Double standards do not agitate me anymore. I have come to believe that most of us have three sets of standards: one that we set for ourselves and rationalise if we don’t attain, one that we set for others and judge instantly if they don’t attain and then there is the standard we set for our children. We want their lives to be fool proof and somehow ignore the whispers of wisdom to let them be. Every season has gifts to give and rain is always welcome after scorching summers. I used to love getting drenched, sipping warm tea and eating snacks at a roadside shack and dream away as I travelled on a wet evening. Ironically, I shield my daughter from the first trickle because it is acid rain; I think twice before giving her anything to eat, and travel cautiously. Gradually, I have learnt to let my child indulge in some zingy stuff. Monsoon also heralds a frenzied spell in the paediatric wards and we sort of rally around squeamishly till Christmas time. There is a tussle handling surplus beds, reports and distraught family members. So today I want to discuss some things which will let your little one enjoy the pleasures of this weather mindfully.
Preventive measures taken to ensure your child’s good health are certainly worth the effort. While we still have no licensed vaccines against dengue fever or malaria, the mosquitos carrying the tormentors can be done away with to a great extent. Please ensure that you have no areas with stagnant water in your surroundings, like empty flower pots, discarded tyres, the space below the air conditioner, construction debris, etc. These are ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Have your area sprayed with insecticides and get the drains securely closed when the rains are around the corner. Mosquito nets are more reliable than repellents. Citronella oil (can be added to the floor cleaning disinfectant or placed in a diffuser), camphor and clove (burnt in the evening time indoors) are effective natural remedies. Flies and rodents need to combatted as well if you live in Mumbai like I do. The species we encounter here are extraordinarily adapted for survival. A vigilant watch over bathroom and washbasin drains should be done before monsoons arrive. Ensure that food items are properly stored and covered.
Digestion slows down during this season and unlike us children may not be interested in fried snacks and dairy products. A diet that includes helpings of soups along with antioxidant rich veggies and fruits is more agreeable. So enjoy the pumpkins, bottle guards, bitter guards and bell peppers. Root vegetables and those which grow close to the soil (like cabbage) need to be washed thoroughly – avoid eating them raw. Sprout legumes at home in a dry area. Greens need not be avoided altogether. Steam the leaves before adding them to your recipes.