The Secret World of Children

Posted: November 15, 2010

This week after Children’s Day, we have a contest on Women’s Web that revolves around the secret world of children. When I was a young girl, my sisters and I used to play a game called Igloo-Bigloo. It required no toys and very few props – just an old blanket, really, under which we could hide, and pretend that we were “eskimos” huddling inside an igloo. If you’d asked my parents, I doubt they would have been aware of igloo-bigloo and the many other secret worlds we inhabited.

Carefully hidden away from the eyes of adults, many children have their own dreamworlds – often, far more exciting than anything out there and visible. To me, one of the worst things about becoming an adult is that we lose this imagination and wonder that is part of every child’s make-up – the confidence that blankets can become igloos, if only we will them to be.

That’s why we have this contest on – to recapture the child in each one of us! It’s a very simple contest – we have up an image that you need to provide a caption or dialogue or phrase for. The two best entries get a Calvin & Hobbes book each! (I thought it would make a great gift because, one, who can resist a C&H book, and two, what better captures the imaginary world of children than that most-loved imaginary tiger, Hobbes?!)

So, go ahead – check it out and participate…give rein to the inner child in you!

Founder & Chief Editor of Women's Web, Aparna believes in the power of ideas

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  1. Omg!!! Scaryyyyy :-((

  2. Agree with Anne, that it is a scary story. But, I do feel that it’s better to know what one can expect – especially things like the loss of control over bodily functions, the pain, the embarassment, the depression – these are often hushed up for fear of “scaring” would-be mothers. Of course not everyone may go through all of these, but I think it makes sense to be informed and know that childbirth is not a neat and clean affair with a smiling baby the only result.

  3. Hugs. Don’t know what else to say, but you brought out many women’s truths so honestly. That gynec should be spanked (since she’s a pain in the butt!!) for not treating you like a human being and an adult.

  4. very often women are not prepared well enough-neither by the family nor by their doctors on what to expect during pregnancy and after it. My sister had labor pains for 12 hours and was screaming ‘like an animal in pain’ according to my mother. She too had a lot of stitches and now she has a gap between two vertebrae which I am told is the result of the unnecessarily prolonged labor. My mother in her ignorance about c sections felt that the doctor knew best and did not even suggest it, thinking that it was not the best option. I may not be fair if I blame the doctor outright but it was a pretty much one (wo)man show in a private nursing home.The net result is constant back pain lifelong.

  5. It is so sad that you had to go through all this. My mother had almost an identical experience while having me. Her tear was so bad that she needed surgery again after 3 years. When I was pregnant, she was more worried than I was. I did read up a LOT. I was lucky to have not gone through what you did. Your doc should have done so many things that she did not! And sadly, this is the story of most women..

  6. I would like to share something which may put things in another perspective altogether. Please bear with me, and please do not misunderstand what I say here.I have undergone medical training, so I can tell you what the scene is on the other side of the fence. In no way do I mean to belittle the suffering that R’s mom went through-far from it.

    We live in an information age, and have access to a lot of things that people did not have to just a few years ago. There are so many books, too, that one can refer to for almost anything that needs to be found out. 2 decades ago, when I trained, it was not so, and most information that people had was from the elders in the family who had gone through specific experiences, or the experts- in this case the doctors.

    But this was just the educated women. Consider the masses who have no clue about what they are about to go through, with no access to any sort of education, and no idea that they have a right to ask- since it was their bodies. I remember working in the slums of Mumbai as part of my training, and its enough to make one throw up their hands.

  7. I would like to continue with my comment.

    These poor people come to general hospitals for treatment. They are often treated as though they are just ‘sick bodies’ to be treated. It is a commom thing to have a patient admitted for treatment, and the ‘head of the department’takes his/her rounds with the team members, and students all hanging on to their words. Nothing wrong to an extent, because this is where the future doctors really learn about hands-on treatment. What I always found crazy was that the patient’s condition was discussed right there, as if the person inside the ‘sick body’ did not matter at all. There would be of course, those honourable exceptions to this rule, where the patient was treated with consideration.

    The development of this attitude starts early, in the first year as a medical student, where they have to dissect cadavers, necessarily blanking out the fact that these were people who lived not very long ago- a defence mechanism, without which they cannot proceed. I know. I’ve puked countless times before getting ‘suitably hardened’.

    Over time, the medical student disconnects him/herself from the emotive aspect of treating a patient, for their own peace of mind. In a way, it becomes essential. I couldn’t give an injection to my child once when it was necessary. This makes doctors seem callous- often when they might not really be. They normally learn to be more humane as they grow as professionals. I think much also has to do with the fact that we did not have any humanities subjects as engineering students have. I think these are being introduced now.

    I hope nobody suffers like R’s mom has. Not only do the doctors need to be sensitive to the patient, but also to the fact that the relatives might need educating on things like the occurance of post-partum depression, etc., which may manifest differently in different women, and is mostly misunderstood. Mine was. Inspite of my being a doctor. And I had a very bad few weeks when I kept crying, with not much support from my family who did not understand, husband included.

    Long comment. Sorry. Could not help myself.

  8. @Anne/ Kamakshi: I didnt mean to scare you girls or anything…just wrote what happened..hope that doesnt dissuade anyone from becoming moms :):)
    @Starry: hugs back :)The gynac is actually a great lady..just I guess..well forget it..!
    @HHG: gosh! wish the doc had told your mom and sis about C secs..infact I also suffer from chronic back ache now because of this
    @smitha: Hope your mom is fine now..guess its an experience that is life changing! and yaa its so good that you read before delivery..wish I was not so dumb and relaxed and had read properly
    @Sandhya: Its good you got the perspective from the medical are right..doctors cant get will be too difficult for them to treat people then…I dont blame the gynac anymore honestly..its just that I put this across so that people at least ASK questions to the doc before just believing them blindly…I just wish I had been smarter and READ/ASKED stuff instead of just going there and delivering..its a mistake on my part as well to some extent and I accept it :)and humanities in med/engg courses..yay to that..definitely NEEDED!

  9. I’m 37 weeks pregnant and was glad to read this. I’m not shocked because I fully expect the labour process to be horrible. But there are very few no-holds-barred accounts of the grosser aspects of giving birth. I don’t know if it’s because women forget, or they just don’t want to talk about it. Luckily, my sister gave birth this year and was very detailed.
    Just wanted to say – no matter how much you read, you still have to be able to trust your doctor. I don’t think the onus should be on the patient to suggest a c-section. In the middle of labour, how would you know if a c-section is warranted? Worldwide, the standard seems to be to make a small incision if the baby is having trouble coming out… in fact, now doctors are being accused of doing it too much. So I find the medical decisions (made by the docs not you) a bit shocking.
    Also, I wonder if you had depression or just a perfectly natural reaction to the pain and trauma you went through, which is more than someone who had a regular delivery – where women are able to move around after a couple of days – would have. If I went through that much continued pain, I would be crying too.

  10. Dear R’s mom, I am so sad for the terrible ordeal you went through, and appreciate that you have shared your story with all of us. I was reading an article here: and they seem to suggest that even an episiotomy cannot prevent a tear like that.
    I think that no one shares their pain and horror stories- every one just glosses over the ugly truths about pregnancy and childbirth, and just pretend it is one glorious thing, and the seal of silence is perpetuated indefinitely. I think it is very important for women to be well informed even before they are pregnant.

  11. Ya! this is nice!

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