Sunday, September 20, 2015

Tentative Parenting : The Phenomenon of Indian Standard Time

6.30 AM : I wake up to the irritating beeps of the smoke detector, signaling that it needed a new battery. Pulled the offending machine out and tried to change batteries, couldn't - so kept it aside.
7.00 AM : Attended to urgent emails and work stuff. Started the kettle, heated the milk for my son's morning hot chocolate, started packing his lunch box and snack bag. Get ready for work
7.30 AM : Wake son up and give him his milk, pack my lunch, clean up the kitchen and remind him to pack his school bag with homework, lunch and snack bag
8.05 AM : The prodigal son is still sitting with his half-finished milk staring into space...the shrill voices start and I start a count down for him to finish his milk...
8.26 AM : Half worn shoes, sleepy eyes and we rush the long distance of less than a mile to school...the prodigal son skips the assembly and goes straight to class to avoid getting a tardy

I am at my wits end as to how to fix this malaise... the prodigal son gives me a bewildered look - when I tell him - Why don't you stop adhering to Indian Standard Time...he says - but Ma I am Californian! (alrighty then!)

Are we Indians being branded wrongly - as the race that is perpetually late?  I believe there is no smoke without fire in this case...

 I am guilty as charged on the personal front - to family dinners, meeting friends...I do get a little lax with my rules but have a stringent double standard when it comes to work stuff - I need to be excuses.

Here are a few guidelines I set for my son this week :

#1 Set Realistic Timelines - Plan backwards...see how much time you need to get ready for school, then add a 15 minute buffer - that's the time you need to get up in the AM
#2 Get Organized - Pack you soccer bag in the night, keep your shoes out and pack your homework the night avoid running around like a headless chicken in the AM and helping convert your working mom into a screeching banshee.
#3 Enjoy Downtime - if you get to a place early, enjoy the 5-10 minutes of peace and quiet...we got to his soccer photo shoot 20 minutes early today...he played with his friends while I baked in the heat catching up with the soccer moms.

Lesson for Prodigal Son and Working Mom - Being on time,every time conveys more than a sense of good timing - it tells people that you are on top of things, organized, can be counted on for stuff and that you value them and their time and ultimately value yourself.