Bedtime, Parenting

Most Favourite Time of My Day

There is never a dull moment when you have 2 young kids in the house. Thanks to my 2 littles I have my days generously sprinkled with laughter and fun…. But the most favorite part of my day comes right at the end.

Bedtime!! Yes it’s every mother’s favorite as past bedtime we can get some peace, clean up the kitchen without getting pulled every 30 seconds, catch up on our online activities, watch telly or finally talk to our husbands. But I love bedtime for one more reason. It is the time when I get to end the day as a happy one irrespective of how it really was. 

We  have our share of difficult days when the baby doesn’t nap or the older one doesn’t eat, when one or both of them get cranky and I lose my patience. And when I lose patience it doesn’t end well… I yell, I get a little rough and edgy, I ignore my kids until I cool down or I take a time out. Whatever it is, it doesn’t leave pleasant memories for anyone.

Bedtime is when there is peace almost always. Any unreasonable behavior of kids is termed sleepiness and I feel my patience levels almost double with this assumption. As a result we go to bed happy almost every day and then comes my most favorite part. 

As I lie in bed with my daughter (my younger one is still a baby so he nurses to sleep and doesn’t have a bed time routine besides that) I really focus on her. It’s probably the only time in the day when I am not distracted, not rushing anywhere, don’t have anything waiting to be done or cleaned or cooked, don’t have the baby to share the attention, don’t have the temptation to check the blinking light on my phone…. At that time I am 100% with my daughter, and we talk. I ask her about school, her friends, how her day was. I try to teach her some important lessons keeping recent events in context. I share my feelings with her regarding things. I apologise if I was irrational during the day and I try to explain why her behaviour was unacceptable. She listens and understands, she talks and shares, and we both bond with words, hugs and kisses. 

Some time ago I taught her to pray at bedtime, mainly to thank God for her blessings so as to instil gratitude in her. Now as she says her prayers I get a glimpse of how her mind is working. The things she talks about tell me what all she notices and how her little mind processes information.

Since we recently moved countries our bedtime conversations couple of months ago revealed how much she missed India and her friends back home. Then one day couple of weeks ago she prayed “Thank you God for moving us to San Francisco” and I knew my princess is now happy in her new home. 

No matter how bad a day was , we end it on a happy note and as my daughter falls asleep she is secure in the fact that she is loved and cared for, and I feel content that even if I made some mistakes, I did give her a good ending to another day. 

-A


Crafty baby, Festivals

Handmade Rakhi – DIY Project for Your Daughter 

In our house the festival of Rakhi holds a special place. My husband comes from a large close knit family and Rakhi is celebrated with great gusto. 

The preparation starts months in advance – who will host the function this year, what day would be convenient for everyone, what will be the menu, what to wear, what to gift. With all cousin sisters tying rakhi to all cousin brothers and all kids tying to each other it becomes a 2 hourly affair only for the ceremony. The conversations and delicious food adds to the fun. 

I had my daughter 3 years ago and have been making rakhis at home for her cousin brothers because I love the rakhis my Sister-in-Laws make for my husband and I, and also because I want to teach my daughter to make a little extra effort for special occasions and special people… at least for as long as she can manage to. These are the hand made rakhis we received last year: 

These are the rakhis we have made in the past years: 

  
Last year I wanted to make a macrame rakhi but didn’t know how to do it. Nukta bought me the material and showed me how to make it just like the one in the pic below. Though she tried very hard to teach me I couldn’t do it as nicely as she does, so she ended up making the entire batch for me 🙂

  

If you would like to make these and don’t have someone around who can teach, you can learn from this video: Easy Macrame Tutorial

This year’s Rakhi is going to be special as it will be the first since I had a baby boy. It’ll be the first time VMJ will tie Rakhi to her little brother. It’ll also be the first time we will be celebrating this beautiful festival away from out family In India since we recently moved to US of A. 

I took VMJ shopping to a local craft store so she can buy the material for making Rakhis herself. We brought home thin beige ribbon, small colorful pompoms (VMJ is obsessed with anything colorful), a pack of ice cream cone buttons especially to be put on the rakhi of her baby brother Oreo and a bottle of glue. 

Back home I cut the ribbons, opened the pompom packs, told her how I will put glue and she can put pompoms in whichever order she likes. I could tell how excited she was…. Mummy was letting her play with brand new usually-restricted stuff!! 

She diligently chose colors of pompoms and arranged on the glue. We made a few strings and then I cut paper circles on which VMJ made flowers. The ice cream cone buttons just needed to be strung in the ribbon and tied with a knot. This was the final product:

 
Rakhis are very versatile and can be made with whatever material you can find, the basic being a ribbon/ wool/ string and something to string/ paste on it. I recycle the decorations on the rakhis we get every year. If you only have ribbon or wool you can still make lovely rakhis by rolling them together like this:

 
So look around the house, find old rakhis from last year for inspiration and let the creative juices flow. Use cloth, foam, paper, beads, buttons, stickers, rhinestones, store bought decorative stuff… Whatever you get your hands on. Trust me it’ll make your Rakhi more special 🙂

Do share the pictures!

Happy crafting!!

-A

 

You might also like to see more Rakhi designs here Celebrate Rakshabandhan 2016 with Handmade Rakhis.

You might also like to read Rakhi & The Changing Paradigms.

 

Life, Parenting

Mumma, I want to be 20 years old!

Today as I picked up my 3 year old from school, she asked the question she asks me everyday “What did you bring today Mumma?”. She was happy to see her blueberries and apple and as she started munching she said, “Mumma, I will eat apple and I will grow grow grow and become 20 years old.”  

Feeling amused I asked “Why do you want to be 20 year old?”

“Because I need to.” Pat came the reply.

“And what will you do when you are 20 years old?”

“Um… I will go to 20 year old’s pre-school.”

“20 year olds don’t go to pre-school, they go to college.”

“But I don’t want to go to college.”

As she started fretting and whining about not going to college, my thoughts drifted away 17 years from now. She will be 20 years old… staying away in a hostel… possibly rebellious. How will I let go of my little doll? How I will miss her dancing around the house all day. How will I sleep with her far away? How will I live without my daily dose of her hugs and kisses? I felt my throat choke and my vision getting blurred, until she pulled me back to reality.

“Mumma, but I don’t want to go to college.”

“Sweetie, all 20 year olds have to go to college. Or you can go to office, like Papa.”

That thought seemed to go down well with her because then came the excited “Yes, I want to go to office. I will go to Papa’s office.”

“You can’t go to Papa’s office, you will go to your own office.” 

“But why?” (in the same tone as George in Peppa Pig!)

“Because everyone goes to their own office.”

“Mumma then I will not be 20 years, I will stay 3 years old” said my grumpy little princess with a huge pout.

Yes my darling, stay 3 years old for a while, I thought with a smile.

🙂