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June 30, 2009

Yet another test to get into Mommy Heaven.

The plan was to travel from Zurich to Chennai together. With Hd. But as always, work came up and Hd asked me to postpone. But me being me, asked aloud "whats the worst that can happen" and decided to travel alone with 2 kids. I knew Ashu would nt be a problem as long as shes not told to walk while shes sleepy. Antu would be ok too since I have sure shot way to shut her mouth, by breast feeding! Kodis Mom, who I think is being my guardian angel without actually knowing it herself, posted recently about her trip alone with the kids and that gave me more confidence. I prepared Ashu for weeks that she was muttering, "I ll cooperate, Amma" even in her sleep. I tried making Antu walk but no luck there. She had her mind set only on crawling. May be she ll change her mind once she saw the airplane bathroom, I told myself. So on 20th afternoon, Hd left us in the airport, shook his head one last time at my foolishness and walked away. This is it, I told myself. The ultimate test!

I carried only a backpack with the bare minimum requirements. Ashu carried a tiny backpack and also a small children's pullman suitcase. It carried a set of clothes, toys, books and snacks for her. It was very light and I could carry it if it was too much for her. But the poor darling, pulled it by herself everywhere. So it sure was a good buy. Emirates has a good in flight entertainment so from Zurich to Dubai, she watched Mickey Mouse Wonder house and Little Einsteins back to back, sipped juice, nibbled on the flight food and had a good time. Antu slept off during take off and slept for two hours in the bassinet leaving me to eat in peace and also visit the bathroom. Then I fed her some baby food, read to her, sang to her, changed her and kept her busy. When a kind gentleman smiled at her, I narrowed down the victim and plonked Antu on his lap and used the bathroom and came out in a record time of 5 1/2 seconds, thanked him and picked Antu and walked back to our seat before the man could realize what had happened! Ashu nodded off just before we landed in Dubai. Trouble, I told myself!

Ashu cried when I woke her up and asked her to walk. But she was ok within a few minutes. I found the complimentary strollers at the Dubai airport for Antu and after that, it was an easy ride. We window shopped a bit, had hot chocolate and I fed and changed Antu and it was already time to board the Chennai flight. We did nt get the first row seats with bassinets for this leg. But it was no so bad. Ashu slept the whole time. Antu was a little fidgety but otherwise ok. One thing I should ve done was to take Ashu to the bathroom and used it myself just before we landed. But there was no time and on hindsight, that was a big mistake. We landed in Chennai and I felt invincible and patted myself at my back not knowing what was in store for me!

I had filled all our immigration forms in the plane. When we walked out of the plane, there was a long line for the swine flu test. Since there are no complimentary strollers like in Dubai airport and we dont get our own strollers at the gate anymore, I had to carry Antu all the time and my hands almost died on me and fell off. Ashu seemed to decide enough was enough and refused to do anything I said. And then the swine flu testing person asks me to fill 3 more forms with all our details. What am I supposed to do with Antu? Leave her on the tobacco spat, stained floor and fill the forms? Yes, ladies and gentlemen, thats exactly what I had to do. The lady just felt Antus head for temperature, asked us if anyone has fever or cough and sent us off. When she tried to touch Ashus head, she wriggled and ran away! Then we stood in the immigration line for a long time. Just before it was our turn, Ashu started bawling and said she wanted to use the bathroom otherwise she ll just "go there"! I thought about it for 2 seconds, then took her to the bathroom which was way past behind the swine flu lines. Ashu took one look at the bathroom and refused to go in. Then she did nt know how to use the Indian style toilets, I did nt know what to do with the small suitcase or Antu. Thought its ok to lose the suitcase than Antu and took Antu inside leaving the suitcase outside. Ashu created all sort of mess you dont want to know about and after almost slipping and dropping Antu in the toilet, we came out unhurt but not the most hygienic!

Then we came back to the immigration line and when I requested a person in the front if I can go before him since I was standing in the line before, the man REFUSED! I thanked him and tried the handicapped and diplomat line. Since there were many wheelchair bound people before me, it took almost 30 mins for our turn. Antu cried 29 mins of it and both my hands were completely dead and I would nt even have realized if they had fallen off! Ashu was the most cranky by this time and when we reached the hand baggage screening area, she refused to part with her backpack. The kind man at the security took one look at me and waved us off. I crossed the exit to go to the baggage claims where my father and father in law waved at us. I glared at them and if I had a third eye, they both would ve been burnt to ashes in 2 seconds. As luck would have it, I got my stroller and the two checked in suitcases after 40 minutes. By this time, I was beyond caring and left Antu on the floor where she was crawling and almost getting trampled by people and their trolleys. Ashu was a little recharged after seeing a glimpse of her Thathas and looked out for our suitcases which showed up at last. The porter helped me with the baggage and after what seemed an eternity, we walked out. I plonked Antu to the first pair of hands that reached towards me. Thankfully, it was my fathers.

Verdict: Doable journey with a nightmarish end.

June 27, 2009


Dear Antu,
I was really wondering if I can just leave this link to the letter I wrote to Ashu on her first birthday and ask you to replace Ashu with Antu. I was hoping you would nt mind hand me down letters since you dont seem to mind the clothes! Then I totally forgot about you birthday because of the India trip and your Ayush homam planning. Then today when I was sitting on the Dentist chair with my mouth wide open and a tooth being drilled, I felt that I would rather take labor than dental work and told myself that I should be hit with a shoe if I go near a chocolate again. And that's when I remembered! Oh God! Almost a year gone by since my labor! Its you birthday in less than 2 days and I had no plans, no letters in draft. But you are very happy amidst the two set of doting grand parents, in Madras during the peak summer, playing in the beach, happily staying with one of the grand parents while your mother goes shopping. And my eyes truly welled up at the moment. Damn the painful dental procedures!

Sweetie pie, I love you. Happy Birthday! I thought Ashu was the perfect baby until you came along. Prove me wrong in the coming years too if you want me to live long and write birthday letters to my grand kids!


Long back, my mom told me that my dad came to see me only after 22 days after I was born. May be she did nt realize what a potent weapon she was giving me by telling me that bit of information because I have used that line to blackmail my dad on every occasion and I still do. And I cant deny your weapon, Antu. Your dad is nt here for you first birthday. Go get him. ;)

June 18, 2009

End of a Pre Schoolers Era.

Today was Ashus last day of Pre School. Went in the afternoon, collected her port folio and all the other stuff, said thank you and byes by dozens to the teachers, Moms and kids and came back home with a heavy heart.

I cannot believe that from August,

Ashu wont be among the youngest in her school.

that shes going to attend full day.

that shes going to go on field trips.

that her class is upstairs.

And what the hell am I going to do with all that extra time? *shudder*

Last night, Ashu and I sat and made Thank you cards for the teachers and Ashu drew something and wrote "Love, Ashu" by herself in all the cards. But today she refused to say thank you and bye to her teachers when we were leaving. And one of the teachers said, "Thats ok. Ashu has her own special way of saying Thanks. Thats what makes her Ashu. She would nt be Ashu otherwise." I grinned while I was seething inside. But when I think about it now, she does make sense. THAT I HAVE A STUBBORN BRAT FOR A KID! Special, my foot!

I thought I would never say this. But grow up, Ashu. You have to become a precocious pre kindergartener pretty soon.

June 17, 2009

One cant fight genes much, I guess.

Remember the quote in Friends when Rachel says, "Oh my God. I've become my father. I've been trying so hard not to become my mother, I didn't see this coming”? Its almost the same case for me. I was trying so hard not to become like my dad that I have become a deadly combo of both my mom and dad. Yesterday for the first time I called Ashu as Antu and she gave me a stern warning. "I'm not Antu, Amma. Don't call me Antu." Oh, man! Why am I having a Deja Vu?

Other things I say which I ve invountarily borrowed from my mom -

~ "I have only two hands. Cant you see?"

~ "I'm a human being, not a machine".(Funny when you say it in Tamil, manushi and machine rhyme!)

~ "If you can't help, at least don't trouble me". (ubayogamaa illennaalum, ubathravamaa illaama iru!)

~ "Kadangaari!" (literally means someone who owes you money. But its a common term to scold a child in Tamil.)

~ "If you keep doing like this, I ll just leave ok?" (Leave from the world actually but I keep that part open ended!!)

~ "What gall! Have nt sprouted three leaves and you talk this much?" (enna thimuru! mulaichu moonu ilai vidalai, enna pechu pesara?)

~ "If you talk like this, I ll leave once for all!" (and then mutter to myself because I cant bring myself to tell her yet - "afterwards you can cry Amma, Amma but I wont be there!") I know, I know! I'm a meanie!

~ "There are kids who are going hungry every day. Eat your food and don't waste it."

~ Rendum rendaappa, rendum keyandaappa! (Im baffled here for the translation. Literally means, "I ve two ladles and both of them are useless" and here the two ladles refer to Ashu & Antu!)

The most annoying thing my dad said which I'm repeating now:

"Ashu, everything has a lifetime. That zipper in the bag can be pulled up and down only like 100 times. If you unnecessarily keep doing it, it will stop working soon."
Replace zipper with light switch/TV remote/ballpoint pen/drawers/doors/windows/curtains/clips/fan/buttons,... and I use the same dialogue for everything!

*bangs head against the wall and then realizes that that's something her mom did too*

June 12, 2009

Interview with the Diva.

I really loved this post by Kodis Mom. I asked Ashu the same Qs as soon as I read that post and saved her answers. Only now I remembered to write them here. So here goes... (It is a list of 20 some questions that you ask your kid, then you write up their responses and blare it to the whole world so they will never forgive you. ;)

1. Me - What is something I say to you?
Ashu - You are saying a question!
Me - (translates the Q to Tamil)
Ashu - You say "answer me"!
Me - *gulp* (first answer laye aappu!)

2.What makes me sad?
When Im hurt.

3. What makes me happy?
When I make you happy by doing silly things.

4.How do I make you laugh?
You say silly questions.
Sa says the sun flower.

5. What do you think I was like when I was a child?
Good girl. (muahaha)

6. How old am I?

35 (31 or 35, what does it matter? sigh!)

7. How tall am I?


8.What is my favorite thing to do?

I don't know.
Clean up and shopping.

9. What do I do when you’re not around?
Stay with Antu.

10. If I become famous for something, what will it be for?

Whats famous?
Very popular. Everyone in the world will know you.

Like Obama?
You will become Gods favorite, Amma. (where did that come from? And more importatnly, am I going to die a dramatic death?)

11. What am I really good at?
Dancing. (this one was truly a revelation as I did nt realize that she knew how much I love dancing!)

12. What am I not really good at?

Nothing. (hee hee hee!)

13. What do you and I do together?


14. What is my job?

Laptop work!

15. What is my favorite food?

Salad. (I think she knows me better than my husband!!)

16 What makes you proud of me?

When you say "I love you".

17 What is something that you do that makes me proud?

When i finish my lunch, finish the puzzle.

18 How are we both the same?

When we both are wearing pink dress!

19 How are we both different?

When you are black dress and Im pink dress. (profound, huh?)

20 How do you know I love you?
when I say I love you, you say you love me too!

21 What is the one thing you wish you could change about me?

Nothing. (atta girl!)

22 What do you wish you could go and do with me?

Ariel puzzle.

Do take it up as a tag if you wish.

June 09, 2009

“To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.”

He does something stupid. I tell him so. In trying to defend himself, he digs a deeper hole for himself. I yell and scream. He ignores me. I throw things. He walks away. In frustration, I rant to my mom. She asks me to be patient. Tells me not to yell and scream and throw things because its wrong. I yell at her. She tries to calm me down. Tells me that my temper has always been my worst enemy.

What about the person who started all this? He goes scot free. He gets sympathies. Hes patient incarnated. People think he puts up with me . Hes a saint. But hey, but what about the stupid thing he did? Its all forgiven because I threw things and that's pretty stupid too and how can I be so hyrpcritical and accuse him? The end.

my sis perhaps will take my side. But that's because shes biased. So no one will pay heed to her.

June 07, 2009

On a good day.

There was an unsual silence in the house. Antu was napping. I was in the kitchen.

Me - Ashoooooo! Where are you?
Ashu - In the bathroom, amma.
Me - Whatcha doing?
Ashu - Im doing something naughty, Amma. (vishamam panren, amma)
Me - Like what?
Ashu - Im wasting soap and wasting water, Amma.
Me - Why?
Ashu - Because I like it.
Me - Ok. Are you done?
Ashu - Yes, Amma.
Me - Dont waste water, ok? Lot of people are suffering without drinking water.
Ashu - Ok, amma. Sorry.
Me - Its ok. Go and play.
Ashu - Ok. (runs off to her room)

And I continued cutting the vegetables without even moving a step from the kitchen. Sometimes, this parenting gig is easy. Sometimes.

baby growth