Reliving the dada-dadi, nana-nani experience this summer
Dadi ke haath ke laddoo, nani kee neend walee masaage... here are a few things we're doing this summer!
The sun is being really ruthless and looks like the sweltering heat is here to stay, at least for a month or so. But even then, some things about this hot month are helping us in a few ways that may bring a smile on your face too.
Yes, I am talking about these days of summer vacation, or the kids’ garmi ki chhutti.
Unlike most other parents, I don’t always go out with the kids during the summer vacation. With work and other things on my mind, we indulge with them through their vacations, taking them here and there and maybe making small weekend trips. But in most cases, I don’t really take them out for weeks or the entire vacation, unlike a lot of their friends.
So this year, I decided to take them out for the entire duration of their summer vacation, and yes, it meant taking them to both sets of grandparents.
My children are almost 10 and 4 now. The elder one is already in her tweens, the new term that signifies the ages between 8 and 14, when the child is somewhere between childhood and teens (though I definitely don’t believe we need another word called tween!!), and she has already created a world of her own that she loves to live in, with her books, her art and her thoughts. The younger one is still in that exploratory
The younger one is still in that exploratory zone and loves to meet people and do new things. So before she too hit that phase where she would rather be left to herself, I wanted her to experience things that would later help her form her own set of childhood memories.
There is so much we can do with our children that can help develop those bonds of childhood. With most of us living in nuclear families, their experiences become very limited. Not just that, I feel that with so much exposure at such a young age and life becoming more virtual than ‘real,’ they barely get to experience the real fun that most of us associate with our childhood.
5 fun things that are bringing back the dada-dadi, nana-nani experience
So, the plan was on, and here are a few things we did, and are still doing, that are bringing back those smiles to me and the kids, and helping us relive and make new memories, all over again!
1. Dadi ke haath ke laddoo: I don’t remember ever getting to do this with my dadi, as she was already pretty old from the time I remember meeting her, but I remember the homemade sweets that my nani would make, and sometimes let me help her too.
It meant a lot, being her assistant, and I always felt that I was the one who finally helped make those delicious desserts. As my MIL loves making laddoos and the kids love it too, it was great to see them sit down and help make those typical Indian sweets at home.
2. Light chali gayi: How many of you remember the common sigh that we would let out the moment the electricity conked off in the evening? Growing up in Delhi, I remember the lights going off and everyone going up on the terrace, chatting with neighbours and playing, spending time outdoors to avoid the heat.
And then, as the lights came back on, everyone shouting at the same time, ‘aa gayi!!’. So this time, when the lights went off in Delhi, I took the kids on the terrace, made them look up at the sky and check out the stars, and just use the time to chat.
3. Table ka tent: I remember doing this so much at my grandparents’ place, making those hiding places under the table where we would sit with cousins who had all come visiting for the summer vacations. This was always the fun place to be in, hiding away from parents and aunts and relatives, sneaking in snacks and pickles, and spending hours chatting and playing silly games, avoiding bath times and being naughty kids.
4. Pressure cooker cake: This was way before any of us got a microwave home, and my grandparents never had one. In fact, my parents never had one either, and it was only after I had my own kids that I got a microwave, and only recently my parents got one too.
So, it was always pressure cooker cake for us, and the fun of making one at home, on the gas, was worth the wait. So this summer vacation, this is another fun thing I made my kids experience, especially as the older one is very interested in baking and found this a different kind of an experience.
5. Neend waali massage – Remember how we used to fall asleep to that super relaxing massage that dadis and nanis would do? My nani would always put me to sleep by gently massaging some oil in my hair, then making soft circles on my head and back and moving on to the arms.
And I never realized when I would fall asleep to the soft voice of my nani telling me bedtime stories. So this vacation, the kids are having enough of that from their nani.
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