Lilypie - Kids Birthday

Sunday, January 8, 2017


In a rather loving and cuddling mood;
Me: Manya you are my heart beat.
(I literally feel the warmth evaporating ...)
A rather indignant M: I am not your heart beat - I am a human being - I talk, i dance, I think. (And then in the most contemptuous tone ever) I am not just a heart beat.
Me: oh heart. ❤️💔❤️

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Happy Fourth Birthday, my love!

Oh my heart,
You are four - you are also going on 16, from the likes of it :). I am really not kidding. There are one too many moments when you say or do something that is so mature in a nice way, and then something that's totally brash and impudent in a teenage kind of way. Though, to be fair, for the most part, you are a very pleasant, well behaved darling and an absolute delight to be with. Your infrequent but stormy tantrums are usually reserved for mommy dearest - and I think we both understand and have learnt to navigate around the tough love that flows between us.

Your growing independence - not just in choosing your PJs and hair do's and accessories, but also in your thoughts fills us with seamless pride and a seemingly nagging insecurity at the same time. You are compassionate, sensitive, loving, intelligent but you are also too trusting, naive in the ways of the world and emotional - you wear your heart on your sleeve - I feel like constructing a barbed wire fence around you to keep away all the hurt that growing up brings. I like to believe I am that practical level headed mom who'll give you a hand when you fall, but I really wish I was the mom that would just prevent any and every fall. The fact that that is not possible aches my heart ever so often. I am very confident that you will grow stronger and tougher and better with every rough moment in life but as a parent my heart will break every time. 

On your fourth birthday, I wish that the spunk and zest for life that you have now, the empathy you show on your own accord, the absolute love that we share and the kindness in your heart - remains untainted as the years go by. We can never express how much we love you!

The fourth year update!

Oh my god, she is 4, and then some more...

- She continues to have an above average vocabulary - one of the first things most people notice about her. She is mostly very pleasant and cheerful (fingers crossed - we are trying to remain positive here.) M has started stringing sounds together to try to read. I plan to sit with her everyday to encourage this. She is not much interested in writing - and nor do I or at school is she pushed towards it. The later the better, in my opinion. She has started coloring within line on her own and makes well composed drawings and paintings.

- She seems to be doing well in school. Being an only child, we often worried about her getting along at school - with kids - but looks like she is doing great. We hear from her teachers that she communicates well, shares and is quick to make friends. We were much relieved with that assessment.

- Manya continues to move up in her Martial Arts and Swimming levels at a rather steady pace - she is not really the most physically coordinated kid but that has not been my goal. She enjoys these activities and they are helping her enhance her motor skills and general body coordination so that is enough for us. I am hoping she continues these.

- She wants to be a veterinarian - needless to say that comes from her love for animals. Her softies are all subject to surgeries, c-sections and what not. She seems really serious. She is also 4, so well!

- We are eating okay - she balances her meals out but has found great love for mac and cheese, gulab jamuns, oreos and marshmallows!

- She finally has all 20 of her baby teeth and takes good care of them - brushing, flossing and rinsing is the routine - on most days without a fuss!

- Emerging personality traits - she is strong headed - while she tries to put her point across well, she is capaple of losing her temper quick - now a days I feel she tries to control her responses and try to sweeten them - I am so glad for that!

I feel it is becoming easier to talk to her, explain to her - her understanding capability is great and that helps us navigate when we are at loggerheads. Phew, hope that lasts...

Monday, October 31, 2016

It's fall again!

All seasons with a preschooler is like rediscovering the joys and beauty of nature.

We started fall with some apple picking...

Made the customary trip to the pumpkin patch...

Went overboard with our Halloween obsession (Bewitched this year, as Manya chose to dress up as a Witch for Trick o Treating...Phew...Until next year!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Withdrawing privileges!

Daddy: Manya I see you have been having lot of tantrums lately. I want you to stop fussing right now or I will have to withdraw your screen privileges.

Manya: Okay, then I am going to withdraw your hugging and kissing privileges.

Speechless daddy: 01 | Sassy daughter: 02

Friday, October 7, 2016

Big words and Bigger concepts

A month of preschool and I have a blog post for sure to write on all the gyan M has been bringing back home. But that later.
So we are learning big words at school and even bigger concepts - which is great because I don't care for the traditional worksheet /,"academic" based set ups - but everything has a flip side.
This chit of a soon-to-be-4-but-going-on-18 kid tells me everyday how I need to "SYNERGIZE" better with her because everything can be done with team work - cooking, cleaning, groceries, laundry - we need to work together.
The other word which I hear about 62 times in a day is "PROACTIVE" - that I am not being proactive or I need to be more proactive - because her favorite pjs were not washed, or her favorite food was not available as car snack or any such high priority item. 🙄🙄🙄
(P.s. I spent the better half of my teenage listening to my dad about how I need to be proactive and not reactive - it's the same all over again. This is not fair. 😳😳😳)

(P.s. Her preschool is based on the leader in me principles - the 7 habits of happy children - I like it - for the most part 😳🙄😀)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Swim update!

We started swim lessons this spring, and have been going strong at it. Summer onwards, M has been going twice a week for 30 min classes and this works much better than one class a week schedule we were on.

She crossed Level 1, which is basically introduction to water skills such as kicking, bobbing and floating. Level 2 makes her feel all grown up and she is pumped up for every class.

One interesting observation that I have made is that while she absolutely loves being in the water (has always been), she is very cautious - she will hang on to the side when it's not her turn - unlike other children who will try to escape or play around. She likes getting into the pool only when her teacher is specifically focusing on her - she will not jump in - she gently holds her instructor's hands and steps into the pool. It is hilarious! Her teacher tells her to trust the water but she retorts with, "I trust the teacher. I trust myself. But I don't trust the water.". She can be cute sometimes.

I feel hat this could be because she is not exposed to swimming outside of these classes - Since Vish and I both don't swim, I feel she is not as confident as other kids around water. Or maybe that's the way she is - Either way, I am just happy she is voluntarily learning a life skill. The Olympics can wait :D :P.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

First day of Preschool!

So we finally started preschool today. Many people think I waited too long but I think the time was just right. I was confident about letting go...and Manya was confident about letting go too (To be honest she has been school ready for a while but I always like to be double sure.)

The day went by exactly as I had planned down to the minute - Yes, I am a paranoid Type A mostly. Everybody was cheerful and all set - prepped enough, M knew what would be expected of her. She gave a very characteristic and matter of factly, "bye mom, I am going to be very busy now" practical farewell and was off.

We chose her school very carefully - not too long - just under 3 hours so that she has the time and energy for other activities. It is 5 days a week - thank god - not only because it gives me time off - but also because it is much easier to set a routine, It is one of the first Leadership based schools - established on the Leader in Me principles. I was sold when the Owner/Director of the school told me that they are not in the business of making great kindergartners or first graders but thinking, feeling individuals. So no worksheets, homework - very play and experience based. The focus is on practical learning rather than rote memorizing arbit letters, numbers or concepts. We are really hoping the school follows what it stands for in theory and I am sure then M will really blossom in the two years we plan she spends here.  

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Stranger Danger

Manya has been learning about stranger danger for a couple of weeks now at her martial arts class. Prior to this, during our trip earlier this year to India for my brother's wedding, Vish and I had been talking to her about being aware of strangers and especially in public places sticking to only mommy or daddy etc etc.

It is very difficult to explain the concept of stranger danger to a three year old - you have to keep that delicate balance between keeping their faith in humanity and all the goodness there is in the world and at the same time cautioning them to the ills without going into details. A curious and communicative child like Manya just adds to the complexity.

Also, sadly it says something about the world we live in if we cannot let our children trust our fellow home sapiens without any fear.

Here are some conversations we have been having...

"Mommy how does a bad stranger look?"

"Why would anyone want to hurt me?"

"Would a stranger try to hurt me even if I am friendly and nice to him or her?"

We are currently at this understanding: Most strangers are good. However, there are a few bad ones out there who can hurt you, so it is good to be cautious around all strangers because by looking at someone you can't really say whether they are good or bad. It is okay to exchange common courtesy or pleasantry with strangers but no other conversation without a parent or a safe grown up (teacher, family, friend). There are certain "safe" strangers who can help especially if parents are known safe grown-up is not around - police, firefighters, paramedics, doctors.

Phew, things were much simpler when we were growing up!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Of love and marriage...

Parenting note: Nobody makes more interesting conversations than a preschooler!!
Out of the blue, at breakfast...
M: Mommy I have decided I will marry you and daddy.
Me (hardly surprised - the things she says these days have lowered the shock factor): Why do you want to marry us?
M: Because I love you guys so much / you are my true love. And I want to stay with you forever!
Me: Manya children don't have to marry their parents - you can stay with us always.
M: But you left nana and Nani when you got married - I don't want to leave you so I'll just get married to you guys!
Me: (she gets mean and sarcastic even in a compliment, no?) Are you sure?
M: yes, really! Let's all three of us get married!
Me: Alright!
P.S. Somebody take out the stamp paper - I want her signatures on it and maybe a wooden sign with her words engraved to hang in her room during teenage!