Friday, December 21, 2012

Stressed out!: Quotes from Isaacland

I have been attempting to increase Isaac's vocabulary by taking out new words, telling him what it means and introducing it into our conversations

Isaac and I are watching 'Bug's Life'. He has watched it so many time that he knows the dialogues. So Princess Dot  says ' Its not my fault she's so stressed out'

Me: ' Isaac you know what stressed out means  ... tired or angry'
Isaac gapes at me.

A few hours later Isaac is jumping all over me
Me: 'Isaac stop ... you are stressing me out'
Isaac: 'No I am stressing me out!'

So much for new words!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

I say a little prayer for you

We had a bible study a few weeks back and the question was 'where, when, what , how ... do you pray'. I could write a whole separate blog about these questions. But one of them that weighs on my mind constantly is the 'what'.
What do I pray for? This is what I said ... Safety of my kids as they run and play around ... as they bump their heads ... safety of my husband as he puts on his helmet and rides his bicycle to work.
My heart still beats faster when I think about Sandy hook Elementary!

I was recently talking with Suresh about checking out some schools for Isaac for next year. I have moments when I want to completely give up the mere thought of homeschooling. It seems like every time I venture towards the thought of formal schooling ... someone says something ... somewhere something happens and I have to stop and rethink schooling.

You may  say .... 'oh no Sandy hook will never happen in India!' Really .... look around. Lots of people I know say ... 'oh its the culture in the US'. Really  see what our children are watching 'Hannah montana'!. What kind of video games are they playing? Everything techie we get in the US... we now get here in India too! We give our children guns during Diwali to break crackers .... I watched my nephew and his friends play with it while pointing it at each other and bursting crackers. Why for Isaac's third birthday someone presented him with a toy gun!  Suresh immediately picked it up and put it on top of the cupboard. When I suggested re-gifting he said ' I dont want it in my son's hands or anyone else's son's hands'

Another common thing I hear people here in India say ... 'oh they are reaping what they sow' ... really ... In my craziest nightmares I hope no one ever puts a blanket statement like that on me or my country. This being said India is currently reeling in the terror of a 23 year old girl abused! Being the mother of a 1 year old daughter ... I hope I never have to hear anyone say that 'they are reaping what they sow'. Not one of those 27 children's parents would like to hear it and so I beg those that think that way to reconsider and look at your families before you pass a statement.

Finally I think of the teacher who put herself in between the shooter and her class.
A few months ago we were at an outdoor restaurant that is infamous for friendly visitors - monkeys. While we  got our breakfast plates together one particular monkey actually jumped onto my plate and stole an 'idli'.  I shusshed him while holding Ziva. He hissed back and jumped onto my table. I could hear people around screaming 'Hold Ziva...' I was too terrified and put  my hands over my ears and started to scream. Some one brought a stick and got rid of the monkey. I turned to look at 6 month crying Ziva, who was untouched but terrified by all the screaming. I felt like a lousy mother ... I hear the story of this teacher and I wonder what she must have been thinking ....

"I Say A Little Prayer"

The moment I wake up
Before I put on my makeup
I say a little pray for you
While combing my hair now
And wondering what dress to wear now
I say a little prayer for you

Forever and ever, you'll stay in my heart
And I will love you
Forever and ever, we never will part
Oh, how I love you
Together, forever, that's how it must be
To live without you
Would only mean heartbreak for me

Yearly job performance review

We were at the pediatrician's office for Ziva's 15 month shots. As we got her weight and height checked, Isaac watched little sister get checked. I saw her chart and smiled ... gain in stats are always a pleasure. I smiled at Jagdeshwari (Ziva and Isaac's aunty) and told her Ziva had gained good weight.
She frowned at me ... 'Appadi onum cholla kuda de mam!' (Dont say things like this)
The common superstition is if you say that someone has put on weight ... especially kids ... they may lose it. This goes for anything good. So in general you are not allowed to say anything good ... 'She has put on weight' ...'She is eating well' ...'She looks healthy'...

The pediatricians walked in and looked  at the chart 'Good ... good she has picked up her weight since last time. She is within the chart range now. Good job feeding her'
I smiled 'All the effort from her aunty' I said and pointed at Jagdeshwari who was watching the nurses play with Ziva and get her shots ready.
She realised we were talking about her and looked up.
Pediatrician to Jagdeshwari 'Acha khaana kila rahe ho'
Me: 'Tamil ... no hindi'
Pediatrician: 'Ohh. Nala shapad potta kodakhadh. Kozindhi nalla irruku'
Jageshwari: 'Thanks Mam' ... with her thousand watt smile.

I am glad she didn't frown at the Pediatrician and I am glad she was there to share in the joy of knowing Ziva was doing well.
Yearly performance review of Jagdeshwari: 'Five star'.
Target achieved : Ziva has gotten into the 3rd percentile in weight
Goal for next year: Getting Ziva into the 25th percentile

Jagdeshwari : 'Adu da en vella'  ... 'That's my job' .. Her common response when you ask her to care for Isaac or Ziva ... any other household job takes a back seat .... doesn't matter if we live in absolute filth! Isaac and Ziva should be healthy

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Three year old tantrums - Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding

I still remember some one at a ICF women's meeting say 'When we pray for our children, let us pray for 'understanding' for them over wisdom and knowledge'
I never quiet understood it! I thought wisdom was equally important. I guess in a way it is.

We as parents can be so foolish! Last Saturday we went for Bible study and in an effort to get to church in HSR layout spent 1.5 hours in the car. Twice the time it normally takes for us to get there. 7 pm Saturday evening turns out to be prime time in Bangalore as we have learnt from our second experience. We have decided it may not be worth it to venture out again on a Saturday evening. Isaac sat quietly in back seat for the entire 1 and 1/2 hr. We forgot to take something to entertain him with. But he did not whine at all in the car. We got off at church and the first thing he asked 'Amma I want animals on your phone' This is an android software that has the ABC's with some animal pictures. In my utter foolishness I just gave it to him. I wanted to listen to bible study. Isaac spent about an hour playing with the phone at the end of which the battery died!

Chaos broke lose and we were nowhere near the end of bible study. I looked desperately at Suresh. I knew he would be on the verge of disciplining Isaac had I not pleaded leniency the previous week for Isaac. Isaac does not seem to have much company or fun in church. While Ziva still being a toddler gets attention and played with, Isaac watches this and gets a little jealous. We also cannot expect a pre-schooler to sit for 1.5 hrs in a car and than another 1.5 hours in church with zero to nil entertainment while I am sure he rather be at the park playing with sand and his buddies. So I have pleaded with Suresh that while at church no 'vadi'. But try to put ourselves in his shoes and give him instruction to get out of his boredom and TANTRUM.

3 year old tantrums are hard. He started running in small circles around us and wailing pretty loudly. Suresh took him out once and tried to reason with his three year old brain. But it did not sink. So we picked up our bags and as failed parents quickly exited.

We drove home in silence. Isaac already seemed in a better mood and even ate an excellent dinner at 10:30 pm!
Suresh and I woke up early on Sunday morning and started to scheme a new parenting plan.
1. Fools: My foolishness had to be corrected. We vouched that we would not use our phones in church again. We have been using the bible on our phones and I bet Isaac has been watching us and imagining we are playing with his games! NO PHONES. No phones at the dining table or in the car or anywhere else. We cannot afford to have a 3 year old addicted to a phone software

2. Talk talk... talk: We prepped Isaac all Sunday morning on how church was about worship and songs and prayer. We told him he was not going to play with his friends. He seemed to have that expectation and when it was dashed by older kids who obviously had their own games that he could not be part of, he got annoyed at being left out. We talked to him about not crying. And we both prayed!

3. Listen listen ... listen: Isaac did very well at church. He sat next to Suresh as he played the drums. He did not cry or demand anything  (except my phone!). He went for Sunday school and came back very excited talking about Abraham! About 1/2 hr after church while we were having our conversations with other adults, Isaac said 'I want to go home'. Some 10 minutes later 'Appa, please I want to go home'. We picked up our bags and packed off. Children have a limit to and we cannot keep pushing them and except them to behave. I hope over time Isaac's time-limit will increase.

Wisdom to raise our children ...wisdom to not give into strange request such as the Phone!
Understanding to know their need for instruction!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Etiquette: Quotes from Isaacland

So we have done the whole 'Please','Sorry' bit. Isaac even says 'Thank you' without being reminded now. But here is one lesson that is backfiring

Isaac: Appa is this the dolphin song

Appa: 'Ya .. ya'

Isaac: Appa is this the dolphin song

Appa (exasperated): YA

Isaac: Appa dont say YA ... say YES!

I have got a few 'YA's' corrected

Thursday, December 6, 2012

My Mini ... Isaac's mini ... and mini me!

I miss my Mini Cooper ... the other day we passed a tire shop and there was the mini cooper standing there  ... a real one  ... life size. Unlike the one Isaac walks around with. It was my dream car and while Suresh did drive it more than me ... I still enjoyed it. The seat warmer was probably what sold the car to me. I didnt know the engine was BMW when I bought it ... I didnt care! It just looked cute and I guess I had watched the 'Italian job'!
When we bought the car, it seemed too expensive. I was still a resident. Suresh had a fantastic job. But did we really need such a car? But Suresh made and excellent point ... 'We may never be able to ride around a car like that after a while' I guess he was assuming increasing family size!

When my dad got to know the cost of the car his exact words were ...'Is it bullet proof' . A few weeks/months later, he asked me 'So is that your dream car?' with a smile on his face that almost looked like he approved.

  Me and my mini

It was such a fantastic car that even held two car seats! Oh well! They say good things come in small packages ... so true. And for us better things came in even smaller packages making the Mini cooper a thing of the past and a mini-van a necessity of the future.

Isaac and his Mini Cooper

Mini Me

So cheers to the Mini --- my good friend I miss you.. ..

Hello to the Ertiga ... I am sure we will enjoy your ride!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Story time by Suresh Joel

So Suresh is reading 'The Frog Prince' to Isaac
The are right at happily ever after. So the frog has been turned into a handsome prince and this is how Suresh's next sentence turns out ...

'An evil witch turned me into a frog and said that I would only become a prince again when a beautiful princess dined with me ... slept with me  and kissed me!!!!!!!!!!!!'

Little faux pas there .... I think the prince meant  slept next to me ... not with me!!!

LOL .... way too many fairy tales for  Suresh Joel for one night!