Friday, February 29, 2008

Moppet @ 23 months

Since I'm way overdue on Moppet's 22 month update - she completes 23 months today - I'm converting this Crazy 8 tag from Kiran into an update.

(Am taking some liberties with 2 of the sections - '8 things before I die' has become '8 things I do that drives Mama crazy ', and '8 things that attract me to my friends' is now '8 things that make me me')

So here, in Moppet's own words, is the tag

8 Things I am passionate about:
1. Mama. Mama. Mama.
2. Papa. Somewhat.
3. Duddu (Milk)
4. Going ouside. Playing in the park. Playing in the sandpit and making 'Happy to You' cakes.
5. Jumping (inside on the bed, ouside on the trampoline).
6. Colowing. Dwawing.
7. Wearing mis-matched (according to Mama) clothes.
8. Playing Ceebeebies or Dowa on the kampooter.

8 Things I do that drives Mama crazy:
1. I am congenitally stubborn. I can scream non-stop for 2 hours.
2. I hold my food in my mouth and refuse to chew or swallow or spit.
3. I love my duddu but I won't drink it in anything other than my bottle, even though I can drink perfectly well out of a cup or glass.
4. I fight for (and mostly win) the right to wear the clothes I choose. Who dares to say that I can't wear a blue T-shirt, pink skirt and orange pants under it?
5. Everything has its rightful place and function as determined by me. Mama cannot sit in Papa's chair. Papa cannot drink from Mama's cup. Mama cannot use any other pillow but her own. Mama must not wear a button shirt if I so decide. The consequences of ignoring my requests are hard on everyone's eardrums.
6. Only Papa is allowed to brush my teeth - this is part of the rightful place and function rule. So when he travels, Mama and I have BIG fights. Have I said this before? I usually win.
7. I lick the soap off my body when I have my bath. And the lotion later. And then I tell Mama in a stern voice - "No licking soap / lotion".
8. I change the subject when asked about some mischief I've done. Or I pretend not to hear the question.

8 Things I say often:
1. No!
2. Uh-oh!
3. Mama, take off!
(She means get up, and she tells me this every morning at the crack of dawn - MM)
4. Mama, cawwy!
5. Let's go ouside! Come on!
6. Wan some more duddu / chocolate / cheese. No wice! No woti! No apple! No banana!
7. Papa office / Papa essercise. Moppet [s]cool. Mama home!
8. Mama, kampooter! Sit down! Wan some Ceebeebies.

8 Books I've read recently:
1. Richard Scarry's Best First Book Ever!
2. The Fish Who Could Wish - Korky Paul
3. Corduroy - Don Freeman
4. Kipper's A to Z - Mike Inkpen
5. Little Quack's Hide and Seek - Lauren Thompson with Derek Anderson
6. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? - Eric Carle
7. It's too soon! - Nigel McMullen
8. Goodnight Moon - Margaret Wise Brown

8 songs I can (and do!) listen to over and over
1. Jingle Bells - some techno version by a band I don't know.
2. Spiderman - Michael Buble
3. Kasto Mazza - Parineeta Soundtrack
4. Ajab si - Om Shanti Om Soundtrack
5. Hum to Aise Hain - Laaga Chunari Mein Daag Soundtrack
6. Allah ke Bandhe - Waise Bhi Hota Hain Soundtrack
7. Aicha - Outlandish
8. Happy [birthday] to you - as sung by Mama.

8 Things that make me me:
1. That wicked grin. Useful. It's gotten me out of more than a few scrapes.
2. Boundless energy that I generate out of love and fresh air, since I don't eat much.
3. Amazing decisiveness. I know exactly what I want.
4. Incredible stubborness. I know how to get what I want.
5. That ear-piercing scream. Another useful tool.
6. Charm on tap. When the screaming doesn't work.
7. A fierce attachment to the people I love. No particular attachment to any physical object.
8. That curly mop, which I refuse to let Mama brush, tidy, or decorate in any way.

8 People I think should do this tag (Kids or Moms, whichever way you'd like to do it)
Sonny Boy

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Mirror, mirror, on the wall

Who has the funniest face of all?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Moppet on Munch

Ok folks, so Munch it is. I'm still trying to think of something for me and hubs (he's retaining his damn veto power over his nickname, it seems. Gah!)

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, Moppet and I were sitting in my mom's rocking chair, and Moppet's insistence on sitting so close as to squish my belly uncomfortably, brought on this conversation.

Me: Moppet, there's a little baby in Mama's tummy. If you press so hard, the baby will get hurt. So you have to be gentle, ok?

Moppet: Baby inside?

Me: Yes, a small baby.

Moppet: (disbelievingly) Open baby?

Me: Not now. Now the baby is too small. We'll open baby when it's a little bigger, ok?

After that, every once in a while when she climbs onto my lap, she demands to see the baby and then traces out the baby's eyes, mouth, nose, head, body, and hat (!) on my belly.

Sometimes, without warning, she'll come up and hit my belly - not hard, but hard enough for it not to be a joke. Then she asks concernedly, "Baby hurt? Baby cwying?" I think it's simply because I've told her not to, and she wants to see how much I'll take before she gets into trouble.
This is not looking good for Munch once he's out and unprotected. He'll have to toughen up really quickly, the poor kid.

But there are other times when Baby must be given a goodnight kiss. And not just by her, but by Papa and Mama also. Since I am quite unable to perform the contortionist act required to kiss my own belly, she will usually give the baby another kiss on my behalf. And then she will ask, "Baby sleeping? Baby happy?" And when I say yes, she says, "Moppet happy!"

So I think she does understand to some extent, although of course, she has no clue what she's in for when Munch actually arrives to share centre-stage with her.

Moppet always was possessive about me, but recently it's become rather extreme. Mama has to carry her a lot, even from one room of the house to another. Only Mama can wash her bum, only Mama can put her to bed, only Mama must sit with her while she drinks her milk. This from a child who was quite happy to have Nanny or Papa do the honours a couple of months ago. Whether it is the result of our short break at home where she and I spent all our time together, or because she hasn't been too well since she got back, or because she understands that there's a new baby on way, I don't know.

In any case it's going to be an interesting ride for all of us.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Wan, Too, Thee, Foe, Fie

This is a quick and fun tag, and it's been passed on to me by at least FIE bloggers that I can remember. So Parul, Kiran, PG, BangaloreMom, and Gauri: here we go

The rules:
Post 5 links to 5 of your previously written posts. The posts have to relate to the 5 key words given (family, friend, yourself, your love, anything you like). Tag 5 other friends to do this meme. Try to tag at least 2 new acquaintances (if not, your current blog buddies will do) so that you get to know them each a little bit better. Now don’t forget to read the archived posts and leave comments.

I take after my father. I look like him, talk like him, and think like him. I know him, because in many ways, I am him. My mom is different. Soft-hearted, sensitive, and slightly timid. So different from my father. So different from me. I loved her - she's impossible not to love - but I did not know her....
It is the season for farewells, here in Bangkok, since most company moves are timed to coincide with the end of the school term in June. Several of Moppet's little friends from our building are moving this year - by end July, they will all be gone. Moppet is too young to understand or care, but these kids have become my friends as well and I will miss them...

Tagged by The Mad Momma! I loved the idea of finding the odd one out. Have got 9 statements - one of them is untrue. Which one do you think it is? 1. I can't cook to save my life. 2. I first got drunk at age 16, on my aunt's homemade Christmas wine,...
My love:
It is a pleasant evening in November. The air smells crisp and fresh, so different from the city air they have been breathing for so long. They are sitting side by side on the verandah looking out at the moonlit lawn...
Anything else:
This is a tough one. Because anything else mostly means Moppet, I have practically the entire year's worth of posts to choose from, and there are several favourites. So I'm going to break the rules of the tag for this last part and link to 3 posts in this section.

This is my girl:
I'm big on planning. I'm always planning - my day, stuff to do on the weekend, my next holiday, my life. The fact that nothing, NOTHING, in my 28 years of life has gone according to 'plan' doesn't bother me. I'm a plan-o-maton. It's what I do. So when I found out that I was pregnant (totally not according to plan!), after the initial hysterics,...
Moppet's first word:
Last evening while I was changing Moppet's diaper and chatting to her, she looked me in the eye and said, clear as a bell: "Mama" Trumpet blasts sounded in my head; in the distance, a choir of angels hit the high notes....
Barney's tragic story:
Far, far away, in an ancient land once called Siam, there lived a little girl. Sixteen moons after she was born, a google-eyed oracle sent warning that the child was a small yet potent version of an erstwhile dark lord, but her parents paid no heed....

That was fun! I think I must be one of the last people to do this tag, so I'll only tag a couple of bloggers I've just started reading. Guys, if you've already done this one, just ignore it.

Mona, over at A Baby Story
Mandira, who blogs at Churningthewordmill
Null Pointer, of Thelastbyte

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A tag, with love

I am not a deliberate hoarder. If you find something in my possession that's more than a few years old, it's mostly because I've been too lazy or too absent-minded to throw it out.

Books are the only exception. It was with great difficulty that my parents persuaded me (at age 19 or 20, I think) to give up all those Ladybird books from my childhood and donate them to the local library. I hadn't looked at them in over 13 years, but even so, the thought of giving away my precious books was physically painful. Moppet's Papa is the same way. We currently own 2 complete sets of PG Wodehouse titles, and neither is willing to give away their set. So they stay, in bookshelves acround our home, and our parents' homes, re-read very occasionally, but always loved.

So I guess it's not surprising that when I considered what I should write about for this beautiful tag from Tharini, the only thing that came to mind was a pair of notebooks. This is their story.

I was a naive 20 to Moppet's Papa's worldy-wise 25 when we first met. It was the first time I was living away from home, and for all the freedom and independence my parents gave me growing up, it was still a very safe and sheltered life that I had led. Not so this young man, a Bombay boy, used to having to fight to get his way, who had lived and worked all over the country, and who knew by now exactly what he wanted from life.

It was also clear to him very early on that I was the girl for him, and he lost no time in telling me so. His certainty freaked me out - how could he be so sure? I liked him very much, this fella who so obviously knew who he was, and didn't need to pretend to be anyone else. I liked his faintly bad boy air, with his self-painted graphic t-shirts and ripped jeans. He was cute, he was smart, he was my kind of guy.

But I worried about me. I'm just starting out, I told him. I've got so much to learn and see and do. I can't say if I'll be the same person you see today 5 years from now. My arguments did nothing to shake his certainty, but he agreed to take it at whatever pace I was comfortable with.

Over the 3 years that we dated, we 'broke up' twice, both times because of my doubts and fear of commitment. He never wavered. Talked me through my issues, gave me space, and waited for me to call him, as I always did in the end.

We got officially engaged and set a wedding date, and though I knew this was what I wanted, I would still suffer from periodic bouts of self-doubt. I was 23. What was I doing getting married this young? What did I know of men, relationships, the world? Nothing! Nothing!

A couple of months before the wedding, as part of the requirements for a church wedding, we had to do a weekend retreat called 'Engaged Encounter', run by a priest with help from several volunteer couples. We were both highly sceptical going into the program, neither of us being fans of organised religion, but we had no choice, if we (or rather, our families) wanted a church wedding.

And so we arrived, sniggering about the place and the people to each other, settled in, and prepared to be bored out of our minds. Instead, we were blown away.

The program was structured as a series of sessions on different subjects that affect relationships including things like money, sex, family background, friendships, careers, and life priorities. Each of us was given a blank notebook, and a set of questions for each session that we needed to answer honestly - both our own point of view and what we believed was our partner's point of view. After we wrote all that down, we'd exchange notebooks, read what we'd written, and discuss it privately.

Session after session, beginning from the first one which asked us why we were there (our identical answers - because we had to), we discovered how well we knew each other, how closely our hopes and dreams had already become intertwined, and how our thoughts were almost always first for the other before ourselves.

That was the weekend that dissolved my doubts, and it was a very sure and happy bride who skipped down the aisle 2 months later. Even today, 5 years later, when I get out those notebooks onto which we poured out our hearts, I'm amazed afresh by the connection we share.

And to think it might never have been.

So although we've never celebrated Valentine's Day (I'd rather celebrate more personal special days like birthdays and anniversaries), I think it's somewhat fitting that this post should end up being written on this day of love.

I just got the most beautiful bunch of red roses from the husband. I'm floored, especially since he's not in town today, it means he must have remembered and arranged for them a couple of days ago. (That, or his new secretary is very efficient ;-)

Thank you, sweetheart, you just made my day.

The flowers were immediately appropriated by Moppet, squealing excitedly, "Mama look, WED foWERs!" so I took a quick photo to save this memory of my very first Valentine's day bouquet before it gets dismembered :-)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Bring it on, baby!

Although Moppet has been doing a fabulous job of raising her parents single-handedly, we figured she could do with some help. All the arrangements have been made (what fun!) and the kiddy force in our household will receive a boost in the form of a baby brother for Moppet, expected to make a quiet, undramatic entry (!) in June this year.

Baby Boy needs a blog name, and no, Poppet is not an option, thank you very much! Here are some of the names I've been considering:

* Junior. This is what we've been calling him in the family already and it sort of fits, although it is a bit boring.

* Munchkin, or if he'd prefer it, the more macho Munch. I like this one, especially since 'Moppet & Munch' has a nice Laurel and Hardy ring to it, but I've been told that no boy will forgive me for giving him such an awful, public nickname. I have a feeling that may be true.

* Young One, to be called Yo, or when I'm feeling particularly silly (which is most of the time, I know), Yo Baby! :-) I suppose the argument against Munch holds for this one too....

What do you guys think? Let me know in the comments which option you like, and fresh nickname suggestions are badly needed welcome.

Talking about blog names, both mine and Moppet's Papa's names will also need to change. And I'm not even thinking about an actual real world name for the baby yet. With Moppet, after having looked for and argued about names for the entire duration of the pregnancy, we finally settled on one girl name - the ONLY name out of about 8000 that we both liked - just one day before I went into labour. I remember my relief when the doc announced it was a girl. It's true - first thought that came into my head when I saw that squishy pink face was : yippee, we have a name for her!

Seeing that I have only about 4 months to come up with a suitable boy name, I have much work to do. The husband has already told me that since I was so rude about his chosen options the last time around, he's not going to come up with any options of his own this time. This is a good thing, because he is particularly inclined towards comic book and superhero names - no child of mine will be called Kal-el or Conan! He still retains veto power though, and with his uncanny ability to convert every one of my options into a silly nickname and veto it, it's going to be hard work finding a satisfactory name.

But then, that's only just the beginning of all the hard work, isn't it? Bring it on, I say!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Back and Blue

I'm always a bit blue when I get back from home, although I must admit there is something to be said for coming back to your own place, your own bathroom, and your own bed...

I feel like I need to sulk for a couple of days, be rude to everyone for no reason, and like Moppet did on our return flight over when I went to the loo, yowl piteously at the top of my voice - "I WAN SOME MAMA!!"

Have a ton of tags to catch up on and lots of other stuff to share with you - all coming up in short order. But right now, I WAN SOME MAMA!!!!! WAAAAH!!!!!