A quick trip to the supermarket with both kids in tow was the highlight of the day. I hadn’t been too chirpy all day and was on the verge of copping out, but Aadyaa insisted we go and Udai tagged along as well. Busybees that they are, both of them wanted to actively participate. Aadyaa clambered onto the shopping cart and I was supposed to pick stuff off the shelf and hand it to her and then she put things into the cart. We didn’t have a shopping list today, so Udai was running around finding the stuff I needed as and when I remembered it.
Fortunately, we know the layout of Needs Gourmet in Vatika City by now. So we know the cereals come first, then the jams and peanut butter stuff, then the namkeens, then the biscuits, then the boring stuff (aata, sugar, besan, dals, oil, etc), then soaps and cosmetics (which we never buy from here), then the noodles and pasta, then the drinks and finally the refrigerated stuff like cheese and butter. I was amazed to find Udai remembered where to get what from, even though he isn’t a regular on this jaunt since we shop mostly while he is in school.
What I love about shopping with the kids is how much they observe and their unending curiosity! Do we need this mumma, do we need that? Why can’t we buy that? Do you have enough money? Why have they packed so many packs in a bigger pack? When something is free with something else, what does it mean? Do we have this at home? Yes? then we don’t need to pick this up, right? And so on and so forth. (All those questions were actually asked today, not making this up!)
It is absolutely thrilling to pick stuff from the cart and put it on the billing counter. Aadyaa did all of that for me today. I keep wondering how excited they would be to see a standard Walmart type of set up where the moving conveyor belt system operates!
Udai also commented on how expensive he thought things are. He was genuinely shocked at the total and much amused by the length of the piece of paper that the little machine spat out, the bill! It set the stage for a discussion on food costs, why food must not be wasted, how processed food costs more and why it is good to buy as much as we need, not stock months and months ahead. On the ride back, he read every item on the bill aloud. His tone made it clear which were his favorites and which were of no interest to him.
Helping with the shopping means the kids know roughly what’s in stock, what ingredients are needed for what, etc. It also means they’ve picked up what they sort of like (the no junk food rule is sacrosanct at our place though, and exceptions can only be picked up by parents!). Consequently, they have a healthy interest in cooking and make good little sous chefs! Aadyaa helped out with the chicken tonight, for instance. To top it all, they love to eat what they bought and cooked, so mealtimes are effortless too 🙂 I wish I had taken a pic of Aadyaa gobbling up the chicken….
Udai watches the Olympics coverage for a short while every single day, he alogisde my grandmum they make an endearing sight! He is fascinated by the wide array of sporting disciplines he is discovering for the very first time. In the nation obsessed with cricket, we are still restricted to a few sports even from the spectatorship point of view. Tennis, golf, football pretty much does it beyond cricket.
I have caught glimpses of the Olympics as well. My favorites have always been gymnastics, diving, swimming and track events. The rest of it is by the way and I cannot really sit through a game of badminton or hockey if its on the telly.
In that sense, I think I have become jaded as I age. As a child, I watched sports or anything new in fact with total fascination. There were lots of questions and I remember my dad answering many queries about how scoring is done, why specific countries are so good at something (Gymnasts came from the USSR in our time. Period.) and others are not. Why this, how that..it went on. And many of the kids and adults around me were involved in the spectacle of the Olympics (or other similar sporting events) despite getting restricted coverage on Doordarshan!
Today, we live in a medal tally culture. I find Indians are interested only in the sports where we might stand a chance for a medal, no matter how slim the chance is- shooting, badminton, wrestling, boxing, tennis, hockey..that’s it. Considering how slim the chances are, it would probably make more sense to enjoy the Olympics for the spirit of good sport, as a way to celebrate what human bodies and minds can achieve- impossible speed, incredibly flexibility, wonderful grace, immense strength and the attributes of discipline, focus and utter dedication that a sportsperson must have.
Udai and me spoke about this and I feel bad that I missed this opportunity to follow the Olympics in detail. To search for new role models, to get inspired, to wonder, smile and learn together. I was too caught up in my life, else I could have given my child and myself a special experience. Maybe its not too late to ask him about what he thinks when he watches the Olympics everyday. Maybe its not too late for me to learn, through him.