Tuesday, January 20, 2015

To the other end and back!

We are back at our post after our big fat Indian vacation that did last quite a bit. All's well - as well a toddler can be. I plan to slowly check off all my pending posts and might consider back dating some for sake of chronology (and so that when I am senile and old, I will have everything recorded in order :p).

One indication that we have travelled far and beyond, is that every day M asks when are we going to the airport next and where are we headed - when I tell her nowhere, she offers, "okay, let's go the market, mall or the doctor's"...Yes, I have to bring some kind of structure to her days - have some rotating activities, join a play gym, I am even thinking of sending her to a play school or something on her own - all that and more as the fogginess of the jet lag clears off.

Signing back in...

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Welcome to the terrible twos, my love!

Dearest Manya,

So you are two - gosh, already! The tyrant that you have become, it is absolutely impossible for us to now imagine you as that cutest little pink bundle we got from the hospital two years ago!

And my my, what strides from your first birthday too - from gummy grins to toothy smiles; from an unstable hurtle to confident long marches; and from those almost-indecipherable babbles to long, complicated yet meaningful sentences that leaves us open-mouthed every single day!

What has not changed and remains essentially you is the bright cheer you bring to our mornings, the maddening rush and craziness you bring to our daily routines, the laughter and play you bring to our evenings, and the gentle soothing warmth you bring to our nights.

I feel like the typical filmy mom, as I add another candle to your cake and wonder at the lightning speed you are growing up - each day you become a little more independent, and tug at our hearts a little more tightly. But, don't worry, however, bollywoodish I may get at this motherhood thing, you know quite well how you drive me up the wall about a trillion times a day - running after you at nap times, convincing you to take in just one more morsel of food or sip of milk at mealtimes, convincing you that the mall is not available for shopping every single time "Manya wants", begging you to not put things in your nose or mouth at the first available opportunity, and finally what feeling like playing KBC/Who Wants to be a Millionaire - answering questions all day, "Who is that? What is that? Where is so and so? Why is it impossible? When will the market open? What is Manya doing? and the most dreaded of it all, "What is inside Manya's nose/mouth?".

And as I see you calmly smiling back at me through my (self imposed?) insanity, I know you are telling me, this gets worse. Terrible Twos, they say? Can it get worse, I think. My heart sinks a wee bit lower - ha ha ha! Okay, have I more than made up for all that sentimentality?

Oh darling, but mommy and daddy really love you - 'soooo much', as you yourself put it, and this world is a much much better place only because we have you to share it with.

Leaving you with these words from a lovely song...

"i'd like to show you a million things
i'd like to make the world for you a better place
but when it pours, it really rains, so
put on your boots, and let's play

it's a long long way to go now
i'll be there if you call
it's a long long way to go now
i'll be there if you call"

Happy Birthday, our little trooper!

[PS; Those wondering why this blog has been so quiet these past months, it is because mommy and daughter are holidaying in India and even though there are so many tales to be told, we are just not getting the time. We promise to be back with more :)]

Monday, September 8, 2014

First ER trip!

We'll be two years old soon, and our resume did look a tad bit non-illustrious without a single ER trip - or so my daughter must have thought. Otherwise, what else could have led to the "happening"!!

So on the eve of my birthday (yeah, what an awesome gift, huh!), I received a package - I promptly opened it up with M (something that both of us really enjoy - receiving and opening packages) - it had those packaging peanuts - styrofoam - that had come with it. And M was quick to start playing with them - she was counting each one and putting them in and out of the box. A harmless distraction to win me a loo trip in peace, I thought.

I did a mental check - no choking hazard I assured myself - they were too big to be swallowed - so off I went. I was gone for a minute or so, when I heard M come crying to me saying "nose hurt". And what do I see - her left nostril stuffed with small pieces of the styrofoam - she had ofcourse managed to break it down - small enough to fit that nose! I was alarmed but slightly - I lay her down and asked her to snort like a pig - she does it very well and we use the technique to blow her nose too. She did - and I was able to remove one piece. Another one was slightly further inside and I asked her to blow again - but she didn't and I think it was really troubling her because she started crying and in all those sniffles - the piece went higher up. 

And that's when I panicked! With M refusing to cooperate at all, an ER visit was the only option. Thankfully, we have a hospital walking distance from home - I called Vish to reach there from work - strapped M in her stroller and rushed. M's mood was ecstatic - the speed, the rush, the huge corridors, the bright lights, the pampering and coochie-cooing nurses and doctors - she was trilled and her discomfort forgotten - she was busy smiling and exchanging pleasantries! I was close to tears, by the way, and could only manage a "she put something in her nose" - the first time the nurse asked me what was wrong. And it is interesting to note, that M was quick to clarify, "packaging" she said - the cheek of the girl, I tell you! The nurse was like :o:O.

Anyways, once in the triage room, the doc quickly came and asked Vish and I to try CPR first - least traumatic apparently - and the pressure of air blown in would pop the piece out - I tried but M was mightily amused with mommy blowing into her mouth and she was giggling uncontrollably making the process futile. Vish tried but his beard was troubling her and she started screaming irritably. Finally the doc had to put some instrument in and force the styrofoam out - M hardly cried for all but 5 seconds (I was consoled more than her, I can assure you :P) - after that she waved a cheerful bye and thank you and was done, while Vish and I spent more time completing paperwork than the time the actual "emergency" had taken.
To cut her some slack - she was very well behaved and patient through all of that - and the paperwork did take a while!

But, it doesn't end here. What made me lose my temper completely was that once home, she tried to put tidbits from her dinner into her nose (something she had never ever done before) - I yelled at her and asked her "do you know what happens when you put stuff up your nose". Her highness excitedly replies, "go to doctor in stroller".
I yelled even louder and shouted back, "And what does the doctor say!".
Her highness replies, "Doctor says Manya prettiest girl ever".
I swear the fumes from my ears were visible.

At bed time, I was lying down next to her, when she tries putting her Minnie's tail into my nose and pushes her mouth into mine - I screamed, "what are you doing!". She very calmly says, "Manya giving seepee to mommy". (seepee=CPR)

We have now stopped talking about this episode completely as we realize all this seems like a big game for Manya and any conversation around that is more encouraging than discouraging. I understand, and two important parenting lessons learnt - you can never be too careful, and two, you cant make a big deal of whatever they do (rolling eyes). 
But, you and I, from one human being to another, do you pity me?

More funny one-liners from M

Many noses are coming and coming.
~ M describing her cold

Hello, This is Yohvikka. Why no package coming?
~ M trying to imitate me as I follow up with customer care for some deliveries.

Manya crying in the airplane.
~ M threatening to cry in the airplane if I don't give in to her demands.

Manya draws so well.
~ Self explanatory, huh?

Friday, August 15, 2014

First salon trip!

Her highness went in for her first salon trip today - technically, not her first hair cut because her first haircut was when I cut her hair at about 8 months (read the post here) - I cut her hair every 3-4 weeks from then on till she was about 11 months old. 

After that, she simply would not co-operate. And I let her be in the hope that one day it will grow long enough that she'd let me tie it or cut it. Well, the curls kept growing and falling all over her face and eyes but nothing would let me come near them - till a subtle change a couple of weeks back when she started letting me tie it ("all pretty pretty", she says) - but only when going outside. I did not feel confident taking her to a professional till Vish and I finally decided to just take a go at it - her hair was becoming quite a sight - an unruly one at that. Also our upcoming India trip during the infamous monsoon period seemed motivation enough.

I have been talking to M about a hair cut for a while, so I sat her down again today and explained to her what she could expect, and then when I finally asked her, so we'll go to get you a hair cut, she very boringly replied "okay"

Okay it was - a non-busy Friday afternoon at the kids' parlor (Pigtails and Crewcuts) - a huge train track and cars and planes for seats - lots of mirrors, TVs with cartoons, our munchkin had enough distractions - but what I really found amusing was that when the guy starting cutting, all her attention was focused on what he was doing - very pensively she was observing his movements, our reactions - the plane and the cartoons all forgotten. She did not create a fuss - I expected her to be a little hesitant, but as always, her curiosity does get the better of her and which is good! Towards the end, she was beginning to get restless but she managed to stay put - she noticed the hair falling and some fell on her hands - which she promptly asked to be cleaned - "hair falling, very dirty" were her exact words.
After getting off her seat, she looked at all the hair on the floor, and was quick to issue her instruction, "Mommy clean it up" - Yeah, right, the world's cleanliness is my core job and competency! 

With a little encouragement, she managed to say a "thank you so much" to the hair dresser and also added "it feels good" - I think she was referring to the gel he put in her hair at the end. She got a small toy to choose from a chest, for which the "thank you" came unprompted (obviously!) and we were back home in (almost) no time!
I uncrossed my crossed fingers and hope that she keeps up this attitude in salon trips that shall follow :).

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Liebster Award for Tales from the crib...

I woke up to a very pleasant email in my inbox. Aditi from Diary of a Cusp has nominated me for the Liebster Award.

As I read through the details on her blog, I understand it is an award for a really dear/loved blog - Thank you Aditi for nominating me and decoding the meaning as well. My German is weak. (I am kidding I don't know the G in German ;)) And before I continue with the rules of the award, I'd like to congratulate Aditi too! She has a fantastic blog that I urge you all to check out - She writes very well - you will love her DIYs - recipes are so well illustrated with pics and detailed steps and you surely don't want to miss her travel updates! Keep writing and writing more often, Aditi!

Now onto the award specifications...

Award rules:
  1. Collect 11 facts about yourself randomly.
  2. Answer all the 11 questions from the person who nominated you.
  3. Nominate 5–11 bloggers (with more than 100 and less than 1,000 followers) who you think deserve this award.
  4. Link back your nominator’s blog.
  5. After publishing your Liebster post, go to your nominees’ blogs and let them know that you have nominated them.
  6. Frame 11 questions on your own and asks your nominees to answer them exactly the way you answered yours, i.e., by post.

So here I go:

11 Random Facts about Me:
  1. I hate sleeping late - I need to sleep atleast by 10PM and then get up by 6 or 7 AM to really be cheerful through the day. Yes, I need a lot of sleep and it has to be night sleep - I can't sleep in till noon to make up for lost sleep!
  2. I really don't believe in bucket lists, but would surely want to do a pan-Europe tour in this lifetime.
  3. I hate being out-of-touch with people who I have had great times with - Life takes us so far apart and it take a lot to keep in touch - sometimes I fail, sometimes the other person does - and sometimes we both!
  4. I am quite your emotional fool - nostalgia - a video here - a picture there - a memory trip - all can leave me teary eyed.
  5. Shopping is the greatest stress buster I know of. I have recently tarted shopping a lot online and while I didn't appreciate it much earlier - I now am beginning to like it.
  6. I hate cooking and needless to say, I suck at it. I love the occasional baking, once in a while trying out something special - but the daily monotony of cooking, cleaning gets to me - I am not cut out for that stuff ;).
  7. Over the years, I have lost my 2AM and 4AM friends - I still have them but I would not call them at an unearthly hour. I miss those odd-hour conversations a lot!
  8. I am quite the mama-papa's girl. I need to talk every day or every other day to get all the news and give all the updates.
  9. I am a social media enthusiast and find them very useful to keep in touch with family and friends!
  10. Dressing up, wearing jewelry etc is not my cup of tea - while not strictly a jeans and T person, I like to dress easy.
  11. I love my blogs and often feel guilty of not writing enough.

Answer to questions from Aditi (Diary of a Cusp):

What made you start a blog?
This is my second blog after My Musings, which I have had for about 5 years now. That one I started just to log occasional musings, thoughts, opinions. This particular blog (Tales from the crib...) is a concerted effort to record my daughter's babyhood and childhood, which is so fleeting.

What’s the story behind your blog name?
I chose Tales from the crib...because babies are always going to be as tiny as they were in the crib for their moms. And this one's all about her highness!

What inspires you everyday to keep going in all the spheres of life along with blogging?
As of now, it is just my daughter's face and smile and those hugs and kisses that make me do anything and everything. 

What do you think of the impact of social media in today’s world?
It is phenomenal - it is a very powerful tool which when used correctly can bring positive change, challenge archaic power structures and bring a kind of equality that has been unprecedented. 

What is that one thing that you can do for days without a fuss and getting tired?
At this point, I am so sleep deprived that all I can say is sleep. But on a serious note - I can read and write for days together without getting tired. 

Do you consider yourself successful in what you do? Why?
I was a successful working professional before my baby came along. Now my role is that of a mother and boy, I don't even know how I am doing, forget considering myself a success already!

What is your idea of relaxing on a holiday?
No phone, no emails, no cooking - relaxing on the beach under an umbrella, and listening to the waves crashing on the shore - without a care of this goddamn world!

How would you describe your personal fashion and styling sense, edgy, classy, trendy, geeky, etc. ?
My personal fashion and style sense is pure convenience -I wear what I feel would be most convenient and comfortable - I do try to keep in mind the occasion as well!

What is your criteria to follow a blog, specially with less followers? How do you judge?
Purely on content quality - If I like what I read, I follow the blogger.

If given a chance and the required resources that it might take, what would you like to do for the betterment of the next generation?
I'd make it mandatory for all food to be organically cultivated - no GMO, no hormones, no dangerous chemicals.

What is your favorite cuisine? Why?
I love food - almost all cuisines - Italian, Mexican, Indian, Mediterranean - Just bring it on!

My nominees for the Liebster award:
My questions for the nominees:
  1. When did you start blogging and why?
  2. Which is your all time favorite post from your own blog.
  3. What is your take on blogging, using social media anonymously so that the true identity of the person is hidden?
  4. Do you or did you ever keep a diary to pen your thoughts down?
  5. Are we doing the best we can to leave a better world for the coming generations?
  6. One thing that your parents said that made no sense back in childhood but you completely understand it now...
  7. What is your happiest childhood memory?
  8. What is your first thought when you open your eyes in the morning?
  9. What is your last thought as you drift away to sleep at night?
  10. If you could have one wish unconditionally granted what would it be?
  11. What is the No. 1 item on your bucket list today?
Wow! That was some post! A great start to the weekend, I say!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Onto sentence construction now!

For the last fortnight or more, our little munchkin has been trying to string words together and make her own sentences - and by that I mean not just repeat what we have said but put words together on her own in a way that she perhaps hasn't heard from us.

Here are some gems:

"Take your lap"
This is repeated a thousand times in a minute sometimes - and at times it is so annoying that I shout back, "take my lap where?", and pat comes the reply, "Take daughter your lap." Alright then!

"Where is daddy go/gone"
She substitutes daddy for everyone and everything else too, but that question about daddy is asked a trillion times, even if he in in the next room!

"Have a bath"
Ofcourse, just in case you had a doubt on this one - by this she means that she demands to have a bath NOW.

"Daughter falling, save her"
You decode this one!

And this one, she came up with today, and it is indeed the most priceless:
"So many waters falling outside"
...The cutie was referring to the rain!

In addition to this, we have a lot of verb constructions...I often joke that M gives a running commentary of what's happening. Mommy eating cereal, daddy playing guitar, spider crawling up, Light switching on, Daddy troubling Manya, Kitty kissing puppy, Bruno hugging Teddy...and it goes on and on 24/7.

Some other phrases that are quite endearing at this stage are:
- Hug you, Love you, Kiss you
- Don't trouble
- Goodbye daddy, come soon (She says this every single time he says bye!)
- WooooWW
- Just look at that!
- Who is that?
- What's that sond (sound)?
- Lie down on coch (couch)/bed
- Just one more time/ one last time (always at bath time!)
- Cancel the call (when she wants me to end my phone conversations)
- Daddy gone to work to office
- Show to daddy (She wants to show everything to daddy - toy, hurt, hairband, dress!)
- But what happened (every single time I blow my lid off or give her a time out or ignore her tantrums)

So this is what is happening...:)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Conversations with M (1 of infinity)

So starting a series of posts to record the hilarious and often very frustrating conversations that I have with M. Let's see how our conversations change over time. Here's one for today.

Me: Manya, let's have milk.
Manya: No.
Me: Now come have yummy breakfast.
Manya: No.
Me: It is nap time!
Manya: No.
Me: You dont want to have your delicious snack?
Manya: No.
**Parenting gyaan: Instead of asking a yes/no question, give options**
Enlightened me: Manya will you have apple or banana for snack?
Manya: No apple, no banana.
Me: :o:O Okay, more options and yes or no is not an option. Do you want a cookies or muffin.
Manya: No cookie, no muffin.
Me (refusing to give up): how about mango shake or strawberry shake.
Manya (in a sing song voice): No apple, no banana, no cookies, no muffin, no mango, no strawberry, no nothing.
Exasperated me: You cannot say no. I give you options, you choose one. And, what the hell do you mean by nothing?
M: Want not anything.
Frustrated me: Dont explain the meaning of nothing to me. I am getting mad.
Manya: Smiles, nods her head and walks away.
After a few hours,
Me: Will you take a nap at 1 o clock or 2 o clock.
Manya: Never ever.
Manya is 20 months old. Sigh.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The daily dose of outdoors!

Ever since M really started walking well (around the 14th-15th month mark), I made it a point (weather withstanding in Virginia) to taker her out everyday. Our little social butterfly makes sure that every single day is cheerful, bright, and replete with new adventures and memories and stories.

Before I cut to the present in Portland, I need to mention about our fantastic walks with a slightly younger M in VA. A typical evening would go like this. We'd quickly change and wear our shoes (after a brief struggle on matching or rather un-matching pair of socks and shoes) and the minute we'd step out of the door, our lively bubble would bounce even more - putting on her best behavior, her most charming smile, coupled with her great observation skill, off we'd go. 

M makes it a point to wish every single one - a hi here, a wave there - I often joke that she behaves like a celebrity - everyone must acknowledge her. And boy, she is adamant at that. If some unsuspecting jogger with earphones on misses her greeting, she keeps shouting behind their back, til I have to literally drag her away so that we can move on. The aghast look she gives such people is quite endearing and very funny! 

All this wonderful attitude to the outdoors remains in Portland too (thank god for that) - but you see now is a more mature M (lol, yeah about as mature a 20 month old can get) - She understands that probably not every single person she meets exists so that they can greet her. (I must hastily add that she thinks she must know them or that I definitely know them - because she points at every single one and asks "Who is that?" - loud and clear - while I fumble - somebody, some person, our neighbor, a lady, a man etc etc)

And another change is that while in VA, we didn't have a single dog that hadn't licked or hugged M, she has offlate become a little wary of them - she does charge at them, bow-wows - all this punctuated by excited shrieks of "doggie" doggie" but she doesn't care to pet them anymore. Oh well - less cleaning and scrubbing for mommy!

Once at the park, our lady has nothing to do with me or her dad. She is off in the mud, getting her hands, hair, everything dirty. She rolls on the grass, plucks flowers and leaves, squishes ants, chases bugs, and simply will not let you hold her hand. She calls everyone in the age group 0-18 years a baby. And most preteens and teens get really angry at that. She has to be placated to share her ball - she agrees after some persuading but is not readily accommodating of a stranger she has never seen before. A 5 year old came to her and introduced himself, shook her hands for friendship and asked her for her ball. She goes in a very firm tone "No ball, no play, no friend". I did come home and have a discussion with her and the next day she said she'd "give" her ball. She does not understand "share", me thinks.

We recently also bought her a nice tricycle. It's a neat thing that grows with the child's ability - as of now we are using it more like a fancy stroller simply because M refuses to pedal - she does steer though (in all directions, if I may add) - but slowly as she gets the hang of it, we'll be able to pull out the protective bar, the parent guide and the canopy off it - not to mention I love it with all its paraphernalia.

Phew this is a long post already - I hate these long ones and I really need to up the frequency! Leaving you with a pic, and if you don't notice, I'd like to draw your attention to the fact that her hair is partially tied - a huge victory for me - she lets me do it only to go out but :(. One step at a time, babe!

Friday, June 27, 2014


If you have been following this blog every now and then, you'd know that M has quite the temper - which manifests itself in tantrums, crying and what not. She is also extremely naughty - downright cheeky - a chipmunk for whom NO translates into look into trying harder to challenge restrictions and boundaries. On the other end is poor me, who often tries to balance the mommy in me with the impatient person that I am. It is not difficult then to imagine the number of face-offs we both have in a single day.

So in order to tame the little shrew and give myself some cooling off time, we introduced the concept of timeouts. For my lucky non-parent friends, you can look up the term on wiki here. The first time, I explained to her (yeah right, explained to an 18 month old!), what I was going to do, and why. And I also told her I love her blah blah - so basically all the parenting gyaan from the books and Internet was shared offloaded. It was a breeze - about 2 mins of timeout and she was back to being the golden girl that she is the rest of the time. The second time, which happened a couple of weeks after the first, was effective too. And just when I thought I had this whole disciplining and parenting thing under my belt, my daughter throws a googly!

At 18 months two timeouts, come the 19th month, timeout has become a joke. I had reserved time outs for only the big tantrums, the absolutely ugly bad behaviour instances. But this chit of a girl has gotten the better of me. Now, the minute I say Manya, No, she looks into my eye, and asks, Timeout? The first time she did it, I could have died of guilt - Was I being extra tough? Did she hate me for it? Aww, my poor baby, I hugged her tight and told her that timeout was not for everything, only when she was being a very very bad girl. She promptly went to her sippy cup and poured the water onto the carpet, and again asked me, timeout? I swear I could have pulled all my hair out, but I forced myself to be gentle - so I told her yes, if she'd continue behaving like this timeout would be given. 

And then what my 19 month old toddler did, stunned me - she went to her room and banged the door shut and said timeout! She played for a couple of minutes and came out as if nothing had happened. 
As if this was not enough, one day Vish came home tired and she kept on pouncing at his cell phone, when he gave her one of those rare annoyed looks - she closed the door on him and said, timeout!

Now, close to 20 months, this is our situation - for every small thing, from morning to night, he keeps asking me, timeout? I try ignoring her and the one or two times that I say yes, she goes off on her own. So, when she is actually behaving badly, I am at a loss of what to do - there is no long term benefit of giving a timeout - she continues to behave as badly as ever irrespective of the timeout! 

What takes the cake away is that the other day I saw her fussing for a piggy bank at a store - my mommy instinct told me this was going to quickly turn into a full blown tantrum - so I gave her my gravest look ever - and you know what she did - she said, timeout? I said yes, at home, if you behave like this we are going for a timeout, okay? And she coolly looks at me, and says, okay. And continues to demand for the piggy bank! WTF. I have never felt so helpless!!!

So, what do we do now? I take a timeout instead! 

Any experienced parents who'd like to guide us here?