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.”
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