Archive | December, 2016

Day 1 – Bandar’s first movie experience

28 Dec

Over the Christmas holidays, the husband and I decided that Bandar at the age of 4 and a quarter was ready to watch her first movie at a theater. The movie we decided upon was Disney’s Moana.All three of us were excited about it as we considered this a milestone of sorts.

Since her birth , we have seen exactly three movies ourselves in a theater – all three movie dates were executed when she was in school . So Bandar really had no idea what she was in for at all. She vaugely thought the experience involved a stage like the” Frozen ” musical she saw earlier last year but was pretty surprised to see a large screen instead. We choose seats and started her off on another first – gross artificially flavored movie popcorn.

Bandar was bored with the trailers prior to the movie ( as was I) and kept asking when the movie was starting. I prepared her for the darkness to follow and she sat up alert when the movie started. Her patience lasted maybe 40 minutes and one round of popcorn . After that it was a lot of -” When will it be done” and “when can we go home” questions. After a while she shifted to her dad’s lap. The movie was not really scary or anything and I do not think she was frightened at any point. She was just plain bored , again very similar to me during most movies.

Anyway , the question is when will we do it again and to that I can just say maybe not very soon. I think maybe one more when she turns 5. She is the kind of kid who doesn’t particularly watch much TV to begin with. She is allowed one specific TV show over the weekend and has seen one movie- Frozen about 6-7 times so far ( during haircuts, plane ride to India and at home ). If given a choice ,I suspect she would choose to watch Frozen again at home than a new movie at the theater. Even with a lot of elaboration on the storyline from both the husband and me , I think she maybe got about 60 percent of the movie on the large screen. So maybe waiting a few more months or years here might work out well.

What was your first movie in the theater? Mine was Beethoven at age 6. My classmates mom took us and I had no idea what to expect . I wish I had shared this first with my parents .

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Weekend Breakfasts

20 Dec

So I am usually not a big breakfast person on weekdays . On weekdays my staple is either a single whole grain toast with peanut butter or oats with fruit. But I do make up for it over atleast one day of the weekend. The other day of the weekend , we usually head out for brunch if we can. Cooking a big breakfast on two consecutive days is far too much work for all concerned ! 

Come over on a weekend morning , especially one that the Husband doesn’t have cricket on and you will usually find me try to dish out a real Desi breakfast . We recently withdrew Bandar from almost every single weekend activity ( best decision ever, but it warrants a separate post ) and we are all unusually relaxed on a weekend morning. While Bandar lazes in bed for a little while , or potters around the house playing with her imaginary friends or alternatively we have Skype on with one of the sets of grandparents in India , a hearty breakfast gets made.

The husband and I love our rava upma and poha respectively , so these two often make it to our rotation.It works out well as I love the way the H makes poha and he loves the Rava upma I make.Maybe these are our favorite weekend breakfasts as it puts the onus of making it upon the other person ! It all makes so much sense now as I write this ­čÖé

 If I have some idli batter left over, uttapams with a spicy chutney for us( tomato, peanut or onion)  and just cheese for Bandar get made. Sometimes it’s a besan tomato chillah, and sometimes is Desi style savory eggless french toast with ketchup  ( bread dipped in Rava and yogurt and onions and spices and cooked on the tabs). 

Most of the time I choose savory over sweet , but if Bandar and the H were given a choice , they would prefer a sweet breakfast. So occasionally I do dabble in chocolate pancakes and even more rarely I pull out our trusty waffle maker and whole wheat applesauce sweetened waffles get made. 

Once the food is ready,  it is just nice to sit down as a family for a late breakfast , or almost a brunch  that is a little reminiscent of our childhood weekends. Everyone is usually in a better mood once fed and ready to take the day head on. Clean up is a whole other beast though and it warrants no more cooking for the weekend usually .

Reclaiming the precious Sunday nap

13 Dec

As a child , I absolutely hated afternoon naps and fought them . So in our small nuclear family setting of three , my parents gave up trying to make me sleep. But that didn’t mean they gave up on their own weekend naps .At age 4,  they simply trusted me to be responsible enough to care for myself while they took a good two hour ( at the very least ) nap . So I remember the set up very well. I moved all the toys and games I wanted to play with while they slept, over to their bedroom prior to them falling asleep and then firmly shut the master bedroom door to keep out any intruders. There was no way I was going to be in any other room while they napped. My mom set up my little portable potty ( don’t ask me why I wasn’t using the regular toilet at age 4) outside the bathroom door. And she also set up a small snack for me – invariably carrots.( my poor mom is still baffled that I fell prey to my genetic eyesight woes of astigmatism and myopia, which I probably had all my life but only came to light at age 13, despite having me on a steady diet of carrots since forever!) My brave parents were clearly not scared of me choking over carrots while they slept – braver souls than me.
I remember playing imaginary games all afternoon by myself , building with blocks and later Lego sets,setting up a zoo with my toy animals and finally graduating to jigsaw puzzles. I attempted and finished my first 100 piece puzzle one such afternoon at age four and I remember my dad’s exclamation surprise when he got up and the photo session with the puzzle that followed.
Anyway, fast forward about 26 years and my own four year old hates naps. She fights them with the vengeance and often one parent half heartedly has to stay up with her ( usually me) and gives the sleeping, snoring parent a load of burning looks. (I strongly maintain in four years of parenting that there is nothing in the world more frustrating than seeing your partner asleep when you are awake. To be fair to the husbadoo , I am usually the one who goes to bed with Bandar at around 8 pm most evenings , while he works late. And I thus get more cumulative sleep over the week anyway. )
This Sunday however we revolutionized our arrangement. After a heavy lunch of homemade Pad Thai by yours truly, and two episodes of Modern Family, both the H and I could barely keep our eyes open. We told Bandar we were taking a nap and that she could join us if she wanted. We briefly surveyed the room before we fell asleep – no dangling curtain cords ( seriously the worst offenders -just Google ‘curtain cord deaths’ to scar youself from ever having blinds or children for that matter), no sharp objects – we put her toddler friendly scissors out of reach , and definitely did not leave her out a snack. And then we fell into deep slumber while Bandar drew, colored and played her imaginary games. I opened my eyes briefly about an hour later to see she had shut the master bedroom door , maybe for a sense of security, like I had all those years ago.She did say she had wandered into our study that is attached to our bedroom to play at the desk for a little while ( Note to self -Desk there definitely has a ton of fascinatingly dangerous objects like metal scales, sharp scissors and staplers) . But overall , things were good and she did quite well. Once she saw that I was awake but not yet ready to get up , she started asking me when I was going to be up and I simply told her to let me know when the “big hand of the clock got to 12” to get some extra shut eye. She frequently reported back that the hand was getting closer to the hour and I finally did get up when the time came, quite well rested from our little experiment.