Thursday, February 14, 2008

Picture Perfect Happiness

This picture was taken at Shaun's birthday party last december and I love it. Perhaps it is the way we can see he is smiling even though we cannot see his eyes or mouth?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Ellarum Tachindu Thoongita (Everyone's Asleep)

Putting Ashwin to bed has been the biggest ordeal of my parenting life. He will play, bite, ask for music, ask for thammi (water), ask to use the toilet and search for other distractions until the batteries on his eyelids run completely dry. It can easily take me an hour to get him asleep. Of course, that's just with me. If someone else is putting him to bed, he falls asleep in five minutes flat. (Do you think everyone is lying to make me feel bad?)

These are all the people who will go to sleep on my tummy before it is Ashwin's turn. There is baby, lion, doggie and pink doll (This is the reason Ashwin is going to hate me when he is a teenager - for giving him a pink doll, calling it that and getting him to like it!). They all have to lie down one on top of the other in a tall pile as in the picture. Then he will ceremoniously throw them off to the floor to make space for himself on my thoppah. All of them that is, except the pink doll which has a wire and a speaker plug which doubles as Ashwin's handsfree to speak to Appa, Chitra Atthai, Bhawna Aunty etc.

Then comes the projection torch. He knows that they work only at night and so when the light is switch off, he would ask for Monkey. It used to be spiderman, but that one broke and I bought another one at the zoo with a monkey, frog and bird images. He gives it to me to turn on, says thank you and projects the image on the ceiling. And the headboard. Outside. Inside again. Repeat with another image.

When we (I) declare that Monkey has to go home and tachi, he asks for big-small (his opposites book). He reads this all the way to the last page and finishes with Left-Right... good boy, good boy! Now he wants January, February.

In between these activities he takes time to recite nursery rhymes and shlokas - who's in a hurry to sleep anyway! "One two buckle shoe" is his current favourite. My favourite is when he recites "Chubby cheeks" as "chuchy beeshs". He can almost entirely by himself recite "Gajananam" as well as "Saraswathy Namasthumbyam"

When he is finally tired, he asks me to open the door (put my arm on the bed) and climbs on top. Then I have to close the door and do "Ippudi ippudi" (pat his back). When he has had enough of patting, he will open the door again and fall on to the bed.

On most nights, by this time, I am fast asleep. I can only believe that Ashwin falls asleep soon after. At least he lets me sleep!

Dear God, I hope I can read this post back in a month and wonder if my now blissful sleeper actually put me through all that or was it a figment of my imagination. Are you hearing me? Are you reading my blog?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Gothupa and Atha Paati

Ashwin's Gopu Thatha and Latha Paati, fondly called Gothupa and Atha Paati, were in Singapore for the past two weeks and during this time, everyday was a special holiday for Ashwin. Apart from the fact that we were out and about a lot when they were here to visit the zoo, bird park, sentosa etc, he learnt a lot of useful stuff from Gothupa, such as:
  • To say Johnny jonny ... telling lies? Yes papa.
  • To say important phrases like "Dai Mamoi", "Dai Mavane"
  • To say big small with action, but big with palms close together and small with palm far apart
  • To say happy with a sad face and sad with a happy face. Ever since, if I try to correct him, Ashwin has been telling me, "Happy Sad like this."
  • That Gothupa goes to office for two minutes everytime he goes out for a smoke.
  • That no matter where Atha Paati is, to proclaim "Atha Paati shoe kai poota" in the car. So much so that on our way back home after dropping them at the airport, he told me the same thing! If Atha Paati pinches his cheeks saying "Poi ya?", he will reply "Cheek, atha paati". Yeah, duh.
  • To dance to old Tamil songs, especially "Kan poona pokkile kaal poogalama"
  • To throw the ball and *try* to catch

And a whole lot of other stuff that I have to work long and hard to teach him to forget!

Atha paati made yummy yummy mammam for us and anyone who makes yummy mammam is our friend.

See photos of their visit here

Thank you for coming, Gothupa and Atha Paati. I had hordes of fun!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Gong Xi Fa Cai (Happy New Year)

The 6th and 7th of February this year were the first two days of the Chinese calendar. This new year is the biggest celebration in Singapore. These are the only two days in a year when most businesses close shop. Chinese dress in their finest clothes (mostly red) and pay visits to their elders on these days. It is customary for elders to give the unmarried youngsters money in a red packet as a form of blessing. This red packet is called Ang Pow. It is also considered auspicious to exchange mandarin oranges during the visits because of their deep orange colour which symbolises gold.

On the first day of the Chinese New Year, Gothupa, Atha Paati and I took Ashwin on the train to Boat Quay to sit by the river and eat sandwiches and icecream. Next to Ashwin in the train, there was a chinese girl about 4 years old with her mother. Ashwin was offered a candy by this girl and he accepted it without thanks because he was too shy. I chatted with this girl for a while and understood from her that I cannot have her pretty sandals because they were too small for me. Ashwin could not have it either because they were not boy boy shoes. She took out a book and a pen to sketch and of course, Ashwin copier her right away.

When the train attived at their destination, the girl gave Ashwin a kiss and her mother gave him an ang pow with $2 in it.

Candy, kisses and $2 ang pows, what's not to love about train journeys?!

My faith in humanity is restored.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Speaking of grammar, let's talk pronouns.

I wanted to write this post for a long time now but I cannot delay any further. He's beginning to figure it out!

"You flush" Ashwin will yell. So you put your hand on the flush. You you YOU! He will scream until you remove your hand by reflex. Yeah, he refers to himself as You.

It is so fun to watch the confusion on a random stranger's face as he runs ahead of them shouting You press to press the button to call the lift. If you ask him, "Do you want this yakult or shall I drink it", he will answer You want. If you drink it, don't ask me to save you from the ensuing tantrum.

In tamil, he refer's to himself as nee (the tamil you). Ask him "Ashwin, yaaru da shoe kai poota" and he will reply "Nee kai poota" and leave you wondering if you have such accute insomnia that you can't even remember throwing his shoes! If you try to serve him lunch, he will yell "Nee" until you take the cue and offer him the ladle and vessel so that he can help himself.

The other day, I asked him who's shoe it was, "Is this Ashwin's or Gothupa's" I asked him. "You's" he replied.

Yeah, it's you's of course :)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


BTW, this is Ashwin's doing, not mine.


Ashwin and I play a modified version of the memory card game. We leave all the cards open face up and I call the object I want.

"I want .... two babies" I shout.

Ashwin will scan the lot for two baby cards hand them over to me one by one. And wait for me to call the next object.

"I want ... two doggie" I called.

"Doggies", he corrected me.

My very own two year old grammar teacher.

Cricketing All-Rounder redefined.

Handing me the ball, Ashwin takes up batting position. I was in a hurry and bowled a bit too early, he had not performed the customary two taps of the bat on the floor. So he called NOBALL.

OK. I bowled again when he was ready and he perfectly .... missed the ball. So perfectly in fact that he did not even try to make contact with the ball. That is not part of the game.

With the bat in one hand, he picks up the ball and proceeds to bowl it to me, but not before pretending to lick it and wipe it on his pants. He runs straight up to me, right up to where I am standing and throws the ball further ahead.

Bat still in hand, he is now "fielding" - lie down wherever he is (forget where the ball is, that is unimportant detail) and perform one roll to the left and another to the right.

If that ain't an all-rounder, what is?