Monster Mommy Tales

You look like a wet monster
Image courtesy: http://lastlemon.com (edited to suit the context)

As I was washing my face to remove makeup:

Bambi: You look like a wet monster Amma!

Me: A wet monster? What’s that?

Bambi: It means a monster. When she is wet!

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As I was oiling my hair:

Bambi: Why are you putting perfume on your head?

Me: It’s hair oil, not perfume.

Bambi: Why are you putting hair oil on your head?

Me: So that I can have long and healthy hair.

Bambi: I want long hair! Can I have some hair oil too, pleeeeeease?

Me: *applies some oil to Bambi’s hair*

Bambi: Will my brain grow now?

Me: No, no, Not brain, your hair.

Bambi: *pointing to her scalp* Look at my brain.

Me: *pointing to my scalp* look that’s my hair not brain.

Bambi: Maybe you don’t have a brain then!

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As I was trying to reverse the car into our drive way and struggled a bit at that:

Bambi: Daddies are good at parking car.

Me:  *silence*

Bambi: Mummies are not so good at parking car.

Me: *silence*

Bambi: Parking car is Anna’s (dad’s) talent.

Me: *silence*

Bambi: You need to take some parking lessons.

Me: ok

Bambi: I can ask Anna to teach you to park the car properly.

Me: Look I just parked the car! I don’t need parking lessons anymore, do I?

Bambi: Yes, you do. Because you are still not good at it!

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Thanks,kid! I still love you!

Joy of gardening and few happy moments

Happy Moments

On Monday evening Bambi brought home a tiny pot of cress seeds that she had planted at the school that day. Now, I have never been a keen gardener but this tiny pot has brought so much joy to me this week that I have been feeding, nurturing and loving this plant with as much excitement as Bambi. We have been checking the plant together first thing in the mornings and in the evenings as soon as we return home. I never imagined gardening could bring so much joy. Not just a fun activity to do with Bambi but this mini gardening activity has also given me an opportunity to learn the beauty of nature, appreciate life and sustenance and an overall feeling of accomplishment. I have been in high spirits all of this week.

Then there were few other things that also brought lots of happiness:

  • We had been to one of Bambi’s friends’ birthday party. We were late to the party but as soon as we reached the party, a group of kids who were all very delighted to see Bambi came running to us and took Bambi by hand to involve her in their games. Since many days Bambi had been saying that she has ‘many’ best friends and during the party I realized it was true. Bambi played with all the kids at the party. It was a lovely sight and a great feeling to know Bambi is loved so much by all her friends.
  • At the party I met one of Bambi’s friends’ Dad whom I have seen at the school several times before but had never had the opportunity to speak. During our conversation he mentioned he thought of Bambi as a very special child who is loving and caring and always happy and full of energy. He also added that he admired the beautiful bond that Bambi and I share! This has got to be the greatest compliment ever and I shall remember this for a long long time. I am so so happy to hear this and I hope that Bambi is always  happy and our bond continues to grow deeper and becomes more special in the days to come.
  • Bambi finally learnt to push her bike this week ! Yay ! This is a great achievement considering how long Bambi has taken to learn to push the pedals and get going. Until few weeks ago she was pushing the pedal backwards which meant the bike wasn’t going anywhere. So you can see how happy I am, now that Bambi can ride her bike. On Tuesday evening she rode the bike from home to park and back. It was a pleasure to run alongside Bambi as she was cycling and humming rhymes.
  • Also, this week Bambi finally began to eat all her meals by herself without us feeding her like a baby. We had been getting Bambi to do this for a while now but we had not had any luck so far as Bambi used to either leave the dining table and go off to play or just play with the food and cutlery and eat nothing at all. As a result we used to feed her like a baby and this used to be very time consuming and meal times were nothing less than patience tests. So I couldn’t be happier when Bambi agreed to eat by herself Phew!
  • On Friday evening we went to Bambi’s best friend’s house after work. Two other kids from Bambi’s school also came there with their parents. Kids played with each other very well and had a great time and grown-ups also had a great time chatting away. It was a perfect way to end a busy week and start the weekend.

Overall it has been a great week. During the weekend we planted few more seeds and this gardening activity has reminded me of the time when I was about 6-7 years old and as part of a project in school we had to plant some seeds ( Moong beans: Green Gram) and learn about sprouts. But I don’t really recall a whole lot about this activity and that’s why doing it all over again with Bambi makes me so happy, because in certain ways, I am reliving my own childhood.

The Queen’s Knickers

 

The Queen's Knickers

What Knickers would the Queen Wear today?

Recently one morning as Bambi and I were waiting at her school library for her class room to open, she randomly asked me, “Amma, I wonder what knickers the Queen will wear today? Do you know Queen’s trunk of knickers went missing one day?”  Then she began to giggle.

I nearly fell off my chair when I heard this. I found it hilarious but I was completely perplexed. How did this come to Bambi’s mind? Of all the things, Knickers? Queen’s Knickers? :-). I was pretty sure this was not Bambi’s original thought.She must have heard something somewhere and I was keen to find out where. But how was I to find this out? I didn’t want to ask Bambi any questions just then and generate further conversation and giggles. Asking Bambi’s teachers would have been the right thing to do perhaps, but what was I going to ask them – Bambi wonders what knickers the Queen is going to wear today? Nooooo way, I thought and just remained silent.

Just then Bambi got started again, “When Queen travels she wears special knickers which has a parachute”. Now I had to stop Bambi before someone else heard this (if they have not heard already the earlier part of the conversation). I was furious and in a very stern voice asked Bambi to pick up a book to read together. There was a very puzzled look on Bambi’s face – Why is Mummy mad at me?

Later in the evening when we were at home I simply mentioned Queen and Bambi said I read a book about Queen’s Knickers at the nursery. Now it was clear that, that is where it came from, but I was not convinced that there was a book about Queen’s knickers which mentions a parachute inside the knickers! :-). I did not believe Bambi and said she must not talk about Queen’s knickers again.

Yesterday when we were at our local library, as Bambi and I were both looking at books to borrow, Bambi very excitedly screamed “The Queen’s Knickers! The Queen’s knickers!” As I turned my face towards Bambi to ask her to stop, I was hugely surprised by the book in Bambi’s hand. Indeed there is a book called The Queen’s Knickers!! Needless to say, we borrowed it.

I couldn’t wait to read and find out what the book was all about. The book is written by Nicholas Allan. It is about knickers and Queen is the main character of the book.  The Queen has a trunk full of knickers which goes missing one day! There is lot of chaos trying to find the trunk, which turns out, had got mixed up with a picnic hamper.  The trunk is full of royal knickers – knickers encrusted with diamonds, emeralds and rubies, knickers with parachutes inside them to rescue the Queen if in trouble, Knicker that can turn into an inflatable boat if the Queen’s ship ever sank, knickers for weddings, and knickers for parliament and for all the important occasions that the Queen attends. A little girl is looking forward to the Queen’s visit to her school and wonders what knickers would the Queen wear during the visit– fancy knicker, frilly knicker, plain knicker or silly knicker?

A very odd and super silly book but I think it does the trick – it had the young and (ahem!) the grown-up reader engaged in the book right from the cover page and had us both laughing hysterically. And now seemingly Bambi wants to meet the Queen but I hope when she meets the Queen, Bambi won’t ask her What Knickers she is wearing that day!

Bassatta Salagne

 

Palak Dal

Bassatta Salagne aka Palak Dal

Today we are going to make Bassatta Salagne. It is an Indian type of food. It is a bit like the Lasagne which we eat during weekdays. It is eaten only on weekends. Mom and Dad say it is very good for you and it takes 255 years to prepare this dish!

Ingredients: Spinach,Tomatoes,Water in the beginning and little water in the end and lots and lots of Ingredients from the kitchen shelf. 

Method: In a pan add all the ingredients and keep stirring. Pan can be very hot. So ask a grown-up to help you. When it is ready it smells Yummm…”

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And now my version of the Bassatta Salagne. It is an Indian type of food and sounds like Lasagne when called Bassatta Salagne. Otherwise it is called Palak Dal. It’s eaten on most weekends at our place and it takes only 20 minutes to prepare. When you are eagerly waiting to open a gift and Mom asks you to wait for 20 minutes to allow her to finish cooking, it can appear as though it takes 255 years to prepare this dish!

Ingredients:  

Spinach – 1 cup finely chopped, Moong Daal – 3/4 th Cup, Tomato – 1 large, Onions – 1 large finely chopped, Garlic -1 t0 2 cloves finely chopped , Ginger Garlic paste – 1 Tsp, Corinader powder – 1 Tsp, Cumin Powder – 1 Tsp, Garam Masala – 1 Tsp, Oil – 2 Tbsp, Asafoetida – a pinch, Salt to taste

Method:

  • Boil Moong Dal in a pressure cooker. Keep aside.
  • In a pan heat 1 tsp oil. Add cumin seeds. When it splutters add onion and sauté till brown.
  • Add Ginger Garlic paste and fry for a second. Add all the spice powders.
  • Next add tomatoes and fry till they are soft and mushy. Add spinach and fry till it is cooked.
  • Add boiled Moong Daal. Add water as required to get the desired consistency. Bring it to a boil.

Tempering :

Heat oil in a pan. Add finely chopped onion and garlic, asafoetida, mustard seeds and cumin seeds and when mustard seeds begin to splutter and onions are fried, add it to dal.

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Basically when I was cooking this morning Bambi wanted me to help her open a new Doll which Preeth bought for her yesterday. I asked her to allow me 20 minutes to finish cooking and suggested that she could help me in the meantime. Bambi very enthusiastically asked me what I was preparing and how it is being prepared and the next thing I heard was this recipe video of the Bassatta Salagne!

A Real phone and A cup for kitten and Mummy’s big tummy

Conversation with Bambi
Image Courtesy: http://www.funnyhappyquote.com (Edited)

Can I have a phone? A cup for kitten. Can you eat less?

Bambi: Amma, can I have a phone please? Not a toy phone. A real phone, MY phone.

Me: Of course you can, but when you grow up.

Bambi: I am a grown-up already!

Me: You need to be as old as Amy (our neighbor) to have a phone.

Bambi: I am as old as Amy, aren’t I?

Me:  I meant you need to be in SECONDARY school.

Bambi: But I am in THIRDARY school! I need a phone. A REAL phone!

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As I hand out Bambi’s homework sheet to her which has three words: Kitten, Cup, Pan and the respective pictures. Task is to write the word corresponding to the picture in the blank space next to the picture.

Me: Here you go, write neatly ok?

Bambi: Ok, I am very good at writing neatly!

After few minutes I see Bambi has written the words cup and pan appropriately next to the corresponding pictures but next to the kitten’ picture she has written cup.

Me: Can we read aloud what you have written?

Bambi (pointing to the pictures): Cup, Pan and …. (a brief pause as she looks at the word cup next to kitten)

Me: uh..oh, What happened there? 

Bambi: That’s a Cup. A cup for the kitten to drink milk!

I like the quick thinking!

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Bambi (pointing to my belly): Is there a baby in your tummy?

Me: No, there isn’t!

Bambi: Then why is it growing bigger and bigger?

Me: *Silence*

Bambi (touching my belly): I think there is a baby in there.

Me: That’s perhaps Pizza and cakes. 

Bambi: Did you eat lots of it?

Me: Yea…h kind of. 

Bambi: Can you eat less? There is no space in there for my brother and sister.

Ok, ok I get it. It’s high time I did something to reduce.

 

Reflections on A to Z Challenge 2016

A to Z challenge 2016

I participated in the April A to Z challenge 2016 and I am very pleased that I completed it successfully. When I signed up for the challenge, I did it on a whim and had no clue how I was going to continue, for I had no particular theme in mind and also April was going to be another busy month (just like every other month) with very little or no time for blogging. However, now that I survived the challenge it is time to reflect on the challenge.

The Good part:

  • I had no particular theme in mind. My first post was about the current ‘big’ thing in my life – our plans to relocate to India after living in the UK for over a decade. From then on every single post was about whatever was going on in my mind just as I start to type my post. That way it was easier and less stressful to churn out posts each day.
  • My blog had been silent until the challenge. During the last two years I always wanted to blog but never really got around to doing it. With A to Z challenge I experienced the power of determination. I was determined to complete the challenge because I started it and so I was motivated to write each day no matter how busy I was.
  • The main purpose of starting this blog was to document the good, bad and ugly aspects of my parenting journey but I hardly documented anything up until the challenge started.  With A to Z challenge I was able to recollect and document a lot of those precious memories which otherwise would have been locked only in my memory.
  • The comeback! A to Z challenge has enabled me to come back to blogging. In the past I wondered many times how to get back to blogging. What better chance than the challenge to make a new start or comeback!
  • Towards the challenge together! I just loved how the challenge connected all fellow participant bloggers. I met a whole bunch of new blogger friends. A big thank you to all you bloggers who read and commented on my posts. Without your support and encouragement it would not have been possible for me to continue with the challenge.

The Not So Good Part:

  • I did not have any post scheduled. So, one some days I had to lose sleep to post in time.
  • I did not engage with my readers as much as I would have liked to. I did not respond to the comments my readers left for me thinking I would come back to them at a later point only to realize I have left it too late. Still, I am very grateful to all my readers who commented despite lack of response from my side.
  • I read so many blogs but left comments for only few of them. Perhaps I should have left my footprints in all those blogs that I visited even if it was only a little sentence.

The Great Part:

  • With A to Z challenge I have been able to overcome my fears and reservations about my use of English language. The challenge has enabled me to unleash my inner voice. I feel confident, comfortable and happy with my writing (in English) than ever before.
  • The challenge has reminded me that ‘where there is a will, there is a way’. Where I believed I had absolutely no time for blogging, by signing up to the challenge and subsequently staying focused and determined to complete the challenge, I have proved myself wrong and learned that it is possible to achieve everything if you put your heart and mind into it.
  • Through the challenge I met a whole bunch of lovely bloggers and their awesome blogs:  CLAO WUE, UPWARD SPIRAL , OLDUVAI READS , STORYBOUND  to name a few.  It is through their posts that I have discovered new passion namely – Travel and Reading.
  • I stumbled upon Nuttie’s lovely blog during the challenge and I found her posts very delightful. It is through her posts that I am beginning to realize that I will not be bored or lost if I decide to take a sabbatical or career break when my family and I relocate to India.
  • Parenting articles and blogs are generally of keen interest to me and so My Era’s parenting blog posts were something that I looked forward to reading on each day of the challenge. ME’s posts have helped me to put my parenting style into perspective and they have also provided valuable information about parenting.

Overall, I am so glad I participated in the A to Z challenge and it has been an amazing journey. I feel I have grown as a person and a blogger during the challenge and I look forward to participating in the next year’s challenge.

The Good Bunny Who Never Gives Up

 

good bunny.png
Image Courtesy: Google

A Good Bunny Never Gives Up

A while ago, one evening Bambi was playing with Preeth’s glasses. Just few days prior to that she had been playing with another set of glasses when they slipped off her hands and fell down to the ground and broke into pieces. I didn’t want this happening again.  So I politely asked Bambi to keep the glasses back but Bambi didn’t listen. I repeated myself couple more times but Bambi just wouldn’t listen.  Then I decided to go up to her and take the glasses from her hands when she started running around the house with the glasses and I began to chase her. Finally, when I got hold of Bambi she held on very tightly to the glasses refusing to give them to me and as I tried to loosen her fist she said, “A good bunny never gives up!” I was beyond impressed to hear that and I let my cheeky bunny play with the glasses with a word of caution to not to drop it down again.

At the time I didn’t realise that Bambi had picked up this line from the cartoon Peter Rabbit whose signature words are “A good rabbit never gives up”. Still, I think the fact that Bambi had used this line appropriately is very impressive!

Today was one such day when my good bunny did not want to give up on something that she had decided she was going to do:  As I picked her up from school, Bambi said she wanted to make chocolate brownies as soon as we get home.  I agreed to make them over the coming weekend but Bambi had made up her mind that the brownies would have to be baked today and so no amount of cajoling was helping to distract her.

There was no way I was going to bake Brownies on a weekday and upset our routine. We didn’t have all the required ingredients either. So I kept dismissing the idea of baking and Bambi kept insisting that we baked them today.  She even had a big meltdown and ultimately I decided to give in.  Soon we were off to the nearby store to buy cooking chocolate and caster sugar. On our way to the shop, a happy Bambi said, “I am sorry Mummy. I wasn’t understanding what you were saying. But a good bunny never gives up! Are you sorry too? ”.  🙂 🙂

The next hour and a bit we spent melting the chocolate and butter and mixing all the ingredients and clicking few pictures. As the brownie was baking, I quickly fed Bambi her dinner and also gave her a shower. Then she sat on the rocking chair in the living room watching TV while the brownie was cooling down.  After few minutes as the brownies cooled down, I went to the living room to tell Bambi that the brownies were ready to tuck into,but my good bunny was fast asleep on the rocking chair…..ZZzzzzz…uh..oh..

As I write this post, I can’t help but think of all the pending household chores, no packed lunch for tomorrow and a missed bedtime routine.  But of course the sight and smell of the chocolate brownies baked by my “good bunny, who never gives up” brings a huge smile on my face 🙂 !