Thursday, July 29, 2010

Here we are, after three years

This is my 1000th post in this blog. Almost three years after the blog was started. It has so far been an excellent chronicler, a dedication to the children and a great reference. There were times when I had to refer to some instances of what happened on a certain day and I would simply go on the blog and check it up. One notable incident happened a few days ago.

When Sophia had a running nose and patti gave her a medicine called Bromohexene. I usually give her Alleryl and I didnt know what Bromohexene was for. All I had to go by was the date on the bottle (sometime in May 2010). Why did I acquire a bottle of bromohexene in May 2010? I quickly went back and checked the blog and discovered that it was the time when Sophia had been living off air and love and therefore concluded that Bromohexene was for a cold and loss of appetite.

There have been other times, like when husband wanted to put Sophia on a bicycle when she was ten months old and I countered that it is not good as Anjali had not been in it until eleven months.

So here we are, a thousand posts over three years and a diary maintained over time.

a (non) trip to the mannu playground

I promised the girls that we could go to the mannu palyground. They were looking forward to it. But last evening, Sophia was having a temperature, and I decided to keep her at home. husband and Anjali might still have gone to the mannu playground if it hadnt been for the fact that I decided to pack the baby in the stroller and take her for a walk. We caught up with husband and Anjali, crossed the road and it began to drizzle. While under normal circumstances, we would have let the girls get wet in the rain in the mannu playground, Sophia's temperature was a deterring factor.

That was how we found ourselves in the church yesterday evening. There was a special ceremony at church - a three day festival. A nice little congregative meditation. Sophia and Anjali sat in the pews. Anjali prayed when the prayers were said and when we lit the candles. Sophia sat on the pews, and began to take out hymn books and started singing "Thank you Thank you Jesus" at the top of her voice. The less said about it here, the better. When she began to point and go "Jesus cioss Jesus cioss", I knew it was time to take her out.

It turned out that we didnt have to take her out. The church had a sound proof room for parents to take children in, who are under two and have a tendency to point and sing at the top of their voices. (perhaps we should get one of those sound proof rooms for our center as well. Then I could attend all those talks hat I have been missing). there they sat for a few minutes and would have sat for more. However, sitting in the sound proof room is not as much fun as sitting in the congregation.

We got back directly home from the church, as the drizzle had not let up. In any event, it was half past nine when we reached home and I made a deal with Anjali that we could go to the mannu playground if it didnt rain today. if not, we could go to the library. We have finished the books that I borrowed in any case and there will probbaly be fun with tots

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Scissor skills

Anjali's scissor skills are improving. I am not sure whether they get practice in school or something, because yesterday we were cutting handprints to make fish to hang on the walls. Anjali made some very good progress with the scissors and cut the prints very close. She also knew, most of the time when the scissors were going into the paint, at which point, she would give the scissors to me to cut around.

"I am only a little girl", she explained. "So I need some help cutting"

Well, the little girl keeps measuring herself at the MRT station and saying that she needs a ticket. I tried convincing her to wait till she gets to N2 before getting a ticket. She's not very convinced though.

Fairy garden updates

The fairy garden. Its still under development and continuous upgrading
A little shelter for the fairies to rest in. I cut up an old coaster.

These are supposed to be toadstools, but they look more like lollipops from outer space. So we'll have to make better toadstools when i get more time

A pond, now dry. We leave water for the fairies every evening in it, and the fairies come at down to drink up the water. I suppose that all the dancing around misshapen toadstools make the fairies very thirsty.

We should move some animals in the garden now - Anjali wants to move a pony in - I'll keep a lookout for a miniature. There are some miniature jasmine and monkey toys in patti's house and I think they will suit, and perhaps I can put wings on jasmine.

The only qualm that i have with our fairy garden is that it is really small. But our garden space is so limited. I could try to set up something in a water tub, that will be much more roomy, but there wont be enough elevation for it and where will I get sufficient earth to cover a water tub? Also likely as not, Sophia will pull out the plants before they even begin, as she tried to do with the mustard seeds that we were planting in our fairy garden. Now the fairy garden is elevated and Anjali has to pull up her blue chair to see the garden growing.

The other qualm is that the mustard seeds are planted too close to each other and I reckon that they wont survive long - probably a week or two at most. They were the only quick growing seeds I had at hand. This, I think calls for a visit to Thomson road to buy little terrarium plants and plants with small flowers. I am also looking for something to pave the garden with little paths - perhaps lychee seeds will be suitable? Lychees and longans are available a plenty in Singapore and their seeds are smooth. They wont show up against the earth though - so maybe we should look for glass pebbles and seashells.

Yesterday at the doctor

There was a long waiting line at the doctor last evening, but I really had to take the kids. Sophia had a rather bad cough, a temperature and it was troubling me.

I had, however, not anticipated the long wait and had not taken a change of diapers for Sophia. So, when she soiled her diapers, we had to take her to the bathroom and clean her up. There, Anjali threw a tantrum. I stood in the washroom with a (thankfully clean) toddler and a tantrumy preschooler who wanted to wash her hands, and a handfull of soiled diapers.

I threw away the diaper, turned to Anjali and said "Anjali, please stop crying"

And Sophia said

"Anjali trying no. Daddy taie Anchali take timeout!"

I laughed, and the doctor called us in. Anjali stopped her tantrum and everything was smooth

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

i can do it

We read Watty Piper's the little engine that could a few weeks ago. And ever since that Anjali is trying to make "I think I can" her motto.

On saturday, Anjali fell down on the way to ballet class and bruised her knee. She didnt want to dance that lesson and refused to take a bath for the next couple of days.

Monday was Gym in school. Monday night, I asked her

"How was gym?"

"it was fine mummy. I twisted my body like this and like that"

"Were you able to twist your body, even though you have a oua?"

"Yes. i was. "

"See. you can do it. All you have to do is to say "I think I can!". Isnt it?"

"Yes. i think I can, I think I can I think I can."

Sophia immediately started.

"I think I can, I think I can. bua bua"

Monday, July 26, 2010

A fairy garden

Anjali helped me, over the weekend, to make a fairy garden. We have set up fairy grass a few toadstools to dance in and a pond with water for the fairies to drink from. We are also going to set up a little wooden house for the fairies.

Anjali delights in the fact that the fairies visit every day at dawn. The water that we leave in the pond for the fairies always disappears and we are sure that the fairies drink it on the way to fairyland, after dancing among our toadstools.

Pictures will be up soon.

The story of our kitchen

A few days ago, i came across a post in Childhood 101 on a model of a kids' kitchen with recycled materials.

It seemed like a nice project to work on, for the children, and as there were plenty of cardboard boxes in our home, I thought it would be a frugal fun project.

Here's the model that I came up with. The idea is more or less similar to the one in childhood 101, but I am still adding features to it.

There were two boxes - one on the other, glued together. I used old lids for hobs and bottle caps for knobs (Though, at this stage, Sophia keeps pulling them off)

the sink is a cardboard box, instead of a bowl - as I was going recycled, although, as you will see later, a bowl may have been a better idea. The oven has been cut out in this picture, and there is a milk carton to serve as a tray. This morning, I shined the sink up and put tealight bottoms on it to make it more metallic, but the pictures for that will follow.

The whole thing has been covered with Mahjong paper. except the top, which is covered with contact paper. A kitchen tap is still pending. Husband suggests that i make it with toilet paper rolls. I am still thinking.

Anjali knew that I was working on a kitchen for her, but only on last Friday i put it out for the girls to play with. interestingly, it has not been a kitchen, so much as a tub for the animals. Sophia has been using the sink as a tub to bath all her animals, and Anjali has been holding birthday parties and putting all her guests on the hob, and baking a cake ion the oven (so atleast that bit is straight.)

One morning, Anjali told me

"Mummy, I have a beautiful princess kitchen"

"Yes Anjali, you do have a beautiful princess kitchen"

"Its all sparkly!"

"Yes, its all sparkly. huh?"

I turned and looked at the kitchen. It was covered with glitter - which, is ofcourse, the bane of my crafty existence. It gets everywhere and even after cleaning up, you can find traces of it in the clothes, mouths, faces and food for a week

"Where did you take the glitter from?"

"From the top shelf on the book shelf. I climbed it like a monkey!"

She was so proud that i didnt have the heart to scold her. I got the glitter cleaned though.
On Sunday morning, the girls did some painting. Anjali painted an old picture of a Zoo that i had drawn, and Sophia painted a cat. Then they made handprints and painted pista shells and egg shells and in general made a big mess.

Where does the kitchen figure into this story, you may wonder. After the mess was made, and because I was cooking, i gave the girls a small bucket, a mop, a couple of rage and told them to clean the floor. This they did, in good spirit, mopping, and wiping and cleaning the tables

However, at some point I came out to check on the girls, and happened to peek into the glitter filled kitchen, and this is what I saw

My dear little toddler had taken the sink at its word and poured water into the sink to bathe her rhinoceros and oponus (Hippopotamus). I screamed, but just a bit. Husband taught me that if we tilted the board and put it under the fan, it will (or should) dry out. And afterall, it was a sink, and so it is logical that it should get filled with water.

i remember when we bought the playhouse for Anjali when she was two and she tried to climb inside it.

At the restaurant

We were at Annalakshmi yesterday evening. After dinner, I had ordered some tea (I am partial to Annalakshmi tea) and we were showing the children the statues that adorn the walls of the restaurant.

After a minute, husband turned

"Where is Anjali?"

Anjali was not there, and a second later we heard a cry. Anjali's hands were wedged between the restaurant door. it appeared that she had gotten outside, and tried to come in and had somehow gotten her hand stuck. Husband carried her and took her up tp calm her and show her the toy cars.

"Anchaali!", called Sophia.

"Mummy, Anchaali tieing."

"Yes Sophia, Anjali is crying"

"Fall down Anchali"

"No, Anjali didnt fall down"

"Fall down Anchaali door ulla tieing"

"No Sophia, Anjali didnt fall down, she got her hand stuck in the door"

later, after Anjali had calmed down, we went out from the restaurant. As we passed the door, Sophia said

"Anchalli tuck door ulla"

Friday, July 23, 2010

New Family members

Several new members have joined our family. More than that, they join, stay and leave, and then come back. Prominent among the new family members are Sandy and Planty.

Sandy and Planty are, as reader would know, little fetuses that grow in the thoppais of my daughters, who practice a very technologically advanced form of surrogate motherhood, wherein the fetuses can be transferred from one thoppai to another in a matter of seconds and transferred back. i am sure that even Vyasa didnt think of techniques such as these when he wrote the Vishnu Purana.

The children are also full of plans about hat they would do with Sandy and Planty when they comee out. These range from "Taaie" to "leave with mummy while going to office" to "getting married" to "having ot of visitors when the baby comes out"

The exact species that Sandy and planty belong to, is also not clear. One day they are little babies and another day, they are dinosaurs. Yesterday, they were baby monkeys. Exactly how baby monkeys can be born from girls, I am not sure, but I guess the kids who have such advanced technologies for fetal transplantation can vome up with some sort of cross species conception and delivery. Afterall, didnt the wives of Kasyapa actually give birth to snakes and garudas?

Can i patent these technologies? I wonder

Londin brige falling down

Sophia was playing with legos. She tries hard to twist and turn and get the blocks in a stack. Sometimes she doesnt get it, but mostly she does and runs excitedly to proudly display the "tower" to daddy.

"Daddy see! Daddy see!"

One tower was misaligned. Sophia lifted it up and exclaimed.

"London Bridge falling down like this!!!"

Once she didnt get the top block to fit properly and bang! the meticulously consructed tower crashed to the floor. Sophia began to cry

"What happened?" asked mummy and daddy

"Fall downing!!" she exclaimed, morosely

Thursday, July 22, 2010

National harmony day

Anjali wore, after much deliberation, a yellow pattu pavadai and green top. According to her, Naomi wore a green pattu pavadai, Kiran brought sweets, Mikeala brought no thing and Tricia brought jelly and wore a red chinese dress.

Some children wore uniforms and some children wore national harmony clothes.

Caps for sale

"Anjali", I said, "can you go to the table and find a book called "Caps for sale?". I borrowed it from the library for us to read"\

"Mummy, can you come with me and help me to find the book?", asked Anjali.

"You try to find it Anjali. It has a picture of a man sitting on a tree"

Anjali turned to go, but turned back almost immediately.

"mummy, the home book is matching with my school book."

"What do you mean?"

"My school book also has a man sitting on a tree, and it is called Caps for Sale"

"Really? Well, then see if you can find the book in the table and bring it here"

She went to the living room and returned shortly with the book

"Caps for sale! Caps for Sale!"

"Is this the same book as your school?"


So we read the book and she proceeded to tell the story and all the actions very nicely. I wrote a note to Mrs Arul about it.

Sophia's learning

On Saturday, we were waiting at the busstop for a taxi. the grass behind the busstop were mowed and there were piles of grass everywhere. Sophia and Anjali decided that playing with the grass clippings was an excellent way to pass the time while waiting for transport. Sophia took some grass and strewed it all around the pavement.

"oshtich!" she said "make oushe!"

Husband was astounded. I wrote about the ostrich nests, but other than that, no particular reference was made to the episode at home. Yesteday, when we went to westmall, the grass clippings were still there are Sophia still continued to make oushes for the oshtiches


There is a magazine shop in Bukit Batok interchange that Sophia calls "Bumble bee shop"

Neither thattha, nor daddy could figure out why

i understood why, the name of the shop is "buzz" (i told her that last week when taking her to patti's house and she has been calling it bumble bee shop ever since)

At the doctor, there was a computer

"Mummy... champooter... lmnop" (there is writing on the computer)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Yesterday I took Sophia and Anjali to the doctor. The doctor examined Sophia and declared that she has rarely seen a kid under 24 months talk as much as this one.

"How come she can speak so much?" asked the doctor
"She learns from her big sister", piped up the big sister


The doctor examines Sophia, took off her diapers and checked her privates, then put her diaper up

"pee pee place chodathai!" says Sophia

Somehow I dont think I need worry about this girl too much

(For Bunica, thodathai means dont touch)


Yesterday evening, thattha and husband went to get some shhirts for husband's birthday. Anjali and Sophia went along. Then thattha took Anjali exploring west mall. They came back and it was time for us to go home

"Mummy, but I want to first go to the shoe shop and buy slippers"

Anjali had lost her butterfly slippers in the taxi about a month ago. She foorgot about them for a long time until now, when she wants the slippers.

Sophia was very tired, having been vaccinated and not having had enough nap in the afternoon. So it was in my interest to get the girls home. Anjali ofcourse had the beginnings of a tantrum

"But Anjali, why didnt you ask daddy or thattha when you went to west mall with them?"

"I asked thattha, but he didnt listen!"

Thattha, however, claims otherwise

"She just wanted to go to the fourth floor (timezone arcade) and then wanted to paint. But I told her that i had no money, just a credit card, so she said ok. She didnt say anything about shoes"

Anjali made no comments, but this morning, before going to school, she tells me "When you come back from office, let's go to Mr West mall, do painting and then buy slippers"

A visit to bollywood veggies

It was raining on Sunday when we went with the kids to bollywood veggies. Husband was amused by what the trip offered. He had imagined walking with the girls and explaining the plants to them, but the children had good fun dragging umbrellas and getting wet. Perhaps it was the rain. But atleast they know what a banana plant looks like.

We combined it with a trip to the goat farm, but the goat farm is not worth more than 30minutes, as we cant really touch the goats. Then there is no possibility of a taxi back (even a call taxi is not possible, and the bus has a duration of 1 hour 30 minutes). The goat milk is delicious though

The farm was beautiful though, rather back country and very scenic.

pista shells and scratch art

Pista shells maks a good substitute for coins in scratch art projects.

Here is the final project. Sophia calls it the rainbow. It is made by putting different colores crayons as a base and coloring it over with black crayon on top. Then we can use shells to scratch off the black and get the underlying rainbow of colors.

The cake and pizza makers

I dont often get pictures of the girls helping me cook, as i usually have my hands full. However, these days, i get a better time, as they, especially Anjali, holds her own in many parts of the cooking process

Transferring batter from the mixing to the baking bowl is one of Anjali's favorite jobs, especially as it involves licking the batter afterwards. Here's a mocha pudding we made one day

Another day, Anjali and Sophia helpied me to knead pizza dough. I thought that given the chances of a mess, the dining tabe would be the best place for the kneading process.

Here is Anjali, the next morning, putting topping on the pizza

The pizza in the oven

It tasted divine.

When i really want Sophia occupied What do i do?

A painting that Anjali wanted to do

New indoor playground

There is a new indoor playground at the CSC, and Anjali insists on a few minutes after ballet everyday

A large painting

We did this one using mixed crayon cakes and colored with watered down food coloring. One of the first introductions to crayon resist.

Looking Duty in the face

Patti was suddenly hospitalized for a couple of days and on Monday I had the task of taking care of the children. It was the first time, since Anjali was born, that i had the task of taking care of the children was a whole day, something patti does day in and day out. It was the mother's duty, one I had always copped out of, and never looking at.

on Monday, it was the inevitable task, and I looked it in the face and found it to be a friend, as duty always is when we look at it honestly. Sophia and I read, drew and played until it was time to fetch Anjali from school. Then the girls and I had lunch and did a number of activities. I ttried to make them sleep at around three, but as it was a no go, asked them to help me bake bread instead. When, after kneading the dough, the girls were full of dough, I dunked them in the bathroom while finishing the cooking. They played in the bathroom for an hour, with the faucet on small, and making toilet paper sculptures and cake.

At 5, I took them to the playground and stayed there for an hour, bringing them back home for dinner. When husband returned around 8pm, they were both fed. Sophia fell asleep soon after, but Anjali played on till around 10pm.

Yesterday, it was husband's turn to take care of the children in the morning. When i returned from work in the afternoon, he had both children eating and playing. Kudos!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sophia's words

Yesterday, husband and i took the girls to the market. There is a playgound there and Anjali has been bugging me for a tingaling for her bicycle for nearly three months, I needed to buy paints -  I was low.

After buying the tingaling, husband agreed to watch the girls for a bit while I went to the dollar store to buy paints. I came back after about ten minutes. The girls were exploring the playground and around.

"Sophia talks in full sentences", said husband. "she talks about everything as she plays in them"

This was not news to me. I know that Sophia talks in full sentences. She would say things like

"Shapia do it. Anchali also. Baby shark sad.. wuh wuh. gasha book. shapia eat ice pop " etc

I then realized (it comes to me suddenly sometimes) that Sophia is barely one year and a half. I went back the blog - thats the nice thing about having a blog, that we can go back and see. Around december 2008, I was posting a lot about how Anjali was talking two world like daddy change shirt, anniya mop etc. About how we were so excited and how I reproduced entire conversations of two syllables in typewriting.  I dont reproduce conversations with Sophia (well, not very often), but all the talking she does really makes me marvel.

The other day, Anjali was standing at the kitchen counter helping me make cake and Sophia was carrying garfield in the kitchen.

"Mummy taie", she said

"Why do you want me to carry you?" I asked

"Baby see Anchali mix take", she said.

I was left mouth open. She wanted me to carry her, not because she wanted to see the cake mixing, but because she wanted her baby to see Anjali mixing cake. That is very advanced, i think.

Mrs Arul

We were at the shop a couple of days ago to buy barley. I found a nie recipe with barkey, cheese and sour cream, that I thought husband may like. The shop keeps a lot off junk sweets near the cashier.

Sophia picked up a sweet.

"Mrs ayu, feed me this"

I am sure that Mrs Arul has never met Sophia, much less fed her with junk sweets from the shop, but I was surprised that she picked up on a long ago conversation with Anjali (before Mrs Arul became her teacherl) about how her teacher gives her junk food. Then, ofcourse, Sophia knows that Mrs Arul is Anjali's teacher.

Smart of her to put it together.  

national harmony day

Anjali's school is celebrating National harmony day on Wednesday. I received a note from her teacher asking for her to be dressed in traditional clothes and wear traditional tidbits . So i asked her

"Anjali, you can wear traditional clothes on National harmony day and take some food. What do you want to wear and take?"

"i want to wear pattu pavadai and take mamaliga"

"Anjali, would you like to wear a beautiful Romanian costume?" i was wining it a bit, as the Romanian costume is too short now

"No mummy, I want to wear a pattu pavadai"

"But all the Indian children will wear pattu pavadai. If you wear a Romanian dress, you will look different"

"No mummy."

I let it pass, then said, "Anjali, you know Mamaliga is a Romanian dish. If you want to bring Mamaliga, it is nicer to wear a Romanian dress"

Anjali paused and considered.

"Ok. i have a good idea", she said. "I will wear a pattu pavadai and take pulau"

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Introduction to chapter books

After the success of the Shapia do it book, I wanted to make another book for Anjali. Since I have been trying a couple of times to introduce chapter books - I tried the magix treehouse series, but didnt like it too much, and nor did Anjali. So I wrote a book for the girls, adapted from some of the nicer posts in this blog. The girls, especially Anjali, loves it, as it details their adventures, statements and misadventures. Here is the word document of the book.

Like the Shapia do it book, I sewed up A4 paper in hald like a book and bound it with cloth. A red construction paper served as a binder and yellow paper as border. The printed pages were stuck inside and I also added some simple hand illustrations. Anjali knows of the book and she makes me read a bit from it. Since they are about her, she knows, or can predict what comes with a fair accuracy.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I'll take care of you

When mummy came back from office on Thursday, Sophia and Patti were sitting in the garden. As mummy parked her bicycle, Sophia came running up.

"Mummy, Mummy!" She exclaimed.

"Hello Sophia!", Mummy said

"Mummy, mummy! Anchali akka sheed me!" said Sophia

"Anjali Akka fed you?" asked Mummy

"hmm", said Sophia, nodding vigorously.

"What did Anjali akka feed you?"

"paata!" exclaimed Sophia.

"Anjali akka fed you pasta? Did you like it?"

"hmm!" exclaimed Sophia, nodding again.

Later, Anjali, Sophia, mummy and daddy went to the swimming pool. Anjali and Sophia had a lot of fun in the swimming pool. This is what they did in the pool.
1. They played in the wave pool
2. They splashed each other
3. They played in the Jacuzzi
4. They slid down the big slide
5. They put leaves in the water and let it float.

Anjali was getting very good at swimming. She was even able to swim in the jacuzzi using a swimming noodle. Mummy was very proud when Anjali did that.

After swimming, Mummy took Anjali and Sophia to the shower. Anjali did not want to leave the swimming pool.

"Anjali, after we change, you can show Sophia the new playground", mummy said

"Which new playground?"

"That playground which is near your ballet class", said mummy.

So Anjali and Sophia took a shower. During the shower, Anjali asked Sophia

"Sophia, do you want to go to my ballet class playground? Yes?"

"Yes!", said Sophia. It is one of the few times that Sophia says yes.

But the ballet class playground was closed and so they had to come back home. At home, Anjali and Sophia ate some chocolate fudge. THen they talked to bunica and went to bed.

In bed mummy asked Anjali,

"Anjali, Sophia told me that you fed her this afternoon. Did you feed her pasta?"

"Yes mummy.", Said Anjali. "Sophia is my sister and I will feed her and take care of her"

"When mummy goes to America, will you feed her also and take care of her?" asked mummy

"Yes mummy." said Anjali. She then turned to Sophia. "Sophia, when mummy goes to America, I will take care of you and patti will take care of me. ok?" she said. "When mummy goes to America, you will not see mummy anymore."

"No, Anjali", mummy said. "I will be back in a week"

"In a week?" asked Anjali. "A week is a long time mummy?"

"Its a bit long, yes", explained mummy. "But I will talk to you on the webcam"

"Like Bunica?" asked Anjali

"Exactly like Bunica" I said.

Anjali thought that it was very funny that I should speak to her like bunica on the webcam.  So she said to Sophia "Sophia, you can talk to mummy on the computer like bunica when mummy is in America. She will come back in one week! In the meantime I will take care of you. Ok?"

"Bua bua Now!" said Sophia

Princess Anjali

Anjali simply refused to wake up this morning. Both girls had not slept till late laast night. The lights were off, but they simply couldnt sleep. Sophia was up all night and this morning had a running nose.

"Anjali, so you want to be a princess this morning?"

That woke her up. she came into the bath with me

"How do princesses take a bath mummy?", she asked

"Well, they wash their arms and legs and their thoppais and ears and face", i said

"Then they wash their hair?" Anjali asked.

I considered. "Yes".

Anjali washes her hair three times a day, under various pretexts.

So she washed her hair and wore princess uniforms and princess socks and princess underwear. She ate princess noodles (Princesses eat by themselves, but we were running late, so they let the queens feed them)

We went to catch the elevator. Anjali pressed the button.

"What did you call Anjali?"

"the lift." she said

"no. its a carriage to take us downstairs"

The school bus was yet another carriage and when i put her on it I said

"Look out for the horses"

and she nodded gravely

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Anjali's poem

(With actions)
I have ten fingers
I can make them do things
I can make them go up
I can make them go down
I can make them crawl
I can make them walk
I can make them hug mummy
I can make them hug Sophia
I can make them love myself!

"Mummy, I love myself. Do you love yourself?"

"Yes I do. Anjali, you say a lot of nice poetry. Adi, Anjali will be a poet when she grows up, like Shelley and Keats"

"No, mummy, I want to be a mummy when i grow up"

"You can be two things you know, a mummy and a poet"


"Yes, Mummy is a mummy and a toy maker and a researcher. daddy is a daddy and an engineer and a runner"

"Ok. In that case, i want to be a mummy and a.... a tortoise. "

Anchali akka

At the playground there were lots of children. Sapna wanted to carry and cuddle Sophia, but Sophia didnt want to. She kept wanting Anjali to help her, carry her and take her on pony rides. And she kept calling Anjali "Anjali akka".

Anjali is also very proud of being called "Akka". Thats my baby sister, she tells all the children in the playground - the new children whom she doesnt know. 

When Sophia walks, Anjali ggoes up to her and asks, very nicely

"Sophia, you want to hold akkuchi's hand?"

"Anjali, why do you say Akkuchi?", I asked her. I remember that Chandru periyappa used to call Akila "Akkuchi" when we were both young, but to the best of my knowledge no one used the word Akkuchi in front of Anjali.

"Because I love my baby sister, and if you love your baby sister, you must say Akkuchi", said Anjali.

That reply doesnt quite satisfy my curiosity, but i suppose it will have to do, since no better reply can be gotten.

The chinmaya Shloka book

padmini aunty had compiled a shloka book and cd that she passed for the kids. For a long time, it was sitting untouched, and one day patti and I decided to play it. the children didnt really pay much attention.

On Sunday morning, I found the book on the table and was singing aloud some of the songs in it. Sophia was toddling around playing. She came up to me, looked at the back of my book. Then she want away. A minute later, she was back.

She had gone to the cd case, looked inside and found the cd with the same cover as the book.

"Well done Sophia", i said.

Even husband was impressed.

thoppai babies

Anjali was telling us about her babies and asking me to take care of them when she went to office.

"Shapia!" said Sophia

"What about you?" I asked

"Baby thapai"

"You have babies in your thoppai?"

"hmm" (vigourous nod)

"How many babies do you have?"


"Mummy, I have two babies"

"You have two babies?"

"Shapia two babies!"

"You have two babies also?"

(More vigorous nods)

"What are your babies' names?"


"Your babies' name is Anjali?"

(More nods)

"My babies are called Sandy and Planty"

"Shandy planty Shapia"

"Your babies are also called Sandy and planty?"

(Many many vigorous nods)

Monday, July 12, 2010

A sewing activity

I have been reading the montessori book for writing and there was a lot of emphasis there on threading and sewing as fine motor activities. I lost the pink plastic needle somewhere so I needed a nice cloth for embroidery. I looked into teh discarded clothes bag and found one of Sophia's old tops - the market sold these tops at 3 for 5 dollars. The fabric has got some really small holes. I cut up the fabric and traced Anjali's hand on it. I also gave her some yarn to go at it.As the needle was lost, I just glued the edge of the yarn to make it more straight. To make sure she has a frame, I staples the cloth onto a cut out cereal box hoop. (i should put a picture to make this clearer)

Sophia, ofcourse, is too young for threading, but I punched holes on a side of a postcard and put yarn all around it incase she wants her own sewing piece. More seing updates in time to come.

God in my heart

Anjali was making towers with her wooden blocks on Sunday morning. At some stage, the blocks collapsed and landed on her.

"I didnt get hurt mummy", said Anjali. "Even though the blocks fell on me, i didnt get hurt"

"Thats good"

"Jesus is in the blocks' heart", she continued. "Thats why I didnt get hurt"

She brings God into almost every other conersation. We have gotten a book on Ganesha out of the library and Sophia is very fond of the story. its the idea of Ganesha, together with the fact that there are elephants in the book, that makes it appealing to her. She takes the book out very often and says "anai toie, gasha toie" and when we are reading, she would go "Gasha charanam ganesha!"

When we were reading the story i read "Parvati thought that Shiva was the most wonderful person.

"mummy, Krishna is also the most wonderful person"

"Shiva had seen the world", I read on

"Krishna will also see the world when he grows bigger"

Some overdue pictures

Sunny and Alfred were over for dinner last weekend - a reunion eight years after graduation. Here are some pictures. Alfred took more, but we'll have to wait for those

Sophia showing her favorite activity to Christopher
I never knew that pista shells were so popular, Anjali draws on them sometimes.

Little baby stella.

A conversation on scolding

Once in a while, I have conversations with the children that I never want to forget. On Friday evening, we were getting ready to go to the playground. Anjali was waiting at the door

"Mummy, why you are always scolding me?"

"I dont always scold you Anjali."

"No mummy, you always scold me."

"Do I?"


"Can you tell me when I scolded you?"

"you scold me when i push Sophia"

"Anjali, Pushing Sophia will hurt her. it is wrong. So I scold you. When children do wrong things, the parent can scold them"

"No mummy. When children do wrong things, the parents should not scold them"

"What should they do then?"

"They should hug them"

It took me a while to digest this.

"Ok. Next time you do wrong thing, I will hug you and then you dont do the wrong thing anymore ok?"


"But sometimes, mummy may forget to hug you and scold you, because i am so used to it. If I scold you, will you tell me to not scold you and to hug you instead?"


So over the weekend, everytime Anjali did something naughty, i asked her to give me a hug. if that bit of naughtiness involved Sophia, she would give me a hug and blithely say "Sorry, Sophia!"

Only once I scolded her. Last night, she was helping me make a chocolate cake and was standing on her blue chair. I warned her to not climb on the kitchen counter, as there was a slow cooker full of hot beans and a kettle that i had set with boiling water. She tried to scramble again on the table, as she wanted to sit on the table and watch the cake process. I raised my voice.


She stopped a beat before bursting to tears. I was not bothered so much by the bursting to tears, i know I can handle it well enough. I was bothered more by the pause. It was as if she was waiting for the hug that never came. Husband was in the kitchen and hugged her instead, but I am still a little overcome with the guilt


"Mummy, here - Chocolate cake for you", said Anjali, holding her hand out

We were at the playground and Anjali was doing one of her favorite activities - chocolate cake making. This was a rather interesting affair, which involves taking sand from near the tree, shaping it to a cake and putting candles on it for someone's happy birthday. The candles were flowers.

"Mummy, its your happy birthday today"

"thake", said Sophia. "tuni sella tuala!"

Anjali went around the tree, getting more chololate to put on her cake. Sophia took chocolate from Anjali's cake and began to make her own cake. (Sophia couldnt reach the earth on the other side as there was a barrier over which Anjali could reach but she couldn't.) Anjali got more earth and put mounds of earth on the little platform. At some point she reached the mound that was Sophia's cake. She took it to add to her own mound. At that point, Sophia had gone around the tree to search for more earth. Anjali had left her nest and Sophia took her chocolate. They went like that - Anjali taking Sophia's earth and Sophia taking Anjali's for over ten minutes before they met at a station. There they had a nice little fight. One of the two had begun a chocolate cake on a piece of paper, which the other tried to snatch. The chocolate cake fell to the ground and the girls were left holding either end of the paper.

"Mummy, see! Sophia is snatching my chocolate cake!"

"Go make more chocolate cake!", I said, trying to be diplomatic.

Anjali went off to make more cake, and the process of making and taking continued for a while more. but it was a lot shorter, as both girls were aware that the other was taking their cake. Another fight begun.

"Mummy! Anchaali. take thake" (take cake), "wuh wuh, shapia thake do it!"

Then they ran off to play in the swing and all was sunshine again. 

Friday, July 9, 2010

New tantrum technique

I have been reading Montessori read and write and got inspired from that.

When Sophia throws a tantrum, I call her a teapot and sing "Sophia is a tea pot, short and stout", with actions to match. That quietens her down.

When Anjali throws her tantrums, it is a bit harder. Mostly, I call her names, like suggested in the book. However, the problem is that she is too smart. She usually throws a tantrum because she wants something, and even if I distract her for a while, she will get back to it.

Anjali's babies

When Anjali has her babies, all the people will come to visit her babies. They are called Sandy and Planty. I told Anjali that she has to give them names with meanings - Sophia, afterall, means Wisdom and Anjali means Offering. Anjali says that Sandy and Planty have very nice meanings. I cant think of anything other than that you can put planty in sandy.

She keeps going on and on about the babies - how she will sleep with them, about how she will not go to office until they are three years old ("Sigh!") and when she goes to office after that, mummy, or daddy or patti or Anu will take care of them. Exactly how Anu came into the picture, i dont know.

About how, when her born babies are three years old, she will take them on the ferris wheel or on the pony. Almost every experience of her's she associated with her born babies. I rather think, given the consistency of the born babies, and their qualities, number and names, they are, in some sense, her imaginary friends. 

goblin liason office

I believe that we need to start one soon in our house. Here are (some of) the reasons

1. Following the phone episode, all kinds of things land up in the printer - crayons, books, small toys
2. Tantrums are very big these days in the house. Sophia has learnt that the louder she cries, the more likely, she is, to get what she wants. Where she learns this from, i dont know, we definitely dont encourage her.
3. I get followed immediately after I return home, to the bathroom, of all places. it is very difficult to wash your legs, not to mention doing anything else, if one of your hands is tugged very hard by a half sized goblin who keeps crying and saying "Mummy pulay"
4. "Venda" is another popular word, associated especially with healthy food. There is nothing more annoying than to cut up a piece of avocado, since it was requested so enthusiastically and have it pushed away with a vigourous head shake and "adogado venda", after only two spoonfuls. Even more frustrating is the fact that I have to finish it, and there goes the meticulously watched waistline.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sound theology

Anjali was doing some serious monkey business while riding on her bike this evening. The inevitable happened

She fell down. It was quite comical, really. One minute she was shaking every part of her body that could be shaken while sitting on the bike, and the next, her bttom is resting on the bike wheel and her leg fell on the floor. Husband and I burst out laughing. Husband and I have long learnt that for mild to semi serious accidents, a laughter is a better medicine, followed by a kiss.

Anjali was shocked for a minute. After the initial shock wore of, she said very seriously

"Jesus caught me"

"Jesus has his hands fll with you Anjali", said daddy. "He has a full time job".

"Mummy, I dont have any oua. i didnt get hurt" said Anjali, "Because Jesus is there"

She is learning something in her school.

Daddy's phone

Last night, Anjali and Sophia went shopping with mummy and daddy. It was a simple trip to the supermarket. Sophia needed new diapers, we were low on fruits, there was no toothpaste left in the bathroom and a lot of other odds and ends were required. Mummy took the bicycle, with Anjali riding on the front seat. Daddy carried Sophia.

We finished shopping. Daddy took Sophia walking back home. He was also carrying two bags. Mummy loaded two shopping bags in the basket of the bicycle and put Anjali in the front seat. She started the bike, and then stopped. Where can she put the handbag? There was no room in the basket, and Anjali was sitting in the front seat. After a minute, she slung it on her shoulders and rested it on her lap.

Anjali and mummy began to cycle. They had barely cycled for three minutes where they came to a slope. Bang, Crash Bang!, the cycle fell down. Anjali fell down too. So did mummy. What had happened?

The strap of the handbag had gotten caught in the bicycle.

Anjali was crying. Some pedestrians helped mummy straighten the bicycle.

"Where are you hurt Anjali?"

"I am hurt nowhere"

Mummy decided to take Anjali's word for it. But how to get home? Clearly, taking the handbag in the lap was not a good idea.

"Anjali, can you hold my handbag for me?"

"Okay!" said Anjali.

Mummy and Anjali began to pedal, with Anjali giving warnings at every slope

"Mummy", she said, "You are not careful in my school, and you are not careful in patti's house also"

Anjali and mummy reached home, closely followed by daddy and Sophia. Mummy washed Anjali and Sophia up while daddy put away the shopping. Mummy, Anjali and Sophia then played treasure hunt. After that, mummy went to the kitchen to bake a cake. The girls cut bananas and ate butter and cheese.

They were washing up when daddy came up with the house phone in his hand.

"Who are you calling", mummy asked

"I am calling my handphone", said daddy. "I cant find it"

"Did you lose it?", mummy asked

"No. I gave it to Sophia while I was unpacking the groceries", daddy said. "She must have put it somewhere."

Daddy called his mobile phone. "It is going into voice mail", he said

So daddy and mummy searched the whole hosue for the mobile phone while Anjali and Sophia were playing in the sink with soap and water. They searched in the toy cupboard, in the kitchen drawers, in the toilets, in the dustbins, inside the box of the little car that the children drive around the house. There was no phone.

"Search in the toyhouse", mummy said. "I found my passport in it two days ago"

But the phone was not in the toy house.

"Sophia", asked daddy, taking her out of the sink "Where have you put Ada's phone?"

Sophia got up, "Ada allo!"

"Yes. Ada Allo. Where have you put it"

"This side!" she exclaimed, holding daddy's hand and taking him to the dining table.


"This side", she exclaimed, pointing under the dining table "tunnel ulla"

But the phone was not there.

"Are you sure you gave the phone to Sophia?", asked mummy. "It has to be somewhere in the house if you did. We have searched all her hidey holes, you know. Maybe you lost it on the way"

"I am sure I gave it to her" said daddy. "I am afraid that she made a telephone call and that it is not switched off."

"Maybe the phone ran out of batteries", said mummy

"I dont think so. It was fully charged this morning", said daddy

"Lets call the telephone company" suggested mummy. "They may be able to tell us whether the phone is in call"

But the telephone company was not able to give that information. All they could do was to deactivate the phone line if the phone had been lost.

Daddy and mummy searched the house for another ten minutes.

"Where did you put the phone Sophia?" daddy asked despairingly

"This side", said Sophia brightly "Ada bedoom"

But it was not there.

"This side" said Sophia brightly "patti yoom"

She took daddy all around the house, indicating all possibvle hidey holes, none off which had the phone.

"Cancel the SIM", said daddy, despairingly.

So the SIM was cancelled and we all went to bed.

Daddy, however, had a brainwave this morning and found the phone.

It was inside the printer. 


Shapia do it book

As a tribute to the Shapia do it days - which are so rampant now, but are bound to pass sooner or later (there are, ofcourse, mingled joys and sorrows to this), I made a book for Sophia. She had great fun reading it.

I enjoyed the making of this book very much, as it was a different sort - a proper book, as opposed to the ring binding kind that I usually make. Its made of A3 paper sewed up in the middle.

Monday, July 5, 2010

What is happening now

I got two kilos of cheese from a wholesale shop. The girls are at it, eating cheese directly from the box with spoons. Husband offered, multiple times, to give them cheese in a plate/ bowl, but was turned down. multiple times. They seem to be having fun, and the cheese is too firmly secured to the box to fall out, so there...

Love you forever

When I picked up Robert Munsch's love you forever, I thought it too serious and sentimental for the children to read. It was only the fact that it was recommended by good reads and that we like Munsch's other works - like the paper bag princess and stephanie's ponytail, that I decided to pick the book.

I am glad that i did. both the girls like it very much. it is a reflection of love and how it is constant, reciprocative and how it propagates on.

Sophia likes the bit when the two year old baby flushes his mother's watch down the toilet.

"Ai yai yai", she exclaimes, each and every time

Anjali says

"I like when the baby grows big like daddy and he carries his mother in his arms and rocks her back and forth and sings to her".

"Will you carry me like that and rock me?" I ask

"Nope. But I will carry you and rock you when i am big and when my born baby is three years old"

Fair enough

Balloon tennis - courtesy of Swenson

We should move to the ball version soon

Horse riding

Every July, we take a walk at Pasir Ris Park. One activity at Pasir Ris park that Anjali likes is the horse riding.

This year, we wanted Sophia to try it too, but Sophia was still too small and a little afraid of the big animal. Here is the video of Anjali, all smiles, riding her horse

Feeding the cat

On Sunday evening, daddy and Anjali grilled a pack of chicken and ate it. Anjali enjoyed eating the chicken. They tried to induce Sophia to eat some. But Sophia is a vegetarian and she wouldnt have any chicken. After they ate the chicken, daddy wanted to throw the chicken bones and skin into the garbage.

"No daddy", piped up Anjali. "We will not throw the bones. We will keep them"

"What do you want to do with them?" mummy asked.

"I want to give them to a dog"

"Which dog will you give them to?"

"To jackie"

"You may not see jackie for many days", said daddy. "By then, the bones will spoil. Anjali, lets throw them away"

"No!", exclaimed Anjali, clutching onto the bag. "I have a good idea. We will take them downstairs and give them to another dog"

"Alright", said daddy, conceeding. "We'll go for a walk, and you can give them to a cat"

There were plenty of stray cats who would eat some good food, but almost all the dogs in the neighborhood have owners and may not take too kindly to getting bones from strangers - Atleast their owners may not.

"Lets go now", said Anjali.

But first, we had to give Sophia something to eat, since Sophia was a vegetarian and didnt want chicken. While we did that, Anjali wanted to put her bones in a bag. She then wanted to put the bag on the dining table.

"Mummy is already frowning Anjali", said daddy. "She will not like it if you put chicken bones on the dining table". Mummy was a vegetarian, like Sophia. So daddy and Anjali put the bag of bones outdoors near the plants.

Sophia ate watermelons. Sophia likes to eat watermelons. Unfortunately, she also likes to squish the watermelons and have a lot of glee looking at the watermelon juice flowing from her hands to the floor. So, when we had finished eating the watermelon, this is what our floor looked like.

After that Anjali and Sophia had to wash up. Two minutes into the washing up process, Anjali and Sophia were sitting inside the same tiny bathtub, splashing each other.

"Come on", said daddy. "Lets dress up and find some cats to give bones to"

"Ok, said Anjali. She ran outdoors, and by the time mummy realized what was happening, had put on shoes and had taken the bag of bones. There was only one problem.

She was not wearing any clothes.

"Anjali!", said mummy. "You cant go out like this. Come in and put on some clothes"

Anjali came in, swinging the bag wildly. Mummy winced with every swing. Luckily, none of the bones split on the floor.

Finally, everyone was dressed and it was time for the walk.

We took the park connector to the small field behind the swimming pool. On a previous occassion, daddy had seen tens of cats there. He thought that it would be a great place for giving bones. But today, there was only one cat in the field. The field was already full of chewed up bones. Some one had left cat food in a container, along with a cup of water.

Daddy found a sheet of paper and Anjali arranged the bones very artistically on it.

The cat came up, sniffed, took a bite and walked away. It was getting dark

"Lets go Anjali", said daddy

"But I want to see the cat eat all the bones!" said Anjali.

We looked at the cat. She was washing herself.

"The cat is washing herself", said Anjali

"Yes." said mummy. "She is washing herself. Then she will eat. You always wash up before eating, dont you? The cat is just like that"

That satisfied Anjali. She plodded along behind mummy, daddy and Sophia. Along the way, she found some dried grass at the edge of the drains. She picked up the dried grass and piled them on the drain bars.

"I am making a nest for the birds", she said proudly

After she had made nests for several birds, she made one more nest - which was the biggest nest in the world.

"Anjali", said mummy, "the birds cannot put their eggs in that nest. It is too big, and the eggs will get buried"

"Its a nest for ostrich eggs", said daddy

"But there are no ostriches in Singapore", explained mummy

"There are no ostriches in Singapore because the nests are not big enough". Now that Anjali has made such a big nest, the ostriches can come and lay their eggs here

So Anjali made the ostrich nest and fed bones to the cat and then we all came back home to eat pulau and yogurt and apple cake for dinner.

That was vegetarian, and Sophia had no problems with it

Dragonfruit smiles

Friday, July 2, 2010

Girls night out

Yesterday, when i reached home, I had the idea of taking the girls out. A couple of weeks ago, I had taken the girls out to West mall by myself to buy some things for the Taman negara trip, and then we had stopped for ice cream at udders and we had enjoyed it very much. i wanted to repeat it again.

I told the children that we could go to IMM, buy a new pair of earrings for Sophia and, ofcourse, have icecream. The plan, having been taken up with enthusiasm, we moved to the bedroom to get dressed. That took a little longer than expected as one kid piled up all the pillows on the bed and climbed on them - saying things like "aterfall" "yiver" "climb aterfall" and "yo yo yo boat". This made the other kid sit on a tortoise and explore underground caves where there were sharks and crocodiles

"thief" said one explorer "shish eat"

"I saw a thief eating a fish in the underground river" said the other explorer.

Then they began to jump on the bed

"I'm jumping on the bed, I'm jumping on the bed. Hi ho de derry ho, I'm jumping on the bed", says Anjali

By the time we left the house, it was half past seven. We waited twenty minutes at the busstop, trashed the idea of going to IMM, decided to go to west mall instead, and danced on the pavement. Anjali danced Bharatnatyam


"What is Sophia dancing?"

"Shapia balle"

The bus finally arrived and we found ourselves in west mall. We changed the earrings

"itheam itheam"

So we went into swensons for icecream. Anjali wanted cookies and cream. And she placed the order herself.

"I want chocolate chip icecream", she tells the waitress

"Which one?"

Anjali pointed to the picture on the menu and we waited for the icecream.

"Mummy, After I eat icecream, I want a balloon"

"shapia balloon"

The icecream arrived. Anjali ate most of it. Sophia wouldnt touch it at first because it was too cold, and it was almost finished by the time she got around to liking it. Besides, she was getting icecream all over the table.

We got the balloons. Anjali walked around the restaurant hitting all the tables and some people with the balloon.

"pay dollar", said Sophia. So we paid for the icecream and took the bus home. In the busstop, the girls set up a sword fight using balloons

"Mummy, I am the deva and Sophia is the asuia", said Anjali, battering Sophia's balloon with her own.

We got out of the bus, rescued a number of snails on the pavement and returned home, where husband was waiting for us. The girls ate oata and bananas, played the gruffalo game that I had made, played with the magentic tunnels in the fridge (I made a new one with a large plastic bottle that we had in Malaysia), and then off we went to bed.

We were fixing the gruffalo game. Anjali had one piece to go. IIt was number 3 and her dice simply wouldnt let her counter go to number three. She didnt understand why she couldnt get her piece

"Why i cant play my puzzle mama?"

"Because your counter is not at 3"

"ok. i will put my counter at 3. Now give me the pieze to finish my puzzle"

Well. What could I say?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Another I dont want to go to school day

Husband got away early to work this morning. I finished the gruffalo game that I was making for the girls, and then went to wake Anjali up. She was sleeping on the bed, face down, bottom in the air. I aasked her to get up.

"Mummy, I want to take a bath with you!!"

Well, i had woken up at 5.15 in the morning, and had taken a bath around a quarter past six. I was having none of that. So, I used the candle as an incentive

"Anjali, i am going to the altar to light the white candle"

Anjali opened her mouth "I want to light the red candle"

Then she took my arm, wrapped her arms around it, pulled me on the mattress and went back to sleep. It felt rather like cuddling a heavy teddy.

i disengaged and woke her up again, using the white candle. This time she woke up, finished her toiletteries, took her raisin bun and two story books (we had been to the library yesterday and had borrowed about 30 new stories - most of them courtesy of

"Mummy, i dont want to go to school"

Now, husband going early to work causes a problem as I have to take Sophia with me to the busstop. When Sophia is sleeping, there is the need to carry the sleeping girl with the reluctant preschooler in tow. Anjali knows this weakness and tries to explot it.

She came all the way to the busstation. The bus arrived a little too early. Usually, we have time for a little chat, but this morning there was none. So when the bus came, she burst into tears.

How do I make my girl go to school cheerfully everyday?

"You have to go to school because in school you learn new things"

"I dont want to learn new things"

"I thought you wanted to be like mummy and go to office?"


"Then you must go to school and learn new things. So when you are bigger you can be like mummy and go to office"

"I dont want to go to office when i grow bigger. i want to stay at home. "