Tuesday, January 18, 2011
This is a nice article. I know it all boils down to different parenting styles, and I know that i resented it very much when my parents told me off when I got bad grades and yes, we had all the screaming and stuff at home, and I told myself that I wont do that with the kids...
My take on it, however, is that it might have worked for last generation but wont for this generation, after all the children have other friends who are having fun
Sophia climbs over me and tries to get to Anjali
Anjali: Mummy, Sophia is not letting me sleep
Me: Sophia, sleep on the other side of mummy
Sophia: want to sleep Anchali thoppai
Me: No, you sleep on mummy's thoppai and hold Anjali's hand
Sophia: No want to sleep mummy thoppai. Want to sleep Anchalli 's thoppai
Me: Sophia, you sleep on mummy's thoppai and daddy will tell you a story.
Sophia sleeps on my thoppai
Anjali: Story! Story!Story!Story!Story!Story!Story!
Sophia: Anjali! hold my hand Anjali. Hold my hand!
Like peeing on her sister, sleeping synchronously, looking soulfully etc.
While her smile was always there, she was also full of attitude, which was obvious even when she was a month old.
Around this time, we started taking Anjali to gymboree, adn Sophia was right there, cuddling, uncomplaining through the long bus and taxi rides, and enjoying herself . When she got still older, she began to see mummy dance and play with Anjali
When I returned to work, we set new routines, got used to each other and grew up. She cooperated in mummy's crazy schemes
She began to creep and crawl at five months and by July, we decided that she was not a baby anymore, but a toddler
She began to talk before she could walk, saying things like bear and door. And then she began to walk and always the smile would crop up
And now she is two years old. She talks two to a dozen, makes complicated games involving Krishna and Dorothy and can hold her own in any conversation. She has stopped breastfeeding (finally) and wants to sleep with her sister.
She is even starting to agree that she is big.
Happy birthday Sophia
Day: 1 day before Sophia turned 2.
Action: Anjali and Kiran had finished playing on a tricycle and Sophia on a toy car, Shreyas is trying to climb the tricycle.
Mommy: Shreyas is small.. Sophia... Sophia.
Sophia is busy and doesnt turn
Mommy: Oi Sophia.
Sophia (still absorbed in what she is doing): listening!
Mommy (who didnt quite get the impact of what she said): Sophia.. Sophia
Sophia (louder and still not looking up): Listening!!!!
Mommy: Shreyas is small you know.
Mommy: You are big
Sophia: yesh! I am big
Kiran comes running over: I am mall!! I am mall!!
Mommy: You are not small, you are big!
Kiran: I am mall!!
Then all the kids pretended to be owls, turned off the lights and slept on the couch.
Mommy: its almost 9. lets go home
Sophia: five minate okay?
Anjali: ten minutes!!
Mommy: Ok ten minutes
Ten minutes later I got up. "I am going. you girls want to come?"
Sophia: Nope. want to sheep Kiyan oushe!
Mommy: Ok. Jyothi call me if you need me, i am going home
Both girls came running. We should do these playdates more regularly
Monday, January 17, 2011
"Sophia, who is this?" patti asks
"yamesh mama", says Sophia
Patti nods with satisfaction.
I am, however not convinced.
"Sophia, how do you call him?"
"Yamesh!!" she says, with a cheeky grin
Moral of the story: You never know what goes on in the kids head, and to really know, you have to ask the right question. Piaget knew this, and thats why he did such groundbreaking research on infant learning.
Anjali: What I am? what I am?
Me/ Husband: Give us a clue
Anjali: I am red and I am round.
Husband: You are a red ball
Anjali: I am good for your health
Husband: You are an apple or a tomato.
Anjali: Yes! I am a tomato.
She got pretty good at it.
The kids liked to make pizza, and I must say that the pizzas they made were much better than any pizza that I would ever make. Simply because the pizzas were drenched in cheese - seriously, there was more cheese in one of their mini pizzas than there would be in one of the pizzas that i make for six people.
Parents got into the fun, helping to mix, spread and layout the pizza on baking trays. And while the pizzas were baking, the children led a game of musical statues
We cut Sophia's birthday cake, and husband's five hours of making the dragon got gobbled up. The cake was delicious, and the dragon (it wasnt a fairy godmother afterall), though it looked significantly different from the dragon int the book - I should be putting up the photos soon, was clearly recognizable as a dragon, though Vishnu kept saying that it was a playdoh turtle.
After cake, there was dinner, and after dinner, the children got together again to play. It was more free play, they were sufficiently warmed up to play by themselves, and there was no need for us to organize something for them.
All the kids got a book for a present, and I think that was a wise step, without having the house filled with presents and goody bags
My girls were tired after the party too, I had tried, in the afternoon, to get them to nap, but it didnt work out. They did spend half an hour on the bed, however and it helped. Sophia, who spent the last half an hour of the party dancing with her godmother and with Anjali's godmother spent the rest of the time reading and opening some of her presents.
I fixed some sandwichhes and cutlets for the children, and then they went to bed while playing taboo.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Now for the icing.
Not to mention that thatta will make sure that the girls get stuffed with them
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Sophia: Mummy what are you doingk?
Me: I am putting maruthani
Sophia: Why are you putting my maruthani?
Me: I am putting my maruthani
Sophia: Wheresh my maruthani?
Me: Its in your hand
Sophia: Mummy, dont put maruthani
Me: Why not?
Sophia: becaushe patti put maruthani
Me: I can put maruthani on myself. i am a big girl
Sophia: I am shmall
Me: No Sophia, you are big
Sophia: I am small
Me: Ok, you are small, but you have stopped drinking bua (yes. its official, three dry days)
Me: Why did you stop drinking bua?
Sophia: Becaushe ther's chilli powder and.... and... mummy, whatsh the other one?
Me: Onion powder? Garlic powder...
Sophia: and garlic powder
Me: We cant drink onion powder and garlic powder from the bua
Sophia: No. Ish Spishy
Me: Can you eat chocolate from the bua?
Sophia: No. Ish very junky
Me: Can you eat pasta from the bua?
Sophia: I like pashta
Me: Ok, then you can eat it from the bua?
Sophia: No, from a plate
The thing about Sophia is that you can have very long, very serious conversations with her, and she answers you very seriously.
IIf it turns out good, Anjali has already preordered the mer king cake for her birthday, whick is not until April
One thing that struck me when reading this article was how kids view more violence during Saturday morning cartoon shows (26 acts of violence per hour) than during prime time shows
We had been letting the kids watch 101 Dalmatians - which husband and I felt was a very nice film for the kids - that is until Anjali started using words like "Shut up" and "idiot" and claimed that she learnt them from Cruella. So we have replaced 101 Dalmatians with other movies - say Shrek and Cinderella, where the language is less offensive.
It is amazing how TV makes an impression. I have already written about Sophia's obsession with the characters of Oz. She doesnt want her birthday banner to say Happy birthday Sophia - it has to be happy birthday Dorothy. And when the kids were painting, she made a brilliant painting with Glinda and Dorothy and the bad witch and the dog (a little purple blob) and the scarecrow, all going on the yellow brick road (which was painted orange) The kids had watched the wizard of Oz once. We did a lot of role playing around the movie, and I was reading Wicked (which i gave up after about half the book), but talked about it at home and it sort of made a very deep impression on her. Therefore, I wont blame all the Dorothy obsession on the movie. We have watched Wallace and Gromit many more times and they never take up the characters in that story.
Anjali made a painting of Glinda and gave her a long sparkly dress and long golden hair (Why exactly am I not surprised?).
The girls made a resolution that they would only watch tv at noon. So far they have stuck to it, and so have we, in a way, refrained from turning the box on at mealtimes, but instead taking the meals to the floor and feeding the children while they play or read. In a way it means that there are no real family dinners, but family dinners in front of the tv dont really count.
Yesterday, while the kids were painting, husband, who had returned late from work, plopped his soup bowl on the floor to watch the girls. For a while, I was afraid that they would step on/ spill paint over this soup, but it somehow didnt happen
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
My first meals involved using copious amounts of spaghetti sauce from the jar to flavour all my dishes. Soon my kitchen cupboards were overflowing with empty Prego jars. patti used to, once in a while supply me with idli flour, which I alternately used to make idlis (seldom, because it required a lot of washing up) and dosas. I used to be able to make fairly decent vegetable chutneys though, and sandwiches
I remember alternating husband with mashed eggplants, zacusca, and salata boeuf for about a year when we were leaving Anjali at patti's house each morning, and buying copious amounts of bread.
Soon after Sophia was born, I borrowed a book from Jurong library - classic vegetarian recipes made easy. i remember husband's teasing when he spotted it among the piles of books to be borrowed. But the first recipes I made out of the book - mushroom soup and spinach cream pasta were excellent, and he never said anything much about my culinary skills after
For the past two years, one or another vegetarian cookbook has graced my kitchen. Recently, I have also taken to borrowing a desserts book and a bread making book. Without the cookbooks, i feel a bit at a loss when beginning to cook, though I can make a fair number of decent recipes - a risotto or pilaf, pasta with multiple sauces, an all purpose casserole, mamaliga or gnocchi, potatoes, cutlets etc.
This morning, I put together a sublime combination of lentils, pumpkin and coconuts, cooked in Soya milk. Strange combination but totally delicious. It complimented some plain rice and yogurt, along with my favorite recipe from Esther Brody's book - self Saucing plum pudding.
Monday, January 10, 2011
"My bear likes low sounds", while tapping the bear on the low end of the keyboard and
"My mouse like high sounds" while tapping the high end of the keyboard.
The playing that they did was to zoom across the keyboard with their racing car and beeping the car.
I was much older when I learnt keyboard - about 22. So i could file the information in declarative memory. i remember taking two months to go through the beginners piano book as opposed to meenakshi, who took about a year - she was about 8 or 9 years old at that time. Now I realize that I was encoding declarative memory, while what the kids do, atleast at Anjali's age, is to encode things at the procedural level, completely bypassing the declarative level - where piano playing is like riding the bicycle.
It will be interesting to see how this experiment plays out.
Me: Sophia, you are a big girl.
Sophia: I am not Sophia, i am Dorothy
Me: Dorothy, you are a big girl
Sophia: I am small!
Me: Dorothy is a big girl you know.
Sophia: Yes. Dorothy is a big girl
Me: You are a big girl?
Me: Then you should not drink bua
Sunday afternoon in the museum:
Sophia: I am sleepy. Want to dink bua!
Me: I thought you are a big girl. Big girls dont drink bua.
Sophia: I am small.
Me: Fine. Small girls dont drink bua either.
Anjali: Only born babies drink bua Sophia. Like Deepika. You know Deepika?
Husband, Anjali and I distract her with some museum stuff.
Sunday night: I apply liberal amounts of garlic
Sophia: Want to dink bua
Me: You are a big girl
Sophia: I am small
me: You are a small girl, small girls dont drink bua
Sophia: I am a born baby
So she does as she always does, and tugs my nightie aside. One sip. She grimaces. Then she thinks that maybe she is wrong. Another sip, another grimace. The third trial, and she begins to cry
"I want water!!!"
We give her a drink. "Mummy, I want bua!!"
"What did you put on it?" husband asks
"garlic", I reply. At this point, it is very hard for me to stop laughing.
We turn out the lights
"I want bua!"
"Sophia, there is chilli powder and garlic powder on the bua", says Anjali, who associates garlic and chilli, "Do you want to drink chilli poder and garlic powder bua?"
"No!! Mummy want other bua"
"Do you want a glass of warm milk?", I asked
"Yes", very sorrowfully.
Husband gets her a tumbler of warm milk, which she drank. Then she cuddled up on my side and went to sleep, sniffling a couple of times, but other than that making not much noise.
She woke up twice at night, once at midnight, asking for bua. I told her about the chilli and garlic and she asked for water instead. She drank up the water and went back to sleep.
She woke up again at 4am. She didnt even ask for bua, it was straight out asking for water.
Friday, January 7, 2011
class that seemed good and was nearby is Christofori, which is right next to
patti's house. We enquired a couple of months ago and found that their classes
clashed both with Anjali's CSC ballet class and with patti's shloka class, which
patti had shifted to 4.30pm, specifically to accomodate the girls and my cooking
Husband was rather disgruntled and refused to talk to any of us for four days.
But then, this blog is not about husband's cave retreats, but about the
wonderful and not so wonderful stuff the pixies get to, so I shall not get into
details about that.
So when the SCS ballet classes stopped over the holiday period and we were
suddenly faced with the prospect of several free Saturdays, we went quite wild
and went out almost every weekend - overnight camps, holiday weekends etc.
But then in came January and we had to realize that some form of structure is
once again required by the children. And then I found out that there were ballet
classes offered in the community club for 4 year olds and above. That was quite
perfect for Anjali to enter pre-primary ballet. The lessons were on Thursday
evenings, from 6.15 to 7pm, and since they were right across patti's house -
with hardly two minute walk, patti could take her to the class even if I was
late from work.
Which freed the Saturday afternoon slot for the Christofori, from 2.45 to 3.45pm
That was fantastic, and it left non IEP sundays completely free (which boils
down to one sunday a month, but still it is something)
All registrations are complete and Anjali is quite happy with her new ballet
class (where they apparently do turns and get a ballerina chop after each class)
Today, Sophia is prince pumpernickel. And yesterday all the time we were waiting
outside ballet class, she kept wanting to change her clothes and go in after
All in good time baby
Thursday, January 6, 2011
last week that I took a break to stay with the girls. The day after Christmas,
we were at the IEP night walk, and Sophia walked most of it. Although she
insisted that I carry her up the mount faber, after that she said
"After we each merlion okay... I will walk okay.... climb the stairs okay...
like an ecployer"
So we reached the merlion and the explorer climbed the stairs
This has nothing do to with walking, but when we were vegetable shopping she
"I made a degigion"
"What is a decision?" I asked her
"Mummy!", she replies, smiling
I was rather relieved
And then on new year's eve i took the girls to the Orchid gardens. Sophia walked
all the way from the entrance to the botanical gardens to the orchid gardens and
inside the orchid gardens.
After the Orchid gardens, the girls ran down the palm valley to top it off. Only
when we were entering the Bukit Timah area did she ask to be carried
"I am Doyothy", she says "And doyothy always walks"
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
and materials out of reach. That is why we have the lightbulb lab - a kevin
henkes inspiration - where there are pockets with general materials that the
kids need to create, and they use it well. Sophia often can be spotted taking
markers form the lightbulb lab and drawing on the floor and Anjali uses the
markers to draw, scotchtape and scissors to cut it out into many interesting and
I do believe that leaving things around for the kids to explore encourages
creativity and confidence.
Until yesterday afternoon, when patti was tired and closed her eyes for a
minute, and Anjali and Sophia were playing in the living room.
Then the unthinkable happened.
They were quiet for a long time, motivating patti to open her eyes, and what did
The whole living room strewn with hair.
Anjali had taken the scissors from the lightbulb lab and used them to cut - not
only her hair - but also Sophia's hair.
I mean - seriously!
Patti and husband couldnt see which part of the hair was cut - hair cutting is
often messy because the amount of hair on the floor hardly correlates with the
amount that came off the top of the head (Did I cut that much hair??) but i
noticed when I returned home, the uneven side near one ear.
"Yes, i cut it there", said Anjali, because when it is windy, the hair there
blows into my eyes!
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
here are some highlights
I drew the fairy and Anjali threaded the corners. It was her first proper threading project one that she completed. I was quite surprised that she finished it, she had shown little interest in threading just a few months previously and now she has improved. One of my toys in planning is a simple embroidery kit.
This is another first - a picture of a zoo, actually colored properly. Behind the abstractedness, you can make out the red elephant and the tree
We were dabbing with left over colored rice from my karthigai kolam - patti had put all the colored rice in a jar for the girls to play with. This one is Sophia's creation
This is Anjali's partly finished flower
She did this one before doing the flower, and unlike the flower - which I drew, both the drawing and filling of this drawing can be attributed completely to Anjali. It is, I believe, a sting ray. Dheeraj had given Anjali a puzzle with a sting ray and this came out of that interaction
This is a lion. It even has a mane. product of the lightbulb lab
Another product of the lightbulb lab (to be rotated counter clockwise) is a house with a door and two windows - looks like something out of Dr Seuss
This is Sophia's drawing that she made at the IEP night walk. I love the colors
Swati asked me sometime ago if I recorded Sophia talking. Ofcourse, i text it, for documentation purposes, but then i realized that she will soon stop talking as she does now, and start the real talking. No more "yesh" and "oponus"
So here is a video, which also shows some of her antics
The iconic photos with the Macaws
The giant tortoise, a truly interesting experience
Kid with the butterfly on her forehead. This made her day!
Sophia's first pony riding experience
of the Wicked Witch of the West. Though I am not quite sure that i like Wicked,
it allows me access to certain nuggets of information - like that the witch's
name was Elphaba and that she and Glinda were good friends in the school.
Which ofcourse, started about an hour of play, involving the ugly and green
Elphaba (me) the beautiful and well dressed Glinda (Anjali) and the farm girl
Dorothy (Sophia), who doesnt quite come in the story, but insisted on the part,
attending wizarding school together under the guidance of the teacher (husband).
The play involved working in the classroom (patti's room), which was dark, but
where we couldnt turn on the lights ("The light is inside us, we can see if we
use our own light" - says Glinda, though it was actually Sunanda). It involved
using wands - two plastic golf sticks, a buttur churner, and a drumstick, to
St some point, the teacher couldnt remember any spells and retired to the
computer to look up the different spells.
Ofcourse, we hit all the common ones - levite, lumos, nox, accio etc
Ever knew that if you pointed your wand and said "levite", you have to flap your
wings? And that to stop, you have to say "levite" again
And if you say something that sounds like "lion washy wishy moshy", you have
lions appearing out of our wand, and there is even a counter curse that makes
And that when they disappear, they go to the zoo
Monday, January 3, 2011
"Anjali is so girlish", i told husband, remarking on her pink dress (princess,
Sophia was not too interested in make up. We tried to get her to wear a nice
dress for Christmas (some princess thing that Akila had brought for her) and she
sat on it for two minutes before complaining
"Its poky! Take off!!!"
"I am princess snowwhite", said Anjali.
"I am prince pumpernickel", Said Sophia. i thought pumpernickel is a bread.
"She's gender confused!", I said.
She always gets to play prince in all the dramas, in the playground and at home,
since she is the only one who kisses Anjali (who always gets to play princess)
so openly and enthusiastically
"What is my name??", asked Sophia
"Sophia" I said
"No. Whats my name?" She said
"Your name is Sophia"
"No!!! What is my name??" (begins to whine)
What kind of question is this?
"You are prince pumpernickel", said husband
"No!!!" whining gets louder "Whats my name??"
"Prince charming?" I ask
"No!! You are toto! What is my name??"
"Right!!" I said, cottoning on. "Dorothy?"
"Yes!" with a tone of smug satisfaction. "Anjali is Glinda the good witch!"
"Now she is also identity confused!" I exclaim, now a little panicky
"Where is your mother?", I ask Sophia. We are on the beach for the center walk.
Anjali is about 50 meters ahead, running with Ananya.
"Over there", says Sophia, pointing to Anjali
"right. Who am I??", I ask
"You are kithu akka". Did I ask for immortalization of the akka status? i did
remember mentioning it to some of the aunties when Anjali as born that my
children will see the other kids calling me kithu akka and they will also call
"She is gender confused, identity confused and doesnt know who her mother is.",
I complain to husband
"That one is definitely female", he replies, unconcernedly, pointing to the one
who is floating amongst the frills and satin, "and this one will catch up soon.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Recently, i read an article called Zooillogical. In the same way, the promotion of Science is somewhat illogical. It is therefore very nice to see this newsarticle about how a group of primary school children published high quality research work.
As parents of children who are also Scientists, how can we encourage children to ask questions, and teach the methodology of finding the right answer? Infact this is what Science is about. Not classifying objects, or making robots. Its rigorous methodical study of a problem. And the Science center and any outreach work has to impart to the children this art. the asking of questions, the research and the experiments needed to find out the answer.
Monday, December 20, 2010
|Make your own animal at the Robot animal exhibition|
|The Science center's musical wall. *Sigh, what happened to my own musical wall??*|
|So many Sophias|
|Where is Anjali? Sophia is at the bottom of the hamster cage. Its funny that what the girls liked the most were the chicken hatching, the hamster cage, and the photo below.|
Anjali has been asking me to take her and Sophia to fidgets. I guess a trip is in order that week that i take leave.
Anjali keeps telling everyone about her projected Barney bag.
I am a little sick of listening to Santa Claus is coming to town in baby language. On saturday, i got a little too frustrated
"Santa Claus is Coming to bown!!", I sang finishing off Anjali's sentence
"mummy!", she said, asif she doesnt do it a hundred times. "Dont say bown! Then Santa will put you in the naughtly list and you wont get the cooking thing"
"What cooking thing?"
"that beating thing that you wanted"
"What beating thing?"
"That thing you want to beat the eggs"
I had mentioned to husband, once, in passing, about three weeks ago that i wished that Santa would get me an egg beater for making souffles and cakes without baking powder.
Now, who's going to get me an egg beater?