05 November, 2007

The Sunday that was ............ yesterday !!!

A few weeks back, I wrote about our sojourn to The Peak and the refreshing walk around The Peak Trail. This weekend too, the siblings had quite obviously conspired and decided that they wanted to visit their winged and feathered friends at Kowloon Park. A visit to Kowloon Park is always refreshing and relaxing. It invariably ends with both siblings perched on one of the innumerable ledges in the park eating ice-creams, the gentle yet strong breeze ruffling their hair and at the same time refreshing and rejuvenating them, recharging their physical batteries for them to expend all that energy before heading home. And this has become a comfortable ritual. With ice-cream moustaches on them both, they would generally be busy pointing at something or the other in the Park and chattering nineteen to a dozen about the leaves/flowers/fishes.

This weekend however, a bit of furniture shopping was in order. So the entire troupe headed towards the gigantic Ikea showroom instead of Kowloon Park.

The siblings did not mind the change in plans because right next to the Ikea showroom is a huge pond filled with fishes and turtles. Fishes swimming lazily around, twirling and disturbing the stillness of the pond draw children like magnets to the pool. At any given point of time, atleast fifteen to twenty children around the pool would be an extremely safe estimate. And then of course, the turtles. There’s a profusion of turtles in the pond. While some would be busy stretching their limbs, most of the turtles would be out of water, perched on the rocks sunning themselves. There is one turtle in particular which has been christened “The Bully”. All “The Bully” seems to do is dive under the water looking for some unsuspecting turtle floating in the water enjoying its siesta. Once it finds its mark, it heads slowly but surely towards that turtle, snaps its jaws shut (a la Jaws) on the other turtle’s leg and pulls it underwater and holds it there while the victim thrashes around in utter panic. This detailed description speaks volumes – about the amount of time we’ve spent near the pond :-)!!!!

Yesterday the turtles had another bully to contend with. There was a old grandma sitting near the edge of the pool. The water must have been quite cool as most of the turtles were making a beeline for the many rocks that abound the pond. They just settle on the rock and sun themselves. But this Grandma ensured that they did not stay on the rock very long. Every time a turtle sunned its shell dry on the rock, this grandma would scoop water in her palms and throw it on the poor turtles. I honestly don’t know how long the turtles suffered this aggravation yesterday.

On we went, towards Ikea. By this time Abhay had suddenly started looking around for a Pizza Parlour. The rather fickle tastebuds (which are prone to change at a moment’s notice) had decided that the flavor of the moment was “pizza”. He wanted to stop at the “pizza shop” on our way back from Ikea.

Anyways, on to Ikea it was. Once there, both siblings were delighted at the appearance of a igloo in the Children’s Section. It was nothing more than a plastic tent shaped in a semi-circle of sorts with iceblock-like patterns on it. But it was quite obviously a hit with almost all the children in Ikea that evening. There were giggles of delight, little hands clapping to a rhythm of their own and eyes as wide as saucers – staring at the igloo in complete and unmitigated wonder.

Vic in the meanwhile, had armed himself with a measuring tape and a notepad and pencil - all the implements necessary for ensuring that the new piece of furniture would fit in where it was supposed to.

Aparna was fascinated with some new bunk beds that had made their way into the Kids’ Section and was seen pondering over the safety of bunk beds which did not seem to have much of a barrier on the sides. Thank Goodness she did not choose to physically try the bunk bed out – especially the “falling off the bed” part – just to see if it was actually a hazard or not.

A wardrobe caught her attention next and she went off to investigate that. She was seen coming back with a proclamation that it was way too small. “Half of the clothes in my wardrobe would not fit into that one” she said – giving mommy the opportunity she had been waiting for all day. “Just goes to show that you have one outfit too many” exclaimed mommy with a huge grin. The humor quite apparently was lost on Aparna who chose not to look very enamored with mommy’s sense of humor. Hmmm ....... you win some, you lose some !!

Abhay was having a field day in the store. For him, it was the perfect situation – of sorts. Enough room to monkey around without having to bother about getting lost. The bothersome part about making sure that he did not “get lost” inside the huge confines of the showroom was his daddy and mommy’s responsibility, you see. I mean, what are parents for – if they cannot even accomplish little feats such as these.

Mom and Dad’s version however is that letting Abhay loose in a huge, yawning showroom as Ikea is akin to letting a small mouse run loose inside a huge maze and then running after it to ensure that the little mouse does not hurt itself in some way or does not lose its way in the process of exploring the maze. It was absolutely astounding and miraculous that Mommy and Daddy walked out of Ikea with their sanity intact – most of it atleast. While letting Abhay loose in places like Ikea or the HK Science Museum or the HK Space Museum, Mommy and Daddy do allow for the depletion and depreciation of their mental resources to a certain extent – always !!! In fact, Daddy and Mommy are seriously contemplating sticking a GPS chip on Abhay – in an effort to make the “keeping track of him” part ever so slightly easier on them.

Aparna took to researching the plant section and later moved on to the candle section. She appeared quite taken in and fascinated with the aroma candles in all their different hues and fragrances. Daddy and Mommy have always been huge fans of candles and candlelight. At every given opportunity they have been seen lighting candles all over the house and turning all the electrical lights off. They sincerely believe that there is something magical, something so very enchanting about the subdued hues of candlelight. About the muted shadows that candlelight brings about. About the aroma of wax melting and the wicks burning. There is something about candlelight that is so very soft and dreamlike.

Abhay was busy trying to figure out how each piece of furniture worked. And of course, he was more than full of questions. He tried out about every chair in Ikea yesterday – which in itself is no meager feat. And I quite loved the fact that not once did he have to be reminded that he was not supposed to put his feet up on the cushions. He was utmost careful not to do that and I found that little gesture very thoughtful for his age. Each and every sofa was tried out and was pronounced “good” or “not good”. One sofa, in particular, meshed itself into the little guy’s heart. He was seen relaxing on it with his hands above his head, his little body totally relaxed with a soft smile and an almost dreamy expression in his eyes. I totally felt like kicking myself for not having carried the camera. And so thoroughly efficient and organized that I am, as I tried taking a picture with my phone, a message flashed across on the screen saying “memory full”. And that moment of Abhay lounging on the sofa, which I so desperately wanted to capture and bind into a picture, was lost.

Once Vic had shortlisted the pieces of furniture, Aparna had the dubious distinction of taking over the mantle from Mommy to make sure that Abhay did not lose himself in that maze.

Whilst furniture gazing, furtive glances thrown the siblings’ way indicated that they were trying to figure out why some keys were missing from a keyboard on one of the tables. It was a dummy keyboard, of course. But mean parents that we are, we chose not to tell them that. So till the time we made up our minds on the piece of furniture we wanted to buy, the little cats were busy chasing their own tails.

While Vic waited at the checkout counter, Mommy marched off both the siblings to the café. Aparna opted for a hot dog while Abhay opted for caramel popcorn. Thus ended the evening, with us cabbing it home after the hotdog and the popcorn were deemed consumed.

The thought struck us well after we got back home. The kids had forgotten all about the Pizza and so had we. Anyways, all’s well that ends well !!

Lesson of the day : The camera is most certainly not an object to be forgotten – even if it is just a trip to Ikea and back !!!

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8 voice(s) said so:

DotMom said...

why is every ody going to ikea (look at utbt) I want to go to Ikea too :)

Pity you couldn't take a picture of Abhay. THat's the story of my life. So many moments to capture and the camera is always out of battery or memory!

choxbox said...

i echo dotmom. why is everybody talking of ikea?! even we have to go this week - among other things to get a bagful of tea lights for diwali!

LOL at ice cream moustaches!

Fuzzylogic said...

I agree with kids around camera is a must. That said even I forget to carry one everytime I step out. I blame it on the bulkiness of it and planning to rope in PCman to get me a sleeker one:)
Looks like the kids had fun at IKEA with ice cream moustaches et al:)

Gauri said...

Dotmom : I did visit UTBT after reading your comment. There does seem to be some kind of an "IKEAchrony" going around :-)
Yeah - I did lose an absolutely golden photography moment that day :-(

Choxbox : The lights for Diwali sound wonderful :-)

Fuzzy : Yep - icecream moustaches are always an accompaniment to a trip to kowloon park :-)
About the camera - gee - I cannot even blame it on the bulkiness of the camera. The only thing I can possibly lay the blame on is my senility :-))

Lavs said...

Wish you and your family a very Happy and Prosperous Diwali.

Neera said...

You write so very well Gauri. Its almost like being there and watching the kids in front of you doing all that you write about. God bless the lovely bro-sis duo and wishing you and your family a very very happy and festive Diwali!! Do you burst fire crackers there?

Hip Grandma said...

Will comment at leisure Happy Diwali!

WhatsInAName said...

Little joys of life! Thanks to blogging, with or without camera, you will be able to relive all these moments :)

lol at the turtles - adorable :)