These Days…

Finally, the much awaited day, when Pari is done with her annual exams is here. Annual exams for a five-year-old shouldn’t mean too much, but given that she had a painful spell of illness just before the exams, the past month has been tough on her.

This reminded me that I am yet to record the hits and misses of Pari’s academic year in my School Diary (which I just noted hasn’t been updated for almost a year. Oh dear!)

Talking about the annual review exams in kindergarten, I am aware that there are many CBSE schools across the country that do not have these tests until grade two. My nephew and niece study in one such school and this makes my kid feel as if she’s been unduly burdened despite being a sincere kid.

Having sat for such exams as a child, honestly speaking, I see no harm in them. On the contrary, I loved watching Pari work hard to perform well in the exams. Though I frequently meet parents who can’t stop complaining how much syllabus is covered even in kindergarten classes, I somehow feel, it was quite the same when I was a kid.

With the exams done with and the result still, a good week away, lets’ focus on all that I have been up to while preparing for the 20-day school break that commenced yesterday.

I love buying book sets for Pari instead of picking single titles for the sheer convenience of having a treasure of books ready to be picked without delay. Plus the added joy of massive savings when I buy the entire series together is often too good to miss.

The Amar Chitra Katha Collection along with the set of gems by Julia Donaldson have been keeping my child busy for almost 3 years now. Pari is a huge fan of these books, having had them read and re-read over twenty times, she has now graduated to reading them on her own.

In the meantime, the over-enthusiastic books hoarder mother in me has already bought the Enid Blyton Star Read Series and Roald Dahl’s Scrumdidlyumptious Story Collection for her child who is just beginning to read the paragraphs. Though Pari yet can’t read these on her own, I’m having a good time reading them myself and to her.

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I recently chanced upon a newly released book set that has been delivered at my doorstep just an hour ago. I’m planning to talk about it at length in a separate post (as it contains 15+ books) because it isn’t all about story books but also has a variety of activity books too. I’m hoping this set shall keep Pari occupied enough to give me time to work at peace.

The severe gastrointestinal infection that had left Pari in agony might have been cured, but the dietary restrictions on what she can eat and what not, still continue. This is as much a pain for me as my child because my picky five-year-old has grown fussier than ever before.

The irony being, she enjoys eating the food served in school mess more than the food I serve at home, simply cause she doesn’t note what she’s eating when she’s eating with her friends. As the school serves healthy and nutritious snacks and lunch, it’s a blessing in disguise.

Though feeding Pari the greens haven’t been much of an issue, what I have really been struggling with is getting her to consume her daily portion of milk. Though (miraculously), things have changed on that front recently. You can read about it here.

Thankfully the scanty, unexpected rain showers in the last fortnight tempted the parting winter to stay a while longer. While I have been doing well on my resolution of staying well-hydrated all day, I have been struggling to inspire Pari to do the same. This is why, these school holidays, we are aiming at drinking at least 6 glasses of water (through the day) daily, in a competition.

Finally, after much speculation and dilly-dallying the idea of reading e-books, I have successfully read my first, 300+ page e-book. Though, how this came about to be, is rather interesting.

I had the book, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King on my to-read list for over two years. One fine day, I spotted a rather tempting deal on the book sitting on my Amazon wish list. The paperback was available at a whopping 55% off. Without a second thought, I ordered it.

The book arrived on my doorstep within two days and as I was about to open its cellophane packaging I noticed something disturbing. The book that I had bought at an irresistible deal for Rs. 425 had a publisher label (dated 30 days ago) stating the MRP of the book was Rs. 300.

My heart sank. On first instinct, I wanted to shoo away any thoughts of reporting this incident to Amazon India and start reading the book immediately. However, I decided otherwise. Long story short, nothing came out of my getting in touch with Amazon India and I decided to return the book, which thankfully, yet had an intact cellophane packaging. Though I received an instant refund on returning the book, this brought me back to square one.

I was left without reading the book I desperately wanted to read which was no-where available at Rs. 300 and was unavailable in my small town. A few days later, I noted that the Kindle edition of the book was available for Rs. 272. I hesitated, worrying if I’ll be able to read a book with 300+ pages on the kindle app. Thankfully, the indecision didn’t last longer than 10 minutes and in the 11th minute, I was busy reading the book on my iPad.

E-books are definitely an effective way of cutting down the cost of reading, especially when you don’t have an access to a good library, like yours truly.

I’m happy to report that while I am loving this new-found way of reading books, I am still toying with the idea of investing in a Kindle. Don’t get me wrong, though I love everything about the Kindle, I cannot make myself overlook the possibility of gazing at a screen for long hours.

As I have been consciously working at reducing my screen time, buying a Kindle simply doesn’t seem right. Moreover, I don’t want Pari to be diverted from her new-found love of reading paper books. Till the dilemma lasts, the kindle app is going to help explore the various aspects of reading books on screen, most impressive being an easy access to the dictionary and Wikipedia and highlighting my favorite parts of the book without actually ruining it.

This year, I have decided against taking up the April A to Z Challenge but I have something else (an experiment that’ll force me to step out of my comfort zone) planned for the rest of the year. This time, I am going to hold back from making any announcements till I actually implement my plan on the blog.

And lastly, my sleepless nights are back. I sleep on my scheduled time but somewhere around 2 to 3 am, I wake up with a burning desire to write or to read. Initially, I tried resisting the urge to wake up so early, but these days, when the muse pays me a visit, I just write or read as the case may be.

I tried but couldn’t squeeze in all I wanted to say in this post. Looks like it’s time to get all the posts with further details written before I lose the motivation or my train of thoughts.

While I write, I’d love to know what have you been up to and if you’ve got young children, what are your plans for upcoming school holidays.

The song on my mind: Ye raatein nayi purani ~ Julie (1975)

19 thoughts on “These Days…

    1. The stressful phase is (hopefully) coming to an end now and books have been very helpful in making that happen. They’ve been keeping us both too busy to worry too much 🙂
      I often wonder books do have all answers to the problems of life.

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  1. lovely to read your musings and see Pari growing up here. Enid Blyton books were my staple diet growing up and I kept all mine so my kids read them later on. Books are such treasures and I love that we both enjoy them so much and want to pass it on to our kids. Sleeping patterns! Me too lately, cannot sleep till morning, the mind alert at weird times, asking me to get up and write too. Getting to read your thoughts is very calming and like a friend telling me about her day. Blessings to you and sweet Pari. You do a good job with her and learning can never be instilled too early, kids are sponges that soak up stories and knowledge. Beautiful thoughts and words my dear, you never fail to inspire me to be a better mother.

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    1. I have been teaching myself to read more and more as I didn’t read much as a child. There are so many books that I am reading now with my daughter and this includes most of the books of the Enid Blyton series. So you can imagine, I am as much in awe with these books as is Pari cause we both are reading them for the first time.

      I love your writing and more so your calming presence in my life. I know it might sound like a strange thing to read, but I often feel a connect with the people I have come to know through their words. I always look forward to your take on all that I scribble on my blog, because you have a way of saying things that should matter in a way that I can’t help but admire.

      Feel blessed to have met you through the blog ❤

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      1. You do the same for me too, and I think we both have an amazing connection and understanding of each other through the writing, as mothers wanting to nurture our children with words and knowledge and sense of goodness as humans. I look forward to your writing very much. You are wise beyond your tender years and I learn lots from you. Oh and I am so so joyful you feel I can offer you comfort, this is something I want you to feel and know I am always present to offer you a soft place to land. I am blessed too to get to discover you !

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  2. Beat About The Book

    I love newsy posts like this one. You’re lucky exams are through for Pari. H and N’s begin this week. Long way to go. In class five they took their first exam ever. I am no longer sure if that’s a good idea. Ultimately they have to fit into the Indian education system so it’s not a bad idea to let them get used to it from the start.
    How are you able to get through the day if you wake up in the middle of the night? I seem to have quite the opposite problem – I seem to need 8 hours of sleep at least!

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    1. Just now rescued your comment from the spam folder 🙂
      It was pretty tough in the start, waking up at 2 or 3. But what has come to be is, I wake up around 2 am, write a piece or read 15-20 pages of the book am reading and then sleep around 3 am to wake up at my routine time. This way, my body doesn’t seem to register the fatigue (that it initially did) and I carry with my day normally. Though I do sleep 7 hours every night, in total.
      My nephew struggled with the exams when he had them for the first time in class 3, that made me think, Pari is okay with having exams right from the start 🙂
      Good Luck to H & N for their exams ❤

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  3. Hey, it’s good you inculcating in Pari the joy of reading and I am sure she will sink in this blissful experience. Hope she is recovering fine now. Gastro can be painful. I’ve been reading on Kindle since two years from now and did make an effort to finish off 100 pages book. Congrats on that. It has its minuses and to be honest, I have it on my Ipad because some books are so shit expensive to order, being out of India. But, nothing beats printed books. Love this song from Julie. I am also not taking part in A to Z. I’ve done it for three years and feels it’s more than enough. It has its own pluses and minuses.

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    1. Completely agree on how kind e-books are on the wallet, and that has been one of the major reasons why I have been working on reading more e-books than I like. Though I have read just one 300+ page book as of now, but I feel reading on an e-reader went way faster than my speed of reading a paperback. This has tempted me to try it on another thick book on my wish list.

      I’ve done the AtoZ challenge just once (last year) and trying to stick to daily blogging without affecting the quality of the content I post on my blog was too exhausting for me to even consider doing it all over again.

      Yes, Gastro can be cruel, especially in children. But Pari is doing better now. Thank you, Vishal for being around and for those much-needed good wishes 🙂

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  4. My Mom always bought a book set and I love them. I hope Pari feels better soon. It is sad to know that you are not participating in the A to Z this year. I dropped by to check and know if you are and if not, to implore. All the best for your plans and I hope it comes out really good 🙂

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    1. You are an inspiration for the A to Z Challenge and I can safely say, you were one of my major driving forces to take up the challenge last year. I can’t wait to read your sensational recipes this year too.
      Pari is feeling better now and may I add, I absolutely loved the pictures and updates from your recent vacation ❤
      More power to you Shalzzz and best wishes for the A to Z Challenge!

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  5. I have a 7 yr old and a 12 yr old at home and I can understand how stressful it is for both the parent and child when the child falls sick. It’s great that you have started introducing your kid to books, it’s the right age. I started at this age too and it’s amazing how wonderfully they pick up.

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  6. I hope Pari is feeling a lot better now! Its always the moms who stress when the kids fall ill. And summer readings sound fun. I am planning to do the same for Sam, though with all the kids in the neighbourhood, I wonder how much he will actually get to…

    Happy holidays!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Having kids in the neighbourhood to play with can be the best way to spend holidays. Kids in our neighbourhood are all many years elder to Pari, so she has my company in all mischief and play. Yes, she is back to her healthy self.
      Thank you dear for the warm wishes.
      Happy Holidays to you and Sam too ❤️

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  7. Nice to read your updates after a while.. hope Pari is doing good now. weather is getting better here and just today morning I was reminding kids to stay hydrated and finish the water from their bottle. wake up at 2 or 3 and read or write? do you sleep after that or no? hugs dear.. hope you liked the book that you were able to get finally.. I prefer reading paper books too 🙂 waiting to know about your plan for the blog 🙂

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    1. Pari is well now and it has gotten very hot at our end. I have finally given up the crazy routine of waking up at 2 or 3 in the morning as it was affecting my whole day, leaving me very tired in the evenings.

      The good thing about e-books are that I always finish them faster than is the case with paper books. For now, e-books are my option only for the books that are very costly in their paperback versions.

      Happy Summers to you Ani and lots of love to Adi and LHB ❤️

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  8. Hope Pari is doing well now. Introducing the habit of reading is a great step and I Am sure she’s going to be enjoying that. Kids illness do take a toll on the parent.

    The recovery journey is always long and the tough one.

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