The stubborn Taurean

The last time I believed in sunsigns I was 16 and in luuurve and desperately turning to Linda Goodman for proof that my Aries boyfriend and I were going to ride off into the sunset. Fortunately, with the end of the relationship I gave up all belief and didn’t really give it much thought.

When the Brat was born on 05.05.05, the world oohed over the date and then each person without fail, pointed out that he’s going to be a stubborn child. I smiled and let it go.

A more even tempered, sunshiney child than the Brat I’d never met. But then that’s because the first couple of years were spent just going with the flow. He didn’t have any need to test his bull-headedness. I was a totally besotted mother, he was the first child in the family and everyone just worshipped the ground beneath his ugly little toes.

Over the years he’s grown more stubborn and I’ve always heard that God only sends you the child that is right for you. What I don’t know is if he sent the Brat the mother that is right for him. I am rather brutal and impatient. So while other parents find ways to ‘deal’ with their child. I just yell and get frustrated. Okay that’s not true, I do often try mind games, but I don’t always have the patience to do that.

The latest test of patience was the Brat going for the school fancy dress as a French Chef. He had two lines to say and he just refused to say them. He’d purse his lips and say ‘No. I don’t want to say. You and dada are teaching me such terrible (!) things.’

The teacher called up and complained that he refused to say the lines. We were at a total loss. I don’t think it’s a big deal if a child doesnt say his lines at 3.5 – it’s about having fun, I figured and not every child is meant for the stage. But the drama didn’t end because the teacher insisted that he had to participate and the OA and I went mad saying the line day in and day out. Soon the Bean was saying his lines, the maid was saying them, the cook was saying them – but the Brat stubbornly refused to say them.

We tried everything and finally picked up the Ratatouille DVD. I promised him I’d put on a new cartoon about a chef if he said his line. It worked – he rattled it off in a second while I watched with a mixture of annoyance and pride. The little swine knew it and was just doing this to drive me to an early grave! And it’s just this way with everything. He stubbornly refuses to do/say things he doesn’t want to, and being such a gentle kid I hate to punish or whack him, but I get tired of bribery (no I don’t see it as motivation). I’d like some obedience and it seems like he’s decided that ain’t happening.

And so it wentΒ  – we’d bribe with something and the Brat would say his line perfectly. I stitched his costume myself. A piece of white fabric stitched on to a shower cap and then tacked on to the Bean’s white lycra hairband. A red checked sash from Bean’s dress used around his neck as the cravat and his white school uniform with my huge apron altered to fit him.

The morning of the show the OA and I were more nervous than he was. We kept drawing on his moustache, he kept wiping it off. We lost patience and yelled. He threw a tantrum and sat on the floor and sulked in the corner where I usually give him time outs.


And so the big day dawned and we went to school with a sulky brat,Β  tear stained cheeks, messed up moustache and much attitude. Once he got to school he was happy of course and skipped off to join his class.

The show started and I suddenly realised how out of our depth the OA and I are. Lots of kids came as social messages – donate blood (a kid dressed in a huge customised outfit shaped like a drop of blood) recycle (a well thought out home made outfit) and a little maid (against child labour). It hadn’t even struck me to do a social message. Another kid came as a thank you card to the school. Yes, they all won!! Damn – why didn’t I think of a social message, never mind that my child wouldn’t really understand it!

The costumes on most of the other kids were disappointing. Mostly because they were store bought and identical – American firemen, blonde fairies and Bob the Builders in readymade outfits from Mothercare. Which makes parents like me wonder why we stay up till 2 am sewing stuff together and ruining our lives and eyes. I think part of the excitement of something like this is to use your imagination.

The Brat learns a lot from the way we put our heads together and come up with an idea, improvise and make a costume out of it. He learns that you don’t always just buy your way to perfection, that there is a pleasure in handmade stuff and that there is a pleasure in creating something yourself.

We’re both working parents but last week the OA and I sat up half the night stapling crepe paper leaves on to a crown and making necklaces and bracelets for the Brat to go as a tree. The teacher called me aside and complimented me on hisΒ  being the best tree outfit and I was happy that it was something we took trouble over, despite our hectic schedules. I’d really like to teach my son to value time together and effort. That not everything comes straight out of a box or a can.

Anyway, the show started and the kids came on and said their lines. Perfectly. The OA and I held our breath. The Brat came on stage and waved to us. Gave us a wide grin and took the mike. And then held the coolness of it against his cheek and smiled some more. The OA and I groaned. And mouthed his lines. The teacher then quietly reminded him that he was there to say his lines. He said them with a wide grin and they were completely unintelligible but the OA and I heaved a sigh of relief. He was certainly not winning any prizes but atleast he’d said it. Two other kids burst into tears upon coming to the stage and yet another one refused to come on stage. Small consolation but atleast our Brat only got so excited seeing us that he forgot, we consoled each other.

The show over, all the kids got little prizes and we took a skippy Brat home. One stubborn moment over. Dreading whatever comes next.


89 thoughts on “The stubborn Taurean

  1. I am a very impatient mom too, and one of your statement “God only sends you the child that is right for you” made me really think hard. I sometimes do feel that I am not a good mother, as its hard for me to deal with the tantrums my almost 6 yr old son throws. But I also know that, if I will give in to his demands and requests all the time..he will become more and more stubborn.

    Me: totally. i agree. we just need to be that little bit more stubborn than them!

  2. well, dressing them in readymade clothes but making them aware of a strong social message should be plenty i hope. cuz i sure as heck aint staying up night stitching white fabric to a shower cap and altering no aprons. i just got no patience for anything like that. different folks, different strokes yeh. i’d much rather spend the extra time talking and reading with my child or working out/exercising/ cooking … dunno … arts and crafts around the house never appealed to me … dunt think they’re that important. wut do we earn for if we can’t buy us the luxury of spending the time on improving our lives by eating better, working out, reading, writing et al …

    Me: Well we’ll agree to disagree here. Because a 3 year old has no understanding of blood donation – so its rather pointless to make them say words they dont mean or understand na? And store bought costumes just mean that the person who can afford the best wins. Which is so unfair. The entire point is creativity. And being age appropriate.

    The pleasure of handmade and of making an effort is something you inculcate early. Most kids imagine an ATM is a magic machine that pops money out to buy everything. I really hope mine dont end up being that way. As for no patience with craft – you think I did this five years ago?! children teach you patience. And they change your world view. Putting together an outfit for your child WITH your child is also important time spent with him/her.

    Of course eating, working, reading and writing are important – we do earn to do those things. but once you have kids – you also earn to give them a better world and I dont believe it comes out of a box or a store. but of course – different strokes etc. I just feel sad for kids who will never know the pleasure of creating something for themselves, however uncreative they are…and who win simply because they could afford to buy expensive costumes

  3. MM!! My sister and me won every damn fancy dress competition we enrolled for only because my coolest parents had the most funkiest of ideas always and they always always always stayed up late in the nights with the four of us putting together our costumes! it’s one of my best childhood memories… someday if you want fancy dress ideas you should ask me… πŸ˜€

    the brat looks adorable in his outfit πŸ˜€ a grumpy chef! aww! lol

    also, sunsigns as much as we hate believing in them… most of the times they r so damn true!

    Me: yeah – thats my point. be creative. whats the point of 5 bob the builders and 6 firemen in identical outfits. and all of them American firemen outfits!!

  4. One of my pet peeves @ school was that during science projects and exhibitions, there was always this one kid who got everything done by a professional (combination of professional welding, carpentry, etc), probably did not even know the concept of the experiment properly, and yet walked away with the prize. Our dingy little cardboard creations would go unnoticed and so would our effort. And the teachers, who exactly knew how much time had been put in by the student, would coo over the dhinchak projects and give them all the attention.

    Glad to see teachers now are appreciating a little effort on part of the students and parents instead of positioning themselves near the glitziest ones for a photo op.

    Me: THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!! That is entirely the point i am trying to make to all the people who charged in to defend those who buy readymade costumes. they are being unfair to my child as well as their own. how hard is that to understand?

  5. now I know how my mom felt raising me – the stubborn Taurean πŸ™‚ But eventually he did say it, didn’t he? πŸ˜‰

  6. When I was around 5-6 years old, my parents stayed up an entire night making a costume for me.

    The idea was for me to go as a bunch of grapes. And they sat up all night blowing enough balloons up Painting them the exact shade of purple. Preparing the little stalk like thing that went on my head.

    And I love them for it. And I remember sitting by my dad watching him bent over, painstakingly paint and glue the balloons on to me. In fact, I think I even had a picture on my blog(insert shameless self promotion here :D)

    And I’m sure the stubborn little Brat, will remember all the effort you put in him for him too.

  7. You have one taurean kid …

    I and my husband – both are taureuns ..
    so u can imagine the bull fight at home πŸ™‚

  8. This is unbelievable! I did the exact same things as a Tauran child at that age. My mother would do her best to teach me maths using candies at hand and I would end up bawling my head off claiming that she was trying to teach me by trick!

    That’s not being stubborn! We’re just intelligent enough not to give in to push.

  9. Can you see me concurring like a maniac?? oh, you can’t:-(

    Coming from a family where my mom made clothes for my dolls,and every birthday was lovingly prepared with home-made snacks AND a home-baked cake (and no freaking bouncy castles!), it makes me balk to see “canned soup” variety of parenting. Though I love canned soup. And Maggi.

    And if I do slave and lose sleep to do the very same things, (I’ll be damned if I’m NOT baking their birthday cakes – and I’m not even good! My cakes deflate like my morale!) its because I remember how special I felt when my parents ALWAYS made that extra
    effort. Like I mattered that much.

    Personal counts. And I can never get enough of seeing my son shine. Pun intended.

  10. Pingback: Topics about Recycle » The stubborn Taurean

  11. @ Roop – I’ll have to disagree too. Art was one of the only things I was really good at as a kid, and both my parents encouraged it. I think the interest grew out of watching my dad’s amazing sketches and my mom’s needlework. There is something about creating something with your own hands that can be amazingly…well…amazing…even for a kid.

    I am horrified with anyone who says art isn’t important, because it reminds me of Mr Holland yelling…”a batch of future citizens who will know how to write, but will not know what to write about…” (Has anyone even seen Mr Holland’s Opus?)

    @ Mad Momma – oh ho ho ho…lot’s more to come. Be prepared. When I learned to talk the first word I learned to say was “no”, and happily decided to use it as a response to absolutely everything. That just became a general philosophy as I grew older. My mother discovered the only thing she could do to stop me from tearing the house down was to play records. Spin some records, and I’d wouldn’t move from in front of the turntable.

  12. I really like you MM but…. YOU GO BRAT!!!
    Brother/sisterhood of the Bulls. ROAR. (moo?)

    As you might remember/know… I am 6/5 and Brat is 5/5 and i can so WELL see why he insists on being stubborn.

    See, please understand, we/Brat/Taureans are NOT being stubborn…we are just being determined. There’s a difference.

    I have no idea on how to bring up kids, but i do have ‘some’ idea on little/big Bulls… Maybe the next fancy dress or whatever else, you ask the Brat what he wants to do? (I know he is 3.5, but bulls are smart babies)

    I was very impressed with his performance. stuck to his guns didn’t he?! YOU GO BRAT!

  13. And MM…. on your footer….left side, under ‘submit content’…is that a SMILEY?! I ‘just’ noticed it and thought there was a smiley-shaped-smudge on my screen.
    How bloody cute is that.

  14. Hey MM – I love the outfit and his sullen look in the corner. Hey remember he won first prize last year for the fisherman outfit – I still remember it so clearly – I thought it was so good. He can’t be good to you every year and say his lines perfectly and make life uninteresting for you! πŸ™‚ You love pain remember! :))
    What about the ones that aren’t so creative! No fancy dress competitions here yet…

    Me: i’m one of those who are not creative noon – you should see gurpreet. she sent her daughter as an alarm clock last year and her son as a bunch of grapes!

  15. His outfit looks so good. Pliss to put up a proper frontal picture.

    (I got a woodwork assignment during my engineering days from a carpenter πŸ˜‰ But, hey, the boys in my class had no interest in me. They helped the other girls though so its only fair I have a professional looking submission. No?)

  16. Soul sister! I am that kind of mom too. The drill sergeant! πŸ™‚ Btw, that was one classy outfit. Could you do us the honour of a proper picture of it please, front view and all!

    Btw, this pic was just beautiful and moody. Nicely done!

  17. You call him stubborn for not obeying you?

    Me: err.. and how would you define stubborn?

    So what if he refused to say those line? It could be because he was simply not interested rt? You can punish him if he misbehaves or refuse to clean up after himself, or refuses to eat right.

    Me: not learning something that is part of a school program is also misbehaviour when there is no good reason for it. And where did I mention that I punished him for it?!

    A parent is supposed to teach the kid what is right and what is wrong, but making him do something because you want something in a certain way is like bullying MM.

    Me: I have no idea what you’re talking about – but education is part of the process. What if he decides not to learn his poems or alphabet and flunks school tomorrow? A Parent is supposed to guide a child until they are old enough to make decisions. At 3.5 i think he has a way to go before he can decide that he wants to drop out of school and not participate.

    I am not WANTING something in a certain way – I am preparing him for something his school has asked for – not training him to be a child suicide bomber you know!! Until a certain age, children must do what they are told – and that is my parenting belief. You’re welcome to let your child run free – but to tell me that i am ‘bullying’ mine – is just rather rude of you. Think about it.

    And to your reply to roop : “so its rather pointless to make them say words they dont mean or understand na”
    What point were you making when u forced him to pose a french chef when he didnt want to? I would rather have the kids choose for themselves what they want to be and what they want to say and leave it to their imagination.

    Me: FORCE him? Are you serious? He’s a kid. He doesnt know what he wants to be. You think other kids knew what was going on when they went as drops of blood and other such things? They are often too young. Do you have kids? Do you have an understanding of what a 3 year old is capable of? What kind of point do you think a mother is making by simply following school rules, dressing her child and teaching him lines???????????

    Coz there is no right or wrong thing and winning a prize in not the intention. May be i would advise him if he chooses to pose as a terrorist or something and give him better options. But taking a passive aggressive approach just to make sure you are being obeyed, don’t you think Brat would pick up this too?

    Me: ???? What makes you think he would want to be a terrorist? And there is NO WAY on earth I would endorse my son wanting to be something violent. You have to be joking. He didnt want to be anything at all. Which is not an option. I do believe children should participate in everything in school unless it goes against my principles. At 3.5 my son has no idea what he wants to be and so I chose a chef – simple, easy, and something he has seen enough of to relate to.

    Sorry if this sounds rude, and there could be other circumstances why you think he is stubborn. But just thought of sharing what i thought. And as i always say you are my inspiration for having kids. And i love watching Brat and Bean grow. But just couldn’t see Brat sulking like that for not wanting to do something your way.

    Please dont classify me as a troll… I love you very much πŸ™‚

    Me: No, you’re not being classified as a troll. Just as someone who got overexcited and made too big a deal of something without really understanding it. I didnt want him doing something MY way. I just needed him to participate in the school event. Isnt that what discipline, childhood and school are about? I’m sorry if you disagree – but your argument was way too aggressive considering he isnt your child but mine!

  18. I am sure the Brat was not being difficult…he was just playing the part of the French chef to perfection. French chefs are known to be artistic and hence temperamental. You dont call a French chef stubborn or grumpy πŸ™‚ On a side note his timeout corner looks so zen! I am sure 5 minutes there and a cranky child becomes all smiles. Lovely outfit too. Really creative.

  19. aww the Brat looks adorable! i loove the chef hat!!

    and i absolutely adore fancy dress competitions as well! plua social messages need not be about blood donation or something equally high-tech which kids would never understand…

    there was this once (i was in 3rd/ 4th std i think) when my parents dressed me up at the “Eat Healthy” girl…i wore black tights and a black spag of my mom’s, wore a green spinach leaves skirt (which my mom strung together), anklets, a waistband, a headband, a loong necklace and bracelets all made of fruits and veges (done by stringing together carrots, cucumbers, papprika, apple halves, small oranges, etc) and to top it off i had a straw hat which had a similar collection of fruits n veges around it! and i was carrying a placard which said “Eat Healthy” and was eating a carrot stick throughout the competition!! πŸ˜€

    i won first prize for that award and i remember my dad waking up super early in the morning to get fresh veges and my parents working feverishly throughout the day to get me ready in time for the fancy dress in the evening.. πŸ™‚

  20. The last time I went for a fancy dress party, I wore a banian and lungi and went as Gandhi. Another fellow had stuffed a pillow into a bathrobe and come as a pregnant woman. Tee hee.

    Also– is that a picture of Brat as a tree? Haha!

  21. The brat sure knows to get his way!
    this is wonderful, how do you find the time to keep such a lovely home, wonderful kids and do creative stuff with them too! you are a super momma!

  22. I think kids would understand a social message if it was simplified. Even blood donation can be simply explained.

    Me: it could be explained you know, but 3 year olds would get freaked out at the thought of blood and needles and a doctor taking away their blood. atleast the few I know, would.

    But how boring if everyone came as a social message (unless that was the theme). The chef thing is sooo cute and from the pic, Brat looks adorable. I love the bit about him rubbing off his moustache!

    About the craft thing, I totally appreciate handmade things and I think it should be encouraged but I am personally pretty useless at it. And I’d imagine, if I tried to make a costume for my kid, it would be one of the worst and then, the kids suffering for that. So even if everyone refrains from buying costumes it becomes the kid with the most creative parents that stands out.

    Me: πŸ™‚ I appreciate what you’re saying. And I guess thats the point – the competition at this stage really is between parents. kids are too young to cooperate. and if it boils down to the richest parent winning… its a hard and unpleasant lesson to learn so early. that money always wins.

    also – such costumes have just come in to india. we never got them earlier. only over the last couple of years can you buy a firemans costume at mothercare – which is so stupid because its an american policeman’s costume. indian cops dont wear them!

  23. Of course.. as always the experience counts..
    In a world where parents are just pushing their children around their busy schedule ( I see it happening all around me).. it is refreshing to see you.

  24. Well, I have few points to make here:-
    1. It is the initial formative years that help shape up kid’s future…so parents need to be extra vigilant during that phase…. While agreeing to your point of view on creativity part, I still maintain that you cannot judge and feel sad for others…..we need to remember that in every worldly situation you will always have two points of view…what is right for you will certainly be wrong for someone and vice-versa….the very concept of right and wrong per se is out of order!

    Me: and so you have a problem with me expressing my opinion – but you dont have a a problem with coming here to tell me i am wrong? wow – i like the way you’re always right then!

    as you said – there is always another POV – so am i not to state my POV on my blog? my point merely is – that by buying the costumes – those parents remove the level playing field. simple.

    2. Kids first encounter with their childhood is always thru the “word of the mouth account of their parents…at least ones from their formative years….so do whatever you have feel is right to do as you will have only those stories to share with them……others will only have stories of dresses bought from stores….et all to share…nothing would change for any of them…

    Yes that is why these posts and repertoires are so important…..they will allow our respective kids to take a flight back into their childhood… will!

  25. β€˜No. I don’t want to say. You and dada are teaching me such terrible (!) things.’

    What exactly are you two up to? What are you teaching that poor little baby? πŸ˜‰

  26. I am so glad to read this MM. I hate store bought costumes too and although my husband is travelling a lot and I have my schedule, I make it a point to put in effort. She is stubborn too and we are at war everyday. Despite both of us being Arians. πŸ™‚

  27. profound statement MM-
    “God only sends you the child that is right for you”. gives me a lot to think abt now….

    and yes i so agree with the making at home on teh costumes. and despite my believe i dread every month becoz i suck at costume making/ craft work etc..
    and i hate spending hard earned money on meaningless costumes!!!

  28. This totally cracked me up..”you are teaching me such terrible things !” What WERE the lines anyway? Costume looks awesome..I would have done a paper hat though πŸ™‚


  29. I remember waking up one morning to see the lovely white and pink bunny rabbit outfit that my Mum sewed overnight for my fancy dress competition the following day. I got so impatient and insisted on trying it out so many times only to tear it off on the sides. Outcome?…. Mom sits up all night again to sew up the sides just tighter so that her fidgety daughter can wear the costume and still do all the masti she wants πŸ™‚
    *swallowing the lump in my throat*

    one quick question – what are those chic round things around your areca palm plant?

    Me: I found these red and gold balls type things in some store and had used them for diwali and then christmas, in a vase. and then they were going waste so i randomly shoved them in there. no thought went into it really. but i just hate to leave stuff lying around! you like?

  30. I once went as a ahemm..crocodile to a fancy dress.My Dad sat and painted croc scales and mask on a cardboard thing for a couple of days. My dad, who is loath to move a finger unless my mom throws a fit. When i think of it now feel like hugging him.
    I was also a Santa once and my mom and dad bought red fabric, got it stitched(in 1988 there were no ready made lil tomamtoes shops around or my parents plain didn’t know that they existed)
    I am sure looking back Brat will also feel the warm tinge I am feeling right now.

    Me: thank you. i think that is the point other commenters are missing. the point is not to have the best costume, but to improvise. to be creative. and the argument that i am not creative doesnt cut it. i am not good at maths – but can i then find a way to cut corners because you are better? we just have to learn to do the best we can!

  31. “As for no patience with craft – you think I did this five years ago?!”

    hehe … we’ll see in five years fer me then. :p

    yeh, we’ll agree to disagree. of course, me not having kids doesnt help my case heh. neither am i academically aware of child psychology to present a counter-argument.

    all i know is that putting someone down because they chose to get a readymade outfit doesn’t leave a great taste in me mouth. i don’t know if i’d ever stitch an outfit for my kid … but i surely won’t be calling other kids’ costumes disappointing either.

    my dad helped me with my science projects until grade 4 but never once did he do it all by himself. he would me make it do it first and THEN correct it. when my sis had a fancy dress competition, my mum made her draw what she wanted … and THEN stitched for her. my sister was in kindergarten too. i am six years older. that’s why i remember vividly. she won first prize in that competition too. i remember cuz i coached her lines.

    sure, parents did stuff for us … but we were fully involved in the process … in fact, we were more involved. there was this one time that teacher gave us an assignment to draw a diagram with the help of a parent … and she said that she’d mark it. it was grade 1. i asked my dad to help me draw it. he refused. told me that i should do it and he’ll correct it. i was stubborn. told him that he’d have to draw it for me cuz i wanted to get the top grade. he said ok and told me to go to sleep … and he’d do it later.

    i slept, went to school in the morning, all excited that i must have a great diagram (dad is a fab artist) … opened my notebook … was horrified … got a zero … came home. dad said, ‘lesson learned’ … do ur work by yourself next time.

    point of this ramble is that a 3 year old not having a clue about what his lines mean, having no creative input in what he is wearing, is equivalent to those uttering social messages. they’re just kids … yep, they should be creatively challenged but not to the point of parents being disappointed in other parents for being lazy.

    Me: I dont think you get the point AT ALL Roop. By buying costumes – they ruin a level playing field. its like the kid who brings a calculator to the maths test because he is the only one who can afford it. the entire point is to test creativity isnt it? so if you buy it – whats your input?? what you’re doing is saying that hey – i am richer, so i win.

    how far is it from parents who go to the rink to fight their kids’ teammates’ parents? every parent does what he/she can do best for their kid. every parent does the best he/she knows. no parent (sans very few mentally deranged ones) purposely wouldn’t want their child to excel. every parent does whatever he/she can do to the best of his/her knowledge. their efforts should never be put down. even those who drag nannies with them everywhere. never put down a parent. he/she is doing the best he/she can. that’s all.

    Me: I will disagree with you entirely. no point arguing. i am not putting them down to their faces, but stating an opinion on a blog. no point having one if i am gagged – is there? and oh – if they were doing their best – they’d use their heads, not their money. throwing money is not really doing the best you can, its buying your way in.

    heck, never put anyone down. to each his/her own.

    hmm that was a post in itself. hehe sowwie for takin’ up space.

  32. His outfit is tooo cute MM. You guys are so creative. I totally agree on the inappropriateness of wearing store bought costumes, but in my limited experience they rarely win any prizes.

    I am severely (and I don’t say this lightly) challenged in the arts and crafts department. BUT I copied (was inspired by?) Gurpreet’s idea of an alarm clock (for Ruhi) and did the same for Poppin. The costume was widely appreciated and she did win a prize. It was damn hard to do it with my two left thumbs, but I did it. But you’re right a lot of other kids were dressed in a store bought costumes (a Halloween leftover)

    Me: You know poppy – good to see you back. i was really missing you. and yes – that is the entire point. its like saying, i am not good at math so i bought my kid a calculator to take to school. hell – the entire point is to test and compete. there will be those who win and lose and it shouldnt be on the basis of store bought costumes. what kind of competition would it be if every single of the 30 kids came in ready made outfits? what is the point of it but that they’ve all spent money?

    I’m not sure about the social messages, I think a drop of blood is a phenomenal idea. That said, I would go more for a concept that my child would understand and that would appeal to her. That way she would co-operate more.

    Me:exactly. our kids are the same age. you know how they freak out at the sight of an injection. what is the point of making them come as something that they dont understand? it was an observation on my part – thats all.

    Last, Brat is not stubborn. He’s just growing up, becoming an individual and all that. All children do that don’t they? I’ve got a quiet Virgo here who can give your taurean a run for his money πŸ™‚

  33. Clap! Clap! MM! Its takes a lot of patience and endurance to do what you did (preparing Brat’s costume).
    All I want to say is, this little bull of yours is going to turn out to be one of the most grounded, heartwarming and patient young man you’ll be so proud of…
    When he’ll grow up you’ll say ‘is this the same stubborn bull i knew?’
    Believe me, it comes from a true blue raging bull herself…

    Me: :p aha. taking up for your own kind, huh? πŸ˜‰

  34. I once went as the wicked witch from sleeping beauty….black skirt…black top…my mom’s black dupatta….and black kajal all over my face…my brother called me a cat (bcoz of the black ‘whiskers’ on my face)…i bawled and bawled…became a total mess…till mom conosoled me and fixed me up again…and i won πŸ™‚
    it was a very simple costume…but we were all so involved in it (including the evil brother) that i still remember it….about 20 years later πŸ™‚
    anyway brat looks great…and though it might be a good idea to ask the kid what he wants to be i don’t think a three year old would actually be in the mood to do so
    my brother is an arean….my mom learnt at a very early age that he’d only do what he wanted to…it helped that he was pretty sensible…so instead i was the one she tried everythong on πŸ˜›

  35. Oh MM…what a wonderful idea and costume. But you know what, I somehow just can’t see myself doing something like this 5 years down the line – staying up the night to do stuff like this (btw I love the idea of the bunch f grapes with painted balloons – that’s a superfantabulous idea which I might probably be infringing on a few years later :p)

    Me: πŸ™‚ neither did i. i didnt imagine myself being a mother at all, five years ago πŸ™‚ but you rise to the occasion and you give it your best shot. my old blog has a bunch of great ideas that are so simple.

    But I couldn’t imagine myself being a wife and cooking everyday as well or being a bhabi or so many other myriad things which I now do (including answer to chachi/ mami)

    So I never know, I just might find myself doing something like this when it is my turn.

    PS: Or I just might borrow Brat’s costume πŸ˜›

    PPS:Btw how’s the teeth? I think my wisdom teeth got inspired by yours, and are now hurting 😦

  36. test creativity of who? parents? i thought it was the kids here that mattered!! but kids surely aren’t the ones working overnight to stitch clothes, are they? so parents being creative is somehow supposed to teach kids to be creative? like when they say .. parents do, children copy? or is it supposed to teach kids work ethics? i am not quite sure what kids learn from this ‘healthy’ competition amongst parents?

    Me: Well yes. at 3 – its always the test of a parent. but its a lesson taught early right? that you work and make stuff. You dont just buy it off the shelf. and you may not know what kids learn form parents – but i believe they do learn hard work and effort – read the comments below to see how each person remembers what their parent helped them go as. where does it end? what about school projects – should those be outsourced too?

    these fancy dress gigs are supposed to be ‘fun things’ where kids have fun. who cares what who dressed in. if XYZ had time to make a kid into a NASA rocket launcher, good for XYZ. however, if ABC chooses to send him as a waiter in a white shirt and blank pants, good for ABC. just as long as the kid’s happy and is having fun.

    Me: yes, they are meant to be fun – but they are also competitions. and its sad that a kid should win because his parents had more money, right? its like buying a college seat. would you endorse that? over merit. its all about merit at the end of the day isnt it? you cant argue saying, oh well i have no brains so its perfectly fine if my rich parents buy me a seat while the rest of you slug it out.

    as for money, perhaps their idea of parenting is to provide their children with the best material goods. so they’ll work extra hard hours at their jobs to provide their children with ‘money’. that’s their idea of parenting. who says it’s not the best? or better than mine or worse than mine?

    Me: sure – it probably is. all that money should buy a lot of therapy too. as to who says its not the best – errr… child psychologists?

    Roop – i am not regular reader of yours but i’ve read you often enough to be surprised by this argument of yours. are you condoning the thought that you can parent simply by providing material goods? or are you doing this simply because you want to argue with me?

    as for stating opinion on blog, of course, you can. all i’m saying is that this opinion that someone else’s choice of costume for their kid was a disappointment wont even occur to me. let alone come to the point of suppressing it or gagging it.

    Me: I’m sure it wouldnt. just as i would never imagine any good parent thinking its a good thing to ‘work extra hours to buy their kids more material goods’. are you sure this is roop of unchaahi then? i’m a little surprised by the direction this discussion is taking.

    plus i do get your point … and you might be getting my point too … just that our points in this case are different. πŸ™‚

  37. awesome idea MM – the outfit and all. i also share your view – i’d rather put effort (if possible involve kid in it too) than buy a ready-made thing. where’s the fun w/o the pain? πŸ˜‰

    one time there was a fancy dress b’day party and i helped my (then) 5 yr old dress up as fern the green fairy as she was totally into this series called the rainbow fairies. she loved it even though it was just a green top+ trousers with lots of leaf jewellery and big papaya leaf wings.

  38. Ah, that reminds me abt my first fancy dress in 1st grade. My mom dressed me up as a gypsy and taught me a folk song in tamil. The other kids all said something in english, so I got confused and went and said in very clear english ” My name is Yuva. I am from 1st std and I am a gypsy. Thankyou.” All of which was not even taught. My mom didnt get over it all that easily, hehe..
    I think the Brat is not being stubborn, maybe he just cant understand what the fuss is all about. Maybe he is just overwhelmed or something πŸ™‚

  39. How about Pisceans? In my opinion they would be the best on earth. What do u say? (Remember Beanie is a Piscean) πŸ™‚

    Am a Piscean too….. runs away to find a place to hide

  40. well, roop of unchaahi also always maintained that i don’t blame the parents who kill their daughters. we’ve had this discussion previously too. i really don’t hold them guilty. they have their reasons. all my/our job is to tell them the outcomes of what they are doing. if they choose not to heed, and choose that their personal interests matter more, who am I or anyone else to interfere? And I most certainly won’t hold them guilty.

    my opinion has always remained very literary based on stats, studies, and social/psychological factors … and WITH freedom of choice without any need for the rest of us to be judgmental!

    no i am not condoning that material goods make a better parent. i am not writing this to argue with you either. the point i am trying to make is … that we shouldn’t judge them. we aint perfect … so is no one else. we shouldn’t judge anyone.

    searching for a good outfit off the shelves can be equal hard work if it is made into it. ;p … but at the end of the day, it just comes down to … It’s THEIR choice how to parent? Who are we to judge?

    Me: okay – i’ll address this part alone. Who are we to judge? We are the parents whose kids sadly are learning that it doesnt pay to be creative? its like the argument people have against reservation? that people with merit lose out for no fault of their own. and finally i’d NEVER agree that its not our business. everything you do, affects the lives of people around you. when you let your kid play with a gun, you’re encouraging him to be violent. and that violence affects my child. when you teach your child that money can buy you anything – his attitude in class affects my child. can i do anything about it? hell, nothing more than blog. can you say its not my business – heck no!!

    With that, I rest my case and go shleep.

    Me: and yes – go to bed child. i was just wondering how you were up so late arguing with auntyji!

    Loved chattin as always. πŸ™‚

  41. if he is not stubborn now and listens to all that his mama has to say then he wud grow up and get bashed by his wife for being a “mama’s boy”…so he is preparing himself from today…he he…

    on a serious note-am also facing the same stubborn behaviour from my gemini daughter!!

  42. No No No you got me all wrong MM. Sorry if i sounded rude.I actually did not explain myself clearly.I was not at all questioning your parenting techniques. And I dont have any kids yet.So I always look at more experienced mothers like you for guidance to learn better waysto bring up kids when i actually have them.

    What i meant was at 3.5 how does it matter if he says his lines or not?

    Me: It doesnt matter at all E. I said it in my post. I didnt care, but it was part of the school programme and I will be damned if my son doesnt follow what the school has planned. Simple. Personally, I dont care and I said so in the post. He’s only a baby

    He has no clue what he is doing anyways. You adopting a passive aggressive approach
    by letting him watch a certain DVD and then have him say agree to say his lines… wont it give him the idea that he has to be more stubborn to get something?

    Me: Passive aggressive? Are you sure you’re using the right term in the right context? In what way was it passive aggressive? I merely bribed him (although I hate it!) and I also interested him in the character. Made it more fun. Tried to get him interested and involved. And no – it doesnt make you more stubborn

    Agreed until a certain age the child must do what they are told to by parents. And
    encouraging kids to participate in school activities is really great.
    Obviously u correct him if he decides not to learn his poem etc. But a fancy dress
    competition is just and extra curricular activity rt even if part of school curriculum?

    Me: Sure – but if you’re in school and school says you do extra curriculars, you jolly well do them. At this age school isnt about learning as much as it is about learning to follow rules and discipline. We all did, didnt we?! I let him off school if he’s not well etc… ok damn. why am i justifying my parenting?!

    What i meant was what if you let him choose what he wanted to be from some options.
    The terrorist thing was just an example i was giving to say that if he chooses to be someone bad in the fancy dress competition then obviously you correct him and tell him right from wrong.
    I didnt know he didnt want to be anything else, so i said there could be other circumstances.

    Thanks for not classifying me as a troll and replying to my comment. And once again
    sorry if it sounded aggressive. I didnt mean to be. Yes after reading it again, it actually does sounds rude and aggressive and I am really sorry for that.
    But really i was not at all questioning ur parenting techniques.

    Me: gosh no. trolls arent people who disagree. hell – i get more disagreement on this blog than most people considering its about my personal life and nobody else’s business! trolls to me are simply those who get abusive or communal. i just delete those. no apologies required at all…

  43. my parents were the kind who hid the letter whenever it said ‘fancy-dress competition, pls dress up your kid…’

    as a parent i dunno what i’ll do — am stuck with a handful of thumbs, a three-year-old who does a maharaja safari on his infant brother for entertainment, and the infant who’s so stuck on me that he’s practically back in the womb…

  44. Your post brought back so many memories, MM!! My Sis as a nurse (when my folks came back early from work to fix her a nice costume, and the neighborhood tailor, working late to give it finishing touches)! Me as some tribal war lord and my mom and dad sitting and patiently painting my 4 yr old back – and they cant paint to save their lives. Another one where i had fallen down and had stitches and a big white bandage across my chin, and yet, my parents got me dressed up for D Day… Not to mention the many, many sunday school and Vacation bible school plays n dances, which had my parents n grandparents equally enthusiastically participating, in getting me and my sis, dressed up, for whatever role it was… from the donkey to the Magi… What fun! .. i dont remember the prizes but i totally remember all the fun!! πŸ™‚
    I aint a mother yet, but i think everything – the getting together as a family to do it, the tantrums the kids throw (my cousin, when she was 4, was dressed up as santa claus, and my aunt made the entire costume, only to have her go on stage to pull out the beard made of cotton wool and bawl her eyes out, into the mike), all of it, is what makes for wonderful memories… and if the parents dont discipline the kid, who else will?
    Especially, since all i feel like doing, is to scoop up the Brat and kiss him – what a cute surly chef, he makes!! Hugs, Brattie.. πŸ™‚

  45. oops! That is a long comment… but you must pardon me, cos i am super excited – my closest friend from college, delivered the most beautiful baby girl, last evening! πŸ™‚

  46. He looks so cute. You can hope he’ll outgrow the stubborn phase – chubbocks did sometime last year. Before that he used to drive me nuts

  47. Brat looks super cute. Plus being stubborn goes so well with the entire french chef garb πŸ˜‰

    well…when I was growing up my parents sent us to fancy dress competitions wearing ‘fancy’ clothes – which for them was a new frock or pants. :O

  48. Parents spend the first part of our lives teaching us to walk and talk, and the rest of it telling us to sit down and shut up!

  49. just incidentally, apart from mothercare etc, there are these nasty stores you can rent costumes from. and people do. of course maybe not hip and happening junta but my crowd here does. lions, bears, ratty looking rabbits, policemen, postmen, etc. now these are seriously objectionable because in addition to everything, they are nastily dirty. The way it works is, you go there with child and the store guy gives you whatever your child will fit into, and you sort of work with that. (Bleah).
    Its too painful to see the children struggle around in those nasty things…

  50. πŸ™‚

    my parents ARE seriously lacking in creativity, so brother and me didnt participate in fancy dress type things! :p but thankfully they had given us enough sense and heart to cheer others and appreciate their hardwork! but no buying em for us!

    and though my mom cudnt make naything for us, she would always feel bad for kid who won with bought costumes. she used to be as indingnant as you are today! πŸ™‚

    and a guy in our building used to have the best fancy dress costumes ever! (this was for ganesh utsav in the bldg!). once he was even a toothpaste! very very cool. how his mother would slave over it!

    that he has grown up to be a thankless jerk is another story altogether…


    i loved brats costume and he looks cute even sulking in his timeout zone! πŸ˜€

    me, i think it will be a mix and match of bought and made. just like my cooking! you wont find me grinding ginger and garlic! the bazaar paste works just fine for me thank you! :p

    Me: well for that matter its always half way na? I didnt stitch his shirt and white pant! they’re store bought and were used on various occasions. i just looked around in the house and made him what i best could!

    so i might buy brown pants (i cant even sew on a button!), but i will make his crown! howeva shoddy it might be!

    Me: another neat idea – stick a newspaper front and back and send him as a newspaper!

    and yet, i have also learnt never say never! πŸ™‚

  51. i have a five year old taurean boy and linda goodman works for me evertime πŸ™‚ like she says – a taurean will never follow an order but will never be able to resist affection. or something like that.

    when i need to send my bull to bath, i can’t say – ‘go for bath’, but say ‘so, who is going to play in the water with you today? and let him select the toy’ – works like magic.

    he’s obstinate as hell, but thanks to linda – i think i know how to work him well πŸ˜‰

    Me: yeah. thats what i meant. about sometimes having the patience to play those mind games with him and at others being just too brutal to care. sigh. he needs a new mother.

  52. yaayy! got a reeppllyy!! :p

    Me: dramebaaz :p

    thank god you didnt call us poor neglected kids ‘coz we didnt particpate!

    Me: hell no – why would i call you neglected? if i could, i’d have made the brat bunk too. but the school is particular and i respect that. if i’ve put my kid there, i will follow their rules. and so will he – come what may.

    i still think we have the bestest parents ever. my simple logic is we are happy adults today! and that says a LOT these days when everyone seems to ne whining about something or the other!


    ps: hope the tooth is getting better!

  53. hey,

    Brat looks awesome, very chefy πŸ™‚ I wish you would put a smiling picture of him on stage also πŸ™‚

    When i was a kid, i was hyper creative, i always made my own costumes, and did sooooo many crafts things! My mom or dad were never so involved ( actually they didnt need to be, as I wouldnt let them do anything :), they would only keep finding more crafts supplies for me, and their part would end there)..maybe i picked it all up from those programs that used to come on DD, some crafty things making programs.
    I was also hyper organised, I learnt how to put cover on my books and notebooks pretty early on (not as early as 3.5yrs tho!) and wouldnt let mum do any of my stuff.
    This post just brought back so many childhood memories.
    I agree gettin involved and actually making stuff for kids helps the message get across and even if they dont get the message they at least get the message that their parents are so involved with them;plus its always a great story (remember the chef cap that ma made..etc etc).
    But again “to each his own”. If someone cannot make the costume, good for them. If not the “Experience” at least they had the prize πŸ˜‰

    Me: πŸ™‚ see thats where we part company. on your last line. its sad that the people who put in no effort, will win, while my son who will be taught to make an effort, might not. it makes my child lose faith in the system too early.

  54. Good to know you’re going through the same thing with the Brat – I always wonder what is it I’m doing that makes Reh be so ready to be stubborn and do anything but what I ask him to do. He’s a really sweet kid too but not where things like routine, his responsibilities and daily stuff are concerned. Its always mind games or yelling and then everything going downhill from there.
    He’s a scorpio so I have more worries there!

  55. Why would you force all three year olds to participate in a fancy dress competition? Half of them are not ready to get on stage. I would understand if it was a group song etc… The half that enjoy it would compensate for the other half who are just present on stage waiting for the torture to end. And there is no spotlight on any one child. At least make it optional.


    Me: wouldnt you think so? sadly it wasnt…

  56. How come you are complaining about American firefighters and your son is β€œFrench Chef”. Didn’t you mentioned before that Brat’s school doesn’t give prize to winners all participants get a prize?

    Me: Actually dear P (?!)- there are plenty of French Chefs in India. I have no idea if you’re into fine dining. But they’re mostly at the Taj and Oberoi restaurants. you might want to give it a shot some time. It’s always a good idea to widen your world view as well as your palate. You’ll even find them in non-Taj joints like this – in Chennai! The head chef there is French and loves my kids and also – French or not, Chefs everywhere wear similar outfits.

    American firefighters on the other hand, I dont know about you, but I am yet to see one roaming the streets of India fighting fires. They dont dress the same as ours either. I hope that answers the first part of your question.

    For the second part – they didnt give prizes at the race, but they did at this *shrug*. What control do I have over that? Are you insinuating that I concocted this?

  57. Yes I know it is your blog but then you need to also keep in mind that your blog is in a private domain…..

    Having said that and after reading your replies to various opinions all I can say is that you are not in the habit of accepting that other people are also entitled to express theirs…..always gives an impression of bulldozing others…

    Me: Oh dear – I suppose you cant see that a lot of people have disagreed and a lot more politely than you? And no, the blog is not private, but it IS personal – so its my rules. And finally – you’re a fine one to speak of bulldozing when you so insistently come here and stick links from your blog! totally against blog etiquette and very pushy – since we’re being honest with each other.

  58. You and your trolls! How do you manage to attract the choicest ones?

    Me: tumi bolo. you’ve read the same post as them. how come you have nothing rude to say and how come you’ve been reading me so long despite my absolute lack of tolerance fof differing opinions? How come you dont object to the tyranny of my ways? :p

  59. My mom is very good at arts/crafts.. when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade, she stitched a nice pink frock for the “Colour dress” day (a day not to wear uniforms) and I HATED it! I bawled my eyes out because everyone else was wearing fancy store bought dresses and I felt left out!

    However, during high school years I loved when she helped me out with my art projects with her research and ideas.

    my point being, even if Brat doesnt appreciate what you are doing now, he’ll understand as he grows up.

    The “french chef” is a very interesting idea btw.

  60. After reading through all the “for” and “against” arguments for a 3 year old in a fancy dress competition, here is what I have to say – We don’t ever remember if we bought the costumes or if our parents were uber creative. But what we do remember is coming together as a family and working on a project, getting involved, staying up late and getting it done. So the experience was not just limited to the one on stage, but it was the entire process. And sure, at 3.5 years of age, it is the parents competing more than the kids, but I would still vote for participation because it teaches kids so many things other than a couple of lines to mouth – to prepare for an event, public speaking, confidence, and the most important one – how to lose gracefully.

  61. Sweetheart, can’t you see, the issue is not creativity and a fancy dress competition any more. The issue is you criticized something that a lot of people have already been doing or see themselves doing 5 years down the line. A lot of us are creatively challenged and would take the easier way out. We didn’t like the fact that you judged our parenting.

    Me: LOL! oh I got that. I just dont like that they feel free to judge me, while telling me that i shouldnt judge. And its also sad that creativity is treated like something we can dispense with. i wonder how these very people would have reacted if i’d said i am not very good at physics so i bought my son an electronic gadget to take to school as his project. the entire point is to test your skills in an area. if they’re not very good, deal with it. dont try and buy you wait out. anyway – i know you are in agreement.. just thinking aloud.

    But we should all take a step backward and see what are you saying. And you are right. Sure the competition is between parents. Lets remove the kids out of the picture. Even then why should money win? The argument ‘but I have no creativity so…’ doesn’t hold because then you shouldn’t aspire to win in a competition that is judging creativity. Go win the spelling bees by cramming.
    Anyways, I can’t get over the fact that somebody actually said we shouldn’t judge ppl who kill daughters because they have socio economic reasons. Sure, by the same logic we shouldn’t judge husbands who beat their wives and men who rape women…everybody has their reasons! Nobody thinks they are wrong.They always find some way to justify themselves. But certain issues are too big to be left alone…I have a lot more to say but I am not as brave as you are MM.

    Me: Yeah – we’ve had that argument earlier i think (with roop) and i didnt want to lose the thread so i didnt get into it… but you and i are in agreement. this whole – lets not judge thing is going a little too far when you can justify death…

    And thanks for the newspaper idea. Doesn’t require much creativity. I will go with that when the time comes. Even a bunch of grapes sounds do-able πŸ™‚

  62. First a request not to get personal….as few responses to my comments took a personal turn and I do not approve of it.

    Me: err… YOU do not APPROVE of it? why dear sir, approval and disapproval should be saved for your own personal blog then! here – I get to approve and disapprove comments. WP gives me that option. I disapprove of you taking my fiction personally – and now you want to take comments personally. sad.

    I don’t think that I have said anything personal to anyone here…..worse was somebody writing that if i know the meaning of word that I have used in my comment…..and then your response about earth being inhabited by people like me……I am capable of giving a befitting reply (only by way of words and that too without using an abusive language) to that but then that’s not real me…..I have certain values and I always stand by them……And before anyone gives it a different turn, LET ME CLARIFY IN LOUDEST POSSIBLE WORDS THAT MY VALUES HAVE TAUGHT ME THAT WOMEN ARE EQUAL…..AND I HOLD THEM HIGHEST ON THE RESPECT PEDESTAL”……

    Me: Alok – take a deep breath and chill. if you can write that i am using fiction to be hurtful, then perhaps people can wonder aloud at your lack of imagination. every tale is about someone or something – you cant take offence. what next – issue a fatwa?

    nobody used abusive language. so dont even insinuate it. There is always the power of implication and are you implying that the rest of us have no values? See – how easy it is for us to turn it around?!

    You may want to agree with me that I have not written a single personal comment against anyone and just because I don;t do that I would not like to hear or read anything personal comment as well…

    Coming back to the so called blog etiquettes; I was’nt aware of that and hence the gaffe; will not stick link of my blog from now onwards…..Also, I don’t feel any need to blow my trumpet of being honest…..I don’t have to prove it as people who know me can vouch for it at every hour/minute of the day….

    Me: well atleast thats one thing out of the way

    One thing that I have failed to understand is that if to disparage someone’s creativity because you don’t agree with it is acceptable and is being posted about and commented upon; then why cant I give my responses without worrying about hearing or reading any personal comments……

    Me: Err… its an opinion. Just like you disparaged my creativity in my 55 word fiction piece. Why do you have different rules for yourself and others? All I said is that its not creative to use store bought uniforms. Would it be acceptable to buy a car from a store and send it as the child’s physics project? I write simple enough English and I am amazed that people miss the point. Not everybody is creative, yes, not everyone is bright at their studies – so should they all carry answer booklets to the exam? What personal comments did anyone make about you? didnt you make it personal by saying that i dont like dissent?

    if i didnt like dissent i’d have deleted all your comments here because you mostly disagree with me. including this one

    Last but not the least, I visit this forum as it helps me see the other point of view on various issues…..

    Me: Yes, well you come to see those POVs yet dont seem to really be accepting them and argue right till the end. fair enough – whats your issue with others or me arguing back then? you can dish it but you cant take it?

    PS- I wish to clarify that my comment on “fertile imagination” has it’s roots in the ending comment of your post which gives an impression that only those women who are fertile are loved……I was commenting from the perspective of a women who despite being loved carries a lable of infertile….

    Me: Well thats your understanding of it na? I dont know what understanding you have of art – but every reader/viewer sees a different picture or story from the same thing. thats the beauty of any creative effort. it reflects your own mental make up. if you have negativity inside you, you will see negativity all around. the point here was not about fertility or infertility. it was the hostility between two women who made different choices – one to build a career, the other to build a family. I dont see why i have to get your approval on it or how it should hurt your feelings. the entire point of FICTION is that it is FICTIONAL – look up the meaning in the dictionary. and no writer can please everyone.

    I guess it is pointless to be a contrarion on this forum…..”Only in the habit of hearing praises or nicey bits”…. Having said this, I do respect you and please do not see my comments as disrespecting to anyone per se.

    Me: Err… nicey? is that a word? a real word? look up the dictionary again. its alright to be dissenter – just so long as you make sense. After that rude line, you want to leave a disclaimer to cover your back? How cowardly and unworthy!!!

  63. MM, YOU STITCHED THE COSTUMES? OH MY GOD. I would’ve asked the brat to bunk school, cos I don’t like store bought costumes. You are so clever. And artistic. Brat looks so cute in that pic.

    Me: no yaar – only the cap. the clever part was simply to see WHAT i had at home that i could use πŸ˜‰ so school white pants and shirt, and my apron altered!

  64. hows the jawbone now? u really are brave. i have to undergo this surgery too but am waiting till the baby is old enough to take care of himself while i recover.

    Me: much better. no more throwing up blood or cotton. swelling gone down a lot. face looks less like a baboon. and xray on monday. call me if you want me to hold your hand during. πŸ™‚

  65. I appreciate that you put the effort to put together a costume for the Brat !
    I have often done the same … this year I tried hard to dress her up as a sparrow (bought feathers and literally stuck them one by one on the wings I made) … I beak was a mess though. End of the day I was satisfied I MADE something as against buying it for her.
    I must add, I am creatively challenged :(((
    When she went to her school and her teacher asked her what she was she said “Little sparrow” and her teacher said, you are “Chickerella” … Cantaloupe loved that and announced she was “Chickerella” and not a sparrow. There were dozens of other kids dressed as Spiderman, Race Car driver, Cinderella etc (all store bought).
    End of the day Cantaloupe came to me said, “Amma, what am I going to be next year? Lets make something interesting” … I am so glad she said lets make, and not lets buy πŸ˜€ My prize .. though for a shoddy work 😦

    Me: big hug! so proud of you. i was damn nervous too which is why last year i sent him in a simple banian and lungi with a basket of toy fish on his head. felt more confident this yaer. and hope to feel braver next year. hell – its our first time as mothers and we’re learning too. dont worry. we shall overcome πŸ˜‰

  66. Noah Webster must be a happy man seeing you send so many people…. sorry sorry me back to dictionary again and again…. Alas! I don’t have to..

    Me: Not too many. Just ‘nicey’ ones like you! :p

  67. The Taurean and stubborn relation is spot on. There’s no way you can get a Taurean without his bull-headedness!

    As for making the costume at home, well, if I were in your place, I would do the same. My mother tells me she used to stitch me new dresses everytime we had to go for a party because back then outings were few and far between and my parents couldn’t afford to buy my new clothes for every occasion. She did it not to indulge me, but to indulge her fancy for dressing up her daughter. Either way, the thought is heart-warming. She also made lots of dresses for my dolls. She’d dress them up in new clothes and put them on our bed like a surprise waiting for me when I came back home from school. Those gestures still stay with me. She could have bought those things off the shelves, but that she sat sewed it together still means so much to me.

    I’m sure your kids will grow up to be so proud of the way you’re bringing them up. Just like we are πŸ™‚

  68. Also, the idea of a social message is predictable and not award-winning or creative to me! I mean, everyone does a social message for fancy dress these days, so what’s the big deal?

  69. wow.. half a day away with a sick kid and look how much blood was spilled!

    You provocative woman, you, with your fecundity an’ all;-)

  70. phew!!! have to take a deep breath just keeping up with the heated discussion here. hope you are able to keep yourself from grinding your teeth in frustration!!! Its amazing how simple life-experiences from you evoke such strong reactions.

    And I was wondering, were his lines in French?

    Me: LOL! not at all.

  71. This brought a laugh….! I have an eight year old and yes I always do the costume/prop etc. and I love doing it. For me, its the coolest stressbuster but it holds an important message/lesson for the child – basic teamwork, creative thinking (specially ways to recycle old stuff)and lets the parent and child spend quality time together even if the child is too small to contribute to the ‘making’..

  72. I think all the trolls here are just using this post to take random potshots at your parenting style. I in fact really identified with this post. You know MM my parents have slaved over many creative costumes for my brother and me when we were toddlers and watching them participate so much always encouraged me to try something creative on my own. Even the fact that she made me participate (the trolls would insert ‘force’ here instead, won’t they? :)) in different co-curricular programmes such as these from a young age has stood me in good stead because as a 20 year old such activities are my biggest strength and interest. How would I have been introduced to them otherwise?

    I can also identify with the sense of injustice you felt because of the store brought costumes. At age 11, when I built a fire engine from scratch for a science exhibition with my parents’ help, it sucked when the judges chose the store bought petrol pump display that another girl got. At his age maybe the Brat won’t understand it, but as he grows up and comprehends, he will react in the same way. You are just voicing what he will feel later and there is absolutely nothing wrong in that.

    I really admire you as a parent and was waiting for a chance to tell you that. Good that these haters finally got me to write that.

    P.S. I was a banjaran (gypsy) for my nursery class fancy dress. After similar Brat-like drama I too ended up mouthing something unintelligible. Thankfully those were pre-Mothercare days and I won!

  73. MM, that looks like a lovely corner to sulk in.

    About costume creation and all, I don’t have kids (don’t want any, and probably can’t anyways), but I *love* doing craft projects with kids. To the extent that I sometimes think I’ll outsource my skills to tired and overworked parents if they’ll let me.

    Oh, and the best idea I’ve ever seen. At my niece’s annual play, they needed a scene with a flock of birds. The kids wore white shirts and pants, with gauzy fabric stuck between the shirt sleeves and the chest/waist part. They also wore white bicycle helmets painted white (the peaked helmets looked like beaks). But the showstopper was that the birds came in on rollerskates with their arms outstretched! Brilliant stuff.

  74. Ha ha this post got me laughing. S is also a taurean, and very stubborn. Apne hi man ki karna is what he seems to believe in. No sweet persuasion, no cajloing, no reasoning… he will do what he thinks and feels is right πŸ™‚

    God save the brat’s wife! and you till the time he is a bachelor πŸ™‚

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  77. I love your blog, the bean and the brat! I have to agree with Roop on this one. How can we judge someones parenting skills based on a costume for a kid’s fancy dress competetion? Arent we missing the point here? Its a kid’s party for heaven’s sake!
    Just curious about something..Brat obviously didnt enjoy the task of having to dress up (unusually) and say a few lines on stage. Why did you make him do it? My now 9 yr old used to be exactly like Brat. She hated going for fancy dress competetions, much less saying a few lines on stage. When she was three,she decided it was plain ridiculous for her to dress up in a weird costume and say weird things for people she didnt even know! We didnt ( couldnt) force her and thus missed her annual school day celebrations. I guess we were ok with it. But I doubt that makes me a better parent for not having arm twisted by child to do it. Just my two cents.
    I love you blog by the way!!

    • Err, no, I think you’re missing the point! It wasn’t a party, it was a school event. ALL children had to participate. It’s not a question of me ‘making him’ participate, but him knowing that when you go to school, you follow the rules, be it studying Math when its time to study math, or making a queue when its required. If children following school rules and participating in functions is arm twisting, it’s no wonder we have scores of kids doing just as they please and wreaking havoc.
      We all grew up reciting on stage and performing and I doubt any of us is damaged by the experience. There is something to be said for discipline.
      That you didn’t insist on her participating was your choice. That my child learnt that sometimes we do stuff we don’t enjoy simply because they must be done, was my choice. Its an early precursor to learning team spirit, taking instruction, discipline and other such virtues that seem to be losing grace.

      And i don’t judge parenting skills based on a costume, but I do think store bought costumes defeat the purpose of a fancy dress and the creativity that goes into it? Where do you draw the line? What if some parent pays someone to do their kid’s science project? Would that be valid? And would it be fair to the rest who have struggled to create it from scratch? If a store bought costume won, what lesson would my child have learnt – that you can buy success?

      This is an ancient post, so I see you’re really going back into the archives! Glad you enjoy the blog πŸ™‚ I enjoy writing it too, when I have the time.

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