Thursday, March 13, 2014

Chronicles of our conversations = All sorts of random

Sometimes conversations make more sense in my head. But sometimes then need an out. I have a tendency to not forget things. Sometimes pretty much ever. So I think about our conversations for hours and hours. And they linger in my head. Since I invest so much of my mental energy thinking about some of these conversations, I figured I might as well document some of them so I remember my thought process. There is a whole lot of random in here. Most of these conversations don’t connect. They are just important to me. So here they are. All my randomness in one place.
Me: I think we really need to detox
Siddhu: Detox?
Me: You know, phone/technology detox.
Siddhu: Now you are making up your own random rules. We don’t need that.
Me: But, we do. You know I wrote about it a few years back. And I still think about it. Now more than ever.  (This is when I showed Siddharth a blog I had written back in 2009 talking about a smartphone-detox)
Siddhu: (after reading my blog) Now you are just showing off :)!
Me: I totally am. But I am almost very serious when I say this. Seriously. We need to detox. We clearly have issues.
Siddhu: Ok. Let’s set some rules. How about we stay off of our favorite devices when we are around Samaira and Rehan.
Me: I think that’s a good start. Let’s begin with this.

Between the two of us, I am the one guilty of being on the laptop more than necessary, and Siddharth is the one guilty of being on his phone more than necessary. I cannot imagine watching TV without being on my laptop. Siddharth spends any free time he gets, even if it is just 5 minutes, playing games on phone. So the plan is for us to not be on our phone/laptops, especially when we are around our kids. At least not constantly. I have seen Samaira and Rehan be different when we are not on our respective devices. Samaira is a lot more interactive and loving and pro-hugging when we are off our devices. Rehan is a lot more smiley and bouncy when we are off our devices. No joke. I just hope we can keep each other honest about being away from our devices when we are with the kids, and hopefully when we are with anyone in general!
Me: I really want us to eat dinner as a family. All of us together. Sitting on a table. Eating the same food. No different food for Sam and Rehan and us.
Siddhu: Sure I can bring Taco Bell every single night for all four us :).
Me: I am serious man. It is my dream. A serious dream.
Siddhu: You get serious dreams?
Me: Siddharth pleeeeassse. I am really really serious. (If I have ever told the following words to you, it means that I truly truly love you – “your name, pleeeeease”)
Siddhu: Just kidding. I am down with that. Let’s make it happen. I know how to make it happen!
Me: Really ?! How so?
Siddhu: I will get everything we need (a wooden chair, booster seat, etc.) to seat all four of us at the dining table. And then we will have your serious dream come true J.
Me: What about dinner ideas? I already feel plenty judged for what I feed our kids. But I don’t want to make kids meal a BIG deal either. I want them to eat what we eat. I want them to eat what the either one eats. I don’t want to make 3 different things – one for Sammy, one for Rehan, and one for us. And that’s not because I can’t make 3 different meals. But I don’t think that’s the right thing to do. I don’t care what people have to say about what we feed our kids and when we feed our kids. I want our family culture to be a certain way. That culture is love food, eat well, without making a BIG DEAL of kids’ meals. You know what I am saying? I hope I am not coming across as a bad mom when I say this.
Siddhu: No, you never sound like a bad mom. I agree with you.  

I don’t want to come across as if I don’t like nutrition or healthy food. I love food. That is almost my first love. I like to eat healthy, almost. I like to feed healthy. I try my best to eat and feed healthy. I succeed maybe 50% of the times. But at the same time I love leftovers. I don’t feel bad about feeding leftovers to my family. I love cakes. I love me some Maggi. Just as I love me some spinach and broccoli and brussel sprouts. But I don’t always inject every meal with vegetables and I don’t feel bad about that either. I am at peace with myself. I want my kids to be members of my family and not rulers of my family. I don’t know if any of this is making any sense. It made sense in my head.
Me: Do you think we are overparenting?
Siddhu: Is that a real term? What does it mean?
Me: You know…just…if we are parenting a bit much. I don’t know how else to explain it. Like being too fixated with everything our kids do, everything out kids eat, everything our kids are, pretty much everything about them. Not letting our kids just be. You know ?!
Siddhu: …I don’t think we do…sometimes maybe..not too much though. Although I think overparenting is a relative term. According to some people changing anything in their lifestyle at all is overparenting. And according to others we are not doing enough with or for our kids.
Me: True. But I don’t like the idea of us overparenting. So if you ever see me do it, will you stop me? And I will stop you.
Siddhu: <widest grin on his face> :D

I really like my sister’s style of parenting. I want to be like her. I feel like she strikes the right balance of love, nurture, care, let-them-be, strict, scold, time-outs’ish, kids resolving their own differences versus her interfering. She is so cool and doesn’t run behind her kids to finish their lunch/dinner, knows when to revolve her day around kids meals/naps and when not to, lets her kids resolve most differences between themselves, doesn’t take sides when the kids fight, doesn’t even try to find out who is right and who is wrong and who is lying and who is not, and yet, she takes her kids for all the activities they love, she takes them to parks, she loves them so much and it shows, she showers them, she pampers them, and most importantly, she loves them the same! I don’t know how she does it. But I admire her for the way she is with both her kids. She is chilled out yet super-duper-caring. There’s a fine line and I don’t know how she does it.
Me: You know I don’t like zoos.
Siddhu: Really? How come?
Me: Last time I went to a zoo, I re-remembered why I don’t like zoos. The lion, the tiger, the chimpanzee, the turtle, and every other animal we saw in that zoo seemed really unhappy. They all looked really sad. They were constantly pacing their cage. Maybe they were hungry. I don’t know. But seeing them in that limited space, all caged up, made me really sad.
Siddhu: But how will Samaira and Rehan see animals for real if not for a zoo? Don’t you think they need to go to zoos to put a face to the name?
Me: You are right. I don’t know how else our kids will know. I don’t have a solution. Unless it is going to a safari expedition.
Siddhu: Hmmm….so next time we decide to go to a zoo, I will make sure I take the kids and you can choose not to come along. I don’t want you to be sad.

I know I don’t have a solution for how our kids will see lions and tigers beyond just in books and videos. So I will go with this proposal for now. But the whole idea of zoo makes me uncomfortable. Maybe I have to visit the right kind of zoos to feel ok about it. But for now, I am convinced that I find zoos very depressing.
So here is our all sorts of random. Stay happy folks!

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