Posted in Hari Katha, Little Moments, Ram Leela

One spoon at a time

Drafted on Jan. 24

This evening saw our children inflicted with attitude problems. “Not dhalia upma again. I was hoping it would be something I like. I wish I were not so hungry,” sulked the  seven year old at dinner time. “I will not sit on my high chair and eat,” implied the fifteen month old as he persevered to free himself from the high chair. Given the direction in which things were headed, one would have thought the evening was a disaster waiting to happen, right? Not really! How come? Well, let’s just say that I wielded the spoon. Hari is less tolerant to his least favorite foods when I spoon feed him. I give in once in a while, after emphasising it as an exception,  to achieve the grand goal of getting him to eat what’s offered. And how about Ram? All it took was, “Do you want to sit here next to me and eat just like anna?”, and the child happily perched himself on my lap instead of sauntering around the house with a mouthful of food. So my friends that’s the story of how the evening was tackled – one spoon at a time!

The evening did remind me of my childhood days when my mom or my grandmom would be seated with a plate laden with rasam rice and us kids swarming around amma or patti for our morsel. I was never a big fan of “kaila podara” routine. The dripping of the rasam rice would irk me, and having to wait for my turn when my stomach was rumbling with ravishing hunger was not exactly something I looked forward to. But then it had its share of perks. No rinsing of plates. No need to pitch in with after meal chores. Plus, we were entertained with stories and gossip.  And if we got lucky, we had the privilege of being served in the balcony or terrace under the starlit sky with the summer breeze caressing us.

And like how Enkay wondered in one of her posts, I tried to step in to my mom’s  and grand mom’s shoes – what could have been their reasons? did they use it as an opportunity to sneak in left over food? some economies of scale being leveraged in the process? was it less work? or may be, just may be, they simply enjoyed the act of feeding tiny mouths, and seeing little bellies inflate like a balloon following a meal. A smile spreading on their face knowing that now that the kids are well fed, all is well with the world. Just like I secretly did that evening.

Posted in Hari Katha, Ram Leela

Ram Leela

The period around a child’s first b’day is a huge turning point. Not only is he more mobile, but also his intellectual and emotional capabilities are very tangible. You realize that he is more  than a cute, tender, cuddly, and dependent being. Someone with a little personality and a mind of his own. Little wonder that we have been oohing and aahing at some of Ram’s developments.  Here are some recent ones.

– When I drop Ram at day care, he understands that this is where he is going to spend most of his day. He happily waves and says bye bye to me, and even before I can reciprocate the gesture he hurries up to shut the door. Likewise, when I go to pick him up he would take his lunch bag from its designated spot and wave bye bye to his caretakers. The beauty of consistency and routine.

– Sure, being a second child has its advantages. For instance, the connection between a ball and a bat or a pen and paper comes naturally. When Ram sees a bat, he has to get hold of a ball as well. For now, he is happy to hand over the ball to one of us, and roam around the house with a bat in his hand.

– Ram loves playing catch with anna. You should see him trying to walk sooner than his little legs can carry him with a naughty smile on his lips when Hari calls out for him to play catch. When it comes to going out, appa is the man even when amma is dressed in jacket and shoes. But when it’s time to eat, nap, or some TLC, he is a mommy magnet just like anna.

– If you thought that Hari can boss him just because he is older to him by six years, nothing is farther from the truth. Yeah, there are times when Hari would call him “Ram baby” with frustration in his voice, but the anna loves him too much to use his age as an excuse to be bossy. Ram for his part will put up a good fight and stand up for himself to make up for his size and age.

– Ram has taken to reading these days. His favorite book being Good Night Gorilla. He loves to see and point all the animals lined up behind the zoo keeper. He loves to flip the book in a hurry as though he cannot wait to see what’s happening next although it’s the same sequence every time he reads the book. The wonder never ceases.  I love to see Hari drop everything and gravitate towards us when I am reading to Ram. Very nice to see that at a time when he has graduated to reading by himself, he still takes delight in skimming through board books.

Posted in Ram Leela

Angry Birds

Angry Birds may have gained its youngest die hard fan. Yes, we are talking about Ram here. No, our toddler does not play video games. But yes, he loves peppy tunes and fast beats. The second he sees Da seated with a laptop in front of him, it means only one thing – “tee tee tee”, his way of mimicking the Angry Birds tune, and he would not let go of Da until he has had his fill. How much cheer the tune spreads on his face! Little wonder that his anna has come with a new nickname for little Ram – Angry Birds baby.

Posted in Hari Katha

Turning seven

Dearest Hari,

If last year we were coming to terms with your  growing up right under our noses, this year we have been soaking in that experience.

This year you got your  first hard earned pay – a Quarter for sweeping the leaves on the drive way and collecting yard waste in the recycling bins. You worked on it close to an hour, and gave it your all. You thought the earth would get cleaner because of this noble act of yours – “Mama, I think the neighbors will be jealous looking at our clean drive way and would want to clean theirs. If everybody gets jealous then the earth will become cleaner”. Yes child, when you take pride in what you do, the possibilities are endless. And there is no better reward than knowing that you have made a difference in your own little ways.

You have been a sports maniac this year. An indispensable part of your morning routine is checking sports news, and scoreboards, and discussing them with appa. Likewise a non-tradeable part of your evening routine is playing some cricket/soccer/baseball with appa. Not wanting to be left out, I indulge you once in a while. You and I go to the tiny room in our basement, and play some cricket while we fight over songs that we want to play on YouTube.

You are a stellar big brother material. I love how you carry Ram around and take him to the door knob to see his reflection on the metal – “is he happy that I am lifting him amma? Do you think he loves me more than he loves you?” As much as you love him, sometimes you feel like he gets special treatment from us.  “Amma why does Ram have nicer parents than I do? You treat me like I am already in college”.  And I tell you, “Wait a little longer child. Very soon you will notice that Ram’s parents are not so nice after all”.

You have become an expert in coming up with wisecracks. The other day I was teasing Ram and you, “From now on I am going to call Ram, who can turn the world upside down with his budding vocabulary and  body gestures, as Prince Rowdy, and Hari, who somehow can find an excuse to not do what he is asked to,  as Prince Dodger”. A couple of minutes later you came up to me and said, “Amma, I have a new name for you. How about Princess Maddy (because you get mad a lot) or Princess No (because you are an expert at telling no).”  Sigh! those who are in glass houses should not throw stones at others.

I like how you dislike being late to school or classes. I like how sometimes when I try to take the easy way out, you point the rules to me black and white. I like how although you can read anything and everything by yourself, you want me to read to you at bed time.  I like how sometimes when I am upset, like an old soul you tell me, “Amma do you want to snuggle with Ram or I? or may be you can read a book to make yourself feel better?”

As you turn seven today, here’s wishing you with the bestest of all things on your b’day and forever. Be happy, don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself, be kind and gentle to everyone, and always always remember to do three scoops with cherry on top in all your endeavours.  Love you kutti.

Hugs and blessings,

Posted in Little Moments

Saturday specials

Every week come mid-week, Hari would start the countdown for Saturday night. What’s special about Saturday anyway? Drum rolls please before I make the grand announcement. Saturday nights are sleepover nights in our house. Hari, Ram and I cozy up in our queen size bed while Da is delegated to the twin mattress lying in our room. Of course, when Hari is around, bed time is party time for Ram, and it takes a good 30 mins before the kids mellow down. Once they are ready to hit the sack, the kids rest on their human pillow, which would be yours truly. Hari would take over my left arm. Ram wanting to make sure that he doesn’t end up having less of his amma, would climb over me and stay perched until he doses away. If I managed to stay awake amidst all this drama, I slip by to catch up on weekend chores. But on most Saturdays, I am drifting to dreamland with a huge thank you heavenward for this little moments of bliss that I get to experience every week.