It’s Always Her.

* Abhi and Achu are playing in the living room while I am in the kitchen.  Suddenly, Abhi starts crying or screaming.

Me: Achu, leave Abhi alone.

* I am in kitchen, cleaning/cooking. Nanny P is giving Abhi and Achu their dinner.

Nanny: No, baby, don’t try to cough and vomit.

Me: Achu, don’t do it.

# Abhi, Achu and I are on stroller walk. They each have a blanket with them. Suddenly, I see one of the blankets is thrown out onto the road.

Me: Achu, Why did you throw the blanket away?

(It was actually Abhi who threw it away :))

# I am trying to find the TV remote. I look for where it is supposed to be or on the couch or on the countertops. Roam around a bit more and look behind the barricade in front of TV. It’s there. (Along with many other things)

Me: Achu, why did you drop these things here?

(TV remote is the not the only thing. Recently I have recovered my phone, my ID card, alphabet cards, toys, power cords, building blocks from behind this gate. In fact that’s the first place I look now, if something is missing).

# I come back into the living room and find food spilled on the carpet.

Me: Achu……Why did you do this???

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This scenario is few very short years down the lane, but, we are sure it’s going to happen. 🙂

In future school…

# Abhi: It’s okay Achu. Leave it.

Achu: No. I wont. Common out now, who the hell tried to beat up my brother. Common, out now.

(All kids run away from school…)

# Abhi: (comes running and yelling) Amma, Amma..

Amma already knows what it is. She runs out to get Achu out of that fight she picked up with neighbors kid.

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Play Time

When I was pregnant I read a lot of twin baby blogs. I remember how these posts all talked about twin babies playing or communicating with each other etc. It was really so adorable to read those stories. And ever since Abhi and Achu started recognizing us, I have been so waiting for them to talk or play with each other. But, so far, nothing. All that they have been doing is mini-fights with each other. Like they always want the same toy. Achu doesn’t like it when I hold Abhi. She is super possessive. Abhi cries at the lightest touch of Achu. It’s like he literally comes to us crying and complaining on her :). Most of the time we have them playing next to each other, we spend time on making them understand that they need to share things, that they need to wait etc. They both have different interests, they both are reaching their milestones at a different pace, so it was like they were going pretty much in different directions.

I wasnt sure why Abhi and Achu weren’t like the twins I used to read about. Maybe its because they are not of same gender like the twins I read about. So, I gave up pretty much expecting to see such moments with Abhi and Achu. Suddenly, in the last two or three weeks there is this change in them; I think, they have now started to realize that they can play with each other, not just separately with the toys. Peekaboo is the most favourite game in our house. For Abhi and Achu, that is. When I was in Hyderabad, I got most of my work done playing peekaboo with them. I would be gone for few minutes into the dining room, prepare their food, come back every few seconds, say peekaboo and get my work done. Abhi and Achu used to so patiently wait for me until I jumped and popped my head into the living room and shouted peekaboo. And that’s what the game they played first with each other. Well, there is not exactly shouting peekaboo or hiding from each other, but it looked close to that. So, Abhi would be near the bedroom door, Achu a little far away, where they can’t see each other, near the couch. First, Abhi would wait for Achu to come, she would come crawling or walking to him. Little smiles exchange between the two and then Achu goes back to her position. This time Abhi goes to Achu and the game continues. They really didn’t do this way the first time. It took couple of turns of doing something different or nothing before they figured out this game. 🙂

Around the same time, they started smiling, handing things over to each other etc. Ofcourse, fighting for the same toy or taking things away from each other hasn’t stopped yet (and I don’t think it will, ever), but, at least once in a while, they share or wait for the toy to be shared. This evening, they came up with a new game to play with each other. We have this kitchen set toy, that has an oven; The door closes, it makes sounds like its cooking. Another side of this kitchen set is like a refrigerator door, so when the fridge door opens, the tray in it is actually the oven on the other side.

So, Abhi decided to cook one of this little plastic square pieces from the shape sorting game. 🙂 He opens the oven door, shoves it in, closes the door. Achu, takes the square out from the other side of the fridge. Meanwhile, Abhi opens the oven again and is wondering where did the square go and Achu hands it over to him. 🙂 This went on for a while. They followed the same routine. Whenever I see them playing with each other like this, I try not to interfere. Sometimes I do tell them what they can do (like they understand me :)), sometimes they follow or do their own thing. I, mostly, settle down with my camera trying to record the moments.

But, each time, it’s just so great to see them try to interact with each other. You know, they do and will spend more time with each other than they will with anyone else for the next few years. More than how much time I spend with each of them. I know their feelings for each other are not going to change anytime soon, they are too little to understand that. They might not be the most attached siblings, but I do hope they will be best friends all their lives. 🙂

And when exactly, I was getting sentimental like this, I had to step into the kitchen to do some cleaning. Abhi and Achu didn’t like that. Now-a-days when I am in kitchen, they try to stand near the gate screaming at why I am not in the living room next to them. Even if I don’t play with them, Achu just wants me in the same room. Abhi is okay sometimes. So, today, I resorted to our favorite peekaboo game again. Abhi and Achu are getting smarter these days. They figured out that when I do play in the kitchen, I can come from the other side (our kitchen has double entry) and say peekaboo. So, they kept observing in both the directions to see where I will come from. 🙂

Later, they let me be in the kitchen and started doing their own things. I wish I took a picture I could post here, but when I looked up they were sitting so close to each other playing with different toys. That’s the closest I have seen them sit. Usually, that kind of thing would have made Achu pull something off Abhi and Abhi starting to complain or cry. I don’t know why different today, but they were silent and in their own worlds, yet so close to each other. Maybe things have started to change. Touch wood. 🙂

Seattle Great Wheel

That time of the year is here. It’s always cold, raining or drizzling, windy and chilling. Some time in the evening, sun might show up. But even then, the weather feels pretty much the same. Sometimes, however, that crazy, cold, crappy weather turns into a beautiful day. Last Saturday, as usual, weather was expected to be bad, but, by the time kids finished their lunch, it was getting beautiful outside. Warm,really. So, we set out to go see the Seattle Great Wheel. I got one last chance to wear my pretty dress, Yayyy!! (I guess I should officially say good-bye now; For another 8 months at least :().

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Seattle Great Wheel is actually on the bay, by the downtown. So it has beautiful views of downtown and the bay. Because the weather was perfect, all our pictures came out beautifully. This wheel turns really slow, its safe for all. And so for Abhi and Achu too. Luckily, we found parking close to the wheel, so we didn’t have to walk a lot. By the time we got down the car, Abhi was asleep (He always falls asleep right before we reach the destination), so we let him sleep in his car seat until we got into the queue. Ms. Achu, of course, didn’t want to waste her time on trivial things like sleeping, so she was up all the time, doing her usual things. By the time we were near the boarding, Abhi woke up too, but he was still sleepy for a while.

(Abhi and Achu in their double stroller. Abhi is all sleepy in his car seat at the front. See Achu, she already has the pink blanket, and will still hold onto the blue one. )

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This trip had lots of first for Abhi and Achu. This was the first time we took Abhi and Achu out to visit something specific. (All the times we went out before, we were either driving or shopping or hiking or something general.) This was the first time Abhi and Achu rided a wheel. It was also the first time Murali, Abhi, Achu and I tried to take a family picture from the photo booth. We now have the first family picture strip on the fridge. 🙂 But, the most important first time thing is that Achu walked on her own outside. She was wearing the cute little shoes I got for her from India. And because she is all interested in walking these days, I tried to put her down and see how she does. P and I were holding her hands on both sides and she walked like a princess. Didn’t tumble-down, wasnt scared at all; In fact, after she realized she can do the walking outside too, she didn’t let us hold her. She refused to even sit in the gondola, wanted to stand. :). Right, I forgot, this was also the first time, we experienced toddler tantrums of Achu outside. She really refused to be carried around or sit in stroller. Just wanted to walk on her own. (Huh! that time is here, isn’t it? I knew terrible twos would come to us earlier than usual).

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After we waited in the queue for few minutes, we were the first ones to board the wheel, so we got to enjoy the beautiful views while the rest of the gondolas were filled. Like I said, it was just beautiful.

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Seattle space needle and downtown Seattle …

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Ferry to the islands on the other side…

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This ride was for some 5 minutes but we enjoyed a lot. Took lots of pictures and videos. We caught Achu’s first tantrums outside on video too. 🙂 Later, we stepped into the little shopping place next to the wheel. There was this beautiful carousel inside the mall. The second I saw it, I imagined myself taking a ride in it. And you know, to my major disappointment, it was for kids-only. Really? That wasn’t fair, right? Who decides only kids can have fun it it. I was so disappointed. Abhi and Achu were too young for it, so I didn’t even have the chance to be there accompanying them. 😦 I miss these rides so much. Its been years I was on a thrill ride. Hopefully we will get to go on one soon.

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The Story Of A Jumper

There once was a perfect little Jumper. It was called, well, Jumper. All kids loved it.  Kids loved to jump and jump in it. It had cute little toys hanging from what looked like branches. It made cute monkey sounds when kids jumped. It had an arch that looked like a rainbow and there was a bright looking sun smiling above the rainbow. There also was this peeking tiger. It was indeed perfect. Who wouldn’t love this toy? Even in Baby Abhi and Baby Achu’s household, it was very loved. Months ago, Amma saw that Baby Achu was desperately trying to sit down. So, Amma thought maybe Jumper would support her well and help her learn to sit. So Amma asked Jumper to come home. Very soon, Jumper arrived at Baby Abhi and Baby Achu’s house. And then, something sad happened. When Amma put Baby Achu down in the Jumper, Baby Achu cried. She Said. “No, Amma. I am very scared. I don’t want to be in the jumper. Hold me”. And, so Amma took Achu out of Jumper. Of course, Baby Achu was more important to her than Jumper. Jumper felt sad. After all, it was used to being loved and jumped in. Then Baby Abhi came to Jumper’s rescue. He said, “Fear not, My friend! I am here”. Seeing that, Amma put Baby Abhi in jumper. Baby Abhi loved being in Jumper from that minute. Their bond grew stronger by every jump. Not only would he jump in it, he would also pretend to hide under the Jumper seat and play peekaboo with others. Baby Abhi just loved everything about it. Seeing all this, the ‘greatest imitator of all’, Baby Achu wanted to try the jumper again. Apparently she got over the fears by watching her little baby brother. So, she went on happily jumping too. That time, Baby Abhi, Baby Achu and Jumper were living very very happily. Baby Abhi and Baby Achu even fought for their turns in the Jumper. Jumper couldn’t be more happier.

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Then, Baby Achu decided to try new things. She wanted to try some adventure in it. She started jumping very hard. She would pull her self down in the jumper and release like she was trying to shoot herself into the sky. She would rock Jumper back and forth, round and round, in all directions. She would jump so hard and so fast that neighbors downstairs could complain. She literally shook Jumper with her every jump. Not only that, she would pull away all the attached toys from the jumper, the rainbow, the hanging monkeys, everything and throw it away. Poor Jumper endured all this. After all,it loved kids too.

Weeks later, Amma decided to take kids to a far far away place. Jumper was worried this time. So was Abhi. Do we have to part ways, already? Was Jumper going to the storage, as well? Is it good-bye time already? Jumper was really worried. But, amma knew it all. She said, ‘We are taking you to the far far land with us, Jumper. Dont you worry’. Jumper was so relieved. So was Baby Abhi. And thus, Jumper became the first Jumper to have travelled to the far far land. (Amma was sure, this should be in news. She just didn’t find time to report it.)

In the next few months, Baby Abhi’s and Jumper’s bond grew even more stronger. They loved each other. Even though Baby Abhi was getting busier with this new explorations, he was always making time for Jumper. Jumper was so content. Baby Achu, meanwhile, was taking her Jumper adventures to a new level. Jumper didn’t complain a bit.

When it was time for everyone to come back home, Nanna asked amma, “Is Jumper coming with us?”. Amma said, ‘Ofcourse it is. Baby Abhi wouldn’t agree to leave it here. That’s how Jumper became the first Jumper to have travelled a round trip to far far away land. Back home, things were no different than before.

One Saturday morning, Amma and Nanna wake up and bring Baby Abhi and Baby Achu to the living room. Nanna, suddenly asks, ‘Who wants to go into the Jumper, first?’? Both Baby Abhi and Baby Achu were ready. But, amma said Baby Abhi goes first. So, Baby Abhi starts his first jump for the day. It was very emotional moment for Jumper. After a long night alone in the cold living room, Jumper’s favorite baby is back first thing in the morning, jumping, which Jumper wouldn’t love that? So they jumped and jumped for few minutes.

Then, Amma said, ‘Enough Baby Abhi. Its Baby Achu’s turn’. Baby Abhi smiled and said, ‘Bye Bye for now, Jumper’. Baby Achu was in the jumper, jumping and jumping. Pretty hard and really really fast. Nanna, who was making coffee for himself in the kitchen, suddenly said, “Is that Jumper still safe for Baby Achu to use?” (First stroke of coffee should have touched nanna’s nose, by then). Amma replied, “”I don’t know”. Baby Achu continued to do what she does each time. She rocked it faster, she pulled and threw all the toys away. Amma and Nanna were watching her admiring her activeness. Baby Abhi was watching her and thinking, ‘Poor you, Jumper’. Everyone watching her was encouraging Baby Achu even more. This time, she rocked the Jumper more than ever and then, and then, she bought the Jumper down. Amma was near by Baby Achu, so she took her to hold her. Baby Achu started her usual, “No, No, This is not happening. Why are you asking me to eat? Why are you asking me to sleep? This jumper crashed and I fell, I am safe and yet I will still scream and pretend to cry” routine. Amma still held her.

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This was THE moment for Jumper. It was nervous once again. “Was this it? Am I going to the storage, now?”, Jumper was thinking. Amma handed Baby Achu to Nanna and checked what was wrong with Jumper. And told Jumper, ‘Dont worry, our dear Jumper. Nothing happened to you. Baby Achu only managed to pull one of your supporting cords off. I can fix it now’ and immediately fixed the Jumper. Jumper was relieved. It asked, “So, Baby Abhi will continue to jump in me?”, Amma replied, “Ofcourse”. Jumper continued, “Will you make sure Baby Achu will stay away from me?”, Amma said, “I will”.

Little Things II …

 * One morning, I come into living room with Abhi and see P is trying to change Achu’s diaper. 100% of the times, Achu doesn’t like staying in one place (You know, it’s just such a waste laying down when she could be walking and walking and walking). But, to my surprise, she is staying put and letting P do her job. The reason is the smart phone in her hand. She was talking to Tom Cat (the funny cat that repeats everything we say in funny cat tone). Achu says something, Tomcat responds. This went on until diaper changing was complete. I was finally happy that there is something that’s catching her attention now. Few mins later, Achu still has the phone, talking to tomcat. Suddenly comes to me and hands the phone back to me. She says something lie ooh..ooh..ooh. I understood what she was saying and couldn’t stop laughing. She got bored talking by herself, so she wants me to talk to the cat and then she just keeps listening. (until eternity, I think ) :).

* Abhi and Achu are great imitators. They copy all of us. They copy each other too. Half of the things Achu does are like when she is trying to copy Abhi. 🙂 The recent one from Achu is that she loves to sit on the couch, just doing nothing, you know, like us adults.

* Abhi is so interested in reading. In fact, that’s his top favourite thing. Most of the play time he will spend reading his little books. He understood how we read different books to him, so even he pretends to read something by holding the book like we do. Not just that, he has pretty awesome grasping skills to. He can identify all the objects we ask him to correctly. There is the TV, light, crow, fan, painting, flowers..etc…

* Achu on the other hand, pretends to sleep on her blanket, when we take a book to her. 🙂 But, because she wants to copy Abhi, each time we ask something, she just points her finger towards something. Sometimes even before we finish the question. Not that she doesn’t know, but she is more interested in copying her brother.

* One of the things, we have been teaching Abhi is alphabet flash cards. He got pretty good at it. Out of all the cards, he will go find the one we asked for. Yesterday, Nanny P conducted a test for Abhi and he passed with flying colors. 🙂 He identified all the cards here correctly. Each time nanny asks him “Where is the Turtle?”, he will pick that card and keep it to himself. Btw, ladybug is Abhi’s favourite.

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* Guess what Achu was doing when this was happening. She was beating the walker with an empty plastic bottle and then pretending to drink from that bottle. This girl, I tell you, is going to get so many complaints from neighbors and kids. 🙂

* Abhi and Achu are trying to also copy us by talking like we do. They try to repeat the words we do. In fact, when Achu is doing her now-a-days favorite thing i.e. walking, she also goes babbling random words. Abhi is the same. Yesterday, I asked him, “Abhi, say booster seat”. Immediately he tried to repeat it and said something like ‘boootataa’. The next second, Nanny P and I are laughing so hard and you know, even Abhi was laughing at how he sounded. After that, I kept asking him the same question. Each time, he gives me a different sound and starts laughing at his own joke. 🙂

* When Abhi is busy with things like reading and playing, you may ask what Achu is doing. Well, currently her top most priority thing is to learn to run. Which is why, she is seen walking all the time. And by all the time, I mean, all the time. If we see her sitting down or crawling, we all get surprised very much. Yesterday, not sure if she got bored of just walking, she walked to spot A, sat down and started scooting backwards (imitating Abhi, may be). She would do that, go to spot B, get up, walk to Spot A and then scoot to spot B, again. 🙂 Can someone find out from her, why?

* Weather was little better yesterday evening, so we went on stroller walk. Abhi and Achu made their first trip to library (officially=they were awake). We took them to children’s section, handed them some books. They pretended to read. 🙂 Good for now, I think.

Recording Memories

Dear Abhi and Achu, I don’t think I can ever keep up with your pace. You see, you do these cute/sweet things during your playtime in a day, there are just so many. Most of the time, I sit next to you and go awww at you both and I make a mental note about what you just did. At night, I sit down to note them down, so that I can blog them later and I can’t remember a thing. :(. As you grow up, you will know that amma has a very bad memory power. As much as I try, I am failing at remembering what all I wanted to write down. Sigh! Another reason I don’t write down as much as I should is that I really don’t know where to start. You both are so funny, cute, naughty and active and there is just so much. But, I guess some start is a start. So, Amma is trying again…

The Weekend Post

♦ It all began when I decided to leave work early Friday evening (that would be at around 5:30) and go get some chat snacks for Murali to eat when he comes home. (He comes home at around 7 pm and there is no way I can make something tasty by then. I mean even if he were to come by 10, there wouldn’t be anything *tasty*. You get it, right?). So, P and I stop by the new chat place and get Kachori Chat,Pani Puri,Sev Puri and Dabeli togo.

♦ Somehow Abhi got the wrong impression that I was getting all these snacks for him, because he was waiting without eating anything. So, I start my own tricks to make him eat. Finally, adding yogurt to all his food works. Meanwhile, I outsourced the task of making tea to P. We dont know what she did, but, later, Murali said it tasted like something I would make. Hmm. I am the bad influence on her, I guess.

♦ I don’t want to sum up the whole weekend, before I even properly begin the weekend post, but I have to say that, Achu and Murali stole the show this week. Achu clinged to Murali for everything, even refused to come to me, you know. And the girl that has been making a ton of fuss to sleep for the last one year, slept all by herself, just because her dad put her to bed.

♦ Then, Daddy, Amma, Abhi and Achu raced in the living room. Murali and I crawled on all four, Achu walk-crawled (don’t ask me) and Abhi scoots (He doesn’t crawl, but scoots forward like a chimpanzee. Exactly like a chimpanzee. :)). Guess who came first. Well, Abhi borrowed the technique from our ancestors, so he came first. In all the tries. The only problem was that, each time, he decided where the target destination was and we just had to follow him. 🙂 Achu openly complained about this runtime destination change, but we couldn’t help her.

♦ In my last post, I only mentioned Achu will be a super woman someday, but Murali made her take the first steps Friday evening. He got her a cape. Achu is a big fan of walking, these days. Bigger ban of holding something while walking and the biggest fan of blankets. Obviously super duper uber fan of walking while holding a blanket in her hand. So, Murali just folded one of her blankets and tucked it in around her top on the back side and voila..Achu turned a super girl. She was quite busy when all her favourite things happened at once, so, she said, she didn’t find time to pick herself a cool super hero name.

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♦ And then the weird thing happened. P asked Murali and me to go watch a movie (after we put kids to sleep). Murali said ‘Lets go’. I don’t think they planned this before, but it just happened. I wasnt sure if I could leave the kids at home and go watch a movie, but I knew I wanted to go watch a movie. Luckily, movie theatre is just 5 mins away, so we watched Elysium. I don’t think movie was bad, but, I didn’t enjoy it a bit. I wasnt prepared to leave the kids at home, somehow. I don’t think I even noticed what was happening on the screen for few minutes. Plus, the movie was war-like and it added to my tension. I came home and declared, I need at least a weeks notice to leave the kids that way to go out and then I was given my weekly notice for the upcoming week. 🙂

♦ I woke up Saturday morning to Murali building this and AA patiently waiting to knock it down. Abhi and Achu know the word ‘Wait’, so they usually wait when we say so, but this was something no kid can resist. I only had a chance to take few pictures and Abhi knocked it down in 5 secs.

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♦ During the week, Murali and I decided to go visit the Seattle wheel, but weather Saturday was very cloudy. Plus I saw this beautiful vase of our empty. So I made up my mind to go to Wal-Mart to get some flowers for it. Ofcourse, P and I are always in favour of shopping, but Murali is not. :(. So, after lunch,we stepped out to go to seattle and luckily, the route was pretty jammed. We took a u-turn and went to Wal-Mart and I got my beautiful flowers. 🙂

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♦ *** Point of at most importance *** – During the trip, Murali stepped on my feet so bad that I had so much pain when walking in the store. One of the fingers is still swollen up. 😦 And he didn’t even buy me an ice cream to compensate for what he did. Sob. Sob. Sob.

♦ On our way back home, we stopped at local Starbucks. This was Abhi and Achu’s first official trip (Last time we were here, they were sleeping in their stroller). So, they got to sit in their own couch and watch people around. Achu even gave thumbs-up to someone (We didnt teach her that before, she just did it). Abhi just put two of his fingers at right angles. Yeah, that’s how he says thumbs-up. They twisted, twirled, pushed each other in that little leather seat. They had fun, they must have finally felt happy that amma is letting them touch things around. (Yep. They touched the dusty window many many times. Hmm..Its okay Dil..)

♦ I dont remember what brought up this topic, Murali reminded me of how he used to make a ton of food for me during my pregnancy. There was his famous chole recipe that I loved. I asked him to make it again for dinner, so, we all got to eat the famous chole again. (And I made chapathi..very proud…I was at least able to avoid the trapezoid-ish shapes this time)

♦ Last Sunday will always be the special day Achu slept on her own. (Yes, this deserves a double mention. :))

♦ After kids slept in the afternoon, I sat in front of TV with a cup of coffee and watched my show on Netflix. BLISS. 🙂 🙂 :). Prepare to clap your hands for me, because after that, I prepared pakodi snack and dinner before Murali could leave. (That’s it. Clap now.)

♦ My heart always beats faster Sunday evenings. It’s that time when he has to leave. I don’t say anything much. I know it’s not right at all. I have never asked for a crazy, celebrity life style. All that I want is us living in one place, Murali and I going to work leaving Abhi and Achu with a nanny, coming home to them in the evening. It doesn’t look that much to me from my view here and yet I don’t see this happening anytime soon or without major hiccups. Is this really too much to ask for?