Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Some more update-y snippets

It's quite shameful how I've been neglecting my poor little blog these days. It's even more shameful when one gets round to thinking that this blog is the only productive thing that I do with my time. That and the all important task of examining the contents of Nikki's diaper with a hawk eye. Right, now that I have successfully put off  the last of my remaining readers I suppose I can go all out and elaborate on the details of the diaper and its contents just so I can bring things to a logical conclusion. Alright, not really. Come back, I was just kidding! Pretty please? Thanks. The thing is, Nikki had a recurring dash of that tummy infection she'd had earlier and that explains the ongoing obsession with diapers and their contents. And just while we're on the topic, what is it with kids not chewing their food these days? Nikki can chew, I know she can by the proficiency with which she wolfs down cookies and chocolates and jelly jujubes and other such stuff which she really shouldn't be eating but wheedles out of her hapless mother anyway, but give her some rajma chawal and she bounds into the 'I will swallow everything' mode. I sit in front of her, showing her how to chew till my teeth are clattering in my head and she nods her little head wisely and smiles. And swallows, as is evident from the contents of the diaper after the aforementioned rajma chawal meal has been consumed. But I don't suppose I should really be worrying about her masticating habits because she really isn't a fussy eater (pause for quick anti jinx chant). I hear horrifying tales from friends about how their toddlers will refuse to eat anything save a small bowl of curds for the entire day or take hours to consume one tiny piece of paratha and I thank the Lord for his Mercy that we haven't reached that stage yet. And now that I've gone and written about it on the blog I suppose I will spend the next three weeks paying obeisance to the high chair.

No, but Nikki's eating habits are the least of my worries, really. Mainly because I am much too busy worrying about her sleep, or to be more precise the amount of time, effort and energy one (the one in question being, mostly, yours truly) needs to spend in getting her to take a nap. With the added addition of a new born baby on the floor directly above us and a three year old with a proclivity to burst into song at nap times (always at nap times) accompanied by her two sonorous pet dogs on the floor below and the picture is complete, even though the nap may be far from it. And on the really bad days we also have the friendly neighborhood motorcycle man, curse his pointy little head, who revs up his bike for seven and a half minutes before screeching thorough the neighborhood on that infernally noisy contraption, ensuring that the last vestiges of sleep are wiped out from an already resistant to sleep child's mind. Even the warm bath, which of late had begun to work its magical powers in inducing a soporific state seems to have lost its charm. Speaking of which, after having gone on and on about how Nikki hates water, it is quite ironical that I now find myself in a situation where I wish her new found love for all things aqua would get tempered if only just a little bit.
'Bath taaa!' is a constant refrain heard in our house, indicating that the little diva is ready for bath time ALREADY, even if she's had a nice long bath just 0.75 minutes ago and could the mother please get to it quick. Bath taa itself is a frantic struggle to lather, rinse and scrub Nikki clean while she tries to jump headfirst into the water or rush to stand under the shower or the tap. The end of the bath sees much screaming and kicking as she is forced to leave the bathroom and toweled dry and she makes her displeasure loud and clear by banging the door down when I'm in the shower myself with indignant cries of 'Mama!!! Bath taa!!'.

Thankfully she usually gets distracted by her other favorite activity, which is standing on the grilled in ledge in the large french windows in our living room and observing the activity in the park below. Loud cries of 'caa' (car), bow wow (dog), meeeeeeowwwwwww (er, this is all kind of obvious right? Right, so I'll just stop with the brackets already) rent the air as Nikki's daily observations are bestowed on the world. S or I usually sit with Nikki while she's at this to ensure that she doesn't topple off the ledge and to point out a passing butterfly or a bird that she may have missed as we watch the world go by. It must be a strange sight for an observer; a toddler and her  mum sitting by the window, getting tremendously excited by the sight of a passing dog or a bumble bee. And sometimes, the mum rapping the window or the grill and scolding it with a stern 'take that, you naughty window!' to placate the toddler who's happened to bump her head against it. Come to think of it, I've gotten so used to being in constant toddler speak mode that I'm quite likely to talk in a high pitched falsetto even in adult company. P seems to find it cute but I don't think any dinner guests will be terribly charmed if I ask them to try the risotto because its so yummy yummy in their tummy. Sigh.

August has been a busy month so far; my in-laws are visiting for a week and P's brother, his sister and her husband were here for a few days too. Nikki seems to have overcome her stranger anxiety a great deal now and while she didn't exactly welcome our guests with open arms, she didn't scream blue murder like last time either. In fact she got quite friendly with her Bua and insisted on getting all her toys from her playroom one at a time and piling them in a heap in her lap as Bua tried eating her dinner. Don't think Bua will be visiting again in a hurry.
Playschool is also on a one week break now and its been raining relentlessly so we've been doing a lot of stuff at home over the last few days. A trip to the zoo and an upcoming carnival at school over the weekend will probably ensure that the coming days are going to be busy as well, but I have resolved that I'm going to become a supremely prolific blogger and try and blog at least once a week if not more. Ta on that note then and here's hoping I stick to that resolve!

Friday, August 13, 2010

An update-y sort of post

Perfect Posture, PERFECT POSTURE
Sit up straight, Sit up STRAIGHT
Grow up to be pr-e-e-ty
Grow up to be h-a-aa-a-ndsome
Do not slouch

Just in case you've been wondering why I haven't been blogging of late (yeah right, I know), its because I've been spending every waking moment singing the afore mentioned 'Perfect Posture' song to Nikki. Well, not entirely true, we do take a break now and then for 'Baa Baa Black Sheep' and 'Do you have a Sunshine Smile?', but mostly its 'Perfect Posture' All.Day.Long. I guess this is her way of making me pay for all the times I made her listen to Dekha Tujhe Dekha, my all time fave song from Billu Barber when I was pregnant. At the time I used to think the baby was enjoying it too, considering all the activity that would start inside whenever the song came on, but now it only seems to make her angst-y so I'm thinking maybe not. So anyway, Perfect Posture is one of the many many (sigh) songs they sing at the mother toddler group and observant little Nikki likes a replay at home with the accompanying hand movements and all.
"Good Morning Nikki!" I'll say in a tremulous voice as she opens her eyes at the crack of dawn. "Shall I switch on some nice jazz for you? Or Yanni perhaps?"
"Hah, nice try!" snorts Nikki fixing me with a beady look. And then she slaps her knees in a commandeering way, signaling that it is time to start with 'Perfect Posture', the first rendition of many to come during the day.It has to be sung with the right intonations and accompanying hand gestures too, else some angry shrieks thrown my way demand that I start all over again. She remembers ever single nuance, just the way the teachers sing it at school. Of course all these brilliant powers of observation are kept on hold while we're at school where she refuses to display any of her many talents.
"Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" the teacher will say "Show me your stars children!"
Most of the other kids around immediately oblige with the appropriate hand gesture bunching up their fingers like twinkling stars. Young Nikki examines her nails and gives a bored yawn.
"Nikki? Where are your stars darling?" asks the teacher hopefully. "Where are Nikki's stars? Oh okay, where are Nikki's fingers?"
Nikki's fingers are promptly stuck up her nose and a particularly obdurate glance is thrown at the teacher.
"Oh all right" says the defeated woman "Maybe she doesn't like this song, ha ha!"
Yeah right. Even the  auto wallah who ferries us to school everyday can sing it verbatim by now. With the accompanying hand gestures too, considering how Nikki metamorphoses into her "Let's revise everything we did in school today" mode the minute we step out of the school premises. This also means that while we are in the school she refuses to participate in most of the activities mom and baby are supposed to do together. Most of the other mom baby groups sit in nice little pairs with the mom manoeuvring baby's hands as they sing along to the song of the day. That looks cute. In our case, Nikki flings my hands away and trots off to a corner if I so much as try to touch her, while I do the whole song and act jig on my own. That does not look cute, I can assure you.
"Roly-Poly, Roly-Poly, Up, Up, Up!" I sing hopefully, rolling my hands around like a circus clown who's forgotten how to juggle.
"Get a life mother!" Nikki seems to say as she glowers at me from a corner.
Oh well. The good part is she really is enjoying  school tremendously and is learning loads of stuff. Like she now lets me brush her teeth instead of screaming blue murder whenever I approach her with her toothbrush because that's something the teachers show at school. And she's also learning to self feed with a spoon and a fork. Speaking of which she's majorly into pretend play these days and likes to pretend feed all her toys. She has become rather attached to a large doll, almost as large as Nikki herself, which my dad had gifted her and insists on having her around at mealtimes. She then attempts to feed the doll with a little bowl and spoon, making pretend munching sounds herself :) When we read books together, Dolly is always around too to listen to the story. We take Dolly with us when we go to the park, even though all she does is sit dolefully in the pram while Nikki runs amok pulling out flowers and leaves and clumps of grass. And we even put Dolly to bed before Nikki's own bedtime, Nikki pats her to sleep herself while I sing a lullaby. Inspired by all this, I thought it might be a good idea to involve Dolly in the all important Project Potty Training which we have embarked on these days. A few attempts of "Look what Dolly does when she wants to poop Nikki!" and "Oooh when Dolly wants to poop she sits on the potty!" have followed which don't seem to interest Nikki in the least bit. Any tips on how to go about potty training are most welcome!

In other news, Nikki seems to be going through some bit of separation anxiety these days, so its Mama! Mama! all day long. If I try going for a longer than usual shower or a bit of a lie in on weekends anxious cries of Mama! begin to resonate through the house. When she first started displaying this behavior I was quite overcome at this hereto undisplayed show of affection. So the first cry of Mama! would see me emerge sopping wet from the shower of spring out of bed with an eager "Yes Nikki? Mommy is here!", only to be met with a dismissive "Oh there you are. Run along now, just stay where I can see you so I know you're still here." Then there is this other new thing of getting stuff from all over the house to me and insisting that I hold it. It won't be uncommon for random visitors to my house to find me sitting at the dining table, trying to eat my lunch with Nikki's entire collection of soft toys piled up in my lap or on the couch trying to read a book with the day's newspapers, car keys, kitchen towels, bath mats and floor cushions for company. Any attempt to dislodge this carefully selected assortment is met with instant and earth shattering shrieks so I prefer to just stay put. Nikki's also become more demanding of my time now, wanting me to actively engage in activities with her as opposed to earlier when she was quite happy to potter about on her own. She does spend a fair bit of alone time too but just when I think she's quite happy playing with her shape sorter or her doll, a tiny, red faced little person will attach herself to my hip making it quite obvious from her expression that she's rather miffed at this blatant lack of attention. And now Her Majesty is back after a (rather short) nap and its that time of the day again. And if you don't know what I mean just go right back to the beginning of this post.