Saturday, April 30, 2011

Speechless

J has recently hit a growth spurt - every time we check she is taller. A little bit of sass probably comes along with the territory as I was to find out recently. On evening, it was way past her bed time and she was still lounging on the couch watching Food Network with DB. After asking her to go to bed about five times in a row and being ignored, I finally lost my cool. "J, I am going to count to three and I want you out of the couch and in your room" I shouted from the kitchen. 
Cool as a cucumber, her eyes still peeled on the TV J says to me "Go right ahead, Mommy. I hope you learn to say your ABCs after that". DB and I could not help ourselves - we burst out laughing. Needless to say, I was not able to make either a witty or stern comeback to that. So, J took her time - about ten minutes longer and then retired for the day.
It occurred to me that she had managed the situation to her advantage - and she is not even ten years old. If she leaves me tongue tied now, how do I hope to deal with what she throws at me a few years out. For the first time, I am beginning to understand how being a first generation immigrant without the experience of having gone to undergrad or grad school in America makes it hard for me to take on J. 
Having had little to no contact with desi society in the last ten years has made J a product of cultural experiences that I have not experienced growing up. She is twice alienated in that she has nothing in common with my background and does not share much with her desi peers whose parents have made a concerted effort to give them the Indian experience abroad.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

that laughter was the best thing u did. Maybe now youcan build up a frndship line ....

ggop said...

Ha ha HC. I enjoyed the way you both defused the tension. Really life isn't worth sweating the small stuff. I think it would have been very tempting to blow your top (I probably would have done that)

Did you resort to taking privileges away when she was very young? The tween years are tricky huh?

suchismita said...

I can understand your concerns, but I think 'parents who make a concerted effort to give their children a desi experience abroad' are not necessarily doing the right thing. Experience is something that happens, you just imbibe by being there.. whereevr 'there' is. Having made a choice of living abroad, I believe it is best to let kids be. I agree it is very difficult to parent when one has no blueprint of what to expect, but parenting changes with every generation anyway. Children do not react exactly as their parents might have. Times and lives have changed everywhere thanks to technology, exposure, infomation. We try and do the best we can for them. If prior experience were so important, all kids brought up by locals who have been in the same country for generations would have perfect kids. :)

suchismita said...

Must add a P.S. here. All parents do what they think is best... those who make a concerted effort to give thier child a desi experience and those who leave them be.. I think one has to do what one believes is best and not do something just because everyone else is doing it, which is what happens often as we are all so anxious that our child should not miss out.. It is like the class x tuition / coaching classes in India that all join, just because they feel if so many are doing it.. it must be right. :)

Heartcrossings said...

ggop - I took away J's laptop privileges for three months once. She bore it with determination but I did not get the outcome I wanted.

suchismita - You bring up a great point when you say "We try and do the best we can for them. If prior experience were so important, all kids brought up by locals who have been in the same country for generations would have perfect kids"

How true and how frequently forgotten ! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.