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.

Finding Santa

Finding Santa

Dear H and N,

Christmas this year, is going to be different. It was this year that you discovered that there is no Santa. N, how you cried! It broke my heart. I had no answer to your ‘you lied to me‘ allegation. It’s true of course. It was I who ate up your cookies, I who put the gifts and I who read the letters I’d helped you write in the first place.
I know you’ll miss him. That plump, smiling, silver haired presence bearing gifts for you, the one who makes everyone smile – oh yes Santa will be missed… sorely. 

Or maybe …. just maybe we could do something to make you feel better. How about we find ourselves a Santa – a real one, no lies this time. He’s a bit different than the Santa I told you about. He doesn’t live at the North Pole to begin with. 

So where is he? You ask. I can see the disbelief in your little faces. Hear me out then and be patient.

This Santa is all around us. What’s more, he’s far more generous than the red-suit guy. He doesn’t wait for Christmas to give us gifts. He comes unannounced any day, anytime, sometimes many times a day, bearing precious gifts. You’ll have to look carefully though for he’s in disguise – no red suit, no silver beard.

‘So how will we know him?’ I hear you ask, suspicious still.

Well, first, wipe off those disbelieving looks then listen on my little doubting Thomas’ – here’s how you can see him.

Shut your eyes. Yes, shut your eyes. 
Go on do it.

….Now open your hearts…

and think…

Did someone make your face light up with a smile recently? 
Did someone do anything to make you feel special?
Did someone make your heart swell with happiness and fill with warmth?
Did a hug or a kiss or a compliment make you feel like the happiest person on earth? 
Did someone make you feel so happy you wanted the whole world to smile with you?

Well.. hold on to them, that right there is your Santa.

That friend who stood up for you, that teacher who said ‘well done’, mama who surprised you with your favourite tiffin, grandma who saves up a new story for you everyday, dad who came home early with your favourite sweet – they’re your Santa.

And your gifts? – the smile, the warmth, the happiness – aren’t they all precious? Way more precious than that remote controlled car, that crashed within a week of it’s arrival, right H? Or that Barbie buried somewhere deep in your toy cupboard N.

And you know what? You are a Santa too.

Remember that one time I came home all tired and you ran to give me a hug? I so needed it then, and you were my Santa. And that lopsided cake you made me – you were my Santa again. In fact, you became my Santas the moment you were born.

There’s a Santa in all of us. He just hides away sometimes under the stress of homework and housework, the arguments and the anger. This Christmas let’s dig him out and give him a new life, shall we? 

Let’s all be Santas this Christmas – real live Santas.

Love and hugs,


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.