Monday, November 30, 2009

Typical Conversations...

Guest: See, I bought this Saree for B..
Me: Very nice. Err...Does she wear a Saree quite often?
Guest: Yes! She wears a Saree to functions and whenever possible...
Me:I see...
Guest: You see...her husband likes her in a Saree...
Me: *Stares* 
Me: (in my mind obviously, to the guest who is apparently 'related' to the said husband)... would you buy her a pair of jeans, when you know that her husband likes it?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Moon and other terrace stories!

The little one's evening routine these days includes a visit to the terrace with his amma and spends the time by pretending to help her in bringing back the clothes, in the process scaring her wits out by suddenly climbing the stairs to the water tank. His current interest is 'the moon', and having mastered (well, nearly!) "Nila Nila Odi vaa"- a popular tamil rhyme on the moon- he sings to, screams at and threatens the moon to come down and play with him!

The other day he was amused to find the moon in 'half its size' (I just checked myself before telling him about the various phases!) and proceeded to tell the following story:

Moon dhoppa vizhunthu adi pattuthu...athaan paathi irukku...ooovunu azhuthuthu... doctor mama oochi potta.

The translation: The Moon fell down from the sky and broke. That is why it looks half its size. Since the moon cried from pain, we took it to the doctor and he gave an injection.

I wonder what turn this story would take on 'amavasai'!


Since it is an uphill task to bring V down from the terrace, I thought hard and came up with a plan. Accordingly, I lift him up and casually ask him to say bye to the moon, the birds, the train, the plane, the water tank, the motor and whatever he sets his eyes upon, and then bring him down. After initial bewilderment, he took it nicely and came down without a word....until today.

After having spent some time, in order to leave, I picked him up and asked him to say bye to 'everyone'. He resisted and wanted to stay in the 'motta maadi'. After much cajoling he said...

...'Bye Amma'...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Morning and on the road musings... really can't 'muse' in the mornings, what with the husband and kid to be rushed off to school and office ...err...the opposite respectively. Also, one can't think when one  is accelerating the scooter, braking at vantage points, holding the standing kid tightly between one's legs, enduring the child's constant 'amma athu enna?', followed by a harried amma's don't stick your hand out, staring at brainless motorists, checking the elusive expletive just in time before it reaches the brat's ear, desperately honking and indicating before reaching the school and depositing the child. After all that, further endurance and heart-break at the little one not even attempting to say 'Ta-Ta'.

The real fun starts when one rides back home. The BP suddenly touches normal, the air seems fresh, motorists less annoying and one actually waits until a horde of buses, vans, cars, scooters, bikes, pedestrians, stray dogs pass by. Suddenly there is so much time!
On an aside...

When I scoured the city in my scooter on work, when I was all young and bursting with excessive enthusiasm - eons ago- I used to look amusedly at mothers who rode their children to school or otherwise. I remember seeing perennial frowns on those faces. I used to brazenly chuckle to myself, thinking aloud, under the protection of my helmet, "Poor women, they probably began riding only after marriage", or "Poor women, what monsters their husbands must be to let their hapless wives endure the city's noisy, polluted and risky roads" AND "Lucky me... I have mastered the art of riding...I would n't have a problem many years down the line"...

Little did I know!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

...and he cried

Last week, V cried all the way to school, invoking reactions from his surprised coordinator because it was his first cry-day, ever since he started going to school. My theories were proved right. However, I could n't gloat over it saying 'amma's always right', because the problem was not about going to school. It began with a simple issue of 'not wanting to wear' his new shoes, then not wanting appa to drop him in the scooter, not wanting appa to drop him at all, of wanting both appa and amma to come to school and culminated in excessive crying. After I dropped him and came home, I kept thinking about it and realized that I worried not about his 'crying to school' business, but what actually provoked it.

Even as adults, we begin our quarrels (most often with the spouse!) over some petty issue. Clothes kept in a heap on the floor invokes anger and subsequently, the said clothes are forgotten and arguments regarding one's sense of hygiene leads to quarrels over how only one person has to do all the work.

Similarly, what could have provoked the child, apart from a pair of unwanted new shoes? I tried looking deep into it and wondered if we had done anything wrong. Looking at it, there was nothing 'wrong', but hence forth the responsibility is greater.

Instead of constant monitoring, careful observations have to be made. If it was something at school, the scope for understanding is broader as one gets to discuss with other parents and school authorities. But I firmly believe, irrespective of what is taught and observed outside, like everything else, learning also has to begin at home, both for the child and his/her parents.

Though incoherent, I hope I have managed to convey what was nagging me all these days. As always, this from the baby center website helped to calm me down a bit.

I would like your views on this...please write them here...

Monday, November 23, 2009

I thought...

...I was an obsessive, compulsive, hyper-mom. Or so I am labelled by people around. Well, I have my share of anxious moments.

It rains, there is no raincoat at home and I madly rush in the rain to get one for the little one.

V pulls a stool, places it near the kitchen sink, climbs onto it and precariously positions himself on the space available and washes his spoon. I run like a werewolf towards him.

He wakes up from his afternoon nap and much before that I prepare his snack knowing fully well how hungry he can get.

If the above and similar are considered 'hyper-activity', people (read husband) either must buy a dictionary or read this or do both.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Little 'Nekamic'...

...or that is how V says 'mechanic'. His school had a 'fancy dress' day to celebrate children's day and we joined the band wagon of parents who break their heads to dress up their children 'differently'. Though the school made the announcement only the previous day, with V having an amma who had read his school brochure some twenty times, we were quite prepared. Though we had n't decided on the exact costume until midnight, we had our choices made. For starters, I was quite adamant that we use clothes that he already had and probably add a few props. Then, the dress had to be comfortable enough for V to spend all his school hours in. That meant we had only two or three options on hand.

There was the ubiquitous white kurta pyjama and with a rose and a white cap, he could easily turn into 'Chacha Nehru'. Since it was too obvious and simple, we kept that costume as a backup. Next, since he had in his possession a pair of dark brown trousers and a faded green T-shirt, the amma had the idea of dressing him like a tree, with paper leaves stuck on his shirt. But with the brat flinging off any extra piece of clothing draped on his self, that option was also ruled out. Out of the closet came his 'dungarees' that was purchased a year early and still a little loose on him! A quick scan of his toy cupboard discovered his 'tool set' which has a belt that can be worn around. So a mechanic, it was decided. He had his cap to go along with the outfit.

When all was decided, close to midnight, the amma became restless.
Amma:  The dungaree is an overall...what if he gets uncomfortable?
Appa: He won't
Amma: It is raining... he may get the urge to use the toilet frequently..
Appa: They will look to it at school...
Amma: What if..?
Appa: Let's change the outfit..

The wardrobe was rummaged, all possible outfits were pulled out. After an hour we decided to stick to the mechanic.

Next day, V refused to get dressed up so we used our trump card ,the mirror. V will even dress like a bucket if so shown in front of the mirror. He was all done with the dungaree, the tool kit, a turned cap et al. We dropped him at school and I told the coordinator that he may get uncomfortable and was told that all children will get back to 'normal' clothes after some time.

After two hours of nail biting, I went to pick him up only to find him in his 'nekamic' dress!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

How safe are our children?

At the time of V's admission to play school we were asked to give photographs of those who were likely to pick up the child after school. It could be parents, grandparents, servant-maid, driver, neighbor or anyone else but a photograph must be furnished. The school did n't want to take any chances, with the safety of children at stake in this bad mad world.

The principal narrated the story of a father, who was living abroad for about six months a year and had come to pick his son from school, coming straight from the airport. The teachers refused to send the child with him, as the father's photograph was not available with them. The man flew into a rage and asked them how they could do this and did n't they see that the boy resembled him. The authorities politely refused and the angry father had to leave without his ward. After cooling down he was said to have come back and had written a thank you note on how safe his son was at this school.

I don't know how many schools follow this, but I support the school on this issue completely. When I talk to people about this, they make a face and scowl at the school for being silly but I am glad God has given me the sense to ignore them.

I am already worried about the auto rickshaws or vans that we would have to depend upon in future to drop the little one to the mainstream school that he would have to join in future. After reading this, linked up by the mad momma I really wonder, if some parents -not those who do not have a choice-  really make anything worthwhile, by leaving thier children with strangers.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Rainy day thoughts!

Not that there were many, as the city, which depends on depressions for its regular monsoon season has very few rainy days. Anyway as someone who does n't really bother whether it rains or shines (it is humid anyway) and lazes around whenever possible, musing was n't an altogether different job.

* There was a lot of annoyance this time around, because the little mister had to be dropped off and picked up from school. Worse, since it rained heavily last week he had an extended weekend holiday for four days. Worse, worse, we had to engage him throughout. Not so bad was the fact that H took it upon himself to make some 'rainy day' snacks and we ended up having pop corn and peanuts on all days.

* It was raining and the little one did not have a raincoat. The distance is too short to haggle with an auto-rickshaw fellow, not that anyone would oblige for a minimum fare and too long for a walk, and quite bothersome for the usual two-wheeler ride. Nevertheless V's amma, became super scooter woman and whizzed past the nagging traffic, snarled at overtaking drivers and raced against the drizzle to drop him at school.

But the little one needed a rain-coat. As the father of the child feigned selective deafness (and sometimes amnesia), when the said topic was brought up, amma took it upon herself, took the harried child straight from school to the near-by shop (it was very very cloudy, so I patted myself), bought the last piece of raincoat available for his size and walked out only to find the sun shining brightly.

Said raincoat is lying unnoticed as it has n't rained since the moment I made the purchase. My argument with the deaf man was that, if the raincoat had n't been bought, it would have rained and drenched the poor child who anyway had absented himself from school because of cold!

Considering how deeply attached I am to this topic I should have named the post "Rain-coat musings"!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Oh my sleeping child!

I have been constantly admonished by elders not to admire a sleeping child. Some almost left me crippled by a curse when I dared to send them pictures of the sleeping infant a few weeks after his birth. Even now I cannot control the urge to smile at the sleeping peaceful face. But what do I do? That is the only time when both of us are in peace with each other. Both smiling, albeit one of them sleeping. No arguments, no running around, no crying, no show of willfulness, no demonstration of attitude (Yes, I am talking about a two year old).

During one of those 'admiring a sleeping child' moments, I wished (like any other parent) that this child would never grow! In fact that was my wish ever since the little one was six months old. It is another story that as soon as he was born I wanted him to grow to become a three or four month old, because I was very jittery handling a few weeks old baby and was constantly driving the doctors crazy.

Now dear child, please don't grow and become worldly wise or worse. Be what you are. I pray to God to turn  you into a 'Markandeya" and stop aging at two and a half. This way I would also stop growing and need not worry about what to dress you up for 'Fancy dress' (thankfully the school insists that it is not a competition) for school tomorrow!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Kid speak!

(V is having his bath, and he tries to use the hand shower himself)

Appa/Amma: No, don't do that. Appa or Amma will give you a bath. You are kutti (small) Appa and amma are big...okya?
V: Okya (His way of saying OK) 

(A month later, V is trying to use the hand shower on his own, again)

Amma: No. You are kutti.
V: No amma...  you don't do are not big. You are kutti...
Amma: (gasps) then who's big?
V: Appa
Appa: OK I am big..I ll give you a bath.
V: No are not big you are kutti
Appa and Amma: eh?
V: Thatha is big

P.S:At this rate I guess I have to maintain a separate blog for conversations!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Call the Doctor, Call the Doctor...

Last month we took V for a typhoid vaccination. These days, he is prepared a day before the said injection day, on how the 'oochi' (injection) will only be a prick and how good it is for his health. He protested a little at the doctor's clinic, muttered something to the good dodctor, and before he knew, the job was done and he wondered loud, 'oochi vallikaliye' (The injection was not painful)! present.

Two days back, we took him for a Hepatitis A booster vaccination. The usual ritual was followed. That morning we asked him,
Where are we going tonight?
In fact later in the evening he said, "Amma...dottorku ponum" (Must go to the doctor's)
We trooped out at around nine that night (this way we normally are the last to enter the clinic and meet the doctor almost immediately without having to wait in the crowd!)  V said, "Thatha tata...oochi potukaa poden".

All our happiness at how our young turk was prepared to face the battle crashed when, on our way to the clinic, he started crying...dottor nooo...oocchi nooo...dottor poita (had left) etc.
At the clinic we had a wait for a few minutes and V became very difficult to handle despite soothing words and constant wrestling.

Finally we manged to enter the doctor's room.
V: Dottor...nee poo...oocchi vanda...nee poooo
The good man did n't understand a word but understood the situation.
I held V on my lap. The doctor examined him amidst conversations about the beach, dinner and V replied "Ooocchi noooo".
The doctor slowly took out the syringe and the medicine, with V's eyes constantly on the needle. And as he kept saying no oochi today come tomorrow, and as held V's thigh tightly with one hand,he injected the vaccine, with the other.

V said "sari...oocchi naalaiki" (injection tomorrow) and smiled. We came home. He said.."Thatha...occhi nalaiki"
Next morning we asked him, "Doctor occhi potacha?" he said "No...naalaiki"
Till this day he has n't realized that he was given the injection..!

Thank you doctor, Thank you Doctor...!


Reflecting, I think it was our fault. To deter the little brat from playing in the water for too long, or for pouring water all over himself or to prevent him from taking unwanted risks in climbing etc, we kept telling him how if he falls sick we will have to go in for an injection. Speaking the truth does have its consequences.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Don't push 'em

This is not about working parents. I know mothers who spend most of their time at office thinking about their eighteen month old at day care. This is also not of parents -mothers- who are so tied down with house work that their children, even when if they are not two, are sent to play school for a couple of hours.

At V's school a set of twin girls joined along with him. They were only 20 months old. For almost three weeks since the twins joined, the mother was asked to wait outside because the kids simply did n't settle down and kept crying throughout. What's worse...They missed a week because they were down with cold (which I am sure was because of the incessant crying). So every day the mother would wait along with a domestic help. Initially I thought that the mother was working. But no. She is not working. She has elders at home who would take care of some of the house work. She has a domestic help to help with the children. Why then are the children sent to play school (not daycare...thankfully!) when they are still drinking milk from a bottle? The reason she gave took the daylights out of me. She wanted the children to become sociable (at 20 months!!) They are cooped up in the house all day and get to play 'only inside the apartment complex's premises'. Also, she wanted her children to join only on "Vijayadasami", and next year, they would be about thirty months old that time. I wanted to ask her many things but did n't. The children are now settled. But I just could n't imagine their predicament across weeks.

Here I am, having avoided the term beginning June because V was 'only 23 months' old then... Was keeping my fingers crossed when he joined, and even now expecting a bawl any day. If I had put him in school a little earlier I am sure I would have resembled V's grandmom when I picked him up the first few months and his great grand mom a few months later!