Important Questions

As three-year olds turning four, there were few things very very important to Abhi and Achu. You know, for you and me, its like can I have put healthy food on the table on time? Am I being a good mom? Are we healthy?, etc. For kids, it’s quite different.

For example, favorite color. That day or even that hour. Kids casually ask us all the time, “Amma, Do you know what my favorite color now is?”.

For some time it was purple for Achu. Black for Abhi. And that did change several times after that. Achu was at Orange last week. Abhi is back to Black and Grey.

This week she made some slimy blue thing at school. I told her that was good she tried a new color and she says, “But amma, you know I don’t like pink now. I like blue and yellow”. When she joined her old school she went through a pink crazy phase. And we tried a lot to make her pick all colors. Hopefully that’s working now.

Now, another quite popular one. “When is Halloween Coming?” This is really hard to answer, especially on the day after Halloween.

“It’s a long time away Abhi.”
“Nooooo”. World war breaks out.

Then I learnt to give better answers.
“Its only 11 months away, Abhi”. I say with a super excited voice.

“Yayy! Halloween in 11 months”. Poor things. They can’t tell how long the time is yet.

On a related note, Achu asked for a puppy for the longest time. Like, every night, before we go to bed, that was her question. she is also very good with petting dogs. While she might be better to take good care of dogs, they are still lot of work. And I am not over taking care of these babies yet, so one day, I told her, she can get a puppy when she turns 10.

Now, I was ready to hear her protest and all, but she was okay. Poor kid again, she doesn’t know that her turning 10 is a long way from now.

Well, good for me. 🙂 So come back and check on later, in 5.5 years, we will be getting a puppy then. 🙂

All of last year, question was “When am I turning four?” Now that they are four, next question is, “When am I turning five?” “You will be five in 5 months”.

They are patiently waiting on counting down months.

We are not done with favorites yet. Next important thing is, “What is the favorite season?”

Obviously spring and summer are top choices. But sometimes Abhi goes, “Its fall. I can watch leaves fall and change colors”.

The most important question of all, “Are you happy, Amma?”. When they were three or almost four, they would ask me this question every day. It mostly came from when one of them did something wrong and comes back with an apology, they ask me if I am happy to make sure we are back to normal. The other one does too, just to make sure he/she is not in trouble for whatever happened. This one I haven’t heard in months now. So, I guess it’s not important that mom is happy anymore. 🙂

 

Life With Kids

I was reading a book Saturday afternoon. After a long time I found a book that I couldn’t put down and so after our lunch was done I went back to reading it. I took the kids upstairs to our bedroom hoping to make them sleep. But like any other four-year olds, Abhi and Achu hate nap time. So they decided to go against my suggestion and left the room to play.

I let it go and told them not to come back and disturb me. That ask was promptly followed by a dozen “Okay. Amma” and they left. And then this happened.

Minutes later they came back. Like I didn’t say anything about letting me read my book. Of course I knew that was expected. So I smiled and continued on with my book.

As usual, Achu comes up with a new game.

“Abhi, let’s go play – Brother and sister parties all day all summer long.”

Obviously the game also needed them to call each other brother and sister specifically.

“Okay, let’s go sister”. They are off again.

Few more minutes, they are back.

Achu all shy and calm and smiling. “Amma,  I am so nervous to tell you this. Will you be mad if I tell you something?”

“No Achu. I wont. Tell me”.

Abhi walks in with a yellow paper balloon that was supposed to be hanging from the roof.

“Achu was throwing some stuff and the balloon fell down.” I was actually relieved to hear that. I thought she climbed something and pulled the balloon down. Achu is still smiling (She always does that; When she knows she has done small things like these, she actually is shyly smiling with her tongue sticking out).

I take the balloon and send them away, again.

Few more minutes, they are back. This time with a song. Achu is obviously over whatever feeling bad she was supposed to be over the balloon.

“Today is the day. Today is every day. Beautiful summer day…”

Achu was the composer and I am watching Abhi sing in chorus, both of them running around in circles. I keep smiling watching the rhythm and the words Achu is making up.

All right. Gone again.

This time Abhi is back. With something wrong he has done.

I tell him its okay and send him away. Like every other time, he leaves saying a dozen I love yous. He says I love you, keeps looking back at me, almost like he doesn’t want to leave. It’s so adorable to see his face when he has to leave, even if it is to the other room. It’s like he thinks I wont be there when he comes back and he wants to see me one more time. This is all probably just in my head, because that’s what I fear. Fear that these kids are growing up too fast and I wont see these giggles, silly songs and faces after some time.

This time, though, in addition to the I love yous, Abhi says, “Amma..Air hug”, from across the room. He extends his hands around empty space as he is hugging someone. He just made up something silly new. I smile again. “Air hug, Abhi”. I air hug too.

Achu comes to get him now. “Common…. Brother”.

Okay. Gone again. Continue with book.

This time Murali walks in with a bowl of grapes. Apparently he was trying to make and eat Cheese Tomato Lasagna and as lasagna was unavailable, he settled for grapes (Almost the same, right? 🙂 ). And yeah, you guessed right. Kids are back for their snack.

“Guys, if anyone offers you Anchovies, say no. They are fish”. Murali offers a little education to the kids.

But four-year olds are not interested in Anchovies. They surely are about making fake fish names and finding another reason to laugh.

 “BlahBlahBlah is a fish too”.

“Hmm. Thats a good point Abhi. AnotherBlahBlahBlah is also a fish”.

As if I didn’t have enough entertainment for the afternoon, Achu goes onto put on a one girl show about making up meaningless fish names and pretend feeding them to us. Abhi, Murali and I laugh out loud non-stop at this gal’s antics.

Kids leave the room again. Saying I love you wasn’t enough, so Abhi decides to even spell for me. “Amma, LOVE MOM. LOVE DAD”. “LOVE ABHI”, I tell him.

From the room, I hear their bathroom breaks. Achu waiting outside singing Shiny from Moana while Abhi was in there.

Few more minutes, they are back. Apparently Achu didn’t know how to jump from the bed before and Abhi encouraged and helped her achieve that. Great. One more important thing I was supposed to know about.

Entertainment was not done. They went on to do more silly things. Randomly stopping by the other kid, “Hi, Abhi”. Or saying “Hi, amma”, even though they saw me just 30 seconds ago. They were more kisses, I love yous, real and air hugs from Abhi; There was more of Achu’s fake Telugu. More and more silly things surely.

I got to read and finish my book that evening. But I was thinking later, what a sweet afternoon it was when I got to sit and just observe kids. This is our life with kids. In addition to all busy-ness, challenges, craziness and exhaustion, this is exactly how our silly life with kids is. 🙂 And I am glad I at least have memorized one afternoon of it.

 

Little Dreams

One of things Abhi and Achu constantly did in the mornings for few days, is tell us what they dreamt last night. Now, I have no way of validating if they are just making up some story or if this is what really happened, but its amusing to hear about their dreams. Sometimes, I find them in the mornings discussing their funny and silly dreams with each other.

One morning, Abhi tells me, “Amma, In my dream, there was dust on my tongue. And when I was trying to spit it out, my tongue got longer and longer, like a lizard”.

One of Achu’s dreams was scary for her. She mentioned she was being chased by a dinosaur and what happened after that was so scary that she couldn’t even repeat it. Poor thing, judging her voice and face, I think this really happened. Don’t worry Achu. It’s a good thing if we are being chased by dinosaurs. 🙂 We get to see them, for real.

Dream another morning was a scary one too. For Abhi. I was in the dream with him, he said. We were walking by the ocean. A part of shark shows up in the water. And somehow Abhi drowns. He got so sad when telling me this, he said even I couldn’t save him. Oh! boy. That was a scary dream. So I decided to distract him.

“Abhi, you know what I will do? I will use my magic and freeze the water around the shark and then shark can’t move”.  He liked that.

“And then, I am going to put a bicycle under you, so you can just bike out of the water”. He loves that idea too.

“Amma, You have to put two seats on that bicycle. One for you and one for me”.

Before you know it, we continued to build the bicycle and finally it had 11 seats. For his friends and family. And then, he requested one giant seat.

“For what, Abhi?”

“We will take our house with us too”.

There you go. We will be that family riding the ocean on a huge bicycle with 12 seats; For all of us. 🙂

I thought kids said the silliest things, but looks like they even dream the silliest things.  🙂

For some reason, they have taken a break from telling us those dreams these days. I will have to ask them first thing in the morning next time. 🙂

Little Things

Abhi brings back his lunch box home, almost full, again.

Me: “Abhi, you didn’t finish your lunch again!!!”

Abhi: “Amma, You know what you need to do. Stop Worrying”.

(I just went wow when he told me to stop worrying. Couldn’t believe he said that. 🙂 )

***

Abhi: “Amma, you know what? If you add susu to pee, you get soup”.

Introduction of additions, subtractions and spelling to the little guy’s already crazy imagination is what caused this, I believe. Sorry if we ruined soup for you. 🙂

***

We just got a new toy for Abhi and Achu. Its a cashiers register. With a calculator, scanner, coins and all. So kiddos are playing shopkeeper and customer. Achu is the shop keeper. Abhi comes in.

Abhi: “Hello shopkeeper. Do you have StormTropper socks and DarthVader socks?”

Achu: “Sure. Here they are. Its $10”

Abhi: “No. My son said they are $3”.

Achu: “No. $10”

Abhi: “$3”

Achu: “$10”

Abhi: “Okay. $10. I can still have it. Its okay”.

I think Achu will make a good shopkeeper but more importantly, who is Abhi’s son?

***

Moana songs are the latest crazy in our house. We are signing them everywhere, pretending to be Maui or listening to them in the car. One of the songs goes, “I am happy as a clam because I am beautiful…. I would rather by shiny… “

Abhi and Achu are singing few words here and there, talking about the song.

Suddenly Achu goes, “You don’t have to be shiny to be happy Abhi.” and goes on to tell Abhi how its more important to be brave and strong.

I think all my lectures about beauty being less important is getting to her. Of course, she still makes sure she sets her hair after she removes her hat. That’s there too. 🙂

***

According to the unwritten yet binding contract between us, Murali is supposed to drop kids off in the morning and I am supposed to pick them up.

And one day, I broke the contract. I sent Murali to pick them up. As expected, as kids came home, Abhi objected to it.

Abhi: “Amma, you were supposed to come pick us up. You didn’t come. Nanna came”.

He started to cry and throw a fit when Achu interferes.

Achu: “Why are you crying now Abhi? You are already home, right?”

That’s the solid use of logic I have ever seen my kid exhibit. 😀

 

Fall 2016

Fall has come and gone. Well, a year has come and gone. Having kids and being busy means that time flies so fast, you have no idea whats happening. I know everyone says this, but unless you experience this, you don’t know how fast it is. 🙂

Anyway, so I am trying to save whatever is left of my memories for the last Fall. We were going through some pretty rough stuff again. But then we still managed to stay a bit happy and keep kids happy. Picture heavy post ahead. 🙂

Fall always starts with two events. Vinayaka Chavithi and new school year. We had just received some pretty bad news but we chose to forget that and have a good chavithi. Back to school as expected was crazy.

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This was the first time I had a better celebration of an Indian festival. Friends came over for dinner and kids got mehendi. Abhi got something car or star thing and Achu went for butterfly. This was a fun night.

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Weather got cooler and beautiful. Kiddos kept up with some of the outdoor activities. Did you see how serene it was? 🙂

Fall’s official starting trip. Our first corn maze. Pumpkin patch and hayrides.

 And then began Halloween Shopping. Our most favorite. Shopping almost every week, buying and decorating, talking about costumes. All the fun stuff.

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Compared to last years, we had plenty of decorations this year. But still not enough. 🙂

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We tried out Star Wars Rey and Poe costumes, but the quality was so poor that we had to switch to something else. Here presenting our Little Witch and Storm Trooper. 🙂

We went trick or treating at the town center, our office and then home. All in one day. We also took kiddos on their first haunted garage. They didn’t like it much. 🙂 And of course, face paintings. 🙂

One other small walking trip to a near by Tolt McDonald Park. We were there for kiddos birthday. It was a cold day but refreshing. Kiddos did some pretend excavations, we took some silly pictures. Nice one.

This one was a Sunday night trip to the nearby Mexican restaurant which is basically a quick dinner for kiddos and margaritas for us. See a Mango Margarita at the table. That was mine. And it was yummy. Put me in such relaxing mood, making me smile and forget all the crap that was going on back then. I remember we all came back home shouting and screaming in the car, just for fun and letting it go. 🙂

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And finally ending it with the SatyaNarayana Swamy Pooja at home. All by ourselves. Something I liked again. Thanking him for getting us through tough times. 🙂

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Our Little Readers – I

One of my favorite things from last year is Abhi and Achu picking up reading. I love to see them read books on their own. They sound so cute when trying new words. The interest, focus and the effort – Its just amazing to watch kids read. Since its our favorite thing to watch, I spend more time with them reading than anything else. If we find time, we say, let’s go read BOB books.

But this video began before they could actually read. Murali bought this book “Apple Tree Farm” that came with an audio CD as well. We read the little stories with kids so many times and heard the audio version for so long that kids were able to repeat the story by heart. Thats why I love this video so much. This was a glimpse of the kids reading all by themselves. This audio disc was also one of the few discs we took with us on our San Diego trip. Whenever I think of this video and the audio, I remember out trip. 🙂

I found other videos of Achu reading earlier too. I think she was two and half years old and was just flipping the pages and reciting the whole story. I can hear all the lines. It’s the cutest thing seeing her wearing nothing but a diaper and shirt, reading on the bed. 🙂

Even that other time when she couldn’t remember all the lines, but she was flipping pages of Beauty and the Beast, turning one of the pages, she goes, “Journey went badly”. I cant forget this little moment and her voice. 🙂

So here is Achu reading one of the Apple Tree Farm stories with us. This was bed time too. I was supposed to read this to her. Only I found her reading so well, I started recording. 🙂 She even imitates the australian accent of the narrator in the audio disc.

Cookie Drama

I found this today sitting in my drafts. Not sure why I never published it. It sure is nice to be reminded of these little things. 🙂 This was I think when Abhi and Achu were just over an year old. Achu was such a naughty gal then. She is now, most of the times, sweet and kind. 🙂

The time I spent with Abhi and Achu in that last apartment is my most favorite. So, even though this is old, I think its time to publish this now. 🙂

***

Abhi and Achu asked for demanded ‘Cookie…Cookie..Cookie’ seeing them (For some reason, they think saying it more than once is effective) and they got it. While they were nibbling, I asked Achu,  ‘Achu, wont you share it with Amma?’ (I asked her first because I knew she wouldn’t). Achu doesn’t respond. Gives me weird looks. I ask again. Then, she pretends to look away. 🙂 Meanwhile, Abhi comes to me smiling and even without me asking him, tries to stuff the cookie piece in my mouth. He really wanted me to eat, so he was pushing the piece into my mouth. I went ‘Awww’ and told him how nice he was. I asked Achu again and she hasn’t changed her mind yet. Weird looks from her continued 🙂

I took out the phone to shoot a video of Abhi feeding me because he cutely kept coming back to me. As soon as the phone was on recording, Achu jumps in front of me to feed me. See, for showing-off she will share her cookie with me. Anyway, she changed her mind and gave me a tiny piece of cookie to eat. Later when Murali came home, they had cookie again and fed Nanna without he even asking them. 🙂