Monday, February 18, 2013

Privacy and all that Jazz ....

“Mommmeeeee……”

The almost ten-year old screamed as she darted across the living room, while trying to throw random things at a fleeing five-year old brat of a boy. Nothing exceptional in this scene, except that the daughter was still in the damp towel after her shower, and the son was brandishing her pajamas like a victory shield, dragging it through the floor while gleefully running around the house.

Daughter had started showering on her own a couple of years ago, and even managed the shampooing ritual on her own. All she needed was a little supervision from Mom on the rinsing of the conditioner. She'd also started to develop her sense of privacy, the attached bathroom to her bedroom provided the requisite privacy even without locking the bathroom door (the kids are still not allowed to lock bathroom doors).

Sigh!! But the five-year-old has all the social etiquette of the emperor of ‘The Emperor’s Clothes’ fame. That is, he needs elaborate convincing to keep his clothes on.

As is the case with all parents with different sex kids, there are lessons to be taught on personal space, and with the whole screaming happening in the towel, I realized it was time to start making some rules. (Parents with a son and a daughter would already have developed the skill of answering embarrassing questions about the new baby’s anatomy from inquisitive toddlers. :) )

So, we (yes G is a partner in crime in all our ‘interventions’) sat the kiddos down, and explained some ground rules:

  1. While we believe completely in the ‘sharing is caring’ bit, towels are not meant to be shared. (With a special understanding glance, we look pointedly at the little one, as one of his favorite pastimes is using anyone but his own towel to clean various surfaces)
  2. No one opens a closed-door without knocking (the morning chaos is a time when many embarrassing moments have taught the kids why we were having this conversation in the first place :) )
  3. We are in the process of identifying the kids beds…. Their inputs on what they want will be taken into consideration. (As of now, they sleep wherever they feel like – on their own large bed, or sometimes even with us. We’re hoping the new beds will help them sleep separately).
  4. While elder kiddo will change only in the privacy of her bedroom, for the little kiddo the world is his changing room. We emphasized the importance of changing only inside their room.
  5. While looking pointedly at the elder kiddo, we reminded the kids that sniffing at toothbrushes, towels, pillows and blankets to check if someone else has been using them is weird behavior.
  6. Ofcourse, each kid’s school bag, books and the likes are off-limits unless they ask for permission. (The elder one was visibly happy with this rule).
We are yet to see the impact of this talk, but I imagine we we’ve given them enough food for thought!!

Can anyone think of any more such rules?

This post was originally published at Parentous.

22 comments:

  1. You should write a book on this. Seriously.

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    1. tehehehe .... well yeah, thats certainly a dream, but you are kind, thank you Amit! But honestly have you SEEN the kind of competition there is in the publishing world these days? :-(

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  2. LOL!! Sniffing toothbrushes!! :D
    I think the not walking in without knocking on a closed door is a good rule; less embarrassing for everyone concerned. Also, private diaries...I don't know if your daughter has one, but if she does, there should be a rule that no one else tries to read it!

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    1. Oh you should see my daughter going all 'Sherlock Holmesy' on her stuff, Roshni!! And yes, the dairy point is absolutely true. She does have a dairy, and keeps it safely locked :-)

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  3. This is really helping me in preparing myself being a mom, though its at least 3 years away. I couldn't think of any more rules, however I wouldn't want a rule that would create barriers between the different sex siblings which would hence be a hindrance in creating a strong bonding between them!

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    1. hmmmmm....... thats a very intelligent comment, Dhara! Completely agree that they should just accept that there are men and there are women in this world. period. Which is why I am a strong advocate of them using the same room. BTW... something tells me you're gonna make a rockstar mom :-)

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    2. OMG! THAT is the dream. To be a rock star mom. I want my kids to be born with miniature guitars in their hands!! :D
      Woah! That would probably hurt me though!!!

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  4. Replies
    1. Dude, you make me gush! Even without saying anything! :-D .... thank you so much Raj!

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  5. Really sniffing toothbrushes :) I agree with Amit and Raj here.. give a serious thought :)

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    1. You guys really are the best! Jas, thank you for all the encouragement

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  6. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAemphasizing the importance of changing only in the privacy of their room. LOL SO CUTE this was to read!!

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    1. Yup! We have our very own entertainment channel 24x7. Thanks RH!!

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  7. The task that is of being a mom. Respect. I have a nephew who absolutely hates bathing and wearing clothes. His mom is fully drained and tired by the time its 9am.

    "sniffing at toothbrushes, towels, pillows and blankets"- I too did this for a very long time. And I thought it was perfectly fine to do so.:-)

    And I too would like to read all your 'Mommy' experiences, in a book.

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    1. Yup! 'Drained and tired' pretty much sums up my life :-) .... And hwo on earth can you think sniffing at toothbrushes is 'normal'????

      thank you for the encouragement... maybe some day...!

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  8. Endearing traits that only kids display and we try our best to "civilize" them.

    What a delightful read, Nirvana :-)

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  9. Someones privacy is somebody's curosity.Good read.

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    1. oh yes!! well said, Gyanban!! Thanks!

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  10. hahahhaa..!!!
    sniffing toothbrushes?!!!
    reminds me of a cat!!!!
    such an adorable post this..
    you should really consider writing a book
    "Parenting 101..straight for the horse's..ermm mother's mouth"
    blehehehehe...!!!
    cheers !!

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    1. hey!!! that's a wonderful title!! :-) ... thank you Meoww!!

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