Monday, June 25, 2007

News from the front

So here we are, home and happy.

The journey was fairly uneventful. Moppet gets 9 on 10 for in-flight behaviour. She would have got a perfect 10 but for her trying to pat the flight attendant on the rump every time she bent down near our seat. To be fair to Moppet, it was certainly an inviting behind. (A simple statement of fact, no reading between the lines, please!) Even so, Moppet's unfortunate lack of self-control in its presence meant that I had to stay alert and grab her arm every time the flight attendant passed by.

But apart from that little lapse, she was quite the model travel tot, and we reached home in overall good shape. She took a little time to settle in, but now she's having a ball, chasing little boys, birds, and cats whenever she sees them.

I know the description makes her sound like a little puppy, but that's exactly the image that comes to mind when I see her trotting around on the lawn, trying to join in the older kids' football game, and generally getting underfoot.

My parents live on a campus (which feels more like a zoo), and Moppet and I have already spotted from close range, an elephant, a camel, a couple of monkeys, and most memorably, a peacock and 4 peahens taking a leisurely stroll through our back lawn. I wish I had a picture of her wide-eyed, open-mouthed reaction to these creatures - it's a classic cartoon face!

On one of her morning walks with her grandpa, they saw a chameleon, and she's learnt to mimic its curious neck movement. On being asked, "How does the chameleon go?", she does this funny goggle-eyed head bob.

So now I have the ultimate answer to all those odious comparisons and well-meaning (?) milestone questions.

My baby can go like a chameleon. Ha! Top that if you can!

Leaving you with some pictures of my chameleon child in action.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


One enormous suitcase, 10 times the size of toddler, packed with everything necessary and unecessary for royal upkeep of said toddler. Check.

One stuffed diaper bag, bursting with snacks, toys, books...what am I missing here? Oh yes, diapers and a change of clothes. Check.

One stroller, which most likely toddler will refuse to sit in, and which will form one extraneous piece of hand baggage, taken in hope nonetheless. Check.

One hyperactive toddler, sensing the excitement in the air and buzzing in anticipation. Check.

One hovering Papa, who will miss toddler and her mom like crazy, but is pretending to be happy to 'finally have some peace and quiet.' Check.

One harried, nervous Mama, wondering if she's taken enough headache pills to last her through the journey. Check.

Steeling of nerves. Check.

Taking of deep breaths. Check.

...And we're good to go! See ya on the other side!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Dadda's girl

I've always been a daddy's girl. Until not very long ago, my mom was just my mom. But for as long as I can remember, my dad has always been much more. He's my friend, my teacher, my rock.

He is my hero.

Not because of what he has achieved, although it is a lot to be proud of. A boy who grew up in a small village in Kerala and studied up to class 10 in a Malayalam medium school. Who would run barefoot to school, and return to take the buffalos out to graze. Whose family thought he had arrived in life when he got a job as a lecturer in a rural college. Who dreamed of being more, quit and financed his higher education (and supported his family) through hard-won scholarships. Who is today, a published author and respected professor at one of the finest institutes in the country.

Not because he is an enlightened, involved husband and father, and was one even at a time when it was considered infra dig for a Mallu man to help the wife out in the kitchen or deal with the kids' night time tantrums and other messy tasks involved in child-rearing.

Not because he is the most fair-minded person I know. Or because I can talk to him about anything - anything at all - without fear of judgement or recrimination. I know he will always tell me the truth, even if it is unpleasant.

Not because of his fierce integrity, the courage to live by his principles, and his straightforward honesty. Not even because of his warm heart and generous soul.

Not because of the fact that despite his achievements, he is always striving to be better - both professionally and personally. Last year he asked me for feedback on his parenting approach. He wanted to know if I wished he had done anything differently. I cannot begin to describe how touched and amazed I am by that gesture.

Yes, all of this makes my father an amazing person. It makes me strive every day to be more like him, but that is not why he's my hero.

He is my hero and always will be, simply because he's my Dadda.

Happy Father's Day, Dadda!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Hip, Not Happening

I find shopping for clothes in Bangkok rather damaging to my ego. Having been an XS /S (and post baby, an M) back home in India, it feels terrible to be rummaging in the XL bin over here.

And it doesn't help that the dainty Thai women floating around the store - even the ones pushing their chubby babies in strollers - all look like they would be barely visible in profile.

The sizes are not always standard, which means I have to ask what my size would be, suffer the salesperson's appraising up-down look, and then hear the dreaded 'L' word. So today, when I did the usual 'what-size-would-a-waist-30-be' mumble, I was pleasantly surprised to hear the shop assistant recommend an 'M'.

I had about 5 seconds to rejoice before I heard a second shop assistant correct the first one in Thai, "Mai dai! Sophohk yai maak!" Having recently completed a lesson on parts of the body in Thai, I was unfortunately quite able to understand what she had said:

"No way! Her hips are too big!"

She was probably right too, but that was about all my self-esteem could handle for the day, so me and my too-big hips hightailed it out of the store (pausing only for some comfort in the form of a sugar doughnut - what the hell, the hips have been already labelled XL!)

On the way home I stopped off at a frame shop to pick up some stuff I had ordered. While waiting for the frames to be wrapped, I chatted with the friendly shop owner and the conversation came around to children.

I was shocked when she told me she had a 25 year old son, since she hardly looked 35. I said as much and she gleefully informed me that she was 46 and had married young. She then asked about me. I told her I had a 14 month old daughter to which she responded cheerfully, "Oh, so small? You marry very late, eh?"

Hummph! Apparently, I have bigger things to worry about than my waist size preceding me into the 30s. So if you'll excuse me, I have to go polish off that tub of ice cream that I have unnecessarily been resisting this past week.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Where's my gift?

It was a quiet morning Chez Moppet, with Moppet's Papa, me, the laptop and the PC all companionably surfing the net together, when I came across this post by Tharini. Of course, I had to show it to him.

"Nice," he said.

In the silence that ensued, I debated whether I should leave it at that and hope he had got the hint, or hammer my point home.

I decided to go (as I usually do) with stating the obvious.

"Now that's what I call a thoughtful gift," I said, meaningfully.

He grinned. "I knew that was coming!"

He would. He knows his record with gifts is abysmal. And I know he knows, but still insist on reminding him every chance I get.

*Cough [nag!] cough*

Hey, I heard that! But really, I can count on one hand the gifts I've received from him in the 8 years that we've been together. Surely that entitles a girl to some nagging on the whole gift situation?

Although I must admit that though they've been few, his gifts have all been rather special.

One of my favourites is the paper lantern. It magically appeared in my dorm room one day, hanging over my bed from a bent wire hanger, and transforming my pokey room into a cosy haven with its warm orange glow.

But my most cherished gift from him probably doesn't even qualify as a gift. It is a handwritten note that was tucked under my pillow the day I came home from hospital with Moppet. Written with raw emotion, it is a beautiful expression of love, pride, and confidence in me.

On days when I feel like I can't do this any more, when I feel like I'm just not enough - I pull out that note. I don't really need to read it, I know it all by heart. But to see the words in his handwriting is to hear him say that he loves me, that he believes in me. That I am an amazing wife and mother. That I can do this.

Hmm...I guess I don't have it that bad after all. Sheesh! And this post started out as a complaint!

Anyway, I'd like to hear from all of you on the best gift you've ever got. I need some ideas that I can pass on to Moppet's Papa!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

We're going home

...and maybe even meeting some blogging mommies and babies! :-)

Yup, Moppet's Papa is ditching us for some corporate shindig in Athens. Ordinarily, we would've tagged along, but I figured that handling Moppet on an 18 hour journey - one way - for a 3 day holiday just isn't worth it. So, in order to make up for my deep disappointment at not getting to ogle hunky greek guys, I'm going home!

I'm hoping that the Mumbai Mommy Bloggers Meet will be in the last weekend of June so that Moppet and I can join in too.

But it's not really about me. And things are all very much in the planning stage right now. So if you're a blogging (or blog reading) mom in Mumbai and would like to be part of the Mumbai Mommy Bloggers Meet head on over to Kiran's blog and let her know.

Go on! Now!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

A Tag In Rhyme

Another tag has come Mom's way
Eight things about her Moppet to say.

At first she thought it had all been said
But then an idea popped into her head.

The tag she would in verse complete
Though a worse poet you never did meet.

Be warned, bad verse can make you ill
Read on, therefore, at your peril.

The first thing that you ought to know
Is that spit bubbles I like to blow.

Animal sounds I make a few
And that my friends, is point number two.

For three, my books I know by name
Which making me fetch is Mom's new game.

I cannot be stopped by any closed door
I knock till it's opened, and that's point four.

Five is about my theatrical laughter
Which manifests mostly some mischief after.

It seems I'm always up to tricks
My folks can not keep up, that's six.

Milk from a cup I am learning to drink
And that completes point seven, I think.

Point eight, as Mama is (too) fond of sayin'
Is that in the butt, I am sometimes a pain

And yet I know she could not love me more
I love her too, though her rhymes are a bore!