Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Hand me a pair of ear-plugs.

One of the most difficult things that I have faced in bringing up Puttachi is that I've had to change a little of my basic personality to suit hers.

I am a relatively silent person, prefering to listen than to speak. But there is a limit even to how much I can listen to without going mad.

But Puttachi is the opposite of me. She loves to talk and she does talk all the time. When she is not talking, she expects me to talk. She hounds me to tell her story after story, and bugs me with continuous questions. So at any given time, there is always someone speaking in the house. And that is VERY tiring. I need silence and solitude, and sometimes, at the end of a tiring day, my ears feel like they'll develop holes, and my head feels like it'll burst. I have to literally beg Puttachi to stop talking and not ask me any questions. But of course, this request is followed by a "Why why why why why?"

Besides, Puttachi is always in high spirits and full of excitement. It is quite lovely to watch her, and my spirits are never too low for a long time because of this. But hey, sometimes I need to be normal. I need to not smile or laugh. I need to mope, sulk and frown to even out my facial muscles.

But I just do not have that chance. The poor thing comes to me with so much excitement and happiness that I cannot bear to pour cold water over that, so I end up joining in her excitement, and tiring myself out. And if I do give in to my primary instinct and sulk a little, she comes to me, full of concern, and asks, "Amma, are you angry, are you sick, are you tired, are you feeling bad, what happened Amma?" and she won't let go until she is convinced that I am not upset with her. And that involves smiling and assuring her that everything is fine.

I know that as she grows, the challenges will be greater. For instance, I might have to forgo my urge to loll around at home in my pyjamas on a lazy weekend, to cater to Puttachi's desire to go out and party (figuratively). There might be bigger clashes between our personalities, things I cannot even imagine - and I might have to change further in order not to limit Puttachi's growth.

I'm not sure if I'm doing the right thing, exerting myself, extending myself - I am not sure if this will hurt me in the long run, but I see Puttachi happy and blossoming into a sweeter and more enthusiastic person each day, and it feels like it is worth it.

Hard to tell. Someday, I guess I'll know the answer. Meanwhile, if you have any words of wisdom, I'm all ears.

15 comments:

hAAthi said...

you should talk to my amma about it.. puttachi sounds dangerously (in an uncanny sort of way) similar to what i was at her age.. iv felt it before, and i feel it again now because my amma never tires from telling me how much i talked, how i always had innumerable questions to ask, how i was always curious, how i always wanted someone to be talking or happy or cheerful..

im sure she would have some wisdom to share!

Chhaya said...

Your experience is uncannily similar to the environment at my house. My son is now 4 and is almost always talking and asking questions to which I have absolutely no answers, sometimes..I guess you are right in that we do have to modify our behaviour and inclinations so as not to dampen our children's curiosity and enthusiasm...But I hear you...it is EXHAUSTING !

praneshachar said...

Shruthi
this is the beauty of life, you and anyone will sacrifice their likes and all for the sake of their off springs. No wonder for a lovely puttachi u have to do more sacrifice because by nature she seems to be highly energetic talkative her inquisitness is so much that u hv to do lots and lots of sacrifies till she finds her own world so N joy and be proud to be a mother of such wonderful kid

Arundhati said...

Relate so much to this post.

mumbai paused said...

She's going to have it in school. ;)

Mangala said...

This might be somewhat relevant to your situation:
http://www.mothering.com/parenting/playing-with-our-three-year-old

Shruthi said...

hAAthi, I will do that. She keeps saying that Puttachi reminds her a lot of you. I'm sure she can help.

Chhaya, Arundhati, more strength to you ladies! :)

Praneshachar, I wouldn't call it a sacrifice - that sounds very extreme, and it sounds like I am in deep trouble, which I'm not. It is difficult to explain - but sacrifice is too strong a word, I think.

Mumbai paused, she does a good imitation of her teacher, "Please stop talking!" I have no doubt at whom that is directed.

Mangala, that is a nice article, but no, not much use to me in my situation. We do a lot of things side by side, I sit and read while she plays, I cook while she works on a puzzle in the kitchen...
She doesn't even ask me to go play with her much nowadays - she is involved in a lot of imaginary play. It is the constant talking and laughing which she does - I can't keep up with that. I feel like such a grouch to not smile with her when she is jumping around joyfully - and that is when I extend myself.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you, My kid is also bundle of energy and sometimes when i am unable to tender to her constant questions and enthusiasm i feel very guilty!

starry eyed said...

I hear you sistah! I love my solitude and contented and not-so-contented silences, but it doesn't work with my kids! They chatter and question me up the wall. Have learned to wait for them to go to school or elsewhere or to the Sandman to then relish my silences :-D

I extend myself too, because my mom was a very silent person...and it does affect communication. Soemtimes what a kid wants to tell you is important then and there...and we've missed hearing some impt things at the right time becoz we told them to be quiet :(

Madhu said...

I can soooo sooo understand you. My favorite get away is going to the bathroom for which she does not deny me. So I go sit there even when I dont have to and take some deep breaths and come back to hear more. :)

Shubha said...

I was a chatterbox as a kid and my mom could never get me to stay still for even a second . She was a regularly summoned by my school teachers . But as a teenager I was exactly the opposite . I mostly kept to myself and that also got my mother worried. I had to explain to her that I ve grown to like solitude and there was nothing else wrong with me :)

praneshachar said...

shruthi sacrifice may be harsh as yor are thinking, what ever you call its giving yor time adjusting your own requirements and maximum try to meet the requirements. In your case you are analysing and putting it, many of would not have thought of we must wait for glass of water and ensure we fulflill the needs of our child. In my perception time u r giving I called it sacrifice. when child is so active and demanding you need to allott more time, more so when u want to answer all most all Q with convincing replies to meet the requirements of a kid, so you have to think like child and reply. somehow many of us will not do that we get irritated some will shout, some will say go to appa/amma and ask, some will show anger by hitting or punishing. Those who think differently are very less, u r one among them so in this context I made my comment. have great time and great week ahead and great drive too

Harmony said...

hi there,
Well Yes that Parenting is the Most difficult phase yet it is the Most Desirable and Happening phase in anyone life.
Child is a bond of sunshine,hope,love,sweetness,simplicity,godliness, and much more..and Sacrifing a litlle for her/him can never become a Difficult Task .
You really dont need Ear-plugs for puttachi ....do You?

Anonymous said...

Go ahead and push yourself to keep up with her but make sure you take breaks at regular intervals for some 'me' time, where you can recharge ur batteries:)

Preeti said...

I so relate to this post... I am a very silent person myself... and often when I spend the day with my inlaws I end up with a headache... because they are so fond of talking non-stop.
But after my daughter started talking, I have gotten so used to it that I dont get those noise headaches anymore... though I often request my husband to leave me alone once she is asleep so I can enjoy my solitude...

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