Thursday, July 29, 2010

Don't Scold Me Mamma I Love You Na.......

It was an especially difficult day for me yesterday as there was too much stuff on my hands to handle, plus my health not up for the past few days, making me irritable and uncomfortable, plus the fact that any time I am cranky or upset, my daughter picks it up in an instant and wants to be only with me. Of course it’s a really sweet thing come to think of it. She feels if mommy is upset or not happy, she should be with her mommy all the time to cheer her up. And the fact that she only always wants me around her for whatever she is doing is also super-sweet and I am thankful for it, barring those times when things really get to me and I am looking for some ‘me’ time….of course getting that ‘me’ time is a luxury, something I cant even cherish well when I have the rare opportunity of getting it…you see, my mind will invariably drift to what my daughter is doing and if she needs me or not right then.

So I was trying to manage things as best as I could, but somehow, it was just not enough. And the more I knew I was not doing my best, the more grumpy and irritable I was getting, thus making my daughter pine more for me.

I wanted her to finish her food, but she wanted to play. I wanted her to clean up the toys but she wanted to leave them on the floor. I wanted her to get changed for bed but she only wanted to sit and colour. I wanted her to sit and watch a movie while I cooked but then she wanted me to sit with her the whole time. I was trying and could see myself steadily heading towards that inevitable burst.

I put down my things and told her I was really angry and did she want me to scold her?

“No mamma, don’t scold me.”

But she still wanted to have her own way.

So then I kind of lost it, to be very honest, and ended up scolding her. She first reacted by puckering up her lips and staring at me. I could see her eyes were already beginning to fill with tears and I knew she wanted me to see and comfort her then. But I was being the bad angry mother that moment so took no notice. Then she burst out crying.

“Why are you scolding me mamma? Baby is sad.”

I told her I was not scolding her and that I was only telling her to not be naughty.

“Don’t scold me mamma. I love you na.”

My heart broke right then with those words but I still had many things to finish and thought it would be okay to let her sort it out for a while. I knew if I picked her up right then she would get back to her previous self within moment. So I bent down near her and told her that if she behaved like a good girl and listened to mamma then I would not scold her again. She stopped crying and wiped away her tears and I gave her a hug.

After some time I finished my work and put her in bed. As she was settling in under her comforter I ran my fingers through her short hair and stroked those cotton cheeks.

“Who loves Naya?” I asked.

“Papa” she replied. I wasn’t looking for this answer. She almost always says ‘mamma’ first, so I knew something was making her upset. “And mamma?” I asked, waiting to hear what she would say.
“Mamma scolds Navya” she said, looking at me, but smiling still.

I felt as if I had done the worst possible thing to a child. Scolding her and showing her I was angry, when maybe all she wanted was a little more time and attention and a little more pampering. I remembered how I had stopped myself from picking her up when she had cried, how I had let her handle herself on her own. I felt like I was the worst mom on the planet.

She went off to sleep while I told her a story and stroked her head. I told myself I would never get angry at her again, that I would only always try and talk it out rationally with her. I put my head next to hers and hugged her and went off to sleep too, loaded with guilt and sadness.

Next morning, the clock was furiously ticking away, the glass of milk was still untouched, the bath water was turning cold, her uniform was still waiting to be put on and it was almost time for the school bus to arrive any moment.

She was still sitting on the couch watching the cartoon while I made myself go mad trying to get her ready, scolding and shouting and threatening, then coming back to rational talking and moving on to scolding again……..

What? You thought I would never again scold her is it? Of course not…. I am a parent, remember?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Jyosna Kanal Tandaan And Her Little One Neel

Stylish, smart, attractive and possessing a fabulous sense of dressing and designing, this 34-year-old former cabin-crew is the proud mother to five-year-old Neel, while another little one is about to arrive in her arms after two more trimesters. Meet Jyosna Kanal Tandaan, a self-confessed party animal, a lady who knows how to entertain friends, at the same time playing loving wife and caring mommy to her little one.

Jyosna had a C-sec delivery and now that her second child is on the way, she will most likely go in for another operated birth.

Myths, myths and myths. We all have heard so many of them that it sometimes gets difficult to differentiate between myth and fact. So what was that one myth that Jyosna heard too many times to actually feel it was true?

Coconut water and fair skin. I was told that if you drink coconut water all the time you will have a fair child, whereas if you have tea or coffee, the complexion of the child will turn dark.”

So did she believe in the saying? “Not really. I love drinking tea. But of course I did take precautions not to go overboard with my love for the beverage. But that did not mean I thought for one moment that drinking tea would mean I would deliver a dark baby” she laughs.

Both Jyosna and her husband Vipin have a fair complexion, so it is no surprise that their son too has a clear and fair skin. Now as she is just about to finish her first trimester, she is more careful though. “With age a lot of things change in a woman’s body. I am much more careful this time” she says, adding that with age and with the second pregnancy, you also become more mature and experienced.

A high-flier and a party animal, not the traits you would really associate with a mommy. So how has becoming a mother changed her as a person?
Becoming a mother has changed everything. My lifestyle, my behaviour, my attitude towards life, all has undergone a drastic change. Earlier I would head out to party at every given opportunity. My friends were my world. I was bursting with too much energy, always hyper, a little immature and irresponsible at times. Being a mother has changed all that, and only for the better. Now my life revolves around my son Neel, all else is secondary. Whatever I do, I first think only of how Neel will react to it. All my decisions and choices are now governed by what suits Neel best. I have become much more mature and calm as a person and can handle situations in a much more level-headed way than before.”

Jyosna gave up her lucrative career and decided to be a stay-at-home mom. So how is it for her, does she act more like a mother or more of a friend? What does she want to be more to her son now?
I think I am a mix of both, but I guess at the moment I am more of a mother. I am more concerned about what he is eating, what he is doing, where he is going, what will be good for him and things like that. I guess I will be more of a friend once the initial years are past. I want to be a friend to him when he grows up, the kind of mum to whom my son can come and share all his feelings without the slightest hitch. I want to be there with him always, to guide him and to listen to him. I want our relation to be so smooth that he doesn’t have to think twice before confiding in me.”

Well said Jyosna.

Jyosna has a very sweet and caring husband. I tease her that he is always besotted with his wife, to which she laughs and shakes her head.

“No no, I tell him to take it easy on him sometimes. But he is always doing something or the other, trying to make me feel special, making me happy all the time. When I was pregnant he was always asking me after my health. What did I eat, how I was feeling. And if there were any cravings he was always trying to fulfill them as much as was possible. I hated to sit at home all the time and always wanted to go out when I was pregnant with my first child. That was what made him uncomfortable. He was concerned I would end up exhausting myself too much.”

It is nice to see how the smiles still light our face when we think of those priceless months of expecting.

And what about getting irritated? Did her husband find any of her 'pregnancy' habit annoying?
"Of course....he used to get mad at my mood swings. I had these crazy mood fluctuations in those months and it absolutely drove him to the wall" she says.

Neel has just left for school and Jyosna is sitting eating a plate full of slices of apples. She offers me some, but as I make a face, she leaves me to my cup of tea instead. She changes her mind and decides she will have a little of it after all. So the best thing to do now, since she gets heart-burn from tea, is to take a milk rusk, dip it in your tea and have it. That way she savours the flavour of the tea while making sure she is not taking too much of the beverage. Smart woman, didn’t I tell you?

“Five, that’s a big boy you have now” I smile and Jyosna smiles too, thinking of those years that seemed to have gone by in a flash.
“Hmm, I didn’t realize time would go by so soon” she says. I cannot help but notice how it is that all us mothers always always say the exact same thing about our little ones. None of us ever realizes how they grew up so soon. It was the same way when our mothers were little, it was the same way when we were little, it is the same way now that we have our own little ones who are growing up so fast, and I am very sure it will be the same forever for every mother.
“So what is it that you will say is the most memorable of your motherhood experience?” I ask her.
She looks at me, as if she can already picture the scene and smiles. “I was very confused during my first pregnancy. Some days I would be scared, some times too happy, sometimes afraid that I might not know how to handle it when the baby would arrive. But the moment my baby was born, I could feel a sudden gush of emotions inside me. It was as if a barrier had been removed and all my fears and confusion were washed away. When I held my son in my arms for the first time and when I realised that I would be responsible for this tiny little being, I knew I could never go wrong again. I knew everything would be just fine.”

But one image that will always remain in her heart is the image of her little one when she was just three months into her pregnancy.
"The doctor had advised me a sonography. Till that time I was very unsure of how things would be, my full maternal instincts had not developed yet. The entire process was still very overwhelming for me." But when she saw the image of her little one, nestled inside her, growing slowly each day, with each passing moment, it was too much for this emotional girl. "I knew right then that I was looking at my world" she says, her voice heavy with emotions.

So now that the second baby is on the way and since her first-born is a boy, the obvious question many people have been asking her is if she has a choice or not.
“Of course not. Both me and my husband are not thinking of whether it will be a boy or a girl. All we want is a healthy happy baby who will complete our little sweet family.”
God bless.

Like I have said earlier too, amazing, that is what it is…..all these moments of confusion and fear and anxiety disappearing the moment the little one is in your arms. Magical, isn’t it, this bond of a mother and her little one? A magic that will change your life for ever.

We wish Jyosna, Neel and the family a wonderful experience throughout. Happy parenting!

* UPDATE: Proud parents Jyosna and Vipin just brought home little baby boy Lakshya. We wish the happy parents and lots of love to big brother Neel :))


And like I always believe in and say:
'Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children.' - MJ

Happy Parenting!!!

- Debolina Raja Gupta

Friday, July 23, 2010

Convincing Her It's Cool To Go With Parents To A PTM :O

I knew I would write about this but didnt know I would write so soon.

Ok, so we have to attend a PTM tomorrow morning at my daughter's school. Nothing unusual, as it is a monthly discussion platform and we are encouraged to share our thoughts with the teacher and to know how our little ones are doing in school and class.

We have attended all her previous PTMs and she has been quite excited about the idea of mamma-papa going to school with her on these occasions.

So today when I told her that tomorrow mamma-papa are also going to school, the thing she asked me was "And Navya?"

"Yes, Navya also." (She is Navya)

"You will come in the bus?"

"No, we will all go together in the car?"

"With mamma-papa?"

"Yes baby, with mamma-papa."

"And friends also?"

"Yes, your friends will also come. But we will be in the car first and then you can meet them in school."

She waited for a moment, wondering if it was a good thing or bad, and in about 2 seconds her mind was made. "No, Navya will go with friends."

"Yes, your friends will be there too, in the class. We will all go to class and you can meet your friends there" I repeated with a calm voice that mommyhood had gifted me!!!!

"No no, Navya will go with friends, not with mamma-papa. Navya will go in bus only, with friends."

Okay.......she is yet to be 03, in fact that is a big event in the next month....but hello...isn't it a bit too early to already brand being seen with parents as un-cool? I mean, come on, of course we are gonna be thought of as un-cool and 'old' after a few years by this tiny thing that just happened like a couple of years ago...but this soon?!!! Whoa, must say I am already zapped...

Happy Plant Will Never Be Thirsty Again.....

It’s been raining non-stop this whole week in Mumbai. Though I am thoroughly enjoying the showers, my daughter is more than content in her routine showers in the bathroom. It’s enough water and rain dance there for her, she does not want any more rain now. Desperate to go out and have some ‘park’ play, she looks at me each evening and asks me when she can go out to play.

The sky is dark and the clouds are all lined up. I stand with her at the balcony, the glass doors firmly in place, the winds creating a whoosh all over the house, and we stare out at the sea, looking at the rain. I tell her we cannot go out since it is raining so hard. Some days when she is interested in other toys and play things, she tells me she likes the rain. On other days when she only wants to go outside, ‘rain is bad.’

So I tell her that if we look out at the rain and the sky right now, we can see a story.

“A story?” she asks with an innocent tune, her big eyes already wide with curiosity, a smile beginning to form at the mention of a story.

“Hmm, a story. Look, do you see that big cloud outside in the sky? That big one which is like a circle shape, do you see that?” I tell her, pointing outside in a serious business-like fashion. She looks out at the sky and the first cloud she sees she nods in excitement.

“That one?” “Yes darling, that big one. You know what that big cloud you see out there has inside it?”

“Inside? What? What is there inside cloud?”

“Rain…lots and lots of rain. You see those trees outside?” I point out at the mangroves and my daughter is already too excited by now. The story is going good, and it’s a new one, so she does not know it already and wants to know what happens next. She looks at the mangroves and nods a yes.

“There are so many big trees there, papa trees, mamma trees and baby trees. And there is also the magic fairy tree inside there that I tell you about at night, the tree from which TinkerBell fairy comes into your dreams, remember?” She nods again, her eyes wide, waiting for the rest.

“You know when baby gets thirsty and wants to drink water. Who fills your glass and bottle?” She looks at me and smiles. This is an easy one. She knows the answer to this. “Mamma” she proudly smiles.

“Very good, mamma gets you water when you are thirsty. Just like that, when the trees get thirsty, they want to drink water too. But mamma can’t go there all the time, mamma has to look after baby also. So the sky sends the big clouds and the clouds carry rain and then, it sends all the rain down on the trees and the roads and everywhere, so that no one will be thirsty.”

A few weeks back my daughter had adopted a sapling as part of an environment campaign in school. She calls it the ‘happy plant’ and waters it each morning. We have kept the plant on the balcony. Now she looks at the plant, thinks for a moment and then turns to me. “And happy plant?”

“What about happy plant?”

“Navu gives water na. Happy plant is not thirsty na?” (Navu is my daughter Navya)

I can’t help but smile. I pick her up in my arms, give her a big smile and then look into her eyes. “Yes darling, you always give water to your happy plant.”

“And pigeons also na?” I have taught her to keep a bowl outside on the balconies and fill them with water each morning so that the thirsty birds can come and have a drink.

“Yes my dear. As long as you take care of your happy plant and your pigeons, they will never be thirsty.”

She liked the rains that day.

A simple and regular rainy evening, a baby in my arms, and an innocent world of which I am honoured to be a part of. I wish we could all be as simple as our little ones.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sneaking In Nutrition In Her Meals

So what is a common phrase that almost all mothers all over the world are so used to hearing but wish they never had to hear? From a little tot to a hyper-active toddler, almost all of them will sometime or the other begin saying that very sentence that we so dread hearing – ‘I don’t want to eat!’

In the tiny tot stage they will show their displeasure by moving away from food, spitting it out, making faces, refusing to open their mouth no matter how much you cajole them. Well if you are thinking this is going to change miraculously once they reach the toddler age, you are so in for a surprise my dear friend, and one that will not be pleasant. For no matter how grown up they will become, the problems related to eating will only escalate as the years pass. The only consolation is that at this stage, you can at least fool them and still make them eat what you want them to, using devious means and some scheming. Who said being a parent was simple?

My little toddler is a bundle of hyper-active energy and is always on the go. She refuses to sit down ever, not at home, not outside, not even in class; so much so that after a few months of trying to make her sit down in one place, even her teachers have given up. And of course to do so much running around, she needs her share of nutrition, which she would hardly ever get if left to herself.

Ensuring that your child gets all the nutrition for proper growth and development is YOUR JOB and not the child’s. It is a pathetic and unforgivable excuse when parents say that they tried to feed their children but they would never eat. I never sat down to eat when I was a kid, in fact even when I grew up my ma had to run after me to make me eat. But she never gave up. She never said ‘fine don’t eat, you will know when you feel hungry’ or she never told me to have a pack of chips instead if I didn’t feel like eating a proper meal. Whatever I did, she always made sure that she made changes in her cooking and made sure we had new and interesting things to sit down to. And the fact that she had two kids with completely different tastes was even more difficult, one child eating only salty while the other only wanted sweet things, she never gave up.

I know many modern-day parents who tell me they are tired of trying to make their little ones eat, that they spend so much time running after their kids that sometimes they feel they should just let the kids go hungry. For parents like this there is only one thing I can say – you should have known better before you planned to have a baby.

There are some amazingly ridiculous parents who, in order to avoid any hassle to their perfectly calm lives, feed their children a breakfast of tea and biscuits – and I am talking here of parents of 03-year-olds! And then they blame their children that they don’t drink milk! Also, open their tiffin and you will almost always see Maggi inside. And the next thing they will be quick to point out is – what to do, that is all they like. Well, I agree that is all they like, but who allowed them to have it in the first place?

The taste a child develops towards foods is ALWAYS related to the parents, especially the mother. What you eat when you are pregnant and what you eat when you are breast-feeding your child forms the basis of their taste development routine. Later on, what you eat in front of your child as they are growing up will also go a long way in making them choose their food. If you are sitting sipping a cola while your child is made to force down milk, chances are they will want to go for the cola instead. If you are eating pizza at meal time while your little one is sitting alone fiddling with a plate of beans, most often than not, pizza will be the only point of concentration for your little one at that moment. You don’t need to ban all adult food from your kitchen, just ensure that these are not the only things your child sees you eat. Set an example by eating good and if once in a while your child catches you sipping cola, tell them it is a grown-up drink and not meant for kids. Better still, if you can, leave out these harmful drinks from your lifestyle, they will do you more good than you realize.

I have made it a habit to sneak in health in all that my daughter eats or drinks, well, practically all. I think some of my tricks could help you too:

If I am making khichdi (which she loves) I make sure to put in lots of greens and vegetables.
I also sometimes crush almonds and put it in her food, so that way some extra nutrition goes in her tummy.
Sometimes, when I am making daal (lentils) for her, I soak in a spoon of daliya too. Also, many days, instead of cooking just one kind of daal, I mix in different kinds of daal to make a mixed-daal. I usually do a lot of mix and match so that she gets a new taste each day. And I also add in some vegetables in her daal.
The fact that my daughter loves vegetables and fruits also helps a lot and I take full credit for helping her develop a taste towards good food.
Since she loves soups, I make it a point to use a lot of vegetables/chicken and make a delicious soup for her at home, none of those off-the-shelf instant soups.
Every time I make custard for her I cut up an assortment of fruits to mix with the custard.
Since she loves peas and corns I usually boil these together and sprinkle a little salt and lemon/butter and black pepper, and see, her evening snack is ready.
Sometimes I dry-roast a little bhel (rice puffs) and mix it with corn-flakes, dried curry leaves, a little roasted cumin, salt, a dash of turmeric, some nuts and cut almonds and keep all this – a ready-to-munch snack filled with nutrition.
She loves dosa and idli, so I usually mix some egg too while making the same.
And of course since she loves cheese and butter, which are a good source of energy and nutrition at this stage if given in the right amount, I make it a point to hand her cheese slices and also to include some form of fat, like ghee (clarified butter) or butter in what I cook for her.
My daughter and I both share a common love for green leafy vegetables, so when these are in season, we are always eating yummy green soups and green leafy vegetables cooked in delicious flavours.
Pasta and noodles of course she loves, so sometimes when she is allowed the treat, she has lots and lots of vegetables and corn in her pasta/noodles.
Milk with chavanpraash/honey is something my daughter loves. And when it is raining or the weather is a little chilly, I make her warm ginger milk and add a dash of turmeric, which is always good to prevent/cure ailments related to the throat.
Curd is something that my daughter thankfully loves (I hate it). So I don’t need to do any extra work here. I can just hand her a tub of curd and she will finish it off on her own. She does not like it mixed with anything though, not even with sugar.
Fish and chicken and eggs and paneer are some of the things she really really loves. And I make sure to hand out lots of protein to her this way. Again, paneer and egg are things that I usually mix in with many of her food.

Well these are just a few of the things and tricks I do to ensure my little one is getting her due dose of nutrition. These are my ideas and you may have your own special ways. I know it is much easier to blame it on her and say ‘Oh what to do, she just wont eat!’ but I can safely say I am a much better mother than that, probably one day can be a little bit as what my ma is, but already on the right track.

For all you who still think instant noodles and tea and chips are the best bet, well, be prepared to take the blame when your little one grows up and tell you how you failed in your duty as a parent.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Her School And My HomeWork

Wow, so now that my daughter has begun school, I can see that I have a busy social calendar too. Maybe not exactly the way I had imagined, I had imagined that once she began school I would use those few hours to celebrate my new-found me-time, to go out and have some girly fun, to spend time with my girl friends or any friends for that matter, to draw a warm bubble bath and soak in the water for hours, to go window shopping and not worry about tagging along an unwilling toddler whose real love lay in the play-area…..there were so many plans, which, still remain plans.

On the other hand, there has been a sudden intrusion of a busy schedule already, something that was not planned but has just now begun to hit me. The calendar is packed not only now, but my daughter’s school authorities have been kind and generous enough to keep my calendar booked for the next two months!!!!

I knew school would mean crafts and projects and home work and all that…..but right now? Pleeeezzzzzz……let her at least grow up a bit…and let me enjoy some time to myself first :(

So we started with poems and songs and alphabets and numbers, colours, animals, birds, transport, thankfully these all she knew, I had already done some home work before-hand… I was spared some initial work.

Then came the standing lines and the sleeping lines and the slanting lines. Then beginning to write. Then drawing. Then origami!!!!! Huh!!!!!

Then began the crafts and the scratching of the head till late at night, just trying to figure out what to do and how to do……. Oh boy, the pressures of school are already beginning to show on me now!

Then the fancy dress competitions, the rain dance schedules, the colour days where the dress and the shoes and socks, the accessories and even the tiffin needs to be coordinated. Plus she also needs to carry a colour-coordinated toy to school. Hmm..

Then came the environment week, with one day seeing my little one turn into a sunflower, another day seeing her as a concerned tiny citizen, marching with an environment-related placard, one day saw her having fun in a rain dance, while another saw her planting a sapling with her papa and learning to take care of her ‘happy plant’ as she calls it.

Now the new schedule is out. And I have my hands full again.

So now what I am looking at is a pink day, a jeans day, a magi / pasta day(I have managed to keep her off Maggi till now, though she has already begun singing the jingle she sees on TV and asks me about the noogles that these boys and girls on TV are eating) I will surely give her pasta, then there is of course friendship day, where she will be tying satin ribbons to other tots she thinks of as friends (never mind that these little ones are always complaining about he hit me, she hit me), cheese sandwich day, tattoo day (out will come my brushes and paints for making a fake tattoo), peace day (I need to figure out a full white ensemble for her – her wardrobe is already beginning to look like a rainbow and more), bhel day, lollipop day, hat day…..and, to my biggest tension, a RETRO DAY!!!! Now how am I supposed to dress her up in the early 70’s and 80’s fashion in bell bottoms and short kurtis and all!!!! I guess I will have to endure Om Shanti Om for some disastrous fashion ideas now!!!!

This schedule is going to go on till September. So once this is over and I am still alive and capable of writing down all this again, I will update about the latest in my school home work assignments… till then, please keep wishing me luck……

Her Exhaustion And You....

For almost all the months of pregnancy, a woman will face exhaustion and extreme drowsiness. In fact, feeling sleepy all the time and feeling tired and weak are some of the first signs of pregnancy.

Of course you will have your own busy schedule and expecting you to take care of the office as well as the home-front will be a little too much (though women have been doing just that always and are still not appreciated for their work). But even without doing the house work you can still show a little understanding towards your partner.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Her Assets And Your Management...........

Okay, keep those two away………

We know you love those assets but asset management is what you will have to become great at right now. Of course she doesn’t want you anywhere near her assets, not during the initial stages at least.

Almost all the women feel extreme soreness in their assets while they are expecting. And trying to get too close and intimate can only result in irritation and uneasiness.

Respect her wish and let it be. Having to deal with an over-enthusiastic partner at this stage is the last thing she wants on her already full list.

Let her take her time. And don’t sulk while you can’t get it. We know you like them even more now that they will be more feminine and full, but let her decide when to go for it. There is more to love than just assets, isn’t it? And even if you think there isn’t, well, then just pretend.

Helping Her Through Morning Sickness

Almost all women are affected by morning sickness during pregnancy. Your woman is not the only one who has these frequent trips on and off, and you are not the only one who is dealing with a woman who does not seem to be able to hold anything in.

It is a myth that the vomiting related to pregnancy will only happen in the morning. Many women experience nausea and vomiting in other times of the day, not necessarily in the morning. Many women will vomit through the night while the mornings are always normal. I too had my spells only through the nights.

When she is not well she needs you most to tell her that it will be alright. She will be feeling weak and may even feel dizzy when these nausea spells hit her. Be near her, if you are home help her with some food and sips if she is upto it. Whatever you do, don’t make her feel like it is not your problem and that she needs to deal with her on her own. Don’t act as if it is okay for her to keep on vomiting while you are busy with your play-station or work.

Example: A woman I knew would have her vomit spells only in the nights. She and her hubby were the only people in the house. While she spent the nights bent over the toilet, her husband would sleep peacefully, snoring off to glory, even when she would be sitting in the toilet for almost an hour, too dizzy to get up, too weak to call out to her husband, hoping he would wake up and get her back to bed. And in the morning he would wake up and leave for work as any other normal day, only to repeat the same thing at night. She did tell him what was going on and that she was too weak when the vomiting spells hit her. But he would always be sleeping and she managed through all her vomiting nights on her own.

Please be sensitive and look after her. She will be extremely dizzy and weak when the nausea hits. And falling down could be disastrous for both baby and mother. So take care and be with her and especially during those initial months when there will be most of the nausea, please be by her side.

Few Things You Can Take Care Of While She Is Pregs....

Here is a helpful list for all fathers-to-be, to help them understand the expectant mothers a little better, and in the process, make things a little easier for themselves.

We know the mother-to-be is getting all the attention and care and it is expected of you to keep a straight face and a smile on, even when she is in the worst imaginable moods, shouting at you for everything, making completely unreasonable demands, and crying even before you know what you did.

And if you are still managing to take all that in your stride, we appreciate and love you for it.

The fact that women are going through a huge change at this stage is a well-known and well-celebrated fact. But the fact that their male partners are going through equally stressful times is almost always

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Enjoying While You Are Preggers.....

Girls, ladies, trust you me, these nine months are going to be the most blissful months you will ever have to yourself again……Yes, I am not trying to scare you or make you think twice about what lies ahead, what lies ahead is going to be beautiful and the best thing that could have ever happened to you. But what I am simply saying is this – that these 09 months of your first pregnancy is the last and most intimate time that you will have to call all yours, coz once the baby is out, all your time will be only for the baby.

Many women feel that the 09 months of their pregnancy are the best months. And they have some very good reasons for the same. There is so much pampering and attention and care and concern all centered around you that you will feel as if for these 09 months the only thing that others have to worry and think about is you.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Growing Up......

Looking through the old box
I came upon a bib,
A few old frocks
And the dismantled parts of a baby crib.
I found a little rattle
And a teether she used to chew,
A pair of little red mittens
That still looked so brand new.
A little piece of paper
On which were a few tiny lines,
A crayon that she had held once
And tried to nibble at the sides.
I found a baby animal
That had once been a favourite toy,
It lay now among the old things
Along with a toy girl and a toy boy.
I found a tiny pillow
That she slept on when she was born,
And a little baby’s sleeping cloth
That every night she lay on.
Tiny socks and those first shoes
That I had seen in a window at the shop,
And a pair of rubber toys
Which every time I gave her, her tiny hands would drop.
Little baby comb and tiny baby sheets
And I found her first toothbrush too,
Along with them pair of tiny fairy socks
And a tiara she wore last year when she turned two.
All this and many more memories
Stacked away for all days to come,
As she keeps growing each day
There will still always be some.
Now the bib is gone and the frocks are bigger
The bed too is a new one,
The brush is big, the socks and shoes too
And instead of lying now, she just always runs.
The toys have changed and the sheets have too
The pillows and things all new,
I look at them and I think in my heart
‘Are they old already? But they still look brand-new.’
Just that day we had thought of what we would need
As a little one was about to arrive,
Hardly a couple of years and she is grown up already!
And I hate to admit it - it doesn’t at all feel right
I need more time to see her each day
To savour each moment as she is still small,
Coz this is my world and this is my all
She is all that is me, she is my little doll………


And like I always believe in and say:
"Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children" - MJ

Happy Parenting!!!

- Debolina Raja Gupta

I Will Tell You Mamma

Last week my daughter got into a kind of fight at school. Well it was just the usual little baby fight scenario - Why did she touch my diary? Why did she take my i-card? why did she not talk to me when I was talking to her? Why did she not play? All those heavy-duty stuff associated with toddlers and hence the fights.

Well it was pretty difficult to get her to talk about it. I of course called up the school and got the whole story, but I wanted to hear it from her too, but knew she would tell me in her own sweet time. So that afternoon after the initial prodding I let it be. She was happy and distracted and everything about the episode was forgotten for some time.

That night when I put my head on the pillow beside her, snuggling up to her in the comforter, she turned to me and out poured all that had happened at school. She told me all her problems in detail, telling me what had happened, what had upset her, what she had done and what the other toddler had done. I listened to her with a sympathetic eye, nodding and assuring her that I understood, encouraging her to tell me everything, and of course she eventually did.

Once she was done telling me everything, I told her that next time she has a problem, she can go to her class teacher and tell her about it. 'If you want something, go to your teacher and tell her. If someone is hitting you, dont hit back, tell your teacher."

You know what she said?

She looked at me, frowned a second, and then told me with a definite nod "I will not tell teacher."


"I will tell mamma na."

That's it...I cant tell you what that felt like..And I hope to be this important part of her life for as long as I can....

Learning To Manage On Her Own

As my daughter is learning to spend some time away from mommy, I can see there is a change in the way she has begun handling things.

My little darling will be three next month.

Earlier, anything unpleasant would make her cry immediately, and she would not be pacified unless her mamma had picked her up and hugged her and told her that everything would be fine. Now, even if there is something that is bothering her while mamma is not around, she will not begin to cry. Instead, she tries to understand the reaction of the person in front of her and then tells them properly what it is that she thinks they are doing wrong. Thankfully, she has turned out to be good with words and can express herself clearly.

One more thing that I have noticed lately is that she has become increasingly responsible of her own belongings. She knows how to take care of her bag and bottle and her school diary and all the things that are inside her bag, like her colour pouch or her tiffin box. Earlier she would easily put down things that she may have been holding and then, forgetting about it completely, would walk away. Now, even if she does put down whatever it is that she is currently holding, she will look around after a while to see where she placed it and then pick it up. She knows what is hers and that when her mamma is not around, she is the one who will have to look after her own things.

Earlier there was also the tendency of clinging on to me too much. She would be a very confident child at home, but was always shy and insecure in the presence of others. And she constantly needed me to be with her, to hold her hand at intervals, she would need me to be with her even when she was playing with her friends. Now it has changed. I see her more confident and sure of herself in front of others, and she is beginning to be able to manage things on her own for longer periods without my constant help. She is more mature as a team-player too and there are lesser tears and fights over toys, the concept of sharing beginning to make sense to her slowly, albeit extremely slowly.

Many of the mothers I knew had begun to send their children to playschools quite early. Some kids began going to playgroups at around 1-and-half years of age, while some little ones I know went as early as 8 months!!! Well that one I am not a fan of as a personal opinion. But no judging here, its just a personal view, so no offence. I did not send her to playschool for the simple reason that I wanted her to enjoy her life a little longer than kids these days, before she went into a routine. I was anyways home teaching her already, so there was not the problem of her not doing well in an interview. But one thing I was worried about was how she would cope in a new environment, suddenly leaving mamma and going to school, while most of the other kids already had some experience in the same.

The first week was tough, extremely tough, for her and for me. But now she has started loving her school so much that she wakes up in the morning, sometimes gets up even before me and wakes me up, saying ‘Its morning, now I will go to school” and as I nod yes, her whole face lights up.

I am really happy the way this has turned out. Of course I was very concerned as most first-time mothers would be, unsure and scared to let my child go. But now that I see the changes in her and realize that she is enjoying her new experience so much, I know my daughter is now ready.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Taking care of yourself during the pregnancy....

There are many things that we tend to do wrong while we are pregnant. Not consciously though. Most first time mothers these days have the responsibility of looking after themselves on their own. With the structure of the joint family already crumbling and not really welcome these days, the nuclear family has to fend for itself. Thus we are left with little or no advice, something that would have been abundant if we were to be surrounded by our elders.

Many women choose to call their mothers when they are pregnant. Some do it long-distance over the phone. Some mothers come and live with their expecting daughters, while some daughters move over to their maternal home for the delivery. A few women also go to their in-laws’ place or vice-versa.

But for those initial months, or rather, the major part of pregnancy, when we are on our own, there are a few very basic things that we can keep in mind to ensure the health of both us and our little one.

1. Eat well and do not skip meals. We have all skipped meals all our lives, especially breakfast, even though we all know by rote now that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. When you are pregnant, it is especially important that you eat well. What mothers and doctors say is true – that you are eating for two when you are pregs. Of course not literally, that is, if you are eating a plate of rice the baby will not get the nutritive value of the full plate of rice. But it will get its nutrition from what you need. And if you don’t eat well, chances are you may suffer fatigue and weakness, which can eventually affect baby. You don’t have to stuff yourself with food either. Just make sure you never go hungry.

2. Sleep on your left side. The doctor will tell you the same. Sleeping on your left side will ensure a better supply of blood to baby. This is good for baby’s development.

3. Remember what all food allergies you have and avoid them at all costs.

4. Alcohol and aerated drinks as well as smoking are a strict NO. Not even the tiniest sip of alcohol is permissible when you are pregnant. And not even that one drag on the stick.

5. Many doctors, as well as mothers, will tell you to stay away from fruits like papaya and pineapple. I am not really sure if all women are told the same thing, of course it might vary from woman to woman. But it is always better to avoid these fruits unless the doctors say otherwise.

6. Many, but not all women are also put off Chinese food as it contains a lot of ajinomoto and is said to be harmful for pregnancy. Check with your doctor about the same.

7. The pills you are given during pregnancy are almost always extremely bitter. But there is no excuse for you not to take them. It is extremely important that you religiously take each and every medicine that the doctor has prescribed. If the pills are too bitter, try and crush it and mix it with some honey or sugar (check with your doctor about the same). Or you can share your problem with them and ask if there is any substitute. If there is no other option, act like a mature adult and TAKE THE PILLS.

8. Milk milk and lots of milk. There is no beating about the bush here. Unless you are a person who suffers from lactose intolerance, you simply have to consume milk each day. At least two big cups of milk is what you should ideally be taking. But if you feel that is too much, or if you are unable to keep it down, try and take it in small sips in regular intervals. No amount of milk is too much during pregnancy. Have as much as you can, as it will be a great source of nourishment for both you and baby. Remember to boil the milk properly first and only then consume, unless it is from a carton that is already boiled.

9. Go easy on the oil. During these nine months, try and avoid as much oily and fried food as you can. Not only are these zero in nutritive value, having fried and too oily food during pregnancy leads to heartburn and acidity, which can be a huge source of discomfort.

10. Lie down, sleep, rest. As simple as it may sound, once the baby arrives, you will need all your time and energy to take care for the little one. As much as you sleep and rest now, the more your body will be able to refresh and energise itself, thus giving you a great boost to charge you up for the post-delivery days. Also, it is said (I am not sure if it is just a myth or a fact, but it happened in my case) that when the mother sleeps, the baby also sleeps, even in the womb. So it is said that if you sleep in the afternoon, even a small nap, your baby too will do the same, and the practice will continue even after birth. I never ever slept in the day, and now my daughter does not sleep either, try as hard as I might. Like I said, I don’t know if this is a myth or fact, but taking a nap can only be good for you, so go for it.

11. Try and establish a routine as much as you can. Try and wake up on time and try to keep your bed time at a decent hour. Going to bed too late will also lead to acidity and indigestion. Also, if you start getting into a routine now, chances are, it will become a part of your life once the baby arrives, and you will not have much trouble establishing a routine as your little one is growing up.

12. Dry fruits are a good source of nutrition. Keep a bowl of raisins, cashew nuts and almonds handy. When you feel the urge to munch on something but want to give meals or fruits a miss, snacking on these energy nuts will provide much energy and be filling as well.

13. Lifting heavy stuff is completely out of the question. You may feel fine and strong, but there is no guarantee that lifting something heavy will not affect the baby. Be safe and be smart and avoid it at all costs.

14. Each time you need to pick up something, remember to bend at your knees and not bend down over your back. Even if your tummy is not big by now, you are carrying your precious one inside you and you need to keep its safety in your mind at all times. Bend your knees slowly, if required, hold on to something for support, and only then pick up what you need. The tummy should not feel the pressure at any time.

Remember that every woman’s needs and likes and dislikes are different and it is wrong to compare yourself with other women who are pregnant. There may be many things that you do the same like them, as there may be many that you do completely differently. Unless you feel it is harming you or baby in some way, there is no need for concern. Keep talking to your gynae whenever you have an appointment and discuss your thoughts and fears freely. Remember, the more you talk to a doctor, the more sound and correct advice you are bound to get, which will ultimately be useful for your baby.

So take care, enjoy this attention phase and get ready for the biggest joy that is soon going to come your way.

Monday, July 12, 2010

How Marketing Gimmicks Are Turning Our Homes Into A Playhouse......

To all those of you who have a young one at home, an infant, a toddler, or a young little one, if I ask you how many toys your kid has, what would you say? Probably your answer will be 'Many' 'Loads' 'Too many to count' 'Cant say, its just too many' 'The room is always filled with toys' 'No space for any new toys anymore'....and more variations of the same thing that means that your little one has so many toys that you have already lost count.

So have I...a long time back.

As my little one is growing each day, I realise the difference between when we were little and now that we have our own children. I still remember my toys from my childhood days. One of my most favourite toy was a boy-doll who I had named Anand, well the name just came out of the manufacturing company's name, that's all, I didnt do too much fancy naming ceremonies for my dolls back then. Then there was a doll which was a favourite too. So I had two dolls that were my all-time favourite, apart from a select others that I now don’t remember, and my books and colouring tools and blocks and all. And then there was my tricycle. Remember those red Tobu cycles.... 'aao chalein hum, lekar apni, Tobu cyclein...' I still remember that jingle, and I guess most of you from those times will remember it too; maybe you too had one back then.

When I was young my parents did not take me to the mall each weekend. Well, to begin with, there were NO MALLS in India at that time. I was born in the 80s and now, a mere 20-30 years later, if someone were to look back and think of those times, it would seem a different era altogether. My parents did not take me to the movies then, precisely because there were hardly any 'good' movies that were to be watched with kids that time. The 80's were, as it is, a crappy time in the history of Bollywood. And there was still no sign of the Disneys and the Barbies and the other kiddie movies in the theatres that our little ones are so fortunate to take for granted these days.

Now it is different. When my daughter was just a little over one-and-half years old, we began taking her out to the movies. I personally was not comfortable taking her to a dark and noisy hall before that. Of course many people are okay to take their babies out much earlier than that, even a few months old. We took her out too but not to movies. It was to restaurants and parks and malls. She soon began enjoying her time at the malls and became a pro at window-shopping. So much so that we would end up spending almost 2-3 hours more at the mall just because a particular mannequin happened to catch her attention. The malls soon became a weekend thing, an outing she looks forward to the entire week, knowing that her ma papa will take her out to the mall as soon as papa’s office is off (meaning weekend).

I still remember my fifth birthday. My parents had arranged a grand celebration. Our home was filled with guests and my ma had made the choicest and most tempting menu ever. Everyone was having a great time and I was having a special time receiving gifts and getting all the attention. It is the one birthday that I still remember to this day.
I can’t say the same about my daughter though. I am not sure how many birthdays she will remember. We celebrated her second birthday at the kids’ zone in a popular mall near our home. The place was filled with kids of all ages and parents, a big Minnie mouse birthday cake, lots of balloons, presents and of course the games that were there in the mall – the rides, the carousel, the toys, the music, everything. Food was handed over to the caterers to look after and everything was planned. I had even made hand-made cards as invites. It was a fun time and everyone loved it. But after the birthday, the charm of the place is now gone.
The mall has become such a weekend thing that this year even if we decide to celebrate her birthday at the mall, she will already have gotten too used to it, even before she has turned three…so you see, this is why I am in doubt whether she will remember any of her birthday as being special, they are too much a part of her life anyway now already.

Each time I enter in a store with her now, the things that first catch her eyes are the Disney and Barbie products. Of course there are other things too, but the sales guys are much too smart to know that once you display a Disney in the front, no kid will even bother to look what is behind that Disney. Maybe an even more interesting toy is hidden behind. But who cares? And that is the magic of Disney and that is the strategy of the companies and the stores. They are here to almost wipe out all the remaining products that are still brave enough to exist.

My home now is a toy paradise. So much so that there is hardly any space for any more new toys….and all this even before she is 3. I can take responsibility in leading up to this. I have a hand too in going for lots of soft toys for her and getting her dolls and things. But then, who wouldn’t want to do that when there are so many temptations out there. And trust me it gets really difficult after a certain stage to control your impulse to bring that toy home.

When a kid in our building gets a new cycle, all others end up having the same, when they get a new car or a new toy or gadget, the others follow too.

Of course we parents are to blame for giving in to the demand and the temptation and the sulking and crying and the manipulations…..but then, will someone tell me how to keep a straight face and keep refusing when the world around is flooded with all these fairy tale characters now ?????

I am still trying and am of course not able to control all this….so if you figure out something, do let me know 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The child-car-seat..........

Unlike most places abroad, we Indians are still completely ignorant and careless about the basic standards of safety when it comes to driving in a car with our little ones. Not only are we ignorant, we choose to completely overlook the issues of child-safety in a moving vehicle, and unless and until something tragic happens, we continue to flaunt rules and continue the way things have been going. Well, if we didn’t do it till now and nothing bad has happened, we believe it is alright to carry on the same way. But the moment we read or hear about any sort of mishap involving a child in a vehicle, we sit for a moment and decide that from now on we will be careful and not repeat what someone else did. But sadly, that moment passes away too soon and we end up being as careless and casual about the whole thing as we were before.

In India, not only do we not follow the basic child-safety guidelines (the best excuse is that it isn’t yet an official rule hence we wont be fined for not obeying), we also display immense talent to do just exactly what is the most dangerous travel method and probably the one that can turn fatal: the practice of carrying our little one in our lap as we sit in a car. You see, carrying your child in your lap, especially if you are sitting in the front seat, can be extremely fatal in any way you plan:
1. If you are putting the seat belt only on you and not on the child, chances are that, in case there is a collision, the child will always be thrown off your hands. The force of the crash increases the child’s weight at the moment of the crash and it is literally impossible for anyone, even a very strong adult, to hold on to them. Which means the child will surely be out of the so-called safety of your arms.
2. If your child is sitting in your lap and you are putting the seat belt on yourself as well as on the child, you are increasing their risk of being crushed under your weight in the face of a crash.
3. Putting a little one on their own in the rear seat and buckling them in the regular safety belt is not a good choice either, as these belts are too big for their tiny frame and can end up choking them or being completely useless in the event of a collision.
4. And putting your little one in the car seat, front or back, without a seat belt, is definitely not done.
5. Having a child in the front seat can also be distracting for the driver. And if the child is too young, a sudden movement of the little one’s hand or legs or sudden jumpy movements or even too much conversation could distract the person who is driving.

The safest seat for a child in the car is the middle rear seat. We Indians do not believe in investing in a car seat, as we feel we are better equipped at taking care of our children and it seems a waste of money to spend so much on something that will be out of use so soon. We may be totally okay to spend on movies and popcorns and burgers and colas, but when it comes to car-seats for our little ones, tell me honestly, how many of us are using it already? Well, to tell you the truth, this is something that I still haven’t been able to convince my hubby about, though I feel very strongly about the same and believe that each one of us should make this a habit, but now that he is beginning to at least talk about it, I know I am going to get it soon, no matter what.

Kinds of child-car seats:

1. If your little one is an infant, you should place him/her in a rear-facing child-car-seat.
2. A toddler will be sitting in a front-facing child-car-seat.
3. A child who has outgrown the child-seat should be placed in a booster seat till the age of 8 or 12.

Always check the seat belt and adjust it to the size and height of your little one. Also, make sure that when you are buying the child-seat, you drive in your own car so that you know how well it fits in your car.

Take care before it is too late. Accidents never announce themselves and there is only so much we can do. We may be extremely careful and cautious when it comes to driving, but not everyone out there will necessarily drive by the book.

And As School Begins.....

So now that my daughter has started school I can safely say that my School Days are back as well..

Its another thing that I still cant seem to figure out where the past 3 years went flying, I still feel like my little Navya was just born yesterday, and I dont even need to close my eyes to see those moments, each single one of them, that happened since she first came out with one eye closed one open and looked at me and wiggled. How can she now be going to school on her own in a school bus ?? :O

Every school day is an adventure and a revelation. And a new window seems to open each day when she comes back from school and jumps in my arms from the school bus, always giving me a huge smile to see me waiting for her, a smile that tells me she is still glad to see me, that there is still time before she will hate me waiting for her like this, coz it will be so un-cool to be seen by your friends with your mommy around, and ever afternoon as I ask her without fail what she did in school, she replies with a naughty grin 'nothing', only to begin play-acting later in the day when all that she did in class comes out in her playing. How I love those moments.

My little monkey is out there and she is facing them on her own. So it is only natural that some days she comes home with a scratch, sometimes she will come home with a torn I-card, or a missing pencil, almost every day with a star on her hand for good behaviour or good studies (Im happy), and recently she came home with a bite mark.... That is when I called the school and the story tumbled out.... and the parts that my not-yet-three-year-old had so conveniently chosen to not mention...

Her school best friend had been sick for the last 3 days and she had to sit alone in the school bus and in class too. She didnt like her new neighbour, she was missing her regular best friend too much. So she tried to gain attention from the new neighbour, and when that was not reciprocated, she tried to pull her which turned into a push, the girl fell, slaps and more push were exchanged, and finally the other girl bit my baby. The teacher had intervened through the day and all this happened over a long period the whole day, including many warnings. After the bite, my baby was taken to the medicine room, where she was given an ice pack and medicine. The two were then promptly marched to the principal’s office where my daughter sat casually in the chair and explained in detail what had happened. She told the principal that the other girl was not talking to her despite repeated request and in the end she had pushed her.

Of course I got to know all this when I called. The supervisor told me they were going to call us too.

Not that it’s a stray incident or an uncommon one. I am sure those who have elder kids have already experienced the same. And those who have younger kids, be prepared……you too will see this one day.

I didn’t scold her. I didn’t threaten her or punish her. I loved her a lot to care for her wound, which was just a mark and no cut, and I told her why the girl had bit her. I told her it is wrong to bite, that she should never bite. And I also told her it is wrong to push, or to slap or fight. That when you don’t like something you can ask the teacher to help about it. She knows it is bad to fight and only naughty babies fight. It is completely another thing that she forgets all that when she is really angry or pushed to the limit of her little tiny patience.

Earlier maybe I would have scolded her for fighting, but I know better than that now. I know that will only make her hide things from me, shy away from sharing everything without the fear of being judged. Right now, my little one knows she can come and tell everything to mamma. That I will not scold her always, but I will talk to her and explain things to her. Of course I scold her when things so demand. And she eventually did tell me everything that she had done that day in school, she talked to me as I was putting her to bed, as the room was bathed in a soft red glow and as I put my head close to hers on her pillow and listened to her under the comforter….she told me everything….and that is what I had waited for the whole day…..

So, from now on, as I begin school all over again and start my rounds of class teachers, supervisors and principal, I hope I can be as much a part of my little one’s life as I want to be. And I hope she keeps confiding in me like she is doing now……

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Rain Rain Don't Go Away

Rain rain don't go away
Come again just after a break
Little Navya wants you to stay
Rain rain don't go away.....

Raincoat, warm chocolate milk, warm baths, hot hot khichdi, hot hot sprouts, cosy comforter, comforting socks, playing indoors, making camps in the living room, story sessions.....

Having fun having fun having fun :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

How To Cheer Up Your Sick Little One

All of you parents out there....there will be many many times when you will face this situation of your little one not being well. Of course all of us take the extreme possible care and give our utmost attention to our babies, but there are times when it is just not in your control....

Admit it, your little ones are going to fall sick some way or the other, and there is only so much we can do to make those days a little comforting for them.

1. Talk to them constantly and hug them...It will really make them feel comforted and secure to know that whatever it is that is happening to them (discomfort or doctor visit), mommy and papa are always around to love and snuggle up with.

2. If it is cold they are suffering from, give them lots of warm milk mixed with ginger and a pinch of turmeric.

3. Massage the chest with slightly warm mustard oil. Many babies will resist and cry at the pungent smell, so do it when they are asleep. Massaging a baby with warm mustard oil on the chest and throat when they have cold will cause a lot of relief. But be extremely careful to check the temperature of the oil. Never leave a baby unattended with oil or other hot or similar things.

4. Read them their favourite stories.

5. Let them watch cartoons, unless of course it proves to be too tiring for them.

6. When putting them to sleep, snuggle inside the comforter with them and talk softly. Tell them they will get well soon.

7. If it is okay then sit with your little one in the balcony and talk to them about what people are doing outside. Tell them today is a special mommy-and-baby day and tomorrow (or whatever the healing time is) you will take them out.

8. If your little one needs to be hospitalised, make sure you make their room as pleasant and comforting as you can. Being in a hospital can be very scary for a little one. So take their favourite toys and dolls and a few books maybe. When my little one was admitted, we had made her hospital room look as much as her room at home. We took her dolls, her pillow, her comforter, her plates and spoons and cups, her books, and set them up in the hospital room. Trust me, it made her a little calmer to see her own things around.

9. You can get a new toy or a new doll or book when your child is unwell and needs to rest. Don't make it a habit, but sometimes, getting a new toy can distract a child and take their scared minds away from injections and doctors.

10.Help them call up their friends and let them talk to them. Talking to a friend of their own age can sometimes really cheer up the kids.

11. Brighten up their room at home. Make a few hanging fairies or cartoon characters that your little one loves and hang them from the ceiling so they can see it even when they are lying down. These are easily available in the market in case you do not wish to make at home.

12.Get a new accessory, maybe a new wall clock with cartoon characters on it that you can put up on the wall opposite baby's bed. This way you can also teach them to read the clock.

13.A new lamp shade is also a great idea. Light up the room in a favourite cartoon character whenever baby is going to sleep. Make bed times a lot more fun.

14.Plug in their favourite songs on your i-pod or cell phone or music player and sing along.

The one and only constant thing that I have not mentioned in any of the above points is the constant cuddling and hugging and kissing and being together mode. Be their with your little one and see them bounce back with good health and that same old naughtiness....

Happy Parenting....

I Saved My Tiffin For Home

Sometimes it's really cute what these little minds are thinking and the way they interpret things around them...

My little daughter Navya, who is all set to be a little lady of 3 next month, is already experiencing the big world on her own, now that she has joined a 'proper' school. 'Proper' meaning not a playgroup or playschool, but a regular school, and since this is the first time she has gone out of the 'nest' that her mommy was making for her, it is a big experience !!!!

Now my daughter is very particular about what she will eat in her tiffin. A proper meal or a proper snack is a strict non-no, as she associates all that only with home and things that she should have with mamma while mamma is around. That she never sits at the same spot for more than 10 seconds and that her mamma has to run around the entire house with her food in hand is a different story altogether.

So, options like sandwich, vegetable cutlet, noodles, parantha, aaloo-sabzi, burger, idli, dosa.....all these are not allowed in her tiffin. If ever I try and send these to school, 9/10 times they come home just the way I sent it.

The only things she is ok to take to school as of now are green peas, corn, fruits, cookies, cornflakes, and sometimes wafers. That is all she will eat in school.

Sometimes it is easy for me to try my hand at making South-Indian food as the pastes are readily available in the shops these days. So today I had made butter dosa for her in breakfast, just the crispy way she likes it.. "Mamma, give me katt katt" she smiles. So I gave her a plate of butter dosa that she thankfully finished without much fuss. And that made me try and stretch my luck further.

I quickly used up the remaining paste to make a few small idlis for her. And later I sauted them with salt and butter and cut them in tiny pieces to send to school. Of course I added the mandatory (by Navya) green peas and 2 cookies too.

And when she returned home in the afternoon I already knew what to expect. There they were, those few pieces of idli, lying morosely in a corner of her lunch box, while the rest of its companions had been duly put in their place, in Navya's tummy that is ;)

I asked her why she didnt eat the idli. She stared back at me with two big innocent eyes, thinking for a moment if her mommy was really so dumb to even ask such a question.... 'Navu and mamma will eat at home, okay?" she asked, pointing to the lunch box and smiling again....

For anyone who wants to know what true beauty and love and innocence is all to a baby......

Monday, July 5, 2010

What Happens Right Before The Little One Arrives?

So you are going to be a new mum and you have absolutely no idea what happens just before the baby is due? Of course you will have heard a million things from lots of people around you, and to confuse you more, all of them will give you a different idea of what you have heard from someone else.

Listening to so many accounts it may sound really scary and confusing. But trust me, it isn't as bad as many people make it look like.

A few things that all of us mostly hear as the date approaches near is that the process of delivery and the examinations that take place just before that are really uncomfortable and painful. But it is all a matter of how you handle the situation.

Having a baby need not necessarily mean an unbearably painful experience. Of course it is not a smile-and-wink thing, but then, once when you have your little one in your arms, all your pains and confusion will evaporate.

Before the baby arrives, one thing that you can do to ease your worries is to read up on some good pregnancy books. There are many books that will talk in a friendly and personal way of their own experiences. You can find a list of these books in this blog as well. This is the link:

Many neighbourhoods have pregnancy groups that will help you connect with other pregnant women in your area.

Lamaze classes are another good option where you will get personal care and professional advice on what are the better ways to deliver your child.

Some women have a higher capacity to bear pain while others have less. Being confident and not worrying too much will help ease your pains to a big extent. Whenever you feel uncomfortable or feel a little pain, begin breathing in and out. This is also a good exercise that will help you if you have a natural delivery. Of course if the pain grows or you feel uncomfortable, be sure to get in touch with your doctor immediately.

A pregnancy involves many examinations, some that are painful and some that can feel really awkward and uncomfortable. But the key to make it easier for you is to think of this as a normal doctor-patient thing. And if the examination gets too uncomfortable or painful, start thinking of other things to take your mind off the same.

Natural deliveries are not always as painful as they are sometimes made out to be. Some women even wait during their labour pains, thinking the pain will grow to an unbearable extent after some time, but the little pain they experience is all that takes place and the baby is soon delivered. The best part of a natural delivery is that your healing process begins as soon as the baby is out. And most women are able to get back to their regular routine within a 2-3 days of the birth.

A C-sec operation involves a little more injections and examinations. Before the delivery you will be put on drip and no food or water allowed, as your body needs to prepare itself for the operation. These days you do not have to be completely unconscious for the operation, only the lower portion is made numb. At the operating table, you will be given a shot of injection that will make your legs and lower body numb. Some women need only one shot, others with a stronger resistance need more. The maximum that is given to the woman is three shots. I was given 3 shots as my body was still reacting to touch. But trust me, it is not at all scary or painful as you may have heard. It is just like any other injection, only in your spine. And there are not any side effects either, I never had any problem later.

In a C-sec delivery, the healing time is longer, almost 2 months. It takes almost that much time for your stitches to heal completely. These days the cut that is done for the baby to be brought out is really small, a little cut just above your feminity. You need to be careful for the next two months, do not bend down, do not pick anything that is heavy, do not take any back massage, do not lie down on your tummy, and always while walking try to keep support under your tummy by keeping a hand there. There are many more tips that can be shared, I will come back to that later.

Most of the pain and the discomfort that is associated with child-birth these days is all in your own head. Technology has advanced a lot and hospitals and staff too have a much better way of handling deliveries these days.

Relax, take a deep breath and go into your delivery room with a smile on your face. I was constantly chatting with my doctor while they were operating me, in the end they had to scold me to keep quiet. Be happy and positive about the birth and most of your pain and discomfort will vanish. Of course, the little one who will arrive in just a few more minutes or hours (depending on the form of birth) will take away all your pain for all your life.

All the best and wishing the new family a very happy journey together :))

Shweta Sharma And Her Little One Kabir

Having a little one, becoming a mother for the first time and being a working mother with many responsibilities, both in the work place and at home, and on top of that, a little bundle of joy waiting at home to be picked up by momma and cuddled. How difficult can it sometimes get for a new mum to get up each day in the morning and head to work, leaving her baby behind?

26-year-old Shweta Sharma has a little baby boy Kabir, who is just one-n-a-half years old.

"I was always very career-oriented and wanted to give my profession my best" says Shweta, who is on a busy schedule in her work in the marketing field. "I wanted to do well in life on my own" she says with a proud smile. "But nothing could come even close to the joy that I experienced once my son was born" she adds with a smile.

Shweta had a normal delivery.

"Of course there are many myths and stories we always hear. And sometimes due to sheer ignorance, especially in the case of new mothers, it is very difficult to know what is the truth and what is just superstition. Thankfully, I had joined pregnancy classes when I was expecting and hence all my doubts and fears were sorted out by professionals. They helped me prepare for the baby in a much positive and real way" she says.

From a girl always on the go to a mother with many responsibilities, life has sure changed for Shweta. "Of course motherhood is bound to change you completely. And I can safely say this for every woman who has become a mother. After my son was born, my life and my priorities all changed completely. Now whatever I do is done taking into consideration how it will be for Kabir. Like if we are going out somewhere I want to make sure it is a safe and hygienic place, I have to keep in mind things like his food, his sleep and so on and so forth" she says. "In short, I have to do everything thinking about him. But I am really enjoying it" she smiles, her eyes lighting up with a motherly twinkle.

A working mother who has to handle pressures at work and also make sure her child is growing up the right way. So how does Shweta see herself, as a mother or as a friend to her little one? "Well, he is really very young now and I haven't thought much about it. But now that you are asking, I think right now I behave more like a mother, but when he grows up and when the time comes, I would love to be his friend too, so that he would feel comfortable sharing things with me."

Shweta had a love marriage and I ask her what it was that irked her partner the most when she was expecting.
It seems to be an easy question.
"I HATED the smell of food then. And would always puke. It was so difficult that I had stopped going out anywhere, I always used to be cocooned inside the house, never wanted to go out, never felt like talking to anyone. All this really irritated him sometimes."
She smiles now at those memories.

Of course motherhood is a special journey that makes each day special. So what is the most special thing she feels about this mother-son bond?
"Since I am working, I have to leave the house by 09:00 each morning and only come home after 07:00 in the evening. So the whole day my son is with the nanny and also his dadi (paternal grandmother). But the moment I reach home you should see his expression. Its a million-dollar expression" she says with a touch of emotion. "He gets so excited to see me that he wants to laugh, to cry, to play, all at the same time. I feel really touched when I see that my little bachcha understands his mother is working, so he wants to do everything with his mamma whenever she is home.”

Shweta wants to spend every possible time with her little one, but there are many other things that also need her attention. Thankfully, with the support of an understanding partner and a supportive family, she is at least assured of the fact that while she is at work, there is someone who is making sure her little boy is looked after. And when she is back home, all her time is exclusively for her little one.

We wish Shweta, Kabir and the family a wonderful experience throughout. Happy parenting!

Friday, July 2, 2010

This whole week was celebrated as 'Environment Week' in my little daughter's school. And we the parents were given the task of doing all the creative work at home.

The first day of the week was a fancy dress competition and we had to dress her up as a flower or a fruit. She dressed up as a sunflower.

The next day was nature walk day. So we had to make her a placard with nature slogans on it, dress her up in green attire and also ensure that she took green food to school.

Third day was rain dance day and it was a lot of fun for the kids and thankfully no home work for the parents.

Fourth day was a drawing day in which kids were given a picture of grapes to colour. I had to make her practice colouring at home and she would colour everything else except those grapes !!!

The fifth and last day she had to carry a pic of a plant with herself and a parent in the frame. So now she is the proud owner of a little plant that she has named the 'happy plant'...

Nice fun-filled week with lots of activity. Its interesting to see how schools come up with such creative things to keep children and parents busy....


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