March 23rd, 2018 marked the final day of Year two in Montessori for Ira and her final PTM was on 26th March, 2018. Keeping to the ‘Pramadh’ tradition, this year too we would like to share ‘our’ gratitude list, albeit a little differently this year!
This year the conversations have grown- more complex, more intriguing and more thought provoking. Our little human being gives us a peek into her world through the stories she tells, the experiences she shares and the many little things she doesn’t tell. So, our gratitude stories this year are through conversations.
“Look Mamma, I wrote ‘A’”
This happened just this week. In Montessori environment, children discover writing by the age of 4-4.5 years. We were told that she has just exploded into writing. She writes 1 and 7 but was yet to discover alphabet writing. Her third day of holiday and out of the blue while playing, she picks up a post it and next thing I know, she tells me- “Look Mamma, I wrote ‘A’”. P and I love the Montessori way of learning and we are thrilled to bits with how she is learning things at her time and her pace. Her world is blossoming in its own little way.
What did you do today? “Nothing”
One of the things we talk about post school is how was her day, did she eat her snacks and lunch and what she did. Most days, the response is "Nothing". We have overtime learnt that ‘Nothing’ is good because suddenly one day, she began talking of geometry and binomial cubes! We still have very little idea what they mean though.
“Play with me, keep your phone away”
We had made conscious attempts to introduce the screen much later to her and also in a limited fashion. What worked for us is also that we do not have a TV. Over the last year, the screen time has increased- we have tab days, movie days, game days. However, the access to mobiles is still very limited. There are times when we are guilty of being on the phone while playing with her or talking to her. She promptly tells us, “
Play with me, keep your phone away”. The parent in us does a little pride walk!
“Hmmm…ya, the sault (salt) is fine”
P and I love food and love cooking. Ira is gladly a part of our cooking endeavors at home. She helps clean methi, makes cutlets with papa, helps sprinkle salt on salads, helps make omelettes and even makes strawberry smoothie in the mixie. So, when we cook, she is a keen observer and when we taste to ensure salt and masala is fine, we also ask her to tell us. She will take a taste, pause, have a thoughtful expression and say, “Hmmm…ya, the sault (salt) is fine”. We both believe cooking is an essential skill and we hope she takes to it like fish to water.
“You know, I was winding one activity and went to take another. I didn’t realize it was home time. Silly me!”
Yes, the sentences are that long at times. Ira loves going to school and also seems to enjoy her activities. One day when we went to pick her up, she was one of the last ones to come out. While we waited and wondered what was happening, she excitedly came out and shared how she was so busy with the activities that she didn’t realize it was home time. The glee on her face and the chuckle that followed this line was priceless, “You know, I was winding one activity and went to take another. I didn’t realize it was home time. Silly me!”
“You know he is my best friend”
This year, she has slowly begun to express about her friends. The list does differ at times, but some names are constant. From holding hands and walking into school, to spending play dates chatting and fighting incessantly , sitting in the car with arms around eachothers neck to sharing a cookie between them. They even plan to visit each other and promptly tell their parents about their plans. What a wonderful world she has discovered- the world of friends! Ofcourse , she vehemently tells us, “You know he is my best friend”
“Aiyo, it went into the wrong hole”
Ira can now wear her own clothes - simple tees and shorts and frocks. The other day she excitedly says, Mamma, see I can wear my own tee shirt. Next moment, she says, “aiyo! It went into the wrong hole”. It is these little moments that we remember. Ofcourse, there have been moments when she has worn yellow pants, a green tee and gone to school because that is what she wants! Little Miss Independence, ain’t she?
“Dadu and Dida will do everything?!”
This year there were days when dadu and dida had to get her ready to school and drop and pick her up. While she was primed, she would want to know which activities would they do. This is because while papa gets her ready for school, mamma gets breakfast and lunch ready on school days usually. So, while she got set for it, she would insist on knowing, “Dadu and Dida will do everything?!” It has been a learning for her and an experience for them. Ofcourse, Dida packed her fave phulka and alu sabji for lunch, while dadu ensured she wore her seatbelt while he drove her to school.
“A, I want one more gobi paratha”
As this year drew to a close, and work got extremely busy for us, we had a dear friend who helped with dropping and picking up Ira. One of those mornings when P was travelling and I dropped Ira off at her place early mrng, she got down from the cab and gave ‘A’ a big bear hug! I stood there grinning and swelling with pride and saying a note of thank you. You need a village to raise a child, you need friends who make your child their own. Amidst her busy mrng, the friend made gobi parathas for the kids and the stamp of approval was of course Ira eating one gobi paratha and then saying, “A, I want one more gobi paratha”. They talk to eachother on first name basis and that often is how Ira relates to the people closest to her.
“Will s/he be there when I wake up”
A line our little girl often tells when our friends visit us. She loves having people over and is used to waking up to a morning when friends have stayed over. This year has been about discovering how at times she hates saying goodbyes. Some goodbyes have been tear filled too. Other times, she makes them promise they will visit again and then excitedly goes to press the lift button for them. She recently made ‘Old N’ promise that he will visit her next week and only then she will let him go. Each time Joy and Rony visits, there is a shrill excited scream as they enter and when they leave, she wants to know when will they visit next. We wish this innocence stayed because we need to let the people who matter stay in our lives and treasure their presence. Ofcourse, we have to creatively answer each time she asks, “Will s/he be there when I wake up?”
“One more book please!”
“One more book please!”
Some evenings, we spend playing jenga or doing the jigsaw puzzles or reading books. We have been circulating books from her collection so that we read new books every few weeks. So, some books are strategically hidden away at times and some made to appear on the book shelf. There are some evening when we are on the 6th or 7th book and a little request pops in, “One more book please!”
“Ira Pramadh has gifted this to Papa”
She loves scribbling, drawing, colouring and even her teachers have shared how she does some painting almost every day. While at home, she insists we write the date and “Ira Pramadh has gifted this to Papa” on her masterpieces; we were told she does this at school too, gifting her teacher ‘B’ and also one of her favorite aunties, ‘N’. When love speaks through creations from little human beings, what more can we ask for.
“Can we go meet TC and Luna?”
Ira loves animals, especially dogs. A love we first discovered when she would visit cubbon park on Sundays and was thrilled to see all the dogs. This year, she visited a friend who has two dogs, TC and Luna. While she has told everyone about them and urges her mamma that she and Papa want a dog at home, she takes every opportunity possible to ask, “Can we go meet TC and Luna?”. Guess, friends come in all forms and our little one has discovered the joy of playing with TC and Luna.
“ I will kikkly (quickly) run to ma’am and tell her he hit me!”
While she is very assertive at home and stands her ground, we realize that at school she takes her time to be assertive when someone hits her. Notwithstanding the scratches on her face or arms, when we tell her to confront the child and tell him sternly, she says “ I will kikkly (quickly) run to ma’am and tell her he hit me!”. This is the solution that she thinks is right. While Papa and Joy have more creative solutions to deal with this, her teachers during the PTM told us that this is how they instruct the kids to react if someone hits them. Hitting is a big no and tolerating it is also a big no. Grateful that she doesn’t hit in return, but hoping that she will stand up to anyone who hits her.
“We should do this like a family”
We read together, eat together, dance together to random music (two of us have left feet), go on long drives together, eat ice-cream together, watch movies together and even climb little hills together (papa and Ira race, while mamma trails behind) and sing the finger-song together- “where is the family? Here we are”. The line of the year has to clearly be this and a line we are super grateful for, “We should do this like a family”.
We are grateful for the year that went by and all that she has learnt and discovered and we have too! Looking forward to Year Three. For now, we gear up for the summer holidays, sunny conversations, water play and summer camps!
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