February 25, 2019

Who decides? Who eats?

I usually do not force my children to finish the entire food that 'I' have filled their plates with.

DD2, around 8 months of age, at every meal time, almost for an entire month, only looked for curd on the dining table. I let her eat it, till she said 'enough'.

DD2, 1.5 year, said no to dal rice, for a period close to a month again. She would eat some curry and then curd rice. I let her eat, till she said 'enough'. 

DD2, 1y 8m old, wanted to eat more of dal rice and then curd rice. Used to mix curry pieces in the dal rice. I let her eat, till she said 'enough'.

DD2, 2 yo, asks for what she wants, mixes the food with her own hands, eats curry, dal and curd. Likes rasam, even drinks some plain rasam in a glass. I let her eat, till she said 'enough'.

DD2, 2y 3m old, says her favorite curry is beans and paneer. Every meal, she has been asking for beans, these days. When the ingredients are  available, I prepare, when not available, I explain. 

No force, no threat, no coercion. 

The way a child is now will not be the same as how she would be 20 years later in life. Children will definitely explore if the environment to open up is provided. 

I never ate tomato even in my mid-20s. Now, I like tomato with every vegetable. What is needed is the freedom to open up. 

Let the child be. Let the child explore. Let the child decide what she wants. Let the child be explained if what she wants is not available at that moment. Let the child learn in all and every circumstance. 



Open Learning - Another day that went by

Not one day passes by without the little ones fighting with each other, teasing each other, falling over on each other (literally) and not saying 'I said wait' at each other.

Yet, every day is wonderful, every day brings some learning to the family, every day is realized to be brighter at bed time when we start thanking all our body parts, all the elements of universe, the food we ate, the air we breathed in and the earth we stamped on. There is way too much to be grateful for. And, we should be grateful for all of it!

Things that my kids do without school, at home, without force, without control, on their own intention, would vary from making something out of cardboard, making books, phones with cardboard, writing down numbers, playing pretend doctor or pretend kitchen or pretend *almost every single thing on this earth* to reading(assisted) continuously almost for an hour, playing monopoly, sweeping their rooms, balcony, mopping their room, cleaning balcony with water, sewing(assisted), digging in sand, making castles, bridges, mountains, pretend stories with sand, asking me to sing bhajans, cycling, running, greeting neighbors, playing with kids around.

Sometimes, I would immediately pen down some key points of what my kids do, but, I do not get to record all of their activities and thoughts all the time.

Today is just one day when I am taking some time to write down all that happened today.

Woke up at around 6 30 AM, rolled in bed until 7 AM. Went to terrace, lay down mat and sat to do some coloring with crayons as I was finishing up my work at the terrace. Then, exercised/yoga for some time. Went down to brush, had some yummy and favorite fruits. Greeted our neighbor. Ask for real laddle, tadka seeds, water, pan, glass, sieve, vessel to do some pretend kitchen with real items around. Filtered water+seeds mixture as well.

Have breakfast. Recite Rudram and Mantra Pushpam(assisted).

Pretend play a story with rideons. Had some wafers that they saved from previous days. Watch a series of hindi stories. Both get their bags that they store their favorite play/learn items. Arrange a pretend fruit basket. Eyed on a box that has a separate box fit inside it. Made a pretend mixer game with it and some tiny items around. Then, she says, it should remain soaked for 3 days then it becomes pickle(like the way we adults make lemon pickle that she had seen us doing it earlier). Next, both of them cleaning the sink with scrub, brush and soap that they claim has become bright, and bright and brightest.

Lunch time.

Play on rideons. Read a story book(assisted). Play with pom-pom, Pretend game that cleans all your skin to remove dirt. Asked me to browse on google to learn about different breeds of dogs. Asked me to find a shop where they sell pet animals. We also read about adoption or helping animals at rescue centers. She searched for toy dogs and toy cats on amazon(though not ordered).

Snacks time.
Some fruits. Baked a cake together. Ate the cake together. Went cycling, sand play, cycling, share the cake with neighbor.
Dinner time. Play some hand-action games.

Sleep time. Thank the universe for a happy day. Sleep.