Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Happy birthday to me!

Yesterday was my birthday ... well not really. But for many years after I had left for the US, my dad would call me on an odd day during the year and wish me happy birthday.
Me: Its not my birthday today
Appa: Its Janmastami today. You were born on Janmastami.

I still tear up at the thought that he remembers the day I was born ... not the date ... the day.
Janmastami is a festival in India where the Hindu's celebrate the birth of Krishna. Like all Indian festivals, this follows the lunar calendar. So every year it comes on a  different date. I would always wonder what he (my father) remembered about that day .. that made it such a fond memory that he remembered it every year. There is a lot of activities in Mumbai for Janmastami. The most famous and the one I really enjoy watching is the Matki breaking. They form a human pyramid and break a pot that is way up in the sky ... usually tied between two buildings. The pot has makan ... a supposed favorite of Krishna and of course ... incentive...Money.

I always wonder what my father thought about when he saw the breaking of the pots, which you could not miss anywhere in Mumbai, as he picked up the phone to call me. One year he even distributed food to his employees on this day in celebration.
My father ... years ago

Now  5 years after he is no longer with us ... I wish I had asked him. What happened on that day? How did it happen? What were you doing?
We mom's love writing our child's birth story. But I think father's have a different story to tell... different incidents to remember ... different moments that make the day so special.  A note to Suresh to tell him to write it all down ... before we become old and frail.

Hubby dear got a lot of brownie points for wishing me. He did not know it was Janmastami as he had to work. But on his way back from work someone stopped him to ask him how he did not get a day off.  What for he asked? Janmastami.
He came home and wished me! Made my day!


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Picnic Perfect

As a homeschoooling mom, I am always looking for something new to do. If everyday was math and phonics and writing .... a 35 year old would get very bored... imagine a 4 year old and a 2 year old.
So last week when the maid took a day off, I went on a 'picnic' to the park. It didn't go great for me, but Isaac enjoyed himself. So I promised myself to do it again. This week, I was better prepared and we had a picnic yesterday. A breakfast picnic. Isaac helped me get the basket, he put in what he wanted to take for the picnic ... ball ... books ... and of course we needed food. Bread  and egg was on the menu with cheese slices and plenty of fruits: apples and guava.
But I didn't want to miss and educating moment ... So I took blank pieces of paper and a Swiss army knife. We had a lot of fun. The kids ate, played around and I even got Isaac and Ziva to stick leaves on the paper I had taken. We even did a few math/sorting pages from one of Isaac's work books. It was a lot of fun.
When I told Suresh how much fun it was and he saw the pictures, he said 'You should have outdoor classes.' I like the idea ... it gives me a chance to get some much needed Vitamin D as well.
The best part ... when I was packing up the picnic basket to return home Isaac said 'Thank you Amma'  -- unprompted. More incentive to keep homeschooling!

Great weather to kick off your shoes

 excited about the Swiss Army knife

 Learning material

 Running around

Sibling conversation

Let the games begin

Jack be nimble... Jack jump over the candle stick

They ran 3 laps around the park

Look at them go

Basking in the sun

Leaf collection

Naughtiness begins

Troubling Isaac ... but he's laughing

Monday, August 19, 2013

Unsolicited Advise

A friend of mine was recently complaining about all the 'unsolicited' advise she got while on visit with some family. As I heard her vent, I chuckled. No! I was not laughing at her, I was laughing with her.
I had been there, felt that and wanted to throw a brick at the person giving me the advise/ suggestion/ vishesh tippany!
'When I am strict they tell me I am too strict and when I am not they tell me to be more strict!'
In situations like that we feel exasperated. We moms are the major receivers of these 'suggestions'. Dads either escape the situation or as my husband does, takes it through one ear and throws it out the other.
Me as a mom, I will take it and brood on it for the longest time. I cannot help it.
'Why do you correct him?'
'Why don't you correct him?'
'Do not yell at him?'
'Do not force him to eat more'
'Why don't you give him more to eat?'
'Why is he not putting on weight?'
'How could you let him fall? ' (Yes ... my child falling is entirely my fault and completely in my control!)
'Why don't you try to feed him ......?' (101 suggestions ... mainly from grand parents and grand aunts)

While we get a lot of suggestions from in-laws and parents and aunts and uncles, what I see is I mainly get advise from other mothers.
'Why don't you send him to school?'
'Why don't you feed him x,y and z?'
'Why don't you dress him warmer?'
'Why did you dress him ,,,?'

I could go on and on. But then I stop. Mainly because I find myself guilty of the above as well. I find myself giving 'unsolicited' advise ... frequently.

The other day as I was speaking to another mother  and she decided to vent. 'He doesn't eat anything!'. All she probably wanted was a listening ear. I decided to go on an advise spree.
'Have you tried  .....'
I found myself half way through listening to 'myself' speak. Why was I doing this?
So here is my urge mommies .... lets not do it to each other... give unsolicited advise. If you catch me ... proclaim me guilty.