HOW DO YOU FEED YOUR 2 YEAR OLD

As a mother of a 2 year old – this is usually a question we often end up asking each other in kids play area while talking to other moms. It’s a challenge – that’s usually the answer from each one of us.

So, what do I do? Typical evening in my house.

“Joey, its dinner time. Come, mom made your favorite aloo parantha with curd.”

No reaction from the child. Then I hold him and tell him the same thing.

“No no no. I don’t want to eat.”

“Ok, do you want something else? Do you want butter with it? Or do you want paneer ki sabji?”

No reaction yet again.

“Come baby, we will read this book. I got you a new story book.”

“No, I don’t want.” He says while running around the entire house.

Tired after horrible day at work – I feel the frustration rising inside me. It is already 9 pm and if he doesn’t eat now, his sleep time will get delayed and then tomorrow morning will be a challenge. And a thought crosses my mind – when will the day come when he will just sit on his own and eat?

“Come Joey, we will watch YouTube – Dora the Explorer has a new episode”. I give up finally and that little tinge of guilt crooks up, but I turn it down. I will not give him phone from next weekend – I make a self-resolution which I know will not last.

Joey comes quickly as obedient kid and takes his place on his chair. Dinner is done in 13 mins maximum. And then another challenge begins.

“Joey give me the phone back now. Dinner is done.”

No reaction. He is just so engrossed in watching which place will Dora visit next! I wait till his episode of 20 mins get over. But damn this YouTube, they just start off the next episode in just 10 seconds. Then there is bit of struggle in getting the phone back from him but finally I succeed. So overall, 22 mins of phone time! This multiplied by 3 times a day. Not a good sign at all. It is not always YouTube there is Angry Birds, Talking Tom, Color Squad and so many more! Why do they make such apps and why do I even install such things?? No idea!

Post dinner Joey wants me to read a story to him and probably sing nursery rhymes with him at the top of the voice. And many times actually enact them as well. So we start doing just that. We start with “Teddy bear, teddy bear”, “Daddy finger”, “Incy wincy spider” and then the story of “Pied piper” followed by “Hansel and Gretel”. In middle of the story, I see my phone beep and there a WhatsApp notification from my best friend who is in the US. She will leave for work in some time and then I won’t be able to chat with her and there is one important topic that cannot wait. So now I start to multitask between WhatsApping her and reading stories to my son. 15 mins later, he is frustrated and cranky and so am I!

This is an everyday story for me and I am sure for a lot of other moms. I don’t know how our mothers managed us without mobile apps, Tata sky and chromecast. Our generation cannot think of not having technology as a partner in parenting.

Sometimes it is 2 year old not eating without phone, other times it is a 5 year old learning how to fight the goons from our Bollywood masala. There are also many 13 year olds who are fighting with their parents for a smartphone and others who want a Facebook or an Instagram account. There are many kids who love to play Dark Knight, Pokemon or Minecraft sitting in a room comfortably engrossed in the virtual world. There are kids who simply hate the fact that they are asked to play Football, Cricket, Tennis in the real fields. There are adults who check their phones on an average of every 10 mins – you can imagine the power of concentration that we have.

I recently read a sarcastic joke on WhatsApp – “Can you imagine that there are still some hopeless people in this world who hold a toothbrush in their hands as soon as they wake up instead of their phone?” Well it is indeed unimaginable. I don’t remember the last time I did not check my phone as soon as I woke up. Do you remember???

ARE WE BECOMING SLAVES OF MODERNIZATION?

A magnificent morning with a splendid sunrise in a small village. A small old thatched home with a small, yet a neat surrounding .the surrounding space contains plants and a small box like shaped home for hens. The morning alarm is the sound of the “Cock-a-doodle-doo” by the cock in the traditional way of standing on top of its small house. With the wake-up call, the elder lady in the house wakes up and starts cleaning the place, and the smoke evolving from the chimney of the house, as she starts cooking too. The place is well-kept single handed by the lady of the house. She wakes up everyone and simultaneously keeps on her household work too. All gets-up and starts on the daily chores. Kids wake up and start playing with the hen and chicks in the surrounding. They run around in the sand, the grass among the plants touching each and everything in nature. From one corner the father laughs at their play, another corner the mother is scolding them for spoiling the place. Yet, there is joy in the house- a harmony that is untouched by the modernization.

Nowadays, the scenario is totally different. Everyone wakes up with mobile alarms, gone are the days of even the clocks. Instead of God or seeking the blessings from the Lord, all are busy in checking WhatsApp and Facebook even before opening their eyes. There are no conversations, it is just message – binaries flowing everywhere. Every neck is bent down on to the mobiles or pads. Everything has changed.

The other day as I was passing the street near my home, I noticed few kids playing in the rain, with all the mud all over them. There was no tinge of scare or anybody to take care of them. They were like free-birds, enjoying their flight in the mother nature. This lets me think when was the last time I took a walk in the rain, walked around the muddy area and enjoyed the down pour. For a second I felt jealous of them.

Another day, from the balcony of my apartment, I kept watching the kids in the construction site. When our kids were enjoying the bliss of luxury, they were playing with single toys. Now kids don’t need toys they are all clogged to the mobile and iPad screens.

Technology has truly drained the childhood, making them more machine like. One day the whole will be like binaries- 1 and 0  with no one to distinguish the feelings of the heart. The insensibility created by the modernization is affecting the minds. Everyone around us is getting addicted to the facilities and the progression made by the world. Going back to nature and becoming one has become close to impossible.

We are slowly hurting the mother nature, to increase the comfort. But what does this comfort lead us

But what does this comfort lead us to?

Yes, Obesity, laziness, illness, and much more. The world is becoming a comfort-zone for all the illness too. Increase in pollution due to deforestation. There is a huge gap that is developed in the people with regard to income. And more over our culture is deteriorating gradually, unknowingly by our own deeds.

It is time to realize the impact we are creating in the world – distinguish the positive and the negative ones and react accordingly. We need to methodize some ways to preserve the nature, as well as our culture. We need to teach our kids the beauty of living in nature. Let them understand the life in a rightful manner.