I was somewhat alarmed hearing this conversation between Nikki and her friend, in the park, recently:

Friend – ‘I just came back from Art Class’

Nikki – ‘Ok’

Friend – ‘You don’t go to any hobby class?’

Nikki – ‘No’

Friend – ‘I go for three classes – Art, Dance and Mental Maths.’

Nikki – ‘Ok….let’s play….’

Often, Nikki goes searching for someone to play with and returns saying that ‘He/she has gone for a class.’ Especially, weekends bear a pretty deserted look. All I see of kids is on their way to or back from a class – lugging a bag or a racquet or a synthesizer.

Sometimes, it raining, at other times, it’s cold, but these kids are not deterred.

Are hobby classes here to stay?

I am perturbed sometimes. What kind of parents are we? Are we depriving our kids of something important?

Frankly, these classes give me the creeps. Not that I don’t believe in kids enrolling for a hobby class, I dislike the idea of young kids, aged 4 – 8, doing multiple classes, sometimes, to a schedule that may be stressing them out. I don’t think they have even know what they really want to do: whether it’s Art or Dance or Sport.

I thought I will observe my kids to figure out what they really like to do and then maybe, work out a class for them. Here is the log of observations I made today:-

10:00 am: ‘Throw Balls Down the Staircase’ – Several balls are sent rolling down amid frenzied laughter.

11:00 am: ‘Pillow Train’ – All cushions and pillows are summoned to make a ‘train’ by lining them up on the floor. To win, rules are relaxed by the older sibling, and all round and lumpy objects are included in the definition. I stop the game, somewhere afraid deep inside that I may also be summoned as a bogie.

12:00 noon : ‘Puppet Show’ –They hide behind the sofa, holding up dolls who enact a play. I overhear the planning.

Nikki – ‘You be the pappa, I will be the mamma, ok? You will come in and I will say ‘Hello Darling…How was your day?’

Prithvi –‘I don’t want to be pappa. I want to be DRIVER.’ (Evidently, his career ambitions get in the way).

Nikki – (frustrated) ‘Please understand….’ tries to explain to him but he is adamant.

Since Nikki is in a hurry to get the show on the road, she goes ahead with the same script, with Prithvi in the role of ‘driver’.

I have collapsed on the stairs, laughing.

5:00 pm : ‘Screaming Contest’

6:00 pm : ‘Hide and Queek’ – This is a variation of the original and no one is really sure of the rules.

It’s late in the evening now. I have still not got any evidence of what might be their area of interest for a Hobby Class. I am feeling stressed now.

Maybe, I should enrol in the ‘Yoga for Relaxation’ class being offered by Shobha of Flat No P-203 who also has Embroidery Exhibition going on at this time.

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