I must say I’ve really loved being a part of this #AtoZBloggingChallenge . I doubted, when I began, if I had the follow through to get to the end. But almost half way through and more than anything else I’m really enjoying writing and I love how my blog is looking. I myself can sense how my writing has progressed, how I’ve been able to touch upon varied topics and been inspired to try new things.
I’m especially kicked about today’s post. I diy’d. Yayyy. If you followed my social media posts/ stories then you’d know that I stepped in to a craft store, first time after school perhaps and stocked up. And it’s now time to show you what I made. Continue reading
We celebrated our 8th anniversary today. <3 And to honour this special day we decided to have dinner at a suburban five star hotel, in one of their specialty restaurants. When we eventually got there, an hour late for our booking, we were really surprised by what #babyT did – he sniffed the air, scrunched up his nose and said “aaahhh” He smelled food in the air and by the sound of the “aaahhh” we could tell that he liked it. We have a foodie baby and now we also know that he has a refined sense of smell. 🙂 Did you know, a food lover mostly always has a refined sense of smell.
Olfactory or olfaction refers to the sense of smell and what is most fascinating about it is that among all the senses, newborn babies’s sense of smell and taste develops in-utero, i.e. when they are happily floating along in their mommy’s amniotic fluid. In fact the sense of smell is the most powerful at birth and which is why the magic of breast crawl takes place. Sense of hearing and even sight develops gradually as baby grows. But olfactory and gustatory senses are already present at birth. Continue reading
As is the case with every day of the #AtoZBloggingChallenge, I rack my brains all day, start panicking by evening and then suddenly a light bulb comes on somewhere in my brain and I find a topic for the day’s alphabet. But today was a moment I have been waiting to write about even before I started the #AtoZ Challenge and in fact the whole purpose behind my blog I think. Today’s topic was also fueled by this little boy, the reason for everything else right now. <3
Wooden blocks FTW
After losing a small piece of my mind, over why #babyT was not yet stacking stuff (Yes, when you are a mom, such stuff is what nightmares are made of. I exaggerate of course.) I decided to take the plunge and buy him the very expensive Wooden Blocks by Melissa & Doug. We do have several types of blocks already, stacking rings, shape sorters, but i wasn’t seeing him enjoy them nor was he sharpening his fine motor skills. So the wooden blocks happened. And what do we have? I opened the packaging and placed the blocks in front of him and he stacked them. The boy stacked them. 5 in a line. He did!! I went into “hence proved” mode and for the n’th time accepted that natural parenting was the right way to bring up our child. Continue reading
One of the things I had not planned for during my pregnancy days was what language I would speak to the new baby that was to arrive. I was ready with everything else – diapers, clothes, blankets, toys, books, knowing that I will breastfeed him, adopt the no medication routine etc. But language was something that I did not think well and hard enough about.
Sure enough when babyT was here, speaking to him in my mother tongue – konkani came naturally to me. I myself did not speak konkani too much. English was the predominant language at my maternal home. However speaking to babyT in this language was something that just stemmed from my mothering I suppose. Daddy and his side of the family all spoke to babyT in Marathi and all the books we read were English. I did chance upon a lot of articles online and saw a few examples in our social circle, that children born in multilingual homes spoke later in life and their language was a mixed up hotch potch of all the languages. This did not really worry or stress me out, but I was concerned if we were actually all just confusing the poor baby.
To my surprise, this little tyke has been an early speaker. I think he said daddah around the 8th month and from then on he added a lot of new words slowly but surely to his vocabulary. In fact before he touched 16 months (he turned 16 mos today) he had begun to make 2 word sentences too. He was able to mostly understand what we would communicate in Marathi or Konkani long before his first birthday. He understands konkani completely for sure as I am around him 24/7. Marathi not so much, because the only permanent source of Marathi in babyT’s life, his daddah has to go work and earn the daily bread. Yet all my fears that babies in multilingual environments speak late were all shooed away quickly.
Some things that worked well for us I think –
- Konkani and Marathi are not too different from each other. This worked in our favour somewhere. You may have a far more culturally diverse household. Don’t be afraid to attempt to speak in all languages to the child.
- We spoke to him a LOT. I in Konkani, daddah in Marathi and books were read in English.
- We did not introduce him to any other languages – by way of nanny, TV or books. Songs in Hindi yes, but they were a one off.
- One person, one language – I only spoke in Konkani or English. Daddah only in Marathi. My parents only in Konkani and babyT’s paternal grandparents only in Marathi. We didn’t confuse him by the individuals speaking in a different language.
- We included a lot of songs and singing and rhymes in the 3 languages.
- I spoke in Konkani and then repeated it in English. I translated books from English into Konkani when reading. Added daily life examples wherever relevant – opened up dried seed pods to show the seeds within and spoke of elements from the story The Tiny Seed.
- Flash cards were introduced around 6 months age and I did not stick to the expected norm of marathon flashing, repeating or using the language as it was printed on the card. In our multi-lingual home we use words which are Marathi, Konkani and English. But we usually stick to only one word per object. Crows are Kailloh (Konkani), Apple is in English and Brinjals are vaangi (Marathi)
- We don’t give him the feeling that we are teaching him something and nor do we carry the cross that we had to teach him our language. All our communication was a natural element of our environment.
- There may come a time when babyT starts mixing the languages. But this really is a natural element of learning. Don’t we also speak by mixing Hindi – English and our local languages? The point is not to stress over it when it happens and not to pressure the child into falling back into line.
- Above all remember that every child is different. Every environment is unique, just as you the parent and caregiver are unique. Each child develops at their own pace. Don’t get into comparison mode. While milestones are important, it is important not to stress over them. Continue to provide inspiration, sense of wonder and give them lots of opportunities to speak. They will surprise you when their time to shine comes. 🙂 Where real concerns exist do discuss it with child’s pediatrician at their regular check ups.
Learning comes naturally to babies and children. In fact they are at their peak till the age of 5. Expose them to all types of languages, experiences and positive habits. You will do them a lot of good.
I is for Immunity.
Of all the queries I have read on mommy support groups and forums, I think “How to boost my child’s immunity” has been a primary concern. I too took immunity for granted until a terrible viral infection hit our house (yes, I say house because we all fell victim to it, one by one) and that too just in time for babyT’s first Diwali, which we were looking forward to so eagerly. 🙁 Of course when we were under the spell it was difficult to do much to boost immunity but I did read up a great deal on it and made small attempts to inculcate the habits. Here is what I learned about immunity and how we can boost it for babies and toddlers: Continue reading
Fine motor skills involve the small muscles like that in the hand, fingers, thumb and which contribute to the child learning important skills ahead in life like eating, buttoning, zipping up clothes and then down the line writing, creating with hands etc. The word fine motor skills gets tossed about a lot in normal conversations these days, but I don’t remember really seeing my parents or the earlier generation bothering about whether their babies and toddler spent sufficient time inculcating these skills. But what I have seen and heard is pics and stories of how children would play around the house and garden, picking leaves, sticks and bugs and beetles and even pots, pans and play in the kitchen with grains and vegetables while mommy cooked and went about her daily activities.
Taking inspiration from this, we spent a day letting babyT try and get his hands dirty while he got busy with some fine motor skills activities. The fact that i have come to stay at mom’s place and forgotten to carry his toys and that i badly needed peace for more than 10 minutes, may or may not have had anything to do with it. 🙂 Continue reading