Tag: Exams

Why I’m loving being Mean Mum

Why I’m loving being Mean Mum

“You’re done H, you can go. N you need to revise the last two chapters again,” said I wrapping up the revision for the day.
“That’s not fair, she deserves her free time too”, chirped up H.
Eh? What was that? Who was that? I looked up surprised at this vehement protest from the most unexpected quarters.
I have, many times in the past, rued the fact that the twins never see eye to eye on anything, anything at all. They have a different sets of friends and often enjoy playing different games.
Over the last few weeks, however, I’ve noticed a change – the beginning of a partnership, a truce of sorts against a common enemy. Moi!
As I’ve pushed and prodded them towards their books, they’ve ducked and dillydallied to the best of their ability and they’ve perhaps decided that they need to join forces to combat the onslaught :-).
After N finished her two extra chapters she walked off to her room and I overheard them talking, “So not fair na, we don’t even need to study so much. We can’t call our friends over even on weekends.” says he.
She nods in agreement, “I couldn’t plan a single prank for April Fools Day. And it comes just once in 365 days. Imagine! So unfair.”
Hah! I feel so smug! I cannot stop grinning.
Even as I type this they’re playing table tennis without a table, with a bouncy ball shouting in laughter during their break – the break which started out at 15 minutes and has stretched to almost an hour. I just don’t have the heart to break up their camaraderie. They talk and laugh and wrestle and play computer games together.
I am going to grab complete credit for this transformation. The truce is so charming I am almost glad of the exams. Almost. I hope it extends beyond the exams too.
And so here’s the learning for the day:
If you want your kids to become best buddies try turning into Mean Mom.


PS: It has the side benefit of getting their studies done and may also be useful in inculcating some great habits.


In need of inner peace

In need of inner peace

Right now I feel like Po, in desperate need of Master Shifu. The twins’ exams kicked off today and that has me all in a tizzy. You’ve heard me ranting already I know. Bear with me, dear friends for another week or two. I promise I will try my hardest to not let my anxiety spill out here.
Correction: I will try not to get anxious at all.
But you know how it is sometimes? One knows the right thing to do and yet cannot? It is hard to not get anxious. They’re at that age when I’m not sure how far I should be helping them. It is hard to let them be, to leave them to find their own feet, to be ready to watch them fail. I know I have to do it at some point but is this the right time? Is there a right age, right time at all?
What if that ‘right time’ is different for both kids? What if one of them is ready for that push and the other is not? How do I push one child to study on his own while I focus my attention on the other? Is the first one old enough to understand why I’m not holding his hand all the way like I’m doing it for the other?
These are the things that have been top of the mind for me this week. I will add though, that there has been a move towards independence since the last exam – a tiny minuscule one – but it definitely has been there and that gives me heart.
I am trying not to let my anxieties reach the twins. So they have their television time and their hour of play and we have something called ‘exam treats’ too. They seem to be doing fine. 
Somedays I worry that they’re not worried enough and somedays I worry I that I’m making them too anxious. Yes, I’m one big bunch of confusion struggling to find a balance for the children as well as for myself.
I’m not really too nice a person to be around at this point in time.

Ten things that just have to be done during exams

Ten things that just have to be done during exams

Twenty days to go for the twins’ final exams and we’re all gearing up in our own ways, though not quite like that young boy in the picture. I am making out calendars and timetables and trying my darndest to squeeze in portions in the small window of time we get  between school time, playtime and the children’s rather happening social lives. While I am trying, and failing pretty miserably I might add, in bringing about any amount of seriousness to the whole thing, the children are going on with their lives pretty unhindered.

I know I know. I know you’re all sympathising with the children and labelling me a Tiger Mom. I know that the idea is to not stress them out, they’re young, they need their playtime .. yeah I know all of that. But if you’d only see how very unperturbed they are you’d perhaps think about realigning your loyalties.

Here’s what according to them are Must-dos during exams.

1. Wonder why you ever gave up playing with bubbles, insist on buying a bottle, (a clear bribe in exchange of a few hours of study) and then spend leisurely hours blowing bubbles in the washroom (completely ignoring the conditions of the bribe).

2. Celebrate Pokemon’s birthday because he/they are your absolute favourites and you just have to treat your friends.

3. Throw a tantrum because ‘we are never ever allowed to go swimming’.

4. Go stationery shopping because obviously you need a bunch of pens and markers and exam boards and palettes, yeah palettes – the all important art exam can be flunked for lack of a palette.

5.Dig out long forgotten Barbies and decide they desperately need hair cuts.

6. Make cookies.

7. Then decide you really have to have your recipes in one place and start working on a recipe scrap book.

8. ‘Discover’ books at home bought years ago and fall in love with them and decide they just have to be read, now.

9. Find ailments that you’d been suffering from for many many days but had been too brave to tell anyone but that just couldn’t be ignored any longer. And so you spend hours spraying Moov and tying crepe bandages on imagined sprains and then limp around the house. And if someone happens to say that one could sit and study despite a sprained ankle, you brand that person the meanest most heartless soul on the planet and you look up with such hurt injured eyes that said person sits down to massage your ‘hurt’ foot.

10. Then finally you decide to get all serious about studies and make out a case for not going to school at all because it is such a waste of time and there is so much to study.

Picture Credit: PIXABAY.

Forecast for the day

Forecast for the day

I believe in astrology. Actually, I’m a convert – a relatively new one – since yesterday to be precise. Here’s how that happened. I woke up yesterday morning in a fairly happy frame of mind. Today the kids have their math paper and we were almost done with the portion. Then I happened to glance at my forecast for the day. Here’s what it said.
(The atmosphere and vibes at home are peaceful, and even if an argument takes you by surprise, your manner of reacting will soothe and heal.)
It only confirmed what I thought the day was going to be like. What could go wrong? The kids’ portion was done and we had the whole day ahead of us to revise.
Or so I thought!
I forgot how very fickle Math can be. Maybe the children were distracted or overconfident or simply had had enough, they just wouldn’t get their sums right. It seemed like all the practise of the day before had been wiped clean. After a point they refused to do any more. I was loath to give up because I knew they could do it. However the more I pushed the more they resisted.
That’s the point where things would have gone downhill had I not read that forecast. But however much an oxymoron it might seem, I was prepared to handle the ‘surprise arguments’ – to soothe and heal. 🙂 :-). So I let go for a while and by afternoon things were beginning to fall into place once more.
That is how the day’s prophesy for me came true and I turned into a believer. 
On a serious note I think the magic of astrology lies in believing as does the magic of success and achievement. Had my forecast said, something like Arguments-at-home-will-mess-your-day I would have probably believed that as well and despaired. But I didn’t. I hung onto my impatience because I knew I was supposed to be having a peaceful day.
This, I figured, was quite a neat little trick – one we could use with the children. All we have to do is to make them believe they are awesome and they’ll really make themselves awesome.
I’ll be looking up my forecast everyday now and making it come true, subject to the fact that it says something good. If it doesn’t, I’ll be writing my own to make sure I have a good day everyday.

You can write yours too. Have a happy week.
and with Mel at  Microblog Mondays.
Finding gratitude during exams

Finding gratitude during exams

And so September bids adieu. And with that come exams – the first ever for the kids. I find myself unable to think of much else while the kids can think of everything else except academics.

I find them reading story books, making song lists, comparing computer game scores and planning ‘what to wear for the dandiya night’. Apparently they have picked up none of my exam anxiety and for that I have learnt to be immensely grateful.
I find I need at least three or four of me to help both of them while keeping them apart and managing the house. Early this week just as the arguments were turning into a complete impasse who should arrive but the husband! I don’t think I was as happy to see him arrive on our wedding day. Was I grateful!
He has such a calming influence on all three of us.
He took the kids out shopping (for all kinds of exam stationery) and they settled down to their studies.
He was only here for five days and was working for four of them yet we were happy to have him home. He’s gone now. And I think we will survive. I am already looking beyond the next 20 days to vacations when we will be travelling to join him.
By the next academic term we hope to be together.
I thought that was all I had for the gratitude post this month but as I write I realise I have more, so much more. Last evening while I was struggling with Marathi lessons with the kids (a language they now know better than me), I was dragged off for an hour of Zumba. I have to admit that one part of me was pretty incredulous that I could leave the kids between their exams for something as frivolous as Zumba. However, it was all for the best because the kids were anyway having a field day laughing at my pronunciations as I tried to quiz them.
And so I am grateful to friends and family who always rally around pulling me for impromptu breakfasts, long morning walks and short evening chats, keeping me sane.
I am now looking forward to October – the latter half of course.
I’d love to know your thoughts on academics and how they effect the kids and you. How important are they? Were they a trial for you when you were young or did you breeze through them? Do you find it difficult to get your kids to study? How different is it from the time you were a child and now?

If I seem overly and rather unnecessarily stressed do forgive me but academics have taken over all of my thoughts of late. Do bear with me for a few weeks.

and with Mel at  Microblog Mondays.

On my other blog: Beat About The Book

Red, White & Royal Blue #BookReview

Red, White & Royal Blue #BookReview

Book: Red, White & Royal BlueAuthor: Casey McQuiston I fell head over heels in love with the endearing premise of this book even before I read it. The love story of the First Son of the United States and the British Prince — the stuff of dreams. So we have two delightful protagonists, Alex and […]