Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

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School tales

September 15, 2017

It’s been too long since the last post – since then A started school, settled in beautifully and loves it. I was both excited for her to start, and at the same time a little sad that this is it, she’s off to school. And the day before she was due to start school, I remember we made rainbows on the wall with mirrors and a bowl of water. I think that’ll be a nice memory for me, even though she isn’t going to remember it 🙂

And on the first day she was greeted by her teacher who seemed really nice, and it didn’t take too long for her to trust her and become completely besotted at all! I spent about a week hanging out at her school, and the I was quite amazed at how quickly she settled in and didn’t cry much at all. When I would go to pick her up in the afternoons, there would be big outbursts of emotion at seeing me after so long, but even that stopped after a couple of days. Or she would tell me that she was crying because she wanted to stay in school longer! And now that is school is closing for 10 days for Dasara holidays, she is quite upset about it, and I hope I can keep her as entertained at home! While there is the usual trepidation on how I’ll keep her ‘engaged’ (funny how this wasn’t even a thing until she started school three months back), I think we will enjoy the relaxed mornings and probably do a LOT of painting and go for walks.

We have this ritual of stopping to getting tender coconut on the way back from school, once a week, usually on Fridays. So, this morning, I told her, ‘Today is Friday, what does that mean?’

We are going to drink,’ she said, all enthusiasm.

Oh yeah, TGIF!

And she continues to entertain all and sundry at school, sometimes at my expense. S and I joke that there are no secrets in our family anymore. Everyone knows everything that goes on at home now. Last month S was travelling for a couple of days, and this child, forever obsessed with bills of all sorts, pulled out some grocery store bills from my wallet and said she wanted to give them to Papa to ‘surprise him’ when he returned. I said okay (and added ‘you strange child’, in my head) and made a mental note to tell S to act surprised.

A week later, another teacher at her school told me of this conversation she had with her.

A: My Papa is travelling, so I’m going to surprise him when he comes back.

Teacher: How are you going to surprise him?

A: With Mama’s BILLS!

Like I said, total entertainment, never a dull day.

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Yesterday

May 13, 2017

(Yes, can we just do away with titles for blog posts altogether, please?)

Yesterday was one of those mornings where I started the day with low energy, had cramps and was so tired and wanted to nap by 10. The thought of making lunch made me want to curl up in bed.

Mercifully, around 11, A and I got into bed with the idea of an early nap for both of us. We read for a bit and then began to play the fool.  She climbed onto me as I lay on the bed and generally began to monkey around. We began to roughhouse and mercifully she didn’t jump on my tummy, and as always, it was so much fun. After about 30-45 minutes of this, accompanied by the world’s sweetest sound – that of A’s laughter, of course – both of us felt remarkably refreshed, we got out of bed and I was ready to make lunch.

I prepped for a pumpkin soup and also remembered there was some plain frozen millet khichdi (just pressure cooker millets + dal mixture that I made too much of once and frozen) I had to use up soon. I took that out and reheated it and took out some spinach I’d blanched the previous night and chopped it up.

Now, A began to get quite hungry and sleepy as it approached 1pm. Also, she’d been awake since before 6am, so I decided to make soup later and served the khichdi with some curd. And the plain, blanched (almost burnt) spinach. This child LOVES spinach, for some reason. So she devoured whatever was in her bowl, asked for more spinach (by now I had even given up the idea of adding garlic or some seasoning) and then, kept saying, ‘Thank you for food, Mummy’. And as usual, wanted to know how I had made it and what went into it.

So. Much. Heartmelt. And gratitude.

The way the morning just turned itself around was quite amazing. And I’m so, so, grateful for this sweet, understanding, accommodating and non-fussy child of mine ❤

 

(This post is mostly to remind myself of how sweet this child can be, on days when she’s driving me up the wall :D)

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V: Village

April 26, 2017

The kind that they say it takes to raise a child, I mean.

Only lately have I begun to realise the actual implications of the nuclear family life. Yes I know, quite late in life. At the risk of sounding like a self-centred <your choice of expletive here>, only after I’ve had a baby, I’ve truly understood why the whole joint family structure made sense once upon a time. And what it truly means when they say, It takes a village.

For one, there’s tons of wisdom, tried and tested through the ages that would’ve been available on demand, or even unsolicited, take it or leave it. Instead of turning to the Internet at the drop of a hat, there would be grandparents, in the flesh, telling you what to do and what not to do from years of experience. Instead of second-guessing your every decision, or asking strangers (well-meaning, I’m sure) on the Internet for advice, there would be loads of advice freely available at home. Yes, there’s always the phone and people you can turn to for advice, but I don’t know, we do seem to rely on the Internet a lot more, because it’s convenient.

Secondly, the child has a lot more exposure to family than during the occasional weekend or holiday when the family visits happen. And these additional helping hands are invaluable, be it in cases where both parents are working, or even when one of the parents stays home all day. The whole business of taking care of the child and engaging with her is shared across more than an adult or two. Which means a lot less stress on the primary caregiver.

I also think the child will grow with a lot more passed-down wisdom from the grandparents and learn to deal with different points of view. And of course, stories! Who better than the grandparents to regale them with stories of their parents’ childhood, and other fun stories in general?

And then, if there are other children in the house? That much more fun for the children, then 🙂

Of course, all of this applies as long as the adults all see eye to eye on most relevant matters and have healthy respect for each others’ choices and each other’s space. The lack of it of course is probably the main reason families move away, apart from the standard reasons like jobs, proximity to workplace, schools etc.

I wonder if in the future we’ll go back a full circle and joint families will be more the norm than the exception. Will we all evolve sufficiently to learn to live with each others’ differences, make suitable compromises and co-exist peacefully? Only time will tell, I suppose.

Edited to add: Of course, on further thought, I’m guessing it will be complicated. For one, I’m not all for the newly married couple moving into the groom’s house simply because that’s how it has been for centuries. So much patriarchy at play. So when I mean a joint family, I don’t mean it in the traditional sense. It would be nice if both sets of parents live close by, so the whole joint family feeling is still fostered, perhaps? Sounds Utopian, I know. Hmm.

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Q for Questions

April 20, 2017

On a daily basis, I answer an endless stream of questions from A. Some are easy, some I need to think, and for some I tell her I’ll need sometime to think and answer. And then there are those that have me really searching for answers or a way to explain to a 2.5 year old. Like – 

Why is that uncle not wearing a t-shirt/swimsuit at the pool?

Why can’t I go into the girls’ toilet with Daddy?

Why is that uncle not wearing a t-shirt? (at the temple?)

(Still at the temple) Why are they making so much noise?

Why did uncle K get married?

And then things like, why can’t we wear messy clothes? 🙄

And so many more to come, I’m sure. I sometimes wish the toddler phase came with an FAQ section. 

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Pretend-play

April 19, 2017

A has been doing a LOT of pretend play for the past few months. This one though, from yesterday takes the cake.

She picked up a barcode sticker from a watermelon that we bought yesterday, and stuck it on her tummy and kept walking around with it.

‘This is a bandage.’

Okay..

And then she explains, ‘When you were a baby, you were in my tummy, they cut it open to take you out. That’s why I put a bandage.’

🙂

 

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Little Miss Manners

October 21, 2016

She thanks the maid who comes over each morning to clean our house, ‘Thanks for cleaning, M Aunty.’

She thanks me for buttoning her up, ‘Thanks for helping button, Mama.’

She wants to thank anyone who’s  given her something, long after she’s already thanked them for it. She wants to thank them the next time she sees them. 

She eats her favourite pumpkin soup. And says, ‘Nice. Thank you for made soup, Mummy.’

She learns so much just by observing. The other day, I held open a door for her at a restaurant, and she said Thank you, Mummy. I was amazed and wanted to clarify why before I let my head swell up to insane proportions. And she said, casually, ‘for opening the door’. When we’ve never actually taught her to do it.

On the Singapore trip, she watched me navigating through a crowd saying, ‘Excuse me’ and promptly asked me why I said that. I explained. And she filed it away. Only to spring an ‘Excuse me’ on me, two weeks later, when she wanted to get past me. 

She makes my day, at the most unexpected moments in the day. I’m thankful for that. And that reassurance that we, as parents must be doing something right. 

Thank you, darling A. 

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Pause 

August 10, 2016

While my Mom is attempting to make A take her second nap (ha-ha) I’m sitting with a cup of tea, having just set out a loaf of masala bread  (caramelised onion-pudina-jeera-coriander) for its second rise. With the lil missy going through (or starting out?) her phase of terrible twos or what I’m afraid is supposedly  normal toddler behaviour, I haven’t got too many such moments to myself lately, and I want to pause and say thanks to Mom and the universe for this. 

PS: She came looking for me once already and didn’t find me cos I was quite nicely hiding out in the bedroom