Feeling guilty

Am dealing with terrible feelings of guilt and incompetence. A more experienced mother would have handled the situation better. Yesterday Sakshi decided to behave like a brat from the moment she woke up to about an hour before she went to bed at night. I started out being the good, mature, sensible mum who tried to talk and understand. But by evening my nerves where shredded and my reaction to her behaviour degenerated into the usual mum-mode. End result – I scared her into good behaviour. She is now behaving like an angel. And I know… I know… kids need to be told off when they behave badly. And I do. But it doesn’t mean that I don’t feel terrible about it. It is wrong for a 38-year-old to take on a 5-year-old. It is an unfair battle and no adult is geared for it. As a parent we may get our way, but there is no pleasure in it.

As I watched her sleep yesterday, I made a fresh round of promises to her innocently sleeping figure – to be more understanding, more patient, listen longer without interrupting, and try and see the real, deeply buried cause behind her temper. Yesterday it was a combination of need to sleep and the after-effects of moving into a new home.

This morning when she woke up, she was at her cuddly, sweetest best. I have of course forgiven her for her tantrums. She has also forgiven me for yelling at her yesterday (I know for sure. She just imitated how a baby polar bear cuddles up the mamma polar bear. She wouldn’t do that if she were still angry. And I really don’t think 5-year-olds know how to hang on to anger overnight.) Now all I need to do is forgive myself.

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Invest in the big ‘O’ (or why onions make us cry)

A warning at the very outset – this is a serious piece. It is hard to take a humorous approach when there is a slight chance of onions costing more than gold!

Just read a newspaper article that says the world is on the brink of social unrest over food prices. That is a scary thought. And it hits closer home as compared to a headline that reads that the world is fighting over land or oil. That is distant. But food prices easily translate into breakfast, lunch and dinner. And rising food prices easily translates into our increasing inability to feed our families the way we want to. And I, like every other mum on earth, don’t like that.

The warning signs have been there for some time. But the recent disturbing increase in the prices of onions just brought the issue home real hard. Imagine a future where onions cost more than a gallon of petrol, and vegetable and fruit shop vouchers would be given to newlyweds as wedding gifts!

Just yesterday as I was walking towards the car at the IKEA car park, I mentioned to my sister-in-law, that it is amazing how much easier life has been made by modern amenities. We then spoke about how, while life is easier, it has also made us softer. Case in point – how many of us know anything about electrical wiring or how to saw wood or treat a sore throat with a home remedy? It is so much easier to pick up the mobile and dial the electrician or carpenter or plumber’ number or just head to the pharmacy. I remember my father connecting wires during rainy October nights and making sure that the power comes back. My husband and I would opt to light candles and wait for the electrician. Maybe things are more complicated now and I am guilty of romanticizing the past, but the increasing food prices crisis makes me strongly aware of the fact that as an individual I am not capable of fending for my family if the system fails. And that is a crazy scary thought.

Maybe city dwellers should get together and start their own organic co-operatives. Get together, buy a plot and grow veggies and fruits (yes, that would mean educating and arming ourselves with some basic information, skills and tools). Learn to cherish the soil. Literally return to our roots.