Monday, November 8, 2010

And a very happy Diwaala to you too!

Hello there peeps! Its me again, here to wish you all a very happy Diwaala! That's how I've been greeting people on my second Diwaala and it never fails to send them into peals of laughter. The life and soul of the party, that's me! I thought I'd stop by The Mommy Woman's blog and spread some festive cheer around here as well. Besides the poor Mommy Woman needs a helping hand with her blog now and then, given her dismal track record at being regular with updates starring me and its been a while since I've dropped by so what better occasion than Diwaala to grace the blog with my super cute presence!

I've just had a wonderful second Diwaala and I celebrated it with loads of friends and family. I thought The Mommy Woman would be happy to note that I've more or less outgrown that little stranger anxiety thingie I went through in between but no! Really that woman is so hard to please! Take for example my encounter in the elevator with the friendly grandpa who lives right above us. Now I've always made it a point to studiously ignore any friendly overtures by said grandpa in the past but I decided Diwaala is as good a time as any to make amends and so when we happened to be in the elevator together and I happened to be standing right behind him I tried to be chummy by casually giving him a friendly swipe in the seat of his pants.He seemed quite amused too and I'm sure it would have been the start of a beautiful friendship if it hadn't been for that pesky Mommy Woman who suddenly started apologizing for some weird reason and totally ruined the moment. Or take that day in the restaurant where I was having a blast playing a new game with The Papa Man. The restaurant had these groovy chairs with big gaps in the backrest and I discovered this fun game where I would poke The Papa Man through one of the gaps and he would act all startled and make funny faces. We were having so much fun that I thought I should treat some of the other chappies in the restaurant to this fun game as well so I trotted off to the neighboring table and gave a jolly poke to a tubby looking fellow stuffing his face with some soup. He must have really enjoyed it coz he let out a strangled yelp and nearly swallowed his soup spoon and I was going to rev up the fun a few notches higher with another poke, when I noticed that The Mommy Woman had turned a delicate shade of purple and was doing that whole apology thing again. Really that woman can be such a ditz! First she was worried about my whole stranger anxiety phase, and now when I'm going all out to make my debut, as it were, on the social scene, she has a problem with that as well. Hmph! The other day that pest control chappie had stopped by and I was doing my best to keep an eye on him by following him around and giving him encouraging pats for a job well done and trying to get my hands on that goop he was sticking on the walls to see if it was A-grade material, and she got all hysterical and had me removed from the scene! I ask you! The woman has no appreciation whatsoever for a friendly helping hand around the house.

Take the other day when I saw her handing some vegetables to the cook and, deciding to offer my services, I took out some potatoes and onions from the vegetable basket in the kitchen and stacked them up on the counter, just in case the cook required them. Now how was I to know that poor chump of a cook would assume that The Mommy Woman had kept them there and chop them all? Next thing I know The Mommy Woman is doing the headless chicken act all over the kitchen, demanding to know what is to be done with 2kg each of extra chopped onions and potatoes. Really, how am I to know! She'll be asking me to look up recipes on Google next! I decided that the kitchen is probably not the place for me and went looking for that nice bai who does the jhaado pocha in our apartment and who always has a kind word for me. I love helping her out with the pocha and the dusting and I thought I'd lend her a helping hand by attacking a particularly nasty looking dirt stain on the floor with a soft cloth I found on the bed. I was happily scrubbing away (I SO love doing pocha!) when I heard a shriek and saw The Mommy Woman turning that familiar shade of purple (someone tell the woman that purple is so passe!)and then she grabbed the mop from my hands and started moaning about her beloved silk sari. I tried telling her that if she wants to avoid these misunderstandings she really shouldn't leave her things lying around like that but I don't think she quite got my point. She can be so obdurate sometimes, really. I must make some time to hop across to Landmark next weekend and get my own copy of What to Expect with The Mommy Women in the Toddler Years. I hope they have a section on the Terrible Thirties, because with The Mommy Woman behaving the way she has been these last few days, I'm going to need all the expert advice I can get!

As it is I have my hands full trying to keep The Mommy Woman busy in some constructive activities all day long so that she doesn't waste too much time idling away in front of the laptop. I try and put in an hour of reading with her everyday where I point out various objects in my picture books and make her tell me what each object is. Or I make her sing songs by telling her exactly which song I want with some innovative actions, and I get her to repeat each song a few times so that she gets each nuance perfectly right.
I even tried setting up a play date for her last week with a friend who has a Mommy Woman of her own, the same age as mine, but that didn't go so well. The thing is, being my usual helpful self, I thought I would help The Mommy Woman out with some of her household chores. I'd heard her cribbing about how she never gets enough time on weekends to do her grocery shopping, and there seemed to be a lot of groceries and stuff lying around at my friend's place, where we were having the play date so I thought I'll pick them up for The Mommy Woman and save her some time. I thought she would be happy at my thoughtful gesture but I should have known better. There were a range of emotions that flitted across her face when we were back home from the play date and she opened the diaper bag to find six teaspoons, one packet of sugar, a slab of butter and one tea cake in there, but happiness was not one of them.

Really, pleasing The Mommy Woman is next to impossible, I'm beginning to think. "I'm having a particularly tough time with The Mommy Woman these days" I said gravely to The Papa Man that evening "I don't think I can handle the pressure anymore."
"Ooh my little chatterbox, you've started talking so much these days! Chutter putter, chutter putter all day long! Soooo cute!" he gushed, cooing with delight and going into a complete mush overdrive as usual. Really is it too much to expect these people to at least try and understand what I'm trying to say for a change, instead of babbling like idiots every time I try and make a few statements? I guess not. Anyway, enough ranting for one post. I'm off now to spend some time with Chintu, my new friend and next door neighbor. He's been helping me make some delightful new additions to my vocabulary. Like that new phrase he taught me last week, "Abey Chup!" I'm not sure what it means exactly, but it must be something wonderful because The Mommy Woman went into a near dead swoon when I tried it last on that aging relative we'd gone to meet for Diwaala. Ooh I can't wait for Diwaala holidays to end and school to begin so I can try it on my teacher. She'll be impressed all right! Maybe then The Mommy Woman will finally be happy!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Mommy Manners 101

Its that time of the day again. A freshly blessed diaper awaits The Mommy Woman to come over and do the honors. As she goes about doing the needful, she asks the help to stand guard as a preemptive measure against a possible attack from The Fingers That Squish. As she cleans, she glimpses a swift movement from the corner of her eye and looks up in alarm. Too late she realizes that the curse of The Fingers That Squish has struck again!! The help, busy examining a particularly fascinating spot on the wall examines her nails and yawns.
"Oh shit!" says the Mommy Woman in despair. And then as The Fingers strike again, "Oh F***!"
"Sheet!" squeals the child with unconcealed delight "F***!!!"
"Gaaahhh!" gasps The Mommy Woman in dismay."Nooooo!!! No, No, No, No! Nikki, sweetheart, please don't say that. You can say 'Oh No!' instead. Ok? Oh No, Oh No, Oh Nooooo!!!"
The child looks at The Mommy Woman with a diabolic smile. There is a definitive gleam in her eye.
"Sheet!" she trills again displaying a brilliant grasp of previously unheard of words "F****!".
The Mommy Woman collapses on the floor in a dead faint.

A few hours later, the battle weary Mommy Woman is enjoying some solitude and her afternoon cuppa. The doorbell chimes announcing the arrival of The Grandparents. Nikki falls on them with squeals of delight and they reciprocate with equally high pitched squeals. The Grandfather in particular is eager to spend some quality time with his beloved granddaughter, having been out for a few weeks on a work related trip.
"Oh how she has grown!" he exclaims fondly "So what is she up to these days? Has she learned anything new?"
"Yes!" says the help who likes to display her marked lack of common sense at the most opportune moments. "Didi taught her some new words today and she has been repeating them all day! She picks up words so fast you know!"
The Grandparents beam with pride. "What are the new words Nikki?"
A strangled cry emanates from the corner as The Mommy Woman's cuppa makes contact with the floor. She tries to speak but can only manage a few squeaks and gasps. The child looks at The Mommy Woman. She has that familiar gleam in her eye.
"Sheet" she says crisply to the part eagerly awaiting, part horror struck audience "F***". Dramatic pause. "Sheet! F***! Sheet F*** Sheet F*** Sheeeeet F********!!"
The Grandparents stop beaming. They exchange looks. The Mommy Woman sighs and looks down at her cuppa wishing it had something more potent in it.

And on that happy note, here's wishing everyone a very happy festive season! We seem to have kicked it off in our very own Nikki- Speshul style, and I'm going to need the rest of the evening to recover. Today isn't a dry day is it?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The one where I have nothing to blog about and so I shall ramble

Right, so just after I'd gotten myself all pepped up with all those noble intentions of blogging every week, I've discovered that the creative juices seem to have all but dried up. One minute I have a million ideas buzzing through the mind like Nikki on a sugar high (have you seen what a slice of birthday cake can do to an 18 month old, whose paranoid mother otherwise carefully monitors her sugar intake? *shudder*), the next minute my mind is a staggering blank. This is what happens to me when I don't blog regularly. I dunno if you've experienced this as well? When you're blogging regularly, you get so caught up in the enthusiasm of it all that as you write one post there are a million others brewing in your head like fresh espresso. And the writing flows easy, like a blob of butter meting on hot toast. And then you take a break and bam! It gets harder and harder to write and there are millions of unfinished drafts until you're convinced the blogging part of your brain has sort of fossilized because of the lack of use.

Of course in my characteristic organized and disciplined way, I regularly fail to jot down the inspiring thoughts that flit through my mind a thousand times a day providing much needed blogging fodder. Instead I just let them whir around in my head like windmills and when its finally time to sit down and do the actual writing bit it gets a tad tough dealing with all the cacophony that's flying around inside. The domestic woes that have plagued me of late haven't helped any. But its all going to change for the better soon I hope because I have finally found someone who is willing to share in the domestic burden and she will be coming on board soon. In fact she was here yesterday for a few hours and I felt rather proud as I took her down to the park with Nikki, like a coy bride, showing off her macho, rich husband.

Strange how much havoc lack of domestic help can wreak in your life. Specially when you've gotten used to them and life has fallen into a comfortable pattern and then they suddenly hit you with the disappearing act. I was quite indignant about the whole thing initially and declared to P that I was never going to depend on a bai again.
"Cooking and cleaning and child care, I can do it all on my own!" I screamed vehemently. " I don't need any of these nasty bais. What's more I'll be a super mom and a yummy mummy and a domestic goddess to boot!! I'll show 'em all!"
"Right" said P in a resigned sort of voice and went off to order pizza while I collapsed on the couch at the sheer exhaustion of thinking of it all.
Anyway things seem to be back on track now and hopefully they'll stay that away. Anti jinx chant, anti jinx chant, anti jinx chant. Dear Goddess in Charge of Bai Karma up there, I've had my share of misfortune, please bestow your blessings and goodwill on me now, thankyouverymuch. While we're on the subject of domestic help I also have to mention this fabulous dhobi I've found! Yeah, see how exciting my life is? I'm devoting a whole post to the bai and the dhobi, it doesn't get better than this! I wonder what the girl I was seven years ago would say to me now, as she toiled in a swanky office with corner office dreams in her eyes. That being as it may, this is the way life as I've chosen it seems to be panning out at the moment and I can't say I haven't enjoyed the ride so far. So anyway, getting back, this guy, the dhobi is absolutely fabulous! He's punctual and regular, does a fabulous job with the clothes quite unlike Rajkumar The Rascal and get this- he smiles and wishes me with a polite 'Good Morning Madam' when I open the door. Oh yes, life seems to be getting back on track all right. Hopefully the weight loss wagon, off which I'd fallen so long ago that I don't even remember what it looks like anymore, will get back on track too and I'll leave it at that. (Note to self: Consistency is going to the gym everyday, not once in six months). There, now that I've put it on the blog I'll have to hit the gym! Then again, I have mentioned the battle of the bulge earlier haven't I and it didn't really shame me into doing anything about it. Oh well. Onwards ho to the gym then, I'm sure that gym instructor whom I'd earnestly assured that I would be terribly regular at my last visit a few years ago is going to want to have a word with me.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Random ramblings from my shatteringly mundane existence

Yeah, its been one of those days. You know. One of those where everything seems to go wrong and Murphy is disturbingly all pervasive and at the end of which you just want to kill somebody. The last couple of weeks have been a series of one unmitigated domestic disaster after another. At last count, one maid was yet to recover completely from an attack of dengue, the other was seen merrily traipsing off to explore greener pastures without so much as a by-your-leave and the friendly neighborhood rogue, otherwise known as the dhobi, burnt some of P's best shirts and promptly vanished into thin air leaving us dhobi-less and with a drawer full of burnt shirts.

The making of 'Oh boy, oh boy, oh bai!- The Sequel' is currently underway and our life currently, minus the tenuous support of domestic and other peripheral staff is in a state of gentle disintegration . In other words it is an unholy mess. The mornings start with several rounds of interviews with aggressive women in the locality masquerading as bais. I open the door with a deep feeling of dread, akin to that faced by the meek spirited job seeker when faced with the nail-chewing-for-breakfast prospective employer to find Petulant Padma or Sulking Shanta at my doorstep. You recognize them instantly: the flared nostrils, the knotted brow, the ferociously clenched jaw and the beady look in the eye. The lark that sang merrily on many a gay,dewy morning certainly never made the acquaintance of these formidable ladies.
"Bai chahiye kya?" barks Petulant P or Shady S, as the case may be, and so begins the interview.
"Er yes" you meekly submit.
"Kaam kya hai?" continues PP/SS and then goes on to ask minute details of the work involved, the timings, the pay, only to shake her head in the manner of a displeased bull disappointed with the performance of the matador in the ring, before strutting away. Some, of the less forthright variety, promise to get back only to vanish into oblivion thereafter.
I shouldn't be surprised really, given my many years of bad maid karma (right up there with the bad boss karma that affected me quite regularly back when I was working), but I continue to live with that faint glimmer of hope that someday a gentle, loving, matronly sort of woman will land up at my doorstep to lovingly share in the domestic chores. Until then I will continue being afflicted by the Petulant Padmas and Sulking Shantas of the world.

The recent hobnobbing with these unfriendly sorts has made me wonder whether the world has become a ruder place in recent times. Last weekend we were at a sports shop trying to buy some badminton rackets when the shopkeeper trotted up and barked at us to expedite our shopping immediately because the shop closed at 1'o clock sharp. On being asked why on earth the shop needed to close in the middle of the day on a Sunday we were curtly informed that 1pm to 4pm was siesta time for the owners and the shop downed its shutters come rain or a deluge of customers. He was rather aggressive about the whole thing, unscrewing the shop shutters even as he spoke and we beat a hasty retreat for fear that he might decide to guillotine us with the shutters if we lingered too long. The entire neighborhood seemed to be a fan of the 1-4pm siesta and all the other shops were downing their shutters as well so we popped into a nearby, busy restaurant for a quick bite. Frenzied crowds were thronging the place and as we searched for a place to sit or a waiter who might help us with the waiting system, a crusty old waiter affronted us with indignation oozing out of every facial feature.
"Kyaa chahiye?" he barked, swinging the menu he was holding in his hand like he'd like to swat me for crowding his space.
"Ooooh I was thinking I'd rather like to have a bath with some of that lovely mineral water you have on that tray there!" I said, only, of course, I said it in my mind.
"We'd like a place to sit" I said to him as politely as I could manage.
"Jaga chahiye to dhundo! Yaaha pe khaali peeli khada hone ka nahin mangta!" he rapped out sternly, turning on his heel as I gaped after him. Taking the levels of customer delight to new pinnacles and all that.

Then there's the afore-mentioned dhobi, the charming Rajkumar, who in times gone by would land up at our doorstep with a becoming scowl and his trademark "Kapdaa hai kya?" A reply in the negative would unleash a series of under the breath mutterings and grumblings as he sulkily stalked away, and a positive reply would get you a long suffering why-can't-these-slops-iron-their-own-stuff sort of look accompanied by an overwrought sigh. Really makes me miss my good 'ol society in Bombay where I had overcome my bad maid karma to get some wonderful staff and a happy and non shirt burning dhobi to boot. Sigh. Well, man, or in this case, woman lives in hope and we shall, hopefully, overcome these minor domestic glitches soon. Aah and now I must rush, for the doorbell has chimed as I type these words...onwards ho with the interviewing of maids then. The heavy breathing and gentle grinding of teeth I can hear from the other side of the door seem to indicate that Raging Rekha, or possibly, Depressed Devki, may be at the door,

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Blog!

Right, so I'm back after a full twenty days, right after having passed that breezy remark of trying to blog every week! Well I guess a house full of guests, the house help down with dengue (uncanny how this ALWAYS happens when there are guests at home!) and a baby octopus masquerading as a toddler who tries to defy gravity at any given opportunity do not a prolific blogger make. Not that it means I'm going to stop trying though, I fully intend to blog as often as I can, but I guess right now taming the domestic fires that blaze untempered must take priority in my getting crazier by the day life.

Anyway the point of this post, just in case you're wondering, and you would be fully justified in doing so, given that the first paragraph and the heading of this post have not the slightest connection, was to wish my blog a very happy first birthday! For as the hands of the clock slowly crept upon midnight on the 8th of September, Hello Mommyhood turned one year old! And I found myself in the same state of semi wondering, semi amazement as I had on Nikki's first birthday a couple of months ago.
I still vividly remember that quiet September night in my somewhat lonely at the time, stay at home mum's life , when I finally quietened those gazillion misgivings and doubts and published my very first post. And the joy and elation I finally felt at seeing that post up on the blog. More than a year later, blogging remains just as exciting, with every new chronicle of Nikki's childhood captured, every warm memory shared and the fabulous interaction with fellow bloggers giving me the same frisson of happiness it did when I first started blogging. Blogging also helped me reconnect with an old, long lost love: writing. I've always enjoyed writing and used to be an enthusiastic writer back in school and college, but with time, as other seemingly more pressing matters began taking up more and more of my time and attention, my once near passion began to fall by the wayside, until I was doing less and less of it and finally was down to just jotting random musings in a tattered old notebook. Then came motherhood and along with it some other life altering changes. Suddenly I had a lot more time on my hands and a lot less to do (I'm not discounting the many demands of motherhood here mind you, but sometimes in those early weeks, when you get lucky and they do fall asleep after three hours of rocking and lullabies, and stay that way for a couple of hours, you suddenly have the luxury of time again!). I'd also discovered the world of blogging by then and was reading many many wonderful blogs and sharing in the joys and tribulations of the authors. And just as suddenly, that night of 9th September I was struck by a flash of inspiration. Here was a chance to reconnect with that long lost friend again, to rediscover that passion, the embers of which still glowed deep down in my heart.

So here I am one year later, and so much the happier for it. It's been a fabulous journey so far, I've connected with some wonderful fellow bloggers, made some friends, shared my stories with you and shared in yours, and learned some life lessons along the way as well. For those of you who like dropping by here, thank you for your comments, your words of encouragement and your interest in the snippets I share from my often times crazy world! And as we go forward into year two, do drop me a line telling me what you'd like to see more of or less of, or maybe even none at all of in the blog as we go along! Oh and the stuff you like too! Do join me then as I raise a toast to my blog, a dear friend and a wonderful reminder of a very special period in my life. Happy birthday HM and here's to many more!

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.