Thursday, October 30, 2008


Last evening, I was applying mehendi on Ashwin's hands. As usual, it was elephant on one hand and an aeroplane on the other. He was thrilled.

I was reminded of an incident during my sister's mehendi ceremony.

We had lots of guests at home and everyone was having beautiful mehendi designs applied on their hands. Ashwin made a request for the elephant and aeroplane on his hands, but the professional mehendi guys were a bit slow and said they didn't know how to do these! So they applied usual designs on Ashwin's hands.

In the evening, my Natarajan Chittappa arrived. He is one with a beard and mustache and a size to go with it. And curly hair. The kind that is generally intimidating to kids. Growing up, I remember him to be one of my favourite uncles, but also the most intimidating. My other uncles would instigate me to say "Raja Gooja" to him, but I wouldn't. Bayam Kalanda Mariyadai.

Around the same time, I told Ashwin I will make the elephant and aeroplane on his hands. While I was making the elephant, my chittappa came to us and told Ashwin in his gruff voice that he was a boy and boys don't have mehendi on their hands. Up until this stage of his life, Ashwin was not used to being intimidated at all. It took him a while to get scared during which he tried reasoning with my chittappa. To no avail. Finally, my little boy burst into tears and said to me "Wash pannanum". I carried him upstairs away from the others and continued drawing the elephant and the aeroplane. We then came down to show people our mehendi trophies. My chittappa was still instigating him so I offered to say "you you" to chittappa on Ashwin's behalf (you you was the choicest swear word of that time.). My little boy turned to me with tears in his eyes and said "You you aana amma". Even in his state of terror, he was protecting the others from what he thought was unsafe!

Anyway, Chittappa and Ashwin became friends and Ashwin got chittappa to concede that it was boy-ly to have mehendi in his hands and chittappa introduced him to the pleasures of "pakka vadiyam". He also took him on auto rides and even got him to sit on the driver seat of an auto, to Ashwin's extreme delight!

Chittappa also gave him a coin every now and then to put in the small temple hundial in the marriage chowltry. On the last day of the wedding, when it was time to leave, in true my-chittappa fashion, he asked Ashwin for the money back.

Cocking his head to a side, Ashwin explained,

"Paisa ummachi kitta potachi. Finish aayiduthi" (We've given the money to God, it's over now.). Chittappa however insisted on getting the money back and at this point, Ashwin burst into tears.

Any other end to this interaction would not have been as authentic...

That's him with my sweet Raji chitti...

Friday, October 24, 2008

We're a growing family!

If anyone noticed and wondered why this blog had a 2 month hiatus, it is because I spent much of those two months being sick. Too sick to do anything that was not absolutely necessary. Wonderfully sick nurturing another life. In my belly.

We are expecting an addition to our family!!

I'm now past the dreaded (and pathetic) first trimester and my energy is back. I have just completed 14 weeks and baby is due end of April 2009.

((Thank you.))

According to Ashwin, I'm not the only one with a baby in the belly. There is a baby in his belly too! This is a convenient fact for him because he now blames the baby in his belly for anything he does not want to own up responsibility for. He wants an ice cream and I said no? But the baby in the belly is asking for it! He does not want to wear a jacket although it is cold? That's because the baby in his belly said it feels warm. He wanted a hot chocolate before dinner and I refused. He put on a pathetic face and said, "there is a baby in my belly and he is pressing my belly button, so I need a hot chocolate". Nice try mate, though you are the wrong sex to pull this stunt!

His father cannot leave home without kissing the baby in his belly goodbye. He would run after him with his t-shirt up in the air asking for "thoppah kulla baby ki kissi!"

(in case you are wondering, he did not pick that up from me...)

In other news, tomorrow marks the first anniversary of this blog. How far Ashwin has come in this one year.. How time flies!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I've been made redundant.

The tasks Ashwin can accomplish on his own are so many that I wonder if this is the same boy that was a baby just a little while ago.

If he wants to use the toilet, he informs me, and then instructs me to wait for him where I am while he goes on his own. Even though he was at this phase a few months ago, he no longer is that clumsy boy. Why he doesn't even need a stool or a baby seat!

He can dress himself. Completely. For a while now, he could put on his underpants and pants (and quickly discovered taking them off is way more fun). Now, he can put on his t-shirt all by himself too! Since spring is here (we are down under, remember?) and sandals are our choice of foorwear, he can put them on all by himself. He gives it a go and then comes around to ask me "wrong leg?"

He can count on his fingers, use scissors, open the fridge to get his yakult, straw and proceed to drink it with no help. If he wants chocolates or chips, he drags the foot stool to the kitchen and uses it to reach onto the kitchen counter. You think the little plastic clip holding them shut will deter him? You really do?

As of this morning, he has learnt to open the deck chair and close it again.

And with that people, I have been made redundant.

No. Wait!

He can't make upma yet (and that's his favourite / everyday breakfast). Even though he quizzes me as I make it to check if I have added salt, water, fried it, boiled it, there's still some utility for me.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Lover Boy (or rubber ball...)

I had a dream early this morning that Raghu and I were suddenly "unmarried". Life was otherwise unchanged and Ashwin was still in the picture, but to be husband and wife, we needed to get married again.

Even before we were fully awake, as soon as I heard murmurs from the other side of the bed, I did what any rational woman would do:

I asked Raghu if he would marry me.

Before he had a chance to understand the question and compose an answer, my son shouted out:

"Naan pannikaren amma!" ("I will do it amma!")

Too bad I did not wait ten years to be married!