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Friday, December 26, 2008
Christmas holiday
I don't consider myself a movie buff but once in a while I do like to go to theaters and have a big screen experience. From the last 2 years I wasn't going out for movies.In pregnancy I read somewhere that babies inside may get frightened by so loud sounds and after that was not sure how my son would react in theater. I let go of many good releases in two years because i thought I would be spending more time outside the theater pacifying Maks (my son) than inside. After all being a child never means sitting at one place for 2-3 damn hours.

The Christmas holiday was coming and we were thinking what to do, my hubby then proposed,"lets go a catch up a movie". It was a good time because a very nice movie of my favorite actor was releasing.I was dreaded at first by the suggestion, but the thought of Aamir Khan, my favorite actor, forced me to think twice and finally I agreed to break this 2 year long hiatus and believe me I was not even a bit dissapointed. The movie, Ghajini, a typical bollywood movie was superb and performance of Aamir Khan was simply fabulous. Although his dialogues were so limited, yet he conveyed everything by expressions and that too remarkably. And what added to my happiness was the fact that Maks really did not created any fuss and allowed me to enjoy the movie. I took the advantage and treated myself with not one but two movies,how opportunist I am .... :) ya but other one in the comfort of home. I watched Slumdog Millionaire. Wow! what a movie it was. Very well directed and some exceptional performances by lead actors as well as their child counterparts. A movie made by a foreigner,tapping the right nerves of India.

So this is how I spent my Christmas holiday. Ohh! I forgot to mention a photo session of my lil Santa and a sumptuous Christmas cake... :)

Here is my lil Santa looking out of terrace for probably real Santa :)
How was your Christmas ?

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Monday, December 22, 2008
A day of self realization
When I first quitted my job after my son was born, i wasn't quiet ready for it. Though i was willing to give my complete time to my son but somehow i missed my job very much. Every day i sulked, fought with my husband as he turned my punching bag,sometimes shown my anger to my son too which was not fair at all.What made me do this, i guess the thought of just wasting my time sitting at home and not being a contributor to my family finances.

As my son turned 1 year old, i started seriously thinking about getting back to work. It took me two months to muster the courage to go ahead.I thought I would just survey the day cares in my neighborhood as no potential domestic help I had at home. Yesterday, I went to a day care near my place. The lady was very nice and the way she was handling things, it was quiet professional. I was very impressed. Suddenly I saw an 8 month old who was crying inconsolably. I enquired and she told me that when ever the main door opens,he starts crying. I just couldn't bear the glare of his waiting eyes. He was looking for his mommy. Everytime the door opened,he thought his mommy had come to pick him and on not seeing her,he started crying. I just couldn't take it. Being a mommy has made me very sentimental, not that i was not a emotional person earlier,but now the tears just trickle and the heart melts down at the slightest provocation and when it comes from a child, you can guess my helplessness. I couldn't stop my self,went ahead and took him in my arms and gave him a reassuring hug. I don't know it touched him or not, but for a while he did stopped crying.

I talked to the lady for a while, checked all the toys,cribs and stuff the day care had for my satisfaction and when I was about to leave,the little boy just extended his arms towards me and in his language literally pleaded. If he could speak,he would have said, "Take me to my mommy please". This incident really shook me and I realized, how much may I say I need to get back to work, nothing is compelling enough overcome even the thought of leaving my son behind,let alone actually doing it. This visit to day care actually made me come to terms with what I am doing when I am sitting at home. I am not wasting my time, I am giving my son the nurture,the care he deserves and most importantly which no one else can give. These are his formative years and he needs me by his side.
God has his mysterious ways of sending his voice to you, all you need to do is to listen to it. I never thanked God enough for what he has given me, a wonderful, supporting,loving husband, a lovely son, a life anyone would want. I just can't stop counting my blessings, I thank you God for being there always.

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Monday, December 15, 2008
Children and household chores
As in my previous post (Involving and evolving a child), I mentioned about involving kids in household chores which seems like a difficult job.
What is so good about it?
Well I believe helping others promotes self esteem and boosts a child’s academic and social skills so why not inculcate that habit early on and house hold chores is one way. These chores teach them real world skills, which not even the schools can teach. But when you go about involving kids in these day-to-day activities, you should be clear about few things:

1) Do not expect perfection from them and so you need to curb yourself from constantly correcting them and constantly redoing their work.

2) Do not delay appreciation and do that when job is on going.

3) Do not order them for doing things, take an easier path, and ask them for help.

4) You can set the rewards to make it interesting, it could be letting them watch tv an extra hour or giving one extra scoop of ice cream or may be some allowance according to the age of child.

There is an age appropriate list of chores that I stumbled upon in one of my older cuttings from a newspaper. Here is how it goes:

Age 2 to 3
* Put toys at their place
* Put clothes in basket.
* Dusting
* Piling books

Age 4 to 5
* Make his or her bed
* Empty dustbins
* Bring in the mails
* Clear the table
* Answer phone calls.
* Helping with setting the table

Age 6 to 7
* Sort the laundry
* Help pack lunch
* Set the table alone
* Keep the room tidy

Age 8 to 9
* Put away groceries
* Make own snacks
* Clean table post meals
* Sew buttons

After that, I don’t think one needs a list :)

Although its still one year or so for me to involve my son in such chores but I can at least hope to make a good foundation and turn him into a responsible adult. Hope these tips are helpful for all those who are going through this phase of growing up their little ones.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008
Involving and evolving a child
Kids these days are so fond of TV and video games that they hardly feel to play outside and enjoy any kind of sports. They are far away from the world of paper boats and fairytales. This behavior really irks me as a mother. I don’t want my son to be a couch potato and so do any of the moms. Although I agree that after a week of hard work, school, and homework, they need a break but that break need not be in front of the idiot box. These things go a long way in defining the personality of the child and life style when he or she grows up. So what all can we do about it?
We cannot completely ban them from watching TV and playing video games but of course we can define rules like set timings for TV and time for video games and do some fun activities:
1) Involving the kids in the household work, asking them for help so they respond better.
2) Going to parks for evenings and playing with them.
3) Encouraging them to play some sports, more outdoor activities that play a vital role in their overall growth.
4) Getting the age suitable games like scrabble and other good things that combine learning and fun.
5) Going to picnics, enjoying the nature with packed lunches and playing games like Frisbees.
6) Encouraging the habit of reading books.
Arindam Chowdhary, a renowned author, once said in one of his editorials, that if you want to give a good upbringing to your children, encourage them to read books, this will at least turn them into good human beings.
The prime aspect of childhood is to enjoy and learn skills at the same time and with our more tech savvy lifestyles, we are ruining that. The natural growth is hampered and kids are growing up indeed but without actually living their childhood. So wake up to this need of the hour, be in touch with the child within and be a child with them. Remember your own childhood and if we are able to give them even 10% of the time that we have, we have made their lives.

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Thursday, December 4, 2008
Travelling with the child
Travelling with an infant is not easy but they say its easier than a toddler and I absolutely agree.I have travelled with my son when he was just few weeks old and I used to think it was tough till this journey happened. I was travelling alone with my one year old and he kept me completely on tenterhooks all the time.

As you all know,we were relocating from our place ,so my hubby went earlier than me to the new location to look for a home to move in.Although it was a terrifying idea yet I decided to join him later when the house is finalised.I spent all the time literally counting each and every minute. As soon as he said yes,I heaved a sigh of relief,immediately called the packers and got the entire house packed and moved.It was such a cumbersome job(and they say packers move not only house but also tension). Actually the problem was that my son suddenly turned so clingy,he was practically inseparable from me. May be,he was not happy with the idea of his house being ransacked by some strangers.There was no choice but to carry him all day long and do all the chores along with keeping an eye on the people working in my house.The day finally ended with all the stuff packed and me exhausted to my last breath.Next morning the whole stuff was loaded and moved and I was happy that I will be soon on my way to be with my husband.

It was now time for both of us to leave, both me and my son had a long journey ahead of us. I planned each and every aspect of journey so that there are no last minute jitters but I guess nothing goes as planned with a kid around. I found myself altering plans,panicking,rather having all the last minute thoughts,jumbling around and what not.I had to go by train for some distance and then take a flight.When about an hour of train's journey was left,my son suddenly turned erratic.Nothing was working on him,he didn't wanted milk,no music, no toy,nothing.These things worked earlier through the journey but now he was not falling for any of these baits.He was continously crying,trying to get away and making me feel miserable. Then i realised that he wanted what we always crave for so much.... independence,independence from my arms ,from all the inhibtions he was having,he wanted to be free. But I couldn't do that ,how could i just leave him all by himself?? Just then(to my rescue),seat next to mine got vacant,I made him sit there and gave him his much needed freedom. And there he was,with his charming smile as if nothing has happened.

Flight I thought would be easier.Firstly,because the run was of only 2 hours and secondly,the airport staff is always very supportive.I checked in ,went through security check, a staff member was with me throughout taking my luggage and helping me around so that I face no problem. I boarded the flight and my son was happy.I think the idea of traveling in the plane got to him :)(though he was travelling for the second time,first when he was just 40 days old :)) but you know kids are kids. Just an hour passed and he was again looking for a breather. The same idea of putting him in vacant seat couldn't work here because no seat was vacant and it won't be as well. I had to look for some new ideas before his controlled cries turned in to screaming. I made him even look out of the window but to no avail. His sleep time was just close by so I thought to myself," I just have to distract him with something, make milk, give it to him and make him sleep. Not a big deal,Is it"! Ohh,Believe me,I was struggling. The lady sitting next to me was reading a book. Hey! he is fond of books, eureka,i got the idea.. I turned his face towards the lady so that he can catch a glance of book .As soon as my son saw the book in her hand,he stopped crying, leaped forward and started playing with the pages. The lady was sweet enough to let him touch the book, meanwhile I took the bottle out,made milk for him and there it goes in his mouth and thanks god,he started drinking it while still playing with pages of book.I slowly distracted him to one of his toys and mission accomplished. I later apologized to the sweet lady for using her as a ploy but she was really kind. Thanks to her, finally I got all the things under control and I or rather we managed to reach safely and happily to my husband after travelling almost 2000 kms.

This journey was a real first hand insight into how to handle things when travelling alone with a child.

Here are some tips:

1) Don't feel frustrated if nothing goes as planned because rest assured, nothing will go as planned :)

2) Always be ready with the baby's food, milk, diapers, a set of clean clothes, hand towel etc. rather pack a small bag with these things and keep it handy.

3)You cannot keep the kids tied to one place so carry some nice distractions with you,like his favourite toys or anything that keeps him busy. Music was a big helping hand for me.

4) While travelling in plane, take care of feeding the baby while landing and take off to prevent his ears from clogging,otherwise it will be really painful.

5) Keep a check on the baby and your belongings all the time.

6) Keep the luggage as minimal as possible.

7) It will be great if you have a sling to carry the baby. It allows you to have your hands free and things will be lot more easily.

8) Last but not the least, don't mind to ask for help if you are unable to handle.

I can't imagine, how will I manage if I have to travel with my son being 2 or 3 years old as he is a very naughty child. I can just hope to have things under control as always. :)

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I am back
Hi Guys

I am back. Hope you all did lots of blogging and had fun. For me,it was a hectic schedule. Although I reached here in Pune a month ago but settling down and getting the broadband working took time.
I missed you all a lot.
Infact the moment Internet started working,the first thing i did was check my blog and visited all of you.Hope you got my messages.
Good to be back.
See you soon with a brand new post... :)