious to know. “He became very small and then put me inside you amma – my gift! are my gift amma!” he said with a big smile on his lips! There was a lump in my throat……I didn’t expect that reply at all……I could not hold back my tears…..I hugged him tight and said how much I loved him – that was all I could manage…….I have always told him that he was our special gift from God…..but I never thought he would think about it so much and like this! Kids amaze you with unexpected acts that show clarity of thought and affection that is completely unconditional. They teach you how to live each day fully and joyfully, with mindfulness.
(26th August 2010)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Clean -up what? The cobwebs in our minds?!

I have made many adjustments to our homeschooling lifestyle, but there is one thing that I have not been able to let go off completely as yet.....and that is a messy house! But I must say that I have come a long way in this too.......I am able to tolerate most of the things now, simply because I have learnt to look at it from my son's point of view and respect him and his feelings about things. After all, it is his house and his space too! And it has taken me 7-8 months of making a genuine effort to "listen" to him every single time he wants me to, making those little sacrifices of time - giving him time when HE wants me to, going out of my way to do things for him sometimes when he refuses to understand my standpoint....and it has paid me huge dividends I must say!

When you give of yourself, you get back more than what you give. When you respect your child, he learns to respect you. When you listen to your child, he learns to listen to you. That is what i have learnt. Most often than not, we tend to look at things OUR way......we want them to clean up their room or toys because it looks neat, because it is easier for us, and because they just HAVE TO listen to us! But have we stopped to think about how those little things that they created, built or played with are PRECIOUS, SPECIAL and HUGE for them? It is after all their world, and how many times we destroy it with our hands! - simply because we look at it from our point of view, not theirs. And I must say, it makes a world of difference if you look at it through their eyes.

So, when will they learn to clean-up? I think they will when they are ready......just like I believe that you need a certain readiness for everything need a certain readiness for this too. Raghav cleans up when he makes it a game and fun like pretending to drive his digger and picking things up, or when he understands that we need to do something in that place which cannot be done elsewhere. He is still learning to understand that it is easier for him to find things if he puts things back in their respective places. We have done loads of talking about that, and spent loads of time searching for things that he wants to play with, but that has not changed things. So all I do now, is to ASK him what is okay to be cleaned up and just do it myself. He helps when he wants to. And I DON'T clean up what he doesn't want me to! But overall, it is so much more peaceful now that I respect his feelings - there are no ego clashes, no more arguments and fights.......there is a lot more mutual understanding and trust.

So in our house these days, the dining table becomes a racing track, just because it is oval in shape! cars go zooming as Raghav counts the number of laps, stops them for pit-stops, creates problems and finds his own solutions. Or, his room becomes a city with buildings, houses, vehicles, bridges and many other creations. And we don't move these things for days sometimes.....because he has painstakingly arranged them or simply because it is a "real" race track for him! So many times, we just have dinner sitting around with plates in our hands or cram up everything in less than half the space! But because we have respected his feelings and him, today he agrees to make place for us sometimes and clean up or make adjustments.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Town Planner and Architect

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Well, when you have a 5 year old town planner in your midst, you can forget about cleaning up your house! This room in our house has been like this for the last 5 days and I have a mammoth task everyday of cleaning up without disturbing any of the creations! But it is marvellous to watch the architect in action, building one little thing at a time every day, so painstakingly planning where what should go and how it should look.......well, here is the result!

This is the park that Raghav built with children on the different play equipment doing different things......there is a station near the park, so children could be picked up and dropped off by train!

The yellow tower with the person on top, is the tallest tower in the park that you can climb. If you climb it you can reach the clouds he says! He also says that it has a spring - so when you reach the top and press a button, the spring works and shoots you up into the clouds! and there is another spring that brings you back to the ground! And when I ask him what happens when you go onto the cloud, he says - "amma it will be fun! you can just go on it for a ride and then it will bring you back to the same place!.....yes, it knows its way!" Wow, I would love to live in a town like this for sure! wouldn't you?

This is one part of the has a pyramid, three stations, tunnel, bridge, railway tracks, road, a park.....

The digger was built by Raghav with lego blocks (did it completely on his own by looking at the book) and is now busy doing work in the city!

The fire truck and tow truck too were built by him in the same way.....The firemen he says, are having a picnic in town! - the toolkit becomes the picnic basket!.....and the tow truck is busy towing away a car!

The last photo is that of a ticket counter near the station, built with lego - complete with benches for people to sit and wait and the transparent lego blocks are the windows at the counters! He says that in this station people put the garbage in the bins and there are lots of brooms to sweep and keep the station clean......hear ye officials - this looks like a hint to them about the MRTS!