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Summer evenings (LMT post)

In our part of the world, Mr. Golden Sun graces us with his warmth only for a few months in a year. So we do not take our summer evenings for granted. We soak it up, and revel in the small joys that the warm weather brings. Atleast our household does. My favorite part of the summer is the simple ordinary moments of togetherness spent in our front yard in the evenings. Want to get a flavor for our unremarkable but treasured summer evening routine?

4:30 P.M. – I  leave work (on most days)

4:50 P.M. – Pick Ram from day care. I press the calling bell knowing that it will be followed by the sound of the kids rejoicing in chorus. While the little ones do not know to read the clock yet, they do know it’s time to go home. As I open the door, I see the kids lined up peering eagerly at the entrance. Not with longing, but with plain childlike curiosity. Whose mommy is here? Whose turn is it to be picked up? The kids inch towards me, one to give a high five, the other to hand over a block and yet another to show a book. Ram weaves in and out of the flock, with a wide smile plastered on his face. Perched on my hips, he asks his care provider – “Mimi milk please”. She indulges him and we exchange notes about the day before heading home.  

5:00 P.M. – Ram is a stickler for routine. He likes to follow the same sequence of events every single evening – come home, remove his hat and hang it on the handrest by our staircase, ask amma to remove his shoes, grab them with his tiny thumb and pointer and place it on the shoe rack, and then head to toys in the living room. While he is playing, I snatch a couple of minutes to leave some rice in the cooker in preparation for his dinner. Then, we head upstairs to say hello to Guppies and give Ram his bath.

5:30 P.M. – Ram hangs out with me in the kitchen as I make tea and fix a quick dinner for all of us. On days he is really starving, he would cling to me with his life until some food settles his appetite.

5:50 P.M. – Da and Hari are back from work and camp. Depending on the mood of the day, either all of us are squealing in delight or are ready to pull each other’s hair out.

6:00 to 6:30 P.M. – Hunger pangs. Dinner time. Hari talks non stop usually at the table. While our ears are listening to the stories he is narrating, Da and I bury our faces in our dinner plates. Yes, we are two hungry hippos at this time of the evening.

6:30 to 7:10 P.M. – Da works with Hari on his keyboard practice. Ram hangs out with appa and anna in the living room while I do some preparations for the next day’s lunch and dinner. Hari has his bath.

7:10 P.M. to 7:50 P.M. – Outdoor time. Thanks to loot form amazon, craigslist and generous friends, our front yard is littered with toddler toys – cozy car, slide, play house, dump tracks and bikes. I grab a book and alternate between playing with Ram and reading while Da and Hari play tennis with a makeshift net in our driveway. We wave and chat with neighbors and regular passersby.

7:50 P.M. – The countdown and the meltdown begin. “Last five minutes guys” I warn. “Nooo noooo”, protests little Ram in an authoritative voice. “What? But mamma I played only for five minutes” moans and groans the anna. Since this is an every evening affair, Da and I are immune to the protests, moans and groans. We just smile and say. “4 minutes left kannas”

8:00 P.M. to 8:20 P.M. – We are inside for a bed time snack.  Da and I tie loose ends in the kitchen.

8:20 P.M. to 8:30 P.M. – Hari and I brush our teeth mindfully while Ram gets ready for bed time. Da and I take turns doing bed time routine with kids. If it’s my turn to put Ram to sleep, I prefer to call it a day and hit the sack. Yes, at 8:30 P.M.! With Hari, both of us read our respective books for 15 minutes and cuddle up for some chatting before I head downstairs.  

If you lasted this long, thank you for lending me your ears. Now tell me what’s your favorite part of the Summer?

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Utterly butterly

Guess what Ram says in his utterly butterly voice? Butterfly! The exclamation mark has been added on purpose to capture the delight in his tone every time he utters the word. Da and I get a kick out of constantly pointing to pictures of the insect and have him say it. We also indulge him and ourselves in the process by playing the aha oh butterfly song on our car. He would listen to the keyboard in the beginning with anticipation, and just as the flute starts to work its magic, a smile would spread on his lips, as though implying, “Hey, i know this song”, and he would eagerly exclaim with a twinkle in his eye –  Butterfly! Always a delight to be part of these precious little moments. On that note, I leave you with the song that is the current favorite  in our household. I would recommend listening to the song without the video, which I think is quite distracting.  Oh butterfly butterfly
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Catching up

Long time no hear, how are you guys and gals doing?

I am typing this post on my iPad, which Da so thoughtfully gifted to me for my b’day. It’s a huge deal because if Apple were a religion, Da would be an atheist. On the other hand, I am an ardent Apple devotee although I have never stared at an Apple product for more than five minutes at a stretch, let alone using one. The reason I bring this up is because I am typing this post on a program/app called Notes. It’s the coolest thing I have ever seen. What is not to love about it – the simple but elegant design, the fonts that mimic handwritten notes, the trash can that opens up to swallow the deleted notes. I could go on and on. Truly, if Steve Jobs believed that he was at the juncture where science and art meets, his products are a testimony to that conviction.

Ok, now that I have got it out of my chest, how about I come to the point of this post, which is simply to catch up with you all. Did you do anything fun, special, interesting or strange since the last time I posted something here. Share something, anything. I am all ears.

Just before I went away on vacation to India, I had change of role at work. I have transitioned from a product management role to a customer facing role. Although I support the products I formerly owned, the dynamics are different. So yeah, there is a learning curve. The work is intensive and spills over my home time. I would like to believe that this experience is helping me grow and mould as a person, and by extension as a parent. Only time will tell. For now I am doing the best I can because anything that is worth doing is worth doing well, what do you say?

What’s happening on the home front? The kids are a riot. Hari is on summer vacation. He is enrolled in numerous camps, all of which whet his appetite for sports in one form or another. He is the proud owner of guppies, which he won on a raffle from school. More on his school activities in a following post. Ram has a new name – we call him Joy because he truly fills our household with cheer. Peals of giggles, ever ready to swing, sway and play… yes, we are still smitten by this little mister. Da as always is the very epitome of equanimity, slowly chipping away on our ever increasing and aging list of things to do, and holding down the fort as work commitments consume me.

Time has definitely become a scarce commodity. On a good day, I feel fortunate for all the opportunities I am blessed with and am determined to strike a balance amidst competing priorities. On a not so good day, I feel like I am falling short on all fronts and my priorities in life are upside down. The hope is with time and practice, the good days will far exceed the not so good days. Either that or I reassess my priorities.

Now tell me, what’s up at your end?