Vacation Stories #MondayMusings

One month of our vacation completes today and, to say the least, Dhruv does not want to return to Bangalore any sooner.

During the time, Nanu-Nani had been staying with us in Bangalore a few months ago, both moved to their respective smartphones for their unlimited news update after they agreed to switch off the TV citing the news expert that Dhruv was becoming watching news all day.

Related post: Trampling the Idiot Box Revolution #MondayMusings

The next thing that happened was Dhruv’s curiosity about what they were doing with their phones all day and he discovered the games of solitaire and freecell, which my parents are pro at. Solitaire and freecell paved way for the discovery of the Google Playstore and with Google Playstore came the purpose of his birth – to download infinite number of car simulation games one after another and play with them.

His favourite was my mother’s phone since being a new phone neither did it suffer from the ailment of hanging up just like his Nanu’s phone nor did it have the security code like all other phones in the house. Eureka, it must have been for him. Until that time, phones just meant Youtube videos for him and now suddenly they had begun to mean so much more.

I pressed upon mummy to lock her phone with a security code for restricting his free access to which she expressed her inability to remember code patterns and numbers with her old age memory, thus her phone stayed open. When mummy was leaving, he secretly told her not to delete any of the games he had downloaded because he will play with them later when he will go to stay with her in summer vacation.

One and a half month later, summer vacations started. The moment he stepped inside Nanu-Nani’s home, his first question to Nani was to enquire about whether she had deleted the games he had downloaded.  He grabbed her phone and sat down to play. To any fuss that I created over this, his answer was “I am on holiday”. One evening I had to go out and he voluntarily agreed to stay back at home. Upon my return, Mummy told me he complained to her “Ye meri mummy mujh ko bahut pareshan karti rehti hai. Har time bolti rehti hai phone band karo phone band karo.”

This carried on  for the first week during which we went for a 3 day get-away to a resort in Kandaghat, 27 kms from Shimla. The time that we were not –

  • hiking around,
  • having refreshments and endearing chats sitting by the edge of the hill overlooking the small hamlets below and the cars appearing as miniature models meandering on what seemed liked coiled up by-lanes,
  • indulging in indoor games at the ‘Activity Centre’ where the chess board was hailed as a battle field by Dhruv and the white coloured army to be Bajirao’s army cleaning away the black opponents in their own spaces by the way of dropping missiles upon them,
  • getting excited at the presence of a cabinet filled with books and with the idea of picking a special book for mummy (that’s me) to read and him proceeding to build towers and ships with building blocks,
  • allowing him to run away with the sight of food in close proximity,

we spent that time in our room with a déjà vu sight of Dhruv sticking to the mobile phone.

In the following week, we were to go to his Dadi’s place for 10 days and Dhruv pleaded not to go. When faced with no choice, he revealed his displeasure with the note that Dadi does not have internet connection at her place. His displeasure was a pleasure for me. I assured him both of us were going to learn to spend ‘happy’ time without the internet. I had already got 2 activity boxes from Wonderboxx  delivered at Dadi’s place to keep him busy. He wasn’t very upbeat about it which required me to show all the more exuberance so as to rub a little of it on him. There, everyday, we did one half of each activity which consumed 1-2 hour daily between the TV watching time. During afternoon nap times (naps, which he hardly took), both of us talked a lot since I was as free, in my mind, as him. I took to answer all his questions and prompted him to think more to ask more.

To my credit, one afternoon he told me he had no more questions and will ask me later when he gets them again. 

This was one of those times when I felt like patting my back proudly because getting tongue-tied and mind-blocked used to happen to me with his questions and never did I imagine it will happen to him. Nevertheless, sometimes unimaginable also happens.

One more incident is worth telling.

Early morning pravachans (holy discourses) by Gurus on TV are the common sounds at Dadi’s place. The day Dhruv woke up early, he sat down to listen what they were saying. I was not sure if he was understanding anything at all but I could see he was all ears. After a few minutes, his interest wavered and he started looking around for something to do. In between this, he looked at the TV screen and laughed out aloud. I told him there was nothing to laugh about since this was not comedy to which he replied “This is comedy, mummy.” In my mind, I agreed with him, completely.

7 days later we were back from where we had started, back to the nest of internet and mobile games. The daily routine involved TV-Mobile games-TV-Mobile games at the cost of missed meals, red eyes and missed reading times. This was  enough for me to put my foot down. I issued threats of going back to Bangalore the next morning where there would be no TV and absolutely no mobile games. He promised not to touch mobiles anymore if he is allowed to spend his holidays as per the initial plan. It took me 15 minutes to delete all the games from the phone for there were too many and then I placed a lock on Playstore. No more games.

Recently, I got his request for writing mails and painting in computer with a post scriptum Ab is main to koi problem nahin honi chahiye”.

Me: “Problem hai. No computers. Use your hands, paper, pencil and crayons.”

Him: “Hunh!!!!”

The no computers diktat does not help since there are 3 laptops in the house for the 3 members and one or the other can be found idle with ready availability.

On last count, I let him choose and ordered a new book about pirates and dinosaurs. Based upon the book, we started by drawing dinosaurs on paper using crayons and have taken to drawing to keep us busy. Both of us are not exactly good at drawing except that Dhruv doesn’t feel so. According to him, he makes wonderful drawings. According to me, he has a splendid imagination with which he weaves wonderful (funny) stories around the dots, circles, lines and marks he makes on paper.

We have another 15 days of our holiday left and the excitement is only going to rise further with his 5th birthday coming up next week and his presents list, almost, taking up the final shape. Whether or not he gets the items on his presents list as birthday gifts, he is sure to get a letter from me replete with nuggets of my wisdom for it doesn’t help to have a writer for a mother.

Linking this post with #MondayMusings hosted by Corinne Rodrigues

#Monday Musings


  1. It’s hard to keep the kids away from screen time. And it only gets worse as they grow. I still an struggling with the twins. Hats off to you for making so much effort Anamika. It’s good that Dhruv has other hobbies, at least that’s a start.


    1. I agree with you on the part that it is going to get to worse as the children grow up. I can already feel the difference in the past one year with the negotiations that have already started taking place. I feel I am going on to become a strict mom from here.


  2. Ha ha!! These are kids who will see phones and laptops all the time. It must be indeed hard to keep them away. How about making a scrap book? Like collect pictures from newspapers, stick in a book and learn something new sorta game?
    I’m glad dhruv listens to you and reads too. Good job as a mum 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Except for phones, laptops and TV, all other activities hold interest value only for a short time especially when we have to stay indoors due to the heat. Scrapbook is a good and refreshing idea idea. Thank you Parul 🙂 I am going to try it out.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. yes, my brother and I used to do that. Try to challenge him to get as many countries on his book and then go for capitals or currencies, continents. Get him an Oxford Atlas to build interest 🙂


  3. A lot of kids are addicted to technology. Unfortunately the TV and computer have become convenient babysitters. I like Parul’s idea of scrapbooking My son loved making things – chartpaper scissors and cello-tape kept him busy for hours


  4. Gone are those days when collecting stamps and reading Enid Blyton books the highlight of the summer holidays!
    I find myself getting addicted to Piano Tiles quite often. Haven’t really been interested in playing racing games on the phone as they eat up too much battery!

    As Parul said, scrapbooking will surely be a great idea.! Another cool tip to keep Dhruv engaged: Origami is something that’s really cool to learn, and doesn’t involve much use of scissors and glue. Plus there are some amazing designs to make, like boats and tables and photo frames. Do try it out, if you haven’t done it already 🙂


  5. Each generation has its addictions, I suppose 🙂 But good to read that you are still able to engage him in several other activities. Enjoy the rest of your vacation time!


  6. The screens big and small consume so much of our time today! The kids only follow suit when they find the elders doing the same. I hope you are successful in keeping Dhruv out of the digital zone. It would be good to inculcate a reading habit. 🙂


  7. After reading this, I wonder how do I keep little M away from TV and mobile once she grows up to that age..I don’t have your patience, Anamkia..So, this question really haunts me… I don’t know what or how to do! sigh!
    But you seem to be having a great time too…My holiday at mom’s is over and now I’m back…Soon will be joining work and I just realise there’s not enough time in the day for a mom…How did our mothers do it? How do you do it?


  8. Indeed very tough to get kids off the net or off any screen. I almost find myself wishing my son would take to watching TV, the lesser of the screen-evils! Enjoyed reading your travails with vacation time! Hope Dhruv has a lovely birthday and look forward to reading more from you. I am almost always relieved when vacations get over and kids are back into their normal routine.


  9. It’s hard these days to keep kids away from screens. I don’t know about what it’s like there but over here, a lot more schools are going digital. The down side is, exams are still written and I wonder how kids manage if they haven’t been writing half their school life. It’s a bit worrying and a bit scary I must admit. This coming from someone who is partly addicted to her laptop and phone! 😛 However, I can still be without them like when I’m camping or hiking.


  10. Kids have so many choices these days and I don’t envy parents who have to keep them from over consumption of digital entertainment. Some day Dhruv will appreciate all you to do to keep his mind stimulated rather than take the easy way out.


  11. I suppose it’s inevitable that kids these days will have access to screens of all shapes and sizes. As much as we try to restrict them, I’m of the belief that some amount of it is required; they seem to learn a lot of things from these puzzles and games. So yes, if used in moderation, it can stimulate the brain like most other things cant.


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