February 25, 2013

Daddy's boy

R is talking a lot these days and that too mostly in English! Verbs and tenses are, of course, thrown to the wind. But that's beside the point. It is amusing to hear him talk full and long sentences in a language that was alien to him less than a year ago. At times, I am amazed at the use of the right words at the right places.

During his recent hospital visits, he amused the nurses and the on-duty doctor with his quick retorts. That was of course after his fever had subsided and he was back to his sunny self. As is the wont with adult folk, one of the typical questions to young children is which school they go to. And, so when the doctor posed the question, R who was thorough with the answer, replied confidently. He was not prepared for an unexpected next question that asked him where his school was. Not to be perturbed by such things, R replied without batting an eyelid, "There..... Near Appa's office!"

In one other instance, the nurse came to check his temperature and give his dose of medicine. This young man obviously didn't take this very well and told her, "Don't come near this bed. I don't want to talk to you." As if this was not sufficient, he added, "I'm C's (the husband's name) friend!!" for good measure. As though the husband is the Don of the city and anyone would shudder and stop in their tracks upon hearing the name!

This is not just a proof of his nonsensical chatter but also a trailer of how much R is turning out to be a daddy's boy. It's always Appa, appa all the time. His mannerisms, the way he talks and walks, everything mirrors the way Appa is. If the Appa goes missing even for a few minutes (when the Dad is at home, that is), it is immediately noticed and he'd run to me to ask where his Appa went. He even has the cheek to tell me, " he (the Dad) is mine. I cannot share him with you!" I feel the urge to retort that the older guy was mine till the cheeky lil' fella came into our lives and it is me who should be saying this to him.

I had heard that sons are generally mamma's boys but here the story is quite the opposite. Sigh!

February 18, 2013

Cooking in adversity and Gatte ki sabzi

With all the happenings of last week, the most neglected of the lot was the Kitchen. I absolutely didn't keep track of the stocks and ran out of a lot of groceries during the week, including the veggies. All this even though we have an emergency condo within the complex that also does home delivery!

Anyway, the fact remained that I had to make lunch on Sunday without any proper veggies-my favourite paneer and eggs were also missing. So, I decided to try out a new dish. Adversity does bring out the unusual in some people ;-)

I generally have a problem following one recipe. I scour the net for different versions of the same dish to see which one sounds better and which one prescribes the ingredients that are available in my kitchen. The result is that I always do a combination of a couple of recipes. *Wonders* Is that way my dishes always turn out different from what I expect??

In this case, however, neither I nor the husband had ever tasted this dish before so there was no benchmark to be reached or any expectations to be fulfilled. Also, for a change, I almost completely followed this recipe here.

Sharing some pics:
The dough for the gatte
The dough, rolled and cut


The final product- I picture adamantly remains in this position and no amount of rotating helps!

Oh, I forgot to add, the dish turned out quite well, although I have no idea how the authentic one tastes, but that's a different story, right?

A forgettable week that was

Oh, what a week this has been! Anxious moments and illness had gripped the household. R had been fighting a nagging cold for a very long time now and the past few weeks saw him dealing with some nasty cough on and off. Just as he was recovering from all of it, he suddenly ran a high temperature last weekend. The paracetamols were only bringing the fever down by a couple of degrees and the fever would shoot up just as the effect of the medicine began to wear off.  And, on Monday morning, we had to rush R to the emergency ward of a hospital following a bout of shivering.

He was kept under observation, given a few other dosages of rectum suppository and a lot of sponging. The thermometer finally signalled normal after a intravenous dose of antibiotic. We were sent home late in the afternoon, by when the husband and I looked like patients ourselves. Imagine, we were in the hospital since morning without a bath, breakfast or even proper lunch!

And, then began a series of blood tests and many more visits to the hospital during the week as R had be injected the antibiotic until the reports came out. He had developed a lower respiratory chest infection and was advised a course of oral antibiotics. Somehow, this seemed like a mild let off in comparison to the anxious thoughts of Malaria and Dengue that were plaguing my mind until the test results came out.

Did the valentine's Day just went by? Well, in all this chaos, I hardly took note, until of course, a lady staff in the hospital extended a red rose and wishes to mark the occasion! Well, what a place to be reminded and how! I remarked a tad caustically to the husband in the car later about the irony of the situation. The hubby of course couldn't have cared less. But, looks like I'm growing older (and perhaps wiser?) too since these things now do not matter much in my head too.

The week was ending on a better note than it began on, but I said my prayers too soon since the husband fell sick over the weekend and I had to cater to two little ones in the house. Who's the other little one, you ask? The husband of course! Of course everyone likes to be pampered when they get sick, so I can't be too harsh, can I? Only, just wonder if I even have the luxury to fall sick and get pampered.

ETA: We are all OK now :-)

February 7, 2013

Corn fritters, the Indian way

This was one of the rare occasions when I decided to make a yummy snack. Actually, a sting remark by the husband caused my generally thick nerves to take offense and I marched off in the kitchen to prove him all wrong (and to also to get rid of the small guilt that was also peeking its ugly head).

Whatever the reason, we were treated to a quick and very yummy fried snack that we gobbled down with some nice refreshing ginger tea.

The recipe was taken from here. 
I omitted the garlic, cloves and curry leaves. The taste was still good, so looks like you can make your tweaking.

The mixture

The final product


February 5, 2013

How productive is a toddler

It is amusing and interesting to note how much of analysis or rather over-analysis goes behind parenting a child, especially when it comes to education. While, my own mind goes into a tizzy by unnecessary running over of certain things that concern R, I'm surprisingly a little laid-back about his education. It is probably because I am myself an underdog, so I know that the brightness quotient is quite over-rated, especially when the child is as young as R or also, because I feel that kids these days are quite smart in many ways, and will be able to somehow survive the tide and do eventually well in life.

Whatever the case, I am not so paranoid as some other parents seem to be. At least for now. Hence, I was amused to hear the observations and views of a fellow parent of a kid that is younger to R by 6 months and goes to the same Montessori. Now, we had an observation day for R at his school. It is a day where the parents are invited to observe their child working in his/her environment, to let the parents get a feel of what a Montessori environment entails, what and how the child performs each activity on a given day. So, this particular parent was very eager and keen to know all about this day (as she was not privy to be a part of the event since her child had only recently graduated to M1 level, hence not yet attained the level needed for such an activity). 

Well, it's one thing to be curious and another thing to be anxious. This parent seemed to be anxious in knowing what the children do at school. She went on to say that she did not find the year productive for her child! I was at a loss for words. Here, I was, least bothered by such a day such as this. I have no big expectations of R achieving a specific learning level at the end of his Kindergarten. I am happy if he is happy going to school and at the same time not really having any major lags in his milestone development. Least of all is my worry of if he is learning his letters or numbers at school. And, here was a parent who was assessing the school and her child's growth within a year's time in terms of productivity. What productivity was she talking about, I was afraid to ask.

Assessing the productivity for a toddler can be quite a challenging and IMO, a needless activity. Kids at this age learn a lot even by simple observation, so it's futile to assume that they learn only by doing (meaningful) activities. Actually, the definition of meaningful is quite limited in the adult understanding since we have very defined and limited way of looking at things. But a child's mind is a clean slate that is imbibing such a humungous amount of knowledge each day that nothing seems unnecessary for that child.

To be fair to the parent, I also believe that Montessori methods can be complex and difficult for many parents to understand since they do not involve books and the results are almost never immediate. They target the child at the root level, gradually, and groom them in finer nuances, so tangible results may take much longer to be visible. Also, since they go as per the child's interest and capability, the results cannot be compared too. 

While, I am also new to these methods, I am trying to gain my foot hold on their methods. My insights were also proved to some extent at the observation day where I noticed many finer details to how a child behaves and learns in the classroom- something that can only be experienced and cannot be produced as a tangible result.