Thursday, January 22, 2015

How will you be named?

Apparently my kids think its normal to name themselves. For those of you who have heard my tales you are probably familiar with the tale of Cheeky naming himself Ronak. If you aren't and wish to get acquainted, do read the link at the bottom. It seems to be a never ending battle with not 1 but both my kids. They think its quite normal to rename themselves. And I have to run nick names by them too.

The Cheeky Tale:
We are a Tamil family with too many last names. Traditionally we take the first name of our dad as the last name. As you can imagine that can get quite confusing. After marriage, the girl takes the husband's first name as the last name. I ofcourse chose not to. So now we are stuck with 3 last names. In a stroke of genius we decided it would make our lives so much easier and conversations with doctor offices so much shorter if we all had the same last name. So we picked a family name and decided to retain our current last name as a middle name. So no one loses right? Except my kids wanted to have a say in it. After arguing with us for hours, Cheeky came up to us and said. Hey I know.. when you change my name can I be Peter James? That ended the name change discussion in our house, forever!

The Tootsie Tale:
Tootsie is 4 now and we have run through all possible nick names I can give her. But she just hates them all. I love to call my kids by nick names, pet names that only mommy uses and a pen name that I use on my blog. So even before Tootsie was born we had a name picked for her and a pen name as well. But no nick name. Since their names are very close, I wanted to come up with something Unique that's only Tootsie. But my 1 and 2 yr old gave me opinions about Nick name. She is 4 now and I have settled on a cute little nick name for her Nu-nu... and she corrects me "Thats a baby name, not my name". So this summer for a dress up day I got her a pink dress, fairy wings and a beautiful tiara and wand. Told her she was Princess Nu-Nu. Since then she is a little bit more accepting of the name, but only occasionally. Well she will be till she knows the real story. I forgot about dress up day at school and walked in to a room full of princesses and super heroes! True "One Fine Day" moment... but I apologized to her and walked out. As I sat at a meeting that morning, the scene from One fine day flashed in my head. So I canceled my next meeting, rushed to Target and picked whatever I could find! They don't sell costumes in July, so I had to get creative. And it kind of helped! But not quite. My 4 yr old insists I use her full name to call her every time! Who does that? Do you?

[The Cheeky Tale:]

Friday, January 16, 2015

My Real Family!!

Whats with my kids and cheeky talk? Tootsie is turning out to be a talker. And the things that leave her mouth. We have had numerous conversations about fictitious lunches, her teachers talking Tamil after I leave and more recently Santa's discussions with her.

However the conversation we had this week took the cake! I was driving home with the kids a couple nights ago. Cheeky and I were talking about hair styles and bangs. Cheeky was telling me why bangs were not a good idea and how he was glad Tootsie grew hers out. While confused little Tootsie kept chiming in from the back "And you know I looked like Dracula with my bangs"... 4 yrs old and we get f and b confused! But we are not fazed by the fact that we had fangs!!

Finally we revealed to her that bangs had to do with hair and not teeth. So then she says "Yeah my real family really liked bangs so they gave me some". That stopped our conversation in its tracks.
"Real Family?" I asked
"Yes my real family who had me till I was 2 years old" Tootsie says with a straight face
We were still very confused, so Cheeky asks her "Who is your real family?"
"You know my English Mom, English Dad and English Brother".
Cheeky and I were speechless, we exchanged puzzled looks. Tootsie took this opportunity to educate us
"And now because I live with my Indian family I am learning Tamil" and she went on to say "Amma thanni kudu" (Mom give me some water) very calmly like this was all very normal.

So then we asked her "If your English family gave you to us, do we need to give you back to them?". She says "yeah, I will need to go back."

By then I had figured out why we were having this conversation, so I asked "Are you saying this because we talk Tamil and you don't?"

"Yes my English family only knew English, but my Indian family knows Tamil so I am learning" She says with an exaggerated sigh!

Will teach M to try teach her Tamil.. M is guilty of trying to get her to talk with her grand mom in Tamil this past weekend.

So this went on for 2 days when she described her family. Asked for names she said "I was too little, I didn't know the name of my mom, I just called her "Mom"". We of course narrated this preposterous story to my sister and she quizzed her about the English family as well.

Last night my sister in law sent us pictures of Kanu Pidi, a south Indian tradition that we do for Pongal (Harvest Festival). I was carrying Tootise and Cheeky stood next to me as I showed them the video and pictures. So the kids asked what that was about. So I said "They are praying to God that like a flock of crows, the family should stay together forever". Cheeky then told Tootsie "Oh but we dont need to pray for you, your English family will do that"

Tootsie hugged me and said "But mommy I want to stay with you forever. I am not going to go back to my English family"
Finally last night I guess Cheeky wore her down, she came to me and said
"You know I was with my English family before I came to your tummy" and later "Mommy I was just pretending about the English family"

What clued me in. Earlier that day I was working from home and on a conference call. Tootsie came up to me making gestures and mouthing something to me. M watching this asked her what she wanted and what she was trying to do. So Tootsie clarifies "When Mommy is talking to English people, she doesn't like them to hear me. So I was whispering!". And of course the fact that she frets over not being able to talk in Tamil. She keeps repeating the 4 words she knows in Tamil telling us "I am talking in Tamil now"

But well in all these that's the first time she has accepted her pretense. I am amazed at how well this kid can fabricate tales and stick with it all keeping a straight face. Like Cheeky says "Maybe we have a future writer?" Or I think Conman?

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 ...