31 August, 2006

Thought for the Day (31 Aug 2006)

When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments ; tenderness for what he is, and respect for what he may become.

~ Louis Pasteur

School starts tomorrow ....

Ever since the orientation day at the kindergarten (which was on 26th August 2006), I had been mentally counting down to D-Day - the day school would official begin.

And it is so close I can actually feel the butterflies in my stomach - because this is the first time in about three plus years that Abhay is going to be on his own. But along with this feeling of edginess and jumpiness, there is also a distinct feeling of excitement.

This is going to be a whole new chapter in Abhay's life. So far life, for him, has revolved around home and family - aside of the trips to the park where each day you meet someone new. School, hopefully, would open a whole new vista for him. A backdrop, a blank canvass on which he would begin his endeavour to paint his own landscape with his very own outlook.

The first step towards independence begins tomorrow. It sure is a big day for the little guy - who, by the way, is blissfully unaware or rather, knowing him, has decided that Ignorance most definitely is Bliss.

As I wonder how tomorrow will be .............











........ I know it sounds very cliched, but time has definitely flown.

28 August, 2006

Thought for the Day (28 Aug 2006)

A three year old child is a being who gets almost as much fun out of a fifty-six dollar set of swings as it does out of finding a small green worm.

~ Bill Vaughan 1915-1977, American Author, Journalist

Orientation Day at the Kindergarten

We had received a letter from the kindergarten quite some time back stating that the Orientation Day was scheduled for 26th August 2006 (Saturday).

Got Abhay dressed and both of us reached the kindergarten around 10.05 am. He has been in the reception area of the kindergarten before - when we had gone over for his "interview" - a pre-admission requisite. But he has never actually crossed the "Lakshman Rekha" - that is to say - the inner door which leads to the play area and the classrooms.

He seemed hesitant and I had to give him a little nudge of encouragement to egg him on and he stepped into the play area with me. We met another Korean lady there - whose second child was also due to start kindergarten on 01 September. It so happens that her first child and Aparna were in the same class right from KG 1 to Primary Two. Only this year have they been put into two different classes.

She immediately rushed over to say HI with a huge smile on her face and Abhay immediately disappeared behind Mummy. Given Abhay's small frame and Mummy's large one - it was not too difficult a task. He kept giving her furtive looks - all the while safely hidden behind Mummy. The same story was repeated when we met his teachers for this year - Ms.Michelle and Ms. Becky.

He took his time even warming up to the play area, which incidentally, was filled with vehicles of all different shapes and colours. I had thought that he would take to it like a fish takes to water - but that was apparently not to be.

He very very slowly began testing the waters and then started to play with the cars and jeeps etc which were all over the play area. But all the while, he was insistent that Mummy be around. Now that's a sticky situation !!

Once, when he was running around in a car, I told him that I had a little work with the lady in the reception and that I would be right back. I thought that the toy cars would be powerful enough magnets to hold his attention till the time I got back.

Off I went to the reception and sorted some things out with the receptionist. By the time I was through, I was beginning to feel quite pleased that he had not come running after me. Nor had I heard him start to cry. I permitted myself a small smile and with that I turned around to walk back to the play area where Abhay was - or so I thought !!

I almost stumbled over him. He was and had been standing quiet as a mouse right behind me all the while. Not a sound but he had been there all along. And there he was - standing there with that "Where did you plan on leaving me alone and going ?" look on his face.

We went back to the play area and he was playing with the cars again while I waited around for a while and then went into the classroom to collect his uniforms and school bag. All the while, his eyes followed me like beacons. Not once did he let me out of his sight. When I did manage to move out of his line of vision, he immediately abandoned his car and came running to the classroom with a look on his face that I can only describe as "wild-eyed".

He wanted to play for some more time and finally around noon we got back home.

Ask him anything school related - he refuses to even acknowledge the question.

Talk of selective perception !!!!

Today morning, I was putting his school uniform onto a hanger so that it could go into his wardrobe. He was watching me all along and I showed it to him and said "Hey Abhay - Look - your school uniform". "Looks nice, doesn't it ?" "You will be wearing this smart uniform to school on Friday". "Do you like it ?"

He did not say anything.

Then he walks up to me, takes the school uniform off the hanger, hands me the uniform and walks away with the hanger.

Now is that supposed to be a subliminal message of some kind ???

"A lull before the storm" - the idiom goes.

Likewise, we seem to be experiencing the "lull" now.

The "storm" is expected to hit on Friday, 01 September 2006, when the kindergarten officially opens for the academic year 2006-2007.

25 August, 2006

Thought for the Day (25 Aug 2006)

Every child that is born is proof that God has not yet given up on human beings.

~ Rabindranath Tagore

24 August, 2006

Thought for the Day (24 Aug 2006)

It kills you to see them grow up. But I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn't.

~ Barbara Kingsolver "Animal Dreams"

Miss Ingenuity !!! ???

Appu, I found yesterday, has discovered a new use for her hairbands. Quite a novel, unique, fresh idea !!



And quite to Ms. Ingenuity's discomfiture, she ended up being a subject for "Candid Camera".



Awwwrrriitteeeee !!! she said. "Ain't I funny ?"

23 August, 2006

School Days are here again ...

Schools are all set to reopen.....

Appu's school reopens tomorrow. Just today, I went over to the school to buy her uniforms etc... There are some additional PE uniforms for the coming year because from the year Primary 3 onwards they have to wear their "House Colours".

Abhay too starts kindergarten this month. Really dont know how he is going to react to the fact that he has to stay all by himself at school for 3 hours. Not much of a choice there though. Am expecting a lot of tears and "howling his head off" episodes. Like I keep telling myself more than him "whether he cries or not is not going to make any differance - school is something that cannot be avoided at any cost". I know I should be telling him this but of late, I find me telling myself this quite often.

Five days and counting ..............

Mythological Stories

This request from Appu is oft heard nowadays "Can you please tell me some story about Lord Ganesha ?" or at times it is Lord Shiva or Lord Hanuman or Goddess Saraswati or Goddess Durga ....... "Any God Story" as Appu would say.

As a result, I find myself browsing the web more and more, of late, hunting for mythological stories - stories which I myself have heard when I was a kid but, the intrinsic details of which, have faded over a period of time. On a macro level, I still remember the outlines of the story but, the details, I found, had me stumped.

Like the other day, I was telling her the story of one of the avatars of Lord Vishnu - The Narasimha Avatar - and when I closed my eyes I could almost picture myself during my childhood days with the "Narasimha" comic book in my hands.

Yesterday, I was telling her the story of "Ganesha and Kubera" after I found it on the net. This again, was a story, which my father had read out to me from one of the Tamil Magazines. Over a period of time, it had faded into distant memory.

This interest of hers in mythological stories is doing her a lot good and is doing me a lot good too.

Like the saying goes "Arindhum Ariyamalum, Therindhum Theriyaamalum" - Knowingly/Unknowingly - Appu is bringing back small bits and pieces of my childhood days - the days of Chandamamas and Amar Chitra Kathas and Jataka Tales and Panchatantra.

Thought for the Day (23 Aug 2006)

Motherhood - If it was going to be easy, it would never have started with something called "labor".

~ Unknown

22 August, 2006

Baymani Baymani !!

No No - I'm not about to launch into one of those Ambi Anna or Kitcha Anna episodes -the ones that sing the saga of nicknames that Tambrams (Tamil Brahmins) assign themselves and others. This post has nothing to do with any "Mani Mama".

Baymani is none other than Appu !!

For Appu, burping is an art that she has only recently managed to master. When she was younger, when she needed to burp, Appu would throw up - everything that happens to be in her tummy then.

When she was a toddler - the "Throw Up" response used to automatically kick in - bodily reflex I guess. There would be no warning of any sort. And invariably, as though it was some kind of Murphy's Law in action, such events would occur on days when the floor sported that "freshly mopped" look.

As she grew, she learnt to give us advance notice so that we could take her over to the bathroom in time. Most of the times we did manage to make it to the bathroom on time. The other times, well .............

And her way of saying that she wanted to burp - I mean throw up - was again quite unique as was her Aashomein and the other stuff.

She used to say "Bay is coming".

Bay meaning Burp meaning "you know what" !!

And these "Bay is coming" incidents used to happen fairly frequently (it obviously would - everytime one wants to burp if one ends up doing "Bay" then it would be a rather frequent occurance) - so much so that Appu ended up being christened "Baymani".

We actually used to call her that in jest !! What wicked parents :-) !!!

Childhood habits die hard and until recently, Bay was called Bay by Baymani !! Period.

This fragment of her toddler days had gotten filed in my memory banks and I kind of retrieved the mental file today morning.

Baymani has been having a slightly congested chest over the past couple of days and some of that phlegm which had accumulated in the chest was in the process of being expelled.

After she was through, Baymani, fairly sheepishly, walked up to me and said "Mummy I just vomited".

"Vomited" !!!!!

"Vomited ??????" I asked her.

"Yeah Mummy - vomited !!" she said.

"You did not do Bay" I asked her - not willing to let her off the hook so easily :-)

Got a huge grin in response to that and a nod of the head in the negative.

"No Mummy - not Bay - I vomited" she said softly and then fled.

Baymani is growing up !!!!!!

Thought for the Day (22 Aug 2006)

Don't worry that children never listen to you ; worry that they are always watching you.

~ Robert Fulghum

21 August, 2006

Thought for the Day (21 Aug 2006)

It is not giving children more that spoils them ; it is giving them more to avoid confrontation.

~ John Gray "Children are from Heaven"

"F" for "Fish"

The other day Abhay and Appu were sitting together with one of Abhay's alphabet books. They seemed to be having no trouble - as is normally the case when they read a book together. Appu says a word out aloud and Abhay repeats it.

I could hear the chatter chatter until suddenly I just heard Appu repeating "F for Fish. Hmmm - Yummy yummy fish !!"

"Abhay say it with me" "F for Fish - look - yummy yummy fish"

And Abhay was giving her a look of utter incomprehension.

Appu, being the carnivore she is, went on repeating "Yummy yummy fish".

He knows to associate the word "yummy" with food but the word "fish" with food or the word "yummy" with fish.

Oh !! What confusion !!

As far as Abhay was concerned, fish were something that swam around in the water. Period !!

"Fishes swimming in the water" - makes sense
"Fishes eating mum mum" - makes sense
"Fishes with small tails" - makes sense
"F for Fish" - makes sense
But
"F for Fish - yummy yummy fish" - Nah !!
Since when did fish get yummy huh ??

Guess he is still trying to figure that one out !!

Chame Chame Aunty !!

The day before yesterday, while unpacking one of the shopping bags, I found a pamphlet - something pertaining to these OTC slimming drugs that seem to be everywhere nowadays.

Needless to say, the "model" in the brochure had a very very skimpy bikini on - presumably to send across the message that "this is what these drugs can make you look like"...........yeah rrriiiteeee!!

Yesterday, just for the heck of it, I showed the brochure to Abhay and said "Hey Abhay look - aunty"

He even refused to touch it - was standing a few yards away from it and was giving the lady in the brochure a look which I can only describe as a mixture of sheepish and amused.

And then, still looking at the brochure, he puts his index finger vertically on his nose and says "Chame Chame Aunty !!"

"That's a Chame Chame Aunty".

19 August, 2006

Oops !!! We forgot my feet !!

Today, me and Appu were to meet up with Vic on his way back from work - and were to go hunting for Appu's school shoes.

While we were on our way to the MTR (Mass Transit Railway) station to meet Vic, Appu suddenly exclaimed

"HAAAAAAAAAH Mummy - we forgot something very very important."

"What did we forget Appu ?"

"We forgot my feet."

"Your feet !!"

"Yeah Mummy - we are going to buy shoes aren't we ?. But we forgot to draw the outline of my feet and take it with us."

Oh Boy !!

"But Appu - you are coming along as well, are you not ?"

"Yes Mummy - but we forgot my feet."

"Appu - aren't your feet carrying you right now ?"

"No Mummy - of course not - I'm walking on them. They are not carrying me."

"Appu when both of your feet are "coming" with us to the shoe shop - why do you need to draw them out ?"

The point finally got across and it registered !!

Oh Yes - it registered !!

And then came that sheepish grin ..........

Appu (*Sigh) My Dear Appu (*sigh sigh*)

Mother in Law's Tongue

I really don't know how this one slipped my mind but it did come back today - so here goes.



The plant above (the one in the foreground), I believe, is called Mother in Law's Tongue.

I was suitably enlightened to this aspect of botany by none other than Appu, a couple of months back.

The thought did cross my mind - "That's a pretty unusual name for a plant"

When I ventured into asking her as to whether she knew how that name had been coined, pat came the reply "Yes Mummy, I do know".

"Well then, tell me why" I told her

Pat came the reply

"Because its leaves are like a mother in law's tongue - long and sharp".

Information courtesy : two parent volunteers who apparently volunteered this piece of information whilst the kids were on a school trip to the Botanical Gardens.

Thought for the Day (19 Aug 2006)

Even much worse than a storm or a riot
Is a bunch of kids who are suddenly quiet.

~ Floyd R. Miller in Look

16 August, 2006

Thought for the Day (16 Aug 2006)

You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.

~ Franklin P. Jones

Slippers .....

Slipper(n.) a light, low-cut shoe into which the foot slips easily.

Seems like a very mild, bland word, does it not ????

Nope - it definitely does not seem that way to Abhay.

Abhay loves to wear Vic's house slippers and plod and lumber around. He can be heard clumping around the house in Vic's slippers at just about any time of the day.

But the word "slipper" is proving to be a massive tongue twister of sorts for the little guy.

Every time he tries to say "slipper" the word that pops out of his mouth is "sippler".

And Abhay being Abhay, he goes on trying...........

The first few "sippler" "sippler" "sippler" "sippler" are quite mild and said in a "normal Abhay" voice.

As the frustration with the word "slipper" mounts so does the vocal crescendo.

Finally, yesterday, he managed to say it "Slipper" - and the grin that followed was really something to behold.

But the victory was as short as it was sweet :-)

Today he was trying to say the word over the over again ......

"sippler" "sippler" "sippler" "sippler" "sippler" .......

15 August, 2006

Fascination with Numbers

That is Abhay's latest fascination - with numbers. Numbers of any kind anywhere. Be it books, block numbers, floor numbers in the elevator - like I said - anything anywhere - as long as it is in numerics.

When we go over to the park or get back from the park, he has made it a habit to stop at each and every block and read the block number. He can be heard chirping "Thats thirty two" "Thats thirty three" in that trademark singsong voice of his.

With books - rather than the reading matter on the pages, his concentration nowadays is riveted on the page numbers at the bottom of the page.

Sometimes it is so very endearing to watch him - especially when there is a bit of confusion - like "52" - when he does get slightly confused "is that fifty two or is it twenty five ?". Till the time he decides, he is a sight. That now (in)famous index finger pointed at the number (as though it is the guilty party), eyes fixed and staring, eyebrows furrowed in concentration ......... makes me want to give him a huge bear hug.

Most of the times, I do go over, sit next to him and if, I repeat, if he looks at me with a question mark on his face or asks me "Whats that?" - I do help him. Otherwise, I let him figure it out by himself. Most of the times, he does :-))

What can I say, this little guy seems to have a penchant for "figures". :-)))

Thought for the Day (15 Aug 2006)

The quickest way for a parent to get a child's attention is to sit down and look comfortable.

~ Lane Olinhouse

14 August, 2006

Thought for the Day (14 Aug 2006)

"A mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make leaning unnecessary"

~ Dorothy Canfield Fisher

A gastronomically delightful Sunday

After a long time, yesterday, we went out for dinner - alongwith 3-4 of our friends.

We had settled on Thai/Viennamese cuisine. Reached the restaurant a bit early cos this place has a reputation of filling up pretty quickly since it is a very popular one situated in a very busy shopping mall.

What I loved about the place at first sight was the drinks counter - I would not call it a bar cos there was no alcohol in sight (though the restaurant does have a wine list - they probably have a cellar). There was this open huge tabletop counter and on top of the counters were huge wicker baskets full of fresh fruit. Apples, Mangoes, Kiwis, Cantaloupes, Peaches, Guavas, Strawberries, Blueberries - it was a beautiful sight !!

Went thru the drinks menu and much to our delight, found that they had quite a variety of fruit punches and smoothies.

Once everyone arrived, we got around to ordering our drinks. Me and Vic settled for "Anna and the King" - fresh mangoes, rose syrup and peach juice all blended together. Appu opted for a Wild Berry Smoothie - a smoothie made of yoghurt with strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. Another one of our friends opted for the smoothie as well while one other friend decided to give the "Mango Tango" a try. Two others decided to stick with good ole H2O.

What stunned us was the size of the drinks. We had expected something the size of a wineglass but these goblets were huge ones and chock full of fresh fruit pulp and juice.

For starters we had the Vietnamese paper rolls - we had both - the veg and the non veg. Vegetarian rolls had cold rice noodles, mushrooms, lettuce, shredded carrots all rolled in with Vietnamese paper rolls while the filling in the non veg ones consisted of cold rice noodles, lettuce, a mince of scallops and salmon in tartar sauce.

Then came the Chicken Satay - its been a long long time since I've tasted such good Satay in HK. Beautiful !!

Then we had the Prawn and Sesame Toast - prawn crackers and toast smeared with shrimp paste and then dunked in sesame seeds and then deepfried.

Then came the butterfried Chicken wings with Garlic and Herbs. Looked wonderful and I believe it tasted just as good - I did not try this one.

Then came the Tom Yum Goong Soup. It was, once again, one of the best Tom Yum soups I've tasted in HK. Best part - there was a liberal sprinkling of chopped green chillies in the soup and also fresh coriander leaves. And the prawns in the soup were HUGE !!

The main course was roast tender pork in green curry and then there was a roasted sea bass (one full fish) in a sweet/sour/spicy gravy with chunks of assorted vegetables and there was chicken and cashewnuts cooked Thai Style and among the veggies Eggplant and Beancurd curry. All this accompanied with Plain Rice. The Plain Rice was brought to the table in small bamboo baskets with little bamboo lids on them.

Even the chopstick covers were made of bamboo.

Little things but quaint little things - that really sets the place apart. Gives it a totally different ambience which, all in all, adds to the delight and pleasure that one derives from excellent food.

About halfway thru the dinner, Appu was feeling so cold that she started to shiver. She had chosen to wear one of her spaghetti strap tops. I did not stop her from wearing that cos HK right now is really hot and humid. But what we did not expect was for the temp in the restaurant to be as low as it was.

I took her out of the restaurant and while we were walking around, we came across one of the chain garment stores which had an outlet on the same floor. Decided to take a look and much to our delight found that there was a "sale" on. We had a nice time going thru "stuff" (another Appu"ism"). Bought one Tshirt for Appu to wear before going back into the restaurant and a couple of others that she liked we asked the ladies in the shop to keep aside. Told them that we will collect them later cos I wanted to check out some Tees for Abhay too.

Then onto the ladies washroom - put the Tshirt on and back to the restaurant. There, she discovered that the wash basins were of a different kind. And Appu being what she is says "These kind of look like large soup bowls dont they" and then she proceeded to try and find where the pipes appeared from and where they disappeared. I finally had to tell her that we had not been given the plumbing contract for this shopping mall, atleast not as yet !!

Detour
------
One thing I realised yesterday - shopping with Appu is fun :-)) I mean she is such a delight - she would pick up something and then go "Hey Mom check this out" sometimes even with clothes that she knew were not her size and then she would put out a disclaimer too - I know these are not my size mom (with that trademark toothy grin) but aren't they pretty.

Then there was this eeny weeny skirt that she found - a soft pink one with flowery frills at the bottom and I heard her muttering to herself - "I wish Abhay had been a girl - then we could have bought this for him (no her) - I mean - what should I say now" It's so pretty. :-)) I disappeared behind one of the aisles before she realised I'd been listening.

The only time I was a little worried was when she saw another Indian lady shopping for her daughter who was about as old as Abhay but the size she was shopping for was Appu's size. Before Appu could even react, I distracted her with something else and hustled her off to the cashier. Else, dunno what she would have done - she's quite good at opening her mouth and stuffing her whole foot in at times.

Foot in the mouth or no foot in the mouth - it sure is going to be a lot of fun going shopping with this little lady - be it window shopping or otherwise.

End of Detour
-------------

We got back to the restaurant and Appu finished off the rest of her smoothie. All of us decided against having dessert. And it was a good thing me and Appu took that walk around in the middle of dinner cos it did us a lot good. We did not feel as though our tummies were walking ahead with the rest of the body following it.

Spent some more time just strolling around in the mall and finally all of us decided to call it a day.

Got back home by 10 pm.

Whilst in the restaurant, we discovered that the same management has a restaurant called "Merhaba" which specialises in Turkish food. And again, I guess, to set the tone and the theme the restaurant even has its own belly dancers.

Guess that's where we are going to be heading next ...........

12 August, 2006

Thought for the Day (12 Aug 2006)

"Laughter is like changing a baby's diaper. It doesn't permanently solve any problems, but it makes things more acceptable for a while."

~ Unknown

Abhay and the Ice Cream Cone

Yesterday, Appu and Vic wanted icecreams after dinner. So Vic had his usual Magnum and Appu had a Drumstick Cone.

Normally when Vic has a Magnum Abhay helps him finish off the yummy chocolate covering on it. After he was through there, he saw Appu eating a cone. His expression was so pitiable that I gave him a Drumstick as well.

Once it was opened, I guess he found it a little too much - so on and on he went with a spoon - spooning out the ice cream and spooning it into my mouth.

Finally the cone had gotten quite small and with that satisfied look of a job well done he said "Please give me".

He took the cone from me and went and perched on one of the dining chairs.

The time was around 9.30 pm.

On and on it went - I was beginning to get tired just looking at him.

In the meanwhile, I'd taken him to the bathroom (he left the cone on a bowl on the dining table with repeated reassurances from us that no one else would finish it off while he was in the bathroom), changed his clothes, put on his pajamas - but the icecream - oh it was still very much there.

He sure was taking his time with it.

Exasperatingly little bites and finally finally (thank god for small mercies) he finished it around 11 pm.

That reminds me, I have to check the Guinness Book of World Records - just to see whom he was competing with yesterday under the category "Longest time taken to eat an icecream cone".

By the time he slept yesterday, it was quarter to midnight !!

But he did go off to sleep with a very satisfied expression on his little face :-)

The Poor Little Linguist

Yesterday night, I was giving Abhay his Milo - pre-bedtime drink. I had mixed up the quantity he normally drinks. Dunno why, yesterday, there was a bit left in the glass when he goes

"Peeyum"

Enough in Talayalam is "Porum". Though he now knows to say "Porum" he still, many a times, says what he used to say when he was a lot younger - Peeyum - i.e enough in a "when Abhay was a lot younger" language.

For the most part, it is in jest, cos he knows I will respond with the inevitable "Peeyadhu" - which is "Poradhu" which is Talayalam for "Its not enough".

So he goes

"Peeyum"

Of course, needless to say, I replied "Peeyadhu"

"Peeyum Peeyum Peeyum"

"Peeyadhu, Peeyadhu, Peeyadhu" I said

"Peeeeeyuuuuuuummmm" he whispered

"Peeeeeeeyaaaaaaadhu" I whispered back

His smile was getting wider by the minute and so was mine.

"Porum" he said with a very difficulty mustered serious look on his little face.

"Poradhu" I replied, trying but failing miserably at looking serious.

He lapsed into silence for a couple of seconds. Probably, wondering "How am I going to make Ammai understand that I mean business ?"

Then he says "Bas" (Hindi for enough)

I said "Nahin re"

He then says "Ammai - please keep"

I said "Keep what ?"

He says "Keep it there" (pointing to the milk glass)

I am quite a wicked mom OK and I was enjoying the discomfiture that the situation was presenting him. I know I know - I'm one mean mom !!

So I just kept the whole thing going by asking him

"Keep what where Abhay"

He pointed to the glass and says "Keep it there" (pointing to the dining table)

By then, I guess, nature actually felt sorry for him and decided to help him out of this dilemma

"Buurrrrpppppp"

There it was - a pretty loud burp for a kid his size.

Then he looks at me with that shy yet sweet smile on his face and though he did not vocally say anything the look on his face was screaming out aloud
"Ammai - now do you get the message".

I could not help but laugh - I was in splits actually.

His response - those two little palms with the fingers all spread out covering both sides of his face !!!

11 August, 2006

Thought for the Day (11 Aug 2006)

Children Learn What They Live
-----------------------------

If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight.
If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy.
If a child learns to feel shame, he learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient.
If a child lives with encouragement, he learns confidence
If a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate.
If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice.
If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith.
If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself.
If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he learns to find
love in the world.

~ by Dorothy Law Neite

10 August, 2006

King Kong III - Releasing soon

Take a peek at the preview ......




But then, I must say, the lead actor looked just as good when he starred in "Tiny Teddy"



But then again, his acting talents should not really come as a surprise cos he has been a lead actor right from his early babyhood days - he played a very famous personality then .....

Thought for the Day (10 Aug 2006)

If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands ?

- Milton Berle

Jai Hanuman !!!

This little Hanuman does not have to go upto Lanka to make a mess or create a chaos.



He manages to do it well enough in Hongkong with something as simple as LEGO blocks !!

It's a House .........

Today morning I had already gotten Abhay to drink his milk and then I sat down to have my coffee.

He went over to the toy shelf and brought out his shape sorting house.



He then pointed to the door and told me "That's a door"

Then came the window "That's a window"

Then came the roof "That's a roof"

I pointed out to the whole house - basically moved my finger over the house in circles and asked him "Abhay what is this ?"

Pat came the reply

That is Govee's House !!!!

Gauri = Govee in Abhay's language

Sweet, is he not !!! :-)))))

Happy Raksha Bandhan

RAKSHA BANDHAN - THE TRADITION
------------------------------

Raksha Bandhan is an unspoken pledge exchanged between a brother and sister cementing their fraternal relationship. This also reinforces their protective bond against all ills and odds. Raksha Bandhan is celebrated on the day of Shravan Poornima that falls in the month of August every year. On this very day, the sisters tie a delicate, sometimes decorated, thread on the wrist of their brothers as a symbol of love and affection. This makes the brothers bound to protect their sisters from any trouble or wound. The chanting of a holy mantra by the sisters while tying the thread says,

Yena baddho Balee raajaa daanavendro mahaabalah
Tena twaam anubadhnaami rakshe maa chala maa chala

It means, “I am tying a Raksha to you, similar to the one tied to Bali, the powerful king of the demons. Oh Raksha, be firm, do not waver.” The mantra recalls how the demon king Bali had become powerful with the Rakhi on. The power of the mantra is supposed to protect the wearer from evil influences. This shows how dependent and secure a sister feels when she has a brother. Tying this Rakhi or Raksha signifies the re-strengthening of the bond between the siblings of opposite sexes.








How this simple, annually recurring act of tying the Rakhi on one’s wrist can evoke such strong and intense emotions in a person is indeed surprising.

09 August, 2006

It actually works !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TELEPORTATION - IT ACTUALLY WORKS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yesterday (07 Aug 2006), 7.44 p.m (HK Standard Time), I was teleported by Vic to India and more importantly, back. :-))

Take a look ...........

The "Milk Uncle"

I had placed an order for UHT milk. Out here, in HK, we get to order for cases of milk - each case has 12 one litre packs of milk. So order them in bulk - say 2-3 cases and they deliver the stuff home. And it does save one the trouble of lugging milk from the supermarket each and every time.

Yesterday, the delivery boys from the shop came over in the evening to deliver the cases of milk.

Abhay was sitting on his little chair when he saw these guys unloading the cases of milk and he says "What's that ? That's milk" all in one breath.

Just before the boys from the shop left, one of them waved out to Abhay and said "Bye" and Abhay muttered a "Bye Bye" after that guy had left.

I asked him "Who was that ?"

Pat came the reply

"Milk Uncool" (Uncool = Uncle - in Abhay's language)

Thank God he did not call him a COW !!!!

Thought for the Day (08 Aug 2006)

The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before.
The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.

- Rajneesh

Soap la Chee Chee Irukku

Abhay was in the bathroom and I was applying oil on his crowning glory.

That was when I noticed that he had been staring at the soap in the soap box, quite oblivious to the happenings in his surroundings. Now this normally does not happen.

Then he turns to me and says "Ammai - soap la chee chee irukku" (translation - there is dirt on the soap)

I looked closer and sure enough, there was a eyelash on the soap.

Funny, come to think of it, that someone who is so particular about these little little things refuses quite steadfastedly to poop in the potty. Yeah, that bit still remains to be sorted out.

Does not logically make any sense does it ?

Mary ????????? !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Has been happening over the past couple of days. Whenever Abhay looks at a flower he just says
"Mary - that's a flower"

Who or what in the name of god is Mary ??????

08 August, 2006

Oh Yes !!! The little mermaid swims......

Yesterday, for the first time, I saw Appu romping in the swimming pool. She looked ecstatic.

This may seem like no big deal, I mean - lots of kids go in for swimming lessons and learn.

But this has, for Appu, been a sweet victory of sorts. It has been more of a mental battle for her rather than the more usual physical one of fighting exhaustion and fatigue.

She had a huge mental block when it came to "letting go" in the pool and as a result her whole body would tense up and her legs would "get stuck" onto the bottom of the pool.

Couple of times, she'd been in tears over this. For her, over the past three weeks, going over for swimming lessons have been akin to facing the demons that have been tormenting her, questioning her ability, her capacity, questioning her morale and her confidence in herself.

Yesterday, a huge mental battle was won and she did it in style. Even when she was doing her warm up exercises before getting into the pool, I could see no signs of quivering lips, no signs of tears welling up in those little eyes, no signs of hesitation - all of which had been present during her warm up routine over the past three weeks. It was almost as though her mind was made up.

And sure enough, once in the water too, this time around, I did not once see her telling her instructor "But I can't do it" "No I'm scared". She quite literally took the plunge. And from then on there was no stopping her. On and on she went, lap after lap after lap.

When it was time for her to step out of the pool, she saw me standing there with a huge grin on my face and when I gave her a big "thumbs up" from the parents' enclosure, I could see the pride welling up within her and then the shyness took over :-)

And Appu, you little monkey, the next time you finish swimming and come over with that cheeky grin on your face and tell me "Hey Mummy - now I know something you don't, I can do something you can't. Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Ae Ae Ae Ae Ae (those are musical notes)" - I sure will go along with that one :-)) cos you've earned it !!!

Our very own little mermaid !!!!

Thought for the Day (08 Aug 2006)

If I had my child to raise all over again,
I'd build self-esteem first, and the house later.
I'd finger-paint more, and point the finger less.
I would do less correcting and more connecting.
I'd take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes.
I'd take more hikes and fly more kites.
I'd stop playing serious, and seriously play.
I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars.
I'd do more hugging and less tugging.


~Diane Loomans, from "If I Had My Child To Raise Over Again"

Abhay and "Thomas the Tank Engine"


Abhay was absolutely thrilled to bits when Dad got him a T shirt with "Thomas the Tank Engine" on it. Though Abhay has kind of moved on from watching Thomas the Train videos (thank god for small mercies) he face still lights up when he sees Thomas - be it anywhere.

Once Vic showed him the T shirt, Abhay just would not let it out of his sight. I lost count of the number of times Thomas (on the Tshirt) was showered with kisses. I sincerely doubt if any of us at home have been at the receiving end of such an outburst of affection - all at one time :-))

The next day morning he insisted on wearing the Thomas T-shirt to the park and he had quite a romp in the park, showing off his T-Shirt.

Mummy was the Fat Controller !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(For those of you who have not had the misfortune of having to view Thomas the Train videos over and over and over and over and over again - the Fat Controller is the one who kind of makes sure the trains stay on track and stick to time schedules).

07 August, 2006

Thought for the Day (07 Aug 2006)

If you can give your son or daughter only one gift, let it be enthusiasm.

- Bruce Barton

Table Tennis at the clubhouse

We did make a booking at our clubhouse for Table Tennis on Sunday (06Aug2006). Went over slightly early - a few minutes to six. There was another family in there.

Once they were through we started off. Practiced for about 5 minutes cos I am woefully out of touch. It has been more than 7 years now. Me and Vic used to play TT quite regularly before Appu was born but since then I haven't gone anywhere near a TT table.

Then we started off having games - first game - I got royally drubbed. Vic won 21-6.

Second game again Vic won but this one was a lot closer - score 21-17.

Then Appu played for some time. She's never played table tennis before but, given time, she would become really good at it. Cos knowingly unknowingly, she manages to get this absolutely wicked top spin on the ball.

Then while Appu took a water break, me and Vic played the third game of the day. Again Vic one but this one went into a tiebreak with both of us tied at 21 points each. Vic finally won the game 24-22.

Then Appu wanted to play some more and in the process - she kind of lunged at the ball and DHADOOM !!!! she went down flat on the floor. Nothing much was hurt - except her ego - which was severely bruised. She nursed that for a while and went off to drink some more water from her bottle.

Game No 4 - I won !!! Score 21-16.

By then it was almost 7 pm. we had booked the table for one hour. Appu got some more practice time and when we walked out of the TT room at 7 pm we found Abhay having fun in the children's playroom in the clubhouse. Appu wanted to play too and so off she went.

Me and Vic went off to the supermarket for some shopping. The supermarket looked like a refugee camp at that time of the evening on a weekend. It was so crowded.

We finished our shopping and the checkout line we were in had a smart alec in it. There was this lady who had bought lot of stuff and was checking things out for home delivery (if the total billing is HKD 400 plus the supermarket delivers the stuff home without any delivery charges). What she had done was put 6 apples in one bag - of which 4 apples were lower priced and 2 of the apples were real pricey ones. I guess, in the hope that with so many items to checkout, the lady at the checkout counter would miss out on that small detail. But, as it turns out, she did not !! She gave the lady the option of either paying for those two apples or putting them back and there ensued a lot of riff raff over that. Finally, this lady chose to walk all the way back to the fruit section (which is on the other end of the supermarket) to put the apples back. Now had she paid for teh other stuff before she went off to put the apples back, she would have saved the others a lot of time. But that was not to be.

Finally by the time we got back home it was close to 8 pm and Abhay was howling his head off. When he saw me he came running over with his arms outstretched and held up. I picked him up and sat him down on my lap and gave him a huge huggie and lots of kissies and then he decided to stop crying.

Like the saying goes - "All's well that ends well".

TT next weekend - sure - why not ??? !!!

05 August, 2006

Concerto at home

Appu and Abhay have started this new game - have been noticing it over the past couple of days. When Appu starts to practice her violin - she plays a tune and Abhay sings it.

Today morning too, he was perched on my lap when I was checking emails and suddenly he launched himself off my lap and was off and running saying "London Bridge" "London Bridge".

Sometimes he tells her the name of a nursery rhyme - then she plays it on the violin while he sings it out aloud.

Nice going kiddos :-))

Doggie says Bow Bow

A while ago, I was sorting Appu's library books out when Abhay walked in wearing one of Appu's hairbands (the plastic one with teeth on them - the ones which just slide over the hair) around his neck.

He came and stood next to me and says "Bow Bow" "Bow Bow".

When I asked him what he was doing he showed me the hairband around his neck and points out to himself and says "That's a doggie" "Doggie Chollum Bow Bow".

Thought for the Day (05 Aug)

When the first baby laughed for the first time, the laugh broke into a million pieces and they all went skipping about. That was the beginning of fairies.

- Sir James Barrie

That's Jupiter

Just now I switched the PC on to check emails and on the desktop screen we have this "Easy CD-DA extractor" icon - it is a pic of a CD with rings around it.

Abhay was, as usual, perched on my lap and suddenly he points out to that icon and says "That's Jupiter".

Am I surprised !!!!

I told him "That looks like Saturn" and he says "That's a rings" - guess he meant the rings around the CD.

Was just wondering as to where he learnt about planets from when Appu's voice piped in saying "Hey I taught him that".

That's one mystery solved !!

04 August, 2006

Thought for the Day (04 Aug)

"It is not what you do for your children but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings."

- Ann Landers

The Clash of the Titans

Vic and Abhay do a lot of similar things ...........

e.g making faces at me




e.g giving me that " He He He" look




e.g coming over and asking me

"Kaam Dhandha Nahin Hai Kya ?"


Don't read it as simply as I've written it here. Add a slow, lazy draaaaawwwwllll to it and stretch each word slowly as long as it can be stretched whilst audibly making sense and once you do that YES !! you got it !!!

At times like these, when it comes to pulling my leg, they are like three parallel lines - Vic, Appu and Abhay - running alongside each other.

If you are probably wondering by now as to where this is all leading ...........

On Tuesday (01 Aug), two of the parallel lines crashed into each other. Vic and Abhay were playing on the sofa when BOOM !!!! they crashed into each other - quite literally - cos they banged their heads together very hard. I was not around when this happened but the "bang" was reportedly "very loud".

A few minutes later, both dad and son were sporting little eggs on the side of their foreheads.

Vic was later saying that it felt like a concussion.

Abhay, over the next two days (or rather nights), made me feel as though insomnia was a picnic in the park when compared to falling asleep and then being woken up.


Prelude
--------
01 August 2006 - the day when we had a rerun of "The Clash of the Titans" at home - produced, directed and acted out by The Krishnans.


Sequel
-------
02 August 2006 & 03 August 2006 - the days/nights when we had a rerun of "Sleepless in Hongkong" at home - produced, directed and acted out by The Krishnans.

The story of the ladder and ......

We have this step ladder at home which I occasionally use - to try and see if my vertigo is getting any better or not - to try and evaluate how many number of steps I can go before my head starts to spin !!

Did you actually fall for that ???

Gee - well - for starters - we do have a step ladder at home and I do have vertigo. And I do use the step ladder - but I use it for purposes it is meant for - to try and reach otherwise unreachable things. So there !!

The ladder has (or rather had) pieces of rubber fitted onto each one of its legs - so as to prevent the ladder from slipping (no quacky explanations for this one). Over a period of time, mostly due to wear and tear, and partly due to other reasons, a couple of those rubber thingys ("thingys" - a term I learnt from Appu - seems to be the "in" word nowadays) have fallen off and are perched on the window ledge.

Yesterday Abhay was trying to figure out what those rubber "thingys" were. When he saw me he said "What's that ? What's that ?" with that index finger of his pointing out to those rubber "u know whats".

I pointed out to the folded ladder which was resting against the wall and then pointed to its legs and told him "The ladder had those on its legs. Now they've fallen off".

He seemed puzzled at first - seemed to be evaluating, trying to place things and then with all the fuzzy logic that a three year old can possibly muster he came to a conclusion. A grin slowly started spreading on that little face and he says - once again pointing to those rubber thingys (I am beginning to like this term) ......

"That's a ladder shoe".

Can't really dispute that one, right ???

03 August, 2006

Gotten Tagged ..........

............ by Tharini

I am wondering as to why I’m sitting here doing this !!

I said to myself just now that the reason I’m doing this is cos it’s got me tickled pink. Oh yes – it feels good to be tagged :-)

I want to eat Bhel Puri and Chaat . Abhi, Yahaan, Iseeee Waqt !!! Sounds crazy, insane ??? Just in case you are wondering - women who are not pregnant do have their cravings too !!

I wish I could swim. Appu’s gotten me quite jealous !!

I miss my hubby darling who isn’t going to be back until tomorrow. I miss him real bad !!!!

I hear my two little imps snoring softly right now. Music to my ears !!

I wonder what I would have done had I not met Vic, had we not gotten married and I wonder what we would have done without our two little imps !!

I regret not starting my blog earlier.

I am what I am.

I dance when I really let loose – without any inhibitions. Like when we had been to the AR Rehman Live Concert in Hongkong, I remember dancing like there was no tomorrow and loved every minute of it.

I sing in tandem with anything on the stereo and Abhay hates it !!!

I am not as patient with my kids as I would like to be.

I cry when I’m really hurt over something or when I feel I’ve hurt someone by being insensitive.

I'm not always as patient with my kids as I “envision” a mom should be.

I make with my hands little little bits of “hurt” on elbows, knees to go away.

I write a lot less than what I would actually like to.

I confuse theory and practice.

I need reassurance and lots of it.

I should shut the PC down right now and try earnestly to get some sound sleep !!

I tag My Darling Husband – Want to get tagged darling ???!!!

Our Little Spilling Bee

The other day, like I said in one of my earlier posts, Abhay spilt a whole lot of fish food. Yesterday, another incident came to mind. This one, when he was 11 months old.

It was on the 14th of April 2004. It was Vishu - and like every year, we had our Vishukkani in the prayer room.



Towards late afternoon, we had put the fruits inside the fridge and what remained on the prayer shelf (apart from the lamps and the agarbatti holders) was the mirror with the necklaces still on it and the bowls of rice and lentils which are also placed on the Vishukkani.

Abhay was missing from the living room for a few minutes and when we went looking for him we found him in the prayer room with a vishukkani of his choice. He had spilt the rice and lentils on the floor and was generally having a lot of fun.



Habits do die hard, do they not ??? !!!!

An unexpected visitor

Yesterday night, we had an unexpected visitor at home. I had already put the kids mattresses out and the pillows etc.. and they were goofing around when I excused myself and went into the bathroom in the master bedroom. I put the light on, went in and it was all I could do to stop myself from screaming. I was absolutely petrified when I looked into the bathtub. There was a huge centipede - atleast about 6 inches long - running helter skelter inside the bathtub.

Finally, with my eyes still fixed on it, I called out to my MIL. She stood guard over it while I got the canister of RAID. In the meantime, the two imps must have realised that there was something going on and they came barging out of their bedroom. Both got into the bathroom and they too saw the centipede scuttling around in the bathtub. Abhay's eyes had gone as wide as saucers and a second later started chanting "Whats that ? Whats that ? What's that ?"

Appu, in the meantime, was quite unsuccessfully trying to count the number of legs on the centipede. And I heard "Why can't it stay still for just one minute ?" .

RAID took effect in all of 20 minutes - yeah - it took that long for the centipede to succumb.

Appu and Abhay had gone off into the bedroom. By the time we flushed the dead centipede down the toilet and washed off the bathtub, they were as usual tickling each other and cavorting around.

I just could not get my the image out of my mind.

As far as the query "Who was the most scared living being in the house yesterday ?" goes, the answer could have been one of the two below

1) Me

OR

2) The Centipede



Disclaimer : The picture posted above is not that of the centipede which paid us a visit yesterday. I posted the picture of a centipede just for the visual impact.

Thought for the Day (03 Aug)

There are two lasting bequests we can give our children. One is Roots. The other is Wings.

- Hodding, Carter. Jr

02 August, 2006

Carnivore turns Herbivore - u think ??? !!!!

Appu has been certified the "carnivore" of the house. Not that no one other than her has non vegetarian food. Me and Vic too eat non-veg occasionally - when we eat out. But Appu is a different story altogether.

She sees a McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut or even one of the Chinese barbequed meat stores and her salivary glands start working overtime. I guess she has visions of chicken wings, prawns, shrimps and what have you floating all around her.

I vividly remember an incident a couple of months back, when we had been to Pizza Hut in the evening. There was a huge crowd outside waiting for earlier patrons to leave so that they could get a table. We had all finished and were waiting for Appu to finish what was on her plate. And what was on her plate ??? A jumbo prawn !!! And the nibbles she was giving the prawn would have put ants to shame !!! We actually had to give her a deadline else high probability we would have got hustled out of there. That was how long she was taking with that prawn :-))

This, coming from a kid who, during the her toddler and pre-school days refused to eat anything other than Curd Rice !!

Over the past month or so, Appu has been going around telling us "I am going to stop eating non-veg. I am going to eat only vegetarian food" and as an addendum "Mummy - eggs are veg right ?" :-)) All seemed well until she got a couple of invitations to her friends' birthday parties at McDonalds. Oh Oh !! What a Dharam Sankat !!

She then gave up her complete commitment towards turning into a herbivore and said "I'm still going to eat veg food only OK hmmmmm but only sometimes, only sometimes Ok I'll have to eat non-veg you know - my friends invite me for birthday parties I cannot not go right".

Now her predicament has worsened ever since a branch of KFC has opened right under her very nose - at the shopping mall attached to our apartment complex. Everytime she goes for her violin lessons she has to actually walk past a bustling KFC with the tantalizing smell of chicken wings invading her olfactory senses.

Finally - there it was !!!!

"Can we go over to KFC for lunch or dinner ?"

I asked her "Were you not going to turn veg. I thought I heard you saying something to that effect."

That sheepish smile was very evident but she recovered fast.

"But I said I'll eat non-veg sometimes Mummy. And so far I've eaten in KFC in Kowloon Bay only. I want to see if the chicken here in this KFC is as good as the one in Kowloon Bay".

Well Well !!!

The matter, needless to say, is under consideration :-)))

Thought for the day (02 Aug 2006)

"Making the decision to have a child - it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around on the outside of your body."

- Elizabeth Stone

01 August, 2006

Yay !! The carpet comes out of hibernation

The living room carpet had gone into hibernation when Abhay's potty training began (which is to say quite a while back).

The things we've had to do to keep Abhay at bay .....

1. The carpet was folded and packed up - for fear of it being watered by Abhay when it did not need any watering.

2. The coffee table (whose rightful place is in front of the sofa) had to be moved in front of the glass display case to prevent Abhay from opening the glass doors and laying his hands on the fragile items within.

3. The coffee table was turned around before it was placed in front of the display case cos the coffee table has a small pull out kind of storage unit and of course Abhay had all that figured out.

4. The tissue box was kept at a safe height - so as to prevent him from tearing off small pieces and rolling them up and stuffing them wherever convenient - read nose, ears etc ..... if not any of those he surely would taste the tissue. It has happened before - he rolled a tiny piece of tissue and stuffed it up his nose. Fortunately I could pull it out using a tweezer and sure enough he found it funny !!

Detour
------
10th of June 2006 (I remember the date cos it was our 12th wedding anniversary :-)) and Abhay thought of something unique

He somehow managed to lay his hands on a tiny bit of thermocol and stuffed it up his right nostril. And this time around it was so high up that it could not be pulled out. He was generally walking around snorting like a horse and we were at our wit's end.

We tried everything - nasal drops, vaseline, sadistic as it may sound - we even tried spraying water (little bit - I'm not talking a firehose here) but that little piece of thermocol was determined to stay put - just as determined as its host was to keep it there. I even had this absolutey bizarre, outlandish idea of getting him to smell some pepper powder in an effort to get him to sneeze. Talk about inducing sneezes. It did sound tempting then. Finally did nothing of that sort though.

And as appalling or inexcusable as it may sound, it stayed there for 2-3 days before it finally popped out when he had a sneezing bout.

End of Detour
-------------

5. No metal objects lying around - especially the slim ones - given his penchant for plug holes and sockets.

Today, after more than a year, the carpet is back where it rightfully belongs - in the living room.

We do dare move the coffee table away from the doors of the display case (though it has not yet been parked in front of the sofa) cos even if he does open the case (he normally does not) he just kind of takes a census of the objects within

Thats a elephant
Thats a globe
Thats a tortoise etc etc

and then either goes off hunting for some new pursuit or if he has at all opened the doors, he closes it with a fairly beatific smile on his face.

Only we know how dangerous that beatific smile is !!!

Anyways, slowly, home is beginning to look like a human habitat again :-))))))

Food Food Everywhere, Not a Bite to Eat .........

........... or atleast that is what the fishes in the aquarium at home must have been thinking today morning.

I had given Abhay his shower, dried his hair and dressed him up when I got an emergency call from Appu over something. While we were sorting that out, I suddenly realised that there was absolutely no noise whatsoever from Abhay. Now thats real bad news !! As long as we can hear him around the house things are OK but when he is so quiet, things generally are absolutely un-OK.

I went investigating and looking back it was a good thing I did that. There he was, sitting near the corner table, with some of the fish food spilt on the corner table. Good thing that he was taken in by the multi coloured granules and was trying to figure out where to place some of the mixed up colours. Else, knowing Abhay, he would have ventured into tasting some too !!!

He gives us enough trouble eating the food that humans normally do, but he very well might have taken a liking for fish food :-))

While a quite chastised Abhay went off to sulk, Mummy had quite a bit of cleaning up work to do.

The little fishes in the aquarium, in the meantime, had gone quite berserk. The fish food is near the aquarium and the moment anyone goes near the aquarium they all rise to the surface with their little mouths bobbing open and shut, expecting an unexpected helping of food.

And this was quite something - their food spilt all over but not a bit into the aquarium !!