Gajapati Kulapati by Ashok Rajagopalan

2014-05-02-23-36-25--482836871

Hahahahahaha haaahahahaha achooooo pachakkkk and few more have been the sounds my four and half year old Aarav and her two year old sister are making from past four hours.
Thanks to Ashok Rajagopalan’s rollickingly hilarious book ‘Gajapati Kulapati’.
‘Small noses catch small colds. Big noses catch big colds.’ Such is the indisputable, childlike logic of Ashok Rajagopalan.
A hilarious story of how village’s most loved temple elephant, Gajapati Kulapati, catches the most violent cold. One terrific sneeze and the bananas go flying out of the banana seller’s hands and land on an unsuspecting postman and the falling continues. My son said “mama isnt it cute that the elephant is actually feeling sad for scaring all his friends,” with the most gigantic sneeze in the whole world.
The story also beings out the kindness and love of villagers towards the animal.
Hats off to the author for being the illustrator too. The illustrations endear the reader to the elephant.
The repetitive words make it great to read aloud.
We even did a small activity of guessing professions taking a cue from the book. For eg postman, banana seller, teacher etc.
Our Lil boy and gal could guess doctor, sailor, carpenter,driver, astronaut, pilot, vendor and few more from the flashcards showed.

We give it a fabulous 👌👌👌👌👌

Day 1

Today is the first day of my fight againstyelling and yes it was clear to me that this was going to be a REAL challenge.
But I must tell you all that I did pass through the entire day without yelling!
In the process of controlling my anger several times in a day what I figured out was that I yell before I even realize I am yelling.

I spent time trying to figure out how to prevent getting into a situation where I yell. What were my hot buttons? What did it FEEL like when I was getting into the red zone where I snapped and let my frustration out?

I also noted a couple of things:

1. I need space. I need, on average, an hour or two a day where I don’t have to interact with anyone, where I can be alone with my thoughts and feelings and breathe.

2. I need to simplify. My worst days are the ones where I am trying to do too much.

3. I need sleep. I can subsist on 6 hours of sleep for a bit, but it’s not enough, and when I’m tired I get snappish and grumpy and have very little patience. Ideally I need 7-9 hours each night. Which means I need to commit to a regular bedtime, no matter what. And I also need to be on alert when I haven’t gotten enough sleep that I will have a harder time with patience.

4. I need to let go of expectations. I discovered that I was far more stressed out and therefore yelled when I was trying to do something special for Aarav or Sarayu or Ranjith. Seriously, go ahead and laugh, but I was that mom/wife who was hissing through my gritted teeth I am doing this for YOU, so you better [expletive] ENJOY IT. And it was because I had set myself up with EXPECTATIONS. In my head, I had created a fantasy image of how things would go, and when it didn’t meet those expectations, I would get angry at them. Which, if you think about it, is a twisted sort of hurt. Acknowledge, please, I’m doing something NICE for you? I’d love it if you thanked me for it.

The biggest thing I got from this day was the ability to take a step back and observe my actions and reactions. Because until the Challenge I had never really acknowledged that my yelling was because ‘I’ was missing something – either sleep or space or my expectations were out of line or I was doing too much.

I always explained it simply as the fact that no one listens to me, and they only way they listen is when I yell. But now things seem to be changing. There were six fights at home today and eureka it all got solved without my interference. Kudos to me!

I am not zen as much as I would like to be

Self regulation. yes, that is the word that is staring at me in the past few days. Last week I read  a post by Jennifer in her blog : Do you scare your kids? Do you think they deserve it?  which talks basically about self-regulation and the fact that adults need to learn it before expecting if from a child. Also about the famous orangerhino challenge, where you take up a challenge to not yell at your kids for 365 days.
All the latest readings I had done were simply calling me to action: Self-regulate yourself for Gods Sake!
Despite my readings and self promises 365 days of no yeeling seems like an attempt to reach the stars. so i have decided to go for the 30-days-without-yelling challenge as a way to make the change happen.
And then I heard from a dear friend that whenever you want  to form a new habit you have to tell other people about it and so I decided to make it public, first on Face Book and now here on the blog.
 I am by nature not an angry person. There might be very few incidents of me yelling at my husband or even at a rude salesperson. In fact there are only two people I ever get veiny-necked at: my children, ages 4.5 and 2. So before I start I want to take a pledge :
I,  Chetana Belagere, a happy mom,  of legal age and a resident of this blog 4m caterpillartobutterfly do solemnly swear, not to yell at my kids for the next (ahem) 30 days.
I affirm that I will do my darnedest best to make sure that no words shall come out of this mouth in a voice level of more than 70 decibels or beyond Level 3 in the Orange Rhino’s Yelling Meter (fingers crossed) out of sheer frustration, or over domestic chaos, even if my mind starts pounding like a jackhammer, and not even if I have to mop the floor 50 times or have to referee a wrestling match in the living room in the middle of a great book I am reading or watching my favorite show.
I agree to abide by the guidelines of the Orange Rhino Challenge no matter how hard it may seem, how impossible it may seem, how gut curling and blood boiling a situation may be (stocking up on Imol plus).
With the exception of course on safety threatening events like my 2 year old is about to pour my hot coffee on her 4.5 year  old brother’s head or somebody is about to stick the fork to the electrical outlet.
I agree, that along with this oath is the promise never to use harsh word (even when whispered), no sudden angry outbursts when everything seems to go wrong.
Failure to abide by these guidelines will mean I will suffer the consequence of seeing the disappointment in my children’s eyes, the sight of tears and inflicting scars that will never heal within my children’s soul, all of which are indications of my crumbling as a mother. Should this happen, I will start all over from day 1 until I have mastered the skill of patience in handling domestic chaos with civility.
I understand that there will be stumbling blocks along the way, that there may be times when my voice level will reach 76 decibels or Level 4 and higher, but the goal is to stop right away as soon as I catch myself (at the first syllable would be best), compose my thoughts and count from one to gazillion until I’m sane again and can speak in a fairly decent manner or resort to other means of letting my frustrations out.
I also understand that I am doing this on my own will with no coercion, the reason being is that I love my kids too much and I do not want to inflict unnecessary pain on the people who matter the most to me (husband included  ).
I have fully and heartily accepted the Orange Rhino Challenge with all my being, so help me God (seriously, I need help).
Signed,
Chetana BelagereImage