Problems in the life of a 7 year-old..


I found my son Vyas, making a lot of fuss to wake-up early and get ready for school in-time. I found this strange because he enjoys school, has a lot of friends, performs well, and the teachers have a good word to say about him. But for his (in)famous handwriting of course!

Last week, I really got worked up and was almost on the verge of delivering a tight slap. Better sense prevailed and I counseled myself saying, ‘this too shall pass’ ! And decided that I must have a one-to-one ‘sitting’ with him after getting back from work. Cannot allow the mornings to be ruined by fretting over his attitude.

It was evening, and I was back from work. Called the little man saying I wanted to have some serious chat with him. He sulked as expected, but knew there wasn’t a choice, and he came and here’s the conversation without any tinkering:

Me: Kanna, am very disappointed with your behavior. Am also feeling very very sad about the tantrums you threw this morning.

Son: Tchh…. Okay… now what? (which implied that he was open for discussion:-))

Me: Do you have any problems? I mean why do you find it difficult to get ready to school. Don’t you like school?

Son: I feel lazy to get up (Children now know to express themselves clearly).

Me: Is that all or do you have any problems?

Son: Yes, I have (nodding his head like an adult about to make a serious confession).

Me: What is it (appalled)?

Son: There is so much writing to do. I hate to write that much.

Me: (This is easy i think) Which subjects do you find tough to write?

Son: Hindi. I don’t like it. So much to write. Meanings, words and all that. And homework too (which by the way is just once or twice in a week).

Me: Oh! Okay. Other subjects or problems?

Son: Yeah, Tamil too is tough. So much to learn.

Me: Ummm… Okay, what about English, EVS, Math etc?

Son: EVS too is tough. There is lots and lots to write. Not much in English and Math. I like Computers lab very much.

Me: That is all? What about your teachers? Do you have any problems talking to them, understanding what they say etc? Do they hit?

(You can actually erect temples for the teachers in his school!)

Son: No, no problem. But there is just one more thing (says with a serious be-spectacled face made more serious by that frown and a big gap in his mouth yet to be filled by the new front teeth).

Me: What is it (glad that the list was coming to an end)?

Son: Classroom in the 2nd floor. Have to climb 2 floors and there are thousands of steps. So difficult! That’s it.

Me: Okay. Am sorry I did not know you had so many problems. You should have told me instead of creating a scene every morning. Now I know what to do. Am talking to your teacher the 1st thing on Monday morning about the classroom. I’ll request her to seat you in the ground floor, either alone or with the pre-kg children. You’ll not find it tiring. So, that problem is solved.

Son: (Hastily) Hey, don’t do that. I can’t sit with the smaller children! No way!

Me: No Kanna. That is the only solution. I don’t want you to suffer, you see? Your teacher will gladly agree.

Son: No, please don’t.

Me: Okay, so agree to climb 2 floors without a fuss? That is no longer a problem?

Son: Not a problem.

Me: Okay, I’ll talk to your Hindi and Tamil Teachers.

Son: What will you tell them?

Me: That they should not give you any writing work. They can just stop with vowels and consonants. No words, sentences, meanings. No tests, no grades, no marks, nothing. The rest of the class can move on without you. You need not learn anything if you cannot write. Very simple. Teachers will agree.

Son: No, don’t do that.

Me: No, I must do something about it. I cannot put up with your indifference every morning. The teachers will not mind and there is nothing wrong in not wanting to learn. Appa and I will not mind it as long as you do not have any problems.

Son: Okay okay. I’ll get ready without a fuss. Alright?

Me: Sure? Will you hop out of the bed as soon as I call you?

Son: Will you let me roll over in the bed for 5 mins atleast after I wake up?

Me: Done. Take 10 mins. The next time you behave like this, I’ll not waste my time yelling at you because I know your ‘problems’. I’ll approach your teacher straight.

Son: Ufff!! (shrugs his shoulders, almost conveying how impossible his mom is and moves off relieved).

Started without much ado this morning and a happy mom am I! Err… did I say it too soon?

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YAAA…WW..NING


I promised something for our office mag. Opened an editor and decided to pen ‘something’. Looked around the cubicle absently, all the while thinking on what to write. And lo! it struck. I decided to write on ‘yawning’. No friends! None of my cubicle mates inspired me to write on this subject. Such inspirations come from the self!  But if someone reading this feels that he/she was the source of inspiration, I would definitely not grudge credit!

Cursing myself for feeling so sleepy and not doing any ‘good’ thinking, I was also yawning. Why the hell am I yawning away to glory? Why am I actually not here, and nowhere else too? I was convinced that a cup of hot tea will surely do the trick (the fact being, that I was in a mood to have a tea, and did not care whether I was yawning or not!). I fetched myself a tea, and gulp.!.. it went! But my yawning din’nt! Saw a couple of faces looking at me, no, at my tirelessly yawning mouth! They seemed to be on the verge of ‘it’.  Told myself, “No, I must not yawn”! And guess what? I did not know when I stopped yawning, but I did!

And after a while, started to wonder why I was yawning in the first place? The obvious reason-sleeplessness.  But that was not true. Had a good sleep the previous night. Certainly not fatigue or sickness.Was it boredom then? Maybe. Will that cause yawning? Not sure. But there must be some reason, right? Whom to consult for help? Oh! How can I forget my wonderful friend, a friend in need!

I opened a browser, and connected to http://www.google.com, for, the latter is ‘one’ of my friends when I’m in need! And guess what? All the links seemed to shout the answer- ‘Yawning is contagious’! Interesting! There is actually a forum discussing this ‘behaviour’!!!

Having decided to prod a little more into the details, I visited a few links. All the sites make a definitive statement on yawning being contagious. But no one knows why we actually yawn. After some effort (also to suppress yaaawwing), some scientific explanation in a site read thus:
“The brain has less need of cerebrospinal fluid to nourish the cells or to transport brain chemicals that are used in the process of processing comprehension of the stimulation…but we do, dream and move in our sleep, enough to keep CSF from becoming stagnant, yet, not enough to make the system (cerebrospinal fluid) work nominally…blah…blah.. ”
Did that make any sense to you. Well, that was a bouncer to me!! Told you, I was also busy suppressing…

I’ve seen a few other mammals yawn too. Dogs, cats, lions. Not sure if the reptiles, amphibians etc do too! Difficult to imagine a snake yawning! Needs more imagining and googling! I’m already beginning to yawn again. So, leave the rest to you. That is, if you are interested!
If you are also yawning after reading this. I read something to this effect, that is, reading on ‘yawning’ can make you yawn!

Happy yaaawning….