Toddler Summers

I never thought I’d fall in love with Summer again.

Memories of walking to swim practice, weekend swim meets, reading books from the library as I lazily watch the summer showers beat down on my aunt’s house in Potomac, evenings with fireflies and locusts buzzing dissolved slowly as I progressed from college to grad school to “adult” life.

And here I am with my Son, reliving and enjoying new memories with him as a fully mobile, loud-mouthed, opinionated toddler with a lot to say and no rationale or logic to back it up.

And the melt downs, oh my, so fun. I wish I could stop laughing publicly at him, or even in private, but the melt downs are kind of too much fun.

So there are two camps in managing the tantrums – you can either cater to them or ignore them. I’ve created the third camp, laugh at them. It’ll probably screw him up, but that’s what parenting is for, no?

So far, the adventures have been a week in Newport for a Peruvian-Hindu wedding, and a Sunday at the zoo for Father’s day; weekends in between are all about the beach, the pool, and eating ice cream real late!

Valentine’s Day 2016

I’ve realized that I’ve become a “survival” parent rather than the thriving parent I thought I would be (or that my wife and I could be).

This may be a mixed post on self-reflection and/or a critique on our society.

Having our son in daycare has really opened my eyes to what other parents get their children involved in on a day to day basis – some parents, for instance brought in little Valentine’s Day cards (that they clearly wrote on behalf of their toddlers), while some brought in nut-free food for kids to enjoy/share.

Since we’re still in the throws of crib-training (after a 6 month break), we barely have enough energy to get up, get him ready for school, and physically get to work in the mornings. I started wondering though, when my wife showed me the Valentine’s day card, how my mom would help me do those when I was in elementary school (so clearly I was much older), and immediately felt like one of those “burn out” parents. Then I quickly jumped to explaining it away, citing potential reasons for “their ability” over “our ability” to do these superlatives (maybe the husband or wife are stay-at-homes, maybe one of them works part-time, maybe one of them xxxxxxx).

It’s a nasty habit to get into, comparing yourselves to others, but all of us do it, since it’s only human to be comparative. This inherent “peer pressure” starts early, as early as day care, as I learned, since my son is capable of drinking out of cups, feeding himself (probably not as much as we’d stuff him), engaging in social behavior, etc. due to other peers conducting their business as such. It’s herd mentality – if everyone else is doing it, I should too!

I’m not an anthropologist, and am the farthest thing from being an expert on psychology, but I know when I’m being absurd, and realized as much when I was getting defensive with  myself and how adequate of a parent I am – I’ve just come to accept that my son well have to understand that his Mom and Dad will probably never bake cupcakes for his classroom, but we’ll buy vegan ones for his class mates; we’ll probably never do hand written cards, but could potentially order them online in time for his class. What we are good at doing is making sure he gets to school semi-on time 🙂

It was amazing to see how times have changed over the year…here’s a little before and action fun!

The long road ahead to being a Toddler – Christmas 2015

I’m thankful there was a little snow on the ground this morning, so I had an excuse to not feel guilty on not posting about the holiday season. One thing I’ve noticed about toddlers as they approach the 18 month mark, is that their brains are growing faster than their bodies, so you’re sort of battling with their egos more than their physical determination.

The holiday shenanigans were great, and we were blessed to have all the grand parents and cousins around to celebrate. I was even surprised with a cake to celebrate my promotion that happened just before the holidays – cake, wife, family, an awesome toddler. What more could I ask for?


The Birthday Week Post – 2015

Malhotra Boys Birthday Week

We made it to the summer, and we survived the first year.

They say everything gets better with time, and they also warn you that when you’ve reach time XX, you would’ve cleared all the issues preceding XX, and that you will now be in a place/time/space continuum where your child won’t do YY any longer.

F it. You think you raise your child, but in fact, they are gently guiding you along. You make boundaries, you train, you reinforce – but all those things are because your child is open and willing to adapt to your requirements. Your child may or may not do YY any longer, but they’ll start doing AA or BB a few days later.

I am over the moon happy that the first year is over – the growth, both physical and emotional, is daunting and I’m frankly surprised little babies don’t run around crabby the entire time. He hasn’t stopped teething, hasn’t ever succumbed fully to being sleep trained, and frankly refuses to stop moving – but I love every ounce of him for it. My son is in a relentless rush to do something all the time for no reason at all, and that passion and intensity reminds me of myself. So who am I to blame him for opening every drawer, throwing every toy, opening every door, and running around everywhere when he literally has nothing better to do but to explore the world he was brought into!

His birthday party was great, and those pictures, along with his 10, 11, and 12 month pictures (11 and 12 weren’t actually taken), will eventually make it up to the blog…but until then, I’ve learned a few things about the 1st year birthday party:

  1. It’s for you, not for your child.
  2. It’s a celebration that you survived.
  3. Don’t kill yourself or go over board – because you still have to take care of him that night and clean up the next day!
  4. Determine a budget and stick with it (these birthday themes are GREAT at killing budget, aka Etsy)

Now that we’ve transitioned more into solids, life has become mildly easier. I spent MY birthday this morning taking him to get his first blood draw so our pediatrician can give us the green light for cow’s milk – not the best way to start the day for anybody, let alone a 1 year old. Once the milk transition is done, he will be a bonafide mini-me. The best part is I didn’t have to teach him any of the snooty crap I fall prey to – he hates pasta sauce that’s plain (garlic, a little spice, and some slow simmering please!), loves ketchup on everything (who doesn’t?), and enjoys a mean espresso in the morning (Dunkin Donuts what?)

After our lovely experience at the hospital, he showed off his manual dexterity by eating his entire lunch on his own, in a high chair, at a restaurant, without throwing more than 1 fit. #success.

36 years later, I’m still learning, and still grateful that my parents invested all of the love, time, and effort into making me the father and man I am today. I hope 35 years from now, Aarya feels the same way (if not, he can hopefully read about me bitching about him on this blog, if the internet still exists in the future in a 2 dimensional form).