Category: Tweens

A tween in my kitchen

A tween in my kitchen

H burnt his fingers recently while cooking, quite literally. As he was scraping the egg off the pan, he caught it with his hand to steady it, forgetting how hot it would be. We did the whole cold water-ice routine. Once the burning sensation subsided he was fine but for a blister on his thumb and index finger.
I’ve mentioned this before, H loves to potter around in the kitchen. However, as he’s growing up he’s beginning to brand a lot of things he once enjoyed ‘girly’, and has started staying away from them. I wrote about it at Parentous here when I talked about peer pressure and how it can change the kids.
He gave up playing with his kitchen set ages ago and doesn’t seem inclined to hang out with the pots and pans. When his friends are around he adopts this macho air and pretends to be all grown up which I find kind of cute, though he’d never forgive me if he heard me say so.

After his adventure in the kitchen I was curious to know what he’d tell his friends about his hurt fingers, whether he’d admit to being in the kitchen at all.

When they dropped by later in the day there he was brandishing his thumb, showing off his blister like some kind of a trophy. And he was saying, with absolute pretend nonchalance, “This is nothing I just burnt my fingers while I was helping my mother in the kitchen.”
The awed looks on his friend’s faces made me let out a sigh of relief. I can say with some confidence that along with cricket and computer games cooking remains macho in the tween world.
These kitchen adventures are all towards the fulfilment of one single dream of mine – that there’ll come a day when the kids will wake up on their own, make a healthy breakfast for themsleves, dress up and go to school while I’ll laze in bed. What?? One can dream.

You know your kids have hit the tweens when..

You know your kids have hit the tweens when..

1. You whip out phone to click a picture and you see your own eager-beaver face because it’s always turned onto selfie mode.

2. Music suddenly becomes a big deal – a very loud deal. Everything from tukur tukur to What makes you beautiful is sung all the while.

3. Your house smells gorgeous because the kids have just had a deo war  – the ‘if you spray mine I’ll spray yours’ kind of war. (Aunts please to take note: This is what happens when you gift things despite me expressly forbidding it).

4. Your daughter walks out wearing a most winsome smile till you see she’s also wearing your favourite stole. Apparently ‘Jo tera hai woh mera hai‘.

5. The demands for studs and stilettos begins to raise their ugly head.

6. Your son roams around with wet hair all day as he tries to style them into spikes and you have the unenviable task of telling him they will flop down back once they dry up and No he isn’t allowed gel for many many years yet.

7. On a similar note you also add – no makeup kits, no heels, no phones and no pocket money just yet either.

8. You resign yourself to the dangers of walking out in mismatching earrings or wearing a shrug inside out rather than wade through two kids to get to the mirror for a peek at yourself.

9. The ‘dude’ and the OMGs in the conversation go up exponentially.

10. The conversation sounds more and more like some kind of indecipherable code from a James Bond movie. ‘Meet me at the SS’, she says to her friend (That’s ‘Skating Spot’ in case you wondered).

Bringing up Tweens

Bringing up Tweens

The twins are officially in their tweens now – that rather ambiguous age from 9 to 12 when they’re beginning to think of themselves as all grown up’ while we parents are still struggling to get used to them being ‘no longer babies’.

It’s worse, if that’s possible, for twins of different genders because this is the time when gender stereotyping takes over more than ever and their differences become even more pronounced.

The boys become more boyish with the painful ‘I hate girls’ phase at it’s peak before the decline begins when the teens set in. And no thank you I’d much rather not think what that’s going to be like.

As for the girls, well they become girly, annoyingly so – dressing and preening till the mirror throws up it’s hands in frustration.

If you’re looking for some help with your tween do check out my debut piece at Parentous and don’t forget to share your own dos and don’ts. I can always do with more help.

Eye tests are good for health

Eye tests are good for health

Last week I took H for an eye-test. The ophthalmologist’s clinic was packed and we had a good one hour wait. H had taken along a book. It was another one from the Captain Underpants series. (On that note – When exactly do kids outgrow potty humour? I must remember to do a post on that someday) Yet, I was  grateful. One, because at least it was a book and not the iPad and two, because I was spared endless rounds of word games and Atlas (H sits poring at the world map picking out places, mostly Chinese, ending in X so Atlas with him is no joke).

Mercifully, he read his book quietly, asked the receptionist how many people before his turn then sat counting. In, with the doctor, he sat through the eye test, read what he was asked to and generally behaved impeccably.

We’ve been going to the same ophthalmologist for quite a few years now and as we were leaving he commented, “H has matured a lot.” An innocuous enough remark considering that the kids are growing up. But I remembered the nightmare of the first few visits. 

H was a little over three years old when I noticed he had an affinity for watching television sideways. He was also bending too close over his textbooks (which is a habit I’m still struggling to get him out of). The eye-test was simply a precautionary measure. As it turned out he needed glasses.

Then began rounds of eye tests. He refused to sit on that chair, when he did he wouldn’t sit still, he would scrunch his eyes, or blink rapidly or simply keep them shut, despite our repeated entreaties. Worse, he’d break into the ABCD song when asked to read the alphabets on the monitor.

The first time round it was funny. Then on it was just frustrating.

The most unfortunate part was that the doc couldn’t give him a hundred percent accurate pair of glasses. As a result his eyesight deteriorated further. I changed doctors many times over until I finally found this one who could handle him well.

That is why the compliment was such a huge deal. And I came home feeling very optimistic as I thought that maybe things will fall into place as the kids grew up.

Earlier in the day the kids had been exceptionally rowdy. Tired and upset as I was, I wrote a distressed post wondering where I was going wrong. And now I’m glad I didn’t publish it. That eye-test sorted out my day. 

Seriously, doctors are useful people in more ways than one :-).

Of ‘well-meaning’ advice

Of ‘well-meaning’ advice

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Dear well-wisher friend,

This letter comes after much thought and heartache. I’m sure you remember yesterday’s incident. The kids were playing together on the slide. Of course they are too old to slide the conventional way so they were inventing a host of games climbing up, sliding down, crashing into each other, creating a ‘jam’. There was some amount of roughhousing but they were having fun.

After a while we heard a commotion and by the time we got there N was in tears while H stood looking guilty. Apparently as he pulled her down the slide he twisted her ankle. Worse, her dress climbed up embarrassing her and bringing out the tears.

Yes I felt her embarrassment every bit as acutely as she did herself. After all she gets it from me – this feeling of wanting to disappear from the face pf the earth at the slightest unfavourable attention. Given that some of it was witnessed by a bunch of boys and girls, must have felt terrible. I know the feeling. I’ve been there – many times over.

I took H aside, gave him a talking to and sent him home.

However, I seemed to have failed you in your expectation. According to you I should have meted out a harsher punishment. No, it wasn’t enough that I speak to him later at home. I was too soft on him, you felt. He deserved a dressing down right there before his friends. He should have been embarrassed just as he had embarrassed N so that he would remember it the next time, you said.

I wholeheartedly agree H needs to be sensitive in the playground. I know he gets carried away in a crazy sort of way. I agree he needs to be punished. However I do not think shaming him in public is the way to do it. You may not agree of course, and that’s your prerogative entirely.

While you remain my friend and have known the twins for some time I’d like to remind you that I do know them a little better than you. I know what H did wasn’t done with the intention of embarrassing N while should I have done the same to him it would have been very much intentional, that, when I’m decades older than him and hopefully more sensible.

Also, you were not there to see that by the time we got home H had done both our beds, warmed the food, set the table and served us all dinner – his way of saying ‘sorry’. I also know that he may err again. I know it might take him time to turn into the perfect gentleman that I hope he will become one day. I am prepared to wait.

Meanwhile I’m happy to inform you that the incident has done no permanent damage to N going by the way she was wrestling with H this morning.

Your comments hurt me terribly, even though I am convinced I did the right thing. Perhaps that is because, of late, I’ve been on extremely rocky parenting ground constantly analysing each step I take till somedays I feel I feel I’ll go completely crazy. I’d truly appreciate if you keep your suggestions, however well-meaning, as I’m sure they are, to yourself.

Also, if you do have some serious advice, I’d love for you to say it to me directly, rather than saying it came from one of the kids because then I am more likely to take it seriously.

Thank you again for your concern.

OM

Meet me on Instagram @obsessivemom06

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