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August 31, 2010

Chalk & Cheese.

Ro's recent post reminded me of this incident which happened a couple of weeks back. I was organizing the kids toys and while doing so, I found the Dora puzzle box which has been in storage for the past 18 months. I remembered that it was Ashus favorite puzzle to do when she was 2+ and decided that now is a good time as any to introduce the same to Antu. *you can call me an idiot right about now* Ashu was thrilled to see the box after ages and opened the box to see the seven different puzzles neatly arranged in different ziploc bags. Immediately, she started working on the puzzle while the resident 2 year old was happy playing with the box and excitedly talking to the picture of Dora and Boots on the box. In no time, Ashu finished all the puzzles all on her own and neatly arranged them on the floor. Like this. (She even spun a story with the finished pictures.)


Soon afterwards, the dad and daughter duo decided to go watch the Zurich Street Parade and marched off. Ashu asked me to guard the puzzles and not to clean them up since she wanted to make up more stories once she came back. I foolishly agreed and asked her to move them under the TV stand so that they are safe from "predators"! An hour later, Im busy making dinner in the kitchen while Antu is playing as usual in the hall. Or so I thought. I switch off the stove and come out to see THIS.


My heart stopped for a second. So now I got to pick 200+ puzzle pieces from the floor, sort it out, bag them and pack them off? And hope Ashu does nt remember? (yeah right!) Or do I actually sit and do the puzzles as fast as I could before Ashu comes home? (yeah right!) While I was clicking pictures, yelling at Antu and contemplating what to do, in walk in Ashu and her father. Oh ho! Ashu was mighty upset at the mess but the poor thing consoled herself quickly. And to Antus credit, she apologized to her sis even without me prompting her. (She would do anything to get out of a situation) And much to my relief, Hd offered to clean up. And thats what I call a happy ending. For me, that is. ;)

ps.
oh! Forgot the whole point of the post - Good luck, Ro! :D

August 30, 2010

Five years.

Who would have thought? I love you my dear blog. Happy Birthday!

That reminds me, when Ashu was a baby all I wanted to know was how will Ashu look like when she is 5. How will her voice be? What will her interests be? Who will her friends be? It was such a giddy feeling. Sigh! Good times. All I want to know now is when will the girls go to sleep! Ha ha ha! (Just kidding, Dad!)

Did I tell you Ashu is riding her bicycle without the training wheels? The big milestone happened last Sunday when Hd removed the training wheels and took Ashu down to teach her to ride. I gave him all sort of gyaan and told him that it will be great if Ashu can learn to ride by end of this year. Ha! 15 minutes later, he calls me and asks me to look out of the balcony. And whaddayaknow? Ashu is riding the bike on her own! This man does nt have to sweat for anything in his life, I tell you! Anyway, yay! I was so proud at the moment. Lets just say that I could totally relate to how Neil Armstrong's parents would have felt when he landed on the moon. (Or at the photo studio if thats what you believe! ;)

August 25, 2010

Super School.

In spite of all the reservations I have about Ashu's school, I like it because Ashu loves to go to school. But with the email the school sent today to everyone about the drop off and pick up guidelines, Im in love too.

Please remain in the car when you pick up your children as this makes the traffic flow function smoothly. Teachers on duty are happy to assist your child. If the school traffic line is full please immediately use the other line. If you have a sleeping child in the back and need to return to the main line when you reach the top of the road, the parking attendant will help to guide you back into that traffic line. Thank you for helping us out.

In my opinion, anyone who is thoughtful enough to think about my younger kid who is mostly sleeping while I go to pick up the older one should be the best in what they do. So what if Ashu will never know her ABCs? I don't have to park the car a mile away and walk with a sleeping child and that is what matters! :)

August 19, 2010

Kindergarten Girl.

It was Ashu's first day of Kindergarten yesterday and it was all so overwhelming. For me, that is! When we went for the orientation the day before, Ashu refused to stay in the class and started crying when we left her and went to attend the orientation. And I was surprised at her behaviour. I mean she has just began her 4th year in this school and she's crying? But then, its a new campus. Big school. New teachers. So settled her down calmly and ran away. When we went back after an hour, madam was happily playing with her best friend. Phew. This campus is not that near to our place which means we have to leave the house at 8 am. So yesterday, we managed to get up early and pack snack, lunch for her, eat breakfast and leave on time. Ashu got down and skipped to her classroom with the help of a teacher. I parked the car and walked to her class to leave the rain boots, jackets, indoor shoes, etc... I said bye to her and she waved and went inside. She had loads of things to tell in the afternoon when I went to pick her up. Today I did the run with Antu since Hd is out of town. And in spite of an emergency diaper change situation for Antu in the car and a bit of traffic due to road work, we were able to reach school on time and I dropped her off at the entrance and drove off. Sigh! My little girl is growing up. So am I. (I got up at 6.00 am two days in a row, alright?)

Antu is missing her Akka terribly. Yesterday when I came back home after dropping Ashu, she stood at the door and asked in a horrified tone, "Akka enga?" (Wheres Akka?) After two months of being inseparable, she does nt know what to do now. But that was only yesterday. Today madam has realized that she can play with all the stuff thats forbidden to her when Ashu is around! I told Hd about my sister and me when we were young. How this one year my sis used to leave for her school before me and come back after me. So I used to raid her cupboard and take her pens, pencils, rulers, erasers,... take them to school and then come back and put them where there were. (sorry, sis!) After all those years, Im still putting back things. Only now I work for someone else!

Heres to all the kids who are starting their first day of school or going back to school. Loads of love, learning and laughter. And good luck to the younger one raiding their cupboards! :)

August 14, 2010

A Twist in the Tale.

During story time, usually before bedtime, Ashu and I have quite an interesting thing going. So I give her some choice and she chooses the story she wants. Like "I want two animals in the story, Amma. You choose any animal. And I want a happy story. Not a scary one". So I spin a story on the characters given to me often involving her to move the story forward. Whenever Im stuck, all I have to do is ask her, "What do you think happened, Ashu?" and voila! you can move on with the story! :) Poor thing does nt know that the tale just formed in my head and is so thrilled that she "guessed" correctly! muahaha!

One day, I was completely blank. Story tellers block, I guess. So I decided to tell her some well known tales. "The Midas Touch" came to mind and I told her that story. Once Midas got the "golden touch", I described to her how whatever he touched turned into gold and told her that that might be a problem for certain things and asked her to guess what the problems might be. While I was imagining myself with uneatable golden Idlis and a golden river of Sambar and worrying, pat came the reply from her. "Midas can never draw a rainbow, Amma. Whatever color he touches will turn into gold. So he can only paint a golden rainbow. Never a colorful rainbow"! Now, is that cute or is that cute?


Another day, another story. This time the story of The Cap Seller. ("I want a story with an animal and a person, Amma. You can choose if its a boy or a girl. And I want a silly story!" *giggles*) So I tell her how the monkeys were wearing the caps and the cap seller was trying to get the caps back and how the monkeys were copying whatever the man did. Interaction time, I thought and asked Ashu to guess what the man did next to get the caps back. Pat came the reply, "Did he climb the tree and then swing upside down? Then the monkeys would do the same and all their caps would fall down from their heads." Well, theres an idea! Thats exactly how the story would have ended if the cap seller was nt wearing his hat now, would nt it?

Talking about copying monkeys, I call Antu Copy Cat all the time because she has to do everything her big sister does. Once Ashu asked me why I call Antu a copy cat and I told her the reason. "But why a copy CAT, amma? Do cats copy?" errr... Then thankfully the story of the cat and the tiger came to me. Its a popular phrase in Tamil, "puliya paathu soodu pottunda poonai" meaning "the cat who burnt himself wanting to be a tiger". So I told her the story about how a cat wanted to be like a tiger and decided to get some stripes. So he used the firewood to mark his body and ended up getting burnt. "But why did nt he just use some paints, Amma?", came the question. "Oh thats the moral of the story, Ashu. Use paint!", I replied and escaped! Phew. Kids today! I so get my grandma now!

August 04, 2010

Home Sweet Home.

Yeah right! Who am I kidding? All the unpacking and organizing! I really am an idiot. Every time I go to the US, I tell myself not to go crazy while shopping. But I cant help myself but scream "but thats so cheap, thats so cheap" and buy everything under the sun. And do I have enough storage to keep all of that in my house here? The answer would be a big NO. The edible marker pens I bought at Michaels to decorate my future cupcakes - do I really need that? The fancy ribbons which were on sale? *bangs head* The dozen summer outfits for the kids which they cant wear more than a month here? *bangs head again* The nth pair of shoes, the bhel puri mix and the Tetley elaichi tea bags at the Indian store? *bang bang bang* Anyway, long story short - junk junk junk. (sorry sis!) As if all this is nt enough, I find instant Tomato rasam and Pepper rasam bottles in the suitcase. Courtesy - the master packer, my Mom. Next time they ask me at the airport if I packed the bags and if someone gave me something to keep, Im going to confess, "My mom packed. And she must have sneaked in Oorugaais for her Son-in-law or badham halwa for her grand kids. I honestly don't know!"

That apart, the jet lag is killing us and the kids are missing the US and the US folks like crazy. They don't say it as many words but it pains me to watch Antu see her doll after a month and getting all excited to show it to everyone. Only everyone is not here. Only plain old me! :( And Ashu asking after the caterpillars on the phone to my sis. The teeny weeny caterpillars Utbt gave Ashu. They grew fat and big (just like the book described they would!) and were in their cocoons when we left. We miss seeing the butterflies by a few days. Ashu is hoping that it will skype-casted live from there though! ;)

Hd has worked hard around the house last month and it shows. New upholstery for the arm chair, new cooking pots, new storage unit for his office desk, ... Ashu even commented, "Amma! Appa has changed the toilet paper also. Its blue in color!" He also managed to dispose Antus crib(sob! sob!) and moved Ashus toddler cot in her room. So Ashu and Antu would be sleeping in the same room from now on. Ashu was totally cool with the idea and Antu marked her territory by plonking Jamadu on the bed and climbing in even before I could prepare my big girl speech. Sigh! Whats her hurry? Hd also had a fully stocked fridge with idli batter, sambar, chutney and eggplant curry all of which he had made during the weekend and store bought chapathis. I felt only guilt(and very hungry!) since all I left for him when I went was the dirty laundry!! *gulp*

And oh! If you thought I forgot about the travel part, I did nt. It was so uneventful that I was surprised myself. The kids and I slept for 5 hours during the SFO-LON flight. So that was cool. And slept the entire LON-ZRH stretch too. I think BA read my blog or something because I got the stroller both in LON and ZRH as soon as I left the aircraft so that was a life saver. And I wizened up about the LON airport security and packed only idlis for the kids. Take that, you saddos! And I was so disappointed that they did nt ask me to taste the food because I was starving after standing in the line for such a long time! ;)