Saturday, May 9, 2015

Read to me mommy! A million times more

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things
Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things.

Reading has been by far our favorite thing to do together. I remember reading Isaac his very first book when he was 3 months old. By age 9 months, I could leave Isaac in any corner of the house with a stack of board book and find him flipping through them when I returned 15 minutes later. 
I slacked a little with Ziva when she was a new born. But in the last year made up for it by reading to her books from Isaac's age group. She used to be a poor listener but now has patience of a 5-year-old listening to books I read to Isaac and answering questions I ask him.
Every day is read to me day. With Isaac now reading, I occasionally find him pouring over pages trying to figure out words and put together sentences. But we still sit together and devour books. I love the books as much as they do.
But I can never forget where we started. There were those first few books that got me started and kept me going. I love reading and have read several books more than once. But in the past 5 years there have been a few books I have read a few million times plus or minus a few thousands here and there.
Its the books that would calm the cranky sick baby. 
Its the books that would keep the wriggly wiggly baby calm in my lap as I sat through church. 
Its the books that would make an impatient toddler settle in his car sear for a six-hour drive to Timbuktu.
Its the books that would keep the little one sitting still on the potty with a mommy sitting close by with fingers crossed hoping that today would be the day that her little one would finally get trained.
Its the books that made nap time easier and wake up times happier.
These are my list of favorite baby/toddler/ pre-schooler books. I still have these, my fiver year old still ravages through them and so I am not sharing!!!

Good night moon by Maragret Wise Brown
The silliest little rhyme there is to be found. But the loveliest little lullaby to put both mommy and baby to sleep. This was the first book I ready to Isaac. We still read it and we still love it! When I read it to Ziva, I found a new perspective : ' Look for the mouse in each page' and just like that I the book found new meaning to my second born. Love it

Runaway bunny by Maragret Wise Brown
Another lovely book by the same author of Good night moon. This one makes you want to hug your little toddler closer as they look to runaway! Both Isaac and Ziva loved listening to how I would run and catch them where ever they went!

Big Red Barn by Maragret Wise Brown
Again from the author of Good night moon comes a story about all the barn animals. Lovely little rhyme about the farm from dawn to dusk. Lovely little wake up son or lullaby!

Barnyard dance by Sandra Boyton
This crazy book, could possibly be Isaac and Ziva's introduction to a rap song!  A fun book to rhyme and rap and dance with.

The going to bed book  by Sandra Boyton
Another book form the author of Barnyard Dance and a perfect glance into the life of the animals in Noah's Ark. Love the imagination of the author on what all the animals must have done on the Ark before they went to sleep.

Time for bed  by Mem Fox
The sweetest way to say good night to my little ones. A sweet way to convince them to close their sleepy eyes and hug and kiss mommy goodnight.

Hush little baby a folk song
This is Ziva's favorite. From age 18 months till recently every night Suresh would sing this song to close the day.

They say its never too early to sing or read to a child and I would say its never to late to read these books to your little one. To all the mommies who read the same book millions times - I salute you!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Motherhood : An instinct or a calling ?

Ten little fingers, Ten little toes
Two ears, One little nose
Two little eyes that shine so bright.
And one little mouth to Kiss mother Good night!

 It seemed like the days were going from bad to worse. He seemed to wake up every morning and get into a foul mood in a matter of seconds. I was not sure what I was doing wrong. Was this terrible fours? But by age four their mood swings were supposed to settle down. Why then was he getting grumpier by the day?
I began to think I was a terrible mother. But then why was it only my older one getting the whiners! Isaac seemed to be taking issues with almost about anything that was happening or about to happen! Ziva seemed fine and she was the one who should have been in her terrible twos' mood swings!

A brief description of the personalities of my two kids. It’s hard to believe that they both started from my womb because they are poles apart. Ziva is expressive and exuberant. Isaac is the silent killer type. I would not say either of them are introverts but the way they show their affection is so different. Ziva was willing to hug and kiss me anytime. But Isaac felt security in just coming and holding my hand.

If Ziva fell, she needed to be picked up and hugged and she spent at least 5 minutes hiding her face in my neck shedding her tears there. Isaac on the other hand would let out a strong frustrated yelp when he got hurt. Then he would settle down on his own. As a result he got hugged a lot less.

I have never realized how important it was for children to have body contact with mothers. But now that I look at the personalities of my children, I realize that the science and logic behind the ‘hug’ is far under-rated.

Ziva did not get hugs because she was cute, but rather because she demanded it in her own pleasant way. Isaac on the other hand needed the hugs but did not get enough of it because of his pseudo-independent personality.

Some say motherhood is a ‘calling’. I think motherhood is an ‘instinct’ and HUGS are a ‘calling’. The ‘instinct’ is because I want to gouge the eyes out of anyone who would mildly hurt my child physically or emotionally. The ‘calling’ because I need to know when exactly to provide that emotional and physical security my little one needs even if he doesn’t demand it.

Our morning routines usually involved Ziva coming down on her own when she woke up and running into our arms for a hug. Isaac on other hand lay in bed for several minutes in his own world (probably redefining the laws of physics and motion!). When I called out to him to come down he would come and sit at the table to drink milk. No hugs!  No 'Good Mornings'!

Then one morning I happened to go upstairs to pick up something and found him awake, in his dream world. I picked him up and gave him a long tight hug and a few seconds later I felt his arms tightening around me as he enjoyed the mommy-and-him moment. I knew I had struck a chord. My motherhood 'calling'  knew that this ‘hug’ was the answer to all the mood swings and craziness. I knew my calling was to make sure he got all the hugs he needed.

Our days began to pick up. Every morning involved big wake up 'Good morning' and long pauses in busy morning schedules to just hug each other. We now even do a group hug (Isaac, Ziva and Me).
Our afternoon naps begin with a 'Happy napping' call. Our days end with 'Good night' and long tight hugs before we all pass out into sweet dreams. Adding to the lullaby in the beginning

Ten little fingers, Ten little toes
Two ears, One little nose
Two little eyes that shine so bright
Two little arms that hug so tight
And one little mouth to Kiss mother Good night!

Monday, May 4, 2015

The New Generation - Things we never said to our parents

I find my son and daughter telling me things. Things that make me wonder 'Did I ever say that to my mother or father'. I am not a lovy dovy person. I am totally practical. They way I show my love is by doing things for you. Like picking up your socks or baking a cake!
But these two little munchkins come up with the perfect liners at the perfect time that make you want to hold your chest and say 'Oh My do I really deserve this LOVE'.
My top five favorites are
1. 'I love you Amma': I don't believe I every told my parents I loved them. Maybe  they felt it when I was obedient or did as they told me (which was not very often either). But come the new Generation and I get so many 'I love you's'. And its not only about the 'I love you's', its the timing. Usually its when either I walk in to the door or when Isaac or Ziva walk in after a park visit. A hug and and 'I love you' and the days is perfect! Makes every day fell like Mothers Day #EveryDayIsMothersDay #MothersDay

2. 'I miss you Amma': I never said this to my parents. Even when I saw them after a 3 month long summer vacation where me and my sister were packed off to Kerala to be with our grandparents. Its not that I did not miss them - its just  - I guess our generation. But with Isaac and Ziva even a 15 minutes trip to the grocery store and back and I get a 'I missed you Amma'. Heart melting and reaching for the tissue box.

3. 'Don't take for so long OK' : This is another version of the ' I miss you'. As I was packing my bag for a baking course I was planning on spending the whole Saturday at, I go this little piece of advise ' Amma don't take for so long OK - come back soon'.  Whether it was the sweetness in the structure of the sentence or the innocence with which it was said I don't know! Its  just makes me seem so special! #EveryDayIsMothersDay

4. 'Have fun Amma!' : This was right after I sat Isaac and Ziva down for a conversation on how I would go for a baking class and learn to make yummy things for them. They listened very carefully as I told them to be good and not trouble Appa. As I got ready to walk out of the door I got this call 'Have fun Amma'. 

5. Classic: This is probably the one that goes on top of the list. It was a conversation between me and Ziva that I should have recorded. Three and half year old Ziva had just watched 'Cinderella' with her cousins. As she was playing with her dolls back home I heard her say
' Yes Step mother'. I stopped
' Ziva who is the step mother' . Ziva coyly responded
' Cinderella's mother'
' Am a step mother' I asked wondering what she understood about a step mother.
' No step mother gets very angry' Ziva responded
' I get very angry Ziva' I edged her on
' Yes but you get very angry and then you get very happy with me. '
It seemed like the most philosophical way of explaining to a three year old about the mother who loved her and therefore had to correct her. She gave my mother skill justification and a guarantee stamp with those innocent word!

#EveryDayIsMothersDay and #MothersDay

This blog is written for a mother's day blogging contest New Generation