First month at playschool

Genie started playschool this June, a week short of her second birthday. To give her an idea of school, myself and others in the family mentioned all the positive things about the school. I was more nervous than her. She was calm and quiet unaware of where she is going and what is going to happen. The walk to school was interspersed again with all the goody tidbits about school.

The first week was a breeze as mothers were to accompany them all the time. With hordes of appealing toys, Genie was smiling, active, playing and mingling with the teachers and kids alike. The real test began in second week when no parent was allowed to sit in the class with kids. All the mothers experienced nervousness and anxiety while the kids wailed for their mothers.

Genie got in the habit of crying when I would start to get her ready for school. The teacher had told us that playschool kids take anywhere between 15 days – a month to adjust to the school routine, so mothers shouldn’t worry. The ritual of getting ready for school was peppered with poems, stories, though the crying did not stop. Genie got in the habit of making excuses for not going to school. She would say that she wants to go the doctor as she is hurt or her nani’s house. She will go there first and then to school. This excuses continued exactly for a month. A month later, she was crying, but less than before.

Few changes i noticed over last 15 days is that she has started saying some words, a line or two from the poems taught in the school. She without fail, takes 2 chilles to feed the parrot in the school. She likes getting ready for school, wears her shoes on her own and throws goodbye kisses to her grandparents. She mingles well with other kids and also eats snacks provided by the school. At bedtime, she wants me recite her nursery rhymes instead of stories. Though she mentions about not going to school daily, she enjoys her time with the teachers and other kids. When I pick her up daily, her eagerness to tell me what she did in school tells me my Genie has adjusted well to her school routine.

We celebrated Genie’s birthday a week later than her actual birthday. She was excited at distributing gifts to other kids in her class. We distributed 8 piece crayons box from faber castel and 2 mini kitkats. When Genie performs correct actions to the poems I recite, says few alphabets, numbers, recites a poem, it is a proud moment for me and my hubby.

Have been busy

It’s been good ol 3 months that I have been away from my blog. I was upskilling myself i.e. busy studying Instructional Designing. The course, kiddo and house work consumed all my waking hours. Got a breather from July for two reasons – no more studying and kiddo going playschool for 2 hours daily… Despite a breather, a fortnight into July, i still have not managed to write a single post. And i now plan to make amendments. I would like to say sorry to my blog as it was ignored by me for a long time … Sorry…

And now the big Q – What should my next post be about? I have started thinking and adios till my next post

Choosing the Right School for your child

Recently i have been added as contributing member to DMC, Desimomzclub. The club has a theme for every month. Theme for March 08 is ‘Choosing the right school’.

I made my first big post for DMC on this topic. I read a post or two about the theme on DMC n various mommy blogger’s sites. While choosing a playschool for Genie i looked at just two factors. From what i have read, parents abroad and in India have searched high and low before finalizing a pre-school for their kiddos, read their travails here, here and here.

Searching for the right school for kids is a cumbersome task for today’s parent. Few months back, while discussing with my folks on deciding for pre-school for Genie, they found it funny that we (DH & I) spent an hour or two at the school where we plan to enroll her. They say for me, they went a day or two before the first day of school, paid fees and took admission. They never visited the school before, WHY… simply because the relatives/friends/neighbors who sent their kids to the same school had only good things to tell when asked and also the school was NEAR to our home. Our parents had it so easy.

Now there are many factors to contemplate before enrollment of your child in a school. In Mumbai itself, many new pre-schools mushroom on regular basis. Its like if you have a degree in ECCE (early child care education) and the resources especially Vitamin M (money), rest all follows.

Genie starts her playschool this June in one of the pre-schools in our neighborhood. We took admission for it just last month. The admission process has been quite simple. No interviews either with the parents or kids. Just fill the form, pay fees and admission process is over.

What made us choose this school from the trio of pre-primary nurseries in our area – for One – the school is just less than 10 minutes away from my home (read NEAR) and Second – practically whomsoever we know and asked have sent their kids to this pre-school as it is Simply the Best.

Hey aren’t the above two the same reasons which made my parents decided my pre-school… Yes they were the two main reasons for us to start checking this pre-school.

When we visited the school few months, the Catholic couple who has been running the school since 20+ years gave us detailed information especially education background of themselves, teachers and assistants of the school. We were impressed by their credentials and beside a mother’s instinct was feeling good about the whole thing already as they spoke and treated us well.

They showed us around the school. All the batches (playschool, nursery, jr & sr kg) have no more than 30 kids with a teacher, 2 assistants and a lady ayah. They have large classrooms with themes like fruits, flowers, animals, etc that change every month, activity tables, a large playground with slides, swings, rocking boats, rainbow climber, a huge sand pit, rope ladder, jungle gym, shape tunnels and various skills enhancing toys, games and teaching materials. They teach the kids how to eat, clean up after playing, eating and also potty training.

They left us on our own and we stayed back for an hour or so. We mingled with the teachers and assistants, saw how they handle young kids, spoke, read and played with them. We made a mistake of not taking Genie along with us, do not ask why… If she had come along, we would have to drag her home…

What was important to both of us – the behaviour of the owners, teachers, assistants and helpers – how they treat the kids – are they polite or do they run out of patience when a toddler throws a tantrum. Since the number of kids did not exceed 30, teachers could manage to give personal attention. The school has many activities and they make it a point to involve each kid be whatever the age.

I think that if your child progresses well i.e. understands and grasps things well, looks forward to going to school even on holidays, if the teachers and other staff teaches well, encourage your child to take part in various activities, etc, then the school is right for your child. I would not compare the chosen school with other schools as it could leave me feeling disheartened as why I did not take admission in so – so school.

At the end of it, we both are happy with our decision of enrolling Genie in this pre-school. We will be taking her to see the school soon. We are more excited about the whole thing, its like we have taken admission for ourselves. :). When Genie is ready for SKG, we will have to search for some other school, where there will be interviews and much more. Now, we just want Genie to mingle with kids of her age, play and not be shy of everyone.

I will end the post with this quote “Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity”- Aristotle.

Happy Woman’s Day

“A tactful wife is one who ensures she spends so much that her husband can’t afford another women”

‘Happy Woman’s Day’

Taare Zameen Par

‘Taare Zameen Par’ is the story of a dyslexic child whose parents are unable to comprehend his problem and send him to a boarding school.

The movie comes when students committing suicides and campus killings are making the news of the day, hence kids are finding themselves at a point where they have to join the race to finish first or simply be left out.

It’s a film about parents and children, about the pressures we put on our kids, about how we push them into becoming robots who will make our (parent’s) dreams come true instead of encouraging our children to find their own unique strengths.

Parents who push their children to do things against their wishes, please note: Pressurizing your child to do something that he/she does not want to, will just give a reason for your child to rebel everytime. There is more to life than being a topper every time. Understand your child and his/her needs when it comes to studying and everything else. Studies do matter but not to an extent that the child finds it a chore and withdraws from all the pleasures of childhood life.

I am not going to do a synopsis of the film as it best to see the movie than to read about it.

I would like to mention some moments which tugged at my heart –
– when Ishaan’s mother discovers a flip book with family painting and at the end of the book, he is no more at part of the family picture.
– Aamir’s visit to Ishaan’s home to explain his condition to his parents
– relevation scene when Aamir recognizes Ishaan is a dyslexic child
– when Ishaan’s parents go home after admitting him to the boarding school.
– After winning the first prize at the Art Mela, Ishaan hugs his Aamir, his art teacher and cries his heart out.

I shed many tears because the movie was emotionally engaging and a heart warming experience for me. DH was too very emotional at the end of the movie.

My parents & DH’s parents never pressurized us to excel in our studies or any other activities. They just let us be ourselves and we did our best. And we did turned out good 🙂 . I too will let Genie just be herself and praise her and stand by her for whatever she does in life. 🙂

Anecdote at the start of TZP

After weeks of dilly dallying, DH and I went to see Taare Zameen Par @Sunday 24th Feb. We are celebrating DH’s birthday on Sunday according to our Muslim calendar. So after a delicious lunch at Curry Twist (only veg), Saki Naka we headed to Hub@Goregoan.

We reached the cinema hall just few minutes before the show time… We headed to our seats and were surprised that another couple was already occupying it…

We had done online bookings of the ticket for the first time and the first thought that crossed both our minds was that the ticket booking system had goofed up 😦 . I started ranting about how they could issue two tickets of same row and seat num, et al… DH kept calm (thank god. he is the most patient guy to my rants and tempers…) and we spoke to the usher who checked their and our tickets for screen no., seat and row… Tickets seemed cloned 😦 . And the movie was about to begin in few minutes… We went to the head usher, who then came and checked the date of their ticket and their ticket was not for Sunday 24th Feb… Hurray.. their ticket was booked for 25th Feb, same time, row and seat… Poor thing, I felt sad.. they too were highly embarrassed about this. In their rush to vacate the seats for us, their huge tub of popcorn toppled over 😦 . They moved out just in time at the start of the movie…

We cozily settled in our huge Maharaja seats to watch ‘Stars on the Earth’ or ‘Taare Zameen Par’…

My thoughts and feelings on the movie follows in the next blog…

How arl you?

This new year i made a habit of saying ‘i love you’ to both Genie and DH at least once a day.

Whenever i say ‘i love you’ to Genie, she responds by say ‘how arl you’ in her baby language and laughs aloud.

her ‘how arl you’ means ‘i love you’ for us…

It feels good to know that she too means the same by using the words from her vocab 🙂