Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Picasso's first masterpiece!

(P.S. No, I don't have any megalomaniac expectation from my progeny to become a Picasso or a Michelangelo. You get what you give and I know what genes I have transferred :D. So read the title in jest, please, lest you think I am one of those mothers who think no end of their children :P.)

So, M surprised us a couple of weeks back by taking a pen and trying to scribble on her book. It crossed my mind that I should get her a non toxic crayon set but then quickly vetoed the idea considering she is still mouthing anything and everything and non-toxic or not, I wasn't prepared to feed her crayons. However, at her 15th month appointment, the doctor happened to mention that she was showing good motor skills and it may not be too early to let her scribble! Hmm. 

I went online and searched stores for safe art work supplies but found nothing. All very clearly mentioned 24 months and above, and one can understand why - choking hazards etc etc. However, I chanced upon this fantastic stamping kit that is big enough for the clumsy grip of a 16 month old and has no coloring parts that are available for sucking or chewing. What is even better is that it works only on the paper that comes with the kit - it doesn't work on walls, clothes or upholstery - and it clearly says 12m+. Yes, looks like a perfect solution does exist :). It's a product by Crayola and you can check it out here

Manya thoroughly enjoyed the fun of having to scribble on her own. Here is her working at her first master piece...

And this is the completed masterpiece ;)...

Don't ask me what I think it is - when have great artists ever explained their work? That is the misery of the consumers :D.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Letting it go in the snow storm!

So, being a FTM (first time mom :P), I do tend to exhibit typical paranoid behaviors every once in a while (actually more often than I would like to admit) but then what the hell, all that comes with the title!

M was born in November and I have been very particular about keeping her in controlled temperatures - even inside the house - so much so that I earned the nickname "Temperature Nazi" from Vish. 
For example, in the first year, we would maintain a temperature between 68F and 72F in winters. During bath times, I'd religiously spike it up to 74F. During summers, between 76F-80F. However, this winter we are doing between 65F-68F and 70F-72F for bathing. Any variance of even a degree used to cause (I swear it no longer does) hyper blood pressure in me :D. 

Now, outside temperatures are hard to control, right? So, guess what my rules for taking M out for a walk were until November of last year. Temperature range should be 68F-80F. No winds. No bright or harsh sun. UV index of 4 or lower (yes, I was crazy enough to check it every single time for our zip code). And obviously, not at meal times/milk times/ snack times/nap times. Go figure out the narrow time range then available for the outdoors :). 

However, the polar vortex has put me in my place. With continuous cold weather and more snow storms than ever before, I have realized keeping a toddler at home 24 hours is detrimental to your own sanity. Now, M has gone for walks at even 30F, with winds at 19MPH. I even allow her to play in all that piled up snow outside and around our apartment. She even eats it! Yuck! (But maybe not so much - it's cleaner than the window sills she licks every once in a while :P.)

So, have I let this aspect go? Pretty much, except that for every range of degrees, I have a mental chart on what M should be wearing - And on that I am not compromising (errr, for now)!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Caring for the milky whites!

Another scheduled activity into Madame M's busy life - brushing teeth twice a day. Even though she has barely three teeth, the doctor at her 15th month appointment recommended we start with a finger brush and kiddie tooth paste. According to her, at about 18 months we should start letting M use a toddler toothbrush so that by 2 she is a pro at brushing. Yes, ma'am, we said :D.

And, I don't have to re-emphasize the ideal patients that we are (or rather I enforce we are as a family) - so I promptly bought her the required set and some yummy apple-banana organic toothpaste (the fuss that our generation of parents make, makes my parents eyes roll almost everyday! :P).

Her highness's take on this new activity? She is thrilled. She likes the rub on her gums and teeth so much (I am assuming all that pressure must be massaging and soothing her sore teething gums). Also the toothpaste flavor gets a thumbs up from her and just when you are thinking that atleast one post where I am not really complaining - I am sorry to disappoint you. She is so excited about this brushing routine that she refuses to part with the finger brush. Only two days have passed and all four times, we have had a tussle for about 5 minutes and I have had to shout atleast a hundred times, "Manya, we are done with brushing - your many (:P) teeth have been adequately cleaned!" Pssstttt.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The first quarter of the second year...

So, yes I stopped doing the monthly milestone updates at the 12th month but M is growing up so fast that I thought I should do this post to just jot down small changes at 15 months that will otherwise be left to the mercy of memory :).
  • M is growing tall at a fast pace but guess what is not increasing - her weight! she fairs down there in the percentile charts! Ya ya, a healthy active baby and all that. Yes, I console myself. Is there a size zero in babies? 
  • M may or may not qualify as a poor eater but she is definitely not a picky eater. (Touch wood, knock head). So, bring on the greens, and all the healthy stuff! Extra sweet, extra oily, extra creamy, extra rich - naah, not for my baby - how else will she maintain her size zero (bleh)
  • And, by the way, someone's not only walking, but running and dancing too! She moves her bum and taps her feet to music. Runs the minute she's let loose. Her motor skills have been good and she is onto activity centers, stacking rings etc. now. Though, I must mention she gets awfully irritated when she ends up putting the smaller ring before the larger one - she tosses the whole thing to the other end of the room (Note to self: watch out for her temper!)
  • She talks non-stop. And thus all my recent posts have only been about that!
  • She has one full tooth and two others popping out. A late bloomer but looks like, she is catching up :).
  • Some other personality traits we are beginning to discover are: she has a furious temper - and she doesn't express it by crying - she screams and bangs her head or whatever is in her hand. Gosh! Once over the initial stranger anxiety, she is quite a people's person - she even initiates conversations and absolutely loves all the attention she gets!
  • We have already had two sickness bouts - a fever and a cold - and I hate those days! I'd rather fall sick instead (and I don't even mean it in the sacrificing Indian mother kind of way) because atleast I'll feel like I have more control and not just move around with a cup of milk and a bowl of soup all day!
  • M has also started trying to remove her clothes on her own - she unzips her jackets and leaves them hanging around the sleeves like a freakin' goon, she pulls down her PJs, even attempts to undo her diapers! God save me!
  • Weather permitting, we take her out for walks and she thoroughly enjoys her new found independence. She runs towards cars (sigh) and never ever wants to hold my hand (yeah, already - I guess that's how girls are, huh?)
And on that weathery note, signing off with Manya gazing at all the snow outside! 

    Friday, February 7, 2014


    I know I know. This is a parenting blog - a personal chronicle, and whatever it might include, there does not seem to be the remotest possibility of the scope for name calling. Yet, you wonder, that is precisely what I did. Yes. And No.

    Let's start at the very beginning. As M started practicing refining her sounds more and more, the buh (bus) became the bitch. The fish comes a close second (she says something like bitsch). Though the pronunciation is scandalous, anyone in context - a fish nearby, a bus nearby - would immediately correlate or understand. 

    Cut to the present, anything that her highness cannot name or rather does not know, she promptly calls it a "bitch" (much to our dismay, there is absolutely no baby accent or overtone or lisp - it is crystal clear and well pronounced) . It started last weekend when we went over to a cousin's place, M started using the word for everything - much to everyone's amusement. Even though, I had already warned everyone that bus and fish is bitch, nobody was prepared for the word being thrown around at the drop of a hat! 

    Today, during a shopping trip, she pointed at some random stuff in a lady's cart, and yelled out BITCH! Imagine the shock on the face of all the people around. (A name calling 15 month old! I wonder if somebody called Child Protection Services!) I just good-naturedly smiled and covered up saying, "oh no Manya, there's no fish here here", in the hope that people get the point. But frankly speaking, how long can I defend myself saying that we do not abuse at home :D. 

    Earlier ofcourse, we'd end up rolling our eyes whenever she'd utter the horrific word, but now I am just beginning to ignore it and dispassionately telling her the right word instead. I have a feeling she realizes the excitement she causes when she says it - her eyes lit up and there is much emphasis (the brat, I tell you!) and I don't want to feed that!

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

    Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes!

    If you are a parent or have been around children, you couldn't have missed this groovy rhyme. If yes, check it out here

    As Manya is talking more and more, we are having more than our fill of daily amusement. For the past couple of days, Manya has been obsessed with pointing out body parts. She starts with the head (ahd), eyes (aaiiiii), nose (nooo), ears (that's aiii again!), tongue and teeth (both are tuh), neck (aih), chest (scheh), thigh (tha), and finally, toes (tho). 

    She does it all day! And she will label your body parts too. A few minutes of camaraderie and you will have her tiny fingers poking all over your face and body. Most people find it adorable and so do we the parents. Except that when it happens ALL the time. She does it to her daddy when he is sleeping. And not only that, if she happens to get up in the middle of the night, she will start the routine again - ahd (head) she goes! 
    Imagine the horror of being woken up to your eyes being poked at an unearthly hour!