Stayin’ alive!

Weehee! The little one turned 6 months a few days back! SIX months! Time is flying faster than I had imagined. But, touch wood, we are keeping pace with it 😉

I had recently shared a pic on my Instagram handle that got a lot of buzz. Nope, I am not being signed by some brand (rofl). I had mentioned about my hardship (emotionally, physically) as a parent with two kids. I had used the word depression. A lot of friends pinged, texted and checked upon me. Thank you for that. But, I am fine. I just spelt out what probably every other mother goes through post delivery. It’s not about clinical issues, but issues that circle over our heads every single day. Most often, we tend to ignore them and brush them under the carpet. Let me tell you, that carpet is going to explode with dust one day, choking you in your own emotions.

I take venting out VERY seriously. If you don’t you will erupt one day. What is the need to bottle up emotions? I don’t. Rather, I can’t. For years now, my husband has been at the receiving end of these vent out explosions. 90% of them are super rapid texts one after the other. Sometimes 20 at one shot. That’s when he knows that the soda bottle has been shaken way too much and there’s a need to clear the pressure. Someone has to uncork the bottle and release the pressure.

Stayin' Alive

6 months with two kids and near zero help has been about many a soda bottle explosions. God bless the husband for having seen it all without as much as frowning an inch. He is patient and calm through the storm. I think everyone needs someone like that, so it’s easy to let out the steam. Your 4am friend, your mom, your husband, your partner, your yoga teacher, someone! It really helps find your way back to being ‘normal’ again. Venting is necessary. But I have also found ways to release steam that does not involve shouting/crying or leaning on someone. These help me on a daily basis. Here they are, so you may pick some lines and unwind too! (I hope it helps)

  1. Find a hobby that is not bound by deadlines. I crochet. I crochet after the kids nap, I crochet at midnight. It gives me meditative peace.
  2. Dress well. Moms tend to be PJ-people. Make that PJ interesting. Look smart, get the haircut that’s long due. Use a body wash that lifts your spirit. ruffle up your accessories, buy a lip gloss that’s got actual color.
  3. Cook. Experiment. Make stuff that you don’t make every day. I can’t remember when I last made sambar. It’s not about being stereotypical, but it’s about paying attention. When you cook something new, you don’t do it mechanically. You pay attention to detail. Do that! At least thrice a week.
  4. Take help. I suck at this, but now I am seeing the value of it. Give the baby to anyone who’s willing to entertain them and put your feet up. Spend 10 extra minutes in the loo, heck 15 maybe. The baby is all yours, but so is your time 😉
  5. Say no to additional obligatory stuff. Seriously! Give yourself a break. Do less. The ones who get offended can take a leap; the ones who don’t, deserve a hug!
  6. Ask yourself if it can wait. I see that line has changed the way I spend my day upside down. ‘I need to order grocery’. Can it wait till the kids are down for a nap? yes! Then let it wait. ‘I need to finish writing that IG post’. Dude, can it freaking wait till your son has cuddled you all he wants? Duh, yes!
  7. Close out stress. Don’t take calls you don’t want to. Don’t engage in negative or disheartening conversations. Don’t even meet people that don’t spark joy a.k.a. Konmari your life and the people in it!
  8. Pamper yourself. I know how people freak about getting back into shape a few months into delivery, but hey! you pushed a human out. Do you know how much your body has gone through? It needs rest and a LOT of pampering. Be easy on yourself. It’s okay to have love handles! It’s okay to have a paunch. You can hit the gym and kick some power yoga too but not now! Wait. Give your body a break. [psst.. stock up on enough ice cream tubs ;)]

These are just things I do to keep my head above the water! Because, unless you are making an attempt, there’s no one out there to cheer you on. So, make that attempt, stay alive, and emerge stronger. <3

 

 

Breastfeeding yum! A review of MamaCookies (Lactation Cookies)

When Hasna from MamaCookies00 got in touch with me, I was a bit surprised. Why? Because, I hadn’t seen quick food made for lactating mothers do the rounds in India. And not just quick, but delicious food too! I mean, we have heard of oats and methi and garlic being good for lactation, but they need prepping. These cookies, ha ha ha! They are ready to munch out of the bag!

Hasna & Rifa have started this lovely initiative from my home town, Chennai. They bake amazing and effective cookies for mothers fresh each week. So, you know when you get a batch of MamaCookies00, its FRESH! They ship it out almost immediately, retaining freshness with their resealable polypack.

Well, let’s get to business. About these cookies – They are organic, made from a combination of nutritious and tasty ingredients that don’t make you feel like you are eating something ‘out of the usual’ to support lactation (I feel that way when I eat too much garlic 😛 ). The beauty of the fact is that they use only whole wheat flour *big ye for me*, brown sugar, virgin coconut oil and old fashioned oats as base ingredients (Yes, I checked the ingredients). This is very good especially in a house with a cookie monster toddler, like mine. Yep, these cookies are so wholly nutritious that anyone at home can have them! My son loved the cranberry loaded ones!

What makes it so special, you ask? Well, anyone can bake cookies, yes! But as a mother, you are so hard pressed for time and rest that you can hardly thinking of baking cookies for yourself. That’s where MamaCookies00 step in. Freshly baked, in a choice of flavours, you can save yourself the trouble of washing dishes and oven trays 😛 It surely works for a lazy mom like me! Most of all, these are baked with a LOT of love!

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I wish I had taken better pic, but these were gone in minutes!

I was sent a mix of their White Chocolate Cranberry, Apple Cinnamon, Oatmeal Raisin and Dark Chocolate Orange cookies. The Cranberry and raisin cookies won hands down! They have this hint of coconut that makes it even more yum!!

Has my lactation improved? It’s too soon to tell, maybe I will order myself another batch and then see the change. But one thing’s for sure, these cookies make you feel full. So, they double up as the PERFECT midnight snack to solve your nursing cravings!

How do you order one for yourself? This is their link on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Mamacookies00-590548381134340/ and they are quick to reply.

Their cookies cost -INR 950 to INR 1400 for 2 weeks’ worth of cookies (about 30 cookies) depending on the flavour you pick! So, go pick & enjoy!

Psst. These make the best gifts for new mums! Seriously! <3

Note: I have not been paid in any way for this review and these are solely my opinions/thoughts about the product!

He’s two young..

..to be doing all this.. That’s what someone told my husband this weekend. So, Lishaan is 27 months old and we thought ‘Hey, he should be attempting to ride a bicycle now’ (big LOL). So, we waited for the weekend and headed to Decathlon in our city. I had seen some lovely kids bikes there and wanted to buy L one of those. But we were in for a surprise. The kind of cycles they sell were too… well, let’s say ‘complicated’. It was like a sports cycle condensed to suit a 2 year old. Nope! We sure weren’t going to buy that.. So, a little bit of random walking around the store and we chanced upon the ‘Scooter’. You know that thing that you push with 1 leg and stand blah blah.. So yeah… We gave Lishaan a chance to try it out and it seemed much more easier than a cycle. After choosing a color (YELLOW, screamed the toddler) and getting it fitted, we walked out of the store. 

Right next to the parking lot was a skating rink. There were about 20 kids, skating and tripping on their own skates. Husband stood watching them for a minute and said ‘Why isn’t our boy doing all this?’. I watched the kids and realized that they were easily 3+ in age. I didn’t comment though, because I knew that husbandman had just thought out aloud and neither of us expected L to be doing anything he can’t do at his age.

So, we watched the other kids skate for a while and were about to leave when one of husband’s friends came over to say hello. A little talk and we got to know that his son was there inside the rink too, ‘warming up’ to join skating. He was 3.5 and still not ready for it. I have no clue where this ‘why isn’t my kid doing this’ creeps into heads from, but it does happen even to the best of parents. We just need to step back a bit and see what our kid is already doing well for his age. Its a matter of time before which he will be out there doing things that we wanted him to do. and more! So, best is to sit back and relax. Let the boy do his thing and equip him to explore. He’s 2 after all!

Did I tell you that I had tears in my eyes when Lishaan narrated his birth story back to me, actions et al. He improvised here and there, but to think that THIS was my tiny little 3kg baby who had grown up so much that he was sitting in front of me, telling ME how he was born 😛 Kids, they grow up really fast. Our job is not to push them further, but to let them slow down in this breakneck speed race to grow up. Right? 🙂

The day my toddler said F*ck!

Don’t gasp! not yet! If you have raised a toddler (in any generation), you know this happens.. or IS happening! They say toddlers pick up stuff real fast, but little did I know they pick up words faster!! *royal roll of the eyes*

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What did you just say???

So, if you have known me from when I was in college, you would know about my ‘flair’ for unparliamentary language 😉 Marriage and parenting ‘domesticated’ me much! lol.. I am glad I don’t spew as many words as I used to, because having L repeating them would have given me an attack!

The other day (couple of months back) I had a friend come over. We were talking about some really intense stuff (parenting) and I happened to say ‘F*ck’ a couple of times (Hey, its a really nice way to emphasize your emotion!). This boy of mine, caught a wave of it in his head and decided to repeat it later in the evening, randomly. At first I thought he said frog, but he had this grin on his face and I almost fainted. Then began the corrective course of a) making him forget that word and b) biting my tongue, stopping short each time! Fun. NOT!

Slowly, the toddler started saying everything we said and it wasn’t fun anymore. Really! You don’t want him uttering some word (silly yet not public friendly) in the company of other parents or family or toddlers! Nah nah! It’s just too shocking to hear! The look the husband and I give each other when he repeats a phrase these day, perfectly timed and emoted is pure shock! The other day he tells us ‘My toy isn’t working.. Oh Rama, what am I going to do?’ and I swear I choked on my coffee more than just once.

I am only guessing that he will forget about it in the coming days, but there’s no telling. He might just ‘save it all up’ for future reference. But then again, there is a point to this.

We were picking up dinner tonight at a TINY subway shop outside our place. There were about 10 kids in there (they looked a little about 12). Most of them were loud and raucous, but one boy topped the show! I swear, I wanted to turn back and ask them to shut up! This boy in particular, was belting out words and insults at another kid and the store manager looked very very uneasy! There was less he could do. Husband asked me to ‘control emotions’ and we left. ‘If it were L in that place any time in the future, I would disown him‘ is what I told my husband, but what he said baffled me. ‘Don’t they pick up all this at home? Who’s to be corrected here?’. *MUTE* Good thinking point, eh?

I have been a VERY LOUD and very verbal teenager myself and there’s about a good decade between now and teenage-hood for L or I, but it scares me. It actually makes me watch my step/word/action even more, because God forbid this scene repeats itself in the future with my kids in it and someone actually asks them to shut up! Sigh…. Children don’t just pick up your behaviour, they pick up a lot more when you aren’t noticing them notice you! I wouldn’t say ‘Be on your guard’, but just be calm. What you do now, reflects in your children later. And I surely don’t want to make a poor impression! Right? <3

Get in Shape! LOL!

There’s a reason I avoid meeting some people. They sap you out of any amount of confidence there is in you. At a recent do, I met a relative who burst my bubble, infuriating me beyond words. I walked in, stood next to this relative and made small customary talk. First, she praised me for managing two kids by myself. Ye! I was soaring, because I had just had a very difficult day with the two kids. Then, she sizes me up and says ‘Gosh, you’ve put on weight! You have a big tummy’. POP! There burst my bubble. The fact that I was wearing a smart new kurta, flew out of the window leaving me feeling MEH! I smiled, nodded absentmindedly and walked off. Seething, I was!

                                                                                            Yes, it does look like I am 5 months pregnant even 4 mo61978617.jpgnths after I gave birth. That’s OKAY! Stop body shaming someone who’s got more to deal with. As it is, running the show with a growing baby and an evolving toddler is tough. I really don’t want to be adding to my list of ‘How I wish’. I am okay. I know I look like a potato sack, but this sack cushions my baby when she won’t lie down on the bed. This wobbly tummy amuses my toddler to no end. This big bump acts as my table to have lunch plate on! I don’t care. Why am I still talking about it? Because we need to let people be.

There was a time, I think in 2009, when I texted my D saying I had gone from 58 to 64 kgs. OMG! I was getting ‘FAT’, I remember telling him. He didn’t care. Now, fast forward to almost 8 years since that text, I have amassed about 20 more kilos. He still doesn’t care. It isn’t about the size. seriously! My mom looked at me the other day and said ‘you must slowly start losing weight’. The only thing I could tell her is: No one is going to plant a crown of beauty on my head for losing weight and being all trim. If I am healthy enough to run the house, feed the baby and manage the toddler, I am good! I am doing well!

The other day, my husband looked at me and said ‘Know what? It’s only been 3 months since you delivered. Don’t be too hard on yourself’ when I told him that I needed to ‘look better’. Let alone work out, I don’t even have the energy to color coordinate my clothes. If I have clothes on, GOOD! I have done well.

These things creep into the back of your head. The fact that you can’t dress ‘well’, the fact that you look worse than a caveman, the fact that you haven’t bathed properly in days, the fact that ALL your clothes smell of milk *UGH*.

There are days when I BINGE eat. I snack on everything in sight. It’s all the breastfeeding, stats tell me. I can’t sleep for more than 3 hours at a stretch. I am groggy most mornings. I am recouping from the birth of a child. I am trying to make my toddler not feel left out. I am working hard on keeping the house clean, the laundry done.

But there’s stuff beyond that. There’re better things to focus on. Things that actually matter. Like the fact that my daughter has started crawling, or that she has this look of complete love when she looks at her Anna, or that my toddler is now talking about ‘self’ and making decisions of his own.  ALL this while I try to crochet, to write, to design, to be socially available (Online) and follow my creative instincts. I am fine! I know I am doing good. I feel good inside.

I would rather spend time soaking up all this instead of being broody about the overflowing love handles. Hey, I just have a lot more love distributed in the wrong place 😛

I am imposing a blanket rule. ANYONE commenting about my physical features may compensate by:

  1. Buying me clothes (because they think I need to dress better)
  2.  Buying me yarn and crochet paraphernalia (because it makes everything better)
  3. Babysitting the kids. BOTH of them at one go. No choices
  4.  Paying for my spa/salon rituals (chauffeur driven car, appointment at the best salon, someone to babysit the kids and of course, arrangement for food!)

That’s all! Too much to ask eh? 😉

What is the procedure to change the room? 

If you are a Kamal Haasan fan like me, then it’s nearly impossible that you haven’t watched Vasool Raja MBBS.  And if you have, then you will remember Swaminathan. What’s that got to do with parenting? 

Well, ‘Excuse me, what’s the procedure to change the room?’ is exactly my emotion right now! You know, I was thinking hard (in my hiding space aka the loo) about how parenting is the one thing you cannot reverse. This is one subscription you cannot just cancel. Marriage, job, friends, family, the city you live in, the country you live in.. all of this, to some degree can be ‘washed hands off’. But not parenting. Today’s been one such day where I felt like Swaminathan. I almost wanted to just drop baby & all and run. Run far away. Like until I couldn’t run further (that would be the grocery store, for me). 

I have come to realise that I dread weekends more than week days. I had intended to (and written down) a to do list of jobs to be done over the weekend. Mom’s in town, so ideally everything should have been done and dusted. But no! The toddler’s vaccine shot brought about this majorly whiney violin like tone in him. He kept going off like a Veela (refer HP) for anything that had to do with his leg even moving a micromillimeter (there is something like that in my dictionary). That was yesterday. So today had to be better. Nope! The little one took over to being super fussy (she’s learning to roll over from side to side and I can see that she’s going to grow up to be one DETERMINED child!) Aaaah! Husband, mum & I were literally playing passing the parcel. So, we decided to head out to grab a bite. That happened successfully (we are such a patient bunch, I tell you). But coming back to ground zero was killer. Toddler banging on vessels (cos, happy scenes) and mini becoming Amir Khan’s daughter from Dangal (trying with all her might and little milk, to turn and release her hand from underneath), Tv blaring with disappointing TN news… Aah! My head felt like a carnival (not the happy one) too much noise, chaos and no coffee in sight! That’s when I wanted to run. Did I? Of course not! Who’d help the almost fainting husband in settling the kids down, finish dinner and the works? Gah! So much for putting on my running shoes! Those things are jinxed. I never run wearing them  😛

  So, yeah! If anyone knows the procedure to change the room, lemme know. Else, to watch Vasool Raja and laugh it all off. After all, it’s Monday tomorrow ?

Tushions 1.2 – A quick review

Cloth Diapering! It’s the way of the future. It’s what’s going to save the earth of the unnecessary landfill. It’s more than just safe for your baby. 2 years back, when I first heard about cloth diapering, I couldn’t understand much. There were so many types, folds, fabrics… It got a wee bit overwhelming, but my friends were there to the rescue. Slowly, we shifted from disposables to cloth diapers (when L was 4 months old) and since then haven’t used one disposable diaper for him! It looked like a costly affair, but the bonus point there was the fact that there were no chemicals, it was reusuable and most importantly, it lasts long. Long enough for your second kid 😉 *When maintained right*

So, here we are diapering Isha since the day she was born in nothing but cloth diapers. Of course, we did some disposables in between but now it’s cloth all the way and it feels good to have started off that way (will blog about this separately). ‘

In our cloth diapering journey, we have come across many brands. Many, made in India. Here’s one brand that is based out of Bangalore and has gotten into manufacturing their own diapers. Tushions. I have known them for a while now & when Jaya said that she was making her own diapers and wanted me to review them for her, it was a straight yes!

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A little background, we had also reviewed their earlier version of the organic AIO in a lovely Firework print diaper in black and that too worked amazingly well (with the toddler) <3 Sadly this one isnt in stock now!

This diaper, the Tushions 1.2 AIO (pieces of blue) , is an all in one diaper made of 100% Organic Cotton and comes ready to go on the bum! Can you imagine that? It doesn’t need prep and true to its word, the diaper worked well otb in our first attempt. The diaper is made to fit from 3 months to 3 years (4-15 Kgs) and worked well with Isha.tush

What we liked:

1. The soft outer PUL. If you know diaper PULs, this is a relief.
2. The ready to go nature. Saves a LOT of time.
3.  The organic cotton is super soft and looks like a cloud!
4. The seams are designed in a way that they dont curl nor do they leave marks on the baby no matter how snuggly fit.
5. How long it goes – We went through about 4 hours with this diaper and only changed because we had to.
6. Doesn’t stain. If you know how newborn poop can stain a dipe, let me tell you this one doesn’t retain any trace of stains. A little bit of sun drying made it all good.

What we would want to be suggest:

1. more cute prints 😉

Although in some moments, I found it to be slightly broad at the crotch, but then again its a 2 month old who’s sporting it now! So it could work better with slightly older babies, IMO.

Overall, this dipe is a good stash collection. You might want to own a bunch of this, to keep your nap time complete. No changes called for, no leaks and definitely no discomfort!

You can look up their products here: http://www.tushions.in 🙂

This is not a paid review! 🙂

A contingency plan

I am sure all moms have one. Mine, waits by the door. No kidding, I am talking about my tote bag, ready to go, anytime. There have been emergencies where I have had to RUSH out of the house in just few minutes. No time to think, just rush. At times like those, the last thing on my mind is ‘is my bag ready?’ probably the only thing that goes ad-hoc into my bag is the water bottle. Rest all stuff stay in. Why? Because it’s the least important thing to be attending to. This comes with practice. So, if you are a mother, on your own and want to be ready for anything at all, here’s what you should do (or what I would do): 

1. Be dressed for emergency. There was a time when I was wearing discoloured boxer shorts, a mega loose t-shirt and looked like a tractor had run over me. Little did I know that I would standing in a hallway full of patients, waiting for the doctor to attend to my son. Yes, everyone was looking at my outfit and my unshaven legs. Embarrassing? Yes. Did I care? No. But I would have wanted to look better. At least, not a sore sight. 

2. Keep a bag constantly ready. Cash, towels, change of clothes, hand wipes, diapers, emergency meds (my inhaler), house keys and a carrier. You just need to grab it. No second thoughts. 

3. Keep yourselves and the kids ready. Give them an early bath and dress them half ready to be out any moment. I am talking about normal situations here, not party fancy stuff. 

4. Keep your cab app/auto wala’s number accessible. If possible, have your e-wallet decently recharged. You shouldn’t be fiddling for these things in the last minute.

5. Keep some quick eats at home. My go to foods are dry fruits, cookies and fruits. I don’t have to plan/prepare or measure. I keep dry fruits in tiny zip lock packs so I can just toss a few inside a snack box. Same goes with cookies and fruits. Single pieces, non messy and easy to last a car travel. 

6. Keep 2 water bottles ready prepped. You may refill one and take, but it’s good to have another one ready in case you find the 1st one dirty or leaky. 

I sound like an earthquake might hit any minute, but hey! It’s good to be ready even if it’s a last minute call for a play date or a evening out in the mall! 😉 

Ooh, here’s what goes into my Soul tote bag on a regular basis. There’s room for SO much more! 

Traveling with kids!

Travel and kids in the same sentence can be quite a shocker! Everyone makes Plan A,B C & even D when it comes to traveling with children. To top it, if you were traveling with toddlers, God bless you! I have seen quite a few friends plan for their travel with toddlers. Activities, books, food, etc etc. It’s like strategizing for a war. Back up plans need to be quick and stronger than the original plan! No kidding! When it was just Lishaan in a travel, we would manage with food or by just booking a flight that coincides with his nap time! Most of the time, we hit the mark. But, when it came to traveling with two kids we were stepping into unknown territories like crazy!

It so happened that we had decided along with a bunch of few other friends with kids of Lishaan’s age, that we would spend New Year’s in Wayanad. It’s a lovely lovely place, mind you. But with kids, any place feels like home! ROFL! Seriously, it’s just geographical shift but you are doing the same chores. Worse still, you are accumulating a huge pile of dirty laundry to take back home with you! Some memory to take back from a holiday, huh?

So, husband and I got all set for the road trip. FYI, husband believes in driving to places because ‘things are under our control’. Little did he know that a 50 day old baby would create havoc beyond compare! We coincided the drive down to our friend’s place (Pit stop 1) with the kids’ nap time. I gave them a super warm bath, a good massage session with some soothing oil and topped their tummy with respective food. It was all good. Isha loved the car seat (unlike her older brother) and slept throughout, waking up just to nurse! Lishaan took to the road trip like a champ. He kept pointing out at random things that interested him en route, fell asleep amply enough to let us enjoy a tea break and munched through the rest of the drive. Crankiness, hadn’t made an appearance yet.

All was well at our friend’s place and even until we got back from the resort to head back home. Catastrophe hit when we started our drive back to base. It  was at about 6 that Isha started WAILING. She refused feed, refused the car seat, refused to be rocked..just refused to settle. All the shouting hit my panic buttons and I was melting in the back seat. Lishaan decided to add to the cacophony and began to demand his rightful place in the car seat! Hell yeah, husband had a LOVELY time covering few kilometres  before we decided to stop and asses the situation. Thankfully, the friend accompanying us (who wasn’t panicking like me) offered an emergency lamp that lit the car up. Holding the lamp in one hand, Isha in the other and TALKING to the toddler for 4 straight hours (so he doesn’t get all cranky), we made it back home. I literally tumbled out of the car and crawled on all fours!

Oh, yes.. I forgot telling you about the luggage! (this is going to be a mildly long post). It was our first trip with Isha and I just decided to be safe 😛 I had packed enough to survive the kids for about a week plus. All that for a 2 day holiday. I had kept in mind puke sessions, food spilling, mud on clothes, either of the kids soiling their rears badly, rain etc etc. It was a LOT of tiny tiny clothes! Plus, we were heading from 28 deg C to 14 deg C. Husband HAD to pack extra warm clothes lest I start having my usually floral show of breathlessness! 😛 It was just a lot of precautionary packing! I am sure we spent more time packing and repacking than we did outdoors.

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Us heading out on our beach vacay. Key was in starting early while the kids were stills sleeping. Happy faces, eh? 😉

So, the second time around when it was just the 4 of us heading out for a quick vacation the last weekend, I managed to calm my panic triggers and packed sensibly. I had enough clothes to keep us safe through a beach holiday, without looking like the aunty traveling to US with more than 20kgs of goodies inside a humble suitcase. We did fine. I had packed in day parts, arranged them in order of access and even planned a separate storage for dirty and sand-y laundry. Hurray, I did well! We got home to very less laundry work and I had zero panic attacks. We traveled during the day, kept enough food in hand and obviously decided that its either the toddler screaming his head off in some tantrum episode or a slightly slower drive back home. Again, we did well 😛 We reached home calm and cool, with both kids in their best ‘sleepy’ behaviour!

I had mentioned earlier that 2017 is going to be the year of travel for us four and yep! The next journey is just a month away! I have already got a contingency plan in place for it and am mentally making ‘mood based’ notes so that I can manage the toddler all by myself. The idea is to ‘experiment’ and see if it can just be the kids & me traveling happily in future. Oh, I never know. My mom might decide to lend a helping hand 😀 But it’s going to be quite a travel! I will update you about it, but for now it’s time to go crash.

P.S.: I know I promised to write everyday,  but I think I am okay finding time to write down meaningful stuff in longer intervals than write rubbish everyday. This is not my journal and you guys don’t have to be ‘dear diary-ed’ by me, right? 😉

 

Toddlers of Technology

There has been this long drawn debate on what’s advisable for children in terms of screen time. Many parents are dead against it & have successfully managed to keep their kids away from screens of any sort. The larger percentage of the parenting population has not been that successful or hasn’t let go of the one thing that can give them some sane moments in a day.

*warning* If you are the ‘What nonsense, no child needs screen time!’ kind of person, do not read further. 11231928_10155546362135507_3017787949944980739_o

A couple of months back, a good friend had shared an article about how screen time is unavoidable. Their analogy was simple : The caveman needed to understand stones to be a master of his time; children of today need technology similarly. It is true! Technology is the ‘Brahmastra of this generation’, how do you expect children to be away from it? There are gadgets all around them. Laptops, iPads, Mobiles, Smart TVs, VR Headsets and more. It WILL pique their curiosity and they WILL want to ‘ape’ their parents, head into mobile phone all day long. I am guilty as charged. I am constantly walking phone in hand. I can brush it off saying ‘but my work demands it’, but that’s not the truth. We parents are pretty stuck to the phone. God save us. Too late for that thought. But what can we do for the current generation? Cruise control. Don’t go auto pilot, don’t go manual.

It was about 5 months back when a bunch of friends had come home and one kid was not too settled. The mom said, ‘Can you put this on YouTube? It will bring calm’ and it did! Problem was that it also brought along an ‘addiction’ like no other. My son was hooked onto ‘Ooh-ti-tube’. He watched it everyday, every time the TV was switched on. It graduated from nursery rhymes to ‘Daddy Finger’ to Play Doh videos to (currently) random people painting their hands & opening Kinder Surprise eggs. I found it appalling and every bit annoying, but I did see something. He was actively picking up stuff from the screen. Colors, animals, alphabets. I am not saying ‘Hurray, he’s learning’, but the kind of stuff that he watches kind of also gets something into his head. WARNING! More the reason for me to monitor what he watches, including accents of these videos. He was suddenly saying Apple with a HEAVY British accent and I almost choked. Some rewind and search later, we found videos that are Indian enough for us to accept. Hello, I wouldn’t want my son, who hasn’t crossed the National border, to talk Brit without even knowing what it is! Sorry!

There’s the thing about ‘engage him no’. Yes, I do. He plays with colors, animals, puzzles and water too 😛 But there are times when he wants to do some ‘sit down’ stuff. When he’s just relaxing between high energy moments & I am okay with it. As long as the stuff is sensible, yes. I stopped restricting screen time forcefully ( a concept under alternative schooling) and I see a change. Now, it’s only about 45 minutes in the whole day. We are weaning ‘Ooh-ti-tube’ and moving to Arty stuff and some Baby TV. That’s where we are.

I have seen kids of friends who have been iPad addicted at the age of 3 and now, at about 5-7 years of age, they are doing role play games and riding cycles like kids of their age would do. So, I know there’s hope! I know Lishaan will move on. I know it will be a thing of the past for him and I ALSO know that by then he will pick up stuff like I did as a kid. Dexter & his laboratory, Johnny Quest and so on. But there’s time and in that time, we will find a way to make technology a part of our lives and not just EVERYTHING in life.

Any instrument, when sensibly used will make a whole world of difference. It’s up to us parents to find that thin red line & hit the brake before it is too late!!