Thursday, December 18, 2008

Patiently handle pesky advice!

When I was pregnant with Eli; and Serene(then 8 months) and me were on a flight to India,I met a lady who has 2 kids.Over a long layover at Newark airport, we bonded and spoke of(what else) but kids!She gave me the best piece of advice that I have ever gotten from anyone about children."When folks advise you about your kids: smile;nod,act dumb!,make appreciative noises like umm.hmm etc".Then go ahead and do exactly what you want to".Time and again over the last 13 months,I have been reminded of this comment as well meaning family,friends,acquaintances and strangers advise me.While its nice when you solicit for advice or suggestions, its the unsolicited ones that really bug me.. yes, it is snowing outside and one of my ever-fidgety son's ears are peeking out of his hat.. that will warrant stares from strangers,some will helpfully point it out to helpful soul even went as far as firmly tucking his ear back in- on a public train! Get away from my baby.. I think.. forget the cold, who knows what germs he might get from your hands that have touched every conceivable surface through the day!! hahaha.sound melodramatic... but, I know every mother might have faced this some time or the other.
The advice I have received over the last two years: it used to rile me at first, make me really defensive,has even led to some arguments with the other party we would would discuss whose point of view is correct.. the trip to India I guess broke the last straw off the camel's back.Relatives and friends who were seeing Serene for the first time (and me in a mum's role) had tonnes of advice/comments.It was getting frustrating as I kept trying to maintain my Western standards in a place where touching a stranger's baby's cheeks,planting a kiss,patting the head are considered signs of affection :) It took me a good few days to settle into this "new" routine! to realise that all people are trying to do is display their affection for my little one.Praneet got there a few weeks after us and when he heard my saga of woe about having to sit through advice, he laughed! and laughed! and then told me very simply that I need to have the confidence in my mothering skills.Do not doubt yourself.Give everyone a patient ear, weigh the pros and cons and then you decide what you need to do for your child.
It really worked! Now, when the lady sitting next to me on the train ride to downtown asks me why my babies(clad in head to toe winter jackets) are not covered with a blanket to combat the weather,I smile back sweetly and say,oh.. I brought one--- they kicked it off as it was too much!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

ho.ho.holidays with the toddlers!

Hi everyone,its been ages since I've blogged and I have heard rumblings from near and dear ones about how they've missed my musings :-) thanks for the kind words!
Serene's now a 23 month old moppet and Eli's 9 months old and all over the place! They keep me on my toes allright.. have signed them up for a whole load of activities like gym,art,music,storytime and swimming classes in the nearby park district to get that nervous energy depleted( I wish!)
This is going to be one special holiday season( oh.. what the.. I love the word Christmas..).Last one,I was preggers with Eli and Serene was 11 months old, so was just too tired to do much.The one previous to that,I was preggers with Serene.. hehehe.So, this is one Xmas where I am NOT preggers and look forward to some late nights and spiked eggnog :)
I have been fortunate enough to find 2 great sitters we use on a rotaional basis over weekends.Hubs and me realised that life.. and conversations were getting to be "all about the kids" and decided that we needed to get outta the rut.So,Saturday mornings- I take over until 12 pm while he snoozes, goes to his favorite coffee place,reads the papers etc.Noon to 5 pm, he takes over while I.. sleep.. shop...pamper myself! Its working out wonderfully and all ye young parents out there might want to try this out.The first few weekends,I had my to-do list ready of things I wanted to accomplish.. guess what I did.. ya, you guessed it.. I slept,slept and slept some more!! hehehe.
Saturday evenings;we feed them,bathe,story time and tuck them in and then the sitter come over!! Drums roll please.. I am free free free.Its date night all over again.We go grab a drink,do dinner,watch movies and even just goto a bookstore and browse.. the rule is "NO TALK OF KIDS".Funny thing is that the first date.. we didn't know what else to talk about :) But, this is a wonderful routine and energises me to face the week ahead with the brats!
After much regret, we have decided not to put up the tree this year, especially with Eli- its better safe than sorry.Praneet is cooking us a scrumptious seafood feast on Xmas eve( this is supposed to be a Belgian tradition as told by one of our friends).. Some wine and seafood with a cheese platter to round it off.. yum yum yum! Friends would be coming over for supper on Christmas day.I am doing the whole hog( literally!) and theres going to be a roast chicken( just find Turkey too dry..),ham,potatoes and vegetable casseroles.But the Goan in me will manifest itself in the form of pork vindaloo and shrimp :) oooooooooh.. I can't wait:cooking and devouring this feast has me all revved up.. dessert will be assorted sweets,cakes and a home made raspberry pie with whipped cream.. :) I shall try and take pics to post them here for your visual satisfac
We also attended a St Nicholas party last week.. Serene had a blast.The hostess made some wonderful spiced ginger and cinnamon cookie dough and the little ones got to create and decorate their own cookies.My one ofcourse had a better time sampling the raw dough. :)
Shopping this year is on a mellow route thanks to the economy.We have decided to get the kids some toys and clothes.My wish list to Santa will include Rachel Ray cookware and Victoria's Secret sleepwear :) Hubbys list is still in planning mode!
I was reading an article of how families have a Christmas tradition they follow each year.I think thats such a great idea.. am hoping to start one this year, so the kids will have something to remember as the years roll by... it could be baking cookies together or making christmas ornaments or going to a holiday special event.. Praneet and the babies visited the Christkindl market last weekend: was so much fun with spiced wine,carols,german sausages and beer...
I hope you all have a great time this holiday season.. stay happy and warm!