The dictionary meaning of Yin and Yang stands as two complementary forces that come into play to balance and create something bigger and better. When I began writing this school admission series, I had mentioned the protagonist as my 3.6 yr old son Tuneer along with Sr. T and me as the supporting cast. Through the last twenty-four posts, I have written about our experiences and emotions related to this phase. Today’s post is dedicated to those who bring equilibrium to Tuneer’s life filling it with joy, love, affection and protect him from those who might be the reasons for stress and undue pressure (yeah me!). Introducing his lifelines –
1. Babai aka his father –
I have an exclusive post dedicated to this man and his adorable equation with the kid. Yet I need to reiterate the fact that the boy had the maximum escapade from my scoldings because of his father. According to him, there’s nothing that the boy could do wrong. It didn’t matter if the boy refused to answer any question, showed no interest in picking up English or denied his knowledge about my name. His standard reply to any exasperated statement of mine went as “But he’s such a sweet boy”. The apple of his eye is getting so sweet every day (read naughty) that I’ve started fearing for our enhanced blood sugar level (read stress).
2. Dadai aka his paternal grandfather –
Until Tuneer was born, I had always been a favorite of my father-in-law. He was more supportive of my decisions than those that were taken by his son. Equations changed between us the day he became a grandfather. His unconditional support towards his only grandson exceeds all limits. He refuses to listen to anything against the ‘innocent’ child. He was the toughest to convince about the interview preparation. As per him, any school that considered English speaking skills to be a selection criterion for nursery admissions deserves to be trashed by every single parent. According to him the fact that Tuneer could answer his name and recite a rhyme should have convinced every interviewer about his intelligence level. No amount of argument could convince him otherwise.
3. Dadan aka his maternal grandfather –
Growing up, I was always a hardcore Daddy’s girl. While he gave wings to my dreams through his unconditional support, there were certain things that went beyond his tolerance. For instance, he disapproved of my habit of scribbling on anyone’s hands. If I ever tried to draw a line on his hands, I would be at the receiving end of a long lecture on the harmful effects of lead in ink. Surprisingly, there were no such restrictions imposed on the boy. Tuneer could draw a star, a smiley or just such random lines on his hands and arms and get an encouraging smile in return (Talk about being biased). While he motivated the boy to learn new things, he also sheltered him whenever I went overboard with the preparation. If I ever expressed annoyance at the boy’s lack of willingness to co-operate, embarrassing stories from my own childhood were dug up. I still get advice on how raising a child requires a lot of patience and tolerance (two qualities that I lack).
3. Dinna aka his paternal grandma –
I call her the most balanced individual in our family. She’s a hardcore supporter of her grandson but she also has a diplomatic way of handling my emotions. Whenever a situation arises that puts the boy at risk of my wrath, she magically appears out of the thin air and manages to distract me with completely irrelevant topics like the menu for lunch or the launch of new books by my favorite authors. By the time we get to the end of this conversation, she would have disappeared without a trace with the boy in tow. For six months, if I ever complained to her about the boy troubling me with the interview preparations, she always had an answer like “That is true but he’s such a darling. Very rarely children turn out to be as sensible as Tuneer. That is why you don’t even need to scold him” (emphasizing the fact that he didn’t deserve to be scolded). During the interview season, she was the one absorbing most of the stress in the household.
4. Mummum aka his mother –
If the above three could be labeled as his yang, I could definitely be termed as his yin. As the less favored, more strict, and most stressed parent, my role in his life ranged from chiding, making him brush his teeth, feeding him something beyond poori and chocolates and coaxing him to drink water (generally meant to be spilled on the floor). For the past six months, it also included pleading with him to learn a few English words, open his mouth in the interview and not contribute to the creation of further embarrassing situations. The stress shifted from getting selected in a school of our choice to his settling down in the new school. Two weeks back, I was worried about him crying at the gate of his school. In the middle of last week, he suddenly grew up and agreed to the idea of going with his batchmates in a pool car all by himself. While there was a sense of relief and happiness, I couldn’t help but shed tears at the thought of my boy growing up so fast (conflict of emotions is a reality of parenthood).
We survived through this turbulent phase of admissions with the boy occupying the spotlight while his supporting cast acted as his yan and yang. In this month-long recap series, I ended up feeling amused at my own reactions (or rather overreactions) to situations related to the admission processes. I had always been under the impression that I was way too chilled out to be bothered by such mundane things in life.
Strangely, motherhood seemed to have brought out traits in me that I never thought existed in reality. And that brings us to the last person of the family who is not physically present with us anymore but lives in my heart and soul forever. -Tuneer’s Dimma aka his late maternal grandmother. Growing up, I had eventually turned out to be a difficult and headstrong child. Whenever Ma failed in convincing me to act as per her wish, she retorted to the emotional route through her statements as, “You will realize the emotions of a mother only after you become one.” I ended up laughing at them most of the times. I am quite sure that if anyone had enjoyed this phase of roller coaster ride for the past six months, it would have definitely been my mother sitting in her heavenly abode and having a hearty laugh whispering ‘I told you so’.
This piece happens to be the second last post in this series. I hope you had a good time reading this. I will be back with my last post on ‘Z’ tomorrow. You could catch up on reading all the previous posts here.