Clarifications and DVDs

Clarification about the post about the Dharwad trip and DVD player: I meant a Car-DVD player. We have a DVD player at home.

DVDs: Just wanted to post here our favorite videos these past few months:
The Clone Wars
Dunstan Checks In
The Magic School Bus series
Motorcycle Diaries (Raghu sat thru this and asked me to read the subtitles)
Angelina Ballerina
Little Bear Series
Batman.. cartoon
Asterix and Obelix… cartoon
BEN 10… should have been posted as number 1 🙂
Snoopy come home
Richard Scarry Busy Town
Night at the Museum
Tom and Jerry.. old and new
BBC series on Gerald Durrel’s My family and other animals
Dora the explorer

I’m sure there are more… but these are the ones we’ve seen off and on over the past couple of months.

For those who want to learn about RU

Ravi has very little time slotted per day for himself. Usually any spare hours go towards the kids and me and some finance things. Leaves him little time for any research or reading.

So since our little conference (i shall post about that soon) he has taken to reading one essay per day on Sandra’s site.

At — — Sandra has created a randomizer for this kind of reading. Anyone who is interested please take a look. You don’t have to think about navigating the site and finding topics. Just read whenever and whatever you can.

We can all be happy.

We are going on a 6 hour road trip this Friday. Meeting up with family in Dharwad for a nephew’s ceremony. And then we return on Monday.

I have been a bit under the weather since last afternoon. So while Raghu and I were settling into a nap.. he asked who would be coming to this family meet and how long the trip would take and other related questions. Then he asked me if the Car/jeep we are hiring has a DVD player. (we don’t have one .. portable or otherwise. But Raghu had experienced a Family van with inbuilt DVD player a while back…. again a longish road trip… the DVD player was used non stop by Raghu. It bothered some of us. We were a large group.)

Back to his question…. I barely did any deep breathing or checking of my emotions… i simply blurted out “Raghu if you want to keep watching videos while we travel thru lovely fields.. the trip is on a good road known for a beautiful ride…. then you may as well stay back with your grandma.” He looked surprised at my outburst and said “no, no i’ll come.”

At that moment i could think of nothing else to say except “we really want a road trip to enjoy the sights and be exchange stories and sing along with our CD player etc. So we did not consider hiring a car with a DVD player.” Then my head throbbed too much to talk. and we fell asleep.

A few hours later i had a quiet walk (baby sitter at home) and called sister for advice about this… she is my baby-sister all grown up now… and she is the one who gets RU the best. She and i discussed my choice. But i did not feel good inside. I felt rotten.

I called Urmila (the only other RU mom in Pune). Based on what we exchanged…. i felt a lovely shift happening inside:

Raghu’s choices are as best as they can be for him… as are mine for me. I love watching the rolling fields and talking to Ravi and kids and exchanging stories/singing along with cds etc. I love stopping and tasting some local food item (food and language changes every 50 km in india i think 🙂 Or taking a small detour and stretching our legs and clicking a few photos. Raghu, per his current interests, would love to carry his DS Nintendo and enjoy our company alongside his playing. He does not mind not having a DVD player since he has his DS. He may want different things from this trip than i do. If he does nto choose to enjoy the scenery the way i do… i need to stay smiling.. happy for his choices. And i can continue to enjoy my choices… i can stop the car and stretch and take in the view. And i shall smile at my child’s and husband’s choices. We all make different choices and they must be honored as far as possible.

I immediately felt a weight lift and i felt light and airy. We can all be happy and supportive of each other. I can’t even begin to write the ramifications of coercive living… but i can begin to write about the beauty of RU living. No one is martyred.

Zoya has been feeling sad whenever Raghu is on the DS for too many hours of the day and he refuses to join our games. But i make up for his absence as best i can. Last evening she told me that she wanted to get her own DS. I said yes… that was a great idea. She smiled and kissed me and said… “me happy, you happy?” Then she thought a bit and said “I will play with Raghu”. 🙂

Sure… i’m not fond of screen time for myself… but if it is a passion for my child or children… i shall make shifts within and accept their choices… as they accept mine. Raghu i’m sure would never stop me from taking a break for photos while we are on the road. He is so reasonable about our choices. Why can’t we joyously accept his?

So looking forward to this trip and to making it joyous for all of us with our different/overlapped/similar needs.

Our little conference and other things…

My dear sister and her endowed with the most fantastic sense of humor husband are coming down from Bangalore to be with the kids for 3 days. This while Ravi and I take 6 hours off each consecutive day to read/talk/discuss/delve into/play with/explore UNSCHOOLING in all its glory 🙂 We plan to read Sandra, Ren, Pam, Kelly, and so many others who dish it out well cooked, seasoned perfectly.

We were hopeful of attending a conference in the US where all the radical unschoolers would gather… there are many happening thru the year in all parts of the US. But we were unable to commit for various reasons. So instead we decided to do the next best thing. Give ourselves some time to sit and mull with the internet as our conference room. We then figured out the the only way this would work was if the children got their fav aunt and uncle to baby sit… with some help of our local lovely baby sitter Anandee (a fantastic, recent manifestation :-).. happened thanks to Sandra’s chat session)

We will give the newly married couple the evening off each day. And the morning/afternoon will be ours… about 9-3. Living this life involves a tremendous effort in deschooling ourselves. In focusing on healing ourselves of past issues. Our inner voices shape our lives and if i am today able to smile at chaos (i used to be a stickler for list/order/plans etc) it is because i could let go of internal issues, could heal myself and allow chaos 🙂 So while i may still want to make lists and have a plan in place.,.. its okay if the kids make changes, cancel things or if the lists change. I”m able to go with the flow mostly. Kids are already perfect in a way… they are happy, learning, connected deeply with their inner voices… i just need to get out the way. So this conference is for me and Ravi to look within and learn to get out the way… and allow ourselves freedom to just “be”. We need to baby ourselves. We need to listen to our needs… if i want to explore eating lots of snickers bars… then so be it. LOA is also helping me here. I no longer associate food with guilt, boredom, gain in weight etc.

Ravi often has issues with Raghu’s hair falling over his eyes. Raghu has longish shoulder length hair. A while ago Ravi and Raghu played with styling hair… and Raghu found that he could use oil and water and get his hair to stay up. I coudl see that it was Ravi’s issue. Raghu was fine the way he was. But at some point Raghu foudn his hair bugged him when he was trying to concentrate on something. And that day he decided to use gel, oil, water to style his hair off his eyes. So while it was nice to give Raghu a way to help himself…. Ravi can now see that if its his own issue… he needs to be able to talk without coercing. And if Raghu feels the same… as he indeed did the day his hair bothered him….. then he will ask/use our help. Ravi is happier when Raghu’s hair is off his forehead…. but he is only now beginning to see the implications of coercion and how it affects the relationship. And at the same time he sees the beauty in simple non-coercive conversation, offering solutions/help and backing off.

Sitting with our own needs/desires and seeing how they affect our children… esp when its not something that has any true consequences… is so important to this whole process. For this and many other reasons… we hope to sit with and distill the parts that seem to act as blocks to our otherwise lovely life. I think TV, Video gaming, what are our obligations to friends and family etc… are some of the areas that we will be pondering and unblocking 🙂

Meanwhile Raghu had a wish for home-made pizzas with the works… fresh mushroom, olives, mozzarella, home-made sauce, etc… for his little party of 7 kids! Zoya, my 3 nephews and nieces down for a longish stay during their school hols, Aarohi and her brother Rushabh and Devesh. Wow it was quite something today. For about 2 hours the house was in chaos/laughter/some tears/jumping on the bed/crazy conversations about babies coming out of stomachs.. correction from Raghu… uterus etc… It was a blast. but at the end of 2 hours i requested the 3 building guests to make their way home… moms were ready to pick them up. The remaining 3 cousins and my 2 are now chilling out with individual games/interests.

Raghu in the middle of his pizza looks up and says,”Amma… 3 glasses of iced tea with one ice cube each please”. and a smile that made me feel so happy to be able to comply and give him such pleasure. He loves sharing his home, food and loves planing elaborate meals.

It has been quite an experience for Raghu to have his cousins here. He seems to find it easier to switch to Hindi from time to time so his cousins understand him. They do speak English but are more fluent in Hindi and probably think in Hindi and Marathi. They live in Indore, way north of here.