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Shopping with children is fun and instructive too- Aug 29, 2012

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….

Green open spaces are best assets for a city: Summer picnic @ Leisure Valley- May 20, 2012

On a day when the maximum temperature was above 40 degrees C, some enthusiastic parents of kids in Aadyaa’s class decided to get together for a picnic. I must admit I considered the scheme rather addle brained and I wondered who would turn up!
As evening approached, I realised I wanted to go. These kids miss their friends during the long summer vacations and if anyone was taking the initiative to help them meet up, it was fair to attend .
And so we trudged to Gurgaon’s Rajiv Gandhi Renewable Energy Park, set in a green belt known as Leisure Valley and better known for its eatery Roots Cafe that serves a sumptuous veggie fare. Despite the heat, which gave way to a violent dust storm, which turned into a squall and finally ended in a bit if welcome pitter patter, there were a few hundred families all gathered to enjoy the open space and exercise, from a variety of backgrounds. In half an hour, we saw our kids make new friends cutting across the usual social barriers of class and income. We saw families spending quality time, parents and children discovering new challenges and overcoming them together on the various play equipment. Clean air, healthy lifestyle, the experience of a vibrant public space, unfortunately, elements often absent from the lives of our privileged protected kids! If anyone needed proof about why green open public spaces are a city’s best asset, here it is!







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