Getting back to school

The end of summer signals the advent of the monsoons and the start of a new academic year at school. I remember I used to hate going back to school after 2 months of fun-filled holidays. Getting back to the regular school routine after an idyllic summer holiday is a difficult transition in most households. New classes, curriculum, teachers, friends, new routine/schedule can intimidate any school going kid. While my daughter’s friend is shunning the thought of returning to school, I am glad that my daughter is looking forward to a brand new year.

Last year, I did not have it so easy. Luckily, I tried some time-tested tricks sounded to me by my best friend and things have been smoother ever since. This year, I am advising my fellow mom on a peaceful transition from holidays to school!

Preps for the new academic year start at least a week or two before at my household. I avoid hectic outings or activities leaving me with enough time to prepare my child for school.

My daughter’s sleep timings go haywire in the summers. To get her body clock to adjust to sleep timings on school nights, I start drumming and practicing the ‘early to bed, early to rise’ mantra at least 10 days before. And on the first day of school, she is anything but cranky, tired or sleepy. (Research shows that pre-primary & primary school children need at least 9 hours of sound sleep.)

Incessant snacking all day long leads to irregular meals timings. The change to our school meal timings too happened gradually over a week or two. All the junk foods (snacks) were slowly junked and healthy snacks made their way on the plate. Nutritious food, plenty of fruits and water keeps the child active and helps achieve optimum energy levels.

Now-a-days, many malls or stores have back-to-school offer. My child chose all her essentials such as bag, tiffin box, water bottle, stationary of Dora the Explorer fame. I feel it helps to get your child to choose his own new school bag, tiffin box, water bottle and stationery supplies since the child will look forward to showing of his new back-to-school supplies to old and new friends.

Other tips include: Talk positively about the beginning of the school. Mention reuniting with old friends, making new friends, new bag, bottle, etc to ease the stress. A special fun activity or family dinner, a day or night before is a good way to associate with ‘getting-back-to-school’.

Every child is a person with his or her own individual personality. While some children take school easily, for some it takes longer, making the beginning of the year unusually more stressful. It is vital to understand and handle the situation with sensitivity than impatience or anger to ease the stress. The first two-three weeks are daunting and afterwards things gradually settle down.

Cross-posted at Women’s Web

Big school this time

Almost a year back I had done a post on choosing the right school for your child. Now I am again back to choosing a school for my child. It is not that we are unhappy with the current school for her pre-primary education, but we preferred to take admission for Genie in a big school.  We had shortlisted 3 schools in our area, though she was eligble for two schools only…

We duly picked up the admission form and after submitting it, eagerly awaited an intimation letter from the school.  We were happy to receive a positive response from the school.

We were scheduled for an interaction meeting at 11.15 am on 14th Jan. We decided to let Genie be herself at the interaction meeting. Genie was naturally excited on going to a big school. As soon as we reached there, she left us to search for kids playarea. Luckily it was at the other end of the school or else we would have had a tough time dragging her from there.

Genie was a well behaved child in front of the principal. She sat down to play with crayons as soon as we entered the office. The lady principal asked both of us about our professions. She was curious to know what kind of writing I do and how do I manage home and work? I surprised myself by fumbling in the QnA session with the principal, but managed to pass with flying colors. We (hubby n self) heaved a sigh of relief when she said that our child will get admission in their school. Genie still wasn’t assigned a batch (morning and afternoon) though. We paid the fees very next day, hoping to secure a place in the morning batch.

Genie for sure will not miss her old friends at school because her few close friends have taken admission in the same school. Oh, did I mention – that the school is just next door to my building in Marol :).

Ponytail’s tale

The biggest advantage of having a girl is that you can doll her up. All the cute clips, rubber bands and lovely dresses are too good to resist…

I have a good collection of clips, hairbands and rubber bands for Genie and she has a good amount of soft and silky hair on head. Naturally she loves to wear pins.

Yesterday night, after oiling Genie’s hair, I decided to take a single ponytail behind…  She loves the coconut style ponytail taken in the center of the head…

Excited as usual, she allowed me take a ponytail for her. It was easier to gather her oiled hair behind her head and fasten a rubber band… I adjusted her loose strands at the nape and forehead and she was all set to see herself in the mirror…

As soon as she saw herself in the mirror, her first words were ‘Genie has become mummy’, ‘Genie looks like mummy’… Why… Because mummy also takes a ponytail behind. She was so happy to look like mummy.

DH, myself and in-laws were pleasantly surprised at her unexpected comment…  She took utmost care in wearing her night clothes as she did not want to mess with her ponytail… I too enjoy doing this for her.

Back to being a WM

Yes, I am back to being a WM (working mom). The last 9 months of being SAHM (stay-at-home-mom) were really enriching in terms of being with my baby. From enrolling her in a playschool, watching her cry while going to school, her eagerness to go to school even on holidays to hearing her speak full sentences and learning to eat with her own hand and behaving well on most occasions.

So why the sudden decision to work again? For all who know me, I was working same time last year and then took a break to study or rather upgrade my skillsets. After I was through with my 3 month study course, Genie started schooling. By the time she settled in, Ramazan (holy month of fasting) started and then my sister was getting married. I realised that I would be taking more of holidays when I start working. I started my jobhunt in October and I was lucky enough to get an interview call from L2. The informal interview was a breeze. I was offered the job before goodbyes could be said. And I took time to accept the job offer as I was unsure about the profile offered to me. Nevertheless, the said job was suppose to fall in my kitty, and I accepted the job.

My reasons to work – Being a creative person, I was idling my time by doing nothing constructive at home. I did get few offers of freelancing work, but nothing challenging enough. Sitting idle was making me more irritated with everyone around especially my Genie. I feel ashamed to admit that she bore the brunt of my impatience and anger. Thats when I realized that I needed to get out of the four walls of the house and start working.

As I write this post, I am currently sitting in my new office. Today is day 3 at L2. My gut feeling tells me that my stint at L2 will be fulfilling in terms of knowledge and experience.

All the best to myself.

She has us speechless!!!!

Genie of course!!!!

She has been having me speechless quite a few times in the last few months. She starts talking like an adult, explains to me the stuff that I explain to her a minute back, makes her friends understand not to throw stuff, tells them that her nana has bought her a teddy bear from some place where he went in plane, etc.

The two distinct moments that stand out in my memory are:

The weekend before Ramazan, we had gone to meet our friends. After reaching home that night, while removing her shoes, she tells me ‘Thank you mama’ n ‘Thank you papa’. We have been teaching her to say thank you when anybody gifts her or does a nice thing for her. The out of blue ‘thank you’ had both of us stumped. On asking her, why she said thank you. She replies ‘You all bought me in car from our friend’s house’. At this we both were speechless, not knowing what to saying. After gathering ourselves from unexpected answer, we sat down with her and asked her what made her say thank you. Did she feel that we would leave her there and come back alone? She says no, but she just felt like saying it. This was a proud moment for both of us.

The other moment happened yesterday at the time of iftari (breaking of the fast (roza) at sunset). I had made idlis. She has started liking idlis as it is served as snack in school once a week. Since she was down with upset stomach and was not eating anything else, I decided to make idlis. When i handed her, her plateful of 4 mini idlis, she asks ‘Mummy are these idlis for me’. Me ‘yes beta, they are for you’ and she says ‘Thank you mummy for giving me idlis’. This moment too left me speechless for a whole minute. I just kissed her and could only muster ‘welcome dear’.

Hubby dearest and I feel proud that our preachings of good habits to Genie is a success already :). (BTW, the whole conversation was held in our mother tongue ‘Gujarati’.)

Playdate with mom and dad

Till now it has been my mom whose has blogged about me. Well  now, I have decided to do this post.

The past few months, I have been unwell often, so mom and dad would not take me out much for the fear of me catching some infection. Well now that I am doing fine and have become a really good girl while going to school (read here), mom and dad decided to reward me by taking me out on Saturday, 9th.

I was taken to ‘Infinity’ mall in Andheri west. I had taken a small nap during the ride to the mall and was feeling sleepy, so mom and dad decided to go shopping in Food Bazaar. The time spent in Food Bazaar that day was the shortest ever as mom and dad’s focus was the ‘Toddler’s Den’ for me.

Well after shopping, we went to the entertainment center in the mall. Seeing the play area for kids of my age jolted me out of my sleepiness. After buying the card, i entered the play area with mom and dad in tow. With two slides, i was the most happiest. I climbed, crawled, slide down. Mom and dad were happily playing with me. Time passed so quickly. I would have not left the toddler’s play area, had I not spotted the horsin’ merry go round.

I then demanded to sit on the horse, the car and revolving cup in the merry go round all by myself. But mom and dad would not hear of it, so i had them for company. Then i sighted a small train, which I had to drive. So off we went to the train. But another boy beat me to it and I was so angry. I get my genes for being short tempered from my mom :(.

After a round in train, we made our way to the food court, where I saw one uncle handing out chocolate cookies for free. And naturally I had to get my hands on it. I demanded for more than two free cookies, so dad had to buy a pack of chocolate cookies for me… Cookie uncle was happy about it.

Since i was happy with my cookies, mom and dad decided to skip eating at the food court and headed to Tewaris at Juhu where they both eat some high cal food. Mom, i thought you wanted to lose weight before masi’s wedding. After eating to their heart’s content, we left for home.

At home, i was still in the mood for more fun and was wide awake till 12 in the night much to chagrin of mom and dad who were sleepy.

Mom and dad thank you for this lovely playdate. I really enjoyed myself. How soon can we go again over there?

Update from playschool

A quick update

The last week has been an important week in Genie’s school life. She has stopped crying completely while going to school. Every morning, she says that she wants to go to school and i should iron her uniform and socks in front of her.

Though she does not play in the garden before entering, she stands and looks around. When she has her fill of looking around, she pulls me in the direction of her class. She eagarly awaits to say good morning and hello to the school principal. And the best part is that she holds hands with her friend and walks to the classroom.

I am looking forward to the openhouse at the end of the month, so I can get an update from the teacher.