Monday, September 29, 2014

#Microblog Mondays - Of Friends and Fitting in

A few weeks back as the twins were recovering from viral fever, they sat down to craft gifts for their teachers. H came up with this tippy-tippy-top flower for his teacher. He spent some time painstakingly making and colouring it, no mean achievement given that he's not such a pro at either.

He put it away safely in his cupboard waiting to get well so he could take it to school. Then  his friend dropped by. He looked at the 'flower', examined it and asked, 'What is this?' I was waiting for H to proudly declare 'I made this for my teacher'. To my complete surprise he replied, 'Oh this? It's just something my sister made. I don't know why she left it in my cupboard.'

If only he understood what his
favourite author sai
He was embarrassed to admit he'd made it!! 
I cannot tell how saddened I am. 

Long long back when he was a toddler he asked me for a kitchen set. He loves to cook. He used to take it down to play. Then one day he told me, "I'll play with my kitchen set only at home." And then slowly he gave it up altogether. 

Of course that might have been a sign of changing interests, which would have been fine. But this, seems like pure peer pressure. My son is growing up and trying to 'fit in' and I'm scared. Not that he might not fit in, but that he might lose himself while trying to do so.

A big talk is in order! Any ideas how to go about it?

Linking to # Microblog Mondays hosted by Stirrup Queens.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

7 reasons being a bad cook is cool

I'm no cook. It was only after I had the twins that I tried any kind of cooking. I mastered the art of making the perfect bottle of milk (Hey it's not easy okay, the temperature has to be just so and the amount of powder all measured and the water just that much). I learnt to dish out a mean Cerelac too. 

As the kids grew so did my cooking repertoire. Stewed apples, soups, khichdis, kheers - I learnt them all moving onto idlis and dosas. Then a few years back, unable to find a decent cook, the entire chore fell to me. I went about it in a pretty scientific manner balancing out the carbs, proteins, vitamins and minerals. The only casualty I presume, was 'taste'. But I persisted, to The Husband's dismay and continued dissatisfaction. 

That pretty much summed up our situation.

The kids of course knew no better since they'd been brought up on my cooking all along. They plied me with compliments as they crunched up cakes as hard as biscuits and happily ate up my lopsided chapatis

Sometimes I wondered if N grows up to be a famous actress (which is her current ambition) and some inane paper like apna ToI asks her for a favourite dish and she says (with that world-weary air typical of celebrities), 'I love ghar ka khana. Specially my mum's watery lauki with her special burnt-aroma rice.' Would that be a cringe-worthy moment for me or one of pride? 

Ummm... I'm not sure at all.

But I'm rambling. The thing is recently, fed up with the daily chore, I finally got a cook again and what bliss it has been. Check out the top seven reasons why being a bad cook works for me.

1. The most obvious one of course - you get to hire a cook and are free to do more reading or writing or just about anything else.

2. You are playing your part in boosting the economy by providing employment.

3. When you have a cook and the food is not so good, instead of going in defensive mode you can shake your head like the rest of the family and before anyone else can say it you pipe up, "Someone really needs to talk to the cook." (without any intention whatsoever of doing it of course. You do not want to annoy her now, do you?) And when she does a good job you puff up your chest with pride and say, "It's an art you know, finding the perfect cook."

4. When you do make something decent it's such happiness. Even after having made hundreds of dosas over the past years, when the batter spreads out perfectly and comes off without sticking It's like a miracle unfolding. Watching that chapati puff up makes you feel like a total domestic goddess, each and every time.

5. Then there's everyone else's sense of awe and wonder when you land that perfect dish once in a long long while.

6. Your cool aprons always remain spotless because all you've done in them is mixed the salad.

7. You never take anyone else's cooking for granted and hence are a favourite dinner guest at all your friends' parties.

So are you the 'cooking' kind or the 'get-a-cook' kind?

Monday, September 22, 2014

#Microblog Monday - Run for a cause

I am not really a sporty person. I am definitely not a runner. So what made me sign up for the Pinkathon - a run to support Breast Cancer? Well to begin with I might not be sporty but I am pretty committed to the idea of fitness, actually 'fun fitness'. What can be better than running/walking with a bunch of buddies for a good cause? 

Another confession - running a marathon has long been on my bucket list. I never did it because I had this very embarrassing vision of everyone having wrapped and gone home while I trudged on to the finish line by the afternoon. Or worse still, falling down from fatigue while people around me ran on!

Here, I get to choose between a 3 km, 5km or 10 km run. I intend to go for 5kms, which is a very doable distance for me. This is really as close as I'll ever get to running a marathon.

Yeah I'm looking forward to it. There's still about two months to go so I have time to get my act together.

Wish me luck, people.

Linking to # Microblog Mondays hosted by Stirrup Queens.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Super news at The Book Club!

Remember how I was feeling very let down last weekend because hardly any of the kids had read their stories? Like some of you suggested I thought an incentive would be a good idea. I welcomed the kids armed with a bunch of Perks and when I asked, 'So how many of you read the story today?' ALL hands went up. 

Each and every one of them. 

And they had drawn the Firebird too. Here are some of them. Take a look..

Such happiness. Oh I know next week they might not read the story again but that doesn't stop me being happy now.

Earlier in the day N and her friend decided to make 'posters' for The Book Club. The language is not all perfect but I liked the sentiment.

"I am mad for books"
"Reading is the best. I love reading" "Even if it is raining, still I will read"
Not sure what that means! :-)
Cute aren't they? 
And then H, the biggest TV addict in the family, pitched in at the last minute with one of his too.

And No, there was no prompting from me at all. I was amazed at how they echoed my thoughts from the previous post. 

The activity

We paired up the kids (except N, who wanted to go solo!) and played dumb charades of book names. There was plenty of whispering and giggling and laughing till they came up with their acts. After we finished one of the girls remarked, 'Aunty our book club is the best because we have the coolest activities.' I'll be satisfied with that for now and will wait for the day they say 'We're the best because we read the coolest books'. Yes, I'm ambitious.

The new story

Mercifully we had few disturbances (specially from H and N) and so could read most of the story. Titled 'Home' it told the tale of a Srilankan girl who has to move away from her small village to London. It talked about the concept of home and how it's not a 'place' but people who make up a home. I am hoping the lessons they pick up here will stand them in good stead later on in life.

The plan for this week...

...is to explore Srilanka a bit. And another story spinning session (with a difference).
And of course we'll have a brand new story, one on dinosaurs. This one has been chosen by H. In fact beginning this week I was thinking, once a month we could take turns to let the children share a story they've read and enjoyed.

Before I sign off - A huge thank you for keeping up with us and for your suggestions. Do keep them coming. Book/reading related crafts and activities or anything to enhance their creativity would be very very welcome. And of course if you stumble upon a good story do do let me know.


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