Big bags filled with toys, boxes that need a bit of work to open, but have interesting treasures in them (anything will work, diapers, dresses, odd toys, old puzzle pieces)
Monday, December 14, 2009
Big bags filled with toys, boxes that need a bit of work to open, but have interesting treasures in them (anything will work, diapers, dresses, odd toys, old puzzle pieces)
"Mummy, carry me to West Mall"
"No. i cant carry you to West mall"
"Ok, Carry me until downstairs, after that I'll walk"
"Sophia, dont hang from the fan"
Sophia turns around, gives cheeky look and goes right back to hanging from the fan (patti complains that we cant even turn the fan on in the house and its so hot)
"Sophia, dont be naughty"
"no no no no no"
I am sitting on the bed reading Room on a broom to Anjali. The kid fills up all the sentences of that book. Sophia crawls out of bed and sits on the mat. She looks at me and then
"amma amma amma"
Sophia walks better and better each day. You still have to trick her into taking steps, as she prefers to crawl, but yesterday, for instance, she made several batches of three or four steps when Sudha aunty was in patti's house
Straight from patti's arms to husband's.
Sudha aunty says its probably just a matter of a week
Both girls hang from my neck during Gita Jayanthy concert. Try going for With Wind and the weather beating around me rotating with one baby in the arm and another one doing piggy back.
Oh, people offered to carry Sophia, and Shruti's mother took her walking for three minutes, but after two rounds of the playground, the madam began to cry in earnest.
"Mummy, lets make a playeum"
Playeum is one of the buzzwords in our house, and as part of the playeum, we do all sorts of activities. (Thank goodness we have someone to clean up after us)
Anjali's vocabulary has increased to include words such as "Activity", "I show you funny business" etc
On Thursday, I made an omelette for husband's lunch and washed and colored the egg shells (I neednt have bothered with the coloring, but they added an extra dimension)
On friday, we cracked the colored eggshells and stuck them on a fish drawing.
On Saturday evening, Anjali and I made several sketched of Maisy characters - Maisy, Tallulah, Charlie, Eddie and Panda (I sketched them and Anjali gave instructions on the color off their clothes). This morning, I cut them out and bound into a mix up book. I have a feeling that Anjali will quite enjoy it. (try imagining Maisy's haid with Panda's body and charlie's tail)
We were at Fidgets on Sunday afternoon. Both kids had a blast. Sophia loves to climb. She climbs everything - the chairs and tables, the book basket in the library, the ladders at fidgets. The nice thing about fidgets is that we can pretty much let her run loose without having to worry about falling or anything.
Anjali ofcourse runs loose anyway. We lost her twice in fidgets (oonce when she climbed up a slide and I had to take an alternative route. By the time i realized that I had lost her, she was pretty far away)
The second time, husband was sitting on the floor, reading, and I was up, playing with the kids. Sophia was getting a little tired, and I took her down. Anjali ran to the other side of the playing complex. i got Sophia down and looked around.
I aksed husband to look for her, as Sophia was holding my fingers and making circles.
Husband went around.
He came back after five minutes.
"You found Anjali?"
"Yes". For some reason, he was very amused.
"Ok", I said, rather distracted. "I will feed Sophia in the cafeteria"
"Ok", he says "picking the backpack"
"You are not staying here?"
"What I will do here?"
"Keep and eye on Anjali"
"Anjali's not here."
"She is at little fidgets"
Little fidgets is across the cafeteria. Quite far, in my poinion, for a two year old to go without her parents. Safe yes, but far.
Anjali is just starting to go by herself to non family members, namely Vishnu and Meenakshi. It helps that they meet her very often. But she is still wary of strangers. Yesterday, she met Ramya for pretty much the first time, and for a long time hid behind my back when talking.
We were reading "Another important book", by Margret Wise brown.
"the important thing about being three", says Brown "Is being me!!!"
"Who is the most beauitiful"
"Who can talk and jump?"
"Who is funny and looks like a bunny?"
"You!", she conlcudes
Friday, December 11, 2009
Then she became a mother. And it all changed. Her daughter gave her a present for her birthday.
She said, "Mummy, I dont love you"
Is it any wonder that the girl now cries?
Here's how it happened. We had been to Annalakshmi for dinner. It was, after all, my birthday, and we had decided on Annalakshmi because husband usually likes the buffet there. It turned out that there was no buffet at Annalakshmi on weekdays, the restaurant was crowded, they were understaffed to be equipped with A la carte orders and the kids were getting frustrated sitting in a table for hours at a stretch while we waited for our orders to come.
To give us credit, however, we had experience with kids in restaurants, and knew that the best thing to do between orders was to take them out. China town point was, after all, a mall, with scope for exploration and husband, I and Vishnu took turns to move with the kids, explore and such so that they wont get bored by sitting in the chairs.
Sophia, after all, sat for five point five seconds on my lap, three seconds on the table, when she tried to pull every piece of cutlery towards her, five seconds when she tried to eat the jasmine that Dhana's mum had gotten, and two seconds on the high chair. After which it was a no go.
Thus it was that, by the time we left to get home, it was 9.30. How to go home, was the next question. And patti and thattha wanted to take the train. Husband said that it is better to take a taxi, given that it was late.
Anjali, of course, wanted the train, if it could be acheived. Then thattha began his Narada role.
"do you want to go with mummy to acasa in a taxi or go with me in the train to patti's house?"
I glared. i have a policy, and thattha knows this very well, about overnight stays in patti's house during the weekend.
Anjali, ofcourse, jumped on the train opportunity. And we all know that she is, if nothing else, tenacious.
When denied, she began to cry. Patti got on the taxi. She was sullen and silent all through the taxi trip. The sullenness was augmented as Sophia drifted to sleep in my arms, and Anjali tried to crawl over, once, into my arms. I couldnt pass the sleeping baby and take her. She went back to being sullen and silent.
When we got off the taxi, she refused to get off patti's arms. Patti had to come up. Husband asked me to go up and put Sophia in bed. I went up, put my bags and heard the screams. Anjali was screaming throughout. She screamed nearly non stop for the whole evening. She got distracted by Maisy, by flowers, but the distraction was no more than for a spell. She threw a tantrum because I had pinned her flowers too high on her head. Then she threw another tantrum because the flowers that were now pinned low fell off because the pin didnt stay.
The bottom line however, was when she said
"I dont want mummy, I dont want daddy. I dont love my mummy. I only love my patti"
Husband says that she said that because she was tired and upset and angry. It, however, makes me wonder where I have gone wrong in the mothering process.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Well, the lights were very beautiful. More interesting to the kids was a water fountain in front of orchard MRT, where the water hopped. Anjali put, first, her hands and then her torso in front of the jumping water. Sophia crawled around between the water jets, trying to catch them as they jumped from one hole to another.
We took refuge in Borders for dinner, and found some very interesting and ridiculously priced baby books - featuring Thomas in a pop up setting. And one with maisy making a cake that could be moved to make Charlie munch it.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
The nice thing about these things is that it gives us a plethora of ideas to work with the children. So here are some of the things we have been putting into action.
1. www.gruffalo.com: This is Julia Donaldson's website and it consists of activities to do that are related to some of our favorite books - the Gurffalo, the smartest giant in town and room on a broom. So far we have worked on a gruffalo mask and made gruffalo crumble (which has a lot of veggies and I suspect that Anjali ate it mostly because of its name. A lot of it went in, so i guess its fine)
2. I found a book called creative games for your toddler, games based on Steiner Waldrof method. Tons of ideas for making good toys. One of the toys we made was a horse, using a pole (from an old playgym that neither kid uses very much), yarn, a white sock, some old nappy cloths for eyes and ears. Anjali likes to take it and run around.
3. Am currently working on a fishing set using, again, old cloth. It takes time to sew it up. Would have been easier to use foam, but then again, different mateirals, differnt textures. I usually sew on the bus and it gives me something to do.
4. Another book: First things to do. Excellent and simple ideas for crafts, including a paint caterpillar, sheep, dinosaur etc. I am sure that Anjali will love some of the activities, I havent found time to try them
5. This morning we tried an activity that i have been meaning to do for a long time, but didnt get around to doing. Crayon resist. First, before the kids got up, I made some drawings using white crayons on white paper. There were four drawings - Maisy, Tallulah, bear and greedy goose. Then I set up Anjali's activity table with two bowls of food coloring in water. When she woke up, it was ready to get go. She had to paint on the paper with color water. The crayon will resist and the color will go everywhere else but the paper. Anjali discovered Maisy. Sophia was playing in the sides as we did the next one.
"Who is this?" I asked Anjali
"lalulala" Said Sophia
"Sophia guessed it", I exclaimed
"Talullah", says Anjali, finishing the last strokes with a flourish.
"Anjali and Sophia guessed correctly" says Anjali
When i left them to come to work, they were both huddled over an old baking tray with the remaining color water, two syringes and an egg carton. They didnt really notice that i had left for work, so i guess they were having fun.
Last evening, the kids were invited to Malavika's birthday party at Mc Donalds. Primarily due to husband's aversion to fast food, we have been giving McDonalds the wide berth. So for both girls the experience was quite novel. I guess they enjoyed the games - Anjali played musical chairs, passing the parcel, musical statues.. there were a couple of other games, but she got tired and chose to watch.
Now, for an important question: Is it ok for a eleven month old to stuff her mouth with ketchup?
Friday, December 4, 2009
Jurong Library has put up a set of little tikes picnic benches at the front of the stage, and the kids had a very good time jumping from one to the other (pretending river and crocodiles) and, in Sophia's case, climbing up the stool and then the bench. Sophia is becoming quite a climber. i wonder if I should get the stairs cleaned and get her to climb them. We never did that jack and jill activity.
For my part, i found a beautiful book with fun toys to make for the kids, inspired by Steiner Wardlorf. This morning, I began to make a horse.
Yesterday, husband and I set up a cable car for Anjali to ferry her toys (it involved a cut up milk carton and a piece of yarn tied from a chair to the balcony grill). Anjali was not very amused by the cable car, but she was amused by the gruffalo mask. So much so that I downloaded the recipe for gruffalo crumble. Should try it during the weekend.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
I was on the other side of the playground, walking with our new walker
Anjali came running to me.
"Mummy, I want a baby stroller like that, to put my baby in. Can you buy me one?"
(Like we dont have enough stuff in the house - could I make a baby stroller with a couple of toilet rolls and a cereal box?? Thats an idea)
Jessica wheeled around the stroller and Anjali decided to play with it.
"No!" exclaimed Jessica "Its mine"
"Its mine!", exclaimes our budding socializer
Some words were exchanged, and some blows (I chose not to interfere and let them handle their woes), after which Anjali took the stroller and walked away.
Jessica began to cry
Anjali stopped three meters away. The conflict was obvious in her face
Jessica began to cry even louder
Anjali took the pram back to Jessica, stopping a few feet away
"Can I play with it for two minutes??"
(Anjali has gotten the idea that two minutes is an acceptable time. I always ask her for two minutes when doing any work)
Jessica shook her head. Anjali let the stroller go and played with me
Jessica took the stroller, parked it next to where her mother was chatting with a group of people and went away to play.
Anjali marched to Jessica's mother
"Can I play with the stroller for two minutes?"
Anjali grabs the stroller handle. Jessica suddenly materializes and begins to cry. Jessica's mother carries her and tries to explain to her that Anjali can take the pram for one round. Anjali takes the pram, and goes one round.
Sneha sees the situation, runs after Anjali and says
"Anjali, can you give the pram to Jessica, I will give you my bubbles to play with"
"Ok", says Anjali, quite amicably, and spends a good bit of time blowing bubbles
Sapna's mother wants to carry Sophia, Sophia does not want to go.
Sapna's mother: "Sophia, do you want to go walking with me?"
Sophia's spokesperson: "She will only walk with her daddy"
Sapna's mother: Anjali, your dress is very nice. Can you lend it to Sapna for one day??
Sapna's mother: Can you lend Sophia to Sapna for one day?
Anjali (Quite decidedly): No (Comes to kiss Sophia)
Sapna's mother: Why?
Anjali: I have lot of other dresses
I was eating dosas and Sophia was holding a piece in her hand. I moved backward, she toddled forward two steps before losing her balance.
Husband and I have finally agreed on something. With Sophia, development is like a getle stream, gradual. There are no sudden milestones, atleast there have not been any so far. Shen she creeped, she was makign gradual improvements, the same with crawling, and standing and now, walking. She babbles from morning to night, so much that we will not be surprised at all when she finally begins to talk. Infact, she is already making sounds that could pass for words.
On Saturday, in the zoo, the zoo keeper gave a banana to the slow loris. The slow loris was not very interested. But our baby was.
She made desperate attenpts from the carrier to get the elusive fruit.
And when she couldnt, and just in case we werent clear, and were holding her from the banana because we couldnt understand, and not just because we were spiteful and enjoyed seeing her suffer for a banana, she exclaimed
Monday, November 30, 2009
We got a list of book from the library: most of them were recommended from daddyread.com. I have reviewed those that we have read so far
Motherbridge of Love Anonymous:
Very touching poem, beautiful illustrations. It brings teears to the eyes. but I am not sure Anjali quite understands the principle of adopting, so its a little advanced. The illustraations are great though
Sweet Dreams, Maisy Cousins, Lucy
We havent read this one specifically, but Going with all the other Maisy books we have read, it should be great
Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes Fox, Mem
I Know a Rhino Fugo, Charles
Didnt get this, butt we got "Swim Wombat, swim". Incidentally, the wombat looks a lot like the Kangaroo in Sam Mcbratney's books. i wonder if its the same illustrator
Excellent book. Great introduction to change, lifecycles, stories pictures, and its not an encyclopedia
Lemons are Not Red Seeger, Laura
Another nice one, simpler than the first one, but great all the same
When Mama Comes Home Tonight Spinelli, Eileen
Carry Me Wells, Rosemary
Classic also, not very humorous, but sweet
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Ramesh went from room to room, taking measurements, and Sophia, holding on to my hands went all around behind him. He was measuring the bedroom, and she walked there, stopping two feet away, looking curiously and suspiciously at what he was doing.
he sat at the table to make some calculations, and there she was, again going close, but not too close.
She will be a great Sherlock
Incidentally, Anjali likes the diabetis jam that husband bought. i made some sandwiches for her close of school party, and there was nothing else in the house other than the diabetis jam. Apparently, the kids finished over half of the sandwiches I had packed, and when they got back home, Anjali finished the rest (about five sandwiches)
I was supposed to make cake, but husband wanted omelette and the last two eggs in the house had to be devoted to that endeavour.
Yesterday Anjali wanted to go to the playground. She didnt want to go to any playground, she wanted to go to the far away playground with swinging bars. Despite the fact that all her friends were in the downstairs playground. Despite the fact that pooja and a couple of others had a pretty pink pram and a doll.
She wanted to be carried to the playground. Husband was carrying Sophia and Anjali wanted me to carry her all the way to the other playground, a good ten minute walk away. That was the beginning of the crying.
Caie me to the playground. honestly, if she is so tired that she wants to be carried to the playground, why not stay at home?
I carried her part of the way, and then got her to hop. Guess she was a bit tired, but I guess so was I.
We reached the playground, and the whole time at the playground was a muddle of activity and crying, quite exasperating that finally, around 9.30, I lost patience, picked the girl on one side, the shoes on the the other side and walked home.
I left the water bottle behind
We should have gone earlier to the playground.
then she wanted to be carried home, and I didnt want to. I dropped her show on the floor and made her go back and pick it, put it on and walk with me.
She whined most of the way back.
When we got home, she didnt like the bean soup that patti had let for her dinner, and wanted noodles and wanted to play with Oobleck. So I set her and Sophia up with some Oobleck (I checked, corn flour is an important content of formula milk powder and therefore baby safe), while making noodles.
Hardly five minutes had passed when Anjali began another crying episode. She wanted the bathtub (I was hesitant as there was no space in the bathroom for a bathtub, what with the oobleck tray, Sophia, Anjali, and two bhuckets already squeezed into the shower space). The two buckets were for oobleck water and clean water respectively
Finally managed to get the bathtub in, and another crying episode came forth, she wanted warm water in the tub. Sophia wanted a tub as well.
Out came the oobleck tray, and the buckets. In went the other bathtub, Warm water to rinse much of the cornflour off Sophia's arms and legs and mouth.
The noodles were ready
"Anjali, do you want to eat noodles?"
"I am still taking a bath"
"Anjali, either you eat the noodles now, or the kitchen is closed. You are going straight to bed"
That noved her from the tub.
Sophia got handed to husband (atleast she was fed, and I think they had some fun eating mangoes. Sophia was smelling of mango juice when she came to bed, though, I believe, husband washed her up)
Anjali ate her noodles at top speed and read "Room on a broom" (Highly recommended)
We finished room on the broom, ushered the kids into the bedroom and turned off the light.
That trigered another crying apisode, but hsuband and I were both firm on it, so it stopped relatively fast (I notice that thhe crying spsodes are stronger if husband and I tend to disagree on the way to deal with it, like when I soften my stance about turning off the light. Does she think that if she cries a bit louder, I will soften my stance further? It is a strong possibility)
On the plus side, Sophia slept at 10.30. Anjali stayed up in the dark, asked husband for water to drink a couple of times, chatted about some funny stuff and then drifted off.
Just one of those days
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Husband tried done of the counting activities (can your child understand that counting stays the same regardless of the order?)
There were four cats on a page
"Count the cats"
Anjali counted them
"Can you start here and count them?"
"I already counted them."
I did the communication exercise with Sophia yesterday (It resulted in one of the porcelain cups getting chipped and some porcelain specks on the floor, making husband very annoyed). But Sophia communicated alright. I guess I got more of a kick out of it than her. I am consciously doing signing with her now. I didnt give it much of a thought until now.
Yesterday we wrote down Anjali's first narrative. it was about a mummy and a baby owl and a rabbbit, that involved a doctor. They didnt live happily ever after, but I think we will follow up on it soon.
Is it any wonder that Anjali goes around bouncing on a big blue ball (gift from Jaishree aunty, Pranav's stuff), holding a stick and saying "Hocus Pocus", i am going to turn you into a crocodile with my wand. I am a witch
Monday, November 23, 2009
For the record the library doesnt keep it under the family section, its under general reading.
Friday, November 20, 2009
I sit, with Sophia in my lap.
"Daddy should sit here. Patti should sit there and thattha should sit here" (pointing to respective chairs)
"Where will Sophia sit?"
"Here, on my lap"
"Why she should sit on your lap?"
"because there is no more chair... I will take one chair for Sophia to sit" (and she brought one over)
The interesting thing is that we were in the library. there were no patti and thattha, daddy was in some other part of the library looking for books.
All we had was a table with some chairs around it
5 of them.
"i did a rehersal"
A rehersal? For what?
"All my friends died"
Now, that was a very morbid thought.
Why did your friends die?
"Their souls went away and went to look for other people's bodies"
I swear, this conversation really happened. Husband was witness to it (he was trying hard to keep from laughing)
Ok. And then what happened?
"They all got buried"
"under some sand"
There is some back story and contextual grounding, but it will take too long to explain.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Yesterday, Anjali, monkey that she is, climbed on the dining table, leaned across the space between the dining table and the buddha table, and called to patti
Yenakku paint venum
Patti, who was in the kitchen trying to get her long deserved dinner break, didnt understand
"kiaft cupbboard la paint eyuku. yenaku paint venum"
I had made up a new batch of milk powder paints the day before (for the pat a cake book) and took them out of the fridge. Milk powder paints have an excellent texture and are much better than flour paints. Flour paints are more suited for finger painting. Milk powder paints can go very nicely on paper.
"Anjali, you want to paint in paper, or in a box?"
She chose the box, and we put her in the middle of a box, and the paints in a chair next to the box with a couple of brushes.
The curious cat of the house, who was, at that time, busy doing some thing important (read pushing the fan around and investigating what would happen if one lifts the circular base of the fan and bangs it up and down), dropped her current task when she saw the colors (perhaps it was simply due to the fact that her akka was doing something)
The tray of paints was promptly moved inside the box where the cat obviously couldnt reach.
She walked around the perimeter of the box making frantic attempts to get inside. ofcourse, we couldnt let her, as that would cause a bit of a mess, so what did we do?
Clue: Husband had brought back five boxes from his office moving. We still haev three of them untouched.
So as Anjali painted one box in a multitude of rainbow colors, all the while chatting to thattha Sophia played peekaboo with husband and me, while sitting inside the other box.
incidentally a playeum session at woodlands library had several boxes decorated, stacked and made into castles and tunnels. Pity we missed that event. Hope to hit the one in Jacob Balls garden though
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Sophia has a new hobbby, unscrewing bottle and milk caps. Thats nice - her fine motor skills are kicking in
Finally, we put Sophia on the bed and Anjali and I went to the living room.
"I like to ead books"
"I know. I made some books for you this morning"
"You can make a book?"
"How to make a book??"
So I showed her how we could cut pages write and draw on them, bind them together and make books.
So these days one thing that i have been doing is to make activity books. So far have completed a Noah's ark and a pat a cake activity book. Anjali seems to have fun doing the activities in the books. Am working on a Maisy book next - inspired by Maisy big/ Maisy small. The challenge with making a Maisy book, ofcourse, is the illustrations.
Up next is a pull out book. I am still playing around with the theme - cartoon characters or family members, or animals. I might do family members. it will be fun to do it with photos.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
We microwaved them, for about 4 minutes, 1 minute at a time. It turned out very nice. I asked Anjali to paint the beads this morning. When i left for work, she had black paint on her palms and was painting the kitchen cupboard.
Will encourage her to thread them this evening. We need a tapestery needle though
We missed the first three episodes but will probably make the one at Jacob Ballas gardens
Monday, November 16, 2009
The following weekend, there is something at the Jacob Ballas gardens.
The botanical party is on the 5th December and husband's marathon run on 6th
Pretty full weekends coming up. There is also an ugly duckling show, which husband is interested in taking the kids to
Anjali and Ramya at the tv recording.
Anjali sang Nila Nila, Anile Anile, Sanjadamma, Chinna Chinna Motor and Shri Chakra raja
The tv guys said that they may not be able to telecast Chri Chakra raja because it is religious. They got her to sing a couple of other songs (twinkle twinkle, itsy bitsy spider and kai veesamma)
The cameraman's verdict (she doesnt need a mike)
When we returned from the swimmy show, I had a splitting headache. No idea why exactly this happened. So I curled up and let husband handle the kids.
They seem to have had a good time - the kids- husband was hungry and stressed, and when I woke up, took two helpings of yogurt aval and slept at 8pm (I should do this more often so that he sleeps early), woke up sometime at night to put a diaper on Sophia (after 11pm), had an intention to put a diaper on Anjali, but fell asleep before he could formulate the intention properly. He put a diaper on Anjali at 4pm, apparently.
The kids drank yogurt, ate noodles, made a mess on the floor, played with some random toys and stuff etc. here are some videos that husband took.
36 week foetus
Anjali at one of the more traditional skeletons
foetuses at differnet stages. They had them from 4 weeks old
daddy and two daughters.
Some lines are very thin. Bodyworlds is one of them. Before we went for the exhibition, some people were saying that it may not be suitable for the kids, they may get scared. but mine werent, most possibly they were not aware of what it was.
Controversial yes, but only if you think of it in terms of the gross. But it was beautiful. What is inside us, the blood vessels, muscles, skeleton - they are beautiful. They make us what we are. That is illustrated by the very artistically presented dancing plastinates (which, unfortunately, I couldnt photograph)
We were at bodyworld exhibition on Friday evening. It was really an eye opening bit of art.
"The mouse is sleeping on a kutty bed. i want to sleep on a kutty bed"
"Why dont you sleep on the big bed with mummy and daddy"
"No. i dont want to sleep on the big bed with mummy and daddy. I want my own kutty bed". Looks again at the book. "I want my own wooden kutty bed".