When Sorry Seems to be the Easiest Word

My Boys-ViraaJ in Red and Ayaan in Blue
My Boys-ViraaJ in Red and Ayaan in Blue

Teach your kids the importance of saying sorry, and watch them try to get away with murder!

I’m trying to teach my sons to be gentlemen. To accept their mistakes and apologize. To say sorry.

Tough to teach a boy that you say? No my friend. It’s easy. A little too easy!

Seriously. Now my 3yo still continues to do all the wrong things, and every time I rough him up about it, he fights back with a puppy face and a sly sorry. He’ll pinch his ears and say ‘sholee mamma’ and expect me to instantly forgive him for punching his baby brother to the floor. When I continue to frown, he’ll matter-of-factly go back, plant a little kiss on the baby’s cheek, pat his head lovingly, precisely thrice and come back and say to me, “maine baby ko pyaal kal diya”. (loosely translated, that sounds something like “I just showed him some love”)

At this point, he expects me to ceremoniously approve of his little charade and diligently go back to whatever I was doing, so he can go back to whatever he was doing. What was he doing again? Oh yes, punching his baby brother to the floor.

Bummer of a game it is, Punch…Apologise…Repeat. Viola!

I don’t think he’s got the point. That saying sorry means he won’t do this again. He just thinks saying sorry is a part of the game. It’s what you do after you break something…or someone.

But how can he not know? He knows 21 nursery rhymes. He knows the difference between Doraemon and Ninja Hattori. He could unlock an iPhone at 9 months old for god’s sake. He can turn on the laptop, open Chrome, click in the address bar, type ‘y’, hit enter, and choose his favourite video from Youtube homepage. How can he not know that saying sorry also means you won’t do this (hitting, punching, breaking) again… Ever… For at least a few minutes.

No I’m sure he gets it. I’m sure he knows. He just chooses to play innocent. When kids look dumb, look like they’ll never learn, they are actually smarter than us and have already learned what they need to learn. That a puppy face and pouty sorry will get away with anything. Anything.

It’s easy as a parent to feel lost this way. To feel if we will ever be able to teach these kids values, feelings and concern. What we teach them today will shape their entire life. But waiting that long to see how we did, that’s an awfully antagonizing wait.

How do we know if we’re doing okay? This parenting thing is hard.

Maybe I know a little more today than I did yesterday. I know because something happened this morning. Both the kiddos were very happy and particularly frolicky. Jumping up and down the bed just like in the video ‘Five Little Monkeys Jumping On the Bed’. Cute video though, you should totally watch it. What, you have a life? Well, nevermind.

While jumping up and down frantically, the big monkey accidently knocked the little monkey down. Little monkey fell pretty hard and for a moment I lost my breath. But an experienced monkey mommy that I am, I always have more mattresses on the floor than on the bed. Anyone feels like doing a cartwheel in the middle of the night, I’m prepared baby. So aal iz well, no one got hurt. Little monkey cried for a minute just out of shock (and for effect, hey, he needs his moment too, peace!).

But that’s when I saw it, just for a little passing while, genuine fright on the big boy’s face. He stood solemnly while I comforted the baby and the second my eyes met his, he pinched his ears hard and said sorry. And he totally meant it. He didn’t do the dramatic kiss the cheek pat the head routine, which he otherwise does about thirty seven times a day. He just stood there and watched the baby calm down. And then sat down next to him and watched for another few minutes. I tried comforting him, telling him it was okay. But he only really smiled when the baby shot him one of his little grins.

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He loves his lil brother. I’m pretty sure he loves me too. He’s a little different from normal happy kids. He doesn’t like to communicate much. An introvert. It often, almost always feels like he doesn’t give a damn what happens to me. But somewhere deep inside, I’m pretty sure he does.

Guess I’m doing okay.

Guess my boys will grow up into good men.

For now though, I gotta rush. The two monkeys broke into a fight over the same yellow golf stick again. Gosh! Two little pirates I swear. Why couldn’t I just have a daughter? C’est La Vie I guess.

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23 thoughts on “When Sorry Seems to be the Easiest Word

  1. Oh gosh! Your boys fight too. It seems it never gets better. Mine are in the same boat, permanently squabbling. Of course, they love each other. But it would be nicer if their actions conveyed that often. 🙂 I do agree that ‘sorry’ is a powerful tool even for elders. It makes me mad when anyone expects their misdeed to be forgiven just because they have muttered a measly sorry.

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  2. All siblings fight!! Mine look like they’re ready to break each other’s heads, but the moment one is genuinely hurt, the other is really concerned!
    And, girls fight too!! 😀
    I love the whole reaction of your older one for his brother! 🙂

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  3. Such a sweet read it is!

    But it also made me think that we adults do the same thing – say sorry and then repeat the same mistake, no? I remember what my grandmother (naniji) used to say in a joking way (but I think there is some truth to it) – there are two words that the Angrez (English) have given us which are absolutely meaningless – sorry and thankyou! If we think about it, both these words when said without any meaning are really useless, aren’t they? But it takes a lifetime to really “mean” them!

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    1. Thats really true actually. If we dont mean them, those words are actually a joke. But when said earnestly, they’re the best. I guess kids and us can both learn this from each other.

      Thanks Beloo for coming.

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  4. Oh this ‘sorry’ gets to me. At 9 years I almost feel like it’s a lost battle. However the thing is to go on and on and on reinforcing life lessons and hope and pray that they are being registered in some corner of their brains. As for the fights – let me tell you girls fight just as hard, so no peace there.

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  5. Oh man! Everyone tells me that. Guess girlpower shows up in different ways right 😉 haha. But yep…teaching them these values is probably gonna go on a long long time. Phew!

    Thanks a bunch for dropping by! 🙂 🙂 🙂

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  6. My brother has two daughters – trust me, it’s no different! 😛
    Mine also thinks saying “Sorry” will fix EVERYTHING. Like he can get away with simply anything by just saying a sorry!

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  7. Right – since I only have one at the moment, can’t vouch for the fighting. Unless his fights with me count 🙂
    My wife says she has two kids – him and me. So I reckon that does.
    You’re showing them the right path, Mamta. Yes, their ‘sorries’ do seem a bit too easy at times, but hey, sometimes, they’re just using their god-given talents to get out of a mess. Can’t blame them, can we ?

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  8. On a bad day…have u ever felt that the One and Only talent they possess is Cuteness? I mean i often feel its just those cute faces that make up for every other evil 😉 these guys indulge in :-p

    Thanks Sid 🙂

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  9. I read your post like three times…three different times already and didn’t find one chance to leave my comment. Finally, I can do it now. 🙂

    I have the same problem at home with my son. Its too easy for him to say sorry and move on. Not the same with my daughter. Her saying sorry, I know she means it and she will try her best to not do it again. Which is why I had to couple sorrys from my son with couple of other explanations to help him realize that it was wrong. It works in phases, but this is so good to know that in that little brain, they may be realizing what is wrong. Very nice read. 🙂

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  10. Oh Gosh(: … so thats the baby you are busy with the second one… how you manage two kids, a 3 year naughty one and the baby… I think when kids are very young they may show some traits of violence etc… it’s just games for them, they not yet know or understand it is wrong or hurting that’s requires more patience and control that they will learn in time surely… the last sequence where the kid showed he was actually scarred he hurt his lill bro shows that they really will grow to be affectionate… I think your kids are quite young to confirm their introversion… anyway… and long a go when I was in class 3 or 4 only I was told that sorry means you won’t repeat it again because you acknowledge what you did was wrong… I used to tell it to my cousin who used to trouble me a lot… like bully me total… and his elder bro and my elder bro would rish to protect me…i think it was when we were way younger… you see these things happen, but you can correct them so as they grow they become responsible and nice… anyway… how come you got children so like less gap… I mean its ok but it will bound to be really really tough(: goodday.

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    1. it is tough to have two kids so close apart, but kids are hard anyway so well….actually the thing is, i had a rather fantastic freelancing career going on untill my firstborn turned two and started pouncing the laptop ALL THE TIME. It became impossible to manage the job and the baby so i had to stop working. Now i thought, i cant quit my job and sit untill this boy goes to school, and then have another baby and then wait jobless until that kid goes to school, that will take too much time. So i wanted two kids and decided i’ll have them close and send them both to school as early as i can so i can restart my life. Being a Work-from-home-mom is tough, especially when the work involves a laptop!!

      Plus it’s been good since my first one is kind of an introvert, its good he has a brother now to play with. My life is a bit of a mess right now, so is my house 😉 but one kid=mess, two kids=lil more mess. Its mess anyway, so just get it over with quickly 😀 :p
      4 years of raising one kid and then 4 years of another….8 years of my life gone woosh! Nope, couldnt do that 🙂

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      1. Brilliant planning…so you can restart your career in 2 to 3 years time….you are lucky…i know people who are not getting child atall…my cousin sis in law has one after one failed… so enjoy your while…these days most of them opt for just a single kid… so this kid is lucky to have a younger sibling.

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  11. Yeah(: I was about to ask you… all guys in your family ur the sole girl breed around(: … girl would have been a change and company to you…. in some way girls are more responsible and sensible I think(: I maybe wrong though(:

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