Monthly Archives: May 2011

Books

To mark the last leg of vacation we made another visit to the used – books – store Blossoms at Convent Junction .

Ruby now spends most of his time with his nose buried in Secret Seven . As I am lazy and forgetful when  it comes to routine I have asked Pearl to remind me to read to her one book every day . This has been going on for almost a month now and I am happy about it .

As any other parent I too find it tricky to select books for the kids . What are the guidelines you follow ? Please share 🙂

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Thursday Challenge : Pets

Ruby and Pearl with Leo on Smart kid magazine

I am a very very lousy pet owner . Even then , we have a dog , two rabbits and some fishes .

My favourite is the aquarium . As Shilpa has said beautifully in her blog , I cling to the Feng Shui belief when it comes to pet fish . Thanks to Feng Shui to making us feel good by saying it is not a bad luck when a fish dies . It just take your bad luck away . If I go by Feng Shui then I really have some bad – luck- spell on me which my fishes are taking away with them enthusiastically .  Any way I neither give up nor brood . I just go and buy another pair 😀

Guppies are my favourite . They also remind of a child hood friend who had a huge collection of Guppies in an inbuilt tank . When we come back home after vacation we would beg him for some guppies and he would give us one or two pairs after many swapping . We used to put it in a bottle with some holes on the top and bring it home on bus all the way from Alleppey to Ernakulam . Now , I can appreciate fully my mother’s patience 😉

I read some where, it would be better if people with strong water element keep away from having pet fish . It doesn’t suit them well 😦  May be there is some truth in it . While I was searching for that article which I did not find I came upon this  beautiful article on Feng shui Front door. 

Here is a video which kids made on their aquarium . This is their first attempt . And they did it themselves when I asked them to go around and get me some snaps of the pets for the Thursday Challenge .

I really wanted to ask them to do another video with some modifications and some more zoom ins and zoom outs . A more presentable one 😉 But I consciously controlled the temptation 🙂

I feel parents shouldn’t interfere to guide and correct the children every now and then . Even though parents do it to make kids do better and also to avoid failures and mistakes I feel it affects the child’s imagination . It also draws a line of limitation preventing the child from jumping into the unknown to explore . Remember , A parent who is eager to  prevent the child from making the same mistakes they have made in their life and is all set to improvise the child is just trying to relive/rewrite their own lives in a perfect way .

Let them fail and let them do it imperfectly . Then only they can learn to win and improve themselves .

I am proud of the video they have done 🙂

Our aquarium

Our fish bowl

No tears to well up in my eyes

It has been a while since I have cried contentedly . My eyes always get in between . All the time they are swollen like two onion bulbs that I cannot even whimper to my heart’s fill  .

I have been keeping myself away from the Kajol and eye liner that even I can’t recognise me on the mirror 😦 and I have been visiting the ophthalmologist on and off . Any way , now they say I have Blepharitis ( which simply means there is inflammation on my eye lids   ) and Dry eye syndrome.

So I am weaning myself away from the computer for a while except for the NaBoPloMo. Meanwhile here are two articles which explain about Blepharitis and Dry eye Syndrome .

I want my eye liner back if not my tears !

Playing dough

Yesterday night itself we decided it is going to be a ‘Play- dough ‘ day tomorrow.  In the morning , somehow it turned out  Ruby and Pearl would do a guest post for me .They didn’t do much writing or typing actually . But they came up with a great clay model . They take it from here 🙂

My sister and I love to play with dough. We make flowers,mushrooms, diagrams and animals.When we went for summer camp they showed us how to make dough.Today we are making a scenery.It has a horse ,boat and a mushroom.

They outdo me when it comes to ideas and making models . So I just sit with them and enjoy their work . Clay has been a great help in bringing out  Ruby’s ideas.  They didn’t right away start making super- duper clay models . A great deal of clay has been lost in that journey . All Colours  got  mixed  up and  there was always a lot of mess . One fine day they started to make  nice models  and I don’t know when this transition really occured . Now they keep it  separate in their respective boxes after use and don’t mix up colours . Here are some other clay models done by them .

Butterfly mask

Snail garden

And this is an interesting link about clay and children .

Microwaved Jack fruit Jam

Vacation brings along with it the sweet smell of all those ripe fruits in the back yard . Even though now there is no back yard and no friends to roam around the smell of all those preserved foods are enough to carry us back to that time .

I remember the taste of mangoes , coconut slices (kopra ) , tamarind , lemon ( vaduka puli ) drying in long sheets under the sun . We used to steal them in the afternoon when every body would be busy taking naps 🙂  And all those smells are invariably associated with the word ‘ Vacation ‘ !

One of my other favourite smell is that of Jack fruit jam or in other words ‘Chakka Varattiyathu ‘ . And I made some a few days before . I followed the guidelines given by my Aunt . She is well known for her short cuts . My mother and my Aunt are my Gurus when it comes to culinary skills . They are as different as they can be . Yet , I always try to combine both their skills in my kitchen . My mother’s dedication , passion and overflowing love when she cooks and my Aunt’s efficiency , time management , short cuts and orderliness .

Here is an absolutely easy recipe for making ‘Chakka varatti ‘ . An alltime favourite of Mallus.

Things you would need

Ripe Jack fruit flesh ( as much as you can get )

Scraped jaggery

ghee

eliachi ( cardomom )

Method

Grind the jack fruit in a mixer . Microwave it with lid on in High for 3-4 minutes . Mix the scraped jaggery . Microwave for another 2-3 minutes ( with out lid ) . Add ghee and powdered eliachi and mix well . Microwave in Medium for 5-6 minutes or even more according to the consistency you need . Take out and mix it with a spoon in between .

Enjoy as such or as bread spread . Store in refrigerator for further use .

Why do we yell at our kids ?

A few weeks back Shail Mohan shared some thoughts on her blog as a reply to one of my comments .

@Krishnaleela,

If we recognize our own confusion and fear as an adult, we will stop shouting at children for things beyond their control. The screaming and shouting can be kept as last resort instruments for more productive purposes, when they disobey our just demands for example. Don’t you think so??
But sadly most parents I have found shout when they are scared and confused. What signal does that send to the child??!

I was thinking about it for a while and delaying my response as it is one of the biggest problems confronted by young parents like me.I am noting down the random thoughts that crossed my mind .

Just take a look around you. Every where you will see parents yelling at kids as though they have done some fatal crime . Just now I saw a parent haul her son brutally after yelling at him  . This was just for sitting on the dust in the parapet . Yes , there was some dust there . I too agree. But I don’t think it needs that much attention and show off . Whatever signal she wants to send her child she is sending a message of supremacy to others who happen to sit there 😛

As Shail wondered what signal do we send our children by yelling at them? I gather the child thinks he / she has gone terribly wrong . Or that they are always wrong . And are not loved . In a way we are telling them we have more important things  . By doing that we are also closing the door of communication . The only door open to us parents to reach our kids once they venture into the real world far away from our protective wings . Mind you , this magical door is kept open to parents only in this magical young age . Soon the door will be crowded with strange looking friends and macho heroes that you will not even get a space to peep in to see what is going on inside there. Make the best of it while you can .

By screaming and shouting we are also putting the child in an equally confused state and taking away the safety feeling and confidence. After an outburst have you ever asked your child what he/she understood ? Just try it next time and you will get the most funniest answers. Most of the time the child doesn’t even understand what they are scolded for. The very thing that you wanted to convey is lost in the uproar.

The yelling comes from the fear that your child, the fruit of all your efforts , the prodigy who is going to gain you all the credits for being a super parent may do some thing wrong.  Instead of thinking that the child is just being a six-seven year old we take the short comings as our own failure in parenting and is eager to cover it up. Just like Shail noted , one of the grave aftermath of yelling , screaming and shouting is the fact that we are left with no arms and ammunition for the future when we are more likely to deal with serious problems other than jumping on the bed or playing ahead of sleep time.

As they say , the problem with parenting is it doesn’t come along with a manual . And your child is same as the surprise Kinder Joy you buy for them . You don’t know what is inside . No body tells you before hand what is right and what is wrong for your child . Trial and error is the only option.

It would have been great if there were some arrangements to train the expecting parents on the psychology of kids , different types of kids and the expected emotional behaviour at different stages and so on.

Some thing I have observed with great interest is parents , especially mothers are always eager to advice other young parents. I think this happens because they learn what is right and what is wrong only after bringing up their child  🙂

Grand parents could have done a great deal of help. But like most of the mothers reading this would accept it , we are not ready to take advice from our mother-in -laws or even mothers when it comes to bringing up our child . I think this happens because in our mind apart from the all the positive thoughts we have about our parents , we know what went wrong when they brought us up . And we don’t want that to happen to our child. So we try in every way to correct and compensate for it and end up doing some thing wrong in some other aspect. And the cycle continues.

One thing that I hate in a new born baby’s room is the hot discussion that goes on and on between mother’s family and father’s family about the right way of bringing up kids . And most of the times I see the mother’s family has to mutely accept what the father’s family says. I wonder why people cannot understand there are different ways of bringing up newborns  and each style is unique to the region.

I see that I digressed. It is such a hot topic 😉 Coming back to yelling,  I admit I have also done it many times . My son had had a real tough time while I was expecting my second born . And even after child birth . There were many people to help me but no one who can be ‘me’ even for some time. I was confused and scared . I was afraid if I would be able to do a good job bringing up both the kids . I took it out on the most vulnerable person around me . That was my son and I reaped the rewards.

Now I have deliberately controlled this misbehavior to a great extend . When my kids drive me crazy I tell them straight what is upsetting me. I suggest them ways to modify their behaviour. I explain to them situations . Quote examples to show what is right and what is wrong. Tell them stories from epics , movies etc. I give them chances . I tell them that it is not a pass or fail situation . They can always improve. And that they always have a next chance .

Here are some tips or points to ponder .

1. While you are with your child try to keep your anger on hold . ( yes, it is possible.)

2. If the issue in hand is not going to affect the child’s future go easy on it .

3. Hold the child and  give a two minutes ‘ silence time’ before you speak. This will help you to get the child’s attention and give you time to gather your thoughts .

4. Take the time and patience to explain to your child what is wrong . And also make it clear it is the action that is wrong and not the doer .

5. Please don’t make statements like ‘the child is the one who is causing all the problems in my life ‘ . ( I ‘ve heard it many times from several parents ! )

6. Please don’t tell you are taking the major decisions in your life because of / for the benifit of your child. You are the one entitled to your life. And your child is entitled only to his /her . Please don’t burden them with the weight of your decisions .

Let them grow light- hearted . And let us make them ready to take on the world when the time comes .

Pleas share your thoughts !

NaBloPoMo , Here I come !

So , I too have decided to jump into the bandawagon of NaBloPoMo. Saw the updates on Face book from Swaram and saw the thrill and enthusiasm on Monika’s blog  .  I feel it is time to return to the one place where I really feel I belong and here I am . Maybe I will be the last one to join . They have all started two days back . So this post is more an announcement than a call . You can expect a post every day from me for the Month of May . Don’t say you haven’t been warned :p

First things first , thanks to my friend Pal , who introduced me to the Indian Blogosphere . Even though I have been into blogging for almost two years , the first year or so I was busy searching frantically about dyslexia , home schooling and sorts . Only recently I got into the Indian circle and is not familiar to many of you . I hope NaBloPoMo would bring a change 😀

I don’t know what I will post about in the days to come . As I claim this as a Parenting Blog I plan to post more on our Vacation Fun and activities . I hope this month will bring many interesting incidents so that I can post them right from my heart and not just do the WWs , TCs , Foto Fridays & Music Mondays . Lets watch it together !! Like the theme for this month’s NaBloPoMo goes “May be ” !!