Thursday, December 18, 2008

Patiently handle pesky advice!

When I was pregnant with Eli; and Serene(then 8 months) and me were on a flight to India,I met a lady who has 2 kids.Over a long layover at Newark airport, we bonded and spoke of(what else) but kids!She gave me the best piece of advice that I have ever gotten from anyone about children."When folks advise you about your kids: smile;nod,act dumb!,make appreciative noises like umm.hmm etc".Then go ahead and do exactly what you want to".Time and again over the last 13 months,I have been reminded of this comment as well meaning family,friends,acquaintances and strangers advise me.While its nice when you solicit for advice or suggestions, its the unsolicited ones that really bug me.. yes, it is snowing outside and one of my ever-fidgety son's ears are peeking out of his hat.. that will warrant stares from strangers,some will helpfully point it out to helpful soul even went as far as firmly tucking his ear back in- on a public train! Get away from my baby.. I think.. forget the cold, who knows what germs he might get from your hands that have touched every conceivable surface through the day!! hahaha.sound melodramatic... but, I know every mother might have faced this some time or the other.
The advice I have received over the last two years: it used to rile me at first, make me really defensive,has even led to some arguments with the other party we would would discuss whose point of view is correct.. the trip to India I guess broke the last straw off the camel's back.Relatives and friends who were seeing Serene for the first time (and me in a mum's role) had tonnes of advice/comments.It was getting frustrating as I kept trying to maintain my Western standards in a place where touching a stranger's baby's cheeks,planting a kiss,patting the head are considered signs of affection :) It took me a good few days to settle into this "new" routine! to realise that all people are trying to do is display their affection for my little one.Praneet got there a few weeks after us and when he heard my saga of woe about having to sit through advice, he laughed! and laughed! and then told me very simply that I need to have the confidence in my mothering skills.Do not doubt yourself.Give everyone a patient ear, weigh the pros and cons and then you decide what you need to do for your child.
It really worked! Now, when the lady sitting next to me on the train ride to downtown asks me why my babies(clad in head to toe winter jackets) are not covered with a blanket to combat the weather,I smile back sweetly and say,oh.. I brought one--- they kicked it off as it was too much!


Lulu said...

just discovered your blog. keep posting!!

lisa.ripson said...

The 2nd Annual Chicago Lincoln Square Christkindl Market
December 4-6
Our Twist on a German Tradition

CHICAGO – November 2, 2009 -- The second annual Lincoln Square Christkindl Market kicks off December 4-6! This year promises to bring the sites, sounds and flavors of the season to the square. Strolling musicians, holiday lights and ice sculptures will adorn the streets in the square at Lincoln and Leland.

Under the big heated tent, traditional German food, bratwurst, potato pancakes, goulash and apple strudel will tempt your taste buds. Sip on warm Gluewhein as you listen to traditional Christmas carols or toast with a beer!

“The Lincoln Square Christkindl Market brings our square alive with tradition, family and fun during the holiday season, and that’s what makes Lincoln Square unique. The chamber is proud to be a co-host of this fine event once again and is thrilled to have the support of 47th Ward Alderman Gene Schulter,” said Melissa Flynn, Executive Director of the Lincoln Square Chamber of Commerce.

Dozens of community and high school choirs will sing during the day at the festival and at night a mixture of rock and jazz. There will also be a “Kids Korner” featuring entertainment, arts and crafts and gingerbread cookie decorating. St. Nicholas will also make an appearance at the market everyday.

“The Lincoln Square Christkindl Market is a wonderful event for kids of all ages. St. Matthias is proud to host this event and to help keep the rich German traditions alive in the German neighborhood,” said Rev. John Sanaghan, St. Matthias Parish.

Musical entertainment headlining the three-day market includes “Out For Hours” on Friday, “Captain Blood Orchestra” on Saturday and the “Sabertooth Jazz Quartet” on Sunday evening. Choral groups performing include the “Lincoln Park Singers”, “St. Matthias School Choir”,

“Northside College Prep Chorus”, “Waters Elementary School Choir”, “St. Hillary School Choir”, “The Sounds of Sweetness”, “The Waldorf School Choir and Orchestra Ensemble”. Other main stage entertainment includes “The Janes Dance Troupe” and “Susan Salidor”.

Hours for the three-day festival are Friday, December 4, 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Saturday, December 5, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Sunday, December 6, 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. For more information on the market please check out