Thursday, March 14, 2013

The New Routine- Aloka

Life is totally changed for all of us since we moved here with mommy. I want to remember these early days and thus this post.

I wake up around 6:45 am everyday, usually with mommy calling out to me to have tea. When I get to their room, Aloka is always up, chatting away to her nani and cuddling her babies- witchy and barney. We drink tea and chat a bit and after that I get busy making breakfast and school snack for Aloka. Breakfast is sometimes sausages, sometimes nuggets and once in a while dosa or egg. Snack is usually a single slice sandwich, with tomato or salami and cheese. A few times that I sent a parantha, it came back half eaten. While Aloka eats her breakfast in bed, I take Anakin out for his big and small jobs. He is done quickly and then it's back to Aloka and getting her ready for school, which involves brushing teeth, changing clothes and doing her hair. We are all set to leave by 7:40 am. Nowadays Sanjay drives us, though mom did the driving for the first 4 weeks. 

After I am back, mom and I have breakfast. Breakfast is usually mom's domain- she makes the best omelettes ever. Sometimes I make eggs and toast. The next hour is my personal time. I check my mail and FB, write if I feel like, play SCRAMBLED left over from the previous night, and get ready for the day. Asha, our house help, comes in after 10 am and it is then that I start thinking of what to cook for lunch. Usually it is some freshly cooked vegetables with chapattis- the stuff I am just learning to cook from mom and Asha. Among the vegetables I have recently learned to cook are turnips and methi saag. Asha also readies some ingredients (usually onion and tomatoes, and sometimes boiled potatoes) for the dinner I have planned by then. 

We go to pick up Aloka around noon and are back by 12:30 pm. After eating lunch, it is homework time for Aloka. Depending on the weather, we take our work table and chair either outside to the back veranda overlooking the khadd or inside in mom's bedroom. We work together for about 40 minutes. Her interest in doing her work never ceases to amaze me- she genuinely enjoys studying and learning- my genes! Lately, she has become quite independent at doing her work, giving me time for one more round of SCRAMBLED.

After that, I bathe her (due to the cold, she is bathing on alternate days, with hair washing only twice a week) and change her. Then it is TV time for her based on an agreement between nani and grand-daughter. TV time is limited to 2 hours, though there are days when I get too busy with the other house and she gets to lose herself for another hour. In these 2-3 hours, Aloka demands food almost continually. This is such a new behavior, or perhaps it was happening earlier in Singapore too but I didn't know for I was busy at work. She gets only fruits and vegetables as snacks. It is my way of turning a bad habit (eating while watching TV) into something at least somewhat healthy. Luckily for her, she loves the stuff. 

We go out for a walk around 5 pm and are usually back in an hour after a 3-4 km walk. Anakin always comes with us for these long walks. Aloka has no choice but to come with us. She walks with us happily with just a bit of complaint towards the end when she is tired. As long as we talk to her and makes jokes or riddles, she is happy to walk with us and enjoy the sights just as we do.

When we get back, it is activity time for Aloka. I have brought many activity books from Singapore, which keep us both occupied. I get dinner ready while Aloka colors or makes jig saw puzzles. She eats by 7 and is in bed by 7:30pm. After doing our high-point low-point discussions for the day, Aloka goes to sleep in her nani's bed, with instructions for me to sleep with her for a short while. After she is asleep, I play my games one more time and then savor the next couple of hours as my alone time in my bedroom that I share with Anakin. If there is any consulting work to be done, I do it mostly in period. 

So that's how I spend my days nowadays. With the move to Anu's house next week, there will be changes. For one, we are both joining a dance class from 4:30 to 5:30 pm on week days. Luckily, days are getting longer and I hope we can still do our evening walks with mommy.

Next post about how life has changed for Anakin. 

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