It is 9 PM on a school night. I peep into Sid’s room where peace and quiet has reigned beyond safety limits.
A quiet room with both my children inside it is the perfect recipe for disaster.
Disaster this time is a room that had transformed itself into a kabadiwala’s (junk dealer) warehouse with my distressed-looking son in its midst. Little Princess is creating another piece of art that should perfect the warehouse look.
“My Hindi project that has to be submitted tomorrow is missing,” he manages between tears.
When my phone had gone missing, I had spent the morning combing every corner of our home. The husband and Sid had managed to track it down to my handbag using iCloud.
It is a pity that iCloud will not help him track his project that had been painstakingly completed but misplaced due to his disorganized ways.
“You can start over. NOW.,” I say in my wagging-finger firm tone.
“But I remember keeping it with the Five-Star in the clear folder,” he explains.
“You have 12 hours left. Start over. Now. Now. Now,” I repeat like a broken tape recorder.
His tear-stained, sleepy eyes tug at my heart strings but this will be his lesson in organizing his ways.
Studies have shown that nagging mothers raise successful children and my son will gladly agree than I will be stiff competition for my Indian counterparts in the ‘nagging’ category.
The mention of Five-Star gets Little Princesses attention.
“I want Five Star. Now,” she concludes.
“A Five Star after your teeth have been brushed clean can turn creepy crawly germs into party animals that will spend the night feasting and digging wells in them,” I explain in my sweetest tone.
Nagging variations are improvised based on the situation, mood, age and place of occurrence.
“I want….,” she cries as I sense the beginning of a tantrum.
“Lets go find teddy and put you both to sleep,” I conclude firm on my decision as she seems to be on hers.
As authoritative parents who are willing to understand and reason with our children while firmly adhering to positive reinforcement and discipline, ‘No’ is a word in our parental dictionary that we sometimes use without actually saying the word.
Sid brandishes his marked and completed Hindi project the next evening.
“I did it better the second time,” he rejoices.
As of now, I know I have rented a space in his head with my firm tone and wagging-finger Mommy look for at least the next few weeks until he gets back to his disorganized ways.
“Self help is the best help,”,” I explain as he makes a hasty exit sparing himself the self-help lecture that I wish to impart.
I make a mental note to learn the use of iCloud in tracing my phone that does disappearing acts when I need it the most or my son will team up with the husband and I might find myself at the receiving end of the self-help lecture!