Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Laughter of a child

Laughter of a child
Like pearls
Falling on the floor
Like dew drops glistening on leaves
As the early sun warms the air
Like warm breath on a cold rainy day

Sunday, October 14, 2012


This year's got to be The year of transitions for me and my family. A new baby in the house. My older daughter is adjusting to her role as a big sister as also moving onto schooling. Its been hard on her. And we are shortly going to relocate to a new house in a new city. That means choosing a new school for her. A new set of friends. Not only for her but also for us. My husband is between jobs. He is grappling with a choice to continue sailing vis a vis a shore job. Things are muddled unclear hazy. Its stressful groping in the fog without a clear direction or knowing what might happen. While there is a sense of adventure at the change and novelty, there is also apprehension and the longing to settle down to a familiar rhythm. So until then we are swimming in strong currents through the stream of transition.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Cycles for free

Isn't this a wonderful idea to go green.

Gadgets to the rescue

I am the sort of person for whom a book called " gadgets for dummies" would make a perfect gift. I am forever catching up on the gadget horizon and usually by the time i have figured out one its outdated. But of late life's been made easier with few.
Being a new mother and that too the second time means having no time to spare. Motherhood is a little like fire fighting. You respond to the needs of your kids in present time and the enormity of the responsibiltiy seldom dawns on you. Add house work and freelancing to it. A mother can put any circus juggler to shame.
But all is not lost. Enter ... Gadgets - to the rescue.
Having a smart phone is mandatory. While they are useful to make phone calls, you dont have to sit at the desktop to stay conected to the WWW. Checking mails or FB updates is a breeze. You can check out YOUtube or pinterest or anything else that fancies you on the web. PS. You can also get some work done checking your work mails. :)
To take things further, get a wifi. Its like a key that will open up the doors to many life saving devices.
Once you do that, investing in a tab makes sense. Again you can stay connected and browse in bed. Its definitely more pleasurable browsing than on your phone. I watched Usain Bolts olympic gold medal winning race on the ipad via YOU tube replaying it many times for it was such an incredible race and fantastic to see him explode ahead of his co runners!
Get a bluetooth hands free. I don't recommend it for drivers because it still distracts you from the road ahead but it's a must have arsenal for a mother. While it keeps you away from phone radiation, it importantly frees up both your hands for all that diaper changing oil massaging baby bathing activities. So you don't have to miss important calls. Of course getting used to a bluetooth head set is a different game altogether. I still pick up the phone and put it to my ears wondering why i can't hear a thing before it dawns on me to plug in the bluetooth.
Then there are Apps that you will find useful.
Ibaby- Its easy to use and you can record how long your baby sleeps/feeds or when s/he poops or wees with a touch of an icon. You can do it in the middle of the night in a sleepy stupor without much strain.
Wattpad. I downloaded many classics that i read on my phone while my baby feeds. There isnt much else you can do at that time.
Alternatively you can get a book reader a la "a kindle". The best part? You pay on line for an e-version of your favorite book and it can be downloaded to your kindle in a matter of minutes. While nothing can match the pleasure of browsing for books in a shop, on line shopping makes life easy in times when theres paucity of time. I have to mention here that I am reading Bill Bryson's "A short history of nearly everything" right now and find it totally addictive. Its like going thru' all your science school books in a stretch and finally making sense of it. Well, almost!
"Out of milk" is a good apps that lets you make your shopping list on your phone as and when you remember them. So you don't have to call your husband a hundred times while he is at the super market. You can sync it with his phone and update the shopping list.
Last but not the least, download blogger apps so you can blog from your phone in bed while feeding sessions or when the kids have slept and you refect on things that you just have to share with friends.
If there are other essential apps you know of, let me know. I am all ears.
Of course once in a while you have to forget all gadgets and just enjoy the baby in your arms. There simply isn't anything more adorable. And you see a bit of heaven everytime the little one catches your smile and smiles back shyly in the middle of feeding. Only a mother will know that bliss.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Right schooling

We are looking for a school for our daughter. And like all parents we want the best. But what is best? It shouldn't be too far. There should be lot of emphasis on co-curricular activities. And I realise that one of the top criterions for me to consider is for the children to have light school bags. One of the saddest things to see is little children carrying bags bigger than their frail selves. Its heart breaking and I dread my kids will have to do the same. Why do children need to carry so many books? From my own experience, we had to carry classwork and homework notebooks for every subject plus all the textbooks. With ever increasing portions, the bags are only getting heavier.
First of all why give so much homework especially to little children in kindergarten and primary school? Why are we bent upon making them skilled in writing when as adults they are more likely to type (only). Are their little fingers capable of writing so much?
Secondly, writing is equivalent to rote learning. It would be far more important to minimise writing like an imposition when you write for the sake of finishing the HW and instead introduce creative learning. Cutting pasting drawing exploring experimenting etc.
Thirdly for grown up kids, there could be assignments that they write on foolscape papers and submit for evaluation which are then filed away.  Books and classwork books can be left in the school. The school ideally should provide storage for the children preferrably individual lockers or a big cupboard where individual bags with their books can be stored.
Without books at home, the HW will be forced to be more than just copying from books. Children will have to write from memory and understanding.
Eaxms can be 'open book'. Why force children to mug up information when it only needs to be referred? May be they can have a single note book in which they write the formulae and important references to do their HW - A multipurpose all subject note for reference.
I think schooling might just become more fun as it should be.
Picture this. All the important topics in the physics book is distributed as a project among the children. The kids are supposed to use all possible sources of information ranging from books, library, internet, grownups etc and then make a short presentation to the class. The teacher elaborates on the topic. Eclipses are discovered as experiments using balls and lights. Algebra is not just (a+b) square. But about finding out how many IPL matches will be played if there are 12 teams and each team plays the other twice.
The positive impact of such a schooling might be felt in years to come as the kids grow up into sensitive thinking individuals who can then change the world for the better.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I now love mess

How do you handle a messy room?
I sit on the bed and look around at the helter skelter mess that grows and grows. It isnt that messy today. I can actually see a little bit of the bed and quite a bit of the floor today. Its been sometime I gave up active cleaning. Why bother when the clean room lasts about as long as i clean and i now have stopped dreaming about ever living in a clean house. I now handle mess in a more efficient way. Step one. Look around... Admire all the things that have turned up on the bed. There are sketch pens, some open... A scrap book...Cleaning tissues. Used tissues... Kiddo books.. mp3 player... Mobile phone.. wet towel... Baby Powder...tea cup... Banana peel...a husband with an ipad. After you have finished sighing, close your eyes. And go to sleep.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Learning to be a big sister

The hardest part about having a second child is the inevitable reduction in attention that the older child is subjected to.  Even if you want to it just cannot be helped. The difficult two weeks postpartum for the mother plus the demanding new born leaves little time for the older child as i found out. Even if your spouse is there to look after the older kid, the child goes thru' trying times coping with the little intruder who gets priority attention from mama. Its no surprise that the child feels some resentment towards the baby. We had prepared our older daughter for the new arrival this last year since we found out about my pregnancy. We got her books about how her favorite charachters copes with the birth of a sibling. yet we expected some resentment. And it came. She announced the first night at home amid pools of tears that she didnt like the baby and didnt want to be a big sister. She wasn't the only one who cried. We told her its okay not to like the baby and that it was difficult to be a big sister. We let her anger come out. The resentment trickled down over the next few days. Sometimes she would say playfully that we could float away the baby in a basket like baby karna of mahabharata fame! But suggest that we would actually give the baby away and she doesn't agree. Once we playfully pretended to be thrown out of the house and in reality hid behind the door. She went out searching for us with concern and when she found we were inside afterall, got angry at being fooled and burst into tears! It broke our hearts. And now she absolutely adores the baby. Has coped amazingly well. Loves to shower her with kisses and overflowing sisterly affection. I keep an eye out on symptoms of resentment hidden inside a palour of affection. But her love seems to be heartfelt. Sibling rivalry is bound to set in once they start stepping into each others space but as of now its hunky dory.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

After the second baby

Its been a long time since I visited these parts! If time was a limited quantity before it is even more so now since I had my second baby. But I discovered an easy way to find time to do my thing. A smart phone with necessary apps. I now read on my phone. Finished two classics- the secret garden and sense & sensibility in the last month... check mails, chat, am connected on social networks... Post my opinion... Share photos and now am blogging on the keyboard of my phone. Life or a good part of it is accessible on 3"x5" of a gadget.
What more do you want.. a baby in one arm and a smart phone in the other. Life is good :)