Friday, December 29, 2006

She has her cake, I eat it too

The other day as Summy and I were picking out jammies for her, I saw the cutest blue pair with duckies on it. But when I showed it to Summy, she said, "Mommy, those are baby jammies."

I see.

And then she showed me her pick - Disney princess nightgown. I said, "But Summy, that looks too grown-up."

And this is where we are now. I'm trying to hang on to her babyhood, and she's ready to drive a car ("Mommy, next year can I drive the car?").

So who won?

She got the princess nightie, and twirled and danced in it for a long time before she slept. She got her wish.

When she fell asleep, she snuggled up to me just like when she was a baby. I got my wish too.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Love at first sight

With a doll! And I'm not talking about Summy.

It was more than twenty years ago (Groan! An oldie's story!). I saw this doll in a store that I wanted for my eighth birthday. The night before my birthday, I was running a fever and it was raining, but my father took me to the store in a rickshaw and bought it for me. The condition: I wasn't to open it till my actual birthday.

That night I slept with the doll box next to me. I even remember staring at the ties around its legs and wanting so much to open up the box. When I opened it, it was named Neelima/Jane and turned into a "she" instead of "it". She was a chubby little girl with a gentle smily face.

Years later, when I was in college, my mother quietly discarded her from storage (I think rats had gotten to Neelima/Jane, and even before that, her hair and face were in a pretty bad state with all the love and baths and makeup I'd given her), I found I was still attached to her. I couldn't sleep for a week, with the image of the doll in the trash.

I never saw a doll like that again. The dolls in the stores these days (groan! "these days"? Another sign of an oldie) are so out of proportion and ghastly. The few toddler dolls that really look like little girls are a little pouty.

Yesterday I found the doll that was just right - with a happy face, the right proportions, and wearing shoes and socks that can be taken off (yes, that's a bombshell feature). Moreover, it has a couple of changes of dresses and shoes and little clippies for her hair. I just know Summy is going to love the doll when she sees it (on Christmas day, since it's so close).

I can't wait to play with her doll.

Er, I mean I can't wait for Summy to play with her doll.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A compliment (?)

One day Summy was watching me going about doing things, and said (very appreciatively) - "Mama, you are getting really big and heavy." What I say to her when I carry her came right back at me!

Then, that night, she cuddled up to us and said, "My, what a big nose you have!" (Her daddy also received the same praise).

Why, thank you, Summy!

Tropical Girl

On the class survey report of each child's "Favorite Taste" posted on Summy's classroom door today, among the "popsicle"s, "lollipop"s, "chocolate chip cookie"s and other stuff, "mango" stood out prominently. Guess who liked mango best? But that was one of Summy's more mainstream favorites.

Her strangest favorite is (gag) - tofu served in an icecream cone.

Live Green

For the sake of my child, and your child.

"Future generations may well have occasion to ask themselves, 'What were our parents thinking? Why didn't they wake up when they had the chance?' We have to hear that question from them now."

- From the documentary film "The Inconvenient Truth"


For three months, Summy had a wonderful time getting pampered by her Ammamma and Thatha. I was also busy those three months, so I missed a lot of things that I should have put down.

She stayed at home whenever she got a chance, and played many games with them. They patiently played little people with her, and played patients when she was a doctor.

She learned to draw, color within lines, and write letters while they were here.

She made both of them crawl into her tiny playtent (her house) and take "naps", climbed all over them, and they were as patient as only grandparents can be.

Dear Grandma and Grandpa, now that you are in India, she can't wait to see you and play with you again!

Drama Queen

Last year she was voted the one with the "Best Imagination" by her teachers, and now we're seeing why.

Her favorite toy is her little dollhouse people (and there are many). She makes them talk to each other, play, fight over taking turns (and then the mother or the teacher comes in to restore peace), and sometimes even fly to California (why California?) in a magic car. She keeps this up for hours, but that's not what makes her a dramatic expert.

She makes characters out of everything - spoons and forks, markers, socks. She has a toolset and she even makes the screwdrivers and wrenches talk to each other. I once heard a screw comment to another one "What a pretty skirt!" (the other screw was "wearing" a washer).

Goodbye, Old Mother

I was ready to become "Mom" or "Amma" from "Mommy", but this is what I heard recently when I waved bye to her.

"Goodbye, old mother."

I laughed a lot, so now she says this all the time. Where could she have heard that?

Thursday, November 09, 2006


This morning she said, "I snored about you yesterday, Mama."

"You mean you dreamed about me?"

"Yes, I dreamed about you"

Hee hee hee. Good night, Sweet snores.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A Link to Bliss

I was so impressed I'm putting this link on both my blogs. Be sure to look at the pictures she points to.

Happiness is a small home.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


I just visited noon's blog for the first time (and enjoyed it). I came across this entry about co-sleeping, which immediately made me want to write this before I forget.

Summy had always slept in our bed as a baby. Then this year, she started to go to sleep in her crib. Sometimes she joined us when she woke at night, sometimes she didn't. Now, she insists on going to sleep on her sleeping bag on the floor of our bedroom, but almost always wakes up in the middle of the night to join us.

I love to sleep next to her, but sometimes I think about Summy sleeping in her own room. The first step, ofcourse, would be to have her sleep the night in her own bed.

So I told her about her friends who (presumably) sleep in their own beds. Then I told her about how she too could sleep on her own all night, because she was all grown up now.

She said, "But I'm not grown up - I'm just a little kid! I want to sleep in Mommy Daddy's bed. When I'm bigger, then I can sleep in my own bed."

Old enough to present her argument persuasively, but young enough to be Mommy and Daddy's baby.

Monday, October 09, 2006

You think you know somebody....

One evening recently, I was exhausted and I told her, "I'm tired today, Summy. I'm sorry I can't give you a bath. We can take one tomorrow."

Her expressions changed. First she looked puzzled. Then incredulous. Then a huge smile came onto her face and she said, "Oh Mommy, that's okay."

Then she explained, "I don't like baths."

Oh, so she doesn't like baths :) That explains a lot.

To be honest, she's been trouble at bathtime lately, but I still thought she loved baths. Sometimes you don't realize things about somebody until they come right out and tell you. Even things about your child.

So what now? You still have to take baths everyday, Summy, but we'll try to make it a little more fun.

Car Talk: The A-List

We were discussing her fourth birthday party (after all, it's only six months away).

I asked who was going to be at the party.

Counting them off on her fingers, one by one, Summy says
"Alicia, and Brad, and Cathy, and Dylan (names changed to protect identity :))..."

Me: And who else?

Summy: And Elizabeth, and Freddie, and Gena, and Harini, and...

Me: Who else?

Summy: And Ian, and Julie.

Me: (waiting for her to list all her classmates' names) And?


Me: And Kristin?

Summy: No, not Kristin.

I was shocked at the exclusion.
"But Kristin was at your last birthday party, and you had so much fun."

Summy: Not Kristin.

Me: But Summy, that will make Kristin sad!

Summy: But Mommy, I have no more fingers!

So that's why :) She had already counted off her ten fingers.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

9 Weird Things about me

Tagged by mommyof2.

1) I can turn off the alarm only in my sleep (can't figure which button's the right one after I'm awake). Apparently, I'm not the only one who does this, as I have weird friends.

2) If I step on a line between tiles on the floor with my left foot while walking, then I step on another line with my right foot, and vice versa. If I accidentally knock my right fist against the treadmill while running, then I knock my left fist against the treadmill on purpose. Have to have symmetry. If I goodnight kiss Summy's left cheek, I have to kiss her right one too, or I can't sleep.

3) I don't wear my running shoes anywhere, not even to the gym. I go to the gym in running pants, workout shirt, and dress shoes. Only just before I get on the treadmill do I put on my running shoes.

4) I like to crumple the edges of bedsheets. It needs to be a very specific kind of edge, unhemmed and of a certain thickness, but once I find it, I can spend hours just crumpling it between my fingers. Even Summy sometimes tells me - Mommy, stop playing with that sheet! Sometimes when I get bored in meetings, I get a high just by imagining that I'm crumpling a sheet edge, and my fingers twitch.

5) I can't enjoy a meal if I don't have material to read. I have to read while I eat, even if it's just a little snack, even if it's just the grocery store flyer. (Most of the time I eat the snack and read the flyer, not vice versa).

That's all that I can think of. I suppose I'm not as weird as I thought I was. I tag Tara and Gauri.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Doctor DoMuch

Summy's pediatrician been her doctor since her birth. He has always been very gentle. He has always listened and paid attention to her, even before she started to talk. He has always talked directly to her instead of through us. It is sad (for us), but he is retiring. He told us so a few months ago, and now we got the final goodbye letter from him, prompting us to look for a new doctor.

The good news is that we already have one. The one whose four year old daughter is getting nominated for the Academy Awards (Summy is the other finalist). How could I do better than the doctor whose kid is going through the same things that Summy is? As soon as Summy asked for a sticker, she went straight for a couple of huge Dora stickers - because she had noticed the Dora sandals that Summy was wearing. Her old doctor, the best in all other ways, would pick out something like Snoopy or Spongebob.

Hope doctor visits continue to be pleasant outings for Summy.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


by Boo.

I am thirty one today.
I said nothing much - I usually don't, I'm shy.
I want to not seem shallow, but can't help it - what I really really really want is samosa chat for dinner.
I wish that today were Friday.
I miss being in India.
I hear Summy's chatter as long as she's awake.
I wonder where I would've been today if I'd got that coveted seat in my dream college.
I regret having yelled at Summy yesterday.
I am glad I'm sneaking my way out of the second "I am". I waited until it was my birthday so that I could do the first "I am".
I dance clumsily, but happily.
I sing the teletubbies title song at work.
I am not going to let myself walk into a modified "I am" trap.
I cry at the drop of a hat.
I'm not always straightforward.
I make with my hands shadow animals by the light of Summy's flashlight.
I write a lot of non-technical stuff and I enjoy it.
I confuse everybody at work when I try to write a technical document.
I need nothing more than what I have.
I should be a better role model for Summy.
I tag mommyof2.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

From the Mouths of Babes

This morning, Summy looked at the wedding picture on the mantel. It's been sitting there ever since we lived here. And she said, "Mommy and Daddy were married yesterday."

It seems like only yesterday, but next week is our tenth anniversary!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Doctor or Miracle Worker?

This was a few months ago, Summy had a cough and I took her to the doctor. I explained that the doctor will help make her feel better.

She was as good as can be throughout the checkup, the weighing, the temperature-taking, the ear-probing, the poking, the prodding, and the awarding-of-the-stickers.

After he left, she coughed a small cough. Then she complained "Mom, I'm still coughing!" She expects fast results!

I didn't necessarily want to tell her that the medicine was would make her better, because I don't want her to associate doctor visits with medicine. She loves doctor visits, and she doesn't love medicine, so why make the visits harder in anticipation of medicine?

Yesterday, I took her to the doctor again to get a cough checked out. She had also complained of her ear hurting on Sunday, and yesterday she added a stomach ache to her list of ailments (she really really wanted to go see the doctor).

Her regular doctor was out, so we saw another doctor. "So she has a stomach ache?" the doctor asked. I waved my hand and said "I don't know ..." thinking about how to put it without hurting Summy's feelings.

"You mean to say that she would be good in Hollywood?" the doctor said diplomatically.


"Got it. We have a four year old daughter we're thinking of sending to Hollywood", she said.

She understood, no explanations needed. It is so nice to see a doctor who knows exactly what's going on.

The good news was that there was nothing the matter with Summy. She was fit as a fiddle, just wanted an outing to the doctor.

All's well that ends well.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Forgetful Mom

Twice or thrice a day, Summy does something which makes me think "There's some new material for her journal." But once I find the time to log onto this blog to write about it, I forget what it is.

Today it's the same as usual. I forgot what it was.

Good thing I'm writing down atleast what I'm writing down, or with my memory, there would be no stories that I could tell Summy about "When you were little..."

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A New Friend

We have been visiting the swimming pool for the last two weeks.

She enjoys splashing around, ofcourse (need to put her in classes), but the best part of swimming (or going to the park, or out for a walk, or anything else) is the socializing.

Usually the pool crowd consists of five or six year olds who consider it beneath them to get familiar with a three year old "baby". :) There are some very friendly older kids too - there are all kinds. But usually nobody pays much attention to Summy.

On Sunday, she found a baby who was hugging his Daddy's neck and crying in the pool. He wanted no part of all that rowdy splashing around (every two seconds one kid or the other would do a cannonball). She swum around close, watching the baby with delight. When the baby stopped crying to smile at her, she was overjoyed - then the baby bent down to touch Summy's hand, then she held his hand and put it in the water. Then the baby's Dad said "Look how well she swims - isn't she good?". He didn't know it, but he and his son now became friends for life :) The rest of her time in the pool, she hung around with that baby.

When she came home, she told Kiran very proudly that she had made a friend and his name was Alex.

Good to meet you, Alex!

Rubberback and More

The other day, Summy pretended to be the mommy while I was forced to be the baby being put to sleep. When she was tired of the game, she said "Now I'll be the baby and you be the rubberback."

Rubberback (noun): one who rubs somebody's back or tummy, in order to put them to sleep.

I do add those "ie"s to the end of words to make them sound cute - doggie, fishie, froggie, etc. When a car next to us honked last week, Summy said "Did you see that car-rie?" When I said yes, she said "Did you hear that car-rie make the sound-ie?"


This happened a few months ago - how did I forget to put it in Summy's journal?

We were reading a small board book about fruit at bedtime, when we first saw the now legendary Jujube.

She found the name "Jujube" very funny, and it started to seem funny to me too.

After the lights were out, we were singing the alphabet song, and when we came to J, she said "J for Jujube" and started to laugh again. I laughed too. It was one of those things, hard to explain why it was that funny.

We laughed helplessly with tears down our faces, and until our jaws hurt. Then we looked away from each other because even looking at each other would have triggered another bout of laughter. We slept with an occasional suppressed rumble from one of us, setting off the other one to rumble too.

Now we try not to talk about explosive topics like Jujubes at bedtime.

Monday, July 24, 2006


Summy's vocabulary has grown with her, though it's muddled sometimes.

"Washclotheser" is the washing machine.

"Hopgrasser" is grasshopper.

"My hair is all sparkled." (when the wind blew her hair about)

"It's all nooshed." (again about her wind-tousled hair) I don't think nooshed is in the dictionary, but you know what she meant :)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Zoo

The day after the aquarium experience, Summy and I went to the zoo with my cousins and her cousins. Getting there was easy, because I didn't drive. Summy enjoyed being in their car.

On a side note, again I had mixed feelings about this trip. I don't like zoos very much, and in our last zoo visit the animals didn't look happy at all. But we went anyway because I knew Summy would enjoy an outing with her cousins.

It was noon when we got there, so the kids had a bite to eat. Then there were carousel rides, pony rides, a playground, and so on right outside the zoo entrance, to be covered before we got into the zoo. We made fast time, and entered the zoo at around 2:30. (two and a half hours not bad, eh?)

We went to the dinosaur exhibit first. This consisted of a narrow trail through the woods with robotic dinosaurs placed at intervals. The first one was about waist high, and Summy insisted on staying far away, but looked with interest. The second one was roaring a little, so she clung to me. The third one was large - large. Summy hid her face in my legs and started to whimper. The next one was around a bend and again - big. And close. Summy started to cry. I knew she had all she could take. I didn't want to turn around and risk missing the others in the group. So I carried her and walked fast to get through the trail.

Bad idea! As we walked further, the dinosaurs by the trail started to get larger and more ferocious looking. Poor Summy was screaming when we finally walked past T-Rex and out of the exhibit. Then she instantly calmed down and was herself again.

It was puzzling how scared she was of these dummy dinos until I remembered a previous conversation with her.

"Mommy, Are we going to the zoo?"

"Yes, the zoo has animals in it."

"Just pretend ones."

"No, Summy, the animals in the zoo are real. Not pretend ones."

Doh! How was I to know there was going to be a dinosaur exhibit? That must have been pretty scary to Summy if she thought those huge, roaring dinosaurs so close to us were real. I explained to her too late that they were just robots.

The rest of the visit went smoothly - the animals did not look too unhappy, and there were no lions or tigers in cages. I think she liked the gibbons best. A baby one was clinging on to its mother while the mother was swinging on the trees. Awwww!

I think all the children had a good time most of the time. When asked about it, her smart cousin Aditya said "It was fun, but it would be funner if we went to Sameera's house." So the fun went on into the evening, and though there were no pictures taken, I think the day was memorable.

At bedtime, Summy's own (now predictable) response to whether she had a good time was "Yes. I don't want to go to the zoo again." :) Amen.

The good news is that she is still eager for another outing or visit with her cousins, just as long as it's not to the zoo.


This was two weekends ago. Summy and I visited the New England Aquarium.

I was very nervous to drive a car into Boston (the last time I did, I took forty five minutes to get to Boston, half an hour to find the place I had to go, and an hour driving around for a parking spot). It turns out I was nervous for a good reason, because we got lost.

It is more flustering to be lost with Summy, because questions and comments keep coming non-stop.

"Why are we in a tunnel?"

"Why are you turning that way?"

"Where is the uckbarium?"

"Red light, that means stop." (Okay, that one was helpful)

"Why are we turning around?"

"Why are we going in the tunnel again?"

"Is the uckbarium the other way now?"

"We need a map."

And so on. I told her that she had to be quiet for a while, or we'd never find the aquarium. She sulked in the back seat while I found the way (and found that we had passed the Aquarium two times while looking for it).

She was fascinated by the water and the boats on the wharf more than the aquarium itself. She did like the penguins, the seals, the giant turtles, and the jelly fish. The acquarium looked crowded, and I'm not talking about the people. I wish the fish had some more space, but then maybe then don't really need much space, even in the ocean. I don't know. I think the seals must be bored just swimming in circles all day long. I'm a wet mop, I always find a dampening angle on things. On the brighter side, the turtles didn't seem to care where they were as long as they got their naps.

Once we had lunch in their restaurant (no, I didn't see them serving seafood), we walked along the wharf and had ice cream.

We found the way back home easily enough. And at night, just before sleeping, Summy said those words which make it all worthwhile.

"Mommy, I don't want to go to the uckbarium again."

You read that right. :) But luckily, she does still want to go back to the wharf and get on a boat - so maybe whale watching next time?

Camping In

Today Summy's classroom has a sleepover/camping theme, and they asked us to bring a sleeping bag if we had one. We didn't have one, but we went and bought one as there has been some talk of sleepovers with her cousins lately.

So ofcourse, last night she wanted to sleep in the brand new sleeping bag. Not alone though, and we opened it up and spread it on the floor of our bedroom. We read an Angelina (the ballerina) story and then wondered where the Angelina doll was (we hadn't seen it in a while). Then it was time to turn the lights out.

Oh, it was one of those nights. We lay down at nine, and at ten thirty she was still fiddling around. Around then, I put her in the bed with Kiran and went off to do a little reading by myself. I came back to bed in the dark, and when I was climbing in I saw a little hand in my way. Summy was comfortably spread out in my place. There was about four inches of space on the end of the bed where I could have fit in, but I decided to sleep on her bag instead.

That should be enough to know who's royalty in the house, and who serves - there she was, a little three-feet-long person with her hands and legs all over the big bed and managing to occupy an entire half of it. And here I was, on the floor, on a small pink ballerina sleeping bag, and trying to fit under a blanket one third my size. The only thing that would have made this look funnier (to me, anyway) would have been Kiran sleeping in the ballerina bag.

But we all slept well, and I didn't awake until I heard a shout "Angelina!". Summy had woken up, and from the big bed she had spotted her Angelina doll under her little bed. Yawn! All's well that ends well.

A Milestone

First Smile, first laugh, first steps, first words, and now...

First wink! Two days ago she made a joke, and winked at me. I laughed, so she winked again. And again. And again. She winked for her Daddy when he came home. She winked for her Babai and Pinni. I just hope she doesn't wink at the wrong place or wrong time.

I wonder what's next - whistling? I hope it is, because I never did master the fine art of whistling (my education is incomplete).

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Darnedest Thing #3: Colorful Language

Summy was getting ready for bed, and trying to make small talk so she could delay bedtime a little.

She said, "Mommy, I have some problems."

I was surprised (an understatement) - "What kind of problems, Summy?".

I imagined all kinds of things - school, boo-boos, potty accidents, sicknesses, at the same time wondering if she really knew what "problem" meant, before she gave her puzzling answer.

"Brown problems."

"Brown problems?"

"Brown problems."

"What do you mean, you have brown problems?"

"And when I go to school, I have blue problems. Sienna has pink problems too."

I'm still not sure what she was talking about - was this about problems or em-and-ems?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

How much is that doggie in the window?

That's one of Summy's songs -

How much is that doggie in the window
The one with the waggly tail
How much is that doggie in the window
I do hope that he is for sale

We went to the mall last weekend, and ofcourse we stopped outside the petstore, where four rabbits were eating, drinking, and sleeping in a display window. After observing them for a little while, Summy asked to go in and look at the puppies.

Have you ever seen the happy puppies in one of these pet stores? It is a nightmare. The pet store in our mall is especially notorious for selling pets from puppy mills, and for having sold sick puppies. I don't know about the truth behind any of those stories - but I do know what I see.

I see about fifteen puppies of different breeds, each (sometimes two of them) in a cage that seems about a foot square. Maybe the cages are bigger, but definitely not big enough for them to walk around in.

I see the floors of their cages, not solid floors, but mesh ones that cannot be very comfortable to stand, sit, or lie down on. I believe they do this for easy cleaning of the cages.

I see their puppy dog eyes eagerly waiting for a child to "try" one of them, so they can get out and play for a little while. (I have heard that they get to stay out of their cages and roam the store in the night - maybe, but they still spend the major part of the day in the cage).

I can never come out of this store not feeling depressed, and I don't understand the people who buy their dogs here. It is a prison for the innocent in the center of a mall in "the land of the free".

Summy said, "Mommy, I want to bring this puppy home.", pointing at a little one (her first request of the kind).

I want to bring him home too, Summy, I want to bring all of them home. But if we bring them home, more puppies will fill those cages. (Many people buy a puppy from these stores because they cannot bear to leave the puppy they fell in love behind in the cage).

The way to stop this cycle is to not buy pets from a pet store. If we want to rescue an animal, it will be best to adopt one from a shelter.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Lonely Goatherd

Just putting down the lyrics to Summy's new favorite song from Sound of Music so I can learn them.

High on a hill was a lonely goatherd
Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo
Loud was the voice of the lonely goatherd
Lay ee odl lay ee odl-oo

Folks in a town that was quite remote heard
Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo
Lusty and clear from the goatherd's throat heard
Lay ee odl lay ee odl-oo

[the Children:]
O ho lay dee odl lee o, o ho lay dee odl ay
O ho lay dee odl lee o, lay dee odl lee o lay

A prince on the bridge of a castle moat heard
Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo
Men on a road with a load to tote heard
Lay ee odl lay ee odl-oo

[the Children:]
Men in the midst of a table d'hote heard
Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo
Men drinking beer with the foam afloat heard
Lay ee odl lay ee odl-oo

One little girl in a pale pink coat heard
Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo
She yodeled back to the lonely goatherd
Lay ee odl lay ee odl-oo

Soon her Mama with a gleaming gloat heard
Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo
What a duet for a girl and goatherd
Maria and the Children:
Lay ee odl lay ee odl-oo

[Maria and the Children:]
Ummm (ummm) . . .
Odl lay ee (odl lay ee)
Odl lay hee hee (odl lay hee hee)
Odl lay ee . . .
. . . yodeling . . .

One little girl in a pale pink coat heard
Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hoo hoo
She yodeled back to the lonely goatherd
Lay ee odl lay ee odl-oo

Soon her Mama with a gleaming gloat heard
Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hmm hmm
What a duet for a girl and goatherd
Lay ee odl lay ee odl-oo

[Maria and the Children:]
Happy are they lay dee olay dee lee o . . .
. . . yodeling . . .
Soon the duet will become a trio
Lay ee odl lay ee odl-oo

[Maria and the Children:]
Odl lay ee, old lay ee
Odl lay hee hee, odl lay ee
Odl lay odl lay, odl lay odl lee, odl lay odl lee
Odl lay odl lay odl lay

[the Children:]

Friday, June 02, 2006

Can you say that again?

Yesterday, Summy took her little doll (the mommy from the doll house) to school. When I picked her up, I asked, "Do you want to bring the Mommy doll home?". She ignored me and went out the classroom. In the gym, she stopped to play with some toys, and I said "Is the Mommy in your cubby? Do you want to bring her home?" She giggled and made silly noises with a toy. As we walked out of the daycare center, I said, "Don't you want to get the Mommy?". She stopped to look at an ant on the driveway. She got in the car, buckled up, I got in the car, started it, and she said "Uh oh. I forgot the Mommy in my cubby. We need to go get it"

What would you do? I said No.

Summy said "But I want to get the Mommy."

"We can get her tomorrow. Mommy doll will enjoy some quiet time to herself (just like Mommy did on Mothers Day)."

"But I want the Mommy."

"I don't want to talk about it anymore."

"Mommy, turn around. I want to go pick up the Mommy."

On the way home, she said "I waaant to get the Mommy." thirty two times. I'm not exaggerating, I counted. After the thirty second time, luckily it seemed funny to me (these things seldom seem funny at the time), so I started to laugh. After trying to be extremely offended, Summy started to laugh too. After we both calmed down, she said "Thank you for cheering me up, Mommy."

I said, "Oh, You don't have to thank me for that, honeybunch."

"Thank you for cheering me up, Mommy."

"You're welcome, Summy."

"Thank you for cheering me up, Mommy."


"Thank you for cheering me up, Mommy."

(Thank you for the entertainment, Summy.)

Is she a terror or am I?

When I told Summy to brush her teeth and I heard her running the water in the sink, I knew nothing good was going on in there. But I was washing dishes and I left her be. Five minutes later, I went into the bathroom to check and was relieved to see no flooding, and no entire toilet paper rolls being unwound (ala Winkie) to try to sop up the flood.

Instead, she was washing her toothpaste tube under the running water. When she saw me, she panicked (poor little thing - am I such a monster?) and started to babble.

"Mommy, I'm not being naughty. The toothpaste was dirty so I was just washing it. I doing such a good job. I am grown up, I'm not naughty like babies anymore. I was just..." and so on.

Little sweetie pie.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Summy in Wonderland

"Watch your step as you climb out of your teacup"

"Please remain seated until the barn stops spinning and comes to a complete halt..."

"Keep your hands, feet and head inside your fish at all times."

All phrases you're unlikely to ever hear, except possibly when drunk, or...

when at Story Land!

That was where we went for our long weekend. Story Land is an amusement park especially geared toward the two-to-ten crowd. At Story Land, nobody bats an eyelid when ride operators say things like the above - the title was from a ride called "The Mad Hatter's Tea Party", the second from "The Crazy Barn", and the last from "The Flying Fish".

We spent a lot of time on the rides, sometimes almost a tenth as much time as we spent waiting in line to get on those rides! This was our third year at Storyland, and we decided that next year, we'd do something that involves less waiting and more doing.

But Summy had fun most of the time. She loved the crazy barn best (this barn shoots upward on a pole, then spins while going up and down like crazy). It seems she especially enjoys those rides that involve more people, when she can smile at and laugh and yell with them.

She is more adventurous than we are - she wanted to go in a really nauseating spinning turtle ride. Last year Kiran went with her, but this time he knew better. Last year, I was standing by as the kids came out of the ride crying, saying "That was awful", and gagging. So I wouldn't go in that ride either. She said, "Then I can do it all by myself." because she saw some of the big kids do it. I'm sure she can, but she'll have to wait.

She was sized up at all the rides - really. Many rides required kids to be atleast 36" tall, and she is about 36.5". She was not at all offended when people stopped her to measure her.

It is always nice to be in a place where everything is kid-friendly. For example, the bathroom policy - questions like "Is that lady going to potty for peepee or poopoo?" are ignored. The noise policy - yelling, screaming mandatory. And so on.

The food was "kid-friendly" too, meaning there there is a strictly enforced ban on vegetables (If you are caught smuggling veggies in in a picnic basket, you have to go on the spinning turtle ride. This explains why there is a line for this ride even though nobody seems to actually enjoy it). Once we saw a farmstand style snack kiosk with pictures of corn, carrots, and apples on the outside - but all the fruit in the menu was available only inside a pie or a pastry (absolutely no veggies, ofcourse!). We lived on ice cream, fried dough, and french fries the whole day. Summy was craving rice and vegetables by the time we were back home.

To really really make it kid-friendly, the gift store door has a sign that says, "Please finish eating your food or smoking your cigarettes before entering the store." That's right, you little rascally toddlers and preschoolers, put out your Marlboros before coming in. There was even a toddler sized ash tray to make it more convenient for the shorter smoker. Ha ha, no, I am 'kid'ding about the ash tray. But the sign on the door is real. It seemed incongruous in Story Land. If a grown-up even thought of going into the kiddie gift store with a lit up cigarette, should s/he be in Story Land in the first place?

We stayed until Summy was so tired that she was just going through the motions of getting on the rides. She even tried to lie down on the carousel horse. When we decided to leave, and she just went through the motion of saying "I want to stay. I don't want to go.", then cooperatively climbed into the car seat and was asleep half a second later.

The night before, we had stayed at an inn right by the Saco river. We went to look at the river which had crystal clear water, allowing us to see every grain of sand and every little pebble on the riverbed. In Dora speak, it was the "icy cold river". Summy had fun exclaiming "How can we get to the other side?", then pointing to the boat, just like Dora. (there was a stack of canoes, oars, and lifejackets right beside the river, that delighted her).

A nice holiday - now we are looking forward to the next one.

Everyday is a surprise

There are some things that we do daily, but it seems "we" are still not aware of that.

For instance, this morning.

Me: Summy, time to brush our teeth.

Summy: I brush my teeth already.

Me: That was yesterday.

Summy: (silence)

Me: Let's go brush our teeth.

Summy: (surprised) Again?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Seeds of Doubt

Summy got a little tiny pot to plant flower seeds in last week. She had lovingly put some soil in the plant (the rest went on her shirt), watered it everyday, and three tiny shoots had come up.

She also showed great interest in getting a bird-feeder after Kiran told her about it. So we went to the store to buy a bird-feeder. She pointed at the bags of seed in that section and asked me what it was.

I said, "Bird seed."

"It grows birds?"

"Yes, honey, it helps birds grow big and strong".

Kiran and I went on looking at the garden stuff for a minute.

"It grows birds?"

"Uh huh."

"And we give them water?"

Then I saw her looking at the bird seed in awe and saw that she had the wrong idea entirely. :) She was picturing planting bird seeds in the soil, watering them, and watching them grow into little birds.

Ha ha ha! Sure, if flower seeds grow flowers, why wouldn't bird seed grow birds?

Such a pity I had to tell her the truth.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Mothers Day

First, I acknowledge the bestest mom in the world - you know who, Amma.

For Mothers Day, I asked for a day off from being a mother :) So on the Saturday before Mothers Day, I was left free to do what I wanted. I didn't hear a "Mommy" or an "Appi" the whole day. After a leisurely start, I went to Borders and spent a couple of hours browsing through books. I bought myself a book, then went to Subway for lunch. Over a sandwich, I read my book for an hour or so. Momminess being in my blood, I went grocery shopping after that. But alone.

When I go for groceries with Summy, you know what it's like. First we have to pick a cart, then we have to buckle in, and about 30 seconds later, we have to unbuckle and get off again to take a closer look at the balloons in the store. Then we have to stop at each section while Summy holds the bag open for me while I put the veggies and fruits in. Once we get to the berries, it's a little easier, because we are a berry monster. We want to sit in the cart again and eat our berries right out of the box (now you'd know why all our shirts are blue, purple and pink). After we load up our cart and check out, it's finally time for - going potty ofcourse! (all those berries) Then we have to beg somebody to keep an eye on our cart while we go upstairs and find the bathroom.

So it was different even to do grocery shopping by myself. Then I ran out of things to do, because it was pouring outside. I went home, but there was nobody at home! So I sat around for another hour, eating almonds and reading my book, then to the mall. At the mall, at about 8 PM, I went to a movie ("Thank You For Smoking"). Then I drove back home, thoroughly sick of being by myself, and found Summy was already asleep.

When Mothers Day came on Sunday, Summy gave me a card she had picked out, a pretty little necklace that she and her Daddy got for me, and said "Happys (sic) Mothers Day!". I was happy to spend the rest of the day at home, and Summy and I played a lot.

I forgot, on Friday I got a card from Summy that she made in preschool, a piece of paper with her picture on it and her quote on the bottom "I love my mommy because she plays with me everyday!".

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Sounds familiar....

Click here. Go on, it's just a comic strip.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Too many detours

It has been brought to my attention by an alert reader (Thank you!) that my last few posts have had nothing to do with bringing up baby. It started when I used Summy's name once or twice to sneak in an entry about a completely different topic. Then I gave up all pretense, and have been ranting about things unrelated to Summy.

This is natural. Summy's growing up, so I've come out of my motherhood cocoon to think non-Summy thoughts and even post about them sometimes. But this is supposed to be Summy's baby journal.

So from now on, all posts that don't belong here will go to my other blog.

Yes, that alert reader was me. Who else?

Edited to add: I've deleted the last few entries and pasted them here.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Darnedest Thing #2

Yesterday, we attended the last of Summy's classmates' birthdays for this year.

In the car, Summy said

"I'm three years old."

Me: "Do you know how old Mommy is?"

"Hmmmm.... Three years old?"

The strange thing is - she was right, as long as you don't count the zeroes :) Three, thirty, what does it matter?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Darnedest Thing #1

Kids say the darnedest things, and I'll put down Summy's questions now and then so I don't forget them. Here's #1:

"Mommy, what do you want to be when you grow up?"

Edited to add: On thinking, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" isn't so ridiculous after all. We keep growing up all the time. This is not the end of the road.

It is a cheerful question that makes you think of all the possibilities, no matter what you already did, no matter how old you are. So what do you want to be when you grow up?

Sing it the right way!

I dug up the complete lyrics for Twinkle, Twinkle, didn't I?

Then I sang it to Summy the last three nights - and she told me "Mommy, No! Sing it the right way!"

But yesterday she said "Mommy, can you please sing it not the right way?" :)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Because Summy loves this for a lullaby, I searched for and found the complete lyrics.

Twinkle twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are
Up above the world so high
Like a diamond in the sky
|| Twinkle twinkle ||

When the blazing sun has gone
When he nothing shines upon
Then you show your little light
Twinkle twinkle all the night
|| Twinkle twinkle ||

Then the trav'ler in the dark
Thanks you for your tiny spark
How could he see where to go
If you did not twinkle so
|| Twinkle twinkle ||

In the dark blue sky you keep
Through my curtains often peep
For you never shut your eyes
Till the morning sun does rise
|| Twinkle twinkle ||

As your bright and tiny spark
Lights the trav'ler in the dark
Though I know not what you are
Twinkle on please little star
|| Twinkle twinkle ||

Monday, April 17, 2006


I picked up all her train tracks and pieces and put them in a red basket. This was the cue for Summy to come running and dump out all the pieces on the floor. The other day she had learnt to make a figure 8 track, so the train could go over the bridge and all around on it.

But yesterday, she put the tracks in a little circle instead. She said "Look! I made an 'O'!" I was very impressed. After a while she said "Look! I made a 'Q'!" The circle now had the train bridge pieces going over the rim, and it was a big Q! I was just remarking to my SIL about how much more kids know now than we did at their age, and I heard "Look! I made a 'G'!" She had added more pieces to the Q, but it didn't look like a G. Then I saw it was not a G, it was a 'g'. She curved the Q's tail around to form a g. You know, g, as "in genius" :)

Disclaimer: I'm a mom, so everything my baby does is ingenious to me.

Friday, April 14, 2006


మా తెలుగు తల్లికి మల్లెపూదండ

మా కన్న తల్లికి మంగళారతులు

ఆశ్చర్యపోయారా లేదా?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Silver Lining

"If you don't like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes." A quote attributed to Mark Twain and stolen by regions all over, apparently including Cincinnati and Texas. But New England owns the copyright.

Well, we waited a few hours, and today the temperature is up to a sultry 43 degrees, up from 33 (Fahrenheit, that is). Yesterday was cloudy and gray, with the snow showers interrupted occasionally by freezing rain. Today, it's sunny and bright, and what clouds are there are fluffy white. The grass is green, with a light sprinkling of snow on top (Looks a little bit like Summy's birthday cake, with sugar on it). The duckies are out swimming on the shimmery lake. I didn't want to get poetic, now, but it's that kind of day.

On a not unrelated note, when you are tired of hearing about the terrorism, the poverty, the misery, and the pollution, visit goodnewsindia for a silver lining.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Spring has sprung!

New England's winter last three months officially, but we have been in winter coats for six months now. Everybody was anxious for Spring by the end of March.

Sure enough, the weather got warmer. Last weekend we saw the first robins of Spring. April showers started right on the mark. Logically, the next thing to follow would be the first daffodils blooming. Then why were we still surprised this morning when we looked through the window, and saw - the most natural thing in these parts - the first snow of April?

Nature has played this April fool's prank played on us so many times, that we should have been used to it by now.

One little person is always happy to see snow, and she was happy this morning too ("It's not spring outside anymore, mommy - it's winter!" Cowabunga.). Kids are so easy to please - if you give them sun, they are happy because they get to play outside. If you give them rain, they are happy because they get to use their umbrellas. If you give them snow, they are happy because they get to catch it on their tongues.

I'm glad somebody is happy about the snow.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Birthday Party

Summy had a party last Sunday, though I couldn't write up an entry about it last week. It was a lot of fun for everybody who was under 4 feet high.

The guests all arrived on time, at 11 am. They wished Sameera a Happy Birthday and then got into play mode right away. Everybody cooked and fed their parents in the play dining room, rode the big train engine in the train room, shopped in the play grocery store, and tumbled about in the little gym.

After about an hour of this, we herded them into the party room, and the kids got sticky and messy doing a paper bag puppet craft. After which, they impatiently dug into their pizza. (Little kids aren't subtle when they realize it's lunch time - "Is that pizza?" "I want some pizza!" "I'm hungry!" "Can we eat now?" Even one parent asked "Is that pizza for the big boys too?" - everybody ate, it was good pizza!) A huge Dora cake followed, and Summy blew the number 3 candle out to cheers and clapping. The lady of the play place played on the piano and sang Happy Birthday. Then we sliced and served cake (with more subtle hints in the background "I want cake!" "I want cake!"). This went well, mostly, except for when one of her friends said "It's my birthday!", which made Summy very indignant (a shouting match of "No, it's MY birthday!" followed).

After licking the frosting off the cake and leaving the rest alone (next year I have an idea for a cake that's made entirely of frosting), the kids were manoeuvered again into a different play zone. They drove fire engines, little cars, played doctor, made music, colored, and best of all, played with water. At about 1, the parents tried to convince their children to leave. This was made easier with the bringing out of the goody bags.

This part is the icing on my cake. I was handing out goody bags, and Summy seemed to consider this the lowest insult. She said "I want to do it." So I let her. She gave a goody bag, a hug, and a kiss to each friend, and said "Thanks for coming to my party.".

It's true I had told her the night before that as a host, it would be her duty to do this. It would make her friends happy if she did. But I didn't dream that she would actually remember and do it! Shows that I should trust her with more responsibility than I do.

This birthday party was not about Summy being queen for a day - though ofcourse it was her special day. At three, she was ready to be the host at her party for the first time. She was to know that it's good to have friends around to celebrate, and to receive them well and show them she was happy to have them come. She did this much better than I've ever done (except for the one small shouting incident :)).

In her excitement, Summy had a single bite of pizza and one sip of juice in the party. After we went back home and settled down, her tummy reminded her about that - she asked for pizza, and then some more, and then some more. Kiran, Summy and I sat down at the French window and ate pizza. That was our little family party, I suppose.

Summy was as eager to send thank you notes to her friends as she was to open presents. She decorated them, and though she could not write, she asked me to read what I'd written. I mailed them out, but forgot to tell her about it. Two days later, she says "Uh oh! We forgot to mail the thank you cards." :) Three-year-olds are miracles.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Three year Physical

Summy had her three year check up yesterday. Kiran joined me for this special occasion. It was well worth coming. Not because she needs us to be there for the check-up, really. In fact, we could have just dropped her off at the hospital and she would have done fine all by herself, the way she went on yesterday. We her parents are getting more and more obsolete.

She is good friends with her doctor by now. The last time she got shots was a year ago, and everytime she visits the doctor she gets stickers. So no yelling, screaming "No! I don't want to go to the doctor!". On the contrary, she treats the visits more like picnics.

Her doctor usually ignores us (the obsoletes) for the most part and talks directly to her. This is how they went on yesterday:

"Hello, Sameera!"

"Hi! I am not feeling well, I was sick!"

"I don't think so (with a smile). Did you just have a birthday?"

"Yeah! I have a birthday party!"

"How old are you?"

"One, two, three!" (holding up three fingers one by one)

"Who came to your party?"

"Aditya, and Padma, and Colette, and Joshua, and...."

"A lot of kids came to your party!"

"Yeah, A lot of kids. And Francis, and Stephen, and..."

"Did you get lots of presents?"

"Yeah! and Ashley, and Grant, and..."

At this point, the doctor told us she had put on an average amount of weight, and grown an average amount taller. It seems she talked well and seemed mature for her age. So she's 3, weighs 30 pounds and measures 36 inches.

Then he checked her.

"How many eyes do you have?"

(She looked at him surprised, sorry that a grown man didn't know this)
"Two! One, two!" (Holding up two fingers and pointing to her eyes to help him understand).

"And how many ears?"

"Two! One, two!" (with a big grin, points to her ears).

"Who is this?" (about her stuffed mouse)

"Angelina Ballerina. She lives at my house."

"Who else lives at your house?"

"Mommy, and Daddy, and Babai, and Pinni. I live in a green house, and I get a house for my birthday, and I play with my house and the kitchen and I cook dinner, and I feed my doll milk and orange juice. Okay?"

After the check-up was done, she looked anxiously at the closet from which the doctor usually dispenses stickers. This is what she waits for from the minute we tell her we're going to the doctor. The doctor gave her two stickers, said she has a very pleasant personality and we must be having a lot of fun with her. The next visit will be in one year.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Eggstra-ordinary Dilemma

Yesterday, Summy and I were reading about a bear who is very hungry, and is eating lots of breakfast - toast, and waffles, and pancakes, and juice, and milk, and eggs... here Summy stopped me. "That's silly - you don't eat eggs. Little birdies live in them, and then the egg goes crack crack, and then it's a baby bird! Ha ha ha!" There was silence for a little while - she had me there.

We are vegetarians, but we do eat eggs now and then (not lately, though). I explained to her that not all eggs have baby birds in them, but I have a feeling that we won't be eating eggs anymore, not even rarely.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Rapid Progress

On February 6th, I posted about how Summy was recognizing some letters. Now, less than two months later, she recognizes all (except for some confusion with "d"s and "b"s, "v"s and "y"s, and so on). Both capital and small. She knows the sounds many of them make. She recognizes Dora's name when she sees it in print.

Yesterday, I was writing down our names and phone numbers. She peeked, and said "That's Daddy's name." That was quite a surprise for me! Then she pointed to my name and said "That's your name, mommy." It wasn't actual reading, because I was writing in cursive, but she saw the big "K" and "A" in our names and deduced what they were.

Amazing! To a mom, anyway :) At the end of this week, she is going to be three years old. Three years ago, she hadn't seen nothing yet. Now, it seems there is nothing she hasn't seen!

Curious George

Two Saturdays ago, Summy and I went to see "Curious George" in the BIG movie theatre along with her cousin and aunt. We sat in the last row, and the kids were angels throughout. The top of the seats in front of us obstructed the kids' view a little. Also, the little ones were not heavy enough to keep those theatre seats from folding up :) So midway through the movie, Summy and her cousin both climbed onto their moms' laps.

As for the movie itself, it was okay. Almost every kids' movie that is made, is an adult's movie in disguise. A bumbling hero, on a mission to save his beloved museum, a villain who is trying to sabotage the hero's quest, and even a love interest. All quite unnecessary. I think there was no reason for a plot for this movie. Curious George (who is a monkey, if you didn't know it), left to himself, might have carried the movie through on his own. George is the cutest. One of the first scenes is when the hero (the man in the yellow helmet) meets Curious George. George plays peekaboo in the man's hat. It was delightful. After the movie was all done, this was the scene Summy remembered best.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Scry again!

Her favorite full length movie is "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang".

Her favorite song from the movie is "Truly Scrumptious". She usually sings it very well, not caring too much about the words but keeping a perfect tune.

Yesterday we found her humming "Scruly Scrumptious, you're scruly scruly scrumptious" as she was playing.

Saturday, February 25, 2006


The past one week, Summy has been sleeping in her own bed (voluntarily). About three hours after she falls asleep, she wakes up with a pathetic "Mama." and outstretched hands. Then I go get the warm bundle and snuggle down with it in our bed for the rest of the night.

Yesterday, I slept like a log. This morning, I heard the happenings of last night from Kiran. She fell out of her bed in the middle of the night. Then she stood up and got back into her bed while mumbling. After giving her a couple of minutes to settle in, Kiran covered her up with a blankie again, and she slept.

We were always a little afraid she would fall, but it didn't seem to have fazed her much at all. By the way, she slept in her own bed all night yesterday. I don't expect it to happen everyday, but I think she's moving herself out of our bed bit by bit. It's a little sad, but it's nice that we don't have to lie down with an octopus/mule (she wriggles like the former, and kicks like the latter).

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Who is Kachu? Her first doll with hair.

Why Kachu? Because she named it so. Her first choice was a boy name. When I pointed out the doll was a girl, her next pick was the gender-neutral, one-of-a-kind name, Kachu.

What does Kachu mean? I'll have to ask her. I'm sure she can explain. She has an explanation for everything.

Yesterday, I found Kachu in her cubby at school, minus the clothes. So I asked her about it, and she knew exactly where to find everything. Kachu's shirt was hanging on Summy's coathook, and Kachu's pants were in the winter gear shelf.

Kachu gets to ride on the front bar of Summy's trike everyday. Summy even gave her a shampoo the other day.

Attention Span

Her attention span is now super-long for books. I remember when I used to buy her books with just pictures and no words, because she wouldn't listen to me reading. Not anymore.

Now, she wants books with longer and longer stories (the better to delay bedtime). Yesterday was a record, when we read a 64-page Amelia Bedelia book in one stretch.

We have broken the record for number of books read at bedtime a month ago though. Every night, as we reach the end of the last book, she starts to get anxious even before we finish it. She starts peering at the book shelf to pick another one and beg "Last time!". So one night when I was feeling patient, I thought "Why not read to her heart's content? She's sure to get sleepy at some point. I know I get sleepy after I read for a while" Twenty books and more than an hour later, I changed my mind. Requests for "Only one more!" kept coming. Whether it's love of books, or dislike of going to bed, or both, I now know that she won't voluntarily stop.

If a train goes "choo choo"...

How does a potty train go?

"Poo Poo!"

This is the first joke I heard from my potty-training daughter. Even though it's gross, I want to save it for future laughs :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Been a long time

Since I got time to post an entry. I know lots of things have happened in between, but I've forgotten most of them. When your child says the funniest things, you think you'll remember it forever, but a mommy brain overloaded with keeping track of the details of daily routine forgets quickly.

Here is an excerpt from one of my emails:

For Valentine's day, Summy made valentines for her friends and teachers, and gave them out at school. She practised saying "HappyValentine's Day" but when she stepped in through the classroom door,she was too excited to remember. She just yelled "Balentime!" She was very happy to get cards from her friends too. After the day was done,on the way home, she asked "Mommy, is it my birthday?" :) Next morning,she said "Can I do Balentimes again?" Little children are the sweetest(when they are not being little devils - ofcourse at Halloween, they are sweet little devils).

Friday, February 10, 2006

Quote of the Day

"There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings."

Monday, February 06, 2006

Progress in Home Education

Was it Mark Twain who said "I never let school get in the way of my education."?

On similar lines, in spite of me, Summy is making progress by herself. She can now count to twenty in English, to ten in Telugu and to five in Spanish, though not always in the right order :). She recognizes her favorite letters ('S' for Sameera!) and numbers, and knows that letters make up words.