I was in Lafayette, CA, visiting my grandkids. And, of course, my daughter and son-in-law.
Krish, my grandson, is four and was delighted to see his Tatha. That’s what he calls me, and it means grandpa in Kannada, my native tongue.
He came back from school the evening before my return trip to New York and hugged me. He is ticklish so I prodded him all over and had him giggling uncontrollably.
We played hide-and-seek. He would count to ten while I hid, and he would find me and prod me with his index finger and I would pretend to be hurt and cry and prod him back and we laughed uproariously. Then I would count to ten and he would hide, and I would find him and tickle him from behind and hug him and prod him and we would laugh uproariously.
It was great fun.
Then it was bedtime and he refused to go. “I can’t sleep,” he protested. We put him to bed anyway. He came out of his room in a few minutes and cried a bit and would not go back.
I discovered what every parent knows.
It is not a good idea to get your child all excited when it is close to bedtime.
I probably knew this when my kids were young but that was nearly four decades ago.
I remember a couple of American students I met while I was at St. Stephen’s College. “There’s nothing to do here,” they complained.
This was in the early sixties and New Delhi was the capital of India, but it was still a relatively quiet, somnolent town.
I finished my MBA and came to Columbia University for my Ph.D.. New York was not Las Vegas but it was emphatically a “city that never sleeps.”
There were Broadway shows, and off Broadway shows and off off Broadway shows. There were burlesques and peep shows and other risqué entertainment. There were comedy shows and comic acts and magic performances. There were dating clubs and pick-up bars and mixers. There were restaurants and eating establishments with all manner of attractions. A restaurant I particularly liked was a Midtown Mexican eatery called Fonda los Milagros. A trio – a singer, a guitarist and an accordion player – would come to each table in turn and sing songs that the patrons chose. Another was Your Father’s Mustache which had long tables and everyone would wave mugs of beer and singalong with the performer.
If anyone reading this remembers these joints, please let me know!
I returned to India to stay with my parents. When it was time for me to come back to the US they pressed me to stay longer. “There’s nothing to do here,” I protested.
Living in the US – or much of the Western World – we do not realize how much our minds are affected by the constant bombardment of stimuli. It is like a snow globe that is always being shaken so there is no chance for it to settle down and become clear.
So go someplace where there is ‘nothing to do’ and remain for a while. You will get ‘bored’. Stick with it.
The benefits of doing this repeatedly are great.