28 Mar 2013
Was the topic Chula was asked to write an essay on by her teacher.
So the child writes…. ‘I love my family even if I get bad thoughts about them and also because they love me and we help each other.’
When I asked her what bad thoughts she gets about her family, she replied that she can’t explain, sometimes she just feels bad.
She also wrote, ‘My father’s name is _____. He works at _____. I like it when he plays badminton with me. I also like it when he plays monopoly with me. My mother’s name is _____. She works for _______.’
That is it!
No mentions of what she likes doing with me.
My feathers were ruffled and I asked her to explain this serious over sight and she patiently said, ‘Ammmaa, you do a ton of great things with me. If I list all the fun things, this will not be a short essay and I don’t know what to pick because they are all great.’
The child can save her behind through diplomacy.
She initially mentioned that she can’t think of one single good thing to write about her sister. Eventually decided that she will write how naughty her sister is.
Meija was upset with this character defamation and said that when she comes to second grade and when she is asked to write about her family, she will write verrry bad things about Chula and will supplement it with an ugly drawing of her. That did the trick.
The child can save her behind through black mail.
I have raised two good citizens. My job is done.
27 Jan 2013
So… the husband is in to MAKING them talk and walk in Hindi.
Well…. I am not, I have other priorities, like…… every thing else.
Today father and the Meija were sitting on the couch. Meija was reading an English book to her father which had pictures of animal babies – puppies, kittens etc. The man kept insisting that she translate in Hindi in her head and read out loud.
Result = KUTTA KA BACCHA……
Oh! I see lot of blog potential in this!
6 Jan 2013
Or at least trying to…
I am in my parent’s place in Chennai. The only way I have a signal on my cell phone is to stand at the right hand corner of the hall window and hold my phone towards the sky. Chula observed it and is asking me if my phone is ‘solar’ and if it is powered by the Sun.
As usual it is raining in Chennai. I always manage to drag the rain along with me when I visit Chennai. With the rain comes a overflowing laundry basket and wet clothes. I tied a clothes line inside the house, hung some essentials and switched on the fan. Meija was watching me do this. When it was time for scheduled power cut, the fan stopped and she asked me if she can implement her brain wave to dry the clothes even during power cut. I was curious what she was going to do and ended up ROFL when the child came back with a palm leaf hand fan. I thought it was cute. She thinks I was making fun of her. We have agreed to disagree.
I took a major risk this time, by using wash room without a functional latch, with only Chula standing guard outside the door. MONUMENTAL risk people, so it needs to be recorded here.
Sibling rivalry at its peak: Meija is imitating what ever I do. If I get up she gets up. If I put my hand on my hip, she copies. After observing this for a min, Chula says, ‘Amma, slap yourself R.E.A.L.L.Y hard. Quick amma.’
Getting in to my good books: We are getting ready to go to the beach and I was asking them to change out of their fancy clothes in to something that will be appropriate for beach.
Chula: Meija, I am going to listen to amma. I am not like you. I will wear regular play clothes because I don’t want to get my fancy ones dirty.
Meija: I LISTEN. I know our clothes will get dirty. In fact I was planning on wearing something from the laundry basket, something that is already dirty and needs to be washed anyways. Is it ok amma? Am I right?
Chula: <Thinks a bit how to top this> Amma I am going to wear some ripped clothes. What do you think about this amma?
I was seriously thinking about which wall I must bang my head against.
20 Nov 2012
Many many things are going on, just no time to update. But this I can’t resist!
Last Sunday was Surasamharam, the last day of war between Lord Karthikeya and the demon Soorapadman.
Since I wasn’t showing any signs of educating the children on this, R decided to step in. Youtubeducation took place while I was busy at work.
He showed them Kandhan Karunai(Tamil movie 1967) in which Shivaji(Veeravahu) is stealing Sivakumar’s(Murugan) thunder with his thundering thighs, that are strategically exposed by the mini skirt he is wearing. Lets just say that the costume designer was well ahead of his time. More over, Shivaji’s over acting bordering on inappropriate conduct is best left unsaid. By itself, the movie would have given the children a warped sense of culture. But the key mistake on the husband’s part is that he showed Thiruvilayadal(Tamil movie, 1965) in the morning followed by KK in the evening.
Now the girls are completely confused why Shiva traded his tiger skin for mini skirt(Shivaji is Shiva in AM movie and he is Veeravaahu in PM movie).
Parvathi is played by Savitri in both movies. But she is green in AM movie and ‘regular’ in PM movie. So the question about ‘where did green Parvathi’ go? kept popping up every now and then.
Gemini being Shiva in PM movie with the same actress as Parvati in both movies did not help one bit.
Having KPS as Avviyaar in both the movies just added to the confusion.They can’t take the fact that KPS is universal Avviyaar and that she majored in ‘Avviyaar’ in her acting course.
They simply believe that both movies are the same with something gone wrong with Shiva and Parvathi!
I can’t wait for Karthigai Deepam and the following culture education!
28 Oct 2012
Ok, we are now at a stage we are not repulsed by Hindi learning. By ‘we’ I mean the children. I haven’t warmed up to the idea since I get by pretty decently with my ‘Aaap, kaha hein?! Mein ghar mein hein. Aaap aathe aur nahin athe?! Kal pucca-ok?’
Chula still refuses to speak. So her Hindi teacher has now mandated that Chula speak one new sentence to her every time she sees her.
Many maps of the school were drawn. Every hide-able pillar was marked. Every alternative route was plotted. Numerous strategies on how to avoid A teacher were devised. In the end she saw the futility of the whole charade and asked me for my advise. Me being me, with all sincerity suggested, ‘You know the full song of Chamak chalo don’t you? So every time you see teacher tell her one line from the song. Problem solved.’ Needless to say, I have one furious child at home!
Have a fantabulos back to school week you all. We have one more week as all our teachers and older children are in the music workshop by the Wayfarers.
23 Jul 2012
Its been a long time since I did back to back posts on the same day. But this is an incident to be recorded here.
We are late bloomers when it comes to teething. I, as a child started speaking and then cut my first at 14 months. For the milk teeth to fall ….. it took for ever.
Chula and Meija took after me. They cut first tooth at after their first birthday. Chula is now 7.5. Ever since she read Gooney Bird Greene and the character Felicia Ann, she has been looking forward to be walking around showing off her missing teeth. Felicia Ann has two missing front teeth and cannot pronounce her S and F. Clearly that is the star attraction.
Slowly all of Chula’s friends lost their milk teeth, but our heroine was desolate, she waited for almost two years. By now, even Meija’s friends started losing the milk teeth. The child was found in front of the mirror violently shaking her teeth at every available moment.
Finally this Feb I found two buds behind the lower front incisors. Her permanents were cutting out. The wait got intense. There was more pushing, prodding, shaking and inspection. But the milk teeth stayed put. Finally the dentist announced that the milk teeth need to be extracted. The child was terrified, but calmed down the instant the dentist mentioned that she can get ice cream. The I-word made her warm up to the extraction so much that she even offered to trade each of her pearls for an ice cream. Some how, the mention of extraction sent shivers down my spine and I was dragging my feet.
While this drama was happening and the lower incisors were getting all the attention, the top two incisors were getting lose. It progressed so much so soon, (well, in a month, but that is quite fast in our standards) that yesterday one finally fell out. We were in a restaurant, there was a bloody mess, but it came out. Now the child is sporting a empty spot and making sentences that are alliterations beginning with S and F.
She slept with the tooth under her blanket, expecting money in exchange for her tooth. But this silly tooth fairy forgot her duties completely. Chula came out with a sullen face, almost ready to cry saying, ‘Amma, the tooth fairy…..’ and couldn’t complete her sentence. I sent her to brush her teeth saying that the tooth fairy is playing treasure hunt game with her and if she looked around the house carefully she will find her money. Before the child finished her morning ablutions, the tooth fairy was whipped in to shape and the money deposited in a secret but easy to guess spot.
When Chula found the money, this is how the conversation went:
Chula: Gasp! Amma, the tooth fairy IS real. When I found nothing under the pillow I thought either there is no tooth fairy or the tooth fairy didn’t want my tooth. But it is real. See, see I have the proof. She left me money AND let me keep my tooth!!!
Mieja: (Half awake and from the bed) Nope. It is like A says. There is no tooth fairy. It is the parents who put the money under the pillow and fool the children. Ask amma if she forgot and is making up something last minute.
This from the genius who thinks she can make diamonds at home. As I often say, this child will be the death of me.
2 May 2012
I was telling her how hermit crabs do not have a shell of their own, but pick an empty shell to live in.
Meija: Where does the hermit crab come from?
Me: From an egg.
Meija: Where does the egg come from?
Me: From another hermit crab.
Meija: Amma, (with hand action) I understand that this hermit crab came from that egg, that egg came from thaaatt hermit crab and so on. But that very first hermit crab in the world, where did that come from? Which was first the crab or the egg?
Morning rush. The situation was getting explosive between Chula and I. She is sitting in front of her breakfast plate and I have given her the 20th ultimatum, but nothing is working.
Me: Chula, if I were you, I would take this more seriously and at least ask for help. I don’t know what you are planning to do.
Meija: Amma, if you were her, you would do the same thing that she is doing. She is doing this because these are the things Chula does. That is what makes her, her. So if you are her, you will do her things and not your things.
I am giving the child a bath.
Meija: Amma, you are putting soap so softly.
Meija: Yesterday when you put tiger balm for my back and chest, you put it so fast-fast-ly.
Meija: How do you know that soap has to be put softly and slowly and tiger balm fast fast?
Me: (Mockingly) Um, they teach all this in mommy school.
Meija: Mommy school? Can I go?
Me: Nope. One must have finished college, then go to another college, get a job, get married and only then they take you in to mommy school.
Meija: Do they teach you to make jokes like you do in mommy school?
Meija: Do they teach how to laugh like you do in mommy school?
Meija: Do they teach how to give hugs and love like you do in mommy school?
Meija: Hmmm, looks like you knew nothing before you went to mommy school.
11 Feb 2012
Sheela-ki-javaani is out and over.
Chamak Challo is taking our house by storm. Yes, we are late and we are like that only. No TV and no computer, we are usually stuck in a different time warp. The children hear about songs from their friends. By the time they register a song, memorize it and start asking for it, the rest of the world would have ridden that wave and would have moved on. But we peak!
Now I can measure every place I drive them to, by Chamak Challo scale. Airport, one way, almost 6 Chamak Challo’s. Grocery store – 3. The auditorium where the children had their annual day function – 3. Copying place close by – 1 etc.
Enthused(and irritated) by the number of times the husband heard the song, the eager beaver he is and with his ever wanting need to get to the bottom of things and understand the meaning, he, of all people, asked the maid the meaning of Chamak Challo. The maid started blushing. I, who was dusting close by, froze. And gave him the look that means, ‘this maid is a keeper, don’t ask her meaning to Hindi movie songs, which usually contains lots of read between the lines material and make her stop coming to work’. The husband, as usual, blissfully unaware of all looks and meanings and implications, moved on with his simple existence.
Another song that the children are singing non-stop is Kolaveri and holds the record for entering the house while it is still in vogue. They dance for Chamak Challo, Mieja has two moves – a standard march past kind of move for male voice and a hip shake with hands crossing for the female voice. But their response to Kolaveri gives me the creeps. They lounge, please note, not sitting but lounging, on the couch and sing dreamily, ‘Hand-le glass-u, glass-le sctotch-u’. Suddenly they tell me ominously, ‘Amma your future is dark-u dark-u’. For which I reply is full childish demeanor, ‘Noooo, my future is not dark. It is bright. I am going places!’
Last but not the least ‘Dhinka Chika’. I don’t even know when it came, so can;t say if we entered this wave soon/late/at peak. But I can tell you that I have heard it so many times that it has filled my head, over flowing from my brain and finding its way out through my vocabulary. Yesterday I told the younger child, ‘Yes, I will tell no if it is not appropriate. Don’t expect me to do Dinhka Chika to all your whims and fancies.’ She missed the point and wanted me to play Dhinka Chika.
Ta folks, have a good weekend!
UPDATED TO ADD
27 Jan 2012
Mieja lurves diamonds. Now, according to her, diamond is anything that is smooth, shiny and the size of a lemon. At this point of time I would like to clarify that I am not feeding her with unrealistic expectations. Many a pebbles were picked up from the park, washed, spat on and shined till hands ached and disappointment levels soared. But the child being the tireless kind, decided to change the process. As a result of which multiple diamond experiments were carried on at home.
I nodded approvingly and decided to keep a photographic record of the experiments, because (a)once her heart is set, no matter I reason, she will refuse to listen and (b)if at all by blind luck she did manage to make a diamond?! I mean, the child was talking about rocks the size of lemons. It surely wouldn’t hurt to have a few, wouldn’t it?!
So here it goes, the process, pictures and the product.
Ingredients: Leaves from your garden, a bucket, water, scissors, plenty of sunlight.
Process: Watch out for the time sunlight falls on your kitchen faucet. Now open the faucet and check if the water sparkles in sunlight. Only sparkling water results in sparkling diamonds. Now fill half your bucket with sparkling water. Cut the leaves in to strips about an inch thick. Fashion these leaves in to little cups. Pour about half a teaspoon of sparkling water in to each leaf cup. Place the leaf cups in to the bucket. Leave the bucket in direct sunlight for a week. Check for readiness and leave them for an additional week if required.
was formulated after said child’s mother complained to every one under the Sun about the stink emanating from the bucket and scientists needing to clean up their own mess(“Marie Curie’s mother did not run behind her with a mop and scrubber” my exact words). The goal of this experiment was to (a)keep the initial experiment to small scale and if successful scale up as required (b)compress the process to a couple of days, so that said diamonds are ready before the leaves start decaying (c)avoid contamination from air borne pollutants.
Ingredients: One tbsp of chopped onions, leaves from your garden, one tbsp sparkling water, fridge in working condition.
Process: Clean a big broad leaf. Mix chopped onions with sparkling water. Fashion the mixture in to a diamond shape. Place the mixture on the leaf and place the whole thing in the fridge. You can place it in the freezer, will cut down the process time in to 1/3, the trade off being the three footer’s dependency on her parents(read mother) to check the diamond formation every millisecond.
Product: This time the mother raised hell that the fridge stinks of onions and the child gave up after a week.
Ingredients: Grape seeds, white acrylic paint.
Process: First eat the grapes, one needs the strength from the grapes to convince one’s mother about yet another diamond experiment, then collect the seeds. Wash the seeds in sparkling water. Pat dry. Paint every seed with white acrylic paint. Place in cup. Place the cup in fridge.
Amma had nothing to complain about. No decay, no stink. This experiment stayed for the longest in the fridge and was discarded after the unsuspecting spouse, looking for a late night snack, consumed about half of it.
Ingredients: Glass, preferably in a sphere shape. One tbsp sparkling water. Hard surface. Pointy, sharp tools.
Process: Take the glass sphere and drill a small hole. Pour the tbsp water through this hole. Place right side up and place in the fridge to set. When set, tap the water filled sphere on a hard surface to chip the sides to make a shiny diamond.
Product: Promptly nipped in the bud by Amma. So no pictures or products to complain about.
She is taking a break right now and I am shuddering that she will come back invigorated after the break.
26 Oct 2011
* KOTUDHU – is a Tamil word that translates to ‘IS POURING’
Yes, a new series….
“Why did you move back to India? Because you have two girls and you want them to get the Indian culture?” is a question I get asked many times.
So here is my observation of the Indian culture that the girls are getting, from the side lines.
Scribed by child1, dictated by child2.