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!