Friday, 27 May 2011

A fresh palette of colours ~ Little Reader

These past weeks have been exciting. Sorry no personal pictures to share proof. Technical glitches :(

Summer vacation has not had as many outdoor activities as I had hoped. Realising that home and friends in the community were the comfort zone, I haven't pushed much either. Every day so far has been eventful.

As if like a time-table, each day we read, solve activity books, watch television and DVDs, cycle, have a park time, friend's home (over-dose) time and of course, mama's office work time (throw in a few hours of meeting time which takes me out of home).

The biggest realisation from everything we do points towards the reality - I now deal with a FOUR year old. Sia is no longer a baby. She grows from the last time I would have seen her. With this, I am discovering newer ways to handle her - pass knowledge, information and experience. So, it was time I cleaned the old palette, spread out a whole set of fresh colours and paint an empty canvas again.

Each canvas I paint has its story. And every story has been inspiring for me as a parent. I want to tell these stories. Hence starting a series titled 'A fresh palette of colours'. Each post will share a story. This one is all about what we are reading. So called it 'Little Reader'. It can be interpreted as a phase, a person or honestly whatever comes to your mind.

To begin with, the little reader now has a new set of books and authors. Yes, we are now in the "author" phase. As a parent of a book-crazy child, I think this is a good time to introduce the concept. I feel so, especially since the age is such that the 'self' is so high on the radar, coupled with 'I am big, so I can...' - so I thought 'why not?'

Highlight of the find is Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit series. This has transformed me into a child all over again. It makes me wonder how I missed this one while I was growing up. But again these are simple highs of becoming a parent. With simple story lines, brilliant imagination and some bright, happy, light illustration - Beatrix Potter is such a joy to have as 'my first author'. Both of us are currently hogging every Peter Rabbit story we can read and watch on YouTube.

The other author on the little reader's list is Dr. Seuss. But of course. With far-fetched imagination acting as a feeder for a curious mind, Dr. Seuss leaves an impeccable trace ranging from phonetics, values to belief in the self. Favourites so far,

Recently discovered Disney Digital Books on Facebook. This has also been stitched into the little reader's list. Though the joy in its entirety is yet to be discovered, it is a must as a Bookmark on every parent's laptop ( A membership is very handy especially while travelling. Few clicks and its story time...

Books have been a favourite companion for many of us. Seeing Sia embrace books reaffirms that stories best teach emotions and foster a thinking mind.

Next in the series Little Writer!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Push n Play - all through summer

Finally convinced that it's got be all play - all through summer. With a week into summer vacation and no routine being the routine is the best prescription to live childhood to the fullest. Memories of oneself enjoying aimless and truly out-of-the-box'ed' kind of summers is such a pleasurable nostalgic trip to take. So, my little friends (I have two of them hanging around at any given point) in this view are having the best summer ever.

Each day unfolds differently, though the list of to-do's remains the same - milk, breakfast, shower, play and the rest. Take this morning for example - it was finger painting followed by the usual "watching television" or "Tom & Jerry" and shifting base from one friend's house to another, to play and scream along the corridor. Isn't this what childhood is all about? I personally am reuniting with this thought.

Along the way, my little friends seem to be growing up to be strong, observant and socially active individuals. Overheard this little conversation, "You know Adu...Sachin Tendulkar throws and hits the ball and likes to win always. He is always carrying a trophy?" The conversation continues, "Why does he like to always win Sia?". Pat comes the reply, "Because he is strong Adu. He eats eggs like you every day." Where are these thoughts coming from? Every possible media channel and grown-ups of course. This makes me ponder again - is it right to keep my little friends away from watching television and have restricted hours of watching at this age? This arguement holds good, when parents are able to convince and make the little ones believe that there is a much more exciting world outside of the Idiot Box. But yes - I do understand and rely heavily on that wall mounted, flat screen LCD to be the most trusted, almost omni present nanny (especially when you work from your dinner table most of the time). Thankfully, my little friends have so far accommodated the TV in their routine with all due required respect.

While on the subject of "watching" must mention how the content of watching has evolved to suit the tastes of a four year old. "Tom & Jerry" tops the list and multiple viewings are beyond control. And as a parent, I am a huge sucker for multiple viewings. For I have realised that each viewing is a new watch in itself. There are a few things you discover from the previous watch. Doesn't that sound exciting? So - yes my little friends watch the very, same Tom & Jerry each day!!!!

Since my little friends are a good mid way and beyond with their "inquisitiveness" and are always loaded with "why not?" and "what if", the introduction of "Sid the Science Kid" was a great relief. From the production house which has run successful preschool programmes like "Fraggle Rock" that we may recall watching on Doordarshan, The Jim Henson Company (, Sid the Science Kid truly symbolises what Jim Henson says "Simple is good". Its a great tool to introduce young minds like those of my tiny typhoons to science. However I do agree with views expressed by another parent on Sid (

There is a barage of things to do with the little ones - for the little ones all through summer. The underlying thought however of living this summer is simple: to experience a time which is full of life - always. If one believes and lives the spirit of push 'n play during the dreaded summer vacation time as the way to keep the connection alive with one's own childhood, then loads of schedule juggling for the grown-ups is the only way to be part of this summer energy over-drive. Agreed it can be difficult, but it cannot be given up without giving a try. Can it?

Monday, 11 April 2011

And we are back

It's been a while since I appeared in this space. A little bit of this. A little bit of that. And loads of this and that have kept me away from doing my bit to myself.

While things happened around...the most important of milestones came our way. Another birthday. Sia turned 4. An impromptu trip took us to a place which had plenty of sun, sand and sea. We found ourselves on the peaceful, less explored, almost virgin beaches of Kannur (or Cannanore, Kerala). A set of new friends and old brought in the new step with the same feel and love. Which made us as the parents to Sia Mathew realise - how the world conspires to create some brilliant moments.

Declaring the FRENZY FOURTH year OPEN!!!

This epic milestone also meant some heart breaks! Growing up is always fun and has its share of down moments - some times for the parents, some times for baby. And this occasion was more for the parents. The first ever schooling term came to an end with Small World year finishing on 6th April. High point - Pre-Nursery Graduate. Low point (for mama-dada) - NO MORE TINY GESTURES OF SMALL WORLD TO LOOK FORWARD TO. I believe and know for sure we will all miss Tammy Aunty and her friends for a very long time.

A typical Tuesday Gym get-up @ Small World. Getting ready for the last gym day.

A dressed-up Small World for the Break-up party.

Carnival fervour inside Small World.

The ever-loved Tammy Aunty (more on her and about Small World later).

Mr. Barker-baker uncle who taught to make the most yummy-sounding sand cakes.

Well deserved hugs'n kisses-the vivacious Shanta Aunty.

Shanta Aunty with her 2011 favourites - Cupcakes (Adu) and Rascal (Sia).

With the first ever "summer holidays" underway and the tremendous energies floating around coupled with aimless wandering, I sign out for the moment saying "I'll have lots more to say and capture."

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Our Diwali

A little late in the day on our Diwali. But with the continuing excitement in our wait for Santa and Christmas, realised the spirit of celebration is way too high this time of the year. Diwali to Christmas is one super-thrill roller coaster ride.

Build up for Diwali started with the visit of Gmama who came to spend the week with us.
A much smaller Sia with Gmama outside Capital One, Trivandrum. Gmama and Sia share an incredible spirit of being totally chaotic. Gmama's visits are always activity filled. Visit to Gmama is also filled with similar thrills.

This Diwali was participatory, interrogative and alive.

Participatory since Sia joined in the buildup leading to the festivities. We did a streamer from the potato wedge painting done at school.

The 'L' for Lantern prop also done at school, very beautifully gelled into the whole atmosphere. It adorned along with the glow of diyas outside our home door.

These diyas were carefully selected for home and as gifts for each friend to share the Diwali spirit.

Lights were put up with Dada and Aditi. Diyas were lit and flower decorations were made. Though we missed out on the rangoli in all the hyperness and excitement. Sia got the most lovely Diwali present from her friend Aditi. An instant handmade diya greeting and a painted diya.

We read the stories of Hanuman and Rama. Ravana and Lanka. In the journey of understanding and knowing more about Diwali. Questions could give the huge size of Hanuman a chase of his lifetime. But yes...mythology was introduced. Stories were so interestingly heard and memorised. Each bed time story back then was Why did Hanuman chase the sun?

Sharing mithai and diyas with our neighbours, was nostalgic for me. To see my baby begin the same journey was fulfilling. Very few crackers we burst compared to the noisy, loud and really, really fun times I had growing up. But yes, tradition of lighting fireworks was complete. The evening sky for the two Diwali days was a canvas of varied patterns being formed by lights, which we enthusiastically watched from the gallery, revisiting stories from the Ramayan.

Chirstmas is almost here. Santa has already arrived in the form of stories, pop-up books and pretend play with Aditi. Santa and his reindeers Dasher and Dancer, Vixen and Prancer, Cupid and Comet and Donder and Blitzen have already begun their journey from the North Pole - straight to A302.