Tuesday, June 2, 2020


I’m growing bigger…my birthday is coming!” is how my little one shoots back at her brother when teased about being a baby! While we can’t believe how time has flown ever since she arrived five years ago, our little princess (I know it’s a cliched term but she loves it and sure acts like one!) has grown bolder, naughtier and definitely more assertive in her sibling skirmishes with her older brother! The eight-year age gap hardly matters as she regularly spars with her older brother in their territorial wars, so much so that we are left bemused (and a little nervous) at how confident she is about her own ability to take on her big brother! That said, she can turn into a baby the next moment, wanting to be fed and cuddled to sleep like one, when one of her parents walks in!  While she is definitely a lot more independent than Abhay was at her age, open to trying out on her own and excited to experiment with new experiences, Aadya however still latches on to certain activities that strictly qualifies as being only for babies, like being fed dinner or refusing to go to bed on her own and its more to do with wanting to be around her mommy or daddy all the time than about her own capability  …….and our 24/7 presence at home owing to the lock-down has certainly not helped the situation!  Aadya turned five last week and no doubt she has gotten bigger, but she can no longer hold on to “my birthday is coming” anymore…..for at least while now and will have to think of another way to smart mouth her brother! 😊

Since her birthday falls during the school vacation, we always lament over how she never gets to celebrate the day feeling special at school and this year we had decided to have her don her birthday special dress on the school reopening day in the first week of June. Alas!…. It turns out that it’s not just Aadya but many are to miss celebrating their birthdays in school this year!

Anyway, it was very much a birthday in Covid-19 times,  with a home celebration amidst the members of only our household with her maternal grandparents joining in through a video-call, and  splash of pink and a smattering of a few princess cut outs available at home, home-made savouries, and a “princess/doll cake” custom baked by “Bake_mon_reve ” run by a pastry chef who is also a relative followed by the customary birthday treasure hunt organised by her “Anna” and the piece de resistance being his part-hand-sketched-part-printed birthday card for his sister making it even mores special!  

While we revisited an old book, "Its Hard to Be Five" by Jamie Lee Curtis  and Laura Cornell, that I had read to the big brother on his fifth birthday back in 2011, it didn’t enthuse her much and I’m not sure if it’s a ‘girl thing’ not to be impressed by a whiny five year old boy annoyed about turning five…but when I happened to stumble upon this wonderful online story at “Storyweaver – Pratham books” ..I knew I had found the perfect book for Aadya’s fifth birthday! In fact, “With you, Ma” by Adith A K and illustrated by Amalendu Kaushik is too good to be true! I must say Pratham publications have been pioneers, in so far as stories that deal with simple growing-up quirks of children. No matter how usual or unusual is your child's tendency, ..there's bound to be a Pratham book about it and I'm always amazed at how they manage to put out such good content at such an affordable price! 

Anyway, in keeping with the Covid-19 times, we went online too, and found this gem of a  book online at storyweaver.org.in.  My little one always relates to the girl in the book and what are the odds that the little girl in this book is named Aadya too?! Little Aadya is almost like an extended attachment to her mother and neither lets her mother out of sight nor wants to venture anywhere without her ma (I’m sailing in the same boat too!) On a trip to Majuli, where she is seen literally clinging to her mom through-out the flight-train-ferry journey, Aadya is introduced to another girl her age, Kim-Kim and her young sister. Though hesitant at first, Aadya enjoys playing with her new friend Kim Kim, and soon she is off to tiny little adventures with Kim Kim and her friends, playing in the rain, splashing water by the river and picking and munching on bugories….all on her own without having her mother tag along and this experience pushes Aadya to take baby steps towards the path of self-reliance, much to her mother’s delight!  A great book to nudge your little one into doing things independently!   So here’s wishing more 5-power to my just-turned-five year old who no matter what and much to her chagrin, will always be the baby of our family! 😊

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