Musings from the past week


I can now officially crib since next year I will be on the wrong side of 30! Dear god! I can still remember details about my school and college life but after that it is all in fast forward mode. I already feel like an old maid. ūüė¶

Before I begin my sulking, never imagined I would be celebrating 2 consecutive birthdays outside India – in a beautiful city like Edinburgh. When in school, I always hated it that my birthday fell during the monsoon season and it most definitely rained on that day. Here however, I am really enjoying this summer and sunshine.

This year I have also been able to get a lot of reading done. Thanks to the libraries here which have a huge collection. Back in India I was never able to continue with any library due to the frenzied lifestyle and lack of me-time. The books that I had purchased are still lying in a bag in some cupboard. Here I am enjoying the old world charm of going to a library, browsing through the books and reading them at leisure. Life is so spaced out here. I can take my kiddo with me. He plays with the toys in the kids corner section while I browse and issue books. It has such a laid back feeling to it which I enjoy. I have really come to savor these moments as I know I cannot do this back home.

August month here has a lot to offer with the school vacations and summer and it is truly the Festival month of Edinburgh. It’s filled with a diverse range of¬†activities, shows, performances, arts, etc for all kinds of audiences. The Edinburgh International Book Festival starts this weekend and I am determined to take the kiddo for book reading sessions and other activities. The website is not operating but I shall note down the details about our visits.

The kiddo meanwhile is at his naughtiest best – more demanding, more stubborn and troublesome with a mischievous smile to cover it all. The foods that he dislikes are promptly pushed on the floor from the dining table – (the carpet in our case¬†ūüė¶ ). Most of the time, after a meal or snack, hubby or I are on the floor cleaning up after his royal highness is done with the food. The juice is spilled over a wider area in the kitchen after which he will solemnly ask for the cleaning sponge cloths – he is amazed at the speed with which these cloths absorb the liquid and hence wants to watch it over and over again.

He has also learnt the art of communicating with his toys – the doggy¬†is placed facing the window and is compulsorily made to watch the fountain in the garden and whether the water is on. The open-mouthed dinosaurs¬†are now given lunches and dinners and are fed with rice daily – they are not turning chubby. The kiddo’s¬†blanket is placed on the Teddy¬†Bear – he is told to go to sleep so that Daddy will take them both to the garden in the evening. Every meal is to be had while watching ‘Wheels on the bus go round and round’ – I can sing this now even when am unconscious. If the song is over before the food, then the various other versions are to be played repeatedly. I haven’t given up though. As soon as he is old enough to listen and understand film songs, I am going to bombard him with Lata¬†Mangeshkar¬†oldies and Mehdi¬†Hassan ghazals. Let’s see if I can turn him over to my generation about songs.

Books are still a favourite though. Every time, he sees me reading, he will pick up one of his books and sit next to me, pretending to read. TV watching is mostly restricted to his lunch time and he has started picking up english words. There’s this one show where the host reads out greeting cards and letters to kids whose parents and relatives have wished them on their birthday. The kiddo promptly starts singing Happy Birthday to you!

Speaking of TV, I have been seeing this ad starring a weather-beaten Jean-Claude Van Damme:

What in the hell is this all about?

He is walking like a penguin and his pants are frozen rock solid??

This is such a perplexing ad, no idea what lager he’s¬†advertising and would it be any good if it freezes his assets?

The Cinema Experience


The Yogi Bear Show
Image via Wikipedia

We took Shantanu, who by the way is turning more into a brat by the day, to watch a movie last weekend. The multiplexes here air kiddie movies every Saturday morning. We decided it was time to introduce the little punk to the theatre. Movie listings were checked, the brat was shown a¬†couple of¬†movie trailers just to check his liking. ¬†We finally decides on Yogi Bear¬†after Cars and Kung Fu Panda. He seemed excited enough although it was me and hubby who were more eager to go and watch a movie, any movie in a theatre after more than a year. The excitement of going for a movie doesn’t end na? I have always felt eager and excited to watch a movie in theatre – the tickets, popcorn, pepsi-coke¬† – it is so reviving.

All set, the next day saw us at the theatre half an hour before the movie time. He watched the ads before the movie with deep concentration and I was starting to feel relaxed that he might sit still during the movie ahead.

But…

He was all attention when the Bear was on the screen and started crying as soon as it was out of scene. After a lot of cajoling and coaxing, hubby took him out and got a big cone of popcorn ūüôā

Alas the movie was one smooth ride after that. We even waited till the closing credits rolled out!! Pizzas and chocolate drinks followed and he was one happy kid by afternoon.

Shantanu and I also had our very first Bowling experience. With all our travelling, he is turning out to be a very outgoing person.

No wonder hubby wants to send him in to Travel and Living! ūüôā

 

Back to routine life


It had been a good two months with the in-laws visiting and all of us travelling. Lots of fun was had. Tummies filled with delicious food cooked by MIL. Our house achieved¬†unprecedented records of decibel levels¬†with six adults trying to manage two kids who are two years old. Luckily, we weren’t loud enough to be complained for noisy neighbours. It is difficult to come back to the quiet home after having such a lively atmosphere. But sonny seems to have taken that in stride. Though I feel that he misses his grandparents, not a word of sadness has been uttered by that boy. I wonder at time where do kids get this adjustment mechanisms from?

The schools and playgroups¬†have closed down for summer vacation and hence our Wednesdays are no more occupied with Tumble Tots. However, sonny has completed the Walking to 2 Years¬†programme. He also got his very first certificate for it. I am so proud. Earlier I had written about him not adjusting to the playgroup¬†environment but the last three sessions changed it all. He not only stopped crying, but in fact, he started enjoying and playing a lot. After summer, he will be going to the next leve, 2 to 3 Years.¬†Here’s the certificate.

Tumble Tots Certificate

Talking about certificates, he got another one from the library today for reading books. Isn’t that totally encouraging?

Library Certificate

Although summer has officially started, this week was full of rains and today, even thundery showers. I wouldn’t have given a second thought to it,¬†had I been in Mumbai. Aren’t Mumbai rains¬†famous? But here they feel out-of-place¬†and the thunders sure rock through the neighbourhood. The overcast skies this week have added to my sullen mood. But it also makes me want to eat hot pakoras and chai.. ūüôā

I am getting totally bored with WordPress¬†templates.¬†The lack of flexibility, inability to add java script¬†widgets¬†and,¬†really boring templates. I am seriously thinking of shifting back to Blogspot. What do you think, should I? I mean, apart from the advantage of replying to individual comments, (well there aren’t many, any rather), I see no other reason to stay with WordPress. Hmm, maybe I should keep parallel blogs on both for some time and then decided. What say? Guide me, come on! I have spent a major part of my day browsing through the beautiful Blogger templates and am tempted…

PS: What do you think of the new theme?

Happy Birthday sonny! You are 2 today :)


You are 2 today! That was what the poster on our hall read when I turned two years old. That was almost 3 decades ago. How time flies. I remember standing stiffly pointing appropriately at posters and cakes and gifts with a plastered smile on my face. Most of the times I never liked the taste of my birthday cakes.¬†Hmmm..maybe it was because of the fact that all other kids standing around me were more eager than me to have a bite as soon as I cut it or it was probably the icing that did it. And I didn’t know how to give a nice pose for photographs.

Anyway. My son is a natural though. He already poses in front of cameras and even knows when we are video shooting him. I guess it’s due to the fact that we tried to capture every moment of his since he was little and now he is used to it. ūüôā I decided not to be late like last year and post my thoughts about your birthday on time.

So how do I feel? Or more importantly, how do you feel son, turning two and showing me in not so subtle¬†ways that you are growing up and that you not the little baby I held not a long time back. How come only two years changed all that? Isn’t it a short time for you to be up and walking, no, running without holding my hand; being confident about it? How about selecting shoes of your choice and refusing to wear the old ones until daddy made the payment and put on the new shoes? Thomas engine, Chuggington¬†really! How did you learn to sing ‘Happy Birthday to you’ days before your birthday? How did you realise that you didn’t want to sleep on the separate bed and insisted on sleeping right between me and daddy. And now you wake up at night when you realise I am trying to make some space for myself, and you throw yourself on me. You really have odd ways of showing possessiveness! How come you are contented and calm without being too complacent? Sometimes when I see you so serene and into your own world, I can almost peep into the small window that gives me a glance into your future but before I comprehend the thoughts, it’s gone but¬†it¬†gives me¬†an inkling that it’s good and healthy..for lack of better words.

There are times when I think about my career and when shall I resume it again. But then I once had a conversation with an elderly aunt of mine who raised her son single-handedly. She said that children who have their mothers with them in their formative years and who grow up with them singularly, turn out to be more content, self-reliant and happy than those who don’t have their mothers 24×7. This conversation has been a soothing balm for me.

What more can I ask? To burden you with my ambitions and hopes is not something that I want to do and I really hope that it doesn’t come to that. I don’t want to be that kind of mother. Yes, but I do want to instill in you liking for books, music, travel and food. I am sure if you deeply attach yourself to these (in that order), other goals of practical life will come to you naturally. Of this am sure. Advice in words is of no use right now but I hope in my actions and behaviour towards you, am bestowing the right values. You really are a good kid to bring up. I haven’t had any difficulties with you that I can name. Really. None. Touch wood. But I still have something more to say..

Two years ago, on this very day
I was on the hospital bed, all stressed out and gray

When they put you in my arms you looked so calm
I would be the best mother I had no qualms

Little did I know that my world had completely changed
That it would never be the same, no never again

Now I can’t imagine the nights when you weren’t at my side
And the day doesn’t begin until you have smiled

Do you know the little flutter that I feel inside
When you call me ‘Aai’ with your smile so wide

Surely there are days when I feel so bad
When you don’t eat, when you don’t sleep and you make me so mad

But the real fun is in experiencing all these things with you
Your achievements, your tricks, your moods and the essence that is you

It’s a delight to watch you grow and it never ceases me to amaze
All that you have accomplished at such a small age

Obviously am a mother and I have a bias they will say
It’s a mother’s heart after all, what else am I to say?

Two years now and look at how time flies
Wasn’t it only yesterday when you were bundled up all nice?

If I give you any advice I know you will scream
But always remember it’s chocolate and not vanilla ice cream

When life throws problems at you that seem big and you can’t handle
Look at the stars at night and your issues with appear small and dwindle

But all this is too far off so let’s not bother now
It’s your only 2nd birthday so go take a bow

Terrible twos? No way it’s definitely terrific twos
Here am wishing a very happy birthday to you!

Too long, eh?

The things on my mind…


It’s been seven months now in Edinburgh and to say that I have enjoyed my stay here is to put it very mildly. The place, the seasons, the sheer thought of living in such a picturesque country elevates my thoughts and puts me in a wonderful mood.

Even though winter is still on with winds and cold, the days are getting longer and there’s just something bright in the air; I can’t quite put a name to it, but everyday I wake up it feels like spring will be here soon. And I can hardly wait to experience it!!

In this short span of time, I have experienced many a things that will go down in memory lane as “kodak¬†moments”, autumn, the first snowfall, visits in Cambridge, Norwich, Bury St. Edmunds¬†(which reminds me that I still have to put up that post about our trip on christmas and new year). These small towns are so beautiful and have so much character. I could have spent days there just walking around all over the town, sipping coffee in the small stylish cafes. It just felt completely like home.

Another most important reason perhaps why I am enjoying it this much is because am spending time with my family, specially with my son. In this short span of time he has achieved so many milestones of his own and that in itself is some feat; but being there the very first moment is heaven – the first walk, the first words, the first run. What pure magic it is to see your own child grow in front of your eyes rather than have someone else tell you at the end of the day when you return half dead, tired from office. These moments would never have been the same.

I know I won’t be with him throughout the day once I go back to India, but am here now during his very early formative years and that would help him immensely. He has not yet started throwing tantrums and is quite easy-going and calm but is quite assertive in many situations. I think it’s a good sign though it’s too early to judge. He does lack peer engagement but his school will start soon and am quite eager to observe him behave in that environment.

Making him independent is my main goal with him. He already helps me a lot in my household activities and seems very pleased with himself when he does so, unloading the dishwasher is a favourite and so is tidying up his toys after play. He is too small to allow him to cook but am sure when he is old enough he will be quite a lot of help in the kitchen. He also loves carrying things for me. He will¬† take out the dry laundry from the dryer, pick up my¬†cell phone if it’s ringing and will give it to me. He can’t actually put out the clothes to dry but today he put a wet hanky on the chair and was grinning afterward to show what a great achievement it was. He loves to do different things everyday and quite often is successful in his effort. He knows his mind so far, haven’t seen him cranky or confused except when he was ill. Though he hasn’t started speaking¬†a lot, he understands almost everything that we say. Commendable for a twenty month old, eh?

This post has turned into a mamma post which was quite unintentional but you got to say whats on your mind and that’s just the tip of where am coming from!

Health updates


I have been dying to get to this post for the past couple of days. The son is fine. Well, almost. The endless crying sessions have stopped ans so have the no-food-for-entire-day. He is not yet up to his complete diet but is catching up on it pretty fast.

The colour is back in his cheeks and also the lustre of his skin. Our appetite is directly proportional to his, the more he eats, the more hungry we feel. This is going to be a short post as I type with my right hand and hold him with my left.

So long then. Have a healthy new year!

All is well


This blog is not dead and I am alive and kicking. The lack of posting is due to a bad attach of virus, on me, not the computer silly. But I am up again now and will be posting up more delightful details about my christmas and new year’s trip. The house is in¬†a mess given my ill-health and now am nursing hubby and son back to health. Yea, they caught the flu too.

So pray for us. Many thanks.

PS: Happy new year to you all!

Tumble Tots


We were suddenly struck by the realisation that, apart from us, Shantanu¬†doesn’t know anyone and is seriously lacking social interaction. It’s been 3 weeks now since we started taking¬†him to a play-group called Tumble Tots. This is the only outing where he gets to interact with tots his age.

He was naturally overwhelmed at the first class but the next two were pretty smooth. He has made a couple of friends now and is okay with one to one interaction. He still needs one of us at his side throughout the session.

It was a big achievement for us today to reach the premises, given the foot deep snow and the disrupted transport. We made it in time before the session. Reaching there, we found¬†that only a couple more kids had managed to come. The ride back home was a¬†long and tiring one. The bus didn’t come and we waited and waited. Then, we waited some more. We¬†had to take¬†a different route where we changed buses and by the time we reached home it was noon already. Hubby was in two minds whether to go to office or not. I had¬†asked him to stay back as it was impossible to take out the pram in this climate.

Shantanu, however, wasn’t very keen on playing today. There weren’t many kids around and he seemed irritated with the instructors. He also refused to sit in the group songs along with the other kids and instructors. Any advice?

A snowy weekend


After much anticipation, it finally snowed this weekend. My first snowfall, Shantanu’s first snowfall. Though I wonder if he will remember any of it. And for that, we have the video camera.

Parking lot

It started on Friday evening. A soft drizzle at first and then a heavy downpour. The sky was such a slight pink. It was the colour of my son when he was just born. After some time when the snow had accumulated, it reflected a beautiful yellowish pink and it was all bright in the middle of the night. We all stayed up till midnight, taking turns rushing to the windows for different views. We even dared to open the windows for a better shot. The commentary in the videos shoots contains sounds of our teeth chattering and that’s when we shut the windows.

The snowman near the frozen fountain

Shantanu was all excited. I could make it out as he kept flapping his hands all the time trying to imitate the snow-falling-action. It snowed all over the weekend, disrupting transport and traffic. Schools here have shut down with weather warnings issued and these are the extreme temperatures observed in November in many years. In short, all fun and frolic for children. This resulted in 3 snowmen standing proudly with their carroty-nose and cucumber-eyes with a stole around their necks. A family even built an igloo which we still have to go explore.

Ground below our building

The seasons are fantastic. You can actually notice the change in nature. The leaves changing their colours, the migrating¬†birds, the subtle winds; I have already experienced summer and autumn and am now freezing in the cold and snow.¬†Every night, when I wake up in between, I look outside the window¬†and watch the snowfall. It is so serene just ¬†like watching the rain minus the noise. Rain has its own beauty but am beginning to like the snowfall too. ūüôā

Am running out of titles here!


Shantanu has another trick up his sleeve lately. Every time he kicks me or his dadda, or knocks us down with his head or slaps us, he will very sweetly come up to us while we are moaning in pain and kiss us. Then he makes those dove like eyes and smiles coyly just to add a touching effect. Seriously, from where do kids learn all these tactics is completely beyond me.

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Me and hubby were watching this programme “16 and Pregnant” last night. It follows the stories of pregnant teenage girls in high school dealing with the hardships of teenage pregnancy. Most of the episodes end with the girl realising that it was wrong decision to get pregnant and that she should have waited until she was independent and mature. In one of the episodes we watches yesterday, the teen mother said something to this effect, “Sigh, I don’t think I am ready for any of this.” Taking cue, me and hubby also said collectively, “Neither were we, sigh!” I went ahead and said that I don’t think I was even ready to get married, I wish I had waited or I wish I hadn’t got married at all. Hubby said, “me neither.” Then we sighed some more. I said to no one in particular that it would have been great to just have a job and go out with friends and he said, yea and then maybe we could have just lived together, no strings attached! It would have been better yet! ūüôā

…and I said, “O”

Such is the deeply intellectual conversation we have!