Wednesday, January 30, 2008

At 7 months ...

Still a couple of days away from turning 7 months, but there's so much happening with Jiya that I thought I could comfortably sit and pen down all of that.

The second child is a totally different ball game from the first. With the first, we now realize, we had so much time at hand (even though at that time we moved around like busybodies trying to fit chores, outings et al into his routine). But we sure had time to look at every milestone achieved, try in our own ways to hurry the next one. I remember calling the triage nurse when Vansh was 2-1/2 months old with concerns about he seeming hungry every hour, secretly hoping that she would give me the go ahead for solids. First child, you know!! On the contrary, she told me to hold off even the next breast feed for at least 3 hours after the previous one. Phew!! At 5 days short of 4 months, I decided I couldn't keep my son away from the delicious food I was having any longer. Feeding struggles continue till date.

Huh!! Anyways this post was supposed to be about Jiya's 7th month updates. The digression happened because we look at Jiya, say banging two toys together and go "Hey, when did that start?" We are so busy keeping up to the demands of everyday life with 2 young kids that Jiya is just flying by.

- The separation anxiety phase didn't last very long, thankfully, and I think once children learn to put themselves to sleep, the separation anxiety takes care of itself. So now she stays busy first sitting up for 5-7 minutes and playing with a few toys that reach upto her sitting up height. She then falls over and starts rolling to explore the other contents of the room. We have to be particularly careful about Vansh's toys with small or relatively sharp parts lying around, as also the plug points being covered. I once spotted her fiddling around with that too. What keeps her occupied for the longest time is 'cheerios' :) - yeah she is exercising those tiny little fingers and getting better at her fine motor skills with every passing day. Small bits of paper, a thin rope are other things that she works at getting in her pincer grasp.

- When she is not sitting, she loves to roll and scoot on her tummy to reach toys or us if we are sitting farther away. Almost always on the go, curious and exploratory is what her sibling-care teachers at ECFE (thats where I started leaving her once she turned 6 months, when I go with Vansh to his class) have to say about her every time.

- She loves drumming :) and toys that make some sort of sound. Given a toy, she'll first shake it to see if it makes some sound; if not, she would try to bang it to some other toy or book or box in close proximity or on the floor. In case of no sound, she would drop it as something of not much worth. At times, she is content banging her swing table with just her hands. Vansh's quip "Jiya tabla baja rahi hai" (Jiya is playing the tabla).

Just like the older sibling, this one's too is a child of changing tastes. So while apples and pears were gobbled down with much delight a few days back, its just non sweet eatables like sweet potatoes, dal, carrots now.

- Adores a silly little rhyme I play with her bouncing on my knees which goes something like

Rickety roo, rickety ree
Jiya is bouncing on mommy's knee
Rickety roo, rickety ro
Pull the horsie, Whoa!!
Rickety roo, rickety rup
Jiya is going up up up
Rickety roo, rickety round
Watch Jiya fall to the ground!!

This is sure to light up her tiny face anywhere anytime even in the middle of the night, at times, when nothing else works! However, in all fairness to Vansh, who naturally wants to be bounced around too and with whose body weight, I am not capable of doing this more than twice in one go, I have to limit it with Jiya as well.

- She does this little thing where she makes a fist with her right hand and rotates it in a clockwise direction, moves it up and down as if kneading floor. It reminds me Vansh used to stretch out both his hands as if riding a bike.

- New people make her wail for a few minutes before she returns to her normal smiley self and unlike Vansh, she shows a preference for the mortal beings that are her parents!! Thank God!! Vansh, at this age was so happy to go to perfect strangers and not return to us that he actually had us thinking on numerous occasions whether there was something wrong with what we were doing!

- Tickling makes her laugh out loud. And inspired by none other than our son, who's more often than not, a volume 11 person, she too enjoys experimenting with the loud booms she is capable of making.

** Editing to try out the irresistible nimbu mirchi anti-jinx designed by the hilarious Dotmom **

The Best Birth Story

Thought you would get a chuckle out of this one ...


I've been teaching now for about fifteen years. I have two kids
myself, but the best birth story I know is the one I saw in my own second grade classroom a few years back.

When I was a kid, I loved show-and-tell. So I always have a few sessions with my students. It helps them get over shyness and usually, show-and-tell is pretty tame. Kids bring in pet turtles, model airplanes, pictures of fish they catch, stuff like that. And I never, ever place any boundaries or limitations on them. If they want to lug it in to school and talk about it, they're welcome..

Well, one day this little girl, Erica, a very bright, very outgoing
kid, takes her turn and waddles up to the front of the class with a pillow stuffed under her sweater.

She holds up a snapshot of an infant. "This is Luke, my baby brother, and I'm going to tell you about his birthday."

"First, Mom and Dad made him as a symbol of their love, and then Dad
put a seed in my Mom's stomach, and Luke grew in there. He ate for nine months through an umbrella cord."

She's standing there with her hands on the pillow, and I'm trying not
to laugh and wishing I had my camcorder with me. The kids are watching her in amazement.
"Then, about two Saturdays ago, my Mom starts saying and going, 'Oh,
Oh, Oh, Oh!' Erica puts a hand behind her back and groans. "She walked around the house for, like an hour, 'Oh, oh, oh!' (Now this kid is
doing a hysterical duck walk and groaning.) "My Dad called the middle wife. She delivers babies, but she doesn't have a sign on the car like the Domino's man. They got my Mom to lie down in bed like this." Then Erica lies down with her back against the wall.

"And then, pop! My Mom had this bag of water she kept in there in case he got thirsty, and it just blew up and spilled all over the bed, like psshhheew!" This kid has her legs spread with her little hands miming water flowing away. It was too much!

"Then the middle wife starts saying 'push, push,' and 'breathe, breathe'. They started counting, but never even got past ten. Then, all of a sudden, out comes my brother. He was covered in yucky stuff that they all said it was from Mom's play-centre, so there must be a lot of toys inside there."
Then Erica stood up, took a big theatrical bow and returned to her
I'm sure I applauded the loudest. Ever since then, when it's show-and-tell day, I bring my camcorder, just in case another "Middle Wife" comes along.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Red Stop Green Go

Ever since Vansh started getting the concept of colors some 6-7 months back, one of the first things that fascinated him was the traffic lights turning from green to orange to red and he soon figured out, with our help of course, 'green go, red stop, orange slow' and pronto started generalizing it, much to our amusement, to things around of these three particular colors. For instance, if I asked him which t-shirt he would like to wear, he would say

"Green go pehnni hai." (I want to wear 'green go')

or would look at me and exclaim

"Mummy red stop pehnti hai". (Mummy is wearing 'red stop') or better still "Mummy red stop hai, Papa orange slow hai" (Mummy is red stop, papa is orange slow)

An interesting incident happened once at an Indian store where he went with Ashwini to get some groceries. Apparently, there were a couple of other customers in front of Ash and Vansh. The first one was holding a red basket full of groceries and the second one was holding a green one. Thoughtfully looking at those baskets and recalling the newly learnt fascinating information about colors meaning something, he was quick to quip in a loud and clear voice, enough to draw the attention of everyone who was involved and with appropriate hand gestures

"Red stop hota hai, green go hota hai"

as if to tell the person with the red basket to stop and make way for the person with the green basket to go cos thats what their basket colors signified. The green basket man was delighted and wished he could do that and everyone around mighty amused.

Another funny episode took place a few days back when I put up the camera battery for recharging in the charger. The light turns from red to green once the charge is complete. As soon as Vansh spotted the light turn green, he said too me in a hurried tone,

"Mummy, green go ho gayi. Jaldi le lo, orange slow ho jayegi." (Mummy, its green go. Remove it quickly, else it will turn orange slow)

It took mom a moment to realize the context and the meaning of the profound words and once she did, she was found doubling with laughter and once again delighting in the astonishing marvel, that's childhood

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I love you Vansh!

Dearest Vansh,

Even though you will not remember today for anything in particular but I want to, hence this letter. You are such a wise person already, you know. Many a times I feel when I ask other moms for suggestions about your misbehaviors or when I write about them in here, I find myself asking - Do they know how good and actually wise can you be at times? Do they know that you are able to sense when I can handle your tantrum and when I can't? That when you know I can't, you actually go inside your room to cool down when I am the one who has screamed at you and ought to be cooling down. And after a few tears, you come out and tell me in the gentlest voice 'Big hug karna hai. Cool down ho gaya' Of course all the anger dissipates. And leaves a huge guilt on having done what I just did.

Today was one such day. I had been working slowly and steadily on the huge week long pile of chores I have mentioned in the last post. And too much work stresses me out, a lot. And I shouted at you for being, well, just a kid. Banging things on walls, on your writing board. I held you by your arms and screamed 'Stop that!' I could have asked you gently and I am sure you would have listened. You started crying and went inside your room and of course then I stared crying in the kitchen. Hearing me, you came out yourself and asked "Mummy ko kya ho gaya". All I could do was hug you real tight and just say "Mummy ko gussa aa gaya, mummy sad hai. Sorry!" You went about playing and being your ususal chirpy self. Some time later, you were playfully shouting while playing with Jiya and once again I lost it. I shouted at you from the laundry to tell you to stop shouting!! I know, how unreasonable can one get! After a couple of minutes, you came to the laundry and you looked at me very very carefully and you knew, yes I could see it from your expressions that you understood that mom was having one of those days. You didn't say a word, didn't protest a bit. And after a few more seconds of observing my face become normal, my brows relax, you said softly "Jiya pair maar rahi thi Vansh ko. Mummy big hug karo Vansh ko" (Jiya was getting her feet in my face. You give me a big hug!)

Well I can't go on right now, son. I don't want to be stressed even after you wake up from your nap. I want to nap myself! But I just wanted to tell you that I am proud of you! I am proud that you understand your mom and let her be her ugly self with you at times and still continue to shower her with your hugs and love!!

I love you loads and loads!!
Hugs and kisses

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I am tired ...

Wednesday afternoon after waking up from his nap Vansh complains of stomach pain and throws up partially on the carpet and partially on the kitchen floor. Stomach flu strikes once again, the third time in this season! As I change his clothes, soak the dirty ones, clean the kitchen, and am halfway through the carpet, he throws up in the kitchen again. Weak and not quite himself on Thursday. Wants to be cuddled a lot. Nights are too tiring as well. Jiya getting up every 2-3 hours and screaming out loud. I am so exhausted from a back breaking day that I bring her into the bed and nurse her a couple of times during the night. Friday morning Jiya throws up at 7:00 am and again at 9:00 after being fed. I call the triage nurse at the pediatrician's office who tells me to exclusively breast feed her every hour for a few minutes so that she gets in little in her stomach at regular and frequent intervals. Weak baby, cranky from all the trouble that she is going through, not able to nap or sleep too well. Saturday - Jiya is temperamentally fine but still has a mild diarrhea, which is not as much a problem, in spite of the many soiled clothes et al, as the newer and now unmistakable and more intense one of separation anxiety. A minute out of sight is met by screams, loud ones, some of them even louder than Vansh's. This continues at nights as well. In fact she screams if I do anything short of pacing the floor with her. Sunday, we decide to get out of the house to the Children's museum, to pep up things after a weary half week. Dressing up everyone for the -30 outside takes nothing short of an hour. And we still feel cold, very cold, and yet again exhausted, almost to the point of feeling stressed. In the midst of it all, increased loads of laundry, carrying Jiya a lot, playing with Vansh, in addition to the everyday sundry tasks, I feel sapped mentally and physically. Sunday night I decide Jiya would have to learn to sleep herself. Which means listening to a lot of crying on Sunday night. Beckoning Ferber yet again, for the younger one this time. Tough, distressing, heart wrenching but unavoidable. Monday morning, Ashwini wakes up feeling cold and feeling a churning stomach. Decides to stay home. Rests a lot. Things are getting better with the kids. Except the separation anxiety part - thats at its worse. Chores are mounting up. Huh!! Monday night - cries again but definitely better than the previous night. Tuesday - another day passes. A call to the triage nurse again to ask about Jiya's diarrhea this time tells me the virus can take a week to get out of the system and to continue with her normal diet. Starchy foods - rice and oatmeal cereal are good. Ashwini still not absolutely fit. Has an ongoing stomach pain. Tuesday night - hardly any cries :) Thank God for that! Today was a better day. Ashwini is feeling better. All that's left now is to complete all the huge piled up chores, try to get them done during the little one's naps. And I am so tired!

The latest additions to Vansh's vocab ...

... are the words 'maintenance' and 'refreshing'. Impressive, huh!!

The other day, Vansh jiggled out of his room, balancing a kind of big car holding it with one hand and its remote tucked in beneath his arm and in a thick tone said to me, "Mummy, 'nemance' uncle hai Vansh, theek kar diya!" (Mom, I am the maintenance uncle and I have fixed it!) Apparently he was imitating an apartment maintenance guy who had come in the morning to look at the heating unit which was making some noise. The big guys in uniform are THE rockstars for our little guy :)


The other craze is 'Moe Doodle' from the 'Doodlebops' and his act of pulling the rope in each episode which results in a big load of water landing on his head which he shakes off with a fervent nod and mouths 'Refreshing'! To be able to act the same way, Vansh demands the pail of water be emptied on his head with a thud and off he goes "Refreshing". My laugh is greeted with a sheepish "Funny guy"!!

He's our cute little funny guy indeed!! :)

Spoiled under thirty crowd!!

Ha ha ha!! I so love these kind of forwarded e-mails.


When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with
their tedious diatribes about how hard things were
when they were growing up; what with walking
twenty-five miles to school every morning ... uphill
BOTH ways .. yadda, yadda, yadda. And I remember
promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way
I was ever going to gripe like that to my kids about
how hard I had it and how easy they've got it!

But now that I'm over the ripe old age of thirty, I
can't help but look around and notice the youth of
today. You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my
childhood, you live in a utopia! And I hate to say it,
but you kids today don't know how good you've got it!

1. When I was a kid, we didn't have the Internet. If
we wanted to know something, we had to go to the
library and look it up ourselves... in the card
catalog!!! (Do you even know what a card catalog is?
Yeah, I didn't think so!)

2. There was no email!! We had to actually write
somebody a letter--with a pen! Then you had to walk
all the way out to the street and put it in the
mailbox and it would take like a week to get there!

3. There were no MP3's or Napsters! If you wanted to
steal music, you had to wait around all day to tape it
off the radio and the DJ would usually ruin the
beginning or end of the song by talking over it!

4. We didn't have fancy conveniences like "Call
Waiting!" If you were on
the phone and somebody else called they got a busy
signal, that's it! We would sit by the hour redialing
and redialing, hoping we could catch them as soon as
they finally hung up the phone.

5. And we didn't have fancy stuff like "Caller ID,"
either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it
was! It could be your school, your mom, your boss,
your worst enemy, your best friend, a collections
agent, a prank just didn't know!!! You
just had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

6. We didn't have any fancy Sony Playstation or Wii
video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had
the Atari 2600! With games like "Space Invaders" and
"Asteroids"--and the graphics were horrible! Your
"guy" was nothing but a little square! You actually
had to use your imagination! And there were no
multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen
forever! And you could never win...the game just kept
getting harder and harder and faster and faster until
you DIED! Just like LIFE!

7. When you went to the movie theater there no such
thing as stadium seating! All the seats were the same
height! If a tall guy or some old lady with a hat sat
in front of you and you couldn't see, you were just

8. Sure, we had cable television, but back then that
was only like 15 channels and there was no on screen
menu! You had to use a little book called a TV Guide
to find out what was on! And there was no Cartoon
either! You could only get cartoons on
Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I'm saying!?! We
had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons!

9. And we didn't have microwaves, if we wanted to heat
something up, we had to use the stove or the oven...
imagine that! If we wanted popcorn, we had to use
that stupid Jiffy Pop thing, or a pan with HOT oil and
real popcorn kernels and shake it all over the stove,
forever, like an idiot.

10. When we were on the phone with our friends and our
parents walked-in, there was no escape and no chance
of privacy--we were stuck to the wall with a cord, a
seven-foot cord that ran to the phone--not the phone
base, the actual phone! We barely had enough length
to sit on the floor and still be able to twirl the
phone cord in our fingers. If we suddenly had to go
to the bathroom, guess what we had to do....that's
RIGHT...hang up and call them back later...and pray
that they weren't on the phone to somebody else when
you did!

That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today
have got it too easy. You're spoiled!! You guys
wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980!

Regards, The over 30 Crowd

Have a great day!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Cultivating Values

At times, some casual conversations with Ashwini or with friends take such thought provoking turns, I wonder how it actually started. The other day, we found each other discussing the importance of inculcating the right values in children and the uphill task that its becoming in the world today. It almost scares me, in a horrifying kind of way, to think what if I fail. I know (and I hope) that it'll come to us with time, but at this point I wonder how you talk to your kids without over preaching or in a way that makes sense to them about differentiating right from wrong, one of the core values, what many other values boil down to.

One of the values that we talked about in length was the value of money or your belongings, of what you have. Many a times, I find myself thinking about my own childhood. My parents. struggled, in their own ways, to run the finances of the house. They decided early on that they wanted for me to have the best possible education and would strive hard for that even if that meant, and it did, cutting down on other expenses. They sent me to the best private school in Delhi and they were not the ones who thought that duty ends at that. They invested a great deal of their own time in me as well.

Now going to the best private school meant being surrounded by kids whose families were much better off financially than my own. So while the other kids were picked up, during exam time, in cars, many of them chauffeur driven, at that (thankfully the majority still used the school bus during regular school days), I asked my dad to meet me a block away from school on his two wheeler or better still I tied up with a friend who could drop me on her way home. Or when I traveled sandwiched between my mom and dad on the two wheeler, I beckoned each and every God from heaven to not cross my path with any of my class mates. However much my parents explained to me and I never fought with them because I very well understood that we just couldn't afford it at that time, still the embarrassment that a 12 something year old faces in situations like these is hard to take away. But now when I look back, I think I learnt a lot of lessons in my life from those times. I learnt that my 'friends' still continued to be my friends unfazed by my economic status; that those who didn't want to be seen hanging out with me weren't really my friends after all. I heard, at that time, but realized much later the meaning of the words my parents oft repeated which meant that desire is never ending. You have a scooter, you want a car. You have a car, you want a fancier one, a bigger house after that, does it ever end? Does that really make you happy? What makes you happy is coming to terms with reality, being at peace with what you have and what you don't.

Now 'car' is a relatively big thing and there wasn't much I could do about it at that time. Barbie dolls, like always, were the 'in-thing' with 8+ years girls at that time. I was made to work really hard academically, always within limits and according to my capabilities, to be a proud owner of those dainty little things. And even then, it didn't mean I would get each and every accessory and playset that I would ask for. So while it was okay to buy a doll and a couple of dresses (Rs 300 for the doll + Rs 80 for the dresses - no paltry sum at that time by any standards), the dollhouse which cost 600 bucks was obviously out of question. Once again, many around me were playing with those things and I don't mean spoilt brats but decent down to earth friends of my own. But I am not sure whether they felt the same sense of accomplishment that I did because I had actually earned my reward by working very hard for it.

And this continued well into the college years and beyond. I had to cook Sunday breakfast twice to earn Rs 1000 to be able to buy those Levis jeans for that trendy look in college. Even my B.Ed. degree, the last educational degree that I worked for - the two options were working hard to get into Univ 1, pay a fee of Rs 21,000 or working harder to get into a more prestigious Univ 2 with a fee of Rs 3000 and utilize the remaining balance of Rs 18,000 to buy a new color TV, I had been pleading so long for, to replace the 15 year 'old is gold' remote control-less EC TV set.This still makes me smile :) Of course that was not the only reason (or so I like to think), I did make it to Univ 2.

Well that was then. Not too much money, automatically one realizes its value. What lies ahead is the fact that money is not as much of an 'issue' as it was then. Or rather is it the other way round! My brows started to rise, my jaw to fall in shock when a co-parent in ECFE shared that her 6 year old son asked for an iPod for Christmas. Her reply "I don't even know what that is" cracked me up and helped soothe the worrying being that was me. Kids being targeted like never before by ad makers, peer pressure at its worst, video games and gazillions of other hand held electronic devices finding their way into more and more hands and increasingly smaller ones at that replacing the good old playing cards or even the pebbles and marbles or stamps and coins that we so fondly collected. First hand stories of grade 9 students chipping in to gift a cell phone to the only girl in class who didn't have one (and this I am talking about New Delhi, India 5 years ago); grade 7 students shouting "let's stock up on colas and chips" after being kept away from those for just 2 days while on a confidence building camp; statements like "I don't miss my mom and dad as much as I am missing my servant" on the same camp literally sweep the ground from beneath my feet.

Is it "all about the money" from so early on these days? And like I said the worry is that money is not an issue now. My parents said No to the dollhouse for the simple reason that they couldn't afford it. But being able to say No when you know you can afford it is the tricky part now. Its not easy, not at all. I recently started a 'stars' and 'crosses' chart with Vansh where in, we worked together on a list of 'good'(red) and 'bad'(black) behaviors. A 'good' behavior like not disturbing mom or dad while they are talking on phone for a few minutes or with each other, talking softly without shouting for an hour, etc are rewarded with a red star while shouting at/pushing Jiya or visiting friends, interrupting talks, acting naughty during meals and so on get him a black cross. By accumulating 3 successive stars, he earns himself 15 minutes of TV or laptop time where in he can play at, one of his favorite activities. A cross means he has to start again. He is way too excited about racking up the stars and does his own little jig when he 'earns' the TV/laptop time and pronounces it proudly to dad when he returns from work. Now that he understands simple concepts of waiting before doing something, getting appreciation for doing something good, I am hoping to start him on what it means to 'earn rewards for self', 'valuing what you get', 'delayed gratification' (another extremely important one - the right here, right now world that it is increasingly becoming; whatever happened to 'We'll eat out on your birthday or may be even on the weekend'. A delicious meal is just a phonecall away as soon as you feel like it.) Anyways, the point I was making was saying No even when you know you can afford saying Yes. As a mother, I feel bad at times when he has not been able to earn 3 stars before his favorite show 'Doodlebops' begins and have a tough time holding myself back from switching it on and looking at that twinkle in his eye. I feel bad when I say No when he says he wants to own a Fire Truck, his latest craze. Thankfully Ashwini is much better than I am, especially when it comes to toys and other material possessions. Doting - yes, indulgent - no. So even as Vansh wishes to have a fire truck (fortunately he is not yet a stage where he demands that we buy him something), we look for books in the library about those to bring back home and read together, we pretend, much to both the kids amusement and laughter, that we are fire trucks running crazy in the house with sirens blaring and he can of course play with those at ECFE or a friend's place. We'll probably wait a couple more months till his birthday to gift him one, by which time, there's a good likelihood of the craze having changed.

Monday, January 14, 2008

A few updates

Jiya's sitting up independently for a few minutes now ...before going *bump* on her side or her back.
Look closely at those tiny little ears ... for those shiny little studs.
We got her ears pierced on the 12th of Jan at Claire's at the local mall. They used the gun shot, putting 14 karat gold earrings in them to make the hole. She cried for about 5 minutes. Ashwini showed her some balloons and I showed her some dangling colorful earrings in the store and she was pretty happy to see them. After a few minutes, she slept like a log clinging onto me. When she woke up, she was fine and playful as ever. I need to clean her ears with antiseptic solution thrice a day for 6 weeks and rotate the ear rings 3-4 times each time I do that. And she does very well while I do that. For some reason, she lies absolutely still. I think she likes the cool liquid on her ears. The studs too are specifically designed for little ears. The back screw doesn't touch her ears like is normally the case. So there is enough room for rotating them and air and the antiseptic liquid to pass through. She occasionally touches her own ears and the earrings but it doesn't seem to bother her at all. Incidentally, Vansh cried almost as much as she did. Part of it was concern for her little sister crying so much (he does get quite meek even when she gets her shots) and part of it was fear that he would be next. I had to hold him and pacify him while he kept crying and saying "Ears tops nahi chahiye" (I don't want tops/earrings in my ears). A lollipop from the lady who did the piercing ws a bonus :)

Friday, January 11, 2008

A few samplers on Vansh's verbal platter

Scene - Jiya crying.

Vansh (in an absolute grown up tone) - Jiya क्यों रोती है? पापा, मम्मी, Vansh रोते हें? Hanh? (Why are you crying Jiya, Do papa, muumy or Vansh cry like that?)


Scene - Vansh snatching something from Jiya's hand

Mom (in a reprimanding tone, voice raised) - Vansh क्यों गन्दी बात कर रहा है? ऐसे Jiya के हाथ से छीनते हें? (Vansh why are you doing something wrong? Should you be snatching things from Jiya?)

Vansh (solemn tone) - Vansh को नहीं बात करनी। (Vansh doesn't want to talk)

2 minutes later

Vansh - Mummy, Doodlebops song चलाओ। (Mom, play Doodlebops song)

Mom - आप तो बात नहीं कर रहा था। (You said you were not talking)

Vansh - Sovy (for sorry). Doodlebops song चलाओ


Scene - All of us going in the car

Vansh (out of the blue) - Hello Arunabh! What you doing? 941-621. Okay! Ya! OK Bye!

Mom - Who are you talking to?

Vansh - Vansh meeting hai. Vansh saath Arunabh saath. (Vansh has a meeting with Arunabh)

Mom and dad laugh.

Vansh joins in and says - Funny Guy!!!


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Regressing ...

...has occurred at a couple of fronts with Vansh ever since Jiya came along. Cute at times, doesn't really matter at others and plain frustrating at some more is how I would describe it.

So while suddenly spending more and more time on his bouncy, lying down on his tummy under tables to play with his toys in an effort to be like Jiya is cute; imitating Jiya's babbling isn't quite as pleasant but doesn't really matter; when he starts putting in his mouth things like paper, coins and suddenly feels a need to experience what the table and even the bath tub feel like, it is just so maddening. And now that he has realized this is something that makes me mad and is sure to get a reaction, he does it to push my buttons.

Friends at ECFE offered a few ideas starting by ignoring him to offering him something to lick like a teething biscuit or a carrot and tell him while its okay to lick an eatable but not so to lick tables and bath tubs. I am hoping something works.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The ruckus which is night time sleep with 2 young kids

When my in-laws came to us when Jiya was about to be born, Vansh was very happy to have company in the room even at night time. That was also the time when he used to move from one room to the other making sure everyone was asleep, including Jiya, once she was born, before he laid down himself for his repose, the cliched "यह सबको सुलाके सोता है."

Once they left, Ashwini started sleeping with him to help him recover from the sadness that overwhelmed him and to assist him adjust to life with a sibling. However the futon in his room is okay for a few days but starts aching your back if slept on everyday. So when Ashwini started facing that problem, we thought that we would wait for Vansh to fall asleep and then Ash would come back to sleep on the bed in our room. That worked fine until 2:00, 3:00 or 4:00 am, depending on what time Vansh woke up from his deep sleep. He would then come to our room, push me and Ashwini a bit to the sides and take his position between us, fidget lots, try to sleep sideways, forward, backward, his feet our head and vice versa, ask me to go and make something in the kitchen so he could have one side of the bed to himself and finally settle for a preferred position. And even then he would kick so much in his sleep, more often than not, the victim being me, that I would wake up feeling I had hardly gotten any sleep not because of the new baby who was being an angel at night but because of the 2 year old's night time fancies of having half a bed to himself. After a few days, I started going to his room to sleep on the futon while he slept on the bed. On some days, Vansh would then come and sleep with me on the futon! Why!?? Didn't he just ask me to vacate the bed he wanted to sleep on!!?? Kids!!??

But the kicking got better or may be I got more used to it and Vansh started sleeping on his own in his room to begin with (coming to us at 2:00, 3:00, 4:00 am continues to date) and nights became smoother. And finally all of us, except Vansh, stopped moving back and forth between rooms, trying to get our share of the 'oh so wonderful sleep'! The little angel was still the angel, well on most nights, if not all.


Sleeping alone, on the first hand, hadn't really been a thought about decision. But right from the beginning he had been such a light sleeper that if he slept at about 9:30 and we went in at about 11:00, pressing our feet to the floor hard so as not to make the slightest sound, he would stand up in his crib and look at us as if to say "Wow! So is it playtime now?" What began as an experiment day to sleep in the other room and was met with success, then became the ritual.

end of digression

In the meantime, the little angel was growing up and getting smarter by the day, learning all those principles of cause and effect you know. Angel cries, mom shows up. Angel smiles, mom picks her up. Nighttime practice of the principles is double the fun. Moreover, smooth nights with 2 young kids, now thats against Mother Nature!! Isn't it! So if the elder one is getting better, the younger one has the added responsibility on her tender shoulders to make sure the ruckus continues! And so the scene the past week has been something like this :

9:00 pm - Jiya sleeps in crib
9:30 pm - Vansh in his BR
10:30 - 11:00 pm - We in ours
11:15 pm - Jiya cries, at times mom's sight is enough to pacify her; at others she could do with a quick feed
11:30 pm - peace again
1:00 am - Jiya cries in full frenzy; mom paces the floor with her (no night time feedings, Vansh taught mom the VERY HARD way)
1:15 am - still crying, mother trying sip of water, rocking on rocking chair, OKAY a little feed would save everyone's sanity and SLEEP
1:20 am - peace again
3:00 am - Jiya wakes again, cries a lot, dad goes to Vansh's room, mom paces the floor
3:30 am- Vansh comes to sleep with mom armed with a flurry of questions "Jiya is crying? Does she want milk? Does she want to play? Is she 'buddhu ram'??
4:00 am - some degree of peace restored
4:10 am - Vansh realises he has too much space to sleep; Oh where's dad? In his room - why did I come here then?
Oh and before I forget, he has this habit of shutting doors, and not quite gently at that (equivalent to banging in the silence of the night), when he moves in and out of rooms. Enough to wake Jiya again. Exhausted mom gets her with herself to sleep and finally thats the end of it all at about 4:30 am, two hours away from waking up!!

Is sleep ever the same again after you have kids??

Monday, January 7, 2008

A pleasant and least expected surprise!

Dear Neera,

We're happy to hear (in your blog) that your son enjoys Trashy Town so much!

Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha.

An e-mail from the authors themselves after the post that I posted few days book about Vansh's favorite book Trashy Town.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Jiya is upto ...

Wow!! 6 months already, thats a half year. Jiya is just flying by. Well here's what she has been upto this last month ...

- She now rolls over back and forth and sideways and horizontally and diagonally, which is basically saying that she is all over the house now. To keep her entertained, we scatter toys randomly in the room and that too is mostly taken care of by Vansh (he now wonders why I don't ask him to cleecum - his word for clean up when he's done playing with say his blocks) and she rolls and plays wit them as they come in her way. Choking hazards have to be kept an eye for.

- She's now able to raise her tummy supported by her arms when lying on her tummy which is the preferred position now.

- She loves to gobble down whatever is offered to her. We have to be careful that she doesn't eat too many Parle G's or crackers fed to her by her loving elder brother and then become constipated.

- She started babbling a few days back and repeats 'da da da' and 'bla bla bla' most commonly.

- She loves it when Vansh plays with her, even if that translates to snatching away toys that she lays her hands on. She'll smile and laugh as if he gave her the best gift ever. I am just waiting for the wars to begin once she realizes what's going on. Even though I was earlier telling Vansh to stop doing that but the fear that I was actually hastening the 'beginning of wars' combined with the 'Wow!! You are so good bhaiya' look on Jiya's face told me to hold off.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Mr Niño is a trashman!!

One of Niño's favorite books these days is Trashy Town by Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha. Its a book about a trashman Mr Gilly who has does the Oh So ENVIABLE task of driving a BIG blue GARBAGE TRUCK!! Yeah thats the enthusiasm and awe we see in Niño when he spots a trash truck and better still a trashman - well I am sure the big truck making rambling noises when the trashman empties the big trash cans into it has a great appeal - audio and video, and not without reason, for a 2 year old. In addition the book has a good rhythm to it with repetitive text - "Dump it in, smash it down! Drive around the Trashy Town!!" and two of Niño's favorite words "STOP" and "NO" on every page! So in addition to repeating the words of the book all day long, Niño also likes to pretend that he is Mr Gilly himself, drives his own garbage truck around the house and tries to turn each one of the containers (the bigger and bluer it is, the better, for its close resemblance to the actual trash cans) into the truck and 'dumps it in, smashes it down!' Things falling to the ground have a potentiality of cracking him up with laughter like nothing else does. That the contents of a 4 cu ft toy box are too much for a 1 ft long trash truck is something he still needs to figure out!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year 2008

From our family to yours