Saturday, April 4, 2015

Canine Love!

[OMG, it is April already - It couldn't have taken me all this while to get over the holi hangover - my life seems to have been consumed with Manya, cooking, and eating - thankfully in that very order ;). I swear I need to get out of these cobwebs I have woven around myself and write more often - especially, when there is so much to write about! Okay, after that self appraisal, to the post now...]

In many of my previous posts I have mentioned how Manya absolutely love dogs - ever since she really started exploring outdoors - these four-legged creatures have fascinated her. I still remember the first time how she hugged and kissed a dog when she was only about 14 months old - it almost looked like they were long lost twins (yes, very reminiscent of the bollywood kumbh mela, karan arjun et al.) ... And boy, the love seems to be growing with every passing day. I joke that there's not a single dog in the vicinity who has not hugged and kissed Manya and vice-versa (yuck but true!). The best part is she's not scared of the big growling ones too - the bigger the better infact! 

Thanks to all this and her growing "intelligence" and communication skills we have already had quite a few showdowns between the daughter and her dad because she demanded "a real dog that barks, licks, can go out for walks, and does potty." [P.S. "has to do her real potty"]. Vish is ofcourse adamant on his no dog policy - he cannot stand dog hair, his past brush with asthma keeps him over the edge around dogs . 

As for me, I am not a great fan but don't mind them and now I am slowly warming up to petting and cuddling (yes, me too!) - I am sure M's canophilic genes come from my dad and brother who absolutely adore dogs! BUT, I am AGAINST have dogs or any pets for that matter for two simple reasons: 1. Too much work - I crib enough about one toddler ; 2. I am sure I'd get emotionally attached to my pet so much so that the idea of leaving him/her in a pet care facility for our holidays, long trips to homeland etc would kill me with guilt or I would stop making trips altogether - and I don't want to give up the luxury of packing my bags and leaving for vacation or even a short road trip considering M's disposition - don't want to add more liabilities to the list.  

So there you go, recorded for posterity - no dogs for us. M will have to make do only with of them actually barks pretty realistically ;)

[I also think the minute she can, she will leave us for a dog ;p]

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Happy Holi!

All these years after our wedding, I have been whining and cribbing, and whining how I have not been able to indulge in my favorite festival - Holi , BUT things have changed - I have found my partner in crime...

It was so simple:
Me: Manya it's holi today! Happy holi!
Manya: What is holi, mommy?
Me: Holi is a festival of colors. You put color on each other.
Manya: Hurray, Let's do holi! Happy Holi!

So I whipped up some homemade color (using gram flour, corn flour, sandalwood powder, turmeric, icing flavors). We waited for it to get nice and sunny outside and then played with colors for a long time - I am sure the neighbors thought we had gone crazy - We colored each other's faces, clothes, slippers, legs, and what not. Manya was thrilled - she wants to "do holi" everyday now!

We "wore holi" (some nice colorful Indian clothes) after a "holi bath", which had mommy and dotty splashing in the tub together. We also "ate holi" - potatoes, puri, gol gappas, and suji halwa with puris being M's favorite!

I am hoping we'll get rowdier as the years progress ;).

Sunday, March 1, 2015


My stand on ear piercing for M had been that I would not get it done till she really wanted it. My reason was simple - why go through the unnecessary pricking and poking, as if babies don't cry enough already. 

I know people say that ears are much more tender in the earlier years (earlier months is more most insist) and all that but c'mon, they don't become thick bricks ever - I remember having my ears pierced when I was 10 years old, and I didn't go through any carnage exactly! I wanted them, was prepared for the pain, and it worked out well - this is exactly how I had it planned out for M - Except that I keep forgetting, no plans work with M!

For the past many months now M had been asking about getting earrings. I had been telling her very matter-of-factly that it would hurt just as it does when she goes for her shots, and some after care would be required, and if she was prepared for that, we could get it done anytime! If I remember correctly, starting at 18 months itself, she had begun the insistence, she'd say,"I want earring - it will hurt a little - just like shots, and then all pretty". All this while, I was dilly dallying - I thought she was too young and should be left carefree really (or rather I shouldn't have an extra thing to care for :p); then was the India trip - I didn't want to do anything drastic on a holiday; then I also thought how much does she really understand and blah blah - finally it all came to a point that it seemed like my excuses were just that - and she "really" wanted earrings. 

So while strolling on the strip mall nearby, I saw Claire's, and very casually remarked to M that this is where we would come if she wanted earrings, and she suddenly jumped up and said, "I want earrings now." I asked her atleast 10 times before entering the store and atleast a 20 after - but she seemed to know what she wanted. And before we knew what was happening, her highness was perched on daddy's lap and earrings shot into her ears. She cried for all but 2 mins, and I had little sympathy to offer - She asked for it, didn't she! 

Anyways, she was happy with all the attention, and her shiny white gold studs, and she got a toy too! Off and on, she has been saying, can I remove it, it is paining a little, does it look pretty - I think she is just getting used to the newness of it - so hopefully nothing that really bothers her.

As for me, I am just left sighing to myself - she is growing a little each day, which is adding upto a lot - she is all but 2 and can convince me to get her ears pierced - something for which I was ready to wait atleast a couple of years more (hell, no way had I thought she'd want earrings before 5 or 6, atleast) - but looks like she has a mind and a plan of her own - we'll have to just tag along!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Art Classes!

First, I think I have not talked about this before but here it is - we have finally decided to skip enrolling M in a playschool/preschool for the time being. So, most probably we are looking at her start a preschool at 3.5y+, which according to me seems "more right" :) - many reasons - she is eligible only for the toddler programs as of now, and I don't find them interesting or exciting in any way - she does a lot more at home with me - preschool programs looked like something she would enjoy but the criteria is 3y+ and potty trained - both of which are still milestones to be reached for us; and most importantly I think I am not ready, so anyways I am shielding her from one year of institutionalized learning :D.

However, her days are long (and tend to get boring), so we have got her enrolled into a weekly art class. (Mostly because she loves spending her time getting messy with colors, play dough and stuff like that at home too, and nothing seems enough!) We did the preview class today and were thrilled. Exactly what I was looking for - one hour of unlimited paints, colors, unrestricted mess, a story time, song and snack included. I have to accompany her ofcourse (I love it too :p). We will also be doing a kiddie gym class (unstructured), for about an hour everyday. 

I think this along with her park trips (that include lot of sidewalk doodling with chalk), library trips, long hours of storytime with mommy, toys, puzzles, crayons, and stuff at home, and the joy (!) of helping mommy in her household chores like cooking, laundry, her day should be covered - oh and I must also add watching Peppa Pig to that list - this is our latest addiction and more about it in another post!

I must add we get to take all the art work home, so now we'll have more interesting garage walls, if nothing else.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

First visit to the dentist.

This visit was slightly overdue given the recommendation that a child should visit the dentist 6 months after the eruption of the first tooth. (Yes, I do try to go b the book, as much as I can :)). Anyways, the dentist said the visit was timed perfectly (haa!).

I had prepared M for the visit well - she knew that a lady doctor for teeth, the dentist, would be seeing her, asking her basic questions on brushing and finally checking her teeth and gums. The little anxiety that she did have about her mouth being invaded disappeared at the waiting room - stocked with iPads, bright board books, building blocks, an elf kitchen with pretend utensils and dishes and food, wooden puzzles (M's favorite these days!), a bead maze, a cheerfully painted table and chair set, M had stumbled upon an unexpected treasure!

Unfortunately for M, and fortunately for us, we didn't have to wait all that long - the assistant called us and as she briefed M got more soft toys (what a bonanza) to play with. She got to pick her toothbrush (Dora - Bingo!) and the dentist was a beautiful (daddy will agree), charming, cheerful, and pleasant young lady - who sang to Manya and played with her toy teddy and the cleaning and the mouth invasion (it did include some bt of prodding but M didn't flinch a bit) was a breeze! She told us her teeth were great and we were doing a great job with the brushing (can you see my collar high up :p).

M cheerfully bade a bye and thank you and then she hit a jackpot - she was asked to pick a toy to take home - a bright yellow ball made its way home with such a shiny set of pearls. 

You know some days where everything just falls into place - M was rewarded with an out of turn trip to the park - it was sunny and very springtime like - and we also spotted the first blossoms!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Love, Hugs, and Kisses

At present, M's world is divided into two clear categories: people, animals, insects, plants, things, places etc. that love her and those that don't. Or that she loves and doesn't.

 Ever had conversations with a pint sized know-it-all? This is how they go:

"Mommy bubbles love me." 
"I love spiders, spiders love me?"
"Birds love Manya"
"Does the man (some random guy on the road) love Manya?"
"Waters love Manya"
"Manya loves ducks"
"I love airplanes"
"Dogs love me"

...You get the drift.

What a loving, lovable child, you say. Wait till you see how this love translates to the physical:

"Mommy, I want to hug the bubbles - I don't want the bubbles to get popped" (Often succeeded by loud whining from M, and exasperated sighs from me. WTF.)
"There's a spider in the garage, I am going to kiss it" (Succeeded by panic stricken - yuck, don't do it outburts from me)
"I want to hug the bird when it is flying" (Succeeded by frustrated attempts from me at explaining that human beings cannot fly)
"I want to hug the man" (really, WTF!)
"Water hugged and kissed Manya" (followed by a screaming session on why it is not okay to pour water on yourself at whatever pretext!)
"I want to hug the duck" (Succeeded by desperate running behind a maniac rushing into the pond)
"I want to kiss the whole airplane" (whatever f*&^ that means)
"Mommy, I just hugged and kissed the dog. It kissed me on my mouth and nose and face. (Followed by a cardiac arrest seeing M's wet face and lips and just hoping that the wetness of the lips is not because of ummn "kissing")

The list just goes on. There's too much love and PDA going around. 
(More about obsession with the canines in another post!)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Gems from the past...

This is going to be the last of my India trip posts, I guess.

Some things M came up with on her own during the India trip:

This is at the time of the Diwali festivities in Delhi - all the lights and diyas did catch M's fancy as she proclaimed, "M loves the dark. Dark is happy". Yes, that does sound morbid and "dark".

M took a fascination for robots - some rhyme or some cartoon she watched. One day, I saw her touching the wall with one hand and the other hand straight up over her head. When I asked her what she was doing. She very soberly replied, "I am charging".

M loves clocks and wants us to buy one for her room and every other room in the house, but before clocks were clocks, shed call them time, and this does make for a very profound statement. She looked at the wall clock in my parents' house, and said "Manya want to hold time in her hands". Now, don't we all want to do that?

M somewhat knows of tunnels - If you go on the DND from Noida to Delhi, you can see lot of under-construction buildings to your right. One early morning as we were driving by, M remarked, "Mommy, so many tunnels going to the sky."

On our trip from Delhi to Bangalore, a friendly air hostess asked her if she wanted something. M turned around to me and said, "What is the cleaning lady asking?". I would have not minded had the windows of the plane opened and the air sucked me out!

In Bangalore, M was rather amused with the ac vent for the back seat in my sis-in-law's car, and she said, "The wind is leaping."


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Documenting some old conversations...

I shared these on FB during our India trip when blogging seemed a tad bit difficult. Posting these here now.

M has perfected the art of throwing things - At noon today, seeing her throw mud from the pots in the balcony down, I lost it and yelled at her.
Me: Manya enough is enough. You will not throw anything down - the next time you throw something down, I'll throw you.
M (grinning): Don't say that Mommy.
Me: No, I am serious. If you throw something, I throw you.
M looks at me straight in the eye and with open defiance, throws a fistful of mud down.
Me (with fuming anger): That's it. I'll throw you down.
M (with mock fear): No mommy please don't throw me down.
Me (with real fury): Why did you throw the mud down?
M: Mud not saying don't throw me down.
Me (to myself): WTF.
Me (to Manya): Okay, but did the mud say please throw me down?
M: No.
Me: Well, then you shouldn't have thrown it down.
I thought to myself I had won this battle with reason and my victory applause had hardly subsided that M again threw some mud down.
Me (in a shade of raging red): Again, Why did you throw the mud AGAIN?
M: Mud said, Manya please throw me down.
Me (to myself): WTF WTF WTF - my hair will go grey before we get over this toddlerhood-bordering-on-preschooler phase.
Me (to Manya): You just earned yourself a timeout. Now.
M: No timeout - Manya is very dirty - Let's have a looong bath.
Me: a long pause.....
[If you are still wondering, yes, I am typing this as my daughter is busy enjoying her bath, while I have her towel ready for when her highness decides to step out - PHEW]


Manya's spin on her jet lag: "Nani's house all day all night. Morning soo dark"
(She refuses to acknowledge the fact that it is she who is sleeping "all day" and up "all night"!!!)

Friday, February 6, 2015

First taste of friendship!

During our India trip, M struck a special friendship bond with our neighbor-and-very-good-friend's daughter - who is just two months younger than her -K. 
It was such a joy to see the girls squeal in delight as they would meet each other every day. Their fights over toys and such were fun as they sorted out their own mess, requiring not-so-often adult intervention. The kisses and I love you's and good nights exchanged at the end of the day were ever so endearing!

M remembers K often though I feel the memory will slowly fade - like happens with most friendships huh - lost in the sands of time as we grow apart. We adults, though supposedly more aware, also often let relationships slip as physical distances seep in - it is sad. Anyways, I am hoping that M and K will continue to re-ignite their bonds and meet with the same fervor every time they meet!

Cheers to sunny days and bright smiles!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

M at 27 months

I did miss posting updates at the 2 year mark - better late than never, huh?

We are quite comfortably settled in our Terrible Twos, and it is well, terrible, and ofcourse a lot of other things too!
  • I cannot not mention that M is a great talker - she copies what we say - most of the times she gives us back, quite literally, in the right context. Her vocabulary is growing at lightening speed - her sentences are well formed, grammatically complete (and often grammatically correct) - and you know most of it, if you read the latest posts - looks like her conversations are going to to overshadow most of our posts on this blog.
  • M has 16 teeth - a big achievement, considering she cut her first tooth somewhere after the 14th month. Four more to go for our cub.
  • M's taste in food - varieties, textures etc. keeps changing. She doesn't eat much, as has always been the case, but I must give her her due - she doesn't shy away from trying new stuff. At present, her favorites are peas-rice, fruit loops with milk, chickpeas, blueberries, bread-butter, and bananas - and apple juice! She has been offered junk but doesn't seem to care much for it - she once in a while does ask for chips, chocolates, MnMs and the likes, I don't resist and let her have - I have seen she barely has a few bites of anything - so long so good, eh?
  • She has finally taken a liking to her tricycle - she tries to pedal but is not able to complete one rotation of the pedal - I have not made any effort to teach her either - that has been parked for the summer (and for daddy, perhaps!). She plays catch with a ball, quite well. Loves hide-n-seek (though refuses to hide - she only want to "seek"). Loves the slides at the park (a big no to the swings). She has recently shown inclination for long walks while she's in the stroller - this after all these months and months of refusing to sit on it! Also, her highness likes the wind in her hair - she runs in the park with the cold breeze swirling her hair, and then she says, so delightfully, "Mommy, see how Manya is running with the wind."
  • M is into a lot of pretend-and-play. I must do a separate post on this. She cooks, cleans, is even a doctor! (I think she needs the right tools now ;)) She also pretends to be characters from her favorite cartoon shows and books. She has quite a huge collection of soft toys and loves playing with them too - she talks to them mostly as I do to her. M also sings a lot of nursery rhymes and introduces a twist every now and then - this too in another post.
  • While still on the playing topic, we are looking to upgrade her puzzles - she aces the simple wooden puzzles that require shapes, animals etc to be fit in - she does the shape sorter very well - except the heart shape - which "just does not go in", apparently! The stacking rings are also almost in order, and only yesterday she remarked, "I need more puzzles." :o:O
  • Play dough, crayons, sidewalk chalks are the top favorite activities right now - we did some paints too but very messy!
  • We have begun potty training with zero luck so far. She loves her Dora pot and stool but refuses to do anything at all. In her words, "it all gets stuck inside." Looks like this is going to be another summer project!
  • She continues to be tall for her age and much lower than average for her weight but I have finally stopped fretting - her pediatrician quite encouragingly tells me, "she looks thin, because everybody else is obese!" Oh well, if you put it that way...
  • Personality traits right now: mostly outgoing, yet selective when it comes to warming up (with children her age, she refuses to engage in any kind of talk or activity), loves talking, expresses well, quick to love, hug and kiss (I have a post coming up on that for sure), has a bad temper - I mean a really bad one - accompanied with a tantrum and lot of mean spoken stuff (I don't love mommy - I don't want to be with you, I don't want to behave properly - you get the picture!), adamant and stubborn - be it deciding what she wants for her meals or when she wants them, what she want to play, when she wants to nap, sleep, what she wants to watch/read, and so on - she clearly knows what she wants and often does not settle for alternatives easily.

God bless us.
(P.S. One thing that this motherhood has surely changed in me is that I tend to seek God a lot more than in those footloose days :p.)