Thursday, July 2, 2015

My sons and the whistling pressure cooker

Back in the day when Arjun was younger and Abhay was not around, we'd spend many afternoons in the kitchen. He'd play with the vegetables and the utensils while i quickly rustled up lunch for the two of us. He would be fascinated by the sounds in the kitchen - that of the mixer, the grinder, the juicer and even the pressure cooker. He loved to hear the spluttering of the spices in the pan.

Take us back to the present, he still loves the kitchen for a lot of reasons. He thinks it's his favourite treasure island. He discovers hidden snacks and eatables. Finds new utensils and fancy looking stuff, enough to abandon his toys. 

Until one fine day he decides to hate the whistling pressure cooker for no rhyme or reason. It'e been more than 4 months and we've seen no change towards his hate for the whistling pressure cooker. We asked him why, he says nothing - simply a wave of his hand. We've tried every trick known to us to adapt him but we've failed miserably. We've begun to accept that he hates the whistling pressure cooker.Not like he's exposed to the pressure cooker in school and something nasty happened there - we did our due diligence.

The only time we use the pressure cooker is when we have to cook lentils or cook a quick curry or prepare a pulao. So going forward, there is a timeout in our house where we go on high alert and keep him distracted while the pressure cooker does its whistling job.

This morning was even funnier. He came to cuddle up and play with me as i battled a night of a viral attack. We're singing rhymes and all of a sudden he stops with his ears shut. It took a while for me to figure out it was the whistle of the pressure cooker from the neighbouring block. Talk of super sharp senses! I tried calming him down. He felt relieved the whistle was over in no time.

Abhay, on the other hand is pretty ok with the whistling pressure cooker. He had his initial "stunned" moments but he's okay now.

Do you have someone in your family who hates the pressure cooker like my son does? Share your experience, how you dealt with it and if you've found success.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Lessons from Arjun's 3rd birthday

Dearest Arjun,

You turned 3 and we won't go all cliched at how time flies. Time does not fly. You grew up right in front of us - from 2cm in my womb to what you're today.

Let's do a quick recap - we had a big bash on your happy 1st birthday, the second one was a temple trip all the way to Srirangapatnam, steeped in religious fervour and historical learning (for the adults, at least). Your grandparents, parents, your baby brother and your teenaged Ayush chacha and Pooja bua were with you all day. You wore a traditional kurta-pyjama sent by your beautiful Rup maasi all the way from Guwahati.We saw rural Karnataka and loved it. The treat in the evening was chole-bhature prepared by your dadi and a big cadburys' gem cake from dadaji. What did we parents do? Well, we took care of you, fussed all over you.

As parents, we had our ups and downs - lessons in humility, ignorance and all that you can think of. By the time, you turned one, almost everyone who knew you wanted to know if you've started speaking and toilet-trained. Your dad and i took turns to fight and defend that you're taking your own sweet time. What we forgot was you have a mind of your own and you actually got us, adults dancing to your tunes. You got work done, simply with that smile. One fine day, you just stepped out of the diaper and you wanted to sit in the loo!Don't worry about the few mishaps, we all go through that. 

Your first year of pre-school was a breeze. Your annual day dance performance floored us totally.You never wanted to practise it at home.You never allowed us to play the song at home. For some reason, you'd go mad. But you totally rocked it in school.Maybe, you wanted us to be surprised! In the middle of your performance, you paused and went to console your co-participant who was crying because he was overwhelmed and scared by the sight of the audience and the glaring stage lights. We also noticed, you plainly refuse to dance/sing/perform on demand or if someone offered you a sweet which is really relieving for your parents that you'd never ever bow down to pressure and guile.

You took your own sweet time but you are speaking so well today for your age. You're a caring soul who calls up your grandparents everyday. Yes, you're partial to your dadaji because you get to ride his old Bajaj scooter with him. We also love the way you send us off when we leave for work - you always wish we come back early with something to eat. How we love you for that trust and assurance that you'd be fine!You're a great brother to your Baby brother who you still love to smother once in a while.

You're beginning to love coloring and scribbling. You totally love finger painting, just like your dad. I've done nothing to introduce reading and the arts to you. We'll start that soon. Thankfully, you don't throw too many food tantrums - you've eaten what we eat and you can be assured that we don't eat a lot of junk or order out.But i still get a lot of dirty stares that you've lost weight and that you're not fat enough. They just forgot to notice that you're growing tall and only we know how energetic you are. Your new-found fascination for Motu-Patlu on TV is quite interesting. And, the way you toggle around on the smartphone better than most of us - we know, you just love watching/listening the nursery rhymes. Only about time, we harnessed that skill of yours effectively and wean you away to better hobbies.

This 3rd birthday, we took you to your Papa's office - they were celebrating Family day. You seemed to enjoy the merry-go-round the most. Saw you eat your popcorn and candyfloss with independence just like you do with your meals. That evening, we took you to the giant Nandi temple in the older side of Bangalore. You were very fascinated by the giant structure and if you remember, it just rained so heavily that evening and we did a fun auto-ride to Bangalore's most famous khao galli. And how you relished the piping hot rava dosa and the steaming hot idli-vada and chutney. You loved flipping your foot in the rain with the umbrella on your head. We saw so much rain that day that we almost certainly believed the gods poured heavily to bless you.

Have a fabulous year of fun,joy,travel and learning. Feel the waves, enjoy the smell of the fresh earth and have new experiences.Be kind and caring, assertive where needed. We are there with you.

Papa and Mama