D For “Do Not Judge A Child With Your Own Yardstick”

//This article has been sponsored by Dettol and was first published on mycity4kids. Below is the link to it:

http://www.mycity4kids.com/parenting/my-voice/article/d-for-do-not-judge-a-child-with-your-own-yardstick

It was a lazy, summer afternoon and the clock seemed to be ticking away at a sluggish pace. I was racking my brain to figure out the next activity to keep my toddler occupied as she wasn’t ready to shut her eyes for a quick nap. I am amazed by the stamina of these tiny tots who can tussle with sleep and stay hyper-active even when their body is signalling otherwise. The buzzing of my mobile handset jostled me out of my thoughts and I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted by my friend who lives in the same locality. She had been keen to visit us since a while and apprised me that she would be arriving in a few minutes. I was eagerly looking forward to meet her and her infant, and rushed to churn curd to prepare a beverage for them. They were home soon and I was introduced by my friend to her mother-in-law who was accompanying her as they had arrived directly from a mall. After the typical exchange of pleasantries, I offered some homemade snacks along with iced buttermilk for them to relish. As we spent a while indulging in some general chit-chat, the topic of discussion steered towards parenting which was bound to happen with two children around. My 2 year old daughter was clinging to me, hence Aunty tried to garner her attention by engaging her in a conversation. After a few unsuccessful attempts, finally my daughter started responding but lost interest when Aunty began to ask her about what the various English alphabets stand for.

“Sweetheart, you didn’t tell me what does ‘D’ stand for? ‘D’ for…??”

Mommy’s First Day Of Preschool

If you are a parent to an infant or a toddler, in all likelihood, you must have experienced more than one “I wish I could get a few hours of peace” moment. And then, that day arrives at last with a boom. The first day of your child at preschool/school! All that you love to do but never got a chance to indulge in due to parental responsibilities, you save for this big moment. “I will write more once my child starts going to school”. “I will watch movies when my child starts going to school”. “I will catch up on my lost sleep when my child starts going to school”. “I will visit the parlour at peace and pamper myself once my child starts going to school.” “I will this.” “I will that.” Isn’t the list endless? But, all you do once the child is away is sit aimlessly and cast a vacant, faraway stare into infinity.

So, yesterday was my daughter’s first day at preschool. No, let me correct that – it was my first day! Because I definitely seemed to be the more anxious, besieged and lost one. She is almost 2.5 years old and I was amazed at her confidence in handling this transformation sportingly and with zeal and alacrity. I had decided to wait outside the premises of the school on the first day but was advised by her teacher to leave once she settled down. When I reached home, I could sense restlessness creeping inside me and then, without a warning I could feel hot tears trickling down. Damn, I was weeping! I sincerely don’t know why but I was. Maybe because I was terribly missing the presence of my daughter and could feel the void; maybe because the peace I was desperately waiting for seemed like a sinister stranger whose noise was more deafening than the tumult created by my daughter’s antics; maybe because I was feeling guilty about having been a bit harsh on my daughter over the last few days due to extreme toddler meltdowns, whereas she made things trouble-free for me at such a crucial juncture of our lives; maybe because I was fretting over her well-being as she faces this big bad world outside; maybe because of the fact that she is growing at rocket speed and time is just slipping through my fingers like sand; maybe because I was genuinely glad and keyed up about her entering this new and vital phase of  her life; or maybe because it dawned upon me that finally I have to take that first step towards cutting the umbilical cord.

‘Mommy Guilt’- No More!

//This article has been sponsored by Dettol and was first published on mycity4kids. Below is the link to it:

http://www.mycity4kids.com/parenting/my-voice/article/mommy-guilt-no-more

The nascent years of parenting are full of indelible “firsts” – your baby’s first smile, the first step, the first word and the list goes on interminably. While these special milestones make for pleasant lifelong memories, there are also the other “firsts” which can be agonizing. Like the memory of the first fall! I still distinctly remember the first time my daughter had a nasty fall from the bed. Ouch! She had just begun to commando crawl and was playing on the bed, while I was arranging our clothes in the closet in the same room. I had an eye on her throughout and then just in a split second when I turned around, there was a thud. I couldn’t fathom how she reached the corner of the bed so quickly but she did and it was excruciating to see her howl. I panicked and kept checking for any untoward signs. I breastfed her to pacify her and finally, she calmed down and fell asleep on my lap. That day I felt immensely guilty and shed copious tears, blaming myself for the incident and wondering what if some serious injury had occurred. In spite of my mother and other veteran parents reassuring me that every child experiences such falls at some point or the other, it took me a few days to get over the remorse. My mother also narrated some related amusing incidents involving my brother which proved to be some solace.

Mommy’s Day Out – J&J Bloggers Meet

“You are behaving as if it’s your first day at a new workplace.”, remarked my husband with a chuckle when he witnessed my wardrobe which was in shambles as I tried to dig out that perfect outfit for the occasion.

Well, after I resigned from my plush IT job in 2013, I never really attended any major event or meet related to work. So, my excitement for the J&J Bloggers Meet organized by mycity4kids.com was almost the same as it would have been for my “first day at work”. One of the things that I absolutely love about being a blogger is the opportunity it gives me to connect with some brilliant and creative minds. I was eagerly looking forward to meet my fellow bloggers whose work I immensely admire. I was also keen to meet the energetic and talented team of mycity4kids.com. To be honest, I had refrained from using J&J products for my baby because I had my own reservations about them after reading a particular news article which was widely circulated on social media. Hence, I was certainly looking at getting my queries answered by the J&J team during the bloggers meet.

Summer Fun At Grandparents’ Abode

//This article has been sponsored by Dettol and was first published on mycity4kids. Below is the link to it:

http://www.mycity4kids.com/parenting/my-voice/article/summer-fun-at-grandparents-abode

“The reason grandparents and grandchildren get along so well is that they have a common enemy.” – Sam Levenson

My daughter is now almost 28 months old, out of which she has spent about 10 months in all at my parents’ home at Visakhapatnam because of my husband’s business trips post her birth. Due to this reason, my daughter is extremely comfortable with my parents and I can very well notice that their presence is always a great stimulation for her. She is very attached to me and the only person I can confidently leave her with for a few hours is my mother. Knowing that she would care for my child just like I do gives me a sense of security and they have great fun together.

Babloo is Lost – By Hardik Kasat

//This story has been submitted by Hardik Kasat, aged 12, from Indore. He had written this tale as a part of  “Introduction to Creative Writing” workshop conducted by me in June. The kids were just given a story title and they had to weave a story around it.//

A smart, intelligent and athletic boy in blue named Babloo was playing chess with Julie, his elder sister who was just a year older to him. He was about to win when his sister dismissed the game.

“I am not going to play with you”, Julie declared.

Few days later

Now Julie had begun to feel even more jealous of Babloo. From teachers to parents, everyone always praised Babloo and this made Julie feel very bad. She thought that if Babloo will not be there, then everyone would praise her instead. So she hatched a plan. Her plan was to take Babloo to the woods and pretend that she wanted to play with him.

Babloo is Lost – By Avni Malhotra

//This story has been submitted by Avni Malhotra, aged 9, from Hyderabad. She had written this tale as a part of  “Introduction to Creative Writing” workshop conducted by me in June. The kids were just given a story title and they had to weave a story around it.//

One day, I went to a jungle with my brother Babloo. Once we reached, I sat down to light the campfire, while Babloo went to collect more sticks. As he walked through the jungle, he could smell something strange and he started following it. When I looked around, Babloo had vanished from my sight and I waited for him for a long time but he did not return. I got worried and went about searching for him in the jungle.

Book Review – A Season for Dying: A Vikram Rana Mystery (Vikram Rana Series Book 2)

A Season for Dying

Author: Sharmishtha Shenoy

Amazon link for purchase:

http://www.amazon.in/Season-Dying-Vikram-Rana-Mystery-ebook/dp/B06Y3LZ76F/

The good thing about reading a novel from a new author is that you enter its world without any preconceived notions or conjecture. With “A Season for Dying: A Vikram Rana Mystery”, my mind was a blank slate as I plunged into it and I was in for a pleasant surprise. Since childhood, I have always devoured thrillers with a detective as a protagonist. Be it the classic Indian Television series “Karamchand” or the iconic “Byomkesh Bakshi”, the associated memories are still clearly etched in my mind. I am glad to share that in Vikram Rana, Ms. Shenoy has created a detective character which has the potential to be in the same league as these glorious detectives we have cherished during our growing years. The “Vikram Rana Investigates” series is set in the city of Nizams (which probably made me connect to this book all the more being from Hyderabad myself) and “A Season for Dying” is the second installment in this series.

Sarah and the Fairy

//This story has been submitted by Reya Jain, aged 7, from Hyderabad. This entry has won 2nd prize in the first contest conducted as a part of the “Children’s Corner” initiative. Children were given a prompt of few lines and they had to continue the story with their own interpretation.//

It was a bright Sunday morning, bustling with the boisterous banter between Sarah and her friends. The children were playing hopscotch by the lake which was close to Sarah’s home. Mrs. Rodrigues was watching them from the kitchen while preparing sandwiches for the children to feast on. Suddenly, there was a loud scream. Mrs.Rodrigues quickly ran to the garden. She saw that Sarah had fallen down in a muddy puddle and got hurt badly. Sarah’s mother picked her up and quickly ran to the hospital. Doctor did the check up and got an X-Ray done. He found that the bones of Sarah’s ankles had broken into number of pieces.

Myth or Truth?

//This story has been submitted by Arnav Mahajan, aged 8, from Hyderabad. This is the winning entry in the first contest conducted as a part of the “Children’s Corner” initiative. Children were given a prompt of few lines and they had to continue the story with their own interpretation.//

It was a bright Sunday morning, bustling with the boisterous banter between Sarah and her friends. The children were playing hopscotch by the lake which was close to Sarah’s home. Mrs. Rodrigues was watching them from the kitchen while preparing sandwiches for the children to feast on. Suddenly, there was a loud scream. Children were screaming because they saw a U.F.O landing near the lake. After some time, they saw an alien coming out of the U.F.O. When the alien came out, the U.F.O flew in the sky. The alien stared at Sarah and her friends. They got scared and ran towards Sarah’s house.