About the blogIf you have ever wanted to know how an Indian American household functions; how Indian Americans bring up their kids; what festivals Indian Americans celebrate; what Indian Americans eat; why Indian Americans move about so weirdly every time a Bollywood number starts playing; this site may be able to answer these questions (regarding the last one though; it's just genetics!)
Americans think we're one of the Tiger Moms, paying double in mortgages to get our kids into the best school districts, and snarling and gnashing our teeth if they dare to get less than an A in their assignments. Indians (the ones who live in India) think we bring up a bunch of uncouth brats; those who have no clue about their amazing Indian heritage, who are disrespectful to their elders, and who try to eat everything with a fork and knife.
I would like to use my blog to inform you that I am neither (well, mostly!). I feel that I have the best of both worlds and my husband and I hope to teach the same to our kids.
About my familyWe have two sons, and in a fit of originality, we decided that both their names should begin with an 'A'. For purposes of preserving their anonymity, I refer to them on this blog as Big A and Little a. Big A was born in 2004 and Little a was born in 2008; so at the time of writing this, Big A is nine years old and Little a is five. I refer to my husband, my rock and source of support in our family equation simply as, 'The Husband'. Yes, all capitalized! Really! If you are interested in knowing how I met The Husband (nope! No arranged marriage), I have a post where I mention how we met.
My boys bicker all the time, but in the end, they identify themselves as a unit termed 'The Brothers'. Living in a household with three boys, I have more than my fair share of gross talk, man dramas, potty talk, and frank disclosures. You'll also read about my sons' trials and tribulations regarding school.
As Indians, we celebrate all the major Indian festivals. This means that we celebrate Diwali and we also celebrate Christmas. We do pujas at home and we also go out and trick-or-treat for Halloween. I should warn you though that we do not celebrate Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, Father's Day, or I-need-to-give-away-my-hard-earned-money-for-another-fake-holiday Day at our place.
About our parenting style
Here's what you'll find out about me and my brand of parenting: the first thing to review is my list on why I don't make the perfect mom cut! Again, I don't even qualify to be a Tiger Mom! We don't spank our kids; I make them clean their rooms or else their toys get donated; I also don't believe in putting my boys up on a pedestal, typical of Asian culture. We co-sleep many times in a week, though our boys are encouraged to use the bunk-beds that we spent a lot of money on! We encourage our boys to question us, which they do all too well, and they often answer back. We've learned that it's probably not a good idea to declare that we "would never do that to our child"; it just tempts karma! I don't sanitize everything my kids handle; in fact, I've encouraged them to pick up food they dropped on the floor and "just eat it". We keep ourselves available for all their questions, even the most awkward ones.
We hope to teach our children to be empathetic, to be considerate to others, to help out at home, to be frugal, to be self-sufficient, and to learn to deal with failure. We also let them know that the world is their oyster and that they can marry whoever they choose.
You made it all the way to the end of this post! Now, I get to tell you all about myself. Wait, I'll make this short!
1. I was born in 1974 in Calcutta, India. No, I will not call it Kolkata.
2. When I was five, my dad got transferred to Kano, Nigeria, where I spent four wonderful years! I studied in an International school run by the British government, and that may be responsible for the traces of British accent that people accuse me of having! We were transferred back to Calcutta at the end of it and I completed my high school there.
3. I lived for books and could never understand people who didn't read. Then, I fell in love with someone who has dyslexia. Go figure!
4. I hated school, so I am secretly sympathetic every time my son complains about it!
5. I work outside of home, so my kids go through the gamut of daycare and afterschool care.
6. I frequently suffer from Mommy guilt.
7. I occasionally suffer from identity crisis about where I belong (classic case of dhobi ka kutta), but I'm rapidly getting comfortable about identifying myself as a citizen of the world.
8. I've realized that I'll never have the toilet seat clean in my house.
9. If you suffer from a lack of things to do, you can always read more about me here!
10. Sorry, I didn't make it to 10!