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Parenting

Curious kids or parents at test 😲-Part 18 (Does your kid have access to adult content – Part 4 last)

In last 2 blogs we learnt the reasons behind my son’s acts in the school which made teacher believe that he had access to adult content. I had started breathing easy as my son had been innocent in two out of three incidents. The third incident where my son had licked other boy’s hands was little worrisome. We were not able to understand the logic behind it. And this is where even we had doubts. So we continued with our conversation.

Me: By the way tell me why you were licking hands of Ajay??

Son: Daddy taught me.

Me: Daddy taught you?? (My eyes widened in a shock.) Now from where Daddy has come into the picture??

Son: I learnt it from Daddy and I was trying to teach Ajay..

I was aghast to hear this. I almost shouted

Me: What?? Daddy taught you to lick the hands of other people?? 

Son: Yes. Arre Mamma, that day Daddy was teaching me the trick. He said it was kind of defense technique. If someone grabs you from behind and puts his hands on your mouth so that you cannot shout then Daddy told me to use this trick. You have to simply stick out your tongue. The other person holding you will immediately remove his hand from your mouth or loosen the grip. I showed Ajay the trick. He wanted to learn it. He wanted to use it on me.

My goodness!! I could never have imagined this. So this was the licking business! I heaved a big sigh. Suddenly the world looked brighter.

Thank God!! We bothered to talk to our son calmly rather than shouting. It was most comforting to know that afterall our son didn’t have access to adult content. Finally we were ready for the meeting with teacher. 

When our meeting began the tone of the teacher was little accusatory. She asked us did we really know what our son was doing behind our back. Indeed we did know. We appraised her about the background of all incidents one by one. Now it was her turn to get flabbergasted. She was speechless for some time. She couldn’t believe that there was such simple reasoning possible apart from access to adult content. 

At the end the teacher apologized. We appreciated the fact that his teacher was vigilant about the behavioral aspect of kids along with curriculum. However, she had tried to link non related incidents, she had thought like an adult and drawn conclusions. The kid had thought like a kid and acted like one. I wouldn’t blame her.  Now she knew the truth.

In my earlier blogs also I tried to stress on aspects about difference in the way adults think and children think. We need to recognize this difference. By the time we become parents our mind is already conditioned by society, social norms and adult behavior. Whereas the kids behavior is impulsive and free from social dogma.

Friends, when dealing with kids try to step into the shoes of kids and then try to analyze the situation.  Most importantly have faith in your kid but be cautious at the same time!! Try to have meaningful dialogue. Majority of the problems can be solved by assertive and positive conversations. That’s the secret of having healthy relationship with the ultra modern kids!!

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https://kinfolkclub.com or https://motherlab.blogapot.com

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Parenting

Curious kids or parents at test 😲-Part 17 (Does your kid have access to adult content?- Part 3)

In last blog we saw that how the cartoon had inspired the act of shouting “I love you” rather than any kind of adult content.  Now we wanted to find out more about why he was trying to hug the other boy. So we continued with our dialogue..

Me: Your teacher also told me that you were trying to hug Amit.

Son: What?? I was trying to hug? And that too Amit??

Me: Yes, precisely that’s what teacher said.

Son: No Mamma it was not me. In fact Amit was trying to hug me.

Me: Then why teacher said that you were trying to hug him?

Son: I don’t know. That day the teacher caught us running in the corridor. He was trying to hug me. So I was running.

Me: But why Amit was trying to hug you?

Son: How do I know Mamma? The teacher caught us running in the corridor and she was angry. She was about to scold us. Suddenly Amit told her that I was trying to hug him. I tried to tell teacher that he was lying. But teacher didn’t listen to me.

I tried to probe further in different ways but got the same answers. From whatever conversation we had I was quite convinced that my son was not trying to hug the other boy. Normally parents know when their kids are lying. This was probably one such incident where he was speaking truth. Probably the other kid thought that offence is the best defense. So when teacher found the kids running down the corridor the kid complained to teacher about my son. Since my son was already known to be naughty the teacher didn’t bother to check the truth.

By now I had started breathing little easily. Two out of three instances were down and both the incidents had nothing to do with access to adult content. But what about the third?? First two incidents had sounded little lame from the beginning. Still I didn’t wish to leave anything un-explored. I wanted to be 100% sure that my son was not seeing something he ought not to. The third incident was climax. It had really put me into jitters. This part of the conversation was what I had dreaded the most.

Why was my son licking hands of the other boy? Why indeed?? Please follow my next blog to find the answers.

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Parenting

Curious kids or parents at test 😲 -Part 16 (Does your kid have access to adult content?? – Part 2)

In my last blog we read about my son’s teacher expressing her doubts regarding my son having access to adult content. We decided to have a dialogue with our son. Read on to know what happened next. We started with episode of my son shouting “I love you” in the class.

Me: Do you know dear today I received a phone call from your teacher.

Son: How come Mamma? Today I really behaved well. I didn’t trouble any of the teachers.

Me: Yes, I know that. Today she had called for something else. She mentioned that you shouted “I love you Kiyara” in front of whole class.

Son: Yes. But that was not today. 

Me: May be. But why did you shout like that in the first place?

Son: Because she is a nice girl and I like to play with her. Why what happened?

Clearly my son had not understood the gravity of this issue. He was talking very innocetly.

Me: You like to play with her. But it doesn’t mean that you can shout “I love you”

Son: Why not?? If Nobita can tell Shizuka then I can also tell Kiyara…

Clearly we could see that all this shouting business was inspired by his favorite cartoon “Doremon”. Normally before allowing my son to watch any program I used the watch couple of episodes along with him and used to permit him if and only if that show was appropriate. I had already banned couple of cartoons. But I had never imagined that apparently harmless cartoon could inspire such an action in my son. We had found the source of first complaint at least.

We had to tell our son that even if he liked playing with some girl shouting “I love you” in the class is not considered good and advised him not to repeat this behavior. 

We also told him that there is difference in Indian culture and Western culture. So even if it ok in Western culture it is not really ok in our culture. God knows how much he understood but he was at least receptive when we were taking. Thankfully he has not repeated this stunt till date. 

Banning the cartoon completely was not option. Post this fiasco we encouraged him more to watch channels like National Geographic, BBC Earth etc. Sometimes we used to watch cartoons along with him and tell him what was appropriate and what was not!!

We were relieved that at least the first incident had absolutely nothing to do with the adult content. But what about the second incident??

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Parenting

Curious kids or parents at test 😲-Part 15 ( Does your kid have access to adult content??-Part 1)

Since my son had entered primary school, I had started dreading the calls from his school. Typically I used to get complaints from various teachers that he disturbs the class. One day when I saw a call from his school number I wondered what he had done that day. His class teacher had called and asked me, “Ma’am, you are working mother right?” I answered affirmatively. She said, “Do you know probably your son has access to adult content?” I was mentally prepared to hear any complaint but this. How could it be? I was speechless for few moments. If it was really true it was definitely a matter of concern for us. My son was only 6 years old. Finally I mustered the courage and asked her, “Could you please tell me exactly what makes you think that he access to adult content?” She narrated the following 3 incidents which had taken place in last couple of months:  

  1. He had shouted “I love you” in the class to one girl
  2. One boy had complained that my son was trying to kiss him
  3. One boy had complained that my son had licked his hand and he was not letting that other boy to lick his own hands.

The teacher had sought face to face meeting with both the parents. I was flabbergasted to hear all these incidents. I was very restless. I called up my husband and informed him about the whole thing. Even he was clueless. We had to talk to our son. It was a delicate job. We needed to get the answers but at the same time it was necessary to remain neutral and understand our son’s take on it. Afterall he was our son and we didn’t want him to lose his faith in his own parents.

I was not able to imagine if at all he was getting access to adult content then how and where he was getting it. He was not in a professional day care where there would be other kids and seniors. He was in charge of elderly couple and their daughter in law. We had known them for years. They had never given him access to computer or mobile. They were very vigilant. At home he had access to laptop as well as mobile. But it was under our supervision only. We didn’t have any books or CDs or anything with adult content.

Then how was he getting access?? How indeed?? My head had started spinning and I was not able to concentrate on anything in office. All these years when my kiddo was asking me all awkward questions I had never felt restless like this. For the first time I was dreading conversation with my own kid. I was really afraid of what answers I would receive. 

Me and my husband were quite  sure that our son was not having access to adult content. But then what about those incidents which his teacher had reported. Follow my next blog to get answers to the above riddles. (To be continued)

To read my other blogs visit  https://kinfolkclub.com or https://motherlab.blogspot.com

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Parenting

Curious kids Or parents at test 😲 -Part 14 (Social acceptance norms & Measurements on Daru ki bottle)

Now my son had entered preliminary school. He was known to be very talkative and naughty kid. One day I received a call from his school. His teacher told me that he disturbed the class. He intentially gives attention seeking answers. I aksed her what was the matter. She narrated the following incident.

She was  a Maths teacher. She was teaching the class about units of measurement. While teaching she had asked the class if they had ever noticed the measurements like 1 kg, 500 grams or 1 litre written on certain packed items. My son had promptly replied, “Yes, on “Daru ki bottle”. After this answer there was ruckus in the class. Kids started laughing, clapping and lot of time had lost in bringing the class under control. I assured the teacher that I would speak to my son.

I was also surprised by this answer. Of all things “Daru ki bottle” was a bit too much. All of us are teetotalers.  Even most of our acquaintances are likewise. I don’t even remember going to any party with my kid where alcohol was served. I spoke to my husband. Even he seemed clueless. It appeared that we would have to speak to our son directly to know the secret. We had to be very careful. In the evening I asked him casually.

Me: These days whats up at school? What new topic are they teaching these days?

After couple of other topics he reached “Units of Measurement” I immediately caught the thread. And asked him where all he had seen measurements written?? He mentioned couple of items and then mentioned “Daru ki bottle”

Me: Daru ki bottle? Where have you seen “Daru ki bottle”? We don’t consume it.

Son: Arre Mamma, yesterday I was coming home with Daddy from day care. On the road I stumbled upon Daru ki bottle. So when teacher asked where you had seen measurements before I remembered that bottle.

Me: Oh! It’s ok. But how did you know that it was indeed a “Daru ki bottle”?

Son: Because of it’s shape.

He traced the peculiar shape of liquor bottles in the air.

Me: How do you know that Daru ki bottle has this peculiar shape??

Son: Teachers!

Me: Teachers?? What do you mean by teachers?? Teacher told you it is liquor bottle??

Son: No Mamma, hoarding! It’s the hoarding!!

Me: Will you please tell me what are you blabbering??

Son: There is that big hoarding on way to school, you remember?

Me: Yes, what of that?

Son: Mamma, that hoarding has big ad of Teacher’s!!

Finally it dawned on me. The hoarding had big advertisement of famous liquor brand – Teacher’s Highland Cream. 

This is how my son had deduced bottle he had stumbled upon was “Daru ki bottle”. I was aghast.  After listening to this I had no heart of telling off my kid about the teacher’s complaint. I just decided to let go off the incident. When he will grow he will automatically understand the difference between what is socially acceptable and what is not!! Till then the answer that the measurement is written on “Daru ki bottle” holds good for me. What about you??

My limited point in this incident is don’t just get panicked by complaints from school. Nor scold the child without having meaningful dialogue. Have faith in your upbringing as well as have faith in your kid. Give him opportunity to explain himself. 

For reading other blogs please click on https://kinfolkclub.com or https://motherlab.blogspot.com

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Parenting

Curious Kids or Parents at test😲- Part 13 (Let the child know why he is being admonished)

One day my kid came home in an irritated mood. He was very very angry with his Hindi teacher. I asked him patiently what was the matter. He told me that the Hindi teacher had scolded him for no reason in front of whole class. He started narrating.

Son: Today the teacher was teaching us a poem in Hindi class. It was about importance of time. While teaching she asked “पल पल इकठ्ठा हो कर क्या बन जाता है?” (What do moments in time add up to?)  

Me: Then??

Son: I answered “घंटा” (an hour). Then the other kids in the class started laughing and teacher scolded me in the class. Did I say anything wrong Mamma??

I could sense the righteous anger in his tone. I heaved a sigh. Technically speaking there was nothing wrong in his answer. The catch was that Marathi being his mother tongue he didn’t know the Hindi slang. Literally speaking घंटा in Hindi means an hour. But in slang the same word has a vulgar meaning. The kids who knew this meaning laughed and created ruckus in the class. The teacher who knew this slang had scolded him and my son who didn’t know this slang was totally clueless. I pacified my son. I had to tell him that there was absolutely nothing wrong in his answer. But at the same time I had to explain him the how the word was used in slang. In slang it either meant “nothing” or “penis”. The teacher had obviously thought that he had purposely used this double meaning word in class and had scolded him. After listening to this he was pacified to some extent but some glitch remained in his mind. 

In all this I appreciated the fact that the teacher was vigilant in the class and she had paid attention to the language kids were using. But one thing bothered me and it was that my son didn’t know why he was scolded. I decided to speak to his teacher. I made an appointment and met her. 

I narrated the full incident to her. She recollected it easily. Firstly, I appreciated her keen attention towards the kids. Then I told her that I had absolutely no problem in teachers reprimanding my son if he made mistakes or if he misbehaved. But at the same time I expressed my concern that the child did not know why he was reprimanded. If he did not know the reason for scolding he would not be able to amend his behavior and he would end up having a grudge against teacher. I requested her to ensure that the kid knows the reason when they are reprimanded. After listening the teacher also agreed with my view point.

Friends some times it happens with us also. We are adults and our thinking pattern is governed by social acceptance norms. But kids are more impulsive and may not understand our view. If admonishment or punishment is required then do so but let the kid know the reason. Else how the kid would understand where he went wrong or where he needs to improvise. 

Come to think of social acceptance norms I remember one more incident regarding measurements on liquor bottle. Let’s meet next week with a new story.

For reading more blogs please refer https://kinfolkclub.com or https://motherlab.blogspot.com

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Parenting

Curious kids Or parents at test 😲 -Part 12 (Brassiere, Mamma’s banyaan!!)

By now my kiddo had started reading books. He was growing and he was very observant. That’s why he used to get so many questions. Encyclepedia used to give many answers. But Mamma was the ultimate solution when it came to little odd questions. 

One night I found my kiddo in little thoughtful mood. He called me, “Mammaaaa….” I immediately went into attentive mode. He seemed little hesitant to ask question. Mamma’s sixth sense had already sensed that something odd or awkward was coming. I said, “Fire away your querry”

Kiddo: Mamma why you are fat in chest? Look at me and Daddy. We have such flat chests.

For a moment I felt little awkward. In my mind the reflex action was wrapping my hands around my chest and thinking why my kid asks me such questions. But my experience had taught me that any reaction which would suggest that there is something abnormal/ odd/ awkward about the question would surely invite some drama or some kind of mention in public. Kids are very adept at sensing this. They read our body language much better than our words. So without betraying my true emotion I answered.

Me: That’s because the body of man is little different than the body of a woman. Woman’s body is supposed to perform few different functions. So the shape is also little different. You only tell me who carries the baby in womb??

Son: Of course a woman.

Me: Then in that case only a woman will have womb and not man, right?

Son: Right!!

Me: The nature has designed bodies very carefully. All types of living creatures are bestowed with the instinct to provide food to babies till they grow. Now look at birds. Normally the mother bird remains with babies and father bird brings the food and and feed babies. Though in some species it may be little different. You remember the cat at Nani’s place who had given birth to kittens??

Son: Yes. 

Me: You remember how the kittens used to drink their Mamma’s milk??

Son: Yesss

Me: Same is the case with puppies. Mamma dog feeds the babies with her milk. Cow feeds calves with her milk. Normally all these animals feed their babies with their milk till the babies grow and they are capable of finding their own food.

Same is the case with humans. The Mamma feeds her baby with her milk.

Son: what?? Mammas can produce milk??

Me: Yes. That’s why women have milk glands in their breasts. Men do not have milk glands. That’s the reason why her chest shape is different than man’s chest.

Son: Did you also feed me with your milk?

Me: Yes.

Son: But then how come we have a photo of me drinking milk from bottle?

(Gosh! This boy is so observant!!)

Me: That’s because my milk was not sufficient to feed you. So first you used to drink my milk then I used to give you milk formula or cow milk.

Son: Mamma, even now you have milk??

Me: Nope. The nature has done its own magic. The milk production starts after baby’s birth. As the baby grows we start giving babies other foods like rice, kheer, fruits etc. Automatically the baby starts drinking lesser milk. Slowly the milk production stops.

My son was listening carefully. After all this conversation all he remarked was “Oh! That’s why your banyaan’s shape is so wierd…”

Afterall boys will be boys!!

My last word to my son was “By the way this kind of ladies banyaan is called as brassiere or simply bra.” He rolled his eyes and turned his face.

Friends, why we feel awkward about such questions is may be due to our shyness or culturally we are not used to discuss such topics. We are not taught to talk freely about body. Curiosity about the anatomy is very natural. So let’s talk about our bodies freely at least when kids demand information. Discretion is definitely required while talking to kids. But try to open up with kids and keep their question bank going!! As I said in my earlier blogs reiterating again let the kids come and ask you rather than depend on friends or Internet for answers!!

To read my blogs log on to https://kinfolkclub.com or https://motherlab.blogspot.com

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Parenting

Curious kids or parents at test 😲 -Part 11 (When curious kid tells a story..)

In my last blog we read about how my kiddo started handling encyclepedia since the age of 2. Encyclopedia was his most favorite book. Just imagine a kind of story he would narrate.

Once we were going out with our kiddo in our car. One of our acquaintances joined us. My kiddo was very talkative. So he was very happy to have new company and insisted on sitting with this new aunty. They started chitchatting. Suddenly he said, “Aunty I will tell you a story” Aunty was very delighted. Normally small kids demand stories from elders. But here the kid was volunteering to narrate a story. She happily consented. My kiddo started, “I will tell you a story of carnivorous plant”

Aunty: Wh…what?

Kiddo: Carnivorous plant aunty. Carnivorous plant…

Aunty (exasperated): What is this carni… thing??

Kiddo: Carnivorous plant aunty. It means meat eating plant.

Aunty: Meat eating plant?? (Making disgusting face)

Kiddo: Yes aunty. But I am telling you full story. Please listen…

Aunty: Ok ok.. tell me.

Kiddo: There are carnivorous plants. They eat flies, insects. They have bright, nice colors. The insects get attracted by these colors. There is one plant called sundew plant. When insect sits on that plant it’s hair curl. The insect sticks and is not able to go away. Slowly the plant curls around insect and absorbs nutrients. The other parts of the insect just stay outside.

Aunty: Where do you find these horrible plants??

Kiddo: They are found where the soil is thin or it is poor in nutrients..

Kiddo had finished telling his story and he was now busy looking outside the car window.

The aunty was still quiet with shock. She had expected any story but this. Finally she said, “What kind of story is this? Can’t he talk normal?” I laughed my heart out. I told her that the kiddo keeps reading encyclopedia and this was one of his favorite stories. She just said something “umm..ok alright”

Now whenever my kiddo is around she goes in attention mode and proceeds cautiously!! Because if she is not cautious he has huge stock of stories ready ranging from nebula, tornadoes, volcanoes, dinosaurs, Titanic to penguins and Mangalyan!!

All this was there when he was a small kiddo. As the kids start growing the difficulty and awkwardness level of questions starts increasing. Their self body awareness starts developing. Let’s try to tackle one of such questions in the next blog.

To read my other blogs please click on the following links https://kinfolkclub.com or https://motherlab.blogspot.com

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Parenting

Curious kids or parents at test 😲 -Part 10 (Survival of reading habit in digital age)

In last blog we saw how reading habit was developed. But nothing is constant in this world. The reading journey which had begun so well faced rough waters. Now internet videos, mobile games were giving tough competition. There came a time when my kiddo had almost stopped reading and was not interested in doing anything apart from watching videos or playing mobile games.

My little kiddo was a big boy. And the big boy had a string of endless arguments in favour of games and videos. I had already realized that arguments and mere discussions are not going to be of much use. Nor complete ban on internet and mobile would work. It was time for direct action.

My son is a big fan of Harry Potter movies (like his mother 😜). I took advantage of this fact and told him that most of the movies had deviated from the books and they had changed couple of plots in each movie. So I set him a task of finding out these differences. This move met with some success. My son read first 3 books and that was something because he read the books in the first place and moreover he read fiction books which he had been refusing to do hitherto.My kid loves competition. And if that competition is with Mamma and he can beat his Mamma at it then he loves that competition even better!! Now I decided to have reading competition between mother and son. He readily agreed and  we started reading Harry Potter series again. This time he completed all 7 books and one play. The competition spirit had  haunted him. Every day his lead was increasing by more than 100 pages. At one point I started suspecting that he was skipping pages and cheating me. But how to find out??  Again I had simple idea. We started having Harry Potter quizzes. I was glad to know that my son had not skipped pages!! In fact he enjoyed these quizzes so much that even when our competition is over we continue to have these quizzes during dinner time, during traveling or even in restaurants waiting for food.  

Similarly, Enid Blyton’e riddle series was completed. I started keeping tab on newly published Gerenimo Stilton’s books and buy him latest book. 

My son is studying in IGCSC curriculum school where they don’t teach local history much. I wanted him to read about Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and his history. But it was not his favored topic. One day I got opportunity. My kid saw saffron flag gifted to his cousin and demanded similar big saffron flag. I agreed to buy the same with a precondition that he would read biography of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj who established Maratha empire under saffron flag. And yes, he read.

That’s how the reading came back!! If we had not eliminated internet and mobile completely we had at least curtailed it to some extent. Now mostly we try to have reading hour before going to bed.

One needs to be really clever while dealing with such situations. Merely telling or scolding does not work. There is no one solution that fits all. Every kid is different. You need to understand your own kid and then plan activities. We knew that competition works well with my kiddo and I simply used this fact to my advantage. My last mantra is try to bring some challenges/ activities based on reading so that it becomes a game rather than purely boring activity. Happy Reading!!

As we have seen in the earlier blogs my kid was interested in stories where he could correlate rather than fiction and particularly in science. Follow my blog to know more about when the kiddo decides to tell a story!!

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General Topic

Curious kids or parents at test 😲-Part 9 (Nurturing reading habit)

In my last blog we just saw how my kiddo started handling encyclepedia since the age of 2 years and how reading hour became our favorite pastime.

Slowly this picture watching game converted into question answer sessions. Now instead of merely reciting captions of the pictures my kiddo started asking “Mamma, what is nebula??” “What do you mean by tornado” “what does this train do?” 

Being a commerce student I didn’t know answers to many of his questions. But I would typically read the information from the encyclepedia and tell the same to my kiddo in easy language. If that was not sufficient I would google or would ask someone.

Gradually my kiddo started telling stories of nebulas, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, solar system, trains to all of us. 

Me and my kiddo were regular visitors to the books fairs and book shops. In one of such fairs I found one more trove of treasure – it was a set of books with names “From oil to petrol”, “From milk to cheese” “From shoot to apple” and “From wheat to bread”. They were very small books of around 25 pages consisting of good illustrations and short description in 1-2 sentences about the process. These books were the turning point. The teacher had just started teaching different types of words with phonetics in school. But my kiddo had enjoyed these books so much that he attempted to read these books on his own. From Oil to Petrol was the first ever book my kiddo read independently. Wherever he would stumble he would ask “how to read this word Mamma?” Eventually he started reading even complicated words. Soon he started reading all the books.

Considering his liking we amassed encyclopedia on various topics like Mighty machines, Space, Mother Earth, Oceans, Human Body, Explorers tales, Backyard Scientist over a period of time. He was crazy about Titanic. So we collected many books and stories on Titanic. 1001 days which changed the history of the world was his another favorite. In school he came across Gerenimo Stilton. This is the only fiction where my kiddo was attracted. So we had Gerenimo Stilton series books as well.

From our journey all I am trying to suggest is try to judge the inclination of your kid and try to collect books accordingly. Your kid may like fiction or fairy tales or comics or superheroes or adventures. Give them what they like. It is just possible that your kid may not like reading at all. But what’s the harm in trying??

In my previous blog we read the first mantra that was to start early and spend quality time with your kid. My second mantra is judge the inclination of your kid and try to collect books on topics your kid enjoys the most. Do not rely entirely on the typical books available books meant for kids. My third mantra is when we are starting the books from early age concentrate on attractiveness of illustrations rather than written content. Correctness of written content needs to be ensured. But little kids get attracted by attractive pictures rather than written content. Initially books with attractive illustrations and brief information are sufficient.

Today is a digital age and mobiles and internet videos are in vogue. Read my next blog to find out whether invasions by mobiles and internet on books were successful.

To read my other blogs visit www.kinfolkclub.com or

https://motherlab.blogspot.com