Of angels with spiked tails

I get the best thoughts when I am about to fall asleep, on the pot, or brushing my teeth. Well the percentage of good thoughts while brushing my teeth is a little lower than the other two because I am usually almost touching my nose to the mirror to observe my new pimples popping up. But sometimes some thoughts do takeover and I totally forget to brush one quadrant.

So, while brushing my teeth today, in case you totally did not get the point of my previous sentences, I saw Moo’s texts about a kid at the bus stop who was asking her certain things. I hit a thought. It was about kids and their seemingly innocent aura. I just laughed to myself and pushed the thought aside. Then, at work, I opened the Red Handed Blog and saw her post on kids and their innocence ! I was like, OMG OMG! I have been thinking the same exact thing! So Red Handed, I am not trying to steal your post, I promise, but just building on it and agreeing with you while vigorously nodding my head. Same goes for you, Moo, and if you would be kind enough to note down that experience(I do think the mom should have said something), it will be awesome.

So, for the record, people consider that children are innocent angels and can do absolutely no wrong. They represent innocence and purity. In the painting of the world, if adults are all black and gray, children are that pristine, virginal coat of white. These people are so mistaken. I was not innocent for the record. All my antics are firmly etched in my memories, partly because I always knew what I was doing and partly because relatives or family friends love telling how I made their life utterly difficult in gatherings and functions. I also remember most of the kids from my childhood who left me, sort of, scarred , by a number of methods. Plus, my niece is 6 years old, and though I love her, sometimes I just want to send her to her room and make her stand facing a wall. These are the best punishments I could think of to remain within legalities.

When I was a kid, I was attracted to shiny new things. They might or might not have belonged to me. Every time I would go to my three Mausi(Aunts)’s place in Jaipur or in Ratlam or to my grandparents’, at the end of the trip, my mom and they would search my bag. They would find at least 6-7 items that belonged to them and had gotten lost during my stay there. The items were miscellaneous. Hand held mirrors, combs, one earring, coin purses, even a single chess piece. They knew that I had magpie like tendencies even back then. Now my inner magpie just hoards her own stuff. Ticket stubs, chocolate wrapper, a stone picked up from some beach, stickers that Moo gave me while leaving India, gift wrapper from the scrap book made by Ani and co. and so on.

I was a master at lying. Somehow, lying came very easily to me rather than the truth. Even if it was totally not needed, I would just tell weird stories to my teacher, or my relatives. When I was 4, I went to all my neighbors and invited them for my birthday celebrations in the evening. They all came with gifts. My very bewildered mom told them that my birthday was in September, a good 4 months away. Well, I just wanted some gifts! I got grounded instead. I have lied about sickness to get away from going to school or from studying. It used to work exceptionally well at school specially during the subjects periods that I hated. And during PT, when I would lie about having breathing issues. I hated PT. Yeah, so I was a scheming kid if you can call that and I was perfectly aware of what I was doing. Also, I remember that I used to pray to God to never give me a sibling otherwise I would have lost my ‘favorite kid’ status. I also remember instigating some friends that their parents loved their younger sibling more. I was 5. Innocence be damned.

When I see my niece, I see a sweet innocent child only when she is asleep. When she wakes up, I see a Miranda Priestly(The Devil Wears Prada) or a Naomi Campbell type of diva in her. When she was a year and half or two, she would ask for something at home or in a store by pointing. If ignored, she would make her eyes really wide and make a grrrrr sound. If ignored or told that she couldn’t have it, she would clench her fists and jaws, and would make her body tremble in a very scary way. Like, shaking in anger. It was very freaky to watch that! She knew how to use her crying, or yelling, to get what she wanted. My cousin brother had this ‘no one should scold her and use only love’ approach to her. He was forced to swallow that back and had to begin grounding her, but alas, the damage was done. When they moved to Chicago, the same continued. I have witnessed her full blown temper tantrums where she would scream and cry and then cough really bad and that is enough for my cousin and his wife to totally melt down and grant her wishes. I used to think that such tantrums happen when you get older and you know how to use it. But I did not realize that kids know it too. Of course it is another story when a child is sleepy, or hungry or tired. Then, crying is a natural mechanism to deal with it. There is a difference when a kid is being a kid and when the kid knows how to use it to their advantage.

On a more serious note, comes bullying. Kids can be extremely cruel. I got my glasses when I was in the 1st grade and I became the butt of jokes and pranks. I have done a very detailed post on my experiences as a part of a healing process. I don’t want to repeat all that. But to summarize, kids as young as 3 years are known to ostracize certain kids. They are known to call other kids dark/fat/ugly/poor, etc. A lot of children with disabilities have it rough at school. My mom is a tuition teacher and she sees her 4-5 year old students be very cruel. Specially the prettier girls are extremely mean to others. It starts from childhood it seems. :-/

I read a very interesting article today that shows how recess can be extremely cruel for immigrant kids. The article mentions how 1st and 2nd grade peers can be li’l devils in disguise and how intervention of an adult/teacher can put a positive spin on this whole situation. Do give this eatocracy article a read.

Here, I realize the importance of mature parenting. It is very important for parents to go beyond mollycoddling and believing that they are just kids and it is a part of their cuteness or innocence. They have to try and catch these traits young in order to help the child suppress such behavior and to help them distinguish between right or wrong. They are never ’too young for all that’. Some of the blogs I read, are of some parents who are being totally normal, but still exceptional. I am not going to preach about how parents should do it, because I have no experience in that matter, except from observation.

So all in all, hey, you who thinks children are sweet angels and a gift from the heaven? Bwahahahahahahahahaha!

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22 thoughts on “Of angels with spiked tails

  1. I don’t really think kids are sweet angels or the other extreme of devil’s incarnate. Basically I think kids are simply just kids. I used to look at badly behaved toddlers and think the parents were at fault. Now I feel silly for thinking that when my own 23 month old interrupts an adult conversation every minute for attention or declares loudly in the middle of the park that sh doesn’t want to share. Yes, we do discipline – more than other parents from what I have seen, I read a sh**load of parenting books on raising a strong willed child and we do lots of other parenting crap in order to instill good behavior at this age.But despite that we have bad moments where we are those parents. Bullying is altogether another matter. Yes, kids can be cruel and heartless and I won’t even say they don’t know any better. I believe every child is taught from a young age not to hurt others and despite that bullies exist of course. But

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  2. Ughhh was cut short..the closing statement really was the same as the start really – kids are merely kids! As good parents you can discipline , you can teach your child not to hurt others, teach them that manipulation is a powerful tool and is not to be used and that it does not work, and finally treat them how to combat bullies by standing up for themselves. But that’s really about all you can do!

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    • I agree with you that kids are being kids. My parents did not spoil me, and I learnt responsibility for my actions from them at a very early age. But I had this streak in me for which they were not responsible at all! To expect a parent to make a kid like a saint is asking for too much. Some kids are by nature calm while some are mischievous to the core. But parents and teachers really need to observe and help such kids out to teach them what they are really doing. I read about how you take away Bandar’s toys and I found that a fabulous idea. Like, stating a point. I am sure she is going to learn from that. Same with R’s mom, where she has to tackle her daughter’s daycare and school stuff. The article that I mentioned, had students poking fun at another student’s lunch. But the way the teacher handled it by turning it into a cultural education is exemplary. But of course, you can’t do everything. Each person’s or a child’s mind works in a different way.
      PS : It totally annoys me when I see a kid being really really bratty, especially to the sibling and the parent goes without batting an eyelash, ‘chota hai abhi’….

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      • The eatocracy article itself deserves a post on its own. It made me wonder a little. The examples cited were all a good 25-30 years ago when American children were not maybe exposed to a wide variety of international foods as they are now. Also I guess it depends on where you live in th e US. Bandar is not the only vegetarian kid in her class in NYC and all the kids loved rolling, making and eating rotis when my mom visited. Her teachers keep asking me for the recipes for desi things she takes in her lunchbox too. I can’t help thinking it would be different in Texas or somewhere else other than pockets of the west and east coast. Guess we just have to get our desi kids to get comfy with their identity. I myself hesitate wearing a Salwar on the subway leave alone a sari. So it probably means I have to get comfortable with who I am first before trying to teach her. Food for thought indeed!

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        • I am so so so glad Bandar has a lovely teacher and classmates. You are right about region to region. I dont expect this in the southern belt. California, NYC, Chicago are more open minded i think. Even i dont wear salwar kurta! I wore it anyways only for vivas and some rare occasion in college. I used to feel like it is reserved only for functions and not daily wear. Although i still would just decide to wear it and then I would feel awkward in class. Hard to explain! But I am very fond of salwars and lehengas and sarees. I wear a salwar kurta to work here only on diwali 😛 I miss the whole shebang that goes with it. Bindi n bangles n jhumkis.

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  3. Lol… I have amazing patience with kids.. My sisters who hand over their notorious 6 year olds to me always say, how can I manage them so well.. Well, it just works well with me. I love observing them, the way they react to things, their psychology, etc.. So all in all, I love kids, unless they are very arrogant. Anything that comes with innocence is most welcome..even lying.. 🙂

    and you were a rockstar eh.. 😀 picking up things from your hosts’ place.. LOL 😀 such cuteness..my gawd!! 🙂

    I don’t know what kinda parent I’d turn.. but kids are so much fun.. (this statement is subjected to change based of experience) .. 😛

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  4. No. Only babies are innocent. Once they start talking,they are no more innocent!
    Back in school,when my cousin was visiting us,he gasped at my pinafore length and asked me if I am going to wear that outside. He was 4,then! This cousin’s elder brother ( who must be 10 now) makes parodies from Bollywood songs that make me wonder who even told them all those things 😛 Oh. And when I ask them to sing the same thing in front of any elder,they do not. Because they know what they are doing 😛 Both are spoilt brats!

    I am an expert at lying too. I can easily make excuses to anyone. Including my parents 😛

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  5. yepp i know what and how it is being bulliyed spent so many years in despair.. although i think it is good as it changed me a lot ..

    kids can really be bad and very cruel..

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    • It had changed me in a very bad away. It took a lot of effort to step out of that shell i had. There are still times i lapse back into it, which people think of moodiness and all. I am glad to get out of it.

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      • I understand.. well I know .. in my case i became a rebel when i got to college and was constantly in trouble with the administration and police and all .. 🙂 thankfully by the time i got to second year i as getting to be “NORMAL” ..

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  7. My my! I was suchhh a gooood kid!
    Did you know? I never bunked a single day at school from 1st to 10th grade. 11th and 12th I might have once or twice, or I might have not, not sure!

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