Wednesday, March 5, 2014

What you think and whom you really are...

I always thought (or aim) of myself as someone who would let my child be and let her do what she likes (within the safety guidelines). I really did until I was told I don’t let her be. Of course it comes as a realization and of course I would like to introspect and see what should be changed so that Megha can still have a childhood she would treasure, grow up healthy, realize her true potential and not be tied back by what is expected out of her (rather what she expects out of herself).

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to home-school Megha. Of course, it will never work out with me as I don’t see myself fit to home-school her. But the nagging thought remains, what would it be like to have more time with her. Last Sunday, she wanted to go to the basement in the morning and in the evening. Read more about what we do at the basement Here. I took her there as much as she wanted. She explored the whole basement, discovered that the washing machine makes noise but there is nothing to be worried about; discovered that I store some toys in some storage boxes (lol); discovered that light switches on when she pulls a thread and that there can be several ways of switching a light on and off.
I am starting to truly realize for the very first time that learning doesn’t always happen in a class room or when we teach a child. It happens in the most common places you can find around and in the most unusual of ways.
We all know about the above but we dont really give much thought to it until certain realization dawns and I am starting to see some light now. 

I am reminded of an incident a few weeks ago where we (Anand and I) had left Megha alone for a few minutes (may be 2 mins) while we were occupied doing something (paperwork I think). In the meantime, she had opened a big Vaseline jelly box and happily dipped her tiny hands, pulled the jelly out and was in general having a time of her life with the jelly. When I noticed it, of course I got frustrated in the beginning but when Anand pointed it out that its ok, I soon started laughing. We washed her hands and cleaned her up right away. But now I am doing some introspection and I realize I couldn’t have been more wrong in washing her off. I really hope that she didnt get me wrong and I hope she didnt feel that I am controlling her or that I am belittling her.

Perhaps I should have joined her in her fun? I know sh takes immense pleasure when I join her in something she does. I really should have made her day by being naughty and dip my fingers in Vaseline. Maybe she would have felt its OK to experiment and know about different textures and how they feel in her hands. So, I made a decision today. I am going to make some kid-friendly goo (don’t ask me how, I don’t know yet) and let her play with the goo to her hearts content.

I want her childhood to be child-centric not be bound by my adult-expectations. Anand seems to be doing so much better than me. 

I have also decided that Megha and I will be gardening (just a little) this summer. Initially I thought I wouldn’t be doing any gardening (lazy I guess) this year but I now I change my mind. I want her to explore the earth, feel the mud, water, get dirty in general and experience the joy of gardening. I don’t know if at this age she really understands what “gardening” is but as long as she is outdoors playing with mud/plants and water, I don’t see any downside to doing it.

I am going to change my parenting style and look her world through her eyes, at least try to. She is not going to remain this young forever and soon before I know I will lose her to her friends. I want to make the best of her childhood while she still enjoys my company as much as I enjoy hers. Lets see how that goes. I know I am going to stumble a million times but if I dont start looking the world through her eyes, I will never know how beautiful her world is. Better late than never....

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