Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My little one can eat - officially!

Tara had her Anna Prasanna today. Though I have been giving her solids for the last 2 months or so, it's only legal now that this wonderful little ceremony has been performed. Her aita made her a bowl of special payesh (I'll never actually pronouce this correctly and I can see your disapproving head shake, Vijay) which she was fed by family and loved ones as she sat on my lap dressed in her best frock and wearing all the gold jewellery she owns. She was beautifully behaved - she actually sat right through the naam, which is an incredibly long and fairly noisy thing. It's done by Assamese pandits who, I suspect, don't know much about the attention span of the average 7 month old baby judging by the sense of urgency they were displaying this morning. They really lucked out today though, because Tara was the perfect participant at the puja. She didn't even have little whispered conversations or take pictures guiltily like the rest of us did and will probably even be able to tell you what the pandits were saying.

My favorite part of the ceremony was when we presented Tara with a thali laid out with some items, each signifying her future interests and abilities. The options were: a book, a pen, some gold, some money, and some earth on a leaf. I actually held my breath as she reached out toward the thali...she started heading for the book but then changed her mind and went for the pen instead. Once she had decided on that, she stuck to it and went for the same thing even on later attempts (which we made just to negate any bias because of the pen's proximity to her on the thali. It's all very scientific, this whole thing.) I'm happy to announce that we have a writer in the making. At the very least, at least her school homework will always get done, right?

Write away, little Tara. I hope your words are always true and that they bring you happiness. I promise to read and cherish everything you let me read:-)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Who read him his rights?!

So I was scolding him for not telling me in time that he had to go to the bathroom and he knew he was in trouble...

Me: Vir, tune kyun aisa kiya...bol.
Vir: (looking down) Main kuch nahin boloonga....kuch nahin boloonga...kuch
nahin boloonga.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

On the way back from school...

Me: Vir, aaj tune school mein kya kiya?
Vir: Maine gandi baat kari. Masi ne mujhe corner mein baitha diya.
Me: Phir tune kya kiya
Vir: Phiiiiiir....main uth gaya

Yeah. So his timeouts are really working!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I'm here, I'm here!

It's past 1:15 am and I'm going to regret being awake at this time when Vir wakes me up at 6 and says, "mamma...sunrise ho gaya hai...abhi sone ka time nahin hai...abhi uthne ka time hai." (Vir, just so you know - that's the least cute thing you say, and don't believe anyone who tells you otherwise!)

The last month has been full of firsts for little Tara and full of cute chatter from Vir, but it's also been one of the most challenging months of my life as a mom because both of them have been sick and I've been on a low myself. So, much as I've been wanting to report things as they happen, writing just hasn't been part of the critical path of my days and so it hasn't been happening.

That doesn't take away from the cuteness of Tara's first tooth, the fun we had giving her her first solid meal, or the excitement we felt when she sat up for the first time. Actually the excitement came after we cleared the confusion over whether she was sitting or falling because she was bending forward so wierdly. Turns out that's how she likes to sit for now. She's getting a lot better at it now though, and starting to look more like she's just trying to pick up something far out of her reach and not so much like an impossible yoga asan.

Another big first for both the kiddos was their first international trip. We took a holiday to Dubai and spent some time with my sister and her family. The kids LOVED it and it looks like my mom and I have survived two flights with the two kids. Vijay was lucky enough to escape the experience but he has a longer one coming up in the near future and I plan to make him pay for having had it easy this time. Jokes aside though, this is where I'm going to compliment my kids for being absolutely wonderful on both the flights despite horribly awkward timings and a crazy mother who had way too much stuff and not a lot of poise. They fell asleep at the right times, didn't scream like some of the others on that plane, didn't spill juice on me, and didn't poop on me. I still found the whole experience very harassing, so I can imagine the plight of the mom whose baby spent almost the entire 3-hour flight screaming his lungs out. This is one of the things that has changed about me since I've had kids. At one time, I used to foolishly get irritated when a child was being loud or obnoxious in a public place. I have been guilty of shaking my head in disapproval (to put it mildly) at kids' bad behavior and blamed it on "bad parenting." Yes, me, sorry. Now, I'm one of the "bad parents" and all I can do when I hear a child screaming for something, or see a toddler sprawled across the floor somewhere screaming hyena like, is shake my head in sympathy but mostly just say a little thank you that at least this time, this is not my child:-)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Party Animal!

Tara attended her first birthday party yesterday! It went as one would expect. She spent a lot of time watching other kids being silly, was a little silly herself for a while, and then fell asleep just when the cake was being cut. Vir also behaved pretty much as expected. He grabbed a car from the birthday girl's collection of toys, stood with it in a corner and watched all the other kids being silly, managed to convince the birthday girl's grandmother to give him some icing from the birthday cake before it was cut, and spent the rest of his time protecting Tara from potential claimants. He thinks everyone wants to take her home and is always wary of strangers and friends when it comes to her. Poor girl - she has a few fights ahead of her in this regard. And poor boy, all he wants to do is make sure only he is allowed to annoy her. For now though, it's a totally love-love relationship with only worshipping looks on either side despite the occasional pinching and toy snatching from the big brother who, I'm often guilty of forgetting, is only a baby himself.
Honestly, anyone reading this and contemplating having a second child. Go for it. You'll only regret it once in a while but you'll be constantly in awe of the relationship your little ones will share.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My little rocket!

She's learnt how to do push ups and she uses every minute she can find to practice this new skill. It just never gets old. I think the next step will be bending her knee forward and pushing ahead, aka crawling! But how can this be? She's only 5 months. Here I was thinking we have a few more months of sitting around calmly with a rattle in one hand and the laptop in the other.

"No such luck, mom! Watch out, I'm on my way!"

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Tara is constantly amazing me with the stuff she's up to! I don't really remember the timing of Vir's early milestones and have to keep referring back to this blog for that, but I'm pretty sure that Tara is doing some of this stuff sooner than he did. She's already being able to make her way across the bed in a really random combination of crawling and creeping and frog jumping and rolling accompanied by lots of noise and has been doing this for almost a month now! In fact, I'm not proud to report that she has already fallen off the bed once. I just didn't see it coming. I left her on the bed for a minute thinking she's my little infant who is still totally safe on the bed and when I came back, she was on the floor. It was horrible, but brave little girl that she is, she was smiling almost the second I picked her up!

She has also recently started reaching out for things that are held out in front of her. Which, of course, opens up a world of options for her to put in her mouth. Because in Tara's world, things have only one purpose - to be tasted! I'm looking forward to when I can give her real food and also really hoping she actually eats what I give her and saves me round II of the torture that Vir is putting me through these days.
I'll report that when it happens. For now, I just watch her with wonder as she troops along, learning new and wonderful things everyday and overwhelming us with gratitude that she can and that we're lucky enough to be witness to her miracles.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New Age Ram

This week's theme at Vir's school is the Ramayan and theatre or some sort of the mix of the two. So, for show and tell today, I gave Vir a mask of Ram and a gadda. This is our conversation about the stuff I gave him:

Me: Vir, ye dekh....Bhagwan Ram.
Vir: Bhagwan Ram kya karte hain?
Me: Bhagwan Ram bahut achche hain aur logon ki help karte hain
Vir: Bhagwan Ram kaunsi car mein aate hain? (oh the mental image!)


Me: Yeh dekh Vir...gadda...
Vir: Ye kiska hai?
Me: Bhagwan Hanuman ka...isse woh gande logon ko marte hai (I really didn't know what else to say)
Vir: Main unko bolooonga...."aise thodi hota hai, hanu bhagwan....isko mat maro...yeh meri friend hai." (all his learning getting mixed up!)

Show and tell should be interesting today!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

You know how I said that Tara can get a degree in making noise? She's managed to gurgle so loudly over the last couple of days that she has actually lost her voice!! It's so funny...she's making this thick, grown up gurgling sound now, because of course, a minor thing like a lost voice isn't actually going to stop her from speaking her mind. That's my girl!

Friday, September 18, 2009

If Tara could read this blog, she'd think she doesn't exist, for all that I've written of her! Or maybe she did read this blog and has stopped sleeping at night just to get back at me. Seriously though, I had great intentions of writing monthly updates for her, just as I did for Vir. That was before I knew what happens to your life when you have two kids. I had well meaning friends try to warn me before she came that I should brace myself and that life with two is a lot crazier than life with one. I heard them out but didn't really know what to do with that information. She was coming and that's what I wanted and that's all there was to it. Then she arrived, and as I posted earlier, she was a total angel doing amazing things like putting herself to sleep and taking four hour naps making me think my well meaning friends were quite wrong and that my baby was really easy and very considerate. Notice how I use the past tense in this last sentence? That's because THIS HAS ALL ENDED. SUDDENLY. She no longer sleeps. She simply doesn't sleep. All day. And I'm still to get used to this new situation.

I really can't complain though, because though the sleeping little angel is a thing of the past, what has replaced her is even more lovable. She wakes up in the morning and greets me with a huge grin that lights up everything. She stretches and turns and rolls and curls herself as if she's so tired from her multiple duties. She rolls over and looks up so surprised that the world has suddenly changed its direction and everything is new all over again. Then she decides she likes this new way and grins again. Of course, this soon gets old and she starts making a noise to be turned back, which she hasn't figured out how to do herself yet. She knows how to make noise. In fact, she can get a degree in making noise. Happy noise...that's the noise you make when you're happy and you want everyone to know it. That's what she does for the most part, but she's also getting really really good at making the unhappy noise...that's the noise you make when you want mommy. She may be getting noisy but she still has the knack for knowing just when I'm having a tough time and supports me fully by falling asleep and staying out of my hair. She's also super brave and doesn't make a fuss over little things. Not even over big things unless you really cross the line.

It's a miracle to watch her unfold a little bit at a time. I can't wait! I'm so impatient that even though I can't wait for her to fall asleep because I have things to do, I also can't wait for her to wake up the next time so I can see what she'll be up to. Of course, it doesn't take much for her to wake up at any time because we have our helpful little waker upper in the form of little Vir - always ready to go up to her sleeping little body, shake it, and say, "Tara....tu so rahi hai?" She'll figure out a way to get back at him for this eventually, I'm sure. In the meanwhile, my sympathies are with you little one...I know how it is to be woken up when you want to sleep:-)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Me: What's your name?
Vir: Vir Gogoi
Me: And what's papa's name?
Vir: Papa Gogoi
Me: And mamma's name?
Vir: Mamma Gogoi
Me: No, it's not Mamma Gogoi!
Vir: Mummy Gogoi?

Seriously, where do they learn to be so cute?!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sure sign that Vijay is on too many office calls

Vir: Meri sandals mil gayee (I found my sandals)
Me:Kahan se? (from where?)
Vir: Meeting room se (from the meeting room)
Me: Meeting room kaunsa hai? (which one is the meeting room?)
Vir: Woh...jahaan papa computer dekhte rehte hain, or hello karte rehte
(the one where papa is always looking at his computer and saying hello on the phone)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Once again, there's too much to write

So much has happened since I last posted. Vir and Tara had their first Rakhi together, which was great. Tara turned three months old. Vir and Tara's older cousin brother came to stay with us for a few days. And we all took our first holiday together as a family. I wish I had recorded these things as they happened because there's lots of stuff I've now forgotten, but this blog is used to long periods of silence and my kids will eventually get used to my laziness and procrastination. Who knows, they might even use me as their role model and then we have nothing to worry about!

So anyway, the first Rakhi went off well...if you define well as I do anyway. I wasn't expecting much since Vir hates to have anything tied on his wrist. It's one of those toddler things that I think will eventually go away. I made sure he was really excited about Rakhi a few days before the big day, when he got his first Rakhi from a cousin in Dehradun. It came by courier and the envelope had his name on it and the card was beautiful and so was the rakhi, so it was easy to get him pepped. In fact, I think he was over excited about the whole thing because he came to me at least 10-15 times a day asking to look at the rakhi that didi had sent for him. Each time he asked, I stopped whatever I was doing and took the rakhi out of the drawer and spent time oohing and aahing at it with Vir. I might as well not have bothered though. He fooled me into thinking that all this excitement would mean that he would actually let Tara and me tie his rakhis on his wrist. He didn't. I guess it didn't help that the wire from the end of one of his rakhis accidentally touched his skin as was winding it around his wrist. This led my delicate little flower to start screaming loudly and insist that the weapon be removed from his hand. Later, he told me that the reason he gave up on the entire rakhi ceremony was because it hurt him. Probably the only kid ever to think that he was attacked by a rakhi. See:
Anyway, just because we didn't actually manage to tie and keep the rakhi for the stipulated amount of time (what is that, by the way?), doesn't mean it wasn't filled with emotion for me at least. I just loved the sight of the two of them together on a day that is special for brothers and sisters. I hope and hope and hope that they have a great relationship growing up. That they always watch out for each other, that they protect each other from evil forces (aka parents), that they fight over who gets to choose the music we play in the car, that they get to go for tennis or swimming lessons together and laugh at each others' moves, that Vir helps Tara with her Maths and that Tara comes home from school with Vir stories to share, that they share books and laughs and midnight treats and secrets and all the things that make this relationship so special just the way mine was and is to me. Too many expectations laden with stereotypes? Perhaps but they're fun to think about anyway. I do know that Vir is being a fantastic brother already. He just loves Tara. No matter how cranky or irritable he is, he breaks out into a smile when he looks at his Tara-Para! My challenge every day is to prevent him from smothering her completely with his hugs and kisses. Nice problem to have, I guess.

Anyway, lots more to write but that's for a later time since the brat is almost ready to be picked up from school. Another few minutes and the peace in this house will be replaced by sounds of cars being banged on tables, tricycles being run over dogs, and little sisters being smothered by over affectionate toddler kisses.

Where's my mug of bournvita?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ah, for life to be so simple!

Holding the curtain and twisting it around himself like a saree:
"Mamma, jab main bada ho jaayega na, tab meri shaadi ho jaayegi."

30 seconds later, putting the end of the curtain over his head: "Dekho....main bada ho gaya...aur meri shaadi ho gayi."

(That's "When I grow up, I'm going to get married." And "Look, I'm older now, and I've got married")

I can't wait to tell your girlfriends about this and embarass you, my little one. I'm collecting my stack of stories (and pictures!) to get back at you for all the times you've farted loudly and announced gleefully "maine smell kar di" or come running to me with a snotty nose and demanded I clean it. Just you wait:-)

Saturday, July 25, 2009


So this last week has been quite crazy because Vir has been sick with a viral fever that spikes to a 102-103 degrees 3-4 times and day as well as a cough from hell that has tired him out terribly and rendered him completely unable to talk without breaking out into a long coughing fit. It's been horrible seeing my talkative little fellow only being able to point to the things he wants and not being able to ask any of the hundred questions that are in his mind at any point in the day. Of course, he still manages to choke out questions about which car we're going to hospital in or which car we'll buy him from the conveniently located gift shop in the hospital. That really makes us smile because no matter how low he's feeling, at least there's something that cheers him up.

He's been sick before but not as much and also not at an age when he's so aware about what's going on. When we took him to the ER the first night when his fever spiked suddenly, he took one look at the hospital and said, "Nahin...mamma....mera theek hai, mera theek hai...paint nahin ho raha." My heart actually broke into so many pieces at this point. Of course, as soon as they put some medicine in him and stopped poking him with stuff to check for infections in his ear and throat, and he started feeling better, he forgot about the whole thing and spent the drive back talking about the two policemen (security guards) and the blue ambulance he had seen at the hospital. The rest of the week since last Sunday has been a blur of medicines and syringes and nebulizers and hospital visits all of which he has taken as bravely and maturely as can be expected. I wouldn't blame him for any tantrums anyway, because all I've done this last week is come at him with some med syrup or the other (they really should call those things something else because I've had syrup and these things are not it. Maple syrup is syrup. Ascoril D is not syrup. And Vir's taste buds are definitely smart enough to figure out the difference). But even with all that we've put him through, he's been tantrums whatsoever. Even giving him his meds has been easier than last time around when it actually took 3 whole people to give him 2 ml. of medicine. I'm really not joking - one person had to hold his arms and legs, one had to keep his head straight, and one had to push the syringe of medicine into his mouth. Somehow though, it's easier to give him medicine when he's struggling and fighting and screaming than when he's defeated because that look is just killing.

He was also pretty great this morning when we took him for an X-ray and a blood test. He insisted on taking off all his clothes and not just his T-shirt for the X-ray and even managed to tearfully thank the technician who drew his blood sample.

We've been rewarding him with dinky cars almost every day this week, which is probably spoiling him but I think at this point, Vijay and I really don't care about the long term effects of buying him too many toys and just want him to have some short term joy NOW when his days are so crappy. On the positive side though, he's a lot better today, and I'm really hoping the worst of his viral infection is over and he'll be back to his springy and mischief filled self next week. We can't wait because for Vijay and I, that cute little grin from his healthy little face is just what the doctor ordered.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Latest quotes from my bigger little one

"Mamma, mereko bless you aa raha hai. Kyunki pankha aa raha hai aur AC
se thand aa rahi hai

"Mamma, please light on kar do. Mereko light ki zaroorat padh rahi

(I won't translate this because I just can't!)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Family outing

So, because we wanted to meet the reality of being parents of two tiny kids head on and with a let's-get-on-with-life-attitude, and also because we're that stupid, Vijay and I decided to take both of them out to the mall today. This is one of those things you dread when you have one kid and you're expecting your next. Because you know what chasing one of these things in and out of stores and away from glass railings, while telling him for the hundreth time why he can't have that toy or that ice cream or that chocolate is like. And you break out in a cold sweat when you realize that you have voluntarily taken steps to multiply the fun by two and that it's really only a matter of weeks before you'll be someone you hitherto only shook your head sympathetically at as they frantically ran after one kid while swinging his sibling by the arm as he clung to his ice cream cone.

But this is one of those things you dread and then the day comes that you have to do it. And then you do it and it's just like ripping off a bandaid. Ripping it off really slowly so you can feel each hair come out of your skin with a little plink. Today was that day and it was everything we had dreaded it would be.

To start off, we had only one stroller which we planned to use for Tara so that Vir could walk besides us (told you, we're that stupid). However, Vir decided to throw a tantrum that today of all days, he really wanted to be in the stroller. So we decided that this might actually be a good thing because at least Tara won't run off and slap someone's butt (yes, that too has happened). But of course, Vir soon realized that being strapped up in the stroller wasn't as much fun as he had imagined and being jealous of Tara is no fun if you get what you want. So he threw another tantrum to get out. "Okay," we said philosophically, "let's go with the flow," and switched again. Tara, who as I've previously documented is an absolute angel decided to surprise us today by not sleeping at all through this whole thing and also by commemorating her first mall outing in the only way she knows - by pooping. Ever accepting of the challenges life throws us, and with more philosophical nods, Vijay and I went about the task of changing a poopy diaper in a very public place while also chasing Vir who by now had realized that this was his chance to escape and had run off to try to get into a car on display not far away. Thinking that we might as well make this whole ordeal worth it by shopping (stoooopid), we made our way into a store where I wanted to pick up some clothes. It was quite interesting trying on clothes with a two month old screaming outside and a 28 month old crawling in and out of the trial room through the space below the door. Fun times. Lunch was another adventure but by that time we were so exhausted that we met this challenge by putting Vir in the stroller and loading him up with some chocolote dessert. We did go through the formality of offering him some healthy hummus and pita bread first, to which he gave us his formal are-you-kidding-me-you-clowns-you look. Once again, Vijay and I exchanged understanding and sympathetic looks that reaffirmed that we're in this together and tried not to think back to who had initiated the let's-have-that-second-kid-now conversation.

All in all, I'd say that it was a fairly successful trip out. We had a few laughs, learnt a few lessons, gained some grey hair, lost some extra calories, and came back weary and sleepy but also happy and thankful that we're a family of four.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Two months!

I find it hard to believe that I've been a mother of two children for two months now. Two months ago today, I hadn't even seen Tara - she was just a wish at that time since I didn't even know she was a girl. I don't think I'll ever forget the absolute burst of sunshine that was my heart when the doc told me she had arrived. And now, two months into being her mother, I'm amazed at how much I love this child. I used to wonder how it would be possible to love anyone as much as I love Vir and was almost guilty towards her even before she was born. Now I know how silly such doubts about how to love your second born are. 

I'm waiting for her personality to unfold, but if the last two months are anything to go by, she's the best baby in the whole world (touchwood). She has nothing on her agenda except to get through her days and nights without causing trouble to either herself or to anyone around her. She has a clear you-don't-hurt-me-I-won't-hurt-you philosophy. She often puts herself to sleep and spends a lot of time talking to herself and grinning happily at whatever part of the room she can see. If you happen to drop by to chat with her, she'll happily talk back for a bit. If you don't because you're busy chasing after her older brother, she'll understand and won't hold it against you. So she's calm for the most part but if you happen to piss her off by taking too long to serve up her meal, or God forbid by holding her in a way she doesn't want to be held, she'll make sure you're suitably chastened. If she doesn't want to be held up against a shoulder, she doesn't let a tiny detail like the fact that she's two months old come in the way of fighting you. There's no doubt that she can take on any one of us single handedly, and win. All we can do is always try to make sure things are always her way. What a ride this is going to be!

Tara, if you're reading this, I want you to know we're thrilled to be on this ride with you. You're the sort of stuff stars are made of, and don't you forget it:-).


I found him in the kitchen this morning screaming, "What's problem? What's problemmmmmm?" Turned out the problemmmm was that Mamta wasn't giving him water to spill on the floor. When he wants something and doesn't get it or things aren't working out the way he wants them to (for example when his cars don't stack up one on top of the other), he screams "I'm sorry. I'm soreeeee." When he's talking to his cars (yes, that happens all the time), he asks them how they are and "what's going on." When he wants attention he says, "Mamma, look at me." He loves to order Baggdu to "eat properly." The other day he told me he wanted a "particular" car (he thinks one of his red cars is called "particular" because he heard me tell Vijay once that he was looking for that particular one!) And he seems to love the word "actually" because though he doesn't have a clue what it means, he scatters it between his sentences in a completely random and hilarious way.

I'm seriously thinking of canceling our Tata Sky subscription and saving 250 bucks a month! Who needs TV with all this live entertainment. Of course, the Tata Sky remote comes with a mute button, which gives it that edge. Then again, the Tata Sky remote has never come up to me, given me a hug, and said, "mamma, mujhe pyaaaaar karo."

Friday, June 26, 2009

Seriously, boy!

So in an effort to sneak some nutrition into my son's almost non-existent diet, I mixed a mashed up banana into a scoop of vanilla ice cream and served it up with walnuts and a dash of chocolate sauce as an ice cream sundae. He had almost the whole thing but without the enthusiasm he normally displays for ice cream.

I thought I had won this round till he walked up to me today and said, "Mereko ek ice cream sundae chahiye, banana ice cream ke saath...lekin usme kela nahin daalna aur akhrot nahin daalna." (I want an ice cream sundae with banana ice cream, but don't put any bananas or walnuts in it.)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Summer days with the gramps

Running first thing in the morning to nani's mandir and blowing out the diyas. Grabbing the keys to the black car and green car and running out to get his early morning look at the cars. Being chased in and then running up to nani for a morning hug and chat. Waking up Tara by kissing her endlessly on her face and head. Tracking down the orange box filled with a hundred cars from wherever we've hidden it and making nani open it for him. Playing "takkar takkar" with nani for as long as it takes her to find a way out and escape. Begging for a calcium toffee and always getting it. Then begging for a black imli toffee and again getting it. Running up to nani as soon as she opens her cupboard hoping for something interesting for himself...and again always getting it. Running off to the inverter and switching it off and then giving chase to me to get it on again. Waiting for nana to arrive from his game of golf and then attempting to repeat a dose of the calcium toffee but failing. Torturing Powder no matter where he hides himself. Running out the door again to scatter some mud on the verandah floor and possibly sneak a look at the cars again. Going off with nani in the green car to buy vegetables and coming back armed with a box of juice, a big bag of chips, and a packet of gems. Creating a fuss when said goodies are stolen away by mom but easily distracted because of number of cars scattered on the floor. Parking cars up and down nana's legs as he tries to sleep after his game of golf. Stating his breakfast preference and then changing it about 5 times. Running into the kitchen for a lick of peanut butter as mom makes breakfast and for a chat with Mamta didi, mostly about the green car. Being chased for breakfast and throwing a few tantrums. Having a brilliant bath in his blue tub with nani standing by and trying to save herself from being completely drenched. Giving loving baths to the chosen cars of the day. Coming back and waking up Tara again, just for the entertainment value. Spending the entire afternoon running between nana nani's room and mom's room with handfuls of cars and spinning stories about cars, fire engines, tractors, and airplanes. Waking up anyone who has managed to take a nap in all this chaos. Splashing in his little swimming pool in the lawn. Drenching everyone and everything with the hose pipe. Washing the cars with Ramu bhaiya. Watering the plants. Throwing a tantrum when it's time to come in. Getting in the car with nana or nani and driving off to the Sugar Box for a purple pastry. More car talk in the evening. Another round of takkar takkar with nani if he's lucky. Jumping games with nana and nani that always start with "mein aapki chutney bana doon?." Lots of chasing and tantrums to get cleaned up and changed for bed. And finally, to everyone's relief and exhausted sighs, after a day that's been everything that it can be, my little Mr. Mischief goes off to sleep.

I just wish Vir would remember forever the carefree fun he's had this summer because I can't think of anything more priceless than these memories he's creating for himself and for all of us.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Now I know my ABC

I had absolutely no intention of teaching Vir the alphabet at this age because it's hardly the most important thing for a 2-year old. It's way behind all the other things he needs to work on right now, such as not spitting out food that he doesn't like and handing it over to the nearest person, not running around naked in front of guests screaming "nanguuuuu nanguuuuu" (nakeeeeed...nakeeeed), not peeing first and informing me later, not eating ice cream with his hands, and other important life skills.

I did end up buying him one of those wooden alphabet puzzles in my never ending quest to keep him productively occupied and out of trouble. If the speed with which he has picked up the entire alphabet is any indication of ease with which he will navigate the Indian school system, I'm quite relieved. We now know that he is good with rote memory, which is all you really need, right? Now if only we can figure out how to make him sit in one place...hmm.

Anyway, he still doesn't know the actual letters...for him, everything is a B. But he does know words that start with each letter and never misses a single one. This is how he sees things:

B for Aita (his grandmom)
B for Baggdu (our dog)
B for Car (could there be anything else?)
B for Dehradun (the place of eternal fun and freedom)
B for E (not that we know why, having never actually tasted one)
B for F (again, no clue what it must be like)
B for Gogoi (took him forever to get the pronunciation right causing much anguish to Vijay)
B for Huggie (he really does get those perfectly)
I for Icecream (can't go wrong on something so important)
B for Juice (which he makes nana buy from the shop at our gate every single day)
B for Kite (just by rote...he has never actually seen one of those)
L for Lion (don't ask me why he gets this right)
B for Mamma (sigh)
B for Nana, Nani, Powder, and Pirate (he clubs them together as a family unit - the last two being my parents' pet dogs)
O (for nothing...he just knows what it is)
B for Papa (also known as Vijaaaay when he's not responding to the politer version)
B for Queen (doesn't have a clue what a queen is but could fool you with his confidence)
B for Rabbit
B for.... (he hasn't learnt this one yet!)
B for Teta (his grand dad who has a police car that goes waaaaaooooon)
B for Udit mama (my brother)
V for Vir (this one is important for his school admission interviews, I'm sure!)
B for Water
Axe (that's what he calls it!)
B for....(still working on this one too)
B for Zebra

There you have it...his first piece of formal learning wrapped up around the people and things in his world. I'm just happy that B is for Mamma:-)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Conversation between brother and sister

Vir: Tara, aapko shop se kya chahiye? (Tara, what do you want from the
Tara: Stares blankly and not even at Vir
Vir: Chocolate? Chocolate chahiye (Do you want a chocolate?)
Tara: Changes expression but only slightly and still doesn't look at
Vir: Theek hai. Main chocolate le ke aata hoon. Theek hai? (Okay...I'll get
you a chocolate. Okay?)
Tara: Looks at not really.
Vir: Okay...main shop ja raha hoon! Bye! See you! Take care! Be good!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Never ceases to amaze

So the other day, Vir told me he wants to pee (yes, that day really has dawned!!) and I took him to the bathroom and sat him down on the pot. He followed his usual routine of suddenly wanting to jump off and not pee, then reaching back to flush while sitting there, then trying to rip out yards of toilet paper, then chatting about this and that, and then finally peeing.

No surprises till he finished and then announced loudly and clearly, "Marvelous....simply marvelous!!!"

Alright then. My two year old uses words like marvelous. What's next?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A star is born!

My little Tara is here. She arrived on the 9th of May and has been absolutely P-E-R-F-E-C-T since the minute she arrived. Oh how much I was wishing for a to start off the perfection, she fulfilled that wish. And what a wonderful little baby she is proving to trouble whatsoever. Vir thinks she's perfect too...that has a lot to do with the fact that she "brought along" with her two cars for him - a black one and a yellow one as requested all those months ago from the "chota baby" in mom's tummy. He was munching a muffin when he came to see his little sister in hospital the day after she was born and his first words to her were "Tara, aap muffin khaoge?" (Tara, would you like to eat a muffin?). Considering the huge change she has brought to his life, I think he's taking it extremely well so far. Minor signs of jealousy aside, he seems to be very fond of her already...he's always standing by her cradle and staring at her and wishing he was allowed to rock the cradle, he's endlessly fascinated by the fact that she has a head and little hands and feet and that she poops, he loves to help out with stuff like fetching her box of wipes and her diapers (usually he gets about 20 when I ask for one!), and he's constantly directing me to feed her because the whole concept of breastfeeding is also very new and totally fascinating for him!

As for me, I can't get over the fact that we now have two children and don't really know how to send out my message of thanks to God who has been so incredibly generous to us. This is exactly what I older boy and a younger girl with exactly this age gap in between them, because this is the family I grew up with and it was everything I could ask for. I hope very much that Vir and Tara will grow up in the same secure and happy way that we did and that one day they'll look back at their childhood and smile. Because that's when we'll know we did good as their parents. Till then of course, we're ready for the ride!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My little drama queen!

So I was vacumming the living room carpet today with Vir being a monkey all around me while I was trying to get my work done. At one point, he was hanging on to the back of one of the couches. I didn't realize that his foot was under the couch and moved it to clean under it, and ended up hurting him a little bit. It was a tiny surface bruise on one of his toes from the fabric of the couch, and he's definitely had more painful, though small bruises in the past as well. But, OH MY GOD the hell that broke loose after this point. I think it was mainly because I was really guilty and apologetic about my carelessness and he knew I would pamper him, but wow this kid can put up a show!! He cried and cried with huge tears which, initially at least were very real because he was in some amount of pain. But, after the first 30 minutes and several different applications of different antiseptic ointments, and all the colors of lotions that he kept demanding I apply on his toe, I think I was fair in asking him to get a grip.

After multiple rounds of "dawaiii lagaaaaaoooooo" (put medicine) and then "dawwaaaaaiiii hataaaaoooo" (remove this medicine) and then "pink lotion laagaaoooooo" (put the pink lotion) and "white lotion lagaaaooooo" (put the white lotion) and "chot lag gayiiiiiiiiii" (I'm hurt, I'm hurrrrrrrrrt), he finally fell asleep. I was happy because I thought this was the end of it and that he would wake up and run off to play having forgotten this traumatic incident. But the drama didn't end here...he woke up 2 hours later and started exactly where he had left off...opened his eyes and screamed "chot lag gayiiiiiiiiii." Of course, he wasn't in pain any more so he kept forgetting that he was "supposed" to be crying. At one point he started chatting away and asked me to go and bring his red car from his room. When I told him to go and get it himself, he was back at it..."waaaaaaaaa....phir se chot lag jayegiiiiiiii....sofe se...eeeeeee!!!" And for added effect and added leverage out of mamma's mistake, he made a great show of limping on one foot when I made him go and get his own cars anyway.

I'm hoping this was all an act, because otherwise it means we went totally wrong in picking a name for him (Vir means brave). Maybe Shah Rukh Khan would have been a better choice!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

What's this?

Now that Vir has stopped wearing diapers, at least at home, a whole new situation seems to have opened up for him because he's discovered his little boy part! So, now he runs around the house in his cute little briefs (these things are way cuter than any I remember when I was growing up) all day. And whenever I take them off for him to go to the loo, he runs away without wearing them again with his prized possession in hand grinning and yelling, "ye dekho....kya aa gayaaaaa!!!!" (look what showed up!!)

Disclaimer: Vir, if and when you read this, I know how embarassed you'll be, but it's just too cute for me to not make a record of, and I promise you that all the women in your life will think so too.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

My favorite quotes!

  • "Mamma....pyjama pehen lo."(Mamma, wear your pyjamas): On waking up in the morning and seeing me in shorts.
  • "Bas ho gaya...ab main car mein ja raha hoon....theek hai?" (That's I'm going in the car, alright?): As he jumps out of bed first thing in the morning and walks out of the room.
  • "Ghar mein peshal peshal baby aane wala hai." (There's a special baby coming to my house): To his teacher in class, who thought Peshal is what we were planning to name the little one!
  • Mein ice cream lene jaa raha mein....theek hai? (I'm off to the shop to get some ice cream, alright?)

He's talking all the time and everything is so damn cute...I can't really put it down have to hear it! It's like free live entertainment TV except we can't just turn off the switch when we want to sleep.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

How do I respond to this??

So Vir absolutely loves the bottom drawer of my bedside table which I've been silly enough to fill with my cherished collection of cute stationery stuff like stickers, letter paper, paper clips, pens, erasers and all sorts of lovelies. I'm being stubborn and not removing this stuff from my drawer because he's just gotta learn that some things are out of bounds for him. And he's learnt it...the temptation to open the goodie drawer just gets too much for him sometimes. So, this morning, he woke up and headed straight for the drawer where he's been eyeing a Winnie the Pooh sticker sheet even though I was right there on the bed. When I called out my usual "Don't even think about it, Vir," this was his response: "Mamma....jaao...aaap please jaao....khana banaao." (Mamma...please go...go and cook food). I didn't know which part to laugh about - the fact that the little brat actually thought this "subtle" trick to get me to leave the room would buy him some time with the coveted drawer, or that he actually told me to go to the kitchen and cook! How do they come up with this? And really...what's next!?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Vir's First Report Card!

I was so surprised when Vir's teacher handed me a report card when I went to pick him up today! I had no idea they write reports for kids this size, but I guess it makes sense as a way to keep track of what they're doing in school and to provide thrills to parents like me!

Here's what it says:

Educator's Comments: Vir walks in with a finger in his mouth, which does not come off till the end of the day. He has now settled down into our programme. Vir enjoys painting and names the colors he is using. He likes playing with play doh too. At western musix, Vir is very attentive, as with storytime. Outdoors, it's the cycle for him or the slideboard.

My comments: "Sky mein aeroplane kahan gaya?" (looking for planes in the sky).

Vir's dowry to his wife from me will be a large, bound collection of report cards and examination answer sheets collected through the years. What great ammunition for her for lazy Sunday afternoons ideally spent making silly comments on old report cards and poking fun at his spelling mistakes in exams.

P.S. I wonder if I'm really as crazy a mother as I sometimes sound on this blog...he gets his first report card and my mind shoots off to a Sunday thirty five years ahead when his wife is making fun of his essay on how he spent his summer holidays.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Some pictures from school

On pet/animal day.
Storytime...I can't believe he's sitting so nicely with all the other kids and actually listening!
On the "pink" cycle he loves at school.
In the playroom.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The formal education of Vir Gogoi

One of the biggest developments in Vir's life in the last month has been the beginning of his formal school education. This is a HUGE step, even though it's only playschool right now and he only goes for an hour a day. But that doesn't change the fact that he's never really going to have an unregulated life from now on. Forever after, he's going to have to get up at a certain time every day and get ready to go address his day, no matter what it's going to look like. (Yes, even if he's an out of work artist, which his over ambitious parents have wistfully imagined for him, but that's another story for another day). He's going to learn to love weekends the way most of us would empathize with though I hope that he loves whatever he does so much that weekends are a nuisance. (Though let's face often does that really happen?)

Anyway, school is going great. It started out really well...he loved the place right from when we first took him to visit before we had decided where to send him. He also loved his first week there because he got to play with all sorts of new toys and on the swings and in the sandpit and the added benefit was that I accompanied him and cheered him on in all these new adventures. He wasn't thrilled when he caught on that I would eventually stop coming into his "classroom" with him and it didn't help that around this time he got sick and had to take off for about a week. So, by the time he got back, all the other kids were settled and he was the only one who still needed mommy. All in all though, I don't think it's taken him very long to get settled. Till last week, he would get a little teary eyed at the gate when I would leave him with his teachers and would sort of tentatively try to reassure himself by repeating that mom is going to be waiting at the gate for him (which is what I would tell him to make him feel secure). It helped that I was always there waiting as promised when he ran back out and also that he really had a blast for the hour that he was inside. So, today, he got to a point where he completely forgot to cry or even say bye to me and simply ran inside with one of his friends without even waiting for either of his teachers to take him! Oh how my heart sang at this display of independence!! This is a great beginning and I have my fingers crossed for the future.

For now, I look forward every day to his stories that always begin with "school mein kya kiya?" (what did you do in school?) and range from things like "cycle ke saath khela" (played with a cycle), to mitti khaya (ate sand), to "Amaarya ke saath khana banaya" (cooked with Amaarya, a classmate).

So fly little Vir and I hope you always always are this joyful about the things you do and learn. And you never need to be told - mom and dad will always be waiting at the gate for you.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bada bhai in the making

I know I always say this, but honestly this time I've taken the cake in not updating this blog. And it's worse this time because these last two months have been so eventful for Vir. He had his second birthday, took a long trip to see his grandparents in Guwahati, and started school! And he has started talking NON STOP. I'm amazed at how much he has to say...he has a comment on pretty much everything in his little life and also in most others' lives! So all in all...I guess I have a lot to write about. I hope you know, Vir, that this has nothing to do with your level of importance in the house and everything to do with the fact that if I've had any time in the past two months at all, I've used it to do slightly more urgent things like take a shower, or go to the loo. Things are settled now and I have a little more time before craziness descends again...which is going to happen in less than two months. Yikes. Little does he know how his life is about to change! He parrots his answers to our questions with a lot of confidence, but I'm sure when we show up at home with a baby that invades his precious space, he won't be very enthusiastic. I hope it's better than I'm imagining, but I guess we'll just wait and see. Right now, this is what he believes:
Me: Vir, what's inside mom's tummy?
Vir: Chota baby (little baby)
Me: Where will the baby come from?
Vir: Doctor Aunty dengi (the doctor will give it)
Me: What will you say to her?
Vir: Thank you!
Me: What are you of the little baby's?
Vir: Bada bhai (big brother)
Me: What will you do with the little baby?
Vir: Chota baby ka dhyaaaaaan rakhega (I'll take care of the little baby),
car mein drive pe le ke jaayega (I'll take him for a drive), aur pyaar karega
(I'll love him).
Me: And what will the baby bring you?
Vir: A present! Cars! Black and yellow cars!
So apparently, the baby will come out of my uterus clutching two cars in his or her hands! If that's what it takes to make sure the baby is welcomed, I think I'll accept it!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

He's starting to pay his rent!

An exciting development to report! Yesterday, my little to-do diary was lying on the dining table and I was sitting on the couch feeling too lazy to get up and get it (what does that say for the to-do's in my book?) Anyway, Vir happened to be toddling by so I asked him to pick up mummy's diary from the table and bring it over. He looked a little confused - diary being one of those words he hadn't encountered before, but to his credit, he looked sincerely at everything on the table trying to piece together what a "diary" might be. No luck though, so he looked back helplessly at me. A little more maternal guidance, maternal finger pointing towards diary, and urgency in maternal voice did the trick. He spotted the diary, comprehension dawned, and goal!

Imagine the possibilities! I may even get him to open the diary and take care of the to-do's in the annoying little thing soon.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Little Big Brother

Me: Vir, what's inside mom's tummy?
Vir: A little baby
Me: Do you want a little baby?
Vir: No. Biiiiiike
Me: No, I'm asking you if you want a little baby, not a bike!
Vir: Biiiiikeeee. Biiiikeeee. Biiiiiiiiiiikkkkkkeee.

We think he wants a bike.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Looking for a partner in crime

So he gets on the coffee table, makes himself comfortable and calls out to Baggdu who is sleeping peacefully on the carpet:

"Baggdu...comeon...table pe aajaaaa!"

(That's "Baggdu...comeon...get on the table!")

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Vir has reached the stage where kids will do anything to try to stay up a little bit longer. His usual bed time routine used to be to just lie down on the bed with me, have his milk, and slowly drift off. About the time he started developing the idea that sleeping later would give him more time to do other stuff, he also discovered storytime. What a perfect excuse to stay up a little later than normal! And of course, two or three or four stories and rhymes are better than one because they take longer to tell:-). So now, when either Vijay or I take him to bed, we have a barrage of requests from him as soon as he's done with his bottle of milk. He has his favorites among the totally made up stories that Vijay and I have come up with to entertain him. There's a story about a Lucky Car - a red car that loves to take risks, yet never gets a scratch till she decides to take a big jump off a hill called Big Hill. We've never made it to the end, so I don't know what happens to Lucky the time I get to the point where Lucky Car is getting a car wash in preparation for her big day, Vir moves on to wanting a different story. If Vijay is the story teller, his favorite request if for the Lion and Monkey Story, which is about a monkey who isn't afraid of the tiger and actually manages to defeat him by jumping on a coconut tree and shaking it till a cocounut falls on the waiting tiger's head and knocks him unconscious. Another favorite is about a chipmunk who only eats peanuts...he needs three peanuts every day, one for breakfast, one for lunch, and one for dinner. He gets tired of going out to collect three peanuts everyday and decides to go for the big haul and look for a hundred peanuts in one marathon peanut hunting session. Of course, I don't know how this story turns out either since we invariably move on to rhymes by this time. Favorite rhymes keep changing too. The current favorites are Humpty Dumpty, Little Miss Muffet, and the Mighty Hokey Pokey. This last one is hilarious and Vir and I have Shroopie masi to thank for her contribution to the rhyme ensemble. I'm just glad he doesn't know what it means yet. Here goes:

I am the Mighty Hokey Pokey Tippy Top Top
All disobedience by beheading I will Stop Stop
Chippy Choppy Chippy Choppy Chippy Choppy

If you sing the last part cutely enough, you can ignore what the chopping is actually of! Vir calls this the Hokey Dob Dob poem. I wonder if this will scar him for life when he learns what it means. Time will tell I guess. Though hopefully we'll move on to more cheerful poems in a couple of weeks and he'll forget I ever almost messed up his head. And if he doesn't I'll just point him to the masi who started this whole thing!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Some things on my fun list

Hi. My name is Vir and I spend all day in the pursuit of fun and happiness. The things I think are fun are generally in inverse proportion to the things that are allowed by my mother who seems to have nothing more productive to do than to watch me like a hawk and stop me from doing my thing. Seriously, woman, get a real job! I've put together a list of things that I like to do. Read it and tell me you think they're not fun. That'll show her.

  • Taking my mom's lovely colored soap bars and plonking them into the toilet. I love the little splash and the sound that comes with it.
  • Hunting down the bottle of toilet cleaner and plonking that in the toilet. That creates a bigger splash and is even more fun. It's almost always followed by a loud groaning sound from my mother too.
  • Okay, I've only done this once, but putting my dad's new copy of The Economist into the toilet was fun too.
  • Knocking over the stack of quilts in the bedroom, then running around the house covered in one of the quilts. It doesn't even hurt when I bang into a wall. Even more fun is covering Baggdu with one of the quilts and then jumping on top of him.
  • Heck, even without the quilt, jumping on Baggdu when he's sleeping is just plain great.
  • Pulling Baggdu's ears, tail, lower jaw, and other stuff. That guy is just amazing. So soft and pullable. Sometimes he knocks me around too...he can manage that just because he's so much heavier than I am, but he only does it to people he loves.
  • Climbing on top of the wooden, mother of pearl inlaid, freshly polished coffee table and doing an imitation of my mom yelling, "Get down, get down!"
  • Sharing my food with Baggdu. Nothing says I love you like taking licks of the same biscuit.
  • Eating dirt from the pots in the balcony. Anyone who says that stuff isn't yummy is wrong.
  • Throwing things off the table or bed while pretending I have nothing to do with it. Just to keep the appearance of ignorance and make things more realistic, I sometimes follow this up with a loud exclamation such as "Oh....gir gayaa!"
  • Disconnecting the cable box from the TV when my folks are watching. Hee hee hoohoooo!
  • Throwing the couch cushions on the floor and then jumping on them.
  • Spitting. When you're bored, try to make little puddles of spit (preferably on a wooden, mother of pearl inlaid, freshly polished coffee table) and then use your fingers to draw little spit shapes.