Thursday, December 23, 2010

My little warrior

Vir: Mamma, if America is in trouble, I will save it. I will run into the elevator and press the emergency button!
Wouldn't we all be happier if that's how wars were fought:-)?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

In my husband's family, they say that you can tell what a radish will grow up to be like just by looking at it's first two leaves. If this is true, our little girl radish means trouble. She's only 19 months and already has "leaving the house in a huff" on her cap of feathers. No, really. She got mad at me for not giving her ice cream when and where she wanted it, cried for a couple of minutes because I walked away uncaringly, then made a quick decision, got up and pouted at us, and swiftly walked all the way across the long hallway in our apartment, opened the door, and left.

It was one of those I've-had-enough-of-this-bullshit-walkouts. From a 19 month old baby.

Vijay is seriously worried. I just think this is hilarious. Of course, we'll need some sort of parenting strategy with this little firecracker. Let me go and google toddler walkouts and how to survive them now.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Social Butterfly

I went to Barnes and Noble with Tara yesterday. It wasn't supposed to be an outing really...I just had to return something and head out. But it was so cold outside that I just couldn't muster the courage to get out of the building once I had entered it! So I decided to hang out there - it doesn't take too much convincing to keep me at a bookshop anyway. I picked up a book to browse and went with Tara to the kids section, where they have some seating and place for kids to roam around. The book turned out to be very interesting and soon I was pretty much the only mom in that area who wasn't reading to her kid or running after her and talking in a cute voice to everyone around. This left Tara to fend for herself and I must say, she made me proud. She just headed off on her own to mingle with the crowd. She went right up to where a couple of kids were sitting and expressed interest in what they were up to. Then she joined them on the little ledge where they were sitting, and even invited a couple of other curious onlookers to join her. Soon, she had picked out her favorites and collected a little coterie of kids around her. At one point, she walked up to a baby who was sitting on his mom's lap and started a "conversation." The best moment was when this lady, in a different accent that I didn't think Tara would understand said, "Hi! Would you like to meet the baby? This is Jack...and what's your name?" Without a moment's hesitation and very confidently, my little one said, "Tara."

I just sat behind my book, beaming.  

Sunday, December 12, 2010

If she could talk...

If Tara could speak fluently right now, I suspect these are some things she's say:

1. I love you, bhai.
2. What's in the fridge?
3. Gosh, that pantry cupboard is so much fun. Let's raid!
4. How about a dishwasher exploration?
5. What's in the oven? I love that thing.
6. I like cars as much as bhai does. Stop buying me dolls, please.
7. Can we go and buy some cars?
8. What's for snack time?
9. Isn't it snack time again?
10. Yes, I know I already had a snack. What's for snack time?
11. God bless cows that say moo and give us milk.
12. Why do people keep talking about my cheeks? Is this a good thing?
13. Can we go and buy some blueberries and strawberries, please?
14. Mom, time to update your collection of songs on your ipod. I need more to dance on.
15. Wait, let me help you with that just have to bang your fist on the keys a couple of that...see?
16. Bhai is in the bathroom again. Time to go help. Be right back.
17. Why don't I get to go to school?
18. I like pretty shoes.
19. I like pretty clothes too.
20. And lotions and creams.
21. Oooh...and handbags!
22. I also really, really like toilet paper.
23. What's on the food network?
24. When I grow up, I will not ignore baby tantrums like you do. Hmpfh.
25. I want what I want and I want it now.
26. We both know I can smile my way through this mess. See? :-)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Nothing matters when we're dancing

We took the kids to see Santa land and a puppet show of Miracle on 34th Street at the Herald Square Macy's today. Let me just tell you: BIG MISTAKE. I really wish I had asked someone's advice on this before we headed out. I just cannot even believe the number of people that exist in New York, and I'm from India so that's saying something. And what I don't get even more is why all these people are always wherever we choose to go. It happened with Toysrus and now it happened again with Macy's! Literally, everyone in the world was at Macy's this afternoon. And they all decided to stand in line to see Santa at the same time. The only smart thing we did today was to not stand in that line. One look at that line and we turned around and started running in the opposite direction, which was really hard to do because we kept bumping into other aspirants trying to make it to the meet Santa line.

The other smart thing we did was to get tickets to the puppet show. It was really great and I definitely recommend it (but be warned that you have to go through an actual sea of people to get to the puppet theater). The not smart thing we did was get late to the show so we got to sit all the way at the back and the kids really couldn't see all of what was going on. That really made Vir mad and he refused to enjoy any of it, especially if he noticed either Vijay or me looking at him. When we weren't looking, he did enjoy it a little bit. But nothing could have stopped Tara from enjoying herself. Because if there's music involved, you can bet that Tara will be dancing, whether she can see what's going on or not. The kind of music, number of people around, and general atmosphere and context are completely irrelevant details. So she was dancing and clapping all through the show today, even though she had woken up hungry from her nap just minutes before the show started so I expected her to be cranky. Seeing her swaying along to the music and clapping at all the right places really made some of the misery of today's little expedition worthwhile.

Although I have to say, the next time I want to see her dance, I'll just hand her my ipod (she's the one who pretty much controls it these days anyway now that she has figured out how to switch it on). Because there is no way I'm ever going back to the madhouse that is Macy's at Christmas time. If I'm tempted to inflict pain on myself, I'll just make an appointment for a full body wax instead!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Titanic was on TV the other day and we made the mistake of not changing the channel with Vir in the room, so he ended up watching it a little bit. And given that he's hugely fascinated with cruise ships these days because we see a lot of them go by our window which is right on the water (oh my God it's really awesome and I can never quite get used to the fact that I really do live on-the-water!), I guess he really paid attention to the movie. I didn't realize this till he started asking me questions that I wasn't really sure how to answer. God bless his little child's brain though, because here's how our conversation went:

Vir: Mamma, do you know the Titanic?
Me: Yes, I know about that (playing it safe so far)
Vir: It was on the Atlantic Ocean...and it was going to park right by the Intrepid 
Me: That's right! Who told you all that? 
Vir: Papa did. And do you know a big iceberd hit the Titanic?
Me: Yes (oops, don't like where this is headed)
Vir: Then what happened?
Me: (No idea what to do, so try to stick with the truth given general parenting philosophy) The ship broke and went into the ocean, Vir.
Vir: So did the people on the ship meet Spongebob Squarepants when they went down into the ocean?

Gulp and thankful sigh! I would have had no idea how to handle this conversation if it had taken a more serious turn. What a good thing Spongebob lives in the ocean, eh?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Well it is thingsgiving after all

We've had a super crazy week so far because both the kids got sick at the same time and when kids get sick, crazy begins. The week has been a blur of ER visits, high and never ending fevers, hopping visits and long waits at pharmacies, and lots of doses of lots of medicines. Luckily, we're not dealing with anything more serious than the flu and though the kids are miserable and so are we, all in all we're all okay and have a lot to be thankful for.

For one moment last night I realized that things were perfect: we were back from the ER, the kids had been given their medication and were asleep with no fevers, Vijay was getting them to bed, and I was sitting in my bed with a new, unopened MacBook (my new prized possession on which I now sit and type and which is a present from dear husband and brother in an effort to get me to write more!) on my lap and a piece of really good chocolate in my hand. For that moment, I give thanks and more thanks.

While we're talking about thanksgiving, Vir is really worried about today. He thinks that since it's thingsgiving day, someone is going to swoop into the house at some point and ask him to give away his things. So every so often during the day, he's been coming up to me and whining, "....but mamma....I don't want to give away my things. I want to keep my toys. I only want to give my toys to myself. I don't waaaannnaaa...!" The mean mom in me hasn't told him that no one is coming to take his stuff away. I've just been nodding noncommittally and saying "It's okay's always nice to share, isn't it?" You should see the panic in his eyes when I say that!

Yes, I know I'll probably go to hell.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Super cute errors!

To me while I was watching a Harry Potter movie: "Mamma, are you watching Harry Bottom?"

Singing along to a Sheryl Crow song: "My little superstar...honey you break my plant...."

Tee hee I say:-)

Girly Girl

So it looks like my daughter is going to beat the odds presented by having me as a mother and be girly after all! Anyone who knows me is quite familiar with my never changing jeans and t-shirt "outfits" and is always surprised by my once-in-a-while-burst-of-femininity-wearing-of-dangly-earrings. And it's not by design, but just because that Tara also has more jeans than dresses. I'm going to be forced to shop differently for her though, because this little one already knows what she likes and what makes her look pretty as she's twirling around showing herself off! It's amazing that she knows without me pointing it out when something in her outfit is new...even if it's just a t-shirt or onesie. She goes right up to her dad to show it off as soon as she's done being dressed...complete with the little twirl, sideways tilt, and lifting on toes!

And you know what else is girly? She offers food and water to her dolls, pats them lovingly, and puts them off to sleep. In all his almost 4 years, Vir has never thought to feed anyone! It's really interesting to see the differences in them emerge this way. Of course, there's lots of non girly stuff in my grubby little toddler as well. The trail of mess and destruction that she leaves behind her wherever she walks, the way she manages to look dirty as soon as she's out of her bath, the way she zooms her cars and kut kut kuts her helicopters, and of course the farting and snorting!

Part girly and mother-y and showoffy and part grubby and dirty and boy-ey, she's definitely turning out to be one of a kind. And adding a one of a kind flavor to our days. If I haven't said this already, I've thought it a hundred times...I just can't have enough of this little one. Don't tell her I said that though...she thinks enough of herself as it is:-)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Weekends are just not what they used to be...

Why do parents like to torture themselves so? It was a perfect Sunday to laze around the house, maybe watch a movie or two, perhaps even take an afternoon nap and then order takeout for dinner. But what did we do? Packed both kids for a cold day out and took them across the river to Times Square so they could see the dinosaur and ride on the ferris wheel at Toysrus. Though I guess we weren't the only ones who were out to torture themselves in this weird and painful way. Almost every other parent in the tri state area seemed to have had the same idea AT THE SAME TIME. The consolation was that they were all equally unhappy. Everywhere we walked, we heard snippets of the same conversations...

"...if you ask for one more thing, you're in serious tro..."
"...this is the last warning....5 more minutes and we're out of here...."
"hon....we really need to get out of here!"

...and so on. There were basically two groups of people in that store:

Parents: Inwardly and sometimes outwardly groaning and thinking what the hell bit them that they decided to take this on.
Children: Running around trying to get as much free play time in magic land as their parents could live through and screaming at the slightest hint that some limits may be placed on them.

So again, why do we do this to ourselves? It's an easy answer, right? Because it makes them smile and we like to see them smile. More than we like our afternoon naps.

Sigh. Next Sunday: The Children's Museum of Manhattan.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Hello! My name is Tara. It's been a while since my mom said anything about me here, so I'm taking matters into my own hands. I have a list of things I think you should know about me. In no particular order, here goes:
  • I'm a troublemaker. Let's just get that clear at the outset. I love trouble. I love making trouble. I love getting my brother into trouble and I love seeing my mom's face when she sees the consequences of this trouble that I so love to make. (She's funny when she's mad.)
  • I have a really loud voice. I mean really. You don't know loud until you've heard me roar. Ask my parents. They can hear the echo of my voice in their sleep after they've spent a day with me.
  • I think the bathroom is the most interesting room in the house. There's a tub that is routinely filled up with water and bubbles and bath toys. There's a roll of toilet paper that, did you know can be unrolled almost endlessly? And best of all, there's a big round thing with water in it that they call a "pot" that is great for dumping little knick knacks into. Like the other day when I threw my toys into it...they fell with a little plop. It was lots of fun. It was a little difficult to fit the toys in since my big brother was using the pot at the time, but that's what made it even more fun!
  • I LOVE blueberries. With a passion. The more blueberries there are in the world, the better the place will be. I think the reason people are often unhappy is because they've run out of blueberries. I'm not unhappy because there are always blueberries in my house.
  • I can point to my tummy, head, and bottoms, and close my eyes on request. I can also roar like a tiger, bark like a dog, kut-kut-kut like a helicopter, and whistle like a cooker. My talents are many. But I don't like the cooker. There are things about it I don't understand.
  • My brother gets to do this fun thing that my mom calls "timeout." Recently I got in on that too because I messed with my mom's ipod. It was fun. You get to go stand in this corner. Aaannndd....that's it I guess. Hmmm...why did I think it was so much fun? Maybe it gets old.
Anyway, so that's a little introduction. Next time, we'll talk about other fun things like the dishwasher and my mom's underwear closet. Oooh...and remind me to tell you a great new way to get your older sibling in trouble while looking totally innocent yourself. Very handy.

Bye now!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Definitely a writer in the making!

First it was the picking up of the pen at her Anna Prasanna. And now this! My little Tara is hardly talking at all even though she's 17 months old already. So obviously, I get very excited at every syllable she chooses to utter now. Imagine my joy then, when the latest clear thing she has said is....wait for it....COMMA!

Imagine the possibilities...what will she say next? My bet is on EXCLAMATION!

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Latest funny development: Vir's conversations with things. Here's a sample!

Looking at the Halloween lights on the Empire State Building: "Oh, Empire State Building! You have your orange lights on! I love when you do that!"

Playing with this shadow in the car: "Sunshine! Don't do that....why are you doing that?"

Looking at a British Airways plane taxiing on the runway: "Oh British Airways, I love you so much. I want to be on you, not on Air India."

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tara! I haven't forgotten if you'd let me! You won't remember this time my little one, but I can tell you that these last few months have been unplanned and unimagined and if I haven't recorded your miracles as they happened, it hasn't been because they have been unnoticed. You turned one surrounded by people who love you and will always be happy when you're happy. You started walking in the home of your nana and nani, bringing joy and excitement when it was needed the most. Your first words - kaka (khana), nana, mamma, and papa, are thrilling and I can't wait to hear everything you have to say. You've also hit a rather unfortunate milestone by fracturing a bone since I last updated this space...let's hope we don't see any more of that. But you've been super brave and I wish I had your ability to accept and adapt to things you cannot change.

Of course, you're also a lot more of a monster than you were a couple of months ago. Gone is my quiet little baby who sat around with a bowl of cheerios all morning. In her place is a toddler with an agenda to cover as much ground as possible during the day, do as much damage as possible, make as much noise as possible, and get her brother into as much trouble as possible while maintaining the false image of an innocent and harmless baby in the woods. You're not really fooling anyone, not even your beloved nana! We know exactly how naughty you are and also that you've barely touched your potential for mischief yet. But that's exactly what we love about you and that's exactly what makes this family smile these days. Keep up the good work little one and keep some antics in store for your dad who is missing out and will have lots to catch up on:-)

Love always,

Friday, July 30, 2010

If he asks you, Superman does love daal!

Vir: Once there was a baby shark in an aquarium. He was very hungry. His mamma went to him and said what happened fish? Baby shark said I'm very hungry. So the mamma shark went to the big sea.

Me: And then what happened? This is a great story!

Vir: Hmm?

Me: You're telling me a story, right?

Vir: Yeah. Oh then....the mamma shark got the baby shark some meat!!!!!!!! (exclamations owned by storyteller)

And that's the exciting end to Vir's first ever coherent piece of original fiction! This is a very important development. Until now, his stories have typically taken sudden and very unrealistic turns. For example:
"...and the rabbit was crossing the river. And suddenly Superman came in and flew towards the rabbit and picked him up and flew into the sky!!!!! And then a car came and landed on the road and there was an askadent."
"I was going there and then there was a big fire and I flew to a lake and picked it up and threw it on the fire and I was so strong!!! And there was a car and another car and a Honda city and an askadent."
So Superman is obviously the latest obsession. He's Superman. I'm Spiderman. Tara is Supergirl. And there are a variety of Badmen throughout the day, including me when I tell him to do something he doesn't like. My dad seems to have started this obsession and he's paying for it dearly because he now has to spend hours (I really literally mean hours) making up Superman stories to tell him. You can tell he's reached the bottom of his story trunk because they're getting more and more boring. Some of them could really make you slip into a little Superman story induced short coma. I'm pretty sure that has happened to mom and me at least a couple of times. I know because I woke up dazed once and the last thing I remembered was Superman wanting to go to the bathroom and Vir not wanting to go. Or something like that.

The upside is that we're using Superman to great advantage. Vir loves doing stuff around the house now. If you want him to go throw something in the trash for example, you just need to give him a couple of seconds to put on his Superman outfit first so he can fly to the trash can. Or you can get him to eat his bowl of daal because that's obviously Superman's favorite food. One day of course, he'll know. But hopefully he would have consumed a fair bit of protein by then and Superman would have done his job to help this little kid:-)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My little elf

"Mamma, I'm so helpful. I can cut your shirt into half so you can wear it and Tara can wear one too!"

(Note to self: do not leave scissors lying around. Might cut baby. Or baby might cut shirt for other baby.)

Monday, July 26, 2010

In a generous mood

Me to my mom: I think I'm going to go out for a bit...I need to go and get my eyebrows done.
Vir: No no mamma... when you and Tara and I go back to America, I can buy you some eyebroles.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


So this is the longest that I've been away from this blog. We're going through the toughest phase we've seen so far and I've been terribly overwhelmed by what's going on in life right now. So far I've been thinking I can't possibly write about the kids till I've addressed how I'm feeling myself, either to myself or on this space. But perhaps that's not true. There's no reason for me to stop writing entirely, especially since it's the kids who're doing such a great job of getting us through this phase. I have never been more thankful to God for them as I am right now. So I'm going to do my best to keep at this blog up and about. The kids are definitely still doing their best to keep me and my family up and about:-)

More stories to follow, but here's one from Vir for now on a day when he was being particularly cranky and grumpy, more so because I was ignoring him:

Me: Vir, what's going on? What's bothering you?
Vir (without a moment's hesitation): You. You are bothering me, mamma.

Hasn't learnt to mince his words yet:-)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

One of life's big questions

Me: Vir, do you want to say thank you to God before you go to sleep?
Vir: Thank you God for my family. Thank you for the food I eat. Thank you for the museum. Thank you for Tara's birthday.
Me: Is there anything else?
Vir: No.
Me: What about your new sunglasses?
Vir: Thank you for my sunglasses.
Me: Anything else?
Vir: Thank you for my potty and susu.
Me: Okay Vir.
Vir: Mamma...bhagwanji potty aur susu bhi dete hain?
Me: ...(wondering how to take this forward)
Vir: Dete hain?
Me: Okay...haan Vir, bhagwanji dete hain.
Vir: Toh phir woh itna smelly kyun hota hai?
Note to God: this one's for you. Please respond:-)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Fuzzy little snuggle puppy

Ever since Vir has started to spend more time at school, I've started to spend so much more time with Tara. Oddly or not, I haven't really ever spent quality time with her until now because my attention has always been divided between the two with a pretty heavy bias towards you know who. (Tara, if you happen to read this when you grow up, please know that this was never intentional. Maybe one day you'll have two kids and then you'll know what I mean about the second one. Your nani tried to tell me the same thing about me, but I never quite believed her until I had you!)

Anyway, the point is that now that we're spending a lot more time together, I'm even more blown away by how stupendously cute this little one is. She just takes my breath away. She always wakes up with a smile - for me and anyone else she happens to meet. She just loves to laze around in bed once she's awake rolling all over the place and snuggling into any corner of me that she can find. Even when I get her out of bed, she waits patiently for what she knows is coming - her favorite cheerios in a bowl that she can then spend the next half hour patiently munching as she readies herself for her day, thinking about all the must be done. The patience has a limit of course...if I don't give her some munchies soon enough, she gets pretty dramatic about reminding me by throwing her head all the way forward and screaming bloody murder. As long as she's well fed though, she's super pleasant. She plays around by herself for so long that I begin to miss her sometimes. But all I have to do to get her attention is to open the dishwasher. Or the bathroom door. She will literally show up from any corner of the house for either of these things. And if I catch her going towards one of these things, or towards a plug point, or the humidifier, which she loves with a passion, she quickly picks up her pace in a mad dash to get to her destination before I get to her. I actually feel bad stopping her from going into the loo because I want her to have that successful mad dash and the thrill of making it before I do! She's super fun to talk to now as well...she says ah-haa more beautifully than anyone else I know. That's the limit of her vocabulary for now, but we're working on it. She almost says dudu as well...I'm pretty sure I wasn't mistaken when I heard her say that. I'll report as it happens!

I had completely forgotten what fun almost one year olds are...with so much to explore and do and learn and play and munch and smile about. There's a book I'm reading to her these days in which the protagonist is a fuzzy little snnuggle puppy. I can tell you, she's it! The book has totally been written for her:-) 

Monday, April 26, 2010

My dad's a superhero!

In conversation with Vijay:

Vir: Papa, pata hai, I'm Spiderman!
Vijay: Really! Wow!
Vir: And Ishaan is Superman.
Vijay: That's nice.
Vir: And William is Superman too.
Vijay: Cool!
Vir: And I'm also Batman!
Vijay: Batman is really cool, Vir! And who am I?
Vir: You're a policeman.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Everything's on the record!

Vir: Mamma, pata hai meri class mein ek plant bada ho raha hai. Jab woh bada
ho jaayega, toh hum usko khayenge
. (Referring to a plant that the kids helped
with and that is now growing on their windowsill)
Me: How nice Vir! Tune help kari thi na usko banane mein?
Vir: Nahin, maine help nahin ki.
Me: Kyun?
Vir: Maine seed nahin pakdi thi
Me: Kyun?
Vir: Kyunki main ro raha tha
Me: Kyun?
Vir (shrugging): Kyunki aap nahin thay

So matter of fact! And I realized that this whole thing referred to his first day of school, when I thought he was too uninvolved and traumatized to notice what was going on anyway. Apparently, he stashes away everything into his little brain for later use and discussion. I'm racking my brains to remember if I've said anything inappropriate in front of him in the last...let's see...couple of years.

Me? Inappropriate? Naaah!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Dear Vir,

As we remind each other whenever it suits us, you're now three years old. That's pretty grown up. Yet, it appears that you're not grown up enough to really know that sometimes, the things you do cause me some amount of stress. For example, it's really not fun for anyone except you when you push your little sister when she's sitting and playing by herself. It's also not funny when you take the cookie on which her morning happiness depends and fling it across the room. Or worse, take a bite of it right in front of her. She finds it very confusing when her cookie becomes smaller so quickly. She also doesn't appreciate the constant nips and scratches she gets from you. Of course, I don't need to write you a letter to say all this. We live in the same house. I could just tell you and that would be more efficient. But that's the thing. I have told you. I'm not really keeping count but the number of times I've told you has definitely hit the high thousands. So I'm guessing that's not working. That's why I thought of writing to you. I guess one day you'll read this, and the way you're going, you'll probably still be pushing Tara or tricking her out of her cookies. So this letter will be timely no matter when you read it.

Meanwhile, here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to finally understand that you're, regardless of how grown up I say you are, just a three year old. And while you're unbelievable cute and can pull at my heartstrings in a way that nothing else can, you're also very annoying a lot of the times. But that's what three year olds do - they bug their parents. And it's my job as your mother to deal with that. Not your job. So I'm going to take what you throw at me and do my best to smile while at the same time gently yet firmly guiding you towards not bugging me. And you'll just be you. Sometimes annoying, sometimes leading my blood pressure to spike, sometimes really testing your little sister's strength and patience, but always always the most lovable little boy in my world. Deal? Alright then.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

First splashes

There's a small window of time in a baby's life when he or she enjoys splashing water because splashing water is fun, not because creating more work for your frustrated mother by splashing water is fun. There's a big difference if you're that frustrated mother.

After months of just sitting in her tub slightly dumbly while I give her a bath, Tara has finally figured out that water is huge amounts of fun. She seemed to get it in one big flash this afternoon when, after maybe one or two tentative little splashes, she went all out in the bathtub. I had a pretty overexcited and aggressive little baby in the tub after that!

This is very exciting for me. I can now go out and get bath toys and bubbles all over again! I really miss that...of course, I stopped doing that for Vir more than a year ago because fun as it may be for him to watch my face when I walk into a totally drenched bathroom, cleaning that up is just not my favorite thing to do. So Tara, enjoy this while you can, because with a mother like me and a baby like you (I know you're going to be no angel in the bathtub a year from now), it's not likely to last!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Questions from a three year old

"Mamma...America mein curtains kyun nahin hote? Blinds kyun hote hain?"

"Papa...fighter plane mein se smoke kyun aati hai? Normal plane se kyun
nahin aati?"

"Mamma...jab main table hilata hun, toh uske upar wala lamp kyun hilta

It's amazing the details he observes now. Thank God for the internet. Next time he asks me something I don't know, I'll pretend to be too busy on my computer to answer immediately, frantically pull up Wikipedia, then turn around and knowingly explain the working of aeroplanes or rockets or whatever else his little brain wants to know, thereby maintaining my 'mamma-knows-everything-I-must-always-listen-to-mamma-reputation.'

I can't believe I think this way though - trying to impress my own silly little son through pretend Wikipedia induced knowledge. I bet Wikipedia can't cure such madness. For now though, I'll be happy if it can tell me why there are blinds in America instead of curtains.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Let's see. Over the last month, a million things have happened.

1. The Gogoi family unit of Vijay, me, Vir and Tara has moved from Gurgaon to New Jersey. Sans Baggdu. (Plonk. Baggdu, if you happen to log on to this site, we miss you all the time.)

2. Vir has somehow wrapped his head around the geographical distance between nana nani's house, which he calls Dehradun, Vatika City, and America. He's fuzzy on the details, but he knows that we're now far away.

3. Vir has started school here! He's out of the house from morning to evening, which is a first for him and for us. Let's just say it's been very interesting. He is more or less settled in but is hanging on to some things to assert his independence and show that he can make choices too. For example, he chooses not to eat at school. Or go to the bathroom at school. I feel terrible about this, but also know that he's happy when he's there and he enjoys his new friends and teachers.

4. My little Haryanvi is picking up spoken English. It's hilarious. He now says things like, "I take this car home. Tara so happy. My parents so happy." And "Look at me. I'm all wet." And "This is break." We love it and can't get enough.

5. Tara has no idea that things have changed so much. But that's because she's been really busy practicing her new skills. She can now point to her tummy, baaah like a tiger (of course a tiger says baaah - that's all you can hear at the zoo if you go), throw flying kisses like a cheap roadside romeo, clap when she's happy with herself, and sway from side to side to show she's having fun. She's also crawling like a pro and has covered every inch of our new apartment by now. Especially every inch of the bathroom, which she loves. She will literally come running from anywhere as soon as she hears the bathroom door open. I don't know what both the kids like about loos in general. In her case, I suspect it's her recent discovery of the joys of toilet paper that drives her. I found her halfway through a gleeful unrolling of a fresh roll yesterday. She's even reminded Vir how much fun this used to be, and he's now rewound to when he was less than 2 and used to do this! Needless to say, we spend a lot of time rolling up unrolled rolls of toilet paper.

6. Tara has also discovered her love for cabinets, the diswasher, and the refrigerator. So, when we're not rolling up toilet paper, we're pulling her out of cabinets, or getting her unstuck from the dishwasher racks.

Okay, so that's not really a million things. It's only 6 when you write it down. But it's made up of a million smiles and laughs at the antics of the little brats, a million doubts and uncertainties about whether we're doing the right things for them, especially with this big move and all, and a million moments of just being together and happy. So you see, a million things have happened! I will try to remember some specifics and add to this list. Or just start from a million and one now that I've started updating this blog again:0)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

On a roll!

My mom's cleaning lady, Leela, had no idea what she was starting when she taught Tara the "itne bade ho jaao" trick (see below). Addicted to the attention and non stop encore requests that her performances get her, Tara has increased her repertoire to include several new and adorable acts. Give her just a little signal that you're interested and she'll perform them all for you quite willingly. The untiring little trooper does not care how many times you have presented your request before. She understands your need for cuteness and she knows how to deliver. So the opening act is "itne bade ho jaao" and is followed up with a gleeful clapping of the hands, a look at the fan with big rounded eyes and a big "o" of a mouth that tries to say fan but manages "ppppppfffffffaaaa," and then a wave goodbye. Sometimes, she'll even pick up the phone and put it to her ear when you say hello. No surprises then that she has super TRP ratings as of now and is topping the charts here at the grandparents' house!

It's amazing, isn't it? The rest of us can clap and say "ppppfffffaaaa" till the cows come home and noone will care. But this little one is running full houses on her act and its her 3rd week running. I'm pretty sure she'll keep adding to her act and I'll be sure to report on her continuing success with the admiring public:-).

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Entertainer!

Tara has learnt her first trick! And what a super cute one too! Look:

Us: "Tara...kitne bade ho jaao?"
Tara: Itnaaaaaaay

Lessons from Disney

Vir: Mamma pata hai...Micky Mouse apna sara kaam khud karta hai...
Me: Really?!
Vir: Aur uski mamma - Minnie Mouse - usko help karti hai.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Lots happening

So there's a lot going on in our little world right now and I have to say the little ones are dealing with the change really well. We're all making a big move all the way from Gurgaon to the US for about a year...but we're doing it in bits and pieces. Which means that while Vijay is already there trying to set things up, the tots and I are with my parents enjoying blissful blissful blissful pampering that, at least once you're married and have kids, can only happen when you go back home. Vir has a vague understanding of what's going on and will tell you very confidently that he's going to America in a plane. Of course, he's very excited about the plane journey (his mom on the other hand is dreading it immensely). But he's much more excited about the cab ride to the airport which MUST be in an Indigo Manza in Style as he puts it. (I didn't even know there is such a car and actually corrected him the first time he said it, only to feel quite silly when I saw the ad on the TV later).

Meanwhile, he's going to a new school while we're with my parents. He doesn't like it as much as his school in Gurgaon. I'm not surprised since I think this particular school takes itself a little too seriously, as do a lot of schools in Dehradun. My little three year old comes home from school with a notebook and homework!! I didn't even realize he was getting homework till I got a complaint from his teacher that he wasn't completing his work. (Oops...first homework ever goes unnoticed and not done. Bad bad bad.) He's also started saying things like, "finger on your lips" and "ma'am" which sounds incredibly cute coming from him! All in all, I'm really happy he's going. I guess some discipline won't hurt him of all people.

Tara, of course, is taking everything beautifully in her stride. She normally doesn't let little details like change of location and uncertainty about the future bother her as long as the really important stuff like food and unending attention is taken care of. With the doting gramps around, neither of these things is a problem. My mom absolutely loves to feed Tara bits and pieces of everything we eat, and my dad spends all his time playing with her, taking her for walks, and generally being silly for her entertainment. She is growing wonderfully too and on her way to meeting several new milestones...crawling and standing being the latest ones. She's not an expert at these right now, but is getting lots of practice and will be there soon.

And as for me, I'm relaxing and exercising and indulging myself with long luxurious baths. The aim is to store up on relaxation now so I can draw on these memories when I'm in snowed in into a small apartment in a new place and the kids are driving me up the wall. Cute images of the kids in my parents' arms and myself soaking my feet in warm, fizzy water will certainly come in handy when I'm asking myself, not for the first time, why this is all happening to me! Seriously though, I'm looking forward to the change from Gurgaon - I think it will be refreshing for all of us, and I look forward to hearing the twang that will most certainly develop in Vir's accent, which is so far pure Haryanvi.

For now, I'm just praying I survive the long flight with the two of them! I'll be sure to update if I manage that:-)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Happy Birthday!

In the last three years: I have been the happiest that I could be. I have been the most frustrated that I think I'll ever be. I've looked upon my sleeping little baby and thought a better child was never born. I've been defeated by one of his terrible tantrums and wondered what I ever did to deserve this devil. I've been touched to tears by his hugs and his i-love-you-mammas. I've been driven to tears by his screaming. I've been desperate to break free of his constant dependence on me. I've been gratified by the same dependence that I want to break. I've stared at his sleeping face dreaming dreams for what he will be. I've known that he'll be what he'll be and my role is not to make anything of him but to be there no matter what. I've held his clingy little hand on his first day of school and then left his hand as he settled in and went running through the gates everyday. I've comforted him a hundred times through a hundred crises from losing a toy to falling off the bed to getting a blood test to not getting to wear his favorite sweater. I've caused him to cry a hundred times by being the root of several of his crises. I've just known what's right for him in some cases. In others, I've stressed and struggled over the smallest decisions wondering if the choices I make will shape him forever. I've been through worry, happiness, sadness, warmth, frustration, despair, panic, hysterical laughter, hysterical sobbing, love, annoyance, and all sorts of other emotionally draining opposites sometimes all in one day.

I had no clue what I was in for when the doctor told me to open my eyes and say hello to my son three years ago. In fact, I thought I had been through the most difficult phase and things would just sort of flow along now that labor and delivery was over. After all, that was the last chapter in all my pregnancy books! Blissfully ignorant silly new mom, laughed my new son...we have loads of adventures to go through together...lots of chapters that your pregnancy books didn't know to write. Of course, even now, I'm just a blissfully ignorant silly mom to a three year old thinking we've been through a lot already but this time, I think I have a hint of things to come. With his little sister in tow, I think they have many plans for how to add wrinkles to my face!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Do they teach this stuff at cute school?

Bringing his toy grey BMW SUV to me:
"Mamma...yeh bee-em-dubloo hai?"
Me: hmm
"Par mamma...yeh bee-em-de-grey nahi hai?"

I guess BMW didn't think their brand name could be thus diluted by a three year old!