Sunday, May 27, 2018

I am so glad it is my birthday today!

                               Be Happy

Ira turned four today and we celebrated four years of parenthood. The day was spent thanking everyone who wished her; we witnessed a less shy her , more open to acknowledging and smiling when someone wished her.

                      The cake was yummy!

Of course all conversations were interspersed with , "I am so glad it is my birthday today". A buffet breakfast with family where the highlight for her was her birthday cake- chocolate truffle and the Captain America figurine she received as a gift. So, we all took turns all day being Captain America and saving each other in imaginary situations.

Ira loves long drives and the next pit stop of her birthday celebration was Prani, The Pet Sanctuary at Kanakpura. We had chanced upon this place on a friends timeline few months back and it was on the to do list. Ira loves natural spaces and animals and we couldn't think of a better way than this to spend the day. She fed the birds, petted the animals, held rodents, saw iguana, terrapin and emu with great curiosity, played on the swing and even declared that the lemon juice was yummy. When we asked her which was her fave animal, she counted almost all of them on her fingers. She even told us that she loved the place and wants to go back and stay there and be with the animals.

                   A Day, just the way Ira likes it

For me personally, planning her gifts is one exciting task. This year we got her a small paint set, and a telescope so that she can explore the sky having recently ventured into reading about the space and playing a 'space' infotainment game with papa on the tab. We also got her a book called  Relativity for Babies (a fabulous series by Chris Ferrie) and a story cube game from Shumee. You roll the cubes and which ever sides face up , you make a story with that. Hoping to spend many story telling and story making evenings together.

Another year, bracing ourselves for more new things and new #TalesAtFour
#Ira #Iraisms #HappyBirthday #IraturnsFour #Happiness #Gratitude #Parenting

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Summer and Sunshine, the Ira way

When Summer is about finding 'sunshine' filled moments!

To me the word sunshine is synonymous with hope, happiness and positivity. For years, it was my signature for the IISc student newsletter team emails, where I was referred as 'M' ( my team was as kickass or even more than the Bond team). I still have some friends who refer to this in our conversations even now.

This year, summer has been filled with such sunshine filled moments. Bangalore is hot with intermittent rains and we have done some new fun things with Ira, which was also intermittently interspersed with some elements of learning.

We took Ira to a Cubbon Park Cleanup drive on 1st May, 2018. An initiative thoughtfully organised, where children put on gloves and clear the beautiful park of the unnecessary plastic , paper and more. P got to the ground with Ira while I was the garbage bag holder, guiding her to bits of plastic amidst the green. It was the first time she participated in a community activity and coincidentally the second summer camp she attended was about community helpers. She did the cleaning up for almost an hour taking a fruit break in between to reenergise herself. She proclaimed that people who make parks  dirty are bad people. I wish we could explain the complexity of pollution and its impact to her in such simple black and white terms.

The summer camps this year have explored newer things and she has also come home with a kitty of new songs that she has learned. The favorite one being a song about monkeys and crocodiles and a phrase, "you can't catch me...". The first camp was about cooking and they learnt to make lemon juice, buttermilk, chapati, bhelpuri, sandwich, vegetable salad, fruit salad, dosa and akki roti. In the second camp, they learnt about people who through their professions help the community like policeman, fireman, gardener etc. The third camp that is ongoing is about art and craft. What we have realised these two years is that she has lots of fun and she loves going to camp. Ofcourse we do have the tender coconut to thank that ensures guaranteed happiness post the camp. One fateful day when the camp had a holiday and mamma and she landed at the school door; she was sad and made sure the teacher and mamma acknowledged that. Of course, a visit to Nilgiris and she shopping for some of her fave things helped to elevate the misery.

While Mamma travelled on work, she and Papa also did the much awaited thing. Getting her a haircut and doing something different with the hairstyle. Ira wanted a star or sun or saturn, with the rings. Finally, the stylist did two arrow shapes, intersecting. While she excitedly narrated to me over phone about this, she also used every opportunity to go to the mirror and admire the design. Who knew two little arrow strokes could be such a source of happiness.

While Ira has her summer break, Mamma and Papa are juggling their work schedules and her holiday time. So, when we are busy Dadu picks her from camp and he is promptly reminded to get her a chocolate bun from nilgiris, through a call at 7am! Ira also has accompanied us to some meetings and kept herself busy with colouring and books.

This summer, P and I contemplated if we should put Ira into some activity classes. A class that would help her channelise her energy and also over time, she can figure out if she likes the activity enough to continue. So, we zeroed in on 'Karate'. We told her what it is, P showed her some videos and then we got her to the demo class. The teacher also wanted to see if she is ready for this. She began her classes and is enthusiastic about even waking up at 6 on a Sunday mrng to go to class. While she does her class, I sit on the bench outside the premises and write this blog post.

It is a beautiful sunshine filled morning, in every sense.

*Written on 6th May 2018

Let the 'Purple Hibiscus' blossom

It is not everyday that you finish a book in less than 24 hours (been a long long time since it has happened to me).
It is not everyday that you root for the central character to find her 'voice' and her wings.
It is not everyday that a debut novel makes you believe in human strengths and follies.
Go read this story of Kambili, because it is one of the best books you will ever read.

#BookReview #BooksIn2018 

The 'Us' and the 'Me'

We found the 'Us' while we searched for the 'me', We love the 'Us', and continue to empower the 'me'...