Thursday, October 25, 2012

But there's some stuff he's still trying to work out...

Vir: Mamma, how do you spell doli?
Me: D - O - L - I. But what's a doli, Vir?
Vir: It's that thing that's shaped like a little house with two sticks on the side. The wife sits inside it and two strong men carry her away.
Me: But where do they take her, Vir?
Vir. Hmm. I don't know. Maybe to a party.


Monday, October 22, 2012

And Vir is teaching me a thing or two...

While making an art and craft volcano because Science experiments are the latest craze.

Vir: Mamma, how will we make it? What about the fire? How will we get the fire to come out?
Me: We'll think about it, Vir. Let's get the volcano part ready first.
Vir: But I just want the fire.
Me: How can we get the fire if we don't have a volcano first?
Vir: Mamma. Sometimes, in life, there can be a fire without a volcano.

Tara's teaching me a thing or two...

Tara: Mamma, mere paas two rubbers hain!
Me: Tara, rubbers nahin, erasers.
Tara: Mamma....erasers ko English mein rubbers bolte hain. (with a "you seriously don't know this?" tone)
Me: Really? Ye tune kahaan se seekha?
Tara: Ye maine apne aap hi samajh liya, mamma. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

What does Lanco do anyway?

A few months ago, we were driving on the highway, headed towards Delhi. Vir was staring out of the window at cars with the same interest and intensity that he has been displaying for the last 5+ years that I've known him. I've never had a day of trouble with him in the car - he is happy to look out of the window quietly all the way from here to Dehradun, which is about 7-8 hours away, spend about 30 minutes in my mom's house and start asking for another drive in the car! And he's completely quiet in the car. Or at least he used to be - things are a little trickier now because when we're all in the car, he has to choose between staring at cars outside and making Tara cry. Its a really tough choice because they're both so . much . fun!

Anyway, on that particular day, all was quiet in the car, when suddenly Vir spoke up.

"Lanco," he said.
"What's that, Vir?"
"Lanco - it's written right there on that building...see?"

Sure enough, a big sign on one of the buildings read "Lanco." Vijay and I just stared at each other. It was like magic. Our little boy was now making meaning out of symbols! Putting together sounds to make words! Reading! By himself! Now, I know everything your first child does for the first time is always a big deal (sorry, Tara), but come on - the ability to read independently is really truly a huge deal. Its way up there with sleeping through the night, going to pee by yourself, and learning to blow your nose independently, which are milestones every parent dreams about in those early years.

I don't even know how and when it happened...somewhere along the way all the reading of bed time stories and all the stuff they do at school came together to produce that one word - Lanco! The magic of the word lies, of course, in the fact that my son can read it and not in the quality of the product or service that company provides.

We've come a long way since that one word. He's making his way through book after book these days. I couldn't be happier. Of course, it doesn't stop at books. He's reading road signs, newspaper ads, stuff online when he's sitting with me, and TV subtitles. Those are the scariest...especially because I love watching "How I Met Your Mother" and he still finds three letter words the easiest to read.

The only problem? English doesn't always follow logic and I can see he's not happy about that. Every time I correct his pronunciation of a word that defies its spelling, he pauses for a minute, tries to work out why he was wrong, shakes his little head, and moves on a tad philosophically. Maybe he thinks there's hidden wisdom regarding this that will come to him as he becomes a grown up. He came up to me recently with a frown and said, "Mamma....yeh C jo hai na? mujhe bilkul samajh nahin aata - sometimes it sounds like s and sometimes like k. What can I do?"

Hmm...what can we do? Just shrug and keep going, Vir. It's a bit of a wonky language, but there's a tonne of magic hidden in there - you'll see!

Friday, August 24, 2012

The 'Just Married, Please Excuse' Contest

I've been following Yashodhara Lal's blog for a long's been on the blog list on this page forever and sometimes I come to this page just to see if she has posted something new! When she has, I'm sure to get a smile, a chuckle, or a big all out laugh on the other side of that click and come away happy.

When she started writing about her upcoming book, I was so excited and couldn't wait to get my hands on it. She was gracious enough to respond to my shameless begging and send me a copy of it before it was out in the stores. No surprises - it was a great read. What I loved about the book was how real it was - not real as in sadness and hunger and sickness and global warming. Real as in relationships and faux pas and first dates and silly, loving husbands.

Which brings me to the reason for this post...Y has invited her readers to write about real, funny incidents that happened when they were just married. Why am I writing here? Because my incident is funny, alright!? But also because there's a really good *free* lunch to be had with her and her editor for the funniest stories. So, without any apologies for shameless attempt at getting a free lunch, here's my story that's only funny in hindsight:

My husband and I got married about 4 years after we met. Two of those years were spent battling the "how-will-you-settle-into-an-Assamese-family-they're-so-different-don't-you-know-but-you're-still-so-young-and gullible-and-how-about-a-nice-Punjabi-boy" battle. All warring factions laid down their arms eventually and Vijay and I had a wonderful wedding and reception where, of course, we hardly recognized about 60% of the guests. We didn't care though, so love struck and doe eyed were we. I couldn't wait to start my life with him - our own little apartment, done up slowly and lovingly with all the things that we (ahem - okay "I") liked, lazy afternoons spent reading and watching TV, late night spur of the moment coffee shop visits, impromptu hang outs with friends and all the other stuff that makes married life so inviting. (Its' 8 years and 2 children later and I can't even write this line without shaking my head and wondering what I was smoking at that time.) 

The extremely eventful first month of married life went by in some sort of blur and we settled into a little routine. We went to work, went shopping, ate out a lot, sometimes cleaned the house, argued a little, watched a lot of TV - all was hunky dory. Till one day, this peaceful easy feeling was given a hard knock when Vijay informed me that his bua and his much older cousin sister were visiting Delhi from Guwahati and he had invited them over for dinner. They were really looking forward to it - a home cooked meal would be great. 

What?! People from the in-laws that I haven't even really got to know yet? Scary people who will most likely judge my every move and pronounce me unworthy of their son because I had no clue how to put a meal on the table? How the hell was I to pull of a meal, a clean house, and a presentable me with coolness and aplomb? The first thing to do was to breathe and keep myself from throwing something heavy at Vijay. I had a lot of time to do that later. Now was the time to act - sign up for a cooking course, develop a serene and poised personality etc. Except, they were arriving the next day, how inconsiderate of them. I spent the next day in a total haze that consisted of frantic calls to my mom to ask what to cook and then exactly how to cook it and how much water to add and how much salt and how to get that damned pressure cooker to work. Also, what did she mean when she said 20 minutes in the cooker - did I have to start timing it from the moment I closed the lid? Vijay tried to help but failed miserably, having never taken a cooking course either. He redeemed himself with some amount of scrubbing and cleaning though. 

Heroically, miraculously even, we did manage to get the apartment to look presentable and have 4 different main course dishes and even some starters ready for our guests. Just before they were due to arrive, I was showered and fresh, Vijay was looking calm and happy as if he hadn't just spent 24 hours witnessing what married life with me was really going to be like, and the apartment was looking lovely. We had even managed fresh flowers in a jug! I was giving the living room one final appraising glance and was just about to pronounce it perfect when, suddenly, I sniffed...something wasn't right. I looked at Vijay - he was sniffing too. Where was the horrid smell coming from? Did someone forget to flush? But who? Panic rising because of extremely imminent arrival of my in-laws, I ran through the apartment opening every window I could find. But nothing would take that smell away - it just kept getting worse and worse. Eventually, we figured out that the smell was coming from the little drain pipe in the bathing area of one of the bathrooms...apparently, there was a design flaw in our building - the plumbing was connected in such a way that a blocked pipe anywhere down the tower's shaft affected all connections coming from that pipe. Of course, this flaw had to be discovered right this minute, when two elderly, clean, accomplished, and possibly very judgmental ladies were about to walk in for their first meal with their daughter in law. 

Perhaps one of the ladies might trip on their stairs, only a little, nothing serious, and not be able to make it after all? One could hope, right? Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on which side you're on), they didn't trip - they showed up just when the smell had established itself as a permanent guest in our apartment. Vijay and I put on our best smiles, I gracefully touched their feet and welcomed them to our home, and chit chatted about the weather pretending we weren't all at risk of suffocating. The poor ladies kept sneaking glances at each other and at their watches, trying their best not to faint on us. Somehow, we managed to get through that evening and see off two very happy to have escaped Assamese in laws. 

And the dinner? Let's just say there were a lot of leftovers that evening.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

3 going on 13

This is a question for mothers of teenage girls who might read this blog. How do you do it? Handle them, I mean? I'm asking because I think its happening to me sooner than I had imagined. Sooner by about 10 years. Let's examine this objectively. Below are some things I have heard about teenage girls:

1. They like to argue. Check.
2. They have strange and very sudden mood swings. Check.
3. They are always right. Check.
4. They DO NOT back down. Check.
5. They can make you want to gnaw your arm off in frustration. Check.
6. You just don't know where you stand with them sometimes. Check.
7. It's their way or the highway. Check.

Been there, doing that everyday.

See what I mean? It's all on the list and it's all checked.

Meanwhile, in a different room:
My little (shall we generously call her a pre-teen?) Tara smiles wickedly as she reads this and says, "you ain't seen nothin yet, peasants. Muhahaha."

Let me be fair and say it like it really is (of course I'm afraid that Tara will read this some day. Very, very afraid.) For the most part, as long as she is well fed, well rested, and being given a hundred percent of the love and attention currently available, she is a dream. She's sweet, gentle, funny, fun, playful, self sufficient, and happy. Problem is, all of the above is not always an option. Especially the love and attention part. There's an evil older sibling constantly taking some of that away. Some of it is his right, she concedes gracefully. She can't deny him that 1%. But the other 99% must be guarded and fought for every minute. Relentlessly. As suggested by Sun Tzu in The Art of War.

Evilness of older sibling is problem number one. Her own strong opinions are problem number two. Vijay used to accuse me of having too many opinions at one time. He finds it amazing, for example, that I have so much to say to the florist when I go to pick up a simple bunch of flowers. The type of flowers, type of ferns, which part of the stock the cello tape should be stuck to hold them together, how tightly the bunch should be put together, what height the cellophane wrapping should be at, the kind of cellophane it should be, the type of ribbon, how the ribbon should be cut, and so on. Men just don't understand. He, in complete contrast, has been known to go to a florist (only when forced at gunpoint), ask for a bunch of flowers, and proceed to check his messages while the florist has a field day with the flowers. His conversation goes something like this:

Bhaiya - thode flowers dedo.
Sir, kaunse?
200 rupaye main jo bhi mil jaaye
Sir, roses hain. Carnation hain. Gerbara hain.
Sab dedo - mix kar ke. Thoda pack kar dena.

I think it's safe to say Tara's opinion gene has come from me. She has a lot of them, on every topic, and she's not afraid to give them a good airing. Whether you agree with her at any given point or not will determine the status of your friendship with her at that point. She will frown, point, and announce that she's not your friend, or smile, point, and announce that you are her friend as the case may be. The fact that you may have been declared her best friend a few minutes ago does not, however, grant you any sort of immunity. You're just as likely as the next offender to be written up in her black book. The black book is a terrible place to be. Because then you need to identify what it is you did wrong and apologize for it. Without this crucial step, life will not be normal again. If you ever cross paths with her, please remember this piece of advice. It's like a wet paint sign you really should just believe.

Meanwhile, in a different room:
Tara frowns and says, "Main aapki friend nahin hoon. Aap gandi girl ho."

I just wonder at how this little girl can already have so many little complexities...strong and soft, sure of herself and needing approval, opinionated and earnest, assertive and insecure, angry and smiling, independent and needy, pushing you away and pulling you to her, all at the same time.

I had left the kids for about 10 days last month and gone away on the trip of a lifetime to Ladakh (that's another story for another time!) While I was away, Tara refused to talk to me...she was always busy when I would call and Vijay and my friends told me she was happy and there was no problem. She seemed happy and light and all indications were that she couldn't care less that I was away. When I got back, there were no theatrics. She was happy to see me, happy to get a present from me, and happy to give me a big hug and then go back to whatever she had been doing. About 2 weeks after I came back, before she fell asleep at night, in a moment when being vulnerable seemed alright, she told me, "Mamma, jab aap Nadakh chale jaate ho to main aapko bhot miss karti hoon. Phir aap kyun chale jaate ho? Mujhe bilkul achcha nahin lagta." Sigh.

All pre-teens can mess with your mind like this, I know. But are they all this lovable?

Meanwhile, in a different room:
Tara smiles shyly and says, "I love you three, mamma."

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I'll say this again: Already?

Vir (jumping out of his school bus): Mamma, look what Aashna gave me today!
Me: Nice! A friendship band!
Vir: Yes. She's my friend and she's a girl.
Me: Did she give one to everyone in the class?
Vir: No, just to me. She even gave me a marble a few days ago.
Me (to myself, but I think in a teenage girl voice): Oooooh....a marble! She must really like you.
Me (to him, in a mom voice): That's nice, sweetie. Do you ever give her anything?
Vir: No. I don't even take anything to school. But, tomorrow, I have to take your phone number. Can you give it to me? I'll write it on a piece of paper and give it to her. So she can call me. 

Sure, kid. Will do.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Missing the point by just a little bit

Tara, while preparing to cross the road: "Mamma, pata hai, jab road cross karo toh ek bada sa zebra aa jaata hai."

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Vir: Mamma, when are nana and nani coming to meet us?
Me: Day after tomorrow!
Vir: What time?
Me: By the time you come back from school, they will be at home.
Vir: Okay - I think I'll bunk school that day.
Me: Ermmm...let me think about this - No, you won't.
Vir: But mamma, it's so boring. We always do the same thing everyday.
Me: Only 12 more years to go, sweetie (or something a little more thoughtful, sensitive, and appropriate)
Vir: Okay, mamma, how about I take a phone with me to school?
Me: Off to sleep, Vir. (Can't you tell I'm too busy digesting the fact that my 5 year old is talking about bunking school and buying a phone, all in one conversation. Let a woman panic in peace, please.)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Fun with colors

One of the things that makes the kids happiest is if I let them mess around on my computer. Anyone who knows me also knows that I do not let anyone mess around on my computer! So, even for Vir and Tara, messing around is basically watching me while I write sight words for them to read out on a blank PowerPoint slide and getting to choose colors and clip art to make the words more fun or coloring shapes on  MS Paint or on a really lucky day, playing some badly designed game on!

It was only recently that Vir was introduced to MS with painting and coloring in real life, he really seems to have a sense for color, design, perspective and all that good stuff. Already more than me, I'm afraid. It's a little embarrassing actually...because sometimes he asks me to draw stuff for him and I can actually see his confusion trying to figure out what it is that I'm making. Sometimes I use my executive privilege to decree that the 2-dimensional, 4-legged, disproportionately figured creature spreadeagled on the page is really a dog/cat/ant/duck/some creature that was once alive and I know these things because I'm mom. Mostly though, I just back off and ask them to wait for dad to come home if they want something realistic on a page.

Anyway, back to MS Paint. Vir loved it! He wanted a cityscape, kind of like New York city and since he wasn't being able to handle the mouse very well, he gave me very clear step-by-step instructions about what to draw, what colors to use, what size to make stuff, etc. Here is the first creation:

Once we had the night sky with a bit of lightning, he instructed me to change a few things, and voila - a rainy evening in New York!

From night sky to rainy evening, to sunny day - the weather is unpredictable in the city:

I just love how this kid's brain works. His instructions were so specific for each change - choose a lighter color here, remove that speck there, change the color of sun a little because it doesn't seem right, make the background lighter than the sun, fix the grey outline on the wheel of the first car, now zoom in to check that it's actually fixed. All this on his first exposure to MS Paint. I might be taking design advice from him for my PowerPoints for work soon. 

Tara, of course, could not be left behind in this all new all exciting activity. She waited, not too patiently, while Vir was directing the creation of his stuff, and when she finally got her turn, this is what she created:

Of course it's pink! Other colors are nice and all, but we all know that pink is the queen of all colors and others exist to serve her and make her look even better. 

Of course, I've created two little MS Paint monsters now - every time I switch on the computer, they come running and derail my plans of focused productivity. So more art work on it's way in the next few days!

Monday, June 11, 2012

The joys of having a loving sibling

Tara: main big and strong hoon
Vir: (in the tone of a teacher gently correcting his student) Tara, aap big ho. Aisa lagta hai ki aap strong ho. Par actually, aap siraf fat ho. 

Thursday, May 31, 2012


Have I ever properly introduced Baggdu? He's our 6 year old lab. He's the most amazing dog you'll ever find. When he first became part of our little family, the family was a lot littler - just Vijay and I. He was the cutest little thing...I fell in love with him the minute I saw him. I wanted him so badly. But Vijay didn't want a dog at the time. For all the right logical reasons I'm sure. But just look at him in the picture below. Can I be blamed for not being able to resist him?

I don't really need to go into the details here, but let's just say Vijay feels like he was deceived into getting Baggdu home. He didn't know what was happening. I wonder why...he paid for the dog...shouldn't he have known what he paying for? Oh wait...maybe that's because I may have swiped his card on his behalf instead. That might somewhat explain the feeling of deception.

Anyway, it's six years on and dwelling on the fact  that I wasn't entirely above board about how he came to us won't get us anywhere. Vijay wholeheartedly agrees and never reminds me of this, especially on cold winter mornings when the dog, unaware of his role in our marital discord, whines next to Vijay's ear because he wants a brisk, foggy walk. Or when he refuses to climb stairs and demands to be carried up 6 flights after a sweaty walk if the lift is broken. Or when he gets into a rough and very stupid fight with a menacing street dog, neighbor's bulldog, or other out-of-his-league animal and needs to be rescued and nursed. It's all good, says a serenely smiling Vijay - what's done is done. Now that Baggdu is ours, let's enjoy him and never place blame on well-meaning, if slightly impulsive spouses.

Look at Baggdu now! All grown up. Still pretending to be dumb when it suits him and razor sharp when we're giving important instructions that involve procuring and consuming biscuits. The best thing about him is how gentle he is with the kids. He just loves them. He is at his happiest and most energetic in the morning when the kids wake up and come to our room. He runs to greet them and lick them and hug them as if they've just come back from a long holiday! He doesn't realize it but overwhelming groggy and unsteady on their feet kids with love and affection is a little pointless - they just yell at him or climb over him on to the bed to go right back to sleep. But I think he just can't help himself - especially around Vir. Vir loves him a lot too and it's a real joy to watch them together. It's a heartwarming scene that also helps Vijay forget all the hurt at being deceived 6 years ago.

Baggdu is also providing something of an education to the kids, albeit not in an age appropriate way. You see, the other thing about Baggdu, as you can probably figure out from that innocent face and virginal expression, is that he has never got lucky. We should have probably thought more about his needs, but you know...we got busy with the kids and his sex life was never really a prime concern. We could probably have had him neutered, but Vijay is still a little hopeful and doesn't want to unfairly take away the potential experience from Baggdu. As a result, sometimes the kids get to see a slightly excited version of their pet dog. So far, we haven't really thought of this as a problem. We thought the kids were too young to really notice. Until recently, when Vir came running in excitement to Vijay and announced, "Papa! Come and see! A pink missile is coming out of Baggdu!"

As always, we didn't know what to do with this and how to respond. I think Vijay just dodged it with some vague mumbling. I would probably have done the same - I mean, sometimes you need time to Google the right parenting approach before you have to use it, right?

So you see, we have a lot to thank Baggdu for - his gentle and loving presence in our family, his non-destructive, super peaceful approach to life, his non-demanding personality, and the latest, his educational value for the kids with regards to certain life skills. Now all that's left is the fulfillment of Vijay's only dream from a dog - someone to fetch the morning paper!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


For the last few months, my work life has overtaken a lot of my other life. I'm in a job that I enjoy and that I'm good at and that is challenging and all that good stuff. I also really like making money - I make less than I spend, but I love offsetting every expense against my income in my little mental ledger. And since I offset one expense at a time, and my ledger doesn't come with an inbuilt "add" functionality, it all works towards making me think I'm totally self reliant.

It started with me saying I'll just work a few hours a day - while the kids are away at school. Then, there was that one urgent deadline that I just had to meet, so I switched on the TV for the kids and worked a couple of extra hours. Then there was a call that 5 people needed to be on and they were only available in the afternoon, so could I please make an exception and just dial in for a while? Then, some of the stuff I did was appreciated by folks in the office and I felt happy and wanted to do more so I could stay as good as they all said I was. Slowly, I found myself cutting back on park time with the kids, relying on my friends to take my kids to tennis class a little too often, being too tired to read them their bedtime stories, and too distracted by the latest deadline or crisis to really listen to what they were saying over the dinner table. None of this happened very just kept creeping up on me. I realized what was happening in flashes once in a while, so I started working late into the night thinking I could give them time that least I wasn't working when they were awake. But that's really just a story I told lack of sleep makes me a pretty boring companion to them anyway and a less productive employee over time too.

Even Vir noticed what was going on. He's been asking me why I'm always messing with my phone and has even told me that when I'm on my computer all the time, it bothers him because I never listen to him or give him whatever he's asking for. He was very fair though, and told me that I could be on the computer "sometimes" as long as I still heard him out when he wanted to talk.

I had a bit of an enlightened moment today when everything seemed to come to a was a super hot afternoon, there were painters all over my house (because I don't have enough to do and decided that getting the entire house painted would be the right thing to do right now), I was staring at my computer trying to be productive, not succeeding, so staring some more, while also taking one call after another, and the kids were just sort of hanging around the house with my maid trying her best to entertain them. Finally, Vir literally came up to me and broke down crying that he wanted something to do and someone to play with. For a moment there, I was actually too tired to even feel bad for him...I found myself looking at him thinking, "too bad, but what can I do?" And then immediately, "What the hell, woman? If you can't do something, then who will?" I decided to take the rest of the evening off. Vir had a doctor's appointment anyway, so I took both of them along. After we were done, we went to Modern Bazaar and shopped for groceries and then to a friend's house so our kids could play for a while. We came back and I put my phone away and, even though it was late, we pulled out a couple of story books and read them together before sleeping.

I cannot even describe what a change in mood I saw in my kids and myself as a result of this little bit of time spent with them. Nothing I did was an indulgence...simple grocery shopping...old story books...the magic was just in the fact that I switched off from everything else and simply focused on them for a while. The kids snuggled up to me and slept happily and I just lay there thinking...why have I let go of these simple rituals with them - spending time over splashy bubbly baths, dinner time conversations, art and craft activities, bed time stories? Small as they all seem - they're obviously important. If I let them go, the kids probably won't even be able to articulate what they're missing. But they'll lose out anyway. And me more than them.

I guess I'm writing this more to work this whole thing out for myself - it's time to figure out what's important and make time to do it. Over the next couple of weeks, I'm going to set myself some goals and make sure I achieve them. One happy side effect for my 3 readers - many more updates on this little blog. You won't  be ignored anymore little one because you're all about the kids too!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

It's still May!

Still May - which means its not too late to write Tara's birthday post! I would have to write one you know - even if it was December...because Tara will learn to read very soon, and when she does, there will be some serious trouble for a certain writer of a certain blog in which a certain younger sibling will find herself certainly a little shortchanged.

But fear of serious consequences aside, I can't move on without acknowledging that my little little one is now 3! Recently, there was a splash pool party thingy at her school. They sent us pictures of all the kids splashing around in their little swimsuits. In one picture, Tara was standing grumpily, unhappy because the other kids were splashing water on her. When I came upon this picture, I almost didn't recognize could this tall, grown up little girl be the Tara who, only just yesterday was a roly poly little baldy sitting on the floor with her bowl of Cheerios? I know all parents say their kids are growing up too fast, time is just flying, and so on. But they say it because it's true!! It's unbelievable and quite confusing, really.

Tara was super duper excited about her birthday. Of course, to her, it basically meant a cake and her friends. She didn't talk too much about presents. But I think that's just because her dream present had already been given to her by nani the month before. This dream was a water bottle which has a strap so you can hang it on your neck, and a little button, which, when pressed, shoots out the straw to drink from. Before she had it, I think she slept dreaming about it every night. Just thinking about a future where she would own that bottle would make her smile and go into a little reverie. Since I had told her she would get it on her birthday, this magical day took on a whole new meaning. My mom ended up getting her one before time when they went to Dehradun...she didn't take it off her neck for an entire week!

Tara's obsession for water bottles and cups and all manner of liquid containers is threatening to overflow all cabinets and shelves in our house. When she walks into a toy store, she knows exactly where the Barbie and Dora bottles are kept, heads straight there, makes her choice in less than a minute and walks right to the cash counter with it. It's up to me to give in right away or make a battle out of it. Sometimes, when I have the energy, I take on the battle and refuse to buy her another piece of junk. Never an easy thing to do to a 3-year old...especially one as fiery as Tara. With her accusing looks, finger pointing, and declarations of "main aapka friend nahin banoonga," she tries her best to bring me down. It's a win-win situation for me though...if I'm able to hold my ground and not buy the bottle, I feel very successful and proud that I have done the right thing and taught my daughter a valuable life lesson. If I can't take the pressure and just buy the damn thing, I get to see her so happy with something so small! The gleam in her eyes, big toothy smile, and "ab main aapka friend banoonga" is totally worth it even though I know she's just playing me!

Only she can get away with the stuff she does, but then she has the right to, doesn't she!? I take a little bit of pride in her sense of entitlement because it tells me she's happy here.

So happy birthday, lord and master of the Gogoi household. We're happy you're here too. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

The sibling bond

Vir: Mamma, you know what's the biggest number?
Me: No (I really don't)
Vir: It's Lupeto
Me: Lupeto? What's that?
Vir: It's the biggest number. It's bigger than infinity. It's bigger than everything.
Me: Cool. Who told you about this number?
Vir: Yash (the current source of all wisdom)
Me: Great. So I love you Lupeto, Vir.
Vir: I love you Lupeto.
Me: And how much do you love Papa?
Vir: Lupeto
Me: And nana nani?
Vir: Lupeto
Me: And aita and koka?
Vir: Lupeto
Me: And Tara?
Vir: One hundred

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Erm...Belated Happy Birthday, Vir

I've already made my excuses for not writing for so long on this space (see post below). Things are the same...oh, except my maid went away, so they're a tad crazier even. I did promise myself though that I'd write Vir's birthday post within the month of Feb so that I could say his birthday was last month. It's so much sillier to say it was last to last month, right? So now that it's February 29th (whoever designed this calendar leap year thing did me a favor and didn't even know it), I think I'm running out of time.
So his birthday came and went. That's putting it very simply and not doing justice to the agonizing months, weeks, and days that he spent waiting for his special day that was to be filled with cakes and presents and presents and presents. In Vir's 4 year old mind, the day he turned 5, everything would change...he would have everything he ever wanted - race tracks, millions of Hotwheels cars, Disney, of course, a party, balloons, a Chota Bheem cake, and all sorts of other happy stuff. Oh and the love and respect of all other older children on the school bus. After all, 4 year olds are babies. But not 5 year olds. 5 is the big league.

I'm happy to report that though we kept it relatively small, he did end up having a really good day. He was swimming in birthday presents and his friends and his cake did everything to make him feel special.

Of course, I also took the opportunity to drive home the point that life really does change the minute you turn 5 - you have to start eating every meal all by yourself, getting up sharp at 7:00 to get ready for school, and clean up your room all by yourself every day. Also, under no circumstances can you ever whine or cry as a 5 year old because that's totally unheard of, don't you know? Yeah...he believed me and it was good while it lasted. We had two really good days.

Honestly, 5 is such a great number. He's such a little boy now...not a toddler, not a preschooler, but a school going boy. Filled with mischief and crazy ideas and stories and misinformation and half baked truths and convoluted explanations and fantasies.

He's my little baby, who needs me every time something goes wrong and is miserable when I'm mad at him. He's his dad's little follower who made it a habit to run as fast as he could wherever he wanted to go, even if it was from one room to another within the house when Vijay completed the half marathon so he could be just like papa. He's the evil big brother who terrifies Tara by telling her that haircuts hurt a lot, that Bombay is filled with dinosaurs, and that mom has gone away and the lady who just walked into the room is someone else who just looks like mom.

Part baby and part big boy, part innocent and part worldly wise, part frustrating and big part lovable - our son has turned 5 in the blink of an eye and is well on his way to the next big phase of life as a schoolboy.

He does keep threatening to leave us and move to another family whenever we don't allow him TV or when we're being generally annoying, and has even offered to sell me to a friend in exchange for a nicer mom, but we'll pass that off as a heat of the moment thing. He knows we love him madly and thankfully, at 5, he has no problems showing us what we mean to him either.

P.S: Happy Birthday, little one. We're loving every moment.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Where is everybody?

Still very much here. When my kids grow up and read all about themselves, they'll wonder what they were up to during the long periods of silence on this blog. To them I will say - when you grow up and get married and have two brats of your own and a job and a house and a maid who keeps threatening to quit and then finally leaves and a mostly harmless dog and road trips to the gramps and cold, cold winters and lots of laundry that just won't dry - try to write a blog and try to be regular about it.

Only, I'll say this with a very pleasant tone. I might even smile fondly at my memories, while holding a cup of hot coffee in one hand and a favorite piece of fiction in the other. Becase this crazy time will then be in the past. Sigh.

Till then - irregular, yes. Crazy, yes. On the verge of nervous breakdown because kids holidays have lasted too long, yes. On the whole, very happy with how life is going, hell yes.