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February 23, 2015

Bhaktha Antu.

Antu has been waiting for her teeth to fall and the tooth fairy to visit for a long time. Last month when her first tooth fell, we all did the needful by clicking photos, sending the said photos to grand parents, uncles and aunts, getting very excited, remembering to sneak the tooth away from under her pillow and to put some money there. And Antu was the happiest child in the universe when she found the money and promptly we all oohed and aaahed at the Tooth fairy's efficiency and did the needful by clicking photos, sending the said photos to grand parents, uncles and aunts, getting very excited, etc.. etc.. Two weeks later when the second tooth fell, she was nt every pleased that we were nt as excited as we were for the first tooth! And she also remembered the fact that Ashu had got a gift from Tooth Fairy and not money when her second tooth fell and told us that she was expecting the same! I felt bad for the poor kid and hid a gift this time. (A left handed pencil that the doting father had picked up from an airport somewhere a long time ago and had forgotten to give it to her came in handy!) Little Missy was very thrilled the next day and flaunted the pencil to everybody she met and we all did the needful! 

Antu loves gifts and this was proven when she she kept wiggling her tooth and made it fall this week. The third tooth. I don't even remembering getting anything for Ashu after the first two teeth and not like she cared anyway. And three teeth in three weeks was too much for me! So I thought I will put an end to this nonsense but Ashu and Hd kept telling that they will keep a 1 franc or 2 franc coin and make Antu happy so I said fine and left it at that. But Little Miss Greedy kept telling the whole day how Tooth Fairy gives cash only for the first tooth and how she gives gifts for the rest! That got my goat and I told her that thats not the case. 

"But I wished for a gift, Amma. Tooth Fairy also gets gifts like Santa. She will know what I wish for and give me that gift."

"Antu, listen to me! Theres no Tooth fairy ok?"

*Antu starts crying immediately*

(Meanwhile Ashu was giving me a look as if I was drowning a puppy.)

I got so mad but I have had enough of all this tooth fairy business and calmly started telling Antu that she's old enough to understand that its the parents who give the gifts and there is no tooth fairy. And that she's being greedy.

She was howling now as if I told her that I stole her as a baby for her magic hair!

Ashu could nt believe her ears and that her mother could stoop so low and was trying to pacify Antu. One would think I would have shut up right about now. But once I start, theres no stopping me! I kept telling Antu that theres no tooth fairy thinking that its better this heart breaking information came from me instead of her friends.

"You are lying, Amma. Tooth fairy is real and she is the one who gives gifts. I do not believe you", she screamed while still crying her heart out.

I got a bit scared now having grown up with the Prahalad story and Antus conviction was as strong as his! I imagined The Tooth Fairy flying into our house through the window and breaking all my teeth and wearing it as a "Maalai" and strangely could empathize with Hiranyakasipu like I could never before! 

"Listen Antu! I am just telling you that you are being a little greedy by wiggling your teeth and wishing for gifts. And I don't like that. You can believe in the Tooth Fairy if you want but you are not getting any gifts anymore, ok? So don't be disappointed when you wake up tomorrow and find nothing!"

"I believe in tooth fairy, Amma! AND SHE IS REAL, OK? And you know what you are doing? You are just spoiling my fun, Amma. That's what you are doing. You just want to spoil my fun!"

That stung.

Hd was duly informed about my failure as a parent and he took over and Antu got up the next morning very happy to find a 5 Franc coin under her pillow!

The fourth teeth is wiggling now and she did nt even mention it to me once. When I enquired about it today, she kept on talking about different things and when I persisted, she said "I believe in Tooth Fairy, Amma. I want Tooth Fairy to know that I believe in her, ok?"

This time, I shut up.

ps.
Chalk and Cheese.

February 03, 2015

Meta.

Antu had borrowed a Dictionary from her English Teacher and was browsing through it.  

Antu: "Does the Dictionary have all the words, Amma?"

Me: "Most of them, da".

She started flipping a few pages and settled on a page and started reading aloud.

"Dictionary: A dictionary is a book where you can find what words mean and how to spell them." And then with a big smile, she continued "You are reading a dictionary now."

Me: "Oh my God, thats so meta!"

Antu: "Whats meta, Amma?"

Me: "What you just did! Reading a dictionary to find out what a dictionary means!"

Antu: "flips the dictionary pages to letter M"

But the children's dictionary did not have the word "Meta" in it. Whoa! Is nt that kind of meta too? *shudders*

February 01, 2015

Breakfast in France, Lunch in Italy and Dinner in Switzerland.

Last year when it looked like we might move out of Zurich, we started writing lists of things to do before we move. Hd and I had a long list of places to see, Ashu wanted to go to a theme park with her BFF and Antu, of course, did not want to move and refused to make lists. Smart one she is because she's the only one who got what she wanted! :) Anyway, one of the things we wanted to do was this day trip where we drive around and see three countries on the same day. We have technically done this before while driving back from Austria or Germany or France. (Even 4 countries at times if we include Liechtenstein!) But we also wanted to sightsee and relax and enjoy the trip. When a friend suggested we go to Geneva region and go to France and Italy, we thought it was a great idea.  The kids had never seen the Chillion Castle in Montreux so we decided to make a weekend trip. 

We drove to Montreux from Zurich on a Saturday, visited the castle, ate a packed dinner there and then drove on to Chamonix in France and stayed in a most charming B&B with a view of the Mont Blanc. When we got up the next day, the weather was awful and it rained non stop and we could nt even see the mountain because of the fog. The couple who ran the B&B cooked us a scrumptious French breakfast and we ate home made breads, cereals and crepes. We read and played board games and lingered there for a bit before driving on through the Mont Blacn Tunnel. (11 kms long and a bloody 41 Euros one way to pass through it!) 

Once out of the tunnel, we were in Italy and the sun was shining and all was well with the world! :) We continued to Aosta, parked our car there and roamed around the charming town centre full of Roman ruins. We window shopped, people watched, walked in to churches and of course found a great Pizza place to fulfill our "Lunch in Italy" plan. After a fantastic pizza and bruschetta, we found a shop which was selling "Gelato in a Stick" in all kinds of flavors and colors. Slurping on it, we got back to our car and started driving towards Zurich, wisely skipping the tunnel and taking the longer, scenic route instead.

While we were debating whether to go home and eat a home cooked meal for dinner or stop at a restaurant, the girls voted for a Mexican restaurant and we planned to stop in Bern and have dinner there. Around 7.30 pm, we reached Bern and parked our car near the city centre and were walking towards the Mexican restaurant, when we crossed a restaurant serving Swiss food! The universe had to conspire even for a silly whim of ours, huh? We high fived each other and entered the restaurant with our cameras ready! :) Fondue was out of the question since it was not yet winter but we lucked out with a fantastic selection of Rosti! They had a special Rosti menu with 12 kinds of Rosti and half of them were even vegetarian! (Thank you, Universe!) 

Thus a trip we decided on the last minute without much planning turned out to be one of the most interesting weekend trip we have ever had! I strongly recommend.