Friday, October 14, 2011

Sleep is my arch enemy!

It is 1 AM and the house is still alive and alight. Even if the lights have officially been turned down some hours ago, the three ring circus won't shut down! We have retreated to the parental bedroom, numerous out of tune songs have been sung and rejected. The little pixie has been coaxed, cajoled and finally left to her own devices. Tired parental eyes watch, limbs outstretched, bodies are used as an obstacle course!
Years ago when my favorite movie was Sound of Music, I loved the song "The sun has gone to bed and so must I". Years later when I decided to have kids, I hoped these lines would ring true. Even after being a night owl myself I was delusional enough to believe that kids sleep through the night! Well 7 yrs and about 2500 days later I must tell you mine don't! When God was sending out the memo's about bed time, my kids weren't anywhere close!
My daughter thinks bedtime is the time to
Have crying jags and pretend sleepiness (you want to keep mommy hoping)
This phase is the first and starts early enough for mommy to get excited! And late enough for her to hope this is the actual bedtime. Usually culminates in a 15 minute nap after which we are re-energized and ready to face the night time fun activities with vigor and high spirits!
The slightest sound can be a source of excitement!
Last night Dada and the audacity to sneeze while she rocked on mommy's lap! The sleepy eyes turned bright and alight and awake now with renewed vigor, it was declared that fun awaits!
Songs that have been used before can not be re-used!
Every once in a while the pixie climbs onto Mommy's lap and asks her to sing in her out of tune voice! However the rule is no song can be re-used, now we'll see how she gets past this one!
Bedtime is for language practice and serious conversation!
My daughter thinks bedtime is to narrate to mommy our thoughts about life in general. Only mommy does not follow the pixie speak, so she is in training every night! And the pixie says seriously over and over again "aai hula, sshiish theethhee thhekkum ....voishetheeee"
And when all else fails, it's time to decide your life's direction
Night time is when the pixie trains to be a singer (Barney's "I love you" is sung over and over again), a belly dancer (bring on the butt shake baby), chicken dancer (this involves walking around in circles with hands shaking and folded into their armpits), voice trainer (we practice voice modulation, even if sometimes it looks like Pixie is training to be a loudspeaker!), tight rope walker (this is practiced on the bodies of parents who pretend to sleep), mountain climber (again parents who are available make good mountains) and last but not the least training parents in survival skills (staying awake and alert in times of extreme sleep)
I am hoping to clear training in about 18 years, I will then update you on how we faired...till then from zombie world it's a zzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Show me the inventor of Cribs!

And he will rue the day! Recently I posted a picture on my facebook account of the crib that is apparently not to be slept in! Many laughed at my plight! I have read all the children books, and listened very closely to the pediatricians.. who tell you to put the baby in the crib and walk away! My baby thinks that is a cue to
1. Start screaming the house down
2. Join me in a game of throwing her teddy bear out and me pick it up
3. Bounce in the crib in sheer glee, till she goes back to step 1
As a result the crib is never slept in! And the devilish Dad does not fail to remind me how I ordered the crib and assembled it all in 1 hour because my daughter absolutely needed it.

To tell this story right I must start at the very beginning. Lets go back a couple of years.. to a time when we had one kid who had ordered a bed of his own in his own room and promised to spend his night sleeping (or as he most likely was.. bouncing) in his own bed! The parents decided it was time to buy a new bed for themselves! And why stop short.. so they went to the store got greedy and bought a giant king sized mattress! After all we were promised sleep after 5 years of kicks and prods! Well 2 hrs of it anyway, after that the brand new bunk bed in Cheeky's room got too lumpy and the room was just too cold to be slept in! Who could blame him eh?

Anyway, we were so pleased with ourselves! What with our king bed and all! And then we moved to California! And rented a match box to live in! And decided to have baby 2. Now where would baby sleep in? Hey we could not be expected to share right? So we bought her a little travel crib with a cute bassinet, and settled for sliding in sideways in and out of the room! But the bassinet was just not right.... so right from the start Tootsie knew just what to do when she was asked to sleep.. climb into mommy's bed!

Months later, we moved into a bigger house with more room, and decided (OK I Decided, it was time for a crib). So I made this big story about my daughter waking up and rolling off the 4 ft tall bed (really what were we thinking huh?).. and bought and assembled the crib! Since then it stands there in our bedroom a silent reminder of my folly! The hubs just bursts into hysterical mirth.. especially in the wee hours of the morning when Cheeky finds his lumps and climbs in next to mommy!

So I decided on a quiet night when the hubs was out of town I will work a miracle.. I lulled the little minx to sleep and quietly put her in her crib and tip toed all the way to the family room, and curled up in front of the television! Lo behold the screams arrived (in about 30 seconds!).. feeling sorry for the little one, and silently admonishing my maternal instincts I put her next to me and started to curl up next to her!  Only to be kicked away! That is the rule of climbing into mommy's bed.. if you did not know that.. kick her out! I must admit though, after 7 years of this, without that kick to my spine.. I would hardly wake up rejuvinated from my sleep!

Now I ask you.. what are those good books and pediatricians talking about? And the inventor of cribs .. well he (for only a guy could have done this) for sure did not have any children!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Job Profile: Model/Actress (in training!)

It dawned upon me a couple of days back! My daughter is growing to be an actress.. for sure! All the sign were there... but my dim witted self needed some prodding before enlightenment dawned for sure!
At 3 months her doctor told me "She is a strong personality" .. while I knew that meant in mommy-ese, she is a stubborn, hard headed little girl, it did not occur to me that this was a sign, a signal .... telling me her life direction!
But lately, the cloud is clearing up, and I can see the future! You think I am kidding?
Carbs are the enemy - Tootsie hates carbs, and make sure she does not have too much of them! On any given day, she nibbles on her food. She hates carbs of any kind, I have tried rice, pasta, wheat, quinoa, you name it! She prefers to nibble on little bites, and stay focussed on her diet! Her doctor told me that she was "really skinny" for a baby! And she wasnt even walking yet!
A strict regime is essential - She is always on the move, getting her tummy crunches, cardio and other exercises in! If it means, mommy has to be kept in shape too.. so be it (My body however cares less, after all the running behind the little pixie, my BMI stays put!)
Less is More - She believes in a co-ordinated wardrobe, but less is the operative word! Earlier this week, I had dressed her in stockings and skirt. While I was otherwise occupied doing diaper changes, she lost the stockings and insisted it was to be just the short skirt.. Showing legs are a good thing apparently!! That night we were at a block party on our street, she proved her point by taking of her socks and slamming it to the ground!
Show me the Money - She loves her Dad's wallet, and does not give it up! EVER!
Walk the talk - She also loves the phone and continues to hoard that too!
Center of Attention - Always the show girl, she socialises wherever we set foot! She proved this at the same block party,as we laughed to some joke, we heard a pronounced "hahaha".. all eyes turned to our very own Show girl! Guess who the Center of Attention is now? (Fist in air)
Prettiest of All - We cant talk much, but can definitely stroke our own cheeks and say "Pyaara Pyaara" (Lovely). And ask her who the pretty princess is? Guess who that would be?
The actress - And she can act.. not that that is essential.. but she walked around the room this afternoon (strutted should I say?) .. as much as she could.. we are now mastering the penguin walk, but it is the cat walk next for sure! Every once in a while she would stop and put her head down on the ground and say "Thaachi" (Lie down.. short hand for sleep), and close her eyes! Apparently she knows the importance of beauty nap.. even if she is only acting!
Charming is the magic word - Tootsie knows that the way to get her way is being charming! She woos us with her kisses and sweet talks! And if nothing else works, turn on the magic tantrums... just cry like a baby!!
And I rest my case (as always)! I guess now dad needs to start worrying! Martial arts and Gun shopping?

Friday, July 29, 2011

6 yr old obsessions - Money and Dogs!

My 6 yr old is obsessed with 2 things. Money and Dogs.. and not necessarily in that order!
First the Money Obsession
If you read my previous post, you would not be surprised! His biggest role models now are Warren Buffet and Bill Gates. Cheeky and my retired dad have some very scintillating conversations apparently. And in a weak moment my dad has told  him about his ex-boss (VM), who apparently followed Jack Welch a lot! So Cheeky had a brain wave one afternoon as we navigated Chennai traffic!
He said "I think J Thatha (Granddad) should hire VM to work for him"
"Or better yet may be he could hire Bill Gates, or maybe both of them" (Each statement kept getting higher in pitch as the excitement grew)
"Then" He paused for effect "They can both make money for him and thatha can give all the money to me"! What a plan!

More recently.. on one of those couped up car rides, I figured I would use Cheeky's strategy of talking to him while I had his attention! So I told him about a friend who works for Microsoft! And Cheeky was impressed "Wow, so he makes Bill Gates richer?" he asked.
I said "Not for free you know, V gets a salary out of it"
Cheeky says "Thats not very smart of Bill Gates.. why is he giving his money away?"
Yeah what we want is Slavery to be re-established! If Cheeky became Bill Gates' financial advisors, Microsoft employees will sure rue the day!!

And now to the Doggie problem!
Ever since Cheeky found out at the age of 4, that having a twin sibling is out of the question, he has wanted a pet dog! Even producing him with a sibling has not solved matters! On the same car ride, he switched topics so fast, my head was reeling! I think he was trying to con me into acceptance!
"And I need a dog" he said!
But I have had proactice being Cheeky's mom! So I said "No way"
"But mom thats so unfair"
"You know dogs chew on carpeting and furniture"
"No they Dont!"
"Yes when you leave them alone at home.. they get lonely and they chew on furniture" I sure know how to goad Cheeky on!
"But I am not going to leave him alone! I will keep him with me at all times" It has been established the dog is a boy!
"What about when you go to school?"
"You can take care of him amma!"
"What about when I need to pick you up at school?"
"I am sure you can bring him to school then, its not like he will enter classrooms"
"But Cheeky I need to get a job and go to work" I am not being stuck with a dog at home all day!!
After a lot of thought
Cheeky asked "Amma does J thatha like being retired?"
"Do you think he will ever want to go back to work?"
"Perfect, then he can take care of the dog"
Apparently retired grand dads have a lot of uses!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What would you rather be Rich or Famous?

What is it about being cooped up in a car that makes the kids think that this is the time to wax eloquent about anything and everything on their mind? The fact that I cant jump out, tune out or even glare at them... glaring at the rear view mirror does not count, makes it all the more easier! It is at times like these that I have life breaking insights into my 6 yr old's mind.

Cheeky has always been curious... like this morning at the doctors he had to know why the doctor's office was not marked "Employees Only" while one of the restroom's was! Why there were pictures of scary skeletons on the wall.. did they want to scare people away? But it was the ride back that was very amusing!

As always having me in the hot seat is the best part of Cheeky's day! He had me talking about Bill Gates and Warren Buffet! How do they make their money he wanted to know. After a long winded conversation about Stocks and Investments ... Cheeky asked me "So what would you rather be Rich or Famous?". Hey I just spent the past 10 minutes talking to you about stock and this is the return on investment I get?
Anyway Cheeky's questions as you all know are not to be taken lightly! So I answered almost immediately "Rich". Apparently I got it right!
"It is good to be rich right, especially in times of emergency" He said!
Emergency? Thinking about natural disasters, not being able to get to work becuase I have 2 demanding kids, emergency shopping trips I asked him "What kind of emergencies?"
"Like wanting a Finn Mc Missile". At our trip to the grocery store this week, he had badly wanted the latest Cars character (from the Cars 2 movie) and I had refused!
Remind me to hide my winning lottery from this guy!

[Edited to Add: A friend asked me "Whats it with kids and money?" and reminded me of a conversation we had a little while ago!
"Mommy how much money do you have in the bank? A million dollars?"
"So do we have less or more?"
"Less.. definitely less!"
"A little less than a million?"
A couple of weeks later we visited India.. My son was found telling his Aunt "You know I wish my Dad has a million dollars.. he doesnt!" Sad face!

And a couple more days later at the ATM.
The Non-Millionaire Dad went in to withdraw money while we waited in the car!
"Amma.. where does the money come to the ATM from?"
"Why doesnt Daddy just take all the money in the ATM?"
"Cheeky he can only take the money he has in his account".. that led to a long conversation about how money gets into the bank and how the money stays in the bank, and how saving the money was a good idea!
"I am not at all sure it is safe to leave all the money in the bank. I think we should just keep the money ourselves and not give any to the bank"
"But Cheeky they keep it safe for us"
"But Amma what if the bank gets robbed? There are so many bank robberies you know"
Someone has been reading one too many mystery novels! What did I do? What would I do... I put my head out the window and yelled to the Poor Dad "Can we go yet?"

And like Cheeky often says "I rest my case!"!!]

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Trading on cute?

I am dropping off the radar everywhere.... Blogging and Social networking included. And not many have noticed! I am surprised some handful noticed at all... What with friend lists running in multiples of 100, it's a miracle people notice my quiet existence! Why am I quiet? What with a pixie and a monkey at home all the time... One getting in trouble from being her pixie self, and the other from boredom... As you can imagine I have my hands pretty full!
The pixie is giving a new meaning to the word parenthood...this 1 yr old minx pretends to sleep..she will tightly scrunch her eyes closed...but forgets to stop grinning, so we figure her out anyway...and then she is bounding again! A couple of days ago..she was found giving her dad heart flutters as she repeatedly pretended to fall! Since when did 1 year olds learn to mock and tease?
She is in her terrible 2's already..she throws open every cupboard and drawer and raids them...repeatedly..multiple times a day. Why I bother cleaning up is a mystery I am yet to answer! A few months back we moved to a bigger place, so the kids will have more room to roam and grow! Big they have more room to mess up! A friend who lives in a similar home gave me some money saving tips..she fashioned a gate for the stairway out of a folded cardboard box! Her 1.5 yr old stays out of it. My pixie figured out in 2 days how to slide at out and get in!! Now I ask you where is the time to blog?

And she is a true pixie..she gets away with a cute smile and grin..laughing silently at my frustration! Her brother summed it up for me this morning! She tried to con him out of his toy car ..she gave him a big smacky kiss and a cute smile. He is Cheeky..wiser than me... So he responded "Tootsie you can't always trade on cute you know" and walked away with his car!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Technologically Challenged

The following post was in my drafts and I decided since it makes perfect sense even after all these months... my brain is still not back, I am still as technologically challenged as ever.. so here you go!!

I have it from good nay dubious authority that my post on my sleeplessness was boring! I claim exception due to the fact clearly stated in the post, my brain is on vacation... while on that, it is still not back! If you do find it tell it not to bother returning.. I am kind of enjoying this state I am in! Why you ask? In all honesty.. now I have something to blame for my stupidity ! :D

Its not like I have to try hard though... this generation is heading there.. there is an appliance for everything.. and for everything else there is an app on ipad! You never will have to think again so why bother carrying all that extra weight around!

And we are technologically challenged.. how you ask. We have 3 - now 4 people in our household - 5 computers, 2 pdas and 4 phones! A friend on hearing this asked "how many televisions?".. and I had to reply just 1.. however we have a computer that is capable of converting into a television.. so I guess that makes it 2? Not to mention just to turn on that one television you have to go through the receiver, change sources and use so much brain power you will be dizzy enough not to watch any program. Not to mention all the s-video and vga cables, audio and hd conversion cables we lug around so all our computers and other devices can be connected to this complicated array of equipment! Now I ask you between trips to best buy and best buy (we are like their vip customers.. they are considering giving us a room in there considering we practically live there), where is the time to watch tv and use all this equipment... we spend our time going to the store to buy more!! And that my friends is how we have come to be technologically challenged!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Deja vu.. I am talking too!

Tootsie the little pixie learnt to do the princess wave! Yay!! Right? Think again... learning to talk and express only means one thing, soon the world will begin to understand her motives! The princess would wave every time we put her in her car seat and we were delighted! Yes.. now the little girl can say bye bye! So we showed off.. every time we met up with friends we would ask for a demonstration! And then I noticed something.. the hand wave was brought on the minute we met them... without prompting! I had a feeling of Deja vu.. and the sinking fear that my suspicions might be right! I will tell you why!

A few years back when Cheeky was a little baby he had no stranger anxiety. He loved to meet people and regale them with long winding tales, even before he could talk! My aunt sighed in relief and went on to tell me about the shy sister and cousin I have! When she was talking about our childhood stories, she told me this particular one about my sister. Apparently her stranger anxiety continued well into her toddler hood and this meant she could voice opinion. So the minute someone walked in the door, she would walk up to my aunt and ask "Iva eppo kalambuva" - "When will they leave?" and embarrass her!

So sure enough when my daughter started waving the minute she saw someone.. I knew it cannot be a coincidence. But I am a clever mom, so I started telling people "She waves for both Hi and Bye... confused girl!!", bear that smile and tell the pixie "Hi chollu" - "Say Hi". Now Tootsie is not called the pixie without reason! She figured she had to make her intentions clear! So now she accompanies her wave with a resound "Ba Ba" (Bye Bye)! Sigh.. history has a way of repeating itself! My only thanks to her is for sporting a smile while doing it.. maybe people can still be tricked!! And now I rush off to knock on wood!

Monday, February 14, 2011

First Words and Temper Flares

Cheeky has always been true to his name.. Cheeky the monkey.. He claims he was even born in the year of the Monkey. However with Tootsie we miscalculated... when we named her Tootsie the Chipmunk, I am not sure what we were hoping for. A meek little follower of the monkey? But no, Tootsie has a personality and likes to assert that time and again. She is Tootsie the Pixie princess! Cheeky checked and has made a discovery... Tootsie was born in the year of the Tiger and a little tigeress she is.

Last night we waited outside the Pharmacy in the dark.. mom and son sniffling with a bad cold while Dad went in to get some re-inforcements. While I tried to scare Cheeky with tales of the bandits after dark and he fretted about guns and bullets and formed strategies to tacklen the bad guys with locks and phones. Tootsie yelled and screamed and growled like a little tiger decidedly scaring the bandits away!

Meanwhile it is a month of firsts in Tootsieville... first the rolling, then the creeping, the sitting and now the talking ! While we waited for the first word in eager anticipation.. and tried to prompt amma and dada out of her mouth in competition. Cheeky had made me proud and uttered Amma first.. what would Tootsie's first word be? Turns out it was neither.. her first word is mammam (as in food)! M thinks it is a testimony to my parenting skills that a 7 month old has to ask for her food. Well the tigeress that she is it comes intersperced with shouts of "AAAAA".... "AAAAAAA...mammam-mammam .... AAAAAAAA ...mammam-mammam" it goes! Well in any case, I am proud of the Pixie who is the only infant I know that hates milk. But alteast she knows her hunger!! ?? Even if she eats about 2 spoons full after all the frantic screaming and proceeds to observe the world and ignore mom and the spoon!

As for the temper.. we recently went for a vaccination. Well both my kids are talkers and love an audience. Tootsie hates for us to close the stroller canopy... she will punch it and yell tarzan noises till we open it out.. Then she will coo and smile for perfect strangers.. but if anyone tries to pick her up, beware, the pixie can pucker up and cry like she is badly hurt in the matter of milli seconds!!

Anyway about the vaccination.. the pixie befriended the nurse with her smiles and was all geared up to play! But in went the shots.. Bham and Bham! The pixie cried for like a second, but was so mad.. I handed her the rattler she loves and the furious princess flung it right out while yelling at the nurse "nainainainainai".. oh well that was probably her first word.. whatever it will turn into, it is a perfect expression of our anger!! :P

Between the Cheeky Monkey who wont stop talking and Tootsie the Tigeress Pixie who wont stop moving, tumbling, yelling and getting under all impossible places.. I have my hands full.. So I will sign off for now from Mayhem-ville...till later!

Friday, January 28, 2011

I tell you being a baby is hard work!!

While friends and other 6 month olds are trying hard to crawl.. we decided to try a different tact. Lets try talking and co-ercing the object to us.. Maybe that orange balloon wants to come to me as badly as I want to get to it.
So while others will crawl the unique pixie princess, true to her name beckons to the orange balloon. After about 5 minutes of negotiation she decided to take matters to higher authorities.. She complained to mamma. But this mamma was of no help.. so she went back to pleading with the balloon. Finally she gave up and moved the 2 inches to get to the balloon. And after all the hard work, she touched the balloon and it dared to roll away! How maddenning.. so she yelled at the balloon ..."Memememememe" and rolled over to the next available object! The laptop.. now that looks like fun!!

I tell you being a baby is hard work!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The tooth that got away...

Many people think I am fearless... No I am not fantasizing, they have told me so! So unless they are laughing behind my back, I really do believe they think I am fearless. Now that I have you confused, time for the big confession... I fear dentists! I absolutely fear them.. But pretend not to. So when the questionnaire at the dentist's asked me "Do you fear dentists", I had to say no!! Nevertheless I hate going to the dentist.. My 6 year old assures me that dentists are here to help us and not hurt us.

However I finally decided to face the fear and stepped into the dentist's a few days back. Now it is common lore that dentist love your teeth and want to keep it. Also dentist love to have you back... Again and again and again. Let's face it you represent money! The love the dentist has in seeing my rotten teeth again and yet again, surpases my love for anything sweet. So I walked through the dreaded doors yet again today. Now extracting tooth is cake walk.. The difficult part is cleaning.. Keeping your mouth open for the duration and hoping you are not ingesting any chemicals! Eew!

So what would I do for 45 minutes I thought... Maybe write a blog in my head.. For I am going to blog about this monumental episode for sure! I had initially contemplated a facebook status message.. For isn't that the fashion these days.. Sharing of the pain I think it is called!
"stepping into the dentists office" I would say..about 10 people would "like" that comment.
"Boy do I hate keeping my mouth open for 45 minutes" I would say next.. If I am lucky 4 of those likers will comment to say "lol"

You get the idea... But then I decided why waste a wonderful opportunity.. Better yet I will blog about it and post the link on facebook! Then I will have 4 likes and if I am really lucky maybe someone will actually read my monologue? Now if you are one of those people who read before "like" ... Thank you so much.. You just made my day!

Anyway... Back to the dentist's the blog got written in about 5 minutes.. So what about the rest 40? Well 5 were spent in hyperventilating.. And trying hard to breathe through the nose. Because the good lady who propped open my mouth told me to! Another 5 went in wondering why she said that.. Did I walk in panting? I vividly recall breathing through my nose all my life... Are you sure I heard that right and so on.. Now lest I start hyperventilating again, I had to find another diversion... So for the rest half hour I applauded myself for not having become a dentist! All my dentist friends should forgive me... But I spent that half hour. Tin king of these poor souls who had to peer into other people's mouth and look at rotten teeth all day. Suddenly it was not so hard to keep that mouth propped open.. I had a muse!

The Elf on the Shelf! Me Too!!

So after years of avoiding the marketing gimmick of "Elf on the Shelf" I finally succumbed to the pressure and popular demand. I ...