Friday, February 12, 2016

What is your favorite 'child-raising' strategy?

I bet a parent will agree that you are on a constant lookout for a new strategy with your child. I can name a few problems for you, that you might have strategically solved even without realizing. Well most of these are first-hand experiences from family and friends :)

How do I make her wear her diaper now that she has started to roll on her own? 

  • Let me give her a rattle/doll/any toy
  • Teach her to point her nose/eyes as she grows older
  • Have a Diaper song - ours was "Dappy dappy do do" :) {Dappy= Diaper + Nappy}

What new trick will get him off the TV? 

  • How about having the play-time as the next slot
  • Power cut drama - works during day time till they figure out that the Mains stills how light blinking
  • I time it just before Rajeev returns from work, and in the excitement of seeing her dad she forgets the TV 

What do I do to stop the nail biting habit? 

  • Cook up a story to tell the side effects with his/her favorite toy as the central character

Can I get him back from the park after play-time without the usual fuss of rolling on the floor and crying?

  • Fix on the time of return before you go to the park
  • Make the child more responsible, let him have his own watch and ask him what time it is say 15 minutes before time out 

What new way will make her eat her meals? 

  • Small rice balls that she can herself pick and eat
  • Name every rice ball/Mountain as being given by family members
  • Treasure hunt - add some dates/raisins to the cornflakes and get them busy in finding it as you feed them

Well most of these are for moms with toddlers or early-schoolers. The strategist parent doesn't rest even as the child grows older. 

The way to get a pree-teenager/teenager to stop complaining and have a positive outlook. 

  • Talk to them understand what is their real problem, the influence of friends at this age is massive
  • Encourage them to take up a hobby, spend time off the devices and in doing something creative

To explain the value of money to a 6 year old when he demands for the weirdest of biscuits he will never put in his mouth only to get a freebie. 

  • Tell him how much it costs, what else you could buy with it and why exactly do you think it is a waste of money
  • Make them do little chores in the house and earn their pocket money

To each his own. These may not be the things that you approve of for your child, but might have worked for someone else's. Gone are the days when a 'disciplinary act' from the parent was the norm. We probably believe in discussing and reasoning with children, call it parenting with kid gloves if you wish. I believe they learn better this way. No I was not like this from day 1, since our daughter was born. I have had my screaming and disciplinarian drama too. Thanks to my husband, Rajeev, I could do some self-inspection and am still trying to get better at it.

Is there a strategy that has worked the best for you? I would love to hear from you about your favourite. After all learning from each others' experiences is the best way of learning :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A special bond :)

As I was getting ready to come over to Italy for close to a year, to join Rajeev on his business trip my biggest concern was the much needed social support especially with our little Avani. In a non-English speaking place, with very few Indians my hopes were at minimum. The day before I boarded the flight Jeev told me about his colleague's family who were already there and had called us over for dinner the day we reach.

We met them at their place for dinner, husband wife and a young daughter . I was completely drained of energy after the long flight, but their hospitality made me feel perfectly at home. It was as if I knew them for ages and we chit-chatted in a very casual way. I could see that Avani too was very happy to have met them. That was a small beginning to a very special bond :)

Samta di went out of her way to be of help. She passed on her number the very next day and also came over to meet in a couple of days. I still remember what she told me that day..."Agar Avani zyada pareshaan kare, aur tumhe khaana pakane na de, toh ghar aa jaana, hum sab milke khaana khayenge" (If Avani's troubles you a lot and you don't get to cook lunch, do not worry, just join us, we can all eat together). This assurance was enough for me to know how genuine a person she is. Avani reminded her of Shreya as a kid in many ways, and she could empathize with me. Not stopping at that she has helped me in a lot of ways. Her cooking is par excellence and I have loved learning from her as well. Thank you Samta di, from the bottom of my heart :)

Shreya their daughter became Avani's favourite right from day one.. She has a magic spell on Avani, and Avani gazes at her with a fan-like admiration. In Shreya I have seen such maturity, humility and respect, very rare for her generation and age group. I have observed her as a guest at their place, as a host, while travelling together - I adore her for her values. Kudos to Sunil bhaiyya and Samta di on the upbringing they have given Shreya, Jeev and I have a lot to learn from the two of you. And little Avani has chosen a right Icon already is all I can say :)

It was about a month that I enjoyed their company, and it was time for them to leave for India. I had tears in my eyes when I bid them Good-Bye! I was going to miss everything about them both; their company, my chit-chat with Samta di ranging from parenting to cooking and with Shreya from bollywood, to fashion to her future plans. Most of all, my social support was gone. I had missed my parents (who were my rock support system back at home with Avani) a little less after coming over thanks to Samta di and Shreya.

We knew the bond was special and yes it continues to be. Thanks to the likes of WhatsApp and Skype we continue our chit chat across miles and international borders. I really wish we could spend more time together.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Five bubbling nursery rhymes for your energy packed toddler!

With a bad weather be it rains or the cold your toddler is forced to remain indoors. Not only is this boring and irritating for a 2 year old, it just gets onto their nerves. By evenings I notice her cribbing incessantly about going out or just being grumpy. My chota packet of Glucon-D, yes that is their energy level in the evening, was jumpy beyond control. Now I had to figure a way out of this.

She loves her rhymes and sings it in her own adorable way often adding new words to English Dictionary and skipping the words or lines at will ;) This gave me an idea to look for rhymes that would get her moving. Yes trust me this works. There are a good number of them that actually help them exercise, and make good use of their energy. And guarantees an on-time "go to bed" routine as well :)

#1 Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes: Now this one is a proper aerobic stunt, also for me. I chose to extend the song impromptu also teaching more parts of the body and to keep her moving longer :)

Head, shoulders, knees and toes,
Knees and toes.
Head, shoulders, knees and toes,
Knees and toes.
And eyes, and ears, and mouth,
And nose.
Head, shoulders, knees and toes,
Knees and toes.

#2 Teddy Bear Teddy Bear Turn Around: Teddy Bear being a kids favorite, they would want to do almost everything that Teddy does.

Teddy Bear Teddy Bear Turn Around:
Teddy bear, teddy bear,Turn around.
Teddy bear, teddy bear,Touch the ground.
Teddy bear, teddy bear,Touch your nose.
Teddy bear, teddy bear,Shine your shoes.
Teddy bear, teddy bear, go to school

#3 Roly Poly: This one gets them excited to have their hands to the Roly Poly, we do it the way you do "Jill came tumbling after". Also helps teach them basic words UP, DOWN, IN, OUT...

Roly Poly, Roly Poly
Up, Up, Up

Roly Poly, Roly Poly
Down, Down, Down

Roly Poly, Roly Poly
In, In, In

Roly Poly, Roly Poly
Out, Out, Out

Roly Poly, Roly Poly
Clap, Clap, Clap

Roly Poly, Roly Poly
Hands Behind Your Back.

#4 Five Little Monkeys - With all the jumping or rather bouncing in this one, your LO will soon be hungry :)

Five little monkeys jumping on the bed
One fell off and bumped his head
Mama called the doctor,
And the doctor said
No more monkeys jumping on the bed

Four little monkeys jumping on the bed 
One fell off and bumped his head
Mama called the doctor 
And the doctor said,
No more monkeys jumping on the bed

Three little monkeys jumping on the bed
One fell off and bumped his head
Mama called the doctor 
And the doctor said,
No more monkeys jumping on the bed

Two little monkeys jumping on the bed
One fell off and bumped his head
Mama called the doctor
And the doctor said,
No more monkeys jumping on the bed

One little monkey jumping on the bed
One fell off and bumped his head
Mama called the doctor 
And the doctor said,
Put those monkeys right to bed

#5 Hop a little Jump a little: It may be too early for a 2 year old to jump or hop on their own, but it is fun to see them attempt doing it.

Hop A Little! 
Jump A Little.
One Two Three 

Run A Little.
Skip A Little.
Tap One Knee 

Bend A Little.
Stretch A Little.
Nod Your Head. 

Yawn A Little.
Sleep A Little.
On Your Bed!

Do you have more in your list? I would be very eager to hear from you. Avani may soon get bored of these and my hunt for more "Moving" rhymes is on.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Few tricks to get your toddler to sit in the buggy!

I would be envious of you if your little one sits quietly in the buggy, sleeps well and makes no fuss on the road. This was exactly opposite in our case. My daughter hated sitting in the pram when she was 6 months old and was the same until she was about 20 months old. Every time we had to go out it was the same story, a cry act, shouting show down, squirming out of it...well I had almost given up.

I tried quite a few things, to make the buggy more comfortable for her. Tried a cushion, this worked for exactly 2 outings. Thought the seat may not be so comfortable, added a linking of soft towel on top, again worked exactly for 4 outings. A toy to hold on to ,I started with the little toy dogs and ducks the washable kinds which were easier for me to clean up if they end up on the road. She liked this idea at first, but in a matter of a week or so found throwing them on the road more entertaining. This was more troublesome for me. By the time I would pick the toy, she would have managed to remove her shoes and done the same. There have been countless incidents of sweet passer-by's on the roads and super-markets coming behind me holding her toy or shoe...

Then came a eureka moment when I saw a toddler with a neck pillow happily dozing in his pram. Brought one on my next outing, she liked this one better. It would hold her neck in place as she slept, and I could easily adjust the buggy to the sleep position without waking her up and triggering the tantrum alarm. She soon figured out the air valve and started opening it, that is when I came up with a counter idea to have a cover done for the neck pillow :). So this is one trick up my sleeve now that continues to work.

Second was to let her take a favorite doll on the buggy, something that looked more like a person to her. So Mickey, Candy and Pippi have become regulars on our outings now. With the onset of winter she had a genuine concern about them not wearing skullcaps like her, I had to fix this too by making skullcaps for them:). But she somehow feels more secure or cuddly when these toys sit in the buggy with her.

Another trick good to wear up your sleeve is to have some food handy. Be it an easy to eat fruit like banana or a piece of cake, this could distract your little one for a good 15-20 minutes, while you do your quick round of weekly grocery shopping.

The last was the most powerful one that I had to use as a last resort. There were about 2-3 times when she tried the showdown about the buggy, and I just had to bring her back home to give her the strong message that I cannot take her out on my own till she sits in the buggy. This may sound super cruel for a parent to do, but to be honest I have no choice. She refuses to hold my hand, and managing her on the pavement next to a very busy road is next to impossible. And once inside the supermarket, she loves to pull everything, this would mean a whole lot of trouble again. This has helped her understand(or so is my hope :)) that she is allowed to move around, run and play in the park, or in open spaces where it is safe.

As of now the buggy crisis seems to be under control. But once I get her off it, it continues to be a challenge to get her back in on the way back home. Do you have tips for this. Please share. I am really looking forward for advice on this.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Our best toy investment so far $$$

Toys are a part of every child's growing up years - to kill the cliche, today we have an overdose of them, and kids often look maximum once at a given toy. It surprises me that there is this ONLY ONE toy that Avani has continued playing with for the last 6 months, almost every day, sometimes even multiple times in a day. Thus it well deserves a special round of applause.

It is a simple magnetic slate, brought at the spur of the moment, when she was barely 18 months old.

We were still wondering if she would be too small to use it and so on, but then just picked it up as part of regular shopping from a neighborhood mall. Both Rajeev and I hate stereotyping boys with blue and girls with pink, but this was the only color available :(.

Soon after she got her hand at this, she tried hitting the slate with the pen, and we had to show her how to hold and scribble. She took her own time to get used to the toy, but the daily play time was evident right from the first days. Some of her other toys would sadly lie beside her in a pile totally ignored while she continues for several minutes with her scribbling on this little slate.

That is Rajeev and me...
We doddle a few common things for her sun, cat, tree and so on. One day she surprised me by calling out "Amma I have drawn Achucha and Adamma"(that is what she calls her grandparents. It was only a few lines though, but I was beaming looking at it, with pride no less than that of gazing at "Monalisa" at Louvre. She has continued to draw my ear ( an entangled mess of lines covering most of the slate), Rajeev and me, balloon cat, everytime a new pattern with details :). Even with guests in the house, she has been stealing time to go doodle and with her favorite set of people she makes them doodle cats for her :)

Improved doodling skills, Peppa Pig :)

She will get her doodling right with time, but for now her favourite toy has endured all the falls, scribbles and pokes and continues to be her best play-mate :). Our best toy investment so far indeed$$$
and her favourite Poocha (cat)

Monday, September 14, 2015

Distract - the one success mantra to soothe a tantrum throwing toddler

I have argued with my mom multiple times on this topic both when my niece was a toddler and as Avani started throwing her first tantrums. But today I confess, DISTRACT is one success mantra that works almost always fits like a glove to any tantrum problem.

I realize I have become apt at making stories impromptu, from the time Avani comprehends what I am trying to say. So at times when it is tantrum time, you just point to thin air and weave a new story. "...Aah see the spider there. Now where is it trying to go. Is it Incy Wincy Spider?", "Hey look who is coming to meet us? I heard someone ring the bell. Hold on, Avani will quickly dress up and answer the door.",  ..blah blah blah. With time your acting skills may take your spouse by surprise and he too might start looking around for spiders and hearing phantom door bells.

Move them out of the sight of tantrum. Yes it works, out of sight is mostly out of mind. Unless your toddler is in an exceptional mood. Then apply formula 1, after moving away. I read somewhere that being it terrible twos or a sulking teenager this problem will continue to be worked upon for quite some time for parents. But lifting a toddler out of the scene is much easier than moving a teenager for instance, and this should pacify us toddler mommies for now ;)

When it is one of the sheer screaming rounds, try whispering to them for distraction. They stop their act in a jiffy and try to concentrate on what you are saying. You better have an interesting story to tell. And mind you, use this sparingly else this spell tends to lose its charm.

Well there are times when I am just worn out and as they say once the water rises above ones such times I break into a sudden song and dance sequence. Well I reserve this for times when we have no audience lest I scare them away :D. I do all kinds of crazy emu dance, till she giggles and gives in.

I wish I had these in place when during a transit at France airport. It was just Avani and me travelling. I had a face a full 1 hour of nothing but non-stop crying and screaming all coz I did not let her press the lift button. Sigh!

How much ever prepared you may be to face this, there will be times when you just vent out. I do it often, and am trying hard to reduce the frequency till I get over it completely. Find another mechanism for venting out, may-be a quick break, a vent-out-diary to scribble the cause, count to 10, deep breath, whatever suits you. The quick-break technique seems to be helping me, even as short as 10 minutes, just doing what I love - blog :)

Monday, September 07, 2015

Prague you beauty! We will be back soon

Prague - you cannot help falling in love with this city. I asked a family friend who has himself been to 26 countries a few days before this vacation, as to which was his favourite. He told me 'Prague' and that I would come back with the same feeling. True to his word, I was enchanted by this city beyond words.

This was our first place of visit, as part of our 10 day vacation, and after the first few hours roaming around Charles Bridge and the surroundings, we knew we had hit a high right on day 1. And this level of excitement was going to be difficult to match in the next 3 places. Prague to us is a great mix of nature and monuments to see and behold. The hills, river Vltava, innumerable spires all across the city contribute equally to the magical feel.

We stayed at an airbnb accomodation very close to Petrin Hill and at a walk-able distance from most of the spots. The place has a rustic charm, but if you are used to the very hotel feel you may not like it. Prague is a place where you would perhaps spend the least amount of time inside, so this place is just right considering the proximity to all the lovely places around. 

It was no less than a mela on Charles Bridge
One of the saints statues at Charles Bridge

Avoid the summer months especially August, it does get real hot. We were sweating like crazy with the temperatures touching almost 38 degree Celsius during the day. Not just the heat, the number of visitors is also crazy. You will hardly see any empty space on Charles bridge between 9:am to well past 10:00 pm during this season.

River Vlatava
If I were to suggest an itinerary, this is how it would be, take a stroll along Charles bridge before it gets crowded. This is something we could not fit in, but just for doing this alone, I would love to go back to Prague :) This bridge was completed in the 15th century, has 30 statues of saints adorning it on either sides. It truly is old world, and the song 'Hawa-Hawa' from the movie Rockstar, barely does justice to its beauty. The lovely little eat-outs and pubs near Charles bridge are lively and we enjoyed some great Bongo playing on our first evening. The Prague castle and other points of interest in its compound are all withing walking distance from Charles Bridge. I would also strongly recommend some time quiet time along the river Vlatava. You can soak into the spirit of Prague just by looking at the silhouette of the city emerging from the skyline. Another point to note is that most of the indications here in Prague are in the local language so Karluv Most is the name for Charles Bridge.

St. Vitus Cathedral is a definite must on the list. It is a Gothic masterpiece with such ornate elements both inside and outside. One of the most important cathedrals of Europe, it is an architectural splendour to marvel at.
St. Vitus Cathedral
ornamentation of the ceiling

...colorful glass paintings inside St. Vitus Cathedral

castle ballroom
View of Prague from the castle balcony

The Prague castle would be an obvious next on the list, mainly for the views of Prague it has to offer. Inside the castle is less impressive though. There is a Change of Guards ceremony that takes place every hour, honestly less fanfare than the more popular ones like Buckingham Palace, yet worth seeing if you are there in time for it.

Next would be Golden Lane, a tiny lane of old houses which are museums/art collections or souvenir shops now. The above 3 are going to take half a day for sure. Note that the castle compound houses the St. Vitus Cathedral, Golden Lane and other points of interest. It is marked as Pražský hrad on the boards. We bought the Circuit B ticket, that includes St.Vitus Cathedral, Prague Castle, St.George's Basilica and Golden Lane. There are viewpoints atop this hill as well, which are again breathtaking. 

After this you have an option of taking a walk along the hill to go towards Strahov monastery, or go towards Charles Bridge to the other side of the City. There you will find some more interesting buildings to admire National Theater, Astronomical Clock, Our Lady of Tyn Church, the Old Town Square  Wenceslas Square and the Jewish Ghettoes. All of these can be seen in half a day. You can spend the evening at the lively Old Town square and keep Wenceslas square as the last point for the day. The road approaching the square also has a good number of eat-outs, offering local as well as international cuisine. Talking about the cuisine Goulash would be of interest to you if you eat meat, and do not miss on the Czech Beer :). 

Our Lady of Tyn Church

Wenceslas Square

Astronomical Clock
National Theater

Narodni or the National Theater is the first one as you cross the River Vlatava towards the Old Town Square. The Astronomical clock  in the Old Town Square, has continued to wow visitors for more than 600 years, the visualization of time shown here is unmatched is the claim. Our Lady of Tyn Church, also in the Old Town Square stands out for its twin Gothic spires and has impressive Baroque interior. 
Wenceslas Square is a short walk further. It is a world heritage sight, a lively place for public gatherings and celebrations. Jewish Ghettoes are also close by, but we could not fit it into our itinerary :(

The next day could be devoted to Petrin hill and its surroundings. Petrin tower was originally an observation Tower, now open to public with a viewing balcony on top giving a 360 degree view of Prague.The total height of Petrin hill plus the tower is apparently same as that of Eiffel Tower. You can take a funicular up the hill, and a lift to the top or climb the 299 steps. And the sights it has to offer...

Petrin Tower as seen from Prague castle
Prague Castle compound -view from Petrin Tower
Panoramic view points on the walk from Petrin Tower to Strahov Monastery

Charles Bridge- View from Petrin Tower

Strahov Monastery was founded in 1143. It has a baroque library building that is worth seeing. Do not mistake the art gallery for the library, we did this mistake as this was the first entrance inside the monastery. The art gallery is impressive if you are a modern art lover.

Frescoes at the art gallery, Strahov Monastery
Strahov Monastery

Do not leave Prague without indulging in the sweet Cinnamon Rolls. The aroma of sugar and cinnamon cannot be missed especially in the morning as they are freshly baked in numerous tiny shops all across the city. Apart from any touristy places, getting lost in one of the many cobbled walkways is a delight. Each lane seems to have a character. You will also be surprised by some creative modern art displays right in the middle of buildings. Half a day could be set aside for just idling in this city. 

I am sure you too will come back enchanted and with a promise to go back once again to this city of thousand spires.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Are we ready to be inclusive yet?

Inclusion has to be a way of life. Is it already so? I still do not know how to face parents of differently-abled kids, I am always filled with emotions and can never get the courage to say anything. Alongside this, what about the amenities around us? Are we ready to be inclusive that way? more

Monday, July 27, 2015

Ferrara...the renaissance city

We did a very short trip to Ferrara, reaching there around 3:30 pm and coming back by 8:00 pm. Ferrara is truly a treasure chest of art of history as the tour guide quotes. It has a bygone era atmosphere and picturesque little streets that make you walk around and see more of. Ferra is also one of the cities with the highest number of bicycles in the world.

out side the cathedral

We walked from Ferrara railway station towards Palazzo Municipale to the Piazza Cattedrale. Town The Cathedral is way back from the 12th century and has an awe inspiring facade. This includes Romanesque style, sculptures from the New Testament and the Gothic style upper part. The interior has undergone changes across centuries and includes valuable art from various eras. The cathedral museum also includes robes of priests and other cathedral silverware and finery.

A short walk from the cathedral is the Castello Estense, to save time we did not go in, but the exterior itself is magnificent and offers a nice peek into history. The cannon displayed at the entrance, those small artillery windows and the mechanic castle door would bring out your child-like curiosity to know and see more.

Entrance of  Castello Estense
Gates of Castello Estense

From the castle we decided to take a look at the 'Renaissance Addition' as suggested by the guide we picked from the tourist information center at the Castello Estense. We walked by Palazzo di Giulio d'Este - this includes different architectural elements like the marble portal, brickwork in arch vaults of windows and a small balcony in a mezzanine position. Next was Palazzo dei Diamanti. The building is made of 8500 stones cut to in the shape of diamonds, and has a diagonal view from across the street. Inside this is a bygone era setting, with lush green courtyard, flanked by dilapidated walls. There is an impressive exhibition area in the ground floor as well.
Castello Estense
Piazzale Diamanti
Inside Piazzale Diamati

Right across the lane is the 'Orto Botanico' a small botanical garden maintanied by the University of Ferrara. They have an impressive list of plants including plankton, hibiscus, lotus,  varieties of aloe vera, cactii, and also carnivorous plants. Our daughter Avani enjoyed looking at the turtles here. They are said to have about 700 species of plants. If you take the exit on the other side you would reach Parco Massari, a beautiful little park with an ancient welcoming tree at the entrance and some lovely fountains. An amazing place to be in summer, if you have little kids travelling with you.
Carnivorous plants at Orto Botanico
Parco Massari - ancient tree at entrance
Parco Massari - founrains

In the interest of time, we decided to move to the Le Mura - Walls of Ferrara next. It is a walk of around 1.5 kms from Parco Massari. No sight on the way to the walls will be any less inspiring. Every little street has a story to tell, a structure to show-off and a sight to behold. The walls stretch for nine kilometers and surround Ferrara to a great extent. 
Le Mura di Ferrara

Most significant periods of Italian military architecture can be found here. The walls overlook a beautifully designed park, on side and an refreshing green zone, full of huge trees- a great jogging/walking path on the other. The walls stretch about 9kms, and I must say has been well maintained.

walking path near 'Walls of  Ferrara'
Ferrara has so much to offer, it is underrated from a tourism perspective. We are looking forward to more trips to Ferrara to explore and enjoy the city further.

Thanks to for publishing a great tour guide 'Vist Ferrara and its province'

Monday, May 25, 2015

Missing Buggy, Bugged toddler, 4 hours of Transit -You can't ask for more!

It is not new discovery that travelling alone with a toddler is not an easy job. So how do you go about it, you take advise from family and friends. Pack less hand-luggage. Keep enough food, toys, change of clothes, diapers, medicines, wet wipes, prescriptions ONLY in your hand-luggage. Wait I thought I could keep it light :( the spare clothes and diapers and snacks and toys...huh!

Right from the time of entering the airport gates the bawling had started, she did not want to sit in the buggy. This went on till we did our check-in, security check and finally after about 1 hour, I let her free at the boarding gate, and she was beginning to enjoy, when they announced that it was time to board the flight. In-spite of repeated requests that I need to get back the buggy at France airport, where I have a 4 hour transit, the Air France ground-staff (at the entrance of the air-bridge) told me to hand the buggy right there and that I can be assured to have it in France.

The whole 9 hour flight was not that great, she barely slept, but the good thing was she slept when they brought food and I gulped it quickly just for energy sake. The air-hostesses were very helpful, they gave her toys, tried to play and entertain her. I managed to take her near their bay to give her some 'on-the-feet time'. So far so good, we landed on time. A zillion thanks to this very helpful mom and daughter fellow passengers, who helped me with the hand-baggage and also with Avani as I was trying to figure out where to collect the buggy from. I got a shock, when I was told that I had handed it over before entering the Flight (to be precise on the air-bridge), and so will get it only at my final destination. The Air France staff assured me that I may get a buggy to use once I get the terminal. This meant walking the huge stretch with ample hand baggage and a toddler who just wanted to run around, after having restricted movement inside the flight. Woow, I knew this was going to fun!

The first hour and half went by smoothly as we sailed from one end of the airport to the other with me moving along the sign 10 steps, Avani moving backwards 5 steps and so on. She would happily find her way between the barricades and walk into restricted areas, and I kept wondering if I would get arrested for trespassing while trying to get her back on track. We tried to figure out the gate so that we could settle down near it, but 2.5 hours to go, so it was still too early. As luck would have it, all the buggies were in use and we had to continue the walk. All the walking had made her hungry so we both munched on some snacks, did a good round of walk and run around the empty set of chairs. All this was making us both tired. I wanted to figure out the gate again, and decided to go check at the counters. This meant taking the lift. She insisted on pressing the button, but I was too tired to have any more play and I refused. OMG what did I do, the tantrum alarm was set on. And she went on with her performance, with renewed energy thanks to the huge audience.

I could feel 3 kinds of eyes staring at me, first probably too young to have kids or those who have no experience with kids adjusting their headphones"Oh come on, I have seen enough crying babies for the day, not one more". The 2nd kind who have just been through this and with young kids themselves trying to tell me "Hold on, this phase will pass as well" and the 3rd who have probably forgotten how bad it was for them with their kids, ""What kind of a mother is she? Why does she not attend to the child?" I was almost in tears. I was trying to talk to her - No she would wail louder, lift her - No she would squirm her way down, give her juice- No, toys- No. There was no end to the tamasha.

I went to the counter tried to seek help with a buggy, I knew that she was sleepy and the buggy was the need of the hour. No help. I told them about the mistake with the check-in of her buggy, and the staff was rude enough to tell me "But that is not my problem". Honestly I would not recommend Air France to anyone travelling with kids next time, not for the in-flight service-they were no doubt at their best, but for the additional ground-staff services like mine.

Finally after about an hour, with just 40 minutes left for my next flight, the gates were announced. I had to take the same stupid lift down and this time I let her press the button. By now she was tired of all the crying and allowed me to carry her. In the next 10 minutes she was fast asleep, and she continued to do so till I boarded the next flight and was a good 1 hour on air. I was more relieved than happy to get her buggy back at Bologna airport and for the first time in the history of her buggy, she agreed to sit on it, while I collected the baggage :). I guess she was trying to make up for what I went through in those 4 hours.

I was relaxed the travel was done with. A word of caution for all mothers travelling alone, keep your hand baggage light as most of the stuff you need can be brought at the airport. 2 diapers may just be sufficient, the just-in-case makes the no of diapers 5-6 for a 12 hour journey. And it is not worth being physically exhausted when you need every drop of energy and calm to handle your toddler alone. Hope none of you go through this transit tantrum :)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

#SmartDream #SmartFuture #SmartIsHereToStay

After reading all about the Apple Watch, I was wondering what would a day be with all the SmartDevices around me...does this make me any smarter? Or do I end up using my brain much lesser Read on to know more...
#SmartDream #SmartFuture #SmartIsHereToStay

Monday, April 13, 2015

Scrum masters guide to Inner Peace

Inner Peace and Master Shifu need no introduction. How does a scrum master achieve this...I could do this with 3 simple rules...

Scrum Masters guide to Inner Peace

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Industry 4.0 - Are you game?

Have you heard about Industry 4.0...I am sure you have, are we ready for it yet?? Here is what I have to say ...

Friday, February 13, 2015

Crash course in communication basics

Here is what I have learnt about communication basics in my decade long stint at the IT industry...

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

5 simple tips on receiving and giving feedback

Exactly what the title suggests...follow the link to read more
5 simple tips on ‘Receiving’ and ‘Giving’ feedback