Lilypie - Kids Birthday

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Welcome to the terrible twos, my love!

Dearest Manya,

So you are two - gosh, already! The tyrant that you have become, it is absolutely impossible for us to now imagine you as that cutest little pink bundle we got from the hospital two years ago!

And my my, what strides from your first birthday too - from gummy grins to toothy smiles; from an unstable hurtle to confident long marches; and from those almost-indecipherable babbles to long, complicated yet meaningful sentences that leaves us open-mouthed every single day!

What has not changed and remains essentially you is the bright cheer you bring to our mornings, the maddening rush and craziness you bring to our daily routines, the laughter and play you bring to our evenings, and the gentle soothing warmth you bring to our nights.

I feel like the typical filmy mom, as I add another candle to your cake and wonder at the lightning speed you are growing up - each day you become a little more independent, and tug at our hearts a little more tightly. But, don't worry, however, bollywoodish I may get at this motherhood thing, you know quite well how you drive me up the wall about a trillion times a day - running after you at nap times, convincing you to take in just one more morsel of food or sip of milk at mealtimes, convincing you that the mall is not available for shopping every single time "Manya wants", begging you to not put things in your nose or mouth at the first available opportunity, and finally what feeling like playing KBC/Who Wants to be a Millionaire - answering questions all day, "Who is that? What is that? Where is so and so? Why is it impossible? When will the market open? What is Manya doing? and the most dreaded of it all, "What is inside Manya's nose/mouth?".

And as I see you calmly smiling back at me through my (self imposed?) insanity, I know you are telling me, this gets worse. Terrible Twos, they say? Can it get worse, I think. My heart sinks a wee bit lower - ha ha ha! Okay, have I more than made up for all that sentimentality?

Oh darling, but mommy and daddy really love you - 'soooo much', as you yourself put it, and this world is a much much better place only because we have you to share it with.

Leaving you with these words from a lovely song...

"i'd like to show you a million things
i'd like to make the world for you a better place
but when it pours, it really rains, so
put on your boots, and let's play

it's a long long way to go now
i'll be there if you call
it's a long long way to go now
i'll be there if you call"

Happy Birthday, our little trooper!



[PS; Those wondering why this blog has been so quiet these past months, it is because mommy and daughter are holidaying in India and even though there are so many tales to be told, we are just not getting the time. We promise to be back with more :)]

Monday, September 8, 2014

First ER trip!

We'll be two years old soon, and our resume did look a tad bit non-illustrious without a single ER trip - or so my daughter must have thought. Otherwise, what else could have led to the "happening"!!

So on the eve of my birthday (yeah, what an awesome gift, huh!), I received a package - I promptly opened it up with M (something that both of us really enjoy - receiving and opening packages) - it had those packaging peanuts - styrofoam - that had come with it. And M was quick to start playing with them - she was counting each one and putting them in and out of the box. A harmless distraction to win me a loo trip in peace, I thought.

I did a mental check - no choking hazard I assured myself - they were too big to be swallowed - so off I went. I was gone for a minute or so, when I heard M come crying to me saying "nose hurt". And what do I see - her left nostril stuffed with small pieces of the styrofoam - she had ofcourse managed to break it down - small enough to fit that nose! I was alarmed but slightly - I lay her down and asked her to snort like a pig - she does it very well and we use the technique to blow her nose too. She did - and I was able to remove one piece. Another one was slightly further inside and I asked her to blow again - but she didn't and I think it was really troubling her because she started crying and in all those sniffles - the piece went higher up. 

And that's when I panicked! With M refusing to cooperate at all, an ER visit was the only option. Thankfully, we have a hospital walking distance from home - I called Vish to reach there from work - strapped M in her stroller and rushed. M's mood was ecstatic - the speed, the rush, the huge corridors, the bright lights, the pampering and coochie-cooing nurses and doctors - she was trilled and her discomfort forgotten - she was busy smiling and exchanging pleasantries! I was close to tears, by the way, and could only manage a "she put something in her nose" - the first time the nurse asked me what was wrong. And it is interesting to note, that M was quick to clarify, "packaging" she said - the cheek of the girl, I tell you! The nurse was like :o:O.

Anyways, once in the triage room, the doc quickly came and asked Vish and I to try CPR first - least traumatic apparently - and the pressure of air blown in would pop the piece out - I tried but M was mightily amused with mommy blowing into her mouth and she was giggling uncontrollably making the process futile. Vish tried but his beard was troubling her and she started screaming irritably. Finally the doc had to put some instrument in and force the styrofoam out - M hardly cried for all but 5 seconds (I was consoled more than her, I can assure you :P) - after that she waved a cheerful bye and thank you and was done, while Vish and I spent more time completing paperwork than the time the actual "emergency" had taken.
To cut her some slack - she was very well behaved and patient through all of that - and the paperwork did take a while!

But, it doesn't end here. What made me lose my temper completely was that once home, she tried to put tidbits from her dinner into her nose (something she had never ever done before) - I yelled at her and asked her "do you know what happens when you put stuff up your nose". Her highness excitedly replies, "go to doctor in stroller".
I yelled even louder and shouted back, "And what does the doctor say!".
Her highness replies, "Doctor says Manya prettiest girl ever".
I swear the fumes from my ears were visible.

At bed time, I was lying down next to her, when she tries putting her Minnie's tail into my nose and pushes her mouth into mine - I screamed, "what are you doing!". She very calmly says, "Manya giving seepee to mommy". (seepee=CPR)

We have now stopped talking about this episode completely as we realize all this seems like a big game for Manya and any conversation around that is more encouraging than discouraging. I understand, and two important parenting lessons learnt - you can never be too careful, and two, you cant make a big deal of whatever they do (rolling eyes). 
But, you and I, from one human being to another, do you pity me?

More funny one-liners from M

Many noses are coming and coming.
~ M describing her cold

Hello, This is Yohvikka. Why no package coming?
~ M trying to imitate me as I follow up with customer care for some deliveries.

Manya crying in the airplane.
~ M threatening to cry in the airplane if I don't give in to her demands.

Manya draws so well.
~ Self explanatory, huh?

Friday, August 15, 2014

First salon trip!

Her highness went in for her first salon trip today - technically, not her first hair cut because her first haircut was when I cut her hair at about 8 months (read the post here) - I cut her hair every 3-4 weeks from then on till she was about 11 months old. 

After that, she simply would not co-operate. And I let her be in the hope that one day it will grow long enough that she'd let me tie it or cut it. Well, the curls kept growing and falling all over her face and eyes but nothing would let me come near them - till a subtle change a couple of weeks back when she started letting me tie it ("all pretty pretty", she says) - but only when going outside. I did not feel confident taking her to a professional till Vish and I finally decided to just take a go at it - her hair was becoming quite a sight - an unruly one at that. Also our upcoming India trip during the infamous monsoon period seemed motivation enough.

I have been talking to M about a hair cut for a while, so I sat her down again today and explained to her what she could expect, and then when I finally asked her, so we'll go to get you a hair cut, she very boringly replied "okay"

Okay it was - a non-busy Friday afternoon at the kids' parlor (Pigtails and Crewcuts) - a huge train track and cars and planes for seats - lots of mirrors, TVs with cartoons, our munchkin had enough distractions - but what I really found amusing was that when the guy starting cutting, all her attention was focused on what he was doing - very pensively she was observing his movements, our reactions - the plane and the cartoons all forgotten. She did not create a fuss - I expected her to be a little hesitant, but as always, her curiosity does get the better of her and which is good! Towards the end, she was beginning to get restless but she managed to stay put - she noticed the hair falling and some fell on her hands - which she promptly asked to be cleaned - "hair falling, very dirty" were her exact words.
After getting off her seat, she looked at all the hair on the floor, and was quick to issue her instruction, "Mommy clean it up" - Yeah, right, the world's cleanliness is my core job and competency! 

With a little encouragement, she managed to say a "thank you so much" to the hair dresser and also added "it feels good" - I think she was referring to the gel he put in her hair at the end. She got a small toy to choose from a chest, for which the "thank you" came unprompted (obviously!) and we were back home in (almost) no time!
I uncrossed my crossed fingers and hope that she keeps up this attitude in salon trips that shall follow :).

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Liebster Award for Tales from the crib...

I woke up to a very pleasant email in my inbox. Aditi from Diary of a Cusp has nominated me for the Liebster Award.



As I read through the details on her blog, I understand it is an award for a really dear/loved blog - Thank you Aditi for nominating me and decoding the meaning as well. My German is weak. (I am kidding I don't know the G in German ;)) And before I continue with the rules of the award, I'd like to congratulate Aditi too! She has a fantastic blog that I urge you all to check out - She writes very well - you will love her DIYs - recipes are so well illustrated with pics and detailed steps and you surely don't want to miss her travel updates! Keep writing and writing more often, Aditi!

Now onto the award specifications...

Award rules:
  1. Collect 11 facts about yourself randomly.
  2. Answer all the 11 questions from the person who nominated you.
  3. Nominate 5–11 bloggers (with more than 100 and less than 1,000 followers) who you think deserve this award.
  4. Link back your nominator’s blog.
  5. After publishing your Liebster post, go to your nominees’ blogs and let them know that you have nominated them.
  6. Frame 11 questions on your own and asks your nominees to answer them exactly the way you answered yours, i.e., by post.

So here I go:

11 Random Facts about Me:
  1. I hate sleeping late - I need to sleep atleast by 10PM and then get up by 6 or 7 AM to really be cheerful through the day. Yes, I need a lot of sleep and it has to be night sleep - I can't sleep in till noon to make up for lost sleep!
  2. I really don't believe in bucket lists, but would surely want to do a pan-Europe tour in this lifetime.
  3. I hate being out-of-touch with people who I have had great times with - Life takes us so far apart and it take a lot to keep in touch - sometimes I fail, sometimes the other person does - and sometimes we both!
  4. I am quite your emotional fool - nostalgia - a video here - a picture there - a memory trip - all can leave me teary eyed.
  5. Shopping is the greatest stress buster I know of. I have recently tarted shopping a lot online and while I didn't appreciate it much earlier - I now am beginning to like it.
  6. I hate cooking and needless to say, I suck at it. I love the occasional baking, once in a while trying out something special - but the daily monotony of cooking, cleaning gets to me - I am not cut out for that stuff ;).
  7. Over the years, I have lost my 2AM and 4AM friends - I still have them but I would not call them at an unearthly hour. I miss those odd-hour conversations a lot!
  8. I am quite the mama-papa's girl. I need to talk every day or every other day to get all the news and give all the updates.
  9. I am a social media enthusiast and find them very useful to keep in touch with family and friends!
  10. Dressing up, wearing jewelry etc is not my cup of tea - while not strictly a jeans and T person, I like to dress easy.
  11. I love my blogs and often feel guilty of not writing enough.

Answer to questions from Aditi (Diary of a Cusp):


What made you start a blog?
This is my second blog after My Musings, which I have had for about 5 years now. That one I started just to log occasional musings, thoughts, opinions. This particular blog (Tales from the crib...) is a concerted effort to record my daughter's babyhood and childhood, which is so fleeting.

What’s the story behind your blog name?
I chose Tales from the crib...because babies are always going to be as tiny as they were in the crib for their moms. And this one's all about her highness!

What inspires you everyday to keep going in all the spheres of life along with blogging?
As of now, it is just my daughter's face and smile and those hugs and kisses that make me do anything and everything. 

What do you think of the impact of social media in today’s world?
It is phenomenal - it is a very powerful tool which when used correctly can bring positive change, challenge archaic power structures and bring a kind of equality that has been unprecedented. 

What is that one thing that you can do for days without a fuss and getting tired?
At this point, I am so sleep deprived that all I can say is sleep. But on a serious note - I can read and write for days together without getting tired. 

Do you consider yourself successful in what you do? Why?
I was a successful working professional before my baby came along. Now my role is that of a mother and boy, I don't even know how I am doing, forget considering myself a success already!

What is your idea of relaxing on a holiday?
No phone, no emails, no cooking - relaxing on the beach under an umbrella, and listening to the waves crashing on the shore - without a care of this goddamn world!

How would you describe your personal fashion and styling sense, edgy, classy, trendy, geeky, etc. ?
My personal fashion and style sense is pure convenience -I wear what I feel would be most convenient and comfortable - I do try to keep in mind the occasion as well!

What is your criteria to follow a blog, specially with less followers? How do you judge?
Purely on content quality - If I like what I read, I follow the blogger.

If given a chance and the required resources that it might take, what would you like to do for the betterment of the next generation?
I'd make it mandatory for all food to be organically cultivated - no GMO, no hormones, no dangerous chemicals.

What is your favorite cuisine? Why?
I love food - almost all cuisines - Italian, Mexican, Indian, Mediterranean - Just bring it on!

My nominees for the Liebster award:
My questions for the nominees:
  1. When did you start blogging and why?
  2. Which is your all time favorite post from your own blog.
  3. What is your take on blogging, using social media anonymously so that the true identity of the person is hidden?
  4. Do you or did you ever keep a diary to pen your thoughts down?
  5. Are we doing the best we can to leave a better world for the coming generations?
  6. One thing that your parents said that made no sense back in childhood but you completely understand it now...
  7. What is your happiest childhood memory?
  8. What is your first thought when you open your eyes in the morning?
  9. What is your last thought as you drift away to sleep at night?
  10. If you could have one wish unconditionally granted what would it be?
  11. What is the No. 1 item on your bucket list today?
Wow! That was some post! A great start to the weekend, I say!




Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Onto sentence construction now!

For the last fortnight or more, our little munchkin has been trying to string words together and make her own sentences - and by that I mean not just repeat what we have said but put words together on her own in a way that she perhaps hasn't heard from us.

Here are some gems:

"Take your lap"
This is repeated a thousand times in a minute sometimes - and at times it is so annoying that I shout back, "take my lap where?", and pat comes the reply, "Take daughter your lap." Alright then!

"Where is daddy go/gone"
She substitutes daddy for everyone and everything else too, but that question about daddy is asked a trillion times, even if he in in the next room!

"Have a bath"
Ofcourse, just in case you had a doubt on this one - by this she means that she demands to have a bath NOW.

"Daughter falling, save her"
You decode this one!

And this one, she came up with today, and it is indeed the most priceless:
"So many waters falling outside"
...The cutie was referring to the rain!

In addition to this, we have a lot of verb constructions...I often joke that M gives a running commentary of what's happening. Mommy eating cereal, daddy playing guitar, spider crawling up, Light switching on, Daddy troubling Manya, Kitty kissing puppy, Bruno hugging Teddy...and it goes on and on 24/7.

Some other phrases that are quite endearing at this stage are:
- Hug you, Love you, Kiss you
- Don't trouble
- Goodbye daddy, come soon (She says this every single time he says bye!)
- WooooWW
- Just look at that!
- Who is that?
- What's that sond (sound)?
- Lie down on coch (couch)/bed
- Just one more time/ one last time (always at bath time!)
- Cancel the call (when she wants me to end my phone conversations)
- Daddy gone to work to office
- Show to daddy (She wants to show everything to daddy - toy, hurt, hairband, dress!)
- But what happened (every single time I blow my lid off or give her a time out or ignore her tantrums)

So this is what is happening...:)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Conversations with M (1 of infinity)

So starting a series of posts to record the hilarious and often very frustrating conversations that I have with M. Let's see how our conversations change over time. Here's one for today.

Me: Manya, let's have milk.
Manya: No.
Me: Now come have yummy breakfast.
Manya: No.
Me: It is nap time!
Manya: No.
Me: You dont want to have your delicious snack?
Manya: No.
**Parenting gyaan: Instead of asking a yes/no question, give options**
Enlightened me: Manya will you have apple or banana for snack?
Manya: No apple, no banana.
Me: :o:O Okay, more options and yes or no is not an option. Do you want a cookies or muffin.
Manya: No cookie, no muffin.
Me (refusing to give up): how about mango shake or strawberry shake.
Manya (in a sing song voice): No apple, no banana, no cookies, no muffin, no mango, no strawberry, no nothing.
Exasperated me: You cannot say no. I give you options, you choose one. And, what the hell do you mean by nothing?
M: Want not anything.
Frustrated me: Dont explain the meaning of nothing to me. I am getting mad.
Manya: Smiles, nods her head and walks away.
After a few hours,
Me: Will you take a nap at 1 o clock or 2 o clock.
Manya: Never ever.
Manya is 20 months old. Sigh.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The daily dose of outdoors!

Ever since M really started walking well (around the 14th-15th month mark), I made it a point (weather withstanding in Virginia) to taker her out everyday. Our little social butterfly makes sure that every single day is cheerful, bright, and replete with new adventures and memories and stories.

Before I cut to the present in Portland, I need to mention about our fantastic walks with a slightly younger M in VA. A typical evening would go like this. We'd quickly change and wear our shoes (after a brief struggle on matching or rather un-matching pair of socks and shoes) and the minute we'd step out of the door, our lively bubble would bounce even more - putting on her best behavior, her most charming smile, coupled with her great observation skill, off we'd go. 

M makes it a point to wish every single one - a hi here, a wave there - I often joke that she behaves like a celebrity - everyone must acknowledge her. And boy, she is adamant at that. If some unsuspecting jogger with earphones on misses her greeting, she keeps shouting behind their back, til I have to literally drag her away so that we can move on. The aghast look she gives such people is quite endearing and very funny! 

All this wonderful attitude to the outdoors remains in Portland too (thank god for that) - but you see now is a more mature M (lol, yeah about as mature a 20 month old can get) - She understands that probably not every single person she meets exists so that they can greet her. (I must hastily add that she thinks she must know them or that I definitely know them - because she points at every single one and asks "Who is that?" - loud and clear - while I fumble - somebody, some person, our neighbor, a lady, a man etc etc)

And another change is that while in VA, we didn't have a single dog that hadn't licked or hugged M, she has offlate become a little wary of them - she does charge at them, bow-wows - all this punctuated by excited shrieks of "doggie" doggie" but she doesn't care to pet them anymore. Oh well - less cleaning and scrubbing for mommy!

Once at the park, our lady has nothing to do with me or her dad. She is off in the mud, getting her hands, hair, everything dirty. She rolls on the grass, plucks flowers and leaves, squishes ants, chases bugs, and simply will not let you hold her hand. She calls everyone in the age group 0-18 years a baby. And most preteens and teens get really angry at that. She has to be placated to share her ball - she agrees after some persuading but is not readily accommodating of a stranger she has never seen before. A 5 year old came to her and introduced himself, shook her hands for friendship and asked her for her ball. She goes in a very firm tone "No ball, no play, no friend". I did come home and have a discussion with her and the next day she said she'd "give" her ball. She does not understand "share", me thinks.

We recently also bought her a nice tricycle. It's a neat thing that grows with the child's ability - as of now we are using it more like a fancy stroller simply because M refuses to pedal - she does steer though (in all directions, if I may add) - but slowly as she gets the hang of it, we'll be able to pull out the protective bar, the parent guide and the canopy off it - not to mention I love it with all its paraphernalia.

Phew this is a long post already - I hate these long ones and I really need to up the frequency! Leaving you with a pic, and if you don't notice, I'd like to draw your attention to the fact that her hair is partially tied - a huge victory for me - she lets me do it only to go out but :(. One step at a time, babe!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

#TimeoutFail

If you have been following this blog every now and then, you'd know that M has quite the temper - which manifests itself in tantrums, crying and what not. She is also extremely naughty - downright cheeky - a chipmunk for whom NO translates into look into trying harder to challenge restrictions and boundaries. On the other end is poor me, who often tries to balance the mommy in me with the impatient person that I am. It is not difficult then to imagine the number of face-offs we both have in a single day.

So in order to tame the little shrew and give myself some cooling off time, we introduced the concept of timeouts. For my lucky non-parent friends, you can look up the term on wiki here. The first time, I explained to her (yeah right, explained to an 18 month old!), what I was going to do, and why. And I also told her I love her blah blah - so basically all the parenting gyaan from the books and Internet was shared offloaded. It was a breeze - about 2 mins of timeout and she was back to being the golden girl that she is the rest of the time. The second time, which happened a couple of weeks after the first, was effective too. And just when I thought I had this whole disciplining and parenting thing under my belt, my daughter throws a googly!

At 18 months two timeouts, come the 19th month, timeout has become a joke. I had reserved time outs for only the big tantrums, the absolutely ugly bad behaviour instances. But this chit of a girl has gotten the better of me. Now, the minute I say Manya, No, she looks into my eye, and asks, Timeout? The first time she did it, I could have died of guilt - Was I being extra tough? Did she hate me for it? Aww, my poor baby, I hugged her tight and told her that timeout was not for everything, only when she was being a very very bad girl. She promptly went to her sippy cup and poured the water onto the carpet, and again asked me, timeout? I swear I could have pulled all my hair out, but I forced myself to be gentle - so I told her yes, if she'd continue behaving like this timeout would be given. 

And then what my 19 month old toddler did, stunned me - she went to her room and banged the door shut and said timeout! She played for a couple of minutes and came out as if nothing had happened. 
As if this was not enough, one day Vish came home tired and she kept on pouncing at his cell phone, when he gave her one of those rare annoyed looks - she closed the door on him and said, timeout!

Now, close to 20 months, this is our situation - for every small thing, from morning to night, he keeps asking me, timeout? I try ignoring her and the one or two times that I say yes, she goes off on her own. So, when she is actually behaving badly, I am at a loss of what to do - there is no long term benefit of giving a timeout - she continues to behave as badly as ever irrespective of the timeout! 

What takes the cake away is that the other day I saw her fussing for a piggy bank at a store - my mommy instinct told me this was going to quickly turn into a full blown tantrum - so I gave her my gravest look ever - and you know what she did - she said, timeout? I said yes, at home, if you behave like this we are going for a timeout, okay? And she coolly looks at me, and says, okay. And continues to demand for the piggy bank! WTF. I have never felt so helpless!!!

So, what do we do now? I take a timeout instead! 

Any experienced parents who'd like to guide us here? 

Monday, June 16, 2014

First Flight!

(P.S. I am trying to tick off the long list of overdue posts. But thought of starting with this.)

So, like I mentioned in my earlier post, we moved from Virginia to Portland at the end of last month - it was a close to a 6 hour flight - thankfully (or not) non-stop. And it was M's first flight ever!! Ever since M was born, we have somehow always postponed any long distance vacation plans for some reason or the other but finally the inevitable became evitable. Weeks in advance I started talking to Manya about the move in general and the flight journey in particular. We don't know how much of it she really understood but if you asked her where are you moving to, pat would come the reply - Potand (her version of Portland). Then if you would asked her, how will you go, she'd say Ayhpaayne (airplane) - and shaking her head vigorously she'd tell you, 'Faaah vehyy vehhy faah' (far, very very far.)

And then came the actual day that started on a great note. M was elated at the airport - all the planes, so many people to wave to and talk to (by this time you do know that her highness is a social butterfly), TSA agents to play peek-a-boo with (yes, yes, she actually played peek-a-boo as we were being screened), lot of space to run around. With the result by the time we actually boarded the flight, the poor thing was fast asleep! She did not stir when we boarded or got seated or even when the plane took off! All this seemed to good to be true and as I browsed through Facebook using the in-flight wi-fi, I had those warning bells in my head going strong. 

A mother's instinct is never wrong (aah, well mostly) - about an hour into the flight, Madame M wakes up and looking at all of us in our seats - with the window open with a view of the sky - she just panicked! From then on was perhaps a nightmarish flight for us the parents and a few people around (though I must make a mention that everybody was so very supportive - no irritable glances or WTF expressions thrown our way - mostly elderly crowd who kept on cheering us up and told us she was doing great even as we were on the verge of losing our patience completely!) 

While Manya didn't exactly howl her lungs out - I am sure in all the din of an aircraft only one or two rows in front of us and next to us would be able to hear her - but as her initial cries gave way to some sobbing and then the most annoying thing of it all - constant whining. She kept on tugging at Vish and me and telling us - "Get up, Get out, no airplane, car driving". She went on an infinite loop with these phrases - God I'd give anything to jump out of the window at that time! Imagine for four hours, every 10 minutes to listen to that! No options for distracting her worked - books, coloring, even the tablet! What finally did work was I handed her the baby wipes which she pulled out and began profusely cleaning the seats, the food tray, her self, her shoes with it - wow! I wondered why didn't this idea strike me in the beginning!

Like all good things, nightmares also come to an end. Fortunately for us, we landed half an hour before time (we joked with our co-passengers that the pilot had also had enough of M), and the minute the wheels touched the ground M was back to her cheerful self - after which she tried to compensate by being extra patient :). Aww, poor little girl.

We have an India trip coming up in the year end - that is a 26 hour haul start to end with two layovers and a total flying time of about 18-19 hours. And what is better news is that I will be flying alone with M. That will be some experience and I already can feel my head spin thinking about  it - but what must be done has to be done. Here's what I plan to do differently this time - try to keep her awake at boarding and take off, get her used to some basic apps on the iPAd and get her use to some baby earphones, take more coloring, sticker options along, take an extra box of baby wipes for her to clean everything (I am serious) - what suggestions do you have?

Monday, June 9, 2014

Mommy is not being lazy!

I am sure if M could read, she'd nod her head in disapproval at the lack of posts on this blog and she'd definitely reiterate what she keeps egging me on with these days - get up, lazy - please, lazy - she suffixes lazy when telling me something to do so many times that I actually shout back saying I am not lazy!

So, if mommy is not being lazy - what has she been busy doing - well we just moved - bag and baggage - to the west coast all the way from the east. It has been a crazy month and we are yet to settle down - as they say! You can read more about the first impressions in my blog post here. 

I have like a trillion updates pending - some from before our move - and some from the move (I am sure you are dying to know all about the nightmare Madame's first flight experience was) - and a few from our brief stay here in Portland! I will have all of these coming in the next few days, I promise!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

M at 18 months!

We are well into the path that leads us to the Terrible Twos! Our chipmunk is a volcano of activities and has new tricks and words up her sleeve almost every single day - It is actually getting tough to keep account of all these sweet nothings and terrifying naughtiness!!

Let's see what all I can remember!
  • I have to start with M's vocabulary - It is growing by leaps and bounds - she picks up new words all the time - like a little sponge absorbing everything, She has started applying the words in context and can hold a conversation with one word and two-word phrases. I must do a post on the kind of conversations we have. Up next!
  • She runs all over the place, climbs over chairs and tables, threatens to dive down and then jumps up and down as onlookers suffer panic attacks. She makes Vish or me lie down on our backs and then mauls us like no tomorrow - gosh - I wonder where all the energy comes from.
  • As always our skinny and leggy baby is very conscious of what she eats - greens, fruits being her favorites. Apart from cheese anything remotely fattening does not suit her taste buds! I am done getting worried now - there's only so much one can worry!
  • We have started going for walks and to the park very regularly now _ I must do another post on all the fun we have! Our very social diva stops to wave hi at every single person and vehicle. Dogs get a hug too!
  • M has started playing independently a lot more. She does various pretend-and-play sessions with her soft toys and doll. Loves the shape sorter activity and her wooden puzzles too. I think she just might be read for more dolls, kitchen sets and the likes! Which reminds me she does have an airplane but needs cars - she has been showing a growing fondness for them!
  • Generally a happy and affectionate kid, she has still not gotten over her stranger anxiety - some days she is great - some days there's downright bawling. The latter happens more often when we visit peoples' houses. However, after the first 15 minutes or so, she warms up pretty well.
  • Now the tantrums  - Madame does have quite the temper. She walks away in anger if she doesn't like what I am telling her. She sometimes throws herself on the floor crying - though this has reduced quite a bit because she knows that way she is not getting anything that way (fingers crossed now). Most times, she is very persistent with what she wants and does not get distracted easily. Also, since she has the language advantage, it is very difficult for me to pretend as if I don't get what she's saying :D. I mean if someone's screaming "water - play" - anybody would put 2 and 2 together ;)!
  • We need to now get some non-toxic paints and crayons to engage her more constructively - she has done enough of sorting potatoes and onions, arranging diapers, unloading dishes, laundry, and "cooking" :). 


Phew - I think that's about it. I just realized I need to write up a couple of posts else I'll lose lot of the small details to memory. Soon. Soon.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day Special: Confessions of a Toddler's Mommy!

It is not easy being a mommy and it is almost impossible to be that perfect mommy - the one who doesn't raise her voice at her kids, is patient - always, is immaculate herself and sets the perfect personal example, whips up yummy but all healthy and organic food for her children, the children love her, there are no tantrums, no yelling, and there is utopia. 

As I struggle to beat the ideal mommy, I fall, and slip, and stumble - most of the times - and yet we seem to be getting by. So, here are some confessions I have to make this Mother's day as a mommy to a (terrific, umm, terrible, umm terrifying) toddler:
  • Every night I promise myself that how many times M gets up in the night, I will not yell at her. But, exactly at 3:00AM when she gets up demanding a bath or a book read, and in that very irritable voice I shout - Manya it is still night - SLEEP!
  • I many a times don't bother putting things back in their place after M has created havoc - I mean who cleans the doorway between snow storms. Why bother!
  • I always eat my meals before M. Else I don't have the energy to sing and dance at every spoonfuls of hers.
  • Because I want M to have healthy eating habits, I eat noodles (Maggi), chocolates etc. on the sly - when she is not looking or sleeping. :o:O. I also do that because I don't like sharing :D.
  • I am guilty of having woken up M from her naps or sleep - just because I couldn't resist kissing her in her sleep. :(.
  • What is worse than the above is that I am guilty of getting annoyed when she wakes up even though I had been the cause for it. :( :(.
  • Whenever I really want two minutes to myself - to have my meal in peace or blog or anything, I allow her to play with water in the kitchen and make all the mess she wants - It is a different matter that the time I spend cleaning up is often much more than the time I get to myself.
  • Like all good parents I vow to watch my language in front of her - but when she calls me a "silly goose" and "lazy", I realize I can never be too careful.
  • I hate comparisons with other kids on development milestones etc. - yet every once in a while I am stupid enough to Google stuff like "My 17 month old does not put the stacking rings in order. Should I be worried?" Or every week I try to search this phrase "My daughter does not chew food that is semi mashed - it should either be completely blended or completely dry, else she throws up. Is this okay?" It doesn't matter sometimes what the doc says, huh?
  • I have always hoped and wanted to be one of those super cool mommies who don't make a big hullabaloo out of every small parenting issue - who take motherhood in its stride - yet 11 AM and no poop is like the biggest problem on the face of this earth. The next is 4 hours and no food or milk intake. And god forbid, there is a puke session - it is like my blood pressure hits the roof with worry. God, I swear my hair is already greying!
  • Very religiously, I try to serve the healthiest of meal choices to M - organic spinach with lentils, butternut squash soup, avocado and berry smoothie - but at other times when I am cooking and need her to be distracted so she is not constantly tugging at me - I end up giving Cheerios or even those horrible store bought cookies to her!
  • Any mom would be delighted to have her child engage himself/herself independently - but I fail here too. For the first 5 minutes I am in denial and wait for her to come whining back to me. The next 10 minutes I feel so happy and wonder what all I can accomplish. The next 5 minutes I spend feeling bad - what is the use of me being at home if she has to be so quiet all by herself. The 21st minute, I go and hug and her and ask her if she wants me to play with her or read to her. Half an hour later, when I have read the same book over and over again atleast 10 times - I kick myself for having interrupted her unnecessarily!
  • Then there are days when M just behaves so badly, and she gets the royal ignore from me and a semi-timeout and when she's all cool and collected and I am still ignoring her, she comes upto me and in hermost cheerful of voices says, "Hi, hug!". And I end up feeling like the worst mommy in this whole big world!
  • And finally, I crib and I crib saying I don't get time for anything and am occupied 24/7 with M's chores - the truth is - that she does nap, she does sleep early, and she does play on her own for a couple of minutes at a stretch at various points during the day - but then when she is not around - I just throw my legs up and snuggle with some reading or day dreaming  and then hustle and bustle with all the chores when she is up and about ;). 
So, fellow mommies - what do you feel guilty about?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Blogging Award

Oh, how did I fail to mention that this mommy blog of mine was placed among the Top 5 parenting blogs from India by Blogadda.com! Here's the link.

Thank you Manya - it's all because of you! Quite literally!


Monday, April 7, 2014

17 reasons my 17-month-old has had meltdowns!

M has been showing us her fiery side more often than not. Her temper tantrums aside, we have lately had some tearful meltdowns for the silliest of reasons - I mean I have wanted to shake her and tell her that life is much more cruel and worse, and tears should be saved for that. (Yes, I try to remember that she is only 17 months old :(.) 

Here are some of the most inane crying episodes by our feisty lady in the last couple of weeks:
  • She pinched me so hard and I shouted, "Ouch, that hurts so bad!" That's it, she started howling, "hurt", "hurt", with spurious tears rolling down those cheeks. Apparently, I can't say I was hurt. Only she can get hurt. And so, even though I was hurting, I had to say sorry! WTF!
  • M plays a lot with her soft toys and walks them and pats them to sleep. Now, she has this big plastic ride on puppy toy that has wheels - she spent some 15 minutes trying to place it in a sleeping position but obviously couldn't - imagine putting a tricycle to sleep. After that she cried in frustration, shouting, "shleep, shleep", and looked at me with tears in her eyes, "peppe no shleep". Gosh, I wanted to tell her that's exactly how I feel when you don't go to sleep. 
  • At some random time during the day, she brings the phone to me and says, "call". I was like there's nobody to call - I don't want to talk to anybody. That was enough for a tantrum to happen. She burst into tears, "call, talk".  I spent the next 15 minutes talking on a phone with nobody on the other end while her highness kept on looking at me and smiling. Seriously, WTF.
  • The brat just needs an excuse for a crying session so that she can abandon her meals (read more about this in my post here). She wants me to feed her doll. And I always oblige. But the other day, she threw a fit because the doll was not eating. I had put some of her food on the doll's mouth, and she was crying at the doll - "eat, eat." (looks like she clearly understands the emotion I go through when she does not eat :P).
  • The dog that she came to look at, at the window, left without saying "bow bow" - so the next 10 minutes were spent crying "bow bow, bow bow"
  • She got up at 4 in the morning and shouted "bath bath". When I firmly said "no bath", we had a 15 minute crying session.
  • She cried when I was walking with her in my lap, patting her to sleep, because she was shouting "hug, hug" (more hug stories here). And I was shouting back, I am already hugging you, you silly goose".
  • Another tryst with her toys: she cried because "Polo" wouldn't "shit (sit)", only "shleep". The soft toy ( a baby polar bear) is made in such a way that it looks like it's on all fours - but she was trying to balance it on its non existent bum!
  • Her highness has a skewed fashion sense. She cried her heart out because I did not let her wear mismatched pair of shoes - on hindsight, I could have avoided this meltdown by just letting her wear it - big deal, no?
  • One more crying session because the heart shape wouldn't go through the triangle shape in her activity toy. I tried showing her the slot for the heart shape but no, she was going on trying to put it through the triangle slot (and crying and crying).
  • She also cried because I did not let her put her sippy cup upside down and spill the milk on the carpet.  
  • A violent crying session happened because Vish had closed the door on her as he was working from home and had to take a call.
  • We cry everyday because we don't want the bath time to end - ever because ducky or a leg or an arm would still be "dirty".
  • Another recurrent crying session is because mommy refuses to read the same story for the 159th time in the day.
  • And also because the mean mommy refuses to sing that stupid nursery rhyme for the 248th time in the day.
  • One big reason for an at-will meltdown is because the trash can is locked away before she can get her hands on it.
  • And finally, we end up crying, because we have been crying and because we have forgotten the real reason why we started crying - and so there is so much confusion, so we cry some more.

At this rate, I might just go bald pulling my hair in frustration, even before the terrible twos begin!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

HUG!

[Warning: This post is loaded with the "awwww" factor" :D.]

So Manya has really been picking up words - she's still ofcourse on the one word at a time communication stage - no phrases yet (and I believe that is a long way to go) but she sure has mastered the skill of getting her point across. For example, "Out", "Walk", "Play", "Book" (which means I should read to her), "See" (This is when I exasperatedly ask her what do you want to do - the cheeky brat says "See".), and so on. 
The cutest of these is of course is HUG, which basically means she is asking, nay, demanding to be hugged that very moment. This happens several times a day, and please note the smart pants' timing:
  • She wants a hug when I am putting her to sleep - now try hugging a baby when she is already in your lap and you are walking with her. I explain (rather scream) to her that I am already hugging her but no - looks like there is a difference.
  • She definitely wants a hug if her sleep gets disturbed at some god forsaken hour in the night.
  • Just when I begin to eat or drink something, her highness comes demanding a hug.
  • If I am at the laptop, hugs shall be needed every 3 minutes.
  • Hug is also a topic changing strategy. If I start telling her a story that she doesn't want to hear or engage her in some activity that doesn't interest her, she cuts me midway and says hug.
  • If I am talking on a phone, there is no way she can stay without the hug.
  • Hug is also apparently a symbol of peace - a white flag that she hoists. If she is upto something that she isn't supposed and I happen to catch her, she quickly, in the cutest of tones, will say, hug. Ditto if I raise my volume or say NO.
If that is not all, the hug is said in the most endearing manner that try as much as I to convince myself that she is faking all the cuteness to get her way, I still cannot resist hugging her. What a drama queen we have, I tell you!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

6 reasons M abandons her meal midway...

I am beginning to realize motherhood is the craziest job ever. I swear to god I have aged a few decades in the last few months. Here is an example post. My size zero daughter who is a very poor eater, comes up with new tactics everyday to abandon her meals. And no, it is not lack of hunger, I am sure.

Here are the top 6 reasons why my 16 month old has to get up and leave her high chair/place of eating (and ofcourse, stop eating):
  • She wants a hug. I'll be approaching her with a spoon and she will scream "HUG", "HUG" - and it cannot be a sideways hug. I must remove her from her high chair, hug her nicely - and that's the end of the meal. (P.S. I am with her 24/7 and we have all the time to hug but looks like such affection is needed most at meal time.)
  • She says she has done potty. A couple of spoonfuls, and she will hold her diaper and say "potty", "potty". I take her off the chair and check - and as expected, there is no poop! She squeals with joy as she knows her trick has worked for the umpteenth time!
  • She feels the food is too hot for her. And before you even attempt to justify her shouting "HOT", "HOT", at every bite - let me tell you she does that even if it's yogurt!
  • She wants to read a book right then. And I try to work around this, by placing the book on her tray and reading it but she squirms - she wants my full attention - no stealing spoonfuls here and there.
  • She is sleepy. It doesn't matter whether it is her nap time or not or whether she is really sleepy or not. She'll start saying, "shleep, shleep", and patting herself - Her eyes will be drooping and no way will that mouth open for another bite. And voila, once out and about, the freakin' "shleep" goes out of the window!
  • She is hurt. She holds some random body part - and points to one tiny area and keeps saying in a very emotional tone, "hurt, hurt". I swear, there is never ever any hurt.
At this rate, I will soon be asking for best hair dye options :( :(.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Oh my cutie, what should I feed thee?

Breast is best, they said.
But others insisted formula must be fed.

Solids after 6 months, many were sure.
Others, after 3 months, raised a furor.

And how we sorted the first foods:
Rice cereal was empty carbs;
Fruits would encourage a sweet tooth;
Veggies too tasteless for those tiny buds;
Lentils on the new plumbing would be tough.

That was not all,
Organic or not,
Boiled or steamed
Blended, mashed, or bites.
Oh no end to the sugar, salt, n honey fights.

Then the stage was set at one -
Cow's milk to be fed to the hun.
Some claimed that was unnecessary;
Vegan upbringing was the best.
Others said fresh from the cow's shed.
Pasteurized milk had no good bacteria;
Raw milk had the good AND the bad bacteria.

Good lord, I had never imagined solid feeding
Would be a constant battle I'd be fighting.

So the question is, with all these confusions - this and that
What does my lovely daughter have for meals and snack?
Well, she's made my life fairly simple -
Her highness refuses to eat at all.

She thinks meals are a waste of time,
And she'd rather toss a ball outside.
And then on some days, she's under the weather,
Or it is the infamous teething monster.
If nothing else, my doc insists,
It is the fussy toddler phase!

(No, I haven't lost my sanity yet
Though I think I am tempting fate.)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Bath!

I had done a post when M was just a couple of months old - on how she really enjoys her bath times. This is Version 2.0 of that. 

A couple of weeks back, we moved her from the baby tub to the adult tub, using a transitional inflatable bath tub. I was not very confident of her going into the main tub all by herself and I really really enjoy bathing alone, so sharing a bath with her highness would be just making a watery mess of myself. So, I searched around for reasonable inflatable options and did manage to find a fairly decent one. It blows up without much effort and can go weeks without needing more air, has a pleasing blue background with yellow ducking printed all over, and fits snugly into the main tub! I swear to god, you go online looking for any tailor made requirements, everything's available!

How did the transition go? Fairly well. She was uneasy the first two days but that's primarily because the tap in that washroom is very noisy. The third day onwards, we have been having a blast. She has got her duckies and the rinse mugs to play with, and she could bathe all day. 

And, my stories don't usually end on a peaceful note - So here's the catch now. M has learnt how to say bath - so now every half an hour throughout the day, she leads me to the door of the bathroom and keeps pleading "bath, bath". If that was not annoying enough, she has taking such a fancy to her blue rinse mug that she slept with it for two nights! Yes, I have a crazy daughter - she has even slept with her toothbrush, btw!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Picasso's first masterpiece!

(P.S. No, I don't have any megalomaniac expectation from my progeny to become a Picasso or a Michelangelo. You get what you give and I know what genes I have transferred :D. So read the title in jest, please, lest you think I am one of those mothers who think no end of their children :P.)

So, M surprised us a couple of weeks back by taking a pen and trying to scribble on her book. It crossed my mind that I should get her a non toxic crayon set but then quickly vetoed the idea considering she is still mouthing anything and everything and non-toxic or not, I wasn't prepared to feed her crayons. However, at her 15th month appointment, the doctor happened to mention that she was showing good motor skills and it may not be too early to let her scribble! Hmm. 

I went online and searched stores for safe art work supplies but found nothing. All very clearly mentioned 24 months and above, and one can understand why - choking hazards etc etc. However, I chanced upon this fantastic stamping kit that is big enough for the clumsy grip of a 16 month old and has no coloring parts that are available for sucking or chewing. What is even better is that it works only on the paper that comes with the kit - it doesn't work on walls, clothes or upholstery - and it clearly says 12m+. Yes, looks like a perfect solution does exist :). It's a product by Crayola and you can check it out here

Manya thoroughly enjoyed the fun of having to scribble on her own. Here is her working at her first master piece...


And this is the completed masterpiece ;)...


Don't ask me what I think it is - when have great artists ever explained their work? That is the misery of the consumers :D.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Letting it go in the snow storm!

So, being a FTM (first time mom :P), I do tend to exhibit typical paranoid behaviors every once in a while (actually more often than I would like to admit) but then what the hell, all that comes with the title!

M was born in November and I have been very particular about keeping her in controlled temperatures - even inside the house - so much so that I earned the nickname "Temperature Nazi" from Vish. 
For example, in the first year, we would maintain a temperature between 68F and 72F in winters. During bath times, I'd religiously spike it up to 74F. During summers, between 76F-80F. However, this winter we are doing between 65F-68F and 70F-72F for bathing. Any variance of even a degree used to cause (I swear it no longer does) hyper blood pressure in me :D. 

Now, outside temperatures are hard to control, right? So, guess what my rules for taking M out for a walk were until November of last year. Temperature range should be 68F-80F. No winds. No bright or harsh sun. UV index of 4 or lower (yes, I was crazy enough to check it every single time for our zip code). And obviously, not at meal times/milk times/ snack times/nap times. Go figure out the narrow time range then available for the outdoors :). 

However, the polar vortex has put me in my place. With continuous cold weather and more snow storms than ever before, I have realized keeping a toddler at home 24 hours is detrimental to your own sanity. Now, M has gone for walks at even 30F, with winds at 19MPH. I even allow her to play in all that piled up snow outside and around our apartment. She even eats it! Yuck! (But maybe not so much - it's cleaner than the window sills she licks every once in a while :P.)

So, have I let this aspect go? Pretty much, except that for every range of degrees, I have a mental chart on what M should be wearing - And on that I am not compromising (errr, for now)!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Caring for the milky whites!

Another scheduled activity into Madame M's busy life - brushing teeth twice a day. Even though she has barely three teeth, the doctor at her 15th month appointment recommended we start with a finger brush and kiddie tooth paste. According to her, at about 18 months we should start letting M use a toddler toothbrush so that by 2 she is a pro at brushing. Yes, ma'am, we said :D.

And, I don't have to re-emphasize the ideal patients that we are (or rather I enforce we are as a family) - so I promptly bought her the required set and some yummy apple-banana organic toothpaste (the fuss that our generation of parents make, makes my parents eyes roll almost everyday! :P).

Her highness's take on this new activity? She is thrilled. She likes the rub on her gums and teeth so much (I am assuming all that pressure must be massaging and soothing her sore teething gums). Also the toothpaste flavor gets a thumbs up from her and just when you are thinking that atleast one post where I am not really complaining - I am sorry to disappoint you. She is so excited about this brushing routine that she refuses to part with the finger brush. Only two days have passed and all four times, we have had a tussle for about 5 minutes and I have had to shout atleast a hundred times, "Manya, we are done with brushing - your many (:P) teeth have been adequately cleaned!" Pssstttt.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The first quarter of the second year...

So, yes I stopped doing the monthly milestone updates at the 12th month but M is growing up so fast that I thought I should do this post to just jot down small changes at 15 months that will otherwise be left to the mercy of memory :).
  • M is growing tall at a fast pace but guess what is not increasing - her weight! she fairs down there in the percentile charts! Ya ya, a healthy active baby and all that. Yes, I console myself. Is there a size zero in babies? 
  • M may or may not qualify as a poor eater but she is definitely not a picky eater. (Touch wood, knock head). So, bring on the greens, and all the healthy stuff! Extra sweet, extra oily, extra creamy, extra rich - naah, not for my baby - how else will she maintain her size zero (bleh)
  • And, by the way, someone's not only walking, but running and dancing too! She moves her bum and taps her feet to music. Runs the minute she's let loose. Her motor skills have been good and she is onto activity centers, stacking rings etc. now. Though, I must mention she gets awfully irritated when she ends up putting the smaller ring before the larger one - she tosses the whole thing to the other end of the room (Note to self: watch out for her temper!)
  • She talks non-stop. And thus all my recent posts have only been about that!
  • She has one full tooth and two others popping out. A late bloomer but looks like, she is catching up :).
  • Some other personality traits we are beginning to discover are: she has a furious temper - and she doesn't express it by crying - she screams and bangs her head or whatever is in her hand. Gosh! Once over the initial stranger anxiety, she is quite a people's person - she even initiates conversations and absolutely loves all the attention she gets!
  • We have already had two sickness bouts - a fever and a cold - and I hate those days! I'd rather fall sick instead (and I don't even mean it in the sacrificing Indian mother kind of way) because atleast I'll feel like I have more control and not just move around with a cup of milk and a bowl of soup all day!
  • M has also started trying to remove her clothes on her own - she unzips her jackets and leaves them hanging around the sleeves like a freakin' goon, she pulls down her PJs, even attempts to undo her diapers! God save me!
  • Weather permitting, we take her out for walks and she thoroughly enjoys her new found independence. She runs towards cars (sigh) and never ever wants to hold my hand (yeah, already - I guess that's how girls are, huh?)
And on that weathery note, signing off with Manya gazing at all the snow outside! 

    Friday, February 7, 2014

    Bitch!

    I know I know. This is a parenting blog - a personal chronicle, and whatever it might include, there does not seem to be the remotest possibility of the scope for name calling. Yet, you wonder, that is precisely what I did. Yes. And No.

    Let's start at the very beginning. As M started practicing refining her sounds more and more, the buh (bus) became the bitch. The fish comes a close second (she says something like bitsch). Though the pronunciation is scandalous, anyone in context - a fish nearby, a bus nearby - would immediately correlate or understand. 

    Cut to the present, anything that her highness cannot name or rather does not know, she promptly calls it a "bitch" (much to our dismay, there is absolutely no baby accent or overtone or lisp - it is crystal clear and well pronounced) . It started last weekend when we went over to a cousin's place, M started using the word for everything - much to everyone's amusement. Even though, I had already warned everyone that bus and fish is bitch, nobody was prepared for the word being thrown around at the drop of a hat! 

    Today, during a shopping trip, she pointed at some random stuff in a lady's cart, and yelled out BITCH! Imagine the shock on the face of all the people around. (A name calling 15 month old! I wonder if somebody called Child Protection Services!) I just good-naturedly smiled and covered up saying, "oh no Manya, there's no fish here here", in the hope that people get the point. But frankly speaking, how long can I defend myself saying that we do not abuse at home :D. 

    Earlier ofcourse, we'd end up rolling our eyes whenever she'd utter the horrific word, but now I am just beginning to ignore it and dispassionately telling her the right word instead. I have a feeling she realizes the excitement she causes when she says it - her eyes lit up and there is much emphasis (the brat, I tell you!) and I don't want to feed that!

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

    Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes!

    If you are a parent or have been around children, you couldn't have missed this groovy rhyme. If yes, check it out here

    As Manya is talking more and more, we are having more than our fill of daily amusement. For the past couple of days, Manya has been obsessed with pointing out body parts. She starts with the head (ahd), eyes (aaiiiii), nose (nooo), ears (that's aiii again!), tongue and teeth (both are tuh), neck (aih), chest (scheh), thigh (tha), and finally, toes (tho). 

    She does it all day! And she will label your body parts too. A few minutes of camaraderie and you will have her tiny fingers poking all over your face and body. Most people find it adorable and so do we the parents. Except that when it happens ALL the time. She does it to her daddy when he is sleeping. And not only that, if she happens to get up in the middle of the night, she will start the routine again - ahd (head) she goes! 
    Imagine the horror of being woken up to your eyes being poked at an unearthly hour! 
    Shudder!

    Friday, January 31, 2014

    M's growing vocabulary...

    So, if you have been on this blog long enough, you know M is quite the talker (or rather, at this stage the blabber-er)! From the beginning, she has not shown much interest in picking up individual words - she guns for the complicated sentence and stanza right-away. It is hilarious because you can have an entire conversation with her (with her doing most of the talking) and not a single word will be recognizable - though I must admit the blabbering is very emotive :D. Because of this very reason, I am sure she will start talking in a full-fledged manner much later than what everybody around has been predicting, including her doctor, who goes gaga over her highness's vocalization!

    However, there are a few marked identifiable words that are forming her growing vocabulary. The way she pronounces them cracks us up million times a day. Here's an indicative list:
    • bei bei (always accompanied by the wave of the hand and is her version of bye-bye - pretty close to the intended)
    • haiiiiiiiiiiiiiii (her hi's are always always in hyperbole - it's never just a hi it is a haiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii)
    • baby (this one's absolutely clear - but who is a baby - any child upto the age of say 13 or 14, and any person in a poster! She called a smiling lady in the ice cream joint poster a baby!)
    • daw (that one's for dog)
    • duuh (not duuh but duck)
    • bitch (yes, you can do a rotfl on this one. We were shocked the first time she said it - but she means bus!)
    • bishh (that's the fish)
    • bow bow (that's for the dog again)
    • beetee (the Beatles poster near the stair way - sometimes she gets confused and calls other posters/photographs with lots of people in it as also beetee)
    • no no (that's is No - it is always accompanied by her finger movement and is always said in sets of two - no-no.)
    • yaa (yes, but I don't think she always uses it in context. In the middle of nowhere, she'll start saying ya ya!)
    • more (she says more for milk and water and then promptly changes her mind)
    • otter (that's water)
    • daayddy (daddy!)
    • mimmi, amma (that's for me, and I dont like how she says amma - it's like a-mmmaaaaaaa. I have told her I am mummy or mommy - nothing else.)
    • dappuh (not dapper really, but her diaper!)
    • Kaaoh (That's car! beats me why she brings in the o syllable when she can stop at kaah!)
    • Tuhh (Truck)
    • tahtuh (Tractor)
    • aaahhppppill (apple)
    • aaahhppy (Happy)
    • muhmuh (cow)
    • ba-ba (sheep, lamb)
    • haawt (hot)
    • nana, mama, anna, thatha - she says them all but we are yet to ascertain if it is to the right people!
    • appuh (that's not appa or apu (sorry, Aps) - it is hippo!)
    • cheeeee (cheese, ofcourse!)
    I think that's just about all that I can think of. Me says, toddler hood is looking to be very very amusing. What say you?

    Monday, January 27, 2014

    Revisiting Nursery Rhymes

    Most of us have grown up on nursery rhymes (we, in India grew up on those from Britain - quite obviously owing to the cultural influx that the rule had brought in) or the Mother Goose rhymes (a more popular term in the US). 
    These traditional poems and songs are meant to introduce babies and children to language through easy rhymes - not just language alone, these introduce them to the world of literary imagination, numbers, social behavior - in a very light and fun way. 

    However, as I revisit these rhymes for Manya, I cannot but shrug my shoulders and roll my eyes on the inappropriateness of so many of these. I didn't even know them very well, up until now, because my mom had apparently censored them off, which I think I will repeat for M too.
    Many argue that these rhymes are not to be taken seriously and are not really educational tools. I feel even if not taken seriously, they do send subtle messages to impressionable minds and even if you want to continue singing these to your little ones, be prepared for explanations! Other experts argue that these rhymes offer a means of catharsis by way of imaginative violence and exploration, preventing real life extreme behavior. :o :O 

    Now, I am not here to debate any of these studies, however, would like to share with you what I found objectionable in some of these rhymes! By the way, before I start, I just want to tell you that if you have the time, try researching on the historic origins of the nursery rhymes you know - you will be fascinated by all the historical contexts!

    So let's start:

    Goosey Goosey Gander
    Goosey goosey gander,
    Whither shall I wander?
    Upstairs and downstairs
    And in my lady's chamber.
    There I met an old man
    Who wouldn't say his prayers,
    So I took him by his left leg
    And threw him down the stairs.

    Re-read the italicized portion. Even if we discount the rumors that this poem is reminiscent of the propaganda against the Catholic Church during King Henry VIII's reign, isn't there something very wrongly self-righteous about the verse? Why should anybody's religious beliefs be anybody else's business?

    Rock-a-bye Baby

    Rock-a-bye baby
    On the tree top,
    When the wind blows
    The cradle will rock.
    When the bough breaks,
    The cradle will fall,
    And down will fall baby
    Cradle and all.

    A mommy friend also echoed my sentiments when she posted on FB that the seeming violence in the poem may just be the reason her daughter refuses to sleep :).

    There was an old woman who lived in a shoe

    There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.
    She had so many children, she didn't know what to do;
    She gave them some broth without any bread;
    Then whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.

    Go figure out what's wrong with this poem on your own :P.

    Three blind mice

    Three blind mice. Three blind mice.
    See how they run. See how they run.
    They all ran after the farmer's wife,
    Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,
    Did you ever see such a sight in your life,
    As three blind mice?

    This verse apparently refers to the execution of three protestant Bishops by Queen Mary I of England. Obviously, when you read this poem all that you can think of is a knife dripping with blood, no?

    Eeny, meeny, miny, moe
    Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
    Catch a tiger by the toe.
    If he hollers, let him go,
    Eeny, meeny, miny, moe.

    I am surprised that all the animal activists with all those save the tiger campaigns, haven't got this one banished from the Rhyme Book!

    Peter, Peter pumpkin eater

    Peter, Peter pumpkin eater,
    Had a wife but couldn't keep her;
    He put her in a pumpkin shell
    And there he kept her very well.
    Peter, Peter pumpkin eater,
    Had another and didn't love her;
    Peter learned to read and spell,
    And then he loved her very well.

    Not only does Peter practice polygamy, he has no clue how to behave with the wives either!

    What are little boys made of?

    What are little boys made of?
    What are little boys made of?
    Slugs and snails
    And puppy-dogs' tails,
    That's what little boys are made of.
    What are little girls made of?
    What are little girls made of?
    Sugar and spice
    And everything nice,
    That's what little girls are made of.

    Don't even get me started on this one. I can cry myself hoarse pointing our the gender bias and the limitations that it puts on children even at that young age. What if a boy is scared of dogs and a girls despises sugar?

    Little Polly Flinders 

    Little Polly Flinders 
    Sat among the cinders, 
    Warming her pretty little toes. 
    Mother came and caught her, 
    And whipped her pretty daughter 
    For spoiling her nice new clothes

    Now, now, who wants whipping mothers?

    Sing a song of sixpence

    Sing a song of sixpence,
    A pocket full of rye.
    Four and twenty blackbirds,
    Baked in a pie.

    Apart from the sheer insensitive violent imagery, who really bakes birds for desserts?

    Georgie Porgie

    Georgie Porgie pudding and pie
    Kissed the girls and made them cry.
    When the boys came out to play,
    Georgie Porgie ran away.

    So, what are we saying that kissing girls makes them cry? Or is this an early induction for our girls, boys are jerks and make you cry by kissing you? Whatever happened to the innocent abandonment of childhood?

    Ring-a-Round a Rosie

    Ring-a-round a rosie,
    A pocket full of posies,
    Ashes! Ashes! We all fall down.

    The verse itself is not very telling but ever since I read about its reference to the Great Plague that killed millions, and also to refer to child killings in Nazi camps, I find it a little morbid to recite it to M.

    Sorry for killing the fun of these particularly verses. I swear there are so many more that do not give me the creeps and I gladly sing them (in my completely out of tune voice) to M so many times in a day.
    So, which are your favorite ones and which do you abhor?