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Black Book


Book Review ContestBack in my carefree days as a non-parent in Paris, I had a good friend Catherine who carried around a small notebook with her wherever she went. It was a planner and she jotted down everything in it. “Let’s visit a museum,” I would say, and she would respond “attends une minute, je dois vérifier si je suis libre demain!” and out would come her little black book. The first time I saw the book, I sniggered and said “You have a planner? Really? But for what?!” It’s eight years since then and there isn’t a day that passes when I don’t remember Catherine.

You see, each morning when I wake up, the first thing I do is look at my little black book. The pages of this book are filled with important appointments that cannot be forgotten at any cost – Netra’s classes, Netra’s playdates and Netra’s doctor visits. Not content with taking over my house, bed and cupboards, she has now firmly entrenched herself in my daily calender as well. Her social life is so busy that if not for the planner, I would be running round in a tizzy like a chicken with its head cut off, trying to recall where she needs to be when and at what time!

On some days she has so many activities scheduled for the same day, that I resort to writing reminders to myself in the margins of the notebook. Run your eyes over this typical schedule for a day (only Robert Langdon would be able to remember a month’s worth of action-packed days like this one): 3:45 – Art class 5 – Appointment with doctor 6 – Playdate at Miraya’s house – Complete Marvellous me project – To buy: socks for school, tracks for dance class – Fix appointment with ped. dentist – Buy gift for Twisha’s b’day When I look back today at Catherine who was managing the lives of three children, I am only surprised that she managed with one planner!

And every morning when others are lighting lamps and reciting their morning prayers, I silently mouth, “Thank you Catherine, for the gift of the black book!” I must end by saying that today there are some people who snigger at me and my planner. Well all I can say is, “Your time will come!”

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Kritika Srinivasan is an Editor at ParentEdge. She has her hands full with an active young child and her writing. She is keenly interested in ways to engage and stimulate children to keep their lively and intelligent minds busy.


4 thoughts on “Black Book

  1. Sudha Kumar

    You know what Kritika, my husband keeps telling me all the time that management principles are probably more applicable at home than at work :) And it is so true!! Checklists and planners rule……

  2. Aparajita Bose

    This is the age when each one of us (me too? I wonder!) is trying to be a supermom! My grandma would shrug off all this talk amongst me and my friends about how stressed out we are with our children’s busy lives, our moms would smile and forget all this, our children, as adults, wouldn’t remember a fraction of it, but definitely complain “Only if you did this, Mom…..like Miraya’s mom, or say, Priyanka’s mom……”……..I could relate to your piece, Kritika!

  3. Gayatri

    Kritika, completely agree! I have a Mom’s calendar that is indispensable, with slots for each member of the family and stickers for various activities – it’s a great tool! My life would fall apart without some kind of time management/tracking system….

  4. Meena

    Kritika Its so true this black book helps to manage your time and keep the promise you made to your child.Often I may have not met these tasks however It has certainly made me to focus.You have developed great trust by doing this.Also do ask your child to help in this planning when they participate they learn the whole process and value your time.You brought back my memories of museum visits in India,Smithsonian&Metropolitan museum of Art,Liberty science museum (USA) and UK
    needless to say with my child

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