Sunday, June 25, 2017

When Mama Comes Home Tonight..!

Just when the omnipresent working mom’s guilt had begun to ease with Abhay growing independent enough not to need his mom at every juncture, its back to square one with my little one!  Though being an independent professional allows one the flexibility to combine work with certain personal responsibilities that a structured job does not make room for, that does not automatically being about a greater work-life balance. Technically, there are no ‘day-offs’ or ‘sick-days” or “paid leaves” or even “public holidays”! While being busy is a good sign for an independent professional, it can also lead on to biting off more than one can chew.... often blurring the lines between home and work…and that’s when your support structure at home truly matters.

Well, notwithstanding umpteen number of day-cares that have mushroomed on every street of the city, most working moms depend on some sort of a support structure at home, at least during the early childhood phase of their kids – be it in the form of parents, in-laws or nannies, etc. Till recently, I was in between nannies …..the uncertainty  of which, believe me,  is worse than being in between jobs! With each passing day, things turn from bad to worse, leaving you at the mercy of these maid/nanny agencies that is probably the only business not affected by any kind of recession! Of course with each passing day, the helplessness makes you doubt the wisdom of your choice of getting back to work with a young kid in tow. Finally, when you find that your prayers have been answered, there is still a sense of uncertainty over whether the new help is here stay or will she vanish into thin air …like her predecessors! So while some semblance of sanity has been restored in our household, following the appointment of a new nanny for our little one, we never know when the rug will get pulled from under our feet…once again!
Anyway, this is an age old saga of a working mom that will only end when her kids fly out of their nests (or will it??). Meanwhile we shouldn’t forget to enjoy the small pleasures of life with kids  that includes reading to them which may turn out to be more of a relaxation therapy for the mothers!

Not very often do you come across a book that you can so well relate to, that it almost feels like to have been written only for you! “When Mama Comes Home Tonight” by Eileen Spinelli and illustrated by Jane Dyer is one such book that is a must-read for every mom, (especially working moms) to a young child! So much so that even the illustrator dedicates the book “To all mothers who come home tired at the end of the day….”! This book assumes a reassuring tone for all the kids waiting for their mamas to return home. With a beautiful narrative, the author vividly captures the daily routine of a mother once she is back at home…and how everything she does, involves her little one .. ..from hugging her little one tight to feeding her dinner and dancing with her down the hall, from engaging in quiet play to looking out of the window for stars and moon in the night, from mending the little one’s clothing while fixing her own and taking some time off for a cup of tea while letting her little one have a sip or two, from getting her into a bedtime routine of bathing her…reading to her and finally putting her to sleep with her soft lullabies in the company of her soft toys…mamma stays on till the end!  

Even the soft and tender water colour-like illustrations of the mother-child duo seem so real and familiar that it may as well be straight from one of our households. Personally, the illustration of the thumb-sucking-curly-haired little girl makes the book seem like a customized picture for me and my little one! Though based on a simple theme, its sublime presentation enhanced by soothing illustrations make a comforting read for all mothers and their little ones alike!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Daddy Bear!

Call it a blogger’s block or blame the proverbial mistress that the practice of law is likened to, in the saying “Law is a jealous mistress” (or should it be the master in my case?), but this no doubt has been my longest break so far on Onestoryaday. It is only recently when my younger one turned two ( I know time flies..!) that I realized that while I had chronicled our read-aloud experiences with my older one…….…there are hardly any posts on my reading experiences with my little one…and that especially when she literally  jumps with joy when I pull out a book for us to read together.  More so, it wouldn’t seem fair when she grows up to discover that Onestoryaday was all about her older brother! So pre-empting any mis-interpretations that may arise in the future over the  digital dominance of her older brother on Onestoryaday, I better start making amends ….ahead of time before I’m accused of any favourtism!!

While I had made grand plans of resurrecting my blog on Mother’s day……by the time I got around to executing the same …. It was Father’s day!! Though it is tough to find a book that makes an ideal read for both my kids who are almost nine years apart….. nevertheless I had the daddy and the kids all huddled together with a couple of picture books on the occasion of Father’s day. Amidst the jaded expression of my older one and the distracted attention of my little one, we managed to read a bear themed picture book which my little one was excited about.....  “Me and My Dad”  by Alison Ritchie and illustrations by Alison Edgson which is a trip down memory lane for us….as we had read a similar book to Abhay back when he was four years old!  Reading “Me and My Mum” by the same author-illustrator team made Abhay wonder why there isn't any reference to the dad in the book….and we now answer this question six years later!

My little one kept on blurting out "Teddy bear" as the book beautifully illustrates the wonderful times that the father-baby bear share through out  the day......right from being woken by dad with tickle and a kiss to exploring the world on a piggy back ride…from keeping safe from storm to dancing in the rain…from swimming in the stream to sleeping under the stars…dads are such fun to be with…..both my kids will vouch for that for sure! :-) Happy Fathers day to all the daddies!