Time for everything !

I am one of those type of people who like to predict their life’s path.¬† I do like to follow where the wind takes me, but being the control freak that I am, I direct my ship to where I want it to go ūüôā

Even in my wildest dreams I never thought my life would end up like what it is now.

A friend once told me that she hates her life because she never had any fun. She is the only daughter of over protective parents, never even talked to boys while in school, got married as soon as she finished her degree and had a child before the first wedding anniversary. On her 40th birthday, she woke up thinking what a wasted life it had been. I did try to explain to her that going to a pub in my teens¬†doesn’t make my life better than hers. But she disagreed.

I had Yaya at the age of 27 and at 31 I had three kids. My life revolved around my children. I gave up my career and became a stay at home mother, while my classmates who barely scrapped through med school became consultants and senior consultants. I never went out with my friends (difficulty to find a child minder) or did anything that could be considered fun for me. The highlight of those years were taking my kids for play house Disney live shows! Meanwhile my favourite bands had concerts in KL and I couldn’t even afford the tickets. ( Technically I could, but the guilt of spending on me instead of the kids was too much, plus having to leave them with a stranger, so I¬†convinced myself that I simply couldn’t afford the tickets) A lot of times, I felt I was a candle burning itself out.¬† There was no hope, there was no light at the end of the tunnel..

Today, I find myself with plenty of time for myself. I can go out for clubbing, go for the music concerts or even spend time with my friends..I no longer have to worry about my kids. They are capable of taking care of themselves.

End of this month, I am going for a two weeks dive holidays with a friend. Kids have outright refused having a child minder to stay with them ( ie Thelma). They tell me that they are old enough to be on their own. I am a bit worried, but my neighbours and friends have promised to have an eye on them.

Finding myself after all these years..It feels so liberating !

Btw, taking two weeks off in the middle of a semester is nothing but madness..I need to finish all my assignments before leaving because when I come back they are all due. So the next few weeks, blog updates will be irregularly irregular.

Stress

This happened when I was doing 3rd year MBBS.

I had thought some chapters for Pathology part 2¬†were not part of the internal exam and on that morning of the exam, I found out that my assumptions were wrong. Obviously I am¬†the very last second learner and had spent the time previous evening reading the chapters I thought was important.¬†I had not even¬†read those chapters and didn’t have time to read them before the exam. I was in full panic, especially because this was part 2 and the Patho prof was a real pain in the posterior. As I was walking to the exam hall, I met a senior who wished me ” good luck” and I told her¬† “no point, I didn’t study half of what is required and I am going to fail ” and she looked at me, smiled and said ” You will be fine, just read the question and give your best shot”

I don’t think I can explain how that one comment changed my life. The way she said ‘you will be fine’ made an enormous difference to me. I felt I could write this exam even though I haven’t studied anything and still pass. ( which I did)

Couple of weeks ago, Yaya had her first oral presentation. It is part of her assessment, recorded and sent to IB head quarters to be marked by an external examiner. Obviously she was very stressed. My cousin was home and in the morning when Yaya came to the kitchen, She said ” Mom, I am so worried, I don’t think I can do it” and my darling cousin¬†told her¬†” This is how life is going to be, you will have plenty of speeches to give if you are going to be a diplomat, so better get used to it”

Fortunately my cousin stopped with that and didn’t proceed to do much more damage.

When a child is stressed, the last thing they want to hear from you is about what they are going to face in the future. They are worried about the present.. the event of that day.. not the speech they have to give 100 years from now.

I told Yaya ” you will be FINE, go and give your best shot”

I made her Mexican breakfast, talked to her about the hot guys in my class etc ( anything that can distract her and stop her from getting worked up)

She did the presentation very well, not because she as a diplomat she will have to give a lot of speeches in the future, but because she believed in herself.

Bit by bit

This semester I am taking 5 subjects ( instead of the standard 4) and am bogged down with assignments. I only had 3 hours free last Wednesday and decided to celebrate Onam with my best friend.

I told him, it is going to be informal and he can come after 12 pm. I thought that would give me enough time to come back home¬†after my morning lecture, quickly¬†cook, shower and wear a saree ūüôā

Exactly at 12 noon, I heard the door bell ring ! I was half way through wearing my saree !!  ( I hate my clothes smelling of food and will never wear my work clothes while cooking)

I opened the door to find my best friend standing outside looking all formal ! His idea of informal lunch is not wearing a necktie.

He handed me¬† a box of chocolate chip cookies. ( He likes to have the darkest, strongest coffee and a chocolate chip¬†cookie¬†after lunch and it doesn’t matter that I always have chocolate cookies at home. He likes chocolate chip cookies and he brings them.)

“Have you read any of Pancol’s books?” He asked

“Nope” I said.

“Good” he replied and took off the price tag from the book he bought me. ( he kept the price tag on , just in case I read the book, he can exchange for something I haven’t read)

I cooked Avial, dhal, beans thoran, pachadi, all without chillies or garlic, because he can’t ( rather won’t) eat chillies and hate garlic.

I had already set the table before he arrived and didn’t place the flatware, hoping that he would at least¬†attempt to eat the food with his fingers. He noticed the missing flatware, went to get it from the cutlery drawer and offered me a fork and spoon!

He loved the chilli and garlic less avial and lentils.

I had thought of making payasam, but I know he doesn’t like anything too sweet, too coconutty..too dairy.. He likes coffee and cookie..and that is what we had.

And that was that.

I don’t think I ever imagined celebrating onam like this. Each year that goes by, I am losing a bit of myself.

Hmmm

I want Yaya to get her P license before leaving home and part of the requirement to get a P plate is 100 hours of on the road driving.

I drive a very very very expensive car and I am terrified of her wrecking it and I don’t see the point in buying a second car and pay the road tax etc¬†when none of the kids are planning to stay back in Australia after grade 12. So we were in a stalemate with her getting her 100 hours on the road..

Finally my best friend stepped in..

He asked me ” Don’t you think your car is the safest car for your child to be in if she get in to an accident?” ( It is true, My car is reputed to be one of the safest and fastest cars in the world)

I had never thought that way. Until my¬†friend asked that question, I was more worried about the value of my car depreciating if Yaya wrecks it. But, isn’t my child’s life more important than my car’s value?

And so, I let Yaya drive my car. On the first day, we went through the roundabout ( instead of around it), second day, I saw the cracks in the crash barrier, because she was only a mm away from hitting it. She gets really angry and scream at me when I don’t give according to her ‘Clear instructions’. ( I beg to differ, however I understand that she is really stressed, so I don’t get angry with her when she yells at me ūüôā¬† )

Yaya hates roundabouts and freaks out every time we are at a roundabout that is near my home and we can’t avoid it.. Again my¬†friend stepped in and told her “roundabouts are designed to give you time to think, you can go round and round without having to worry about where you should turn, so chill” and the next day Yaya was perfectly fine. ( I had never even thought about telling her things like that)

And now, I sit with her every morning as she drives to school. She is confident and is a very good driver..

But there are plenty of bitches and bastards on the road. She needs to turn left in to the main road after leaving our street and few days ago, someone honked at her because she didn’t turn quick enough.. ( obviously there is an L plate at the back of the car and the driver behind us could see that).. Some of the women drivers are really aggressive and cut in front of the car when Yaya is driving..One even refused to give way when Yaya was trying to merge in to the highway..

I have always been mindful about L plate drivers because I remember how terrified I used to be when I learned to drive and it is really sad to see that not many people remembers their L plate days and act like bullies..

Sex: Part 4

Today, the question you need to ask yourself is this.

“If my child is in any kind of trouble, who is the first person my child will approach for help?”

If the answer is not you or that you are not sure, then you are doing something wrong.

The first person my children will go to if they are in any kind of trouble is me. They know that I will always be there and they know that I will not judge them.

I have not had the same relationship with my mother, like my children have with me. My mother¬†will be last person on earth I would go to for help. She is condescending, take the high road all the time and has a knack of making me feel terribly guilty. When you are in trouble, you are already miserable, you don’t need your mother to make it worst for you.

Now, imagine a 17 year old girl, worried that she is pregnant and has no one to talk to. Her world is falling apart, time is running out and she really doesn’t know who to ask for help. She considered running away from home. I am glad, I was there for her.. Does your child have someone like me to lean on? Where would they find the support?

You as a parent has the responsibility to talk to your child about contraception. You can live in your perfect world and assume that your child is not going to have sex till she gets married or take action and protect them from unwanted pregnancies and STD’s. All it requires is a trip to the clinic. I prefer the combination of Mirena ( hormone releasing IUD http://www.fpnsw.org.au/751201_8.html)¬†and Condom as the ideal contraceptive for teens.

Talk to your children.

Sex: Part 3

Ideally this should have been the first post, but I didn’t get around to doing it the right order.

Today we will talk about private body parts.

My sisters and I were taught that out private body parts were called “ichichi”, a colloquial term for something dirty.¬†Chunjimani was¬†the name for boy’s private parts. It was very clear from the tone my mother used that these two items were really dirty and we should never have¬†anything to do with it.

I thought I had cancer when I attained menarche and to think that I grew up in a family of women and have an older sister and that no one bothered to tell me about periods.

Recently I read a blog post about a child asking his mother girls use diapers like baby, why?and the mother replied, I will tell you later.

The thing is, periods is a biological function, why should you be ashamed of something that every women on earth goes through for the most part of their life? we live in the 21st century, isn’t it time we accepted that periods are something normal instead of as something unclean and should be hidden from everyone? Why shouldn’t you explain to your child, women get periods every month. It is nature’s way of getting the womb ready to have the baby.( and yes, it might lead to more questions as kids are naturally curious and I am sure you as an adult can explain to them simple facts of life)

It is very important that children learn the correct name for their body parts. Girls have vulva and vagina and boys have penis and testicles. It is not something dirty. If you start talking to them openly from the time they are little, one, your children learn to trust you, two, you can talk to them about sex openly, three you protect them from getting them sexually abused. (http://www.theadvocacycenter.org/adv_abuseprevent.html)

I have taught the correct name of the body parts to my children from the time they were little. I taught them what is really private ( that other’s shouldn’t be touching) by telling them that the area that is covered by their bathing suit is really private.

It is also very important that children know what is the right touch. Trust me, there are way too many touchy feely uncles on the¬†family front¬†who are waiting to cop a feel. The only person who can protect your child from getting abused is you. And when you can’t have your eyes on your children 24/7, you need to empower them. You do that by being honest with your kids. teach them about their body. Teach them the right words.(http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/parenting/the-serious-education-of-teaching-kids-correct-names-for-genitals/article23313079/)

Sex.

At the age of 19, my grandmother was confined to the four walls of her house because she was a widow. She was forced¬† to wear Suriani Kristiani’s equivalent of widow’s weeds. No one cared if she had any needs. After all it was her fault that her husband died and left her a widow and therefor she had to atone for her sins for the rest of her life. The society didn’t think she had a right to have physical intimacy with a man after the death of her husband.

We have progressed so far the past 50 years, at least widows can remarry now, but still we carry the prejudices associated with sex.

Many believe they ought to keep themselves pure for their husband. What is the guarantee that¬† both of you would be physically compatible? Do you want to spend the rest of your life living with a man who is not the kind of person you thought he¬†would be ( especially in bed)? Don’t you as a woman have a right to have a partner who is compatible with you?

Years ago, I received a mail from a lady who went against her parents wishes and married a guy whom she met online. She wanted to give herself as a gift to her husband and found out that he isn’t what she thought he would be. She mentioned, if only I had tried to have sex with him before marriage, then at least I would have known what I am getting myself in to. She doesn’t want a divorce because that would be telling her parents that they were right all along, that this guy wouldn’t suit her.

Many also get confused with sex and intimacy. Sex is nothing but fornication. Two people who wanted to copulate have sex with each other. It doesn’t normally involve intimacy. Sex and intimacy are mutually exclusive. You can have sex without any intimacy and you can have intimacy without sex. Intimacy is where you feel emotionally close to your partner, where you share your dreams, your fears etc. There is a deeper connection. I don’t think a teenager would even know what is intimacy, but telling them that they are not matured to have sex because they don’t know what intimacy is pointless, mostly because they are only interested in sex as an act..not thinking of the rest of their life with the guy with whom they are having sex with.

Am I advocating pre-marital sex? I believe each to their own. I will not be the parent who would prevent my child from having sex if¬†any of them¬†wanted to after the age of consent because I don’t think having sex is a crime. As a parent, it is my responsibility to teach my children about the importance of safe sex, not getting sexually abused and the power of No.

Sex

This is going to be a long post, I won’t have time to write it all in one day, so please bear with me the next few days ( I am doing 5 subjects this semester and it is a nightmare).

Few days ago, I received a frantic call from one of Yaya’s school mate. It was an unusual call mostly because I don’t really talk to this girl and she doesn’t move in Yaya’s circle of friends.

According to the girl who called me, she was told by another friend of hers who happens to be Yaya’s¬†good friend¬†that the best person to talk to is me and that is why she¬†was phoning me.

Gist of the matter is she is really worried that she is pregnant and wanted to know her options. ( She wanted to know if she could still take morning after pills or where should go for getting help)

There are so many issues associated with this event.

Let us start with the first in my list.

Sex.

Age of consent in Australia is 16. At the age of 16, you are legally allowed to have sex. (https://aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/age-consent-laws)

I understand it is very hard for Indian/Asian parents to accept that sex is nothing but a biological function. In the Indian context, every man wants to marry a virgin and every mother and father wants their daughter to be pure¬†so every man out there will admire the hard work they put in to keep their daughter pure and what a blessed union it would bring forth.¬†( Have you ever wondered why the reverse is not true? That parents of boys are not really interested in protecting their son’s virginity?)

I am not sure where this classification of simple act called sex in to pre and post marital sex and making premarital sex in to a villain came about. A string of flowers around the neck or whatever you consider legal is all that is required to normalise the sexual act between a man and a woman.

Why should we stop two consenting adults from having sex? Why should the entire society take such an active interest in preventing pre-marital sex?

Interesting set of articles can be found here

https://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/tag/premarital-sex/

Stalking !

I have set my FB privacy to ‘only friends of my friends can send me FB invite’ and few months ago this dude whom I met in 1988 during a med conference¬†sent me an FB invite. He is from a different med college and we had no common friends and he added a classmate of mine, so he could send me an invite.

I ignored it. I didn’t decline the request, if you decline then he can send invite again and again till you block him. So I thought I would just ignore the invite.

I didn’t hear from the dude for a while and I thought all will be well and all of a sudden he started sending me messages to me( it goes to the ‘other’ folder)¬†and I still ignored it. I contemplated many times if I should block him, but I felt if I blocked, he is only going to be more persistent.

Then he send me photos of his boobs.

I am not sure what exactly was the thought process behind someone sending me the photos of his boobs? That his boobs are god’s gift to mankind and that it should somehow turn me on? The first thought that came to my mind when I saw the boobs was ” gynecomastia” (http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gynecomastia/basics/definition/con-20028710) I showed the photos to my partner and he too agreed this was¬†a serious case of gynecomastia and together we felt the best thing to do is to block this guy. Which I did.

Ever since I have received 7 friend requests from 7 fake accounts. I block one, he creates another one..It is pretty easy to spot fake accounts. Date they started the account, the type of photos that clearly shows it has been lifted from google images..

But what is really disheartening is the  only reason I get FB request from this guy is because one of my classmates will accept him as a friend..

Why do people accept FB requests from people whom they don’t even know?

I am pretty annoyed.