A clever and busy mind

Brain,training and hurt knee
Image Courtesy: http://lastlemon.com/happiness/ (EDITED)

Clever and Busy Mind

It is Bambi’s bed time. I switch off the lights and start singing a lullaby. After few minutes I notice Bambi is still wide awake staring at the glow stickers on the ceiling:

Me: Come on close your eyes now. Birds have all gone to bed and so must we.

Bambi: But I cannot sleep today.

Me: Why not?

Bambi: My brain is not switched off yet.

Me: * thinking whoa!*  What do you mean?

Bambi: I meeean my brain is still switched on.

Me: * still thinking what that means?*.  OK, shall I switch it off then?

I press Bambi’s forehead with my index finger pretending to turn a switch off.

Me: There you go, I have just turned the brain switch off for the night.

Bambi: But brain cannot be switched off like that. My brain is still on.

Me: * Thinking even harder what all this means*. Why not? What is your brain doing now?

Bambi: It is thinking of all that I did today. I played with Isha, Natalie, Gemma and Lucy today. Lucy is not Ella’s friend anymore. Can she come to our house one day? Can we have double play date? Can Isha come too? 

Me: * interrupting the yack*  OK ok… I get it now. Don’t talk. Just close your eyes tight.  

Bambi: You ruined the switch now. My brain is not thinking anymore.

Me:  Raa Ree Raa Rum O RaaRee Rum….Raa Ree Raa Rum O RaareeRum…..

Soon Bambi was fast asleep. Agree with you my child, highlights of the day come to our mind before we drift off. Sorry to have interrupted but you sure needed to sleep by then.

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As Preeth and I were having our breakfast Bambi who had just finished her breakfast, wanted me to play snake and ladders with her.

Me: Let me finish my breakfast Bambi. I promise I will play with you afterwards.

Bambi: But what shall I do now?

Me: Play with some other toy.

Bambi: Which toy?

Me: Any toy. You have plenty.

Bambi: But I haven’t been trained to play alone.

Me: * Silence*

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Bambi had a fall in the playground and hurt her knee. Thankfully she was alright. Few minutes later:

Bambi: I think my knee is fractured. I need a cast. Will you draw on my cast? Will my friends draw on my cast?

Me: You are fine. There isn’t a fracture.

Bambi: There is! See *points to her knee*

Me: nah…it’s not a fracture. I can give you an icepack when we get home.

Bambi: It is a fracture. It isssss. See how red my knee is?

Me: No it  isn’t red.

Bambi: It is.

Me: Where?

Bambi: It is a different red. Only I can see it!

Me: * Yeah right!*

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To Keep or To Give Away?

 

Packing Andy's toys in the moving box
Image Courtesy: Google

To keep or to give away?

June is here and we have about 8 weeks before we relocate to India. All weekends until Mid-July from now have been held reserve to meet friends and colleagues.  I finish work at the end of this month and up until now I was hoping that I could start packing from 1st of July and that it should be fine. But with commitments made to meet friends and colleagues in July and to do things that I think ‘I must do’ before I leave UK and with Bambi’s summer break at school fast approaching, I don’t think leaving packing till July would be a good idea.

So finally, during the last weekend, I decided to do some decluttering. I started off with an intention to clear off some of our boots/shoes and coats/jackets that will not be actually of much use in India. As I was pulling out each coat/jacket from the wardrobe, I was deciding whether to keep it or to give it away and thus ended up creating two piles – ‘to keep’ and ‘to give away’ pile.When I had managed to sort out all our coats/jackets, the pile for ‘giving away’ looked larger than ‘to keep’ pile.  Ideally I would have liked to keep them all but sadly I cannot be taking everything in the house with me to India. Hence the decision to keep only the absolutely necessary items and give away rest of the items.

Next I decided to sort out some of Bambi’s toys as currently there are toys everywhere in the house .The toy boxes are full of toys as a result of which these days the toys can be found in other places – in the kitchen, on the sofas, near the fireplace, on top of the beds and even in the bathroom. Hence I thought perhaps clearing some of the toys would be a good idea and that our house would also look a little neater. Bambi doesn’t play with a lot of them anyway. I had few empty cartons in the loft and I decided that toys which Bambi doesn’t play with anymore can go in there for now and later the boxes can be given away just like that.

As I was sorting out the toys I was still thinking of some of the coats that I had placed in the ‘give away’ pile and I decided to take another look at this pile to decide which ones I really didn’t need anymore. Soon I was sorting out the jackets/coats again and ended up deciding that I wanted to keep them all. I can’t give them away just yet.

Meanwhile, a certain ‘brave soldier’ had rescued few animals that were seemingly packed inside a box by a ‘Mommy’ with an intention to send them to the zoo (oh dear!). Now that they were not going to the zoo anymore, the happy animals had lined up for a running race. On your marks, get set, go…….

Running Race.pngI guess they are not ready to be given away yet. OK let’s keep them too. No doubt, this is going to be a tough decision – what to give away and what to keep?

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.