Thursday, January 22, 2015

What will you be when you grow up?

Human brain is amazing. And a kid's brain, especially is so pure, innocent and brilliant. The thoughts that evolve and the questions and conclusions that they arrive at are a treat to watch from close quarters. You will think and say out aloud many times, "How did she think about this?" I can see a little bit of the infant/toddler that she was and get a glimpse of the little person that she is turning into.

To see her start to read and understand words and numbers is an experience. The frustration, uncertainty and restlessness before she gets it right is so real. The glint in her eyes when she tries and then understands something is valuable. 

Remember the first time of everything - your first stage performance, first achievement, first real friend - you can enjoy it all again through your kid. And at some point, it will inspire you to try and create many more 'firsts' for yourselves.

And have you been interviewed by a kid yet? It is an eye opening experience. The things that you will find out about yourselves! These interviews happens so suddenly that you can never be well prepared and it can happens many times a day :) Grocery stores, queues and other public places where a minimum of 10 people can hear you are some of venues where these interviews could happen. 

After careful censorship, here's one of ours:

I am going to be an animal doctor when I grow up and all the squirrels will come to me if they are sick. What will you be when you grow up? 

Hmm.. I'm already grown up.

No you are not. *Silly Laugh - How many things do I have to teach you? *. You are still to become 40, 50, 60 and more. What will you be when you are 40?

I'm not sure. *insert all weird emoticons that you can think of*  I'll think about it and tell you.

Ok. 

I know she will not forget and I know she will ask me again. So yeah, I am thinking about it. A lot.

But isn't it a good thing to know that I can still grow up? And not just be "A grown up"!

So what will you be when you grow up? 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Why I love mother's day....

All those status updates, advertising and blogs definitely brought in the Mother's Day spirit to our living room. Adhya kept announcing that she will get me a card, tulips and everything that caught her eye in the TV advertisements. I am a sucker for anything handmade, so I actually look forward(shamelessly!) to my card from my almost 5 year old. 

Somehow when I knew I was pregnant, I took it upon me that I should know everything there is to know about raising a child. It seemed like a revered and most prestigious post and I didn't want to make any mistakes. So there I was, reading, searching, analysing anything that had the word 'baby' in it. And the people around me must have been so amused by my activities that they just played along :) 

But the moment I laid my eyes on her, I realized that what I knew or thought I knew was not going to be adequate. I couldn't make her stop crying immediately and I definitely had no clue as to why she cried. All I needed was my mother. And she has always been there for me. It does make her happy when I wish her on Mother's day so I am going to continue doing that.

And as for my dreams of a dignified, prestigious post, I should thank my daughter for bringing me back to reality. Being a mother may look like a top notch position that magically provides solution to all problems but that is only remotely possible if we keep learning! Especially from our own kids.

I have many wonderful friends. And I know that if I am at a fork, they will help me out with their motherly been-there-done-that wisdom. And they are too tired on a day to day basis, juggling things around that a Mother's day would be a good excuse for them to have fun. So, why not?

I love when my grandmother carefully packs vegetables for her daughters whenever she visits, my aunt who can go shopping for me, my husband's mom when she dishes out all his favorite food within our two week stay, when a friend calls me just because she felt like, when my mom leaves out a specific ingredient when she tells me a recipe because she is sure I will not like the taste of it, when someone shares a lovely thing that their kid does or looking at the extra sweet I love you mom cramped in a greeting card, any greeting card.


I did get my share of card, tulips, chocolates, hugs and kisses this Mother's day:) I was happy and feeling so proud about it when what happened today morning left me speechless - just before leaving to office, 'Bye appa', 'Bye Adhya, be a  good girl today'. And immediately came the reply, 'Why? Today is not Mother's day!'.

And yes, if she has decided that she is going to be extra sweet on only day, I need mother's day every year :)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Eyes see what the heart wants to...

New class, new friends, new teachers and new activities. We have entered a new year of schooling!

Adding to the toughest task of getting up and ready for school, we are packing lunch too! It is exciting and quite challenging. It is like a toddler’s puzzle and a corporate’s ‘thinking out of the box’ strategy put together J But we are loving it! Sometimes, the lunch comes back almost the same as packed. And her excuse, “I was eating, but the teacher told me that the lunch time was over”. I know that even 3 to 4 times the lunch time wouldn’t be enough for her. I’m blog hopping to look for interesting lunch box ideas J Any suggestions?

My first lesson in the new year: The whole class had worked on red paint the previous week. The other day when I picked her up, I found her painting in her cubby to take home. As, we parents were waiting, I could see a lot of stick figures of the family, a few friendly monsters(no one can draw a cute monster than a 4 year old boy!) and some nature(child made J) paintings. The teacher had captioned them with the child's help. And there were a few like Adhya’s that were not captioned. My immediate thoughts, maybe she was not interested in painting and did something hastily to get back to play with the toys. Maybe she was tired. Maybe I should encourage her to draw even more. I know she loves drawing but couldn't figure out the reason behind the big splash of red paint.


We came home and were discussing school. I slowly asked her, 
What is in this drawing Adhya? 
She gave me a shocked look - ‘You don’t know ma?’.
I tried again. No ;(.
Amma, see properly, it is a red bird.
???
Yes, Red bird, like in the Brown bear, Brown bear book we read. 
I spent the next few minutes studying it and then I saw it! I wanted to make out a bird this time and I figured it out. How did I miss it the first time?

So, next time, you are not sure as to what your child has painted/doodled/splashed on, just ask :) 

No, I don’t have to teach her how to draw. I should just tell her to not be shy and explain her drawing to the teacher. Or on second thought, maybe I should just leave it at that. She will learn that on her own too. I will enjoy her caption-less pictures for now. Maybe we should just read more books and explore more J

Teaching Adhya has been a trial and error process. The toughest things have been the easiest and vice versa. And of course, we now know why parenting and patience go hand in hand. With her, positive reinforcements work most of the time. When I want her to correct a thing, it takes a lot of effort on my part to not say, ‘that’s not correct’ and to actually say, ‘let’s see if we can color the next one within the box’. Kids are bound to receive a lot of hard, on the face corrections as they grow, be it from their peers or their grades from school. But for now, when they are trying to come out of their shell, I believe, all they need are soft corrections and redirection. And they are more likely to correct it when you tune it down a little, especially the little ones who are little rebels

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

She is four!!!!

Our little one turned 4 last week :) 4 blissful years have passed by since one of our beautiful dreams have come true... and it still feels like a dream!

There have been so many changes in the past year.

She loves surprises, every day. And anything - big or small can surprise her. Right after school, she asks me, "Do you have a surprise for me??". And it can very well be a pack of juice, a lollipop(or jolly pop as she says) or a brand new teddy bear. Sparkly eyes , deep sigh and a dramatic jaw drop will always welcome the surprise. And we love that face of hers!

I wish and pray that she carries this trait with her, always. To look forward to something in day to day things in life, will make it even more beautiful.

We can also see inhibitions slowly creep in. She is cautious, reasoning and making choices. And to moms and dads who get frustrated and ask, do timeouts really work?, I would just say, "Hang in there :) It gets better! " ;)

I hope she had a fun 4th birthday - something that she will remember. Happy 4th birthday to the girl who loves monkeys, cats, cupcakes, purple, balloons and more!

 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Learnings

It has been more than two weeks now but it still amazes me that Adhya has finished one year of schooling. 

Thinking back, it was not easy - not for her and not for us.

She assumed that her preschool was a glorified play area, sans parents. She was excited, happy and all over the place. It took quite a bit of effort to make her realize that a classroom is a place with a few dos and don'ts. So yeah running around was not always ok, we have to sit and listen to stories even if it is not our favorite book and the toys all belong to the teacher :) It took awhile but I'm very happy with where she is now. I know now that understanding where you are and getting along is one of the main learnings to take away from a preschool. Not to forget the challenges of health and climate, we are quite happy with the progress.

And yes, almost four years into it, I think I can say that parenting is not really that competitive as we make it to be. Every mom in whatever way she can is doing the best for her kid. And most of them are ready to share their success stories with you about how they helped their kid to learn sharing, adjusting to school, eating(??) etc. And sometimes, you just have to ask. Trust me, there are many nice ideas that you can get from other moms, elders, books and blogs.And it requires quite a talent to sift through all of  them and pick the right ones that come your way.  It can be overwhelming but every mom knows what to do :) 

“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”

― Maya Angelou 

So to all the moms whose kid is moving up a class or beginning school, all the very best!



Have you read, "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" with your kid? It is a beautiful book and one of our favorites. We have a battered, held-together-with-many-tapes copy and we love it. The other day after we had some fruits, Adhya said, "Amma, I'm eating all the fruits like the caterpillar". 
Me: "Good". 
Adhya: "If I sleep now, will I become a butterfly?" 
Me, trying the biggest flop trick for the umpteenth time: "No, you should eat a lots of vegetables, fruits and 
drink milk regularly to become a butterfly". 

While she is considering if it is really worth all the effort to try and become a butterfly, I am going to enjoy my little caterpillar for a while!

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Seed


Well, spring is slowly catching up on us. And wherever we go, a popular kid's activity seems to be planting a seed in a paper or plastic cup, writing your name on it and bringing it home to watch it grow :)

Adhya is always very excited to fill the cup with dirt, make a hole and thrust the seed in. She also likes to use small fillers and water it and she makes sure that her name is written on the cup. We bring it home happily, she clutching on to it in her car seat and her dad worrying all the way home if she is going to spill it! In his defense, yes, we have spilled it a few times and it is definitely tough to clean up :)

And after we bring it home, she trusts me with the job. We found a place for these cup plants near the kitchen window. For the first few days, I just kept adding a few drops of water to it. I didn't know if a plant could really sprout out of that small cup. Adhya just kept checking it everyday and slowly I could see something pale green out of it. And that was an amazing and rewarding experience!



I don't know what kind of seed it is. I don't know if I'm watering enough, if the sunlight is enough or if the cup is the right container. But I'm afraid to re - pot it. When I see the tiny stems trying to push its way through the shell of the seed, it is way to tempting to help it. But somehow it seemed to be the wrong thing to do. And to see it grow slowly each day, turning it self to reach for the sun makes you feel happy. Watering the plant, loving it, cheering it and giving it a safe and sunny place is the most that we could do. It is tempting but it has grow on its own. It takes time and maybe that's the beauty of it. Give your best, love your most but give them ample space and time to explore and grow on their own. I believe the nurturing, caring and knowing went to hold yourselves back is true not just for plants? What do you think?

And now we are going to get hold of some bigger and flowery kind of plants. Will try to make the little one take care of it this time. Maybe some plants that grow purple flowers :)



Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Parrot

Some kind of parrots are known to repeat whatever we say. Personally, I have never witnessed one before but the little one at home is quite a copycat of whatever we say or do. So we are on our watch on what we preach or practice:)

A few examples of how our teachings came to back us:

She sprinted away from having her milk at night and climbed on to the bed. I followed her with the glass of milk and there she was with a smirk,  'Amma, we should not bring any eatables to the bed!' Hmm, right, I did say that! Just checked my laughter and brought her back to the hall where last I knew eatables are allowed :)

And once when in the kitchen, she kept calling me to do the puzzles for the nth time, where 'n' is in the neighborhood of 150 or 170 since September. I told her, 'Not now'. And she retorted with a serious face, 'Who is your friend amma?' I knew where this was leading but played along, 'Of course, you are sweets'. And with a winning smile, 'Then won't you play with me'. And I ended up fixing the puzzles for the nth time because we have to play with friends!

When she says, 'I am not hungry!'. I tell her, 'Your tummy told me that it is very hungry'. That seemed to work at times. She thought she was doing a huge favor to her tummy. But now everything is around the tummy, 'Amma, tummy feels sleepy', 'Amma, tummy wants to play'....

The list goes on with 'no screaming', 'take turns', 'don't bring anything into the bathroom' and so on. It feels good to know that some of the things that we have been trying(you can imagine how hard) to say have reached her. And I am kind of hopeful that 'drink your milk', 'clean your toys' etc will also have an impact someday, well maybe :)