Comparative Cultures

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Comparative Cultures

Laptop lopped as Mommy opts for face time with kids

By Kinjal Dagli Shah

We all make plans for summer. I have one too – to spend more time and resources on experiences rather than things. It’s a pretty simple plan, one that I’m sure we have all realised the value of at some point or the other.

My first step has been to stop checking the promotional emails that ping me like my life depends on them. So far, I feel pretty liberated. I’m just doing laundry a wee bit more often and making sure my kids have clean summer clothes to wear, not minding if they repeat the tank top thrice a week. They couldn’t care less. And because our closets aren’t overflowing, even with the added laundry, I’m left with more time to take them to the park and to watch them play in the sandbox (we bought it before my big plan).

It’s a pretty special summer, one that precedes a momentous school year. My elder child will be entering Grade 1 and my younger one will start kindergarten. As I rejoice at the thought of all the hours I will get to myself, I also carry a load of guilt bigger than what fits into my laundry basket. Just like a mom would, I wonder where the time flew by, and if I really spent quality time with them, equipping them mentally and emotionally for the world of peers and school life. I will never have a satisfactory answer but I decided that my summer months would be spent pushing them higher on the swings, watching them run amok under the summer sun, and hearing them squeal at the sight of weird potato bugs.

In tandem with the plan is a sub-plan to reduce my own screen time. One night, I asked my three-year-old about the things he loves, and he mentioned fire trucks and rabbit racers, cars and beetles. Then I asked him what mommy loves, and he said my laptop. I felt slightly mortified. I suggested that I also love playing games with him and reading with him but he had already sent the message out into the world. I hope to convince my preschooler that mommy’s lap belongs to him, more than the machine that seems to be occupying the space.

Write to Kinjal at kinjal.dagli@gmail.com

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