General, Just for laughs, Children

IDOL worship and musically yours!

Teens, pre/almost teens and their idols!

I do know that repeated doings are common to kids but when I hear my almost pre teen collating his play list and my under-10 daughter adding her two pennies worth to it, I am reminded of my days how when I developed a liking for a certain artist, the tracks would be a part of my wake up routine. I would go all out with the music till the lyrics were learnt by heart and my pride in this almost swelled! The music would resonate in everyone ‘s ears much to their angst.

Now, when it’s time for our kids to engage in similar doings, the constant noise of popular tracks today almost deafens me! More so the loop playing! The peers too contribute to all and more and the spread deepens and broadens with every new track added to the playlists. Of course,silently it does feel nice that one is clued in to the new and trendy , but…! Here, the one happy positive is that the mutual relationship between the young ones and me surging northwards when we are in sync! It’s actually fun, at times, to be with the joneses and hum the tunes with them!!

Another seemingly topical craze amongst kids is to have their IDOLS!The hero worship is absolutely amazing! We’ve all had our walls adorned with WHAMS and Springsteens so now it’s their turn to be seeing their Ronaldos and Messis first thing as their eyes open up to a new day. Today, it’s crazy how this is supplemented by so much and chokingly more feed on these names, some ugly truths and some secrets which ought to be in closets! My two almost see stars and moons in their current idols – football stars and ponies ( my little pony series of toys) respectively. The holiday haircuts boast of this craze and it’s actually quite a task to keep up with their spirits and many a time, I know and they know it too , when this spirit veneers towards a fake and pretentious adherence to their soaring craze!

This age of innocence will soon give way to teenage angst and more challenging experiences.Till such time, am happy to visit HAVANA ( it’s actually the next destination in my mind) and listen to the new – age bands while watching RONALDO gulping his power drink in the huge blow up adorning my son’s cupboard!

Children, Parenting

And when friends leave…

It’s hard for anyone to say goodbyes..harder still, when one’s daily pals relocate, move schools or leave the city..with them goes a piece of you and memories are what remain.

The past 2 months have seen about 4 such instances for my kids! The days prior to leaving seem to be their most precious moments. Every waking hour is spent either thinking about your pal or making efforts to maximise on the physical time spent with them. Inching closer to the dates gets them to make those oh so lovely picture cut outs, cards, small baubles and everything else which the friend likes. The cut, copy and paste activities are in full swing. It’s heart rendering to see their love come out in so many forms..my emotional taps almost start leaking when I see those creatives which tomorrow will adorn the walls and cupboards of their friends new setup.

Here, technology has really come to their rescue! While there is no replacement to the physical being, the periodic activities are always mapped by way of whatsapp, Skype and the other interactive media. It does quell their minds but somewhere I keep hearing the silent if- only’s, what- if’s , buts etc.! No matter how easy the connections have become, it doesn’t and cannot come a close parallel to actually actually a personal exchange of thoughts, words and emotions.

In all of this, I am certain of their resilience and adaptability!!

Very soon and probably sooner than I wish, they will charter new domains, establish new friendships and move on. It’s us adults who find it tough to build new connections because of the heavy minds and loads we carry thereof, but with kids, I only see hope and more hope in all their doings!

I am too missing the everyday familiarity but here it’s my job to ensure their smooth transition from one to the other and try and make their memories with their pals even more memorable! I just snail mailed a rather big piece of paper card with all sorts of endearing names, scrawls, colours , pastings etc. and I hope to continue doing this as and when the request comes along!! It’s the least I can do!

Beingmommy, Children, General

Easy fixes and mixes

The struggle or should I say the fight to finish the plateful of food has to be a regular , interesting and easy but sustainable exercise.

The importance of a balanced meal is all but known to us, to incorporate it some times gets sticky. A few choices that have worked for me are-

Breakfast options

A mug full of milk, ( plain or with cereal) ,a few almonds and an egg for that good dose of protein is ideal. A little carb thrown in by way of the crumbly sawdust called a toast completes this meal. A pancake made with almost all of the above is an easier option to not have the child say, I’m done ! halfway through the egg, toast or milk! Basically, at a school going age , when sleep triumphs over crunch munch first thing in the morning, an all rolled in one breakfast option is a good choice , from my experience. A French toast would do a similar palate approval from mommy dear! A banana thrown in or a few slices of some fruit almost makes you the greatest provider ever, where nutrition is concerned. In Indian households, where vegetarian options have to be exercised, if one can manage to get past that plate of poha, upma or even that humble sandwich, one is home!

Lunch/ dinner options

Nothing comes close to a square basic meal of protein, carb, veggies and yoghurt for me. It usually takes care of most food groups needed by a growing kid .The choice and the ways to include these food groups are specific to households but by and large, this provides a wholesome palate.

In betweens/ snack time

Now, when it comes to this which is the most sought after for kids, again, I have a few options which are quite easily doable.An easy to make cheese/veg/jam sandwich, a frankie made out of whole wheat flour with the fillings one has at home- could be plain egg, leftover veggies, sausages etc., some noodles/pasta again with the choice of meats/veggies, idlis and dosas ( these are batter driven dishes so this has to be prior planned) , any kind of toasty snacks with interesting toppings/ quick assembled dips or of course the good old cookies and the many kinds of biscuits come to ones rescue when time and mood is the crunch! Fruit works well too! Whatever it might be, as long as largely we are satisfied in providing some filling and interesting options, we should all give ourselves a good pat on our backs!

Will write my experience on foods that have worked for me on a holiday with kids soon!! Just back from a break so trying to get my kitchen organised!

Children, General, Parenting

Agreed no place like home, but…

There’s no place like home sweet home!! Well known, well felt ! Inside this bubble wrap, life is bliss for most of us.

The little smarties have always a way with things, not willing to accompany their folks to places where their friends are missing in action or simply not wanting to take a step out of their comfort zone if there is a slightest suspicion about the place in their minds or even the people! While their feeling rather comfortable in their set up is lovely and something all of us love and can relate to, the forced push out of their cocoons may be a good push towards new learnings.

We adults have witnessed this in many forms in their lives. The more one is away from his cozy zone, the more adjustments are learnt. The more one is exposed to newer foods, the wider the palate becomes. Pushing ourselves out of our zones to newer domains have only enriched our experiences! We probably need to give our minds a big whack when thoughts like ” oh, they may get bored!”, ” they may not like the food”, ” what’s in there for them” etc. creep in.

Kids have an immense tendency for adaptability and we must let them experience some not- so- comfortable situations. I have also noticed that some pre conceived, pre felt notions associated with road/ plane travels, specific food mindsets, the can have/ can’t have lists, the can do/ can’t do things fade away way faster when the exposure levels are higher. In other words, when the little ones are made to do things outside of their comfort zones, they sometimes actually surprise us!

So, it’s absolutely ok on our part if we sometimes , out of necessity or out of choice,drag them to places where they are likely to experience boredom. It just might make them a bit more adaptable to people, places and things around and the ever so important social quotient may also go up! You may be scorned upon and given the “not good mommy today ” tag so be it!

Children, General, Parenting

PICK ME UP!

My take is if you really want your child to do/ experience /read something, make it so readily accessible for them that they see it all around and because it’s there there, there are higher chances of them going for it! My big reference here is the oh so lovely habit of reading in kids, something which is slowly fading away. Since this happens to be a rather important element of vocabulary building, it needs to be reinforced time and again and somehow included in their daily routine list.

Summer break is a great time to reintroduce this habit( if it’s not already one) simply because there is a good bit of free time available . The long, hot and lazy days can be well spent with the many titles and authors they’ve heard of from their dear friends, their great breed of peers and of course our preferred authors can also be squeezed in . Once they are in sight, chances of they going through them may be higher. Basically, if they see the good old Enid Blytons, Hardy boys , Malory towers etc. on their shelves, they are likely to pick them up! The neighbourhood library does serve the purpose but to stock up on ones own page turners is a wonderful feeling. The ownership of any thing gives one a far bigger high than borrowed stuff, more so if the titles are to be read and re read many times over.

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Summer holidays are also the time to pull out all those hidden card games, those scrap books, the half done needlework, those cut and paint and make your own chimes, fridge magnets, bead jewellery etc etc. The minute these objects are seen, the activity triggers reignite and holidays are well spent, both in terms of time and pleasure! It’s easy accessibility that drives the kids. Out of sight is truly out of mind for them. So, while I have things strewn around everywhere, I look at it as time and imagination well spent. It is messy and scattered, but am ok with it as long as the neatly tucked away stuff is put to use. The slow and easy days seem lighter and calmer and with kids around at home during their break, one really couldn’t ask for anything more!!

General, Parenting

Blending digital and hands on hobbies

The ICE age is the age our children are born into ! Now, that’s a fact. Technology is pacing and so are they with them. Manoeuvring around any gadget is their forte and quickly figuring out information from these devices is something that they love! Notice how readily they volunteer to pull out information and how quickly they get the know how about any subject under the moon!

In this superhighway that their lives are, digital hobbies are almost a done thing. Kindles are everywhere ( if this really rekindles their reading habits would be great though!) then, checking live scores, streaming live music, complete and more knowledge about new cool stuff on YouTube, and other such digital and easy formatted tools are engaging their free hours. There is a request to go over to a friends place to PLAY PLAY with the X boxes, PlayStations etc. There is just NO ESCAPE!

It’s nice if we can somehow manage to squeeze in some hands-on hobbies in their digitalised minds. That’s something that they ought to DO DO. Learning to play a musical instrument is one such joyous hobby which my son pursues. It’s an absolute delight to hear those keys come alive with those finger movements! Another immensely creative hobby is one that starts with most kids with those coloured and shaped blocks . With some kids, like my little one, it carries on in the form of LEGO and it’s something that engages her mind for hours on end. It’s absolutely wonderful to see the creativity coming out in different forms and shapes and the imagination growing with it! Any physical sport / activity pursued by them today will always be there for them tomorrow.

Going forward , along with their digital pursuits, lets also blend in some good old pastimes like reading from touch and feel books, playing outdoors, exploratory trips with nature, unstructured free play at home, creative usage of redundant supplies , enough and more usage of art supplies and stationary and other such rather simple self created innovative hobbies in their schedules!

Digital world is already THEIR world, still, in small measures if we can reminisce our growing up years with them,we would feel wonderful!

 

Beingmommy, General

Short and sweet!

A departure from my otherwise written posts on behaviour/attitude/observations /experiences etc.around kids.

Here is my forever happy time list with the kids-

  • A nice bake or a yummy shake!( if drizzled with the sprinkles and the silver balls, even better!)
  • An unexpected small bauble randomly given to them ! If this qualifies as current fad collectibles, would be even more loved!!( moms agony of more junk in the house,but never mind!)
  • An unannounced trip to meet their favourite buddy.(out of turn, out of time!)
  • A complete binge day for gadgets and devices! ( this one will give mommy as many brownie points as she wants!)
  • A kitchen drawer full of their favourite savouries and candies ! ( from one lollipop to the other chip!)
  • A day for no NO’s!!! ( mother, are you serious???!)

 

Very doable , the only person who comes in the way is me ! So, on some days and I would say more on a regular basis, would be nice to incorporate a thing or two from the above ( and maybe some more!) and break all self created rules! Seriously. Am certain of priceless reactions and not to miss those even warmer hugs!