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Featuring a Quirky Letter from MO to his Mom: From Raising Mamma by Lalita Iyer

Raising Mamma

What makes anyone a parent? Is it the mere act of having a child? Perhaps if we stop pretending that we are raising our children and accept that we are being raised by them, the world would be a happier place. We excerpt this fun letter from the little Mo to his mom from Lalita Iyer’s Raising Mamma.

Dear Mamma,

  1. ‘No’ means ‘no’. Don’t you realise that when I say it with all my strength? Is there any other language you want me to say it in?
  2. Play-dates should be planned on the basis of how much I like the kid. Not how much you like the mother. I am the baby, remember?
  3. Yes, I have a thing for the screen and yes, I can watch Nemo and Ice Age over and over again. And don’t you try to pretend the DVD is not working. Or that you can’t find it. I can tell when you are lying.
  4. When I am watching my favourite movies, do not distract me with food, baths and potty reminders. The last one is gross.
  5. Oh, and by the way, I know that ‘Oh God’ was my cry for potty time, but now I randomly use it just to test you. Haven’t you noticed?
  6. Don’t mess with my food. I eat better and I am less complain about food than any child I know, but don’t
    you tell me I have to eat the roti with the sabzi. Or the dal with the chawal. And please DO NOT mix things up in my plate when I am not looking. I first like to admire things on my plate and then attack one item after another. So yes, I will finish my sabzi first, then go to my dal and then eat the roti or chawal. And don’t you frown at me. Sometimes, when I feel like it, I will also drown my roti in dal and then refuse to eat it. Sometimes.
  7. May be you like eating a gooey mess and don’t care about the colour match on your plate. But then it is your problem.
  8. I do not like being picked up. Except when it is you. Please don’t make me do the work of telling every person this. In fact, why don’t you buy a hundred of those ‘Do not touch’ t-shirts and make me wear them every day? In different colours, please.
  9. I love my curls and don’t want anyone messing with them. Not even you. So don’t give me this story of ‘If you oil your hair twice a week, it will stay beautiful and shiny forever.’
  10. I will happily say ‘Hi’ and ‘Bye’ to every stranger as long as they leave me alone. Please don’t tell anyone I am social. It is annoying. I was just being polite and doing my bit to make the world a happier place.
  11. Just because you have to nap, do not con me into a nap. I can tell. I lead a busy life and have lots to do.
  12. Do not rearrange anything that I am sitting on, eating, watching or playing with when I leave the room. I can tell.
  13. ‘Ya’ sounds better than ‘Yes’, so ‘Ya’ it will be. Please don’t try to correct me. How many times do you say ‘Yes’ anyway?
  14. If you are inviting what’s-his-name to my house, please ask him to bring his own toys. And his own cats!
  15. Sometimes I like to rearrange my closet and yours too. Sometimes, I may do this with toys and books, but not always, so don’t think I am organised. Yet.
  16. Don’t ever take me to a birthday party where they have that weird thing called Khoyi bag! Who invented that anyway?
  17. In case you do take me to such a party because you like ‘the parents’, please ask them for the song playlist right at the door. If they are playing loud and silly adulty songs, or the MC is doing a strange dance, please let us leave.
  18. Yes, there was a time when I bathed every morning, napped every afternoon, went for a walk whenever you told me to. That time is over!
  19. When I need space, I will ask you to go. I know it sounds rude, but it is the best way of communicating.
  20. I may make up for it by randomly walking up to you with a ‘Maaarrmmeee’ and a hug. I know it’s called PR in your world.
  21. Don’t fish for compliments. If I like something that you made, I will usually produce sound effects. Or even say, ‘Nice’. But don’t try and put words in my mouth.
  22. If I am having a bad time, I am having a bad time. If plan B doesn’t work, try plan M, or R, or X. Out-ofthe-box thinking is what they call it, I think. Read up. Talk to friends. Do something.
  23. If you do manage to trick me into a bath, I will also wash random clothes and linen I pick up. I might also like to spend an hour and be left alone.
  24. I know my technology. I know that phones can be locked and have not fallen ill.
  25. More later. Have already wasted an hour on this.

Excerpted from Raising Mamma by Lalita Iyer with permission from OM Books International.

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