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November 27, 2011

The One in Which Ashu Loses Her First Tooth.

Just when I started to focus on Antu again, Ashu had to lose her first tooth and steal her thunder! The much awaited milestone arrived finally this weekend! Ashu has been really impatient the last one year seeing all her friends lose their teeth one by one and her's were nt even wobbly. Around 6 months back, she was thrilled to announce that one of her lower front tooth is teeny-weeny wobbly even though I could nt feel a thing. More like wishful thinking, I assumed. A couple of months back, I did see it wobble a bit and we were all eagerly waiting for the big day! Two days back I saw a new tooth sprouting behind the wobbly one and it looked really weird. By this time, the wobbly tooth was hanging by a thread so to speak and I asked Ashu if I can pull it. "No way!, she screamed. She wanted the tooth to fall while in school so that she can go to the nurse and get a cute little box to put it in. I wanted it to fall while shes home because I wanted to witness the grand event, of course! And finally when it did fall, it had to be on a Saturday while she was attending a birthday party and I was nt even there! A friend dropped her home after the party and Ashu was all excited to show something and while I was thinking that it was some cool return gift, it was her tooth! awww... I had to blink back tears. It does hit you, this losing the baby tooth business! sigh!

Before you ask what the tooth fairy gave her, let me answer you. The child does nt believe in fairies. I told her that she ll get a gift only if she believes in them but nothing could shake her resolve.

How do you know, Ashu? They may be real. Try putting the tooth under the pillow and see.
Amma! Its the parents who give the gift. Not the fairy! And I need the tooth. I want to take it to school on Monday.
You believe in Krishna, dont you?
Yes. But he is GOD. Not a fairy! Also I saw a tooth fairy book in the fiction section in the library. It means its not real!

Check and mate.

I found the box with the tooth safely tucked in her school bag. Decided to surprise her and put a CHF 5 coin in it. She found it this morning and came and thanked me. I told her thats an advance amount for all her teeth and she is nt getting any more money. "But Amma! The upper tooth is bigger. You need to give more money for it when it falls down." Holy guacamole! I need to plant a book on money in the fiction section right now!

November 23, 2011

About time I updated on Antu.

OK, lets talk about Antu. High time, right?

She is in this utterly-butterly cute stage. Loves life like crazy! Going to school is exciting. Eating breakfast is exciting. Going to the grocery shop to buy milk is exciting. Going to pick her sister up from school is even more exciting! Her enthusiasm is so infectious. Still very much a daddy's girl.

The other day we were going to her German playgroup and she told me that she does nt like her English preschool. She says she does nt like her German one when i drop her at the English one! So I told her,

You can like both, Antu.
No, Amma. I dont like English school.
You don't have to say you dont like that just because you like this, OK? Just you like both Amma and Appa, you can like both.
But I don't like Am....
I like only Appa!
(hurt voice) Why do you like appa so much, Antu?
Because I don't like you!

Its not enough to plunge the knife in my heart, she has to twist it too?

Her preschool had a Halloween party and little Missy chose her own costume by mixing and matching the pink party frock, tiara, etc... So of course I had to take photos and compare and contrast with Ashu's 3 year old photos. Here you go.

I don't know how she does it but exactly at 3 pm everyday she comes to me and says, "Lets go to Akka school and get her, Amma!" All this lurve only when shes out of sight. As soon as she comes home, its adithadi fight for every little thing! And Antu is such a kozhsolli.(tattletale) Akka did this, akka did that, akka said this, akka said that,... uff! Its just too much! I hear Ashu sometimes telling Antu, "You are such a silly goose, Antu! Now go tell this to Amma!" LOL!

At any point of time, you can see Antu surrounded by at least five books. Whenever I call her, the answer will be "Wait amma! I'm reading!" I don't know if shes just copying her sister or shes really interested! Reading means looking at pictures and pretend reading, of course.

She calls Emily Elizabeth from the Clifford book as Amily Alphabet! The other day we were all laughing at it and Ashu asked her very sarcastically, "Do you even know what an alphabet is, Antu?" And she says, "Yes. Letters!" I was shocked. So I asked her "And what are letters?" She gave me a look and said, "ABC, Amma!" and proceeded to sing the whole alphabet song! She can also count up to 100. Recognize all the alphabets. Knows the months, days of the week. Mostly thanks to Ashu who plays teacher, teacher with her and teaches her stuff!

Unlike the 3 year old Ashu, Antu has a rocking social life! I drag her everywhere with me. School meetings, lunch with friends, coffee mornings, school events, Ashu's violin class, dance practice sessions, ... and she loves all of it. She loves "dress-upping" and dancing and I'm looking for some class for her. May be from January.

I think she finally realized that I'm hurt or something as she keeps saying "I love you full-time, Amma!" these days! But never make the mistake of asking her whom she "likes" though! In spite of it, I love you full-time too, Antu. All the time!

November 21, 2011

All about Ashu.

Ashu had quite an eventful week with a Violin Recital and an Indian group Dance, both at her school! Remember how last year she danced for O Re Kanchi? It was a mix of "Mukunda, Mukunda" and "Radha kaise na jale" this time with one boy and 8 girls! We had less then a month, we could meet only once or twice a week and add to it, I was the only one choreographing and making the kids dance to my tune since my partner in crime from last year has moved out of Swiss! What an uphill task! It was so difficult to even fix a date when all of us were available. At one point, I just gave up and asked Ashu if she wants to dance alone or with Antu. She refused instantly and proclaimed, "group dance or no dance, Amma!" Sigh! The things we do for our kids! But once we managed to meet, things started working out. We took turns and practiced in each others houses and after a while, I even started to look forward to these things just for the yummy food and chai! I think I behaved more or less like a circus animal trainer! The moms loved me and the kids sort of warmed up to me towards the end. Much like stockholm syndrome, I guess! Everyone was admiring me for my immense patience with the kids and I felt like a fraud! Why is it so easy to be patient with other peoples kids? The d day was last Saturday and the kids did me proud! It was so cute to watch them do the moves and try to be in sync. Though the day before the dance was when Kolaveri went viral and I had an acute case of earworm and was *this* close to actually playing this song instead of Mukunda for the kids to dance. Not that they would have known the difference! ;)

Coming to the Violin recital, it all started a couple of months back. Ashu was stubborn that she wanted to learn the Violin. She kept asking us last year too and we thought she was too young and I did nt have the time or energy to cart her to yet another class! But when I learnt that theres a class she can take once a week in her school during lunch recess, I jumped at the chance. At least, I dont have to drive her around! One fine day, we took her to the store and rented a Violin. Thats where I learnt that there are actually different sizes in violins and one always rents Violins for kids. Ashu was a happy camper. We also bought her the recommended book and a stand. And of course I threatened Ashu with dire consequences if she did nt practice regularly just before we paid the huge amount! One can always dream! The classes started soon and she quite enjoyed them. After a few classes, I had no idea what she was doing so I decided to attend classes whenever I could along with her. So much for less driving around, huh? But that helps both of us. (Poor Antu though who has to sit still for 30 mins!) A month alter, the teacher informed us about the student recital which happens in November every year and asked Ashu to choose a song she wanted to play. She chose A Mozart Melody. (popularly known as Twinkle, Twinkle!) Poor little thing practiced it almost every day for a month! Of course, I had to be a Tiger Mom at times but then who am I kidding? It is who I am! The improvement you see is tremendous though. It amazes me what one can do with practice. (I am there with her in every class but theres no way I can read the notes like Ashu does.) The teacher was also going to make a group of kids play a few songs and Ashu was part of it. There was much excitement on the day of the recital. (last Tuesday) Choosing something formal to wear, shiny black shoes, cameras charged, proud parents in the front row, the works! Ashu played beautifully and the group recital was very cute too. Some of the middle school kids were amazing! Unbelievable talent! Wonder how many hours they practice every day! ;)

There is nothing to look forward to now and Im wondering what to do with all the extra time I seem to have since yesterday! Pay attention to my poor neglected second child, you say?

November 13, 2011

A Milestone I dreaded: The F Word.

Loads of friends have told me how their kids said the F word, how shocked they were, how the kids wanted to know the meaning of the word, how they were stumped, etc.. etc... etc... I kind of worried too but Ashu is a kind of kid who instinctively seems to know what will make me happy or upset and she ll avoid asking anything which she thinks will upset me or get her into trouble. Not always, I can assure. But mostly. So I knew I had a long time before I had to face that kind of a situation. But then, one can only dream!

Ashus best friend, G had come home today for lunch and we were all eating at the table. Antu with her "impeccable" table manners had to say "yuck" for God knows what and G immediately gasped, "Oh my God! Antu just said the F word!" I froze. "Its a bad word!", G added! I was speechless. I looked at Ashu who was looking at G curiously! "She said "yuck", G!", I mumbled. "Really? Do you know what the F word is?", she asked. "Forget me. How do YOU know?", I managed to ask. "Oh my sister told me. It is F***! Its a very bad word and we should never say it!". Very clear! "Thats right! Lets not say it then. Why don't we talk about butterflies? Or fairies? or Rainbows?" The girls started giggling and the situation was diffused. Phew.

Was that the end? Of course not. Come bedtime, Ashu asked me the dreaded question. "What is the meaning of the F word, Amma?" Sigh!

"Have you heard the word before, Ashu?"
Quite a defensive "No!"
"Its just a bad word, Ashu. And you will get into a lot of trouble if your teachers hear you say that, ok?"
"Is it a bad word like Stupid?"
"Its much, much worser that stupid."
"Is it a bad word like sissy?"
"What the F***!" (Ok, I did nt say that! But really!)
"Excuse me? Where do you hear words like these? Dont you guys have classes to attend while in school?"
"I heard it in recess, Amma! A called B a sissy because he said he likes pink!"
"Ok, Ashu! Thats another word you cant use, ok? Thats all Im saying!"
"I ll never use it Amma. I just want to know the meaning."
"We ll talk about it when you are a bit older, Ashu! How about two stories today, huh? Once upon a time..."

Im so making Hd handle it when its Antus turn. Which might even be tomorrow for all you know!

November 03, 2011

Ashu's Bookmark.

Q: How do you know when your child has graduated to reading chapter books?
A: When she makes something like the below bookmark!

Me: Ashu! You could have just placed a paper inside the page. Or any bookmark!

Ashu: But how will I know which page to continue reading from, Amma?

Keeping a bookmark on the page you finished reading and a note to remind you to go to the next page "without reading"! Im going to copyright it! There are books for Beginning Readers. But bookmarks? Height of Originality or what! Any buyers? :)

Though she is devouring the Rainbow Magic books these days, this bookmark was specially designed for Roald Dahl's "George's Marvelous Medicine"!

November 01, 2011

How clean is your house...

...when you leave in the morning to drop the kids in school? Im so curious to know. No prizes for guessing that my house looks like a pig sty (no exaggeration!) when I leave in the morning. Whoever said that theres a time and place for everything never had to do the school run, I guess! Toys everywhere! The kids room is a mess! The dining table looks like there was an explosion of cereal, bread and milk! There are clothes all over the bed! The kitchen looks as if an elephant had run rampant! (Not that my kitchen is big enough to fit an elephant!) And it drives me crazy! I hate coming back to a messy house but who has time to clean up in the morning when one is racing against the clock? The other day a friend invited me to her place impromptu after dropping the kids in school and I was amazed to see that her house was relatively clean! She does have older kids but still.... it hurt my ego! Theres no way in hell I can invite people just like that to my house. I would die!

Ashu wants to find her library book and a dozen books are in the floor. Antu drops the bowl and theres cereal everywhere. A wet towel here, a dirty jeans there, here a mess, there a mess, everywhere a mess, mess.... ARGH! Old Mc Donald is clearly not happy! Im wondering if some people employ house elves who clean up for them. This one day I had invited a mom and her child for a lunch playdate at my place after picking up Antu and the other child. And suddenly a coffee morning straight after Ashus school drop off came up too! So I had to get up, get the kids ready, make lunch, then take Ashu to school, go to the coffee thing at a friends place, then go to pick up Antu and come home with the other mom and the kid. Thankfully Hd was in town and he said he ll drop Antu and go to office. I begged him to clean up the house and leave it in a decent shape before he left the house. It was like a bomb ticking inside my head until I came home. And the man had kept his word, phew. May be its not a house elf I need after all, huh?! ;)
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