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Outsourcing parenting

We are shrinking the world by making sure that all the blanks are filled up, too soon, too fast. And our kids grow up thinking they are perfect, living in a perfect world where there is nothing like getting hurt or failing. And more than that we want them to be oh-just-so-perfect.

This Sunday morning I was seething when rage when I read about finishing schools in the city for five-year-olds. Apparently even parents of three-year-olds call up these finishing schools to train their kids. And the schools will teach the kids all about Ps and Qs along with where a spoon should be kept and how to execute the right handshake. Really???? Do our kids need such schools?

I am not sitting on a pedestal and judging these parents. I have my own failures to look at. I am half the time guilty for not teaching my child all about good manners, proper etiquettes and all that lies in between. The MLS knows she can’t butt in when two people speak and has to say ‘excuse me’ if she needs to be heard, often uses thank you and sorry generously, and would greet some people at a slight nudge. But that’s about it. I have miles to go before I can claim proudly about my child’s behaviour.

Having said that I would never go to the extent of sending her to a finishing school and bring out a readymade product set to behave like a robot. I would rather have her spill her milk, use a spoon instead of fork than let her be taught by a stranger about what should be used when. We are great believers of outsourcing but, hey, since when did parenting also go the same way. Okay, we can rent wombs, decide the date and way of delivering the child. And now even let others teach our kids how to behave properly. So what would a parents’ role be in the modern set up? Attend PTA meetings???

I wish we did some of the work ourselves. Least of all parenting shouldn’t be left for others to be taken care of. Don’t we owe them this the least?

Being Mommy

Today the MLS had to enact the role of a mother to two boys in a small skit. We were quite excited about drapping her in a saree, putting some make up, and the works. She was most excited about putting the nail paint as she loves colour on her nails. She was quite worried when I put on lipstick. She said now it won’t go away and how it’s going to take too long and that she is going to drink loads of water so that its wiped away instantly.

Anyway’s the performance in school was on monsoons and all the kiddies dressed in myraid hues just added to the beautiful day. The proud parents sat is hushed silence even as each performance was enacted. MLS was a rockstar with no stage fright. Some wept, some forgot their lines and some shined. MLS belonged to the last category.

She walked in the saree like a pro and wanted to hold her pallu in her arm just as some socialities do. But good sense prevailed and she realised she wouldn’t be able to do any actions if she went like that. The girl surely knows her fashion and didn’t want kajal in her eyes as she said it will make her eyes all black.

So some performance it was, and there are now many more to come.

MLS was telling me something about her day in school when she told me an incident. “Mama, today Ronika madam’s dad called. And I couldn’t stop laughing.” I was a bit worried. What was so funny about it, I asked. She goes on saying, “Madam’s papa called, it was funny.” Her next question was, “How can Madam have papa?”

Then I had to tell her just like her dad and mom have their respective dads, even her madam is entitled to a dad. Then the young mind wanted to know if everyone in this world had a dad. I said yes. To which the next question was if birds and animals also had dads. Yes, my dear. For the moment she just needs to know about it. Nothing more than this!

It is another story for another day that there are orphans too in this world— just as the 10-year-old who lost both her parents that day and has to look after her three siblings including an infant.

… And I’m back

It’s been one long year, 363 days to be precise from my last post. So I am back having woken up from my deep slumber and laziness. Thanks to blogger Chandni whose blog I read without fail, her recent comment on my last post (which was posted on July 17, 2010) made me pick myself, open the blog, dust off the cobwebs and start writing. Okay, so now this is just going to be a clean-up post.

I promise I will be a good girl and post as often as possible. I have to write about Miss Little Sunshine, how the four-year-old’s mind works and what is keeping me on my toes every single day. This blog, now that it has been revived would never be treated with such indifference and callous apathy that politicians reserve for general junta.

In this last one year, MLS has started formal school, I have been to many beautiful places for work, took holidays, managed home without a maid and lived life every single moment. I have greyed more, have lost more hair and put on more lard as it may burst.

So all this and much more in the coming posts. So stay tuned in case if ever anyone opens this blog.

Parenting perils

There is all this brouhaha over parenting. There is this school of thought that says spare the rod and spoil the child. Then there are a set of parents who believe that saying ‘no’ to a child is not the right approach to parenting. As far as I am concerned, I don’t go by any rulebook. Though there are certain things which I often would like to do without giving any heed whatsoever to the rulebook.

I have my days when MLS is given a tight spank on the bum or even a slap on cheek. Though I regret it later, in the heat of the moment, I lose all my control. The instances which make me mad and lose all patience is when she refuses to get ready on time even as her school bus is about to reach doorstep or when she refuses a meal even as I am hurrying to get her ready and head to office.

Now, I know yelling or spanking a child is not the right way to get things done. But from where do you bring patience when your life is a roller-coaster ride all along. Most working moms would agree that time is a crucial factor them. For that matter even SAHMs too have their strict schedules. In this age of instant gratification and a marathon race, where does one find the patience to sit with a child when he or she is throwing a tantrum? My MIL has a favourite saying, “Parenting is a book and each stage is a chapter. The problems with kids would always remain, it’ just a new chapter with every stage.” Yeah, I know. When she was an infant I longed for her to be a toddler so that all those feeding and nappy changing could come to an end. Now that she is a toddler, I long for her to be a bit more mature so that she values time.

God, it’s a never ending saga. But for all this cribbing, when my lil MLS comes and rubs her nose on my cheeks and plants a kiss, I know I am blessed. All my hardships just melt away in the twinkle of her eyes.

Come, my friend

Well, that’s what she called her dad one day.

And her other friends are the stray dogs and ants. If a stray is outside our house, MLS promptly would want to feed the dog. She would coax me into taking out a bowl of milk and bread. She would the feed the stray to its heart’s content and would keep on patting the animal in a matronly fashion. The other day a she saw a spider spinning its web around an ant and came running to her dad, “help my friend”, “who spider ant ko kha raha hai”. She couldn’t rest till the time the said spider was shoved away.

Hours pass into days, days into months and months into years. MLS is already 3 years and two months. In a couple of months we will go through the biggest trauma of her schooling years—the big bad world of nursery admissions. In Delhi, it is scenario which gives every parent of three-year-old sleepless nights. I am keeping my fingers crossed and hope to cross this hurdle with ease.

The idea of writing this letter came to my mind from a fellow blogger Parul. She had beautifully penned down a few points for her daughter who turned 1 month last week. Here I am, sitting like a lazy duck, not telling you what I wish you to do and be like.

Read this carefully, for it wouldn’t be everyday that I will remind you about these things.
• Life is never a bed of roses for anyone, so thank God for what you have and not crib about what you don’t.
• Never waste anything—be it food, water or electricity. There are many people out there who live without these basic elements in their life.
• Learn to laugh at yourself. You will never be short of friends.
• Good friends are as important as your family. So never prioritise between the two.
• Stand up and sing along when the national anthem plays, irrespective of who else is doing it.
• Never abuse your nation, it is as bad as abusing your mother. Don’t think what your country has given you, instead wonder what you have done for your country to deserve anything better.
• Follow two things passionately—reading and traveling. Nothing can replace the joy of a good book and striking random conversation with a stranger about a scenic locale.
• Respect everyone – the maids, drivers, sweepers, shopkeepers. Your job is as important as theirs.
• Say please and thank you.
• Don’t be scared to own up. Failures are what make us the person that we are for hadn’t it been for those nasty monsters we wouldn’t have know how angelic life is.

…a mother of two is the question here. It has been an ongoing confusion since the day I decided to bring the fruit of my womb into this world.

First I was told how important it is to get married, then I was pressured into having the baby at the ‘right’ age and now all that the elders in the family can talk of is how important is a sibling for my Miss Little Sunshine.

It comes as no surprise that she adores kids, especially those younger to her. She wants to mother them— feed them, take care of them and play with them. This is shown as an example to me over the need for having a second child. It tears me down when people tell me how single children could be selfish, arrogant and grow up to be self-centered individuals.

With a job that keeps me busy and a house to run, would it be justifiable to bring a child to the world just for the sake of ‘two child’ concept? I really don’t know.

Does it make sense to have a second child only because you want to give your child a sibling?

My Miss Little Sunshine turned three on May 18. The b’day party in the middle of the week left your parents tired (we had to take leave the next day as well). The morning started with a visit to a doc, as MLS had sore throat and cough. We had just returned two days back from Shirdi and the heat took its toll not just on you but everybody else. It was a wonderful trip, sans the heat and train journey. By the end of the spiritual retreat, you just said “Bar baar hotel, baar baar mandir” I guess you got tired of all the religious things.

Coming back to your D-day, we were given perfect instructions by you that you wanted a cake in the shape of your fav cartoon character Doremon. So the order was dutifully placed and so was the teeny weenie decorations done at the house using balloons. You insisted on blowing up the balloons that in the end we just had to abandon the idea of putting up more balloons. You went around inviting your friends in the locality for the evening party. You enthusiastically sorted out the books for the return gift and wanted to know who was getting what. You were more keen in handing out the return gifts than in your gift itself.

Well you have been once again deluged with dolls and toys and surely now has every animal as a soft toy. Be it the tortoise and pug that you cling to or your doremon, elephant, leopard and the endless other characters strewn across the house.

The party was one big affair with a dozen kids and an equal number of adults. Though you had strict instructions from doc not to have cake or anything else, we could do little to keep you away from the goodies. Despite being sick and not sleeping in the afternoon, you put up a brave face the entire day till 12.30 at night when we finally crashed. I thought you would get cranky but I believe you loved all the attention being showered on you. You flitted across the house interacting with every one absorbing all the fun.

God Bless you, my little girl. Soon you will be a young lady and I just wish that you turn out to be a nice human being. May God shower you with all the happiness in the world and grant you the strength to deal with the adversities in life.

What do I blog about Miss Little Sunshine who does a dozen things a day which are potential posts, yet, when I sit down to pen them it just gets completely erased completely from my mind. Post motherhood, I tend to forget things pretty easily. At times, I have trouble remembering a face, at times it’s the name and sometimes bits of conversation. Don’t know if it’s only a phase or the beginning of certain diseases.

Coming back to the point, the MLS is getting into a mode of self-authority. She is quite assertive about her choices and would rather not budge from them. Be it what she would like to eat, wear or hear (stories). She has also become appreciative and shows her genuine affection to people who matter to her. Last week, I was away on an official trip for three days and the moment I enetered home, she smothered me with kisses and said ‘I like you a lot’. Perhaps, it was her way of telling me how much I matter to her. Those are the moments I live for. The never ending morning sickness, agony of a C-sec, countless sleepless nights and the emotional, physical and mental scars of post partum just seem so trivial in front of this pure love. Blessed are the people who can experience such pure joy in their lives. It’s a love which is unbiased, selfless and regardless of how much you scold or smack them, they will curl up to you at the end of the day.

MLS, I don’t know how life existed before you but surely each day with you is etched in my memory. At least, I try to imprint it in my mind.

Award time

I have rarely written about myself in this blog. But when one of my favourite blogger Kiran awarded me the ‘Honest Scrap’ award , I couldn’t help but think about myself and pen down things. First, I would like to thank K for this wonderful award. Coming from someone whose blog is a must read everyday, it means a lot to me. I am delighted and since it’s an honest scrap it’s easy to write about.
For the honest scrap award, I need to list out ten honest things about myself that no one knows about and I need to pass this on to 10 other bloggers.

First things first

1. While in college, I never thought I could step out of house without eyeline, lipstick and heels. Motherhood has taught me that kajal is quicker to apply than a liner and having chipped nailpaint on toes is no crime.

2. Post pregnancy, I can’t sleep beyond 6 hours at a stretch, no matter how much tired I am or how much I would love to laze around.

3. The only time I get to read my books are during my 1 hour metro rides to and fro from workplace.

4. I am technologically-challenged. I have an i-pod (gift, obviously) which I rarely use, I can’t upload pics from digicam to my comp and I hate reading e-books.

5. I strive to lose weight but my will power is the weakest when it comes to food.

6. My greatest nightmare is being stuck in a lift.

7. I fear dying an invalid. I want to leave this world in the pink of my health.

8. My spending hasn’t changed with the rising income. I still spend on the same things as I used to when I was earning 2000 bucks a month.

9. My intuitive power is strong. I can often sense negative vibes from thousand miles if a person is upset with me.

10. I hate ‘me’ time. I like being surrounded by friends or family.

I would like to pass this on to
1. Cudddles Mom
2. D
3. Solilo
4. Parul
5. Chandni
6. Mona
7. Ceekay
8. Sraikh
9. Kopili
10. Tharini

First stage show

Today I am in a good writing mood. My bog which is the most neglected thing besides exercise is smiling ear to ear coz I am writing my second post in a single day.

A week back it was MLS’s first stage performance. It was her farewell party in school where parents were invited as children would be performing. We were told by the teacher that we needn’t worry as MLS knows her rhymes with actions like the back of the hand. So we quite sure that she would put up a spectacular performance and make us all proud.

On the assigned day, the I and the husb along with her nani and nine-year-old cousin took her to the school. She was dressed in a pretty white frock, sans any make up. We were asked to arrive at 10 am an hour before the show was to start. We reached the venue huffing and puffing as we were 10 mins late only to see only four odd parents waiting with their overly dressed kids. In the delhi heat, kids were wrapped in silk, satin, heavy make up and much more. Anyway, after playing on a couple of swings , MLS got terribly bored. She was whisked away by her teacher as they wanted to do last minute rehersal. MLS got cranky as she wanted to sit with us and started crying. So we got her outsude and waited and waited and waited. It was 11.40 and the show was still to start. Parents and kids were getting restless. I lost my patience and went to the director of the school and gave him a pices of my mind. He apologised profusely saying they are still waiting for parents and can’t start the show as there are couple of group performances.

Finally the show started at 11.50 and the second turn was of MLS. we took our handycam and digicam to record this momentous feat. But MLS refused to budge from her dad’s lap. Her performance was supoosed to be group rhymes where all that the kids did was actions and the teachers sang the rhymes. Now this was something which MLS didn’t like to do. And so she didn’t budge despite our repeated requests. Finally the group went without her and then there was a fancy dress competition and a solo performance. And the solo thing perked up MLS. She just walked into the stage, took the mike and started singing her rhymes with actions. Quickly we recorded that moment even as parents and teachers were in splits. After 4 poems, she wanted to continue, but we quickly got her down as other kids were waiting for their turn. Her solo act set the precedence and every parent was nudging their child to go on stage and sing something.

Her nani heaved a sigh of relief as she was quite upset by our MLS’s earlier non-performance. The day was truly spectacular for her proud parents too.

Heading towards 3

My MLS is still not three. there are still two good months to go before we hit this milestone. But she behaves like 3 going on 90. Not a joke, you have to be with her to believe it. Are all kids, these days, super-confident, super-active and super-intelligent? I doubt if I displayed her levels of intelligence when I was 3.

The other day, I accidently dropped my soap into the WC and MLS was watching me. I apologised and said “galti se hua”. So off goes the chatter box, “Mama galti galti kuch nahiin hota. Apne soap gira diya. that’s it.” I guess either I or the husb would have said something like this to her, when she would have done somthing coz her favourite phrase happens to be “galti se hua”. She also scolds me whenever i shout at her dad.

My bro met with an accident recently, and the little one goes and tells him, “mamu gaadi tez nahiin chalana kabh. See accident ho gaya na.” She loves to act all grown up and has her two cents ready on every topic. She has already decided what to do when she grows up……she wasnts to be a doctor (yes, it’s so cliched)

The other day I tok her to a dance school and the instructor said we will take your daughter as she is already five. I told him her age and he couldn’t believe that someone less than 3 can be so sure about things like , “i want to learn dancing, not painting”. So sadly mama and MLS had to come back and wait for atleast a year and half before she can pick up her dance lesson

New year

Ahhhhhhh, already 10 days has passed into the new year and mama has still not written a word. Sorry, MLS. Let me do a quick recap of whatever you ahve been upto these past couple of days, weeks and months.

1. You have really become a BIG girl, telling mama that “bhoot-voot koi nahiin hota mama, woh hamar khoon nahi lega”. now is it the school or the maid or the endless crappy TV prog that you watch that made you come up with bhoot and all….only bhoot knows.

2. Chotta Bheem, an animated modern day bheem series on Tv remains your fav prog on TV. So much so, that when your dad asked you help the other day you plainly said, “madaat toh bheem karta hai, papa.”

3. your fav movies happen to be Jab We met, ghajini and whatever aamir khan does, be it aallll izzzz wellll or his advertisments on TV. shahid kapur is called Nagada and Aamir is referred to as ‘meri adhoori’.

4. Now you no longer wants to go to your playschool. you keep repeating that you want to go to a big school in a big bus.

5. Your fav activities are cooking, cleaning, putting your dool to sleep, playing hide and seek and being a teacher.

An open letter

Dear MLS,

Yoday was you first Parent teacher Meeting. Both hubs and I went for the day, reaching the school well in time and waiting patiently to hear what your antics are. It is a matter of concern to know how badly you behave in school, whether you bully other kids and what would be the teacher’s pet peeves.

But nothing of that sort happened. Your teacher was all praises for you. She said you are the most confident and intelligent child in the school. Now I don’t whether she says this to every parent or she actually meant what she said, we swelled in pride. No we didn’t take pride in the above-mentioned quality of yours but in the fact that you are well-behaved, you are assertive and not shy to express your needs. The teacher also said that you are most entertaining kid in the class and often you take over the teacher’s role. Often you are teaching kids alphabets and counting.

It was our first PTM, a beginning of many more such endless PTMs as you grow up and move on in life. But I must tell you, my little 30-month-old kiddie, you are a darling and mama is so proud of you. You are such a precious treasure.

Everyday with you is a God’s blessing. This phase of motherhood has so far been the most cherishing and wonderful. Here, you are able to tell me your likes and dislikes. You are able to judge us and you know when we are cross with you and you really know how to snuggle up to us after your misdeeds. You keep us occupied with your thoughts, actions, rhymes and other careful observations. I already feel that you are growing too soon too fast. And already, I dread those days when a oh-so-serious primary school kid will overtake this cherubic toddler.

I send out silent prayer, thanking God, for giving me the most precious gift of my life. Everything else is so pale.

How important is it to set a routine for a two-and-a-half year old? Well, I really don’t know. While my Miss Little Sunshine is at her perkiest best at night and not so much of an early riser, sending her to her playway has become a struggle every day. Now, Delhi has woken up to winters and making her wake up even at 8.30am is a task. Then getting her ready for her school is just too much of a pressure cooker waiting to explode. Constantly, I am threatening her that she will miss her van so that she opens her eyes. At the end of it, I am completely stressed out.

Now, it is a task making her go to bed by 10pm which I think is the ideal time for her to sleep. So we all have to be packed for the day as she refuses to sleep if even one of us stays awake. Then, while in bed, she loves reciting her poems. The poor girl is threatened that if she doesn’t shut her mouth and sleep she will not be able to go to school the next day. Now that is something which works coz come hell or high tide, she would not like to miss her school. The poor MLS struggles hard to sleep, settling in different positions so that sleep comes her way.

How do you put a toddler into a schedule? She had almost fallen into a routine when last week we went out of town for a wedding. This made her schedule go completely haywire. How do you make children understand the concept of time? Or is it too much to ask for from a toddler?

The week that was…

To say that the past weekend was a roller-coaster ride would be an understatement. We had two weddings to attend, an outstation trip and a deadline not to be missed. To top it, our Miss Little Sunshine was not in the pink of her health.

The week started with me struggling to stick to my deadline, on Wednesday we were to attend the tilak ceremony of a friend. The partying went on till the wee hours of morning only to return next day to office all groggy eyed. Then Thursday was the wedding and thankfully I had managed to stick to my deadline. Since two very close friends were getting married we were supposed to be with them since the word ‘go’.

So we were at the marriage venue for good 12 hours, yes, you read it right. The groom sat on for sehrabandi at around 6 pm on Thursday and on Friday 6am morning the doli finally left for the groom’s place. A bunch of friends, to toddlers, a farmhouse and the season’s coldest day. Poor MLS and the kid had to sleep in the open amidst layers of blankets toppled on them. Between cups of sugary syrup called coffee and angeethi, we cracked jokes and saw how the dulha and dulhan were enduring all this while decked in the shaadi attire.

MLS, sure had fun. She never left the dance floor, grooved with all the hunks and even found a partner. She plonked a kiss on his cheek and in fact, got herself clicked with cute lil boy. The naughty girl is already on a roll.

Then Friday afternoon we reach home and start packing to go to Ahmedabad. Yes, my cousin was getting married on Sunday. The overnight train journey left husb and I running after MLS who was quickly making friends in other berths. Saturday morning we reach an over-crowded house were we barely get any rest. Post Sunday marriage, we have a train to catch at 6pm and we are back in Delhi on Monday morning.

Tired limbs, aching head, cramps, bodyache and an equally tired MLS who slept for 10 hours at a stretch on reaching home.

What a week, it was (phew!!!)

Notes from Sunshine land

Little Miss Sunshine is growing too fast and too soon. She is such a darling. The playway ahs been doing a lot of good to her. She now wants to go to school everyday, even on a Sunday. I wonder how long it would last.

#Last week, she had her first fancy dress competition. She was dressed as a kite and she recited a poem on ‘patang’ (kite) with cute actions.

#Already her favourite activity is role play. She has mastered the art of being a teacher to the extent she even scolds kids, takes a break to go and drink water and continues her teaching activity. Her She teaches counting 1 to 25 in loud, high-pitched voice along with accompanying clap. Imitating her class teacher.

#Already she has two friends, Kabir and Vanshikha, in school.

#She has mastered her poems with actions, knows counting till 25 but misses 16 and 22.

A lazy mama

Writting this blog is of least priority and so I almost always miss out on updating it. Sorry MLS, forgive mama for being such a procastinator. It seems mama is suffering from blogger’s block.

nevertheless, coming back to updates, you have comfortably settled in you playgroup. So much so that now when it’s a holiday you insist on going to school. And today morning you told me the name of your friends from school– Manchikka and Kabir. Now I don’s whether you have pronounced them correctly but I found it very intriguing that you have already made friends. You have also started singing rhymes that are taught in school and that too with actions. It such a joy to watch you do your own thing.

Also, one of your activities is role play. You love to be my mama, scold me and then console me. When I mock cry, you wrap your tiny arm around my neck, make me lie on your lap and would say “Koi baat nai baby, koi baat nai.”

You are such a pleasure to be with. Today morning while I was getting ready to go to office you said, “Mama I won’t cry, aap jao.” Not that you cry but at times you get cranky. Am surprised to notice that you have become so mature that you what is expected of you. But at times you also drive mama up the wall. But then what is my MLS without her tantrums, foot stomping and yelling.

Missed milestones

Sorry MLS, i have not been very regular with updates. That you have been almost weaned from bottle feed when you started your preschool should have found a mention. For a couple of days you were completely off the bottle but you were hardly drinking any milk. Despite our repeated monkey acts all you could gulp down was half a glass of milk in the entire day. That you are just 2.3 and your bones need all the calcium couldn’t be negated. To top it you had just started school. So mama decided to keep your morning bottle feed intact and the rest of the day you are comfortable having your milk from a glass. Not that you drink milk from a glass with a smile but we have to tell you endless stories to make you gulp down a glass.

On the playgroup front you have fared very well. You cried your lungs out the first three days and mama was almost panicky. She thouhgt that maybe the school thing started a little too early for you and should have waited till you turned 3. But you proved me wrong on the fourth day. Though you threatened me that you will cry you were an angel when your cab arrived. You happily went away but a quizzical expression was still rooted on your face. Now you look forward to going to playschool. Before leaving for school every day you threaten me that you will cry but go away quite happily. When mama asks you what you did in school, your response is usuallly “Pata nahin kya kiya”. Though you tell me that you wished your madam, I wonder how much of it is true.

A lovely fwd

This I got as a fwd and I thought I should post it here for you my Miss Little Sunshine. I want you to always remeber that just because you are addressed as the weaker sex doesn’t mean you are weak. The person whom you choose to spend your life with should adore you for what you are and not expect the world from you. Read on.

Tomorrow you may get a working woman, but you should marry her with these facts as well.

Here is a girl, who is as much educated as you are;
Who is earning almost as much as you do;

One, who has dreams and aspirations just as
you have because she is as human as you are;

One, who has never entered the kitchen in her life just like you or your
Sister haven’t, as she was busy in studies and competing in a system
that gives no special concession to girls for their culinary achievements

One, who has lived and loved her parents & brothers & sisters, almost as
much as you do for 20-25 years of her life;

One, who has bravely agreed to leave behind all that, her home, people who love her, to adopt your home, your family, your ways and even your family ,name

One, who is somehow expected to be a master-chef from day #1, while you sleep oblivious to her predicament in her new circumstances, environment and that kitchen

One, who is expected to make the tea, first thing in the morning and cook
food at the end of the day, even if she is as tired as you are, maybe more,
and yet never ever expected to complain; to be a servant, a cook, a mother,
a wife, even if she doesn’t want to; and is learning just like you are as
to what you want from her; and is clumsy and sloppy at times and knows that you won’t like it if she is too demanding, or if she learns faster than you;

One, who has her own set of friends, and that includes boys and even men at her workplace too, those, who she knows from school days and yet is willing to put all that on the back-burners to avoid your irrational jealousy, unnecessary competition and your inherent insecurities;

Yes, she can drink and dance just as well as you can, but won’t, simply
Because you won’t like it, even though you say otherwise

One, who can be late from work once in a while when deadlines, just like yours, are to be met;

One, who is doing her level best and wants to make this most important,
relationship in her entire life a grand success, if you just help her some
and trust her;

One, who just wants one thing from you, as you are the only one she knows in your entire house – your unstinted support, your sensitivities and most importantly – your understanding, or love, if you may call it.

But not many guys understand this……

Please appreciate “HER”

I hope you do.

Empty nest syndrome

yes, the first steps towards an empty nest were taken today. Little Miss Sunshine, all of 2.3 went to her playway today. My little girl has already stepped out of the home and mama returned with a heavy heart.

the day started with hectic activity, what with the husb being out of town and yours truly left to get a toddler ready for her first big day. At 9.00 am we were ready to go, with mama showing a strong face though she was crumbling inside. The pickup cab arrived and MLS was duly seated inside and she kept saying “Mama,aap bhi chalo” and she had this puzzled expression on her face while the door of the cab was being shut. It was like a million questions crossed her mind , “where is my mama sending me”? and Mama returned to an empty house that was devoid of the chitter-chatter. And then I cried and cried bucketloads. I don’t understand what is it with being a momma? Are we mothers so weak when it comes to the spawn of our womb? I called my mom and had a heart-on-heart.

decided to work from home as anxious mama would have fainted if she had not seen MLS while returning from school. At 12.45, MLS was duly dropped and she was all smiling and beaming, saying she wants to go to school tommorow. Ahhhhh…..what a relief. So much tears were shed on the girl who came back to tell me she has lots of friends in school, etc.

And soon this lil birdie will fly out of the nest……..

9/11: Love and Longing

Well, the memories can never fade away. It is day when thousands dies in the US of A and many million hearts were broken. It is a day when two towering towers collapsed even as a flabbergasted world watched in shock and awe. It is a day when words seemed too hollow for the tragedy that affected a nation that never thought terrorism could affect them.

It was also a day when two lonely hearts said ‘I do’, no not at the altar, but as a prelude to the D-day. Eight long years of existence and four years of certified togetherness. The bonus is a two-year-old who was to start playschool today but played the perfect spoilsport. That it’s pouring since two days just added to the toddler’s crankiness.

I love these days. I can’t remember the last time I saw delhi in shades of gray for more than 48 hours. MLS starts playgroup on Monday and so starts the morning madness at our household.

Playway, no play

Last week we went playschool hunting for her. Yeah, she will turn 2.3 this month and God knows by the time the girl turned 1.6 years, she was ready to hit the turf. But this whole playschool thing has upset me a lot. To begin with she will have to spend two years in playway as she would turn 3 only in May 2010 while March is the deadline for age limit. So we have been told that two years is what she needs to spend in a playway.

So mama, papa and the cub set out playway hunting. We sampled three schools in three hours and were left tired and confused.

Palyway A: The school is a stone’s throwaway from our house. This is the school where MLS’s nephew has also gone. School surveyed, toilets checked, classrooms inspected. The teachers here looked a bit horrified and seemed in no mood to entertain a two year old. The administrator who was taking us around was a sweet lady but that’s about it.

Playway B: It’s an international chain and need we say more. The fee is double and the joining expenses are four times to what we would pay in A. The teachers were friendly but the ball area was not very clean. I twitched my nose and was informed that kids have dumped toffee wrappers just a while ago. Two much focus on being politically correct, is the impression with which I walked out.

Playway C: A friend’s son studies here and it is a leading Indian chain of playway schools. The school provides its own meals, has a small dining table and all kids eat their meals together. The administrator, who refused to smile even to MLS, said in stern voice that they take their kids for many educational tours like visits to ATMs, fire stations, petrol pumps, etc. WTF!!!! Why do two or three year olds have to go to these places???? I asked her whether they take kids to museums, zoo or parks and I was promptly told, “NO, but we do take them to McDonald’s” WOW, need I say more about the school.

Husb says let’s go for B and I say A. As for MLS she wants to go to a big school in a big bus. We are both confused and have now deferred the plan till September.

Yes, Miss Little Sunshine is at work. She has earmarked a few walls in the house to display her artistic skills. The walls that have seen better days, the walls that cringe when she approaches them with her crayons and the walls that talk in hush-hush tones how the mama monster can’t keep a track of the brat. She somehow manages to evade our eyes and spuriously sketch on my till-now pristine-clear walls. So a 3 foot section of the living room wall is a mish mash of colours. So is a portion of the bedroom wall. I wish there was some way to erase all those bouts of creativity.

I wonder how parents of toddlers manage to keep their walls spotlessly clean. How to make a child who is just about 2 years understand what messed-up means?

The hubs seems totally cool about all this though I keep raving and ranting how ugly it all looks. But I guess this little inhouse artist has managed to satiate her creative outbursts.

My Little Princess

Miss Little Sunshine is growing too fast too soon. Today morning, I had the realisation when I saw her sprawled on the bed and saw her photgraph which was clicked when she was barely 2 months old hanging on the wall. She is now 2.2 years and soon she would be 22. As the hubs said the other day, I wish time stands still as far as MLS is concerned, we want to savour her childhood more and just dont want to let go of it.

At 26 months she is a chatterbox, yeah even at 16 months she was one. Now she is oh-so-ready to head to the playschool and I just keep postponing the entire thing. I feel once she heads to the school she will soon fly out of the nest. Mama’s lil one would become too worldly wise too soon.

She has started liking TV a lot more (reason for me to dread) and enjoys music channels and her stories. These days I have learnt to distratct her whenever she throws a fit. Often it works for me. I have invented a naughty boy called “billu bhaiyya” for her who is extremely naughty and moral of the tantrum is weaved into a story. I narrate the story effectively fitting it into the current situation and viola she soon forgets her rage.

The one big milestone that I have to cross now is to stop her feeding bottle. She still has milk from her bottle and I really want her to do away with it before we hit playway.

Showcase babies

Today morning, while hurriedly getting ready for work, I got a telephone call. The conversation that follows

Lady: Hello, do you have any child below the age of 3?

Me: Yes

Lady: I am calling from XYZ playschool We are having a baby show so please give me the details of your child.

Me: Well, I am not interested in sending my child to any show.

Lady: Why? This is such a ‘grateful’ show where babies can take part.
Me: I didn’t say it is any kind of ungrateful event. I don’t want to send my two-year-old child for any competition.

Lady: Why? Two year old is a big child. We have even 6 month old kids participating.

By then I had lost all my patience. I guess the lady didn’t get my point.

Me: Well, to begin with, I don’t necessarily agree with what you believe in. I don’t see any point in sending my two-year-old to a competition when in a few years time she would be competing for the rest of her life. Also, I don’t agree with the values of your school.

Lady: OK.

I was furious. This a well-advertised playschool whose director doles out parenting tips in newspapers/magazines and the radio. I was wondering what does the six month old infant, who is still struggling to sit without any support, do in a baby show? Does pushing your child to be the centre of attraction at such a young age a great idea? Miss Little Sunshine would be joining a playschool next month and may be taking part in many such activities. But then that would be part of a schooling process, where she would be doing, a gamut of other activities. But a show for babies, just to advertise your playschool further, is just so uncalled for in my opinion. What do you think?

Lost & Found

Two of my favourite bloggers kiran and Chandni have written about what they have gained and dropped in the past few years. An introspective journey, one that made me want to think deeper and find out what I have lost and gained over these years.

I have lost many fairweather friends who were there till it lasted. Relationships that were meant to stand the test of time withered away while trying to make a career and raise a family.

I have lost my surname. Yes, i dropped my surname as surnames have never mattered to me. One is given by your father and another by your husband. So what difference does it really make to my individuality?

I have lost the fire in my belly to head the rat race. Yes, I had been a career-oriented girl who’s only ambition now is to raise Miss Little Sunshine as a humble human-being.

I have lost ‘love’ and yet has come out finding solace in the arms of someone who lend a shoulder during those days.

I have lost time……..which I could have utilised to read so much more, to travel so much more and to love so much more.

Not all’s lost though…

I have found some wonderful friends who have showed me what life is all about. they may be seven seas apart yet they are my mates who know how to bring a smile on my lips.

I have found blogger friends who make every day so much of a learning experience. My day is not complete without meeting them in the blogsphere. With some the association has moved beyond the blogosphere and I cant be more thankful about it.

I have found what it means to give birth to a child and WHAT IT MEANS to raise a child as a selfless soul.

I have found peace in everything around me.

I have found the zealous attitude for life……..to make each moment so much more worth living…….to cherish everything around me and to thank almighty for his blessings.

These days my life is a whirlwind of activity. There is hardly any moment spent spare, reflecting on my thoughts or deed. I have never been this busy in my life. I guess iot may be phase, one that will pass, soon.

I have forgotten how it feels to enjoy a nice cup of tea early in the morning.

I cannot recollect when was the last time I sat down and ate my breakfast in peace.

I cannot remember enjoying the metro ride without a book in my hand. Since reading is the most cherished activity, I have dutifully relegated my metro hour to reading. The only time when I get to read anything in peace.

I cannot remember when was it last that I spent more than five minutes in the shower. There have been days when I have skipped applying moisturizer too.

I have stopped coordinating my bags, clothes, shoes and accessories. I don’t even remember the number of earrings I own, or for that matter even the number of shoes or bags. I have never repeated the same set of earrings, shoes or bag for this long.

When did I last watch television? Yeah, when I was in the gym, running on the treadmill and reading the ticker on the news channel.

When I did I last spend five minutes on my hair, filed my nails or removed the chipped nailpaint?

Life’s been on a fast-forward mode for the past so many months that I have forgotten how it feels to hit the pause button.

A Letter to God

Dear God,

I have always wanted to thank you for sending me the most beautiful rose from your lawn. Sadly, I always keep postponing it for either I am too hardpressed for time or I have already written thousands of words as a journo that I have no more energy to pen any further. But allow me to thank you today and let me tell you how the rose bud that you sent me across two years back is doing:

* She is the prettiest of all the roses that I have ever seen in my life. When she calls me lovingly, mamu, my heart melts away. Did you tell her to address me like that to get away from my rage.
* She is naughty to the hilt, she will climb on stools and try to fiddle with the gas knob, turn off television and even tries to balance herself on her cycle. She is adventurous to the hilt never worried about her safety. Did you tell her giving her time out should not deter her from her dangerous pursuits?
* She is the most friendly child in the neighbourhood so much so that everyone is her aunty, uncle, grandparents or bhiya and didi. Was she the talkative most in your lawn?
* She has become quite independent. She can put on her trousers, wear her shoes, combs her hair and eats her food. Were other flowers getting jealous of her?

Thank you God for giving me my Miss Little Sunshine. I never knew how these two years went by. Please give me a little more:

• Strength to carry on with her infectious energy.
• Patience to deal with her eccentricities.
• Courage to say No to her and not to alter my decision.
• Wisdom to guide her through the path of honesty, loyalty, compassion and love.
• Humility to pass down to her.

I write this post after a few weeks of frenzied activity. This is a post dedicated to you, my lovely, who in the past two years has dominated our lives and has changed it to the extent that we often wonder whether there was ever a life before you.

The day I learnt I was pregnant, we were ecstatic. For some peculiar reason I had always thought I will have problems conceiving. But it was not the case to be. When we decided on having a baby, you quickly planted yourself in my womb within a few weeks.

There began the endless days of morning sickness. Days when all I have would be a banana or a few spoons of rice. Those were really horrible days. I would wake up pucking and sleep after vomiting my lungs out. I used to travel around with a vomit bag. Your dad used to drop me to work where I would spend a few hours juggling work and endless trips to the loo. Most of the time it would be just bile as I hardly ate anything those days. The joke around the friends’ would be “click yourself for you are never going to be so thin ever again.” Those were frustrating four months which I would spent crying quite often .

Then came the second trimester, the pleasantest of all. It was the time when my vomiting subsided and I started enjoying food. I gobbled down food to compensate for those 3-4 odd months of starvation. Towards the end of this trimester I had started feeling slight movements. The first time you moved inside we both jumped with joy.

The last trimester saw my bump enlarging to a proportion where I thought it would just burst out soon. People asked if was carrying twins? I wondered what your weight would be. I had happily piled on 22 kgs (only 15 lost till now) and looked no less than a rolling football when I walked.

I desperately wanted to have a normal delivery. But as per my doc, your heartbeat had started dropping and you were still quite up. They said a C-sec was the best option to go for. Since I dreaded all kinds of pains, I happily agreed, only to realise later that giving birth to a baby, c-sec or natural, comes with its baggage of pain, bruises and stitches. I couldn’t walk around properly without help for the first five days.

The first time they handed over you to me, I was relieved to see that angelic face and that everything was normal (I used to be paranoid). That was my trophy, the fruit of my womb, who now has a couple of slaves at her disposal.

darling MLS,

This post is 4 days due. Nevertheless, a very happy birthday to you my lovely lady. Turning two on May 18, you are moving away from toddlerhood too fast and too furiously. Someone close to the family passed away on your b’day and mama has still not come out of gloom that surrounds our family these days. May God bless you, honey.

Love
Mama

A dilemma

I am unsure how to celebrate my Miss Little Sunshine’s birthday. She turns two on Monday and here I am, on a Saturday evening still so indecisive about the way to go about it.

There are so many issues at hand. I want it to be a party where all of us enjoy without getting tired. Now the husb and me had decided to keep it a small party for her freinds (ranging between 7-year-olds to 170year-olds) and then a dinner for the immediate family. But now the family wants it to be an extended affair. Which means I have to invite all the uncles and their grandparents to the party amounting to a guest list of 60 odd people. Gosh, am so confused. Why do kiddie parties have to be such a tedious affair?

Anway, MLS anything for you. I don’t want to offend anyone on your special day. My angel, You are heading towards two but you have already given us a taste of terrible two since the time you hit 22-month.

What more is in store, is to be seen in the coming days.

I, Me and Myself

This is a tag that i have lifted upon on my own. After reading about it at Parul and then later at Kiran’s and Chandni’s blog, I thought I too had to pick this up. This talks about five things tht you love about yourself. Since we often spend a lifetime figuring out why we love someone, I have never really thought what I love about myself. This tag gave me an opportunity to explore the true me and find out what lies beneath.

1. Honesty: I take pride in the fact that I have rarely lied in my life. I haven’t ever been able to carry off a lie with elan. No matter how much I like to hide things, if confronted, I would sing lime a canary. Perhaps the reason why mom knew all about my dates and still have never really taken a medical leave without actually falling sick.

2. Genorosity: I do not like so much to write about this but I believe we all should be generous. We should lend a helping hand whenever and wherever possible. You have a blessed lifge, someone else doesn’t so why not share it with others. I always think about this quote: I always looked down upon my ragged shoes till the time I saw a man with no feet.

3. Friendships: I love my friends and being a true blue Leo I am loyal till my last breath. I cherish my friendships and would take an extra effort to be in touch and spend some memorable time with my friends. Unlike many people I know, I love the fact that my ability to keep alive long-lost friendships, is an admirable thing about me.

4. Non-fussy: I a a very adaptable person who adjusts to the situations. I like people who are not fussy in life. Make the most of life and not spend time cribbing about things that can;t be changed.

5. Self-confidence: I think I am a confident person who believes that she can strive in any difficult situation. I am a die-hard optimist who believes that there is a rainbow after rain.

What do you like about yourself? Go figure out, coz u hardly do that, people.

Miss Little Sunshine never fails to teach us valuable lessons. We may try to instill good manners in her but when we falter she quickly reprimands us.

The other day we were traveling to the market place, just a few minutes away from home. SO both of us didn’t bother to put the seat belt and MLS was quick to remind us “ seat belt dalo, police pakad lega”. Ahem!!!

The other day I asked hubs to pass me my cellphone. He just threw it on to the bed where I was reading a book. Quickly MLS said, “Cell nahin pheko, toot jayega”.

While in the car, her seven-year-old cousin tried to throw a piece of paper on the road. The lady was quick to remind him, “Bahar paper mat pheko, dustbin main dalo.”

And while going to bed, after saying goodnight, I forgot something essential. She was quick to say, “God Bless bolo”.

God Bless you, my Miss Little Sunshine. Without you the days would be drab and nights would be uninterrupted sleep (which I do not like anymore🙂 )

Yes, the hubs can’t get enough of Miss Little Sunshine. Today morning we hurridely packed her bags and dropped her at her naani’s place, a few kilometres from my place. We wanted her to spend Saturday, Sunday and Monday with her at her grandma’s place. After we head to our offices, I get a call from husb.

Me: Hi honey, what plans of evening, now that we are alone…

Husb: Can we go and meet MLS.

Me: OK, what if she cries to come along?

Husb: We will get her back and then maybe… maybe drop her back on Sunday.

Me: Hmmmmmmm

Husb: Please can i be with her?

Me: OK (With a wide grin on face).

We think on the same track. After dropping her, I was wondering what we will do the entire evening. Ahem, was there ever a life before MLS happened? What did we used to do on weekends then?

*Sigh* I guess we both can’t get enough of her though she is happy to be anywhere than her own house …. Such is life dearies.

Mama’s first tag

Hey MLS, this is mama’s first tag and what better than motherhood as a subject to write on. The very lovable, GoofyMama, has tagged me to write the five high points in motherhood. Well, it’s unfair to summarise in five points yet the crunchier the better for you to read MLS. Am sure you would be hard-pressed for time when you would be reading mama’s blog.

Five Things I love being about mother

1. Motherhood gave me you, my bundle of joy. I just love your smile and shiny eyes. The content look on your face is unmatchable to any joy in this world.

2. The way you snuggle up to me and bury your cute face on my nape. The way you fiddle with my ears, hold me tightly and kiss me goodbye, your unconditional love simply melts my heart beyond words.

3. Due to motherhood, I can take pride in the fact that I owned you first, I was the one who first felt you and for 9 months you were solely mine.

4. Motherhood taught me the virtues of patience, caring and courage. Three qualities I discover everyday making me push myself beyond my limits to reach out.

5. I take pride in motherhood for I do not worry about my jelly-like tummy or stretch marks, for without them I wouldn’t have got the most beautiful child in this world.

Since I am not avidly read by many, I do not tag anyone. However any mommy reading this is free to post a comment on motherhood or take up the tag.

Thanks GM once again for this beautiful tag.

A 23-month post

Let me celebrate your 23-month-old existence by a belated happy birthday post. ya, you turned 23 (month) on April 18 and mama, says this with a heavy heart that this is the last time you would be addressed as **-month-baby. I take pride in your growth but at the same time a little birdie inside me weeps, for soon you will fly away from the nest.

1. Would you still continue to kiss us on cheeks, then nose, followed by eyes, ears and head when you turn 23 years? Yes, that’s how you express your love not only to us but to anybody you take a fancy on.

2. Would you hug me tightly when you are 23 and utter, “mama MLS ko chod ke kahaan jaa rahe ho?”

3. At 23, would you still allow me to feed you and make me run amok the entire house?

4. Would you still remain your papa’s daughter and tease mama showing your tongue?

5. Would your breath still make me feel lost for words and offer a silent prayer to Almighty for sending this angel to our house?

My lil MLS, you have many more milestones to cross. Mama may sport a lot more grey hairs when you turn 23, but these are the few things, that will always make me want to hit the time machine.

PS: As far as your milestones go you are ready to join a school (you have been since you turned 1.8 years), can correctly put your sandles, is able to wear your pyjamas properly and expresses your likes and dislikes quite strongly. You have started identifying a few serials on TV (Roadies, Mr Bean) and knows how to bargain as well.

Of this and that

This 22-month-old lil baby of mine has suddenly grown big. She is now the leader of a group of kids, aged between 9 to 16, who go round for evening walks in the society where we stay. Miss Little Sunshine has loads of friends and is a favourite with her Manu Bhaiya, Swaati didi, monini didi (mohini), iman bhaiya (Himang) and shuti didi (shruti). They take her to the park and play bat-ball with her. She can’t get enough of them and neither are they tired of dancing to her tunes. Thanks to MLS, we now know a lot of our neighbours.

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MLS: “Where are you going, mama?

Me: Office

MLS: Mujhe naai leke jaa rahe?

Me: Aap chotta baby ho

At this she points to her five-month old picture on the wall and says :WOh Chotta baby hai.” I am big, i can go to office.

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MLS wanted to know where the uncle ( a Kathakali mask that hangs on one of our walls) pees? I am speechless.

——————————————————————–

MLS is a big chatterbox, calls out to everyone and wants to be the centre of attention. She simply loves the park or playing outside. Making her sit inside the house is a task in itself.

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She loves soup, juice and ice-cream. She is not very fond of non-veg and dislikes paneer as well. God, what will I do? every night she asks for an ice-cream and soup or juice every evening.

I am hungry, mama

Yes, that Miss Little Sunshine asked for food on March 29 for the first time is indeed a milestone. Yes she said, “Mama mujhe bhook lagi hai, chawal de do” before dinner time and said “mujhe roti de do” during lunch. Oh, all in one day.

Isn’t it wonderful when you get to know when your child is hungry? It marks a major milestone in my life that my 22-month-old is able to ask me for lunch and dinner. Till now, she has always asked for milk and asked for sundry things like biscuit or a fruit. Never has she demanded a proper meal during lunch or dinner. How I felt contented after feeding her yesterday.

I may sound silly but I can’t stop raving about the incident. For a mother these are small milestones when her child tells her that she is ready to leave the lap. Her first word at 5 months was papa, she first started crawling by 7 months, and she stood on her own by 8 months and started walking on her own when she about a little over 11 months. She left her feeds when she was 15 months and was potty trained by 18 months. Like all the milestones, saying “I am hungry” was an important milestone.

Personality Type

Click to view my Personality Profile page

hey, I took this quiz at http://www.mypersonality.info and found the results quite intriguing. The result reads as follows:

ESTJs live in a world of facts and concrete needs. They live in the present, with their eye constantly scanning their personal environment to make sure that everything is running smoothly and systematically. They honor traditions and laws, and have a clear set of standards and beliefs.

ESTJs thrive on order and continuity. Being extraverted, their focus involves organization of people, which translates into supervision. While ENTJs enjoy organizing and mobilizing people according to their own theories and tactically based agendas, ESTJs are content to enforce “the rules,” often dictated by tradition or handed down from a higher authority.”

ESTJs prefer occupations that require an organized, logical, and practical bent that incorporates an effective use of time and resources. They pay attention to the organization’s hierarchy and use policies and procedures to help them to move the tasks along. They like making decisions and dealing with concrete, specific facts.

“responsible, finisher, decisive, norm following, respects authority, punctual, hard working, stiff, self confident”
“…go by experience and that is what counts, not speculation and experimentation, and certainly not fantasy. They keep their feet firmly on the ground and make sure that those under their supervision do the same…”

A 22-month update

A belated post, a belated happy Birthday My Miss Little Sunshine. What to do mama has been so busy the past two weeks that March 18 was thought about and remembered but not blogged about. You have turned 22-month-old now and it’s just one more month before this entire monthly celebrations/salutations would get over.

MLS, you are growing too fast and too quick. Did I tell you that you can’t be tricked anymore? The other day I obstructed the car door with my foot so that you don’t close it, you spent 5 minutes figuring out what has gone wrong, looked everywhere on the door for possible obstructions and spotted my foot and asked me to remove it. I never knew my munchkin has grown this big.

Did I tell you that now you’re a favourite of lot of bhaiyas and in the society whom we have got to know through you dearest You refuse to sit indoors, has to play in the park all the time and will walk away with any stranger just to be in the outdoors. Nothing fascinates you more than being footloose. You are not scared and would confidently walk away alone also, leaving mama behind with a deep heart.

Did I tell you that you always say that you are a papa’s daughter and when I make a sad face you say, “ok, I am yours too”. You effortlessly sing your poems but the moment mama comes to teach you its not interesting anymore for you.

Did I tell you that your demons too come out quite freely. When you shout and cream, yell and cry and stump your feet. And if mama really gets cross then you get emotional further and would like to make up to me. You will promise me that you will never repeat this behaviour only to throw a fit the moment you have finished saying so  But mama loves all of this and is enjoying a wonderful phase in life.

Did I tell you that you complete me in all aspects and never have I felt God so close as looking at your angelic face.

God Bless, Amen!

Maid dilemmas

I guess finding a maid in Delhi is as difficult as making Miss Little Sunshine (MLS) finish her complete meal. Both are impossible tasks, both require oodles of patience and time, both demand ferocious energy to deal with the eventual outcomes and both leave you exasperated and gasping for breath.

I was oblivious to the world of stay-at-home maids till the time I got pregnant. That’s when my MIL, who stays close-by, informed me that if I intend to leave MLS behind for work then I better keep a maid at home. i was alos informed about the difficulties of finding one and how I should start searching the moment I got pregnant. I didn’t pay any heed to her advice as the thought of a third adult in our cosy home was too much to swallow. Being a two bedroom apartment, I felt we would hardly have any privacy left. But like all things that come attached with the pregnancy the maid issue was dealt with quite serioslu, especially by my MIL, who spread the word far and around that I need a stay at home maid. Her logic with the part-timers being they would skip work, never be on time and would not be there late at night. Eventually, I got one when I was just 6 months pregnant and my MIL bounced on her as if she is a precious gem to be treasured and kept away from all prying eyes of our neighbours. Thankfully, she turned out to be a nice girl who looked after MLS till she was seven months old. Before leaving for work, I used to drop my maid and MLS at my parents-in-law’s place and used to pick them up in the evening. Everything was smooth till she declared she was going back home. All hell broke loose as we started our maid hunt again.

A series of girls/women/ came and went away, if I think correctly at least 8 people left before I finally got a lady who took care of MLS. I paid a huge amount of commission to the agency guy’s to get maids. I lost some money, a digicam and couple of knick-knacks with every maid gone wrong. Now these agency’s that run maid services are neither registered nor take any onus of sending a trained maid. They lie blatantly and usually try to make a fool of us. So after a series of misses, I got the right lady who looked after MLS till the last month.

Now she has gone to her hometown, promising me to return in 3 months. I have kept a new maid, again after paying a huge commission to the agency, and she is driving me nuts. MLS doesnt go to her and she has no clue how to make tea or even cut veggies. My in-laws too are tired of making her learn things. Why do these women come to work if they don’t want to? Why do they drive us against the wall all the time? My maid hunt continues……….I wonder how other working moms are dealing with the maid dilemmas.

Invaluable Lessons

The Miss Little Sunshine is asking for a spoon. mama, absentmindedly, hands over a spoon to her from the utensils rack.
MLS says: Isko dho do (wash it, please). yeah, yeah mama taught you all about cleanliness and forgot it while bringing you up.

MLS is having a runny nose. mamma tries to make her blow on a big towel instead of a hankerchief.
MLS says: Nooooooooooooo. mera hanky lao {get my hanky, please}

Sorry MLS, mama always tries to be easy going than be prim and proper.

Sunshine Lingo- IV

Chaap ut, says Miss Little Sunshine

And the hubs and I are silenced!!!

Well, we were driving to a friend’s place on Saturday and were having our usual inane argument over something. MLS, in my lap, noted our heated argument and just said “Chaap ut”, which in the Sunshine land means “Shut up”.

So, we the parents took cue and behaved ourselves.

We often say shut up to each other when we are having an argument but we never realised when our 21-month–old daughter picked it up. So much so that she knew exactly when to use the phrase, not considering the fact that she still can’t pronounce the word correctly.

This is a tag that I have picked up from Facebook and I thought would do a post as well. According to the BCC most people would have just read 6 books from the following list of 100. I think the BCC clearly understimates our reading abilities. Now if only BBC knew about it.

Apparently the BBC reckons most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here.

Everyone, who so ever reads this post, is free to pick up this tag.
Instructions:
1) Look at the list and put an ‘x’ after those you have read.
2) Add a ‘+’ to the ones you LOVE.
3) Star (*) those you plan on reading – I didn’t do this.
4) Tally your total. (Mine is 32 excluding the ones I plan to read — So where does BBC stand:-))

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen x+++++
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien x+++++
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte *
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee x+++++
6 The Bible x++
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte x ++
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott *
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller *
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare *
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurierx
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien x ++
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger x+
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell x++++
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald *
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy x
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams *
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll x++
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy *
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens x ++
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis x ++
34 Emma – Jane Austen x+
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini x+++++
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden *
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown x ++++
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez x ++
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery *
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy x++
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan*
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel x+++++
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth x+++++
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens x+++
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon x++++
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez x+++
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov *
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding x ++
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie *
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens x+
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce *
76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray x
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker x ++
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro *
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry x+++
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White *
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Alborn x++
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle x+
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton x++
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad *
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas x
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl x +
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo *

A 21-month-update

Whoop, my Miss Little Sunshine (MLS) would be two years in three months time. I would soon stop counting the months. But till then, let me enjoy myself by recording every breath she takes, every move she makes….

At 21 months, she now speaks clearly and has mastered the art of replying too. She can count till 10, say her alphabets and knows four rhymes. But she doesn’t say anything in its entirety, for we have to initate ABCD then she will say EFGH and so on.

Her keen observational skills leave us flummoxed more often than not. Today, when her mamu (my brother) woke up she asked “chai peena hai?” (You want to have tea?). She knows that the moment he opens his eyes he needs to have his cup of tea.

The girl is quite particular about everyone’s likes and dislikes, belongings and mannerisms. She knows who will say what to her. She knows that she can twiddle us around her thumb when she is with her dadu (grandpa). She knows when to shed her crocodile tears and how to cuddle up to me when I am cross with her.

She now talks on phone with people and would reply to what is being asked. But her attention span on phone is not more than two minutes. Food and MLS are not the best of friends and she is quite temperamental. If she loves khichri one day then it may be paranthas the other day. She still hasn’t taken to eating non-veg (despite having a mom who will leave the bone only when they turn to shards in her mouth) and chocolates still aren’t a favourite (Haven’t ever bought one for her and whatever we usually get is devoured by this oversized mom who fears of shedding even an ounce of her weight!!!!).

She has started miming me, whatever I say she keeps repeating those words. But when I say, “Oh My God, main dookhi hoon (I am tired of you), she would say “Aap dookhi nai ho” (No, you are not). She has now mastered the art of conversation and is becoming quite a chatterbox.

She loves all the advertisements on television. Though we rarely watch TV with her but she gets an overdose of TV whenever she is with her grandparents (sigh!!!). She is fully potty trained and semi pee-trained.

Books and pens are her favourite companions. Give her a pen and she can tattoo her legs and arms and proudly display her ‘drawing’. She loves her books to the point that she has even managed to tear off a hardbound page of an alphabet book Whosoever made those books specifically for kids so that they don’t tear them off hasn’t met brats like her.

Happy 21st B’day Miss Little Sunshine. Let the sunshine spread its warmth and glow into everybody’s lives.

Let’s take the campaign forward. I am a proud member of the A Consortium of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women and would like all of you, male or female, alcoholics or teetotalers, to visit a pub on Valentine’s Day and raise a toast to our freedom of choice. At the cost of being repetitive, let me say, it is not about going to a pub but about asserting our rights. No one and his grandfather in this world has the right to tell me or any women what to do, especially in matters of tradition.
Alright people, to take the pink chaddi campaign forward, here’s some more info:
In Delhi, send your pink chaddis (buy, borrow or steal) to:
Nisha Susan
C/o Tehelka
M76, M-Block Market
Greater Kailash 2
Last date for collection in Delhi is 11th Feb

In Bangalore:
The Pink Chaddi Campaign,
C/O Alternate Law Forum,
122/4 Infantry Road (opposite Infantry Wedding House)
Bangalore 560001
Karnataka

Contact persons:
Nithin (9886081269)
Divya (9845535406)
Nisha (9811893733)

Make a noise and let them have the chaddis to remind them of their frivolous pursuits.
Read more about it

  • http://thepinkchaddicampaign.blogspot.com/
  • One of the ram Sena guys on hearing about this campaign commented as to “what families these women belong to”. I wonder what families these men belong to who don’t know that if they were to go by their tradition then women are to be worshipped like ‘devis’ and not to be thrashed around.

    Sunshine Lingo- III

    Miss Little Sunshine: Mama, soup peena hai

    Me: Ok, Sunshine.

    Miss Little Sunshine: Soup bana do

    Well, this is the first time that Sunshine has asked me to cook something for her. Though she expresses her need to eat something or drink milk, she has never asked me to cook for her, until yesterday.

    ————————————-

    Mama is hurriedly getting ready for work, picks up a kurta from the wardrobe

    Miss Little Sunshine: Yeh, pehnana hai?

    Me: yes, baby.

    Miss Little Sunshine: Ahaa, shoondar ( ahaa, how pretty)

    Mama: I am shoondar/pretty?

    Miss Little Sunshine: Nods her head in negative and points towards the kurta.

    I swallow my words and turn towards the mirror.

    —————
    The first favourite song of MLS is Massakali from Delhi 6. She does a great thumka and some twisting when massakali is played.

    Y’day suddenly some Himesh song (he of the nasal fame) blurts out of the FM. MLS says “Uncle ro raha hai” (uncle is crying). Now if only the uncle understood what a 20-month-old could already gauge and stopped this atyachaar on us.

    The first dream

    It was the first dream that Sunshine had, or at least the first one that she shared with us. She woke up on Saturday, Jan 31, crying and saying “doggy kata”. she even showed us the spot on her stomach where a dog has supposedly bitten her. Then we had to make her understand that it was probably a dream, albeit a nightmare, and she was pacified. Though she doesnt understand what a dream is but I guess at least she knew that there was nothing to cry about.

    Dreams, my MLS, there will be many for you in the coming days. And there may be a few where you will wake up calling for us, just the way you did other day. Dear, we would be there, your daddy and momma, so that you find your strength and move on. I wonder what your dreams would be when you are a 20-year-old little girl… though at 20 months it was about a dog.

    The comeback post

    What could make one log on to a blog that had been lying redundant for four years now? A twitter post, what else? Someone on twitter asked “What’s the happiest, most joyous thing you’ve seen, heard, read or done in the last seven days?”. That made me think and it brought a smile to my face.

    I thought of writing it  in a place where I could read about it after a few years too. Chronicling it was important.  And FB and Twitter had word restrictions, besides the fact that I wasn’t ready for responses to the post. And that’s when this blog struck me. So dusted it out and here I am.

    So the most joyous thing i did the past week was having a chat with Miss Little Sunshine about a few of her favourite things. The little missy, is no more little. She is all of 8. So I asked her what her favourite colour was and promptly she said ‘Black’. I was flabbergasted. I always knew pink was her colour. She bought sandals and bags in pink, had her room painted pink and all things in her life was primarily pink. But I didn’t realise that the little one has outgrown the pink colour and Black is her new Pink. I dread that it isn’t early teenage years and Goth will be in my face in the coming years.

    Also she told me she wanted to visit Paris because the name sounded fancy besides the desire to se Eiffel Tower. She told me everytime she playe “house’, Paris was where she was coming from or going to. The sound of Paris, saying the name aloud, made her happy.

    And when I asked her why she was so cute, she said she didn’t know. After a second’s though she said, “ask me again”. And when I asked again, she said, because you are so cute.

    This conversation, before dozing off to sleep, where she smothered me with kisses and her heart’s desires will  be a joyous thing in my life forever.

     

     

     

     

    Why are we scared of talking to a stranger? Forget talking, even passing a smile. The feeble smile, that comes halfway through on seeing a child quickly vanishes when the mother looks at you. It’s almost as if you did a crime by smiling at someone unknown. What is it about strangers that we always guard ourselves against?

    I have always let loose myself when it comes to strangers. It’s about opening a part of yourselves to a stranger. He may or may not judge you. She may or may not like you. But if your get the vibes of making a connect just go ahead and do it. I always follow my heart and choose my strangers without a care.

    Perhaps which is why the man I chose to spend the rest of my life with was a complete stranger. A stranger who met me in a public transport and started chatting to me out of sheer boredom. I was deeply into my book, but folded it when I saw the man was getting terribly bored and talking to me was his only escape from the treacherous traffic snarls. What began as a polite conversation, moved into a casual friendship, soon to be a four-year long relationship that lasted in exchanging vows. If that day, I had not encouraged the stranger in carrying forward a conversation, I would have lost the most wonderful man I have ever known.

     So open up. Sure, you should be wary of strangers. But never close the possibility of knowing a stranger beyond the boundaries.

     

     

     

     

     

    Turning Five

    And I am back, once again. These long absences from the blogging world is not just sheer laziness but the fact that I write for a living. So I would rather read in my spare time than write again. But write I have to. Write, I will. For you. My Milss Little Sunshine.

    You turned 5 last week. What a joy it is to see you grow. And with it a part of me also dies every day thinking that soon you will flap your wings and fly off.

    No, I am not going to suffer from an Empty Nest Syndrome. But I just want to cuddle you all the time, harass you with sloppy kisses, lift you up and just feed you small tiny bites of food. But these things are slowly becoming a passé. Lifting you isn’t as easy as it used to be. You are your individual now and would like to eat on your own than let me feed you. Then hugging you and kissing will not happen according to my whims. Though more often than not you are nice and allow me to distress you, but then I know this physical pampering will slowly fade away. Sigh

    Love is such a selfish thing. It always wants to own everything. Possess everything. And such is maternal love that it learns to outgrow being possessive. For 9 months, I was the only one who possessed you. I learnt to share you with your dad, grandparents, family, and now your friends. As years grow by, more people will be added into your life. Follow your heart and I shall follow you.