Tuesday, 6 September 2016


Kavita is three and a half and, has grown into a very expressive, talkative, stubborn, independent and cute little kid. 

Her favourite cartoons are: Dora the Explorer, Diego, Max and Ruby, Bubble Guppies, Team Umizoomi, Ni Hao Kai Lan, Wanda and the Alien, Holly's Little Kingdom, and Paw Patrol. She also likes Disney's Frozen. 

I have never called her 'princess' nor encouraged any girlie activities or ideas yet she twirls around like a ballerina, talks about queens and princesses and, wants to transform into a mermaid. I believe she gets this from these same harmless cartoons, especially Max and Ruby. Ruby is really into fairy tales, ballet, princesses and tea parties. I personally really like Max and Ruby, especially the grandma, but the gendered roles between the brother and sister are a bit old fashioned. I suppose I can't over think cartoons too much because the stuff that comes on Channel 307, Nickelodeon Junior, is quite educational and Kavita has built up her English vocabulary and imagination by watching these cartoons. 

I do have a beef with Bubble Guppies. It's quite annoying but it also over stretches the imagination. These bubble guppies are meant to be under the ocean and, one would think they would show life under the ocean. But they take everything above the ocean, too, stick a little fish tail on it and, carry on. They have cows, dinosaurs, desert, cowboys, and mountains in this Bubble Guppy world. They stick fish tails on to everything and, show bubbles and we're meant to believe this is reality? 

I love the Team Umizoomi song they sing when they are doing something fun. When Ni Hao Kai Lan manages to help a friend over come their stressful feelings, she bursts into a little ditty and keeps saying "it's really really true."

The Wanda and the Alien and Max and Ruby songs are also very hummable. 

Kavita is completely bored by Louie because he does too much drawing and painting. She also doesn't like Olive the Ostrich and then requests me to change the channel. I sometimes switch to CBeebies which shows Teletubbies or  Boomerang which shows classic cartoons like Tom and Jerry. at first Kavita didn't like Tom and Jerry but now doesn't mind watching it.

It's pretty sacrilegious if you ask me if you don't like Tom and Jerry. 

Kavita smiles and laughs when she watches her favourite cartoons. My mother says she thinks she's one of the characters. 

I am quite concerned that Kavita will miss out on Urdu so I speak to her in Urdu, dig out Urdu songs on YouTube such as Sohail Rana's children's songs. She knows "Daak Baboo" and "Dosti Aisa Nata." Of course she knows "Lakri Ki Kathi" since she was really small. I have Alif Bay picture cards and, recently my cousin sent me some Urdu children books for Kavita. She pronounces Urdu as "Urduru."

She perfectly understands Urdu of course but speaks in a funny accent. 

Kavita is extremely stubborn. If I ever take her out of the bath tub without her permission, she will go back into the water, come out rub herself dry and then go back in. If I help her get out of the car, she climbs back into the car and then comes out again. 

For all her independence, she doesn't want to sleep in the bed I specially ordered for her on Amazon. 

I introduced Kavita to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and, we also watched Witches together, both Roald Dahl books made into movies. She wasn't too scared of Witches, funny enough. I am trying to introduce her to classics. I also made her watch "Spirited Away," "Totoro," "Kiki's Delivery Service," and "The Secret World of Arrietty." These are amazing Japanese animated movies and, can be a little difficult to watch and understand, even for an adult but better start instilling the wonder of these films now. I bought some Sesame Street DVDs in Islamabad last time I was there in February and also, play her those. At first she didn't like it but over time, she has grown to like it. Sesame Street is the most creative, wonderful and comforting TV programme for children. 

I also played classic songs like "I'm Alive," "Stand up for your rights," and "Imagine there's no country" for her so she will know good music. 

I try to switch the channel to something else in case a Bollywood item song comes up. The last thing I want her to do is to dance to a degrading item gana

Kavita really loves dancing and has invented some cool moves. 

I am quite fascinated by how small she is. I can scoop her into my arms, tickle her to death, and run around crazy with her in the house. Her most adorable part is her teeny tiny fingers and toes. 

Kavita always had access to chocolates and fizzy drinks and, she has everything in moderation. We keep chocolate in the house and she gets a chunk of chocolate now and then. She even knows how to open the fridge now and can get some chocolate herself. We don't keep fizzy drinks though so that's a treat to be had, ice cold on the beach. Or to make her quiet in case we are out for dinner with friends at a restaurant. 

I have managed to give her a sense of reading and love of books. She herself brings books from her shelf and asks us to read them for her. For a while she was addicted to going through the Alif Bay picture cards and knew them by heart too. Then, she became addicted to Wacky Wednesday. Now she asks for Olivia, the Princess stories and sometimes Grumpalump. 

I love drawing things for her, with her. I love the way she holds a paint brush. 

I am also obsessed with making her robots out of empty tissue boxes, milk cartoons, toilet rolls, and any trash I can find. Honestly, it's more for my own enjoyment. 

Haresh also really got into building the castle from the Frozen Lego set she received as a gift from Kavin recently. Kavita didn't do much while Haresh pored over the construction. 

Kavita is more or less my chamchee and, tells me whenever Haresh is playing chess on his mobile phone. I have become very very annoyed with Haresh's mobile addiction and Kavita has picked up on it. 

Kavita tells the truth and one quickly learns that children mainly tell the truth. If I get very irritated or mad at her and smack her, she tears up and says, people should not beat children and mothers should not be angry with children. She also says beating is not good. The other day, I got very annoyed with her when she kept bouncing on the sofa and she said, she will get a new mother. 

Does Kavita get on my nerves? Yes of course but I love her driving me crazy. I would rather her driving me mad for years to come. 

I say this because I don't understand the rush to send kids to play group, day care, pre school, pre kindergarten or however many levels these schools have these days. I really don't get it! 

I really love Kavita and her childhood. When thinking about how to describe my love for her or, for how much I enjoy playing with her or dote on her or feel proud for her small accomplishments, words don't come easily. In fact, how do you describe the experience of pregnancy, birth and becoming a mother? One can't even come up with a metaphor. After all, what do you compare it to? It's such an elemental and core thing about life. In, fact it is life itself.

I've always enjoyed playing and talking to kids. The key is to treat them like adults and speak normally. And, to step inside wonder, fascination, play, discovery and innocence. Children are really little people, with little fingers and toes, arms, legs and eyes. Everything is small and, they are innocent and pure.  As you teach them things, speech, manners, danger, safety, colour, shapes, numbers, letters, stories, names and places, you realise you can teach them good and bad, and affect them with one's own behaviour.  One wonders where and how we leave the purity of childhoods and, start to become adults. 

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