Sunday, March 23, 2008

Holi Hai

Bhang ka rang jama ho chaka chak,
Phir lo paan chabaye
Are aisa jhatka
Lage he jiya ko
Punar janam hoye jaaye

I now know what Amitabh meant in that inconic son from Don. I had my first real Bhang this morning. It took a couple of hours to take hold. Extreme drowsiness, giggling fits, slowdown of senses, relaxed limbs.

But that wasn't what Holi was all about for us this year. After almost 6 years I was lucky enough to be in India for Holi. And it was Squiggles' first Holi. We caught up with my family who are on any sane day a boisterous lot, but decidedly worse on Holi. An open house for friends was hosted by my aunt and the result was some good wholesome fun like I haven't had in a long while.

Happy Holi! I hope you had a good one too. Here's a picture of Squiggles from the day, with a yummy gujiya in her hand.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Squiggly wiggly things

I am not going to count how many months it has been since I've done an update on Squiggles. No monthly updates since a looooooong time. Considering the whole purpose of this blog was to... ahem... chronicle Squiggles antics, I guess I am failing miserably. So, to compensate I am going to do a super long post. There, you're warned. And no complaining. OK?

Right. Now where do I start? This is what happens when you leave it too long. Sigh.

OK, no more dithering. OK?

1. Squiggles is everywhere. She is crawling at the speed of light. At least that's the way it seems to me when she spots something super exciting like the laptop charger or the dead ant or the garbage can.
2. She has an elephantine memory. If I prevent her from touching something, she will remember. And make sure she gets a chance at it when I'm not looking.
3. She spontaneously and voluntarily offers hugs and kisses. Which is cho sweet. If I'm honest it does make my heart melt. Now I know why I get away with crazy stuff with my mom. I guess I'm going to be taken for a ride too.
4. Completely in contrast to point 3 above, she protests vehemently if she's picked up and smothered with hugs and kisses. Clearly it has to be at her whims and fancies and not ours.
5. She has started scolding me. Already! Now I was prepared for this but didn't realise it would happen before she reached the tender age of one year! We had a 'conversation' today where I was telling her off and she was making argumentative sounds in response. We went back to and fro 5 times!
6. She can hold on to myriad things and walk.
7. She can stand on her own for a couple of seconds though she does plonk down promptly after.
8. She claps her hands enthusiastically.
9. She says words with meaning. E.g. dhe dhe (milk); tai tai (bye bye); papa (c'mon that should be obvious); mama ; aa ja (come); cha (chahiye, want); Thankfully she hasn't learnt 'nahi' (no) yet *fingers crossed* (where are dotmom's nazariya stuff when you need them!).
10. She is an expert at licking the floor. She has this down to an art form. This usually starts with her in a standing position. She then bends sideways till she is confident her bum is veeerrry close to the floor. Then she plonks down, turns around on all fours and does a surya namaskar with a nice long lick of the floor. Told you she's unique. *proud mama struts her stuff*

Are you bored yet? No. Well, here's the next 10 *evil laughter echoes on blog*.

11. She recognises beats and shakes her bum to tunes. I can already see she's going to be a fantastic dancer. She has to take after me in some way??? She is a great butt shaker. 'Hips don't lie' was sung by Shakira with her in mind. She's brilliant, I'm telling you. (Well you did choose to continue reading... huh).
12. She is on three solid meals a day. And in a short span of 3 months she has developed likes and dislikes. If she doesn't want to eat something, she will make this whiny little sound, purse her lips and shake her head from side to side.
13. She uses a potty now and 9 times out of 10 will poo in her potty when made to sit every morning. Usually that's the end of the matter for the day unless she has been a greedy little pig the previous day.
14. She also pees when she's not pooing. ROTFL. I mean if I make her sit on the potty when it's not potty time then she will pee. But the problem is that I don't make her sit on the potty when it's not potty time often enough and hence lies the difficulty in achieving potty training. Got it?
15. She has 2 more teeth. Not the centre two, but the centre left and the one next to it but not the centre one. OK?
16. She has belly laughs. Especially when she's dangled in the air, or tickled or if you blow raspberries on her tummy. The other day she was playing with two of my nieces with a balloon. They kept hitting the balloon from one end of the room to the other and she loved every minute of it and kept laughing throughout.
17. She knows when someone is going out and flaps her hands and legs vigourously with appropriate sounds to indicate that she wants to tag along. Of course, once she realises that I'm not hurrying to be by her side, she is equally vocal about wanting to return :)
18. Ever since her birth, I have been inundated with comments about how she takes after her father in looks. I have been harbouring the faint hope that if not in looks, at least in habits she would take after me. But seems like I'm about to be disappointed again. She's up at the crack of dawn. Literally. It's still dark outside, the first rays of the sun start to lighten the night sky and she's UP. How can Kumbhakaran have a daughter like this?The silver lining to this very DARK cloud is that she wakes up with a big cheerful grin, as if she's glad she can have the pleasure of looking at me again!
19. She is very busy these days, practising her sit ups. Actually she has been quite frustrated recently because she wouldn't remember how to sit down from a standing position. So, this evening she has been practicing how to sit down. One second she's standing, the next she's sitting. Then again she stands up. And then she's down again. And it continues for 6-7 times. She takes a break and then she's at it again. I promise I have not been doing sit ups so she is not imitating me! Though it is good for her bum and god she really needs all the help in that department considering her genes.
20. She's excited to see her dad when he gets home from work in the evening and jumps up and down, holding her hands out to him to pick her up. And makes his day everyday in the process.

Now for the next 10.

I'm kidding. Even I've had enough!

I love you, you squiggly wiggly little thing.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

It feels good to be back home

We're back in Delhi for a month because DD has an impromptu break from work and I, of course, continue to be jobless. So, we thought we'll head home and do bit of travelling within India. Somehow, we've travelled extensively abroad but never managed to see anything within India. I'm looking forward to it.

Anyway, we were driving on the Delhi Noida toll road a couple of days ago when we spotted something a little weird. Now this is not something we've not seen on our streets before but I somehow didn't expect to see this on a highway. We spotted a scooter standing by the side of the road. Expecting to see signs of an emergency, we looked around. The only emergency was of a natural kind. The driver was relieved himself by the road as cars whizzed past.

I can't imagine ever spotting someone peeing by a highway anywhere else in the world. This is what makes us unique. LOL.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Tell me what you think - honestly

She's a small town girl. She's just finished her post graduation. She's tall and has a great figure. She harbours dreams of becoming the next face of Miss India or same famous Indian cosmetic firm. Her 5ft 8in frame is designed for such a career. She's extremely photogenic and knows it. Her features are nothing to write home about but the camera loves her. She's from a conservative family who will not countenance such a career. She's not interested in anything else.

Her mother is a working woman, very successful. More successful than her husband. Her father is suffering from a complex since his wife is so obviously more intelligent and smarter than him. His situation is further compounded by being surrounded by successful brothers. They're all millionaires and while he isn't doing too badly for himself, their over achievement drowns his.

Over the years he has managed to subtly influence his daughter such that she now believes that her mother sacrificed her family for her career. As a result she has decided that she will not work but devote herself to raising her family. She doesn't want her children to suffer the way she did.

She gets married. Despite encouragement from her mother-in-law she chooses not to work. A year later the boy gets an opportunity to work in the US and the girl agrees to the move. She has a rosy view of life in the US. A year later they have a child. When the child is two years old, the girl puts the child in day care. The child spends 7-8 hours a day in daycare while her mother stays at home to catch up with stuff.

She sees her friends out there working full time and wants to try her hand at something. However, she wants to have the freedom to wake up late, work at her own leisure etc. She decides to work from home. This does not consume more than a couple of hours a day, a couple of days a week. By choice.

This is where I have a problem. I know that life in the US is tough without any support structure. Therefore, I can understand putting your child in playschool/daycare for a few hours a day to get some time to yourself - whether to do nothing or to figure out what you want to do with your life. However, I cannot understand a woman who chooses not to work, who is ostensibly a stay at home mom, putting her child into full time day care. What's the point of staying at home if you cannot assume the responsibility of taking care of your child?

I don't understand it and therefore would be grateful if someone out there can explain it to me. All of you moms out there, living your lives in the US, provide some perspective. I'm struggling here. I know this is my take on the situation and is probably biased. So, if you think I've got it wrong, please tell me. I really want to understand.