Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Vocabulary and other bits and pieces

Squiggles' vocabulary has been expanding of late. She finally has something from me...... the talking genes!

She can speak four languages. Honest. She can say four words from four different languages.
1. Nahin (Hindi)
2. Ada (Tamil)
3. Uda (Indonesian)
4. Flower (English)

Most of her words are in English though, even though I speak to her primarily in Hindi.

Some of the newer words she's picked up...
1. Hello - she enunciates it very clearly and since this is the mot du jour, she practices it constantly.
2. Flower - again very clearly pronounced.
3. Two - She said it for the first time today. And almost said 'Th...' (three).
4. Leaf
5. Shoes
6. Juice
7. Hi ya
8. Dudhu chahiye (want Milk)
9. Nahin Chahiye (don't want)
10. Ball
Seem to have forgotten the others :(. Will come back and edit this post as and when I remember some more.

She can also point out the nose on anyone's face. The eyes are a bit tricky at the moment because we're all wary of her poking her finger into our eyeballs! I'm telling you, it hurts. A lot.


She loves playing with balls. She has two tennis balls which she holds with both hands and then lets go of both of them by throwing both her hands simultaneously. We spent a lovely Sunday afternoon recently with DD and me at either end of the passage which all the rooms open in to, and Squiggles was in the middle running around throwing the tennis balls at us. We had so much fun. All three of us were giggling and throwing the balls all over the place.
Tennis Balls - $2, Family Fun: Priceless.

Squiggles is also quite a friendly child. Maybe even a tad bit over friendly. She manages to scare people off. The other day in the park, she approached a group of 6-7 year olds and went and poked one of the older girls (nicely). It was more of a little touch than a poke really. They looked at her in disgust and walked off! It was quite funny actually because they were kind of scared of this unknown entity :). They didn't know what to make of her, so ended up running away. Obviously I wanted to kill them first for ignoring my child but I got over that pretty soon to see the humour in the situation. A one year old chasing away a bunch of 3 footers!

Can't think of anything else earth shattering. Till next time. Have a super duper week.

It's plain ridiculous

I go to pick up Squiggles from my mom's place after a long day at work, with visions of playing with her and having fun. There's a smile on my face as I head home. I spot her in the park with my mom's maid walking around admiring the flowers. As she spots me she smiles widely. But the moment I step forward to take her in to my arms, she turns her head away and lets out a wail. She doesn't want to come home!

This is the second day in a row that it is happened. She's happy to see us but doesn't want to go home. She does the same with DD. She smiles at him but the moment he reaches out she turns away. She cries, flaps her hands and legs in protest. Some ingenuous tricking is required to buckle her into the car seat and even then she's calling out for Aunty Pari.

I tell you....... crazy crazy child.

It's the a similar story every morning. Once she's had her milk in the morning, the shoes are worn. And she's bustling about doing nothing. When she spots me coming out for breakfast she realises it's time to go to Grandma's house. And then the drama starts. She rushes to Aunty Yeti (my maid), points out her chappals to her, makes wild noises asking her to wear her shoes. Then she heads to the door and starts banging it, wanting to leave. Finally we head out the door where she excitedly points out my shoes to me. All the while constantly chattering. As the lift door opens, she rushes in and stands in a corner waiting for us to enter. Sometimes she stamps her feet in excitement. Her manner is that of a self important old man! A lot of movement, arms moving back and forth, walking fast, almost running in her excitement to reach the car. And once she's in the car, she sits quietly till we reach my mom's place which is just a couple of minutes drive away.

As soon as she spots the building, she again starts chattering excitedly, straining to get out of the car. As the car stops, she says bye-bye and waves cheerily. If I'm lucky I even get a flying kiss.
I let her go with a pang in my heart. But I'm happy that she's so happy to be there.

Wish she was as happy to come back home in the evening!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Eating can be fun.........honest.

Hi everyone,

Mummy has been trying to get me to eat all kinds of yucky stuff. I have maintained that eating is boring. So, I usually have my lunch in the park, on the balcony, or while playing in my room. I hate my high chair. At least I did. Until Ma made it more fun. But it was only the ONCE. It hasn't been repeated since. Why? I want to know WHY? Tell her to let me do it more often. Please. Pretty Please.


PS: I have some pictures as proof of the fun!

The piano series

I wanted to update you on Squiggles' musical progress :).
At 8 weeks
At 16 weeks

At 11 months

At 13 months (check out the finger poised above the key)

What fun :).

Squiggles goes bald

I completely forgot to mention that we shaved Squiggles' head 3 weeks back. She howled and howled. I don't think it was painful but she really objected to being held tight. Well, here's a picture of her with her new hair style (pun intended). I prefer her with her hair. I don't think the baldie look suits her. What do you think?



Squiggles' Birthday Party Invites

I have this need to avoid commercial mass produced stuff. It doesn't mean that everything I buy is one of a kind. Let me try and explain. I don't buy Squiggles books that are produced by Disney etc. Mainly because I feel that the raison d'etre for these books is not to provide a good story or great illustrations which fire the child's imagination but they are there as part of an over reaching marketing strategy to create cartoon / brand loyalty in the child's mind. Now I know that a year down the line when Squiggles thinks the world of whichever character I will be eating my words but the control is still with me at the moment.

Now you're wondering what this has to do with Squiggles' birthday party invites. Well, in a misguided attempt to avoid all the Disney invites, I actually created all the birthday invites for Squiggles's 1st birthday from scratch. Now, this was a by-product of me having too much time. But more that I wanted to do something really special to mark her birthday. Create something. This was particularly a challenge because I am not creatively inclined. Really. Not. Plus, DD was particularly discouraging! So, that meant that I had to prove him wrong :).

So I asked around and found out about a couple of art and craft stores that I could source my materials from. When I got there, I was gobsmacked. There were rows and rows of stuff. That really is the best way to describe it. I had no idea where to start from. Finally, a staff member seeing me looking more than a bit lost, came to help me. After a super fast 10 min introduction to the world of craft, she left me to figure it out myself. Let's just say that by the time I left, I was out of pocket by a sum which one shouldn't really spend on birthday invites. I tried to justify it to myself by saying that I could re-use some of the materials, but I had to return 2 more times because I ran out of 'stuff'!

I think they came out quite well. Each card was different. Some had the child's name on there. Some had 'It's a Party'. Each was unique. And I took pictures to show Squiggles for when she grows up!

Here's a sample of a few of them.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Jam packed

The problem with not blogging for so long is it's difficult to decide where where to start. Hmmmm. At the beginning then.

I started work at the beginning of June and it has been super hectic. Which explains my absence these past few weeks.
Before I started I was full of misgivings about whether I was being selfish about going back to work, leaving Squiggles with my mom and the whole guilt business. I must say though that in all of this Squiggles has surprised me the most with her ability to adapt. If I'm honest then I will admit that from day one she didn't miss me. At all. She sees me off happily, waving cheerily and receiving my presence in the evening with equanimity. Sometimes a little excitement, but nothing overwhelming. But once I am home in the evening, she won't leave my side till she's asleep. I guess that's the only sign she shows of needing me or missing me.
What was tough about the first week at work was that Squiggles came down with a serious case of the flu. She had high fever (103 deg F) and just wasn't well. This meant that I was up with her all night, checking her temperature, medicating her and then heading out to work in the morning. It really tested my resolve about going back to work. But she soldiered through after a course of antibiotics. I don't think I could have continued going to the office if I didn't have the support of my mom. I think I would have just left.
The daily routine is something like this. I leave by about 8.30 in the morning. My dad comes and picks up all of us. We drop Squiggles with my maid at the my mom's and then DD picks me up in the evening and we pick up Squiggles on our way back. I then spend an hour or so playing with her. She has her milk and then she's usually out by 7.30pm.
I've gotten over the guilt phase now. I am enjoying being back at work though I do miss Squiggles and one part of me continues to wish that I was the kind of person who could be happy at home so that I could spend more time playing with S. The hours are quite long but I make it a point to leave by 6pm. I'm home by 6.30pm. And if I need to work then I spend a couple of hours after dinner. Or put in more time over the weekend. My problem is also that I cannot accept going to work for timepass. I need to keep proving myself, giving my best. I can't do the 'chalta hai' attitude. Which means that sleep is a precious commodity.
I'm still struggling with the new organisation. I've been given a lot of responsibility and really there just aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done. So, I'm spending a lot of home time thinking about work related things. Which if I wasn't gunning for a promotion within 12 months, would be all right. But if I really want that promotion I have to bust my gut. Sigh. Convoluted thoughts here as well.

Let's move on to more positive stuff. Squiggles is just a lot of fun these days. She has developed a keen sense of fun and mischief and is seen busily pottering around the house all day. From the moment she wakes up, she is up and about. Cheerfully exploring the house, running around re-discovering her friends and things that she hasn't seen since the previous night. We play games, sing songs and she joins in. Enthusiastically.
Her vocabulary is also expanding. She says 'flower' quite clearly. And if she doesn't want something then 'nahin nahin' is very emphatically stated with a clear shake of the head. A couple of weekends ago I told her to go in and wake papa up. Off she went from the living room to our bedroom, and a few seconds later I could hear her saying gibberish to DD who was sleeping in he middle of the day! Kids are so intelligent. I couldn't believe that not only had she understood what I was asking of her but she was able to do it as well.
Whenever we get into the lift, she loves pressing the button and seeing it light up. It always brings this big wide grin to her face. She also knows that before pressing the button for our floor, she has to swipe our security pass which allows us access to the lift.
I've been taking her to this indoor playground the last couple of saturdays and she loves it there. My mom was with me one day and she had S's lunch with her. I would ask her to go to grandma and get a bite before returning to the playground and she was very obedient about it. She would hobble along to my mom, get her bite and then promptly return to the play area. By the time she got there, it was time to turn around and get her next bite. It was so cute.
She loves going down to the park and mom tells me that she goes down at least 6-8 times every day with the maid. She will point to the pram and tell them to put her in it. And if they don't put the seat belt she cries because she equates the seat belt with going out. If I ask her to go find her shoes, she promptly disappears to look for them. And then will proudly hold them up when she finds them. Obviously this means we have to take her down. She almost hyperventilates when it is time to go somewhere. She gets so excited, flapping her arms and legs wildly. Almost a bit crazily actually :).
She has really come into her own this last few weeks. She has her own personality and she's displaying stubborn streaks. She's very clear about what she wants or doesn't want. She observes things and remembers them.
She can open all the drawers now and she loves exploring them. But she will not explore the one drawer which I have created just for her - the one drawer that does not have any important papers or harmful object. This drawer she doesn't touch.
Oh and I forgot to tell you, she pointed at our wine rack the other day and said 'nahin nahin'! She knows she's not supposed to touch that!
So much is happening every day......... Every moment that I spend with her is precious because there are so few of them nowadays.
Do I regret going back to work? No.
Do I regret spending less time with S? Yes.
Where can the two meet?