Monday, December 31, 2007

Two in one - Sensitivity and Planning Ahead!

Another year has come to an end.. and we look forward to new beginnings tomorrow. Its been a lovely year full of wonderful memories and exciting milestones. We do look forward to the next year with eager anticipation on what it will have in store for us. As the year ends I wanted to make two posts.. here they are!

Sensitivity!
I have never allowed Nantu to watch too much TV. Most Indian movies we watch are probably okay for a kid to watch.. being musicals and family entertainers... but we don't like Nantu watching them. Most parents I know allow their kids to watch, and kids enjoy watching the bright colors and lovely songs.. Nantu watches song sequences too.. but nothing else. So much so, when we were in Tennessee Nantu declared that if he watched Adult TV (Daddy's TV Time its called!) he would get pulled up by mom for it! Oh well!!
Pic Courtesy: www.nikithaonline.com
I also don't let him watch cartoons which have anything remotely related to violence.. and unfortunately this includes spider man and tom and jerry.. My reasoning is that a 3 year old has still not grasped the comedy in hitting and shoving! (Oh yes I am crazy that way). Anyway, I realized yesterday that in my attempt to shield him from such violence... I am probably bringing him up to be too sensitive. We were listening to rhymes and for the first time Nantu heard the rhyme "Three Blind Mice".. He was very upset that the Farmer's wife cut off their tails... "But the mice need their tails mommy" he said... "This is a naughty song, I don't want to listen to this.. Please don't download this! Delete it!! ".. He even made sure before going to bed that I had deleted the song! I am of course a little taken aback that he reacted so strongly! I open this out to all you bloggers out there.. what do you think of this??

Planning Ahead!
The second part of my blog is about the tag Suma sent my way.. Oh yeah I finally got around to doing it!
I have always been bad at planning ahead.. but I do dream... Suma (Thinking Aloud) put me up to coming up with a list of things I wanted to do by the next decade... I have been thinking long enough.. but haven't been able to come up with anything profound!! So here is my wish list!!

(Pic Courtesy: http://www.anewday-anewway.com)
1. Growing Up .. we have a lot of growing up to do.. between Nantu and me (notice I have tactfully not included DH here). Nantu will be a teenager in 10 years.. and I want to be able to sit back and relax without the constant nagging worry most parents of teenagers have. I want to be able to know that my son is smart enough to keep himself safe out there!
2. Lose that tummy... Oh well, I hope it doesn't take 10 years to do that!!
3. Work - I need to figure out what I need to do in terms of working... I need to go back to work, but when and what I am still figuring out!
4. Where I belong ... I want to be back in India in 10 years.. or if I am here, let that be with a full heart with no wish to go back. I just want to belong where I live and vice versa
5. Travel - DH and I have loads of travel dreams... cruises, RV trips, Europe, Australia, backpacking and so on.. hope we do it all or at least most of it in the next 10 years!
6. Giving Back - I want to help the society in every way I can... not just monetarily but physically.. by being there.... maybe teach the less privileged or some such thing. I also want to have Nantu spend at least a day of every year with children of his age who are less privileged...
7. Living with Dad - 10 years is a long time.. as soon as is possible I want to have my dad stay with me... I cant stand the fact that he is miles away from us!!
8. Yoga and Temper control - I need to learn and start actively practicing yoga in my daily life. Also work on my temper... hopefully the yoga will help me tone down my short temper!!
9. Farming Dreams - Oh yes I am crazy.. I want to own a farm house and live in quasi wilderness.. if I will farm or grow livestock is very questionable.. but I want a house on a property which has a grove and a creek in it.. Oh well I do dare to dream!
10. A good friend - I want to be a good friend to Nantu and DH... The first step Patience... I am so short on this... I am going to work at acquiring some!
Alright!! That wasn't too hard!! Thanks Suma for making me do this... and what better time to plan than the New Year!
Tagging in turn -
Gomathi
Vidhya
Priya
Uthra
2 B's Mommy

Wish You all a Happy and Prosperous 2008! Have a Blast!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Back to Pavillion!

As most of you know we were off on a short vacation this past weekend. I am usually very finicky about staying at Friend's homes. We have loads of friends and enjoy spending time with them. But usually we like to respect their privacy and stay in a hotel if possible when we visit. But then usually we combine these visits with a sightseeing vacation.

(Picture: Smokey Mountains-Tennessee)
This past weekend for the first time we went on a vacation not to see any sights but to visit friends! We were off to warmer frontiers - Tennesse! Our Friends R and L live there with their daughters Big A (5) and Lil A (1). R is DH's friend from college and had visited us in June for 10 days. However this was the first time we were going to meet his family. I was unsure how Nantu would adjust to new faces. He was looking forward to meeting Uncle R and even more excited about riding in Uncle R's Honda Odyssey Van! He was also looking forward to a play date with Big A!
We took a cab to the airport. All through the ride, Nantu held on to my hand and wouldn't let go! At the airport Nantu was very upset with the security scan. All the officials there were trying to cheer Nantu up as he took of his jacket, shoes and sent his backpack through the scanner!
At the airport, I bought him a happy meal and as luck would have it they gave us the hamburger. Now we are vegetarians, and Nantu had a fit when he realized what had happened. I was too tired to do anything about it.. I just threw away the patty and made him eat the burger with a little cheese after a lot of fuss!

On the plane we waited for an hour and a half before take off...and had to listen to the refrain "are we flying yet" and "are we there yet" till our ears were sore! Also we both had to give one hand each for the li'l master to hold on to...finally the plane did take off and our li'l monkey fell asleep.. and we breathed a joint sigh of relief.
Once there Nantu was all excited to see Uncle R and his car! And we started the long journey home with little Mr. Whiny who was again holding my arm and refusing to let go!! Also he was upset that there were no Hummers in TN, and that it was dark already and he needed to return to Denver to his bed!
Finally we did get him home and got him to realize that Big A was asleep, so he had to spend the night and wait for her to get up before he could play! Uncle R also showed him the empty fish tank and told him they could go buy fish the next day!! So eventually we got Nantu into bed!

The next morning, bright and early we were woken up by knocking at our door... and there stood Big A all eager to meet us! She is such a cute little chatterbox we fell for her charms right there... Nantu did too once he woke up.. and for the next 3 days Big A and Nantu were inseparable. I did not have to worry about Nantu at all.. he even ate all by himself chatting with Big A all the while. When we went out and got them popcorn, they sat apart from us and had a nice chat over the popcorn.
(Picture Courtesy: www.kidprintables.com)

Lil A is this cutie who is all smiles and oh so cuddly.. We had a great time with her.. Nantu could not relate to her though and tried scaring her away.. but since he is smart enough to know that he would be in trouble if he touched her, he would just put his face next to her and growl (!!) to see her scamper off!!
There was another friend there, Uncle A who Nantu looped in to play with him .. driving his toy cars and playing ball!! Poor Uncle A couldn't watch the movie the rest of us were watching... because Nantu declared "This is not my TV time, If I watch I will get scolded" As If!!
The 3 days just flew by ... and we were having too much fun we didn't even realize that it was time to leave already... R and L were so lovely and made us feel so much at home that it was hard to say good bye! Once we got on the plane back.. Nantu realized what was going on.. and wanted to get off and go back to TN. Lets move to Tennessee he says, I miss Big A. He also wanted to go back and buy the fish we forgot all about!!
We sure are waiting for Big A's next vacation time from school and more fun time!
Back Home...
Nantu got a visit from Santa and is very excited about all the gifts that Santa brought him. However Santa read his mind wrong and brought him the wrong version of Lightning Mc Queen (He wanted one that makes sounds and moves, but got a small mini version of it). However he was excited enough to stop fretting about that!
Also it snowed all night Christmas eve and all day y day.. so we had a white white Christmas.. Nantu is trying to extract promises from me to make the snowman!! We haven't made any this year yet!
Today it is back to school for Nantu. He rushed there to tell his friends B and C all about Tennessee and Santa. Unfortunately they aren't back from vacation yet. So Nantu for the first time in a long while had a long face when I dropped him off this morning. Am waiting for him to come back and tell me how it went!
Now I am off to plan something fun for New Year! Happy New Year folks... Have a wonderful year ahead!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Naughty Gene - The Payback

Two posts in a day you ask.. oh well I had to...
Many of you that read the naughty gene post said you have no sympathy for me .. I challenge you to think again!
Age 4 months -
Nantu: goo goo gaa gaa
Person passing by - Mom/Dad usually... : Oh my dear baby, are you bored
picks him up and has a wet shirt!! Oh yes we were still stupid enough to use cloth diapers
Age 6-8 Months -
Mom trying to feed Nantu : Nantu aaaaaaaaaa
Nantu - tightly closed mouth.
Mom - Anga paaru kaka (Look at the crow there)
Nantu - looks up with a smile, mouth not open even one inch
Age 1 year -
Patti (Grandmom) has had a long day and is waiting for mom and dad to come home
Nantu: ammaaa..... (wailing)
Patti takes him to the patio to wait.. Nantu slyly waits for patti to look elsewhere and proceeds to empty all the clothes pins out the railing...
Patti frustrated takes him out the door
Nantu: Ift Ift ... (lift - as in elevator).. Daddy?? (he looks oh so innocently at patti)
So Patti takes him close to the elevator to peer in... He presses the switch.. every time the lift moves it has to halt at our floor.
Age 1 yr 2 months -
Mommy getting lunch ready for Nantu...
Nantu to maid :san san (shanthi)... bye!! (frantically)
Maid knowing him refuses to budge
So Nantu leaves the house and runs across the hallway to bang at the neighbours door
Nantu: Idha Idha... vaaa (Vidhya Vidhya, come!!)

Nantu climbs on patti's bed to look out the window.. and spies his girl friend
Nantu: Thathana!!!!! (Keerthana).. jojo?? (have you had your bath I think it meant)
Thathana: Nantu (She was older by a year I think) ... nee kulichacha??? (have you had your bath)
Nantu: Naanaa (I dont want to ) ... Mammam? (have you eaten)
Thathana: Naa chaptachu .. nee chaptacha (I have eaten have you?)
Nantu: Dhudhu (I am going to have milk)!
1 yr 5 months
Nantu would go to "Eduratha Thatha " (Opposite house granddad - what a name!!) -'s house every evening
Nantu: Ananth Thanni (I will water)..
If Edurathu thatha touches the water hose - Nantu will scream "nanna!!" And then proceed to water himself.. and the plants if they got lucky... I would always send a change of clothes to edurathu thatha.
Then Nantu would walk into the house...
Open the fridge and take his daily quota of cadbury and say - "Thatha One! "(I am only taking one?)
Go on to the kitchen (On the way open the tap of the water dispenser.. thatha sensing this rushes behind him!)
Nantu: Patti coffee tha!! (Give me coffee)
Patti makes him a cup of watered down coffee.. if she has the audacity to give him milk he would say : "Dhudhu nana .. coffee tha!!"
Finally at the sound of dad's car, peace would reign again in Edurathu thatha's house...

At home - eating troubles again...
Nantu and Mom in the patio... mom is feeding him, after much difficulty she gets the spoon into the mouth...
Meanwhile a truck on the road
Mom: Nantu .. truck!!
Nantu- slyly when mom is not looking has spit the food right back into the bowl.. mom knows nothing!!
1 yr 7 months:
Onroute to US with mom .. At london mom is struggling with the check in.. (oh yes the flight was cancelled and we spent a day in london .. more on that later)
Nantu has been handed some small cars to play with...
A lady is oohing at him... Nantu sends some cars whizzing by and trips the lady over!!!
2 Yrs:
Mom broke her thumb and routinely had to go to therapy... She had to drag Nantu with her everytime!
One day at the therapists...
Lady: Ronak, bye.. Ronak, hello
Mom bewildered .. Are you calling him Ronak? He is Nantu
Lady: But he told me he is Ronak!
Mom: Nantu .. whats your name?
Nantu: Ronak
Mom: No your name is Nantu
Nantu: Nantu nalla illai (Nantu is no good).. oh my I should know better.. why dint I ask him before naming him
Another day..
Man walks in and looks around..
Nantu: Hello.. sit!!
Man: Oh hi Buddy
Nantu walks up to him and shakes his hand.. and proceeds to call Aunty Linda in the therapy room inside!!
I should have charged the therapist for his services !!

Another day..
Lady walks out of the indoor therpay room.. I have never seen her before..
Lady to me: Hi you have a smart son!!
Me (beaming): Thank you!!
Lady: No wonder considering that both you and your husband are computer engineers!!
I can only gasp!! And Nantu dint know a word of English!!! He spoke in Tamil!! Oh God!!
Age 2 Yr 7Months
Nantu starts school
At school on the first day
Teacher: Nantu dont cry your mom will be here soon
Nantu: I wanna go on the bus
Teacher: Nantu your mom will come soon I promise
Nantu: I will go home on the bus.. MYSELF!!!

Next day.. circle carpet time
Teacher is talking
Nantu: Dont talk, I want to go on the bus
Teacher: Later, now sit down
Nantu Wailing loudly.. another teacher takes him to the director's room
Director: Take him on the school bus let him play there for a while
They go to the bus
Nantu: Switch it on
Teacher: No I cant do that but you can play here for a while
Nantu: When will you switch it on
Teacher: When you are 5 you get to ride the bus!
Nantu: Lets go back!
Age 3
Oh well this could take a while.. and I really havent got all day you know... so will end this here and make a post on my current trials later.
After all this I ask you dont you feel some pity for me?? I have to live with this cheeky monkey every day!! And like some say this is just the tip of the iceberg!!
And now I am truly gone for the weekend!! I promise!

On this and that ...

I am done reading all other blogs, now its time to make a post and I wonder what about.. so here are a few random thoughts

Happy Go Lucky!!
Do I have it in me to have deep thoughts? I have been reading a lot of blogs and it occurs to me that many of the folks I read have such profound thoughts! While I have none? I do love reading all the posts and most times give me two cents on the topic of discussion, but I can never make such heartfelt posts of my own.. I wonder why.. I am reminded of my mom .. she used to say "I do hope you get serious once in a while.. life is not a big joke you know?" Oh well..

Staying at Home!
I am a stay at home mom.. by choice!
I often get this question "How can you stay at home, arent you bored". I used to think so too when I worked. Then a couple of years back I quit, my life was getting too meaningless for me!! I needed to step back and give myself some space, and enjoy Nantu's company. A lot of my relatives and friends never could understand. I quit a job in a renowned company, a well paying job where I had good growth prospects. And the fact is I loved my work, maybe too much!
When I quit many bet that I will be running back in 6 months. Its been 2 years, I do want to go back to the action. Now that Nantu is in school et al and I will (Oh IRS give me the work permit please!!). But strangely its not at all like I thought. Staying at home is so much fun.. I get to see all the daily antics of my son.. I get time for myself and my hobbies (writing, reading). My life is more relaxed! And I get to travel!
Just yesterday I was wondering why we think that when you dont work (put your education to use!!) you waste your life? I know I used to think that way, but this 2 year stint has changed me so much, I have so much more respect for all those women who have decided to stay at home. Having said that I also have a lot of awe and respect for the women who do it all - work and raise kids.. but thats a whole new post!! (Picture Courtesy: http://www.thestayathomemother.com/sites/default/files/u3/Balance.jpg)

Addicted to Blogging?
This is a question we bloggers ask ourselves time and again.. or dont we?? is it only me?? uhuh!!! Anyway, here is a list of questions that I think are a definite mark of addiction (Oh yes I have so much time I came up with a full fedged list!!!!)

1. Do you have to blog every day or every other day??
2. Do you blog in your head all day - in the shower, as you fall asleep... ?
3. Do you log in and check your blog - just to admire how it looks - 4 times a day if not more?
4. Everytime someone comments do you send a word of thanks to heaven?
5. If you see your kid do something smart, watch some event do you immediately compose a blog in your mind?
6. On vacations do you take special pictures with your blog in mind?
7. When you have a conversation with friends, do you find yourself quoting from blogs??
8. When there are chores to be done are you still at the computer?
9. Do your blog friends know you better than your real life friends?
10. Do you threaten everyone with the refrain "You stop that or I will blog about you"
11. Do your conversations with friends start or end with "In my blog I wrote ..."
12. Do you have your blog page on your email signature?
13. Are you always listing the reasons why you arent a blog addict?
14. Have you ever considered methods of advertising your blog.. maybe put some hoardings up in the middle of the highway?
15. Are you reading this and nodding along/ smiling to yourself.. uhoh.. you cant be saved I dont think the blog-o-holics anaonymous will take you in.
I am guilty as charged!! I think I am doomed... are you?? (Picture Courtesy: http://www.center-escape.org/images/comp_add_clip_image008.jpg)

Note to Suma

I will do the tag you sent my way... just need more time and a lot more thought!!

(Note to Self: Focus is what you need in life.. think think think!!)

Holiday Wishes

Wish you all a merry christmas! I am off on a short vacation this weekend, and so looking forward to it.. Will be back refreshed and stuffed!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Naughty Gene


A lot of my blog friends have been taking up the wickedness tag!!! No one has tagged me :( But then I thought, oh well I am not wicked at all... So its a good thing I dont have to rack my brain for wicked tales.
And then Dotmom wrote her take on the tag.. This has inspired me to share some naughty tales (not wicked and I challenge you to disagree)!!

Age 6: Mom would tell me dont go to the road when you play.. so I scaled walls to go to a friends house which was about 3 houses away.. Imagine what mom went through when she looked and found me gone.. I was ofcourse grounded for a week.. like that would work

Age 7: A friend and I would climb a gooseberry tree (yes gooseberry tree) and pluck all the berries. On the other side of the compound wall was a workshop and we routinely picked up long rods from there to hit at the gooseberrys.. We were once shooed away by the men working there. The next weekend, a lot of their material left outside went missing.. I only hope they had the good sense to look in the house behind the workshop!!


Age 15: In 11th grade we had a math teacher who would drone on and on...she would start at the strike of the hour and let us go at the finish of the hour.. and for some reason she never wore a watch. The rest of the school had 45 minute sessions while the higher secondary had 1 hr sessions, so we werent guided by the bell. One day as she was 15 minutes into the session, she was called outside.. and lo behold guess how the class clock lost 20 full minutes..

Age 16: Physics Lab. It was a class test that day and I had finished my experiment successfully. There I spied a boy with whom I was always at loggerheads. He was in the middle of some electrical experiment, in between everything stopped working.. I hope he thought to check the fuse which had mysteriously gone missing!

Age 18: College - Second Year. Computer Lab - Day 1. We were asked to login to DOS Screens. and then no instructions for a while. I slyly sent a "Hi" broadcast to every PC. No one knew how to make this message go away (you had to use Ctrl and some key, no esc!! :( The lecturer was at a loss too, and I feeling sorry for her owned up and helped the girls get back to the main screen. Another lecturer walked in and asked me to leave the lab... I argued "But I was trying out commands in DOS. Surely thats not wrong", but she would listen to no reason. So I asked her "If I leave now, will you give me attendance?"She was shocked enough to answer "Yes" So I left without as much as an apology.

Age 19: College - Third Year. Auditoriom. We were sitting in the University Auditorium for briefing on the elections. They forgot to mention the engg faculty at all. Meanwhile, we were the first batch of engg and were having troubles with fee increase, lack of proper library facilities (we had to share university library :P), our lab was still under construction and so we had to use the university lab. So somebody had a brainwave.. they dont care about us, why shud we vote? So 600 odd engg students voted for "Engg? Lab?? Fees? Library?" And for the next 2 months everyone from our class was called in turns to the staff room, vice chancellor's room, dean's room to be interogated. How they narrowed it down to our class is a mystery.. but the beauty is no one babbled!!

Age 19: In continuation of the above protest... yet another brilliant plan.. in the "C" class the entire class put their pens down and refused to take notes.. Instead they glared at the lecturer who proceeded to rush to the dean in tears. Ouch!

Age 21: At work... the incessant flirt got mysterious anonymous phone calls... and got stood up at diff rendevous. Word has it that in his quest to solve the mystery he forgot to flirt!!

Age 25: At work.. For 5 months no one knew the fact that I knew Hindi. And gossiped freely near me.. 5 months later when someone asked for the name of a vegetable in english.. I said it in Hindi.. Oh so foolish!! Imagine the looks on the faces when they found out that I had known hindi all along.

And now I am going to send an email out to my college friends... and see what they have to say on my college tales... The list does go on... but in the interest of time and space I end here...
(Picture Courtesy:http://www.louielouie.net/pix-2007/dennis-menace.jpg)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Whats in a name!

For the past couple of days I have been lurking around and reading a lot of blogs... There were 2 of my pet peeves being written about a lot... Mommy Bloggers and the Husband-Wive divide. I wanted so much to write about each of these topics and sat down to do just that. Now all of you who know me, know how my mind works.... and there it went on a spin again.. remnicing a conversation that took place recently in our household..
An email had arrived from my aunt .. and she had asked how "Nantu" was.
DH: Why is she calling him Nantu?
Me: Oh well maybe she has read my blogs you know
a barb intended here... i have asked and asked and though he reads my poetry blog.. he stays away from the rants on this one .. boohoo!!
DH: Do you remember how much time and energy we spent in naming him...
Me: Do I remember? We only spent all of 9 months arguing over it
really.. we are so finicky arent we?
DH: His name means "Endless" and now with this nick name its just the opposite
Me:(thinking uhoh I never did think of that did I?... loudly) But Nantu is such a cute name.
Meanwhile enter Nantu (He has to take part in every conversation..)
Nantu: Mommy you call me Nantu and I will call you Preetu
DH - Exasperated looks at both of us...
Me: Oh I know .. I have a better name for him to use on my blogs.
DH: (Excited) Now you are talking.. whats that?
Me: Cheeky Monkey!
Nantu starts the refrain... I am a cheeky monkey.. I am a cheeky Monkey.. and I join in .. You are a cheeky monkey..
Mom and Son doing a little dance here... DH walks out of there shaking his head...
So now you know who the cheeky monkey is .. and who the bossy monkey is....

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cant Wait for Santa

Oh am I impatient.
Most of you know how I have decided to celebrate all the american traditions this year so that Nantu has the best of both worlds.
Halloween and Thanksgiving went by without much fuss. And now its time for christmas! DH and I have been buying gifts for Nantu that Santa will bring him.. The highlight for this year was a lovely tunnel and tent play zone... I was so sure that Nantu would just love it...
(picture courtesy : http://www.dfwfunnybusiness.com/holidaypage_xmas.html)

Then DH went on a business trip last week. Nantu missed his dad so much, So I had DH give him one of the gifts pretending he had got that from the trip. Nantu was excited and played with the Word Whammer (find it at Amazon) for all of one day after which he found something else that interests him...
Anwyay, last evening I was sitting and talking to DH as he typed away at his comp. Nantu was playing on his own and he would go under the comforter and pretend thats his tent. I was sooo tempted to give him the playzone (Amazon link) and convinced DH that we had to give it to him right away..So I dragged it from hiding and set it up ( and broke my back in the process!). Nantu is so happy... but DH always practical has now asked the big question - so what do you plan to do for christmas.. I still have 2 more gifts that pale in comparison to this and a few books to give him... And I am hoping I can convince DH to shop some more!! (Now I know why my mom never bought me new clothes till the day before my bday). Forgive me Santa...
Talking of Santa, we went to the mall this weekend and Nantu thought sitting on Santa's lap was "Silly"!! So we never stood in queue to meet Santa like I wanted :(
Now for the rest of my post...
SNOW!!!! It snowed all weekend and we went zig zagging to our anniversary lunch treat and then to the mall through the snow filled roads. It was fun to watch all the cars do a drunken dance on the road while the pick ups whizzed past like nothing was wrong. It was more fun because DH was the one driving.
This morning we woke up to more snow... Oh it looks so beautiful, and I love it!!

Considering that I grew up in south India where the weather is sweltering hot all through the year, and that I first experienced snow only a year back (actually less by a month - You know this if you read Restless Feet) when I moved to Colorado from the Bay Area... I see so many of my friends cribbing about not having much to do in winter.. but who needs to do anything when you can watch the while snow sipping a cup of hot hot tea. I am off to do just that.
Thats a big post .. should keep me quiet for a day or two (or so I hope!)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Sunday Scribblings - The Competition

I started to write about a little game called One Upmanship.. this is a pet peeve about which I have been longing to write for a long time. The way parents of all ages constantly pitch their kids against each other in this game they play...
I do it too, albeit in my mind. Every time I see a kid acting up or throwing a tantrum I think of how well behaved Nantu is at that instant. (Every time Nantu throws a tantrum, I think of running away!! )
A few weeks back, Nantu put me in my place when I started at this game. A fellow parent had come home and was raving about how her kid could write her name. A day or so before that another parent had told me about her daughter writing A - E or whatever.
So I in my effort to play the game of One-Upmanship (Where my son has to be better than the other kids his age) ...

Me: Nantu N writes, S writes wont you try to write the letter A
Nantu: Amma ippo enna kiruka udu, naan big boy aanodane ezhudhalam
(Mom let me scribble now, when I am a big boy we can write!)
Nantu's work of art.. a car is what that is supposed to be!!

How true, yeah whats the hurry anyway? And to think a 3 year old had to awaken me to the fact.. what does that say about me?I had a whole list of occassions where I have played/watched this game at play. But in the interest of the blogging populace that reads my blogs, I will end with a few questions .. feel free to answer them!
Why do we have this urge to compete?? Why do we have this need to excel in everything we do? Why cant we live life at our own pace? Who is the judge of what is true success?

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Thursday, December 6, 2007

Nantu Bytes

(Edited to add: No Nantu doesnt bite his mom is a geek ...)
The topic of discussion in Nantu's school was occupations
Teacher: A what does your mommy do?
A: She works in the doctor's office
B: Mine does too.
Teacher: Really what does she do?
B: She gets the shots
**We do need someone to get the shots right?**
Teacher: Nantu what does your daddy do?
Nantu: My daddy hugs!
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What do you do about imaginary friends? I am always stepping on one of the other of them.. my house is so full of them, does anyone want any, I sure have a lot to spare .....
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Nantu: I want a bouncing ball for christmas
Mom: Pray to Lord Krishna for it
Nantu: Oh no I will ask Santa
Mom: How do you think Santa gets the gifts, Krishna gives it to him
**Boy am I confused?! **
Nantu: Nooooooo, Santa buys them at toysaurus!
Mom: But you have to be good for Santa to bring you gifts, pray to Krishna to be good.
Nantu: Krishna, please make me a good boy I need a bouncing ball.
Mom: Nantu shlokam sollu (tell a shloka)
Nantu : muttering gibberish...
Mom: Whats that?
Nantu: Thats a shlokam you dont know!
************************************************
The note from school said "We discussed what we want to be when we grow up"
Mom: Nantu did your teacher ask you what you wanted to be when you grow up?
Nantu: Yes I said I want to be a firefighter.
Dad: Do you know you have to go into a fire and rescue people?
Nantu: Yes. But I wont go.
Dad: But thats what a firefighter does.
Mom: So what will you do when there is a fire?
Nantu: I will be a NASCAR Driver.
** We are so naive, when in trouble just change your occupation**
*************************************************
This post has been inspired from a similar post by Kodi's mom

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Restless Feet...


When I was young I would dream of exploring every part of the world. Before our wedding I made DH promise that we would travel and see places. My aunt and uncle are the Nomadic Couple who have seen most of the world including Siberia and China, and I wished to emulate them.
Little did I know that fate would take it so literally?! We have been cursed ... every few months we move to a new place! DH and I are die hard optimists who take this in our stride and can actually work up the enthusiasm to move to a new place and set up our home all over again... I had no idea how much till recently. We had thought we were going to move again... after weeks of being offered various assignments in one location after another, DH found one to his liking here in CO itself. So it turns out we dont have to move after all, I felt strangely deflated!
Nantu has been a real trooper all this while ... In the 3 years of his life he has (officially) moved atleast 4 times and has taken to it as happily as his crazy parents. So I thought nothing of it as I sat to chat with him about the impending move.
Mom: Nantu what do you say we move to a new city, that will be good fun!!
Nantu: I wont go!
Mom: But Mommy and Daddy need to go, what will you do without us.
Nantu: I like Colorado, I am not going.
Mom: (on her knees now) Nantu you are mommy's pet arent you, please go with me!
Nantu (clever boy that he is): Ok I will go, but will my school be there?
Mom: (Uhoh!) There will be other schools there, just as good as yours
Nantu( thinking deeply): .... Alright will B go with us then?
Mom (Fat chance B's parents will consider making the move with us) ... Lets see ok..
On this aspect its perhaps good that we dint move after all, but eventually it will happen.. we will move and when we do will the moving no longer be a fun project - I dread to think!!
Meanwhile we celebrate a new record this coming weekend - The first time we have stayed in a house for over 11 months - we complete 11 months and a day this saturday (we also celebrate our wedding anniversary this weekend - but thats not so important it does come every year).
Having said all that.. there is still the whole world to see.. I have still lived only in 2 countries.. so Nantu better get used to it!!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Sunday Scribblings - The Walk

Hi...
I have a new illness! Everytime I take up the virtual pen to write a blog, I seem to develop this profound seriousness and come up with sad stories to write about..
I saw the prompt from Sunday Scribblings - Walk, and came up with a blog on a lady's walk of life.. her struggles, woes and fight for success against fate. It is a touching tale, and maybe I will post it later but today sagas like this are not my cuppa tea!
So thinking of pleasanter things...


I think of Nantu's first steps. Nantu took his time to walk. My MIL lamented everyday since he turned 11 months "Oh when will this boy walk!" We forbade her to try and make him walk with luring him or holding hands...
So he took his own sweet time. He wouldn't even walk holding furniture. Only in his crib wud he walk.. He ofcourse was a master at crawling, and even climbed full flights of stairs on hands and knees.. so I think in his mind there was no necessity to walk.
Then it happened.. when Nantu was 1 Year and a month old. Sadly MIL had gone to her hometown and was not around to watch that. On that day he held onto the bed and walked around it. Then the same day, he let go and walked upto me... I was so shocked! Here I had never seen my son attempt to walk at all, and all in one day he walks like he had been doing that for long!!
His first walk was a penguin style walking... with hands held apart.. to balance. I would thrust something in his held out hand and immediately he wud sit down... haha!! Needless to say I had so much fun with this (Mean Mommy!! Yeah)
Then slowly he got more confident.. and soon started running.. it seemed the running would never stop.. I lost weight running behind him.. I would grow dog tired.. but he would still be running!!

Now its at his worst.. he neither walks nor runs.. he jumps, climbs and tumbles...
As I watch him engage in rough play with dad... tumbling about.. I think of the day not so long ago (was it really only 2 years ago?) when he took his first step!

<12/2/2007>I wrote a poem on this at Baby Steps. It has been ages since I wrote poetry.. used this oppurtunity to give it a revival. Hope you like it, please give me your honest feedback.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Misspent youth...

I am running out of things to write about... well thats not really true.. I just came up with half a dozen topics in the past half hour... yeah I am bored... DH is working and Nantu is asleep... and I am a crazy person who cant sleep till the house is dark and quiet. So I decide to blog.
I came here, read some blogs and sat down to write something. In the past half hour I came up with a half a dozen topics I dont want to write about just now. Hip Grandma... I could never do that tag you took up, now you know why!
Anyway, as I was browsing blogs, I came across yet another writer's challenge - The Sunday Scribblings.
Scribblings?? Sounds familiar I said... So here is mine for this week - on Misspent Youth.
These two words brought to mind this real story...

I went to school with a boy who was also a very distant relative. This boy was a year older to me. So when I was in 11 grade, he was in his 12th. He was a relatively quiet and studious boy who kept to his books. He had a very nice and loving family. The day of the 12th results and his number did not appear in the papers... He went home and his mom having seen this tells him "Dont worry, its probably a mistake let us see the mark sheets tomorrow and decide what to do!". His grandmom told him " Vaa paa, adhaye nanachindu irukadha sapda vaa " (come, dont keep thinking about that, come and eat).
The boy does not respond.. that evening they found him hanging from the fan in his room!! Needless to say everyone was shocked!
My aunt went to the funeral. The mother told her "Oh I dint know my son was such a coward. Maybe he dint deserve to live after all".
This episode made a very deep impact in my mind.. I have always thought of that boy time and again since.
A few years back I was working in Phoenix Az and a collegue came to me very upset. She had an article from the papers with her.
She asked me "Preethi is it true that this time of the year is the time results come out in India? And that many kids commit suicide because of pressure of performing from parents and peers?"
I thought of this boy again.. and I had no response for her but to say "Yes it is true, sad but true!"
Misspent youth for you.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Letter


I recently discovered Writers Island.. it sounds like good fun.
The prompt from Writers Island this week is Letter... Decided to give it a try...
At the mention of "Letter" a numerous things flit through my mind..
1. Letters from pen pals in school... I had a couple of pen pals (a friend and a cousin). We would write each other every week...and try our hand at humour in the back of the envelope!!!
2. Letters a friend and I would write to each other. We went to school together... but wrote to each other.. poetry, letters etc. We also wrote anonymous poetry to all our friends.. which ofcourse wasnt so anonymous after all!!
3. Letters from my grand dad .. He is 96 and stilll writes long illegible letters .. filled with advice, blessings and love. Letters from grand mom in the last leaf of the aerogramme... trying to fit everything in the small space thatha gave her!!
4. Opening my mailbox every morning in eager anticipation for emails from DH .. when we lived in different parts of the world. Later similarly eagerly anticipating emails from mom every morning.
5. Chain mails among friends at work.. the same chain would go on for days together and was always good fun!!
6. An email from a certain somebody (who will remain unnamed for my safety).. which always contain the subject line "Letter"
7. Resignation letter at my first job.. I was sooo proud of landing a job with one of the leading companies that I wrote an arrogant letter of resignation.. and presented it equally arrogantly.
8. The soap "Friends" where Joey writes a letter to the adoption commitee as a reference for Monica and Chandler.
9. And finally the best of all - some Nantu-ism
Me: Nantu do you want to write a letter?
Nantu: Yes. Can I write in my laptop.
Me(Excited): Yes who would you write to? God? Santa
Nantu: Santa
Me: What would you write ? Dear Santa...
Nantu: No he is just Santa... I will write the letter L
Me: What? Why L Nantu?
Nantu: Summa (Just like that), letter L is very good

Yes I do think letter L is very good dont you?? Children do put our thoughts in perspective ... Whats your favourite letter??

ThanksGiving

Every thanksgiving we have a tradition... we take a vacation! This time around DH was feeling stressed out from work so wanted to give it a miss. I humoured him... no vacation we will spend 4 days at home and plan a simple outing for each day!!
Thanksgiving morning dawned with a sink full of dishes and a long faced me... I was upset that we hadn't taken that vacation!! (I do have a mean streak!!) DH dragged himself out of bed and to the PC. I sat Nantu down and told him about thanksgiving. So what are you thankful for I asked..
Nantu:Mommy what happens to the turkey.
Me: Oh nothing at all.. the turkey ran away din't you know?
Nantu:Where?
Me: To the forest I think... lets forget about that... what are you thankful for?
Blank...
Me: Nantu are you thankful you have wonderful parents
Nantu (Hugging me): Yes Mommy I love you!
Me: Nantu are you thankful you have a room full of toys
Nantu: Mommy can I have a rocking horse please!!
Well atleast I tried!! So we started a new tradition. Nantu thanked GOD for all the wonderful things he had (which he couldn't fathome ofcourse).
Meanwhile DH was browsing the net to plan a day trip for us.. and I was dilly dallying getting to the dishes.. It was 10: 30 AM by then. So DH says, lets stop all the research and just hit the mall... yeah we are a bunch of naive people who din't know shops are closed on thanksgiving... duh!!!
So we hit the Cherry Creek Mall. We saw all the closed shops and I bemoaned... Oh my GOD how are we going to get lunch??? See how my brain works??
Nantu insisted to be let out of his stroller.. and started running around and having fun... so much space and no crowds?? Thats more fun than shopping right??!!
This mall has a lovely play area... where Nantu had a ball... there were a few other families who had turned up like us.. It was fun to watch all the kids. So who said going to a closed mall is not fun?
Unfortunately.. our tummies started gumbling at about 1 PM... ding dong!! We scoured the entire town and finally found a good old Indian place which we dont really like was the only open resturant in town.. By the time we reached there the kitchen was closed!! But we cheerfully ate all the left overs!!
The plan was to make a nice western dinner in honour of thanksgiving.. Well Mac and cheese is western enough right??
Black Friday....
The plan was to get up at 5 in the morning.. 3:30 at night.. DH is still not asleep.. so I switched off the alarm and said "Lets think about shopping when we get up". We got out of bed and to the store by 9 AM.. and got some amazingly good deals (for going out that late)... It was bad weather though.. and snowed throughout the day..
I let Nantu romp about till later than his usual bedtime (8 PM!!) and tucked him into bed.. He developed a high fever in the middle of the night... I think it was all the running around yday to the stores in bad weather.. Bad momma. Also, we are having the stay in bed struggle (a post on that soon) ... so it was past midnight by the time we realized that he had fever and I was feeling very guilty!!
So today's outing...After Hours Doctor Clinic...
We were supposed to visit Santa today... I guess Santa will just have to wait another week....

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Tagged!! Yes Again!!!!

I have been tagged.. yes again!!!! (Is it the season for tagging??) This time thanks to Fuzzy Logic who has done a brilliant job with this! These are questions supposedly asked by guys to better understand girls.. like they would do that!!!!
Anyway.. here goes.
1. How do you feel after a one night stand?
I hate Wrestling (Before you gt the wrong idea.... One Night Stand is an annual professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Dont believe me? See this http://www.wwe.com/shows/onenightstand/)
2. Do you ever get used to wearing a thong?
Yeah, and I love them especially this one!!
3. Does it hurt?
What.. wearing a thong?? Not unless they are the wrong size.
4. Do you know when you are acting crazy?
Yes all the time
5. Does size really matter?
Ofcourse it does... whats with you.. See 3
6. When the bill comes are you still a feminist?
Never.... I am the one without the wallet!!
7. Why do you take so long to get ready?
Says who... You never give us fair warning!! Btw you think we can get it all done fast?? Think again...
8. Do you watch porn, too?
Why would I??
9. Will something from Tiffany’s solve everything?
How big is it?
10. Are guys as big of a mystery to you as you are to us?
Ofcourse not... They are all the same!!!
11. Why do you sometimes think you look fat?
Its a never ending race to be the thinnest of the lot...
12. Why are you always late?
Its called being fashionably late... I like to make an "Entrance"
13. Does it bother you when we scratch?
Yes! eeew.... stop that!!
14. Do you wish you could pee standing up?
Yeah ... every time I take a road trip!!
15. Why do so many women cut their hair short as soon as they get married?
Wouldnt know.. have always had it kinda short...
16. How often do you think about sex?
Not as often as you
17. What do you think of women who sleep with guys on the first date?
What no playing hard to get...
18. Would you?
Haha!!!!! Not my type!!
19. Do you realize every guy wants a girl just like his mom?
Eeew.. I hope not "Every" guy!!!
20. Why does every woman think she can change him?
I wont try to change you.. if you dont try to change me!!
21. Does it matter what car I drive?
Yeah .. the flashier and the more expensive .. the better!! But dont talk to me about the specifications... Yawn!!
22. Do you ever fart?
Like I will say that in public!!

Again... not tagging anyone.. Whoever wishes to take it up can follow suit...
Well on second thoughts.. Vidhya and Suma... trying giving it a shot!!

Curiosity Kills!!!! - An Interesting Meme

Suma of the Thinking Aloud fame put me up to this... It sounded interesting .. and now that I have done 2 tags already,.. decided to attempt this one

1)Which one person would you choose to understand you better?
I have been thinking about this .... cant seem to come up with a name. Nantu?? Oh well... he better atleast when he gets into his teens right?? But I bet he never will, like I never understood my mom!!

2) What do you think is the best age to be? Why?
22, just out of college, the independence of working... and the ecstacy of staying alone!! That was some of the best times of my life!!!
The now is not too bad too.. never has been.. I also love watching Nantu grow!!

3) Of all the people you know, who would be the easiest to seduce? Why?
DH ofcourse!!! whats more easier than not having to try at all :)

4) What's the best advice you didn't heed?
The list is endless.. I never ever heeded to any advice from my parents.. so lets not delve into this!!!

5) Show and Tell. What comes to mind first when you see this picture? Or, tell a story if it reminds you of one.

This actually reminds me of my dad. When I was in college, I wrote a poem on my dad for the college magazine. I put some pictures there, and one of it was a clock/watch!! Will try and see if I can get hold of the poem somewhere and will try and post it!!

Not tagging anyone.. anyone who wishes to take this up.. please do and leave a link on my comments. Would love to read your thoughts!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Relatively speaking....

Nantu has a new obsession ... Relatives.
And it doesnt suffice to tell him how they are all related to him. He needs to know how they are related to me, to DH and to each other.
For example.. he will tell us who DH's mom is .. who her sister is ... who her mother is and how he,we should refer to them. Also how they should refer to each other!!
He can even list all of my grandmom's children...
I started out being amused!
He would ask me
"Amma how come you have so many cousins,while I have only 2"
"Amma how come you have 4 mama's (maternal uncles) while I have none"
"Amma how come both you and daddy have a sister when I have no sister"
Also when we talked to everyone in India he calls them by the correct mode of address and makes sure he inquires about everyone in the household/ city that he knows of!! He will also try and talk to everyone of these people. Recently on one such occassion he asked DH .." How come Athimber (SIL's husband) doesn't talk to me at all. I need to talk to him." Luckily he was at home and Nantu could talk to his heart's content!
The amusement has now turned to guilt. We live so far away from home that our chidren miss out on having the big extended family that we had!! Also as against our parents we had very few siblings.. now this generation has just one maybe if any!! The family is getting really nuclear... I had hoardes of cousins. Nantu has just 2 who he hardly ever meets. I was lamenting on this to my SIL recently. Nantu is soon going to meet his cousins this summer after almost 2 years.. and he will get to spend 1 maybe 2 weeks with them!! I am feeling guilt ridden again...

Monday, November 19, 2007

Tagged yet again...

The Phoenix has me tagged now. I think she wants me to write my blogging story!! Well here goes...

To my friends I was the obvious person to start a blog. I have bored them too much I think. So every once in a while a friend would ask me if I owned a blog.
At first I was confused.. I know about blob's (non-IT folks please forgive me for this remiss act - this is an object storage type in DBMS) but what was a blog? I turned to google.. and found that this was a whole new thing entirely!!

I chanced upon a travel blog written by a friend who I had long lost contact with. I got very excited and left him a comment "Hey how do I reach you??!". I didn't notice that his entries were old and he was obviously not even writing anymore yet!! Yeah thats how naive I was!!
I will digress here a bit and write about why everyone thought I should own a blog. I had written journals all my life. And loved to write poetry. I wrote poetry on friends, foes, nature, politics everything! My friends loved them , although when I read them now I dont agree!!

About the journal writing.. I wasn't one of those closet journal writers.. I made everyone in my family read my journals.. I was so proud of them. Considering that these were day - to day happenings I dont know Why I wanted my mom, and cousins to read them!! Anyway, once I started working I stopped the journals and took to writing long (dreary) emails!! So my friends decided to spare themselves and tried introducing me to the blogging world!!
A few months back, I found out that my little sister is writing blogs too... and started reading hers... I was also introduced by her to this madness called ORKUT a few months before that!! And I started discovering and reading all my friend's blogs in this process!!
I decided I will blog too... and wrote a few blogs the first month. No response!!
I made DH read these blogs and he agreed that this might be a good thing for me to do!! But still I wrote and no response... so I let it go. Then a couple of months later.. a couple of friends ask me "Why are you not writing anymore". I was encouraged... Atleast a couple of people read this crap!!!

After that its all history like they say!! And now I am hooked on!!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

TAGGED!

Sumana has tagged me! Yay!! (for once something about me and not Nantu!! Yay again!!)

Tag Name :Seven Random and / or Weird Things about Me.

Rules : Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.Let each person know that they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
Here goes.. you will be the judge of the random/weird classification!
1. Childhood .... I was quite a handful apparently. My mom had to watch her words. She would tell me no going to the road when you play, dont step outside the gate. I scaled walls to reach friend's homes!! She would say, when you see daddy come home, you better get back too.. I would hide at the sight of his car, and pretend I never saw him!! Now its time for nature's sweet revenge!!!
2. Saying No ... I have never learnt the word no. However there are many things I dont want to say Yes to. And I have a bigger problem here... I cant keep my lies straight. I will make convoluted tales and mess up the situation further. Finally its DH I always turn to extricate me out of my mess. Needless to say DH will yell and scream, but give me brilliant ideas!!!
3. Arguments ... I hate arguments to the point of being submissive just to avoid one! However if I do get into one there is no end to it, till I win it. I will argue till I am blue in the face. Needless to say, I won every debate competition is School/College!!! However I have almost never won an argument with my Dad or DH!
4. ADD ... I have selective ADD. I am addicted to reading, be it books, news, blogs what-so-ever. I get so involved in them that I lose track of the outside world!!! My son has to ask me a question 5 times to get it answered!!
5. Hoarding... I hoarde... BOOKS!! A lot of people dont understand this obsessive compulsive habit I have, DH Included. Last time I was in US, I brought a bunch of books with me from India. When we had to return, DH made me give away those books. I lamented for long over that!! This time he forbade me to bring anything at all. I have been here 1.5 yrs now and have accumulated atleast 100 books.... And I claim I will have it all shipped when we move back to India. DH just heaves a big sigh!!!
In college, mom would give me 100 bucks for petrol. I filled petrol for 60 bucks and bought books for the rest 40. This is one habit no one has been able to cure me off!!!
6. Free Spirit ... I hate being told what to do! My mom would worry when groom hunting for me... "Oh God!! I hope the guy doesn't mind a wife who will never ever listen to him!!!". DH is a man after my own heart!! He is a free spirit too, and understands too well what it means to be so pig headed!!! We have both changed over the years and have made some adjustments. But still we hardly ever interfere in each others life!!
7. Blog Writing ... I usually write blogs on the spur. Sometimes I will delete them after writing, because they suck. But no matter what when I sit to write words flow. Sumana gave me this topic to write about, and I have spent the better part of the past couple of days and nights wondering what to write about ME!!!???!!!

Hope this was weird enough??!! Or atleast Interesting enough!
Now my turn... and I tag...

Priya
Gomathi
Vidhya
Veena
Hip Hop Grandmom
Dot Mom
Compassion Unlimited

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Mommy-Know-It-All's fall from grace!

When I was a kid... I believed my mom was the encyclopedia... If I read something in a book, I would run to my mom to reconfirm if it was indeed true!! My sister did the same too.. We even took to thinking that daddy din't know a thing... In retrospect I think we thought Dad was illiterate. We would tell him "You dont know daddy, let me ask mom". Then the inevitable happened, we found out there are somethings mom doesnt know.. And then we were the boss. I remember my sister teaching my mom pronounciations ("Its not tortoise it is tortise") when she was in Kindergarden!!! My mom would lament at her fall of status!!!
My SIL went through this in the recent years. She has a 9 year old, who went through the same phases.. She warned me about the falling from grace.
To me it happened sooner than I expected.
My son corrects my english every day today...
Its not "Laughing" its Laughin
Its not "Pitttteerrrrr Patttterrrr" its Pider Pader...
Oh Nantu I dont speak American!!!
And also.. Mommy drive fast, dont drive so slow. Mommy turn on the signal well before you turn left!! Mommy Brakeess!!! (Oh well I am so terrified of driving now I cling to my husband and say.. please go with me!!!)
This holds true for daddy too... Just yday he asked DH
"Daddy the green light is on why dont you just go."
DH: mumbling...
Nantu: Daddy nee expert driver illaya? (Are you not an expert driver?)
Also Nantu will criticize books..
"This is wrong", "This is silly", or "Have you ever seen a red hippo!! How silly"
But there is no word about the teacher..
Sometimes he will say "Miss A says....." and go on to tell us about the wisdom she imparts. He still believes she is always right!
I dub him Nantu-Know-It-All .
What happened to my lil boy who claimed Mommy - You know it all? I miss him!!

Marital Bliss - Overheard!

I am no longer surprised by the american tales of marital bliss.. but this one stumped me.
I was at the local pharmacy.. waiting to get my prescription refill. I overheard this conversation between the pharmacist and her friend.

Friend : How long have you been married
Pharmacist: 4 Years, bbt we have been together for 7
F: Oh thats longer than me I have been married for 5 yrs
P: Yeah right, lets see how long this lasts. We will see if I do stick on...

Felt like sharing this to the blogging world :)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

IMAGINATION OVERLOAD

I remember being 6, sitting under the table with my li'l cousin and playing for hours with little wooden and plastic kitchen utensils! A couple of years back, I was browsing through Poompuhar (Handicraft store) and I came across a straw box filled with wooden kitchen gadgets and dishes! I got excited looking at this and got one for Nantu. Nantu ofcourse being true to his nature made a train out of all the dishes and spent hours entertaining himself.

Kids have an over active imagination. They imagine monsters out of shadows, they conjure up friends from their imagination. Their bed turns into a jungle, boat, car, mountain, camp ground and so on. And the imagination is so real... I remember a friend's kid who took it on her head that the living room was a ocean filled with sharks and whales... She would jump across couches and coffee tables, anything to keep from putting her foot on the dangerous ocean bed!!

I have always enjoyed these imaginative plays be it the regular mommy - daddy, house-house games or the endless possibilities a cardboard box offers, or wild imaginative play. It amuses me to watch kids at it. The cardboard box is of course the best. Whats with kids and cardboard boxes. No matter how many toys you fill their room with, there will still be the couple of cardboard boxes they love the best. I remember once when we were moving.... I had shipped all of Nantu's toys, and retained a couple of cardboard boxes. He entertained himself with these for one full week...
I am reminded of the Master Card Ad - which lists the price of many toys and then shows a kid playing with a cardboard box
"Watching them play with a cardboard box instead - priceless. There are some things money can't buy, for everything else there is master card".

Sure enough. The cardboard box turns into a tunnel, fort, train and engine and caboose when lined together, garage what not.. the possibilities are indeed endless! Maybe this christmas Santa should bring Nantu a cardboard box!!!

I read in a parenting book recently about how kids believe so strongly in their imagination. To them the imaginary is very real!!! I can relate to this... I loved to live in my imaginary world when I was a kid!! Getting dreamy eyed again....

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Diwali....

DIWALI GREETINGS....

I have been married for a few years now. Through these years I never made an attempt to cook up a storm for any function/ festival . I made the occassional Payasam (Kheer) ... but mostly I rebelled the concept of how every celebration seemed to revolve around food!!

However, a year ago... I changed my mind! Here's why... I had thought my little son was still a baby who was growing up unaware of his surroundings. Sure enough he was in the US but din't speak a word of English. Halloween went by without a fuss! It was Christmas eve, and my husband and I were talking about how the shops were closed because it was christmas tomorrow. My son perked up... and said "Amma, Santa will come tonight and leave a gift by the fire place. It will be there when I get up tomorrow". My husband and I looked at him amazed!! The culprit "BARNEY"!!!!! We ran around town looking for an open shop and found a Rite Aid, where I got him Santa's gift.

The realization dawned on me that while Barney and Elmo were educating my son about christmas and halloween, I was letting him grow unaware of our inherent traditions. I have since made a conscious effort to celebrate every festival in the Indian calendar - major and minor. Nantu has a sweet tooth so he looks forward to this... I would make some sweet - chakara pongal (sweet pongal) mostly this being Nantu's favourite and Vada. We would then Pray to GOD when Nantu would recite all the slokams (Prayers) he knows and then he would eat the sweet!! Needless to say he keeps making up bday's - " Amma today is Balaji umachi's bday, Umachi paavam, make some sweet for him!" (Paavam : SAD? Umachi - GOD).

Diwali was no different... I was reminded of all the festivities we had when we were kids. All the sweets mom and grandmom made... Distributing sweets to neighbours, fireworks, endless tv watching, lakshmi puja and bon fire at my (punjabi) neighbour's place. We had a blast for about a week in all.

I was visited by the guilt trip... Nantu is not having as much fun as I had when I was a kid... So I cooked up a storm ... I made three types of Savouries and 3 sweets - Thengulal, Ribbon Pakoda, Omapodi (Sev), Gulab Jamun, Appam and Manoharam. We regaled Nantu with all the diwali tales and about the fireworks display... He only knows about the July 4th displays ofcourse!! He was very excited about Diwali and insisted on calling everyone in India and wishing them. He even insisted on wearing Sricharanam (Thika) on his forehead. Yay!!

Happy Diwali to all of you

Monday, November 5, 2007

Advent into motherhood.

I was talking to a friend recently about pregnancy and birth... I got to thinking about my journey through it.
All through my pregnancy, I read religiously about the foetus's progress daily... I made it to all the doctor visits, and grilled her with questions about everything related to pregnancy and child birth. She took to telling me what I would read on the internet, and what they do differently in India even before I opened my mouth! I ate veges and fruits and all healthy things. One month when I decided I had developed a craving for icecream (for once my DH let this go unchecked)... my doctor berated me for the weight gain... cravings is a myth she said, if you have intention of getting back to shape after the baby... dont dare touch those icecreams and chocos!!! So I wasnt pampered with having all the midnight cravings satisfied by DH. He kept remiding me of doctor's orders and generally suspecting my intentions (let me set the record straight by saying he was right in doing so... most of the cravings were gimmicks!)
Anyway, I worked till late night almost every day during my pregnancy (part due to nature of work, and partly due to my hard headedness) . I religiously walked though... and when I walked I ran in competition with some of my colleagues... my friend gomz noticing this, took to walking with me just to check my speed. I also climbed up and down 5 floors to my apartment every day! I stayed out late nights on weekends, going to restaurants and having fun (which I thought I could never do after the baby). On the whole I violated every traditional indian rule book.. boy was I crazy!!
Soon it was time to go on maternity leave and still no sign of the baby... Every day the whole world would call and ask me if I was feeling anything.. and was I feeling frustrated, and annoyed with anyone who dared ask. But I used this time to do extensive shopping for the baby... I read books, washed the babies clothes in dettol and waited. A couple of days after due date, still no baby - I dragged my MIL to the dentist. She was horrified at the suggestion, but my reasoning was... the dentist's place was close to the hospital. If I did go into labour I would just go and get admitted. My DH can then join me!
Finally after another frustrating day 4 days after my due date, I started having some pains. Now I had a lot of people around me declaring this was definitely not labour, it dint seem like it either... from the birth preparation classes I had attended. My DH and I had a quiet consultation and decided maybe the baby was just too cozy inside, so time to nudge it out! We figured if we went to the hospital at 11 pm in the night, they aint sending us back!! So we did that, and sure enough they let us stay. The next morning though the chief doctor looked at me and said, "Doesnt look like you are in labour. We will watch you till the afternoon and then send you home"! By this time I was ready to scream! An assistant doctor told me, dont eat a thing only fluids and keep walking, that might speed it up. I walked... and walked and walked... all day! round and round the little room. My husband was really worried for my sanity!! we sent everyone else home sure they would have protested to such ridiculous behaviour!!
But that worked... finally at 4 pm (5 days after my due date) the doctor declared I am ready and wheeled me into the labour room!! I will leave all the gross part out! At 9: 30 Pm (Yes 5 and a half hours later) Nantu decided to make an appearance!! (I should have known right then, stubborn kid!!). I felt nothing but relief. No elation, no motherly feeling, nada! My DH on the other hand felt everything. He was in the labour ward with me and held the baby first (after the doc ofcourse). I was so tired I didn't want to hold the baby right then... bad mommy!! All I wanted was sleep...(ha, was I in for a rude awakening!!!)
In the coming months I did many things which none of the tradionalists approved of. One such thing was letting my baby sleep in a cradle instead of my bed. What? I was so scared I would crush him! Also every time I woke up in the night, DH would be up making sure I was mixing the right amount of formula, The first month in my sleepless state I once poured a bottle of water into the formula can!
Like all things in life, I took pregnancy and child birth too lightly.... in retrospect it was a good thing too! I had a nice kid too, who stopped waking in the middle of the night at 4 months and decided to let us rest!!! Meanwhile I decided to start acting my part and became the world's most perfect mommy (yeah I knew you wouldn't fall for that.. I stumble through!!)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Going to school - the transformation

Nantu started school in the first week of July. It has been four full months.. and my what trasnformation!!

Before we go further on this topic, a bit about Nantu. Nantu was an extrovert and would talk to every single person on the road... till he turned 2. A month or two after he turned 2, he started to exhibit shyness. Neddless to say I was confused! I have always been an extrovert, I found it very hard to relate to a shy kid who suddenly had seperation anxiety, wouldnt talk to adults (strangers or not), would play with kids outside and in his home, but took time unwinding to play in their homes. I decided he needed to go to school.

In April I first visited this private school in my area. Needless to say it was a lot expensive than the other schools here, but I felt this might be good for Nantu given his shyness. I took a tour in April when He spotted some fun toys and asked if we could stay longer! However, we couldnt start him on school till july, due to many reasons. Meanwhile, Nantu grew shy-er... In June a couple visited us and it took us 15 minutes to get him to look at their face even. I was really worried! Ofcourse a half day later, he was yapping away with them like they were his bosom buddies! But still I was really upset about this, and decided "School right away".

I took him to school for the first time in the first week of July. I stayed there for the first half hour, when Nantu played with some toys, and actually befriended another little guy ! However when it was time for me to leave, he started bawling.... and continued to do that till I went back to pick him up. He did this for a month. He would refuse to get ready, bawl all the way to school, when I left him and all through the day. He would refuse to sit and listen to the stories, not play in the playground, he wouldnt eat a single morsel. I was exasperated! But I continued to take him to school every morning (he went only 3 days a week) and pick him up every afternoon. His teachers were really nice about this. They would sometimes take him out of the classroom and let him play on his own - in the school bus, in the director's office. He seemed to like that better! Slowly he stopped crying all day.

He would cry when I left him in school and would still refuse to get up in the morning saying "Its leave today!!". I would worry that my son has such an aversion to school. Ofcourse my friends added fuel to the fire saying that kids usually love school and want to go to school. And tell me about bitter experiences in private schools. Still I kept at it.

Slowly he stopped crying, but would not play with the other kids, and would hang out with the teachers all day. Then he slowly ventured away from the teachers and would play by himself. Next he would play with the kids, but not talk to them at all. He refused to answer their questions. Meanwhile he had started tasting the food too.

Now four months later my son gets up in the morning and is eager to go to school. I hand him his drink and tell him you need to finish that if you want to go to school. He not only plays with the other kids but talks with them nineteen to a dozen and comes home to tell me the tales.

Last Friday, I needed to take him to the doctor in the morning. He kept asking me "Can I go to school after this please?". I took him to school after the visit, he ran in and proceeded to play with his friends without even bidding bye-bye to me. On weekends , tuesdays and thursdays he is in tears "Amma there is school today, I need to go". I breathe a sigh of relief!

He has also started interacting with outsiders more. He still is not an extrovert, but he smiles and nods instead of talking. He will say hello and bye and thank you to all our friends. Thats a first step!!

Four short months.. and what a transformation!! yay!!