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Thursday, January 30, 2014

How to create memories in the first year


Having kids is a joy and having kids to photograph is another type of joy! Well this is no proverb but something you learn when you become parents! All the  Anne Geddes cards and images just spring to mind and we begin thinking yes my kiddo is the cutest on the block and my am going to take such pictures n dress him/her like this etc etc! Then you realize you are pregnant and if not for morning sickness then swollen feet and puffy face sure make you realize okay am going to be out of this picture! :P Then the kid is born and the first look as memorable it might be its indeed miles apart from all the cute kids in pictures! Welcome to the unexpected! :)
Motherhood soon teaches us that the moments of capturing beautiful emotions and kids with smiling faces is such a small window of time that if you wish to actually do that, you better keep your camera ready at all times! N who is left with all that energy after a night long feeding n cooing session! But don't loose hearts new parents! Indeed pictures are just one way of creating memories of your precious bundle!
Here are a few more ideas to create memories!
Firstly let me tell you, that the idea is to capture this beautiful phase of life, and secondly its our gift to our older selves and to our grown up children! The pictures of their young lifetime!
Memories can often be captured in photographs, but are there any other ways? Lets explore them!
1. Photographs: Now a days the young one, within minutes of being born, feels the pain of a celebrity hounded by paparazzi! Just a frenzy to put the newest visitor of earth on social media! Hold on! No! Don't do that! This is the most intimate and private moment of the mother, the child and the father. Its a new life being born and a new family being born too! Let that magical moment be lived! Not merely relived through photos!Also avoid flash while photographing the child till the child has a steady eyesight, the flash can panic the child and be harmful to the child's eyes too!
What you can do as a new parent is, plan photography worthy moments, be it all the first festivals of the baby's first year of life or monthly birthdays or all Sundays in the first year of the new born! When the parents and the child is relaxed, in a comfortable atmosphere, let the mood of the baby decide what time will be good! Such long term projects often give us the flexibility and scope for innovation! But keep in mind the baby has to enjoy it as much as you do! Also such projects bring out the gradual changes happening in a baby in its first year! So than just clicking a random terabyte full of baby pictures, have a theme and work around it so you have some priceless captures to share when your baby grows up!
                                What you "wish" for....

                              What "might" just happen!! :P
2. Videos: An extension  of photography in a way! And so very different in many other ways! No these videos are not fodder for YouTube n likes but for your own memory! The first lullaby for the baby, the cooing or turning baby! The bath time routine! so many moments all waiting to be captured! Its indeed lovely to have a spontaneous collection of all these moments thanks to our new technological advancements!
3. Voice recording : This is very different from making Audiovisual snippets! If you have your mobile phone handy, young parents can always record the peculiar n repetitive sounds children tend to make! And as the months roll by there will be an audio dictionary of the child! All those first half made sounds to words to sentences...to spontaneous songs and self made poems! Its a delight to listen to all of that and also make your child listen to it all! Try doing that!
4. Clay moulds : Baby fists all rolled up! holding their future n clasping on to mom's finger! Aren't they so adorable! There are DIY kits to make moulds of kids fists n tiny feet, invest in some such kit! that is such a visual treat for life! If you don't have access to ready made moulds, next best idea is making impressions in the salt dough! Tiny handprints n footprints all ready to be preserved for life! :)
5. Scrap book album: Make a lovely scrap book containing photographs and candid stories of the baby's childhood! when did the first tiny tooth erupt! when was the tummy turn n when was the first word uttered! a mix of dates, memories and smiling faces! Indeed a neat treat for all! Add a small denomination of money to be tucked behind every photograph, so when your baby is all grown up, some major milestone birthday it might be a gift! :)
6. Painting : If you or your friends are good at sketching or painting, you should get your baby's portrait or caricature done! It would be a cute memory indeed! Am still hoping to make a pencil shaded portrait of Baby A! Trust me its a good idea to outsource this task!
7. Keepsakes : The first pair of mittens, the first dress from mom n dad! Keep some firsts away, some shoes, toys n tiny bonnets! By the time your grandkids arrive, these turn treasures in themselves! :P Also a good lesson in culture and contemporary clothing! :P Recall those bonnets you wore as a baby n how you would never have your baby wear it! or something you wish you could get from your childhood closet for your baby! Also in Indian families we sure have valuable keepsakes in form of gold n silver jewelry too! All that is also such powerful memory makers!
8. Letters to the baby: Well in this age n day of emails and social media, who writes letters, well not really those in long hand! Though am all game for old fashioned letters! But yes maybe some jottings of memory or something you so wish to share with the baby but the baby sure won't make any sense of what you are saying! So you wish the baby was an adult to understand you, your fears or joys! well go on, write notes, or letters to this little kid here for the adult that is coming up soon in your life sometime in the future! :) No its not the Kuch Kuch hota hai blooper! 8 letters to the girl! Pray how she read the first 5 letters as a baby! :P
9. Traditional memory triggers: Okay don't freak out, these are not my endorsed ideas but i know people do keep many memory triggers, like the part of the umbilical cord, the first lock of the baby's cut hair etc. If you want to, you can! But yes its an interesting yet little odd seeming way of preserving memory!
10. Plant a sapling : If you love your child and wish a lovely green future for him/her, why not plant a tree in commemoration of his/her being in your life! Each birthday can mean more trees! And this can be a yearly activity which your child will enjoy and also understand the importance of nature as he/she grows up!
There sure will be more ways of preserving memories of your children! Go ahead add some more from your list and keep creating memories! Each day holds so many of them! Don't let routines, fatigue and boredom hold you back! there is a lot of preservation work to do! Pickle the cutest memory today! :) Savor it in the years to come!

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