Sunday 16 May 2010

Latest artwork

Ads is obsessed with jungles and wild animals especially the big cats. Every recent drawing of his has been faithful to this theme, with the exception of one he drew yesterday which was from the Ramayana (Lanka burning). His style has changed to reflect the scenery he puts down on paper. I love his use of colours and the way he blends them. He already seems to understand the concept of shading.

Saturday 15 May 2010

One week of summer break

School broke off for the summer last week, so for the last 5 days, Ads has been at home. He finally (fingers crossed!) seems to have entered a phase where he can occupy himself and not whine every 30 minutes about how bored he is. This, if it continues, will be a major milestone indeed. Our stuff from the US has been terribly delayed. We don't expect it to reach us before the end of the first week of June. So the poor fellow has not even had the comfort of playing with familiar toys or flipping through well-loved books.
How has he been occupying the days? He has been doing a lot of drawing, sitting on the floor in his room. He tried to do a paper model construction of the ocean floor using a book someone had gifted him; I have to say the instructions were super hard to follow even for me, so I advised him to give it up! He has had one playdate. He has watched an hour or so of TV everyday and discovered a liking for Tom and Jerry. He spends huge amounts of time everyday screaming and running around the house and fighting with the girl from next door, Aarushi. He gets an hour to 90 minutes of outside playtime in the park, every evening. In the absence of his books, he has been listening to books on Tumblebooks, a truly wonderful resource.
A couple of times, he helped me make my daily ration of lemonade, squeezing the lemons, adding the sugar, salt and water and mixing it all up. Today, for want of anything else to do, I stripped both the kids down to the basics, plonked them in the bathroom with a full bucket of water, a mug, two rags and instructions to clean a stool and some decorative items (unbreakable ones!). They had a blast and in the process managed to clean my stuff too :)
He has developed a keen interest in Indian mythology, thanks to Amar Chitra Katha and movies like Hanuman. He has announced that he is going to request a mace, a bow-and-arrow set, and all the DVDs of Chota Bheem from his grandparents, as an advance gift for his birthday.
It's only been one week of summer break so I haven't needed to think of useful fun activities for Ads to engage in. The novelty of being at home and free from the school routine seems to have been enough for him. In a couple of days, we leave for balmy Chennai where I am going to let the grandparents think of ways to amuse him!

Wednesday 12 May 2010

Rituals and fetishes

How important routine is to a child, was evident even when Ads was a baby. At the age of almost-5, he still continues to relish order and predictability in his everyday life. For example, he has a breakfast routine. He finishes breakfast and then orders me - "Wash my hands, wipe my face, give me water, then juice." There is no way I can change the order of any of these tasks. He gets very agitated if I do. Most days, he washes his hands by himself, fetches his own water, pours his own juice; but some days, he is plain lazy or just wants mommy to pamper him, and I oblige :)
Another one is to always ask me whether he is wearing his shoes on the correct foot. Before inserting his feet into them, he places them on the floor, and asks "Is this the correct leg?" Every single day. I don't think he has made the slightest effort to figure out or understand which is the correct foot; he just wants someone else to give the answer every time.
A new fetish is to ensure that he gets more kisses than Y. The fellow really has the sharpest ears -- anytime he hears me kiss Y (which I do very often), pat comes his cry "Did you give Yukta a kissee? Give me a kissee RIGHT NOW!"
Not to be outdone, Y, the attention-seeking Scorpio that she is, likes for her audience to clap enthusiastically every time she does something clever. Nowadays, that signifies anytime that she speaks a new word. She looks around, starts clapping her hands and in case someone is being so boring as to not clap, she will cry out their name "Anna?", "Appa?", "Amma?" as the case may be.
What next? I'm waiting.

Friday 7 May 2010

Some new words

I gave Y a small tumbler of apple juice this morning, set her down on the floor to drink it and returned to the kitchen. A minute later, I heard her say something she'd never said before. It took me a couple of seconds to recognize the word. "Kottiduthu" (she actually said "kottitthu"). And sure enough, she had spilled the contents of the tumbler all over the floor, an act for which she (much to her surprise!) received a big hug and kiss from a delighted mommy. It is the longest word she has ever spoken, and the hug and kiss was to reward her not for the  multiple syllables enunciated but the super-cute way in which she said them! Her (still limited) repertoire now includes several Hindi words, thanks to my maid - bas, aao, jaao, hato, beta, chalo, didi, bhaiya are the ones that come instantly to mind.
It's probably safe to say that she will pick up Hindi and Tamil in equal measure over the next few months and year. Once she starts preschool (and I assume we are still here at that time), I predict her Hindi skills will overtake Tamil. Also, by that time a heavy dose of reading and talking to Anna will probably have accelerated her English knowledge. Try as we might, Tamil will fall forlornly by the wayside :( A live example in the form of Ads proves my point. I wish he would show a little more interest in learning Hindi, but so far he has resisted all attempts. Peer pressure has to do it's work.