Yesterday after Akshna took shower, I was putting cream on her and she was her usual chirpy way. She looked at my jeans and said, “Papa I like your jeans. When I grow up, can I keep your jeans?”. I looked at her and she seemed semi-serious and I imagined the time when she’s grown up and looks back at her childhood fondly. Looking at the keepsakes from her childhood, she remembers the happy and fun memories and feels good about them.
*love brimming over*
When Akshna was leaving for school, I gave her a hug and a kiss and told her, “Have fun, be a good girl”. She replied, “You too” and burst out laughing. She couldn’t stop laughing when telling Tina, “Mamma, I told papa to be a good girl”.
Akshna had her first tooth come out yesterday. We were at a local fair with Kaustabh and family and after that we went to Olive Garden for dinner. At parking, she came running to me and very excitedly, showed me her tooth. Needless to say, she was very excited about that. The tooth was carefully wrapped in a napkin and placed on her bed’s side table. The tooth fairy had to struggle to find $5 cash lying around, but eventually it was handled and the money placed appropriately.
I’m calling her “toothless” for now.
We celebrated Akshna’s 6th birthday party today, at Oak Canyon Nature Park. Same place we did last 2 years as well. With temperature in 90s during the week, we were very concerned about how it’ll go in the park. But thankfully, it wasn’t as bad. It was breezy and cool under the shade. We went for a small hike and then got to touch some animals.
I remember when Akshna woke up on her birthday on 24th, she stood up next to me and said, “Papa, I think I grew taller today”. She compared her height to me and asserted that she had grown taller now that she’s 6.
Akshna has a cold. Yesterday, she told me, “So you can kiss me but I can’t kiss you, right? Otherwise you’ll get cold germs too!”. I told her that I’d take having cold germs over not getting the kisses anytime.
Yesterday, we went to see the new Disney movie, Big Hero 6. The movie was nice, and even more amazing to me was that the moment Avi stepped out of the movie, he told me he’d really want to go to a school like that where they build cool stuff like robots etc. If that’s the only thing he takes from the movie, I’d be very satisfied.
The movie is about a young kid who loves to build robots. His elder brother convinces him to apply to his school so he can channel his creative energy into building something useful. The kid is convinced when he goes to see the lab where his brother works. Isn’t that an ideal situation, where kids with amazing creative talent can be inspired to use it to build something useful? In real world, it’s not that easy but something that we continuously strive to achieve. And I’m going to continue to do that with Avi and Akshna. Building their creative instincts is the start, helping them channel them into something useful is the end goal. If what they create changes the world in a good way, that will be gravy.
This Saturday we finally got time to get Avi started with learning WeDo. We started with the first few steps of learning, which involved building a simple 2 gear model connected to the motor and then learning about driver, follower and idler gears. We also did step up and step down gears.
It felt like Avi immediately picked up the instructions. When doing driver/follower gear, it was clear to him that they are turning in opposite directions and adding idler gear serves the purpose of making them spin in same direction. What felt good was that Avi was immediately picking up these engineering concepts. When he went: “oohh so that’s why…”, it felt great. In fact, reading about step up/step down gears helped me understand how gears works as well.
On Sunday morning, he was working on WeDo when I woke up. He built a model from the Activity book with a giant which gets woken up by Mia/Max. He went through programming the model and telling the story to Mom. I hope he continues down this path of learning STEM concepts. Once Akshna gets old enough, I will include her as well. But it feels that spark is already there. It’s already there in Avi obviously, where he is reading and learning a lot, and asking questions and having conversations. Also, I’m happy to say that there seems to be an expectation of competency in this area. When Akshna asked if she’s too young to play with WeDo, I told her that it’ll be her turn soon. Then Avi said that in sometime he’ll move on to the next step to Mindstorms and Akshna will be ready to play with WeDo.