My son had 6 weeks off from school. During which time he was supposed to catch up on his maths. We had 2 entire work-books to finish.

And yours truly was in charge. And terribly apprehensive about the whole thing.

Now let me  give you an inkling of what kind of student I used to be.  Once,  I spent the entire a day before a math test, making greeting cards by pasting pencil-shavings. (they made pretty attractive flowers, actually.) Then spent the next morning working myself up to a major state by trying to study at the breakfast table, enroute to school, etc.

Lets not even get into the marks I scored!

Totally forgetting all this, I looked at him sternly. He was actually eager to do the sums. “Good,” I thought to myself.

He had to add up numbers. There was this row of numbers from 1 to 20. And if he needed to add 2 + 7, he had to put his finger at 2 and count 7 to find out the answer.

He did the first one with great speed.

Next one was a bit slow.

The third one was ‘difficult’.

The fourth was ‘boring’.

He looked at me pleading. “Amma, please, can I take a break?”

“Ok, I relented.  “But only 5 minutes”

“Ten minutes..” He bargained.

I gave in. I Picked up a book and began reading.

He took a fresh paper and started drawing Hanuman and his army of monkeys.

The ten minutes stretched to half an hour. All my efforts to get him back to Maths were met with screams of  “But I’m busy!” or “Look at this!” He was so engrossed in drawing that I let him be.

But after half an hour, I lost my cool.

“Now!” I said sternly. “I want you to finish that page!”

He whimpered a bit, but went back to the book.

“What’s 8+4?” I plodded on.” Where’s 8? Put your finger on it.”

He looked at me with big, sad and accusing eyes.

“I don’t know.” He said in a small voice.

I took his hand and guided it to 8.

“Now, count!” I ordered.

He stopped mid-way  and said, “I’m soooo tired!”

“Just 5 more sweetie… ” I cajoled. “C’mon! You can do it! You’re so good at this!”

He responded by sliding down his miniscule writing desk with an exaggerated groan.

I tried to pull him up, but he clung to the legs of the chair, shouting, “I can’t! Leave me!!!” and groaning “Aiyyooo!!!”

I burst out laughing. I suddenly thought of my own wayward ways of handling homework even when I was in my teens.

Startled he sat up and looked at me.

“Go on!” I waved him away. “Play! Draw! Do what you want!”

Shocked at my reaction, he stared at me dumb-founded for a second before charging out of the room with his usual war cries.

Actually, I really don’t mind if he doesn’t grow up to be an Einstein. I really don’t mind if he even takes up grazing cows!

I know, I know, I’m a bad mother…  but Krishna the cowherd had more fun and less pressure than Einstein, anyway!!!

PS: I was so relieved when I learned later that completing the work-books were not mandatory. It was just to help him at home to stay in touch with what he’s been learning at school. Phew!



  1. Praveen said,

    February 10, 2010 at 9:41 am

    you are the best mom, I tell you!

    hehe.. thanx! 🙂

  2. Raj said,

    February 10, 2010 at 9:49 am

    like amma, like pulla, i say…. 🙂

    🙂 atleast in this!

  3. anusha srikanth said,

    February 10, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Sure you passed the test with flying colors.


  4. kapil. said,

    February 10, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    well well well.. another mom son tale! this time it’s like a remake..
    The old version of yours! your son plays the hero part in this! doesn’t he?

    yes, he does…

  5. Shanti said,

    February 11, 2010 at 9:54 am

    You are a good mom.. It doesn’t come easily to most parents to not put pressure on their kids. Hope I can take some lessons from you..

    Here, in the neighbourhood there are 3-4 kids who were born around the same date as M and some have started walking/talking/having lot of teeth etc.. I keep telling myself not to compare them to M and that today it will be about who walks/talks first, tomo it will be about grades.. And to never get into this race mode 🙂

    of course you shouldn’t get in the race mode! and don’t u dare compare M to anyone else! there’s no one like her!!! 🙂

  6. Badri said,

    February 11, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Aw don’t worry about u being a bad mom or ur kid becoming an “un-Einstein”. I was as playful as ur son was when I was of his age. Even during my high school days, I used to go to kitchen ten times to see what my mom was preparing for dinner!!! I didn’t become an Einstein but didn’t do badly in life either. When I think about my school days and the way I studied, I cringe, but with a smile…

    so true! i’m all for a pressure-free childhood! i guess most parents don’t realise its more important being a great human being than a great student! all izzz well!!! 😉

  7. Biswa said,

    February 12, 2010 at 2:56 am

    Well as long as you leave him an inheritance! Krishna got one from his uncle and father remember? That way he can be free to chase Gopinis. 🙂


  8. Lavanya said,

    February 12, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    hey, I think its good that u r not forcing yr son to do something he doesn’t want. Kids will be kids and they sure learn some how. I hope I can be the same way when my daughter grows up as well.

  9. Vidya said,

    February 16, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Appaada! I have had quite a few guilty moments recently because I have not been ‘strict’ with my son on his academics. I spend hearing nice love stories from his class. That is more interesting. Every time a fellow-parent quizzes me on how he is studying, I’m quite confused! And yes, I know what I used to do as a child:-) This post has put me at ease:-)

    🙂 glad to be of help!!! (sorry! didn’t get a notification on this comment & just happened to see it!! )

  10. Ashwin said,

    June 22, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    I have great plans to make my 1 month old daughter, a drop-out by choice. Just so that she can start her company by the age of 8, sell it by 15 and retire by 16.

    21 years of studying is a colossal under-use of the freshest period of the brain..and to learn math for best of those 21 years is like yezhara nattu sani thrice over!

    lol!! so true! 🙂 (sorry! didn’t get a notification on this comment & just happened to see it!! )

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