Respect

October 12, 2010 § 8 Comments

You pick up any parenting book and you will see a chapter on respecting your child as a person. I took this in without much thought and kept telling myself, “Of course, I respect my kid as a person”. I and my kid (and my family) are struggling through a bad phase right now and only now I realize what respecting your kid really means.

My son is 22 months young, which means he is in his terrible twos. He sees himself as an individual now – no longer a part of mommy. He has realized he has likes, wants, dislikes, needs and whims and fancies. He has suddenly woken up to this wonderful world around where there so many exciting new things and objects and he wants to touch every one of them and play with them. He is learning new things everyday – words, colors, shapes, names and improving his skills – grasping, climbing, jumping, kicking, rolling and what not. He looks at people around and wants to do similar things. He sees his dad touching the calendar to turn a page and he wants to do it too. He sees his mom cutting vegetables and cooking and he wants to do the same.

He is this bundle of energy, ready to take on the world and when he hears someone say ‘No’, that’s when all hell breaks loose. He sees me using the knife and cutting the potatoes. All he asks for is to let him do the same. I promptly say no and he just doesn’t understand why. He asks again and gets a negative response. He cries, I still say no. He stomps his feet, flails his arms and rolls on the ground and that’s when he is given a time-out. He stands in a corner wondering what on earth did he do to be treated like this. And I wonder why he can’t play with things that he is allowed to and why he throws tantrums like this. Why don’t I realize that he is only doing what he is expected to do. He has to explore his world, ask questions, demand things and learn new things. I complain when he is doing exactly that! After some retrospection, I no longer say no to him. It doesn’t mean I let him play with the knife. I don’t use the word ‘No’. I tell him that it’s too dangerous to play with the knife. I show him how sharp it is and how he can get cut. I offer him his toy knife and it sometimes works. If things are really bad, I give him something else in the kitchen, say a spoon. Most of the time, he refuses to take it. I tell him again, “Are you sure you don’t want the spoon? I am keeping it back”. That’s when he takes the spoon and goes on to play.

Dinner time. I am feeding him chapati. Things are going smoothly. We are almost down to the last two bites and he refuses to open his mouth. I tell him nicely to finish it up because it’s only two bites. He refuses. I lose my patience and get upset that my kid is so disobedient – he can’t finish what’s in his plate. He is upset because his mom forces him to eat one more bite even when he is full. Why can’t I respect his opinion and let him go? Why do I insist that he finish his plate? Do I really need to be so strict in disciplining him? Now that I have changed, I no longer insist anything. The moment he says enough, I stop feeding him.

The real lesson on respect came to me at the swimming pool. We have this inflatable pool which Ninad loves to play in. I fill it up with warm water, throw in his bath toys and garden toys and Ninad plays in it for hours together. The natural thing to do next was to introduce him to a real pool. I and my husband took him to the toddler pool and made him stand in it. The next moment, Ninad is out of the pool and crying like made. We both were so shocked. I tried to coax him to get in again but he flatly refused. He insisted that we get back home. We just sat by the pool side, looking at other kids and hoping that Ninad would change his mind. I was disappointed that my son was scared of the pool. All I wanted was for him to play. I kept asking him, begging him, threatening him and nothing worked. We finally came back home dejected. If I look back now, I feel I was so wrong. I should have respected his choice and brought him back home. He is not yet 2 and there is plenty of time for him to play and swim. I should have told him, ‘It’s okay son. We will come to the pool when you are ready’. Which is what I did the next time. I just let him wet his feet and hands. He splashed water here and there and he was mighty happy. And so was I. I asked him once if he wants to get into the pool and when he said no,  I didn’t ask him again.

He is not as tall and not as strong as us. He is frustrated that he can’t do the same things that we do. We all sit on the dining chair so easily, while he has to make an effort and climb. We all eat and drink whenever we want. I just have to reach the cookie box on the top shelf and munch away. If Ninad wants a cookie, he needs someone to help him. We all can touch anything we want. For most of the things that he wants, he has to hear no for an answer. And he can’t understand why we say no. If we are in the middle of something, we often ignore his requests. This, for me, is a big no-no. I have made it a point to not ignore him no matter what and have told the same thing to everyone at home. Even if he is asking for something outside his limits, acknowledge his request and then give justification.

I have been following this simple thing for a few days now and I already see a change in Ninad’s behavior. There are fewer tantrums and melt-downs. All it took was a realization that ‘respecting your kid’ is easier said than done.

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At the clinic…

October 4, 2010 § 1 Comment

We took Ninad to the doctor for his teething problems. Ninad has been teething badly and doesn’t sleep well at all. On the way to the doctor, I had a chat with Ninad and asked him to tell the doctor about the pain. I also told him that the doctor will ask him to open his mouth wide so that he can see his gums. Ninad knows the story where Krishna opens his mouth and his mom sees ‘Brahmanda’ (world), so I used that story and said Ninad also should open his mouth wide.

Cut to the clinic. Ninad is plonked on the table. Doctor asks him ‘How are you Ninad?’ Promptly comes the reply, “Hallu bou, galla bou, kai bou” which means ‘Teeth – pain, cheeks – pain, hand – pain”.  The doctor got his torch out and said, ‘Open your mouth’. Ninad opened his mouth wide and after a second, he points to his open mouth and says ‘Brahmanda’! The doctor didn’t realize and when I told him the story, he laughed out loud. Ninad and his Brahmanda!

Weaned!

October 4, 2010 § 2 Comments

One of my biggest worries when it came to Ninad was his addiction to his bottle. He was so attached to it and dependent on it that I was afraid he was going to enter college with a bottle in his bag. He was never a sound sleeper and I suspected his disturbed sleep on his bottle. He would search for his bottle all around him even in his sleep and would wake up crying if he didn’t find it. When I had many sleepless nights in a row, I decided to take things in my hand and wean him off the bottle.

First step was to let Ninad know that the bottle was going away. I told him a story about a crow and its teeny, tiny babies which are hungry because they don’t have a bottle to drink milk with. Ninad was so concerned he voluntarily gave the bottle and asked me to give it to ‘ka-ka’. I left the bottles in the balcony and after a few minutes, the crow took the bottles away and left some chocolates for Ninad. So good so far.

Come afternoon, his nap time and the kid refused to go to sleep without a bottle. The moment I said ‘nap’, he would say ‘bottle’. Eventually, the day turned to night and he hadn’t taken a nap. No crying, atleast. So good so far.

He had a good dinner and said ‘sleep’ and added ‘bottle’ to it. I reminded him about the crow and he had this sad expression on his face which clearly meant ‘Why did I ever give the bottle away?’ I told him a story, sang him a song and he fell asleep in a few minutes. Not bad!

After two hours, Ninad woke up screaming and asked for bottle. I reminded him about the crow, but no use. He demanded that the crow get the bottle back because ‘it’s mine and I want it now’. I gave him gems and he went back to sleep. This went on for a couple of times all through the night and none of us had a good sleep. Thank God, I had decided to leave the bottles in the office, otherwise I would have weakened and given him the bottle.

After this horrible night, I wasn’t looking forward to the next day, but it was relatively uneventful. Ninad took a nap and slept well in the night. He did wake up a couple of times, but there was no screaming or flailing arms or stomping feet. From then on, it was a smooth sail. He had this sad look in his eyes for a few days and it tore my heart. I felt so sorry for him that the object of his affection went away. Thankfully, it didn’t affect him emotionally. Overnight, there was a complete change in my little kid. He started behaving all grown up, he was a big boy now, you see, because he no longer used a bottle. He drinks milk in his new, bright orange cup and he loves it.

Looking back, I am extremely lucky that things went so smooth for me and Ninad. Thank God and thank the mothers on my parenting forum. Now that he is weaned, there are certain changes in his routine.

Pros
1. Ninad sleeps really well in the night. From waking up every 2 hours to sleeping like a log all through the night, it has been a welcome change. Only mothers can understand when I say ‘He sleeps through the night’.
2.  His appetite is much better. He eats a good three meals a day and snacks in between, 2-3 cups of milk a day and he is set.
3. He is all grown up now. It might be my illusion but Ninad has this grown up look now. He talks differently and behaves differently. Even my mom agrees with me on this, so it may not be an illusion after all.
4. He is slowly learning to fall asleep on his own. You see, I never tried the no-cry solution or the CIO technique to make him learn to fall asleep. I know he is going to learn that when the time comes. Till then, I don’t mind singing for him until he dozes off.

Cons
1. Since he doesn’t use a bottle anymore, it takes longer to put him to bed. A story and a song isn’t enough any more. It usually goes on for 2 stories and a couple of songs. It sometimes takes an hour and on those days, my husband finds me asleep when Ninad is happily playing next to me.
2. Making him drink from a cup during the day is a bit hard.

All said and done, weaning worked like a charm for me. I am kicking myself why I didn’t try this earlier!

Random

September 23, 2010 § 3 Comments

It’s been a while since I blogged about Ninad, so here are some random things about him.

1. He talks and talks and talks. He can form short sentences and hold a pretty decent conversation with anyone. He can sing almost all songs that I sing to him – lullabies, rhymes, anything at all. He has taught himself ‘Vakra tunda maha kaaya’ and recited this on Ganesha festival. We were thrilled! He knows all the stories now. If I miss a part in the story, he promptly tells me.

2. Whenever I am knitting something, he comes and asks me ‘Who is this for?’ If I say ‘you’, he is all happy. If the answer is anything else, he sulks and goes away. If he needs my attention when I am knitting something, he promptly says ‘No sweater’ and makes me stop knitting.

3. His favorite object is concrete mixer – the ones used in construction sites. He wants one but I have no idea where I can buy it. I mean the toy, of course!

4. He loves playing with kitchen items. Cooker, mixer pots, pans, pots, spoons – everything is in the kitchen. When I need something to cook, I need Ninad’s permission to use it. He is so interested in cooking, he watches me attentively when I cook and knows some recipes by now. He can make omelette, rice, sambar, curry – all theoretical, of course. We think he will make a great chef!

5. We tried finger painting yesterday and Ninad loved it. He loved the feel of wet paint on his hands.  He was surprised that I didn’t stop him from getting his hands dirty. I too loved the experience. It was as if I became a child again.

Chocolate ice-cream

September 22, 2010 § 5 Comments

… with mango sauce and cream. That’s what this blanket reminds me of.

When my friend Anuradha broke the good news that she is expecting, I decided I will knit something for her baby. I was thinking of making a sweater and a hat – something small so that I can knit it in my busy schedule. To my surprise, Anu decided to take up knitting too. She started with a hat and made a cardigan and a vest. Now that she was making these stuff already and was a knitter herself, I couldn’t possibly give her a teeny-weeny sweater, could I? I had to make something good enough for a knitter. That’s how this blanket got created.

Crochet has been on my need-to-learn-this-skill-because-the-FOs-are-so-awesome list, but never got around to doing that. When I was finalizing a blanket pattern for Anu’s blanket, I decided it had to be crochet. One, if I don’t learn crocheting now, I probably never will and two, I have heard crocheting is way faster than knitting. I used the Neat Ripple Pattern by Lucy (or Attic24 as she is known in the crochet world) and loved it. She has detailed photos for crochet newbies like me. The photos were a big help!

After an initial swatch, I had enough confidence that I can finish this blanket. Next step was the choice of colors. I had bought this yarn from Pydal’s for what would have been a vest for my hubby. I soon realized that this yarn is too flimsy and has no stitch definition, so the most natural choice was a baby blanket. I had lots of brown and just one skein of yellow and off-white. After a bit of calculation, I decided to do a row each of yellow and off-white for every five rows of brown. I knit until I ran out of the off-white yarn.

There are so many mistakes in there that I can’t count. For starters, the edges are wavy and uneven. Expert crocheters tell me that the edges are meant to be wavy, so one less mistake to worry about. The starting rows are too tight, so the blanket is narrower at one end and wider at the other. Since it’s a blanket, I hope it’s ok and I hope the baby doesn’t  mind.

I worked on this blanket for an hour everyday for 3-4 weeks. It would have taken even lesser if I wasn’t so new to crochet. So, it is true, crocheting is definitely faster. My next blanket is going to be a crochet blanket.  I have even bought yarn for it. Going off to look for patterns. Crochet ville, here I come!

Wyatt

September 6, 2010 § 7 Comments

I had been planning to knit a pullover for Ninad since ages. I knit Wonderful Wallaby for him, but that turned out too big. Serves me right for not swatching before starting the project. Now that I had a pullover which wouldn’t fit him for alteast another 6 months, I had to make one which fit him now. Right around the same time, Kelly was looking for test knitters for her latest design, Wyatt, and I jumped at the occasion.

Wyatt has a very interesting construct. You knit the front bottom-up, and once you are done, you cast on for sleeves on either end. Knit the sleeves for a few inches. Cast off some stitches at the center for neck opening, cast on the same stitches on the next row so that you get a nice, wide, neck opening. Once you are done with sleeves, cast off sleeve stitches and knit the back and voila, you are done. There are seams, but since this construct technique is so incredibly clever, I don’t mind seaming. I slipped stitched along the edges using a crochet hook which I prefer over the traditional sewing using the tapestry needle. Ravelry Project details are here.

Sanhita-di had picked up some yarn for me when Gia visited us. Though I have never met Gia, her lovely yarn was passed on to me. The yarn is soft and squishy, in a lovely pastel green shade. Lucky me, I got the exact gauge with 4mm needles on the first attempt itself. I took 4-5 days to knit this but that’s only because I don’t knit for more than half an hour a day. With a very demanding toddler, I am lucky I get atleast this much knitting time!

Kelly gave me the final version of the pattern, which is usual in test knitting deals. But, Kelly went a step ahead and gave me her popular cardigan pattern in threes baby cardigan because I was looking for a top-down seamless cardigan for girls. Thanks Kelly. That was very sweet of you. No prizes for guessing what I am knitting next.

Knitcircus giveaway winners

August 16, 2010 § 7 Comments

The random number generator has spoken and it chose these five winners.

  1. merryamethyst
  2. Srividya Ganapathy
  3. Bianca
  4. Nupur
  5. Laurie

Congratulations to all the winners. For the others, I am sorry you didn’t win. I only have so many collections to giveaway. Winners, please leave your email IDs as comments on this post (or PM me on Ravelry, my Rav ID is bloreknitter) and I will mail you the pattern collection.

Update: I haven’t heard from Bianca and Laurie. If you don’t get back to me by tomorrow (19th August) 10 AM IST, I will choose two new winners.

Update 2: Since I still haven’t heard from two winners, I am going to draw two new winners. And here are the names. Hoping I will hear from these guys atleast! Guys, please send me your email ID (I am BloreKnitter on Ravelry). You have time till 21st August 10 AM IST (48 hours) to respond.

1. Pearlin J
2. Amrita (Since there are two Amritas who left comment here, here is the comment from Amrita who won)

Hey Anjali!!

Congrats on your first published pattern! It must feel sooo good 🙂 I love your pattern the best amongst all the patterns because it’s for baby Ninu! 🙂 Take care and all the best – wish you many more published patterns in the future!!

Amrita

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