Time Merciless - Finite Moments

How many times have you sat wondering about the merciless, ever-increasing speed at which time is whizzing past your head?

I often find that life is getting more and more dramatically hectic, a hole day in which I used to achieve so much more, learn so much more, get so many more things done is now just a blip on some sort of a personal event horizon!  And now, based on some rumination, I feel it snot going to slow down anytime soon - unless I plan to retire from the humdrum of routine work for a livelihood!

What I realise now is that it is the perception of time that is speeding up. You see, when I was a kid, bright eyed, clean slate, not a care in the world, ready to be programmed and molded, say at 10 years of age - the next year of life would have been a whopping 10% of my life experience. That is a huge, ginormous number!! Fast forward to today - I am a thirty-nine-year-old, slightly worn at the edges, cynical,over-committed human being who is relishing the many battles still to come my way. The next year will make up just 2.5 percent of my experience and, once over, will be deposited promptly into the database of my life alongside all the other previous years. It’ll be seen as a hell of a quick one. And the next one will be even quicker.

What do I do now? I am still bound by the rhythm of this society that is in chaos - an ever growing moral and emotional chaos - that just keeps drifting faster and faster. These and other thoughts keep growing, the ever rapid pace of technological advancements, our need to adapt, the social media that has encroached into every nook and corner of our lifestyles - all add to the panic. How then do we bring sense to our lives?

Here's what I make of all this. I look at life as a collection of some good (hopefully some ecstatic) moments in a sea of averageness – and sometimes downright misery. I try to make those moments meaningful. I try to be aware every time I experience something good in life. I try freezing that point in the space-time continuum – no matter how brief it might be.

You’re drinking a glass of water: don’t forget to remind yourself how wonderful every sip is. You’re embracing a person you love: love every second. You’re re-shaping the country’s health care: step away in your mind and appreciate how blessed you are.

There are a finite number of moments in which you feel you can defeat the merciless march of time. Make them count.

Keep your infant safe

Winter often means an increase in the number of babies dying from sudden infant death syndrome. That's usually because parents place extra blankets or clothes on infants. Here are some tips:
  • Unless there's a medical reason, infants should sleep on their backs on a firm mattress without blankets or fluffy bedding under or over them.
  • Be careful with extra clothing because it may cover the infant's nose and mouth.
  • If a blanket is necessary, put it no higher than a baby's chest and make sure the blanket is tucked under the crib mattress.
  • The crib should not have pillows and stuffed toys, and the temperature in the baby's room should feel comfortable to an adult.
  • Don't smoke around a baby.
  • Make sure everyone who cares for a baby knows that infants should be placed to sleep on their backs.

The Puffin Book of Folktales - A World Book

So for World Book Day, Flipkart in collaboration with Penguin and UNESCO has come up with an exclusive book, The Puffin Book of Folktales

Ten timeless tales from India's finest writers. 

Explore an exciting and beautiful underwater world with Panna. Watch the little blue bird Podna fight a mighty king for his little brown Podni. Join Lord Ganesha on his quest for a pot of kheer. Read about lovelorn Lord Surya pining for his Harshringar, leaving the world in darkness. Help the dove get her egg back.

This is a motley treasury of ten-heart-warming folktales by master storytellers Ruskin Bond, Sudha Murty, Devdutt Pattanaik, Kamala Das, Paro Anand and many others, with each author adding their own special touch.

A delightful book, it brings to life India's glorious cultural heritage in all its richness, along with generous doses of fun. Truly, a collector's item!

I'm all excited to read this one and hopefully this summer vacation will be reading this out to the kids.

Check it out!

Why listening is important!

A wise, old owl sat on an oak,
The more he saw, the less he spoke.
The less he spoke, the more he heard,
Why can’t we all be like that bird?
The ancient Greek philosopher Zeno said that we have been given one mouth and two ears that we may hear more and talk less.

As parents and caregivers we are often so focused on imparting knowledge and giving direction, that we forget that it is equally important to listen to our children. 

Listening is important because it affects the way children see themselves. When adults listen to children it gives their words and feelings value. 

Listening is about two-way communication between adult and child - each valuing and respecting the views of the other. 

Children who are listened to are usually well adjusted and self-confident. 

Child abuse and listening to children

Every child has the right to be loved and cared for and to feel safe both at home and away from home. Children often try to tell adults if they have experienced abuse but it is very difficult and painful for them. They often feel ashamed and frightened and find it hard to find the right words to explain.

As adults we can make things easier for children by recognizing when a child is trying to talk about a difficult subject. We should get into the habit of listening to children so that they feel comfortable talking to us about their worries.

By building a trusting relationship with a child you will make it easier if he or she needs to tell you something that is hard to talk about.

Healthy habits for Children

Getting kids to eat healthfully and establish habits that will last a lifetime doesn’t have to be as daunting as it might first seem. Sure, kids are finicky and their tastes generally run more to hot dogs and tater tots than salmon and spinach, but there is hope.

Given the right tools, kids can learn to manage their weight in a way that works for them, without feeling deprived or “different”. There are five specific tools to use:

1. Cook (and eat) together as a family. Get kids into the kitchen with you and have them cut up fruit for a salad, or clean the broccoli. Older children can slice vegetables for a stir fry or learn how to make a killer marinade. Study after study has shown that children who participate in their own food preparation are more likely to eat the food they help prepare. In that same vein, eat together as a family. Aside from the other oft-reported benefits of eating together as a family, there is one crucial weight-management benefit: children learn how to eat healthy food. Eating together also allows you to notice what your children truly like and what they honestly don’t like. Cooking and eating together at one table allows you to talk about food, try new foods (think ethnic foods and exotic vegetables, for example) and encourage healthy eating.

2. Teach kids about food. Teach your children about where food comes from and they’ll be more likely to understand the benefit of eating healthfully versus eating packaged and processed foods. Sign your child up for a cooking class, one that has an emphasis on healthy foods and a true education component where children will be educated about the food as well as cooking methods. There are many cooking classes designed just for children, often offered by parks and recreation departments as well as private cooking schools. They won’t be making macaroni and cheese out of a box, but rather learning techniques for preparing fresh and whole foods.

3. Set a good example. It’s a mixed and unfair message to stand in the kitchen restricting your child’s food intake while drinking a soda and snacking on cheese puffs. You should set a good example by eating good foods, making smart choices and showing your children that you make healthy decisions for yourself.

4. Make it fun. Don’t make healthy eating dru
dgery. Go berry picking in the spring, or make a new healthy food challenge each week. Buy cookbooks and experiment with sauces and seasonings. Do whatever you think it will take to make healthy food interesting and desirable to your children.

5. Incorporate exercise. Help your children stay active by getting them involved in sports, or by incorporating activity into your home life, even if it’s just running around in the backyard after the dog or dancing for a few minutes after dinner each night. Take your kids to the gym with you, or organize a family bike ride on the weekends.

 Finally, always consult your child’s doctor before putting him or her on a diet. If you do think your child needs to lose weight, let the doctor weigh in first.