Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Old Forgotten Lanes...

With more society/apartment culture peeping in…(which no doubt I vouch for any day)….there are few things I miss…

S’s holidays were on…so I thought to make a visit to his granny’s place…who stay in a independent house…few things picked my attention…

Balloon seller crossed by…..whistling his paper whistles while crossing each of the lanes…and for a moment I thought…ahhh S would run for it….but he did not noticed/paid attention to his movement…as he hasn’t seen it much apart from his friend’s birthday parties.

Also….the popcorn seller who pops the corn kernels/peanuts/chickpeas in front of u in his large deep pan in sand (and the aroma it brings)… As he arrives, he bangs his big knife on his big pan to catch-hold your attention…making sounds ‘tan tan tan’… you have choice for your ears or your nose to react first…

Then at times, jhoolawala dragging microversion of giant wheel to lure kids for joyride at their doorstep. I remember how we used to plead for one rupee coin daily for this ride and how many games we invented sitting within our swing seat (don’t u believe…eg: leaving slipper on floor in first round…and picking it in next…and then another game is catching things across our swing seats…)… And demanding the vendor, “bhaiya..aur tez…aur tez…” as he is the one who swayed the swings.

And lastly what comes to my mind is the drool-worthy golawala (crushed ice lolly)…and the variety of colors one can choose to pour upon them….and after effect of the colored flavoured tongues…

Not that you never sight these things….all these local vendors are still visible in fairs, in tent-based functions, and in local festivity markets, outside some schools…but kids waiting for these vendors daily on a particular time is something else. And with increasing apartment culture, more of gates communities, and our over-protective selves (which undoubtedly is the need of the hour)… these things are slowing fading away or drifting far from big cities to smaller towns.

I have grown up with these luxuries (for kids, truly they are) around, and I try to give it to S too whenever possible, be it for 4-5 days…and leave it for him to remember it for long to brag to his tiny friends or let it be a faded memory….

I’m sure you have your own tales of your childhood times, your special memories, items you bought from your piggy-bank  …

I’m just an ear away….

Originally posted on Parentous

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Kids and Viral Season...

This year winters have been the most unpredictable of all times as far as I remember. Donno how many times I’ve washed the jackets, blankets et al thinking ‘Done for this year, let’s pack for next year’ and took the stuff out the very next day…..And the main in this uncanny weather is kids… their throats, nose, chest goes for the toss…. Infections, congestions, flu and what not. Probably best time for medical business (pediatrics) to flourish. ;)

My son, S has always been the easy target for changing winds. Just an exposure to the gust of wind and here he catches the congestion... Like all other mothers, I ponder why only him. But believe me, all moms think alike in viral season. I go with loads of questions to doctor. And even before I download my wave of concerns, he is already ready with his list of medicines. As if his pen turned automatic writing the same set of prescriptions since morning. And most of the times, I know what he is going to prescribe, still I visit him to be doubly sure.

With each passing viral season, my knowledge set of medicines increases. (Which new cough syrup is effective or is most recommended, which salt/antibiotic is being prescribed these days). So is the home remedy list passed on by other moms and through internet. Sharing here a few of them:-

  • Spoonful of Ginger honey paste/ turmeric-honey-black salt paste to be given after every few hours. Few people also try Nutmeg (jaiphal) and honey paste.
  • Heat mustard oil and diced garlic cloves and carom seeds (ajwain) together. Massage with this oil at night when kids are about to sleep.
  • Plenty of warm fluids like soups (better to rely on homemade ones), tea/warm milk (preferably toned milk in cough), lukewarm water for general water intake.
  • Give them raisins or currants (munakka) or some cough lozenges so that their throats remain wet.
  • Best is if kids can blow out the mucus from nose but of not possible, at least to breathe easily, use saline water nasal drops.
  • You may surprise your kids with handful of dry fruits in their tiffin box (but then this depends on if kids like dry fruits, at least try out once).
With this entire list, I’m not saying it works in all the cases. At times, considering the severity, we have to switch to antibiotics/nebulisation, but all these home remedies can aid in getting results faster.

On each foggy/windy/rainy day I think whether to send S to school or not, whether to brave our noses to cut through the odd weather, but as discussed with teachers and other moms, classrooms are pretty packed and warm, so we can make sure of their safe and covered to-n-fro from school, then here you go… I mostly skip S’s school in cases of fever or extreme cough n cold. Also I skip his morning milk and replace it with ginger tea (with more milk and less water) if S is coughing.

These are few of my takes and steps in viral seasons. What’s your take on the viral season especially this year’s one? And which home remedies/medicines you follow? I’m just an ear away. 

Mornings in Winters...

Every morning in this chilly weather I ponder on whether to send S to school or not. Too many thoughts keep hovering in my mind, “he will get bored at home”…”what if weather is same for next 2-3 weeks”.. or “what if it will get sunny in next 2-3 hours”…or …“oh he will catch cold and cough again”…and what not….

Amid all these thoughts, I still push myself out of bed every morning, prepare tiffin for S, pack his bag….and wake up S…. The moment I enter his room … this song plays as background score in my mind….

“Yahaan Alag Andaz Hai… Jaise Chidta Koi Saaz Hai…
Yeh Waqt Ke Kabhi Ghulam Nahin…. Inhain Kisi Baat Ka Dhyan Nahin…
Duniya Ka Naara Jame Raho…” and so on…
All my hurried-self comes to a standstill gazing my sleeping angel. But I manage to gather back my scattered thoughts and shake S out of the dreamland,
“Come on Swarit, wake up… Mam is waiting for u…”
and his reply most of the times is either “mumma mujhe bohot neeni aa rahi thi…” or “mumma mai school nahi gaya, to Mam roi roi karegi kya”?

And then in hush hush, follows brush – milk – washroom – bathing – dressing up…. (follow my old post Bestof moments for elaborate steps for few of the events)

On way to school bus, we share his school stories, what’s there in his tiffin, things to submit in school and one constant eye is there on the society gate to check if bus has not arrived….

If its too much foggy (which S calls hoggy)…or breezy …my anxiety levels pump up thinking how will kids manage in school…. And sunny weather turns glooms to glee…

Bus arrives, S hops in and runs for the window seat to catch hold of the glimpse of his mumma. And so am I, waiting outside and looking through all the glasses so that S appears in one of them…. And endless byes follows in chorus by all the anxious mothers…the bus departs…. End of the morning saga…
And I come back home smiling with the morning moments with S still flashing in my mind one by one like a Kaleidoscope… and there I get busy with my morning chores (writing being one of them ) till the clock ticks for S to come back home…

These are my mornings….what’s yours?

Originally posted by Parentous

Friday, 3 January 2014

5 takeaways for the New Year...

New Year is just one day away…I’ve been thinking from quite some time on what to post for the last day of 2013…Here are some of the lessons of this year I wish to piggy back to the promising new year ahead:-

  • Taking out time with kids for art and craft always works. Kids enjoy the colors, scissors, frills, accessories to stick/cut/paste and we too feel excited and rejuvenated to do something different, out of our monotonous schedule. So its always a win win deal. 
  • Saving power, water and other resources are simple few things we can teach our kids right from their childhood so that later it becomes a habit. Like switching off the light/fan, close the tap while brushing teeth, in between washing hands etc are the small steps we can take to kick start with. It becomes both, a fun activity for kids to reach out to switch/tap and also serves the purpose of inculcating the right habit, right there right now. 
  • Slapping and shouting should be used as a last weapon to vent out anger on kids. Rather staying silent on the moment for a moment, talking it out with the kid works out. I read a wonderful phrase on Parentous itself, “Slapping more than once just lets out your frustration. It doesn’t teach child anything more.”
Take a deep breath instead. Speak out.
Try it out. Believe me, it works.

  • I always find dancing with my son best way to lift up the mood and spirits. It just requires me to Put on the music on FM/ phone, mostly the numbers which my son likes, and here we both go. As they say, Happiness comes in small packets and mostly free. 
  • Tiffins are last thing to worry for. We still have mornings, afternoons and evenings in our hand to stuff the tiny tummies. J 
These are my take aways…What’s yours?

And a very Happy New Year to my fellow friends… Keep smiling always…Stay Raw, Stay Happy...:)

Originally posted on Parentous

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Pink Or Blue

Pink for girls and blue for boys….this is what we know from the time being...( and hence I guess, the names like billoo, pinky etc got invented J). And now a days, the room décor, clothes and everything are chosen as per gender of the child….

I don’t know which research enforced the fact…few say this is as per neuro-science on how male and female brains respond to colors and few that it is more to do with the market and retail strategy to attract more buyers…
Be it either way…I never told my son S about this color favourism and left it onto him to choose his fav…And guess what…he opted for Orange, he used to get excited by Orange color (which he often pronounces as ONAN….)

I generally dress up S in all the shades…but as he started going to school, he somehow got to know about Pink being girly shade. Now whenever I dress him up in pinks, he says, “Mai koi girl hu kya…mujhe pink kyun pehnaya?”, leaving me amused that finally he got to know the “pink pink” thing.

Till this point it was fine. But one day while giving him some vitamin supplement, which turned out to be dark Pink…he said (guess u guessed already ;) )…. “yeh girls ki dawai mujhe kyun…”…though I explained him “dawai me kisi ka color nahi hota…” , still his thought left me flabbergasted….

And now the cream biscuits which be it any flavor used to be his fav….(or any kids fav)…are now being checked to see if any pink color is popping n oozing out the biscuit holes…and hence NO and then followed by the demand of chocolate or orange color…

This color observation is getting extended day by day from clothes to food items to beddings to toys to books to unimaginable artifacts….

Though I manage to convince him each time, still I’m amazed how much and where all kids observe things and take it by heart…

Donno what more to come in store….
I’m all ears from S and from u too….

Share your experiences if any...

Originally posted on Parentous

Nursery Calling...

Time of the year has started when various schools have opened or are already in the process of nursery admissions.

My son S is already in Nursery, so I’ve gone thru this phase last year. He started his Nursery at the age of 3.4 (I know it’s a lil early for few as many parents choose the age for the same as 4+). S is Dec born and started his playway at the age of 2.5, and when he turned 3+, I didn’t intend to send him in playway for one more year and for the same set of learnings like A,B,C 1,2,3 poems etc…and then again the same set of things in Nursery.

I was determined to send S in school at 3+. But when I was waiting for my son’s interview in the wait area, I saw all kinds of kids around. Few confident, tall, smart enough and happy to go with the new teacher to a new room where there was a small test being conducted. And there were few innocent faces (S falls into this category), who turned twice to see their parents when teacher took them away. You could have heard my palpitations that time when S was away and I was wondering what would be going inside. That time I was a lil confused on whether I should have waited for one more year or is it the right age to enter the alma mater. But S got through and here we were, (like his traffic light, ready steady go), set for the schooling.

Definitely sending kids to a learning institute is always a great idea. No matter how much u try, kids learn max in company of other children and they have a send of obeying their teachers more than their parents.

Well my intent of this post is not to share his selection day experiences or deciding on the age limit for the schools. But to rather pose a question to schools and the society – What do we expect from a kid going to Nursery?
Are we expecting a disciplined, confident child for class Nursery? - who take care of his belongings, obey his teacher’s instructions, finishes his/her lunch, never pee in the class.
Or is the complete reverse? Or mix of both.

Why was institution of school planned from Nursery – Prep and then from  – 1st -12th. I feel because Nursery and Prep were spared more to imbibe mannerisms, good habits, self-discipline in kids besides the basics of the subject education. Isn’t?

Rest of the schooling and teen years are for studies, extra curricular, sports, hobbies etc but don’t you wanna treasure Nursery/Prep moments for lifetime. On how our lil ones pronounced difficult or long words, how their eyes sparkled when we mentioned their teacher’s name or class buddies, and how they sleepily open their eyes and walk when bus teacher shake them back to the conscious world at the bus stop where we are eagerly waiting for them and then their unending talks till we unlock the door. These moments are endless and priceless. As they say, best things in the world are free of cost, free of price-tags.

In my opinion, be it a 3+ or 4+ kid, lets not wait for the innocence to diminish a lil more, for maturity to come a lil more. Be the part of the flow. Let them surf in the tides of the school. Give Time time. Let the things around mould our tiny tots into an individual.

What say? I’m all ears….:)

Originally posted on Parentous

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Bridging the Gap

We as kids always seek our parents for everything. As we grow, a fine line develops, which later turns into an age gap. There is an age… a time, when we are high, on cloud 9 with our friends. We have same thinking pace, same perspective of life and somewhere same expectations from life too.

Though our parents are happy in our happiness, happy to see us the way we are turning from good to a better individual, we feel that they do not understand us or probably too busy and indulged in their lives (rather in their routine), to share our feelings, our mindset with same intensity and vigor.

And suddenly, when this time leaps from this early college / work life to married life, we have a person / partner / alter-ego who is solely dedicated to us. Our partners give us best of everything. We feel our better halves are clearer in thoughts, have a better sense of looking at things, are more organized and blah-blah… We kind of have biased world towards our better halves and the gap widens.

Why this gap… I keep on questioning to myself… And somewhere got an answer or explanation…

We forget that to beget us/mould us till the current state; our parents sacrificed and compromised on many things. Starting from daily savings, to working hard to give us best of education and nutrition, to skipping the worldly pleasures offered to them (to save for us and thinking somewhere in the back of their mind…we will enjoy this later when we retire).

And most importantly, we were not the only apple of their eyes (mostly). We do have our siblings too who needed equal attention and care and hence commitments and responsibilities for them multiplied. And focus and individual attention for us would be probably 1:3 or 1:2 whereas for our spouses, ratio is 1:1.
To make the both ends meet gracefully, they poured their sweat of the brow. And yes, this process somewhere turned into their prime routine, their lifestyle. Given now all the things they intentionally gave a miss that time, they won’t enjoy it fully. Because they are used to this life now. No, they don’t want the worldly pleasures (as they say it) now.

All they want us to understand them. To read the wrinkles on their faces. To give them smallest of the joys like sharing a cup of tea / enjoying a nice TV show together / have a nice talk with them once a day / spending a fun day with them and their grandchildren.

Somewhere I read an article, where a grown up son asked his mother… “Why do you speak so slowly, please talk fast… I’m getting bored and I don’t have much time”… Mom replied “Son, I always used to speak at this pace, just that now you want things fast”…  
Probably sometimes taking a pause, looking back at things is worthwhile once in a while… 

Parents know that giving space is very important to kids… but don’t make this space a bridge hard to cross…

All this is what I opine, your thoughts and suggestions are most welcome.

Originally posted by Parentous