Friday, August 26, 2011

Return Gift....

... for Grown-ups :). This is what I explained to D & S about the "Tambulam" that we got when we went to attend a wedding reception. They were not very convinced even after I showed them the contents (coconut, betel leaf etc - which are of no relevance to them) and still insisted on lugging around the bags. Especially S, who actually kept a tight grip on his all the way on the long car ride back.

Even this morning, when he noticed both bags kept together, he asked me "Which is mine, and which is D's?" very upset that I had mixed them up !!

And atlast I understood how the return gift tradition might have started off - after all when it's steeped in our very roots, how can we expect children to not expect the same ;o !!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Thursday Challenge - 3

The topic is  "FRIENDS" (Gatherings, Parties, Time Together, Sharing,...)




These Chimpanzees were one of the highlights of the Singapore Zoo for me :)

Posted for Thursday Challenge

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Effective Advertising..!

I've had many experiences of D asking for something she saw on TV, like after seeing the earlier set of Garnier ads, she was so enamoured with their "Long & Strong" shampoo, and was not even satisfied when I got her the Garnier Kids Shampoo instead :).

But this was not one I thought would impact her - We were both waiting for a youtube video to load, which as it happens sometimes was taking quite a while. So while seeing all the reload circling icons:

D: Amma, Looks like you have only 3G, why don't you get Reliance 3G?
!!!!!!!

I think I should call this series "Speechless!" Seem to be so many of these moments nowadays :).

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Three R's

Reading , wRiting and Recitation - isn't that how we learnt it? Started writing this post and remembered the catch-phrase :).

Recitation was out of the way before the weekend - D had a prelim competition in school (my last post) and she was selected for the finals. So I'm not getting out of making those props :).

On to Reading - The most recent update about S is that he's so much into "reading a book" thanks to seeing older sis do a lot of it (that example thing working for good habits sometimes :)!). So I decided it's time I started the bedtime story ritual - feeling guilty that I probably started earlier with D, but better late than never ! What is it with kids and wanting to read the same book/see the same movie over and over and over again :) !!! I know "The Crunching Munching Caterpillar" by heart now :). So it goes - I read the book, D reads the book for S once more if she's still awake, and S reads the book "on his own" once again before we actually get to the sleeping bit.

And the Writing - We had a relaxed long weekend with one big highlight being that S got Homework for the first time !! This usually happens at 3.5 years so I was expecting it sometime soon, but my memories of D when first starting her homework - it took weeks of tug-of-war before we got around to a schedule where she willingly wanted to sit and do it - were a bit daunting. To see her now, no-one would realize - she is so good with doing it herself only asking me for help for tough stuff or with some crafty work that she can't handle herself.

So obviously I was sighing a bit thinking of having that experience all over again. And hoping hard that the example set by D would be of some use to nudge S in the right direction, but you can never predict those things as all parents know!

V Aunty is S's teacher at school whom he's very fond of, so every day I hear something that V Aunty told him, or something V Aunty did and so on. So when we opened the notebook to start, the first thing S said was:
"V Aunty said to Enjoy the dots!"
Me at first wondering if this is some new principle of Montessori to love/enjoy your work so get the kids to relate to it better, then it strikes me - his homework was to "Join" the dots !! Well we certainly enjoyed them after that :).

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mother Birds...

I have been thinking about how wonderful it is that they are able to push their chicks out of the nest with complete confidence that they WILL be able to fly :). I know it's probably not as violent as all that, but I'm sure the moms have quite a big job to convince those little babies that they are not going to fall to the ground :). Wish I could let go as easily as that...

I have mentioned on my blog before about how weird it feels to not Know what D is upto during the hours she is at school, atleast until she comes back in the afternoon and tells me a little about it. Last week she had a program at school where she was a Mother Bird in a play on Environmental Awareness. (the same one I mentioned in Girls and...)  I did get most of the details from her about who's acting, what lines she was saying and even about the set and the props and so on, but it was the first time that she had "performed" in something and I was not in the audience !! Thankfully the school is very prompt in posting photos of such things, so atleast I got a visual idea (still hoping for a video to come along ;)) of what happened that day.

Just when I had got over last week's happenings, I find that D has a recitation competition with the preliminary round today, with a final later in the month for those who are chosen. Last evening, we chose a rhyme (from Karadi Rhymes by Usha Uthup which I love), she learnt her lines, hubby helped her with the delivery, and she was all set. Of course the first thing she said at 6 a.m. when she woke up was - "I don't want to go for recitation!"). I did my Tiger Mom act (slightly softened one as befits the time of the day) and she also slowly built up her enthusiasm as she realized that she remembered her lines pretty well :).

This time the feeling of missing out for me is even more, because we helped her prepare for it at home, unlike the play where I really only was involved in providing the costume.  It doesn't really matter to me if she's selected for the final round. I just want her to have a positive and fun experience, gain confidence in her abilities so she wants to participate in things more, and I'm irritated I can't be there to watch her spread her wings and FLY !!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

When do they grow?

I have been having this problem a lot lately.. I see a dress - in the shop or something that has been gifted to us, and I think "Oh that's too big for him!". Like today for instance S was supposed to go to school in traditional clothing, as they are celebrating Varalakshmi Puja in advance at school today. I had a kurta that was a gift from my mom-in-law a couple of months back which had seemed "Very large" when I first saw it. I had decided to just send him in his normal clothes but just thought at the last minute to check the size. Even when I lay my eyes on the dress, it seemed it would be too big/long for him. But when I called him and checked, I found the length only slightly longer than the exact size, in fact very manageable!! This is what he looked like:



I have had this feeling even when going to shops to buy them clothes - that my visual idea of both D and S's sizes is a little smaller than what they have actually grown to at that age !!! Maybe it is because I want to keep them babies for longer :), but I thought moms are supposed to be instinctive about such things - sadly I seem to be missing that particular instinct !!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The Clock was ticking...

We have been having a very weird problem at home lately.. D does not yet know to read the time from a clock. She has displayed such enthusiasm at other activities like reading or learning a new game, that I was beginning to get quite daunted by her not making much effort in this area. I had tried books, making it fun/like a game, most of the small ways I could think of. One day recently, she reasoned with me why it was not important any more to know to "tell" the time:

"Amma, when I can see the time on the TV (TataSky information), or from one of your mobiles, why do I have to learn to understand the clock?"

!!!

My arguments about it being important anyway (what if you are at a place, where there are only clocks. No power for the TV or mobiles? - Doomsday-like situation I had to bring up literally!) did not convince her too much,  but she has atlast deigned to try it out (maybe for "Amma's" sake ;)), but atleast it's a beginning and she seems to be picking it up fast. Fingers crossed :) !

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Thursday Challenge - 2

From my mom-in-law's garden

                                          And from mine when I had an unexpected visitor :).

Posted for Thursday Challenge

Girls and....

Make-up !!! What is it about that combination.. Even growing up in a house where literally no-one around her wears any make-up, D is fascinated with it ! Or maybe it is the lack of make-up around her that makes her want it all the more ;) !!

D has a play at school today, some program for which parents are "not invited" as she told me promptly a couple of days back. She has been practising for this event for the last couple of weeks with me hearing small tid-bits every day about the play, her co-actors (only a couple of them from her class/section), her dialogues, the music and finally in the last couple of days the costumes !! Her costume was blue tights and a yellow t-shirt, and since her school tights were blue, I thought these were supposed to be the same colour and was running around to find something appropriate. Should have just settled for any colour as she told me someone else who was a tree was wearing brown tights - so obviously nothing to do with school colours :(.

And then since yesterday she has been pestering me that "Ma'am has asked me to wear lipstick and make-up". Now this is usually a big no-no in our house, with even nailpolish not usually allowed since I still occasionally see her putting her hand/fingers in her mouth. For her school program in her last year of Montessori, the teachers themselves put some make-up on the children, and though not completely to my liking I decided not to make a fuss when the deed was already done anyway. But this time, I told her - "Amma does not use any make-up so I don't have any!" She actually asked me to go and buy some! Well, that was not going to happen of course :). All I had was lip gloss which I put on her lightly and used the same for the cheeks too and put her on the bus and sent her off. I'm sure her Ma'am can put something more if she wants to - I just have to be reconciled to that.

Fingers crossed until I see her in the afternoon and hear about how it went :). And hopefully they might put up a video online, so I'll actually get to see a bit of  it too !!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

The comfort of reading...

Lately the time I most feel my age is when I am sitting and reading (or of course have been on the laptop for a little too long;))....

Thanks to my Kindle (how could i not mention it ;)) and the Wheel of Time series that I am currently reading, I have started spending a lot more time at this activity than I was in the last few years. And I find that everytime after one of those sessions when I have got lost in the book and not really noticed my surroundings, I get up with a stiff neck :(...

I have been wanting to buy/procure a reading chair - though I call it that I have no idea as to what exactly I want. I do not want a LazyBoy kind of elaborate, large piece as I will then have to struggle to find space for it. The thing that comes to my mind is something of an "Easy chair" model that I can possibly cushion up a bit, because I basically want to support my neck. If anyone has any pointers on this, please do let me know and do post pictures of what you use for reading at your house.

My requirements would be:

  • Back and Neck support
  • Doesn't need to have an armrest, though don't mind if it's there
  • Not too space consuming
  • Easily available (not the custom made kind ideally)

My other option is to use a pillow or a large cushion on my already comfortable (though lacking neck support) sofa which is the option I am trying out currently.