Lilypie - Kids Birthday

Thursday, June 15, 2017

A year of preschool!


Manya came back home after her last day at preschool today. And while I rofl'd at her demand for a graduation present (I didn't even know going from from preschool to pre-k was semantically fit to be termed "graduating"...pffftt), I do realize how she has grown in every which way this year. From the protective cocoon of home and mommy and daddy, she ventured out on her own - making her own relationships, living her own experiences, taking on the world ... okay even if that is an exaggeration, she was out there for almost 3 hours, five days a week, without me *insert piny sobby mom face*.

And as I sit here reminiscing the months gone by, I thought sharing her "growth" and "learning" would just be the perfect way to celebrate her "graduation" from preschool. 


  • Big Words
I have always been secretly very proud of Manya's vocabulary (so what if more than 90% of it is used against me) but this last year the words she has picked up (with or without complete context and meaning) is phenomenal. I already did a post on Synergize and Proactive here. She uses obnoxious in the right context to describe me when I am angry. When I couldn't decide what to make for dinner the other day, she goes, "Mom, you don't have to be so skeptical about it". Ha ha ha, but I will take it. The term withdrawing privileges gets thrown around once too often. Case in point here. And ofcourse daddy's contribution, "There will be consequences for actions." Or, Don't you dare interrupt. Or the very hilarious, "Let's just improvise, mom! No arguments, no disappointments! I could go on but let me end this with, "Weird" - elongate ei and say it with the emphasized American twang. That was really weeeiiiirrrd, mom! Huh!



  • Bigger concepts

Not just the words, the concepts are growing too. We have an in-house "recycling" nazi who double checks the trash to ensure waste has been properly segregated. Manya can give you the complete low down on healthy diet and sugar crash - organic food, essential nutrients - everything but whoever said Practice what you preach never ever said it to her, She is also big on insects and bugs - lifecycles of termites, ants, ticks, dragonflies and what not. She throws around terms like metamorphosis and camouflaging to to make sure you know that she knows!


  • Americanisms
While reading, Manya often points out  certain words such as fast etc where my British pronunciation (Thanks to the lingering colonial influences where we still bow to the Queen when it comes to matters of the English language) is different from what she hears around here, especially in school. So we often discuss how both are correct but it's best that she follows school. The other day, I was reading out to her B I G, that's big. And the cheeky things goes, "Mom, I think we Americans would just pronounce it as ginormous". 
And then, she was trying to open the bathroom door once when I was inside so I shouted, "I need my pr-i-vacy. She goes, "Do you mean, you need your pr-Y-vacy? I yelled back, "I mean, Leave me alone." Seriously, WTF. 
Other Americanisms...What the heck! And you have to see a four year old go, "Oh man (say it with the A twang), not again!! Or, Are you kidding me? Or, "This is freakin' awesome!" Or, "Mom, give me a break!" Mom, you need to seriously chill. Guys, seriously?! Or, "Oh, those suckers (roll the r please). Again, it's an infinite ever growing list but let me close this one with the most annoying. "Hey, guess what? What? Chicken butt! I had to consult the urban dictionary online for this. *insert infinite eye rolls*



  • From Americanisms to American fast food

Before I proceed, I really want to say I don't want any American to take any offence to what's written here. You know it's light hearted. I mean I love all my American pals, I swear I do and you know that. But seriously American fast food doesn't earn you any brownie points. My lovely fruit eating, vegetable loving, daal-chawal (lentils-rice) and roti-sabzi (Indian bread-cooked veggies) kinda girl has become this mac-and-cheese, oreo, pretzel, gold fish, cracker babe. To be fair to her she does strike a balance but hello we were doing just fine without jell-o! 


  • Welcome to the Princess phase
What is with little girls and princesses? Nothing but peer pressure? Like seriously? One day before preschool we were all good - all kinds of clothes were acceptable and so were all colors. A quarter into preschool and if something isn't purple, pink or glittery it is 'ugly', 'unbeautiful' (because I told her ugly was a harsh word) or just 'sad'. She has never been fed on a diet of princess stories or fairy tales, but now she gravitates towards them, asks for them, devours them. And let's not talk about the merchandise. I am so sick of it.

Btw, just in case you didn't know, three and four year old girls apparently discuss hair color, nail paints, salon trips (manis and pedis specifically), and even looks that are fashionable and "sporty" (yes, Manya came home the other day saying I wore that ugly nike tennis skirt and shirt to school but everybody said I am looking good, sporty actually.)
Add to that questions on skin and eye color and who can really be a princess. So I told her honestly that skin and color doesn't really matter. It's  mostly titles passed on by birth. Very dismissively she says, and we don't really live in a castle anyways! So that was that!
We also have dangerous conversations about girl colors and boy colors and we have on multiple occasions got into serious discussions on choice and its irrelevance to gender. But how do you argue with a four year old who goes"It's my body and it's my choice. And I will choose happy. And pink is happy. And nobody can tell me what to do with my body or how to be happy. I am smart and intelligent and I want to look pretty."
I back off!


  • Star Wars, Super Heroes

So either my daughter has multiple personality disorder or she is just really well rounded. She loves her hair long and her dresses flowy but her favorite story character is the droid from Star Wars - R2D2. She enjoys reading all the Star Wars stories and most super heroes, her favorite being Hulk. And she races cars with her friends too. The challenge we have had is to keep her from watching the related series and the movies because I told her those were not age appropriate. And yes I do hear the constant whine, "But so and so at school already saw it". 


  • Towards financial wisdom
So we have started having conversations around how we cannot go buy everything we lay our eyes on or "really need" vs. want.. How real privilege works. How we count are blessings and try to be happy with what we have. How we find happiness in giving and sharing and not just taking. How the simple solution to every problem is not just , "Let's look it up/buy it online". How people work to earn money and how money is used. How we cannot just "let's send mommy back to work for money so that we can go on a holiday to a different country every month". How the answer to "Daddy, can you please buy a house for the poor guy at the signal" is no. How "sharing my car snack and giving away all the money in mommy's wallet" is not going to solve world hunger and poverty. How charity is not "giving away mommy's dresses and trousers and coats to those who don't have it." How it's polite and good to be reasonable with birthday and Christmas lists even though we do not know the answer to "Mommy does Santa also have a money problem like us". How it is just not only about money.

Too much for a four year old? I think so too. Now somebody please go tell her to raise issues that are more age appropriate.


  •  Am I an Indian? Am I an American?
Manya is starting to ask questions around identity and belongingness. I don't know how this was triggered but she asked me one day if she was an American or an Indian. I explained to her about citizenship, passports and origin in the simplest way I could but I was surprised how much children observe their surroundings, absorb and question.



  • A dog or a baby sister
This ofcourse is pure peer pressure. I have been given a choice between giving her a dog or a baby sister. For now, we have settled on that she will grow up and have, and I quote her, "two adorable baby girls just like me". God save her.

  • Toilet humor vs. Morbid humor
All my preschooler's jokes fall into only those two categories. If the mind is not in the potty, it is caught up in the other existential extreme. Mommy, I am just going to die, kill so and so. Oh I am just kidding. Ha ha ha. There's nothing funny about either of the two categories. I love you mommy forever, even when you die. Thank you, I say, quite without humorlessly.

  • Career choices
Manya at age 2.5 wanted to become an astronaut. At age 3, it was a veterinarian. At age 4, she wants "to be a normal person who is a technical writer who works from home and has two adorable girls just like her." She had me at "normal" :D.

Finally ending this post with a recent conversation that is the perfect summary of the overarching sentiments of this year.

Manya: Mommy can somebody be different from out and something else from inside?
Me (trying to be as vague as possible): Umm I guess yes, but like in what way different?
Manya: Like they look something from outside and are very different on the inside.
Me (Very clueless as to the direction of this conversation): I guess so. There could be such people. But why do you ask? Do you know someone like that?
Manya: Yes, I am like that.
Me (very bewildered): I don't understand...
Manya (In conspiratorial whispers): You know, Even though I look like a sweet little girl on the outside, I actually feel like a panther inside.

Here's to another year of exploring our wild sides!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

#DrivingEachOtherCrazy

"Mommy you are so nice. You drive me everywhere. You drive me to school, to martial arts, to swimming, to the store. You even drive me crazy. I love you!"
😳🤔😳🤘🏻

Monday, May 8, 2017

Happy Mother's Day!

M: mommy when is Mother's Day?
Me: this Sunday
M: I am going to give you a surprise present that I am making in school.
Me: that's awesome!
M: what's the best Mother's Day present you would want?
Me: a tight hug and a kiss and no tantrums or arguments - peaceful discussions and listening to mommy - that's all - that would be the best present ever.
After a long pause...
M (very calmly): mommy, what's the second best gift you would like?

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

#StressedPreschooler


Manya woke up with a rash all over her body - no other symptoms except a minor cold and cough. So we are driving to her doctor and en route...
Me (trying to go over my google knowledge): Manya you are sure the rash is not itchy right?
M: No mom.
Me: Is it hurting if you touch or press the red dots.
M: No mom.
Me: And your ear or throat is not hurting?
M (very irritably): Nothing is happening mom.
Me: That's really strange. I wonder how the doctor is going to diagnose anything.
M: It is nothing mom - I could have just gone to school - maybe the stress caused the rash.
Me: (wtf) Stress what stress?
M: All the stress in my life!
Me: (muttering) You don't even know what stress is. Pls explain stress.
M: I'll tell you later.
We visit the doctor and of course with no definite accompanying symptoms she just puts us on a wait and watch.
M walks out shaking her head dismissively: I told you it was nothing. Just stress.
Me (with a deep breath): Looks like Manya you were right, as always. I have heard ice cream is great for stress, let's both have some!
----
Fingers crossed that the rash is just that - stress - and then I need to figure out what stress means to a four year old! 😳🙄😈

Monday, March 27, 2017

Presenting Manya's Frozen...

(P.S. Manya has watched a few minutes of the popular movie Frozen. She loses interest every time she sits down to watch it but thanks to Disney marketing she's quite obsessed with the brand in terms of material possessions and does know the characters and the story, largely, that's what i thought. Only today did I realize her version is, well, more interesting. )
M: mommy, I want frozen multivitamins.
Me: Manya, you don't even eat gummies, you won't like them.
M: you are buying multivitamins for me, so I get to choose which ones, it's only fair!
Me: sure, don't you dare waste them. And what's with frozen these days anyways, you don't even know the story!
M: (very offended): ofcourse I know the story! It's very simple. Elsa leaves her palace after her parents go on a vacation because her sister gives her no privacy. She makes a frozen castle of her own and lives happily. Meanwhile Anna marries some random stranger Chris and Elsa says this is not even a marriage. Who marries a random stranger anyways. Then Anna thinks she must make it up to her sister so she tries to visit her with Chris but Elsa tries to block her way. Finally, Anna learns how to ride a horse and Elsa thinks that thank god my sister has learnt new skills and not just doing wrong marriages. So she forgives her. The end!
Me: that is absolutely great manya. Can you please repeat it slowly so that I can type it out to share with others who may not know this story....

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Mean mom! Oh no!

Me (at the brink of insanity): Manya you have not been listening and you have been really acting up, I am sorry but your screen privileges for the rest of the day have been withdrawn.
M (at her cruel best): That is not fair. You are being a mean mom.
Me (trying hard to keep it civil at my end): Well, you do admit that you have been giving me a tough time today. I warned you not to push my buttons.
M (in complete earnestness): You are not even wearing buttons - I never pushed anything. I use my words.
Me (trying hard to keep a straight face): Pushing buttons means annoying or troubling a person till they lose their cool.
M (the devil is back): So are you withdrawing my screen privileges because you lost your cool.
Me (fumbling): errr, umm, errrmmm, no. I am withdrawing them because you were having an unnecessary tantrum. You tell me what should I do when you are not behaving yourself - you don't like me raising my voice, you don't accept timeouts, now you don't want me to take away your privileges.
M (in that absolute adorable face): You can hug me and kiss me.
Me (trying to not get dissuaded by this put on innocence): That is always how I start but you refuse to listen.
M: Then continue hugging and kissing me.
Me (trying not to melt): That's not fair Manya - you know you don't come around easily.
M (the horns are back): Withdrawing privileges is not going to help. Screen time is not even a privilege.
Me: It is. You don't get it, you earn it to deserve it.
M: Okay, I will earn it back. How?
Me (finally beginning to feel back in control of the situation): That's the spirit. Here let me put up a chart for you. Every time you are being exceptional, you'll get a + and when you are being really difficult, you get a -. Get your +'s up.
M (with complete dismissal): This is nonsense.
Me (she did not just say that): Watch your language Manya.
M (in great accusatory tone): Fine. But if I had to withdraw your privileges, I don't even need a chart - you would only get minuses for your bad mommy behaviour.
Me (given up on sanity): I don't see that attitude helping the chart.
M (in utter defiance): I will change it if I need screen time.
This 4 year old is going to ensure I really lose it. While at it, can we also get over with teenage already. Just in case you are still reading, I have not given up, not yet.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

#NotJustaHeartbeat

In a rather loving and cuddling mood;
Me: Manya you are my heart beat.
(I literally feel the warmth evaporating ...)
A rather indignant M: I am not your heart beat - I am a human being - I talk, i dance, I think. (And then in the most contemptuous tone ever) I am not just a heart beat.
Me: oh heart. ❤️💔❤️

Saturday, December 3, 2016

In house vet

Manya has beens saying consistently for more than just a couple of months now that she wants to become a veterinarian when she grows up. She wants the entire Doc Mcstuffin kit for Christmas. And according to her she is practicing everyday to become a good vet. All her soft toys at this point have bandages, have been operated on multiple times and she has even helped her toy dog deliver puppies.
On a serious note, I really think she'll make a great vet. She absolutely loves all members of the animal kingdom - including reptiles, bugs and what not.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Happy Fourth Birthday, my love!

Oh my heart,
You are four - you are also going on 16, from the likes of it :). I am really not kidding. There are one too many moments when you say or do something that is so mature in a nice way, and then something that's totally brash and impudent in a teenage kind of way. Though, to be fair, for the most part, you are a very pleasant, well behaved darling and an absolute delight to be with. Your infrequent but stormy tantrums are usually reserved for mommy dearest - and I think we both understand and have learnt to navigate around the tough love that flows between us.

Your growing independence - not just in choosing your PJs and hair do's and accessories, but also in your thoughts fills us with seamless pride and a seemingly nagging insecurity at the same time. You are compassionate, sensitive, loving, intelligent but you are also too trusting, naive in the ways of the world and emotional - you wear your heart on your sleeve - I feel like constructing a barbed wire fence around you to keep away all the hurt that growing up brings. I like to believe I am that practical level headed mom who'll give you a hand when you fall, but I really wish I was the mom that would just prevent any and every fall. The fact that that is not possible aches my heart ever so often. I am very confident that you will grow stronger and tougher and better with every rough moment in life but as a parent my heart will break every time. 

On your fourth birthday, I wish that the spunk and zest for life that you have now, the empathy you show on your own accord, the absolute love that we share and the kindness in your heart - remains untainted as the years go by. We can never express how much we love you!

The fourth year update!

Oh my god, she is 4, and then some more...

- She continues to have an above average vocabulary - one of the first things most people notice about her. She is mostly very pleasant and cheerful (fingers crossed - we are trying to remain positive here.) M has started stringing sounds together to try to read. I plan to sit with her everyday to encourage this. She is not much interested in writing - and nor do I or at school is she pushed towards it. The later the better, in my opinion. She has started coloring within line on her own and makes well composed drawings and paintings.

- She seems to be doing well in school. Being an only child, we often worried about her getting along at school - with kids - but looks like she is doing great. We hear from her teachers that she communicates well, shares and is quick to make friends. We were much relieved with that assessment.

- Manya continues to move up in her Martial Arts and Swimming levels at a rather steady pace - she is not really the most physically coordinated kid but that has not been my goal. She enjoys these activities and they are helping her enhance her motor skills and general body coordination so that is enough for us. I am hoping she continues these.

- She wants to be a veterinarian - needless to say that comes from her love for animals. Her softies are all subject to surgeries, c-sections and what not. She seems really serious. She is also 4, so well!

- We are eating okay - she balances her meals out but has found great love for mac and cheese, gulab jamuns, oreos and marshmallows!

- She finally has all 20 of her baby teeth and takes good care of them - brushing, flossing and rinsing is the routine - on most days without a fuss!


- Emerging personality traits - she is strong headed - while she tries to put her point across well, she is capaple of losing her temper quick - now a days I feel she tries to control her responses and try to sweeten them - I am so glad for that!

I feel it is becoming easier to talk to her, explain to her - her understanding capability is great and that helps us navigate when we are at loggerheads. Phew, hope that lasts...