Parenting Acrobatics

(Picture: Raunak during an outing)

All the excitement of getting some really cool furniture for your room back fired last weekend. I have a nagging feeling that Ranjit and I are spoiling you. We live in a 2 bedroom apartment which means grandma and you need to share a bedroom which was exactly what all of us wanted, but with the bunk beds and other matching stuff in the room, you think that it is 'your' room. After our family prayer time last night, you asked grandma to stay elsewhere as there is no place for her in out house anymore now that one bedroom belongs to us and the other to you. I saw Ranjit get concerned for the first time as we have been seeing an increase in this kind of behavior. Though you are still just a baby, and most of what you says is based on innocent logic, Ranjit and I felt it is time we do something about it.

Last night, I got some stickers that said 'N' and 'R' and played a game with you where I asked you to stick 'N' (N for nanamma which means grandma in Telugu) stickers on is grandma's stuff and 'R' stickers on your stuff (I was supervising where you pasted the stickers. Important not to let the child take too many independent decisions.) The end result was that there were 'N' stickers on one full wall where grandma's wardrobe is and 'R' stickers on the other wall where your wardrobe and study table is. The lower bed was labeled 'N' and the upper one 'R'. Here is a shortened and translated version of how it all ended

Ranjit: Hey what are all these stickers
Raunak: We are playing a game. I am sticking these labels so it is easy for nanamma to know where her stuff is
Ranjit: So whose room is this?
Raunak: This part is nanamma's and this part is mine
Ranjit: So the room is both yours and nanamma's is it?
Raunak: Yes. This part is nanammas and this part is mine
Ranjit: Will you let nanamma use your bed once a while?
Raunak: Yes
Ranjit: and your study table?
Raunak: Yes
Kalpana: Whose room is this again?
Raunak: Mine and nanamma's. This part is nanammas and this part is mine.
Ranjit and Kalpana: (phew!)
Kalpana: Now lets play another game. Lets see who will take off the labels from the furniture first. I will remove 'N's and you remove 'R's
Raunak: Papa is in my team in that case. Papa, quick. Mummy will win otherwise.....

Advice to whoever is reading this post: Don't make all this sound like all problems with children have simple solutions. They don't. I was lucky this time. If Rauank was not in a mood to play the game, or lost patience half way, or worse still, if he misunderstood the moral of the story, all the hard work would have gone down the drain and the chance of one of this happening is quite high.

Parenting a 5 year old, smart, hyperactive, heavily pampered, only child, is a lot of fun :)