Saturday, December 11, 2010

The world of .com

It so happened that one day my father in law's inbox was open on the desktop. He stepped away for a few minutes to attend to something else. It was during the time when IPL was going on this year. I think the Mumbai Indians team was flashing on the side of the inbox that caught Vansh's attention. He clicked on it and lo and behold. All the pictures that he could ever dream of, a very very catchy look with all the jazz, it was like a dream come true. He spent a lot of time on it looking at cricketers' profiles, snapshots of various matches, speeds of bowlers because speed fascinates him.

In more or less the same time frame, looking at his passionate interest in airplanes, airports, etc (he remembered the color of the two planes that we had taken one and a half years back from US to here, the time when the wheels folded when the planes took off, he remembered E8, the gate number from which we had boarded the plane and that was the first combination he made if you gave him magnetic letters and numbers), I searched for some take off videos and videos of inside the cockpit on youtube and showed it to him. His little yet fast paced mind put two and two together and gradually made him realize that there's an address bar where in you punch in a few letters followed by .com and what follows thereafter is nothing short of a magical journey. Ever since, there has been no looking back.

The things that he now does are rather amusing. One of his favorite thing to do remains looking at airplanes' videos on youtube. It helps that once you type in the first few letters of 'kingfisher', say 'kin...', several spellings come down below making his job super easy and rendering mom's help useless.

During the Commonwealth games here, he saw Ashwini look at the games' schedule and book tickets online and in short create magic again and so he added it to his mental list of favorites. He was often found browsing through the website clicking on various stadium names and trying to book tickets himself. Thank God he still doesn't know the concept of credit cards, for the concepts he does know, he puts them to excellent use. Like he once put in Ashwini's company name, say XYZ, in google. Unimpressed by the technical website which was the first result, he clicked on the second one which was a jobs website where you apply for jobs. He typed in his name at the correct place, our home phone number which he has recently memorized in the contact number space and XYZ where it said company's name and went on to announce smugly that he had applied for a job in papa's company.

He often visits or to book tickets to Bangalore or Chennai which was where Ashwini recently travelled for some trainings. I mentioned his immense interest in KBC in my last post which is also a regular destination because he is very very keen to register me as a contestant.

And to get an opportunity to get his hands on the computer, he has become one smart negotiator knowing and implementing the tricks of persuasion, black mail, sweet talk to the hilt.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Its been close to 8 long months since I posted last. Needless to say, so many things have happened. The kids have gone ahead and grown by leaps and bounds :) The prominent thought that clouds my mind these days is how much worse could be the teen years after all. I mean they assert themselves on what they want to wear when and where including at night, take off their jacket as soon as they get on the school bus because they anyway wore it only because I fought and insisted, on the way they want their hair to be styled, again style it the way they want as soon as they get on the school bus even if I somehow coax them into styling it the decent way. I mean is there going to be any more to it than this. God only knows how I am going to handle it!
Apart from the fights, there are good things happening too! For one, Vansh has learnt the significance of touching elders' feet. The idea has dawned on him gradually. 'You touch dadi's feet on Diwali, she gives you a 500 rupee note'. Let me try it with nana nani in the evening. Oh wow, they do the same. Thats easy!! Oh I can do that for Crax or Kurkure as well! Why didn't someone tell me that earlier! So its feet touching galore these days in these parts of the world :)
Jiya on the other hand has it even easier. Touch feet, but why? I can get the same results with a tantrum! Its an easy small one with grandma. Mom is a slightly tougher nut to crack, but crack she does, you know with a more long drawn one!
As for her shyness, things have started looking up just a teeny bit. She now greets her teachers she has been meeting for over 9 months now at her playschool with a smile. And my friends, some of whom she has been meeting for close to 2 years now at the park sometimes get a nod when they ask her a question.
Dressing up continues to be a hot favorite. She can practically wear a lehnga every single day with much joy with bangles and earrings to match. Throw in a neck piece and she'll be on top of the world unrelentingly posing for the camera.
Commonwealth games were a huge hit with Vansh and continue to be a hot favorite dominating his conversation with anybody along with Kaun Banega Crorepati. Combine both and you get a very interesting mix of questions that he throws at family members and visiting guests after inviting them to sit on the hot seat. But he's a patriot first, you know. So the answer to the question, 'Who won the most medals at Commonwealth Games 2010?' would be met with a 'Galat Jawab' if you answer Australia instead of India :)
So that was my latest update and my come back post. Lots more to say and intend to say I do much more regularly from now on since I am home again after a short stint at work.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Vansh turns 5 and another BIG news

So finally the wait ended, the wait that lasted almost a year when he kept asking whose birthday is it next and had the order on his finger tips and kept repeating "Pehle nani ka b'day aayega, phir papa, phir Jiya, .... , phir chachi ka b'day, phir dadi ka aur phir VANSH KA!" In the last week before his b'day, he had already started saying "You know, next year I'll turn 6 years old!" oft leading to responses like "How about first turning 5 dude!"

But its so heart warming to see and feel the excitement, the glee in his voice and the wonder in his queries. "So will you buy me new clothes for 5 year old children then, new shoes too?", "So will I grow taller?", "When will I turn as old as papa?" and then the countdown every morning, "Is it today" followed by a whiny "Why not?" I wish for you to be always so enthusiastic about beginning a new year in your life, dear son as I wish for you the bestest of joys and the most wonderful cheer. I do expect a lot from you, you know that and we try hard together. We are successful in some things and have to try even harder in some more.

The other BIG news is that I get back to work next week. After 6 long years ..haaah. Even though its a 7 week contract to begin with, but for me, its still big. Its in the school that I worked in before getting married and moving to the US. I am thrilled to be getting back. You know out of the total of 5 meals that I have to feed my allergic-to-food and even more allergic-to-the feeding-mommy kids, 3 would be done by the daycare that we decide to put them in while I am away!!!! How cool is that?! Okay so thats not the only thrill factor ;) I had to go to meet the Principal and my HOD (Head of Department) today and Vansh was home with his grandmother. He was a bag full of questions when I returned ...

- So did you teach today? You were mam today? Don't make faces the way you do with me, okay, otherwise children will say our mam is so funny! Ohh, okay, thanks for the reality check!

- So who will drop me at my bus stop and who'll pick me up? Oh so if you go before me, I'll drop you at your bus stop, okay!

- Today he got quite worried about going to his Karate class, my mother in law told me. he even changed into his uniform and told her "Will you please take me since mamma has been away for so long?" when we have to go only inthe evening at 5:00 and I returned at like 12:00 :) But to be honest I felt good about the role that I play in his life and that he is realising it.

- Jiya chipped in with her queries - so will you go in Bhaiya's school bus? Why not?

I have a lot of apprehensions myself. To be working first time ever after having kids. I am so used to being there for them all the time as are they. What would it be like? I hope and I pray to the kind Lord to be especially generous with his blessings on us right now, to watch over us as we start yet another new chapter in our lives.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Journey to the Achievement Week

Vansh has in his school starting today what they call the achievement week, in which basically they would be tested and graded on whatever they have done throughout the year. As I and Ashwini cajoled him into learning at least 2 more rhymes out of the 20 odd rhymes, other than the ‘Aeroplane, aeroplane’ and ‘Lal peeli motor’ in a last ditch effort last evening, I realized that making him prepare for the said week has been a rather amusing experience.

- As you might have noticed, the rhymes that he did remember well are related to transport. No surprise that. Day before yesterday, I asked him to narrate the 'teddy bear, teddy bear turn around rhyme’ which he narrated as ‘teddy bear, teddy bear up in the sky; where are you going flying do high’. Basically he was just replacing the aeroplane word with the teddy bear in the ‘Aeroplane, aeroplane’ rhyme. On being asked what was he saying, he replied that the teddy bear is riding in the aeroplane. Hmmm, okay – what can one say to that except laughing at the logic!

In another instance last evening, Ashwini asked him to narrate a rhyme titled ‘2 little apples’. I’ll quote the conversation that took place :-

Vansh – 3 little monkeys jumping on the bed

Ashwini – I asked you to narrate 2 little apples

Vansh – No, 4 little monkeys …

Ashwini – 2 little apples

Vansh – No, 6 little monkeys …

Ashwini – 2 little …

Vansh – 10 little monkeys … (reminded me of the times when I tell him he’ll have to repeat a word he doesn’t remember 5 times, if he resists I go on increasing the number to 6,7,8 – its his turn now, hmm!)

Ashwini – Okay, lets just make it 2 little monkeys …

Vansh – 6 little monkeys jumping …

Chachi called the doctor …

Chacha called the doctor …

Dadi/Dada/ Papa/ Mamma called the doctor …

Us : Oh! So that was the logic behind the 6 jumping monkeys. Each one from the family ought to get a chance to call the doctor!

- I made him several worksheets for English, Hindi and Maths to practice matching the picture with the correct letter, circling the correct letter, counting and circling the correct number and the like. Many a times he liked to do his own thing with those.

This is what a typical worksheet on matching looked like. I couldn’t just give it to him and then proceed to check it some time later for that would be a maze exercise for me to see whether the picture is actually connected with the correct letter. I would have to actually look at him start from a particular picture, doodle endlessly and finally reach the corresponding letter. Normal is boring for this little fella!

He once didn’t want to work on any Maths worksheet because he was bored and said that he wanted to make one of his own. So he picked up a template and came up with this.

He made several English worksheets too at the back of the ones I gave to him to work on. I just have one picture though he made much better ones when the idea was novel to him and he drew meticulously.

The zig-zag matches with the Z, thats an umbrella matched with the U and a Race-car with the R. The big curve on the right is lots of smoke from the race car since it moves so fast.

He decided to spruce up a plain looking hurriedly made ‘What comes after’ worksheet by drawing an amusing looking Papa on it. And didn't deem the worksheet important enough to be completed, by the way.

- I am not sure if I have mentioned before that Vansh is extremely conscious of his public image, especially his image at school. I have a mighty hard time explaining that at home, he is the total opposite of the really the sweet docile boy that he pretends to be in front of friends. At PTM’s, when I and his class teacher (whom he is very very fond of and would do anything to be in her good books) exchange notes, I am like “Are you sure, you are talking about the same Vansh that I am talking about?” The difference shows in his work too. While his class work is immaculate and like his teacher claims among the first one to be finished, he likes to do his own thing taking his own time at home. On a regular basis, he does not write the counting in the correct order. He’ll first write say the 20’s line, then spend some time thinking where the 70 would come and then write the line backwards till 61 and so on. While practicing to draw a garden scene for his art test the next day, this is what he came up with at school and then at home. The school one is complete with a shining sun, trees and flowers and a bunny. He wanted to just make a big sun sitting in the garden and kept drawing rays of the sun.Then he wanted to draw a dog in its kennel which is what that square is.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Are they really 4 and 2?

Experts from a couple of conversations last morning and evening respectively, with the supposedly 4 and 2 year old residents of the household

Vansh took a long time to get up and out of the bed last morning, more than 20 minutes and considering that morning is really the time when 'every minute counts' lest you miss the school bus, it was a lot. After about 10 minutes of trying several ways to make him get up, it came to a point where I told him, threatened him would be more like it that I would now stop telling him to get up. He can get up whenever he wants to and then I'll ready him and walk him to school even if that means he reaches an hour late. And if after getting up, his taking a bath clashes with anyone else's bath time in the house, he would have to wait even further. And I actually intended to follow through. The boy still slept for a further 10 minutes as I strolled around the house, pretending to be not losing it! I don't know what ultimately made him get out of bed but when he did, we just had enough time to rush to the bathroom, rush through the daily 'motions' (I think I experienced the smallest unit of time yesterday as the one between the time I made him sit on the pot and the time it took for the potty to come out!) and rush with the bath and the dressing up before rushing out the door for the bus. We were late by about 5 minutes but there were still about 3-4 minutes before his school bus came and guess what this guy has the cheek to tell me, as I acted all angry with him for doing what he just did ...

"See, even after getting up so late, I can get ready in time for the school bus!" !!!!!

Later in the evening, Jiya was busy with one of her favorite things - doodling on her palm and wrist with a red pen claiming to be applying 'mehndi'. Her grandmother asked her to give the pen to her as she wanted to work with it. And this is the conversation that followed:

Jiya: I won't give this to you. You take another one!
Grandma: I don't have another one. Please give me this one!
Jiya: Then you can buy another one from the market.
Grandma: How can I buy another one?
Jiya: Are you a boy or a girl?
Grandma: You tell me!
Jiya: Girl!
Grandma; Then?
Jiya: Boys have wallets and girls have purses! So you take money from a purse and buy a red pen from the market. I will not give you this one!

Huh! I am actually amazed at the way these two think!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Yay to a happy beginning at play school

Aah it took Jiya to start play school to shove me out of the self imposed hiatus. Undoubtedly a big milestone! We went through tough winters this year in ways more than one - illnesses took away major chunks of time and energy but anyways that's not what I sat down to write about.

Jiya finally started play school today after us contemplating the thought for almost 5 months now. I expected her to cry and give me a tough time for at least 2-3 weeks, if not more, considering that she is often found 'charging herself on her charging pad' which happens to be my shoulder, several times in a day, refusing to go to anyone else in the house no matter what the bait; she refuses to let go of my lap in a new situation or even in a very familiar situation like going to the park, when there are good number of people around, even if they are reasonably familiar to her. Her reactions about going to school had been varied. More often than not, when asked whether she would go to school, she would say only when she grows up and it kept going on like that. She seemed keen to go but nowhere in the near future. Basically I expected there to be water works and tantrums and the like. But she just went. A little resistance to leave my hand but her teacher just picked her in her lap and took her inside her classroom where the kids were singing the 'ABC' rhyme. I resisted the urge to peep inside because the longer I stayed, the greater the chance of her crying became. We decided to start her with an hour today and at the end of the hour, she was just as fine. Her teacher told me she colored and gelled well with the kids and asked me to bring her for 2 hours tomorrow. Phew!! Goes on to show how well we assume we know our kids and how they just wait for their turn to prove us wrong :)

I waited, just as eagerly for the conversation between the siblings once Vansh returned from his school. They are getting more and more meaningful, retaining the innocence and the charm at the same time. He had been very excited since Saturday about Jiya starting school from Monday. He asked her what she did to which she said "I colored". He asked "What else?" "Nothing else" came the reply :)

I stop here right now ..there's lots to write and share with you who read this and with myself when the kids are all grown and I get back to this blog to read about what my days once used to be like. I often think about those days to come and I smile. To be honest at this point of time I long for those days when there would be no more tantrums, no more screaming and yellings, no more getting every request of mine being met with resistance, no more physical tiredness from tending to two young children. However, I look at some friends who are there already and sense in them a longing to be back in my shoes :) The circle of life elusive as ever.