Saturday, November 17, 2007

Children are sponges!

A very quick post before I take off on my two week trip tomorrow - me and the two kids. B has to come back home to a dark and empty house - no kids running to him, no wife arguing with him - peace and quiet - may be a little too much of it. I have been telling him that he will only miss the kids and not me. What else can he say but disagree with me! Lest I start a fight over that!
Anyways - back to my post.

Karagre vasate Lakshmi
karmadhye Saraswati
Karmule Govindaha
prabhate kar darshanam

Meaning: On the top of the palm resides Lakshmi, in the middle Saraswati, and on the base Lord Krishna. Therefore one should look at the palms each morning.

Couple of months back (when KB was 25m old) my mother started teaching him this sloka and 3 other small but fairly complicated sounding slokas in my opinion. For ex the other one goes: Kavitharthika Kalabaurutha kabalikrutha simham"...and so on.
I half jokingly told my mother "Amma, Yen maa ivvlo karadu murada solli kudukre - yedhan simple'aa sollen" (why such complicated ones, why don't you teach him simeple slokas). She completely ignored me and continued on - she would just recite it to him - that's it. And he would say the last words to each line when she asked him.
I thought to myself - fine he seems to have picked up the last words.
When she left she wrote it down for me on a sheet from my magnetic note pad on my refrigerator. KB and I call that sheet "Patti slokam". I am hardly religious, at least in the traditional sense of it. But just to continue the tradition that my mom got going, I light the lamp (try to) every evening. And I bring "Patti slokam" and recite it for KB. He watches the whole thing with fascination.
Last night, after dinner, he asked for that sheet and went to the couch and sat next to B. He looked at it as if he was reading and recited the whole sloka (and a couple of others) - complete lines, not just the last word - on his own! I was astounded. He got mad at me when I helped him out when he was pausing for a bit on some line. He told me to stop (Vendaaam!). And continued on on his own. I realized how I had under estimated what he is capable of learning (not just him, children in general). My mother on the hand just did not pay any attention to my asking her to tone it down and went ahead and just recited these to him every day. And he got it. It was a lesson for me to not under estimate the extent to which children can learn. And also be perceptive. I can see how KB esp is coping and helping me out now that my mother is not here. I can't pin point it but I really feel like he understands and is trying to help me out at least to some extent.
Adios - have fun all of you, while I am gone. I won't be at the computer much when I am there. Praying that the kids should be good on the flight and enjoy the trip.
Take care!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Just the four of us...

Step by step, one adapts to new realities in life. First life without my father around. Just nowhere. Cannot be reached even on the phone, letter or email.
The pain is not raw anymore but it is a dull ache each time I think about it.

Of course life does go on - we do laugh like before, celebrate moments that ought to be celebrated and reminisce and enjoy ourselves. We have celebrated the arrival of baby girl and we enjoy all the sweet moments between brother and sister - revel in the moment and feel good that we took the plunge and went for a second child. It is a lot of hard work, no denials - but at the end of the day when both kids are asleep in our room and we are together as a family, it feels good. Knock on wood. When kutti boy wakes up whiny from his nap, I just have to tell him "Here, look at kutti baby, she wants to see you" and put her next to him on the pillow and immediately his mood changes and he stars playing with her, gently poking her cheeks!

The last couple of weeks have been very hectic. It has brought forth a major change for us - especially for me - managing both kids alone without my mother around. She left to go to my brother's place and I am now alone with the kids until B gets home from work late evening. I used to do almost all the baby care work involved anyway - but when mom was here, it was great in so many ways. She doted on the kids and that made it so rich and lively for them during all their waking hours. I could spend whatever time it took to feed kutti boy without having to rush him because my mother would take care of baby girl in the meanwhile. B and I could breathe a little and take KB out to the park even if baby girl was asleep and not have to disturb her. Now the house feels empty without my mom's presence. Everything has to be on schedule - I have to watch the time - if I let one thing slip it leads to chaos. I have to nurse baby girl, make her take a nap and run down and get KB's brunch ready and feed him before she wakes up. If she wakes up by chance before that is done, I have to entertain her in the bouncer chair while feeding KB (who takes his own sweet time to eat, if I rush him, he will puke!). It is hard to sing a song for him peacefully or fetch his "Clifford big book" or "I can do it" book or draw a fan for the n'th time all while baby girl is on the verge of losing her patience waiting to be taken out of the bouncer chair. When my mother was around, I wondered how I would manage at all without her around. Somehow the children know and they do step up. They don't make it any easier, but they step up enough to make it just barely manageable. I once again bow to single moms or moms who have to handle it all alone for weeks on end when the father is traveling on work. I would simply go crazy.

We had gone on a trip to visit my SIL and also perform my MIL's first year ceremony. KB had a great time playing with his cousins. Baby girl was showered with attention and love not only from the adults but from all her toddler cousins, the oldest being 6 yrs old! All of them stood around her bouncer seat clapping hands and singing and kept her entertained. It was such a beautiful sight! I missed my MIL - she would have been utterly thrilled to see all that!

After we got back, KB fell sick with cold/cough and then both B and I fell sick. We are recovering now but I will be away again this Sat on another trip for a couple of weeks, this time without B. It seems scary - traveling alone with two kids even if it is a short flight - hope I survive it.

Well, one day at a time. I have managed last week without my mom around. It feels lonely at times especially with the time change - since it gets dark so early. It is hard to meet people when you or the kids are sick. And in turn friends or their kids also fall sick during winters - overall difficult to meet people often. Plenty of time spent alone with the children. It brings us all closer - we all rely on each other for comfort. We are together all the time like a team. But I long for some adult company and warm sun. The weekend was great - it was warm, the sun was shining. All of us went to the park and KB ran around and played to his heart's content now that he has almost recovered from his cold. I just ordered a double stroller now that baby girl's head is almost steady - so I can take them both for a walk in the morning.

Leaving you with a picture of baby girl who gave me my favorite pose for the first time last month end - her big toe in her mouth like baby Krishna! Not a clear picture but that is the only one I have right now!