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The Idiot Box

The pride of the living room has slowly penetrated the bedrooms, the children’s room, the kitchen. It has invaded the lives of people. Go to a friend’s place for  a dinner hoping for good conversation and the Idiot Box encroaches. God forbid if there is a darn cricket match playing. The entire nation drops work and sits in front of the Idiot Box a.k.a. Television.

I have listened to mothers complaining that their children do not eat without watching television. I have seen children (and adults) fight over which channel to watch. I have been the clueless witness to discussions over “saas-bahu” episodes. No prizes for guessing how I feel about the idiot box.

When my daughter was born, my husband and I took the decision of disconnecting cable TV. The poor cable guy thought I was haggling for price. It took me a better part of an hour to convince him that I wasn’t going to take his competitor’s cable connection and that no it didn’t matter how much it cost – I just didn’t want it.

A lot of people have asked me why? I have never been a TV fan. For me the television has always been a device to watch DVDs. Call me a snob but I look down upon people who can tolerate the saas bahu dramas that are doled out one after another on Indian television. But the one thing that I detest most is how people use Television as a baby sitter. Bored housewives who apparently stay at home to take care of their child, happily plonk the child in front of the idiot box for hours and proudly announce to whoever is willing to listen how well the child knows the moves and the lyrics of the latest Bollywood song. Yikes!

My daughter is 3 and a half- she has never seen a cartoon show. Neither has she seen the insides of a theatre. I did try taking her to the movie Ice Age 3 but she refused to sit in a place that was so loud and begged to be taken outside within 5 mins of the movie. She has a modest collection of Dora, Pooh, Barney, Noddy, Leapfrog and other DVDs but her interest in TV is very low and she doesn’t want to sit still for more than 15 mins to watch something. I go to work and am out of the house for the entire day but I am not worried whether Clara (my daughter’s nanny) and Tricia are watching TV. Yesterday, they sat together and did some glass painting. Two days before that they made a Lego fairy castle (it did not look like a castle but the description given for it matched perfectly :)) We are always looking for activities to do together – painting, gardening, cycling, reading, craft, cooking, cleaning – we have done it all. Sometimes it is difficult. Sometimes I am tired and just want to curl up on the couch and read a book and yes I could have done it if Tricia watched TV. But it is a small price to pay.

A lot of my friends have asked me what I am going to do when Tricia slowly realizes that she is missing on something that her friends have. I do not have an answer. I am taking every day as it comes. I am thankful that 3 years of her life have not been wasted in front of the television. I am hoping that like her parents she will grow up preferring books to TV. We always take the time out to explain to her why she can’t do something coz she is young and how there are things that she can do but grown ups can’t – she understands and respects that. I hope this theory can be extended to what she can and can’t watch.

I am not a perfect mum. I don’t even claim to be close to perfect. But I am doing what I think is right for my child. And I am hoping that this post will influence more mommies to keep their children away from the idiot box. Instead of cartoons and videos, lets gift our children our time. For we shall cross this path only once.

Humbly,

mYm

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Posted by on November 22, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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The Diet Post and why I dont come back

The ‘Rujuta Diwekar’ sample diet and my experiences with the dietician herself was just a random post. Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine getting so much traffic. Certainly did not expect people to start asking me so many questions related to diet. I am not a qualified dietician 🙂 have been on that particular bandwagon but I got off pretty quickly. Yes, I am health conscious and yes I’d like to remain fit and in shape but I don’t think I have ever obsessed about it.
I am a bad person to ask about what to eat coz I am naturally blessed with high metabolism and happily indulge in chocolates (and all things sweet) practically everyday. On the other hand I would choose sautéed vegetables over a platter of kebabs any day!

Post pregnancy I WAS unhappy about my weight and signed up with Rujuta on a whim. I followed the diet to the T for the two months that I paid for. After that I was still eating every two hours but gradually that too stopped. But I have not regained the weight or the inches. What I want to clearly emphasise here is that I don’t think Rujuta’s diet is a good long term bet. I mean, how long are you gonna pop in vitamin supplements? If we eat healthy we shouldn’t require them in the first place! And eat at 7 pm for the rest of my life? You gotta be kidding! What about dinners and parties and LIFE?! In the short term it’s great but long term- not doable or healthy IMO.

I have a 3 year old daughter – she loves fruits and vegetables. She also loves pizza, ice-cream and chocolates. A normal child. I have not taught her to say no to chocolates but I HAVE taught her the difference between healthy and junk food. And there have been times when she has said no to pizza coz she had french fries in the evening that day. If a 3 year old can get this concept, why can’t we?

Frankly, there isn’t any trick in the world that will make you lose weight. There is not a single person out there who doesn’t know the difference between eating right and wrong. We don’t need a dietician to tell us that. What is lacking is discipline not knowledge. And yes, it is good to get help to get kick started but the rest really is up to us.

A lot of you have written and asked why the blog is so quiet. The honest truth is I feel like a sham answering queries here coz I am not qualified to do so. I will approve whatever comments keep pouring in and will leave the rest of you to discuss.

A heartfelt thank you for all the appreciation and warmth that so many of you have extended. It is quite humbling.

Love,
mYm

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Birthday Party

Yesterday was my daughter’s third birthday party. A lot of guests said that it was a great party. I was ashamed of myself. Not because the party wasn’t great…but coz it was so not me.

Somewhere just before the first birthday party and the third one – I forgot that the primary objective of the b’day bash was to celebrate the presence of my daughter in my life. I got caught up in the fancy decor, the fancy cake, the fancy caterer and the return gifts. To be honest, I got caught up in the rat race of ‘oh look how cool my party is’. Everything got outsourced – the decor, the food, the game host, the DJ- it is easy these days if you have the dough to shell out. There is no dearth of organizers and party supply stores. I am still new to this game but I know people who have been doing this for several years now… like me they forgot to stop and ask themselves if it was for putting up a show for the benefit of friends and family or was it truly and genuinely to celebrate togetherness.

I am glad I woke up early enough. Maybe a few years from now my daughter will want to spend the day with her friends and go for movies and dinner. But for now, I have her to me and I shall cherish my days with her. No more fancy stuff… just plain old fashioned fun. A home-baked cake with imperfect icing and a picnic blanket on the roof top of our home is what I have on the cards for next year. No more pretense, no more show-off….. I just want to be a mommy not a yummmymummy.

I love you Tricia.

-Tricia’s Mommy

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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SORRY

I owe a big apology to all those whose posts were awaiting moderation. I am back now and will respond to everyone. Will email everyone personally. Please do post back if your comment remains unanswered. Once again, am really REALLY sorry. I am no expert – far from it …. I had originally posted the ‘diet post’ just to share my experience 🙂
To all those who like the blog – am on twitter now. And hopefully you will see more of me !!

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Kangaroo Kids – Soon in Chembur, Mumbai

This is more like an announcement. Kangaroo kids is starting a branch in Chembur (Opp Maitri park) from December 2009. They plan to offer playschool, nursery, junior and senior kg. There will be a day care center and an activity center. The Day Care center is open to everyone. Max 8 kids only. The day will be planned and structured with rest time, play time, home work time, etc.

The Activity Center will have classes Monday to Friday (5 to 6:30 pm) and have activities like General Knowledge Prep, Gymnastics, Music, Art etc. Each day will have a different topic. This too will be open to all students between the ages of 2 to 7.

I would love to enroll Tricia for the activity center but am not sure that I want to start with these so called classes so early….. The only reason I am considering it is coz I really like the way the Tricia is responding to the activities in school. She is too young to come and tell me what exactly happened on a particular day but she ends up talking about them in bits and pieces and that shows that she enjoys them 🙂

Sorry for the ramble…. I had meant this to be a one line post 🙂

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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Does your child cry while going to school?

My daughter Tricia went to school happily for the first 20 days, smiling and waving goodbye. I was the proudest mommy on the block – relieved that my daughter didn’t cry and believing that I had prepared her well for school. After all, for the past six months, I used to point at other kids and say “Look, she is going to school” “school is fun” and “school is  a special place where only teachers and little kids are allowed. Grown ups are not allowed”. My daughter would inevitably say ” I want to go to school” and lo and behold when the day came she was all smiles. What I had not realized was that the novelty would eventually wear off!!

So one fine morning the bawling started. “I don’t want to go to school”, ” I don’t like school”, “Mama, please let me stay at home and play”. We took her screaming and kicking and dropped her off. And outside I waited till school got over, silently sobbing. All I could see was her teary eyed face before me. I knocked five times and every time the school coordinator would come out and assure me that Tricia is absolutely fine. I was so sure that she was lying to me. This lasted for a week. It got worse each day. I started dreading school mornings.

I finally figured it out. My bro is visiting and one day when I called him to check if Tricia was okay (I had left her crying to go to work) he reported that she wiped off her tears the moment I walked out and has been happily playing since then. I did some research on separation anxiety and can sum it up for you in two short phrases – “Be firm” and “Be consistent”

If your kid is crying to go to school, say “You have to go to school”.  Just be firm and repeat the same phrase everytime she cries. Tell all family members to do the same. Make sure you tell her you love her and that you will wait outside till she comes out. It helps if the person who drops her also picks her up. If that is not possible, try to get the same person to pick her up after school everyday. It keeps them comfortable when they know the drill.

And please do not feel guilty. Easier said than done, i know. But remind yourself that you are doing this for your kid’s good. More importantly, remember that your kid knows your emotions intuitively and whatever you feel you are only translating to her and it will make it more difficult for her if she feels you are not happy about sending her. Be matter of fact and be consistent and firm. I tried this on my own daughter and after three days of crying she has finally stopped crying and is kissing us bye before she leaves home.

Welcome to the nightmare of schooling!!!

– MumbaiYummyMummy

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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Kangaroo Kids

Like all moms, I started finding out about schools when my daughter was just 1 year old. I checked out all the playschools in Chembur (atleast the known names) – Tree House, EuroKids, Sunshine, Kinder Campus, etc. I was quite disappointed. None of them appealed to me. I finally heard of Kangaroo Kids from a friend. I live in Chembur and the closest branch of Kangaroo Kids is in Ghatkopar. On checking it out I realized that it was better than the others in all aspects – curriculum, facilities, faculty etc. So I enrolled my daughter at Kangaroo Kids, Ghatkopar, Mumbai for playschool.

I was apprehensive that she’d cry..being left alone at school….without parents…but Kangaroo Kids did an excellent job.

The class strength is 12 kids. They divided the kids into two groups of 6 each (in seperate classrooms). For the first four days there were just one hour sessions for the kids accompanied by one parent. There were two teachers co-ordinating the activities (motor activity, rhymes, songs, etc.)in smaller groups within the class. On the fifth day, they announced school just for half an hour. So for the past 4 days my daughter has been going for half an hour just by herself. The school has broken down the groups smaller (3 kids in each class) and one teacher has been assigned. My daughter is going in without crying at all and with the exception of two little boys (i think they are younger than 2) all the kids seem to have taken well to this method.

In fact, Tricia was reluctant to come back from school today. Wanted to go back in 🙂 She has learnt new rhymes and knows the names of 3 other kids in class. She promptly answers when you ask her the name of her school and is overall enjoying it. They gave her a library book in class today- “Teddy is Lost”. She is a book lover but didn’t like the story because Benjamin Rabbit lost his teddy in the story. But she made me read the book several times before I left for work.

We have over 200 books for her but I don’t know how many parents read to their chilren at this age. The school’s initiative at sending a library book in a library bag with each kid shows that they are consciously encouraging the parents to read to their children. And in my opinion, thats one of the greatest reason to send your kid to Kangaroo Kids!!!

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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