Monthly Archives: October 2013

Amu is getting smarter and smarter!

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Don’t be fooled by his tiny size and the fact that he is the youngest in the family. This little blighter is quite a smart fellow and has already figured out that he needs to be firm, strong and assertive to get what he wants. This evening SId was snacking on some slices of apple when Amu crawled along. He first signed “give” to Sid but got not apple for the effort so he loudly said “Dey!!” (give!). Still no luck. At this point, he went after the plate. Sid moved his plate away. So Amu stood up holding onto Sid tshirt and tried to grab it from his hands. Sid extricated himself and moved away with the slice he had in his hand. As soon as he did that, Amu lunged for the plate that had been left unattended by Sid and grabbed himself a slice of the apple. He then proceeded to call out to Sid “Dada!” and show him the apple. Sid was mad and I was in splits! Amu nibbled on the apple and then plonked down on the floor and clapped for himself looking super proud and happy. “Bambambam” he babbled waving the apple around. 

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sharing, negotiating and setting some rules

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This was what the twins were doing not me…Last evening SId was busy whining as they both were playing on their trikes. Sid’s has a little crack because he is pretty rough with his stuff, while Nish’s trike looks absolutely fine. Anyway, a few minutes into the play, Sid started whining about his trike and wanted to Sit one the red one which belongs to his twin. Nish kept moving away with his trike everytime Sid came upto grab it and so Sid finally had a bit of a meltdown and started a mini tantrum. At this point Nish rolled along on his trike, got off and offered it to Sid. Sid promptly jumped onto it and was getting all set to pedal away when Nish held the front of the trike and stopped him. “This is my cycle OK??? You take a turn..take one round and then you have to give it back”.

I just watched the interaction and smiled

Diwali…and a plea

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Diwali is almost here…we have been making cards for family and friends and every day during lunch time i tell the boys a little bit about Ram and why we celebrate Diwali – the festival of lights. I want it to mean more to them than lights and lanterns and firecrackers…and sweets and presents and new clothes.  

The boys are excited about the festival but Nish and Sid are also a little worried…they both hate loud sounds – especially crackers. And Diwali has sadly become about loud and smoke churning fireworks. Crackers that go off as early as 5 in them morning and explode till late into the night. I am dreading the smoke and the thick veil of smog that will envelop the city in the next few days. I will probably not be able to see beyond a few hundred meters for a few days at least.

And i dread what it will do to Nish who tends to develop a bad wheeze with smoke and crackers. I rarely light even incense sticks at home because i don’t want to trigger an attack. So i fear to think what our current interpretation of the festival will bring for Nish.

I can understand the celebrations…the new clothes…the yummy food…maybe even a community fire works display. But at a time when the common man cannot afford onions and malnutrition is still a deadly killer, how ok is it to simply burn off money? Just blow it up in smoke? (and support an industry that in addition to adding significantly to pollution and accidents, also employs child laborers?) 

As you buy yourself or your child a big stack of crackers (if you do), i would urge you to stop and reflect for a minute…is this really what the celebration is about? Can we interpret ‘light’ in a different way – can you light up someone’s face with a smile instead of bursting a cracker?  Can you instead make do with colors? draw a gorgeous rangoli, paint a mural, light some lamps, share some mithai with someone who may not be as fortunate? Can we perhaps try to leave the city breathable for our children?  

We plan to have some fun drawing rangoli designs, making lanterns, coloring ram, ravan and hanuman masks that i want  to make for the boys. We plan to meet our friends and spend some fun time together. We plan to make some yummy goodies together in the kitchen and take a weekend trip to get out of the city which will probably be full of smoke. 

Any thoughts on how you can celebrate this wonderful festival differently? Without the noise and the crackers?

 

 

honest conversations

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Day before, as i was putting the boys to sleep, Sid cuddled close to me and said “I love you!”…Quite touched by his frank affectionate statement I said “thank you!” and then asked him what it was that he liked most about me.

“Your kisses” he said quite candidly. And demonstrated what he was saying by giving me a sweet kiss on he cheek.

Quite moved, i turned to Nish and asked him what he liked about me. He thought for a fraction of a second and announced quite proudly “your ipad!!!”.

I tried to get a better answer…”Hey Nish, see i love your smile, I love how you bounce with excitement! Is there something that you love about me?” He looked at me with a very straight face and repeated what he had said a minute ago: “Your ipad!”.

At least he is being honest i guess!!!

art attack!!!

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I am sooooo inspired by this site that i have come across (growingajeweledrose.com/)..it is just bursting with ideas and things that  am trying out. We made some putty-lke thing with cornflour and paint..those are the only ingredients you need. Take a scoop of cornflour (cornstarch) and then add some paint (i use the ELC paints). Mix it up…knead it into a dough. It can be broken into clean cut pieces by just bending it, it can be turned into gorgeous colored sand and when left alone it turns back into a gorgeous runny looking glistening goop. The boys had a blast!!! they could scoop it up, knead it, mix it, toss it around. For the baby, i made a lovely pink paint using flour and water and added some sugar crystals for texture. Amu loved it and he enjoyed the texture. The paint was viscous, chilled and had some graininess because of the sugar. All i needed to contain the mess was a large sheet of plastic which i spread on the floor. Today we plan to make face paint too…will let you know how that goes. 

 

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God likes it loud!

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My boys were saying their evening prayers and Nish was being super loud. I had started the evening prayer routine with the aim to help them calm down after their bath and get ready for bed. “Shhh…nish” i said. “You don’t need to shout. God can hear you even if you whisper”. “Oh!” said Nish, looking a little confused. “I thought he liked loud noises”.

So much for how they have interpreted the city’s cacophonic approach to celebrating festivals. After the loud Ganpati processions and the navratri music and firecrackers, i could buy into that argument too i guess.

And so, while i am excited about Diwali and all the fun stuff we have planned for the family, I am dreading what the city will turn into for those days. Firecrackers going of at all hours, far exceeding the noise levels that can be tolerated by anyone’s ears…smoke choking the city’s lungs and rendering the air so smoggy that we will not be able to even see the sea link from our window…loud music…and my poor kids who hate these ridiculous decibels and noise making crackers…Nish with his allergic asthma which will flare up instantly…but then, like Nish said, maybe God likes it loud!!!

Week 4 of school…a much better monday!

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 Both kids were under the weather last evening. The air has been so polluted after the navratri visarjan fire crackers and Nish has been especially miserable as he has allergic asthma…so the poor fellow was wheezing and coughing and throwing up last evening. Sid decided to keep his twin company by also throwing up (don’t know how he managed that because he was not coughing or wheezing or sick).  We had to use the nebulizer twice last night for Nish and i let the boys sleep in till about 7:30 this morning. I had decided they could just stay home but Nish woke up and very loudly announced that he wanted to go to school. Since he was fine and not wheezing in the morning I decided they could go. 

I was dreading Sid’s whines about not going to school but surprisingly he said nothing. He even spoke about what his teacher would say about his haircut! The car drive was peaceful…still no whines…

 And then, once we were in school, Sid and Nish both hopped out quite happily and waved goodbye.

It was such a happy feeling to drive out of the school gate without the heart wrenching sounds of Sid’s crying. It gave my day a jumpstart and I am so happy to see that he is finally settling in!!! 

Week 4 of school…a much better monday!

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 Both kids were under the weather last evening. The air has been so polluted after the navratri visarjan fire crackers and Nish has been especially miserable as he has allergic asthma…so the poor fellow was wheezing and coughing and throwing up last evening. Sid decided to keep his twin company by also throwing up (don’t know how he managed that because he was not coughing or wheezing or sick).  We had to use the nebulizer twice last night for Nish and i let the boys sleep in till about 7:30 this morning. I had decided they could just stay home but Nish woke up and very loudly announced that he wanted to go to school. Since he was fine and not wheezing in the morning I decided they could go. 

I was dreading Sid’s whines about not going to school but surprisingly he said nothing. He even spoke about what his teacher would say about his haircut! The car drive was peaceful…still no whines…

 And then, once we were in school, Sid and Nish both hopped out quite happily and waved goodbye.

It was such a happy feeling to drive out of the school gate without the heart wrenching sounds of Sid’s crying. It gave my day a jumpstart and I am so happy to see that he is finally settling in!!! 

a saturday well spent

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Today was one of those days…full of fun, packed to the hilt and leaving all of us very happy tired! 

Our day started with a long overdue trip to the zoo…we had not been there since the rains i think and the boys were missing it and wanted to go. It was a choice between the zoo and the aquarium …and since a friend told me that the aquarium was closed for repairs, it was an easy decision to make. We decided to take Amu too…so it was his first visit to the zoo…unfortunately did not take the camera…between managing the three boys and the diaper bag, 3 caps and a thermos of water, we had our hands full! 

Amu was so excited by the zoo and everything we saw. He was looking wherever his brothers pointed or looked and was trying to be a part of all the conversations with coos and gurgles and sounds and laughs. It was pretty hot and we were glad to have carried the thermos. 

The boys were also super excited that they would get a yummy treat after the zoo..there is a little milk stall that sells Energee (for bombayites…this will bring back memories!). The boys love this drink and we always (and only) have it at the zoo. Amu got his first taste and loved it as well.

Then home for lunch and a nap. In the evening we hit the beach…lots of digging, playing catch and running around.  Amu chased the ball all over..he has figured out how to pick it up and throw it so he can keep himself well occupied tossing it and chasing after it!

We came home, washed off the sand and then got down to some block printing and painting. (amu had to make do with some water and food color with ice cubes n a steel plate).  I am trying to get some art work done so we can make diwali cards next week. 

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15 productive minutes later, it was time for a bath. Today we did a variation of the shaving foam bathroom paint. Taking inspiration from http://www.growingajeweledrose.com/ i decided to freeze the shaving foam paint. Did pink and sky blue and put it in small steel cups and then stuck them into the freezer. So when we pulled them out a couple of hours later in time for the kids’ bath, they were beautifully set and looked absolutely edible…like colored frosting. I had added vanilla essence so they smelled yum too! Again..no pics because i was in the throes of the action but i will take pics the next time we do it. The twins totally LOVED the frozen foam paint and it melted as they played with it. When i asked Nish whether he liked it, he responded with a giant hug and a big thank you! 

Tomorrow is our day of rest…i have decided that it is. the plan is to chill, read some books together, maybe call for pizza and just generally take it easy…(this is of course wishful thinking!) 

 

Role models

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Sid and Nish love emergerncy vehicles (actually they love anything that has wheels or moves but emergency vehicles have pride of place in their hearts and minds). I guess it has something to do with the lights and sounds and the men in uniforms. They stare in awe at fire trucks and police cars and ambulances. I remember how excited they were when I took them into the Worli Fire Brigade…it was like going into a place of worship almost! At Shivaji park last week they convinced a police man to let them sit in his car and pretend to drive. For them being a fire firefighter or a policeman is so cool…and they really feel that these guys can do no wrong! 

Last afternoon, sadly, their bubble burst a little bit. We were driving to my mom’s place and Sid kept standing up in his seat. “That is against the rules” i said. “I will pull over and wait till you sit” i said. Nish excitedly pointed to a police car just in front of us. “See Sid – police car…he will see you standing and tell you that you are breaking the rule.” Sid promptly sat down, his respect and awe of policemen and police cars speeding this up considerably. As the boys peered out of the window to wave at the policeman Nish looked very disturbed and said “Policeman is breaking the rule!!!” I was wondering how the guy could possibly be standing in his seat so looked…and found that he was talking on his cell phone as he drove…bang in the middle of fast moving traffic on peddar road. “No talking and driving” said my wise little Sid…”you can have a big accident” “and the car will get hurt!” added Nish.