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A great teacher
In our world of multitasking and the race to fill every waking moment with something accomplished or earned, it is very hard to hear or see small hidden lessons. 

I always knew parenthood was a learning experience for me... not just in the art of changing an explosive diaper with one hand while ordering your next meal with the other or the  art of distracting a toddler weilding a weapon while refereeing sibling wrestling. I am talking about hidden life lessons. 

I learned a few things as my precious 3 year old shakes her head at me. 

Last week O and I sat down to spend some crafty activity time together. Ofcourse I have to multitask. I pulled a piled of clean laundry to sort through and fold. O frowned at this. But she was excited that Rima from the Rima's Reflections gave her something fun to do - My Pretty Mosaic by Alex Toys. 
The idea is to take a pre-designed picture and coordinate stickers to the color and stick. Ever so simple for us... a bit of a hand and eye and attention coordination for 3 year olds. 
O set out to do this except she would stick it outside the lines or anywhere she wanted. 
After several corrections and me remaining distracted with my phone and the laundry and by then just wanting her to be done already, I turned away so that she could massacre the dancing ballerina to whatever she wanted. 

Then she says, 'Mama, did you see... I stick it correctly...you see'? 

I said, 'Sure sweetie... looks awesome.'

O: 'Mama... you did not see... I am going to remove it and do it again to show you'!

Me: 'Noooo... pls don't rip any stickers off... let's finish this ok'?

O: 'No, you are not looking... put the phone down and help me take this sticker off.'

I resigned to putting my phone away and setting down to carefully peel that sticker off so that she could show me again. 

She goes ahead and tries to get it right but doesn't. 

I say, 'O, didn't I tell you not to take it off. Now see, it's outside the lines.'

She: 'So what mama'?

I: 'But it is supposed to be inside the lines.'

O: 'But mama, this is way I like it. See, it's beautiful.' She said this with such earnestness. 

I had nothing. 

Except the realization that I have begun the conditioning of my child to stay inside lines, think inside boxes so that they can grow up to think outside the box, to use coordinated efforts at all times, to stick to pre-designed ideas and notions. 

She completed the picture but now doesn't want to do the rest of the pictures because 'stickers are for fun and to stick anywhere'. 

Ofcourse. 

We will try again later, when I know better. 
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Her Mosaic - the perfect dancing Ballerina
Another day, another lesson. 
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Almost a member of our family
This blanket is three years old. I remember buying this before O was born. I never imagined its destiny or where it may end up. Just that it was pretty enough, cheap enough and it was purple enough. 

This blanket is what my daughter loves most. Over the last three years, it has become a fixture in most of our family pictures, our bed time routine, our road trips, our vacations and meal times. 
Today morning, I had to put it in the wash. I need her blessing to do that or else. Every parent dreads the or else.  We put it in the wash and she said her 'see you later'-s. 

A few minutes later she comes to me with the longest face and says, 'Mama, now I don't have a blanket. I don't have anything.' 

I say, 'How about I give you this new one...see it is also purple and it's new and it's very pretty.'

She looks at it with a big frown and says, 'But it does not have any dirty things on it.' 

I: 'What dirty things? Isn't that good'?

She: 'No those dirty things'.

I: 'You mean lint balls'?

She: 'Yes... that ones... I pick on it'. 

Me: 'But why? Those are not nice... this one is clean and new.'

She: 'No mama. Old purple blanket is nice. It has dirty things and I pick on it and it is always my best friend. I want only that one.' Then off she went to guard the washer. 

She said this with such finality and so indignantly that I just sat back and let the lesson wash over me. 

Very so often BK and I talk about what's best for the kids and how they should have everything. How they should learn everything and learn it the most fun way to learn. How some of their things are dented or old or damaged. The one thing that we never talk about are the things they are learning that we are not teaching them. We are always about the new and the shiny and the perfections and blemishlessness. 

But once long ago, we were about the odds and ends, the little favored malfunctioning toys, the just-right broken pieces of collectible shells, the sweet animals with missing legs, the eyeless cuddly teddies, the free toys that came with something valuable, the dogeared book. 

Life was simpler then and my parents never understood me. 

I bet this morn 3 year old O thought the equivalent of 'My mom just doesn't get it'.

Parenting is one tough lesson.


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Already reading on the pot!
The delights of Potty Training. It is a delight, right?

I started potty training lil O, a few months after she turned two. She understood the concept immediately and loved the potty - not the one I got her but the porcelain one. 

The things I learnt potty training a willful little girl...

  1. Show and Tell - they understand best when they see it and you know how these kids are, they love imitating you. No amount of explained helped O. Show her once and she is all for being just like mommy. 
  2. Take it slow. When little O saw that I wanted her to pick this skill up immediately, she simply refused. She wanted to pee in the other bathroom, she wanted the door shut, she wanted the whole paper roll... so I let her be or pee. 
  3. Stock up on roll of toilet paper. Oh boy, do they love those. One time, she almost had the whole roll wrapped around her hand! 
  4. Stock up on disinfectant and wipes, there's poop everywhere. I went cold turkey with her and put her in underwear right away. She peed everywhere and pooped everywhere too. It kind of worked because she didn't like the icky feeling of it running down her legs or pooling at her feet. (sorry for grossing you out - I had to clean all that up, so take a deep breath). She didn't like it began to want to use the bathroom when she needed to go. Win!
  5. Bite your tongue. There are times when they will go without an incident and then there are times when accidents happen, sometimes willfully. When O is busy playing, she will not pause to go use the potty, wipe, flush, wash her hands, dry them and return. To her, that's a lot of work. I try not to scold her for the mess. Sigh! What I make sure is that she has it easy - easy to remove clothes, reachable soap, step stool to reach the wash basin, toilet seat down.
  6. They forget. Keep reminding them that they need to use the bathroom. They forget, that's all. When I ask her sometimes, 'Do you want to pee'?, she will stand there as I ask and pee for me. Argh!
  7. Stayed tuned for the drama. You know what these kids will do? They will watch themselves pee, poop, what to touch the poop, want to watch the poop and not flush, will wipe and want to save the toilet paper, what to put their hands in the toilet, stick their head in the toilet... you name it, they will do it. Try to resist yelling at them for it. They haven't been to the bathroom much before so let them be. Take pictures of them do these stomach churning things and we'll show them when they are 16! 
  8. It's really not a big deal. People say that you should reward successful potty moments. But what I do is, not make it such a big deal. I do say, 'Good Job and Great Going' but I do not go all out and dole out stickers or hugs or treats. Because these little people understand that if this is what happens when you are good, then something bad may happen when you are bad. They feel worse when an accident happens. Atleast O is sensitive that way. So I just remind her to use the potty when an accident happens (yes, sometimes I end up scolding her because accidents happen at the most inopportune moments!) and give her 'Hi-Fi' for a success. That's it, no big deal.
  9. Stay out of it. When your little one wants to go to the bathroom, let them and you stay out. Treat them like little people. Let them go and get out of their clothing(s), put up or down the toilet seat and climb on, go, flush, wash etc. Don't go over to enhance or critique their performance, assess how they did or give them step by step instructions. You already showed them how, now step back, let them take care of their business. When I treated her like a grown up, she was better than when I take her to the bathroom. 
  10. Drink some wine. Your child is fine and you are doing fine. They will get their sh!t together. (Did you see what I just did here?!). 
Do share your funny potty train crash stories. I would love to hear. 

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It's summer here on the East Coast and everyone especially the kids know what that means - Park, everyday. EVERY.DAY. 

My 2 and half year old gets out of Day care.. that is playing the whole day and the first thing she says is, 'Can we go to the Park?' with a ready-to-brawl look in her eyes. 

Ofcourse, I pick my battles. 

I love the park as well. BUT... there are some things that should not happen in the park. And these annoy me to no end...

  • The Swing-n-Slide Playsets on the playground or the park are meant for kids. You know... the little people below age 15? Yeah, those people. Not for fully grown adolescents or adults. Period. 
  • Every one should know how a Slide works by now. Let me show you with this little picture I drew. It's very simple really. 
  • If you or your child has a cold or a virus with visible or invisible symptoms, please don't pretend it's not there. You should get the hint when you see the other parents cowering and running away from you with their kids. 
  • Parents, you know how kids are right? If you bring snacks to the park, be ready to handle a stampede or gawking kids. And if your kid spills it, you know you will unleash the wild side of these kids. And ofcourse we other mommies are going to hate you because my kid is now clamoring for a snack, of which I have none - Thank you very much! 
  • Ok, big kids old enough to have phones, what are you doing at the playground? Really, what? And you are sitting still on the swing staring at your phone while there are little kids staring right at you. Please go home. 

  • Parents, while you were posting for the world, to see how awesome your kid is at the park; that little genius of yours is eating mud. Also they are bothering other little kids whose moms may or may not be trained in Taekwondo. 
  • Disruptive kids need helicopter parents. I saw this one child, age 6/7 pour a bottle of water down the slide while other kids waited their turn and then had to turn back down. I saw this other child who stuck gum onto the seat of a swing. I saw another child throw stones. Where are their parents? Rather you control your child before someone else steps up. Sorry but needs to be said. 
  • While having said the above, I do understand kids will be kids. Push may come to shove. Pleases may get forgotten. Someone may go out of turn. Fair play may remain an ungrasped concept. That's all right as along as someone is around to help. 
  • Please do not liter. Seriously. 

So rants aside, it is so much fun to see your little one find such joy while learning life's little lessons of fair play, sharing, dealing with unfairness, picking themselves up from a fall, making friends, finding challenges and having fun.
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Also please leave me a comment with any other thing that annoys you at the park. 
 
 
A lot. 

We went off to India this year for our vacation. For us, a trip to India is not a vacation. It is anything and everything but. 
Well, because we are over-related to every person that we come across. Pick any random man - there, how about that gentleman wearing just a lungi, scratching his crotch across the street. Yes! He apparently is our great-grandfather's brother-in-law's brother's wife's cousin's grandson. And now that he has seen you looking at him, you need to pay him and his family a visit and ofcourse, you can't arrive empty handed! This is exactly why 3 weeks were not good enough. 

India has a charm, a gripping charm that claws through the heat and humidity and grasps your heart, invades your mind and just refuses to leave. 

It does that to me every time I am on her soil and this time I watched as it gripped my daughters. Well, atleast lil O. She loved it there. Never mind the heat, never mind the humidity, never mind the noise...she had all her senses invoked and her curiosity sated. 

With all the inventions that man has made towards superficial beauty - why isn't there anything that soothes crazy humidity hair? 
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This was me, only worse!
Anyways, we returned about a week ago and we are still half here and half there. There are baggage artfully hidden under piles of clothes, laundry to clear and things to put away. There is stuff on every single surface in this house. This is not to mention the jet-lag or exhaustion that we are still under. 

I seriously need a vacation to recover from this one. But then I haven't been on a vacation in 2 and a half years. Yes, lil O is 2 and 1/2. 

And lil A is all of 9 months! Happy 9th lil A!

Lil O's accomplishments are far too many to list. Except for eating properly, she does everything including throwing diva tantrums. We are stuck at trying to potty train. This is a conversation she had with one of our friends:
O: Nick-uncle, you wearing diaper?
N: *laughing* No, I don't wear diaper.
O: *dropping her voice* You wearing underwear.
N: *laughing so hard* Yes, I wear underwear. 
O now looks super impressed. 

Lil A crawls around expertly and stands while clinging onto anything she can hold. She is a funny and happy little cookie. 

Mother's Day was awesome. Not because that's one day that we are appreciated or any such thing but because the father's behind the scene do so much and make the effort and that's heart warming. 

So I guess that's what's going on at this end of the world and that's why I have been awfully quiet around here. 

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Flying has always been stressful. And for parents' with toddlers, dreadful. 

When I was preparing to take our first flight with Lil O, I like every dutiful parent and traveler, asked the Lords of Google what I should do. 

And you know what I was looking for? How to ensure that my child doesn't bother all the other travelers. I was worried about others. Not me, not BK and definitely not as much about Lil O. I packed every sort of entertainment, teethers, toys that do not make too much noise but just enough to hold her attention, books, food and lastly, as a last resort a bottle of Baby Benadryl. 

So I began looking around to see what travelers without kids are being told by the Lords of Google. You know what they are told? Pretty much nothing and just enough to tell them to avoid any sight of children and parents with them. 

For all parents traveling with kids. You have the right to travel without being shunned, eyes rolled at, smirks, grumbled about and complained about. 

These notes are for those folks who all parents have been trying so hard not to offend. Let me take the pleasure. 

1. You are welcome. We do our best not to bother you. Extend the courtesy please. 

2. Imagine a child who knows nothing much, being strapped to a chair in a metal tube with some windows that look out to pretty much empty space and then being hurtled at intense speeds through the skies without any guarantee of anything? Not the same as being tossed in the air playfully by a loving parent, is it? Try and understand. 

3. There is this incredible device called "Head Phones". Through it miraculously lovely music can be enjoyed, books be heard and all sorts of things. When was the last time you were read to? Come on, try it. Even if you do not like it or want to. 


4. You are better off than atleast 1 other person - the parent of the wailing child. You can shrug it off, roll your eyes and shut them, turn around, move seats, anything. Apparently we are not allowed to disown or toss the child out of a moving flight, moving anything actually. So we are stuck trying to deal with it. You are definitely better off. 

5. You were a child once. And if you are complaining about the crying or yelling child and creating problems for us, then I am afraid you were raised without any compassion for others. That's not good. 

6. To those who were parents to toddlers once - you know what it's like. Don't pretend you do not. Squeeze my arm in support. And NO, please refrain from any unsolicited advice. Please. 

7. To those who are planning kids - no, this is the worst of it. The happier times are incredibly awesome. Also if you are being mean about it, the karma is going to hit the ceiling on you. 

8. To those who hate kids. I guess it looks like they don't like you much either. 

9. You can complain about my child as much as you want to and to whomever you want. Know this, noone can boot us out now, I mean we are in mid air. And noone can do anything much about it....except ME. That's right. You just pissed me off. So calming that child has taken a lower priority. 

10. No, we dread giving any form of medication to induce sleep. But you feel free to use it and knock yourself out. 

11. Yes, there are several things you can do. First and foremost, ignore us and pretend nothing is going on. If not, then offer us the window seat for a while. Or give us some fascinating gadget or book that you have. No, we parents are fearful of damaging other people's things and will not ruin it. 

12. Do not offer me or my child candy. The sugar crash is worse. The hyperactivity from the sugar is crazy. 

13. Do offer me a drink. 

14. There are very very few parents who will ignore a troublesome child and let them bother other travelers. That is most parents' nightmare. So yes, we are doing 'something' about it. Infact we are doing 'everything' we can about it. If you do not agree, feel free to babysit, b!tch!

15. When you travel, please be realistic. The world's population is not booming by people not procreating and without children running around. Plan for it. Get a good pair of headphones, books and eye masks. Get Prozac and share it with me. Get a chartered flight to take you or me to our destination. I don't know, you are the one who is irked. You figure it out. 

16. Please don't be mean. I am stressed about flying. I am stressed that I may have forgotten something for the baby. I am worried that the child will catch something that you may have bought onto the plane. I am worried that the flight will crash. I am afraid that someone will hijack the flight. What? You are worried now too? Puts things in perspective, doesn't it? But I have to do this with a screaming, restless child in my arms. So let's worry about getting there in one piece, shall we?

17. Sorry but yes I do HAVE to get up so many times. All those last times were to get water for my child, change diapers, stretch her legs. These few times are for me to empty my bursting bladder or wet my parched throat. So, I am really sorry that you have to move your legs or let me pass. And no, it has NOT been a 'hundred times already'!

18. It's just a spill. Clean it and move on. Who doesn't pack an extra pair of pants or tee these days? Gosh, for pete's sake. You are worse than my child!

19. If my child took something of yours and if I haven't reacted yet, it is PURELY because I didn't see it. I promise. If you politely tell me, I will move heaven and earth to give it back to you immediately and undamaged. Please do not start with the 'poor parents' and 'lack of discipline'. 

20. We too paid full fare for this flight. If we could have, we would have avoided this trip completely. Noone in their right mind would pay all that money to fly with a restless, cranky child or two or more. So we are not in our right mind. That's not good for you. Please stay out of our sight and way. 

Is there anything else you would like to add?

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Seriously... Cmon God, these kids are perfect beings. All you need to do is change that chip which makes them say 'No' and just make them say the following:

1. YES! Sure. I will. 

2. Ok, if you say so. (So parents would be let off from having to say Because I said so!)

3. I will go to sleep now. No, don't bother carrying me up to bed. I get around to the most unsafest places by myself, so I can get to my safe bed in my safe room by myself. 

4. Thank You! Please. 

5. Yes, this is yummy. I love the color on this - green. It's beautiful. I will eat it all without shoving it around my plate or behind the couch or under the table. 

6. I love you always even when you have goofed up, forgotten my lunch, forgotten the poop in my diaper, for frozen or leftover dinners and for drinking. 

7. Oh... you look tired. I shall stop this clanking, banging, yelling, singing, clapping right now and wait till you feel better. 

8. Sure, I shall lie down and be very still while you change me and will not attempt to stick my hand in my diaper or worse stick it in my mouth after. 

9. Sorry mom for biting you there. Won't happen again. While I am at it, I will also stop pulling your hair or scratching you. 

10. Mom, can you clip my nails please? I just want to make sure that I don't scratch you or worse scratch myself pretty bad and then make other pretentious mothers judge you as a bad mother. 

11. Mom and Dad, I promise not to grasp any of the foul words that you frequently toss about. 

12. I promise not to learn to spell until I turn 5 and when I do, I will catch up fast and turn out to be a Spelling Bee Champion. So carry on talking about T-I-M-E-O-U-T and H-I-D-D-E-N-C-A-N-D-Y.

13. I will not repeat anything you say about my daycare buddies and their mommies anywhere. 
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Saturday, 7AM
14. I will not come and jump in your bed on weekend mornings and will sleep till it's noon. 

15. I do not want another toy, thank you. 

16. Please don't save for my college tuition or wedding or any such thing. Please use everything you earn to have vacations with us, drink and have fun. I will become a singing protege and rise to fame and buy you a house soon. 

17. I can get my own dinner. Do you want anything from the fridge?

18. Did you have a rough day at work? Why don't you put your feet up? I will not poop or pee myself or spill anything until you are ready to get off your bum. 

19. I promise to say hello, say my name, sing your favorite song, talk sweet when all your friends are over and on demand. I will not embarrass you or make you have to tell all your friends that I am normal. 

20. Allow me to clean that up please. 

Please add anything else that I may have overlooked. By commenting, you are signing this petition to the higher powers that exist. 

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You know how it's very gut wrenching to leave a reluctant (read brawling) child at Day Care or Play School or in the closet while you go off to work. It is very hard, very hard. 

So when I get back from being a sharp shooting, no nonsense, suit wearing professional, I change into my poop covered Mommy hat and rush to the Day Care. 

My daughter returns home with an armful of the day's art and craft. 

I remember the first time I got the first scrap of paper, wrestled from her tiny mouth and sumo-wrestler strong arms, I was thrilled. It stayed on my refrigerator for months. 
Lil O's daycare has some awesome and creative teachers. They make amazing stuff and pictures. The kids' get lucky to get themselves dirty, covered in paint, shaving cream, water colors, melted candy and several other messy things. 

And thank you teachers for taking that responsibility off my hands and out of my house. 

They also make adorable stuff from toilet paper cardboard rolls, disposable plates, tissues, brown paper bags, straws etc. I love those lessons. 

Here are some of lil O's latest creations. 
Here are some of the stuff that I put up in her room. 
And then the Artiste went through some eccentric phases. I have more of these ones that you see below than any other. 
But here are more of the cute stuff. (Yes, I have now become that crazy parent who will tell you and show you every scrap of paper that their child has touched...need be, I will pull out a gun to your head).
Sometimes she gets dark too. 
Gulp.

Either ways, I love seeing what she has been upto each day. 

My only question is where do I put all the stuff that are...ahem ...not as ...artistically advanced as the rest... you know those less than masterpiece ones?

And for all readers belonging to the 'Thou-shalt-not-ridicule-your-child's-anything-including-poop' club, I love her stuff and store them all in this little overflowing box. 
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Lil O stuck all those stickers herself!
But really? Do you throw out any of them at all? Ever?
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THE GOOD...
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...THE BAD...
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..THE DISTURBING!
Dear 16 year old O, I didn't ridicule anything here. So please do not ridicule me on your blog or FaceBook or Twitter or whatever else you are on. And do not reveal any of our family (my) particularities. I love your stuff honey. And if you are an artist by now, I will buy all your paintings. 
PS: Please stop drawing on your father. 
PPS: Sorry about all the psychoanalysis to figure out what you feel about your mother. I had to watch my back. I love you. 


So folks, tell me what do you do with all the stuff your child creates? When does it become ok to 'keep' some stuff...just some stuff outside the house and on the curb, neatly wrapped in a black plastic bag?

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Yes, I am this woman!
I am that kind of woman...
*slightly shame faced, slightly defiant, mostly sheepish* 

  • who dresses her kids in the clothes they will go to Daycare the next day. They don't wear PJs except on the weekend. 
  • who bribes her kids (and yes, I have bribed some playdates too behind their mother's backs) with candy. Sorry about your kids but it is your fault. You let them get out of control that someone had to do something and in my house, candy works. 
  • who will come back and correct errors on her blog posts long long after they have been published because I can't live knowing I made a mistake. 
  • who relies on the 3rd parent in our home. DJ Lance and his friends or Fresh Beat Band. 'O, you have to eat your veggies or DJ Lance will be sad; O, you need to stop jumping on the couch or Foofa will never come on TV; O you need to drink your milk or else Moono will drink it all'. 
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Foofa!
  • who will not pick the right size of clothes because that would mean moving to the larger size. NOOO! I rather remain in pinching clothes and denial. 
  • who eats all the kids' leftovers and sometimes before they say that they are all done. 
  • who will eat just a dainty salad for lunch and then eat couple of bars of chocolates or chip bags to make up.
  • who will not feign a headache any night because if someone wants to make a sweaty, hairy, vomit or poop stained, sticky haired, bitten finger nailed, nag feel like a woman, Hell I am not going to say NO. 
  • who while walking down a long hallway with a person walking towards her will always develop an itchy nose, wedged panty and a tic by the time she gets to the other end of the hall. But seriously, what do you do when a stranger is walking right at you down a hallway? Where do you look? Straight ahead, at your phone, finger nails? So Awkward. 
  • who finds every shortcut in parenting. EVERY. 
  • who, since motherhood believes in every God possible. 
  • who doesn't do her feet in the winters and just throws a pair of socks on. 
  • who will wear sweatpants whole day and grocery shop in them, go to the bank in them and sometimes sleep in them - so that I don't have to change the next morning when I take the kids to Daycare. 
  • who will smudge her nail paint a few minutes after it's painted on. 
  • who doesn't use any apps or all the features on her phone. Worse, she has both an Android and iPhone. Totally wasted on her. 
  • who cuts costs and budgets well only to blow it all up on nail paint, children's clothes or shoes. 
  • who re-gifts the stuff I get. (*shame face and pout*)
  • who does most of her reading on the toilet throne
  • who cannot throw or give away any of the small children's clothes or shoes because they are adorable and hasn't been worn enough. 
  • who makes endless, meaningless lists. 
  • who will cry at the plight of any and every child.
  • who will imagine the worse - THE WORSE when a phone call goes unanswered, husband is a few minutes late, unschedule call from home or the daycare or while lying sleepless at night. 
  • who will log off Facebook and then check Facebook on her phone. 
  • who loves children except those whose parents haven't bothered to wipe green snot off their noses. 
  • who will post a picture where she looks good even if everyone else looks terrible or wasn't ready for the picture. 
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Atleast here... I cropped everyone else! Haha!
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Look at her sleep... as if she did a whole day of slaving and cleaning!
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Don't look like someone is going to run away with your bottle!
Nobody really tells you this stuff but this also happens after that wonderful bundle of joy arrives. 

1. All those endless advices that you will get? Yeah, totally useless. The one that I hated the most - sleep when the baby sleeps. I pooped and shaved my arms when the baby slept. 

2. The joys of breastfeeding. What they don't tell you is that - the joy comes after atleast two weeks of excruciating pain. You suffer unimaginable pain learning the art of nursing. I wanted to tear my boobs off and bury it in some yard during the first 2 weeks. 

3. Postpartum depression is real. Give in to the tears and talk as much as you can. My doctor asked me if I felt like hurting myself or the baby. When I said 'No', she said, 'Good, you have no depression'. I cried in the shower everyday for two weeks for NO REASON and couldn't sleep at all during that time. I scared myself. It passed. But that turned out to be the longest two weeks of my life. 

4. You are still pregnant. 2 weeks after lil O came, I was riding up the elevator. A family with a baby got on. The lady smiled at me sweetly and asked how far along was I. I said, my baby is 2 weeks old and at home. She said, 'Really? so is mine'. Needless to say she did not look like me. That b!tch. 

5. I never glowed during my pregnancies. And after my pregnancies, I think I just shriveled and got all gnarled. My hair began falling out, my face wasn't my face, gosh-the-acne and oh-my-God the stretch marks! This too shall pass. 

6. That new baby sleeps a whole lot. A WHOLE lot. Find something to do. At first I attempted to do chores and clean. Then I realized that I need pick-me-ups, so I started reading or doing my nails or talking to friends and if nothing else I did catch some sleep too. It made me feel better. 

7. All those amazing and expensive baby products? Not so convenient and easy as it looked, right? I spent atleast half an hour trying to figure out how the bottle warmer worked. I tossed it right after. 

8. Everyone from your mailman to the cashier at 7/11 knows everything about taking care of a baby and they are all telling you that you are not a good parent. 

9. Someone told BK this and I can't tell you how true this is - 'Everyone will take care of the baby; You take care of your wife, right now she is the one who needs it the most.' Oh boy, did I need that care. Thank you sir!

10. Eating well, staying relatively cheerful helps your nursing. Stressing, worrying, skipping meals and skipping nursing are sure shot ways of remaining unable to nurse. 

11. There will be atleast 2 people who will not like your baby's name. You will be asked atleast twice if it was already final final final. And there will be plenty of people who will mispronounce it even if it is as simple as 'Bo' or 'Emma'. 

12. You know how they tell you not to overshop for clothes? Yeah, you should atleast have 2 weeks worth of baby clothes and two days worth of  baby bottles. This is to avoid having to do laundry and wash bottles everyday. 

13, Someone will discuss your weight. You need to ignore them but you will not be able to. On another note, one glass of red wine is harmless even for nursing mothers. 

14. Have some good friends on stand by. Shamelessly invite them, leave your baby and your boobs (or bottles work well too) with them and disappear for a little. Your baby will be fine. Your friend - not so much. 

15. There will be times when your baby cries non-stop for no reason. No milk, pacifier, swinging, swaying, singing, music, talking or wailing will work. After the initial panic, I would remove every stitch of clothing on my child and then re-dress her. Sometimes that won't work either. This too shall pass. 

16. There will be moments that you hate various people in your life for no reason, starting with your husband. 

17. There will be atleast one moment where you think, 'Hmmmm motherhood, well it's not all what it is made out to be'. This too shall pass. 

18. You may or may not be constipated, bloated, gassy. This too may or may not pass. 

19. None of your clothes will fit. Your maternity wear is not endearing any more and your old clothes still do not fit. Just buy more clothes yourself. It is great therapy to shop. 

20. Baby clothes are adorable. But trying to put them on, argh! The more adorable they are, the harder it will be to push a wiggly head, arm or bum through their tiny necks and armholes. 

21. Do not go to Babies R Us and do not send the husband alone to Babies R Us either. They have every imaginable or unimaginable products designed to make motherhood and parenthood easier. And they are mostly wrong. 
  • Bottle Warmers come with almost the same instructions as your microwave for heating baby bottles
  • Wipes Warmer - her bum is dirty not cold
  • Bottle Sterilizer - you wash and load your bottles, wait till it's done and promptly remove bottles before water condenses, make sure water level is right, make sure it is atleast half full... wait, this sounds like you are babysitting a sterilizer! 
  • Crib Bedding and bumper - what? SIDS associations say nothing goes in the crib except the baby? Bummer!
  • Diaper Genie - to me a true genie would change the baby's dirty diaper. If it doesn't do that but just pretends to secure a dirty diaper until you take the trash out - that's not a genie. 

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I don’t have a little boy child to bring up but if I did, I can only imagine this is what I will have to say. I also want you to know that all children are children first and all people are human first – so 51 Life Tips for my Daughters applies to all children, you can ignore the ones that talk about makeup though, unless you like makeup. 
1. You are searching for something on Google and it bought you here. Great - you are doing well already. You sought for help when you needed it and that’s the first thing to learn in life.

2. Don’t worry too much about leaving the toilet seat down. There is too much noise about this. We women can put it down before we go. And if you did, thank you.

3. When you are at a door and have opened it, it is heartwarming to see you let the person behind you out first and then walk through it yourself. This is good only for doors. Opportunities are a different thing.

4. Be polite, you never know who is watching you and why.

5. Your mother threw all caution away and fell in love with your father. She is always cautious with the doors to her heart. You were the next man, when you stomped through and stole her heart. Do not break it.

6. I will let you in on a secret. Most women bring in a little drama with them. Indulge us and we will leave you alone.

7. Don’t break a girl’s heart cruelly. Do it honestly, gently but firmly. Only cowards are brutal.

8. Never ever, ever ruin a girl’s reputation. The karma around that is too much burden for you to bear.

9. Revenge is overrated. Have you seen someone overtake you with a snide look only to slip and fall? I have and it’s such pure ecstasy and I couldn’t have done it better.

10. If you see women only as a pair of assets, they will see you as an open wallet or worse as a service bull. And just so that you know, we compare all services.
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Image: www.scyouthsoccer.org
11. It is not that hard to understand relationships. You do get sports, right? It’s the same thing. You win when you play hard. When you win, you have the need to take your shirt off and act primate. When you lose, you sulk for a little but the season is not over. Either ways you drink. You anticipate the other team’s moves; you act proactively or react appropriately. If you bring any unnecessary roughness, bullying or crap to the field, you are out. You always play fair. It’s that simple. And women know it, they love their sports too. 

12. We can open our own jars, change our tires and reach for top shelves. We are letting you do it to show you that we appreciate your strength, your effort and we love that you are there for us to depend on. 

13. Pull your pants up kid. It is not cool any which way you look at it. 

14. Piercings and tattoos are neat only for a while. When your skin is saggy and wrinkly or stretched out over your beer belly, everything will read ‘I am stupid’. Unless it reads your children’s names. 

15. Learn a sport that you play while sitting; learn a sport that you play running; learn a sport that you play with your mind; learn a sport that you play with your strength of body and will. You need all these to get you through life. 

16. It rocks if you can make music. Kids love a guy with a guitar or harmonica. 

17. We all love Cows, those gentle, all giving animals. You know the one thing we do not like about them? Their incessant chewing cud. If we don’t like it on them, you bet we don’t like it on you. 

18. You know that saying – Why fart and waste when you can burp and taste? Yeah, don’t do either. 

19. Farts do not light up but yes, do try it.

20. Make sure you own a shiny pair of shoes. It matters. 

21. It takes very little to be a man; actually it just takes that one thing. Don’t be that thing. And don’t scratch that thing in public. 

22. It takes very little to be a gentleman. Please be one. You will make your mom proud. 
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See? Nice pants with pockets and still saving the world!
23. Be Superman except with your underwear under your pants always. Save the world, stand up for the meek and hold the job you love.

24. Learn to make a few meals, do your own laundry and vacuum. You will need it someday to impress a girl or to be there for your wife while she is having your baby. 

25. By the time you are 16, you will think you know a lot about women. Nope, not even close. You will see that each girl that you know is going to change into a lady and a woman when her wings unfurl after graduation. 

26. Lock the door to your room. American Pie is funny when the kid is not yours. 

27. Take NO for an answer. 

28. I know a lot of people say it often. It is all right to cry. Only if you feel like it, you don’t have to, no matter which woman says it. 

29. Be able to hold your drink. Start practicing when you turn 21 and keep at it till you are 23. But give it up after that and just enjoy your drinks.

30. Don’t be influenced by anyone or anything – your friends, your mother, your wine or your ego. Make your own mind and heart up. 

31. Enjoy an art, a little history, reading and something nerdy. It makes you cooler as you get older. 

32. Anything a girl can do, you can do too and maybe even better. Except give birth, not because you can’t bear that much pain just that you would look weird in those maternity clothes. 

33. Take a boy’s night out every once in a while. Even if your mom or woman gives you hell for it. It is worth it. 

34. Take care of your appearance a little. You have all that body hair and facial hair working against you, to start with. 

35. Please be funny. A funny guy can get away being geeky, nerdy, skinny or hairy. Be very funny if you are all of these. 

36. Pray and no, you are not the gift to every woman’s dream. 

37. Exercise. It's liberating.  

38. Never ever hit a person who is weaker than you. And never ever hit a woman, even if she is stronger than you. 

39. Be trustworthy and know that gossiping men are very nasty. 

40. Please pick up the check when you are out with a lady. 

41. Leave my daughters alone. Have you met their father?
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