As some of you following me on Twitter and/or Facebook know, I have just become the proud owner of an iPad - my first Apple product, after more than a decade of admiring Steve Jobs from afar. The last few days have been spent in hectic downloading of nearly all the free apps on iTunes (no money left after paying for the damn thing!) and getting used to the three different keyboards.
The iPad is a really cool device for kids (among other people). In the last one week, Joy (my son) and I have drawn Christmas trees, coloured pictures of Buzz Lightyear, gazed at constellations and played jigsaw with famous works of art.
I (or any adult) have been exposed to the concept of a touchscreen and so find the actual product very interesting - but maybe not stunning. For a kid, it is almost magical. Touching a green pencil and then tracing the finger on a blank screen to draw a tree elicits a reaction that is so ecstatic that I am regretting not taking a photo!
And there are unintentionally hilarious moments as well. After colouring a picture, one has to shake the iPad to wipe it off. My son takes it in his hand and shakes his bum instead of the iPad. And then seeing me rolling in laughter, he says - "Baba, you have to help me..."
Yes, yes, of course ho ho ho ho....
This is a very welcome bedtime activity for my wife who - now five months pregnant - falls asleep rather early. While Joy and I try out all these games, she is fast asleep and does not get to hear what Joy says trying to maneuver his iPad and his father ("Baba, Mamma tummy so big. I falling out of bed.").
Its great for me too... since most of the iBooks have a read-aloud feature and Winnie the Pooh gets read out while I only have to turn the pages.
And I am so looking forward to this suggestion.
Along with the iPad, another daily bedtime ritual has started.
That of, kissing the 'baby' goodnight. Joy - in his usual macho ways - jumps all over my wife before finally kissing her tummy. I have to act like the referee of a boxing match. Only my job is to ensure that the punches don't land.
One night, Joy became a little curious. He tried to peer in through his mom's belly button - to try and see the baby. Not getting a sight, he cupped his hands around his mouth and shouted down the belly button - "Hello, baby, hello..."
Sigh - when is a good age to explain the human anatomy to kids?