Parenting lessons on a kite flying day.

I see the kite flutter in the wind. Head held high it sways and makes its way to the blue, blue sky. 

It looks happy. It knows it belongs there. 

I zoom out my camera lens a tad bit and I see a hundred more kites joining in together, delighted to be up above the world so high. It’s a breathtaking sight. 

I squint as the sun shines bright but I can’t take my eyes off the hundreds of kites that are dancing to the tune of the wind. 

And I think to myself, kite flying is an art. You can’t hold the string too tight nor too loose. You must know when to pull it back and when to let it go, so that the kite can gracefully spread its wings and make its way to touch the sky. 

A little like parenting, I thought. Isn’t it? You can’t be too strict nor too lenient. You must know when to pull that string and yes when to let it go. 

The wind is going to take your precious kite up, up and away but you hold on to the string so that she doesn’t lose her way.

Show her the direction and then let the wind do its job; but you secretly let the kite know that you’ve got her back. 

Let go a little so that you can witness a breathtaking sight of your kite gracefully finding her way to get her piece of the sky. 

I don’t know how to fly a kite, but I am learning to give my daughter her wings. 
For one day she will also want a big chunk of that blue, blue sky.

Little I didn’t know what a kite was when she woke up this morning. 
And I didn’t know what a kite could teach a mother this morning. 


What happens when a mother takes up a challenge of reading 52 books in 52 weeks.

Last year, I took up the daunting task of reading 52 books in 52 weeks.

Day one and my two year old almost drowned the first book into the tub.
And I was convinced that this was going to be tougher than I had thought. Nevertheless, I decided to stick to my plan and wanted to see how far I would go.

I read when little I napped.

I read an extra hour in the night after she slept.

I read for a few minutes while she was busy in the garden or was singing in her bathtub.

Basically, I read in every little gap that I got.

Those gaps weren’t enough and they didn’t last for long.

Every time little I saw me with a book she either wanted me to read it aloud as if it was her book or she wanted to read the book herself.

Sometimes she wanted to sit on it and make it a chair or sleep on it and make it a pillow.

Once she turned it into a plate and served me biscuits on it.

And then she wanted to roll it, fold it or colour in it.

To finish one book a week I had to read enough pages a day. So to keep little I entertained and to continue with the task I once started reading the book as if it were a song.

Beautiful lines from Love In The Time Of Cholera turned into a nursery rhyme that did not rhyme.

Lines from The Hundred Foot Journey became a song about food and spices that no one had heard before.

Some lines were sung to the tune of twinkle twinkle little star, some tried to sound like baa baa black sheep.

I even tried reading the book aloud in different voices. Sometimes in a donkey’s voice or like a lion, and once I even tried to sound like a chipmunk.

It made little I laugh and it helped me to finish some pages.

This went on for about 12 weeks. Little I was entertained while I managed to finish 12 books.

And then my challenge took an interesting turn.

Little I started to bring to me anything and everything that looked like a book and would order me to read it.
Which meant that whatever she got me I had to read it aloud for her.

It started in a sane way with her storybooks and nursery rhyme books.

Then it moved on to other things that looked like books to little I.

Home delivery menu booklet. Read. Aloud.
Pamphlets that made their way home from malls. Done. Three weeks old newspaper. Resident notices. Instruction manuals. Picture books. Magazines. Happy Wednesday booklets distributed at supermarkets.

We read it all, aloud.

Did I mention we also “read” colouring books

My mouth hurt. Her enthusiasm grew.

I remember, once I almost told her to go and read the book herself, hoping for a miracle that a two year old would suddenly start reading.

And she got me another book, this time an old DIY instruction manual on how to assemble a cupboard and ordered me to “read!” And we did.

My challenge had stopped at 12 amazing books but the next 40 reads gave us our little stories.

And even though the task of reading 52 books in 52 weeks was officially over on 28 April 2015, I still have a few more years to read aloud storybooks, pamphlets and some more colouring books to my two year old.