American Toddler-isms & Indian Parents

Much as we prefer that the kids speak ‘konkani’ our mother tongue at home, we quite enjoy the American-isms they bring to the conversation.
Some of the recent additions to his vocabulary,“It’s Trash” not garbage, not dustbin
I made a Mess” Everything from cluttered toys, to food drippings on his clothes is a ‘mess’
Hi-Fi” after everything he does, whether going to the bathroom by himself, finishing his plate or pronouncing a new word. Every new accomplishment is followed by “I did it” complete with hands up in the air as if he has won the marathon and then “Hi-Fi”. Not giving a prompt ‘Hi-fi’ is akin to an insult of mammoth proportions, the kind that takes a good 40 minutes to make up for.
No Way” His school tells me that saying ‘no’ teaches negativity to the kids. A statement I heard at the recent Parent-Teacher Meeting, “We are working on how we do not say ‘No’”. The kids being the obedient little brats that they are, promptly settled on “No Way”. Of course, they way they say it “Nowayyy” makes it one word and so very different from just “No”…This ‘modern method of raising kids’ by treating them as adults and not as kids’ is good in its own way. But where my kids are concerned, highly overrated.

A recent conversation,

Method 1 : Including them in ideas
“Aayush, are we gonna ‘clean up’ the toys and books before we go to sleep?”

“No Way”

Try Method 2 : ‘Golden’ words
“Aayush, Please put away your toys and books? “

“No Way”

Try method 3 : Gentle Reasoning
“We have to clean up everything, otherwise it’s a mess, isn’t it? Then, you won’t find the books you want tomorrow. Your friend will come and say, ‘Aayush’s room is messy’ Right? we don’t want that, do we? We are going to clean up, aren’t we? “

“No Way”

Try Method 4 : Reward System
“You will earn the merit sticker that you can show off at school tomorrow”

[thinking] “No Way”

Try Method 5 : My Mothers System
“pUra bitari kANu dAvari natle kAn tirpitA”
(Keep everything back or else I will twist your ears)

{Scrambling to help clean up}

Mom had it right.

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