30 Jan 2014

Jumpers, Sweaters and Woolly Things

The following has been inspired by #The Prompt over at MumTurnedMom
Sweater, n. Garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly. Ambrose Bierce

There was a man from Wensleydale
Who stayed out drinking lots of ale.
He caught a cold
Felt blue and old,
"Wear your jumper," he heard Mum wail.

The little girl with a pretty pink bow
Went out to build a man of snow,
In a warm woolly jumper, coat and hat
Socks, scarf and mittens, all of that.
Her mother hurried to fetch her in
"You'll catch a cold, poor little thing!"

Knock, knock!
Who's there?
Sweater who?
The more it rains sweater it gets.

Knock, knock!
Who's there?
Woolly who?
Woolly be doing tonight?

Stop. Stop with the knock knock jokes already!
I do apologise for my rather sad sense of humour. Feel free to not laugh.

mumturnedmomProse for Thought

The Winter Potty List

I recently became a GUMI Mum, a blogger ambassador for GrowingUpMilkinfo.com, a toddler nutrition website that is on a mission to talk more about toddler development and nutrition, especially the importance of vitamin D.

The website has a collection of interesting and educational news stories, polls and videos, as well as recipes from toddler chef Fiona Faulkner.

29 Jan 2014

Gravity Defying Builds

J fell in love with Buzz Lightyear and Toy Story since the moment he first saw the film. So taken is he by the Space Ranger, that most every waking moment is spent building spaceships to take him and Buzz into outer space. All sorts of construction materials go into making giant gravity defying builds that double up as rockets in pretend play.

25 Jan 2014

Fruit Salad with Chat Masala

One of my resolutions for the new year is to eat more healthy food.

I have always been a big fan of fruit. Not as big a fan as of say, chocolate, but a reasonably loyal follower all the same. Perhaps it is the fructose sugar in fruit that makes it more edible than some of the other vitamin-infused, low-calorie, frighteningly healthy stuff out there. And I need something to satiate my sweet tooth when chocolate isn't allowed to. So fruit it is.

Now there comes a time, about twenty days into your new year resolutions, when the repetitive nature of fruit starts rearing its fruity head. Why chocolate never gets repetitive even after scoffing a whole box of Cadbury's Roses is a mystery that continues to baffle me. The dilemma now is to either carry on eating fruit with strong resolve and determination, or opt out and head for the last box of Quality Street lurking in a dark corner of the kitchen cupboard.

A Splash of Colour

I caught this during a rare rain-break this week. There was a ray of the all elusive sunshine streaming into the garden as I returned home after dropping J off at pre-school.

The photo is thanks to my convenient camera phone. For by the time I had fetched the D-SLR, the heavens had opened up again!

I am not sure what these berries are. Anyone?


23 Jan 2014

A Child's Murder

I was deeply saddened by the news of poor little Mikaeel, a three year old boy, not much older than my own little son, who went missing from his home in Scotland a few days ago. His body was later discovered in woodlands a few miles away. His mother has been arrested and charged over his death. Her guilt remains unproven at the time of writing this blogpost.

I am not going to speculate on whether or not she is guilty. That remains for the jury to decide and for the judge to rule over. Irrespective of the outcome of this case, the fact remains that there are far too many cases where a parent has been found guilty of murdering their own child. It is disconcerting that these episodes are not infrequent.

The infamous cases of Baby P, Daniel Pelka and Elise and Harry are but a few from recent memory. The child homicides statistics by the NSPCC state that 'Every ten days in England and Wales one child is killed at the hands of their parent.' 

It goes on to quote some deeply disturbing statistics from the Home Office research into homicide statistics in England and Wales:
  • "Killings of children by a natural parent are committed in roughly equal proportions by mothers (47%) and fathers (53%)".
  • "The proportion of child homicides in which the perpetrator is a parent is exceptionally high among infants". For example between 1995 and 1999 in England and Wales, 80% of homicide victims under one year old were killed by a parent.
What is it that possesses a parent to murder their own child in cold blood? A child they have chosen to bring into this world, to give birth to, an innocent life of their own making.

Children, especially the younger ones, seem to have no sense of self-preservation. They carry on being children with absolutely no regard for their own safety or well-being. They do push limits and test boundaries. It is their way of testing their strengths and asserting their independence. Parents can perceive this, albeit erroneously, as 'pushing their buttons', 'winding them up', 'fingering them'. In reality, they are just being, well, children.

Any parent will testify to a time when they have felt helpless, annoyed, angered, outraged, driven nearly insane by their child's behaviour. And to times when they have experienced immense joy, happiness, satisfaction, pride and unconditional love. The one cannot, will not exist without the other. That is the essence of parenthood.

It is sad then, that some parents seem to reach that tragic point where, for reasons beyond comprehension, feel the only way out is by ending the life of the child they bore into this world. Perhaps they did not get the help to see them through the trying times. But perhaps they just refused to seek that help and to take ownership for their deeds and actions.

Your child puts trust in you, the parent, from the moment it is born. The trust that you will always be there to love, to care, to protect. There can never be any justification for this ultimate betrayal of trust, however compelling the circumstances may seem. The murder of a child. By its parents.

Post Comment Love

22 Jan 2014

Fun with Soft Dough

What do you do when you are a toddler whose Aai (Mum) is in the kitchen kneading wholewheat dough and rolling it out to make rotis (unleavened bread)? You join in, of course!

You rummage through your toy cupboard and pull out the one thing that lets you emulate Aai. You pull out your soft dough kit complete with your own little rolling pin and a huge collection of soft dough cutters. Then you get to work.

19 Jan 2014

Our Perfect Day at Center Parcs

Our Family, Our Time

Our perfect day at Center Parcs will be a day we spend together, as a family, doing things that all of us enjoy. There will be something for everyone, with lots of fun and adventure for all. It will be a day where we

cycle along endless Cycle Paths 
live in luxury at the Executive Lodge, New Style 
experience the beauty of Nature
have fun at a Teddy Bears' Picnic
have an exciting Encounter with Owls
eat delicious food at Rajinda Pradesh
get creative with Pottery Painting
pamper ourselves at the Aqua Sana Spa
explore the countryside with a Ranger's Ramble
get adventurous on a C(q)uad Bike Safari
splash about in the Subtropical Swimming Paradise

Out on an Adventure

Our perfect day at Center Parcs will be a great mix of -

Time together
Collecting memories

Our J is a little over two and a half years' old. So Harrison and Eve's adventure with their Mum and Dad was one we could identify with. 

This is my entry to the Center Parcs and Tots 100 January challenge. If I’m chosen, I would like to visit Sherwood Forest.
(And I really, really do hope I am!)

A Patch of Green

An unseasonably mild, lazy winter afternoon. The sun peeking out from behind a few clouds scattered in the sky. A restless toddler not satisfied to sit indoors doing jigsaw puzzles. Why should he, when everything outside is so exciting, so inviting. When the setting is just so perfect to explore the neighbourhood. To go and search for a patch of green. Or two.

And then when you have found it, run all over it as fast as your little legs can carry you. Round and round, up and down, here and there, everywhere. As carefree as a two year old. Hands outstretched, spread like the wings of a bird. Whoosh from one tree to the next. Laugh, giggle and make a lot of noise. Pretend there is nobody there but you. And your patch of green.

18 Jan 2014

Dr Oetker Tarte au Citron

Dr Oetker Tarte au Citron

Lemon Cake Mix
There comes a time, there comes a day, when your toddler demands that you bake a cake. A day when you don't particularly feel like baking one. And you do not necessarily wish to feed said toddler a shop-bought one.

Time to reach for a cake mix that has been sitting in the back of your kitchen cupboard, waiting for just such an emergency. Dr Oetker to the rescue! In the form of a zesty lemon cake mix.

3 eggs, 125 grams butter and 32 minutes later, there sits my golden-baked tarte au citron. Ready for a dusting of icing sugar. Which, by the way, came with the cake mix.

And there you have it. An enormous lemon cake, enough to feed 8 people. How long it survives in the C house is anybody's guess!


16 Jan 2014

Guilt of a Blogger Mother

Should I let my passion for blogging become a nightmare for my child? Will it become a nightmare for him growing up? Questions that have been tormenting me for a while now.

Am I justified in sharing my child's most personal thoughts and actions, our private moments, our intimate memories with the whole wide world?

Guilt of a Blogger Mother

15 Jan 2014

Patchwork Elephant

Patchwork Elephant
The library is J's most favourite place to visit in the whole wide world.

We often go to the local library for story-time sessions. J gets a chance to sit in the kids area and browse through lots of books. He gets to read new ones while he is there. Rather, he gets to listen while I read aloud to him. He gets to choose a couple to take home as well. And he gets little stamps in his Bookstart bear passport.

The story sessions are brilliant for me too. For once, somebody else does the reading aloud while I can just sit and listen. Each session finishes with a bit of craft work for the little ones. 

No prizes for guessing what we read this week. Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, of course!

J and I had a fun time creating our own patchwork elephant. We even got to stick on some shiny snowflakes for added effect.

13 Jan 2014

J speaks/hums some more

Wruff Wruff = blackboard duster

Just do it - me being told to, well, just do it. The jigsaw in this case

Aai -------- - J parroting anything and everything I say, with 'Aai' (mum) prefixed to it.
eg. Aai cheeky chops - his retort when I say he is cheeky chops.
      Aai tidy up time - when I tell him that it is tidy up time. And so on.

J madak (madat) karto - J offering to help me with my household chores

I had an inkling the child is musically inclined. But neither M nor I were prepared for what happened this evening. The three of us were sat doing our own thing. M was working on the laptop, I was reading a book, J was doodling on his magic slate. The opening bars to 'Out of Africa' started playing on Classic FM. And J started humming the tune! He went on for a few bars before stopping.
He has heard this piece often enough as a baby, when nothing but this tune, Gabriel's Oboe and a few other favourite pieces would soothe a bout of colicky crying. But it has been a while, perhaps more than a year since he last heard this particular piece of music. How? is what I would like to know.

J school, waa waa nahi - J letting me know that he will go to school and not cry when he is there. Rather when I am not there with him.

Let's do wee wee - The one thing J learnt after day 1 at pre-school

Mahinna, Mahinna, Mahinna - J running down the aisles of the local supermarket, calling out to M (Baba or Daddy)

Vaidehi, be careful!! Left, left, left - J doing some back-seat driving

Wheee, whooosh - when driving down the ramp of a multi-storey car park

Oh, dear! What's happened? - used rather appropriately when there are some 'Oh, dear!' moments

Where's it gone? Where's it gone? - again, rather appropriately, when he can't find what he is looking for

Wot So Funee?

First Day at Pre-School

13 January 2014. Our date with destiny. J's date with destiny. It is the dawn of a new era, the beginning of a brand new chapter in all our lives. 

We are making the transition from leading carefree, almost unstructured lives to following timed, independent routines. The first time that J has woken up to an alarm clock. The first time I have woken up to an alarm clock in a really long time. 

First Day at Pre-School
Today is the day our J starts pre-school. Today is the day, if you overlook our little stint at nursery when he was a little baby, that we will be away from each other for any length of time.

I write this sat in the local cafe, all by my lonesome self, a large guilty mocha latte in front of me. So I have already dropped J off at school. After tears, hugs, lots of clinging on and a heavy heart. 

The very reasons we decided to quit nursery at 17 months. After starting at 12, going for just a day a week, and missing a few with coughs and colds. The separation anxiety was wrecking me. 

I had a choice then. The choice of becoming a stay-at-home mum. I don't have a choice now. Other than to consider home-schooling. That is a step too far, even for a softie like me.

So my darling J, it is time for school now. A bit of separation, a little anxiety, a few tears. But in the end, lots of fun, lots of friends and a structured education.

P.S: I must say a huge thank you to all my fellow parent bloggers who have taken the time to read about our milestone and share their thoughts with us. 
After initial distress, J settled down at school. There were no tears when I went to pick him up. And he says he will go back again. So that's a relief!
Thank you all for sharing your experiences. And for taking time to read ours. It helps to know I am not alone.

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery

11 Jan 2014

I Can See You Too!

5 signs that my J is all grown up:
  • Sits in a 'big boy chair' at the table, not in his high chair
  • Drinks out of a glass, not a sippy cup
  • Refuses to wear a bib
  • Feeds himself with a spoon and fork
  • Insists on having a placemat to rest his plate and bowl on

Playing with his food - Some things never change, do they? Whatever their age!


9 Jan 2014

Lynley Dodd's Hairy Maclary and Friends

Our very first introduction to the world of Lynley Dodd and her marvellous creations came about six months' ago when J and I picked up Schnitzel Von Krumm Forget-Me-Not at the local library. There has been no looking back since. 

Our Lynley Dodd collection has grown from strength to strength. The latest acquisition has been a set of 15 books entitled Hairy Maclary and Friends. It came housed in a bright yellow-green plastic case with a zipper to keep everything neatly in place. An added bonus, when the new owner of these 15 books is a toddler as boisterous as the protagonist.

There is a picture of Hairy Maclary and a couple of his friends on the cover. Looking like they have been up to no good. The essence of the collection, really.

Hairy Maclary and Friends by Lynley Dodd

8 Jan 2014

Glittering Penguin


This shiny penguin is right up J's street. For starters, it is shiny. Then there are all those sticky bits that need to be glued on to make it look like a proper penguin. A penguin that is catching fish. And then there is some doodling with crayons. A resounding success overall.

6 Jan 2014

Piano Magic

J  has heard me croon all sorts of songs in my delightfully melodious(!) voice since before he was born. No wonder then, he has a passion for all things musical. He has enjoyed rhymes and songs since he was a tiny little baby. We have our own little sing-along sessions at home. We sing together at play group and toddler groups. 

J absolutely adores musical instruments as well. Drums, little guitars, keyboards, bells, you name it, he is ready to have a go at it. It must be a mother's pride, but I do think he is really rather good. 

3 Jan 2014

Spiced Banana Fruit Cake

Christmas has come and gone. The New Year is three days' old. And here I am, writing about a recipe that is a very untraditional Christmas tradition in the C household. 

I have been baking this cake at Christmas every year since I learnt how to bake not so long ago.  It is a marvellous change from the usual Christmas fare in that it uses bananas. Yet, it imbibes the spirit of the festive season with the use of fruit and spice.

Spiced Banana Fruit Cake

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