Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sweet and Funny

Today, at a restaurant lunch with family, I gave Pranav some ice cream. He was so happy, I've never seen anybody be so happy about what they're eating before. At every spoonful, he would look at everybody around the table and laugh out loud. Soon, everybody was laughing so much it hurt.

Aahhh, sweet memories.

Budding Vegan

A year before Summy was born, I read about being vegan for the first time. A vegan is a very strict vegetarian. Not only does a vegan not eat meat, but s/he also avoids eggs, dairy products, honey, etc. A vegan tries to be non-cruel in every way possible - no leather, no fur, no silk, and so on. S/he is, in general, an annoying, righteous, guilt-inducing, pain in the neck.

After that, I stayed away from milk, cheese, pizza, eggs for a few months. I stopped buying leather shoes and purses, and silk clothes. Slowly, I returned to eating pizza and eggs again, because I craved these things.

Summy has always been a careful and suspicious vegetarian. But slowly, she is growing past me. Last year, we had a discussion about eggs and how egg-laying hens are treated, and then she decided to stay away from them. So of course, I have to stay away from them too.

Now she has taken this further, and refuses to eat things like cakes that have egg in them. The green dot that is on snack packages in India helps her decide what's okay and what's not. Whereas, I have never considered egg in cakes and waffles and things, to be actually egg, somehow. Now I have to stay away from those too, now.

And then, she started to think about leather. I always bought her non-leather shoes, but this year we got her uniform shoes from the school, and apparently they are leather. She was upset about this. I've been looking for a purse, and it's hard to find one that's not leather in India.

It goes like this: I ask the store clerk: "Is this a leather bag?" And they say proudly, "Yes, 100% leather." "Well, " I say, "I want a bag that's not leather. Do you have any?". And they give me a strange look, randomly pick a bag, and say, "This one is synthetic." Riiiiiight, sure it is. There are no tags that say "leather" or "man-made material", like there are back in the US. So I'm tempted to just pick any bag, but I have these two huge watchful and disapproving eyes looking at me (in my mind, even if Summy is not actually present).

The other day, she came back from school with a horrified expression on her face, and said, "I know how silk is made. I don't ever want to see silk again." Science class taught her how the cocoons, with the silk worms in them, are put into hot water. So I can't buy silk, but thank goodness that one's easy. I've never been fond of it.

I wonder if all this is something that she will grow out of, or something that will stick. But I'm hoping for the latter. I would proudly put up with an annoying, righteous, guilt-inducing pain in the neck.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

First Steps

Walked on Dec 4th. At ten and a half months old, now considers himself a big boy. Refuses to sit in bathtub, insists on feeding himself, considers napping unnecessary.

He took his funny, wobbly first steps on a pizza night for Summy's friends at our place. Maybe seeing all the kids running around made him want to do it too. Being able to walk has gone to his head.

I put him in his ducky inflatable bathtub as usual, and he stands up and climbs out of it in an instant.

He grabs the bowl and spoon when I feed him, and throws a tantrum and refuses to eat when I don't hand over. Tries to feed himself with the spoon, but not before rubbing the meal all over himself. I have to quickly buy a high chair.

I feed him, rock him, lie down with him, pat him on his back, rub his tummy, but unless he is completely exhausted, he refuses to sleep.

I'm starting to remember what it's like to have a stubborn toddler in the house :)

Friday, December 03, 2010

Self Soothing

I was rocking Pranav on my lap. He was half asleep and his eyes, half closed. As I rocked, he started to chant "aaa aaa aaa aaa" in a sleepy voice, something he does when rocked. He also started to pat himself rhythmically on his chest. I've never patted him to sleep, so I don't know where he got that, but it sure is funny to see a baby pat himself to sleep that way!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Baby Spa And Fitness Day

You will be woken up by the softest hands in the world, even though they might be slapping you in your face. This will be followed by wet drooly kisses on your nose, accompanied by the sound of happy gurgling, and the aromatherapy of baby breath.

A vigorous massage will follow, as little elbows and knees dig into your stomach and a wiggly baby tries to climb over you and escape from the bed. Your morning Yoga is done by reflex, before you are even fully awake, as you try to stretch and bend yourself so baby can't escape.

All stress (possibly caused by being woken up mid-sleep) will melt away at the soothing sight of two tiny teeth in a mouth wide open in a grin, and the delight in two twinkling eyes. Nobody's ever been this happy to see you open your eyes!

A lesson in multi-tasking follows, as you hold the baby and go through your routine. Remain alert and watch out for those little grabby hands reaching for forbidden things. No video game has ever been more challenging!

Your physical fitness will be put to the test. Can you get from the kitchen sink to the living room sofa, before baby goes from standing up to tumbling down? Can you do the hundreds of squats while holding baby, as he drops things so that he can watch you pick them up again and again?

Think you are dextrous enough to pick up a baby who doesn't want to be picked up? If you think you are, meet the "Slider". He lifts up his arms, bends back, and slides right out of your arms before you know what happened. You might possibly figure out how to hold onto him, by wrapping your arms around him, and holding his left hand and right foot, so that he cannot untangle himself and get away (If you do decide to try this extreme sport, be sure to wear ear plugs, because you will not want to hear that screaming in close range).

Maybe you thought it was difficult to be a contortionist. But stand up, with a baby standing up and hugging your legs tightly from behind, asking to be picked up. And you'll discover that you'll do all sorts of contortions to pick up that baby and hug him - see, all you needed was motivation.

Your hair and skin will be pampered as never before. Besides the banana-oatmeal facepacks, and the rice-cereal/yogurt skin tightening masques, you will experience many non-traditional spa treatments, such as rice/dal, squirted tomato juice, chewed up pasta, etc. The treatments change daily (depending on what's for dinner), and are always guaranteed to be slathered on by those soft little hands.

Besides baby breath, aromatherapy includes freshly shampooed baby head, freshly powdered baby neck, and so on.

By the time you go to bed at night, next to the warm baby, you will find yourself pleasantly tired and ready to fall asl... ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Mom Brain

It was a hectic morning a month ago. Kiran and I were getting Summy ready for school. I hold the baby while Kiran helps Summy get ready. Kiran holds Pranav while I get her breakfast ready.

On this day, Summy got a spill on her school uniform shirt. Kiran was washing her shirt at the kitchen sink. Getting worried about the time, I suddenly realized that Kiran was not holding Pranav. I was instantly irritated with him for having left Pranav alone on the floor. I looked around and didn't see Pranav on the floor, or in his exersaucer. I looked at Summy, and no, she didn't have him either.

Where was he? I imagined him being left alone on the bed, to fall off the edge. Maybe he went under the sofa? (he did that once before). Panicking, I yelled. "Where is Pranav? Who's watching him?"

Summy smiled and said, "Mommy, you are holding Pranav." Sure enough, there he was on my hip, his face close to mine, peering into my face with an amused expression.

Don't tell me something like this never happened to you!

On the Job 24x7

I work on the laptop in the middle of the night, sitting at the foot of the bed. Pranav sleeps on the bed.

I feel a movement and look up at the baby. His eyes seem closed, but I know better from experience. In the dark,the line where his eyelids meet his lower eyelashes is a thick black line. This means that his eyes are open to the tiniest little slit and he is looking at me through it. I wait for a few seconds, and sure enough, he kicks his leg up in irritation. I know what he is thinking: Why wasn't I at his side yet?

Then he turns his eyes a little and notices the laptop. Right away, he rolls over onto his tummy and sits up. He turns around, his eyes still only slits, and starts crawling to the laptop. Even in sleep, he thinks it's his duty to explore this usually out-of-reach device and maybe chew on it some.

I hurriedly shut the laptop, jump to his side and put him back on his back to sleep. He never forgets his job as a baby.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Making Memories Last

I started this blog when Summy was a year old. That was when she was big enough for me to have a little time to myself, and also old enough to provide me with lots of material to write about. I spent last night reading my old entries and laughing - it seems the funniest age was when she was two to three years old.

Not that Pranav is not funny now at eight months old. But there are no darnedest things that he says - and it's when they just start talking that kids are at their funniest.

An eight month old is just extreme sweetness. I enjoy my time at home and spend the whole day with Pranav (I didn't get to do that with Summy), and I laugh a lot, but I can't really explain why I do. There are his comical and goofy expressions, his sucking on my chin, and more things I can't remember. I wish I could save all this, because I only now remember baby Summy being this sweet - all this time I'd forgotten about what she was like as a baby. I'm afraid I might forget with Pranav too. So I make entries that might seem banal, just because I don't want to forget the little details.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sense of Humor

I remember Summy had an early sense of humor. Maybe all babies do. Anyway, Pranav has one too. He laughs such big laughs for such a little person. Especially when big sister is around.

She panted like a puppy while holding a piece of cloth in her mouth one day recently. He thought it was so hilarious, he would burst out laughing at just the sight of her, that whole day. She enjoys being his clown, and he enjoys her antics.

Also, sometimes he laughs just because I laugh. It escalates quickly, because it makes me laugh more to see him laugh with me, and that makes him laugh even more, and so on, until we are both in fits. I do not remember that eight month olds are this social, though I remember having the same kind of experience with Summy when she was older.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sweet package

It took this long to settle in to our new home. Four months- they go by so fast for me, and Pranav learns to do more in these four months than I have learned in four years. And then some more.

I love all that he is doing. But what I love most is how he loves me. Summy is seven, and I know that it's only for a short while that a baby is so attached to a mother, that they are practically one person, not two.

Someone is holding him, and he's quite happy. But then he sees me, and starts to bounce. There is happiness on his face, so happy to see me. But there is also anxiety that he might not be handed over to me, or that I might walk away without taking him. He let's out a sound that's half laughter and half cry. Kiran is the one other person that he is comfortable being with indefinitely ( until he gets hungry).

I know it will not last long. But for now we are one, though he's not physically attached to me. I take him where I go. I enjoy his smiles, his chewing on my chin, his snuggling smilingly but shyly into my shoulder when a stranger talks to him.

How sweet it is.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Little Chinuku.

Pranav is growing into a cutie-pie, as all babies do. He is now six months old. To say that he is active would be the understatement of the year. I have bulging biceps from carrying him around while he tries to jump out and escape. He is busy practising his jumping, rolling, sitting, crawling skills.

I am finding that a lot of things they say about having babies are true.

They say, that after baby, your hair falls out a lot. It is true, but not in the way I thought. Pranav holds on to my hair for support, tugs on it when he wants me to go in a different direction (steering mechanism, as in the movie Ratatouille), and pulls it out by the handful when he wants to send me a subtle message that he's hungry (while slobbering on my face at the same time).

Also, they say (duh!) that having a baby hurts. Again in more than one way. Just today, I've been stepped on, my stomach has been jumped on, my head has been butted, my lip has been cut (from his head bonking it), my mouth has been pulled (from curiosity while he watched me eat). Ouch!

But how sweet it all is! One dimply chubby smile and all boo-boos are forgotten. Summy has named him a sapota ( chikoo), because he's nice and soft and juicy and sweet like one, and his eyes are black like chikoo seeds.

He is always looking for people's attention. He gets tired of me after a while, and his face lights up when I take him on a walk so he can meet new people. He smiles at them and makes baby noises, so he's impossible to ignore.

Even when we drive around in the car, whenever there is a stop in traffic, he will smile and laugh at people through the windows, and he almost always gets smiled back at. One day in the car, I saw him beaming and bouncing, and looked out to see what he was seeing. It was an auto rickshaw full of schoolchildren, all smiling and making faces at him.

Summy is enjoying him very much too. He takes a lot of attention away from her, especially from people outside. This is a little worrisome, but she is at an age when she is getting to be more quiet and private. So sometimes, this suits her.

Actually, I have talked to her about this blog and asked her what she thought. She would rather I not write about her. I asked what I should write about, then, and she said, "Pranav, ofcourse!". She wants to appear only in her role as a big sister.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Girl Who Said No to Everything

One day, a mother found a lost baby girl in the middle of a forest. She said, "Oh My! How did you get here?", and took her home. As the baby girl grew up, she was as bautiful as a princess, but also very naughty. When her mom asked her to do something, she'd always say, "No!" or "Nothing!".

When the girl's mother said, "Would you like to go shopping?" or "Will you help me clean up?", her answer was always "No!". When her mother asked, "Would you like to paint or read?", her answer was "Nothing!". Her favorite words were "No" and "Nothing".

The girl's mother tried to teach her how to say "Yes", but it did not work. One day, her mother's friend came to visit. The guest asked the girl, "What is your name?". The girl said, "Nothing!". The mother asked the girl to get some water for the guest. Of course, the girl said "No!". That made her mother very mad.

As a punishment, her mother asked her to take care of the garden for a day. She said, "If you say No, I will send you to the forest to pick blueberries." The girl said, "No! I'll stay at home or take a nap under a tree!". So the next day, her mother gave her a basket and sent her to the forest to pick berries.

In the forest, the little girl lost her way. Then she met a huge bear. The bear said, "Child, are you lost?" The girl was definitely lost, but she did not know how to say yes. So she said "No!". The bear said, "Go back home then." The girl really wanted to go back home, but she said, "No!". The bear was surprised. It asked, "But don't you want to go to your mother?" The girl was scared, but she still said, "No!".

So the bear decided to take the little girl to its den to keep as a pet. The bear picked up the girl and started to carry her to its den. Then the little girl started to yell. Her mother heard her, and quickly ran into the forest. She found the bear and the girl. When the bear saw the angry mother, it was afraid. It dropped the little girl and ran away.

The mother hugged the girl and said, "Do you want to go back home now?". The girl said, "Yes! Yes! Yes!". She had finally learned to say Yes! They went back home. The girl's favorite words became "Yes" and "Everything", and she and her mother lived happily ever after.

The End.

As written and told by Sameera V. II Standard (and only slightly edited by her mom to make the mother in the story a little less angry and scary)

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Where to begin?

So much has happened in the past two months, that it feels ridiculous
to write about any one thing that happened today.

We decided, quite suddenly, to move from California to Bangalore.
Summy is going to school here in Bangalore.

And that's it! It's like meeting a long lost childhood friend.

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Birds Of A Feather

Every night I sit next to Summy on her bed, until she is almost asleep.

Most of the time, I hold Pranav in my lap and rock him to sleep at the same time. Summy kisses his little feet, or ruffles the hair on his little head, depending on which direction he's pointed at. Then they both fall sweetly asleep (most of the time. Other times they are both total sourheads).

It is surreal to watch them both sleeping, because when his eyes are closed, he looks exactly like Summy did when she was a baby. It's like watching the grown version of her sleep on the bed, while holding the baby version of her at the same time.

But once he opens his eyes, he looks very different. He's only a baby, but he has boy hair, and a boy face. I tried putting Summy's baby clothes and hair accessories on him, but he still looks like a boy.

Rolling Over

I'm reduced to noting down milestones here. But it's still exciting to me!

He rolled over - plop! on the bed. He doesn't know how to get his arm out from under him yet, but the goofy proud smile on his face after he flips over is priceless.

I'd forgotten how sweet babies are.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Laughing Matter

Days are passing by, and I keep writing updates in my head. They don't always make it here. Okay, they rarely make it here. I'm going to write up a jumble of whatever I remember, whenever I can, before I forget.

Note to myself so I can put it in a baby journal later: Pranav laughed with me for the first time today. He loves the little sproing of hair on the top of my head, that droops down while I change his diaper. His face lights up with a smile, and his eyes look at the top of my head in anticipation of this. Then I dangle the hair in front of my face while I blow air at it to make it wave around, and I might as well be a three-ring circus, the way he is entertained by me. Each wide smile asks for an encore.

Well, today he laughed out loud at me while I was doing my silly hair routine. Then the look in his face was so priceless, as he waited for more, that I laughed. He laughed with me again, and this time he was looking into my face. That made me laugh more, and that made him laugh even more, and so on.

Happy days!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

Got to be quick!

I put Pranav into a Moby wrap tied around myself this morning, and walked Summy to school. He loves to sleep in the wrap, all cosy and warm, cuddled up against me.

So when I came back home, I did not take him out of it. I used the quiet time to toast myself a bagel and eat it in front of the computer, all the while with him sleeping on me. Then I brushed off bagel crumbs from his little head and decided to post something quick.

Got to be quick, before he wakes up again! So if I end a post abruptly, that is why. Life is little cycles of feeding Pranav, burping him, changing his diaper, rocking him to sleep for half an hour, and then getting about half an hour off while he sleeps. It's not hectic, it's just full. I get to watch a lot of TV, and all exercise is in the form of rocking. I even rock when I'm not holding him.

I am getting to know the little guy, just as I got to know Sameera. And now he stirs. So I go.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


The little pumpkin arrived a month ago.

Summy's pampered baby brother, he loves Summy back. He recognizes the sound of her voice, the sight of her face, instantly. And beams at her, no matter what his mood is.

The first thing she does in the morning is to look at his face. The first thing after coming home from school too. When I am reading with her, putting her to bed, doing things with her, and we hear baby crying, she tells me, "Go, go take care of him." She checks on him at every little whimper (and in the process, wakes up a sleeping baby, but that's okay).

It is such a pleasure to watch them.

Sent from my iPhone