Monday, August 27, 2012

The dead machines

In our library, we have 2 machines for DIY checkout that are almost always not working. They are also the high point of the trip to the library for the kids. So, inevitably, we spend several minutes trying to use them before queuing for the librarian.

Yestarday was no different. As we gave up on the machine, Ashwin observed,

Amma, these machines are not working.

Me: I know.

Ashwin: They are dead. See that sign there, it says dye borrowing.

DIY Borrowing!

How could we have missed this glaring sign before???!!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Divya speak

In the car y'day as we arrived at the swimming pool:

Divya: Wysmytweegoingyees
Me: What?
Divya: Wys my stwee going yeevs
Me (Panicking that I'd forgotten something at home!): Where's your what?
Ashwin (Rolling his eyes at dumb me): Christmas trees growing leaves!

Thank goodness I have an interpreter!

Monday, August 20, 2012

A child's voice

We attended the Indian Independence Day celebrations in Perth and were treated to a colourful array of dances. The title of one of the dance numbers loosely translated to Beauty. The dancers, decked in lovely sarees with the pallu covering their faces came whirling out to catcalls and whistles from the audience.

"Who are they?", Divya asked.
"They are dancers Divya.. " I explained the obvious. (more whirling with pallu-covered face on stage)
"But what are they called??!" she demanded growing a teenie bit uneasy.
"I don''t know", I replied. (some more whirling. Same pallu-covered faces)

"ARE THEY MONSTERS???!" She shouted (thank God for the crowd noise!) before they threw open their pallus to show the "beauty"!

I can't not gloat about a moment (or several moments) of pride that happened earlier in the same show.

The show started with the Australian national anthem to pay respect to the host country. The audience was quiet while there were four singers on the stage singing from paper cues. It was in this almost awkward silence that Divya decided to showcase her knowledge. In a clear, loud, toddler voice, she went:

Austweyans aw yet us wejoice fo we are young and fwee....

What will I do when they grow up?

And I don't have a three year old daughter to throw open the door of the public restroom I am using (while I shout no No NOOO) and march out and crawl back in under the door???!

It will be a strange feeling to meet dignity again!

Divya & modesty don't go together...

Divya and I went to the supermarket in the weekend while Ashwin was at drama class. My normally cute daughter was still in her ballet clothes making her irresistably cute, even if I say so myself :)

An elderly gentleman smiled at us as I collected the trolley. We passed the same gentleman in the aisle and he remarked, "isn't it a pity they grow up? She is so cute!". My daughter stared him in the eye and replied:

"I'm not cute, I'm BEAUTIFUL"

(and later, she tried to explain him with: May be he knows only cute? He does not know beautiful?)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Sibling conversation

Recounted by Madhu...

Ashwin stayed home from school the other day due to a stomach ache. He was battling with pain when Divya, with hair clips on her hair, walked upto him:

Ashwin.... How pretty do I look?

Ashwin (rolling his eyes and clutching his stomach): Very.

On his way to high places

When I came home from work the other day, both kids were missing. I was told they've gone apple-seed selling.

Turns out Ashwin found some apple seeds in school (let's resist guessing how he found them!) and decided to make some money with them. He sold a few to our gardener for a dollar. Some to a neighbour and 10 to another neighbour for a cent each. The duo came home clutching the coins while Ashwin was adding the booty to the money already in his money box which comes to one thousand and thirteen.... cents..

I vaguely recall reading about some big entrepreneur (Bill Gates??!) making money by selling matchboxes when he was very young.. Now all Ashwin needs to do is drop out of college to be guaranteed a place in "high places"

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Forward Planning

Last night saw me at my wits end with Divya's antics for extending bedtime.

GO TO SLEEP. I said.
Don't scold me, she said. If you scold me, I will go to Ashwin. If he scolds me, then I will go to appa. If he scolds me I will go to another house. If they scold me, then another house. If they scold me, I will go to daycare.

What can I say? If not a sleeper, at least she is a planner!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

My sweet boy!

Ashwin and I were chatting before bed time the other day and somehow came to the topic of Ashwin's children.
"When I have children and they have their children, will you be dead?", he asked.

Yes, I replied matter-of-factly. After all, it is about many many years later. We spoke some more about some other things.

He went quiet for a while and started tearing up silently.

By then, I had almost forgotten this part of the convesation. What happened? I asked.

I'm sad that when my children have children, you will be dead.

BIG BEAR HUG to my sweet boy!

Cheeky Through and Through

I was trying to put Divya to sleep (why do all my stories have to do with bedtime??!) and she was trying to prevent me with her usual cheekiness. She would ask for water. A different baby (toy). Tell me something about what happened in daycare. And when I say, DIVYA. GO TO SLEEP! She will give me a cheeky grin that you have to admire the little spunk and can't scold her anymore.

A good 20 minutes passed. She was close to drifting off now. That stage that I love that eyelids close and snap open again. The pull to close gets stronger and eyes have a dazed expression. Face softens. Limbs relax. At this stage, she caught me looking at her and GAVE ME HER CHEEKY SMILE! Right before the last wink was out.

Yup, cheeky until the last wink is out. That's my girl.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Of spatial objects and hair accessories

Last night, as I was putting the kids to sleep, Ashwin was complaining that he was scared of a shadow and couldn't sleep. I told him that it was just a shadow of his school bag, so go to sleep already! "But how come it's so big?" he insisted. Using as little time and as few words as possible, I explained that shadows can be bigger or smaller than school bags. He found it hilarious that I said school bag. "You mean, anything, right? Everything in the world can make shadows.. Of course, not the world itself".

I tried to explain that the world could also make shadows and when it's shadow falls on the moon, it is called a lunar eclipse. To cut short the conversation and expedite sleep, I said we can look up eclipse in the books over the weekend.

Divya, who I thought was fast asleep by the, piped up excitedly, "HAIRCLIPS???!"

If only the positioning of the solar objects would make hair clips, I would have one happy girl!

Crazy hair day at school

Monday, May 28, 2012


Last evening, there was a small bug in the living room that caused Ashwin and Divya to run away screaming. Raghu whacked it dead with a brush and threw it away in the backyard. A few hours later, there was another similar bug in the living room. Ashwin paused and stared at it with the most quizzical expression,

"How did it become alived again??!"

How much I love you!

Dear Divya,

I have been wanting to write a special post for you since before your third birthday, but never got around to it because I wasn't sure I would do justice to how special you are. I just want to let you know how very gorgeous you were as a three year old and how much I love you!

I love your toddler-roundness. Your round face, your round cheeks, your round belly, your round bum, the flesh of your palm: everything fits so neatly in my hands for my squishing pleasure. I love how you enjoy when I give you kisses and cuddles and start giggling before I start as you know what is coming!

I love your confidence and sense of style. You can grab a handful of totally mismatched hairclips and rubber bands and ask for them to be put on. And then march away with pride and confidence of your beauty. When you see a hairclip, you pick it up and clip it into your hair anywhere you can and call it done. When you get dressed in the morning, you are so confident that your day care teacher is going to say WOW!

I love your empathy and compassion. When we play monopoly and someone has to pay rent and is whinging about it, you take no time to go upto the person and assure them that it's ok. When your brother is having a tantrum, you go after him and offer him cuddles and stickers and your toys to the point of annoying him! When we play the "and then" game and I pitch the "and then I will cry" card, you immediately say "and then I will cuddle you and make you stop crying"

I love your sense of humour. When you are crying and talking at the same time, and your mean mommy who cannot understand what you are saying teases you with "dha dha dha dha dha", you immediately stop crying and start laughing! You find your exposed belly so funny! When I am dressing you up, before I can put on your t-shirt, you run to Ashwin to show off your funny belly!

I love then way you speak! You have a fantastic vocabulary and grammar. What I find cute though are the words you mis-pronounce. Until a few months ago, you used to say that we will go to the yayabee and get itheem (library and get ice cream!). Your pronounciation has improved a lot now although you still say you are THWEE years old. Let's KICKWEE cross the road.

I love how you come to my bed in the middle of the night (you call out and I pick you up) and snuggle with me. If I move away, you will extend your hands or legs so that you can maintain contact with me. I love how your head fits in the crook of my neck.

I love the relationship you have with your brother. He adores you and you adore him right back. At a birthday party the other day, Ashwin decided to take care of you while I had a chat with the other mums. When I came to check on you, you were sitting on his lap and eating the snacks.

I love your relationship with your babies too. You are never without a baby, be it a doll or an animal. You wrap them up so gently in a blanket, carry them around, feed them, read to them, change their diapers, put on their clothes, take them to bed and are so nurturing. I like to think that this is a reflection of my own nurturing motherhood, although I have my doubts :)

You are so smart and clever too. You can put on your clothes by yourself with very little help from me.

I love soooo much more about you. Everything in fact. Many times I marvel at how this creature that grew in my belly turned into this gorgeous little girl who brings joy into so many lives. If the essence of your three-year-old-ness could be bottled up and made available to the adults in the world, the world would be an awesome place. Regardless, my life is now an awesome place because of you and your brother.

Love you baby! (I know i know, your not a baby. You are growing up into an adult!)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Love of reading, even if it is pretend.

We went over to our neighbour's place for dinner the other night. Their kids are 12 and 16 and I love discussing books with them. We were having an animated discussion about the Enid Blyton series "The Malory Towers" complete with the required superlatives to express love and approval. Ashwin, who was probably feeling left out of this conversation for a while, piped in:

How seeds grow: I read this book today at school for silent reading. Oh my God! I love this. It is sooo interesting!

I can't wait until he enjoys books on his own!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Time to buy shares in the diaper companies

Last night in bed, here's what Divya said:

When I grow up from a baby, I'm going to be BIGGER than YOU and then appa and me and you will go to office and Ashwin will go to school AND THEN I WONT WEAR A DIAPER ANYNORE!!!

I'm glad the end of diaper days is in sight :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Deja Vu: Hide and seek

Ashwin was having his breakfast on the bar counter while Divya and I were quite ready to go one morning.

Let's play hide and seek, she said. (morning. Before day care. and WORK!) Why not??!

"I'm the hidinger, you be the counter", was her command.

As I started to count, THUD THUD THUD she ran into the bedroom as noisily as only a not yet three year old feather weight like her can. And then BANGED the door behind her. With a great effort not to go straight to the bedroom, I started looking for her in the laundry. "Look for me HERE" she called out from the bedroom. (while all the while, Ashwin watched on with a smug grin on his face and the superiority of his intellect on his mind, forgetting that a mere 3 years ago, he has played this exact same game with the exact same rules)

Tooth fairy is the new bank

I few days ago, Divya asked Ashwin for some money from his money box to keep in her little purse. Ashwin hesitated saying he did not want to run out of money. Without missing a beat, the little one replied, "But you will get lot and lot from the tooth fayeee!"

Considering that he has lost 2 tooth in one day, she is not far off the truth!

I have a smooth mornings scheme going where I give Ashiwn a dollar for each morning that he gets ready for school with no prompting and no slacking. This morning, the brother and sister played river and babies on my bed for so long that "smooth" was not a word I would use to describe it. Before leaving for school though, Ashwin hopefully enquired if he was getting his dollar. Of course not, I replied. Divya chimed right in, "don't worry Ashwin, may be the tooth fairy will come to your school today!"

I could use a visit in my office too!