Monday, November 23, 2009

What's for Dinner?

Last weekend plans (Nalandaway, Dakshinachitra, etc)got washed out in the rains! While I was disappointed, Pattu had her share of fun.
We went ahead with out Thumb Thumb project and I managed to save the rest of the house from the multi coloured Thumbs

Of late we've been playing Jungle and Farm animals. Pattu would come on all fours and say, 'I'm a cub' and I have to go on all fours and say, "I'm mama Tigress' and we'll go hunt or cuddle up.

Once she was the calf and me the cow and since the calf was hungry, we went grazing. Later at the dinner table:

Amma: Come have dinner Pattu

Pattu: No amma..don't want

Amma: You'll feel hungry if you don't eat now

Pattu: But I am not hungry amma... I ate grass with you na amma, Hunger gone. *Wide smile*


Wondering if youtobe would have any of the nalandaway programs...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

You Know What We Did Last Week

Shades of Grey

I had written about how Children slot characters into Black and White and that they don't catch the shades of Grey for long - well, it looks like Pattu is discovering the Grey shades.

Regular conversation about friends at school etc and she says, 'B is my friend, S is my friend - they are good girl and good boy'. And then it goes, 'B is very troublesome in class, S is a very good boy. B doesn't listen to anyone, S is very obedient'.

Amma: But you said B is a good girl
Pattu: Yes, she is a good girl
Amma: But you said she is troublesome
Pattu: Yes she is
Amma: How can she be a good girl if she is troublesome?
Pattu: (A bit annoyed) Ammaaa... she is troublesome and she is a good girl. So she is a good girl. Ok?

If you think I am the one having trouble figuring out Grey shades, I don't quite blame you.

Its Raining Words!

We went for a walk when the rains stopped a bit. Small streams of water joined in one place to fall into the storm water drain. Pattu follows the path and exclaims, ' Amma, see, the water is Rivering'

It was drizzling and Pattu says, 'Amma, see it is very-small-raindropping'

I was busy with something (usually quite unimportant) and Pattu pulled at me with mouthful of spluttering sentences. I turned around and (in an effort-to-inculcate-some-manners-at-the-right-age) said, ' I'm doing something and you have to be patient', and pat comes the reply, 'But you have to be My Patient Amma!'

"Watch me deliver - Live from Minneapolis"

The latest is the live streaming of Lynsee's delivery. The streaming started when she went into labour and was on till the mother delivered and the doc said Mom and Child are in the pink.

The website talks about how the traffic peaked towards the delivery, the number of unique visitors, the advertisers, rue about how they missed on the baby products advertisers etc and a whole lot of the 'Analytics' mumbo jumbo would follow I suppose.

Wonder how it must have been - 'scream scream...' 'While the lady is screaming, let's take a short commercial break..we'll be right back, stay there'
'Will Lynsee have a boy or girl - Guess and the lucky winner gets blah blah... on camera' - Now, we'll do anything for the camera!

While all this is happening, I can't quite fathom how it can happen! Just why would anyone want the whole world to watch her labour and delivery? I'm still reeling from this...

Found Book &

They drop books at your doorstep and pick them up as well. The range is quite limited as of now but I am told that they are adding as they have just started. If you have a request, they procure the book for you if they don't have it already. Nice. Finished my first book and waiting for the next that should arrive today/ Monday.

Pattu's latest addiction Thumb Thumb Thambi & Thangi (Tulika). There's a project to paint her thumbs as Thambi and Thangi today. God save the walls, upholstery and the furniture from the Thumbs!

Btw, it is Thundering loud as I am typing this...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Children's Day Fervour

This whole week I've seen parents scurrying around for ideas and themes for Children's' Day. I was in the middle of a meeting yesterday when my colleague pinged me, 'very urgent - call asap'. I thought it was work related, but soon figured that she wanted ideas for C Day! I used to think its easy, but I find myself drained of ideas since they are either too easy, too difficult, too common, too offbeat, done this last year, etc etc.

Luckily, Pattu's school has just invited us for the celebrations - I don't have to dress her up as a Turnip yet!

We planned to attend the C Fest at Dakshinachitra but looks like we'll have to skip it and some other interesting things as well that's happening all over the city since we have to be in School. However, we are planning to catch up on Nalandaway at Kalakshetra in the evening. This should make up for what we missed lasst week due to the rains. This would be Pattu's first live performance experience. Hope she enjoys it.

We caught Trapezium last week and Pattu has been doing Gymnastics ever since.

Friday, November 06, 2009

From the Annals of a Working Mom's Diary

Yesterday, I didn't go to office - just like that..didn't feel like going to work. It was a cloudy, rainy day and just wanted to laze around. Most of all, I just felt the urge to be with Pattu.

I saw her walking to school with her raincoat on ( the latest fascination - thatha's contribution. She wears it even when there's no rain) and busy chatting with Paati... I looked on from my kitchen window - she looked like a tiny bubbly bundle bouncing all the way to school. Suddenly, I missed holding her little fingers, the animated discussions on the way to school, her little friends, some new discoveries on the way (we discover things like, the cows don't use potty and that the beak is the bird's mouth and not its nose)...etc. That must have been the real trigger, though I quote the rains and the clouds.

So, I worked from home and went to pick her up after school - she didn't expect me, so she was beaming with surprise when she saw me at the gate. Both of us must have looked really silly grinning like that...

So, after some, 'you came to pick me up today' 'you didn't go to office' 'is it a holiday for you' , we discussed what she did at school, her friends, her teacher, new kids who cried and so on. I was surprised because, she rarely talks about school when I ask her - I got to know much more about school and friends in the 10 mins we spent walking back than the whole term put together. Guess there's a time and mood for everything. My heart sank when I thought about how much I am missing by not being there with her at the right moment! Ah, the choices we have to make in life!

We passed by the park and Pattu wanted to play. I indulged her, not because I felt guilty, but because we were both so happy. A break in routine is so refreshing - I enjoyed it as a child (I do enjoy it even now). So, some more unexpected fun and we were back home for lunch. How I wish I could do this at least once a week - if only organizations didn't mind a 'Work from home Fridays' policy for women employees!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

All's Well That Ends Well

I notice lately that the not so happy ending stories upset Pattu considerably. There we two specific instances that revealed this:
1. The Pied Piper of Hamlin - she was so upset that the Pied Piper took the children into the cave on the mountain leaving their mothers pining after them. She would ask: 'then what did the mothers do?' , 'Didn't the mothers cry?' and so on.
I tried to explain that the Piper did that to teach the bad mayor a lesson and that the kids had lots to eat and play inside the cave and they were very happy etc...but she would have none of those. She insisted that the Piper was indeed the bad man since he took the kids away from their parents and she was almost at the verge of tears that made me alter the ending to, 'and then the kids returned to their mothers and they lived happily ever after...'

2. The other instance is more recent - we were singing Rock-a-by-baby and by the time we came to the last line, Pattu came running to me and burried her face on my lap, clutching me tight. After some, 'what happened?' she tells me, 'this is a bad song, let's not sing it...'
..and after some 'why's, it comes out, 'where did the baby's mother go leaving the baby to fall?', 'did the baby get hurt?' etc... It was a revelation that she paid so much attention to the lyrics! So, again we made some changes to the lyrics to make it 'happier' ...

This got me curious and led me to look up on when it would be a good time for kids to be exposed to the not so happy stories and found some interesting links:

Interesting things that I found:
1.Children up to a certain age slot characters in black and white - they are either 'Good' or 'Bad'. 'Grey' characters confuse them. I guess that's why Pattu couldn't see the 'good side' of the Pied Piper.
2. Fantasies are important for children - it helps them explore a world that they don't 'see'.
3. Children at some stage (whenever they are ready) have to be introduced to the 'not-so-happy-endings' - it need not be grisly or gloomy but something that's sad, but indicates that there's hope still... like for instance, not getting what you want but you still go on and make something out of life ...
4. Open endings are a good way to let the child ponder over possible endings , debate them and explore their feelings.

However, what is most important is that they have to be introduced to these at the right stage. I guess that's the role that we, as parents should play.

It would be interesting to hear your views - please air them here...