Sundays are reserved for cleaning and tidying up and when I was doing that I chanced upon a diary from 2015. A quick glance landed me on the page for 25th April 2015. The words written on it tugged at my heart strings…
“So it begins.. we are pregnant”
This was the day in 2015, when our lab technician called me to tell me about the HcG blood test report we did. I didn’t understand the values she rattled off and asked her what does it mean.. and I still remember her little laugh and her saying “Congratulations!” (oops, I’m have a lump in my throat here.)
It got me reminiscing about that beautiful year in my life. After a lot of bad years, missed chances, depression, failures & tears, and almost giving up, we had 2015. The year of our pregnancy!
For today’s final post for the #AtoZBloggingChallenge Z is for Zeba our nanny.
Let me introduce you to Zeba. She is a 20 something woman, who manages her own home and mine. She is the reason I am here everyday, with some amount of sanity and energy left in me to blog and to allow me to pee/ poop/ bathe/ have one cup of coffee in peace. Zeba is our nanny. She minds babyT in the day time. To me she is a big savior who has allowed me to bring in some degree of normalcy to my life. Continue reading
Once you’ve had a baby you will be amazed at the amount of free advice you will get. People you have never met in your life and who you never even knew existed in your family tree will invite themselves for delivering a session on how you modern mothers know nothing and how they raised perfectly well and healthy babies with all the massaging, pulling, oiling and feeding. They may be well meaning, but not all the baby care norms which have been practiced over the years are entirely safe or good for baby.
Here is a list of some unsafe practices which we were personally told about and which we heard from our other new parent friends. We also discussed these with our pediatrician to understand the science behind it and if we would be doing the right thing to follow any of them. Continue reading
I was completely lost for a topic for today’s #AtoZChallenge and then while lazily browsing through my phone gallery for old camera pictures I chanced upon this photo of #babyT eating his first solid meal at 6 months – mango. And how he savoured it. It was the month of June, that he turned 6 months and we were almost finishing mango season here in India and so I was very keen that he get his share of mango that year and not wait a whole year to have it.
Munching on Mango at 6 months
So for today’s challenge #Tisfor Taste.
If you had a chance to visit my earlier blog post #Oisfor Olfactory then you would have read that sense of smell and taste develop while babies are in utero, i.e. when they are in their mother’s womb. Add to that the fact that babies have a highly heightened sense of taste, even more advanced than most adults, pleasing their taste buds is not all that difficult. Continue reading
Today for the #AtoZBLoggingChallenge I chose to write about Restaurants and eating out with Toddlers. The real list.
Why the real list? I’ve read a lot of blog posts and articles on parenting websites about eating out with kids and I am, as a parent, somewhat appalled when the lists suggest things like visit at odd hours, don’t take the kids or shove an iPad in their face and its your job to make them behave. I know kids will be kids, sometimes they will disrupt the peace but let’s not talk about them as if they were a PITA. Those lists have definitely not been made by parents, I am sure.
We love eating out at restaurants and there was a time (yes, was) when we would try out every new restaurant in town. Post baby, we haven’t gotten around to doing so much of that, because we play by babyT’s sleep and nap schedules. But we did holiday when he was around 8 months old and now we are back to eating out often (even dinners, hurray)
So here is my list. 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.