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February 28, 2007

Visual DNA.

Saw this at Art, Itchy and Orchids blog and decided to tag myself. Was fun doing it. Take a look. And take the tag if interested.

February 27, 2007

Motherhood is...

... doing the dishes while carrying your toddler piggy-back.


ps.
The said toddler completed 22 months today. 2 more months to be 2. :)

February 26, 2007

Ashu and her books.

I wanted to bring all of Ashus books to Zurich from Bangalore more than her toys and clothes. English books are sold only in certain book shops and they are very expensive here. Finding a library and commuting might also be a problem. So I brought most of her books. (Remember the heavy fine for overweight baggage to Lufthansa? Now you know why.) I bought around 10 books just before coming to Zurich. My sister and friends have bought her loads of books. I also bought a few Tamil rhymes and alphabet books. So to cut the long story short, it seems like she has a million books now in her room. She has never seen them all together before. So the little Missy is happy beyond words. She wants to hold 4 books at a time and see pictures from all of them. She is also calling out letters like A, W, C, Q,... whenever she recognizes the letters. The other day she pointed out the word WILD in one of her books and said Dabbudabbu-I-Ellu-Dheeee and I almost had a heart attack. She has these flash cards with alphabets and pictures and madam can say all the 26 words now. Apple, Baoon, Cat, Doggeee, Naanai(for elephant), Fishy, Guita(r),Hat, Iggoo, Jar, Kite, Lemon, (she says tomato first and then when I ask her again she says Emon), Mitten, Nest(and immediately says "Kuvvi irukum" meaning "A bird lives in it"), Ottopus, Piggy, Qeen, Ring, Sun, (T)able, Umbella, Vioyeen, Dabbudabbu first and then Wagon, X(ray), Yoyo, Zeeba. And these flash cards I gave her only in the flight for the first time 3 weeks back. Of course she knew most of the words already having seen them in one or the other dozen alphabet books she has and the websites. Its hard to figure her out. She likes mostly picture books where she can point and say what they are or listens when I tell her what they are. But theres this Pooh story book she loves to look at and also lets me read it to her for few minutes. But she wants none of the nursery rhymes book to be read to her. Its OK if I sing to her when we are playing or I'm changing her diaper or dressing her up. But if I open the book and start singing a rhyme, she grabs it and closes it and says "Aachu" (finished) and keeps the book back in the shelf. I have to say it hurts my ego big time! Then there are these paper books which I keep on the top shelf as I'm afraid she ll tear them up. And those she loves needless to say. But I am always near her when she looks at them. Every time she turns the pages, I want to snatch the book from her and run as she creases the pages very badly. But then, these are her books. So I let it go! I know, I have a big heart! I bought two Noddy story books in Bangalore because she loves Noddy. I think I should prepare myself to accept him as my future son-in-law. Yes, that much lurve! Those are her favorites now. But we lost one in Ikea last week. So we are hanging on to the last Noddy we have currently!! My dad said he can courier a dozen Noddy books but I pretended not to hear him!

Anyway, I have a few Qs. Mommies help me out if you can.

1. So those nursery rhymes books are for the parents to memorize and sing to them later is it? Why is Ashu looking at me as if I'm copying in an exam when I sing the songs from the book? Or is it for older kids and shes trying to tell me that?

2. How does/did your toddler turn a paper page? This badly? Will she improve or should I hide the books which are MY favorites?

3. Ashu always likes it when I tell her a story in Tamil. So even when I read out from an English book, I tell her in Tamil after every sentence. Is that okay?

4. Whats with kids and animal pictures? She can say Iguana looking at a picture of Iguana and I have nt even heard of an Iguana before. But show her an Orange and she says Apple.

5. Do toddlers forget easily? I remember Ashu was doing this puzzle book with Numbers on them very easily. Now she does nt know how when she saw the book 4 months later. Does it mean I have to show those damn ABC flash cards to her every day? Let her as well learn in School then, whats the hurry? ;)

February 21, 2007

Is buying bin liners by myself a milestone too?

It has been very cold and windy in Zurich since the time I arrived. The only times we went out were either to Ikea or to a hospital. As if I need an excuse to stay home, just thinking about dressing up Ashu can put anyone off from going out! The tights over her diaper, then some thick pants, thermal top, turtle neck top, sleeveless sweater, the winter jacket, woolen cap, socks and then shoe. If she is nt crying her lungs out already, she will as soon as she sees the mittens. Putting her wriggly fingers inside the mittens and at the same time distracting her from crying should be listed under the Chinese torture methods. Then settling her in the stroller and strapping the belt.Two minutes later, shes trying to stand and crying again. Hd carries her while I push the empty stroller around. Frustrating! So yesterday Hd calls up from office and says what a wonderful sunny day it is.

Me: Is it?
(I open the shutters to see for myself.)
Why indeed, the sun is out! Is there anything else dear?
Hd: So why dont you go out?
Me: What? where?
Hd: Just for a walk woman.
Me: But why?
Hd: To get some fresh air.
Me: I can get that if I stand on the balcony, cant I?
Hd: Come on. Take Ashu and go out for a while.

Me: Why are u ordering me around? Im not a baby. I will go out if I want to.
Hd: It ll be a change for u and for Ashu.
Me: We don't need a change. We are fine.
Hd: Whats your problem? You dont even need to bundle up Ashu. Its very pleasant outside.
Me: But why should I go?
Hd: Why dont u go to that Migros store and buy the garbage disposal bags? It seems we have to use the ones that are sold in our area only.

Me: Why dont you go from office in the evening?
Hd: Fine.
Me: What if Ashu starts crying?
Hd: I said fine.
Me: What if she does nt want to sit in the stroller?
Hd: OK. Don't go.
Me: What if it starts raining?
Hd: OK. Sit at home all day long.
Me: OK. I ll go.
Hd: Whatever!

So after that silly conversation, I dressed up, got Ashu ready and ventured out. It took 20 minutes to walk to the store. 10 minutes there looking at all the aisles, bought the bags and apple juice for Ashu. I could nt have bought anything else even if I wanted to as I cant carry them back. While she was drinking the juice I pushed the stroller and walked back home. 20 more minutes. Ashu did nt utter a word. Not a whimper. Sometimes I was doubtful if she was even sitting on the stroller. She was unusually quiet. Observing every thing on the way. Im sure she was making some escape plans and memorizing the route! Or probably did nt want to cry and ruin the one chance she got to go out. Or may be she overheard the conversation I had with Hd! But it sure left me wonder why these kids behave the way they do when Dad, Grandpa or Grandma are anywhere near the radius. At least Ashu does. Shes an angel all day long but becomes this little devil once Hd comes home in the evening. And Hd is not even the extreme pampering kind like my dad. I am terrified of the future. It looks like she ll tell on me to Hd any day now. I better get my act together and mend my ways. And go out more. It was fun.

February 19, 2007

Is it the kid or the mom?

Ashu is by no means gentle all the time. But I know her enough to predict whats coming. Sometimes just by the way she walks to another child, I know if shes going to snatch the toy from that child or just touch the child or push her/him. Not always but most of the times. So I act accordingly. When we go to a park or some party, I'm always supervising her and seeing how shes behaving with the other children. One, it makes me understand my child and two, it also gives me time to stop her if shes going to behave badly. But some parents just let their children loose once they reach the park or the party. They have no idea how their kids are behaving towards other kids or generally what they are up to. And I mean kids between 2 to 4. Some parents just stand there and stare even if theirs kids are behaving badly. I am absolutely confused on why they are that way. To be honest, fathers are okay in these situations. They either apologize or remove the child from the scene. But the mothers are another story. They think its some kind of a battle and they ll lose it if they apologize or even acknowledge the situation. I know its tough to generalize the situations but take this case. A month back, when we had gone to the park with Ashu, there were these two boys aged 3 and 4. They both had a long wooden stick in their hands and were swishing it and hitting everyone who passed them. The mother was sitting on the park bench very near and watching. Ashu ran towards the boys and my mom and I got scared and ran behind her. We picked up Ashu just in time and my mom was hit by the boys in her back and she got really mad. The mother was sitting and watching. She made a feeble attempt to call the boys but did nt even get up from the bench. We hurriedly left the place and went to another corner. I watched the boys for some more time and they were still at it. The mother was sitting and watching. Another time when Ashu was 7 or 8 months old, she was sitting on her pram. A small boy came near her and tried to pull the toy that was hanging on the hood of the pram. He could nt and he tired to pull hard and Ashu started crying because of the jerks. I told the boy to stop but he would nt listen to me. His mother stood near him with a smile on her face. I pushed the pram and left the place. Don't you think these situations called for the mothers to act? I would have. And I expect the same from other mothers too. Whats the shame in accepting that our children behave badly sometimes and apologizing for the same?

ps.
This post was in my draft for a while unfinished.
This post by Gauri inspired me to finish it.

February 14, 2007

St.Valentine and ABC.

Today morning after breakfast, Hd has some official work so he shut himself up in the bedroom with his laptop. Ashu started banging the door and shouting "Appa, Appa". So to distract her, I told her I ll show her ABC Zoo and started up my laptop to show her the ABC's from the fisher price website. She was sitting near me and when I opened the site, there was this Valentines day banner on it. Thats when I remembered! I called Hd loudly and he yelled back "WHAT" thinking that it was another diaper change time. I shouted "Happy Valentines day". He yelled back "Today? Wish you the same dear". And I went back to the ABC zoo while he went back to his work. I sent an ecard from my laptop from the living room which he received 2 seconds later in his laptop in the bedroom. Cool, huh? Happy Valentines Day Folks! Go on, spread the love. ;)

February 13, 2007

The Parakeet.

Ashu is talking a lot these days. Like a parakeet. She not only says it back after us but she remembers the words and speaks them on the right occasion too. It reminds me that I have to be very careful with my words. The other day in Ikea I got so excited at the children's section since this was the first time I can actually buy something instead of commenting "cute" and moving to the Kitchen area where I can buy stuff I don't need! So I got carried away and wanted to buy the whole section. Hd said its perhaps better if we move into Ikea as well! Ahhh, would nt that be lovely?? Anyway, in my cheerful mood I was picking up random things and asking "Idhu Nallaa irukaa? Adhu nalla irukaa?" (Is this good? Is that good?) to Hd. Ten minutes later we hear a squeaky voice "Appa! Appa! Nallarukka?" and shes holding a set of colorful little cloth hangers in her hands. Of course, I had to buy them too! :)

ps.
I so very badly wanted to move the ugly post down.

February 11, 2007

The Good, Bad and Ugly.

I don't know where to begin. So many things have happened in this one week since I landed in Zurich. Good, bad and ugly.

Good:
Lovely flat. Amazing surroundings. Very peaceful. Ashu is having fun exploring every corner of the house. Seeing so many new things. Her bright red small chair. Her cute junior cot. All her old favorite books she did nt see for the past 2 months. Noddy, Dora and Mickey Mouse talking in German on TV. Helping me in the common laundry room. Waving bye bye to her Dad from the balcony. Rushing outside and standing near the lift door when he comes back home. The trains every 10 mins whizzing past behind our apartment. The cold walks when she says "Kululadhu"(Its cold!)

Bad:
Ashu has had a cold right from the time we landed. And its not going. Her nose is running permanently. On Sunday, she had bad cough and could nt sleep the whole time. She was wheezing very badly and scared us to death. Hd and I were holding her the entire night. She seemed to be better in the day but we decided to go to a Doctor anyway. The paediatricians in this area were fully booked so we went to the emergency in the children's hospital. We waited for 4 hours to see a Doctor. The waiting room looked like a day care with so many kids, books, toys, etc... So Ashu had fun. She seemed to be perfectly OK when the Dr checked her. So all for nothing. It was a frustrating wait and we spent 6 hours for nothing. Thankfully Ashu did nt have the wheezing again but her nose would nt stop running. We have found a paediatrician a little away from our area and got an appointment tomorrow. Hope everything works out.

Ugly:
Yesterday we went to Ikea and bought a million things for the house. When we entered the apartment and were walking towards the lift, Ashu ran near the steps which goes down to the basement. I was afraid she ll fall down and ran behind her as the stairs are dangerously steep. She was on the second step and I bent down to lift her. I tripped and fell. It was a nasty fall. I landed with a thud hurting my chin on the landing. From the second step, past ten more steps, face first on the floor. No rolling. I was in a daze for 10 seconds, there was blood dripping from my face all over the floor, my teeth were broken and I could feel the broken pieces of teeth in my mouth. Hd was shocked to say the least. I picked up myself, held a hankie under my chin and took the lift to reach our flat. There was a deep gash under my chin because I had hit the corner of a step. Though there were broken teeth, there was no blood. I spat powdered teeth. Two teeth were loose. I kept some ice on the chin when Hd called for a taxi and we went to the emergency. It was 9pm by now and Ashu was sleeping in the waiting room with Hd while I got the check up, x rays and stitches under the chin and was asked to go to another hospital to see a dentist. We took a taxi and went there. It was 11.15 pm. The dentist checked and pulled the loose tooth and filled it temporarily. 3 more teeth were chipped and 1 tooth was hurting. (And I have an old chipped tooth and a cavity too if you must know!) She gave me some pain killer and asked me to see a dentist later to do the rest. We came home by 1 am. And that's when I called up my sister and then my parents and broke down. What if it was Ashu who was hurt, Why could nt I have been more careful, Why me, I was so stupid, Why me, Why now, Bad time, Bad luck, ...

Today I feel better. My teeth hurt and the stitches below the chin are itching. Im not able to move the lower jaw so I cant chew. Im on a lukewarm liquid diet. May be this is the only way I can be on a diet! Got to see a dentist soon and then a few days later, got to remove the stitches. Hope everything goes well from here. I cooked, cleaned and went about doing the daily chores much to Hds disapproval. Somehow Im extra active when Im hurt or sick. As if to prove that Im okay. I am okay.

ps.
Thanks all of you for the nice comments to my earlier post. I cant explain but I am so glad I have this blog and all of you.

February 03, 2007

Grüße from Zurich!

I cant be away too long from this blog especially when I have so many things to share. So after making Ashu sleep and generously letting Hd make dinner, here I am. Ashu waved bye bye to her precious grand parents and boarded the plane bravely in Bangalore. I on the other hand was crying. Before a stranger that too. Because he asked me to pay up for excess baggage. I could have sent the things by cargo for half the fine. Anyway, I paid up after a little bargaining. I hate Lufthansa! Probably, because of this heavy drama, the rest of the journey went smoothly. Ashu slept half the time in the flight. The rest of the time, she was looking at the small baby next to us and playing with her toys and books. When we landed in Frankfurt, she started asking for her dad and looked at me as if I had cheated her and brought her to some Dadforsaken place! One more hour of flying, baby! That went fine too. Rushed through immigration in Zurich and went to the baggage area. I could see Hd standing outside. I took Ashu in her stroller and put her near the glass wall and Hd was looking at her from the other side. Ashu was looking at all the people standing there and when her eyes went to Hd, her whole face lit up and she screamed "APPA"!! I ran and collected the baggage and went out. Ashu ran to her dad and he gave her a stuffed bear and bunch of tulips for me. The taxi driver helped me with the baggage and when we went out,... Well, well, well! What do you think? There was this white stretch Limousine and the driver was standing with the door open for me and Ashu! I just died and went to heaven straight in the Limo! I took some photos before of course! :) Hd has given me very many surprises before but I used to always guess or sort of get a hint on what he was upto. But this time, the whole thing was such a surprise that it was too much. I actually climbed into a Limo! The whole leather interior, the mini bar with Crystal glasses, the lightings, the music, everything was so beautiful! It was 30 mins drive from the airport to home and for the first time in our married life, I did nt ask Hd, "How much?" Because after 4 months of delay in getting the visa and the 12 hour flight, I knew I deserved such a welcome.

Ashu would nt let go of her dad even for a minute. She follows him everywhere like a puppy and stands guard at the bathroom door when hes using it. Last night she slept for 12 hours and then took a nap in the morning. So the jet lag is not that bad. Shes eating without a fuss because shes with her dad. I mean, you should see her face. She has this loyal look as if she would do anything for her dad. Im almost in tears whenever she calls Appa with a pain in her voice. Even though she never once asked for Dad or showed in any way that she missed him when we were in Bangalore, the pain in her voice now says it all. My poor little darling! The flat which is our home now is on the 10th floor and the views are amazing. Theres a farm on one side were there are cows and horses. The other side has a view of the city and the night view is awesome especially with a full moon like yesterday. Cant ask for more. Someone up there really likes me. Thank you pal and take care of the Lufthansa people for me, will ya?