Vacations, the sweetest song to a child’s ear. Endless hours of playing, unlimited fun and masti, quarreling with friends and then making up because even if one is missing it feels incomplete, lot of planning, instead of mom calling out to come home and study, mom calls out to remind that you do have a home and you need to eat.
My son’s exams got over on 14th march( the last of all his friends)and he has a short summer break before school resumes. This 20 day break is such a relief for not just him but me also. When I packed his lunch that morning and set him off in his school bus, i felt like dancing there itself. My morning jog was also very refreshing since i couldn’t contain my smile and it is said that if you smile while exercising, it releases some chemical in your body which makes you feel energetic. On other days i find it difficult to do so but today i had a reason, no more early morning dabba packing, no more blackmailing my adorable son to sit with his books and study, no more bribing my sweet little daughter so that she will let her big bro’s books intact. Ahhhhh!!! there was something magical about this morning.
It’s vacation time!!!!! yiiipeeeee!!!
But wait a minute!! vacation also means he will be home the whole day!! Which also means that the leisure i had when he was away in school will be gone!! Blistering Barnacles!!! And what about his frequent fights with his little sister?? I will be more of an agony aunt or a referee than a mother!! And the constant hunger pangs, the insatiable desire to munch, chew and gulp!!!Billions of blue blistering barnacles!! How can i forget about this? Quickly i remember the various summer camp notifications i got in my local whats app groups and as i searched for them to find something suitable, i realized that they are all the usual ones, art and craft, dance, music, chocolate making, personality development, handwriting improvement, brain development and all the works. Pratham will never agree to any of this. According to him, he doesn’t want to be TAUGHT anything in his vacation time. He wants to do things which he likes. And it could be anything from creating art out of paper boxes or just cycling till it hurts his legs. Summer classes are boring and it feels like school. Cant argue with that!!
So it boils down to just me and him!!I will have to think up of ways to keep him occupied and entertained so that we can co-exist the coming vacation!! But some ground rules are laid!! He has to wake up in the morning latest by 9, an hours nap after lunch and lights off in the night by 11. His meal times should be constant and if he has any special requests then it has to be told a day in advance.Quarrels with friend will have to be sorted on their own and little sister has to be included in his games if his friends are coming over to play. After some negotiation afternoon nap is traded in exchange for no chilled water,juices and no chewing gum. Looks like I am ready for this.
At the time of writing this blog, its been nearly a week since his holiday started and so far its been good. There are a few reasons for it. The first one, I very firmly believe that vacation is the best time to introduce healthy eating habits. In everyday life, between juggling school, classes, play time and all that, somewhere nutrition gets lost. Most of the meals are packed and handed over. After that how much is eaten by the kids or it went to the friends, I don’t know. If the tiffin comes home empty, I have to be content that its been eaten. But in vacations, I have the pleasure of seeing them enjoy fresh, hot, home-cooked food and watching them take baby steps towards a healthy lifestyle.
Another observation is that well fed and hydrated kids are easier to handle. Well, this is no discovery that I have made now, after 10 years of motherhood but what i did discover in this vacation is that well fed and hydrated mothers are better equipped to deal with kids and their hyper activeness. So while we all think about what our kids like to eat and plan our meals according to that in their vacation, it’s also a good idea to stack up on some munchies and drinks of our choice. There are times when I feel hungry but have so much on my to-do list that I wish for some quick bites to put in my mouth. Usually i would have got the fried and salty indian snacks like mathri, chakli, bhujia, banana wafers and all that to munch. But since i am on my way to changing to a healthy lifestyle, i got some nuts, dry fruits, chikki, khakhra and fresh fruits of my choice along with my kids preferences and kept them within hands reach, where i can easily just pick them and eat. This not only satiated my hunger but also kept my energy levels up to deal with two kids. Also the food you eat has a lot of effect on your mental health. Switching to a carrot instead of biscuits, helped me stay calm and keep my cool. Also, my daughter wanted to taste everything i was eating. That is an added bonus. She is introduced to healthy snacking just by watching me. I wish i had done this earlier.
Lastly, this year I didn’t try to influence Pratham on how he should spend his day. I just let him free with his friends and they all decided themselves what they want to play, where, at what time, with whom, etc, etc. In other words, i didn’t think of controlling his every minute of the day and that also worked wonders on how our relationship was developing. I only expected him to follow the ground rules laid by me which i think are very basic and in turn i give him the freedom to be himself and explore what he likes and what not. This was a welcome change for both of us since he is going to be a teenager soon. Although i feel he is already one.
Lets hope this vacation lays the foundation stone of a friendship between the two of us.