Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mothering the terrible twos!

What better way to celebrate Mother's Day than reminisce brood ponder over my how my days are spent. (I seem to be doing that consistently :P, and you can read my previous Mother's Day special posts here and here.) 

So every once in a while I do get to hear how it must be "much easier" to be at home with a two year old who can communicate her needs well and can even be independent as much as a toddler can be. My first reaction is usually WTF. And then based on who it is, I decide whether to voice it or not :D. Putting it very simply, NO, IT IS NOT. And if I am saying it, it gotta be true. I have not forgotten all the cribbing I have done and continue to do, but every stage gets progressively crazier (and I put that very mildly). 

You want to know what is worse than an infant treating you as a 24-hr open milk bar, changing 10+ diapers a day - through the night, sleep regressions, pattern changes, frequent spits, feeding worries, panic attacks when the first sniffles, shivers, infections come along - what is worse is that infant growing up and reaching the terrible twos. 

Not convinced? Humour me. Read on all the wacky things my two-and-a-half-year-old subjects me to.
  • "Mommy, today I want to drink milk from the bowl - no cups please." Seriously, first thing in the morning?
  • "Daddy, What's the plan today, Can we go to the zoo/ aquarium/ water park/ beach/ mountains etc ?" It's like we are her personal assistants, we should have her day chalked out because she always inquires what's lined up for the day - weekend or not - oh and also "Staying at home is oh so boring." I am telling you this one's onto teenage already!
  • While sitting on the pot, great musings are mused. "Mommy, I want to go to space in a rocket. Do they have Dora potties or red and yellow ladder potties or boring grown up white potties in space."
  • "Mommy, will my breakfast egg hatch and a chicken come out?"
  • "Mommy, when can I go to school?" When you are potty trained hun. "I need to use the potty now." But I am eating now - hang on. "I cannot mommy, it's all going to fall down." So, the only time my daughter really needs to go use the potty is either when I am eating, at the computer, talking to someone on the phone, or cooking. The other times I beg her to use the pot, by the way.
  • What's for lunch mommy? Daal (lentils) and rice. "Okay, I will have spaghetti." Alright hun, I can do that. "Oh no, I want to have pasta." Sure. And pasta is served. "Mommy can I have some daal rice." I swear to god.... 
  • I can't nap mommy. Why (the hell) can you not? Because I cannot see properly with my eyes closed. I mean seriously, give me another reason. "I can't breathe when I nap." WTF. I am not convinced. "I want the fan to go away from the room when I am napping." That's it. And then my husband wonders why am I so crazed out at the end of the day. (Note to self: I need to do a post on this - I think I have a list of 50 more reasons she comes up with on why she can't nap)
  • Post nap is usually peak tantrum time. Copious tears will be shed because the moon has not come out. Or because the sun is too bright, Or because she needs to visit the stars RIGHT NOW. Or we need to go to London in an airplane and she wants to sit on the wings. (I wonder if they have a diagnostic test on children gone bonkers). Or she wants a real dog that walks, and barks and poops.  
  • Between Madame's "I want" (s) and I don't want" (s) , there are three other words/phrases that totally piss me off - Ofcourse yes/no, Not quite, Yaa yaa. Will you eat something? Ofcourse not. Do you want to go out? Ofcourse yes! Are you ready for bedtime "Not quite". Can you please give me a simple yes or no? "Yaa yaa". And I pull my hair, I just want to hear a YES or a NO - how hard can that be?
  • At the park: worms are dug out, grass is rolled on, dogs are hugged, flowers are smelt, leaves are plucked, and clothes are washed in mud!
  • "Mommy I need to brush my teeth." Very responsible? Now make that 10 times a day.
  • "Mommy I want to fly. Mommy, when will our house catch fire, I want to see a fire engine. Mommy, can we please go for an venture (adventure). Mommy when can we celebrate Halloween. Mommy, can you please draw spooky voices for me?" Cute? Now make each of that 50 times a day.
  • And if all this is not enough, I also get to hear VERY occasionally. "Mommy you are so lucky, you get to play at home all day while poor daddy works." OR "Mommy, why don't you go to work tomorrow and daddy can stay at home with me."
  • God forbid if her highness is in  a "helping mood" - with the dishes, laundry, sweeping, cooking - that's the end - rest assured nothing will be gotten done. 
  • I must concede though it gets achingly cute too. Mommy can I go back into your tummy? I so wish - you were most controllable then :D. It gets scandalous too, "Daddy, I have a secret, there's a baby in my tummy!"
And then every time I am on the brink of losing sanity, two soft arms envelope me in a warm hug and a cute small mouth lavishes kisses and that imp of a tongue lashes out: Mommy don't be angry. I don't want you to shout. I want you to only love me! The cheek! This brat gets away with all this impudence and more, so I must have a mother's heart after all, no? :P

Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

First (successful) shot at the pot!

Only a parent could do a post on this. I am so uncool yes - I was overjoyed to see M peeing in the pot. There I said it. Now the details :P...
In Jan this year, we bought Manya a booster seat for the main pot at HER insistence (yes, every once in a while I like to believe that I am not a parent that forces but takes lead from her bub) - anyways - a nice Dora seat with a matching step tool (which was a little too low) - My daughter was overjoyed - she'd sit on it for hours without doing a damn thing! Like never ever! You have to hear some of her very own comments:
  • The pot will get dirty.
  • It (it = the act of peeing or pooping in the pot) is disgusting.
  • I can sit but I can't do anything.
  • It is all getting stuck inside.
  • Nothing's coming.
  • I am a baby and need to use diapers.
  • Everybody should use diapers.
  • Diapers are clean - pot is dirty.
My own excitement gave way to frustration and we just parked the whole potty training schedule for May (my logic being she'd be 2.5 yrs old and an arbit date for me to giddy up!)

Well May is here - I ordered a brand new booster for her one which lets her leg rest on the step and fits very well into the adult pot. I made a resolve to start potty training in earnest and spoke to M about it quite a lot - she'd even tell her grandparent that potty training starts in May :D.

So I made her sit and told her in no uncertain terms - she was not going to leave till she did something! And lo behold, the sound of music of pee falling into the pot. Boy, I was thrilled. I hi-fived her and Vish, and both of them managed some half-hearted smiles a if to say what the fuss was about! But, what the hell, she did it! And you know like a pro, she grabbed some toilet paper, wiped herself and flushed it all! All grown up, huh?

Anyways, it is day 2 and we have managed to successfully use the pot only about 5 times till now. I have to remind her to go - she tells me only when the act is in play or has been done! Exasperated, I asked her today a little rudely - don't you come to know when you are about to pee. She calmly replied, "I don't - I come to know only when it is all wet." :(

Clearly, we are eons away from a diaper free tush but a teeny weeny step in that direction has been made. Amen.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Damn Bubbles!

[PS: Have been so lazy about posting these days - hoping to write a few entries and back date them to maintain some sort of chronology! I really seem to run out of time - every single day!]

M has been fond of bubbles ever since I happened to introduce them when she was about 6-7 months old. At her play gym, bubble time continues to be the favorite part of the class. Recently, madame has mastered the art of blowing bubbles "on her own" and that means a whole lot of more fun than just popping them.

I end up making about 16 ozs of bubble mix solution atleast twice a week (standard formula = water + dishwashing liquid + sugar), if not more! 

The other day I posted this conversation on Facebook, and had to journal it here too:

Manya: I am done with blowing bubbles, Mommy now you have a go.
Me: No, Manya, thank you. I don't want to blow bubbles first thing in the morning.
Manya: Mommy I WANT you to blow bubbles NOW.
Me: Please?
Manya: Please.
Me: okay...
Manya: Hold the mix carefully mommy, don't spill it. Hold the wand and blow gently. Don't blow them on the couch - you know how daddy gets upset.
Me: Miss Smart Pants, I taught you how to blow bubbles and everything else. (And I blow some bubbles)
Manya: But you are doing it all wrong mommy. Blow bigger bubbles and higher.
Me (after 15 minutes of this wretched thankless activity): Manya am done blowing bubbles too - my mouth is aching - my cheeks will burst now.
Manya: That's alright mommy, nothing will happen. keep blowing. If something happens, I will take you to the hospital and the doctor will fix you.
Me: I have no energy. I need breakfast. I am falling.
Manya: Eat your cereal quickly and come back for bubbles.
(and after every 30 seconds, "are you done eating mommy")

Quite the dictator, no?

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 these...one of them actually barks pretty realistically ;)

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


Friday, March 13, 2015

Nonsense!

So I was reading this handout from our doctor's visit, and as always Ms BusyBody M comes in:
Manya: mommy what are you reading?
Me: some stuff from the doctor's.
Manya: I also want to read.
Me: okay! 
(so I start reading aloud word for word, and we go through the first bullet)
Manya: what does that mean?
Me: they are saying children like Manya can throw tantrums because they don't understand some things because they are babies.
Manya (very agitated): this is nonsense. I am not a baby. I understand everything.
(I promptly tossed the handout away - there exists no literature yet on how to deal with Ms. Feisty.)
(P.s. Use of nonsense - most things these days are just "nonsense")

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

Pierced!

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!)