“Appa, I love you and Amma all day except when you hurt me, scold me, frighten me, shout at me, order me or hit me. Also, I don’t like you making rules. I make the rules. You should never be harsh at me. Always be soft and nice to me.”
Had someone heard the way he said it, it will definitely make him/her believe that we are torturing our only kid mercilessly. For a moment, I was thinking if we had been dealing with him in any inappropriate way until he said, “Fun-ku sonnen pa” (I said that for fun!). Bugger!
The first academic year for Anirud drew to a close today with the school closing down for summer holidays.
Being the last day today, they had the ‘Awards Ceremony’ celebrating the success and achievements of the year that went by. For a person who has spent all of my school life in India, the kind of categories of the awards were very surprising. During my school days, prizes were mainly for academic achievements and extra-curricular activities (various competitions). Here it was very different and few interesting ones include Perseverance Award, Hidden Talent Award etc. There were two prizes in each of the categories – one for younger children (Key Stage 1) and another for older children (Key Stage 2).
As the Head Teacher distributed the awards at the Assembly, she also made a 45-second elevator talk about what the award was and why it was awarded to the particular individual. When it came to ICT Awards, below is what she had to say,
“ICT Award was for children’s interest and curiosity about technology in general and computers in particular. This particular young man was not only at ease in handling things like laptop and communication equipments like white board etc, but also had the confidence in trying to fix them when they are broken. We present this award to this lad for showing great interest and taking the lead in technology at this young age…. and this award goes to ANIRUD“.
Yes. Anirud was awarded with the ‘ICT Award’ (ICT = Information and Communication Technology) that comprises of a certificate and a little shield. Upon hearing his name being announced, he was gobsmacked and collected the prize in a state of shock amidst applause. Although we were notified about this award last week, we were requested not to tell him about that. Since then, we were wondering what it could be for and half expected it to be for his academics, as he is at the top of the league.
We are not sure what he feels about that, as he is still in school as I type this. But as parents, we are mighty pleased. As we left the school, the Head Teacher said ‘It is a great start for him. Isn’t it?’. True. Can’t agree more. It is certainly God’s grace.
It is a shame that the photograph didn’t come out very well, as we were sitting at few yards away and that the flash was not very powerful. He collected the award and ran back quickly for me to click another one.
I can’t believe that the academic year is drawing to a close and that Anirud will be moving on to Year 1 this September. Coming Friday, sausages will sizzle and Tuesday next week will be the last day of the year before the school reopens on September 2nd. Yesterday, it was Sports Day at school. Anirud was in the Green team and they were placed second it seems.
Wifey attended the event and clicked some photos. The thing that I noted is that he should be wearing a t-shirt of right size.
Before starting at his current school, Anirud was attending the pre-school at Beehive Montessori that turned 20 this week. They had invited all their old students for the celebrations on Sunday and we made sure that we attended the event. Anirud attended the school for 4 terms and it was this school that brought out the best in him and helped us know a lot more about him. Children loved going there every day and one has to drag the kids away from school when it was time to leave, which reflected the success of the set up. We wanted Anirud to have a great start and he had it there. On that count, we owe a lot to Beehive.
Anniversary day was an opportunity for him to meet some of his old friends, all of his teachers and more than that, he simply enjoyed being there. They had arranged for a magic show, a pony ride and few other stuff as well. There was a corner where they had kept photographs of all the children who attended that school. If you call Anirud’s feeling as excited when he spotted his photograph in the pile, think of the people who are now in the university and did exactly that. They even made the kids paint on the masks and kept them as souvenirs (having seen the results, I don’t envy them at all for keeping the masks! :)) On the whole, a great day out for us despite the hot weather and the added bonus was the feel good factor.
Putting the Tractor to good use
Pony Ride (rather, it is a Pony Walk)
Catching up with friends
Checking up the ‘Alumni’ Photographs
When we got a call from Anirud’s school reporting that he got slightly injured at school, we expected him to make a big fuss about it and prepared ourselves for a whiny evening ahead. He had some visible minor bruises on his forehead and on his nose. Apparently, he was swinging on his chair upside down (not sure how he did that, but I didn’t want him to give a demo) and fell down with his face ending up in the ground. For some reason, he was quite pleased with himself for trying out these monkey tricks. We neither offered any consolation, nor any piece of advice – as we know that it will be as effective as telling a monkey not to jump / climb. In short, we ignored it. We do think that he is a very cautious bloke who is quite aware about the general hazards. So, we let him be what he is and face up these little things so that he’ll learn to come out of it or live with it in due course.
Few weeks ago, Anirud hurt his elbow when he fell down on a hard surface as a result of running fast. I kept telling him about the times we fell down as kids and told him not to whine about it. Most of the kids raised in India in 80s will definitely have dozens of scars to show off from the numerous misadventures they had. Those were the times when helmets and kneecaps were unheard of. Going by the current day standards, we definitely lived in an age when toys could possibly kill you with no rounded corners or moulded plastic or warnings or disclaimers or whatever.
Personally, I feel that as parents we are very protective of our kid. It is not only the time, but also the country you live in shapes your mindset to a certain extent. A 5-year old living in India will probably be exposed to more realistic trips and falls, than his/her counterpart living in the West. I don’t want any kid let alone Anirud to get hurt unnecessarily, but just trying not to get in to an extremely protective mode. Where do we draw the line?
P.S.: While typing this post, I bumped on this website (http://freerangekids.wordpress.com) and came across the term ‘Helicopter Parent’, which is explained as “It’s a sort of disparaging term for parents who believe their child is so vulnerable — to injury, to teasing, to disease and disappointment — that they have to sort of hover (like a helicopter) over the child, ready to swoop in if anything remotely ‘bad’ happens.”
அப்பா, கொஞ்ச நேரம் முன்னாடி மைண்ட்ல ஒரு வீடியோ பார்த்தேன். அது படமெல்லாம் கிடையாது. நீயெல்லாம் அதை பார்க்க முடியாது. நானும் தூங்கும் போது தான் பார்க்க முடியும். கண்ண ஒப்பன் பண்ண, அந்த வீடியோ ஸ்டாப் ஆயிடும். டிவி-எல்லாம் கிடையாது. அது மைண்ட் வீடியோ.
‘Appa, I saw a video in my mind sometime back. It wasn’t a movie. You can’t see that as well. Even I can see it only when I am asleep. If I open my eyes, that video will stop. There was no TV etc. It was a mind video.’
Well… that was how Anirud explained his dream.