Friday, May 31, 2019

Four is Fun!!

After almost nine years of being "Abhay's mom", it certainly took a while for me to get used to being identified as "Aadya's mom'! Even after four years, it still takes a tad longer to respond to "Are you Aadya's mom?"  With a huge age gap between kids, the younger one is always ...well... the little one, and not to be reckoned for a good many things - be it choice of music in the car, or choice of cuisine while eating out, or even choice of a movie we plan on watching....... it's almost always the choice of our Mr.know-it-all Big brother which takes precedence....and the younger one almost always just goes with it.... either because she is easy going  or that she adores her older brother  and wants to follow on his ever step least that's how it is in our household!!  It's not until her fourth birthday (which was a couple of days ago) that it hit us....that our younger one is not so little anymore and is slowly acquiring her own persona and surely a force to reckon with! It's amazing to see these little extensions of yourself, grow out of the same cocoon into very different personalities - with distinct temperaments, tastes and of course.... quirks!  Just as her fourth birthday was approaching, she had already a dress in mind .....something on the lines of "Fancy Nancy's" over-the-top-frilly frocks, announced that her birthday cake would be a pink flavoured one and was even clear on the guest list!  Wow! Aadya has already shown early signs of turning into a birthdayzilla!!

So we got together two of her same-age cousins  for a creative artsy and crafty outing at "Tug Bug children's center" followed by cutting of cake and dinner with the extended family.

Ever wondered if we make way too much of the fifth birthday when turning four is just as big? Tulika's   "Four" is just the answer to it! "Four" by Poile Sen Gupta and illustrated by Greystroke was first written for the fourth birthday of the traveling children's bookshop and my favourites, Funky Rainbow.   Ela cant contain her excitement as she is turning four and is let into the significance of the number four - from four limbs of animals to four eyes of her bespectacled grandma, from a thumb and four fingers to four wheels of her car and finally to the four cardinal directions!!  Not only did my four year enjoy the book, she was all for "North-South-East-West" all day long!! Simple yet superbly funny...... this book shares an instant connect with four year olds waiting in wings for the world to give them their due!  We loved the funky illustrations, especially of  the contemporary looking grandma! Having read this on her fourth birthday, Aadya felt as if the book had been specially written for her.....and the fact the book had been signed  by author for Aadya made it extra special! Four is sure fun.....Enjoy your fourth year ahead not-so-little-one!  

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Aadya's day out at the beach!

Summers are always a throwback to one’s school days!  Though we adults aren’t as lucky as our kids to enjoy a summer break for a  whole month or two  (unless you are in the teaching profession),  the sweltering heat, twilight evenings, school holidays, the mango season, ice cream outings….. All of which ushers in a lazy feeling goading you to .........maybe take it easy this season …..unwind and chill out with kids and family. With schools closed, and a consequent respite from the morning rush and evening homework, I can't help if some of my son’s holiday fever rubs off on me too. Though we didn’t plan for a major trip this summer….we combined a couple of family events at our native town with a small beach vacation at the coast with a final stop (as always) at my parents’ farm house Shristi, Dharmasthala.  

The highlight of our trip was our stay at Sai Vishram Beach resort at Baindur, Udupi District. A quiet little property on the shores of Someshwara Beach which promises a back-to-nature (sea in this case) experience, free from devices ( no TV nor phone) albeit with all the modern comforts, and a delicious vegetarian spread. The almost-private beach as its center piece, the resort offers a host of beach related activities during the day and sunset evenings with chai and literally ‘bajji on the beach”!  We enjoyed the calm and pristine surroundings of this Sattvik resort, made even more homely by the ever-smiling staff and not to forget the Sai Baba temple in the midst of the refreshingly beautiful sea facing greenery that made for a memorable summer getaway for all us!

Though our little one has been to a beach before, this was her real  full fledged beach experience and we were quite surprised that she shared no inhibitions (like her brother earlier did!) with any of the beach activities, whether it a motor boat cruise, to jet skis, or riding on the waves lashing on to the shore with the help of a life guard or simply floating in the middle of the Arabian sea, or making sand castles….our little adventurist was game for it all!  

To complete her beach experience, we read a couple of books on the beach. I had picked up   "Keya's day at the Beach" a Level 2 Pratham reader by Radha Rangarajan and illustrated by Lavanya Naidu. Keya excitedly  peeks out of her burrow in the sand to be looking out at the sea. As she accompanies her mother to the beach, she spots many of her kind who have all come out for their feed of the day at the shore. As she marches on with her mother, grabbing whatever treats she can find in the sand, her mother introduces her to many of her species kind from the robust-soldier crab, to the eye-popping ghost crab, from the big-claw-fiddler crab to the crab-eating moon crab. Alas! just as she nears the sea, it is time to head back to the burrow. But Keya has enjoyed a day out at the sea and can't wait for the next day to march into the beach again! This is a-one-of-a-kind fiction-non-fiction book anthropomorphizing crabs which does make an interesting read with vivid illustrations for curious little minds.
But for my little one to fondly remember her fantastic beach experience at Sai Vishram Beach resort , I had to fall back on another anthropomorphic series - "Peppa at the Beach" , a Peppa Pig adventure, revolving around their beach outing with the Kangaroo family. My little one could very well relate to the excitement of the approaching waves, riding on the waves and being carried by the waves into the shore..... just like how she attempted to do with the help of a life guard at the beach.  Just as Daddy pig is caught off guard with a giant wave that picks him up and carries him into the share, my little one was knocked down by quite a few big waves hitting the shore and no sooner did she wipe the saline water off her face than she was ready for more! So just like Keya and Peppa, our little one loves the  beach!