Wednesday, October 28, 2009

In search of memory...

The title is right. In search of my fading memory. Only a strong memory now would leave me with cherished memories later (Some crazy mohan stuff???) Anyway...ever since I began updating this blog I have been wondering whether I really have to do this. Do I really have to tell the world about myself and the family? Well, last week I realized that I am on the right track.
My friend (mother of a three year old) and I were chatting and when I asked something about some behaviour, she thought long and hard and said, "I guess P did the same when he was V's age...but am not sure".
So there it is. I was able to tackle questions on a baby's first year, thanks to all those reading material. But after that...I am not sure. I want keep track of V's milestones and not-so-milestonic events!
Yesterday while waiting to pick up the little one from school, I peered into the group of kids that trotted out. Not because little V was hidden behind bigger children or something else. I had forgotten what clothes he wore that morning!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Children and Reality shows

My opinion on these shows is long due, probably since the birth of V. During the final trimester and a few weeks after his birth, one TV show that I followed was a singing competition for kids. I was irritated at the way the episodes were telecast, promos shown and the attitude of children largely influenced by their parents. As I was clutching to my new born I could n't help but shudder at how my little one will react when he reaches that phase in life when either he on his own participates or others push him. Two years and many TV shows (both for children and youngsters - no channel telecasts a reality music show for the aged!) later my opinion is the same.

As  channels hunt for super and star singers, sign them up for a certain period, let them feel absolutely cushioned under their glare and leave them to their destiny after some time, it is time for a 'real' reality check.

Two years ago when I my sister asked me whether I would encourage the little one to participate in shows I emphatically and confidently said no. She asked me the same thing a month back and I said that I did n't know. I will not talk about her reactions to that but I must admit that I really don't know. I will never push him or force him to do something, but if he is confident on, say, performing on stage how can I refuse. After all many of us have benefited from going up on stage for an act or a song at school or college. But it is the present trend that I am worried about. First of all children get to appear on television (and so are their parents), then they get to meet celebrities and then they get to display their talent, which will be viewed by thousands. The pressure and the change in attitude are appalling.

My first concern is the time these children would spend on the sets. Considering how long the 'senior' version of a particular show took to conclude and with the present competition for juniors looking to follow the same, this is bound to affect many other activities (including academics) of these children.

In one of the episodes, I was particularly shocked at the reaction of a judge towards a child who was found to be 'too expressive' for her age. The child was eventually eliminated from the competition. The funny thing is that the particular round featured songs, most of which many parents would not approve of. Many children took to dancing to and singing those songs. So why single out a particular child? What impact would this have on her attitude? How would her friends, teachers and others react? The funnier things is that this is not a live programme. The songs are rehearsed. Did n't the people concerned (say producer of the show, experts etc), realize the 'over-expressiveness'? Or even when the shoot was on, could n't any of them ask the child to tone it down? I am sure that this is possible.

Anyway...this is just one of my many reactions to follow as I feel very strongly about the issue. After all I too have a young child at home who at some time in his life will come across such things.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Don't blow your nose too hard

This could be annoying to people who are around and you may end up with an ear infection or something worse. Though I don't disturb the surroundings by doing so or insist on the little one doing so, I was surprised to hear this. A friend's three year old son developed ear infection and one of the first things their ENT speacialist asked was if was i the habit of blowing his nose hard, which in this case was true. Apparently, blowing hard lead to the expanding of a gland in the ear leading to infection. Also,this reverses the flow of mucus back into the sinuses preventing drainage of the same. I will look up for more on this and update. This is the season of 'the cold' and other communicable diseases so it pays to be extra cautious.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Typical conversations...

(Bumping into someone familar)
Me: Hello Aunty...
Aunty: (Sceptically) uh...hullo...
Me: This is me... G's friend..
Aunty: Uh...ummm...
Me: (ok) V's mother...
Aunty: Oh.. hello...How are you? How's the little one?
Me: Fine (dolefully continues the conversation)


(Calls at a neighbor's)
Me: Is your mom there?
Neighbor's kid: Yes aunty (calls out)... Ammmmaaa.... first floor aunty has come
(Said amma comes and seems to be thinking hard...)
Neighbor: Oh are you (looks at her kid and says) You should have told me "V's mom"...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It is Deepavali/Diwali!

The days I used to burn money...err...burst crackers seemed eons ago. Last year V did n't approve much of the flower pots and sparklers, more so because of the smoke. This year too I was worried about the smoke making him ill. At his school, a day before Deepavali, they asked each parent to send some food with their ward and V took a bottle of juice with him. I 'warned' the aunties about a potential smoke allergy, when they told me that they will be bursting crackers. When I went to pick him up, without my asking, two of the ladies told me how the little one enjoyed the crackers. He clapped and screamed in joy they said. I did not react. How would I when only the previous day, V stuck to me like a leech and did n't let go of my shoulder, when a 'ground chakra' was lit?! But experience at school had made him a little bolder as was witnessed that evening.


Deepavali has lost its fervor. I am not talking about lesser crackers. I am in fact very happy about it, though the sky seemed to be more polluted than land. I was  particularly thinking of the harried pilots who had to fly their planes this dreaded day! Coming back to where I started... T.Nagar and other shopping areas were probably the only evidences of a forth coming festival. Otherwise people burnt their crackers and went home. Only the children seemed to wish everyone, when, that is, they came across pestering adults who interrupted their merriment. I have to admit that we were also some of those adults. At least we took to going out for the sake of the child. H asked me, when we were planning the amount of sweets and snacks to be purchased (for more on this read further) "Are n't you distributing some to the neighbors"? I said, "They never do" and bit my lip. I defended by saying that since we don't 'make' anything at home it did n't make sense in giving something that was bought, which in any case would be given by the companies they work for. The truth is that, no one bothered. We made an effort but nothing happened. Regular phone calls have just become messages. Where has all the 'bonding-during-festivals' gone?


We decided to buy deepavali sweets and snacks as even normal cooking is getting difficult with an inquisitive kid running around. We made the same mistake as last year. We (in this case I) once again made a bee line to the "Grand" old sweet stall of Chennai. The place was crowded like a cinema at 10:00 in the morning. I thought I had timed it right as I had to pick up V only at 11:30, but quickly realized it was a mistake. Though the items required were less, I was asked to wait for a 'minimum half an hour'. When my token number was called for (from the right hand side of the counter) I walked, rather pushed my way through to the left-hand side where the billing is normally done. After a painstaking 15 mins I was told that my billing will be done at the other end. When I again made my way through I found that my bill had found its place at the bottom. The lady who had the tokens and was announcing the numbers seemed to be obsessed with her job and after angry prodding from customers parted with her possession only to hand them over to the person at the other end. It was difficult to concentrate as too many numbers were being announced. Even on normal days, this place has the practice of randomly distributing tokens. So if your number is 101 and if 100 is announced, relax. 101 will not be called for until 99, 105, 110, 68, 303 are called for. But on this day it seemed to infuriate many people who were unaware of the procedure. I held my nerves as I had had the experience of waiting for an hour for a kilo of mixture. Anyway, I made my way out at 11:15 just in time to reach school. Irritated to no extent, we purchased the remaining at a quieter place in Mylapore. I took an oath never to visit the first-mentioned place knowing fully well (like many other chennaites) that it would be broken next year.


The best wish came in the form of a post card. It was addressed to the two of us and little V. It said, Happy Diwali Mom and Dad. The card was filled with the drawing of a lamp (agal vilakku/diya) with familiar crayon scribblings around and on it. I took the card to V and asked him,
 "Who drew this"?
V: naanu pannen (I did it)
Me: Where?
V: Kool (School)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Typical Conversations...

(Over Phone)
Me: (Not even a hello) You said you'll come early early?
H: In less than hour...why?
Me: Buy milk when you come?
H: Why? Did n't the lady bring milk in the afternoon?
Me: Yes...I need more
H: You said the servant maid will get a packet everyday...
Me: You buy milk or no coffee when you come home...
H: Ok done.

(Some 45 mins later)
H: Hey... A colleague will be coming along. He has to attend a con call
Me: But milk...
H: I am at the ATM. Will be there in 5 mins
Me: Milk???
H: No problem...
Me:  Did you buy milk?
H: No problem..I 'll get it
Me: stares confused

(A few minutes late H walks in with the colleague. After having introduced him and after the aforesaid colleague begins to attend his phone call...)

Me: Milk?
H: No problem...I ' ll get it.
H: No
Me: Then I ll go get tend to your colleague...

(As an after thought comes back and asks H)

Me: Hey..Is this person the...
H: Yes...he's the group head
H:Yes ('matter of factly')
Me: This person...
H: Yes
Me: He rides a bike???
Me: Are you sure??
H: Go buy milk

(I come back after sometime)
H: one would believe that he is the head...
Me: blinks

In the meantime V enters from nowhere, finds the helmet of the guest and screams..
Appaaa....puthu elmet (new helmet)!

Monday, October 12, 2009

To the the beach!

V loves space. And more so if it is the beach! Thankfully, we only live a few kilometers away from one of Chennai's beaches (Not that the distance would deter the little mister from bawling and cajoling us into taking him there!) The following is a instant-by-instant recollection of his experiences...

Instant One:
Many many months back. His first trip was late in the evening and only in the periphery (thanks to his obsessive amma), a skating rink so to say. V spent most of his time blinking as he could n't figure out what sort of place it was...And this followed for the next few months. After that it was only an 'ice-cream attraction'!

Instant two:
Few months later. Amma became bold enough to take V in day light. The little one was astounded at the sea. He kept saying..."evalo thuutha" (so much water). However he refused to climb down from his appa's shoulder and kept himself only to the 'merry-go-round'.

Instant three:
V walks on the sand only asking to be picked up minutes later. He loves the sea and allows us to carry him as we stand in the water but refuses to let his legs touch the water.

Instant four:
V does the routine walking-a-little on the sand, merry-go-round, and in addition manges to stand in the water for a minute and asks to be carried until we walk out of the beach.
This goes back and forth until the following after which affection for beach takes supersonic proportions.

Present situation:
V walks all the way to the merry-go-round, does his filmy ta-ta bye-bye while he sits on a ridiculously pink 'scooter'. Gets down, walks all by himself to the water, stands among the waves holding his appa's hands and walks all the way back.

Yesterday, this took another turn.

V does every thing mentioned under 'present situation' up to 'holding his appa's hands'. Then, he asks to be left alone...yes...alone in the water, wants to go further in (until the cops come about wielding their lathis  at those who 'intended' to swim') refuses to come out of the water, does so after being literally carried out, walks all the way back and says...aathukku nooooo (no home).

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It's (Play) school time!

The dreaded days have arrived. V began going to play school since 'Vijayadasami'. Before I begin babbling on that experience a few sentences on how we came about choosing the school.

For starters, I ,yes, I did n't even look up a list of playschools nor did I do any extensive research. Though, even when V was an infant people kept asking about my choice of play schools and schools, the reason we decided upon his present school was primarily the distance and secondly (also a very important factor) the credentials received from a few very close friends. So that was it. Some time in April (if this is a little too much...well I have to display my sense of obsession some where!) I registered V's name for admissions in October! Needless to say, the school people called me June to tell me that the admissions are beginning the next day only to be reminded (gently) that I wanted to put my son in school ONLY ON VIJAYADASAMI DAY! Even in April, I was asked to admit V in June since he would be nearing two years then (The school takes children aged 22 months and older). But we wanted him to be at least 27 months. He was a few days shy when he actually joined. back to the dreaded day. We have been preparing V for over a month about school. Thankfully, his three year old best friend goes to the same place so it was easier to convince V. Whenever we took him to the school (to get the form, pay fees etc) he expected us to leave him there and go back home. He wanted to stay with the rabbits and the slide. However, the tough amma was n't convinced. I've read all those books you see...So I was prepared for the eventual first day crying.

A week before school, miraculously, V got back to his regular morning potty routine (for over a month before that, he seemed to have suddenly forgotten his potty habits-this is in itself is a big story and I guess it is best kept 'un-posted'!). Also, his breakfast and lunch routines were back (these had become irregular with the Navarithiri week and many other uncalled for interferences!)

The school provided him with a bag and coincidentally his water bottle, which we had purchased long before, and his snack box were of matching colors and it only added to his and his amma's excitement. (According to H this order has to be reversed). I attended an orientation a few days before the first day (with strict instructions that only the parent must attend without the child) and blinked through all the instructions and informations. Again...I've read all those books and articles you see...So I was preparing for the unexpected!

I accompanied him to school the first day and was asked to stay through all the activities. We were there for about 45 mins and V became clingy. Actually he wanted to go out and play on the slide. Inside, he wanted to come out. Once outside he refused to come home!

Day 2: We went at nine and I was asked to wait outside with other parents. V did not cry. A lot of other children cried and were sent home withing half an hour V and a few other children stayed for another hour. He again refused to come home. The next morning, however, he became cranky, and I was sure that the previous day's behavior was only a flash in the pan and that he would cry today. I've read all about these you see. He walked into school and did n't turn back to say a bye. I was asked to wait again. The children who cried the previous day cried again and were sent home. An hour later I was called. Iwent all geared up to taking the crying child home only to be told that he was doing fine and I could come back an hour later.
The same continued the following day. The long weekend began and V, got up and said 'kooluku ponum (want to go to school).

The following Monday saw no change. the next day either. I in fact, left him, came home and picked him up only at 11:00. Today I was told that from tomorrow he would be in the regular 9:30-11:30 batch. He was keen on picking up his bag but refused to look in my direction and refused to come home. I was thankful to hear that there were two or three other children who cried when asked to go home. But, but and but...I've read a lot you see....I am expecting a 'cry-day' sooner or later.

Wait...Should n't I be happy that my little one is excited to go to school...that he is not clinging to his amma... that he does n't cry... that it would be easier for him to make that transition from home to the outside world? Or...Am I sad that all these are happening...Did the books or websites I read say anything more?? Do I need a therapist? Did I mention something about the dreaded days...well...they are for me.