Last week ( two weeks after school reopened), my youngest lost her pencil case which held all the new pencils, pens etc I bought for the new school year as well as her mobile phone and gocard. She had bought a fashionable, albeit small school bag and it wasn’t big enough to carry her new laptop, her Bible ( aka Spanish dictionary ) etc. I told her to carry the laptop in her hand, the advice she ignored and as she walked back from school, her pencil case fell out. She borrowed money from her friend for the bus fare and when I came back home, she mentioned very casually ” mom, I lost my pencil case, you will need to get me a new gocard and a phone”

I was really annoyed and angry with her, because if she had listened to me and carried her laptop in her hand, her pencil case wouldn’t have fallen out. But more than anything what bothered me was the fact that, she wasn’t afraid to tell me that she lost her phone, her gocard etc. When I was growing up, if I had lost something, then I would have been so worked up to tell my mother.. I can still feel the fear and trepidations of facing my mother’s wrath.

I scolded my youngest, she apologized and told me, “I didn’t set out deliberately to lose my stuff Mom, but I am sorry. I also went to the school office and reported to the lost and found” and off she went to watch the cartoon on telly.

I was so annoyed because all those things cost a lot of money and the fact that she didn’t get worked up like I used to.. As I made my tea, I wondered if I am really  being a hopeless mom because I felt I was much more careful with my things for I really didn’t want to face my mother’s wrath.

The very next day, my son came to me to tell me that ” I am sorry mom, but I lost my lunch box  and I don’t know where and how I lost it” ( Brand new thermos lunch box)

How can you not know where you kept your lunch box?

I scolded him for being irresponsible.

I want my children to learn to be responsible, but I don’t know if I should use fear tactics to make them learn responsibilities…

Good Morning

It is actually a beautiful morning here. After 4 days of incessant rain and strong wind, this morning appears to be like a dream, as if the past 4 days didn’t happen.

Friday morning, I had a feeling that the weather might turn nasty and told my children to stay home. Yaya had maths exam and photo day at school. According to her, when she becomes famous, the senior photo of her is what will be ( first) in the public domain and she wants to make sure it is the best. If you missed photo day, then you have to go to the school office and they take your photo and it wouldn’t be professional. She was also not willing to skip her maths test. ( I did wonder briefly, if all is well with my child)

My son felt, sitting at home all day is too boring and decided that he too wants to go to school.

“If my siblings are not staying back at home, I am not going to stay at home alone”, said the youngest and she too went to school.

There is only one road connecting my home to rest of the Brisbane and it lies in the flood plains. As I left my home, I noticed my neighbour who is the local SES ( state emergency services) chief had the SES boat parked outside his house and I knew the weather is going to be bad.

By mid morning, my phone started buzzing with txt messages from the city council warning me about the flood danger and I decided to take leave, went to my children’s school and picked them up. ( Yaya managed to get her photo done and sit for the maths exam by then)

Every time, there is a flood event, TV news will be bombarded with the message  “if it is flooded, forget it” ie, don’t even attempt to drive through flood waters. By the time I reached near my home, there was water over the road.  I had no choice but to drive over the flooded road with my children chanting “if it is flooded forget it, Mom you are going to kill all of us”

We got home and I found that the backyard is flooded.. One of the drains was blocked and I asked my children to help me. They did, by jumping up and down and spraying each other with water and then they started to play tag ( tiggy) and ran around the house and then inside the house. Then they made paper boats and floated it down the monsoon drain and fought with each other as to who really was the winner. When the paper boats soaked and disintegrated, they decided to float old leaves..

Meanwhile, I cleaned the drain, cleaned the wet floor inside the house and made myself a cup of tea. They came back after a while dripping wet and walked through the clean dry floor .. I mopped the dried the floor again. An hour later, I heard the brother ask the sisters, “Shall we go out and play again” and they did.. again, I mopped and dried the floor.

I was annoyed with them for making me work like this.

But you see, this unbridled joy of being a child, my children will lose that bit by bit when the reality of life starts to make its way. I will not be able to give these moments again and so I cherished hearing their laughter and watched the flames of life glowing in their eyes..and heated a wheat pack for my back.


In the middle of flood warnings.

My children are at school and I am at work. Later this evening, I may or may not be able to get back home..I don’t even know if I will be able to pick up the kids from school.

It is raining very heavy and the road near my home is already flooded..

I am terrified.

Colour in?

I read this article

(http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/parenting/angela-mollard-we-need-to-treat-kids-like-kids/story-fnet085v-1227220331236) and I thought I would write about my son’s best friend D. They have been friends since grade 5. He often comes over to my house every other weekend  and spends the night.

He is a mediocre student, barely scraping through with lots of B’s and C’s. In Grade 5 and 6, he spent most of his free time on his BMX bike. Grade 7, he quit BMX and decided to do longboarding. He was on his skateboard even at midnight ( to the extent that his neighbour called the cops because he was making too much din on his skateboard ! ). Grade 8, he decided to give up longboarding and picked up surfing. Middle of grade 9, he went for a dinner with his parents to their friend’s house and they owned a piano.  After dinner, the host played couple of oldies on the Piano and D asked if he could have a go. The boy who never touched a piano key until that moment or learned an instrument could play every song the host played. On the way back, he asked his parents if they would buy him a piano. They talked to him about how he always gives up whatever activity he starts and explained to him that buying a piano is not cheap. But he insisted and they bought him a Piano. 6 months after he got the piano, he won the local talent competition beating kids who have been learning to play the piano for more than 10 years.

Some mornings, I walk by his house and can hear him playing the piano. I have heard about children born with incredible talents, but never met anyone until D started playing the piano. He is the best pianist I have ever met. When you see him playing the piano, It is like his fingers just move on their own volition.

What I really liked about his parents was that, they gave him a wonderful childhood. They didn’t go after him because his grades weren’t good. They didn’t stop him from doing what he really wanted to do, for they knew eventually he will find his own niche..

You don’t need to colour in your children’s lives..they will do that on their own..

Slow dancing.

I had the most awesome Valentines day and I didn’t receive flowers, card or a gift.

25 years ago, I never thought I would write the above sentence and think my life is awesome. Then Valentines day was theatrical and true love was equated to red roses, chocolates, a sappy romantic card and a candle light dinner..

Now, love is about lazing in the bed while your partner makes you a cup of Kusmi tea ( even though he hates Kusmi tea), fighting for the newspaper as to who gets to read the main section first ( he wins, because he went out to collect the paper from the driveway) and spending time together while doing the mundane things like hanging the laundry, weeding the garden etc.. In other words Valentines day was just like another day and I didn’t think it was a crime not to have made a big deal out of it.

My children on the other hand had a great time. Yaya received plenty of rose flowers and few are from secret admirers. My son bought flowers for his girl and baby went to watch a movie with her friends.. They think that I am a dinosaur for not getting all excited for Valentines day. I didn’t say anything because I know 25 years from now, their children will think the same way..

As you grow older, you will learn that life is a slow dance..and its gentle rhythm sooths your soul..

Those one liners..

My son is away on school camp and I miss him.

No one is playing A new error by moderat, his favourite music at the moment and my house is so quiet.

But more than anything I miss his quick retorts. He has a knack in making me laugh by the things that he says. Dinner time is the worst  and I was feeling a bit gloomy yesterday..

My youngest asked me ” Mom what time is it?” and I replied ” same time as yesterday”

“Very funny” she said and told her sister ” Mom is so annoying”

“Annoying?” I asked ” I never annoy anyone, I am an angel” I replied.

Without missing a beat she replied

“So is Lucifer Mom”

I haven’t laughed this much in a while.

Away until Monday.

cookies and paddock

I am sure you must be wondering what is the relationship between cookies and paddock.

Middle of last year, my local Utility company was doing sewarage drain upgrade near my home.  One evening it was raining heavy ( and very cold) and my youngest decided to bake cookies for the workers.  She said she just wanted to bring a ray of sunshine in to their life and baked two dozen chocolate chip cookies for them.

To be honest, I wasn’t very happy with my youngest. Although I try to not be like my mother, there are still parts of her upbringing residing in me. I felt very uncomfortable thinking that perhaps the workers might look at my child’s action differently.. A part of my knew there was nothing wrong in baking cookies for someone ( strangers) but there was another part of me, that would have been happier if she didn’t do that and just minded her own business..

It made the workers very happy and every now and then if I was working in the garden in the evening, they would stop by and say hello.

The paddock behind my house is a slope. ( my son had a water slide birthday party in that area when he was in grade 6 ) and I told one of the workers while discussing about the future plans for my garden that I am planning to get the paddock levelled. I wanted an orchard and thought it would look better if the area is levelled. But getting the fill etc are time consuming, not to mention the cost involved.. The next day when I came back from work, I noticed a mound of fill in the paddock and I went to check it out. The supervisor of the project saw me, came over and said they are going to level the paddock for me because no one ever baked them chocolate cookies.. ( the fill was from the tunnel they were constructing to lay the new pipes).

I offered to pay for the work they were doing. They refused. They finished the work few weeks ago ( while I was away ) and I must say, paddock looks awesome.

One good turn always leads to another


Last November, a friend of mine and his wife came for a visit to Brisbane from Vancouver. They are planning to move to Australia because there is too much drugs available to kids in Vancouver and they want to protect their children.

Last weekend 4 of Yaya’s classmates got suspended for 20 days for smoking weed during school hours. ( They went to the nearest park to smoke, so got caught for truanting as well as smoking weed)

Two of the kids are children of my friends and I have often given them lifts to their home. Usual stereotype about drug users..bad parenting, too much money etc are not involved here and the kids were aware of the consequences of their actions. It was just a stupid decision without any forethoughts..

A friend once told me about a well behaved boy in her neighbourhood from a well to do family. He had a sleepover at a friend’s house, which was near to a railway yard. At night the boys decided to be a bit naughty. They jumped over the fence and tried to unhitch a wagon at the station and the station master tried to stop them. Somehow the wagon rolled over the station master and killed him and the boy went to jail on murder charge.. A moment of stupidity and a life time to pay.

As a parent, I am very much aware that I can’t raise my children in a bubble. They are bound to make stupid mistakes..but a lot of which you can hopefully  prevent if you talk to your children. Moving from one country to another in the hope of protecting your children from drugs is probably not the answer.

When Yaya told me about the incident, she said “Mom, they were really stupid, if only they had thought of their future..this suspension will be marked on their final marks card and it will really affect their chances of getting admission to Uni”

She knows that because I took her for campus visit to most of the Unis in US and how competitive the whole process is. And I have often told them about their school records and why it is important to have a squeaky clean record.

I am still heart broken for the kids who got suspended..