Tag: H

Of football matches and heartbreaks

Of football matches and heartbreaks

Last week, one wet morning I found myself driving down a pathetically potholed road to the twin’s school to watch a foot ball match. All I know about football can pretty much be summed up as follows:
– World Cup matches happen at ungodly hours
– Players wear knee-length socks
– Said players are violent and often get hurt
– It is dangerous to referee a football match

The only players I know of are:

– Messi (not Messy, I just discovered)
– Ronaldo
– Maradona
– And Black Pearl, Pele (that one I learnt that from an Amol Palekar film)
However, with the son all over me to come watch ‘his’ match I had little choice. I wasn’t even sure he was on the team – he was a substitute. Does that count? I had no idea. For him it certainly did. It was a big enough deal for him to strut about for days bragging about how ‘cool’ his team was.
On D-day there I was – on the off chance that he would get to play AND manage to strike a goal AND win the game for his team! Yet I was there because since the twins came along I’ve learnt to believe in miracles.
It wasn’t too bad. The light drizzle was pleasant and I got to see first-hand how H managed to come home each day with mud-caked shoes and grubby clothes. The match turned out to be a draw with none of the sides scoring. The teams then took on penalty shootouts. Wonder of wonders H was called upon to play and to take a turn at the penalty kick (the last final deciding one at that) as the teams stood equally matched. He put all his might into that one kick. 

The ball sailed across, hit the goal post and bounced right away – far far from where it was supposed to go. Even as the claps sounded for the winning team I watched his face crumple. I watched him walk away dejected, shoulders down. I saw the tears he was trying hard to hold (This son of mine cries only too easily). I felt what he felt – that he’d let his team down. I wanted to run to him, to give him a hug. But I stayed put.

Finally the teams shook hands and it was all over and I could go to him. “We lost, mama,” he said in a small voice. I didn’t say ‘It’s okay,” because clearly it wasn’t. So I said the next thing I could think of, “You’ll do it next time.” And with that I had to be satisfied.
I was glad I went.
When hugs get few and far between!

When hugs get few and far between!

Sometime back I needed to pick up a gift for one of the kids’ friends. I took the children along with the understanding that we WOULDN’T be shopping for them. However, the obvious happened. H found something he just had to have. N somehow never troubles me as much as he does. While she sulked quietly H threw a full fledged tantrum. We had a big blow up and walked out of the shop. A few slices of pizza later, when all was forgiven I put out my arms for a hug. And H refused. Simply refused.

“No hugs or kisses when we’re out of home, mama,” said he biting off a huge slice of pizza. “Only high fives,” he added putting out his hand as a concession to my bewildered look (or was it to ward me off?).

This is H – the cuddle freak. H who could be soothed with a hug even at few weeks old, who would sleep for hours on end as a newborn as long as I held him tight, who would snuggle endlessly and when I’d try to move he’d say ‘I can’t let go we’re in a permanent huggie.’ And my heart would totally melt making me wonder why I ever wanted to get up at all.

He was refusing me a hug. My son has officially entered the tweens and he’s not nine yet.

It’s strange how kids change. While H the born hugger is suddenly conscious of his big boy status N, the one who often howled to be put down in her crib and enjoyed being left to herself as a was baby, is growing more and more cuddlesome, even in public.

For now, I’m just glad I get to hug both my kids at least at home. Mercifully H’s hug embargo doesn’t exist at home. However, this does make me wonder if sometime in the distant future there exists a day when he’ll say no to hugs completely. That will be a sad day indeed, though I have no intentions of going down without a fight.

Wonder if they turn back into huggers once the awkward teens are through. 

Linking to ABC Wednesday for the letter H. Do drop by to see other H posts.

Dancing shoes for everyone please!

Dancing shoes for everyone please!

Last year, much against our wishes, we bought H a Play Station (after daring him to an almost impossibly consistent score in his spelling tests which he went to achieve, to our complete shock).


With strict rules in place – that he’d play only on weekends and only within specified time slots and not at the cost of outdoor play or studies – we left him to it. However we still weren’t too happy with the games he played. He enjoyed some WWE kind of fight moves, which he proceeded to try out on N.

A friend

Then H found a new friend, A, with an X Box and a passion for dancing and he got hooked. They’d spend hours together before his XBox copying the moves.

During Christmas…

..holidays we had a family get together. With the oldest cousin at 15 years and the twins at 8, they found they had little in common. There were days when we stumbled upon them all sitting together busy with tabs, computers, iPods and the television with zero interaction among themselves. 

The sight was depressing to say the least. 
Come New Years Eve we decided to have a ‘talent show’. And H showcased his dancing skills. He’s quite bad actually, but hours of practice, simple steps and groovy music made the difference and before we knew it all the kids had joined in one by one and were dancing together.

And then they were dancing

Since then the PS3 has been put to such good use. What’s more, you don’t even need a PS3 or an XBox. Our oldest one, the family techie, hooked up the laptop to the television, tuned into YouTube and the kids had a wealth of dance videos to follow. It was such happiness to watch them – the good and the bad, the shy and the uncoordinated … all together. Once H’s glasses went flying off but he didn’t pause to pick them up continuing to squint at the screen yet dancing away. What a sight it was!

We were pretty happy because…

The kids were all having fun in a good, healthy way.
They kept busy.
They had some great exercise.
They kept away from tabs and laptops.
And they bonded.. Wonderfully.

If you’re fed up of your children playing mindless games on the PS3 or the XBox try getting them a dance CD. Or simply switch on to Youtube.

What’s more you can join in too, even if you have two left feet. If an uncoordinated 8 year old can do it, well so can you. And if you’re still feeling self-conscious check out their video – No, don’t watch it, just listen to the music and the laughs.

You can check out the original video they are trying to copy.

When the TV is switched off…

When the TV is switched off…

…..creativity flows.
Last week fed up with too much TV I banned it completely and look what H came up with! 

A board game of his own. It’s a simple one but we had a ball playing it. The ‘tasks’ he set up ranged from funny to outright weird. There was ‘sing a song’, ‘take three sips of water’, ‘skip 5 times’, ‘touch the quilt’, ‘hug your partner’.

His was an amateur’s job, but this is a great way to include physical activity in a board game. So if your dice lands on a particular number you might be required to skip a specific number of times or jump or somersault, do handstands, pushups .. whatever. 

Before I get carried away any more I have to add – there’s a catch – you need to be ready to do all of it too.

So come along make your own board game.

Linking to # Microblog Mondays hosted by Mel aka Stirrup Queens who came up with this wonderful idea of micro posting every Monday. Do take a look.

Girls and boys and a lesson in chivalry

Girls and boys and a lesson in chivalry

Dear H,

The other day as I was
taking my walk I saw you pulling a girl by her T-shirt. At least that’s what it seemed to me. She was yelling and struggling to free herself. I was appalled. I made you let go and
apologise too. Oh I did see those tears of anger, frustration and humiliation that sprang up in your eyes. I didn’t mean to humiliate you but this needed to be done.
Later, much later when
we’d both cooled down, you’d explained, “Ma we were playing Chor Police and I
was a Policeman. We have to hold the ‘thief’ to a count of 10 for him/her to be
declared out.”
“You cannot pull a
girl’s shirt,” I’d said.
“I wasn’t pulling, she
was. I was supposed to be holding her.”
“No matter what, you CANNOT pull a girl’s shirt,”
“Why,” you’d asked, ‘Why
can’t I ? That’s how she catches me too, that’s how I catch the boys and everyone is fine with it.”
You had a bit of a point. 
Here is my answer. Listen patiently for this is something that will stand you in good stead all your life.
The problem was not that you were holding that girl. The problem was that she didn’t like being held. That she was asking you to let go and you weren’t.

It’s simple, actually. If a girl doesn’t like you holding her T shirt, let go. If a boy doesn’t like it, let him go too. LISTEN to what the other person is saying.

Yes it’s tough. Yes it’s easy to get carried away by the game. Yes it’s easy to take people’s reactions for granted. But it’s crucial to remember that it’s a game only if all people playing it are enjoying it, or else it’s plain bullying. Sounds harsh, I know. You didn’t intend to bully, I know. But that’s what it was.

I hope that answers your ‘Why?’.

Here’s what you can do. ASK what everyone is comfortable with. Put the rules in place before you start a game. As you grow up you will realise, many times people don’t even speak out when something makes them uncomfortable. You have to learn to listen, even without words. This ‘watching out’ for the other person’s reaction is very very important. It’s called being ‘sensitive’.

And while we’re at it, here are a few more things for you to remember…

– Caring for other people’s
feelings is way more important than winning any game.

– Your responsibility
doesn’t end with good intentions. If the other person feels hurt, wronged or even uncomfortable by your behaviour, don’t do it. Take time to understand and explain.
– Open
doors, hold the lift, help with bags. Practise chivalry for no other reason but that you are a gentleman. 
– Respect not just girls,
not just people older to you, but everyone. You have an even greater
responsibility if the other person in not as strong as you.

– Never be an unintentional bully.

You might not always win the game but you’ll win over many many more people and that, dear H, is way more important and much more fun too. This is a BIG thing and needs plenty of practise, but you’ll get there. And like I always say ‘You are the best’. I know that.

Hugs and love,

Ma
********

We’ve had our ‘big talk’. And I am hoping it made some impression. Have you handled similar queries from your son/nephew/friend’s son? So how do you teach a boy to be chivalrous without being sexist? How do you tell him he doesn’t need to do this because the other person (girl or not) is weaker but because he is stronger? Mothering, I tell you… is a hard hard task.

*********

Linking to Write Tribe’s super initiative ‘7 days of rediscovering your blogging grove’ where we blog seven days in a row according to a format. The idea is inspired by Darren Rowse. Today we had to ‘ANSWER A QUESTION’. 

Go find some more answers at the Write Tribe blog.

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