15th Birthday Letter to GG & BB

Happy birthday GG & BB! You turned 15 over the weekend and as it happens every year, I can’t help but think of the two little babies I brought into this world who would fit comfortably in the crook of my arms. You’ve both grown up so much now, with BB towering more than a head over me. GG, who is my little chilli padi is still slightly miffed at the genes she got handed out at birth which makes her only chest high to her brother, but you are a feisty girl who is slowing becoming a lovely, graceful, but still a very feisty young woman.

Fifteen years back, I fell in love, irrevocably and completely and this feeling has only intensified in the intervening years. I can still remember the first words I uttered when I woke up from my anaesthesia were about you both and since that second, your well-being and happiness has been the absolute priority in my life.

Some days I lie in bed and start to worry and freak out. You both are fifteen now and only a few years away from legal adulthood. Very soon, you will finish school and life as I know it will end. You both will become more independent and mum will only be a peripheral part of your lives. I don’t know if I am ready for these changes yet. BB will go on to do his National Service in 3-4 years (depending on what educational route you take to after your O levels) and then will change into a man! I will surely miss my sweet little boy, but I can’t stop nature having her way, right?

BB, you are a sweetheart and I don’t say this because I am your mum and am biased (well, that too). You are one of the sweetest boys I have met (and thanks to you I have met many) who does not have a bad bone in his head or his heart. You always think the best of everyone and even when you get bullied, you’d rather just brush it off or keep it to yourself just because you don’t want to get someone in trouble. But you should learn to take a stand. When you leave the protected environment of your school and go out into the world, you will soon realise man comes in many forms and so when you don’t learn to stand up for yourself, you may find yourself pushed down to the bottom of the barrel.

GG, you are such a sweetheart, so giving and caring. You own each room when you enter it because of your personality. You are a natural leader, something I always knew and I am glad this year you got to showcase it to others when you became the Vice President of your CCA. You have a wonderful work ethic, one that will be an asset to you in the years to come. I have no doubt that irrespective of the career path you choose, you will become someone who is very successful (whatever your definition of success is). I know you dislike certain subjects in school, but you still work hard on those just because you have a natural desire to excel and set personal high standards for yourself. Keep doing that and success will kiss your feet always.

Happy birthday to my sweethearts! It was your birthday, but my present has and always has been the two of you – the best thing in my life!


Parenting: When teens push your buttons

By their very definition and age, teens tend to be self-centred and when they are in this phase, they tend to be rude and curt to people around them, including parents and this, in turn, makes people think, they are being disrespectful. But this a phase, which they outgrow once they become older and thus, more mature and learn to navigate the pitfalls of social conversations.

While I won’t say BB & GG are outright disrespectful, they do, at times, push as many buttons as they can, to see how much they can get away with. I looked and searched online for ideas I can implement at home to nip this in the bud and at the same time, teach them life skills.

We have to understand that this is happening to pretty much every child who enters the teenage years and so as parents and rational adults, we need to tackle this calmly without really reacting to their rude behaviour. They will try and push boundaries, it’s in their blood, but remember, we do not stoop to their level and react and act like them.

Focus on the behaviour and not on the person behaving and set clear rules on what constitutes good behaviour. Also, make sure your teen knows the consequences of bad behaviour and make sure you go through on those consequences when rules are broken.

Be a role model to your child, model the same behaviour you want to see in your child

Ignore mild forms of disrespect. It’s best to ignore mild forms of disrespect like rolling eyes, not replying to questions, shrugging shoulders etc. Ignoring such behaviour will let them know that you don’t give importance to such behaviour and hopefully, this kind of behaviour will peter off gradually.

Speak to them, often and even when they are uncommunicative. I always ask GG & BB how their day was and more often than not, the response I get is either, ‘the usual’ or ‘nothing much’. I don’t give up and sit and ask them in detail and with this try to open communication channels between us. It’s easier with GG (maybe because she is a girl) than BB, but I am not giving up and hope there will be a day when he is as much a chatty Kathy as GG is.

Hope these tips are useful for you when you are dealing with an uncommunicative and unresponsive teen. Do comment below on how you deal with your teen!

Teens and Smart Devices



Over the last week, I have been thinking very hard on this topic since it’s something that’s close to my heart these days. BB is always on a smart device, either his phone or laptop from the time he wakes up until he has to be pushed to keep them aside and go to bed. I have already tried some techniques, which I will elaborate below, but that was not enough, I needed some more ammunition to get him to concentrate on school work and not just play games on his devices. So here’s a summary of what I found.

BB and GG belong to a generation who are digital natives and they have not lived a life where they didn’t have access to the internet or didn’t have a life which was not online. So it does become slightly difficult to get them to draw a line between the real and virtual worlds. This is a generation, who after coming back from school, start speaking to their friends online, those friends whom they just saw as little as a few minutes back!


After reading up on what I, as a parent can do, I have come to the conclusion that unless the teen is very mature, there’s not much we can do. All we can do is keep reiterating and hope it ends someplace inside their head and they are able to understand what we are trying to say to them.


Some of the things I have already implemented include bedtimes not later than 10 pm for both of them, especially during a school night, the charging of their mobile phones outside their rooms (actually my room so I know they don’t use their phone later), no laptops or other electronic devices inside their room after bedtime and also have installed a smartphone locking app in their phones. I use OurPact, which, when I first downloaded it more than two years back, I could use on both phones from my phone. I understand that these days only one child phone can be monitored from a parent’s phone using the free version. The children are not allowed to remove OurPact from their phones and the penalty for doing so will mean that phone privileges are revoked.

What else can I do?

I am going to try to get them to keep their phones aside for a fixed amount of time, starting from 15 minutes initially and then going up. They are used to keeping their phones switched off in school, so I am hoping this should not be too difficult for them.

Another thing I am going to implement is making them keep their phones in a drawer when they are doing school work and studying. This may be slightly difficult to implement (because I have already tried this), but I am going to continue to keep trying. They have songs downloaded on their phones, but still, want to access YouTube to listen to music.

I am still looking for solutions which I can, as a parent implement to cut down on my children’s smart device usage. Do you have any innovative and out of the box ideas that I can use? Please do comment below so I can implement them!

Happy Birthday GG & BB: A Letter to you on your 14th Birthday!

Happy Birthday, BB & GG! You turn 14 tomorrow and the years between the first time I held you both in my arms to today seems to have gone by in a flash. Tomorrow is also your Hindi year-end exam and I wish you all the best for the exams (though I know you wish the exams didn’t happen today!).

GG, you are my first born (by two minutes) and as I watch you grow into a warm and confident young lady, I am always surprised you were born from my womb. You are beautiful, both from the inside and the outside, but I am glad, at this point in life, you are more concerned on the inside than the outside, maybe unlike your peers.

BB, my baby boy, who is now a whole head taller than me, you are still the sweet and lovely little boy I watched grow up. I still love the random hugs you give me now and then and the cuddles you ask me sometimes and hope you never change this aspect of your personality.

Both of you are no longer children and completely dependent on me anymore. You are already young adults who show promise of the adults you will soon become.

For both of you, the exams that begin around the end of the month are defining exams. How you in this exam will determine to a large extent your future path in life as the subjects you take will eventually determine the subjects you can take post school.

There are very few children who are your age and who know what they want to do in life, you both are quite fortunate you have been able to pin down your passions early on and to a large extent, you both have decided what you want to do in life. All I say that grow your passion and let that determine your path in life. As someone wise once said,

“When you love what you do and work in something that you are passionate about, you never ever go to work a single day in your life!”

The teens are brutal years, take this from someone who has been through it. I have always believed that teenagers are more lethal than even adults and what you learn while navigating these years will be the foundation which you can use to base your adult interactions.

The teen years are brutal, take this from someone who has been through it. I have always believed that teenagers are more lethal than even adults and what you learn while navigating these years will be the foundation which you can use to base your adult interactions.

One thing I would like you both to learn during the holidays is to learn to cook! Cooking is no longer restricted to girls and with both learning to make simple meals in school, we can take this further and learn simple meals you can make for yourself. This will make you more independent and cooking is an important life skill. You will never starve or even spend too much money on meals when you stay away from home!

Speaking of which, I am quite dreading the time when you both fly the coop – BB will start first when he starts his National Service, but I would love for both to stay and study overseas so you gain valuable experience – both academically as well as in life!

My hopes and aspirations for you both are quite simple, I want you to enjoy what you do and in the process be happy doing it. Live life to the fullest and make use of every opportunity that comes your way, be it tiny, little or big. Keep learning, it never stops and try to learn something new every day! Love each other immensely as you now do and never stop being in each other’s lives. You both share a special and unique bond, keep that flame always alive!

Happy Birthday, GG & BB! Remember I love you to the moon and back (definitely more!)

Twin Mum Questions

50d4b665dc1140faf06be9785be3660f-twin-girls-twin-babiesIt never gets old. From the time GG & BB were born till now, every time people hear I have twins, people ask me questions, most of which, when I think about it, are almost similar in nature. BB & GG turn 14 this year and I have been fielding these questions for just as long. So here’s a list of questions that I sometimes wish I have prepared answers for and just pass it to them when they ask!

f8c92fd92da4a96a4c0882c314c4a2aeAre they twins? (I used to get asked this a lot when they were younger, but I don’t get asked this question anymore because BB is taller than GG and so people assume she is the younger sister)

Yes, they are….They look the same age, right?

Is it two boys/two girls?

No, they are not, can’t you see they are dressed differently, according to their sex? When they learn one of each – Wow! Fantastic, you hit the jackpot!

Are they identical?

No, they are not. Basic biology states that identical twins need to be the same sex and since they are of different sexes, they are fraternal twins and not identical


Were they planned or did it happen naturally?

Gosh! Such intrusive questions about my life!

Were they conceived naturally?

Another super intrusive question, but to answer it, yes, they were conceived naturally

Do twins run in your family?

I am actually not sure here. My mum’s sister has twins, but the generation before that didn’t have. Maybe it runs my maternal grandmother’s family, but we are still not sure.

Do they look alike?

Hello! Twins of a different sex, so obviously they look different. But in all fairness, when they were babies, people did tend to feel they looked alike, but I never saw the likeness!


Are they alike in temperament?

Nope! They are completely different in temperament, likes and dislikes. GG is a very girly girl who loves to draw, paint and sing while BB is a boy who, like most boys loves planes, cars and other vehicles, his obsession with planes is real and he has most likely decided to have a career in aviation.

Who is older/younger?

GG is older by 2 minutes. They were delivered by c-section and my gynaecologist/obstetrician felt she was not growing well and may not survive the trauma of a natural birth, hence the scheduled c-section. So she was delivered first, but we were worried in vain, as she was relatively healthy and didn’t need to spend any time in the NICU, which was what was told to us before the birth.

I could never do it

Well, before I had twins, I never thought of managing twins too, but you just do what you have to do! So I did it!


To any twin mum reading this article, what are your favourite twin mum question?