Tuesday, February 24, 2015

My Little World Explorer

Monuments... World monuments are what Zoe is into these days. I'm a super happy mum. I learned to appreciate world monuments from my mum and Z has got it from don't know who, because both Fizz and me love to read about different monuments around the world. Right now, her focus is on the wonders of the world or the really popular (at 4 I didn't even know any of those existed).

A huge thank you to her teacher and her school, she knows about Eiffel tower, Buckingham Palace and Statue of liberty. She has also learned about Venice. She loves talking about them when she comes back from school. 

"Mamma you know Eiffel tower has so many lifts, its in Paris"...
 “Mamma statue of liberty is in New York on an island... She has a lamp (torch) in her hand."
"Fizzy the guards in Buckingham Palace wear red and black... Can we go to London Fizzy."
"Fizzy if we go to Venice we won't need a car but a boat."
Her favourite by far is the Eiffel tower, she has an Eiffel tower T-Shirt (thanks to Bhaijaan) and an Eiffel tower book (Madeline). She loves Madeline all the more because it is based in Paris.

We hope we can show her these beautiful places sometime soon (in near future).
She has graduated from the World map to the Asia map. She loves geography and I hope she stays as passionate about things she likes as she is right now.
The reason why we believe in Montessori education so much is because... Kids are exposed to all this and more... they are so happy and interested to learn about everything.

BZM Bookalicious Tuesdays - Library Lion

I'm not sure why I haven't reviewed this awesome piece of work here.

Book:  Library Lion
Author: Michelle Knudsen
Illustrator:  Kevin Hawkes
For ages: 4+

Why we picked it and what was our reaction: While shopping for our book club I came across this book. The title made me curious and it instantly drew me towards itself. As I opened the book, I was sure I want to pick 2 copies of Library Lion, one for Z and one for The Reading Room. I wasn't wrong. Z fell in love with the book instantly and so did the other kids I have read it to. I loved the book from the word go.

BZM Take: It looks kind of timeless, I can never get bored of this book and neither has Z outgrown it yet (considering the fact that she reads it almost everyday). I connect more with the book because it is based in a library. We love Ms. Merriweather - the head librarian, who is extremely particular about rules, she corrects everyone who breaks rules. Finally, towards the end, she says "sometimes there is a good reason to break the rules." So true! The other characters, Mr. McBee, the storybook lady and the Lion are also an essential part of the book, thanks to Knudsen's story and life-like illustrations by Kevin Hawkes. Besides the storyline, the characters, illustrations, we also love the simplicity of the narrative.

From the time Z read this book, she has been asking, 'When will a lion come in our Reading Room?' I hope never :-P

BZM gives a perfect 10 (Can we give MORE) Check out Mindy Sterling read Library Lion

BZM Says: Go pick up, without thinking twice, if you are in Bangalore visit The Reading Room and explore Library Lion.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

BZM Bookalicious Tuesdays - Aliens Love Underpants!

Book: Aliens Love Underpants!
Author: Claire Freedman
For ages: 3-7

Why we picked it and what was our reaction: The title, I was curious and when I started reading at Crossroads, I had a broad smile on my face. Z loves anything related to space and aliens.Another thing I love it is pretty gender neutral book, will appeal to both girls and boys.

BZM Take: Besides the name, which made Z smile and pick the book up, she loved the bright colours and pictures. As we read the book, she was totally engrossed and smiled through. It became a favorite of hers soon.The book is hilarious and silly, kids would love it. From the day we first read it, Z always checks her underpants for aliens. :)

BZM gives: 8/10 (which is huge).

BZM Says: If you get it in the library pick up and read. See how your child reacts and then pick it up. If you are in Bangalore, you can check it out at the Reading Room.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Another VDay Post, this is not for Z

I have wished Z's dad on Valentines for the past 3 years. I started seeing you more as Z's dad and less as a partner I always wanted. Today I want to say sorry, sorry for treating you like a piece of furniture for long. I thought I was being a good mom (I hope), and I was doing great. I forgot you need me as much as Z needs me. You on the other hand were always there, without me even having to ask.

I have always said you are the anchor in my life. I hold on to you and you never let me down. You make sure you are there for me always. You let me be me, let me do what I think is right and you never impose your views on me.

The little things that you do, the beautiful little surprises you give me, make me love you all the more.

You don't care whether I'm in my worst of moods or the best of them, you are there by my side. You don't even have to say that you are by my side, I know you are. Even if the people I have grown up with don't understand me, you do... and I love you for that as well. In fact you are closer to my family than I'm.

We still laugh together and like really laugh. You know what is going on in my life, and vice versa. I have never spent a day without discussing it with you...

My smallest achievements make you so happy, and you understand my ambitions, my dreams and of course ME. No one understands me more than you, you understand me more than I understand myself.

You know, I love the fact that you don't speak much and I get to do the talking.

The cherry on the cake (sorry for bringing this up) is that you are 'a super cool dad'.

P.S: I know how happy you are now, Mr. Vice President. That was an extremely well-deserved promotion (the fact that you are super smart makes you totally irresistible)

"But I love you Mumsy" (VDay Special)

That's Z's favorite line and it completely melts my heart. Well, it will melt anyone’s heart really…. Let me tell you, I’m a tough nut to crack; I don’t give in easily when it comes to being a mom. Not a tiger mom but definitely a tough mom for sure. 

I try not to make it obvious to Z, but she can totally make her Mumsy do almost anything when she makes one of the innocent face and says "But I love you Mumsy".

It usually happens when I'm angry or she is expected to do something she doesn't want. Like recently in Kanpur when I was super angry with her. She was super clingy on the day we arrived. It was a long journey, car ride till Bangalore Airport, flight till Lucknow (with a halt at Calcutta) and drive of over 2 hours till we reached Kanpur…both of us were tired. She wanted me and I wanted to relax and be with my relatives. It is at moments like these, I want her to give me some space. When she didn't calm down after all my Mommy tactics, I got angry... didn't speak to her for almost 2 hours and she must've said "But I love you Mumsy" at least 30 times (I stopped counting post that). 

The other time when she goes “But I love you Mumsy” is when I tell her to do something she doesn’t want to. If I tell her to eat all the veggies I've added to the fried rice she just makes a sorry face and says.... yeah you got it, "but I love you Mumsy". 

I never really have made her feel she will get whatever she wants from me when she goes "But I love you Mumsy"... In fact I don't even say 'Awwww how adorable”.

It became so irritating at a point in time that all I wanted to do was just snap back at her. Everyone started laughing at her the moment she said “But I love you Mumsy”. I hated that… and I knew she hated that as well. Thank God I didn’t do that… I tried to analyse the situation and her reaction. I spoke to her and realized she says this because she doesn’t want to hurt me. When she wants something that I don’t want, Z says “but, I love you Mumsy” to convince me to make me feel better. She didn’t say all this but I could easily sense that. I hugged Z and told her “I will love you not matter what. Mumsy gets angry, but I will always love you.”

From that day (it’s been over a month), she says “Mumsy I love you” and I say “I love you too.”

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

BZM Bookalicious Tuesdays - My Name Is Not Isabella

Thanks to A Mighty Girl for the suggestion, we picked up the book and WE LOVE IT. Z loves Isabella and so do I.

Book: My Name Is Not Isabella
Author: Jennifer Fosberry
Illustrator: Mike Litwin
For ages: 4-8 

Why we picked it and what was our reaction: I'm raising Z who is an Isabella as well, and the line on book 'Just how big can a little girl dream' did it for me. I was tempted to pick the book and read. Hence I ordered it.

BZM Take:
What do we say, Z doesn't want to blink when we read the book. She laughs at Isabella and loves her mum. We also loves the fact that Isabella wants to be astronaut Sally Ride, activist Rosa Parks, shooter Annie Oakley and her mum... She doesn't want to be a princess or a doll (or whatever). Isabella is a girl who knows she can be anyone and everyone, she loves being herself at the end of the day after all the adventure. Her mommy is also a role model for her. The mommy doesn't hush Isabella, in fact she joins her in her dreams and adventures (how cool is that). The amount of confidence Isabella exudes and the kind of support she gets from her mom is AWESOME.

The illustrations are adorable, check this out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7Jam0f4rx8. Z can read the book all by herself and that is why the book gets brownie points from Z, not that she would not have loved the book any less otherwise.

We are eying  Isabella Girl on the Go and Isabella: Star of the Story now... soon!

BZM gives a perfect 10. The book engages the child immediately, and keeps them engaged throughout the book (and I'm talking about 'I don't even want to blink' engage).

BZM Says: Go pick it up now, you can also try My Name Is Not Alexander (similar book featuring little Alexander). We suggest you buy it for your sake and your kid's sake.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Do you talk to your child? I do...

"Mumsy should I tell you about school?" or "Fizzy can we do some talking-talking?" these are sentences that our 4 year old uses on a daily basis, in fact many times during her day. Our days are incomplete without two things, talking and reading of course. Having a conversation with your child no matter they are 2 or 20 is crucial. Z knows she can tell Fizz and me anything and everything. I know, she is pretty young right now, and it is easier. We try to make 'having a heart to heart conversation' normal in our household... between the three of us. 

That is how it usually happens (image courtesy She Knows)

Communicating with younger kids is easy and tough. It is tough to make them express what they really want; once that is sorted things become easier. We strongly believe in the power of communicating with the child... it is one of the crucial aspects of parenting. In our case we believe talking and listening both are crucial. We make sure when she is telling us something, we do not have any interruptions (which means no mobile phones and I-Pads or television).
When Z comes and tells us something, we always encourage that. When we talk to each other, we try to keep it extremely normal, not routine... it’s not a chore or task.
This post might look like one of those 'gyaan' posts I rarely do. I had to do this, because I learned it the hard way. At a point in time I got so busy that I forgot the importance of talking to Z... just talking (and that doesn't include instructing or asking close ended questions).
I had put in a lot of effort and I have seen a marked difference in our relationship. Now I actually look forward to those moments when I can speak to Z or she can pour her heart out. At times (in fact most of the times), what she says is completely random... but I don't mind that really. At least she knows I'm listening which I genuinely do.
Do you take out time every day to just be with your child... just talk to them without any reason? If you haven't ... TRY