Summer vacation is coming up and I was racking my brains to keep the kids meaningfully engaged. I wanted them to learn tables, do math, learn reading, play badminton, learn sanskrit, do this, do that..the list goes on( Moms will be moms).

Armed with this vision, I went ahead and bought a new set of colorful activity books for my daughters.

Ameya and I sat down to work on the concept of numbers ‘before’ and ‘after’.

Ameya can think and talk about  3000 things at the same time which can be pretty frustrating for a person with a mega vision like mine.

So, here I was, patiently trying different ways to nail it into her head…

So, here goes..

Me: Ameya, we have this number 12 here. What comes after?

Ameya( totally tuned out)- Amma, Suraj pinched me with his nail…

Me: OK, we’ll talk to your teacher. What comes after 12?

Ameya: Amma, Vasudha gave me this gift.

Me: Fine, we’ll have ‘gift’ time after we finish this. What comes after 12?

Ameya: Amma, I want to colour this snake here..

Me ( impatiently): Ameya, we are not doing anything else till we finish this.

Ameya( Still tuned out): Amma, Can I wear princess dress?.

Now I decided that she is totally , completely tuned out. Battling between giving up now to pick up on this later and persisting to try a few more times, I went on…

Me: OK, what comes before 12?

Ameya(staring intently at the book): You mean ‘behind’ 12 or ‘in front of ‘ 12?

Me(realizing that I just used the wrong words): behind …

Ameya: 13

Me: in front of?

Ameya: 11

No prizes for guessing who was tuned out here….



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Devishobha Chandramouli

Devishobha is the founder of Kidskintha- a global parenting and education collective, and the host of the global virtual conferences hosted on the platform. You can also find her voice on the Huffington Post,, Entrepreneur, Lifehack, TinyBuddha, Thought Catalog and many other publications.

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