Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The missing details

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

"I want to be an editor like Mama." Xena says this on some days. On other days, she wants to be a bunny. On yet other days, she wants to be a kitten. We have not received her final decision yet.

However, I can see that she has been trying her hand at editing. With very mixed results. When Viv got back from the US last week, he asked, "How are my darlings?"

"You know, Daddy... Mama is unhappy and wants to marry again." She immediately reported.

No, there was no Ekta Kapoor level music/silence/shock at this 'news' of hers. Obviously, Viv knew that the situation was nowhere as scandalous as she'd made it out to be, and it was probably her editing skills at work.

"Why don't you tell him the full story?" I asked her.

So she did. This was the full story.


Xena (looking at our wedding photo album) - Mama, I don't like this photo.

Me - Why not?

Xena - See? Daddy is smiling, but you're not smiling in this one.

Me - Hmm... you're right. I do look quite unhappy in this.

Xena - So what do we do now? I don't like this photo. Because you're unhappy.

Me - I have a great idea. Maybe Daddy and I can get married again and then we will take some more photos and I'll smile happily in all of them!

Xena - Yes! That's a great idea. Let's do it when Daddy comes back.

Me - Okay!


So yes, as of now I don't think she has much of a future in editing, but she'd make a terrific clickbait writer for sure. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Child's play

As Xena grows older, I've been subtly trying to convey to her that it is not my job to keep her entertained all the time. (Yes, you can totally tell that I'm going to be that kind of a mom when she's a teenager.) She's a big girl now and she needs to know what to do with her 'free time' (which is pretty much all her awake time). I strongly believe that some boredom is good for kids because it makes them imaginative and creative. And I'm glad that she's reciprocating.

The haze is not letting up, so we can't do our two hours in the playground every evening, or go to the pool. This means that we are stuck indoors for hours, trying to come up with activities. We still do some things together, of course, but now I've started to leave her alone with stuff and do my chores. Viv is away in the US again (sometimes I wonder if his office has relocated and they just forgot to send me the memo) and it's been a little difficult to juggle everything, especially when I've just started an exciting new job (more about that in a later post!). I'm actually surprised that lately Xena has been so cooperative in letting me work while she keeps herself busy with her books, or toys, or random things that she makes into toys, or her pretend play, which can be so hilarious sometimes, I just have to stop my work, turn and watch ("Oh no, the fish has done pee-pee; I need to change its diaper now!").

Today, I was in the kitchen making dinner when I heard her chuckling away. Curious, I stepped out to witness an amazing sight. Sick of battery-operated toys (they are expensive and are almost always chucked away after a grand total of three uses), I'd bought her a $2-set of these plastic wheels which you can attach to one another to make random things, and she had just discovered a very cool and funny way to make them move. I got her to do it again and recorded it (and some variations).

A little bit of physics ... a lot of fun!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Buying time

Xena - Mama, thank you for my Hello Kitty swimsuit!

Mama (very surprised at being thanked now, because I got her the swimsuit almost a year ago) - You're welcome, baby. I'm glad you like it.

Xena - I love it so much, you know!

Me - I love it too. In fact, if I could, I'd get it in my size too!

Xena - I can buy it for you! Then we can both wear it together!

Me - Oh, thank you! Do you have the money to buy it?

Xena - No...

Me - Hmm... what do we do then?

Xena - Mama, I have a great idea! You wait for me to grow up, then I'll start working, then I'll go to the bank, then I'll get some money, then I'll go to the swimsuit shop, and then I'll get you the swimsuit!

Me - Wow, that sounds like a great idea indeed! Thank you!

Xena - You're welcome.

So if you ever spot a 50-something mama and her 20-something baby wearing identical Hello Kitty swimsuits, do not judge -- there might be a heartwarming story behind it. :)

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Catch-up #9

Hello hello!

I know it's been a month to my last post, but no, I didn't fall off the edge of the earth. My thanks to the bewdas who emailed to ask me if Xena is okay. She is, and thank you again. So many things have happened in the last month that I just have to quickly catch up before more stuff happens.

Singapore had elections on 11th September and I voted... for the first time in my life! I came here before I was eligible to vote in India, so I was very excited about going to vote. It was therefore, a bit anti-climactic, when I finished casting my vote in less than a minute. I'm serious. The whole thing -- getting inside the voting venue, verification, getting the card, voting and getting out -- was all done within a minute! And I had gone prepared with a water bottle, a book, sunglasses and what not "to keep me occupied and alive in the queue". Said queue was not even there!

The haze has hit us hard again this year, and at one point, the pollution level was in the hazardous range! Since Xena falls in the sensitive group because of her lungs, I've had to keep her indoors the entire time. All outdoor activities and swim lessons have been cancelled. Up until last week, we used to put on an N95 mask on her on the way to and back from school. Sometimes I can't believe that a clean and green city like Singapore has become so helpless because of our 'padosi desh ki gatividhiyan'. Sigh.

However, this has given us opportunities to come up with new activities that make indoors just as fun. My friend had gifted Xena an elephant-shaped chalk board, so I have been teaching her to write Hindi letters on it. (She will be taking Hindi as a subject when she starts Primary school and they expect kids to know how to read and write before they join. Her preschool doesn't offer Hindi, so I'll have to teach her.) To my surprise, she's been enjoying it thoroughly, and not taking it as 'padhai' at all. Nerds of a feather flock together...

Last weekend, we took a short vacation with some friends in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and it was fabulous. I'll post the details and photos on my travel blog Hopscotch at some point (I'm still chasing everyone to send me the photos, as they are on various phones), but meanwhile, I have a sneak preview below. Yes, for half a day, we wore tribal clothing, hung out with these gentle giants (including an AH-DORABLE 1-year-old baby elephant) in their natural environment, fed them, followed them around the valley, and get this -- bathed them at a waterfall!! I don't have enough OMGs to describe the whole experience! More on Hopscotch soon!

And that's all that's been happening, folks. How are you guys? :)