Friday, November 18, 2005

Mary had a little lamb

Whose fleece was white as snow
And everywhere that Mary went
The lamb was sure to go.

Me - Mary
Summy - Lamb

I used to try so hard to cajole and coax her upstairs for her bath before bedtime. Now I have it all figured out. All I have to do is go upstairs, log onto the computer, into my email, open a message, and read the first word. Ta da! Summy will peek around the door with a naughty grin and an "I see you!". This has worked for two weeks in a row.

This works anywhere, anytime. I walk away from any place, and she automatically follows. Hope that this continues for a little while!!!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Telling Left From Wrong

Our morning commute started off with mentally checking off the daily luggage list -
Handbag - check.
Lunchbag - check.
Black bag with six changes of clothes for Summy - check.
My coat and Summy's coat - check.
Gym bag (just in case I get time to work out) - check.
Cell phone - check.
Car keys - check.
Then we set off, and at the second corner we turned, I heard the little voice say "My shoes are at home, mama." Oh yes, her shoes. For a moment we thought we could get away with using the spare shoes in her cubby in school. But that didn't fly - we wanted the Dora shoes.

So we turned around and got them from home. Our conversation in the car as Summy put on her shoes:

(Puts left shoe on right foot)
"Mom, I put it on the wrong foot."

"Yes, put it on the right foot... I mean the left one."

(Puts right shoe on left foot)
"Mom, I put it on the left foot."

"That's the wrong foot, honeybunch."

(Pointing to right foot)
"No Mama, this is my wrong foot."

(Confusion all around)
"That's your right foot, Summy. But it's the wrong foot for your left shoe..."

(Finally puts her left shoe on her left foot)
"I put it on my right foot."

"Good job! You put it on the right, er, left.... Good job, Summy!"

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


For the first time, I caught Summy showing a preference for some of her class mates. And not too subtly either! She walked into the classroom to find all the tots seated for circle time. Several called out her name. She walked over to "S", put her face close to the other's, and said "Hi". Then she walked over to "G", and repeated this. Then she knelt down before "A", and those two had a regular lovefest. They looked into each others faces with their noses touching, getting a good close look. Then they kissed each other on the cheek, and then there was some patting of cheeks and hair. Only after concluding this ritual, Summy got up and sat in an empty spot. How cute!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Tomboy - Princess

For Halloween last week, Summy was a Tigger. I think she was a good Tigger - she bounced and went "hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo" just like the real one. She had a lot of fun "Trick-or-Treat"ing, visiting everybody's house and collecting candy. Once done, she's left the candy alone, and it's all sitting out there for a certain someone who loves chocolate :) In other words, me.

The surprising thing is that she says she wants to be a "Snow White" next time, just like Sienna (her friend). She was never that interested in princesses before, and I've never read her fairy tales either, yet. I am not even fond of Disney's drippy versions of the princesses, but if she still wants to be "Snow White" next year, then the little brownie's going to be one.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Summy is an Aries child. I couldn't help but read about Aries children on the internet recently. Now, I would like to strike off this theory that people born on a certain day in a certain month tend to have the same general characteristics. Not that I reject astrology, but this sunsigns science just seems over-simplified. But I still have to wonder at how accurately the characteristics of an Aries child describe her.

"Confidence, Pioneering Spirit, and Assertiveness". That's Summy all over. Not a bit hesitant to speak up, or do something different from what everyone else is doing.

"Though they do care about others and what others think about them, they need to be taught to be patient, and considerate." Patience is not her virtue, and she needs to be prodded a little to share her toys - but then, that might just be a general characteristic of toddlerhood too.

"They are extremely independent and one word of discouragement will put them off their task. They thrive on praise, a sense of accomplishment is very important to them." She has to do things her own way. Sometimes when I interrupted and said she was doing it wrong - "You're putting your shirt on backwards, Summy", she handed it over to me and said "You do it, mama." And then she wouldn't attempt it again for a long time. If I left her alone instead, she would figure it out all by herself, and then, when I said "Such a good job!" her face would light up.

She figures out everything by herself. "Aaawwwwll by mySELF!" is a favorite phrase with her. "Impossible" truly isn't a word in her dictionary. "Try, try, try again until you get it right" is her motto. Failure just doesn't discourage her, but negative words do. So I have to be really really careful with what I say.

I think there is some truth in what her zodiac sign predicts about her. But still, it's important not to generalize, and to remember she's a special little individual with her unique traits.

Some more about her:
Bribery seldom works. "I'll get your Dora book if you'll put your shoes on and climb in the car" will get a mischievous look and a patter of little feet running away. But good will works where bribery fails. If I get her Dora book for her first, and then ask her to put her shoes on, she'll almost always do it.

Scolding seldom works. "You're making me late for work!!!" said in a loud voice will guarantee that I'll be atleast another half an hour late. But again, good will does the job. If I sit down for a minute to see things from her point of view, and then explain that we have to get going, it usually works.

Threats work sometimes - but never in the way we'd like. "I'll turn off the light ( no stories) if you don't stop jumping around" does work, but usually gets her so upset and cranky that she takes a longer time to get to sleep.

She is only a little person, but she is a person all the same. She does not like being bossed around - who does? And as we treat her, so she responds.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Little Miss. Independent

I have given up mostly and let Summy do everything"all by herself" even if it takes forever. Because if I interfere the littlest bit, it takes even longer! My hair is turning gray, but atleast I'm not pulling it out. Just this morning she brushed her teeth, put her toast in the toaster (under supervision), buttered it, dressed herself from head to toes, went potty and washed hands (twice), opened the car door, shut it after her, climbed into her seat, buckled herself in, and pressed part of the door code at the daycare center to let us in. I do have regrets that she's not a baby anymore. I am not yet obsolete though, I play the important role of the nagger :).

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Daddy, Mommy, and Baby

I have realized these words mean more to Summy than just parents and child. She uses them like "Regular", "Large" and "Supersized" are used at a Burger King. For example, the gigantic balloon floating over a car lot is a "daddy balloon". The small buttons on her dress are "baby buttons". If we go to Burger King, she might ask for "Mommy fries". :)

Friday, September 02, 2005


I have been tagged by Darshani to do this: Darshani, yours is the only blog I read faithfully, so I'm afraid I can't tag anybody else :(

10 years ago I was: Living with my parents, in the last year of college in India, and writing tons of letters to my would-be husband studying in the USA.
5 years ago I was: Enjoying our newly bought house, enjoying lots of free time and independence, and thinking about a baby.
1 year ago I was: Trying to teach my 1.5 year old daughter to say "Yes" more often than "No".
Yesterday: Enjoyed the last day of the long weekend by relaxing, and going to the park with Summy in the evening.
5 snacks I enjoy: Samosas, chocolate, trail mix, animal crackers, and bhel puri.
5 songs I know all the words to: (Blush) Only nursery rhymes, and my daughter taught me even those. I still do know the words to some Hindi and Telugu songs though.
5 things I would do with 100 million dollars: Save a little for us, and spend the rest helping people adopt children. I wish every child had a family. I can't think of anything that I want for myself that I can't already have, that money can buy.
5 places I would run away to: The bookstore if I'm bored, the lake-side park if I want space, Pondicheri in India (where everybody rides a bicycle) if I'm tired of the rut, my parents' house if I need my mommy, and the bathroom if nothing else is possible. (But see my post below. I can run, I can't hide).
5 things I would never wear: A fur or leather coat, high-heeled shoes, a tongue ring (or any other piercing anywhere except on the ears - ouch!), long nails, and makeup.
5 favorite tv shows: None. Haven't watched a complete show in a long time unless I count Sesame Street (of which I did see a complete episode this morning).
5 bad habits: Sleeping late, waking up late, being messy, being unable to say "No".
5 biggest joys: Family, friends, freedom, books, yoga.
5 favorite toys: Summy, crossword books, camera, computer, and Play doh!
5 fictional characters I would date: None!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

You can run, but you can't hide

When you're a mom, you cannot even go to the bathroom without your kids knowing where you are. Yesterday I sneaked off to the bathroom while she was in the basement with her daddy. While I was in there I heard doors opening and slamming and little feet going pit-pat as she tracked me down. Then I saw the bathroom door knob turning. When the door didn't open, she yelled "Mom! Mom! Mom!".

"Yes, Summy?"

"Mom! Are you in there?"


"Hee hee hee hee. Tickle tickle tickle."

"Tickle, tickle, Summy".

Then the little feet pit-patted away again.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Life is but a dream

You've heard this song ofcourse?

Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream.

But if you're Summy, you sing it like this:

Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
If you see a crocodile
Don't forget to scream - Aaaaaaaa.

The "Aaaaaaa" is very important - you have to scream it in a squeaky little voice.

It really is the cutest thing to hear her sing this version she learnt from school.

Monday, August 08, 2005

All By Herself

Today as we were lying down to sleep as usual, Summy started to climb all over me. She would climb onto my stomach and lie down awkwardly, with her cheek against my eye, or worse, with her chin poking into my face. She would squirm and fiddle around till I could not lie still anymore. After being kneaded like chapathi dough, I finally said, "Summy, do you want to sleep all by yourself?" (Note the phrasing: Had I said "Do you want to sleep alone?" I knew the answer would have been a whiny "NO!". The magic words here are "all by yourself") She thoughtfully said "yeah." So I got up, tucked her in, gave her a baby doll to hug, kissed her, said "Good Night" and walked out of the room. I turned on her baby monitor as usual and started loading the dishwasher. I nearly forgot that I had left her alone, awake. A few times before I'd left her like that, and after about five minutes of silence I would hear a little voice say "Mommy", then I'd return to her room. This time there was no little voice. Kiran could finally stand the suspense no more and was worried at the silence, so he went and checked on her. He found her fast asleep. So there's another first - sleeping all by herself!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Gender confusion

We were lying in the dark on the bed last night, trying to go to sleep. Summy suddenly sat up, leaned over me (I was pretending to be asleep), stroked my hair gently, kissed my cheek, and whispered "Are you a little boy, mama? Are you a little boy?" I have no idea where that came from and what she meant, but it was pretty hard to keep a straight face and continue to feign sleep.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Car Talk

No, not the NPR kind, though that's entertaining too.

This is about Summy (what isn't?). On the way back home from school in the car yesterday, her rambling went like this. My translations in parentheses.

"I want go home, mom. Go home!"

Me: "Okay, Honey."

"I eat cookie, mom. Delicious. Yum yum. I like waisins. uh oh! My waisin go?"
(Drops her raisin and asks "where did my raisin go?" Then silence for a minute as she chomps on the cookie).

"All done, mom. Here you go." (Thrusts the half-eaten cookie, with the raisins all picked out, at me. I'm driving, so she just drops it on the floor).

"I throwed it, mom."

(Starts looking out of the window)

"Sienna's car! Sienna going home!"
(While pointing to a minivan on the road. I tell her that's not her friend Sienna's car, though it's the same color)

"No. That's Sienna's car, mama. Are you being silly, mama?"
(I just smile)

"Mom, look at the fountain! I found it!"
(It's a fountain all right, in an apartment complex. We're stopped at a red light right beside it).

"Wobins, mama. Eating num num."
(Sure enough, there are robins on the lawns of the apt complex)

"Eating lunch. Help me count - one, two, three wobins. Fly away, wobins. Go home."
(Light turns green and we move along)

"NO! I need see fountain! I need turned the car around!"
(Wants me to turn the car around and go back to the fountain. I tell her we'll see the fountain again tomorrow)

"Bye bye fountain. See you tomoddow."
(Starts to sing here. Goes through ABC, Twinkle Twinkle, I Love You, and a few others. Some I've never heard before).

"Careful, mama. Slow down."
(My back seat driver.)

Me: "Okay, Summy. What did you have for lunch?"

"Noodles, mom."

Me: "What would you like to eat for dinner?"


Me: "No silly, you don't want to eat a basketball."

"No mom, I want eat basketball."

(I give up and drive. We're almost home.)

"I want go to school, mom."

Me: "School is all done, Summy."

"No! Turned the car around! I want school!"


Tuesday, August 02, 2005

What do you take on a picnic?

Yesterday they posted a sheet on Summy's classroom door. It said "We asked the toddlers what they would like to take along if they were going on a picnic and here are their responses:" One said they'd like oranges, another said cookies, and so on. Here's Summy's response: "Mommy".

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


The little one is off breastfeeding, after two years and two months of it. We knew we were going to wean any day now, but the crux came when I was diagnosed with a mild case of bronchitis and prescribed antibiotics. Then I came home and found that the medicine bottle said in big letters: "Do not use while breastfeeding. " I made the choice to wean since it was so close anyway. It went off without a hitch, and she almost forgot about it. I haven't nursed her in more than three days. So, just like that, it's over. I didn't feel much regret, especially seeing that the little one doesn't seem to regret it either.

My previous post was almost prophetic :) I talked about being patient and letting nature take its course. Inspite of all that talk, I had nagging doubts about how she would fall asleep without num-nums. A week later, my trust in nature is stronger. When the right time comes, everything falls into place.

Her official last nursing date is June 4th, 2005.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

To each his own

Especially when it comes to being a parent. Since it's all about me today, let me say what I believe. Two important things:

1) Do what comes naturally.
2) Treat kids with the same respect you'd show for anyone else.

1) Do what comes naturally: It happens to every new parent - allow me to make broad sweeping generalizations - it happens to every new parent. They're at the hospital admiring their one day old little bundle of joy, and recoil when the bundle's little thumb finds its way to the bundle's little mouth. Oh horrors! the baby is going to be a thumbsucker for the rest of his life. They start to swat his thumb away whenever it comes anywhere near his mouth. And then this repeats - over and over a thousand times. He has a pacifier - will he ever let go of it? She likes to be carried around - what if she never learns to walk? And my favorite - she's six months old and still not sleeping through the night - that means her sleeping habits are awful, she is going to be miserable for the rest of her life for not having learned to soothe herself and "learned" to sleep.

What a lot of claptrap! If I'd only known that my little chameleon would be incapable of holding the same routine for more than a month, I would have been a lot less concerned about this habit forming myth. She started sleeping through the night at two - yes, two years old. Until then, she woke up once or twice during the night, and I believe she needed that. Now she doesn't need it anymore, and sleeps through. No sleep training necessary, thank you!

So take things as they come - if your baby is sucking his thumb, let him. The poor guy could use some comfort. If she's breastfeeding, enjoy it as long as you can. If he wants you to rock him, or wants to fall asleep while cuddled up close, count yourself lucky. It'll all come to an end one day, naturally and painlessly.

Sometimes (1) and (2) conflict, and you have to let the two fight it out. You are getting late for work, and still trying to feed your child a complete breakfast. Meanwhile, the little one takes the bowl of blueberries, turns it upside down on the floor, and looks up at you with a half smile and defiance, while crushing one or two berries with her toes and rubbing the color into the floor. This is her revenge for you not letting her have the whole box of blueberries to herself like she wanted. I will leave it to your imagination what your natural instinct would be in such a situation. If (1) and (2) happen to be the same for you, and your first reaction is to treat her with respect, then I congratulate you because you are an angel. If like most of us, you find your reaction less than kind, that's when (1) and (2) need to have a little punch out. Ofcourse the ideal thing to do would be to remember that everybody has bad days, even toddlers, and seeing their side, thus being firm but not unkind. Sometimes you are having a little bad day yourself, and then it's not so bad to give in to your instincts, I think, as long as you don't traumatize your unruly but well meaning pumpkin. We are all human.

Me, me, me.

Usually when I'm posting to message boards on the internet, I watch out for the 'I's, 'me's, and 'I think's and try to cut back on those, because I do tend to talk a lot about myself (Just count the I's in this sentence). But dammit, this is my blog, and as far as I know, nobody's reading it, even though it's right there under everybody's nose. So I'll talk all about myself, and what I, the supreme queen of this little blog world, think about everything under the sun. So there! :)

Sumsum is now a little girl. Can you believe it? Today I saw some toddlers toddling in from the playground, and they are so little, and were obviously crawling babies just a few days ago! Sumsum has graduated to the next level of toddlerhood. She is tall and slim, talks, and just isn't so baby faced anymore. She looks at babies (human, animal, or bird) and goes in a coochie coo little voice "oooh! baby! small!" Her favorite song for a few days was "Truly Scrumptious" from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. And now she's not interested in TV anymore. New phase.

Aaaah! How fast they grow.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The Little Parrot

Repeats everything we say. Sometimes with embarrassing results ofcourse. More important than ever to watch every word. Some recent new phrases:

"Oh My Gosh!" said with her hand over her mouth

"You did it!" (about herself)

"Tooooooooweeeeeeeeenkal Twinkle Little Star" She sings the whole song, about two hundred times a day, and always starts with that long word at the beginning. Often I'm driving and hear a "Tooooooweeeeeee" from the backseat that goes on for several seconds before the actual recital starts. She starts the ABC song the same way - "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaye Beee Sheeee Dee"

"Aaaye Laaaav yooo" Same as above, for Barney's I Love You song. Then "Yoooo love me, We a hyappy fyamily, wiva gay be hug and kiss, wodiwodiadmf (insert gibberish here)"

"You okay?" said with genuine concern when somebody has a little accident. Frequently followed by "Oh, soddy" and a kiss when the little accident was caused by her flinging a toy at you.

Gramma and Grampa

She still does not get it that "Ammamma" is Amma's Amma. Whenever I hug my mom and tell her "This is my amma", she stares blankly. But, she has taken to Ammamma and Thatha very well and I see her face light up when she sees her grandparents, just like it does when she sees us or her uncle. In the beginning, she preferred to go to daycare with me than to stay at home with ammamma. But now, when given a choice between home and daycare, she yells "Stay Home Ammamma!"

I was flattered when my mother said to me early on that she would have to learn from me how to act with Summy. What greater compliment? That's because Summy would not listen to her gramma, but she listened when I spoke and usually cooperated. Ofcourse now amma knows to explain things to Summy before getting her to do something, thus preventing a major meltdown. I thought I was patient with Summy, but my mother is a hundred times more so. I should have expected it, after all, she is the mother of me!

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Two years old!

Our little peanut is now a little girl. We celebrated her birthday by doing the things she loves to do (eating pizza, playing in the park, and so on).

Her sunsign is Aries. I don't like to believe in sun signs, and I especially didn't like it when I thought of my daughter being born in March. I knew ONE very obnoxious person who was an Aries. So when I found my due date, I was resolved that I would stop believing in zodiac signs and being afraid that my child would have the same characteristics of this other person. Would I identify with my baby? How could I, if she was so different from me? Turns out she is indeed different from me. She is independent, outgoing, and a leader rather than a follower. She does her own thing, which while difficult in a toddler, is probably a good thing when she is a grown up. But ofcourse, as all you parents reading this know, I identify with her because she's my daughter :) I wouldn't do the same things she does, but I do admire her own strong personality. How silly of me to have worried about my daughter being born in a sun sign I was afraid of.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Happiness is...

Have you ever cuddled beside a toddler, warm and sweet smelling out of her bath, peacefully sleeping? I can lie down beside this little bundle of comfort forever. It's hard to think about when she'll have her own bed (and room!) - not just the thought of weaning her off our bed, but weaning ourselves to sleep without her too. It doesn't help that she will put an arm around your neck and pull you close, and sleep cheek-to-soft-cheek with you. It's addictive, this creature!

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


Zero is the first number Summy had learned to recognize, from Chicka Chicka 123. "Chicka chicka boom boom" she goes whenever she sees that book, and is crazy about drawing apples and apple trees on her little magnadoodle. Yesterday, we saw a stop sign and she pointed to it, all excited, and said "Zero!" She was pointing at the "O" in "STOP" :) Now how on earth do I teach her that's different? I'm proud of her, though.

She had her first Valentine's Day party at the daycare, and got Valentines from Joshie and Collette. When I went to pick her up after the party, she was still in party mode, and refused to go home. "No! No jacket! No home! No illu!" I think she had been eating frosted cookies and cupcakes and was literally bouncing around. I tried to remember the last time she wasn't eager to go home, and realized it was after the Christmas party. What can I say? Girls just want to have fun :)

Monday, February 14, 2005

Broken Drawer

Today my sweet potato got the shock of her life when she realized the drawer to the side table had gone - disappeared - just like that! Ofcourse, the drawer had just gone to the other side against the wall - I had just turned the table around so that she'd stop getting into the drawer and eating the small screws and rubber bands and other miscellaneous hardware she finds in it.

Her little jaw dropped, her eyes were round as saucers (I've never seen that expression of hers before) as she exclaimed "Drawer gone! Broken? Uh oh! Broken!". I felt a little guilty for lying as I said "Uh Oh" with her, but still had a hard time keeping a straight face :)

She is getting to be very polite - yesterday she handed me back her snack saying "No banana, amma. Thank you." Having a two year old is turning out to be most entertaining.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Trying it out

Let's see how it works!