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New years are marked by parties, winters, the after-effect of Christmas and by a heavy but frivolously used word ‘Resolution.’ All these things are part of my life also and naturally get transferred to my son. My new year resolutions before being a mom were on the lines of making x number of holiday trips, reading a minimum of y number of books, and initiating a healthy and regular exercise regime (the last one is almost a must-have on the list of many people, hardly attained but always remains as an-impossible-to-ever-come-
Now my resolutions are around things that relate to both me and my son. Interestingly enough, as my son is growing up and loves being involved in the day-to-day domestic affairs, we both sat down toward the end of December last year and I introduced the concept of having new year resolution as a game, with pointers that we would try to aim for throughout the year but would not worry even if we fail. The concept being introduced as a game appealed to my son very much. For the next 2 days, he kept walking around the house and jotting down his ideas in his notebook. Thereafter, we sat down over the discussion again. And, as expected, his new year resolutions turned out to be all his hidden desires.
1. Buy a big toy
2. Visit Brazil to see anaconda snakes in the Amazon forest
3. Visit Greenland to meet Eskimos
4. Go on a jungle safari to Africa
Looking at his list, I raised my eyebrows and told him very seriously, “Well, I can see you have a very good and LONG list of wishes and not necessarily resolutions. To meet them all within a span of a year, we need to grow rich overnight, which looks a little difficult at this time. Also, why not add a few things, like you will study for an hour everyday or practise handwriting thrice a week?” My son immediately replied, “I do my studies anyway, so they can’t be part of a game…Games should be different and exciting.”
I left things at that for that time being. After a few hours, I suggested to him very nicely, “As we both spend most of our time together, let’s have a common list of resolutions, so we can help each other meet them faster.” He found that quite convincing. Thereafter, we both sat down, contemplated and, after a good amount of brainstorming, we agreed on a very crisp list of our resolutions for 2016, which looked more like a To-do list at the end after all.
1. Have a maximum of 2 tantrum fits a month for him and a maximum of 2 hours/day for me on phone. For a month with zero tantrum fit, he will get a toy
2. To self-feed his breakfast of Chocos and milk every morning (for him) and not to skip breakfast (for me)
3. Rather than going to so many exotic places, to enjoy all the festivals with 100% participation and make them more special by helping a poor with some alms on all such occasions
4. To read 20 new books (both for me and him)
5. To go on a trip to a foreign country
How much ever we intend not to, but resolutions fade away from our memory as the months progress in a year. Yet, we tend to be excited about them in the first few months, especially in the months of January, February and March. In that zealous fervour, we celebrated the festivals of January, especially the festival of Sankranti with the Bengali ritual of preparing and savouring a variety of sweet dishes under the umbrella term ‘peethay.’ We are all geared up to celebrate the upcoming festivals also and are keeping the other resolutions of starting our days with the healthiest breakfast, reduced tantrums and phone time, and have already completed 1 book each.
Resolutions or no resolutions - that really doesn’t matter, but I feel happy to have had this conversation with my son and to be able to infuse him with a positive sense of hope, of new beginnings, and of looking ahead in life. We enjoyed playing this game together and, in the process, got an opportunity to bond with each other and have a new kind of discussion. I plan to have this exercise with him every year until he grows up big enough to find it no more amusing. With every passing year, our new year resolutions will change as we grow and change as people. And, what can be more welcoming than stealing our moments of discovery and re-discovery in the world of #Khuljaye Bachpan, loving life, laughing, thinking, agreeing, disagreeing and growing our mother-son bond!