Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pizza breaks the fast

Today is Day 5 of The Great Flu's bi-monthly visit. I don't know if it's the Bangalore weather or the pollution, but this cough-cold-fever thing is so cyclical and alarmingly punctual that I dread the whole thing. First LG gets it, then I get it and we both are cranky and down for a good 10 days before resuming normal life. The whole saga of no-eating, puking, refusing to gulp down medicines, spiking temperatures, middle-of-the-night trouble breathing, erratic sleep patterns, and most importantly doing it alone with The Seniol away is getting on to my nerves.

After nearly 24 hours of no food intake, I somehow managed to get LG eat two slices of Pizza. Definitely not my choice for a healthy food, but who cares when your child hasn't eaten anything for so long and is so averse to the sight of food. I'd better not start on how many times I've had to trash soup, boiled vegetables, khichdi, and other stuff in general. I believe the worst is over and we're inching towards normalcy.

Any of you out there with some practical advice or alternate medicine to improve our immunity? I know it's the pollution that does us in, and I'm not sure how to tackle that!

Friday, September 11, 2009

No Sucking. No Touching.

We were getting ready for school this morning, when LG hurriedly started sucking his thumb. He turns three this December and there are no signs of leaving this habit. Anyways, so he started protesting he wasn't ready for school. The reason: he wanted to suck his thumb.

We were running late, so I told him he could get back from school, and then we can discuss if it was good idea to suck or not. The master story-teller that he is now, he quickly removed his thumb, and went on to narrate how his ma'am asks him to stop sucking, making school not-such-a-great-place to hang at.

As if this weren't enough, as we were leaving school last afternoon, he tells his ma'am, "No touching mains. Vely dan-ge-lous." From table fan to mains to transformer, everything is dangerous now.

While on vacation last month, he happened to cut his fingers by putting the inside a running table fan. So you know how dangerous entered his dictionary. And I very much regret having taught him that. This is not the age to put fear in their minds. It's enough to know what should be touched and what to stay away from.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Day Tomato Came to be Known As Tomato

For as long as I can remember, my son has always called a tomato a "potato". With confidence. So, sometime back, I gave up correcting that it is a tomato, and played along calling it a potato. As a parent, you get the instinct when your child is doing it on purpose.

For lunch everyday, LG has a boiled tomato sprinkled with salt. This afternoon, I asked him what he was having? He replied, "Tho-maa-to." I grinned and asked him, "Are you sure this is not a Paa-tho-to?" And LG replied, "Tho-maa-to." This, for me, is as huge a milestone as was his turning over, or crawling, or walking, or talking.

This post is in celebration of discovering the tomato.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

You know your child has had good day when...

..he gives a peck on the cheeks without asking for it.
..wants you to sing his favorite lullaby and ready Noddy/Jungle Book at bed time.
..smiles, and in fact, has a hearty laugh while deep asleep.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Too much of "Two"

Almost everything around can be measured or counted as two. There are two a/cs, two fans, two cars on Bangalore roads where traffic runs bumper-to-bumper. Of course, this is in LG's world. But you know what I liked the most of it all?

"Do you love mama?" (I know a stupid question!)

He replies with a wide grin, "Yes."

"How much?" (The stupidity or mama's self-indulgence continues)

And he responds, "Two."

In the past month and half, his vocabulary has literally exploded. I can find the difference in the number of words he's able to comprehend and speak coherently in sentences in Tamil and English, in particular.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

We Have a Trader At Home :)

"Mama, market down." "Market down, Mama", screamed my son in quick succession in his typical manner of repeating-the-same-thing-until-mom-acknowledges.

I looked at him in surprise not because of what he said but for what he did. Repeating what others say comes naturally to kids his age. But a follow-up action was taking it too far. My f-in-law had switched on NDTV profit to see if the bulls were roaring and was disappointed to see the early morning trades taking a hit. So he had said "market is down". And LG, who had just finished his lunch, got down from his high chair and washed his hands. While muttering "market down", he props himself on my chair, opens the laptop, puts on my glasses and clicks on the window that had ICICI direct opened up. Walking on mama's steps?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mama, you're looking good. Why change?

You know what the best thing about parenting is? The carefree moments, the innocence of a child's statements that make you drop everything, take notice and laugh incessantly. They make you forget all your worries and enjoy the moment. Makes you feel privileged for having all the good things in life and for once, you feel you can't ask for more. And such moments come all too often when you toddler starts speaking.

A little while ago, I settled LG into bed and got ready to change in night clothes. It had been a long evening: visit to the doc for my food poisoning, getting back home to get dinner ready for LG, in-laws and myself, feeding LG dinner, changing him into night clothing, having dinner myself, the medicine routine. It's been a sick month with LG and I taking turns to fall sick with cold-cough-fever, stomach upsets - in short, not a month I would like to remember for a long time. And, it's not easy when your partner is away for so long.

Well, so I got ready to change and my son says, "Mama, no. No change." Pointing to the dress in my hand, he says, "Idhu nana illa". (read: this is not nice). He didn't want me out of my jeans/shirt into some drab salwar. I found it so amusing that I laughed uncontrollably. Was this my son who could barely talk a few sensible words until a few months ago and cared little about what his mama dressed like?

I feel so much better now :)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Games of the Season

The games we play at home keep changing with time. The current flavor is puzzles, of all kinds. Li'l General has overgrown the alphabet, numeral and body parts that we played about 6 months ago. I had got him this set of three games when he turned two in December.

Now he loves doing animal jigsaw and noddy puzzle. Noddy is all the more fun because he gets to spell out the letters and show off his skills. As if to tease me, he will time and again point to "A" and call it "B" or show "Q" and say "U". Asking him to say it right doesn't help. I just stare, grin and ignore. He gets the point and gets back on track.

The animal puzzle is a collection of 24 self-correcting pairs of mother and baby animals. It's cool because we make quirky sounds like a pig, goat, cow or horse. When it's turn to join the mother frog with the babies, both of us jump around like a frog and do the whole animation routine for a Kangaroo too.

What games do you play with your toddler? I'm looking for ideas.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Mama Makes a Boat

Li'l General and I were seeing TV after lunch this afternoon when the Airtel Special 5 ad aired. You know the new series from Airtel which has the potential to give a tough competition to my all-time favorite Vodafone's "Happy to help" series (the girl and the pug.

Anyways, as we sat admiring the boat ad, my dear son wanted me to get a boat. How long does it take one to make a boat? A minute. And here it is:

Happy son. Happy mom.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Big Ears Lives in Big House

Big Ears from the Noddy series used to be one of his favorite characters a while ago.

One the third day of his school, this session, he was a bit reluctant to enter. The first two days are generally fun and then reality dawns upon them that fun times will not last forever. Sometimes discipline also features in the daily scheme of things which is not so fun. And then there's the much dreaded rhymes-alphabets-coloring as well.

So we were at the corner of his school lane when LG threw a fit saying he would rather spend time on the road playing in the sand and in his school's adjoining wilderness than go inside. He was particularly drawn toward a big pink house that had numerous mango trees in its front yard, a huge porch, a much bigger veranda with cylindrical pillars on the first floor. Both of them are fond of big houses and stood in the middle of the road admiring the house.

While The Seniol said, "Big House". LG followed it with "Papa, Big Ears. Big House". He meant to say Big Ears lives in the Big House. We had been doing too much of Noddy those days. So came the association. It's fun in many ways to see them make and break associations and learn with them. A whole new perspective, in adult terms.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Priceless Moments

Last evening, I took LG along to run some errands. Most days when it's not raining we usually go for a long walk looking at the trees, hearing koel sing ku-ku-ku, watching the traffic pass by at crossings and stopping briefly outside pizza outlets.

I wanted to get back home before it started pouring so I was hurrying. LG, on the other hand, was laid back stopping after every 5 steps insisting that I either lift him or pointing to how swiftly squirrel jumped the trees. I went along with his carefree style for a while but had no time for it after 15 minutes of loitering around where we started, after hardly moving forward by 10 steps. So I resorted to my old trick of just going ahead in the hope LG would catch up with me soon.

The trick, however, didn't work this time. I peeked from behind a curve to see what he was up to. All I could see was he was sitting on the walking track, deeply engrossed in some activity. It seemed like he was picking up something and trying to hold whatever he had gathered in his small hands. I called out for him. He saw I had gone quite far from where he was and stood up to catch up with me. No longer had he walked a few steps, whatever he held in his hand fell. So he went back to the same spot to pick up some more of whatever that was again.

I called out for him again and waited. There was no sign of frustration on his face that it kept falling again and again. He became all the more dedicated ensuring he held it tight in one hand while picking up from the other. When he was ready, he sprinted (yes, literally sprinted) to catch up with me. And he said in excitement, "Mama flowers. Mama flowers". He was truly happy. And went on to count them. One, two, three. He sported a ear-to-ear grin of having made it. A gift for his mama.
This was the same kind as this one.

I was touched. Moments like these don't come too often later in life. I have began to treasure every day I spend with LG and truly enjoying this phase in life. The guilt of not working is past me.

In MasterCard style,

A bouquet of flowers: Rs. 100
Seeds as gift from your son: priceless

Then what? We walked hand in hand to run our errands, came back a while later to go on our evening walk and enjoy nature! Story over.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Haseen Lamhon Ko Chura Lo

This song is playing on TV. LG starts jumping "Mama song. Mama song. Mama song." Yes, I was very fond of this song when it first aired and still like it. But my son is more enthusiastic about it because his mama likes it. If I'm busy elsewhere, he makes it a point to tell me my song is on air :) even with his rationalized TV time.

And, when this one plays, it's my turn to jump up and say "LG's song. LG's song" H love "Jai Ho" because it has a scene with his most favorite thing in the world - aeroplane. He gets to such energy levels on seeing this song that it takes a great deal to get him back to normalcy. Truly enjoys it.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

My Sons Speaks in Sentences..

"I said no touching tomato", said my two-and-half year old son. After concerns on his language development and comprehension skills, this comes as a big surprise. This is one of his many sentences of late. Yet another significant change is his ability to say the same word in three languages (English, Tamil and Hindi) based on who he is speaking to. But sentence formation is still a milestone we've yet to cross but we'll get there.

"Aby" has given way to "helicopter" as has "buchachy" to "butterfly" and "ou" to "phone" and "hot".

But "bournvita" still remains "motita". The non-stop talker is giving his mama a competition.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Touch Me Not

After another bout of catching the cold virus from school followed by the running nose-throat ache-throwing up at nigh—tantrums for gobbling down syrup-steaming-zillion home remedies-making mom say never to second baby routine, all is good at the LG house this week. So far, I should say. LG resumed school yesterday after the cold 'n cough break - yes, like winter and summer breaks, we have this all too frequent kind around here.

Just around the place where I park my scooty to cross the road and drop him off at school, I spotted a patch of "touch me not" plants. For the uninitiated, touch-me-not plants are a sensitive variety that close their leaves upon touching, within a few seconds. The action is source of amusement for kids who spend hours playing with this houseplant. Or so I did as a kid. I was naturally quite excited after discovering one small patch after years. I showed to LG how it behaves. And, what? Nothing - we were late to school :)

Funny how life gives you an opportunity to relive your childhood with your kids.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Seven and Symbols

Educating a toddler who is not too keen on learning can be challenging at times. I can count the number of times I've been successful in getting LG to sit down with a book for more than a minute. Nah, not those alphabets and numeral books but colorful ones like Noddy or fairy tales. For most part, I resort to practical stuff like showing him an ATM on the road and blue for State Bank or red for ICICI Bank rather than sit him down with a book. Stuff like seeing a Compaq symbol on a poster on the road and relating it to the logo on his Dad's laptop interests him. But I'm at a loss when it comes to numbers.
For a really long time, his counting would go like two-three-four-five-eight-ten and at other times, one-two-three-four-five-six-eight-nine-ten. He would go to extreme lengths to avoid saying seven. I never got it. The only explanation was that it was perhaps hard to pronounce. A few weeks ago, he was playing by himself in the toys room and started counting all the numbers aloud, including seven. Boy, was I surprised. I just stood behind and clapped. Like it was an achievement, which indeed it was. I'm in no hurry for him to learn the alphabet or numbers but the pressure of a damn entrance test is looming large over me. Damn, I never knew the alphabet sequentially until I was six. And I turned out alright. I'm sure so will LG.

Yet another day, on one of our routine evening walks, LG propped up from the pram to point out at the SBI atm and say "sta bank". I don't recall mentioning in recent times State Bank but I'm sure I must have a few months back. So that was the beginning for our association with symbols. He likes looking at logos and relating to everyday stuff like the LG add on TV for a fridge and the symbol on our microwave, or a whirlpool print ad in newspaper and the one on our fridge. The surprising one was when he pointed to a discarded ICICI Lombard Insurance billboard in the divider of a road and started screaming "ICICI". I started wondering where an ICICI ATM was in the vicing before I looked down to see what he meant. The game doesn't stop there. It has extended to Google, Gmail and Yahoo! as well.

On an unrelated note, the past two months were just great. The Seniol was here for his internship so it meant all play and no work. We were out every evening eating gol-gappas, going for a scooty ride around the neighborhood, shopping and having fun, in general. But as all good things come to an end, this one long vacation too ended Monday with The Seniol leaving for school again.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

This leg too

My mom called up last evening to say she had something important to tell that she had forgotten the earlier evening. I was on my way to the park with LG and told her to go on fully expecting it must be something related to her grand-son. She went on to say, "There is this Bru ad airing on TV. The wife returns home tired and serves her husband a hot cup of coffee. Energised by the cuppa he rubs her leg and you know what she actually puts the other foot forward just like mottai."

I was like ,"Umm." She was obviously disappointed by my nonchalance; as an explanation I offered that this has been on air for a while now totally forgetting the lady was quite engrossed with her grandson the past few months to watch TV :) and joined her in her excitement.

So yea, when LG visits mom, she has this habit of massaging his leg every now and then which is like many times a day. She used to tell me that kids' legs must be tired with all the crawling and the running around they do. Grannies and their stories! This has obviously been going on since LG was a few weeks old (his legs were apparently tired with all the air push-ups he did then). So on this visit when she started gently rubbing his leg, he offered the other one before she could be done with one each and every time. Now you know the reason of the excited call!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

We're back!

The LG family is back after two-month long (short!) vacation. It would be cliched to say that time just flew; there is just one simple word to describe the 20-day break at Trichy with my parents and brother and another 45-day stay at Bahrain with my parents : GREAT. It felt odd for a few days to be back at one's own home, but we are getting there; getting used to the routine of school, walks in the evening, trips to the park knocking at neighbour's and goodnight calls to papa.

It's been tough for my parents to see off LG this time. Naturally he is a grown-up child now who understands emotions, separation, that bye-byes are not always easy, that holidays don't last forever. He has had his own share of a good deal of bye-byes in the past few months ever since The Seniol started the trend last August. So I don't have to prepare him a great deal if someone is about to leave. I just have to let him know a few hours earlier about the impending departure that either papa has to go to school or thatha has to go to office or that mama has to go to work or to a wedding or that patti is going for a injection session (when she goes for yoga classes, but yoga doesn't work yet because he doesn't understand what it is). Though he doesn't create a huge scene of tantrum-throwing then, it makes him sad which is quite evident in his quiet behavior the following day or his fussiness in eating. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to this August when The Seniol will be back home.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Bonding With the Nephew

(This is a picture of my brother and Li'l General taken about a fortnight ago, at my hometown.)

Let's start at the beginning. I have one sibling: a brother, who lives in the US; we meet once every year in January. January, in particular, because two years ago, in 2006, my brother came down in December to be a support for mom during my delivery. Thanks to Li'l General, the January time-line for vacation has stuck with the family ever since. We have a reunion of sorts at my hometown with mom coming in first, followed by me, then my brother, and finally dad/The Seniol.

The picture above was taken a day before we left for our respective destinations this year; it brings back a lot of memories of the twenty-odd days LG spent with my brother. Last January, when my brother saw LG for the first time after his new-born days, he was a little crawling cutie who was all over the place. Old enough to have fun with others, but still too young to forge bonds, understand separation, and crave to hang around with someone. In that respect, this vacation was quite a contrast. From the minute, my brother landed, LG enjoyed his company every second. It was strange in way because LG is familiar with all members of the family through pictures that I show him on the laptop everyday. However, pictures of LG and my brother taken together are all online and I've always been lazy to show them to LG, so my brother's face must have been as good as a stranger's.

LG literally idolized his uncle this time. Every thing he said or asked LG to do, was etched in stone; every instruction to be followed; every word to be repeated, it's just endless. LG is an early-riser. My brother, on the other hand, has had a screwed up sleep schedule for years now. He goes to sleep for a couple of hours at 5:00 a.m. (which ever part f the world he is in), and is the most irritated if someones tries to wake him around 8ish. LG would go around announcing to everyone in the house that his uncle is sleeping and that he is not to be disturbed, full with sound effects and actions (titled head to indicate sleeping, shushing, and a finger in the mouth). And then, when he can't bear it no more, he will go in say, "mama gepuck" (read: get up). After two or three attempts, he will be like "Pein, pein, wapuck."(read: wake up). LG doesn't get my brother's name right, so says "Pein, pein". If his uncle is to take a shower, LG will ask us to switch on the exhaust fan, and ensure "Pein" has taken a towel etc. One day, it was quite funny, when he said, "Pein, tchoap, tchoap) (read: bathe with soap). LG raised hell when my brother had to go for two days to attend his friend's wedding at a neighboring town. He misses him a lot now. Puts on this sad face every time we refer to my brother in conversations.

The maturity with which my brother handled LG, took extra care of him every time we went shopping or for a stroll in the evenings touched me. He went that extra mile to carry him on his shoulders while we navigated our way through the busy roads. His sensitivity for a toddler's timings was much appreciated. He went to extra lengths that was uncalled for which I did make clear (read: buying gifts everyday for his dear nephew from a battery-operated flying helicopter to a remote-controlled car). Who would go at 10 in the night to get batteries just so that the helicopters would fly the next morning when his nephew wakes up? That was stretching it too far, right?
Most importantly, he would LG for me so that I could go out of home for a while, if only to get some fresh air. I've never felt so privileged. It's awesome to have family. Seriously. And the bonding between my brother and LG was delightfully overwhelming.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Day 7: Bahrain City Center is Magnificent

One thought that kept crossing my mind the time we spent at Bahrain City Center - home to global brands such as Saks Fifth Avenue, H&M, Forever 21, Bata, Mango, Zara, Diesel, Guess, next, Carrefour, Debenhams, and Virgin Mega Store among others - was how similar it was to strolling down the Magnificent Mile. The recently opened mall doesn't boast of all the usual superlatives in town - the biggest, largest, tallest, finest etc but clearly is the best I've seen till date around here.

A three level car parking with a magnificent view of the city skyline, the waterfront, and the zig-zag roadways complements with what the mall has in store for one inside. The infrastructure is a replica of what one is used to in the West. What makes the Bahrain City Center stand out from the rest in town is its brilliant layout, thoughtful grouping of stores, a very neatly lined up outlets in the food court, easy directions for one to find their way in and out, less hustle-bustle and there is a general air of sophistication one gets to see, which in turn means one finds more serious shoppers, fashion aficionados and less of the first-time-visitor who is there to get a feel of the place! For once, the decibels were way less for a place this huge, less of jostling, no hustle-bustle and absolutely no queues in the food court. In all, a great place to hang out. Most stores as expected are upscale in nature catering to the elite, so it might be tough if not impossible to find something within one's humble budget.

LG had a good time at Mothercare, the toy store, and the rides at Magic Planet. The kid came back home happy. This is proving to be one true vacation.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Day 6: Sea Water Doesn't Taste Sweet

Li'l General learned a important lesson of life today: never ever to taste sea water. In the two years of his existence, he has never seen so much water together as a tub filled with water (in real life, ofcourse!) About a month ago, enroute Trichy we passed by Kallanai which is about as big a water body he has seen for the first time. But he was grumpy from lack of sleep in that journey for the magnificence of the dam to register in. The reaction I recollect is LG repeatedly saying "su", "su" and opening his mouth in awe before falling asleep tired on my lap.

Today's trip to the Juffair beach was his first brush with a sea. Saying he enjoyed every bit of it is an understatement. A discarded boat, a huge fountain far off, wet grey sand (yes, that's the color of beach mud here) was all the boy needed to go about jumping. For a while, he couldn't gather himself. He was all over the place trying to get a good view of the sea while attempting to go near it, and then sat down on the dirty mud; before I could react he had put a handful of water in his mouth, the expression thereafter was worth seeing.

The weather isn't totally normal yet. With the cold breeze blowing, we decided to head back home before briefly stopping for a closer view of the sea and the fountain. There's a nice lawn-laid park adjoining the barricades, and he had a whale of time running around the grass and hugging date trees.

In the evening, it was mall time again. Off we went to Dana Mall with my father and the grandson bonding over liberal display of electronics at Lulu Hypermarket, while Mom and I splurged on cosmetics, dresses and shoes.

Fussy-eating phase is back in full swing. He loves eating chocolates and puddings but shudders at the sight of rice or rotis. I've absolutely no idea how to deal with it. With just two full time meals today and a glass of milk, he has gone to bed. I don't know if it's the weather, the bread from two days ago, or just another phase that will pass on its own.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Day 5: Yoga is Stimulating

Today was a relatively quiet day for me. Not quite so for LG who went on a socializing spree with mom. He accompanied my mother to her yoga class this morning. The class got canceled so the kids ended up playing while the aunties gossiped for a while; mom is returning after six months so it was more of a catching up session.

In the evening, it was still cold and windy from yesterday's dust storm. We briefly stopped at the supermarket to shop for veggies, fresh milk and stock up on LG's puddings. I've been down with a nasty stomach bug since evening. The shooting pain got worse, so we cut the trip short and returned home; I curled on the couch once we got back home. The pain just didn't subside. I can't recollect what I fed LG or how he got into bed beside me. A few home remedies and a nap of few hours seemed to do the trick. It was well past 11 when dad woke me up. He gave me a cup of cold curd whirled with sugar; I am all set to get going now. It's going to be a long night and I'm just getting started with my daily project...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Day 4:Dust Storm Grounds Us

One rule I had forgotten from my early days in Bahrain: check the weather before you plan for the day. We were all set to leave this morning for shopping when I stepped on to the balcony to pick my towel. To my surprise, it was cold and yellow all over. I got back in, washed my face, and stepped out again (to wake myself out of the slumber); it was still the same, if only worse. Nothing was visible beyond a few hundred meters. That's when I realized it was the dust storm. Commonsense dictates not to venture out in this weather, and to walk will be the easiest way to kill oneself. So we stayed indoors for pretty much the whole day and in the evening dad took us for a drive to DHS where LG had a great time going through the toys, picking clothes for himself and a green dolphin to give his pink one at Bangalore company.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Day 3: Boys and Tools

Li'l General's vocabulary of words at 26 months is driving me insane. It pretty much consists of these in varying combination:

Aby (Helicopter)
Pan (Fan)
On / Band (Close)
Begine (Machine)
Pone (Phone)
Zoom (Car zooming)
achee (A/c)
Cachachum (computer)
Plintal (Printer)
Ion (Iron box)
Vacum (Vacuum)
Thlead miiii (Tread Mill)
Mikchie (Mixie)
Mico (Microwave)
Caamala (Camera)

I've no idea what is so fascinating about a a/c or a fan that he stops by to see the same a/c a zillion times while I'm trying to show him a beautiful carpet of a hookah. His craze for electrical and electronics has frown hundred fold this past 1 month. There have been days when he has driven my brother and I mad by saying "aby" like a thousand times a day. All he said on some days was just "aby" and "charge" and "battery". My brother got him two sets of motorised helicopter from the US, that required 6 batteries each. He operated it so much so that the set of batteries would last hardly for a day. We would put him to sleep under the pretext that he can resume playing the next morning. LG would wake up the next morning and the first words would be "aby". Both the sets of helicopters are now in pieces so we had to leave them behind.

After coming to Bahrain, it's all about a/c, heater, and other machines. Is it the case with all boys or is it just LG?

Nestle's Cerelac Stage 4 - a cereal for babies between 10 and 24 months - came in two flavors until recently : mixed dal fruit and mixed dal vegetable. Sometime last year, they withdrew the mixed fruit version. With only the vegetable version available, LG's breakfast primarily consisted of Cerelac for atleast 3 days in a week. He had grown to like the texture, taste and ease of eating Cerelac. I know not many parents like to admit in the open that they do feed Cerelac to their toddlers.

Sometime in October, Cerelac stage 4 went out of circulation. Not one pharmacy or departmental store in Bangalore stocked it. Their claim it was just not supplied anymore. Not wanting to go back to stage 3 or switch over to Nestum, I felt this was a good opportunity to get him used to other dishes for breakfast like home-made porridge, idli, cornflakes and just about anything else we adults have. The Seniol and I are used to having just cornflakes for breakfast. It's been over 3 months now and there's not much fuss over breakfast with LG. Over at my parent's, my mom has introduced him now to another kind of porridge that he TOTALLY loves and asks for more.

Back to the original question: just wondering why did Nestle pull Cerelac Stage 4 out of the market considering Cerelac and Nestum enjoyed 80% market share in the baby food segment?

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

My two-year-old's first art project

Anything that my son does makes me immensely proud and this is no exception. Just before his playschool closed for holidays, I saw him holding this piece of paper in his hand when I went to pick him up. His ma'am said proudly, "Oh, he has started scribbling with crayons and took away the paper ready to send him home." I asked, "If you don't mind, can I have it? I would like to show it to his dad." This was my son's first art work at school, how could I just let it go? I know, I know if I started saving every piece of paper he ever wrote on, the basement wouldn't be sufficient, let alone our modest apartment. But who cares? Here I present to you his first drawing :) And yea, if you are not a parent, you wouldn't understand so don't bother to ask what I see in these colorful zig-zag lines. Like Jennifer said in a recent post, never ever turn your back on a child with crayons. Li'l General is only too happy to pain the floor tiles red and orange. The walls have been spared, for how long am not sure.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Father and Son

Happy New Year, everyone. Wishing all LG Rules! readers a great 2009!

LG's family rocked in the last week of 2008. The Seniol was back at base for nearly nine days; to say we had a great time is an understatement. Don't ask me what we did..we just chilled out at home for most part doing the regular stuff such as morning visits to the park, taking long evening walks, haunting the pizza outlets and cake shops without any planning totally surprising LG (so unlike me!), watching movies on DVD into the wee hours of morning. These nine days, in short, had all that we have ever wanted in a great vacation - minus the airfares and exotic locales. It was a perfect holiday. Ofcourse, on a couple of occasions we did manage to haul ourselves out of home to get some chores done. Before we knew, the week was over and it was time for The Seniol to leave already. I know how sad but we were better prepared this time. If only I could rewind time and re-live the past week, I would do that for anything in the world.

The two people who thoroughly enjoyed each other's company were undoubtedly Father and Son. If there is something called unadulterated affection, then I saw it in action between LG and The Seniol. When you see it everyday, you somehow miss it. I knew how fond LG is of his father but never understood and appreciated to the extent I did this time. Those meaningless banter, blowing bubbles on each other's tummy, territory sharing exercise every night on the bed only to be all over the bed within minutes, shared toy car rides, fixing the neck game, spraying water in the toilet, fighting for a bigger share of Black Forest cake oozing with liberal scoops of chocolate sauce..ah the list is endless. The biggest change The Seniol would have felt in LG was his ability to express himself in words. "Mama" gave away to "Papa" within minutes of The Seniol's arrival. I felt it took Li'l General more than four days to get over the excitement of seeing The Seniol after such a long time. He just couldn't get himself to believe his father was back.

We waited at the gates to receive The Seniol, the day he arrived. As he rolled down the windows to greet us, LG was shocked and confused unable to recognise The Seniol in darkness. As we reached home, LG just stood there looking at him for a while that got me thinking for a moment if the boy has forgotten him and all my attempts to show his pictures everyday to keep his memory fresh went in vain. I was proven wrong; it was the excitement. From there on, it was Papa all the way for the next week. I doubt if he let The Seniol get away from his eyesight for more than 10 minutes except the time when LG was asleep. The Seniol was not allowed to work, not allowed to eat in peace and sleep when LG was awake; the boy demanded his total attention.

I feared the worst the day The Seniol left. So prepared him with "Papa is going to school just like you" story a day before The Seniol was scheduled to leave. It has worked to an extent. LG hasn't cried openly or thrown tantrums. It makes me wonder if he is already acting too old for his age. But it has been worse. I can sense the boredom, the emptiness, the sadness in his eyes, looking up at every helicopter passing by to point to his papa, looking for his own father when every other child in the park calls out "papa". He is only two but at times his eyes speak volumes when he looks for answers from me and I have nothing to offer than to cheer him up. Another eight months to go for The Seniol to be back home with his son. I try hard but I can never fill the shoes of The Seniol. Come back soon!