Thursday, December 18, 2008

The last couple of weeks

At a Chinese restaurant.
At the park, looking up at an airplane.
At the toy store
At the grocery store.
Watching TV with Neal Uncle.
Eating a pear stolen from the fridge.
I'm carrying around my camera phone all the time these days to make sure I get little snaps of everything he does...the picture quality isn't the best, but at least I get something! Too bad I can't take easy snapshots when he's talking because he says the funniest things these days.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Vir (opens the doors to his BMW convertible and says): "Mamma, sit here."
Me: Thank you, Vir! And who will sit at the driver's seat?
Vir: Vir (or Bee)
Me: Where will we go?
Vir: For a drive
Me: Where will you take me for a drive?
Vir: Driving.

Because that's everyone's reason for living - to go jiming!

(P.S: This whole conversation happened in Hindi, which somehow made it even more adorable. Oh, Vir - I'm sure I'll be telling you this the first time you ever take me jiming.)
(P.S 2: In case you're wondering, it's a toy BMW convertible :-)

Friday, November 21, 2008

That's my ride!

I made the mistake of showing Vir some pictures of cars and then this video on youtube to distract him once. Now he thinks the only reason to switch on the computer is to show him pictures and videos of whatever he asks for. His requests range from cars and airplanes to bikes, horses, dogs, cats, and donkeys. Cars are of course head and shoulders above anything else on his list of absolutely fascinating things. No description of the current version of Vir is complete without this three letter word that I sometimes hear in my sleep now (and wake up screaming in a cold sweat!) His first word ever was "car." We realized what he was saying when he started running excitedly towards cars on the road screaming "KA...KA....KAAAAA." The obsession has only grown since then. He sleeps with a couple of his dinky cars next to him. The first thing he thinks of when he wakes up is one or the other specific car ("pupple car, yellow car, geen car, poee/police car"). He can spend an entire 8-hour drive from Delhi to Dehradun just looking out and staring at cars and announcing each one as it passes by. At the end of the day, he collects all his cars (and now that nani has realized how happy they make him, she's bought him like a thousand of them) and stuffs them in the boot of his little tricycle, which then travels with him to the bedroom so it's close to him in case of an emergency requirement in the middle of the night. He has to have a couple of them with him ALL the time - in the bathroom, in the park, at the dining table, when drinking his milk. So, of course, you can't go anywhere in our house without stumbling upon a dinky car. You'll find one or two stuffed inside the sofas, some stuck between the matresses of the bed, a couple on any shelf or counter you come across...never a shortage of these annoying little things here! I don't even understand what he really does with them...sometimes he'll just park them in one line and stare at them with this happy, wistful, faraway sort of expression on his face. I can only imagine the day dreams!

This obsession has now extended to basically any vehicle - autos, bikes, tempos, tractors, trucks, trains, and airplanes. I try so hard to get him to notice trees and flowers when we're out on a walk or a drive, or when we're reading a storybook and looking at pictures, but it's a lost cause. I don't think we'd have this problem if he was a's amazing how they're born with these predispositions. I didn't quite believe that until now. Anyway, there's something so incredibly cute about the way he lights up EVERY SINGLE TIME he sees a car. Before we know it, he'll grow up and lose this ability to be happy with something as small as a broken down auto rattling past us on the road. And start caring about things like models and makes and costs. Yuck.

If this carries on, I'm guessing the most special thing he'll ever say to a girl one day as he looks deep into her eyes won't be "I love you" or "Will you marry me?" but "Honey, let's go for a drive."

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sunday, November 9, 2008


With the number of tumbles Vir has in a day with his constant running and climbing and jumping, we've all realized there's no point fussing or worrying too much. More than us, Vir himself has no time for such frivolous crying and whining. He knows that some things are the way they are and if he wants to run around like a toddler on steroids all day, he has to take the occasional fall gracefully as well. So, we've developed a quick relief system which basically entails me kissing whatever part of him hurts, him nodding when things feel better, and jumping off my lap to go and tug at Baggdu's balls or balance his cars on Baggdu's head. Lately, this has been taking longer than usual though, since Vir has discovered how much he likes our little kissing ritual. So, now he totally fakes it when he's hurt! After the first kiss on his head or arm or wherever it really hurts, he starts pointing to random things like the corner of his wrist, the tip of his elbow, tiny points on his forehead, and even his little toes! And he's not happy till he's been kissed at least 3-4 times everywhere that he's got "choke" (chote/hurt) or "daggi" (lagi/hurt).

Of course, eventually a distraction presents itself and he's off again leaving me hoping I always have this ability to make him feel better, no matter how or why he hurts.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Our little parrot

We don't need TV anymore now that Vir has started talking so much. For the most part, he doesn't know what we're making him say...he just repeats anything we say. And he remembers it so it's a lot of fun to get him to say stuff over and over. Here are some favorites (I'm not translating some of this into English because that'll make it lose all its funniness):

Vir mamma ki: Jaan!
Vir nana ka: Dopu
Vir nana ka: Chamcha
Vir nani ka: Goonda
Vir papa ka: Dhunu
Vir's prayer: bambi please mujhe achchi buddhi dedo, thakuu (God, please give me good brains, thank you!)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Grandparents Rock!

Once again, I've let too much time go by and now I have more to write than energy to write it. At first it was because I went through a phase where Vir's growing terrible two related misbehavior made him decidedly uncute and quite annoying. So, honestly, I had nothing very complimentary to write. It's really hard to find a positive or cute twist to a screaming, biting, toddler who is lashing out at you with all his limbs as he thrashes around on the floor because you didn't take his permission before taking off his sandals for him. Or because you took a nano second longer than acceptable to peel his banana or get his bottle of milk. Or because you accidentally walked into his path, or his life. Even if there is something cute hidden somewhere here, you don't get the mental space to really discover it because the thrashing toddler is mad at you for existing at least 250 times a day. This does seem to be getting a little better now. Or maybe we've just learnt to anticipate and manage the temper tantrums. There's nothing to manage really since my philosophy on dealing with a toddler's tantrums is very simple. I just walk away. This, naturally annoys him even more and he's been known to stop crying, get up and come running after me, block my way and fall again right in front of me to start crying - you know, just in case I missed it where he was lying before. At some point, he's going to understand that tantrums don't work. Till then, the trick is not to give in before he does.

Meanwhile, I've rediscovered his adorable side again over the last couple of weeks. This is also because I'm at my parents' place these days and they're so happy to entertain him 24 hours a day that it's fun to sit back and watch him do his thing. He has gone absolutely crazy since he got here about a week ago. It's like he's never seen any open space in his life...he gets out of the house into the front lawn or the backyard as soon as he wakes up and basically refuses to get back indoors the entire day. Ideally, he would like to be out of the main gate on the road, but since that's not an option, he makes do with the lawn! And if we do manage to trick him into coming indoors for a while, he's either running wildly from one end of the house to the other, stopping only to run inside mom's mandir (temple) to say "oooommm" and pick up a bell or something or standing by the door calling out to anyone he sees outside and screaming "baaaar...baaaaar" (outside). With the dramatically increased entertainment options both indoors and outdoors that he has when he's at the gramps' place he becomes a totally different child from the one who lives in a little apartment in Gurgaon. One who doesn't sit down for EVEN ONE MINUTE in the day, one who is so used to attention from everyone that he just doesn't understand why anyone would ever want to look at anyone but him, and one who gets away with pretty much anything - breaking things (it's only happened once but my mom's reaction was much calmer than it would if say, I had done the same thing...hmpfh), changing the TV channels when papa decides to watch his cricket, running off to potter around in the parked car for half an hour at a time, climbing the rocking chair and rocking on it while standing, you name it.

I grumble about how he's getting spoilt rotten and what will I ever do with him when I get back to Gurgaon and all that but it's mostly superficial because I think he's just the luckiest child in the world to have this play till he drops every day with his grandparents who dote on him more than I thought was possible. He won't remember this, but he'll be better for it. And anyway, would be a little silly to complain about this brilliant form of childcare which allows me to put my feet up, grab a magazine and suggest we have another cup of tea!

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Turkey is a Silly Bird

My neice and nephew had taught me a cute little rhyme a few months ago. It goes like this:

A turkey is a silly bird
whose head goes wobble wobble
It only knows this one word
gobble gobble gobble!

Anyway, I was entertaining the brat a couple of days ago, and remembered this rhyme. So, I sang it to him a couple of times. Mild diversion followed by end of story...or so I thought till he came running up urgently to me just now saying..."mamma...takki...takkkki...gobbal...gobbal...takkkkiii." A middle of the afternoon urgent song request, as it turned out. I've now repeated this rhyme about 50 times already and something tells me it will be buzzing annoyingly in the back of my head for a few weeks to come at least!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Trying to hold a conversation!

I taught Vir to respond to the question "tu kaisa hai" (how are you?) by saying "theek hun" (I'm fine) and he says it ever so cutely. But what's even cuter is that he already knows the difference between English and Hindi, because when I asked him the same question in English, he decided to answer me in English even though he had no clue what I wanted to know. So, our meaningful conversation went like this:

Me: Vir, how are you?
Vir: pausing to think, "Hello."

I laughed so much that now he thinks I was making fun of him and refuses to repeat the performance!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ramdev ji, watch me go!

This is definitely much needed given my son's hyperactivity, but more than that it's just hilarious! Teta (my father in law) spent a few days with us recently, and Vir enjoyed that very much. He would wake up asking for "Kocha" (Vir's name for his granddad) and even now tends to run off to the guest room looking for him when he wakes up. He would watch teta do his Prananyam exercises (yogic breathing exercises popularized by the guru in the title) with much interest. Luckily, that paid off, because now when you ask him how Pranayam is done, he starts breathing out strongly and shakes his entire torso and head up and down with a huge grin on his face. I think Ramdevji would have a few tips for him on his technique, but noone can doubt his enthusiasm for this boring old form of exercise! Jogged by this, I have even taught him how to meditate. On request, he now closes his eyes for all of two seconds and hums "mmmmmmm." Thus calmed, he then proceeds to jump off the bed, on to Baggdu's head and off to throw a toy from the balcony.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Killer Looks

Teta came back from a trip to the US last night and one of the presents he got for Vir is a really cute red night suit with a dog print on it. The shirt has a big dog that says "I'm the boss around here" on it. Of course, getting Vir dressed after his bath was completely hassle free today, since the excitement of wearing something "new new" was just too much to let anything come in the way of it. I wish I could have taken a picture of that face - so confident and yet shy in the knowledge that there are very few others around here who can claim to be this dashing, and certainly, no one around here who can claim to have nicer night wear. He strutted around on the bed for a while so teta and Vijay could fully appreciate his style, and broke out in spontaneous self applause, which, of course, we all had to join in (or risk severe pointed looks from the man himself). I honestly don't know how he has fallen asleep today with all this excitement though I'm pretty sure there are going to be some sweet dreams tonight!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Can this really be true?!

Vir is showing an interest in golf! If you know my husband's golf mania, you can imagine how elated and hopeful this is making him. I think he's already dreaming about sunday afternoon golf lessons, choosing junior size golf sets, dinner table discussions about the perfect swing and how to improve his short game, cheering Vir on as he plays his first tournament, and living off Vir's massive earnings as a pro golfer as we travel to exotic locations and walk along beautifully manicured golf courses sipping our glasses of chilled white wine and talking to his fans about how this all started.

The humble beginning of this dream is that Vir has learnt to copy Vijay's mock golf swing - which is one of those things that men seem to do whenever they're standing around looking for something to do with their arms...if it's not a golf swing, it's a tennis one...or a mock cricket shot with a non existent bat. Anyway, Vijay was mock swinging away while he was waiting for dinner when Vir came in with his rendition of the swing. I have to admit, it's really good - the arms go all the way back, the swing is clean and goes all the way, he doesn't move his head, and if there was a ball around, I'm pretty sure his eyes would be on it!

Personally, I think golf is really boring for kids...they need to play something that makes them run around and sweat, not walk leisurely from one hole to the other and take a swing once in a while. (Cringe away dad and Vijay, you can't make me change my mind.) I do hope he takes to sports as he gets older and though I'd much rather it be tennis or squash, I'll live if it's golf. After all, I never can resist a glass of chilled white wine:-)

Monday, September 1, 2008

There are so many things that Vir does in a day that make me shake my head in frustration (to put it mildly), but when he falls asleep at the end of the day, I look at him and can't help but feel a little guilty for being even a little bit mad at him for what he puts me through in the day. He doesn't know he makes me tired and worried running after him all day trying to keep him from hurting himself or from breaking things in the house. He doesn't know I worry about him not eating, and how that will affect his health. He doesn't know that I'm sometimes frustrated about having left my job so I could look after him better and spend time with him. He doesn't know I try to discipline him so he grows up into a well-behaved little kid who can adjust well into this world. He just wants to do his thing and not have me cramp his style (don't we all?) So, I just want to put on record (you know, in case God reads my blog), that I'm super thankful that I get to look into my healthy and happy child's eyes in the morning when he wakes up and gives me that smile that is only his and that in a million years, I wouldn't trade this for anything else.

Among all the things that he does that frustrate me are also all the things that I cherish the most...the little expressions and gestures and habits that will surely be replaced by new ones as he grows up but that we'll love to look back and smile upon when he's off to college or married with kids of his own (yikes, how old am I to be saying things like this!!!?). Like when he shakes his head in a come-on-you-know-you-have-to way and says "" every morning, hoping that today is one of those days when he gets bundled in his car seat and taken to some mundane errand with his mom because what can be better than that. Or when he checks to see if his bottle of milk is leaking before he takes a sip by tilting it ever so carefully and then screams "Mamta...mamataaaaaa" to get her to fix it whether or not it's actually leaking. Or when he comes running up to me with his urgent song requests for the monkey song ("ooo-aaaa-ooo-aa") or the fishy song ("pish pish") or Old MacDonald's Farm ("eieieieie"). Of course, he never listens to any of these till the end because the next request takes over as soon as I start with the first one. Or when he suddenly needs to enquire about everyone's whereabouts and starts listing them out insisting I tell him what's going on with everyone. "Nana?" "He's in Dun." "Nani?" "She's in Dun." "Papa?" "He's in office." "Didi?" "She's sleeping. And so should you be." Then there's his endless fascination with Baggdu - especially all the sensitive parts of Baggdu that are just asking to be pulled by his tiny but surprisingly strong hands. He says he's just doing "paari" as he's petting the dog, but before you know it there's a tail being pulled or an eye being poked. Of course, he always apologizes to the dog by putting his hands on his ears and bending all the way to Baggdu's head solemnly.

Actually, as I'm typing, I'm beginning to see that this could take a really long time. And when I think I'm done, he'll wake up tomorrow morning and do something completely new that I'll need to add to my list. Something that I'll cherish just as much, no matter how much you hear me complaining. God, if you're reading, thank you and please ignore the whining!

Sunday, August 31, 2008


If you've ever been to our house and tried to work our TV, I totally understand your pain. You have to work to get your TV viewing time in this household. It's a really old set that doesn't even have a working remote anymore. You have to use the power switch on the TV - press it in just the right way at least twice to get the TV on. Then, to get to the cable channel you have to press the tiny, almost invisible TV/AV button among some other tiny and invisible buttons not once but twice before you see any moving pictures on the screen.

This morning, I was sitting on the bed with my computer, when Vir walked in and announced, "Cartoo."
"Cartoon, my left foot, my friend, I thought to myself. I'm your mother and I'm not going to let you watch TV so early in the morning. Or at all. Ever. Because TV isn't good for you. It's bad for your eyes, and it will stunt your intellectual development."
"No problem," thinks my friend to himself. "It looks like she doesn't want to make the effort right now." Then, he walks over to the TV, presses the power button in just the right way himself, locates the TV/AV button and presses that - twice - and looks up at me and beams as he says triumphantly - "Cartoooo."

Friday, August 22, 2008

Seems so long ago...

I haven't been able to get to this space for a while, since my uncle hasn't been well, and all of us have been with him. He's better now, and I'm home today after several days of being in the hospital. I discovered Vir's mostly blank baby book that I've been meaning to fill up for a long time, and decided that now was as good a time as any. So, finally, I have it almost done except for the spaces for pictures that still need to go in there. I also discovered a diary I had written for him the first days after he was born. It felt really funny to go through it today, especially since I had written it in the voice of Vir. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but it sounds fairly cheesy now. I'm sure Vir will have a laugh when he reads it when he's older. Here are a few entries from his first few days.

30th Jan 2007, 8:00 a.m: It's almost time for me to be out into the world. My mom, dad, nana, nani, aita, and koka are all here waiting. Well, nana is on the train on his way over. He will meet mum in hospital, where I plan to be born.

11:00 a.m: Mum is in hospital. The doctor is trying to decide whether to induce me to come out. Mom is praying that they do. I think she got pretty mad for a while there when the doctor said she might have to wait another week. Don't worry mum, I'm on my way.

12:30 p.m: They started the induction. This is going to be quite a ride!

11:35 p.m: I don't feel so good. Mum doesn't feel so good either. The doctor has decided to do an emergency C-section to bring me into the world. Mum is happy. Today is my dad's birthday so she's hoping I'm born today - then we can share our celebrations every year. I think God has slightly different plans though.

31st Jan 2007, 12:04 a.m: Wow! So this is what the world is like. I'm finally here. And that's my mum! "Open your eyes and meet your son" says the doctor to her. "Do you have a name for him?" "Yes," says my mom proudly, "his name is Vir."

12:15 a.m: The nurse has brought me out to meet my family. That's my dad! I know his voice. And these are all my grandparents. They seem pretty thrilled to see me. I don't have much time with them though...I have to go to a nursery tonight so mum can rest. I get to see them all in the morning. Yay!

11:00 a.m: Everyone came over - dad, nana, aita, and koka. They all made tonnes of cooing sounds at me and took a lot of pictures. Something tells me I should get used to this. Spent the rest of the day sleeping and waking up occasionally for some food. I got pretty hungry late at night and had to be given more of that artificial milk stuff. That doesn't taste as good but made me feel better.

A lot, and I mean a lot, of people came to see us in the evening. I seem to be pretty popular already. And I'm all of a day old!

2nd Feb, 2007, 11:a.m: Looks like I can go home today. The doc came in this morning and told mom she was all set to leave. I can't wait to see home...

4:00 p.m: All set. My dad brought the car to the front of the hospital and I stepped out, for the first time ever, into the world. It's a lovely day with a clear blue sky that I looked up at for the first time. I think I'm going to like this life.

5:30 p.m: I'm home! Everyone is here...even Baggdu. He's so excited to see mum that I don't think he's even noticed me. Aita has some prasad from a mandir she went to for me. She said a small prayer as we came in.

3rd Feb: I'm settling in well. I spent all evening yesterday and all of today just sleeping and eating really. Eating is proving to be a bit of a problem since I'm always hungry.

4th Feb 2007: Koka comes into my room once in a while to say hello. He loves to just watch me. I try to look back at him and wave my arms and hands a little bit for him. He loves that. All the grown ups seems endlessly entertained by the small things I do.

7th Feb 2007: I had my first outing today. I went to meet the doctor, who seemed nice until he pricked me with a sharp needle lots of times. He needed my blood for some tests. Mum and dad were around when he did that, and seemed quite worried. When mum told koka about this later, he said, "Don't worry. These are some lessons he's learning about life." What does he know?

8th Feb 2007: Aita and Koka have to go back to Guwahati. They don't want to but they have to. Maybe this is another one of those life's lessons Koka keeps talking about. He also has something else he likes to say..."the key to all this is positive thinking!"

9th Feb 2007: This morning, I had a photo session with aita and koka. Koka wanted some pictures with me - awake. That was the tough part. After several tries, mum managed to get one with me yawning, and one with my eyes open.

There are lots more from his first two months that are pretty cheesily entertaining. I'm just glad I have a record of all this...although I'll always remember what it felt like to finally have him and hold him, I had already forgotten some of the details in this diary and the early posts of this blog. After several busy and tense days, an afternoon spent remembering the early days of this brat was really refreshing! I'm back to this blog with renewed energy to record all the little things and big things that make life with Vir so great (and also excrutiatingly frustrating!)

Monday, August 4, 2008


Climbed on a chair to get to the dining table and proceeded to lick the frosting off one of the pastries on the plate!
Does he look even remotely guilty?!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

...and so spiritual too!

My 9-year old niece, who spent a couple of days with us this week has taught Vir the cutest thing. He can now say the following"
"Mata - Pita - Guru - Devta"
(mother - father - teacher - God)
Mata and Pita are really clear. Guru comes out Guddu and Devta stops at Devet. These words of wisdom about putting first your mother, then your dad, then your teacher, and then God because God is in the first three and disrespecting them would mean disrespecting God are especially profound coming from an 18-month old, don't you think? :-)

My efforts are paying off!

I've been trying to teach the boy some manners...starting with the basics...say please, say thank you, don't beat people on their heads with your bat...that sort of thing. He used to just scream for whatever he wanted till I taught him to say "please." Then, he moved to screaming till you looked at him, and then saying "please." But yesterday, he was in his car seat when he dropped the bottle of water he was holding. It was so gratifying to hear him gently say "pa pui" (pani please). I jumped all over myself to get it to him quickly so he doesn't start thinking screaming is a more effective way of getting what he wants. We're on our if only I could get him to stop killing everything in the house with that wretched bat.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Why do I keep doing this?

I have been so lazy about posting for a while that there's now a huge backlog of updates from Vir's side of the world. I'm going to try and present an executive summary here, but I'm pretty sure I'll miss out stuff. So, Vir, some out of the last month-full of your antics are now never to be documented since I don't remember the details. Hopefully though, there are more antics where those came from, and I'll have more chances to write them. I can almost hear the forces that be laughing to themselves ("Crazy lady wants more antics, we'll give her more antics!") Here's a random list of things since the last time I posted...
  • His vocabulary is now too long to keep count of. He basically tries to copy everything I say, especially if I say it slowly and deliberately. What amazes me is the number of words and labels for things he's picked up without any of us even realizing it. Like when he pointed to a cartoon in the newspaper and announced that it was a "cartooo," or when he looked at the mop lying in the balcony and informed me that it was a "pochu" (pocha is Hindi for mop.) Some of his words are so cute, I keep getting him to repeat them a million times a when someone goes to the bathroom, I make it a point to ask him where the person is just so I can hear him say "baa-(long pause)-thoooom." That's also his response when I ask him where he should be going to potty, but of course, that's all just theoretical knowledge. He'll do well in a viva question about potty habits, but will flunk any practical exam on this all important of subjects.
  • What's also amazing to me is how much Vir is constantly observing and absorbing whether or not we're realizing it. I didn't think, for example, that he can identify the sound of birds chirping. If you live in Gurgaon, you'll know why I might think this. But I guess there's hope for Gurgaon and there must be birds here, because he heard the sound on TV and accurately told us it was "chi-yaa" (chidiya being Hindi for birds). I'm beginning to think he now knows everything...he knows where things are kept in the house, he knows when we're going to be going out somewhere, he knows when others are going to be going out and are looking for ways to sneak past him, he knows when I'm thinking of going to the bathroom and trying to find a way to do it without him clinging to me and begging me not to go, he knows what time he goes to the park every day and that there's a routine for getting him ready to go and play - from drinking milk, to changing his clothes to applying mosquito repellant, to wearing shoes, to gathering his water and napkin and toy of the day, he knows when he can get away with something and when he's crossed the line, he knows how to make me come around when he's crossed the line, and most of all, he knows how to get his way. He's even beginning to figure out generalizations all by himself...he now calls all older males "bhaiya" and all older girls/women "didi" (older brother and sister respectively). It's pretty comical when sees Shah Rukh Khan on TV or a picture of Lakshmi Niwas Mittal on a book I'm reading and proclaims them his bhaiyas! Or when he stands in the balcony and yells didi or bhaiya to random passersby in the super loud scream that is now his voice for 70% of the day.
  • The other big thing is the variety of extreme antics that he has picked up. Honestly, that boy does nothing straight all day. If I can't hear or see him for more than a minute, I can bet he's sitting behind the blinds in my room putting his fingers in the grooves of the window and licking the dust that comes off. If I can't find something, or if I see him looking deceptively innocently at something from the balcony, I know something's been thrown off the second floor. If he's not doing this, he's climbing chairs, tables, side tables, beds, bookshelves, balcony ledges, or our backs. If he's not doing that, chances are he's torturing Baggdu, which is his favorite pastime. God bless Baggdu for being as tolerant as he is. I guess one incentive for the dog is all the food that comes to him when Vir comes running asking urgently for a bicsuit or another snack and then goes busily looking for Baggdu to feed it to him. You scratch my back, and I'll pretend not to care when you pull my tail (or my balls, as has sometimes happened, much to the dismay of all spectators).

One thing is certain...he literally makes my day. He takes up every minute of it in a way that I can't really say I've been productive in the normal sense of the term. All I have at the end of the day to call it productive is a baby sleeping in my bed - clean from his bath to wash off the grubbiness of the day, tired from constant naughtiness, satisfied from his indispensable bottle of milk, and miraculously still in one piece despite the odds presented by his behavior and personality!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Current vocabulary

Buddy (birdie)
Oatu (oats)
Pish (fish)
Daail (dal/lentils - in response to the question, "what do you make in the cooker?")
Aaoo (aaloo/potatoes)
Tuppush (tamatar/tomatoes)
Mana (Mamta, the lady who looks after him)
Oma (Omvati, the cleaning lady)
Guddie (backup cleaning lady)
Moon (for moon as well as airplane since both are in the sky!)
Davai (medicine)
Baw baw (any animal)
Ditty (dirty)
Ca (car)
Po (potty)
Ba (bahar/outside)
Bo (ball)
Unka (uncle)

This list is getting longer by the day. It's cute to see him try out new words...sometimes you can see him trying to move his lips to make a word and then hear something entirely different come out of his mouth!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Change the topic, quick!

Every so often, Vir does something that makes me yell at him...take a swing at me with his plastic bat, bite Baggdu (yes, really), throw something off the balcony, throw something into the toilet, throw something into the mopping get the general idea. When he does one of these things, he's fully aware that they're not allowed (fun as they may be) and chances of me yelling at him are high. So, he has a well prepared response. This is how our exchange usually goes:

Me: Vir, what did you do?
Vir (to himself): I think I'll just look at her dumbly for now.
Me: Vir, why did you throw your battery operated toy in the water?
Vir: *claps hands gleefully* (this should make her think I'm a "good
Me: No, Vir. You've done nothing great, so there's no need to clap.
Vir: (looks like this hasn't worked. What else does she like...oh monkey impression) Ooo Aaa Aaa Ooo Aaa Aaa?
Me: No Vir, I don't want to hear your monkey expression. What
have you done?
Vir: She's a tough cookie. Try the dumb look again.
Me: Can you say sorry?
Vir: Oh thank God! An Out! *Puts both hands to ears in the cutest way
possible immediately cracking the tough cookie that is me.

Looks like I have to practice my stern face much more if I plan to make a disciplined little boy out of the monster I've been handed :-)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

No identity cirsis here!

Vir, who are you?
Vir: Boy

Vir, what's your mom's name:
Vir: Mani

Where is Vir?
Vir: points carefully to his tummy. He finally knows who he is!!!! And even that he's not a girl but a boooooy!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

That gulping sound you hear...? That's me...swallowing my words. My many, many words about how children need to be taught how to behave in public, how it's not their fault that they're badly behaved and spoilt but their parents', how parents should deal with tantrums and never give in to them, how no should mean no, and of course, how well brought up and well behaved I always remember being under my mom's ever watchful disciplinarian eye. Yup...all those words have now been painfully swallowed.

Because my own son, despite all my views on parenting and my attempts to apply these simple principles (no means no, kids must do as they're told, parents must demonstrate appropriate behavior for kids to emulate, blah blah) basically doesn't care. He goes right ahead and does what he wants where he wants to do it...from flinging himself on the floor and screaming, producing gallons of fake tears on hearing the word "no," flinging anything that comes his way, flailing his arms every which way hoping to hit something in his temper, and producing unbelievable amounts of pure noise...he does it all. All this while Vijay and I oscillate between trying to at least look like we're in control while firmly repeating the word "no" as if it's suddenly going to hit home to the little brat we have produced, trying gentle explanations about the folly of his ways, pleading with our one and a half year old to stop and calm down and really just take a break, or just laughing hysterically as we watch this less than 2-footer who can bring us to this point where we want to utter, loudly, every 4 letter word our parents hope we don't use, but just can't because guess what...the 2-footer must learn appropriate behavior.

There's a lesson here somewhere that someone is trying to teach us...we're just having trouble hearing it over all the noise.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


One of Vijay's old school friends spent the evening with us today. Vir has never met him before but what a performance he put up for him! It was amazing...he took an instant liking to this guy and spent the evening showing off blatantly. He was laughing and chattering like I've never seen him before, bringing out all his toys for uncle to play with, and giving him some of his best smiles. At one point he grabbed Vijay's friend's finger, waved bye to both of us, and made off downstairs for a walk with his new best friend! I was half tempted to send him off to Guwahati with this angel as a surprise present for the gramps back home...I don't think Vir would have complained at all:-).

It's hilarious to see this super social side of my little monkey and interesting how some connections are made so quickly despite vast differences in age and zero familiarity. When we went downstairs to see off our guest, Vir couldn't believe he wasn't going to get in the car and go with him. I think they will be exchanging regular email from now on!

It's all in the swing

Vir has learnt to hit the ball with a plastic bat that I got him (that he can't use anymore after he threw it off the balcony into the locked house below ours). It's such a funny sight...he holds the bat with both hands as correctly as he can, just like nana taught him, and sways and swings it in every direction till he hits the large ball sitting in front of him. As soon as he manages to touch the ball with the bat, he dramatically flings the bat away, looks up in glee and claps loudly for himself. Of course, all spectators have to follow suit.

If he grows up to be a big cricketer, I'll really enjoy telling him this story! And if he's terrible at cricket, we'll know it was because he had a hard time holding on to the bat.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Thanks, kiddo.

I went to the loo this morning and discovered a golf ball in the toilet. who could possibly have done this? I really have to get Vijay to stop practicing his short game in the bathroom.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


There's just so much that Vir has been upto since I last posted that I regret being lazy about writing earlier! Much has happened since I last wrote - the biggest thing being that we left him for 5 days and went off for a holiday. My parents came over to our place to look after him while we were away. I didn't want to send him to Dun instead since I wanted to minimize the number of changes he had to deal with all at once. I was absolutely terrified of what his reaction might be since he has been super clingy towards me over the last month or so. The guilt of going away to have fun leaving him looking for us and wondering where we were and whether we would ever come back and not being able to articulate any of this almost made me cancel the holiday that I thought I had planned on a whim anyway. In the end, the promise of 3 blissful days on an island punctuated by lazy swims, long naps by the beach, and lots of margaritas for once in my life won over, and with all the guilt, we went ahead anyway. I would have hated myself for this decision if he hadn't been okay while we were away, but Vir has thankfully saved me that trouble. He was absolutely wonderful...missed us a little perhaps but didn't really make a big deal of it. It would have come in the way of all the fun he was having with his nana and nani, who spoiled him in every way possible. He probably didn't have time to miss us or worry when he was basking in their attention 24 hours a day. He had them both at his beck and call and beck and call he did! Nana was playing ball with him at all hours of day and sometimes night, taking him out for a daily cup of ice cream, while nani was quite willingly sacrificing her lipsticks and all the knick knacks in her purse the hundred times a day that he wanted to empty it out! I'm so thankful that he was such an angel (you'll know what a favor this was to us when you grow up and have kids of your own, Vir) and more than that, that we have parents who are willing to do this for us.

The most obvious changes in Vir these days are in the way that he communicates. For one, he understands pretty much everything you tell him now. It doesn't even have to be baby sentences. You can just tell him to do something like "pick up your toys and but them in that basket," or "bring your sandals," or "go stand by the door because we're going out soon" and he just gets it and does it. I'm hoping it's only a short way from here to "change your diaper, take a bath, wear your clothes, and clean your room while I read a magazine." Or "fix yourself a sandwich and please make me some cold coffee while you're at it!" Of course, he only does things he wants to do...he has a little system that only he knows the details of according to which these decisions of what to obey and what not to are made. An instruction like "don't put your finger in the switch," or "don't climb on the side table," or "don't throw all your expensive toys off the balcony" are sifted out immediately in the "don't worry, she's not serious about this" bucket. But something like "let's go to the kitchen to get a marshmallow for you to eat" is moved to high priority obedience immediately. I guess it's not a complicated system. Fun things - yes. No fun things - no.

He's also started talking a lot more. He can always tell us what he wants now. He's not using full words yet - mostly only the first syllable of everything. Luckily, everything in his life seems to fit into four letters of the albhabet - b, p, j, and m. So there's baw for ball, ba for biscuit, ba again for "bahar" (out), bata for bat, baw for dog/Baggdu (our dog)/ any other animal, pa for "pani" (water), po for potty (which is a sad story for another day), ja for jam, which he needs with pretty much anything he eats, ja/je for random things he needs to point to in the day, and mama for everything else that he can possibly need to say. Who needs a complicated albhabet with 26 letters, when 4 will do just fine!

I'm constantly amazed at how quickly he picks up things and incorporates them into his world...adding bit by bit to his little bank of knowledge and delighting us with his comical displays of new wisdom! There's something new everyday, and I don't know what else I'd rather be doing than watching this miracle at work.

Friday, May 23, 2008

This is how early it starts!

You know how the whole business of farting is so amusing to even the most mature people? Well, apparently, it starts really early. Vir has found the humor in this smelly little joke and it's hilarious to watch. He farts, gets a mischievous and conspiratorial sort of grin on his face, and then just bursts out laughing at the sound he just produced. I guess the smell doesn't bother him just yet, so it's just pure happiness untempered by the not so pleasant byproduct of the funny sound! I guess it helps that his dad is who he is and his sense of humor is what it at least we know where he's getting it from!

Monday, May 12, 2008

The next level of communication!

So far, Vir's way of asking me for things has been to point randomly and make little grunting sounds which become more and more insistent if I don't get it, or pretend not to get it. Another less effective way he sometimes employs is to throw himself dramatically on the floor and twist himself weirdly while pretending to cry so maybe I'll notice him. But we had a breakthrough today! He walked up to me and said in a slightly whiny voice: "Mama, nhai nhai" (bath). A subject and an object. If nhai nhai is an object, that is. I don't know, really. The fact that he was able to identify me, get my attention, and then state his requirement just blew me away. This little titch whose first cry was so soft I could barely hear it is now talking in almost sentences. A part of me is thrilled and another part says too fast too fast...he's growing up and I'll miss having this!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Kids at play!

I've been taking Vir to an infant-toddler program for the past month or so. It's a little play group sort of thing twice a week for him and others his age to play, sing and dance, eat, listen to stories and stuff like that. He has quite a blast each time he goes because there are 4-5 other kids and lots of fun toys to play with. I didn't feel like taking him this week though, because he hadn't been sleeping well and was looking a little tired. But, I got a text message from the guy who runs this thing in the morning asking me to bring an extra change of clothes and a towel for him since it was "splash pool day." I thought he would love that, so I changed my mind and took him anyway! It was great - his first swimming pool experience. The pool was probably about 2 feet in diameter, half a foot deep, and shaped like a fish!
Here are some pictures!

I guess you can't really tell from the pictures that it's shaped like a fish. But anyway, the whole thing was such a success that I went right out and bought him his own little spalsh pool. I've inflated it and am waiting for him to try it out tomorrow. I even bought him a little pair of swimming trunks for the event. I couldn't quite believe that they make swimming trunks this size. Turns out they do and everyone has them. In fact, Vir is that only one in that splash pool above wearing undies. Every other kid has on a designer swimsuit or a pair of trunks!


He's growing up too fast. I took him to the park to play after a long time today. He goes everyday, but with my maid, so I guess I've been missing some things! For one, he has an entire social circle downstairs. The first thing he did when he walked into the park was wave hello (really, wave hello!) to an old lady standing in the balcony of one of the apartments. She waved back as if this is a daily ritual. Then, he walked up to the kids' slide, went around it to the back, and climbed-up-the-steps-to-the-top-to-slide-off!! I had to help him a little, but I was so shocked that he knew about these secret steps that I almost didn't and he almost fell. Really, how the hell does he know this?!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

I never thought I'd be one of those moms...

...but I am. I love to show off the brilliant things that Vir can do when I meet a willing admirer or someone who can do a good job acting as a willing admirer. A typical showcase of my son's genius goes something like this:

Me: Vir, what does a tiger say?
Vir: Rrrrrrrrr
Willing admirer: Oh! How sweet!
Me: Wait, there's more! Vir, what about a cooker? How does it go?
Vir: Sssssss
Willing admirer: How wonderful!
Me: You think so? There's even more! Vir, what does a dog say?
Vir: Baw baw
Willing admirer: ho hum
Me: (Not sensing the waning interest). Oh, you haven't seen anything yet. Vir, can you give willing admirer a kiss?
Vir: Mwaaah.
Willing admirer: mwaaah (can't resist this one, can you now?!)
Me: Vir, can you cough like nani (grandma)?
Vir: cough cough
Me: Vir, can you cry like nani?
Vir: Puts his hands over his eyes
Willing admirer: ho hum
Me: Don't you just love him, oh willing admirer? You think I should send him to Harvard now? Wait, there's even more - can you believe your luck! Vir, can you say sorry?
Vir: Puts his hands over his ears...misses...puts them over eyes instead
Willing admirer: tweedle dee
Me: Vir, can you say bye?
Vir: Waves bye in a dramatic demonstration of extreme genius
Willing admirer: Nice! (Suddenly perky because "bye" might mean the performance is ending.)
Me: Wait, there's more! Vir, can you say "I love you?"
Vir: Puts his little hand over his little heart...misses...puts it on his shoulder instead.
Willing admirer: tweedle dum
Me: Isn't he great??!! This is all for now, but wait till you come over next time!
Willing admirer: Makes fervent notes to self about avoiding certain situations in the future.

You have to know, Vir, that your most willing admirers will always be your father and me. And you won't even have to put up a performance to get our votes!

Thursday, May 1, 2008


So Vir has picked up this horrible habit of flinging things. He just picks up stuff and flings it on the floor. Doesn't matter if it's breakable or expensive, he's not really picky that way. Today, he was tired and sleepy and whiny and generally irritable and all of this was irritating me. Then he decided to pick up a bottle of tomato ketchup and fling it on the floor from the bed. Luckily, I caught it right before it rolled off the bed. But, I lost my cool and whacked him. Not a little tap (he's had those before), this was a whack. I think it might have actually hurt him instead of just making a point. I can't believe I let this happen. I feel terrible. And what's worse is that after this incident, he still hugged me and clung to my arm and slept. I can't wait for him to grow up so I can apologize.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

This is one great spider

The Itsy Bitsy Spider
Climbed up the garden spout
Down came the rain
And washed the spider out
Out came the sun
And dried up all the rain
And Itsy Bitsy Spiter
Climbed up the spout again

Now, I'm normally not a fan of spiders. In fact, I can safely say I won't miss them if I never saw one again. All except the Itsy Bitsy one that is. He's different, and very special. If I meet the Itsy Bitsy one, I will bring him home and cook him pancakes just to thank him for the hours of entertainment and diversion the kind fellow has provided Vir in his life. This guy gives spiders everywhere a good name.
So, Mr. Itsy Bitsy, with all my heart - thank you!

Monday, April 28, 2008

The little one is growing up...

...and brimming with an independent spirit now! From his first bath when he couldn't even hold his head together, much less know what was going on, to now when he is actually filling up a mug full of water from a bucket and pouring it on himself! He won't have it any other way, in fact, so his baths take a long time now. All I do is sit there and try to make sure he doesn't slip or fall into the bucket. Meanwhile, he plays with the running water, splashes around with the mug and the bucket, tries (unsuccessfully) to rub soap on himself, ends up throwing the soap somewhere he can't reach it, and generally has a blast. We both come out drenched and happy and it's good times all around. The good thing about this terrible weather is that Vir can have his little bath party twice a day. All you have to do is tell him it's nhai nhai time and he starts trying to rip off his T-shirt while on his way to the bathroom.

Mysteriously enough, despite this frequent scrubbing and splashing, he still manages to look like a little scoundrel who has made his way out of a sandpit most of the time. Sigh. Serves me right for having a boy!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I've heard this before, but never in quite the same way...

Me: "Vir, can you say mama?"
Vir (so naturally): "Mama"

Sigh. I couldn't be happier if you bought me a ticket to Venice at this moment.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Who are you and what have you done with my son?

I just can't get used to this new look! Vir had his mundan yesterday (it's traditional to shave off all of a baby's hair somewhere between 1 and 3 years of age. Apparently, the significance is that this act gets rid of unwanted traits from a past life and lets you get on with this one afresh). This is typically a pretty big event and gets done in a big way with tonnes of people and all the fluff. We just took him to a salon. I think he will thank us for this when he grows up. This is also probably the reason he was so peaceful throughout and didn't cry at all. (Who can blame the baby for crying with a thousand people surrounding him while someone comes at him with a fairly scary looking blade?)

Anyway, I'm glad it's over. I was terrified - 0f the blade, of Vir's possible reaction, of the fellow's possible incompetence, of possible rashes on his head post mundan, and even of how he will look! But it all turned out okay - the guy who did the mundan seemed to really know his job, there are no cuts and scratches on Vir's head, he didn't cry, and he even looks super cute (although I really did like him better with his lovely curls. Too bad this whole past life stuff had to come in the way.)

We had to work hard at making this a smooth event of course...Shroopie masi entertained him alternately with ice cream, her cell phone, and a big bowl of water while Ajesh was at the camera and Vijay was busy with the video camera. I was holding Vir since he refused to sit in his hot pink car shaped seat, designed, no doubt for just such occasions. Here's the visual series of steps!

The "before" picture with dad:
The "before" picture with mum:
Halfway there and Shroopie's efforts to entertain and distract are working:
Seems to be quite resigned to the idea of getting rid of unwanted traits from a past life.
I couldn't believe how different he looked immediately!
Not just resigned...almost spiritual about it.
The "after" picture with mum:
This is yet another milestone (though a ceremonial one) that he has now crossed and I'm so thankful for it. Here's to many more milestones crossed with smiles and happiness and friends and family just like this one was.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I'm so thrilled

Vir actually said "Mani" today - clear as clear can be! And not just once...multiple times. Of course, it would be more polite to say mamma instead of calling me by my name, but there's time for manners yet.

He's trying to talk all the time now. There's a language only he can understand that he's very fluent in. But there are also several words from English/Hindi that he's picked up: car, dede (give me), bucket (comes out batit), mani, papa, nana, mamamama, and ball (comes out bal). I can't wait for when he's talking talking, so we can have real heart to hearts. Maybe he'll finally be able to tell me what elusive thing he wants to eat and I can get it for him, and he will finally eat an actual meal!! Or he can tell me knock knock jokes. Or his opinion on the climate debate. So far, all indications are that in this particular area, he has not taken to his father. He's definitely on the chatty side of the spectrum!

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Mom: "Vir, do you want to go nhai nhai (for a bath)?"
Vir: Changes expression to one of great purpose, trots off to mom's dressing room, picks up his bathing tub and bucket, and drags it to the bathroom.

We think he meant "yes."

Friday, March 28, 2008

They really do look like angels when they sleep

He runs around like a maniac ALL day without stopping for even a second from one naughty thing to the next - pulling off table covers, emptying drawers, turning furniture over, picking up pieces of something or the other from the floor to eat, pulling books off shelves, trying to open name it. Of course, pretty much all of this stuff is not allowed and most of his attempts are thwarted by one of his constant followers (grandparents, me, Vijay). The only time he stops at all is to run to me to give me a hug or cling to my leg for a few seconds. It's as if he's refueling - on love and reassurance and comfort and just to make sure that despite everything he's doing that's making me yell at him, I still do love him. It's a brilliant feeling, this need he so openly expresses. The other time in the day that he absolutely cannot do without me is when he needs to sleep. Just now, he was completely tired out from running around all morning but just wouldn't stop enough to let himself acknowledge that he was sleepy. All of a sudden, in the middle of trying to open his box of wipes to empty it out, he broke into tears, came crawling over to me, found a place in my lap, and was asleep within literally 10-15 seconds. Honestly, this guy finds something new to melt me every single day.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


...something to make the daddy feel special! Vir said "papa" for the first time today. He was sitting in his car seat trying to tolerate the drive home by chatting with himself and experimenting loudly with new sounds when he emphatically bit his lower lip and said "papapa." As soon as he realized this made me happy, he did it again a couple of times, beamed at me, and clapped for himself.

It's too bad that Vijay won't get to hear his very own special word from Vir for another couple of weeks. I guess Vir will have practiced enough by the time Vijay is back, and might even be able to write papa by then:-)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

So much going on...

I haven't had a chance to write about the many amazing things my little monster is up to these days because we've been in the middle of the madness of getting the house finished and moving in on very short notice. That's too bad, because he's up to so much these days and I feel like I'm going to "lose it" if I don't track it somewhere...that's the whole point of this blog anyway - to maintain a record of what Vir is up to...for family and friends and anyone else who may be interested, but perhaps most importantly for him. I want him to be able to read this when he grows up a little bit and know that everything he did and said was always important to us. So, in bullets, here are the highlights of achievements over the last few weeks:
  • He can now whistle like a pressure cooker
  • Say "car" (can you believe it, he has said his first words! I thought it was just gibberish when he said it at first, but "car" is officially is first word. He runs to the first car he sees downstairs screaming "" We're wondering where the Boston accent is coming from.)
  • Say "de de"
  • Rub his tummy on request
  • Pull your nose on request
  • Poke your eyes on request and sometimes even point to your lips
  • Do yoga and clap for himself
  • Fit blocks correctly one on top of the other (and then clap for himself)
  • Cover his eyes when you say "chup" - he wants to cover his lips but it never comes out right
  • Get into the strangest of the one today, when he crawled into a cardboard box with some of our moving stuff in it and couldn't get out. I caught him trying to climb out holding on to a nearby chair and putting his feet on the rim of the cardboard box.
  • Climb stairs. He runs to the door as soon as he sees or hears it open and makes a dash for the great outdoors. I'm wondering if he's trying to tell us something.
  • Very, very clearly communicate exactly what he wants...through a combination of pointing gestures, pointed looks, and extremely pointed and sharp shrieks.
  • Understand when I'm mad at him and act like he cares (when all he really cares about is doing the exact same thing I'm mad at him about again as soon as possible)

I get so frustrated with him sometimes for all his antics because he's always getting into things and causing trouble. But everytime I say something about how he's tiring me by making me run around after him all day cleaning up his mess, I say a little prayer thanking god that I have him to run after. I also secretly hope that god will be so impressed with me for this that he will teach Vir to put himself to bed at 8 every day. And I will watch a Friends marathon like in my previous life!

Friday, March 14, 2008

History repeats itself!

So, one of the most commonly shared baby stories of me is that I used to be quite the yoga master - I knew just one asan...don't know what it's called...the one where you lift your legs straight up into the air. And I did this especially willingly if there was an incentive, my favorite one being a pack of Cadbury's Gems. 28 years later, my son is doing the same thing! His incentive as of now is the amount of joy it's giving us and hence the amount of applause he gets from us. It's the cutest ask him how to do yoga and he lifts his legs right up. He hasn't figured out that he needs to lie down to do this, so if he's sitting, he tries anyway and tumbles. Then he waits for the oohs and aahs and claps that he knows will come. His face is like...this-is-one-of-the-stupidest-things-they're-paying-me-to-do-but-oh-well-I-can-play-along.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Our first date

Weird as it seems, the last couple of nights have been the first time Vir and I have been absolutely alone together - no husband, no mother, no maid, no anyone else. I can't quite believe I've never been alone with him all day and night, but I can't remember any other time anyway. It's been extremely difficult and has made me question if I really want another kid right now, but it's also been fun. Vir requires constant constant constant attention, so it gets tiring. I'd probably have to call the neighbors to watch him if I need to go to the loo, which luckily, so far I have been able to plan so I haven't needed to do that. (We don't need to get into the details.)

Anyway, yesterday was fun...Vir and I went to the mall...there's a nice play area there that I thought he would enjoy. Or at least there used to be a play area. I discovered that they've taken it down now. So, we just roamed around the mall. We went to Bata to pick out a pair of sandals for him first. I tried a pair on him and put him down so he could walk. I guess they're fine because he walked right out of the store leaving me to pay hurriedly and run out too. Then, we went to a bookstore, which was a tonne of fun. Vir picked out two books for himself...he actually went to two particular books and got really excited about them, so I had to buy them. One is about a fire engine that goes "nee naw" and the other is about a duckling that goes "quack-quack." They both have sound, so all I've heard since then is neenaw quackquack nee quack naw quaaaaackkk neenawneenawneenaw. Nee naw.

We got an ice cream each (I'm all for the health food), and Vir couldn't believe his luck. He would barely finish one bite that he'd be screaming for the next one. I think he was worried I would eat it all.

Anyway, all this activity had tired him out a lot, which was the goal we started the day with. Anything to get him to sleep, because a sleeping baby is a sight for sore eyes. Especially my sore eyes after having run around after him all day. He was out flat in the car...I couldn't even keep him awake till we got home!

All in all, it was a good first date. I think he'll definitely call me again:-)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Oh my god...

I was trying to get Vir to take a nap because he's going out in the afternoon and I didn't want him to be tired and cranky then. Apparently he wasn't really sleepy though, because after a few tries to break free from me, he finally succeeded, crawled to the edge of the bed, slipped off, opened the door, and simply walked out. Alright then. Someone knows how to take matters into his own hands.

Vir's first encounter with organized religion...

It's not as ominous as I make it's actually super cute. Vir has learnt "mattha tekna" (bowing down) at a little table where I have a few idols of Gods in my house. He amazed me by picking this up as fast as he did. He was just standing by the table and resting his head there once and I smiled and called it "mattha tekna." Now, as soon as I ask him to do it, he gets a really serious expression on his face and runs to the table from whichever part of the house he is currently destroying and puts his head on it. And he doesn't come back up till someone applauds and congratulates him. Then, he proceeds to pick up the idols and attempt to throw them on the ground, or eat them. Lines between religious idols and toys are blurry to a one year old. I think God will understand :-)

Monday, February 25, 2008

I scream, you scream...

Honestly, Vir has only seen an ice cream cup once in his life until today. Yet, he recognized it when I bought one for him today and couldn't contain his excitement till I put the first spoonful in his mouth. Literally, he almost jumped on to his high chair with a super excited little grin on his face, drooling away for the treat. While I don't think it's a problem that he likes ice cream, or that it will give him a sore throat or that it's too much sugar as long as it's an occasional thing, I really wish he would show even half the excitement for any other edible thing that I present to him. I've spent the last week cooking up all sorts of things for him, but no matter what it is (other than ice cream of course), it's met with the same reaction - a very dramatic and disgusted look while the aforementioned edible item is pushed out of his mouth as if it's Waterbury's Compound (the most evil of all compounds). Both Baggdu and I are putting on weight because we're constantly having to finish off everything that Vir is rejecting. Meanwhile, my ideals about how a kid should know the rules and eat what's on the table are crashing around me...I can see the tiny pieces. This is what a kid can do...wear you down to a point where you're willing to give him a cup full of sugar just so he'll eat something at all.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Some things I can tell you about my little one-year-old self

  1. I always wake up smiling. If I'm not smiling, it means I have been woken up wrongly. This is wrong, and makes me grumpy.
  2. I have a Donald Duck that I'm absolutely in love with. Donald Duck is currently facing stiff competition from my yellow bath Duckie, who I like to hold in my hand and sleep.
  3. When I drink milk, I need my mom or dad's cheek to pull at the same time. Milk just doesn't taste the same without a soft part of my parents to pull at.
  4. I love to dance. I'm not selective about my music - I'll dance to pretty much anything although I do make sure to change my moves according to the music.
  5. Sometimes, when I don't get what I want the way I want it, I like to throw myself on the floor and scream loudly. So far, this hasn't worked, but I can't believe it won't. I will keep trying.
  6. I love drawers and cupboards - they always open up to reveal mysterious and fun things to pull out and collect on the floor. There's a really cool medicine drawer in my house that could give Disneyland a run for it's money.
  7. I do not like winter clothing. I'd rather be naked.
  8. I like Baggdu very much. He's what they call a "dog." He's furry and friendly and I like the tickly feeling when he licks my hand.
  9. Tubes of toothpaste fascinate me endlessly. They're soft and squishy and so much fun to hold in my hand - all the time. In fact, I have spent today walking around with a tube of blue toothpaste that I WILL NOT part with.
  10. I can roar like a tiger; sometimes, better than a tiger.
  11. I do not like being in a car. When I'm in a car, and noone is making desperate attempts to keep me entertained, I can make life pretty difficult.
  12. I love the look on my mom's face when I blow out the food she puts in my so - phrrrrhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. And again....phrrrrhhhhhhhh. See?! Fun!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A Doctor's Toys

We had a really fun evening at Shroopie's yesterday. Vir had such a blast and tired himself out so much that he's pretty much been sleeping since then. Not caring about any social graces, he proceeded to thoroughly recce each cupboard and shelf in her room and then the entire house as soon as he got in. His expeditions led to many great discoveries...mostly toys, least expected in the room of a soon to be doctoral degree holder. There were several blocks, a duck, a monkey, a kuala bear, a basketball, and a contraption to shoot blow darts with. Why didn't someone tell him about this place before?! The added benefit was that masi and nani were both much more willing than mom ever is to humor him and let him dig his nose into all the carefully arranged things in the house. Even nana didn't say a word when Vir casually interrupted his golf game on TV, changed the channel to music (thankfully, this is still unintentional! What will we do when he knows how to change channels?) and did a little jig. Vir also found his way to the kitchen, where all the action seemed to be, and casually chatted up Mithilesh bhaiya as he made rotis. It always pays to be on good terms with the chef.

He's lucky to have so many people to love him and be happy to have his antics in their house...I just hope he realizes that when he starts growing up. Meanwhile, I'm sure he's waiting for his next visit to this magical place where they don't seem to have heard the word "no" and there are toys in every drawer!

Monday, February 4, 2008

12 months!

He's sleeping now (yes, really!) so I can finally get around to writing about what my monkey of a kid can now do. The list isn't long, but it's pretty significant!
  • WALK!!! He took his first 3 steps on the 28th of Jan, just 3 days before his birthday. The first time he did it, he just walked a little on the bed. Later that evening, I was sitting at the table doing something or the other when I heard little footsteps - and there he was...making his way all the way across from the dining chair to his high chair which is at least 7 baby steps away. Yipee. Now that he knows this makes us happy, it's all he does all day. He can basically walk to whatever his goal destination is, no matter how far across the room. Of course he only aims for things that aren't too far away, and is constantly re-estimating the distance and changing his goal if it seems unachievable. Also, he lunges at the goal towards the end instead of actually taking the last three steps with a big smile on his devil may care face.
  • Throw tantrums. That's right - the inevitable has happened. I'll never know how, but he has figured out that sometimes, throwing yourself on the floor and crying bloody murder may get you what you want. I'm trying my best not to give in at all to this display of baby emotion, but I can tell you it's difficult. The temper tantrums are also invoked when things aren't going his way in general - for instance when he's trying to turn on the light and just can't hit the switch in the right place. What does he want me to do about that?

So he's finally hit the big 12 month mark. This year has been the most amazing, tiring, frustrating, happy, introspective, and life changing year that we'll probably ever have. Vijay and I are better and happier people because of it, and we wouldn't trade a minute of the experience for anything. Now if only, we could go watch a movie like the old times just this once:-)

Friday, February 1, 2008

Vir's First Year

March April
August September
We're all really proud of you, little one.

Monday, January 21, 2008

There's something about birthday girls

Vir was invited to his first ever birthday party yesterday. He made his way to the second floor of our building dressed to kill and armed with a birthday present that he thought was his to rip the wrapping paper off and proceeded to be far from a model guest in this new social situation. He started off by sitting grumpily in a corner in a room full of babies ranging from 7 months to a year in age and completely refusing to chit chat and be sociable. I thought that was fine since he was sleepy from a broken nap. But when he was done with his let-me-take-this-all-in-and-choose-my-reaction time, he proceeded to grunt, make his way to the center of the group, and rip the paper mat all the little guests were sitting on to pieces. The girls in the group were understandably confused by this behavior, but the one other boy there (who is a few months younger but promises to follow on Vir's footsteps) was thrilled and completely understood that this is in fact a fun thing to do. He joined in as best he could and Vir and Jay had fun time with what was once a clean paper mat.

Vir's next target was the birthday girl, who was dressed up as a fairy (or a butterfly?) Her wings were obviously tempting...who wouldn't want to grab and pull at those things? I had to lift him and put him in a little round play pen in the room. The birthday girl, Inaya, joined him there in a bit. He bullied her so much that I had to lift him out eventually. Love was beginning to blossom by this time, so Vir and Inaya spent the next 15 minutes holding hands and "talking" to each other across the wall of the play pen. It was the cutest thing to watch - this little lovey-dovey conversation, and I think they may be friends after all...till she realizes he's too much to handle and dumps him.

The other highlight was a dance performance from him in her honor. Vir has become quite the dancer now with a whole array of steps up his sleeve - from the slow side to side swaying, to jerking his head up and down like a camel and alternating this with a little butt shake. Sometimes, when he's really carried away by the music, he bends down all the way to the floor and does a little jig. I have video recordings which will be fun to show his girlfriend one day.

All in all, he has some work to do on his social skills, but everyone had a good time and that's what counts!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

It's official...

Mashui isn't coming back. I was half expecting this, so I'm not terribly surprised. But I'm definitely in a soup. I'm sure this will work out because that's what always happens, but for now I don't know how to make Vir (who has been terribly unwell), my job, my house, our shift to the new house, Vir's first birthday, the fact that my parents and in-laws were both coming for Vir's birthday work together and still be alive to write his 12 month post.

Where's a coffin when you need one?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

11+ months

I'm terribly late with my update this time around. Things have been ridiculously crazy, and I'm surprised I'm even alive. Though that is an exaggeration, it feels true enough. In the last 10-15 days, the following has happened:
  • Mashui left for her vacation with Vijay and me scrambling to maintain some order in our house - bad
  • We bought a house, our first ever - very good
  • We tried day care for Vir - okay
  • We decided not to go with the day care for now and made a last minute decision to take him to Ddun and leave him with my mom - good (we thought)
  • There was a problem with the house we bought - very bad
  • The problem is more or less sorted after much screaming and shouting - okay
  • I left Vir in Dun and came back thinking I have a week or so by myself, but he went on a hunger srike and I had to return in 2 days - bad. sigh.
  • Vir now has a stomach infection - very bad

This roller coaster life will leave a wreck where I used to be. But for now, while I can still think straight, here's the good part...Vir's list of achievements this month! Here's all the stuff he can now do:

  • Cruise! He can hold on to things (furniture, my pyjamas, hanging tablecloths, etc.) and walk! He was a little slow at this initially, but picked up confidence in no time at all and, this morning, walked up and down our verandah 6 times pushing a plastic chair.
  • Kiss better than ever
  • Roar like a tiger
  • Boo like a cow (he had forgotten this, but has picked it up again)
  • Dance using his head and the rest of his body alternately
  • Shake hands
  • Wave bye sometimes
  • Understand several things like stand up, let's go out, do you want to have milk?, where's biji?, and are you having fun? Some of these are in Hindi and some in English. Curiously, he has not demonstrated and understanding of the simplest of words - "no"
  • Spit out food that he doesn't like. This is a terrible development, since it means I can no longer trick him into eating. I can take the horse to the water now, but no longer can I make him drink.
  • Jabber in a language I can't understand yet, though I pretend to and even manage to talk back in the same language!

There's more, I know, and I gues I'll just add to this if I think of something else. The best part this month, for me, was when I came back to Dehradun after having left him for three days with mom and dad. The welcome I got from my sleepy little kid simply cannot be beaten. I think I'll smile about that for the rest of my life!