#OhBoy turned 5!

When we told #OhBoy that it was June 1st, he was thrilled that it was his birthday month. Everyday since he started doing a count down for his big day.

An young boy blowing his birthday candle

Finally last week #OhBoy turned 5! We had a small celebration at our home, followed by one at his school. We adults stopped celebrating our birthdays a while ago, but now we get to vicariously celebrate through him.

To have seen him grow from a hapless little being to one who constantly questions and challenges you on every damn thing, has been a wonderful thing. Sure parenting him has a been taxing, but it has also been one of the most satisfying things as well. I cannot stop to think how blessed I am to be working from home and being available for him every single day.

I thought I will define how he is today in terms to traits, but then I also realise it is a futile exercise as it is constantly changing. For now I am really happy for the times he shows us how thoughtful and kind he can be. I can only hope he hones more of that, than anything else!

#OhBoy got this done at his school for Father’s Day. Hope I like up to this expectation 😅

A hand-drawn, colored paper cutout of a superhero with text “Super Dad” on its chest lies on a textured grey background.

#OhBoy made this at school for Mother’s Day!

A Mother’s Day bouquet made out of flowers.

#OhBoy is learning to enjoy road trips, particularly those breaks 😊

A little boy enjoying his McD softy cone in a car

#OhBoy and the case of 🖕

Last week, it was just another day of vacation that was all fun, until we sat down for lunch. #OhBoy was arguing with my mom, I forget about what. But something she said irritated him a lot and he showed her the middle finger. 😮

This was not his first time. He did the same a few days ago, and I let it slide, thinking I misconstrued his gesture. This time, there was no doubt. There was a flash of anger in my face, but I was also sure that he was just showing off his anger, without knowing the actual meaning of the gesture.

I asked him what it was and where he learnt it from. Thus started our tussle. The entire lunch was a crying session, with him not wanting to talk about it or telling me where he picked it from. He switched excuses between — he does not remember, he does not want to tell, it meant a big heart, he read it in a dinosaur book, he dreamt about it etc. I kept at it, without shouting at him. I warned him that if I don’t get to know, then I will have to tell the school about it.

He clearly felt cornered. He understood it was a mistake, but did not want to reveal where he picked up this gesture from. At some level, I am amazed by his grit to not tell us the source. I wish he puts this grit to good use in his life.

He took his afternoon nap, under heavy threats and discussion. I spoke to my wife and also ended up reaching out to, what I call, my parenting council 1. I am writing down here the highlights of the points they told me, so it is helpful for those in similar situation.

  1. Don’t dig into the source too much, as these days there are a lot of stimuli, and it will be pointless to get the the origin of this gesture. And also you may never find out.
  2. Tell that the behaviour is unacceptable and in the family we are not hurtful or unkind to anyone.
  3. Make them promise this will not be repeated.
  4. If it happens next time, don’t react immediately, but bring it up later when settling down and tell that the behaviour was bad and not acceptable
  5. Talk about the anger and how they feeling and help them express it in a better way. Anger stems from a feeling of loneliness, not physically but emotionally no one is understanding them.
  6. Learn to stop ending arguments in one sitting and learn to stop and start conversations about it at a later point in time. Make him understand that while you are stopping the probe about it for now, it is still pending and you are awaiting for an answer. This will learn to take him, process and have the confidence to get back at a later point in time.
  7. This is just the beginning, brace yourself to do this routine again and again.

Armed with all these pointers, I woke up him from his nap and told him that I am letting go of the request for source, but I want him to promise that he will not do it ever again. And among us, no matter how difficult it is we will tell the truth and answer questions honestly. I also told him that I am not angry with him, but just trying to explain him what is right and wrong.

He seemed to be very relieved. He was all going overboard with his niceties in the evening! 😂


  1. My parenting council is a group of 3 moms, whose parenting style and ethos resonate with me. After my wife, they are the next ones I reach out to when I have a parenting crisis. Their thoughts and directions have immensely helped in how I grew up as a parent so far with #OhBoy ↩︎

This week #OhBoy has no school owing to Ramadan celebrations. So we went about our old routine of morning walks and coffee.

And this was his first time enjoying a chocolate filled donut. At each bite he was letting me know that it was very yummy!

A young boy, whose face masked is with an emoji, enjoying a chocolate filled donut.

The school was closed for #OhBoy, so we took a bus ride and stopped by at Bukit Damansara for a coffee. Our usual coffee shop was closed, but there were huge cheers from the pubs around. It is Super Bowl night, so we are here watching a game neither understand. 🤣


Little boy watching Super Bowl 2024 at a pub.

📽 Lion King, 1994 ★★★★★

Poster for the movie The Lion King

#OhBoy has been curious about movies off late and has been asking us questions about cinema halls, do those things happen in real to those on screen etc. We explained movies to him by drawing parallel to photos and videos on mobile phone.

We want him to experience the big screen, but have not been able to choose a movie appropriate for his age. So we decided to show one of my all time favourites — The Lion King. It also helped that he had a book version of the movie, handed down by his cousins. He knew the plot, so we were spared the usual flurry of questions 🙈

At the end of it, he really enjoyed the movie and I am glad that his first film was one of my favourites!

With a week off at school for Deepavali, #OhBoy and I are using each morning to a different activity. Yesterday we went off for a short hike at Kiara Hill Walk.

#MalaysianDiary #Hiking

#OhBoy is drinking his Yuzu Mandarin Gelato, since he wanted to bring it home and share it with his grandmother! 😍


A long awaited writing desk came home and was assembled yesterday! #OhBoy said it was a wonderful Deepavali for him!! 😍

This is a Flisat Desk and Bench from IKEA.


1st Anniversary of Sleep Training

At around 7.30p each day, #OhBoy kisses and waves everyone good night. Me and him step into the bedroom and approx. 20mins later I am out. He sleeps through the night and wakes up at around 6am next morning.

This was not the case a year ago. Here is our journey.

How it was

A year ago, #OhBoy would wake up every 45m to an hour and would only fall asleep with a feed. He was using The Missus as a soothing toy to fall sleep. Both of them were not happy with this arrangement and resulted in cranky behavior throughout the day (dare I say for both!).

Things got so bad that we would dread evenings as the sleep time approached. This is the time The Missus read about sleep training (on Mint Lounge, I think). She searched about the author Kerry Bajaj and purchased her book—Sleep, Baby, Sleep, on Kindle.

Discovering sleep training

The Missus read it first and was convinced on the way forward. I read the first chapter and agreed with her. The book talks of many things—setting a routine and avoid surprises, being boring at sleep time, low to no light in the room, white noise etc.

We were adopting some of those things already. Like an evening routine—bath, powder, read a book and sleep, using yellow lights instead of white lights etc.

Braving the start

A year ago from today, 29th May 2020, we went cold turkey to begin sleep training. We stuck newspapers on windows to block ambient light. Setup a nice cozy bed for the evening and showed it to #OhBoy all day to make it familiar. Fed him well to sustain the night. I had an early dinner at 7.30p and went into the room with him. I locked ourselves up with just a bottle of water for him and a speaker playing rain sounds.

After almost 45mins of crying and fighting to get out of the room, he slept off. It was tough on us to bear those cries, but we all believed it was the right thing.

The first night he woke up 4-5 times. Each time I gave him water and he grudgingly had it and fought a little, but went back to sleep.

He was on a two nap routine, so we did the same next day for his morning and afternoon naps as well. Day naps were tougher than nights, given the daylight around. But we made it a point that this was the way he is going to sleep.

The transformation

What started with so much resistance from him, went on to become something he loved. He began seeing sleep as an enjoyable activity, instead of something that made him miss all the fun around.

During the course of the year, we invested in a separate bed/crib for him.

We went on a couple of vacations, but all through, kept up with the routine (much to the disappointing nods from many around!).

We also took turns on who would put him to sleep, so he would not build an attachment to just one of us to fall asleep.

We were able to see the change. He was a happier kid with less cranky outbursts. More importantly he embraced sleep as another essential activity.

We still have off-days once in a while, when he wants to lie in bed and throw silly tantrums. Then there are days when he goes on about choosing pillows/sheets, wanting to get cozy on the shoulder, asking to pat or sing a song etc. But more often than not, we both would get in, talk for a while and he would lie down, toss around and fall asleep.

We see our role now as those enabling him to catch the sleep train each night.

Our guide for sleep training

We highly recommend the book Sleep, Baby, Sleep by Kerry Bajaj. In fact, we have presented the book to new parents in our circles and talked about it at every chance with new parents.

PS: Yes, our parents did not follow this “fad” of sleep training. But this is the need of our times. Super bright lights, plethora of screens, increased ambient noises etc., have all changed since we were kids. IMO to accommodate all these changes, we need to sleep train kids. Else it is a disservice to them.

Reading with #OhBoy

When reading our morning papers, we often found #OhBoy peering into it and staring at the coloured images.

So we got him his first book which is about shapes and colours. And now mornings are spent showing and telling stories on them.

He is a happy one staring at them in loop. And his latest trick is that, if you lift a page, he turns it for you 😱

#YoungReader #FirstBook #Chennai #ChennaiDiaries

We had consciously decided to use disposable diapers only when travelling outside with #OhBoy! At home we decided to use just cloth nappies.

All it took was 2 weeks to look for alternatives, since the daily rinse and wash cycle was getting too much 🙈and coupled with the rains the drying was taking way longer 🕰! And most importantly #OhBoy! would wake up frequently and be cranky.

We were looking for cloth based diapers and ended up with @superbottoms. We are super happy with their product. It sits nicely between meeting the functional need and being eco friendly. They also had a friendly on-boarding and follow up process!!

#Chennai #ChennaiDiaries #ClothDiapers