Wednesday 22 May 2013

When a child sleeps too little - and a mom says too much!

Ads has always been a restless sleeper. Many days, he is over-stimulated and unable to fall asleep soon after hitting the bed. Plus he dislikes sleeping. Many a time, we have have conversations revolving around what a waste of time sleep is.
The last time he complained about sleep being a waste of time, I told him: The body needs sleep in order to rest and recharge itself. 
He said: what'll happen if someone doesn't sleep for a long long time?
I replied (hastily and thoughtlessly as t turned out): They would be really really tired and they may even faint or die.
I could have bitten my tongue out even as I said this but he said no more and I moved on, hoping he had not paid much attention to what I said.
Fat hope.
A day later, he comes to my room at night, very agitated and in tears.
Amma, I can't sleep. I'm going to have such a short life!!
Now what do I do with this boy???

Monday 20 May 2013


Sometimes it takes a 6-month old niece to be snoozing peacefully on your shoulder for 45 minutes to realize what you missed with your own kids when they were babies.
Flashback to S reclining for hours on our lazyboy, Ads and later Y fast asleep on his shoulder, encircled in his strong warm arms. I would repeatedly ask him to put them down in the bed so that he could get on with whatever else he had to do. 
He would reply, simply: I don't have anything to do that's better than this.
As my adorable niece breathed softly into my neck, I craved for a few more such peaceful hours with her, while my kids squabbled noisily in the background. I really hadn't got it the first two times, had I?
Seems like you need a third kid to bring that perspective into a mother's life :)

New books

Of course I'm cribbing about having to do it....
But there's a certain pleasure in fingering the books for the new school year, and settling down with cellotape, scissors and pen to cover and label the textbooks and notebooks. 
The scent of new unsullied books, and the sense of a new beginning.
Plus we have been issued recyclable covers for all the books, which is nice but also weird because I thought brown paper was also recyclable? But it's a vast improvement over the plastic covers that we were given last year. 

Wednesday 1 May 2013

Living it up in New York - Part 2

It is nearing the end of our 2-week stay in New York. We've reached the happy stage of having ticked off all the touristy must-dos. I took the kids on the Water taxi ride and went up to the Top of the Rock. We've gone to Central Park not once or twice but three times. We have gorged on some seriously good food. Some really tasty pizzas and pastas and some excellent Mediterranean. Yesterday the children had falafel for the first time (Ads has actually tasted it many times before while we were living in this country but he's forgotten) and they absolutely loved it. 
Before S went back to India, we did a leisurely 2-day trip to the Niagara Falls in upstate New York. While it was too cold there even now, this late in spring,  for our tropical constitutions, a trip to the Falls is a must-do. The town of Niagara Falls itself is quite unimpressive but the falls themselves are so awe-inspiring that they make up the deficit.  
These days, we are taking things easy. There are tons of other things to see/do yet, but I'd rather capitalize on the extra time to really get into the skin of the city; a luxury afforded by a longish vacation where room and board are largely taken care of! We aren't rushing around trying to pack everything into a few days. This is the first time that I'm experiencing the magic of slow travel and I'm absolutely loving it! NYC isn't a beautiful city like some others we've visited - San Francisco, Sydney and Vancouver come immediately to mind. It's far more like an Indian city, Delhi or Mumbai for example. It's a city not to be merely seen or admired for its dramatic skyline. It's a city to be experienced for its raw energy, to be walked around in, a city to have its quirks uncovered and have its layers peeled away, one after the other. 
It is such a cosmopolitan place that my new game is to figure out which country the people I meet or cross on the street are. Sometimes, its really easy, because they are speaking on the phone or among themselves in an easily recognizable language - Italian, or French or Spanish. Most times, its hard- like the cleaner at my friend's place whose English accent I was trying to place and who turned out to be from Guyana!
As for the children, they have been troopers. Which they normally are, of course, but given the amount of walking one has to do in this city, I had braced myself for some serious whining. My kids are too used to going everywhere by car or cab and they've hardly ever done any serious walking. But hey presto, they have been walking for hours here everyday without complaint, eating whatever is offered to them happily and for the first few days atleast, keeping pace enthusiastically with the packed itinerary.
Finally, the biggest take-away has been the quality time spent with my friend J. This has been our longest time together in the same space since we were roommates during MBA. Even though we've been meeting on and off over the years, nothing does the trick as much as extended time spent together, and I'm so glad to know that we've made the most of it.
I'm sad to be leaving so soon, but hey, the vacation hasn't ended yet :)