We have been trying to ease into the HSing routine since yesterday ( 22/03/2010). After taking a long vacation I'm always wary of jumping into routine HSing right away. A part of ourselves always lingers on in the vacation and I'm sure this is true of children too. It is very hard to shift gears immediately. And it shouldn't be so. When I was a child I used to shudder going back to school the very next day after having arrived from a vacation in Madras at my grandparents' place. I loved my mother's parents dearly and always used to be the one crying out aloud when leaving them to go back home. It was doubly hard for me to shut out all the lovely memories of my grandparents' and immediately jump into being a student with all the attention required. Being a dreamer essentially I remember just staring at the teacher and thinking of my grandparents', their house and the masti I had with my cousins..Now that I am a mother I put in a buffer of a week after a vacation to let the children ease back into home and routine and all the mundane things again....
Yesterday was one such day. I was extremely tired having unpacked and cleaned the whole previous day in addition to caring for Kunju the entire night who got stuck with a bout of vomitting . I think it was something she picked at the Delhi airport while waiting for the return flight. By 11.00am I was ready to doze off and Chellu was in the mood for HSing. I was aghast at the very thought of it. I requested her to let me & kunju rest for sometime and do some quite activity by the bedside to which she agreed. This is very rare, in fact I think the first time! Chellu being a very kinesthetic child will never agree to sit quietly anywhere!! Anywayz too tired to process anything I dozed off and woke up an 1 &1/2 later to realize that Chellu was completely absorbed in coloring the sketch book that she had received during the flight! I was very suprised. Her work was the best I have sense in terms of coloring within lines ( though I never insist on it) and the use of colors !! She had done a lovely job & more importantly without making the slightest noise. I think this is such a feat of my dear daughter that I have to record this.
Ever since Chellu has been a toddler I have always got very frustrated over her non-cooperation during nap times especially when she isn't in the mood to do so. All my friends' kids used to be "silent players" next to their resting moms but that was never the case with Chellu. She used to hop around like a monkey never being able to sit in a place for more than 5 seconds !!! I even have a photo clicked by Shankar where she is doing masti on top of me dozing off..So yesterday's incident is a milestone in itself...Maybe she has grown up or maybe the vacation has calmed her..I don't know!
After waking up the three of us sat with the " Magic Pot". Its a lovely magazine for
pre-schoolers that I get as complimentary with my subscription to TenderLeaves. The bi-monthly magazine is full of interesting stories and tons of puzzles, coloring activities, and others related to beginning readers and beginning math. Its got mazes to figure out, matching exercises and what not. Basically a very interesting and colorful preschool workbook of sorts, infact much more than that! Its been a hit with the girls and Chellu has refined a lot of spelling , tracing & counting skills with this magazine. Since she loves to do stuff with her hands she enjoys the MagicPot very very much.On days like yesterday where Im too tired to do a full-blown HSing routine with all the physical activities I sit down quietly with Chellu and do an entire magazine or how much ever her interest will allow for. Last month when I was down with back to back viral and gastro that kept me sick for a prolonged period of time in the absence of Shankar, it was the MagicPot and another regular preschool workbook that came to the rescue. It let Chellu and me spend quality time with each other while learning at the same time.
Even Kunju did something yesterday that I have never seen before. Though she has always sat with us during MagicPot sessions its always very short and usually some random scribbling. She would quickly move on to something else like cutting or playing or just lying down on me and watching her sister or many a times dozing off. She isn't the drawing/coloring/painting types at all like her sister. Kunju would rather dissolve all the paint in water and then pour the resulting liquid over herself than actually paint. She is very interested in finger and body painting though!! ;)) But yesterday was like wonder of wonders. She explicitly requested for a MagicPot and asked me to give her a page to do. I asked her to color the buttons of an elephant which she proceeded to do beautifully. Since she never likes to be supervised (NEVER) I didn't bother to check with what she was upto. After a few minutes she gently tapped me on my knee and showed her work. I was very suprised.She had neatly colored the buttons and her face was beaming!! And wonder of wonders she asked for more!!!
Any other day Kunju would have randomly scribbled or would have refused to do that particular page. Instead she would instruct and force me to do the particular task. We always joke in our family that she will become a teacher!!!You see Kunju is a very very strong-headed girl ( gone after her father I think!!! ;))) She decides and she does it and if she dosen't want to, no one in the world can make her to. She isn't too keen on instructions unlike her sister. My bhabhi always questions me as to how Im going to HS Kunju who can't take instructions very well..On the other hand I think such a strong-headed person should never go to school and be made to follow the herd. Their leadership skills will completely be watered down and they will never do well at school. Shankar is a classic example. He hates following the system and rules and listening to someone for the heck of it or for that matter doing something just because the rest of the world does. He has to be intellectually convinced. He was a very very average student at school since he would never write his answers or do his projects the way he was asked to. He was the "questioning types" much to the irritation of his teachers! His younger daughter is his replica.
Yesterday was a bumper of sorts for me. I love such days when the children suprise me with something when I least expect it. Maybe what they exhibited yesterday will continue to be a trend or maybe it was just a one day thing but that isn't the issue at all. Yesterday's behavior was so unique that it will be etched in my memory for years to come. It was truly an achievement of sorts for my girls!