Medha at 6

Medha at 6 –

Medha at 6

  • is a fun girl (has always been one), ready to socialize (she’s called a “social butterfly”) and willing to go anywhere, anytime.
  • now has a scooter (a gift from the grandparents) which she rides like the wind, telling me she feels like singing “Kitna maza…” as cool breeze hits her face! She has never played with anything else this long (Touchwood!). Always flitting from one thing to another, it’s a wonder she’s still excited about it!
  • is very athletic, always ready to walk, ride, run, dance, whatever! I wonder where she gets all that energy from. And I also wonder how powerful that idiot box called TV must be to keep such an energetic person sit glued in front of it for hours!
  • may seem too detached, carefree and easy-going. But know her better, you will see her sensitive side, the side that wants everyone to love her; the side that is capable of comprehending complex thoughts; the side that speaks words beyond her age. For eg: “I feel like a woman when I wear this!”!

She simply stumps me with her dialogues. Grandpa thinks she’s well-suited for the movies, but, with her restless nature, she’ll just be jumping from one project to another without completing any, he despairs!

  • loves to dance and tells me she doesn’t need a teacher to teach her the steps; says she can come up with her own, thank you very much!
  • will not stop dancing till you’re bored to sleep; so please ask her to display her skills at your own risk!
  • is a complete foodie, tasting everything and insisting upon helping me in the kitchen. I let her. She washes and peels veggies, tosses salads, mixes ingredients and even helps with cleaning the dishes! I wonder why I used to be so worried about her eating habits. Things keep changing, you see…
  • is getting better and better at Reading. At the end of a reading session (of not more than a few pages, by the way!), we are so exhausted, we take a nice long break!
  • isn’t too impressed with my stitching or other creative projects and asks me why I struggle when it is SO easy to buy stuff!
  • is Madhav’s “Little Mama”, keeping an eye on him at all times, making sure he doesn’t stray far, ensuring his safety on lifts and escalators. She does a better job than I do, seriously! My favorite pastime is to just set everything aside and watch the duo converse or play or fight with one another! They’re one hilarious couple! 🙂

Love,

Manasa.

Madhav at 3

Madhav at 3

Birthday Boy

  • is still a mama’s little boy, always following her around like a puppy. He loves each and every one of the rest of his family to pieces too, especially the men. I don’t know what’s his problem with the ladies! He still takes really really long to get attached to them!
  • loves to ape his papa, dressing up to match him, to look like him! I wonder how he is going to look when he’s actually as tall as him! I keep thinking of that often and hold tight this tiny person who won’t remain tiny forever, no matter how much his old mama wants him to.
  • isn’t a big eater! Let alone big, he is not even a moderate eater! The only thing he asks for are chapathis (still calls them “chapachi”). I comfort myself saying Medha was the same at his age. Now she’s a total foodie!
  • is imaginative, using toys and household stuff in unique ways, coming up with his own games. He still loves to build, especially trains and tracks. After the visit to Dubai, he’s been a big fan of planes too! In that way he’s a total boy through and through…..
  • But….. he is very fond of the shows big sister watches, like “Sophia the First” and “Minnie’s Bow-tique” and lets out a squeal when they play on TV! So….
  • loves his grandmas (I think!), but he absolutely adores his grandpas for reasons I can’t fathom!
  • has very few friends, maybe a couple of them and loves hanging out with his sister more than anybody.
  • can spend hours painting: he has finished quite a few of those jumbo coloring books in, sometimes, monochromatic colors or at other times, no color at all, using only water as paint!
  • is a sight to watch when he is absorbed in building or painting. I’ve never seen or met a 3 year old who concentrates so hard at his  ‘work’!
  • loves to be read. Until now I picked “cute kitten or bear” kinda books to read to him. Recently I gave “Superheroes” book a try and he absolutely loved the adventures of Batman and Superman. I need to read a variety of books to my kids!
  • is my little helper, helping me with all my projects, even stitching. This guy loves to watch me stitch and begs to be allowed to “titch” too….
  • isn’t as adventurous as his big sister, thank god! He even takes on my role in my absence, admonishing her for her mischiefs!
  • is a big hugger, passing out free hugs and kisses to us when we need them! And apologizes to me when I’m hurt even if he is not the culprit!
  • I’m telling you, he is one of the sweetest guys ever… No no…. I’m not saying this just because he’s MY baby. He IS. Just get to know him, you will see…. 🙂

Lil Monkey

Love,

Manasa.

Letter to Medha

Dear Medha,

I’m sorry I haven’t been able to write much to you. Not because there isn’t much going on with you, but BECAUSE there is! We’re too busy right now, neck-deep in your school stuff and home stuff. Apart from 2 big Weddings in the family, the arrival of guests home, there’s so much school work to do. If one day you have Crown-decorating competition, then the next day you have Leaf-Doodling (for which you won the first prize!). If one day you have to narrate a story in the assembly, then you have to read a book in front of the Principal the next. And now comes the hot sauce to this porridge- Assessments- for which Papa and I have to figure out how to squeeze the spellings of some 30 new words into your brain and teach you what consonant blends are (which by the way none of us knew until we read your book!). Phew! And… and… How about your Dance (Classical) class and your Tennis lessons (We took the month off from Tennis. Thought it best for my sanity!)? Most of the time I find myself navigating the busy streets, dropping and picking you up from one class to the other. I don’t dare think of the days when your baby brother joins various classes too! I might be becoming certifiably insane, but you, you’re so chilled about everything! No sweat, no tears about this crazy business we are in! But just enjoying everything, going with the flow… You know one really really good thing about you that I find highly improbable in a child your age? It is that you’re game for anything!

“Dance class?”  “Why no Tennis today?”

“Don’t you want to go?”  “Hmmm… OK. Let’s go!”

“Tennis today”-  “Yay! Let’s go!”

“Painting?”  “Wow! Yes!”

“Let’s read a book” -“Will you help me? Then I will.”

“Let’s learn some new words” –  “Yeah… OK” (with a slightly constipated look)

“Forgot a word?” “Don’t stare at me like that! I’ll write it 5 times if you want!”

“Let’s go out”– “YAY!”

“Let’s stay home”– “Yeah… OK. I’ll watch TV then. What? No TV? ALRIGHT! Phone? OK OK… I’ll play with Madhav” (Looks at Madhav with a “Do I have to?” face. But goes with it…)

I wish I could be more like you!

What punctuates these short, overloaded days are the sweet compliments I receive about you- Papa commending me for having drawn you this far from the days of your struggling to recognize letters, to now being able to build words on your own. The Supervisor at school telling me how beautifully you dance and that I needn’t worry about your studies. My own friends telling me how well-behaved you guys are (despite my telling them, repeatedly, that you could be a couple of monsters at home!)!

Perks of this job!

Love you my sweet girl,

Mama.

Letter to Madhav

Dear Madhav,

School is FUN for you! You do nothing but eat, sing, dance and play there, of course it has to be fun! You enjoy the holidays too. There’s nothing that pleases you more than wrestling with papa or teasing big sis on a lazy Sunday. But we’re glad we started school early when many asked us to wait a year more. Every morning you make sure Papa doesn’t leave for work without dropping you first. STOP! You tell him, complete with your palm in his face, if you spot him slinking through the door! Grandparents find it impossible to believe someone this tiny can be so excited about school. And it’s hard to keep up with how much you are learning there. I find you mumbling one song or the other, songs I never heard you sing before. You’re picking up a few languages too… Before going to school you hardly spoke in English or Hindi! But now you do, and Telugu too. Our helper was over the moon when you asked her what she was up to in her mother-tongue! And your teacher tells me you talk quite a bit! Oh, really? I know you’re a talker (way more than Medha!), but you hardly speak outside the comfort of home!

I’m always discovering something new about you guys every day!

King of our Jungle

My most favorite part of the day right now is picking you up at 11:30 AM and talking about all that you did at school. In the beginning you wouldn’t say anything, but now you’ve gotten so used to my probing that you just say whatever random thing comes to your mind! Like, there were days when you said “Gobhi”(Cauliflower) to my “What did you do today?”, everyday!” What else did you do?”. “More Gobhi”. “And then?” “Lots and lots of Gobhi!”. I wondered whether they made you cook for the staff!

And then came days when you said “I did ‘this'” or “I did ‘that'”, with my friend “Esha”. I was excited that you’d made a new friend. You told me she’s a good girl, but cries after her mommy leaves and some such stories about her. Wanting to know who your special friend is, I asked your teacher to tell me more. Guess what, she said there was  no one by that name! Either you must have gotten the name wrong or you must be cooking up a tale to keep me happy and my mouth shut! Ha! You know I don’t give up so easily! So….

Baby, What did you do today?

During Diwali, you, the BRAVE, MISCHIEVOUS Madhav, were too scared most of the time! Every Diya (Tea-light made of clay) lit and each cracker burst would send you whimpering to me, poor thing! I wanted to capture the festival of light in all its splendor and bustle, but how could I? I had to carry YOU all the time, not my camera! Thank God, it’s over! Until next year…

One more thing… It gives me the warmest of fuzzies when you tell me, “Medha is MINE (about your big sis)! You can have Papa if you want!”.

No matter how much you guys fight(And you fight like cat and dog!), you love your big sister the most and follow her around everywhere!

Love,

Mama.

Letter to Madhav

Dear Madhav,

Hi! Ahem… How are you my little one? How’s being a little brother going so far? Fun, I hope? I know you’re sort of being neglected since we began preparing for Medha’s exams; But what to do?! There’s so much she needs to practice for her Pre-primary exam – sight words, number names, letters in Hindi, words in Hindi, names of vegetables, fruits, flowers, parts of the body… Phew! Papa and I are so engrossed in teaching and applauding her every tiny success, that you’re getting annoyed with us for ignoring you. We do ensure that you are safe, healthy and happy, of course, but beyond that I haven’t been able to spend much time with you. Nor have I taught you a thing more than what you already know! I’m so sorry my little monkey (By the way you prefer to be called a “monkey” or a “doggie” instead of a “baby”!

Busy reading a book by himself

But you already know so much- Words in 3 different languages (Kannada, English and Hindi); colors like Red, Black, Orange, Pink, Purple and White- more colors than you did just last month; most Shapes including Oval; quite a few rhymes; when to say “Please” and “Thank you” and to meditate (Yep, I take you to my meditation class where you sit quietly for a couple of minutes and then play with a puzzle set by yourself. Still, all our attention is focused on sis right now.

But you will take center-stage soon, tomorrow, to be precise.

You will start school. We finally found the right one for you, for us. I’m looking forward to the next big step in your life- Preschool. You are learning so much, soaking up everything like a sponge. What was once enough- home, your mama and and your toys- don’t amount to much anymore. You are ready to move on. But Am I? That’s a BIG question!

All the excuses I used to make – “You’re too young” “You’re contented with playing by yourself” or “You’re learning so much at home itself”- `to keep you with me all day, aren’t working any longer. You’re growing, and fast too. Papa thinks you have too much potential that will only get wasted if you stay home all day. It’s only apt to send you to school; Just for a couple of hours, everyday. I’ll miss having you around at home, helping me with cooking, laundry and grocery-shopping. But I’m sure you will have much more fun at your new school, make a bunch of friends, learn loads of new things and burn off that extra extra energy!

With Love, Anxiety and a bit of tears mixed in,

Mama

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Letter to Medha

Dear Medha,

It’s been 2 months since you joined a Tennis Class and you still enjoy going there everyday (Phew! I don’t have to cajole or threaten you to go! I don’t think I could have.). You know way more about Tennis than I do! I feel so jealous when you talk “forehand” or “backhand” with Papa; It feels as if you both are speaking a different language altogether!

You enjoy the other games that the coaches make you guys play in order to improve your strength, concentration and co-ordination. Thanks to all the practice you get at home, you are able to hit the ball right across the net (Papa has a ball stuffed inside an ugly sock hanging by a length of rope in the middle of our living room for his budding Tennis Champ to practice!)

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Playing “house-house” with your baby brother is another favorite. You like cooking and serving everybody fancy food like “Cracker soup”, “Pink Sugar Milk-shake” and “Pink Chai”. As you “cook”, you describe the process, like it’s done on cookery shows. It sounds so good, it makes my mouth water! The other day you told me you don’t need a laptop to check the recipe while cooking, like I do. “I know everything!”, you said, as a matter of fact. Wish I were so confident!

And my heart swells with love and pride when I watch you play with your brother and he repeats everything you say or do ’cause it doesn’t happen too often; You both tease and fight with each other quite a lot too!

There are times though that I have to remind myself that you are just a 5 year old kiddo and not someone older! You have such strong likes and dislikes, high opinion about the world around and the people in it; And you are so vocal about it too. The only thing that holds you back is your voice, which is so soft, a listener has to place her ear close to your mouth to comprehend what you’re saying. And that’s the reason why you get disqualified from speeches (according to your teachers), even though you are the best of the lot (according to YOU!)!

When I stop doing about a hundred different things at the same time, like I usually do, and pay attention to you, really look at you, I’m shocked at how tiny you still are. You just act older, like you don’t really care whether I show you any affection or not! Then I hug you real tight and you let me; Then I promise myself to savor every bit of this age before it is too late and you’re all grown up.

With baby

 (My baby with her baby “Saraqueta”, the space monkey)

Love,

Mama

Letter to Madhav

This feature is inspired by Elise at eliseblaha.typepad.com

Dear Madhav,

It’s funny to hear you talk and the funniest to hear you repeat what Medha says. I enjoy YOUR version of the pre-primary gossip that she shares everyday after school. I call you both “Peter and Re-Peater”. She talks and you repeat. My sister used to do that too, ape me when we were kids, and I would get so annoyed. But your sister doesn’t; Lucky you!

You know a lot of rhymes already: Baa-Baa Black Sheep is your favorite; You sing hymns too. And you’re eager to learn more; And play more. I think you’re ready for school now… But I’m not. I’m not yet ready to let go of my affectionate little Monkey that always hangs around my neck (and sometimes chokes me too!). Plus, I haven’t found the perfect play-school nearby. I don’t have very high standards, but I do expect the popular play-schools to follow basic hygiene, have a big play area and not make errors while writing words on the black-board (Yes, I found spelling-mistakes!)! Until then, we learn at home, a bit by bit, everyday.

Books are a favorite with you. You ask a ton of questions (mostly “What’s this?”, “What’s that?” and the meaning of words) as we read. By the time we finish reading a book, I’m too tired to read mine.

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But Trains top the list of your favorites. (Grandparents and aunties and uncles, we already have 5-6 train-sets at home, so no more please!) More than just watching a train trundling along, building one enthralls you. You can spend hours connecting one bogie with the other or one piece of track with the next. No matter what collection you have at hand- a few spoons, a packet of straws or a bunch of clips- everything gets attached to one another forming a train of straws or a train of spoons. An Engineer in the making, I suppose.

Of all the things that make you YOU, I seriously don’t understand your dislike for girls and women. They simply adore you: One girl insists upon buying you toys all the time, while the other brings you a big slice of Banana Bread (Delicious!) her mom bakes. There are many many who wish to cuddle and play with you. But what do you do in return? Make an angry-face at them or push them aside and run over to the boys. For now, Medha is your one and only girl. I know this will change as you grow older, but I still don’t get it.

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Yours truly,

Mama.