This post on Mantamism is specially dedicated to dear GB. She had commented on my previous Mantamism post saying it made her very happy and that’s why one more coming her way:
Mannu told me one day that there was this guy L in her class who repeatedly kept telling her that she had an ugly face. I stopped in my tracks and thought about how I must make her understand that what other people think of you in none of your business. But my train of thoughts came to a grinding halt when Mannu said “Mumma, I don’t know why he says that because it’s wrong to judge others on their appearances, right?” Instead of her feeling bad about being called ugly, she was worried about L’s actions. I grinned ear to ear for two reasons. The first reason was that being shamed had zero effect on her, it did not bother her one bit. Second reason was that she believed that judging other people based on how they look was not right.
Mantam get a report card by their class teacher twice a year. As their progress is not measured here based on exams, they get evaluated based on their behaviour, sports, Math and English skills demonstrated in the class on a day to day basis. The report is usually sent along with the kid in a sealed envelope. The teacher always stresses on the envelope not being opened before reaching home.
The last term when Mantam came back with the report, Tammu had a Eureka moment. She said Mrs.Stone gave me the report card. I am going to prepare a report card for her about how she has performed as a teacher. I just let her do what she felt like. She made a report card similar to what was given to her. It had a page with the description of how she fared, other page had the evaluation column. She listed different attributes and rated them as Good or Bad. She then sealed it in an envelope to present it to her teacher. I missed clicking a picture but I was in awe of her ideas.In the evening I was too curious to know how her teacher had reacted and couldn’t wait to know. Tammu told me that Mrs. Hall laughed on receiving the report and after reading it she said “Tamanna, you are so funny”
Mannu is the helper of her class as she she is at home. She proactively lends all her friends a hand and needless to say the teacher too. Mannu says that her teacher once asked her “Mannat, your house must be clean all the time as you are living there.” One day they had an activity where each kid took turn to face the class and was given an impromptu topic to speak on. Mannu’s turn came and when she picked a random chit, she got the topic “The chore you hate doing” And guess what? Mannu’s teacher voluntarily told her “Mannat, I think this topic will be too hard for you as your love doing your chores. Why don’t you pick another topic?” And Mannu proudly came home and told us this.
One day Tammu was making up a story. She said “There was a girl and a boy. The boy was a Hundred air”
Mannu and I were stumped “What was the boy??”
Tammu: “A hundred air”
Me (thinking that this must be some Aussie term that is out of my limited vocabulary’s bounds or some familiar word that she is pronouncing in a heavy Aussie accent): “Tammu, I really don’t understand. Can you please explain?”
Tammu: “Mumma, you know how you once told about a millionaire is a person who owns million dollars. But this boy in the story only had hundred dollars. So he is a hundredaire na?”
Me: “Yeah, you’re right. Why didn’t I ever think about it?”
During our vacation, one morning Mannu kept saying that her ankle was hurting. After a while, she started limping. I got worried and we were in a place where she had to walk. All I had in my handbag was Amrutanjan (pain relief balm) and I offeref to apply it on her ankle.
Me: “You are limping na? Shall I apply some Amrutanjan?”
Mannu (pain filled frowning face): “Ok Mumma”
Me (sits her down): Can you bring your ankle forwarf so that I can apply the balm
Mannu (brings her foot closer to me): There!
I nicely apply the balm and lightly massage her. Then we start walking again.
In just about a couple of minutes,
Mannu: Mumma, I’m feeling a lot better now. Thank you for the massage.
Me (patting myself on the back at a well done job): You’re welcome my dear. I’m glad you are feeling good now.
In just a couple of more minutes,
Mannu (in a concerned tone): Mumma, you know what?
Me: Has it started paining again?
Mannu: No Mumma
Me: Then what happened?
Mannu: Mumma, I actually gave you the wrong leg to massage. The pain was in the other leg.
Me: Whatttt?? So does that mean the pain is still there?
Mannu (chuckles): No Mumma, strangely the pain has gone away.
Me: Hmph! Next time wherever you have pain in one body part, I’ll apply medicine on the other. Seems like it works magic!!!
Every night when Mantam go to bed, Abbas and I go tuck them in and say good night. I always give them a hug and we kiss one another. Most days I even lay down with them for 5-10 minutes chatting about everything under the sun. Somehow, that chat feels really precious and at times it gets dragged on for more than 10 minutes. Abbas then starts nagging me to let them sleep as it would be hard for them to wake up next morning.
Today, Mantam went to sleep a bit late as I came home late and relaxed more than any usual working day as tomorrow is a public holiday here. Before going to say Good night to them I asked Abbas to let me speak to them tonight as there was no rush to wake up at the usual time tomorrow morning. He said “No problem. Talk away as much as you want tonight”
Mannu was very sleepy as it was past her bedtime and was not so much in a mood to chat. Tammu is an owl and can stay awake whole night if you let her. Tammu and I started talking and giggling. Mannu was trying hard to sleep and got very irked with the noise we were making.
Mannu: “You both are not letting me sleep”
Me (in a disappointed tone): Tammu, see today your Baba was ok for me to chat with you both but Mannu is irritated.
Tammu (in a naughty sarcastic tone): It’s ok Mumma. Life is unfair after all!!
Tammu: (Starts laughing hysterically)