Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Routine stuff

Our lives have changed. 


We need sleeeeeep. 

Okay, it's not that bad. Now. 

So Xena started primary school this year. When we signed her up for the school bus and were informed that it would come to fetch her at the unholy hour of 6.45 am, we knew mornings were going to become extremely happening. 

Viv and I decided that we'd start by waking up at 5.45. I'd immediately get started on packing two snackboxes for her, and he'd focus on getting her ready. We had big plans of her having breakfast before leaving, but.. what were we thinking? A child who takes 40 minutes to finish a cup of milk will have breakfast at 6 am? HA HA HA. HA. So we settled on a 3/4-cup of milk or smoothie or some such liquid, which she can finish with some coaxing in about 20 minutes. 

6.20 am is my cue to do her hair. Last year, she said she wanted to cut her long hair so it would be easier to get ready for school in the mornings. In fact, she was quite excited about it, so I had to pretend to be excited too. However, towards the end of December, she changed her mind. PHEW! (I love her long hair and I was so delighted that she changed her mind without me having to do anything.) When she was in preschool, I used to do all sorts of funky hairstyles for her. Of course, now that she's a school-going young lady, we can't put bells and rainbows and we need to stick to black rubber bands, but I still try to do something out of the ordinary. 

Food has become the centrepiece of this chaos. Her preschool used to provide her with lunch, and it was the most amazing menu ever. The sheer variety of the food was mind-boggling. Each dish featured only once in a month, and it was all super healthy stuff -- brown rice, vegetables, eggs, etc. And everything was cooked using herbs grown in the school garden. 

Now that I have to pack two snackboxes for her early in the morning, and then make lunch for her to have when she gets home, I really really miss her preschool days. ('Feeding Xena' had always been a shared project between her teachers and us, and now it's not.) I loathe the idea of sending biscuits and other random junk (at the very least the stuff have to be baked by me), so I've been compiling a list of nutritious and filling items that I can quickly make in the morning, that would last the test of time, and that most importantly, she'd eat. So far, it's been a fun journey asking friends for their lists, googling for recipes, testing them out to see if they will last the many hours in the snackbox, and tweaking them to make them healthier. At some point, I'll do a post on all that, complete with recipes. 

It's now week 4, and I am way past the exhaustion I had felt in week 1. I wake up, brush, cook and pack her food, do her hair and send her off by 6.35 and then I make breakfast for Viv and me. Once he's off to work, I head to the gym before I shower and start work. It's a lot to process and implement so early in the morning. The first week I felt really sleepy while working. I'd yawn so widely that tears would come out of my eyes. At one point, I felt like my head was just going to thunk itself on the keyboard and stay there. It didn't help that I didn't have any colleagues to chat with and drive my  sleep away. Coffee came to my rescue that week. Since I don't normally drink coffee, it REALLY kept me awake. But of course, that was not going to be the long-term solution. We decided to do away with late-night Netflix sessions, and go to sleep by 10 pm. So far I'm mostly able to keep to it, but Viv works late on some nights. E.g. last night he worked till 4 a.m. (I seriously don't know how he can function on such little sleep.)  

Two of the mornings, right after we sent her off, both of us actually decided to take a power nap after breakfast just to stay functioning. It helped a lot, but again, it can't be the long-term solution. 

Xena is coping well with the funny hours because I have still retained her afternoon nap, so she gets a good amount of sleep overall. I get a lot of envy on that front from many mommy friends about how very lucky I am that she naps in the afternoons and how their kids dropped their naps at the age of two, BUT HEY I WORKED HARD TO KEEP THE NAPS GOING, OKAY? OKAY! 

All right, it's time to share some pictures! 

This was taken on day 1 of school, when she had not received her name tag yet and was wearing a temporary one. She kinda floats about in her uniform a bit, even though we bought the smallest possible size. The shopkeeper at the uniform shop looked shocked when I picked up the smallest set and asked her if she had anything smaller than that. The lady behind me in the queue politely asked, "Just how tiny is your child?"

The Physical Education uniform fits her much better.

Last but not the least, here's a poster she had made as her last preschool project. The topic was 'Big school' and the kids were asked to do whatever they wanted. She drew all the big changes that she would experience in Big School. 

It's been all this and more!

Friday, January 19, 2018


"What is this, Mama?"

"It's poha."

"But I don't like poha."

"You've never had poha."

"Yes, I have! And I didn't like it. You know I don't like dal in my food."

"There is no dal in poha."

"There is! I can see it! The small yellow things."

"Ok, pick up the 'dal' and eat it and tell me if it's really dal."

"Okay." [Picks out a tiny yellow piece and bites it apprehensively]


"It's potato..."


"... but I don't like potato."

"You like nothing. Does that I mean I should cook nothing?"

"No... Okay, can I put a slice of cheese on the poha?"


"A slice of cheese on the poha."

"Nobody eats cheese on poha."

"I do!"

"You've never... sigh, never mind. Why don't you try just the poha first, and then you can decide if you want cheese on it?"

"Okay." [Takes a bite; doesn't make a face]

"Nice, isn't it?"


"See? You have to try it before you decide if you like it or not. I made it just for you. Without coriander leaves and chillies."

"But I like chillies!"

"Since when?"

"I like spice!"


"Yeah. Because... unspicy food... is the most... dislikefullest food."

"It is? Okay, next time I won't skip the chillies."

"Okay. Can I add some achaar to the poha?"

"Hmm... Okay. Go ahead."

"Okay." [adds pickle and takes a bite]




"Yes. Mama, this is the best poha I have had in my whole life."

"You've never... sigh, never mind. Thank you, baby."