Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Random notes ...

...for my mind's too cluttered for anything coherent enough to merit a separate post by itself. For the last few days, I have been drafting several posts but that's where they remain - in the drafts - for the lack of time or concentration. This one too is from last Tuesday and today I thought let me post a last one before I finally move back to India and get back in the groove of writing again.

- So the date's finally final. Nov 29th it is when I and the kids head back to apna desh and yes I travel alone. Ashwini follows after 3 weeks. A couple of schools we have applied to have come out with schedules for parents' interaction in the first and second week of December, thus requiring me and the kids to fly ahead of his release date. Thankfully I got the preferred itinerary after several e-mails back and forth between Ashwini and the travel department of his company.

- Vansh is super excited about the move. Everytime he talks to his grandparents and this has been happening for the last month or so, he started out by saying "Main kal India aane wala hoon", the next time he spoke, he said "Main aaj shaam ko aa raha hoon", followed by "Main 5 minutes mein aa raha hoon" and now its finally down to "Main abhi aa raha hoon. Mummy chalo chalte hain."
When I went to his preschool last week on his last day there, his teachers joked that he has been telling them he is going to India ever since he went there in September. That's what he talks about when they take him to the loo. That's him - whosoever meets him for even a few minutes can by no way miss the things that he absolutely loves and hates during that particular time. So if you were to meet him today he would tell you, after of course telling you that he's going to India, that he likes to watch 'Alvin and the chipmunks', he likes to eat 'Orange chicken and fish', he does not like to eat dosa and that he is silly!! Yeah!

- So its taking stock, selling, packing, checking weight, opening, adjusting, throwing out and re-packing at our household these days. Looking at the ongoing selling spree, when we lay our hands on anything belonging to Vansh as small as the set of some redundant keys Vansh likes to play with, he says "Please meri keys mat becho!"

- Apart from the move,the kids are growing up way too fast. Its been a while since I did an update post for them and its been one new development after another. Jiya is the reigning drama queen who is already a 3 year old in the body of a 16 month old. Reverse psychology is what works with her and what I have been using to feed her her meals. I keep telling her "Jiya, mat kha, mat kha" to which she protests with a grunt, comes running to the dining table (yes, she doesn't sit there for more than 3-4 bites) and opens her mouth wide. Its working, so I let it be and am not too particular about making her sit on the table and then just whine or throw everything off and end up not eating.

- Her tantrums have gotten huge. She throws a fit whenever she doesn't get her way. She starts by pouting her lips followed by throwing whatever it is in her hand and then goes on to bawl at ear splitting decibel levels. Off late, I have been trying to make her pick up what she throws off in a fit. In the beginning that too was met by a tantrum but now she knows there is no way out. As is usually the case with second borns, we as parents are better prepared and don't lose temper too easily on these small things because we know the bigger ones are yet to come :)

- The dining table in the kitchen is her second home. She spends the better part of the day on it - takes her toys and plays with them over there, takes her books to look at, eats, colors or just looks around. I think she likes to come up to our level and enjoys the view of the world from there.

- She is a very very cuddly baby. Every few minutes, she would just come from whatever she is doing and hug us and kiss us and then go back again. She loves girls elder to her. Our next door neighbor and friend's daughter Antara and one of Vansh's preschool friend Shreya are her favorites and she showers them with generous doses of hugs and kisses.
- Vansh is getting more and more interesting by the day. His latest is pretending to be Ms Debra and Ms Jodi, his two preschool teachers. He acts very solemn and goes on to say "Two more minutes to playtime."; "Hold the rail friends!"; "Zack you are going to sit on, lets see, J today, Quinn is going to sit on mmm M" followed by some more incomprehensible English. Now that most of his toys are either packed or gone, he spends a lot of time playing pretend. He pretends that a blanket is a moving truck moving books or an empty toy box is a garbage truck carrying all the small remaining toys. This morning a maintenance guy was at our place for about 5 minutes to repair the dishwasher and Vansh pretended to be him for the next hour repeating the sentences he said and Vansh understood.

- Questions, questions, questions, truck loads of them. He now enjoys having all kinds of conversations and tries to understand more by asking more and more questions. At times, still the why's make no sense. At which point I just ignore it. I am right now finding it hard to remember snippets here. But it'll be a whole post soon.

Hah that's that for today. I am a mixed bag of emotions right now. From being very very aversive to coming and staying in the US initially, away from family to finally being heavy hearted leaving it behind, its been a long journey spanning close to five years. Being married, motherhood two times round and being on our own in a country seven seas apart are reasons enough to make these five years truly memorable. Some great friendships, some great insights into the culture, getting to know the great parenting styles and oh the super cool public library system (yeah I am overly obsessed with it) will make me remember and cherish these years with much fondness.

So adieu friends! See you on/from the other side of the world!

Friday, November 7, 2008

I adore the stage ...

... Vansh is at because

- Even though he wants to be Batman, he snuggles up close when I play a Batman video for him on the TV and after a while not being able to stand the fighting, switches it off declaring "Vansh ko accha lagta nahin hai!"

- When his 7 year old neighbor, friend and hero dons his cool jazzy Ben 10 watch the size of a tennis ball, Vansh comes home quickly and asks to wear his old and tattered faded green Shrek watch (which incidentally we found lying somewhere) and races back to show to his hero.

- Everytime he sees flowers, he remembers his Nani because she had brought flowers for him at the airport last time he went and then tells her to get 10 orange flowers for him this time.

- Once again, he called his hero to come to his house and look at the NEW little 20 inch TV that we got off Craigslist (after having sold off the one we had as we get ready for the move.)

- He kept loving and preferring the old 94 model Toyota Corolla to the newer Honda CRV because we bought the Corolla much later (just a few months back to serve us for the remaining 3-4 months as we needed 2 cars with the kids' increasing activities out of home) and hence actually it was the new car for him.

How I wish the utterly delightful innocence lasts forever!

And by the way a couple of days back, I had to make him stand straight for clicking a picture for attaching to his school registration form which my father in law is filling back in Delhi. I had to click 35 odd pictures to get a couple of decent results because Vansh decided to honor me by making one silly face after another. However at the end of it, I laughed as I went through all the pictures I had taken because they covered almost all the expressions and the accompanying face on his look he has these days - from grumpy to angry to giggly and mostly silly.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Change!

What a night and what a Sweep! At 10:01 pm CST, CNN projected Barack Obama as the 44th US President. That was just one minute past the voting in California and the other PST states would have ended. The difference in votes was huge and he was very close to the 270 electoral votes which he needed for a victory, which he did in the next 20 minutes or so. It was monumental, a moment when something as simple as the emotion of joy on the faces of the people speaks for itself as it did last night as hundred thousand people gathered in Grant Park, Chicago awaiting the arrival of the President elect.

I did follow the elections this time but not very closely. If I had to vote, I would have studied the candidates and their campaigns much more in-depth. However that didn't stop me from joining the Obama cult :) He is everything one needs to be to become a role model for millions - he is young, dynamic, an amazing learner, an excellent orator - I think I saw the eyes of almost everyone brimming over with joy as he delivered his victory speech last night with the motto "Yes we can!". He has raised the hopes of milllions of Americans in the power of democracy. He has made the African Americans and many other minorities believe that they too have the right to dream Big and know that its possible to realize that dream. I have no idea what change will happen from now on but for me, for now, Obama being elected president and such overwhelmingly is a huge Change.

I couldn't ever think that I would write a post on Obama's victory but I guess that's what he has done to each and everyone in this country, sit up and applaud the history that he's created! And I am glad that I am witness to it.