Monthly Archives: April 2013

Enjoying textures

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My 5 month old is into textures.  He likes to feel what i am wearing, especially if it is a new texture like corduroy or silk. he loves textured books and fabric and i will often let him play with my clothes, a towel, a sheet with textures like applique work, my dupattas/scarves.  He likes to pick at it, pull it and sometimes chew on it too. 

A simple, fun thing for both of us!  It helps my baby learn about different textures and engages more than on sense at a time. ImageImage

 

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Pasting activity gone awry!!!!

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I had lots of small bits of colored kite paper left over from a friend’s craft activity. She gave me a small bag full of bits of paper in case i wanted to use them for something. I thought they would be great for a sticking activity and so we decided to do some sticking today.  We started out by first painting on some paper and then i gave the boys the bits of paper to stick on. I decided against using glue at this point because the paper was really thin and i felt like it would only end up stuck onto them. Here is what our first bit of sticking looked like:

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That was it…that was as far as neatness and sticking/pasting and any semblance of order got…Sid discovered my bag of papers and dug his hand deep into it, emerging with a fistful (fist FULL) of kite paper bits. He looked up with a dangerously naughty grin and then flung the papers high up in the air and grinned in delight as the slowly descended upon him like confetti from a party balloon!
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That was that…the fate of the pasting was instantly sealed and the activity metamorphosed into flinging, tossing, jumping and sweeping. Nish even pulled out his beach toys and tried to rake the bits of paper while Sid kept flinging them and squealing with laughter. My 5 month old was dying to join in, laughing out loudly and trying to crawl towards the boys…had to keep him away because i was worried he would try to eat the paper…but i could see he could not wait to join them!
The boys played for about 20 minutes or so before we cleaned up together. Here are a couple more pics:
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I want chips

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Do you know that a 2 year old has the amazingly remarkable quality of being able to repeat the same thing ad nauseum for as long as it takes till he gets what he wants??? You can temporarily distract him by showing him dump trucks and diggers and excavators and double decker buses…but as soon as you stop for a breath, he starts once again like he had not stopped at all. He goes at this with single minded focus and a deep sense of purpose like his life depended on it…a quality you may never have guessed he possesses if you have ever watched him play with his blocks or crayons or puzzles.  Anyway, he does…and mine gave me a really great demo of it in the car while we were stuck in ridiculous mumbai traffic forever. he wanted chips…”i want chips….i want chips…i want chips…” A never ending monotone droned on in my ear while we spent 25 minutes traversing a road that should have taken 5…with no shops on it to pick up chips from.

Anyway, finally went to a mcdonalds and settled the issue by negotiating some chicken nuggets and fries instead. There was welcome silence while the twins demolished these and licked up the last drop of ketchup and barbecue sauce. “Nice!” my two year old announced. And then as we stepped out and started to walk to the car, he looked me in the eye, smiled and started once again “i want chips!”

(As an aside, i have to tell you that i had a very random experience at mcdonalds…i ordered some minute maid pulpy OJ for the boys because we don’t drink any aerated sodas. It was super diluted and almost tasted like water. Took it back to the counter (it is served in a flimsy plastic cup) and was told i needed to shake it. Really?  A plastic cup like that in a kid’s hand needed to be shaken? So i did just to give it a shot..not much difference. I pointed this out to the guy…i asked him if he wanted to try it for himself. And that’s when he told me that i needed to shake it for every sip!! Probably what one can call an action drink. Anyway, i let it drop – the matter, not the drink…and decided to sit down and watch the boys devour their nuggets.)

twins and sameness

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We have fraternal twins…they look completely different, have very different temperaments, usually like different things…one chooses neatness and order, the other madness and chaos….they could not be more different! 

And, keeping with their individual personalities, we have never tried to dress them the same or get them exactly the same toys or books. It just a duplication of things anyway – the way i look at it.

However, of late i have started noticing how they suddenly want to have similar stuff and do things at the same time. So, if one is wearing an tshirt with a car, they locate another car tshirt for the second twin. If one is eating something the other guy wants it as well. They usually fall ill at the same time too – though i feel that has more to do with them being constantly with each other and passing it on. The newest ‘together’ or ‘same’ thing is using the bathroom. Very very strangely, they both need to use the bathroom at exactly the same time and for the same thing. So even if it a strange not regular time potty – it is for both of them. 

Anyone else with similar experience with twins? 

at the beach

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We were at chowpatty beach today. Had gone there with all three boys and the nanny today. I had carried all their beach toys along in a little plastic bag – spades and shovels and a bucket and what not. When we got to the beach the boys got out of the car and started running on the sand. Suddenly Nish stopped and looked at the sand. “what is this?” he asked me, pointing to markings of a shoe in the sand. I showed them how feet or shoes left a print in the sand…”like painting?” asked Sid…yes kind of i guess. So the next 5-7 minutes was spend closely scrutinising the sand for different prints. We found different shoe marks, footprints, markings made by crows and dogs as well as bicycle tyre marks. 

The boys dug for about 10 minutes with their spades and then they were unceremoniously discarded in the sand. Instead, they found some flat stones and started digging with those! They found shells and bottle caps 😦 which they used to transfer sand and then pour it out. 

They saw a dog rolling in the sand and decided to copy him. so both boys were lying in the sand and also trying to bury parts of themselves in the sand. In doing so they discovered that the top layer of sand was cool and the lower layers were warm. 

They saw the boats come in and discovered two different types – boats with oars (and we sang row row row your boat) and boats with outboard motors. “more noise” was one observation! 

Then the boys spent a little time chasing crows and pretending to feed them – offering them sand and calling it sugar!

We had to leave in a hurry though…the boys saw the doggie starting to poop and promptly started pulling off their pants to follow his lead. I decided that was enough and before any real damage to the beach we whisked the boys off to the car. 

Once again realized how little the boys need store bought toys to have fun or learn new things. Sand, dogs, shells, boats and a whole lot of curiosity made our evening so much fun!!! 

Finger plays with the kids and songs with actions

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Finger plays are great to do with the kids. They can follow along if they are able to and it engages additional senses too. 

I use fingerplays with my youngest pretty often…and we use them in multiple languages. There are a few simple and sweet marathi songs with actions that my baby loves…and the twins used to enjoy as well till quite recently. One is called “ithe ithe bais re mora” (come and sit here peacock). It engages the child visually and also has the baby use his hands and fingers. There are a couple more in marathi too. A friend’s mother does one for them in tamil that has them in splits and i have often seen the twins trying it on their own. 

I also do the fairly common ones in english – twinkle twinkle little star, pat-a-cake, sing a song of sixpence, eensy-weensie spider. Eensy-weensie spider is an all time favorite and even the baby stares almost hypnotized when we do it. He laughs out loud when i do the spider movement with my fingers.

However, my boys absolutely love 4 songs that we do with actions and i recommend trying them out:

1. Wheels on the bus (hot fav)

2. 5 little ducks (went out one day, over the hill……)

3. I am bringing home a baby bumblebee (it is awesome to see them do this; we do the awesomely yucky version where the bee is squashed and licked and thrown up)

4. 5 little monkey (swinging from a tree)

If you want ideas on how to do some of these with your kids, you can check out songs by mr.mike on youtube or check out his website: http://tinyurl.com/mrmikefingerplays CRAFTS &CC

I personally prefer doing the finger plays myself in stead of having my kids see them on the comp. This is because i feel that minimal time in front of a screen is best at this point. So none of my boys watch any TV and comp time is restricted to a maximum of 10 minutes a day if at all.  So i often view the fingerplays online for ideas and then do them myself for the boys. 

Fingerplays are generally fun and make things more interactive and engaging for kids, including babies who are not yet able to talk. 

More ideas: If we are doing music together, then at times i use fingerplays and at other times i try to engage the kids to sing along or add to the rhythm with their maracas or tambourine or bells. 

books we read at bedtime

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Reading is something I personally love and I am glad that the boys enjoy books too. One of my twins especially cannot do without his books and reading time. We read multiple times in the day but I try to read every night at bedtime for sure. I am putting down a few of the books that I find good for bedtime reading.

ImageGoodnight moon (Margaret Wise Brown): An all time favorite with so many kids, i discovered that both my twins love this book. It is easy to read, has no complex plot, fairly detailed illustrations and nice rhyme. What i like about it is that it turns the most banal stuff around us into a story! clocks and socks and kittens and mittens and moon and balloons! It is soothing to read and almost makes me think of a book version of actually shutting down windows, browsers and docs before turning off my comp. There is a comforting routine to the book..saying goodnight to things around before turning in for the night! And Sid loves the ‘old lady whispering hush’!

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Night Night Little Pookie: This is a part of the Pookie series by Sandra Boynton. It is a very easy read, has a bit of dialogue where my kids pitch in…they love this part actually (it’s also there in the other pookie books we have). They also relate to some of the stuff that pookie does and at times they try to act a little like him! It’s a fun book!

Caillou Bath Time: Another book that my boys relate to very easily…it talks about Caillou playing in the park, getting dirty and then coming home to nice bath followed by bedtime. Just like Caillou, my boys like to take their ducks and toys into the tub and they like seeing him do that in the book.  

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All three of these are wonderful books that we like to read quite regularly!

Book for introducing a new sibling

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I made a little book for the twins after Ameya was born. I am putting down for you the contents of the book This worked really well for the boys and they found it pretty amusing too.   

Siddhant and Nishant’s New Baby Brother  (By Gauri Kirtane Vanikar)

 

Siddhant and Nishant have a new baby brother! 

Would you like to see him? 

Meet Baby Ameya!  

See how tiny he is! 

Ameya has black hair just like his two brothers!

 Look at his little feet. Don’t they look so tiny next to Siddhant and Nishant’s feet? 

Ameya loves to suck his fingers…And Siddhant and Nishant love to suck their thumbs! 

All of them love milk. Siddhant and Nishant drink milk in a bottle. Ameya gets his milk from Aai. All three of them like to burp when they are done. 

 Ameya does lots of potty. Almost every time he has his milk Aai has to change his diaper. Siddhant and Nishant don’t need diapers now. They sit on the ducky seat in the bathroom or on their little potty seats. 

 Ameya also loves to sleep. When Ameya sleeps Siddhant and Nishant play with their Baba . They climb on his back or play with trucks. Ameya is still too small to play. 

Siddhant and Nishant love their baby brother. They give him lots of gentle hugs and kisses. They can’t wait for him to grow up and play with them! 

playing with the baby

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Having the three kids together in the play room happens all the time. I have found that the kids are most curious about the baby and love watching him do stuff. They like to make him smile…and he is pretty obliging in general. in fact, the baby loves his twin brothers. his face lights up as soon as he sees them. 

I want to be able to balance my time between my toddlers and my 41/2 month old baby…not let the twins feel like i am suddenly doing less with them and also ensuring that i do stuff that’s appropriate with the baby as well. 

I have realized that the twins are at a stage where they love to copy or imitate people around them. So, i model how to interact and let them then do that with the baby. For example, Amu (baby boy) loves it when i make funny faces. He chuckles loudly in response. So i shake my head in a funny way and say out loud “i am shaking my head”, or i wiggle my tongue and say that out loud. I gently tickle his thighs or feet and say “tickle tickle”. The boys enjoy watching this and i let them try it too. 

I also encourage the boys to ‘read’ to the baby. So they pick books and sit with him and show him the pictures, pretending to read to him. It’s good for the boys and it looks like the baby enjoys it too! 

Similarly, when the twins are doing their puzzles, i let amu lie near us. He likes the bright puzzle pieces or blocks and steadily drags himself over and reaches out for them. The twins also often put a toy or a block a little distance from him and encourage him to crawl towards it. 

I do not leave them unsupervised because the twins can get pretty boisterous! 

Our little tragedy

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This morning when we opened the apartment door Nish spotted a little caterpillar on the landing. It was tiny and slowly making its way on the fairly slipper tiles. “Like baby!” the boys said…true…it did look a little like our baby who is currently trying to move by lifting his bum and then propelling himself forward.  When it was time to close the door the boys did not want to say bye to the caterpillar…so i succumbed and fetched a plastic can (one that otherwise holds tennis balls). We made little holes in the lid and put some leaves inside it from the kitchen veggies. Then we carefully picked up the caterpillar on a leaf and dropped it inside. It seemed sluggish but was moving around a little bit. A couple of hours later, it died. The twins kept looking at it and telling me that it was not moving. “Sleeping?” one of them asked. Just as i was about to answer, the nanny came in and pronounced the caterpillar dead. Now the twins have no clue what dead means but they figured it was something bad and Nish got pretty upset and kept saying “capartillar mar gayi” (the caterpillar is dead) …”no mar gayi” (not dead).  He gently petted the plastic can and told me he was being careful and doing “pyari pyari” (giving love?) to the caterpillar inside.

Once the twins fell asleep, i got rid of the caterpillar. I guess they will ask me about it when they wake up and i am probably going to tell them it went away because i am really not sure if and how to get into the ‘dead’ bit quite so soon.

Any suggestions?

Also, i am not sure whether the caterpillar was going to die anyway or whether putting it into the can precipitated things. Anyone who has tried this with better luck? As a kid we had used a glass bottle and the caterpillar had eventually turned into a cocoon and a butterfly.