Being the youngest sibling

My younger son was mad at me-

"You could have taken ME out of your tummy FIRST!"

"I wanted to be a big brother, but now I will ALWAYS be the younger 
one!"

"Put Bhaiya (big brother) back into your tummy and get ME out first." he demanded.

I said, "Your honor! Being your mom I enjoy some influence but I 
cannot decide the sequence of my babies."

Disappointed, he asked, "Okay, so in how many years can I catch up to Bhaiya (big brother)?"

"Never hon, for he will always be two years ahead of you. When you 
grow, he grows as well," I explained.

It was a bitter realization for my little munchkin that age is one area where he could not compete and win. His big brother was a born winner (literally) in this contest.

Being the youngest sibling myself I could identify with my kid’s feelings. To be born first gives some advantage to the older siblings, although being the littlest in the family undoubtedly has its benefits.

walking-black-amp-white-child-kid

So what does it mean to be the youngest?

  1. The elder siblings consider you as one of their standby entertainment sources. When they are bored, you are an easy target for playing pranks, picking up a fight or teasing.
  2. You think that to be a whistle-blower is one of your duties towards your parents, and you are super good at it. It is virtually impossible for the elder siblings to keep any secrets from you, the little devil, and this is one of the reasons that you are your parent’s favorite.
  3. You end up with excellent negotiation skills as the elder siblings use you to put forward their requests in front of the parents. Whether it is a demand for a dog or to go out for movies or even stay late for the night, they know who they need to use as their bait to influence the powerheads/parents. I remember doing it for my sisters and more often than not, I did not disappoint them.
  4. Being the youngest, you have few pictures of your childhood. By the time you came into this world, your parents lose interest in capturing the baby’s firsts or just about anything in photos. You cherish your childhood photos that even have a part of your face in them.
  5. You become an errand person for the others in the family-‘Go fetch an apple from the fridge.’ ‘Get me a bowl from the kitchen, or a cup of water and so on….’,and this task delegation never ends. I was an  ‘in-house courier service’ for my family with no real money as salary. Good news that now the youngest can enjoy some free time with the advent of errand outsourcing apps. (http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/04/concierge-app-economy.html.)
  6. You end up being responsible. It is because your elder siblings have already made some crazy mistakes, landed in trouble and you tend to learn from their mistakes.
  7. You enjoy more freedom and trust from your parents, partly because you are more responsible but mainly because they are tired of putting restrictions. By the time it is your turn, parents mellow down, and nothing surprises them anymore.
  8. You are the last one to be born in the family and the last one to leave home for better opportunities. It means that you are also bound to deal with your parent’s empty nest syndrome. When it the time for you to leave your parents are confronted with the reality that their house will be truly empty now.
  9. You become used to your elder siblings looking out for you. It makes you dependent and relaxed as someone always has your back.
  10. You are exposed to things sooner than your friends. Thanks to your older siblings you’ve already taken a peek at the TV shows/movies and learned some swearing words that many of your peers did not.
  11. You realize that your identity to the world is just not you, but as someone’s younger sister or brother. The teachers in school know you like that, so do the neighbors and the society in general. So you find it challenging to establish your individuality.
  12. You will always be a baby of the family. People think twice before giving you responsibilities as you always remain little in their eyes.
  13. It is difficult for you to establish your fashion sense amidst the constant supply of hands me down from your older siblings.
  14. There are always too many people telling you dos and don’t as they care about you. This overwhelming mentoring turns you into a cautious person and also may sometimes confuse you in decision making.

Though each of the birth order comes with its own pros and cons, being the youngest is not bad at all! I loved it (most of the times) being cuddled and always having someone to count on. That is my take and someday I hope my little boy would realize this too as he finds a best friend in his big bro.

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7 ways your children can accidently injure you

armor.png

⇒THIS IS ME! 

No, I am not going back to the medieval times nor is this my halloween costume! It is my new mom suit that would keep me safe from any future mom injuries. Believe me; little kids can be dangerous!

As much as you focus on children safety, you need to give some attention to keeping your bodies protected from these mini loaded weapons. I am a tad late to opt for the armored suit, but I have learned a lesson after enduring multiple accidental mom injuries. The sudden movements and head turn of the little ones can result in several accidental parental boo boos. Here is how-

Sleeping with an acrobat

Sleeping with your little one is a double edged sword. You enjoy the snuggles and the cheat days of co-sleeping when you can take in the smell of your baby’s hair like the fragrance of a new car. It is one of the most pleasurable moments but also dangerous one too.

Co-Sleeping

A sleeping child on a bed is always on the move like an acrobat. (Ours were!) While you hold on to the edge of the bed, your little monster overtakes the entire bed. As if this is not enough, one kick to your chin or a belly punch by those moving fists and feet make you want to scream with your guts out. But you do not, for the fear (and bountiful love in your heart) of waking up your sweet angel.

The micro swords

NEVER fail to trim those soft, harmless looking nails of your sweet pea. These nails disguised as micro swords are super dangerous! A scratch from their nails burns like a paper cut and can even harm your eyes. So, disarm your cute ninja’s nail weapon by regular clipping.

The magical hug moment

You adore the commercials wherein a kid runs towards an adult, waiting with an open arms, resulting into a perfect lovable hug. (Awww! Priceless moment!) What you do not know is that this perfect hug or nose to nose kisses requires some choreography moves. If not done right the tiny head of your preschooler might end up feeling like a massive jab underneath your belly, or your nose (whatever comes in their way).

Movie nights

Prepare for the consequences of watching the movies/TV shows like Kung Fu Panda and Ninja Go . The children might feel inspired by these shows, so wear your helmet and safety goggles for few days after watching the flick. Even better keep a shield at an arm’s reach to protect yourself from the moving objects coming at you.

Video Games

Stay 15 feet away from the children playing console video games. KEEP DISTANCE else you will end up getting smacked into your face with the remote they pretend to be using as a sword or boxing fists.

Dangling Distractions

The dangling shiny things are like an open invitation for the kids to grab them into their tight grip that is difficult to let go.  I have been guilty of doing this to my mom when I was a cute little harmless baby or so she thought before I grabbed her sparkling earrings and pulled them towards me. She had to get her ear lobe stitched. (I am sorry mom!)

Hot liquid

Imagine you are enjoying a me moment with a cup of chai and suddenly you are hit by a storm, soaking your dress in the hot liquid. It takes you few moments to realize that the storm was caused by your munchkin’s ball that suddenly came to you with the voice that followed, “Mommy catch!”

That is the moment you realize that your reflexes are not up to par, and you think of enrolling yourselves in one of the martial arts classes (along with your kid) to tune up your reflexes. After all, you need to be ready to dodge, catch and duck at the right times.

Do these injuries hurt? Oh hell yes! But the resilience to get through those painful moments depends considerably on who/what caused the injury. In this case these accidents are caused by your innocent babies so you take them in a stride, and wear them as parental badges of honor. You tend to be quiet about these incidents also because somewhere you are guilty of not taking proper caution to prevent them.

My two cents, get a mommy armor suit and enjoy a safe parenthood!

 

Photo credit: Mark Turnauckas via Foter.com / CC BY

Photo credit: madmrmox via Foter.com / CC BY

Photo credit:: Roxana Soare (http://drawforjoy.com/draw-for-you/)

 

Mom’s Resumé

One day while picking my kids from school, I met a parent who asked me “Do you work? I said, “Yes, I am a stay at home mom.” My response generated a puzzled look on her face.

I want to proclaim that contrary to the common belief, stay at home does not busyMomequate to leisure; it actually means working overtime. It also means that I reside in my workplace, thus, I end up working all the time, sometimes in my sleep too.

To further elucidate my theory, I decided to make a Mom’s resumé and share it with the world.

Objective

To raise children to become kind, responsible and independent adults.

Summary

I jumped into the Mom job with no past experience or training, and it all started when I swallowed a watermelon or so I was told when I carried my first baby; and then the other. I was unsure about my new job responsibilities until the blessed day came, and the nurse handed me our first newborn all wrapped up in a cute bundle. It was at that moment, I knew, I was hired for life!

I have the ability to function in a chaotic work environment while nurturing my demanding and lovable clients (my kids).

Roles and Responsibilities

Following are the roles and skills I have acquired during the mom job, and the list is somewhat dynamic like in any other resumé.

Chef- I can cook and serve multiple dishes before hell breaks loose; from an easy peasy Mac & Cheese to elaborate soups and entrée.

Housecleaner– I am all the time cleaning, even when I cook, I am cleaning. Actually, cleaning should be my middle name! And, yet when I am done (am I ever?) I still see the mess around – wonder what happened to all that cleaning.

Laundry Services– I make sure that the never-ending loads of clothes are washed in time, and are folded eventually, and few lucky ones get to the stage of ironing.

Reader– I read aloud to keep my little audience engaged until their eyes are ready to pop out of excitement during the day, and become droopy at bedtime.

Sleep Fairy -I tuck the kids in their beds and kiss them goodnight. Then I check for monsters under their beds and wave my magic wand to sprinkle sleep dust in their room. I sing in my not so melodious voice, which my kids find very comforting; and they gradually snooze.

Security Officer –   After my kids are asleep, I start my night shift and often take rounds to check on them. I tuck them back in their blankets as their tiny hand or leg extends uncovered, and kiss their foreheads, again!

Alteration Tailor– From Halloween costumes to the little stuff toys that live with my kids; I have learned to mend and alter them to their satisfaction.

Doctor and Nurse On-Call —  I manage multi-level medical severity; some boo-boos heal with a kiss or a cuddle, sometimes just a tickle; while some require a band-aid or medication. For more serious ones, I shuttle the children to the outside doctor.

Short sleeper – I am not blessed with the special mutated gene, but I can go without much sleep for multiple nights until the sleep debt becomes too heavy to carry, and then I cave in. This skill is required to care when my children fall sick. WARNING- Use of this skill makes me sooooooo grumpy!

motherEducator– From instilling everyday life morals, values, and faith, to preparing them for school is part of my job. As an in-house educator, I work in partnership with the school teachers for the welfare and optimal growth of my children.

Coach– I introduce my kids to manners and etiquettes, and this is a skill that needs some more practice. When my kids get an ice-cream or a candy they forget to say ‘thank you’; but who needs to hear the words when the twinkle in their eyes says it all?

Event Planner– I plan birthday parties, which includes deciding on the theme, decorations, games, food and the invites. I goof up at times but my kids appreciate the hard work and are cool about the occasional mishaps.

Chauffeur– I shuttle my children to and from swim lessons, soccer classes and play dates, driving safely but sometimes a little fast, to catch up, but still SAFELY.

Mood Enhancer– When my kids feel crabby and blue, I try to elevate their spirits. We perform the following activities together to let the bad air out- baking cookies, silly dancing to a fast tune, tickling and lastly talking about it.

Gardner– I involve my kids in little gardening projects, so they learn to care and nourish. They feel satisfied to see the plant grow or sometimes disappointed when the seed does not sprout.

Personal shopper– I take the kids to shop for their clothes and shoes, or I shop for them, mindful of their preferences. I ensure that the appropriate seasonal clothes are available in their wardrobe.

Bug Control Squad– When encountered with nasty bugs like scorpions, I have the ability to generate a high pitch scream accompanied by few mindless jumps; until the combat comes to an end, as I squish the rascal with a shoe. Bam!!! Gotcha!

Playmate– I try to carve out some time to play with the kids after their school. We play tag, board games or video games.

Boredom Pal– When it is time to include some unstructured free time into the kids routine, I change into this role, gently persuading them to find work they like to do.  After some whining and period of inactivity, they surprise me with their creativity, from making stick figures to playing a tune on the piano and doing pretend plays.

Problem Solver-When both my kids want to play with the same toy or view different TV programs at the same time, I deploy my creative problem-solving skills.

Organizer/travel packer– With multiple travel plans lined up, I pack (or overpack mostly) for my kids to make sure that they have enough of clothes and entertainment items for the trip.

With my husband’s help, I get through the days and nights as we share the joys and difficulties of parenting , but I am in awe to think about the hard work the ‘corporate moms’ put in, trying to balance their careers and raising the kids responsibilities.

And I cannot even fathom the challenges and dilemma single parents face being the sole breadwinner and also a caretaker!

I juggle numerous roles in a day, and at times fantasize of having magical Mumtasticmultiple arms, so that I can sit and read while my other arms extend to make food, fold laundry, help with homework, write a blog and play ‘chutes and ladder’ with my children. After all, I am a working mom! Don’t get me wrong, though, for I love my mom job and I am not looking for a change…EVER; for when I am glum, those little arms around my neck get my happy back.

Photo credit: Wendy Longo photography / Foter.com / CC BY-ND

Photo credit: Postmemes.com / Foter.com / CC BY

Photo credit: junaidrao / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Photo credit: Paul de Gregorio / Foter.com / CC BY-NC