Sunday 29 August 2010

The big 5

It has been a very busy and eventful week.
Ads turned 5 on the 25th of August, and we seem to have been celebrating ever since the 21st. For starters, we flew to Chennai for 3 days to spend some time with my m-i-l as she turned 60. We were throwing a party for her anyways, and then she had the brilliant idea of celebrating her 4 grandchildren's birthdays also, in advance. The 4 grandchildren being aged almost 6, almost 5, almost 4 and almost 2 :) So in addition to the large cake we had already ordered for my mil, we also ordered 4 large pastries from the Taj Coromandel cake shop. It was a cakefest with each child cutting their individual cakes and finally S's mom cutting her own cake. Ads really enjoyed the trip, not least the chance to play and bond with his cousins who are much the same age. 
We got back to Delhi on the 24th, and the next day Ads was off to school, clutching a large bag of chocolates to be distributed to his teachers and classmates. Unfortunately a large portion of the chocolates seem to be have been demolished in the school bus itself, leaving just the right amount to be distributed to his classmates and none at all for the teachers! I asked Ads why he allowed the bus kids to dig in without protesting, and he said "It's ok ma, how can I stop children from having chocolates?" Sometimes he talks like a grandfather.  I met his teacher yesterday for a parent-teacher interaction, and it was all good. He is picking up Hindi, has made more friends, reading and writing all ok. She was also relating the incident where he landed up in school on his birthday with half the chocolates missing. I quote her: "He is a very simple innocent child. There's absolutely no guile in him anywhere. You must teach him to be more stern with other children."
My little boy. The one quality that is at a premium in this world and I am being asked to rub it out of you. Your simplicity, your innocence, your trust and your tendency to take things and people at face value are so endearing. But these wonderful qualities will only hurt you as your grow older. I'm so happy at this core of goodness that I know will always exist inside you, no matter whether you learn to be more stern or more selfish or more street-smart. 
Another birthday means another birthday party! And that means loads of stress that I manufacture out of nowhere and dump on myself. Thinking about food, games, music, decorations, return gifts, party favours.....I kept it simple and invited only 5 kids and their siblings. Unfortunately a couple of parents that I had invited couldn't make it so we ended up with only 1 adult and 7 kids (including my own) which worked out quite well because I could completely focus on them instead of trying to make conversation with their parents. It was a simple affair - juice and pasta, cake, lots of music and dancing, four games, and before we knew it, 2 hours had passed and parents started arriving to pick up their children. Ads enjoyed all the fun and frolic which was the main thing and the bonus was that Y seemed to enjoy it even more than him. It was a real challenge keeping her out of harm's way; she wanted to be in the thick of things but with 6 other loud and boisterous kids running around all over the place, the risk of her getting knocked down was significant. It did happen, not once but several times; she seemed to get hurt only once though and managed to stay on her father's lap for all of 10 seconds, bawling and getting the necessary sympathy and consolation; before sliding down and rejoining the festivities!
I shall now relax for 2 months before planning Y's party :)

Wednesday 25 August 2010

Conversation with a friend

Today, as I waited for Y to walk out of her classroom (they call it a 'studio' at her school) and toddle the 20 or so steps towards waiting me, I saw an extraordinary and very endearing sight. She was walking almost step-in-step with another girl, also carrying a backpack, who appeared to be almost the same age. They were walking (weaving would be a more appropriate word to describe what they were doing!), smiling at each other and very obviously speaking to each other, though I could not hear the words. And I thought, what on earth are they saying? Come on, Y can hardly string a few words together and I doubt the other girl could do very much more. They really looked like they were having a real conversation!! Does she already have a best friend and does she already have heart-to-hearts with her? I don't think I'll ever know :)

Birthday cards

We were off to Chennai last weekend to celebrate my mother-in-law's 60th birthday; and before we went, the kids undertook an art project to create birthday cards for both their grandmoms (my mother's birthday had come and gone earlier in the month).
This first card, had artwork by Y. She was supposed to be vegetable-stamping but ended up using an okra as a brush to swipe colours randomly all over the paper; the effect is quite pretty! I mounted it on a latticed paper frame which was supposed to be used for a scrap-booking project that I never started. Ads stuck some stickers all over it, I wrote a message on the back, the kids applied lipstick and kissed the card (!) and it was ready after just an hour's work.
This next one, for my mom, was very much the same, except that Ads' vegetable stamps were used.

Thursday 19 August 2010

Naughtiness thy name is Yukta Part 2

What do I do with my bundle of mischief?
I was on the phone and so touched that Yukta was lovingly stroking my head, until I realized that she was painstakingly applying petroleum jelly on my hair! I now look like I applied brylcreem to every strand. 
Yesterday, Ads was peeing and he told me that "your computer part" is in the toilet bowl. I fished out the ENTER and SHIFT keys from inside the bowl. Now how did she know these are the keys I use most often?
Yes yes I cute is that? 
Now you just try typing this blog post without the ENTER and SHIFT keys ;)

Sunday 15 August 2010

Uff teri ada

My mil says Y will become a very good HR person (that field sure needs some good people!). Her school vice-principal and teachers says she is a "leader". It would be interesting to see how much of leadership qualities she goes on to display in the future. For now, the power balance between the siblings is equal; if there is a slight tilt, it is surely in favour of Y.  
The funny thing is that she's not that gregarious. She takes her own sweet time to warm up to people, and she doesn't exhibit that wild excitement that still consumes Ads when we go to somebody's place or have visitors over at ours. But the overall impression is of mischief and a strong will. 
Her sense of humour is wicked and satirical, and therefore quite sophisticated for a toddler. She loves to tease. If about to indulge in inappropriate behaviour, she considers the moment wasted if there are no witnesses! For example, one of her favourite activities (which she has toned down a lot nowadays after several verbal lashings from all!) is to throw things down from our 4th floor balcony. But what's the fun in doing that if there are no spectators, right? So she will dangle a nice dress (or my watch, or cellphone) through the railing and call out "Amma, paaru!" and calmly watch me as I make a mad dash for the article, letting go at absolutely the last minute when I am this close to grabbing it from her.
And then, the piece de resistance: "Amma, sorry sollu"
The gall of the woman! And mind you, for this piece of cheek, she gets an instant hug and kiss from me - talk about charming the birds from the trees!
Both the kids have developed the habit of collecting different varieties of leaves and flowers as we play in the complex every evening. Y makes her anna collect several samples for her. The simple fellow wades through puddles, reaches up high into tall shrubs, and bends into bushes to collect the wanted leaves and flowers. She takes it from him, looks up at him for a minute with a half-smile and mischief glinting in those eyes, and very deliberately throws away the leaf/flower and coolly walks away while he looks on open-mouthed.
I can only say: Uff, teri ada. What a song! For your listening pleasure.

Saturday 14 August 2010

Independence day

Ads' class conducted an assembly for the primary school (KG1 and KG2) last week and the theme was "Unity in Diversity". He was supposed to dress up as a Malayali and his lines were:
I am Advaith. I am from Kerala. I speak Malayalam. I love eating coconuts. Thank you.
The parents are invited to attend the assembly and I duly landed up. All the kids spoke so well. I was impressed. Advaith wore a veshti, white shirt and angavastram.
The next day, I had to come up with a costume for Y. Her teacher asked me to dress her up as a leader because she anyway behaves like one! I recycled the same veshti material to improvise on a 2-piece saree. My plan was to get her to wrap it around her head like Indira or Sonia Gandhi but she was having none of that! She fidgeted and complained so much during the dressing-up that I almost gave up in frustration. But that effort was worth it. I created one cute pint-size politician!

Monday 9 August 2010

Written while the kids watch Chota Bheem

Could Y get ANY more clingy?
Oops. She just did.
She has been sick (both of them have been) and for the past hour, she has refused to get off my lap. Really, she is too heavy for me to carry around as I get stuff done around the house. Until a few minutes ago, she insisted loudly on sticking her face to mine so that all I could see were her big eyes in closeup and her little nose was pressing uncomfortably hard against mine. We must have stayed like that for 5 or 10 minutes.
I peeled her off me and plonked them both in front of the TV. I need a breather.
The books have been stagnating on my table. I swear there is a thin layer of dust on them already.

Saturday 7 August 2010

Missing Ads returns to this blog

If Ads has been missing from this blog for quite some time, it's because, at this particular juncture, Y occupies a much larger share of my mind, time and attention. It's been often said that the crying baby gets more milk, and so it is with Y and Ads. The latter is so much more independent; he washes his own hands, eats on his own; fetches his own water/juice; dresses himself to a large extent; attends to his own peeing (!), and largely amuses himself with various imaginary games and with drawing.
In consequence, he has been suffering from benign maternal neglect. 
Every now and then, he will come up with some strange words and phrases which will crack me up! For example, a few weeks ago, he saw me studying and asked me whether I was "reading to be an office-woman"! Yesterday, he was annoyed with me because he had asked me for a particular brand of chocolate and I said "Maybe tomorrow". He responded "You always say tomorrow! You have become a tomorrow-lady!"
His 5th birthday falls on the 25th of this month and on the 28th I'm planning a small party at home. I've already started planning for this - my organized Virgo instincts are kicking into high gear! 

Tuesday 3 August 2010

Y's school craft

Y came home with some craft last Friday. It was so unbearably cute to see her toddling towards me, a huge smile on her face, clutching her "trophies" proudly. One is a pink fan-like contraption which she very clearly has NOT made :) The other was a white sheet of paper, much crumpled, on which she had scribbled all over and she said it was meant to be a "doggy".

This week, they are learning about fruits, in school. Every day, she is supposed to take a different fruit with her to class. Monday was mango day and she insisted I click this photo of her clutching the mango. Check out the colour-coordinated outfit and shoes!

Sunday 1 August 2010

Sick sick sick

We have all been sick ever since the beginning of last week; not sick enough to have visited the doctor, but sick enough to cause plenty of inconvenience. On Tuesday night, Ads threw up on the bed a couple of times - I deduced the result of eating not one, not two, but THREE bread rolls at lunch in school that day. The greedy pig! He was complaining of stomach pain and had a low-grade fever on Wednesday and ended up bunking two days of school. On Thursday night, Y threw up (again in the middle of the night, on the bed) no less than SIX times. I felt like I was back in time to my post-partum days when one had to get up every hour to feed or soothe a crying child. It was exhausting and very very yucky. Aaah - the joys of a child-free existence. Y's puking, was, once again, the result of some gluttony. Her thatha (S's father) was visiting for a couple of days and he bought her some chocolates. Though she just had a couple of small slabs, it was on top of some potato chips that she had demolished earlier in the day.
Yesterday, we all decided to take a Metro ride and on the way to the station, she said "Amma, vaandhi" and just when I was thinking, how can a 21-month old express the feeling of wanting to vomit, she had puked all over the carseat! We were all more impressed with the fact that she had actually managed to give a warning rather than feeling bad that the poor girl had thrown up :)
OMG.............more cleaning. 
And today, I was sick. Thankfully it's the weekend so no school; on the other hand there have been two bored kids needing to be entertained. I left them to their own devices (as usual, S got dragged into some weekend conference calls).
Y's latest is the Happy Birthday song. She bursts into a lusty "Happy budday to you!" whenever we say "Cake"! She was upset today because she had her weekly shampoo bath. She should get her hair washed more often but she screams and wails so much during the entire process that I have limited it to once a week. She started her mantra of "Yampoo (shampoo) no" as soon as she saw me prepping her for the bath.