Well, we have a little game of word-search going on here. One more word to go. Who can spot it- Namnam or Amma?! 🙂 🙂
The kind where you’re torn between feeling compelled to stand up for your child when she is being unceremoniously snubbed by a friend and miserable when you corner that friend into submission, probably even making her feel sad and alone in the process.
I have nothing to say in my defense aside the fact that all I had in mind was this inane urge to protect my child from feeling alone herself. I didn’t want her to sit there and feel helpless despite her attempt to convince her friend that her point of view was far more reasonable and the way she acted in a certain situation was right.
But that still doesn’t make what I did any right, does it? I am a horrible person :(. I feel so miserable because the friend in question is a very very sweet child otherwise. She is Namnam’s first friend in Dubai and a lovely person at heart. Its just that sometimes she tends to get a bit rude and argumentative with Namnam which bothers me. Especially when I see it happening in front of me.
I know that I should ideally be telling my child to stand up to herself in situations like this. And I do tell her more often than not. In fact we had a long chat yesterday after a similar friction with the said friend on her way back from school. I asked her whether she felt that her friend was curt and rude to which she said yes she had felt so. And I firmly asked her why she didn’t respond to her in the same rude manner. She said she didn’t want to be rude to her or anybody simply because she didn’t like being rude. She had rather ignore that person or stop talking to her than engage in an unpleasant argument. Fair enough, I thought.
Anyway, I understood her point well, but I also tried to make her understand that if she didn’t approve of anyone being mean to her then she had to be bold enough to speak up and tell them that she did not appreciate being talked to in such a manner.
So today, when a situation presented itself where the friend questioned a certain action of Namnam that occurred in school the previous day. I was happy to see my daughter standing her ground and explain why she acted the way she did.
She believed what she did was right, and in my eyes, as I listened to their conversation, she was every bit right too. But this friend of hers kept arguing otherwise. I would have probably let them sort it by themselves. And should have.
But the parenting guilt, somehow, crept in because I was unable to stand up for her yesterday which made me all the more aggressive this morning and go all out to shield my child from getting hurt again.
Unfortunately that gave way to another guilt of hurting another child. I know I wasn’t rude, per se. But I was curt enough to make her face droop. And that really made my heart go out for her.
Here I was trying to prove to my child that she could rely on me, only to end up setting a wrong example.
Parenting, sometimes, throws such awkward situations at you! Sigh!
Namnam turned 8 last week. And I had planned to bake a special cake for her. So, like a good mom, I asked her what kind of cake she would like on her bday and pat came the reply- A ‘Thea Stilton’ cake, based on her favourite book!
Now the thought of having to design a figurine cake with its whiskers and ears and nose and lashes perfectly in place, among other things, was enough to petrify the lazy, utterly uncreative, unartistic, not to forget, awfully messy mom in me! 😯
Sooooo, the good mom brought out the meanie mom from within and moulded her child into getting excited about another cake that was relatively easy to bake, and also stayed true to the occasion :twisted:.
And when I told her that she could assist me in decorating the cake, the excitement level shot a few notches up 🙂
Here’s what we made for the 8 year old and her friends who had come over to celebrate the day with us 🙂
In case any of you is wondering how I made this, here’s how..
I baked 2 round chocolate cakes using a 9 inch baking dish. Once the cakes were completely cooled, I cut a hole with a 2cm round mouthed glass in the middle of each.
Then I cut off a bit from the edge of both the cakes in equal measure, applied some chocolate frosting (recipe to follow as the post progresses) on the edges..
And joined the cakes..
Then applied some more frosting, around the cakes.
And some more, liberally!
The last step was the decorating with m&m gems for which I got able help from the b’day girl herself.
And that is how we pulled off the number 8 cake.
Now to the recipes.
Any chocolate cake would work well. I normally use a very simple recipe which I have shared with IMC for their Book Week special as well here.
However, this time I baked my cakes using this recipe from Add a Pinch, which turned out supremely moist and delicious!
For frosting, well, all I can say is that it’s a blessing if you have baker-friends you can turn to :). They can be absolute life-savers! I had scouted around various websites in search of a good frosting recipe but in vain, until Monika came to my rescue. She shared this easy-peasy, super-yum recipe of hers which worked like a charm!
Thank you so much, Mon 🙂
And here goes the recipe, as given by her, verbatim..
100 gm dark chocolate
200 gm package cream cheese
4 cups confectioners’ sugar/ Icing sugar( In my case, 3 cups more than sufficed)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cream if required
Have all ingredients at room temperature. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave oven.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Pour melted chocolate into cream cheese and mix on medium speed until well blended. Add vanilla and pinch of salt. Slowly mix in the confectioners sugar.
Scrape the sides of the bowl and increase the mixer speed to medium-high. Slowly add cream until the frosting is spreading consistency.
Edited to Add:
Pixie asked me a very relevant question after reading the post. She wanted to know whether we ate the pieces of cake that I cut from the middle and edges. To answer her and anyone who may have had the same doubt- Yessss, we totally did! We gobbled them all up! Namnam even took some pieces to school to have at lunch.
Chocolates of any any kind, size or shape are not to be wasted, you see! That’s the golden rule of my chocoholic household 😛
You’ll soon be starting a new school year, ushering in a new chapter in your life. Much as it makes me anxious to know how well you will eventually take to the new surrounding, your excitement about the prospect of going back to school is just so infectious, darling!
I know you miss your old school, your friends and your teachers a lot. You constantly reminisce about the fun you had with them, the lessons you learned, sometimes amazing me with the knowledge you’ve gained on various subjects for which I have no-one but your teachers to thank, making it all so obvious how much you have cherished those moments. Why, you even asked me if you could keep your old uniforms safe and wear them sometimes just because you loved them so much!
And now you can’t wait for the new school to reopen for I can see how much you hope to recreate those experiences of your previous school in your current one just as well. I’m so happy to see that eagerness in you! May you always be as positive as you are, sweetheart.
But do keep one thing in mind, Namnam. While it’s fine to relate the experiences that you may go through here with the ones you had in your previous school, please avoid comparing the two for the simple fact that each school is different and each experience, each person that comes your way may be different.
Embrace each moment with open arms and mind while preserving the memories of the moments gone by in your heart.
I can see how eager you are to join your new school, but I can also feel in your words a feeble sense of uncertainty about fitting in well. It’s perfectly normal to have such uncertainties, Namnam. But let me tell you, there is no need for you to be doubtful in any way. Be yourself, your kind, loving, fun, adapting self and you’ll be just fine 🙂
That’s not to say that you should compromise over your views. No, never. If you believe in something, stick to it, be assertive. Having said that, be also willing to accept if you are in the wrong.
Trust me, you’ll feel much better and more confident to face not just others but also your own self, if you can recognize the mistakes, whatsoever you have made and learn from them.
Take your time to make friends. There’s no hurry. Don’t fret if you can’t get along with your fellow mates. Understand that its not possible to get along with all of them out there! Make friends with children who may not necessarily agree with you, but who understand and respect you for who or what you are.
However, there’s one quality that I would really like you to work on. And thats your shyness. You’re still wary of going out there and opening up to fellow kids. It’s perfectly fine to be an introvert, Namnam. I am so I know. But if you like someone, be bold and go upto the person and introduce yourself. You never know, he/she may turn out to be a friend waiting to be made for life!
I know I don’t have to tell you what I am about to, for you know this already and you have adhered to it beautifully so far. Still let me tell you again 🙂
You’ll be away from home for a good part of the day.
And you will be in the care of teachers who would be trying their best to bring the best out of you.
Do cooperate with them and hear them out. Give them the respect you would give your Papa and Amma. Do listen to them and speak up if and when you have any concerns or doubts. Your teachers will be happy to clarify any doubt for you. I keep telling you this..please do not keep your thoughts cooped up inside you. You have a beautifully curious mind, express it!
You have been extremely lucky to have been blessed with wonderful teachers who have always been able to bring you out of your shell, help you become more and more confident in every which way possible. I hope and pray that you are blessed with such teachers here in the new school too.
While I realize, with a heavy heart, that with each passing year, you’ll be moving further away from me and papa..oh how I wish we could keep you safely cocooned in our protective hold always.. it overwhelms me to see you growing into an independent confident girl with a mind of her own.
So go out there and have fun, dear girl! A new door filled with wonderful opportunities is all set to open out for you.
Papa and I will be standing right here on this side of the door, looking forward to hearing about all your experiences of the day.
May God bless you, kanna!
Namnam has reviewed a book that she read recently, for Indian Moms Connect.
Here’s the link to the article.
Do read whenever you all get time and encourage her 🙂
Over to Namnam then..