Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Because you both will like this gift

"It is nothing much as a return gift, but I am sure Sia and you will love it", said my friend as she gave Sia the return gift on her daughter's second birthday. She was right. Both Sia and I truly enjoyed the gift because we like stuff that helps us do alternative things with it. The gift Sia got was wooden animal stencils - elephant, monkey, rhino, giraffe, camel and a lion. She was 2.8years when she got the gift and didn't serve the real purpose until a few days ago.

A small discipline called "school" has done a world of difference to my child. It is a home school. The exposure Small World (that's what the school is called) has given in its first three weeks is invaluable. It has only further added to my otherwise unruly yet imaginative child's energy and spirit. Recently, I saw her use a ruler, a pencil to make lines. I was amazed and impressed. The credit had to go to Small World, because we have never used a ruler like the way she did. That's when I knew it was time for the stencils to make an entry.

From the very first touch, cut, glue and paste of art 'n craft, Sia has had a free flow. She was two when we started. I wanted her to have that canvas space to enjoy watching creation come alive. While I sat along and did the real art or craft work. She observed and learnt the techniques. She enjoys co-creating and has a sense of pride and ownership towards all that has been done this far.

This time was no different. A little grown up with just about an ounce increase in patience. Many outlines were drawn. I still play my usual part. And what we co-created.
For our animal cuts dangler, we used: wooden animal stencils, reused paper (which was printed on one side), golden felt-tip pen (because I didn't find anything else), scissors, punch (all the holes on the animals are punched by Sia), gold colour twine, some beads and couple of stars (from our Christmas ornaments).

Stamp it!!

My now 3 year old had developed a fascination for stamping a while ago. Every visit to any store or restaurant, she would look for the seal stamp and ink pad. Guess it is the wonderment of seeing a block of print or the action of dip, wham and voila - an image appears...

Today my search ended with Stamp It!!! Surely, it is not one of the finest or the most 'curiosity-killer' kind of an option. But, it serves the purpose and recreates the same joy. However I realised, Stamp It actually is multi-purposeful. That is, if you can see it.

The set we got is one with fruits and veggies. It has about 14 stamps, one ink pad, a set of colour pencils and a book. We not only stamped and coloured. We learnt to colour by coordinating it with the colours on the toy box cover. After we were done, we invented a way of putting the set back as well.

We picked up each stamp, called out the name of the fruit or vegetable. We identified a row each for veggies and for fruits. We put the stamps in the dedicated row. We learnt to separate fruits from veggies. We learnt to match the row to the fruit or veggie. We learnt to count. One toy, so many learnings.

One of my "recent" friends (I refer to her as recent since we became friends only because of our respective mommy-hoods) earlier today had stressed her point of view on, how while in parenting it is necessary to give a child and expose from the very beginning to more than one perspective to any situation, as much as you can. According to her, it makes the child sensitive in all ways. I respect her views. In a way, she voiced my style of parenting. In a way, she stamped a print of joy in me, which comes from being reassured that you are doing "alright" with being a parent, while parenting.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Just a few captured frames

The event: Father's Day.

The mood: Driven by extreme craziness to make something for dada.

The guide: Spirit guided by the pure joy of cutting, gluing, sticking, pasting, making and creating a card for dada.

The thought: Single minded, engulfed by a creative expression of capturing every single thing known in this world - traffic signal lights, colours, shapes, a butterfly, a caterpillar, blah blah - though there wasn't enough space for it on the card.

Materials used: Self made water colour blotted tissue, buttons, wodden doll, glitters, cereal carton, crayons, pen, glue, scissors and lots of patience. Yes - plentiful of this one is needed.

Making time: Just about half hour is much too much to ask. Because any second after that gets consumed by the anxiety to see the creation take shape.

The outcome: A proud dada not just on the dedicated day - but for a very, very long time!!

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

A summer just went past...

I see rains entering. I hope it is here to stay, for a little longer than what it is supposed to. And, I want to believe an entire season just went past.

This summer was special. I am not a summer weather person. But this summer time, I saw a tremendous colour-filled life in nature. Right across the streets, trees blooming colours which are so pictorial to this time of the year. The colours came visiting our balcony a bloom, green, green leaves and vegetables grew too.

Summer evenings are special too, I realised. A little bit of this, a little bit of that and a tiny brush with nature created wonderful patterns with seeds, that were collected from our apartment pathway, when we took a stroll. Couple of three year olds created wonders with nature's offerings. Now, I look back at a time, which was spent with the same oneness of being with nature, as I have done with any other season time and this summer that just went by...

Monday, 7 June 2010

Cheese masala omelette anyone?

Its a wonderful day outside my home and all over the city I live in. Bangalore. It is a beautiful city. It really doesn't matter much on a day like today, how things in the city (especially the traffic, Metro construction, office) are not on our pleasant side. It is the onset of the monsoon. We have all been waiting for after a really, dry, hot summer. Somewhere we still deserve it, though on one hand we continue to kill our nature.

On a day like this, as I sit to work with two little girls in the toy room playing, screaming and enjoying is time for lunch. The weather is way too nice to be wasted with mundane cooking for either of us three. It has got to tie in the mood and bring about the festivities in the weather. Simply got to.

So, I walk in to the toy room with my maternal instinct antenna all plugged high and don't really know what to cook or what to suggest. This is the question I ask, "cheese masala omelette anyone?" I have never seen the brightest first reaction ever...But of course it was a "YES!!!! YAY, we want eggs" (even from my 3 year old, who is not a keen eggie, but was greatly influenced by her friend, Bhoomi) that I am making cheese masala omelette - with onion, without tomato, without onion and with tomato are the only versions I got to make.

I am off to keep the smiles and the appetite going. I can already smell the cooking of onions and tomatoes with the eggs getting fried in oil. Reminds me a little of a railway station. Its only my kitchen...but what's the harm is dreaming on a day which promises only dreams to live on with. Simply irresistable to have left this emotion and feeling uncaptured. By the way..."cheese masala omelette anyone?"

Friday, 4 June 2010

Its been three days since

One day my life had a routine that had no routine, no plans and certainly not bound by the definition of time. Then, there was this one morning which came by three days ago and rocked the completely undisciplined life I had. This happened when "school" entered my life.

I think, I am not an anxious parent. I was not worried or bothered about how my baby would deal with school, strangers, crying. I was not unhappy or insecure about my baby going off to school. I have been eagerly waiting for her to start school and belong to our world - to enjoy it in all ways... So, there I was at the last step of where I was comfortable being. But, it was not the same morning I felt the morning before. It would never ever be.

My baby has actually spoiled me - rotten! It is always the other way around that we so often hear people complain about. But it is true that I have been spoiled. I have gotten used to a way of life because of her. A life that was (yes - was) free of care, filled with unplanned adventures, bustling with things-to-do, sometimes even a job list which ran longer than which I had while I was working...It was not supposed to be like that any more.

Now, I need to change it all over again because of her. How many more detours will my life take? Please, I like to remain spoiled. Look at all the hard work I n
eed to do, to ensure that my life has no more disciplining. But I cannot seem to run away. I got to do it. It is my moment of truth.

One day, three years ago she arrived. One day, three years and two months later, she has changed my life in three days. I am in a new level of being a parent. Wonder how many more levels are there in this playing field? I hope to remain the not-so-anxious parent for as long as ever can be. That, I do not want to change even for the magic wonderment of my life, who is my baby.