Friday, August 31, 2007

The Fia(t)sco

If you've read this post by David, then you know it has a happy ending. If you haven't, then what are you waiting for? At David's request I'm posting about a similar story except our ending had a dunking.. literally.

My grandparents moved from Lucknow to Gurgaon in '89. Until then they were the proud owners of a scooter (brand escapes my memory). I have happy memories of four overweight individuals balanced on it, whizzing through the lanes of Lucknow interspersed with frequent breakdowns!

Having moved to an as yet undeveloped suburb of Delhi meant that getting a car became a necessity. I really can't remember whether we could afford a new car or not but the decision was made to get a second hand one. Especially since my grandparents couldn't drive and the car would be under the supervision of some aggressive Jat (a community known for their brash style).

Having racked their brains hard, the task of finding a suitable car was given to my maternal uncles...all the way in Srinagar (they subsequently moved to Jammu as the terrorism threat increased). Even though my uncles "couldn't possibly do anything right", or "have any knowledge of cars", they were the chosen ones. And to their credit they took up the challenge (not that they had much choice), fully aware that everytime something went wrong they would hear about it.. promptly and loudly! It was only when they moved to Gurgaon a couple of years later that they would rue this decision as the complaints became as common as their daily cuppa.

The light green coloured Fiat arrived at our doorstep one summer day after having driven more than a thousand kilometres all the way from Jammu (waaaaay up north). Covered with dust after its long drive, it was still a pleasure to eyes that had never owned a four wheeled thingy before. It remained the pride of my grandfather till umm...the dunking. He was after all the first in his family to get one and wrote about it lovingly in all his letters to his relatives.

It was common for my grandparents to bundle the three of us into the Fiat and drive to Rishikesh where our family guru stayed in an ashram. Instead of an aggressive Jat we had an alcoholic Haryanavi (native of Haryana, an Indian state) as our driver. On a little aside, I can't believe for 10 years we had a driver who had a known alcohol problem. Every time we had to go somewhere we could never be sure that we would reach there - one because he might not turn up and two because he might turn up drunk. We would always accept invites but caveat it with a 'depends on the driver'. If he turned up intoxicated my grandfather would feed him loads of nimbu achar (lime pickle) and strong black coffee and then evaluate whether he was in a condition to drive. The other positive of having an alcoholic driver was that once when he did turn up extremely drunk during some festivities, he sat there for hours washing every dirty dish we could provide him with. And even then he would come stumbling up asking for more work. He worked like a donkey that day, poor guy. And before some of you get agitated, for the record we did not let him drive the car when he was drunk.

That was a lot of digressing. So, we were on our way to Rishikesh one summer - 2 seventy year olds, a teenager and an alcoholic - fantastic. We reached the Ashram without mishap (God was benevolent until later). Now, the Ashram is located in the foothills of the Himalayas, on the bank of the Ganges in Rishikesh. It's up a steep hill and the gate of the ashram overlooks the Ganga. So, he drove the car up the hill and in through the ashram gates. We got out of the car and he parked the car on a slope in front of the gate (that was really the only place to park cars inside the ashram). A few minutes later we heard a slight roll and turned around to see the car roll down the slope, gather speed, break through the iron gates, cross the lane and crash into the roaring Ganga below.

I think I felt shock but the predominant feeling was of amazement. I had witnessed a scene only before seen on celluloid. Wow! I still can't believe it happened. Clearly the handbrake had not been engaged and I have to add here that on that particular day the alcoholic had not imbibed any alochol, not because he could resist but because he hadn't had a chance in the 7 hour drive from Gurgaon under the eagle eye of my grandfather.

We had named the car Ram Pyaari after Amitabh's car in the movie Akela. She was replaced by a brand new white Fiat a couple of weeks later. Those were the days.....................

Thursday, August 30, 2007

My perspective

I couldn't let this post by The Mad Momma go by without airing my perspective on the issues that she raises. I agree with some and disagree with others. And here's why.

I strongly feel that any parent (mother or father) that submerges their life and choices below the preferences of their children makes a wrong decision. If it is your dream to be a mother and to spend all your time with your kids, then god bless you but don't apologise about it and certainly don't regret it. Be aware that your choice as a SAHM may mean that if you're interested in a career whether it is in the corporate world or it's an art form like music or dance, may not be fulfilled to the extent of your capabilities and desires. As long as you make the choice with full awareness it's fine. What really gets me annoyed is when women stay at home but find no pride in it. If you can't be proud of who you are irrespective of what you have or haven't achieved, then I have no time for you.

While I am growing to realise that my love for Squiggles knows no bounds, I'm also conscious that the exclusive time that I have with her today will only diminish as the days go by... as she grows and makes friends, studies and moves away, maybe gets involved in her career and as she gets married and has her own family. All this while my role in her life is set to decline... not that she will not love me but certainly she will not need me as much.

I see a lot of people from our parents generation who don't know what to do with their time once their children leave the nest. They have probably spent their youth for their children and now find themselves all alone. Some people do deal with this well but a lot of parents remain a mere shadow of themselves. If a parent has their own life and doesn't submerge their individuality then they are more likely to be interested in life, be more interesting to their peers, family and friends and thus have a more rewarding life. They are also less likely to restrict their children's dreams. You are more likely to encourage your child to move out, study away from home, leave to achieve their potential if you don't need them.

In 25 years time I don't want to be in a situation where my children have their own life and I am waiting around for some morsels of time to be given to me. While I am sure I would want even then to spend all my time with them, they will not want to. There's nothing wrong with this, it's the circle of life. So, yes I want to live my life in my old age enjoying the company of my husband, doing things for which I never got the time before.

Which brings me to the other point that MM raised in her post. Grandparents and whether we should assume that our parents will leave their lives to come look after our children. I think the big question is around presumption. Am I having a child on the presumption that I have ready made babysitters in my parents? If yes, then it's unfair. We must remember that yes they do have a life of their own but also that physically they are not in a position to run around after a 1 year old.

One of the big positives of moving to Singapore was that my parents would be here and it would be a big help. They moved here recently and don't know anyone so I'm not exaggerating when I say that we have livened up their lives. They've always been very social, constantly entertaining people at home. They still get loads of visitors. However, they moved to Singapore too late in life to start all over again. Hence, here they are socially less active. My mom keeps insisting that I leave Squiggles with her and feel free to carry out errands and do the stuff that needs doing. And I have been leaving Squiggles with her for a couple of hours everyday. But I've realised that how much ever my mom chooses and wants to look after Squiggles, willingly without me foisting Squiggles on her, she can't cope up with it because she's getting old.

If Squiggles has been crying, she finds it tough to hold her and walk around with her. Sometimes her shoulder aches. My mom is very fit for her age.. she goes to the gym 4-5 times a week but even for her handling a baby even for a few hours a day is too much. She won't admit to it however much I prod her. As a result, I have reduced the hours that I leave Squiggles there. On the contrary I find my mom upset and hurt that Squiggles and I choose to stay at home when we live a mere 3km away and have nothing better to do at home. She doesn't want to interfere in our lives and hesitates to demand that I leave Squiggles with her for the day. And yet I know that she's hurt when we only drop by after lunch and not spend the whole day with her.

If we have made the decision to have a child, we should bear that responsibility without grudges. We shouldn't assume that our parents or anyone else will look after them. If it means that you have to give up your job because you don't want to leave your kids with someone else, or if it means leaving your child at a daycare centre because you have to or want to work, in either case take ownership.

Reverting back to SAHM vs. working, it is also my mom who has been constantly badgering me to start looking for a job. I don't need to work for money. We don't have EMI's that need paying. We live within our means on one person's salary. My going to work would mean more money in the that we don't need, money that would be luxury. But I'm not going to work for the money. Yes, I want to make sure that I get adequately rewarded for my skills but my motivation is not more materialisitc things. DD can provide for Squiggles and me in whatever fashion we choose to live.

I want to go to work because my parents worked really hard to give me a great education and are extremely proud of what I have achieved so far. They want to see me reach even further heights of my career and I want to see them be even more proud of me. They are proud of what DD has achieved but really what brings a twinkle to their eye are my achievements.

The other person who is really keen I get back to work is DD. He keeps telling me he wants to talk to me about something other than diapers. That he married an intelligent woman and doesn't want me to sit at home and do nothing. Raising a child is extremely important and very tough. I am not undermining that. However, there are other things which I need to keep doing to be true to myself, otherwise I will not be a great mother or a great wife. If you can be a SAHM and be true to yourself then that's great. It wouldn't work for me. I need to know that I didn't spend the last 25 years of my life working hard only to put it away now. Why should I have to sacrifice my ambitions just because I have a child. I want to know that I can find a balance where I can be there for the most important events in my child's life and hopefully for a majority of the minor events of her life too. Maybe I can achieve this by staying at home for a while or not at all or maybe forever... above all the decision should be mine. I already know that it will be a wrench when the time comes for me to go back to work. I don't know yet whether I will be able to do it.

But please whatever we decide can we not be holier than thou about it. If you're a SAHM then don't take the moral stand that you have sacrificed for the greater good of your children and find all others lacking. That decision in itself is as selfish as the one taken by a working mum, because you choose to stay at home because it gives YOU satisfaction and pleasure. Being needed gives you joy. Not for any other reason do you stay at home. Equally if you go back to work because you need to pay the bills, then in a lot of cases some of those bills may be unnecessary. Or, if like me you choose to go back to work because you want to, that's selfish too.

All our decisions are selfish including the decision to have a child.

I am not editing this post since I feel it should be as it came out. And no, I don't apologise for any of the above.

Edited to add: This post by CeeKay says everything I want in a better way.

A Big Baby

This has been happening consistently for some time now. Most days I laugh, some days I wonder whether I should get worried. Anyways, here's a chronological list of comments by some of the co-inhabitants of this island.

1. Age: Day 1 to 4 of life, Location: Hospital, Culprit: Grandma, Nurses, Doctor
All comment: So cute!!! BIG baby...........!!!!

2. Age: 8 days, Location: Home, Culprit: Malaysian Massage lady

Massage lady: She's a big baby, no?
After a pause..."hmm...big baby".
Massage lady (on observing the diaper being changed): She needs a bigger diaper.

3. Age: 3 weeks, Location: Doctor's clinic, Culprit: Doctor

Doctor: Oh.. she's so beautiful. You both are doing really well. I'm proud of you. She's putting on weight which is good. Some babies have a lot of problem and lose weight initially. So well done.
SM: Is she putting on too much weight?
Doctor: No, no. She's just fine. You're doing really well.

SM is wondering if we're doing too well since everyone seems to be commenting on how big Squiggles is.

4. Age: 4.5 weeks, Location: Doctor's clinic, Culprit: A Caucasian grandmother

We're sitting on the sofa waiting for our turn to see the doc. Caucasian grandma and Indian grandma start chatting.

Indian grandma: How old is your baby?
Caucasian grandma: 4 weeks. How old is yours?
Indian grandma: 5 weeks.

Caucasian grandma promptly turns away and starts talking to Caucasian mother in gibberish with frequent furtive glances at Squiggles. Clearly they are comparing their child to Squiggles and finding him sorely lacking. Squiggles is the clear winner (or not).

5. Age: 6 weeks, Location: Lift lobby, Culprit: Chinese Neighbour

Chinese Neighbour: What a lovely baby. How old is she?
Grandma (lying through her teeth and setting a bad example for Squiggles): 2 months
Chinese Neighbour: Oh! Big baby....

6. Age: 7 weeks, Location: Gym, Culprit: Mom's personal trainer

Personal trainer: Was that your daughter with the maid?
SM: Yes.
Personal trainer: She's about 2 months isn't it? She's quite a big baby.
SM: Yes (and starts pushing weights with more force).

7. Age: 8 weeks, Location: Doctor's clinic, Angel: Doctor

Grandma: Is she putting on too much weight?
Doctor: No, no.. she's fine.
Grandma (persists): How much weight should she have put on by now?
Doctor: About 800gms per 4 weeks and she's in that range.

SM starts calculating... Squiggles has put on 900gms in the last month and a month is a bit more than 4 weeks so... not bad. Phew!

But the saga continues.....

8. Age: 11 weeks, Location: Carrefour supermarket, Culprit: An old chinese man working as a security guard

Security guard shakes his head and smiles at baby. Then brings up his hand making up the sign for the number 4 and then number 5, enquiring how old Squiggles is.
SM (who has also learnt the art of lying by now): 3 months
Security guard nods head smilingly and walks away. SM is convinced he was referring to weeks and not months when enquiring about Squiggles's age.

9. Age 11 weeks, Location: Home, Culprit: SM

Excitedly she makes Squiggles try on this really pretty dress she bought from Chateau de Sable. She finds that the arms are too tight for Squiggles who has started howling by this point. Feeling like a miserable bitch she forces her arm through and realises there is no hope of her wearing this dress ever unless she alters it. Re-checking the label assures her that it's the right size - 3 to 6 months! The dress was exchanged for another sleeveless dress.

10. Age: 12 weeks, Location: Lift lobby, Culprit: Another neighbour

Neighbour: How old is she?
Indian grandma (hesitantly and after a 3 second pause)(lying has now become second nature): 4 months.
Neighbour smiles benevolently.

SM looks at her, waiting for the inevitable any minute. But no comment is forthcoming. There are 2 possibilities -
1. Squiggles is the appropriate size for a 4 month old.
2. Another neighbour is too polite to say anything.

Fervently praying that the first possibility is the case SM walks in to the lift.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Nightingale

I absolutely love singing. In fact I am so passionate about singing that I can't find words to express myself. The tragedy of my life is that I can't sing. I am physically incapable of carrying a note. Every time I open my mouth to bellow some of my favourite numbers I get numerous complaints and requests from my family to SHUT UP. They have realised over time that there's no point in dilly dallying and trying to bear with it. It never gets better :(. Hence, I often indulge myself by singing while walking on an empty road or when I'm in my room alone.

A lifetime ago DD and I had a fight... on the lack of my singing abilities. This is what happened...

On this particular day I had the strongest urge to sing.... and I had to sing as well as I could, stretching my throat to it's maximum. So I took my Ipod with me to my bedroom, wore the headset, lay on my bed and started singing. Loudly. Since I am a perfectionist I tried to match the sur, taal and laya as best as possible and I did this by giving myself free reign. Rehman songs, old Rafi ballads.. all were being sung with great gusto.

DD was in the living room watching TV as usual. After 10 mins he comes and closes the bedroom door. I couldn't care less. I was too engrossed in the joy of my life, imagining that I was the next find of Sa Re Ga Ma. Another 10 mins go by and something hits my head. I turn around to find DD staring at me angrily.

Me: Why on earth did you throw this at me?
DD: I can hear you all the way in the living room and it's terrible.
Me: So? Just close the damn doors.
DD: I already did. But I can still hear you.
Me: That's no reason to throw things at me. What's wrong with you?
DD: You just wouldn't listen. I shouted at you from the living room to shut up but you couldn't hear me above the din. I opened the bedroom door and shouted at you to shut up but you still couldn't hear me. So, I threw that at you. That's the only way to get you to pay attention.
Me: What???
DD: Can you PLEASE stop singing.
Me (nearly in tears and very angry): You are so rude. I can't believe you threw that at me. And NO... I WILL NOT STOP SINGING. What will you do now?
DD stomped out of the room, banging the door for effect. Undeterred I resumed singing...loudly :)).

Fast forward to tonight. Squiggles is screaming and I am singing to her. Loudly and probably tunelessly. There are no sounds of protest from the father. One positive side effect of becoming a mom!!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

I so love my new chair

My parents have got me figured. They got me this really cool chair over the weekend.

I tried it out!!!

At first I thought it was kinda interesting.

Then something was amiss. I felt a bit unsure.

And a minute later I was sure... I hated it.

Maybe ma and pa could use it to store onions or whatever...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Being a couple again

Before we decided to have a baby we talked about it a lot. My main concern was always the impact it would have on us as a couple. I always felt DD underestimated how much time it would take away from us and the strain it could put on our relationship. He kept reassuring me that it was up to us to make sure that didn't happen.

Since Squiggles we have had very little time together. A child is very demanding and can take up all of your time. As a new mother I found myself unable to separate myself from Squiggles for long enough to do things for myself. I'd forgotten that I was someone else other than a mother. To his credit, DD had been telling me for the last 6 weeks that I should start expressing milk so that we could leave her with my mom and go out for a meal or a movie. But one way or the other the time was never right. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to go along with his suggestion. I left Squiggles with my mom and some expressed milk but we decided to use the time to finish loads of chores that had been pending since we moved into our new home. The meal or movie took a backseat again. And somehow we never got the opportunity until last friday.

DD's sister (and her husband) were visiting us last week and it was her birthday on Friday. DD wanted to take her out for drinks to a bar on the 71st floor of the Swissotel here in Singapore. The catch was that I had to go along. All my entreaties fell on deaf ears. It was a different matter to leave Squiggles for a few hours during the day with my mom but I wasn't ready to leave her at night. Even though she has been sleeping through the night, she is still unpredictable. What if she woke up and needed a feed? It would take us 10 mins to get to my moms place but it seemed unfair to leave her just to have some fun. DD was adamant. It was either all four of us or no one. Reluctantly I agreed. We decided not to shuttle her around between my mom's place and ours but to leave her at home under the maids' supervision.

It felt so strange to be out like this after such a long time. While we have been out since Squiggles, it's usually been for either lunch or dinner and with some family. The bar was fantastic and full of people our age, all out to have a night of fun. I met a couple of people from DD's work as well and realised that I hadn't met anyone my age since I'd moved here 4 months ago. While I was pregnant it was such an effort to go around and I felt self conscious meeting new people for several reasons (no clothes that fit was a major one). And after Squiggles, well life just changed dramatically and it took a while to settle down.

I was so excited to be out and realised I had missed this. Going out with DD to a nice place, having an adult conversation, some dancing (forced on DD's part :)). But it was also different from all the other times before. I found that I couldn't completely relax or stop worrying about Squiggles. We left after we'd put her to bed for the night with clear instructions to the maid to call us if she woke up. I found myself checking my mobile every couple of minutes to make sure the signal was there or to reassure myself that I hadn't missed the sound of the phone ringing. Some part of me was also worried that the maid hadn't called us or had misplaced our number. We got home at 2.30 in the morning to find her fast asleep. She was absolutely fine.

I'm really glad we did it. It reminded me of how much fun we used to have together. A part of me was really missing it but didn't know how to make it happen. Somewhere along the road of becoming a mother I had forgotten what it was to be a wife, a soulmate. It was good to see each other outside of our roles as parents and remind ourselves that we owe it to 'us' to do this more often - whether for drinks, or a meal or a movie or just a coffee. It's important for us to have time for ourselves and our relationship. It gave me hope that the 'us' I loved so much wasn't lost forever but just temporarily misplaced. And I have now found it again.

We are a family first but from time to time a couple again.

A bit late....

Here's how we celebrated Squiggles second month birthday which was 2 weeks ago! But I have a good excuse... I've had house guests for the last 10 days hence the delay in putting up the pics. Since we had forgotten to take our camera to mom's place, I had to use my mobile. Thank god for technology.

It was a good excuse for me to break my diet and hog on cake :). I also bought two pretty dresses for Squiggles though she can't wear them for a few more weeks. I've also decided to buy her a pretty dress each month as a present (another excuse to justify going berserk in my favourite children's clothes store).

Up she goes

Squiggles loves to lie on her tummy. Whether it's when she's being massaged, or when I bathe her or when she wants to sleep. So, as usual I put on her on her tummy for her afternoon nap a few days ago and realised she wasn't interested in sleeping. She kept tossing her head. Left, right, left, right.

And then in the blink of her eye she raised her head, supporting herself on her arms.

Atta girl!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Check me out

My mom has finally got her act together. I finally get to wear a pretty dress though it's taken her a few days to sort herself out and take a few pics. My namesake's mom sent me this dress from London and even if I say so myself I think I look pretty cool :).


Thursday, August 9, 2007

Sleep Jinx

It's a familiar ritual every morning. I hear a little groan, a sigh or anything which might indicate Squiggles is planning to wake up and I immediately go into sleep defence mode. Instantly alert at the possibility of having to wake up I quickly stretch my hand across to Squiggles and pat her vigorously. This sometimes works for 5 mins and maybe up to half an hour depending on how desperate I am (the more desperate I am, the more vigorous the patting and the sooner Squiggles wakes up). Today was just another morning when I heard a whimper. I jumped up and quickly patted her. Somewhere in between I slowly slipped back into sleep and pulled my hand back. The next thing I know there is a wail but when I look at the clock it's 9.30 in the morning. I check again, surely I have got it wrong. It can't possibly be that late. My patting usually gets me an extra 15 mins on average and hear it seems like I got an extra 3 hours. Unbelievable and perfectly true. I'm so proud of my daughter. It seemed she did have some of my genes.

Perfectly in charity with each other we did our usual stuff... milk, some games and then time for her mid-day nap. There was just one problem - Squiggles didn't or couldn't sleep. She snoozed for a bit but then woke up. As the day wore on it became increasingly clear that this brat was going to wail her way through the day and she was not planning on sleeping for more than 10 mins at a time.

Crankiness is thy name Squiggles. After a pretty hassled day she has finally now gone to bed with her mama crossing her fingers that this time it will last and hopefully till the morning.

I may have woken up refreshed but certainly feel far from it at the end of the day. And really need a drink. I haven't had one for the last 10 months..........slurp.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Two months on

Hi Squiggles,
Happy second month birthday!

You're sleeping peacefully at the moment in your crib and I'm snatching these rare peaceful moments to write to you because at the moment you understand little of what I say but I want you to know many years from now how I feel today.

I'm surprised that the last two months have gone by so fast. As the days run away I'm longing for them to slow down. Because I know these will be the most precious moments of all those to come. This is when you need me the most and I have your undivided attention and I want to keep it that way for as long as possible :).

But I'm enjoying you so much these days. Every morning when you wake up, we have a nice long chat. You give me these wide silly smiles which I love. I just wish I could capture it on camera for posterity.

DD and I realised sometime last week that you were responding to your environment and were more active than before. That's when we decided you needed some toys. Your first toy (actually we ended up buying two) were these. You love looking up at the revolving toy and this morning I was pointing out the cute monkey, bird and frog to you. You seemed to be listening carefully (though I don't know whether that was due to a lack of choice).

We've started playing games now - you and me. I tell you to lift your hands and the silly girl that you are, you indulge me and sometimes manage to lift one hand while I can see you struggling to lift the other one. It makes me so proud to see you try and I want to smother you in kisses and hugs. But somehow you live up to your name and keep squiggling when that happens.

DD has been a bit ambitious with you and has been trying to get you to play the piano. Here's how um.. ridiculous the two of you look though I'm supposed to look encouraging at all times.

Last night you indulged your nutty mum a bit more. I asked you to make an ah sound and you obliged. DD and I went a bit silly after that and kept trying with ooh, eh and other sounds. You humoured us for a while and then promptly started wailing once it got too much and you wanted to sleep. I wonder whether you think you've landed in an asylum accidentally.

You still hate your car seat a lot... you only manage to sit in it when I trick you by putting you to sleep first. More often than not you start wailing and grandma has to take you out of it and soothe you. You're stressing her out, you know, with all this banshee like wailing. Yesterday, in the Carrefour carpark, you were crying so violently that afterwards she felt drained and had to go and do some relaxation exercises the next morning. So, it's not all angelic in your world. Some little devil keeps peeking out every now and again :).

I think it's also amazing the number of varied places I have actually had to feed you. For some reason you enjoy eating outdoors. As soon as we leave home and reach the mall you decide that you would much prefer to feed. Maybe it's the effect of this food loving nation, but you let me know in no uncertain terms that you would prefer to feed then and there. No amount of cajoling works. I have fed you several times in the car, in several baby rooms in many malls, in restaurants and a couple of days ago in the changing room of a store where I was trying some clothes on. Thankfully I had already decided to buy a few things otherwise they would have surely evicted us from the changing room which we managed to occupy for close to half an hour. Your other favourite place to feed is at the doctors'. Every visit we are seen in the clinic's feeding room before and after the consultation with the doc. The doc and staff look at me questioningly wondering why I haven't bothered to feed you before we left home. I just smile and look apologetic. But never you worry, I will seek recompense for all this ridiculous behaviour that you're subjecting me to. E.g. I will not allow you to have sleep overs, or get your favourite toy or eat cake and chocolate... huh. Trust me little one the feeling of power and control is making me giddy!!!

I'm happy that you sleep in your crib now (which I went to great pains to decorate) and didn't give me any trouble with the transition from our bed to yours. I think maybe it has to do with the fact that like your Maama (uncle) you need space to stretch out. I put you down to sleep and for whatever reason you keep turning your head from right to left and back trying to get comfy. I find it a bit funny as you keep tossing your head because it seems like such an effort. When morning comes I find you have moved further up in the crib, leaving behind your blanket and have somehow managed to position yourself such that you are lying almost sideways.

You love your changing station too. Whenever we put you on there to change your diaper you seem mighty pleased and keep kicking which makes the job on hand that much more interesting.

I've been telling DD that he should make sure your legs don't point towards the wall. He underestimates your ability to spray so far away. As you will learn when you grow up, men don't listen. I guess he needs to find out for himself and maybe the lesson will be learnt when he has to clean the wall himself.

I still haven't managed to buy you a girly outfit but I think we should manage to get one today. We have to make this day special for you after all. Maybe we will get grandma to make you (actually me) something yummy to eat (you will get it indirectly don't worry).

This is my favourite pic of the month. DD took it and your Atthai thinks you're emulating the Rajesh Khanna style.

Have a lovely day sweetheart!

Hugs n kisses,


Tuesday, August 7, 2007


I happened to visit Toys 'r' Us a couple of days after reading this post by Moppet's Mom and realised that what she was saying was absolutely true. Buying toys for kids is extremely addictive. DD and I went to buy Squiggles a play gym and ended up buying the most expensive one around. There were loads of other cheap ones but we didn't like them. Not that there was anything wrong with any of them. And it's not as if Squiggles can appreciate the more expensive one better. It also wasn't about always buying the best for your child. We were indulging ourselves.

When I was a kid toys weren't so cool. It was usually relatives from abroad who would bring us toys which were special treats. Hence, these two deprived (!) adults went a bit nutty in the store. And you should have seen the two of us back home - I was holding Squiggles who was throwing a tantrum and was a little hyper that DD wasn't opening the gym fast enough. In fact I can remember scolding him for not opening the gym as soon as we got home :).

It's quite lovely actually, a gorgeous rainforest theme. She has a monkey with a multi coloured tail, a squawking parrot, gorgeous leaves, pretty butterflies and loads of other interesting stuff (at least we think so).

We also ended up buying this musical toy (can't remember the name) for her cradle which she absolutely loves.

She spends 15-20 mins staring at it (I know she's sleeping in the picture but when else can I actually write a post!), gurgling all the while. The other side benefit is that I get 15-20 mins to get some chores done.

And no we managed not to buy anything else but I'm not sure it will last.

And apparently DD claims he has even tried to put his head inside the gym to see the gym from Squiggles perspective. Men!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

0 down, 28 to go

Well a visit to the doctor sorted out this over excited parent. Squiggles isn't teething. According to the doc, she has milk cysts and it's perfectly normal and nothing to worry about.

However, I am not convinced. In a typical proud parent style I questioned the doc 3 times, even forcing her to feel the teeth (or milk cysts depending on point of view). She refuses to accept that these things in her mouth that feel like teeth and are white in colour are indeed teeth. And I refuse to accept this ridiculous statement of fact that these are not teeth but milk cysts.

This reminds me of an incident from another generation. My brother participated in a local talent competition and rendered some composition on his guitar. When the results were announced he was given the consolation prize. Can you guess what happened next? My grandma went and fought with the organisers and scolded them because they couldn't appreciate her sweetheart's talent. The little boy who had won the competition had indeed sung very well which the organisers pointed out to her. However, she would have none of it. Being a very dominating lady, she succeeded in browbeating the poor organisers in changing the results and awarding her darling grandson with the 1st prize.

My brother was now the proud owner of a plastic pencil box with a pencil, eraser and sharpener hidden inside. Lucky fella.

My argument with the peadiatrician reminded me of my grandma! Let's hope I'm a bit more mature when Squiggles performs for the first time :).

Thursday, August 2, 2007

2 down, 26 to go

I was a little (read 'very') surprised to see a little white dot on Squiggles lower left jaw a couple of days ago. On closer examination it turned out that Squiggles had a little white tooth in the making. The little one is teething which explains the sad sounds she's been making which I attributed to colic! I called my mom and told her the (good?) news and she refused to believe me - a first time mom can never get things right after all :). When she came to visit, she examined Squiggles mouth only to discover not one but two (yes two) teeth!! My little one is growing so fast.

I decided not to tell DD just then but to wait and surprise him with the news in the evening. So, when I picked him up from work in the evening I asked him to guess what was new with Squiggles. He made several random guesses and kept badgering me to tell him throughout the drive home (there was no way I was going to spill the beans especially since he was getting more pissed off by the minute!). I told him that he should get home and discover the change for himself.

As I parked the car he said, 'Is she teething?'.

How on earth did he guess that I ask you? I wouldn't have guessed in a million years. And the piece de resistance.... "I told you about it 2 days ago but you wouldn't believe me."

What rubbish. It's typical isn't it, you try and create a nice little surprise for Daddy Dearest and not only does he not even pretend to be surprised but claims to have made the discovery several days before. Men.. hmph.