Friday, July 29, 2011

The contrast in play times

Almost all of Vansh's dozen friends from the complex were there in the park and with a bunch of 5 year old to 8 year old boys together, one can imagine what the sights and sounds must be. Among their other adventures, they started going up and down the slide one after the other, sandwiching each other in the process, landing on each others' arms and legs and bursting out laughing all the while. And among them was a tiny, petite looking child whose body and frame, if you ignored was being just as rowdy and boisterous as them. The child's laughter was not as loud but just as gay and mischievous as the other boys. My heart first prevailed over my mind to watch the child for just a little while longer for she was having such a whale of a time. I let a few minutes pass to watch the liveliness and the vibrancy before pulling a guffawing, crackling Jiya out of the whole matrix of arms and legs and hands and feet that the boys had created. And for the rest of our time there, she kept running back to the group, sitting on her knees on the swing or swinging with her tummy on them and I couldn't help but smile, even though a part of me worried.


And just about half an hour later, one of her friends who joined her in the park and they played very quietly with the little rocks there building small mounds, also joined her at home and they started playing kitchen and carrying a baby in the stroller and similar things and Vansh joined them just as effortlessly as Jiya had joined his friends some time back.

I love the different opportunities these two get at play because of having a sibling of the opposite sex. :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Guilty?

Noon passed on this tag to me about mommy guilts and it was interesting to read her and Ro's and Art's confessions and feel like 'Oh, moms I admire and am so fond of do it too! I am not so bad after all;) " Here are the rules :-
  1. Write about 2 instances where you have put yourself before your child/ children... been a wee bit selfish.
  2. How did you feel? Did you feel a pang of guilt or were you comfortable?
  3. Tag 2 more moms

And after reading the above posts, I am not feeling so guilty after all. Anyways out of me and my husband, I am the thick skinned one.

- I think bedtime routine features in every mom's list. When I am putting my children to bed and looking forward to my 30-40 minutes of 'me' time (read internet time on most days) to catch up with friends et al, I sometimes read the books they bring hurriedly. Then they have themselves made up this routine where they want me to just rub their backs from inside their shirts till a count of 20 and for the last few days, they then ask me to just press their legs for a bit because they are so tired from playing and then V will want to give me a hug and then J and then V will want to end the hugging session with one last hug to him and then J would want the last one and basically they just try to elongate the whole routine which leads me to snap at them at times. V also asks me what I'll do once I finish cleaning the kitchen which I usually do only after they sleep especially in summers and I partly lie to him saying that I have some 'work' on the computer or I have to iron clothes (I don't tell him that I'll watch a movie alongside) because otherwise he'll want me to sleep with him. Whether I feel guilty - well I wish I had a clone who could give them the warmth and fuzzy feeling of sleeping with a parent every time they wished for it but don't think I am depriving them of something because I am doing a lot with them during daytime.

- One thing I do feel guilty about is when I stay up till too late watching a movie or spending time on the internet and then I wake up a little later than I intend to and then have to rush them through their waking up (they do take forever but I guess most kids do) or their breakfast and generally increasing everybody's stress levels, I feel like this could have been avoided! Anyways I am getting better with it and I know that once it becomes an everyday thing that both of them have to leave for their schools early, I would have to discipline myself and sleep early because I can go with less sleep for 3-4 weeks max and then it starts getting difficult.

I always love when Dipali writes about her mommyhood experiences because she's been through it all. So I tag her and also Cee Kay because I can't think of any guilts she may have, she's a saint mom in my eyes :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Santa's Village AZOOsment park

A few weeks back, we spent a very interesting and a very exhausting day at Santa's Village which has re-opened after 3-4 years in East Dundee, IL.

The kids had so much fun at the rides. The park was open till 7 pm. We reached there a little before 2 pm and for 5 whole hours, the kids were on the move with the exception of about 15 minutes for a snack break, during which a Magic Show started and they ran off to watch that. The best part was that it was pretty compact, which in my eyes as a mom of 2 young kids is really good because it lessens my worry of losing them from my sight. Plus we went there with 2 more families, a majority of which were wearing bright orange :) and so even if we did get a child out of sight, I would have to move a few steps on any side, spot a bright orange, move my eyes a little more and spot my child. They were moving around with their chosen best friend of the day too which helped as well :) Till the clock struck 7, each one of the 5 children were running around to get one last chance on their favorite ride(s) and the staff was sweet enough to operate it with even one child sitting. And the rides were the old kinds which get me sentimental about the diwali melas which used to be awaited with much anticipation while I was growing up, the ones with really bright orange and blue and such colors, the ones which make the creaking sound as they go round.

Apart from the rides, there were animals, even though very few but then they were the closest we have gotten to them in a long time. I think for the kids, it was a first to be among the animals and pet them as they moved about in the mud. There were sheep and their lambs moving around freely and seemed to be so happy amongst the kids being petted and fed. There were llamas, which the kids have found a new fascination with after a couple of episodes of Dora and Diego. And there was a pony ride which was a huge hit too and the kids returned to it several times. The only thing being we have started noticing more and more that when animals are tied or made to do something or even put inside those barriers at zoos, they seem so sad. Even though they are being fed and being taken good care of and kids get to see them, but they seem so totally out of their element. The ponies' faces seemed to be drooping which made me sad but the kids did have fun going on them. As opposed to them, the sheep who were moving about freely seemed to be so much happier and enjoying the kids who moved around them.

Do you see all the orange? Thats all our group :)

After a little hesitation, the kids got comfortable with petting the animals.
Vansh posed like the llama while being clicked with him.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Jiya turned Four ...

.... laughing and hopping and running and jumping at Navy Pier, in the best of her spirits, way too happy in her very fancy dress which many of the passers by stopped to admire and even comment to us and to her much to her delight, making her declare, as a result that this is all she is ever going to wear wherever she goes. She remains to be very interested in dresses and bangles and hair accessories and all things beautiful which include flowers and clouds in different patterns and bright sunny skies and sand castles and sea shells. She exclaims in sheer glee when she sees a bed of flowers that she has never seen something so beautiful before, revels in the warmth of a pleasant sunny day, enjoys the breeze on her face and through her hair when on a boat in the middle of a lake, and sways in perfect rhythm to a good piece of music, language no bar.


At times, I marvel at how easy going she is at this age. Provided she is well fed (which is extremely tough to do, but I'll save that for another post considering this is her birthday post) and well rested, nothing seems to bother her. When alone at home, she is happy playing with anything at all. She can spend hours with paints or crayons or even a simple pen and a piece of paper. She then moves on to looking at books and smiling as she remembers the story we read earlier. Then she takes out games on phonics or sight words or sentences and happily play with those calling me to just tell me gaily of her achievement at having figured out a new word or formed a funny sentence and won't get upset even if at times I don't respond. And all the while she'll just keep humming either a rhyme from school or a tune from a song or just making up her own songs - the other day I heard her humming - I think so, I don't think so :)

While playing with Vansh, she knows that she is the younger one and can get away with a lot of things that he can't or that he'll be told to be more mature if they start fighting and exploits to her advantage many a times. She screams when she wants to get him into trouble making him shout in frustration that he will do the same to get her into trouble. But then basks in the affection he pours on her when she is sulking or pretending to sulk after I get angry with her. Sometimes she quickly takes a thing he really likes and then makes him say please to her a dozen times in a dozen different tones before handing it to him. At other times, she is the best playmate one can ask for. She laughs when Vansh does something to irritate her, telling him how he can say such silly things. Or just starts acting like him and makes him laugh out loud if he gets upset about something.

The thing that will always stand out in my memory about her on this birthday is how many times and how truly and deeply she thanked God for making her day so beautiful. We had friends visiting us from MN over the long weekend when she turned 4 and she enjoyed a lot in their company and got out of her shyness and spoke with them quite a bit much to our delight. She thanked God for their company. She again thanked him for having such a fun day at Navy Pier. "He even organised fireworks for me cos its my birthday" is what she had to say for the scheduled fireworks at night "and they are so beautiful! I have not seen anything so beautiful before! Thank you Sai Baba so much!" May Sai Baba always bless u so so so much my little one :)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Tidbits from the very very fun last week

Dear friend Noonoo always does her best to bring me out of my slumber :) I know I had said that I would try my best to write as often as possible. Last week and the weekend were pretty busy. We had friends visiting from Minnesota who stayed with us for Saturday and Sunday. These were friends we had made when we ourselves stayed in MN and had had several fun outings together. Their kids and ours had played together when they were babies and toddlers. So a lot of last week was spent in prepping up for their visit plus the Mon-Thur driver duties of lugging both my kids to their respective camps and classes. On top of it, jumping into the pool myself to try and help V get over his fears of leaving the wall of the pool and going in the middle to practise his front and back floats. I did that last Wednesday for an hour and a half inside the pool when I knew there's a load of laundry that needs to be done, some groceries that need to be brought, a house that needs to be cleaned before the long weekend and still I did it and then was so hopelessly, utterly, wholly tired that I just collapsed for 2 hours in the afternoon and my muscles still ached when I woke up. But yeah that was me feeling frustrated as a mom watching her son struggle in the swimming pool to overcome his fears. Anyways, we are taking baby steps and I'll update when there is something to update about :)


So the said friends arrived with 3 kids in tow and much fun was had. Jiya became best friends with Arunabh as Vansh and Shreshth couldn't get enough of each other in the two days that they were together and shed copious tears when it was time to say goodbye. Vansh is counting days to the next long weekend when we can visit him in MN. We went to Navy Pier which was crowded just like Delhi is always and I enjoyed it so much. I actually crave crowds, I have noticed and enjoy them. We took a boat tour of Lake Michigan and Vansh listened very carefully to the narration for words like 300 feet deep, storm, windy and hyperventilated. He is such a cutie pie who gets nervous about little things as his knowledge about tornadoes, floods and the likes increases :) Jiya's birthday was on the same day and she entered her 5th year running, hopping, jumping and dancing to the music which played at Navy Pier all in her very very dressy outfit and being in the best of her spirit. I think I should dedicate a separate post to the person that she is, so more there. We returned very late after watching the fireworks, some time wasted because of some wrong parking by a friend who cursed his GPS a million times and drove in complete terror when he lost sight of our car and the super heavy traffic but at the end of a very very fun day. The next day everybody went to Adler Planetarium except I and Jiya who decided to stay back so Jiya could rest some. She is still very tiny and little and doesn't have the stamina to do two consecutive hectic days. So I just took her to the library for some time and she wore her crown and bangles there because she had forgotten to wear them on her birthday. Vansh was extremely animated when he returned, pouring out all that he had done and learnt on his dream visit. After some great grilling on our new Cuisinart Griddler Grill Centro which we chose from a variety of items on Ashwini completing 5 years in his organisation and have never been more happy with our choice. Its great great great, really! And some animated gupshup with the friends retired for the night.

Monday morning they left and I waited anxiously for the evening to meet one of my favoritest bloggers and friend Cee Kay. It was my first ever blog pal meet in the US and I was really looking forward to it. And the meeting was delightful. Its wonderful how love and familiarity traverses distances and makes you feel so connected to a friend. Its like you have chosen a friend because your thoughts and views match and inspite of the distance you are able to maintain the friendship and the bond even though you may not be communicating often and then when you do meet, its like you are just catching up and not like you are starting anew. I really wish I can meet more and more friends I have made this way. Ninni, her 4 year old daughter was charming and delightful. Cee herself was even better than what I had imagined her to be. Poised, gentle and just so mature and balanced. When I told Ashwini that she stopped yelling at her kids a long time ago and I bookmark her blog posts on parenting for reference, he told me I should so try doing that myself and I swear I am making a conscious effort. So your visit was just as inspiring Cee as it was fun. We were so engrossed in conversation that we forgot to take any pictures at all, such a pity :(

Anyways so that was our fun packed week and the weekend. This week I have mostly been getting over the hang over, looking at pictures and videos and have resumed my driver duties. How have you been?