Friday, December 19, 2008

The Christmas Jinx!

I have probably mentioned this before.. but I am a very confused person. I celebrate just too many things to stay sane! Now its Christmas.. I put up Christmas decor in the form of snowmen and santa figurines around the living room and lit up the lamps for karthigai (festival of lights in South India). While I was thus balancing both cultures I made the biggest blunder.. I might have accidentally let slip to His Cheekiness that "Santa is imaginary".. GASP!!

Maybe the reason was to get credit for all the gifts Santa brings him.. I don't even get a hug or a thank you!! Or to make him tell me the gifts he wants Santa to bring No "secrets between Santa and me!" or maybe I was just tired about all the hush and secrecy of buying gift, hiding them, holding in the secret for what seems like eternity... Anyway, I tried to remedy by saying we were his secret Santa and would be the actual people buying the gifts.. So maybe it was just for some brownie points after all!

But Cheeky being Cheeky.. has made it a point to prove to me that Santa is real.. so now we have been talking about Santa every day for the past month! I have gone on my knees and pleaded to the All Mighty Cheeky that I agree now that Santa is real.. but that does not stop him from going on and on!! I took him to the mall..and even offered to stand in line so he could go through the snow globe (glittering eyes) and sit on Santa's lap (bored expression).. But the imp thinks sitting on Santa's lap is "Too Silly" and wants to stand in line, go through the snow globe and walk out.. poor Santa would be crushed.. so I had to convince Cheeky to settle for a happy meal instead!

Anyway, like the troubles in my home was not enough, I took on more.. I was going to help host the Christmas party at school.. for his class! Phew! I had signed up for this in the beginning of the year.. and as you can imagine forgot all about it till I was idly looking at the notice board last week. After a complete melt down, I rushed to the Arts Store and got some lovely crafts for the kids to do (some great sun catcher kits with paints and brushes)... and the other parent organized the food. And then the day before the party a couple of parents reminded me about the teacher's gift.. at least I had a day to rush and get something together! Whew!

But wait, this story is not yet over.. far from it ... Come the day of the party, I realized I forgot to send invites out or at least put a note up on the notice board announcing the party and inviting the parents! While I was freaking out, Cheeky's teacher assured me that most people seemed to have remembered on their own as 2 parents had sent lunches.!! Fingers crossed we got geared up for the party!

And sure enough the turn out was pretty good.. the kids enjoyed the food and had a blast with the painting.. and the parents loved the new sun catchers! But then it was too soon to rejoice! We stepped out of the class and saw that Cheeky had gifts from some of his friends! Cheeky declared "How come I did not get gifts for my friends.. that was too mean amma". A frantic call to dad and we were headed again to the store again, now to get gifts for all his friends now.. phew!!

I decided to be smart and get Cheeky's christmas gifts too.. so I don't have to be back at the store again.. "Yeah he is gonna be pleased" I told myself as I got the car and the train and the tracks.. the Sneaky Cheeky spied the gifts and let out a big whoop! So much for Christmas surprise!

Later that night as I was putting together the little gift bags for his friends..
He told me "Amma give C a red car. C is my best friend and he likes red".
Raised eyebrows.. I continued with my task.. as I was not marking the bags there was no saying who would get what color.
Later Cheeky asked "So what did C give me?"
I responded "I don't think he gave you anything sweetheart".
Cheeky replies "That's okay, best friends don't need to give anything" uh?
After such declaration of friendship, I peeked in every bag till I found the one with a red car and left that for Mr. C!

Now, the gifts have been given and school has been closed for the holidays! You would think the worst is over? Cheeky now has a new set of demands for Christmas! Tell me where I can crawl under, will you?
Happy Holidays folks!! (pic courtesy: http://i-love-cartoons.com, http://disney-clipart.com)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cheeky Tales

As the time flies by and I keep floundering with no topics to blog about.. Cheeky is growing up too fast. He is becoming street smart and quite the negotiator.
Street Smart?

Cheeky seems to have inherited our genes after all.. and can be unbelievably lazy at times.. but his laziness does not impede him.. instead he can be very sly. At soccer class every week after giving the kids instructions the coach would ask them to get a ball each from around the field. Cheeky being Cheeky would nonchalantly look around him while his friends ran around to get a ball each. True to my momma status I would fret from the sidelines at him not getting a ball .. Cheeky would sweetly declare to the coach "I don't have a ball" and end up getting the coach's ball!

Every afternoon I get to his school a few minutes early as all the kids are finishing up lunch... Cheeky always fumbles with his lunch bag and box.. at the last minute when till the minute before that he has been chatting with friends while ignoring the teacher's calls to pack up.. so the teacher helps him every day to pack up.. while Cheeky watches! One afternoon though Cheeky was as far away from the tables as he could be, with his lunch box resting snugly in his backpack (something that has never happened before).. I figured out why.. my son has learnt a new trick.. he tells his teacher "I am not feeling too good" and his teacher tells him he does not need to eat! Needless to say this trick did not work at home!

For a kid who used to write every letter of the alphabet with fervent enthusiasm at 3, Cheeky has turned into this imp who hates picking up a pencil now. He has suddenly developed a dislike to anything to do with putting a pen on a book, including coloring. While I am wondering how to re-entice him, he has figured out how to stay away. Apparently he tells his teacher "My hands are tired" every time he is asked to write and his teacher responds with "You can stop now". Ahaa!!

And there is more.. A Cheeky Cheeky came up to me the other day and whispered "Amma guess what I did at clean up time?" With great reluctance I asked "What?" ..
"When my friends cleaned up I hid amma".
"That's not right Cheeky, you need to help clean up.. you know that"
Still giggling "I hid under the table and no one found me" haha!!

Ouch.. the teen years are really going to hurt aren't they?
And whats more I have a nifty negotiator on my hands!
"Go to bed"
"I am not going, and that is it" is usually the reply! No tears, no fuss.. just no nonsense!

He has been asking me for a dog for months now! I told him he could have one when he was 10.. every day he re-negotiates the time frame.. its down to age 7 now.. and I have no clue how I let that slip!!

And the negotiations are on for a twin brother. How on earth am I supposed to produce that.. he misses no opportunity to point out how life would be easier if he had a twin. Like when he wants me to play with him (even after I have rolled the toy car yet again for another hour).. Amma, see if I had a brother I would not ask you to play with me.. Yeah right.. like I don't have my hands full with one boy! But the catch is the brother has to be a twin.. a 4 yr old brother is what he wants and "That's it"!

Now I am off to go worry about my pitiful state ... in a few years I will even have a teen on my hands!! boohoo!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The buzz word is Change!

Would you step out of your house today without a glimmer of fear today? Would you walk across the street without a care? Would you vacation with complete abandon or admire the beauty of India with a light heart? If your answer is no to all this, I ask you how much longer? Are we prepared to life in constant fear? Are we prepared to let the terrorists rule our lives and our earth?

So then how can we change this? How can we sweep our Indian political system clean.. for that seems to be the root cause of most of the mishaps that occur in our country.. Every morning as you turn on the news channel in India you hear about some act of terror in some part of the country.. then why aren't those acts openly condemned or spoken about by our politicians.. they are brushed away as yet another act of terrorism! For that has become a way of life... is that the value we place for lives?

I along with many others are beginning to ask this question today.. How can we change the world we live in? And more importantly how can we change our country and make it a safer place to live in? Lets not allow this date 26/11 to become yet another statistic.. let this be the day India starts her quest for greater good! Let all the martyrs of this day and all the fights against terror in the past not have laid their lives down in waste! Let their deaths inspire us to do something that can help our country! I am thinking hard.. and I urge you to do the same!

For those of you that want to help Mumbai victims ... Kiran from KarmicKids is spear heading a wonderful effort to help Mumbai. Lend your support - http://www.mumbaihelps.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

ENOUGH!

As you can see regular programming has been interrupted on this site as I continue to obsess with the Mumbai Terror Attacks. I am unable to resume life as usual in the aftermath.. as I am sure many of you are too!

While I wish to focus on the positive, I am appalled by the state of the Indian Government.. what front are we posing to the world? Today the entire world is watching and pointing at our inefficiencies. Warnings months before from intelligence went unheeded... A week before satellite calls intercepted where the leader of LET was heard to be saying “cargo is on its way”. The Indian Navy increased security on the coast but relaxed it in a week's time?

“We also removed the additional security,” a police source said, “because our manpower was stretched to the limit and the personnel we had did not, in any case, have the specially-trained personnel needed to avert a suicide-squad attack.” So where is all the man power? Providing security to the politicians in Delhi?

I wonder why the police aren't well trained with firing ammunition.. Why Mumbai does not have an anti-terror force especially in light of all the attacks in the past years on this city? There were no commandos stationed at Mumbai. There were 200 at Delhi but the aircraft to transport them was in Chandigarh? I would imagine at least that would be kept handy at all times? And from Mumbai Airport the Commandos used BEST buses to arrive on scene.. Overall it took them almost 12 hours to respond while the police force most untrained to even wield the rifles with any finesse, without bullet proof jackets stood guard?

After public outcry and media frenzy, the Home minister and other officials have offered to resign. But is this enough? What about the new team that comes in? If you are an Indian who has witnessed first hand the Indian political system.. you know there is a lot of sweeping and cleaning to be done in our political parties!

After all this.. only one hard fact remains.. hundreds of lives have been lost! Hundreds of families lose their income. And we talk of the resilience of Mumbaikar's.. for after all what other choice to they have? For life must go on! But it is time we say ENOUGH! It is time for India to speak out.. this coming elections use your right to vote.. and make a wise choice! Speak Up and Be Heard! In this era of electronic media.. it is easy to raise your voice! Join the millions of Indians who are raising their voice today to say ENOUGH!
[Img Courtesy: http://www.gmba.uwosh.edu/currentstudents/india/about.php]

[Edited to add: For all of you out there wondering what are our choices.. and how to choose best among the worst, here is Sumana's suggestion

Sumana said...
We definitely need to have our choices right. You know indian constitution has something call null vote or I Vote Nobody!!! Yes such a feature is available, but obviously these seemingly notorious leaders have never disclosed it. This is called "49-O". Why should you go and say "I VOTE NOBODY"... because, in a ward, if a candidate wins, say by 123 votes, and that particular ward has received "49-O" votes more than 123, then that polling will be cancelled and will have to be re-polled. Not only that, but the candidature of the contestants will be removed and they cannot contest the re-polling, since people had already expressed their decision on them. This would bring fear into parties and hence look for genuine candidates for their parties for election. This would change the way; of our whole political system... it is seemingly surprising why the election commission has not revealed such a feature to the public....

Thanks you Sumana]