My Quirks

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Quirks tag from Choxbox.

(1)You can call me a digital circuit. I am either ‘1’ or ‘0’. There is absolutely no in between. Every day, every minute I swing from extreme to extreme.

By the frequency of my posts(which is sometimes up to 3/day or once in three weeks J) most of you must have guessed this already.

I either spend every waking moment cleaning the house or let it rot for days together. I either cook 30+ dishes a day or can’t stand the thought of cooking for weeks.

I have either taken care of my body very carefully(regular exercise, regular yoga, no fat, no sugar, just fruits and veggies, low carb, high protein diet to the extent of having power goos and Odwalla protein shakes for a meal) or have dined on a couple of boxes of chocolates.

I either fold clothes with a precise method to the extent of being called obsessive compulsive or leave piles of clean laundry all over the guest bedroom.

You can find me sitting on our couch, sprouting roots, refusing to step out of the house to even look at our own backyard or hiking the Grand Canyon or the Kilimanjaro.

I am either perfectly(purely perspective :) ) groomed or like the whole of last week, walk around with different earrings – a dolphin in my right earand a fish inmy left ear. What started out as an honest mistake, turned in to laziness which made me convince myself that I was making a statement.

I used to remember the most itty bitty details and now, I can’t even remember which is my tooth brush and which is hubby’s brush. Every morning I stare at the brushes for a few minutes and work out a little color coding memory strategy(Red starts with ‘R’, so does R’s name. So Red is R’s brush, therefore yellow is mine. ) If hubby gets a new brush, I am in soup. Soon will come a day when I will have tatoos on my body to remember trivial details like this and you can call me Ghajini.

(2)I have zero money managing skills. My only concept of saving = not spending + having a big wad of money in a purse + looking/counting it from time to time. Every month I put the spare nickels and quarters in a ziplock and think that I am saving a H.U.G.E amount of money. I can’t keep track of the checking, savings, IRA, roth, 401K, retirement, NRI, NRE, custodial accounts. The more the money is split in to multiple accounts, I think they are being lost in the system. I prefer them to be at one place, if possible under my roof, right in front of my eyes. So one fine day if you read about “the crazy lady who kept all her life savings under her bed and counted it every day…” in the newspapers, look no further friends, you have found me!

(3)I love to organize. Even to arrange books on my bookshelf, I make a flow chart of my organizational pattern, then add sub categories, put sub-sub categories, add a child to every sub-sub category……finally end up confused, frustrated and unorganized. But I don’t give up, I start from scratch and can do this for years!.

(4)I can’t say ‘I Love You’ to any one except my children. I feel absolutely funny doing that. I can put it in writing, but I can’t speak those words J:) friend of my father, a dear dear man, 70 years old, lives in the east coast, calls me every month with immense fatherly affection and he always finishes his call with the words, ‘I love you sweetie pie’. I just dread that moment because I go blank, then deliver an embarrassed chuckle and say, ‘Bye uncle, take care’.

(5)I don’t like to tag people. I have done it a couple of times, but eventually stopped doing it because sometimes I feel like I am obligating people! Another reason is, I do my tags after an eternity and by that time every one else in the blogging world is tagged and the tag would have gone stale!

(6)Okay, you all know me pretty well, always shooting for an extra point :) When I give the girls their bath(yes, yes, yes. I switched them from AM baths to PM baths so that I can do it.) I tell them to close their eyes while I apply ‘payatham maavu*’ and inadvertently I close my eyes tightly.

* payatham maavu – Powdered whole moong daal. Usually mixed with turmeric powder and is used bathe little kids.

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  • Middle name tag

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    I was tagged by Poppin and Noon….and here is my post before any one else tags me for it :)
    I do not have a middle name(who in India does?), so here is something for each letter of Chula dn Mieja’s name. Also I am not tagging any one, don’t beat me up :)

    The three rules to be followed are:
    a) The rules must be mentioned in the beginning of the tag.
    b) You must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.
    c) At the end of your blog post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.


    C-Chocolate cake hmmmm….yummmm. She takes a bite, smiles so wide that her eyes are all crinckled, rubs her tummy in a circular motion and says ‘hmmmm…yummmm’.

    H- Hates it if I am pouting(either because I am focusing on something/making mental plans/my patience is being tested by the two kids ) this is what she does. Makes me sit, sits on my lap, gives me a hug, holds my face in both her hands, pulls the corner of my lips stretching my lips to a smile and says, ‘You be happy amma. You do like this only amma.’

    U-Understands Tamil very well, but refuses to speak Tamil.

    L-Loves to read books. If there are words/letters printed on a sheet of paper, you have her attention. Does not matter whether it is a children’s book or an uninteresting advertisement flier. She loves to lie down next to me with a book, pull the comforter all over herself. She starts the routine by telling me, ‘(pointing to her book)This is my project, (pointing to my book)this is amma’s project.’ She would read(from memory) her book from cover to cover, toss it aside and cuddle up to me asking, ‘Othay, now what are you doing? How is your project coming? Is this Barty book?(I was reading the Bartimaeus trilogy by J Stroud) Tell me all about it.’

    A- Always slow to warm up. But once she settles in to the groove, she wants the fun to not end.


    M – Master of mischief.

    I – Independence is her middle name. This one wants to eat by herself and I am fighting her because I am scared of the mess. But I am loosing.

    E – Easily wakes up from sleep. She is a light sleeper. Even a small noise, she immediately wakes up, stands holding the crib railing, says ‘Ayyo'(her version of Hello) and fishes for a reply. I pull the comforter over my head and pretend that I didn’t hear the ayyo.

    J – Jumps(without taking feet from the ground!) and shakes her lil’ tush and dances for the song ‘Vaadi vaadi’ from Tamil movie Sachin. In the middle of the song, the female voice says “Speed eethu mamu”(meaning dance fast), so she has some fast and sassy moves for that particular bit.

    A – A shower calms her down pretty quickly. Chula used to be, and still is, a screamer. I have to invent new strategies to get her to shower. But little Mieja is a water person. When she was a new born, she would fall asleep on my/my mother’s legs in the middle of her shower. We used to get very scared, stop and check if she is still breathing. My mom and I were very used to Chula’s screaming that a quite child made our imaginations run wild!

    Updated to add: Anitha had also tagged me for this. If any one else had tagged me and I had forgotten to mention, please holler and let me know :)

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  • Chula’s Quirks

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    Okay, now to Chula’s quirks, tagged by Tharini. I made a list, like I always do for anything and everything and the quirks went on and on and on. I have short listed five.

    1. She prefers that my thali(mangal sutra) does not show. In the early mornings, just after I have woken up or if I am rough housing with the children and my thali is outside my shirt, she come to me and says, ‘Amma, you do like this(putting my thali in my shirt). Here, you have your chain like this only. Okay?’.

    2. She has a fixed bed time routine.
    *Brushing teeth,
    *Washing face,
    *Diapering(diapers only during night, she says, ‘This is my thoochi thaachi(meaning sleep time) diaper amma. No underpants.’),
    *Climbing in to the crib by herself,
    *Check if the ABCD flat sheet is in the crib, lie down and hug red teddy bear, covered with safari animals quilt(the animals must face out and the quilt HAS to be upside down), Then be covered with her favorite pink blankie (‘now you put pinkie like this amma’),
    *Me singing ‘I love you love me’ song from Barney, me singing ‘a laa thee, you laa thee’ (the same I love you Barney song, the way Mieja sings it),
    *Kiss on the face,
    *Sing songs for Mieja, kiss mieja goodnight(even if I had already done this for Mieja or if Mieja is already fast asleep, I still have to do a repeat performance),
    *Me saying ‘Good night sleep____’, she chimes in ‘tight. Don’t let the beb bugs bite.’,
    *Me walking out saying ‘Hasta Manyana’(see you tomorrow in spanish),
    She chimes ‘bye amma’.

    *waiting to catch my breath*.

    If one small thing in the above mentioned routine changes, then hell hath no fury like a little Chula scorned!

    3. She hates it if some one leaves. She has almost never said goodbyes to people. But as far as things and places go, she has to say bye-bye otherwise there is no closure. She says ‘bye-bye zoo’, ‘bye-bye park’, ‘bye-bye paste’(She has to say this to her empty tube of paste and has to throw the paste in to garbage container herself. Otherwise she will be rolling on the floor crying ‘I want yellow paste. I no want pink paste. Pink paste is for Mieja. I want yellow duckie paste’)

    4. She associates lots of things with their color instead of what the thing actually is. My white crib, Mieja’s brown crib, appa’s orange car, amma’s white car, orange Montessori school (I have no idea why the school is orange), white straw, brown cake. Sometimes if she does not know the object then it is just ‘I want purple’ and by the time I figure out what purple things she is requesting->asking->demanding->rolling-on-the-floor-crying….God help me!

    5. After she saw her friend A (the Fremont A twin), wearing a bandaid on his boo-boo, she demands a bandaid on her real, imaginary and likely boo-boos. I obliged for a few days and then laid down the ultimatum that there will be band aids no more. So she treasures the very last band aid she got, which was 10 days back! It is on her knee, she takes good care of it and gives me precise instructions. When I am pulling a pair of pants on her, it is ‘You do it carefully amma, no pants on band aid. You do slowly and safely like this, okay?’. When I am giving her oil massage/applying cream/giving her bath it is, ‘No, no, no. Not on my band aid, okay? You put oil like this and then you do jump on band aid like this and do like this, okay?( rubbing her thighs, then taking her hands from her legs, placing hands below knee and rubbing from below knee to ankle)’. What is with kids and bandaid?

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  • A rose by any other name….

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    This is nick names tag by the wonderful Tharini.

    From Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, 1594:

    ‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
    Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
    What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
    Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
    Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
    What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
    By any other name would smell as sweet;
    So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
    Retain that dear perfection which he owes
    Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
    And for that name which is no part of thee
    Take all myself.

    Google reveals that, this is Shakespeare’s ‘yidakkaradakkal’.
    YI-DA-K-KA-RA-DA-K-KAL, tamil grammer term which signifies the situations when you are pulling some one’s leg by talking highly of them and viceversa. Typical example that was quoted to me in my eigth standard: A king(K1) who is fairly inexperienced in war has recently declared war against a king(K2) who is a war veteran. A Tamil poet, after inspecting K1’s infantry tells him, “Wow, your weapons are all shiny and new, where as K2’s weapons are all coated with blood and mud from the hundreds of wars he has participated in”. K1 gets the hint and decides to go for a diplomatic settlement. The poet points out K1’s lack of experience by sweet words and K2’s chivalry by putting him down.

    How much ever my roses smell, believe me they can get unbelievably offensive, all the nicks they have is purely out of love! Most of them are common for both my roses.

    Mottai, mottai boss(Both the kids were called this by hubby when we had shaved their head)
    Kanna(Hubby, my father, my mother for both the kids)
    Pattu, Pattu chellam (My MIL for both the kids)
    Chinni pattu, Pattamma, pattani, chinna pattani
    Kutti, kuttani, kuttamma
    Kannu, kannamma
    Kanne, maniye, karpagakiliye
    Annakili (Out of the blue called Chula this when she was born and my mom tells me that my great grandma used to call me by this nick!)
    Chinaani, chamathaani

    Weird it may seem, purely out of 100% love I swear :)

    Erumai maadu, silly girl (Exclusivley for Chula)
    Pettai rowdy, Pisaasu, loose kutti (Mieja special)

    The songs are mostly on-the-spot kind of things. Mieja says ‘Agooo’ and I sart singing ‘Agooni, kuttani, woonda pattani’ to the tune of the nursery rhyme that happens to jump to my mind.

    Now, the interesting part. Chula has some nick for us.
    She used to say ‘Appa, you are a princess’. The poor man tried to make her understand that he is no princess….may be a hulk…. a warrior…. a MAN…something with an ‘Arrrgh’, some one who has no ‘foo-foo’ in him. But she kept persisting that he is a princess. His essense would just revolt every time she called him ‘princess’. After days of struggle one fine night, as he was putting Chula to bed, she said, ‘Appa, you are a princess’ and the poor soul accepted defeat and said, ‘Yes baby. I am a princess. Whatever.’ Now she calls him princess no more! She now calls him ‘Appa-boy!’. Re-enactment of no-boy, arrrgh-man scene takes place every no and then.

    Chula calls me ‘kitty cat’. The cool cat I am, it sits well with me. She also calls me ‘Amma-boy’, ‘Amma-girl’ and ‘Silly amma'(especially when I am doing some silly dance for/with her).

    Chula calls Mieja as Mieja. She hugs her little sister and goes, ‘Oh, she is such a cute baby sister’.

    Mieja does her own share of name calling. Out of pure frustration, especially at the times when I am trying to shovel food in to her mouth, calls me by my name and says ‘NO’. She does not stop with that, she also pushes me away from her, and hold her little palm in my face, just in case I didn’t get the message! Mieja would suddenly drop whatever she is playing with and run to Chula and hug her. Such suddenly surges of affection is accompanied by ‘Assshu daaayaing huhchumaadul’ and the likes of such, which I am sure translates to ‘Oh, you are such a cute big sister’.

    But whatever silly name we are called by, we always answer to the call, even if we don’t always agree with the names. :)

    Updated to add: Memory is still poor, how could I have forgotten this??!
    Mieja is also called
    ‘Vaalu'(Literal translation ‘tail’, means the naughty one ). Even Chula says, ‘Nee seriyana vaalu’.
    Kutti monkey
    Kozhukattai(means dumpling, owing to her chubbiness)

    Both kids have been called chappai mooku(meaning ‘flat nose’. God, it took almost 6 months for their nose to raise!)
    Both were called ‘Achunoo’ by my first SIL.

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  • Listen to this Post. Powered by

    Okay, its raining tags, home works and colds (Runny nose and colds have started even before winter has set in. Nothing depresses me more than seeing the days get shorter.) in the UTBT household. Since I cannot do much about the latter two (except to complain, which I do a LOT to hubby. I act absolutely cool and matter-of-factly to others!), I decided to take action on the first one. For your information, my writing wheels are just not turning. If I had been writing on a piece of paper, there will be zillions of crumpled papers around me. But since technology offers me with the convenience of ‘Undo typing’ and ‘Delete’ I still end up with a blank document after lots of clicks on the key board->undo->type->delete. Booo hooo, a blank document gives me the idea of inaction; vs crumpled papers would give the impression of work in progress :(

    Judgemental tag by Swati

    At first I thought I would apologize to Swati and excuse myself from doing the tag for a couple of reasons. First one being, God this is complicated and I don’t know how to get about it, I judge being judgemental. I know, full of contradictions, feel free to comment on it. I haven’t worked this one out myself, so comments might clear it up! The second one is, it would bring the ugly side of me. I kept going back and forth and finally decided to do it.

    As a rule I do not judge other mothers/their parenting skills/philosophies. My motto is ‘whatever works’. Just because I do not like/want/do things a certain way, it does not mean that it is the only way. After long and hard thought there are two things that I am REALLY REALLY judgemental about.

    Some people give unsolicited advice about adoption. Here you are going through (either personally or indirectly), the hardships to have a baby and some people have the nerve to suggest adoption. No, no, I do not have anything against adoption. It is just that the couples have to through the steps and finally decide for themselves what they want to do. You cannot put the adoption idea in to some one’s head, it has to come to them! When I am talking about my personal pains, my longing to feel that small kick in my belly, at the end of the day sit on the couch with my feet up and my hands on my pregnant tummy, huff and puff for walking even a small distance, throw up every morning, feel like eating idli 24×7 I just want you to listen. All I am looking for is a shoulder to lean on. Please do not tell me ‘You are being selfish. Adpot, there are so many needy children.’ When I am out of denial and the whole emotional catastrophe, I will decide if I want to adopt. Also, the adoption advice really does not sit well when you have a litter of children of your own. Makes me think, that you talk the talk but cannot walk the walk.

    Wow, that came out really strong. Lot of pent up feelings there huh?! The next one that drives me mad is when people tell me that they are busy. I admit every one is so wrapped in what they do. But the truth is it all boils to priorities. We have a relative living around the area where we live. But we do not know their address, phone number or any contact details. We heard from common sources (this relative’s parents, grand parent, uncle with whom we are in touch) that this couple moved here. I was initially okay with the fact that the couple do not want to keep in touch with us. Just because we are related in some complicated way and we have met once, you don’t have to find space from me in your life. But what gets me is this, every time we talk to the couple’s parents or grandparent or uncle they all say the same thing, ‘Oh, they are soooo busy’. I loose it completely. One day I wish I can work up the guts to tell these people, ‘Stop making excuses. I am here juggling a family, two children, part time work, part time school, part time my own business. At this point of time, there is no way your son and daughter-in-law can be busier than me.’ Till then I keep fuming to hubby that if I happen to walk up on them in a restaurant or grocery shop, I would play it cool and walk away pretending that I do not know them. Hmmmmhp, can I be any more pathetic???! :)

    Okay, one down. Nick names tag, Chula’s quirks and my quirks coming up shortly.

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  • 1, 2, 3 Mike Testing…

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    This is Mieja speaking to you all for the first time. A special thanks to Kodi’s mom for tagging me. K’s mom, I must mail you a packet of sweets for pointing out that we second born children get sidelined. Truer words were never spoken. My amma, is so smitten with my older sister. Chula is all nice and interesting, I like her too. What I can’t understand is my amma’s obsession with her. May be its because amma thinks that Chula does lots more interesting things or may be Chula is in ‘that phase’, has a few meltdowns* under her belt that she needs a little bit more attention. But, to my defense, I do interesting things too! For instance last week, I ate a dead snail** (Tasted just like chicken – with a crunch of course. Not that I have ever eaten chicken, but that’s what they say in the movies when they eat weird meat). And an impartial jury can vouch that I throw my share of tantrums. Hope amma changes, mean while I am counting on all of you for support.

    I decided to copy Moppet and Ashu*** write the post by myself, because I don’t want amma to put her Zen in to my simple pleasures†. I had been trying so hard for the past one week to do this post. But amma, on the pretext of doing her homework, was hogging the laptop 24×7††.

    I love ‘I scream’ – No that is not ice cream. It is ‘I SCREAM’. I have been doing this for the past 10 days and I have to admit, I am very kicked about it. Amma and my day care provider(M) are quite confused where I picked it from. Amma secretly thinks that I picked it from day care and M thinks I picked it from home. But I am having a ball. I just let out a shrill, loud, ear piercing, glass shattering, operatic scream every now and then. Amma complains to every one that she is going deaf from round-the-clock-screaming. Well, that is not true. I don’t scream when I am sleeping. Only when I am angry, happy, frustrated, want to make a point, get attention, want something, sleepy, tired, bored, hurt, sad and hungry.

    Hair Affair – Everyone, who knows me, has been comparing me with Chula and say that my hair is sparse. Amma also makes fun, ‘Naathu natta madhiri yirukku’(Meaning: Farmers when transplanting the plants to the field, plant them far apart to increase their chances of survival. Amma says that my hair is planted really far apart, just like the plants! I get the hair gene from amma). So I have decided to take matters in to my own hands. Since I am not a big fan of eating food, I have decided to apply the nourishment my hair needs, directly to my hair. So what ever I see, be it fruits/veggies/porridge/vadai/yogurt/sand/diaper wipes/water/idli, I pick up with both my hands, squeeze, rub my hands together and then rub it on my head. I am quite pleased with the result.

    Although amma thinks that my hair is to short to embellish it with clips and hair bands, I honestly think I am ready for it. What does the woman know, she let me eat dead snails for the love of God! So I pick up clips, hair bands, headbands and books (at times), place them on my head and walk around the house. I still haven’t figured out if the accessories stick to the hair or it is just a matter of balancing them? I try my best to balance them, but no luck. I can’t seem to keep the stuff on my head for more than two feet.

    Reading and Writing: I generally prefer not to read. I strongly believe that by hearing you remember things for a few hours, by reading you remember for a few days, by seeing you remember for a few years, but by doing you remember for a lifetime. In our house I am the doer and Chula is the reader. Those rare moments I pick up a book, I always insist that I hold it upside down. Amma does not understand that I am trying to do ‘thalai keezh paadam’(meaning: reading it thoroughly from top to bottom and viz. ) and keeps turning the book right side up. I reprimand her with one of my screams and turn the book my way. Same way I am obsessed that pencil and paper are a pair, one cannot exist without the other, not that I write on the paper with a pencil. I simply like to wave the paper and hear it rustling when I am munching the pencil’s graphite tip or when I am scribbling on the wall.

    Laughing: I like to laugh my heart out. Amma thinks that I laugh like P.S.Veerappa. Never mind her, we have already established that she does not know much. The most hilarious moments are those when I pull some one’s hair. It is so funny, I cannot help it. In my day care, during nap time, after all the kids go to sleep, I get out of my crib and go around pulling all their hair and I do the laugh. All the other kids being older than I, I don’t dare to attempt it when they are awake, because they would chase me away or swat me like a fly.

    Folding my hands: When I am seriously observing someone doing something, I strike a humble pose by crossing my arms and observing them intently.

    Folding clothes:I know I am supposed to write only 5 quirks, but cosidering how difficult it is for me to get to the computer, I want to add one more. I love to see my amma folding clothes, one reason is that it is so rare. I am more used to seeing piles of laundered clothes lying around for eternity. So when she does fold the clothes, I don’t want the fun to end. She folds the clothes and puts them in different piles on the center table. When she is not looking I pick the folded cloth, shake it open and throw them back in to the laundry basket. The last time I did this, she wasn’t too happy and asked me crossly for how long I had been at it. “Lady, come on, don’t you know how many pairs of dark blue jeans you own? You must have realized what was happening when you folded the same pair twice.If it took you a while and folding the same jeans three times (or four, who is keeping count?) to figure it out what can I do?”

    *God, whats with all that tears??? Sheer waste of energy. I can get amma, appa and the rest of the world dance to my tune without out shedding a single drop of tear. Now that is an effective tantrum. Chula, you can learn a thing or two from me.

    ** Pun from my amma’s friend’s husband – “UTBT you told Mieja ‘naan vegetarian’ (meaning: I am vegetarian) and she must have heard it as non-vegetarian”

    ***Copying is the deepest form of flattery, my amma says.

    I was just playing peek-a-boo. What does it have to do with trees? Next she will be associating my bodily releases with global warming. The woman simply thinks too much.

    ††It was literally 24×7, I checked. Day before yesterday I woke up at 12 midnight, 1.30AM and 2.00AM and she was sitting in the couch with the laptop glued to her, no prices for guessing, lap.

    PS: I have learnt to say ‘oh-oh’. I realized that I have to say that when I drop something. Since people find it too cute I have decided to keep them happy by dropping things on purpose and say ‘oh-oh’.

    Signing off with my motto: “Who says terrible twos start only at two. Two, three and four are mere numbers……”

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  • I here by declare….

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    …that Chula is potty trained!!! 😀 😀 😀

    Well there are still some stray accidents (especially if she happens to be watching TV) and last friday, at her day care, she refused to get on the pot. But….I think she is ready.

    Yesterday we went to a park with three other friends. We were there for 5 hours. She surprised by coming to me to tell that she needed to pee, held it in till I ran with her in my arms to the rest room and did her business where it is supposed to be done. Not once, not twice, but thrice folks. I now know how Edmund Hillary must have felt when he reached the top of Everest!!!

    Proudest mom ever 😀 😀

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  • Summarize it for Aug2007

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    This is kind of a ‘?????????? ?????????’ (blogs I enjoyed reading) post. Not that I didn’t like the other blogs I read……

    Me thinks this rocks, so do others

    Absolutely incomparable. Thanks Poppin’s mom, we all had a great time.

    Blogs that got me thinking

    TheMadMomma’s point is {BEGIN QUOTE}”Funny how children can retain the weirdest and most distorted memories, despite the effort we make.”{END QUOTE} It got me thinking how we as parents do things in the best interest of our children. Sometimes the children openly express their discontent, like mine did when I changed her car seat. But what if they jut go along with the change, only to retain it in their subconscious and let it surface sometime later? I have heard from friends who were middle children or had siblings who were middle children, complain that they never got any attention from their parents. Is it really true or is that the idea they formulated in their heads? As parents we already have this huge sword of guilt hanging above our heads. Even if no one else cuts the chord to that sword, we do it ourselves time and again and suffer because of it. What if the person who cuts the chord is the child himself/herself? Ouch, that’s got to hurt!

    Hey I was thinking along the same lines!!
    …but couldn’t have put it own so nicely.

    Noon talks about gifts. After Mieja’s star birthday, calendar birthday, our trip to India, hubby’s visit to India for the his niece’s wedding, ‘just because’ gifts from close family friends, Mieja has about 38 new dresses between 18 months – 2 years of age. There is no way she is going to wear it. So after great deliberation, I decided to recycle some of those. The hesitation was because I knew that it is bound to snowball on me some time. Finally, decided to go for it because these were perfectly cute clothes and were definitely expensive than the dolalr value I had in my mind. Finally it so turned out that the people who had originally gifted it to me had written their name on the tag where they print the dress sizes. I found out through a friend that my stupidity had been exposed….arrrghhhh…one of those moments I will remember for eternity because it was thoroughly embarrassing.

    A friend was once telling me, {BEGIN QUOTE} how we always get expensive gifts, even if it is out of our price range, for people who have to all and end up giving mediocre gifts to the less affluent. Ain’t the less affluent be getting the good stuff because they are the ones who need it badly? Some how the desire to get in to the good books of the affluent and expecting a gratitude of anything we throw at the not so rich is sickening.{END QUOTE}

    I don’t know, the whole charade of gift giving is getting too loopy and meaningless now a days.

    Tharini’s post on the day to day challenges that parents face. To discipline or not, if yes, how to? It inspired me to write a post on my own enlightenment.

    Arty Crafty

    Professional looking bookmarks from Gauri and her super talented kids. I am so jealous of the incredibly talented trio.

    That’s soooo funny
    Read it and laugh, at Boo’s expense of course! Only Boo can write such a witty post on how difficult it is to parent under ‘watchful eyes’!

  • Filed under: Summarize It
  • Mieja’s menaces

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    This is pretty much a summary of what Mieja is doing at 15 months.

    Wants me to be exclusive – Mieja was always side lined because when there is an older child in the house that tends to happen. But this one is no shrinking violet. She knows her way around things. She knows how to get the things she wants and when to pick her battles. If she wants to be carried, she will first scan the room to see what I am doing. If it looks like it is hard to get my attention, she will look who else is around, then analyze who is more likely to lift her, will run to them, wrap her little arms around their knees, lift her heels from the ground and say “Ummm”. By no means it is a request, the “Ummm” is a command. If I am the only adult at home and I am doing something with Chula, she will wait till I am done with Chula and will come running to me and sit in my lap/ask to be carried. At that time if Chula comes back to sit next to me or even stand with in three feet of me, Mieja gets mad. She will point her chubby fingers at Chula and will complain. The next step will be pulling Chula’s hair or pushing her away. Finally if nothing works, if I try to convince her that both of them can sit in my lap, Mieja gets up and walks away. Sometimes she engages herself in something, but at times she is REALLY mad, she would plop down against a wall and give me a cold stare. *Shudder*.

    Action – She actions for a bunch of nursery rhymes. She can recognize Wheels on the bus tune anywhere. If she hears Barney tunes some where, she squeals with laughter. If she catches me picking up the remote, she drops whatever she is doing, runs to the TV and jumps up and down – of course with both feet planted firmly to the ground, because she thinks I ma going to switch on Barney. Chula has taught her to say ‘Barney’(Oh it was cute. I was sitting at a tire shop to replace the hopelessly damaged tire of my Honda Odessy. Mieja was on my lap and Chula was standing with ‘Family Fun’ magazine. She picked Mieja’s right pointer and placed it on Barney’s picture and said, “Mieja yidhu Barney. Sollu Barney.” And Mieja repeated “Baayee”. Aww I smacked myself for not carrying a camera 24X7. )

    Dance – The last CD I burnt at home was Ghajini. Usually it is some nursery rhymes or Hindi varnamala or Kadri’s sax that plays in my car and I am so lazy that I would rather listen to the same CD for months together than invest 30 seconds in to changing it. I tried catching up on Shivaji songs and it is a huge hit with Mieja. Especially ‘thee thee’. She stood by the laptop looking at it intently, shaking just her butt, till the song got over.

    The happy helper – If I open the dishwasher, she will come running to help me unload it. There must be no time lag between she handing over the dish and me picking it up. If she senses a millionth of second delay, then she licks the dish. Every time she hands me something or I give her something she says ‘Thenth thoo’. The dishwasher was a trip down nostalgia lane. Chula used to do the exact same.

    Words – Few other words she says, amma(ofcourse), appppaaa, thaaath(thatha for grandpa), thaapi(patti for grandmother) and aththa(akka for elder sister).

    Hi – If she is looking for me, after she find me, she smiles a wide smile waves her left hand and says a soft ‘hiiiii’.

    Misc – Last Tuesday the sisters had a huge falling out over a container of moisturizing cream. Mieja butted in and started snatching the cream and Chula started screaming. I got tired of explaining sharing and I bribed Chula with chapathi dough and roller. I was curious what Mieja wanted to do with the cream. She put it on the center table, pumped a small bit in to her left plam(!), rubbed both the hands together and massaged it in to her head. That she repeated for a zillion times. Then walked around with the nozzle in her mouth, holding both her hands behind her back. After 20 minutes of this she decided to come and snatch the chapathi dough from Chula. I separated the fighting siblings and gave Mieja another ball of dough and asked her to roll it and Mieja said “RRRrrrrr”, apparently she is a bit confused with hr Rs and Ls. She thought I asked her to roar. So she held the dough in her left hand and “RRRrrrrr”ed it every time I said roll.

    This one wants to eat by herself, sleep by herself, walk by herself. May be soon she would want to drive by herself!

    If she sees me with a diaper bag, she religiously drops whatever she is doing, opens the shoe closet, grabs her shoes and sit down on the entry way with her feet stretched and shoes to her chest. Once I put her shoes on and open the door, she is the first one to run out and on the way to the car she sabotages all our plants.

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    This is a very philosophical discussion. Some say that sound is defined as the vibration of air as picked up by a human ear. Since there is no one to receive the vibrations there is no noise. Some say that there is a noise irrespective of a person being present or not.

    My take on this is, is this even a discussion? Of course there is a noise. In tamil there is an adage, ‘Poonai kannai moodinal ulagam irundu poidadthu’. (Word for word translation: If a cat closes it eyes, the world does not go dark. What it means: Just because you block yourself out of something, it doesn’t mean that it does not exist).

    In case you are all wondering why all this sudden spark on philosophy, it was something Mieja did. She is totally in to playing peek-a-boo. I kind of started the peek-a-boo thing for her. She was about 6 or so months, was able to sit in her high chair. But she used to hate it if I left her in her high chair by herself. Even if I had to grab a paper towel from the kitchen, she used to scream her head off. So I would walk to the kitchen door and say peek-a-boo, then would hide behind the kitchen wall, do peek-a-boo a few times, then quickly grab my paper towel or whatever that I was looking for and come back to her. According to her I was just playing with her, I was never gone. It is now a favorite game of hers. She would look at me, give me her most enticing smile, walk to the nearest corner, every now and then checking if I am still looking at her, disappear around the corner, then pop her head out and say ‘Ummm’. Some times she would pitter patter to the kitchen, stand clutching the doorframe and would sway her whole body from one feet to another simultaneously nodding her head from side to side. It is her version of peek-a-boo.

    Three weeks back, I was washing my hands on the bathroom sink, she came running in to the bathroom, ran past me in to the standing shower stall, climbed in to it, clutched the corner and was playing peek-a-boo with me. Well the funny part was that, the shower stall was completely glass! So I laughed and said, “Mieja, I can still see you even if you think you are hiding.” She was just having a ball, she didn’t care.

    But I started thinking about what was going on in her mind, does she even realize that if she can see me through the glass, I can see her too. The thought process then leaped on to ‘how much children learn and how fast they learn’, then to ‘how exactly that connection takes place in their brain’, then to the trees falling in Godforsaken places and finally ended up constructing a post around the bits and pieces that sparked in my mind. Okay it was not exactly a spark, more like dim sputtering light bulb.



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