Blowing hot, blowing cold
It's vacation time and my daughter's looking out for kids to play with and in the process throwing up a lot of extreme revelations. One day she will be repelled by a child, the next day he or she will be her best friend. Sometimes she will shriek and scream on seeing a kid, at other times she will be hugging and kissing her. It's amazing how children go through varied states of affection in a matter of a day.
As a mother, I am extremely concerned about the fact that my daughter doesn't have too many kids in the building to play with. The ones who live here are not her age and even if they play with her they are too aggressive in their games as their age demands and rightfully so. School days are easier with fixed routines and the playtime at school with kids more than compensates for the lack of it at home. But it really does get challenging when they are at home all day during vacations. Parents with single kids often face this problem. Either they have to take time off to play with their kids or run to enroll them in summer camps or activity classes in a bid to keep them busy.
Ironically the parents need these activity classes and summer camps more for their own sanity as compared to the kids. The two or three hours the kids are away give the parents some breather from the high energy involvement the kids demand. Little surprise then that such camps and activity classes are mushrooming in every lane and bylane of the city and are turning out to be great money spinners for the ones running it. I hardly blame the parents. With little or no family support and with high stress jobs killing every couple there is hardly any energy, time or inclination to get involved with the kids playtime. Going out of town is becoming costlier by the day and if you are taking your maid along just so that you get some time off, it means an extra ticket, accommodation and food expenses. Phew!
I gave up two projects in April so that I could be with my daughter during my holidays without having the pressure of work and deadlines. So my day now has me working in the mornings, playing with Sia and her friends from mid morning to afternoon and then in the evenings take her to a local park or a new mall or a friends place. I have stocked up my home with a lot of painting and craft supplies and this ensures a continuous stream of kids in the house. Once they are in I just distribute the supplies amongst all of them. While each one of them unleashes their creativity on paper, I read or hover around or do my own thing. Sometimes I teach them how to make a paper bird or fish hangings or read them a story or we just put on some music and dance along.
The other day I gave them plain cards and asked them to decorate it as they wanted and take them home to their mothers. Secretly I felt happy that I was instrumental in bringing smiles on some mother's faces that day as they read what their kids had written for them. From 'I love u mamma' to 'my cute momy' to 'my mother's my best friend', it was heartening to see them all work so dedicatedly. This is what I call constructive fun. I keep them busy for at least a couple of hours without having to run around with them or worrying about their safety. At the most they could put their fingers full of glue in their mouths. Well, that much I can live with!
To confess honestly, I am having a whale of a time myself with the kids. Somewhere I am discovering the kid within me. Tell me, when was the last time you cut, paste and stuck paper to make some great art work? Time you started with your kid.
Till my next post. You can write to me at http://mammamania.in
More about Shabia Ravi Walia
Shabia Ravi Walia is a media professional for the past 15 years. Dabbling in production, creative direction and writing, she has equal experience in both genres of fiction and non fiction. Over the years she has worked on various reputed non fiction shows like Surabhi and The Good Food Guide for Siddharth Kak, Movers and Shakers on Sony TV and well known fiction shows like Siddhanth, Kumkum, Ek thi Rajkumari, Mile Jab Hum Tum etc. She was amongst the core team who launched Sahara Samay in Mumbai for Sahara Television.
She satiates her love for writing by providing content for websites, copywriting for corporate films and penning down short skits and poems.
Currently Shabia works in the content division of a leading television channel. However her biggest achievement till date as considered by her, is the birth of her baby Sia and penning down the experiences associated with it in the form of her bestselling book 'Mamma Mania.' When Shabia is not rustling up stories, she loves to whip up a storm in the kitchen or put on her dancing shoes and burn the dance floor. Shabia lives in Mumbai with her husband Ravi and daughter Sia and is already planning her 2nd book.