Standing Tall

I’ve been meaning to write for a while now about K’s love for the stage. It’s one of those traits that reminds me that some things are just in the genes. Her father loves an audience and clearly that love has been generously passed on to the offspring.

It comes quite naturally to her and so she is regularly one of the chosen few at school for stage competitions. There was her Cat in the Hat, then a kiddie version of extempo speaking, a group song for a festival celebration, a group dance for an academic fest and today a debate. Phew, didn’t realise it was already such a long list.

K was quite excited about being selected for the debate. I could see the confidence in her growing. It was no longer just about remembering her lines and reciting it on stage. She wanted to learn about hand movements, facial expression, eye contact. She clearly wanted to better herself.

Despite my earlier rants, I still can’t get all Tiger Mom about such events. I like to help her and guide her but I really do like to leave it up to her. After every such event at the school I come back wondering if I should have got her to practice more, push till it’s perfect like some parents seem to have done. But just can’t do it. Just can’t enforce my thoughts and views on her so rigidly. Maybe also because she will have none of it! Sure she hears me out and nods politely but finally she does what she thinks suits the situation. And I am fine with that. Let her learn through her own efforts and her own mistakes.

But somehow while this strategy was always sounding right in my mind, there was always the tinge of disappoint that she hadn’t really won in one of these events yet. Today something in the air told me it would be different. And she didn’t let me down. Third best speaker.

K was patiently waiting for the results to be announced. As the first and second prize winners walked up onto the stage, I held my breath. And then I heard her name being called out. The image of her running onto the stage, pride in every step, is still right before my eyes. She flashed me a brilliant smile and I just wanted to hold her in that moment and hug her forever. She did it, on her own and she knew it. Standing tall, so proud of herself, having taken baby steps forward with each shot at the stage, she had wanted it so bad and it was hers!

K, I am so happy for you and my heart swells with pride. And I am so glad the victory is 100% yours. Self-made. All yours.

Yes Miss

The entire family has been grinning all day.

Little V sets off for day two of her new playschool, armed with her hand-me-down school bag with essential supplies – water bottle, snack box and a towel. As the newest and youngest student she is given a free run of the place so that she can get used to her surroundings and feel comfortable. The kids sit on little mats and go about their activities like bead stringing, matching shapes and colours. V is busy window-shopping, eyeing the activities on each mat, occasionally choosing to nonchalantly disturb another child immersed in his or her work. But even kids are kind to new entrants.

After sessions of rhymes, shlokas, snacks, play, it is finally time to call it a day and head home. The teacher, lovingly called Miss, takes out her attendance notebook.

‘Adit?’
‘Yes Miss’
‘Divya?’
‘Yes Miss’
‘Pooja?’
‘Yes Miss’

and lastly,

‘V?’
‘Yesh Mish’ 🙂

The entire classroom was glowing with smiles at the simple innocent reply for 17 month old V.

So as she trots around the house, we take turns shouting ‘Yesh Mish’! She knows it about her and she knows its praise so she smiles coyly. Sometime its a hearty chuckle filled with pride.

We sure are proud! 🙂

And the journey begins…

My little girl has been shown the golden path to enlightenment! Or in other words, she has started play-school today 🙂

So while I did my homework on the various options around home, I finally went with the place that matched most of my requirements and also my gut feel. It’s close to home, the timings are convenient, the place is homely and the lady running it gives you a feeling of warmth and sincerity. She’s also not charging exorbitant fees like some of the chain schools do nowadays.

On Day 1, Momma and big sister accompanied little V to the school. The entire family has been excitedly telling V all weekend that she will be going to school. For V, till now, school means just the bus-stop to drop or pic-up K. So the look on her face is clearly asking what the fuss is all about. This morning she was a cool customer – bathed and dressed and accessorised! (Big sister lovingly handed-down her old favourite little doggie shaped bag for V to take her snack box!). I bet she was thinking that Christmas has come early this year. Why else are Momma and Didi willingly taking me out somewhere instead of scurrying off to office and school.

She’s the youngest in the class of 12 kids by a whole six months. Thankfully the owner/teacher is willing to have her so early. We just want to give her a couple of hours with kids and also as a very valuable side-benefit – give grandfolks some breathing time from babysitting.

Like a kid in a candy shop V explored the room full of educational toys at her whim and fancy. She was also keenly observing each of the other kids – watching their routines and sometimes emulating. It’s amazing how quickly they pick up what’s acceptable or expected behaviour from the group.

An hour into playtime her body clock reminded her that it was time for her daily 10am snooze. Just as she was trying to convince Momma to give her a bit of milk and rock her to sleep, she was distracted by the colourful slide and see-saws. That’s always more fun than sleep!

 

After another hour, the triumphant trio of Momma, K and V declared day one of school a huge success and started on the victory march back home.

It’s exciting… yet a tinge of sadness…they grow up way too fast and the world around them is changing even faster. There’s only one way to keep up and that’s by setting off on the journey of life and learning as soon as one can.

Arrival

So I have finally found my way here. And after so many years of reading what others have to say, why am I here? Actually a friend’s short note on her daughter’s first day at school triggered this. I realised that everyday my angels give me so much love, so much fun, so much grief and so many memories. What if I forget all the little things? It’s the little things that are truly worth remembering. K will be six soon and V is one. Better late than never.

So here’s my attempt to keep it light, keep it fun and keep it forever!

Hop on board! 🙂