Friday, April 29, 2011

Why we ended up eating tiramisu at pasta mania

We went to west mall library. Sandhya was back home yesterday and, in favor of spending time with her, we forewent the trip to fun with tots, opting to get our books from West mall instead.

So we got the books and Anjali said

"Mummy, I am thirsty"

"I didnt bring water. Do you want me to get Soya milk? after we finish with the library?"

"But you said that the soya milk shop is closed" (I had told her that when she had asked for soy milk before leaving patti's house)

"You are right. We'll get you a drink from bread talk"

"I want cheeshe byead!", says the other imp who had had the hankering for a couple of hours

So we got on the escalator

"I am so thirsty that I cant breathe!" exclaimed Anjali.

Then we passed by the painting shop and the girls spent so much time oohing about the vairous images

"I thought you said you were thirsty" I asked

"Yes. I am thirsty. I am so thirsty that i cant breathe"

"You cant breathe, but you can dance around the painting shop?"

Oops. Gotcha "I am so thirsty, I cant breathe, I cant walk, I cant talk"

Right.

"Can you give me something to drink?"

So we went to pasta mania. Ofcourse they didnt have cheese bread there, so we got orange juice for Anjali and the thing that looked somewhat cheesy - tiramisu, for Sophia, who finished the whole portion.

It was ten at night

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I dont want this story

"Mummy, can we read the Narnia story where the girl goes into the wardrobe and sees the faun?" Asked Anjali yesterday evening.

"The book is in the library, and we will take it out tomorrow. lets read something else and when you sleep, i will tell you the wardrobe story.  I know it almost by heart"

"I have this stoie Anjali this is not a libyayi stoie its old stie can we yead this old stoie Anjali?"

So we read the old story and then cuddled up to sleep.

"Mummy, can you tell me the wardrobe story now?"

"No. Want yaama Shita stoie"

"Sophia, Anjali asked for the wardrobe storyy first and then we will tell the Rama sita story"

"No. Want Rama sita story now!"

"Fine. Once upon a time, Rama and Sita had four children called Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy and because there was a war in Ayodhya, they had to go and live in a palace in the forest with Hanuman."

"ha ha ha", said Sophia. "vei funny. I like this stoie vey much"

And then I babbled some more and drifted off to sleep

"Mummy. tell me yaama Shita stoie without the boy and the girl!!"

A gift for the pocket

Anjali gave me two post its with things drawn on them

"Mummy, these are presents for you. Put them in your pocket. When you feel sad, you can take them from your pocket and look at them, and you will remember me"

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

At the mannu playground and Nature 101

"Mummy, i have a mango seed, lets plant it", said Anjali when i reached home.

I went to the kitchen and pulled out another mango seed, this one dried up, which i had meant to plant ages ago and hadnt gotten around to doing it

"Lets get some earth and plant both", I said.

Sophia got her hands on the seed and was manipulating it (the dry one). She bent it

"Dont crack it Sophia", I said, taking it away from her

"I want to cyack it!" she said "Shomething inshide"

"I want to plant two seeds!" said Anjali

It was promising to be a good fight, when Sophia, bending the seed realized that it didnt yield as easily as she had expected.

"I want to go to the mannu playground", said Anjali. "Can we take our shovels and containers and bring mannu back home to play?"

So we cycled to the mannu playground, and the girls supplemented their sand play with clear water from the stream. We collected about a huge bag of sand and stuffed it into the bicycle bag, along with some earth for potting the mango seeds.

It was quite a feat balancing Anjali at the back, Sophia in the front of the cycle and the sand in the basket. So I let my feet on the road to help me control the brakes

"mummy! dont put your legs on the floor! Put your legs on the pedal!" instructed Sophia, very loudly as we pedelled down the slope

We have a temporary sand box made from a rather large cardboard box. I have told the girls to take it outside when they want to play and bring it back in afterward, cover and keep at the end of the shoerack. Anjali understands given what happened to the previous sand box

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mommy ramblings

Anjali has to play at the cristofori mini concert. She has selected Mary had a little lamb to play, along with another unknown piece. The concert is in four weeks. Patti says that she ought to practice, otherwwise she might forget her lines like what happened on Sunday

==========
Anjali was supposed to say Thy golden light in the center with Ananya and Sophia. The children were on stage. Anjali took her mike

Sophia: Thy golden light came down into by bain

Anjali: Oo ah ah oo

It took us about three tries to get her to talk and finish her lines.

I was quite amazed, as this was not something I had expected from her. Later husband and I took her aside to ask what had happened. After much deliberating, she said

"I forgot my lines mummy"

I dont quite know what to say. It is hard for me to believe that Anjali would deliberately make a fool of herself in front of the audience, after spending all that time getting ready. After all, just that afternoon, she had said

"Mummy, we must wear this necklace this evening when we say thy golden light, so we must thread it now", handing to me a pack of beads. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bringing up kids is a hard job

We were reading before bed time and finished Julia Donaldson's "fly pigeon fly"

"Now this dora book", said Sophia.

"Ok", I said, picking up the dora book.

"This doya book and then that animal book then sleep ok?", she said happily

I agreed and we finished the dora book. Sophia picked up the animal book.

"Stupid book!", she said.

I was shocked.

"Mummy, Sophia is saying stupid book!", said Anjali

"I heard her." I said, rather flatly.

"You cannot say stupid Sophia. It is a bad word"

"stupid book! stupid book!", said Sophia, quite delighted with herself

"Sophia!", I said, in my most dangerous tone, squatting down. Rule number one in disciplining children, go to their level and look them in the eye. "Who taught you this word?"

"mmm... I learnt by myshelf!"

"Ok. It is a bad word, and I will have to give you a blue heart and put you in time out"

"I learnt by myshelf mummy!", she said proudly and rather puzzled as to why I dont congratulate her on such a great feat, as I generally do when she says a new word. "stupid book! stupid book!"

I carried her to time out. "Ok. you stay there till you are ready to not say bad words"

"Ok!", I havent seen a kid who is so cheerful about going to time out.

About two seconds later she came back to the bedroom. "I came back from time out mummy!"

Husband came in and we were ready to turn out the light. Sophia picked up the book again. "stupid book!"

We took her in the time out room again, came back to the bedroom, turned out the lights.

Sophia had been perfectly happy to go into time out, but came running out crying when we turned off the lights

"Turn on lights! Want thish book! Want thish animal book. please mummy, want thish animal book! please"

That girl uses words to great effect.

I got husband to turn on the bathroom light.

"Ok. say sorry and that you wont say bad words and I will read you the book"

Silence

"Would you like to say sorry or turn off the lights and go to sleep?"

"mummy shay soie!"

"Ok, get the book and we will say sorry"

She got the book.

"soie book"

"Give the book a hug and a kiss"

She did that quite cheerfully.

We read the book and went to sleep


Monday, April 18, 2011

In the bathroom

How those girls actually ended up there, i have no idea.

Anjali was drawing near the lightbulb lab and Sophia was supposed to be doing the same thing, but there was a tub of water in the bathroom left over after the girls had taken a bath

"Can I put this paper into the water mummy?", Asked Sophia.

"No, you cant. Why dont you draw on it, like Anjali?", i asked, trying to divert her. It was a no go.

"I want to put this paper in the water mummy!"

"Why Sophia?"

"Because I want to mummy"

"Why do you want to?"

"BEcause it will be fun mummy"

"Drawing will also be fun Sophia"

"What does she want to do mummy?", asked Anjali

"She wants to put her paper in the water", I said

"Ok", said Anjali"lets put the paper in the water"

If you cant beat them, join them. So I showed Sophia where the recycled paper was, and she took it back and forth, one by one to Anjali, first making sure she showed it to me.

"Can I use this poem paper?" she asked

How did she know it was the poem paper? Husband says it is print awareness, since poems are in groups of 4 lines and incomplete sentences

"Can I use this?"

It was a lot of husband's go things

"Where did you take it from Sophia?"

"I want to put it in water daddy."

"Where did you take them from?"

"I will take them and Anjali will put them in water and make paper mache"

Husband left his perch and went with Sophia to ensure that she hadnt hit his secret stash of very important go papers.

Then the girls kept at it for a long time, over half an hour.

"Is it ok? My letting them to make paper mache like this?" I asked husband

"Its fine. they learn a lot of stuff by making paper mache"

Pictures of things that we have been doing

Activity schedule chart that I am very proud of myself for





Peacock: To feast your eyes on this beauty, because as of yesterday, Sophia tore it down from the wall to poke holes in



An old cardboard box with holes cut in for legs makes a great aeroplane, or in Anjali's case, a bed for a doll.



Makeshift playhouse/ tent

The birdpark and what happened after

"I liked the bird park very much mummy", said Anjali as we were walking back, "but I dont like it when people put the birds in cages. Like the macaws. But I like it when the birds are outside" - she indicated the pelicans on the rock - "Its not nice to put the birds in cages right mummy? Can we tell the bird aunty to take the birds out of the cages?"

The highlight of the trip to the birdpark was, ofcourse the time with the lories.









It really made Anjali's day to have that red lory sitting on her hand and eating off her bowl. Sophia had tried earlier to feed the lory, which had mistakenly decided that her finger was a nice fruit. Since then she refused to take the bowl in her hand.

"Did you like the lories?", I asked her

"The lories were not in a cage right mummy?", she asked

"Well, it depends on how you look at it. They were actually in a huge cage, but it is so big that you can actually walk into it. You did realize that you were in a big cage when you were feeding the lories right?"

She considered this a bit

"I think it is ok then, mummy"

We then made our way to the waterfall aviary for the bird feeding. The park ranger gives us worms for feeding the birds.







Ofcourse, there were way too many people and way too many worms, so the birds were reluctant to come up close and personal. So the children decided that this was more fun.













I thought that after playing with the worms, the girls would leave them in the park for the birds. I was therefore pleasantly surprised when Anjali decided to put her worm and Sophia's worm back in the cup. She covered the cup with her hands so that the birds wont attack the worms. All through the birds of prey show, she kept holding her hand over the cup.

And that is how we ended up having this on our nature table



Husband did come research and found that they were beetle larvae. We are thinking of making it a biology project, but at the rate the children keep prodding and picking at them, I doubt that they will live to that stage. Anjali took one of the mealworms in her fingers all around the house

"It is exploring mummy!"

"Well, it just arrived. Why not let it rest a bit and explore tomorrow?"

"No! It must explore today!"

"Let her be", said husband. "That worm would have been bird fodder at the birdpark. Now it has got bonus life"

cutting off

"We live in a kind of self imposed cocoon", said husband to me a couple of morning ago. Not watching tv and limiting ourselves to very little news exposure has many positive effects. In the light of recent events, I am thankful that we are limiting ourselves to upbeat contacts.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The kites did fly

There was a bit of wind yesterday afternoon and we took the kites downstairs. These were made with the frugal family fun instructions and it took be about 2 minutes to make them.



Anjali kept running around trying to see where the wind was for the kite to catch it



Sophia just ran around with the kite behind her



It began to rain soon after, but the joy in Anjali's face when the kite got the wind and began to fly was quite wonderful to behold. Who would have thought that it could be delivered by a sheet of contruction paper, one chopstick masking tape and a plastic bag?

I kept the strings and the tails short especially for Sophia, but I think the girls will be fins with the kites either way.

Drawing on the floor: The reason why I love temporary markers and white floors

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sometimes it is good to start in the beginning

When i was 17, in 1997, I visited the center for the second time. There was a talk on happiness. Unlike some of the other talks in the center, this one was an interactive one, and the audience present were active in discussing. I had been interested for a year or so prior to this visit, on the works of The Mother, having been introduced to them by a friend of the family. With little knowledge and a lot of opinions, I jumped right into the conversation, encouraged in it by an elderly man who sat in the front row and who also had a number of inputs to give to the conversation.

This elderly gentleman, I came to know later, was Patel uncle.  Through the course of fourteen years, I was to have a multitude of interactions with him. Of these, a few pop up prominently when i think of him.

Studying for A levels left me exhausted, with a terrible frustration with Physics and the question of why I had to study the subject. Being inspired by the works of The Mother, I looked at her books for answers to help me out from what I then thought was the stressful student life. Ofcourse, I attended the Sunday talks at the center, often dragging along my rather skeptical father, who accompanied me most of the time for the sole reason that I should not walk back in the dark to the bus station.

On one of these occassions, there was the Savitri by Heart talk, which, at that time, was given by Mrs Sonia Dyne. At the end of one talk, I approached uncle and told him that I wanted to read Savitri but was afraid that i wouldn't understand. He literally stuffed the huge volume in my hand and made me promise to read one sentence every evening. For a long period, I followed his advice, reading one line every day and signing my name at the end of the fullstop.

It was uncle who suggested that I stay at Anjana's house when I mentioned wanting to go to the ashram during the after exam holidays. Anjana aunty welcomed us gracefully and hosted, not only me, but also my aunt Chitra and her aunt, both of whom would become regular visitors to the ashram and to Patel uncle's house.

But the true highlight of my relationship with uncle Patel (though it is hard to single out one incident or event as a true highlight - lets just say that this is the one that I remember most fondly), was in the year 2000. My aunt Chitra, myself, Sandhya and Patel uncle took a walk along the beach of Pondicherry, where he spoke with us and told us about his relationship with The Mother, peppering his story with several personal anecdotes. I only remember snatches of the conversation, but I shall always remember sitting on the low wall on uncle's left, listening to him while the waves crashed on our back.   

I remember when uncle came back to Singapore in the fall of 2000 after having close to an year in India. I remember jumping for joy and hugging my mother when I heard uncle's voice over the telephone. When we began the website in 2001, uncle was the first person that I sent the prototype to. He gave me a silver pendant with mother's symbol on one side and Sri Aurobindo's symbol on the other. The pendent still resides on a chain around my neck.

As the years went by, Patel uncle was an advisor, not only to me, but also to the rest of my family. My father often turned to uncle for advice during times when he had to make difficult decisions and he would always respect uncle's advice. My uncles and aunts visited Patel uncle's house when they went to the ashram. The doors to his home were always open, his smile always in place, his telephone at the ready if we wanted to contact someone in the ashram or Auroville.

"This is my grand daughter.", he would say proudly, when he introduced me to people. And infact my grandmother got more than a little mad at me when i told her that Patel uncle was more my grandfather than my own grandfather.

The last couple of years, I have not contacted uncle very often other than the odd email and the phone call during birthdays and anniversaries. Two days before uncle's passing, I was biking home, listening to Dr Nadkarni's memorial lecture on my mp3 player. Perhaps it was the association with Dr Nadkarni or Mrs Dyne's voice giving the lecture, but uncle's image came to me, straight and sharp. When I got home however, the lure of housework and children blotted the image.

Later, I would think and reproach myself several times for not calling and speaking with uncle when the thought of him came. And it was this reproach and regret that nagged me as I wept by the body of the man who had adopted an unsure teenager as his grand daughter and entrusted her with the secret of Savitri.

Patel uncle touched lives the way no one else has. It seems to me that if I grow up to being a fraction of what he is, I would make a significant change in myself and in the world.

Sophia to patti

Sophia: Patti, I love you so much. I dont love mummy so much

Patti: Why?

Sophia: Because mummy always talking with daddy.

============
One Friday evening for five pathetic minutes and she is on to me for the rest of her life

Me to husband: Some high level scientific concept that goes over the heads of Anjali and Sophia.

Sophia: Talk to me

Me: In a minute, let me finish telling this to daddy

Sophia (with a pouting face): I want milo. Where is my patti!

Lots of things done

I love the frugalfamilyfunblog.com. We did a ton of activities yesterday, all inspired from them.

1. Giant bubbles: Admittedly, the bubbles that we produced werent as good as the ones they had on the website, though they used glycerin and we didnt. What I had instead was shampoo and water. The bubble wand using straws was a great idea and both Anjali and Sophia had a go at producing huge bubbles and trying to burst them

2. The sticker peacock. I have a photo of this which i will put up. Anjali drew the body of the peacock, I drew the lines and she and I and Sophia (a bit) stuck the note stickers that I had bought ages ago while still doing glenn doman to the lines in the peacock. Then Anjali colored them using markers.

3. A present for Ananya for Deepika's birthday party. Ofcourse, Anjali chose what the present was to be, and I got to work on it in the morning. Only the basic work on it is done and more to be done tomorrow. She also chose a totally unimplementable mickey mouse doll for Deepika, and I have no clue how to make a mickey mouse doll.  So I have to convince her to choose something that I can make.

4. A blue heart for Kiran: Kiran has done a flip around on the red and blue heart game and now only wants blue hearts. So I drew him a blue heart for Anjali to take this morning as a bribe for him to learn his poem for the April 24th concert. It works. he recited the poem. twice! and got the blue heart in exchange

5. The soyouthinkyouarecrafty.com inspired activity book is getting along, slowly but strongly. I have gotten the base setup for the pockets and have started the sewing. Ofcourse, i am planning the thing to make sure that there is minimum sewing all around.

6. Kites. Finally, inspired by frugalfamilyfun.com again, i made two A-4 kites this morning when Sophia was transferring pebbles from the shuttle cock to a baking powder box and vice versa, pretending that it was icecream. I have finished making the kites. Whether they will fly or not is anyone's question, but we'll try them out this evening when i return from work.

And ofcourse, we baked bread and made clafoutis and lentil stew. All in all, a lot of work done in one evening. 

On global warming

There is a fabulous podcast called Science Friday  which I download and listen to pretty often, especially for the long bike rides to and from work. I have been a bit behind on the listenings and yesterday, was listening to a talk on global warming. I went back home and since the girls take it negatively when i have an adult conversation with husband, watered it down and told about it to Anjali in the hope that husband will listen in.

Me: I was just listening about global warming. And it says that even if we dont do any more bad things to the earth, the world will get hotter for another fifty years!

Anjali: Mummy, if there is global warming, then the polar bears will die right?

(I wonder where she got that from. Upon questioning, she told me that it will be hot and the ice will melt and the polar bears will die. And that she figured it out by herself. )

Me: Yes. Eventually they will. So we must not contribute to global warming. What can we do?

Anjali: We must not buy toys. We must make our own toys.

Me: Thats a good step.

Anjali: We must not buy new cars. We must ride our bicycles

(Honestly, that girl is better at this stuff than I am)

Anjali: We can only buy our vegetables

Me: It is better to grow our own vegetables also, like bunica does, except that we have no space to do so. Which is why when you grow up and become a farmer, you can find ways how we can grow our own food in an apartment.

Afterall, Agricultural technology is a very hot topic. What with 6 billion mouths to feed.

Husband added a few more pointers - no tv and Anjali pulled in a few more

"We should borrow our books from the library, but home books are also good because when we grow up, we can give them to someone else"

Swati, if you are reading this, you are looking at a handmade present for Deepika's birthday.

And then we turned off all the lights, lit a candle and ate dinner, all the while talking about global warming and how to stop it.

Maybe the children can be ambassadors of global warming. Husband said "Its also important not to do all this stuff by yourself but to tell other people also to do them. Then when you meet someone, you can ask them what they are doing to stop global warming"

Perhaps that might be too forthright, but I do like the children as ambassadors idea. Anu had the idea of children as ambassadors of ekataa and it worked great with Anjali and Sophia in botanical gardens when they went around saying Happy new year to complete strangers.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sibling rivalry sometimes drives you a bit mad and other occasions of go away

You would have thought that after two years they would have gotten used to each other. But the rivalry still manifests and at times it does drive me rather crazy.

bedtime:

Sophia: Mummy thoppai!
Anjali curles up at my side and puts her head on my shoulders, arms around my neck.
Sophia: Want full thoppai!!
Me: I do have a lot of thoppai you know. There is enough to go around for both of you.
Sophia (who obviously doesnt get the self depreciating remark): Mummy thoppai! want Anjali hand to go away!

Husband and I maintain that they can argue about it fr as long as they want until one of them starts crying. Then the one who cries will be whisked away (by husband) to patti's room. We have never had to implement the resort.

===============
At the center during IEP Sophia crawled on my lap and pushed Anjali, who was sitting there first, away.

Anjali: Sophia, you sit on this side, i sit on that side. Lets share. ok?
Sophia: No. Go away Anjali!

I appears cute since she is barely two. But at some time I will have to put my foot down.

===========
She hurt her knee during IEP. Apparently one of the girls (Anushka, according to Sophia) tried to carry her, but something happened and Sophia ended up with a scraped knee.

In the evening, she sat on my lap.

She: "Ish still huyting mummy!"

Me: "Its ok"

She: Ish not getting bettey

Me: It will get better soon.

She (quite in tears): I want it to go away! Go away oua!

============================

We were playing frogs this morning after Anjali went to school. I took a couple of frog pellets that she had obviously left for hers to surreptitiously feed my frog. She noticed. All the frog pellets landed all over the floor.

"No. Want lot"

Full tantrum position with feet kicking on the floor.

"Want lot of balls! go away mummy!"

schedule chart is up

i am quite proud of myself. The soyouthinkyouarecrafty.com inspired schedule chart is finally up. I used felt instead of mangetic baord and velcro as a backing. And for the schedule icons, i tore up a clear folder to laminate. I also left a couple blank incase we wanted to fill up our own stuff. Picture to follow.

Up next is an activity book.

When anjali curled in for cuddle time, sophia marched straight to the schedule chart and pulled off the heart to show us this was the time. Its good for literacy too i guess.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Stuck in a rut

After having been an avid fiction reader for twenty years, I am afraid to say that I am stuck in a rut. it is, I guess partly JK Rowling's fault. Either that, or I have passed the phase where I can be moved by things. Its not that i havent been reading. Why, since the start of this year alone, I have read all the Percy Jackson books, all the hunger games books, A couple of good fiction - Khalid Hosseini, Ken Follet... Books that have had a high rating in Amazon - mind you. And I am subscribing to good reads.

Not to say that these books arent good, just today, i finished Shadow of the wind - which was fairly original, and pretty well written. However, it seems to say that there are only so many ideas in the world. The rest are just combinations. And many of the books, though enjoyable when we read them, fail to move - are just another blip in the entertainment radar.

Husband says that he dislikes books where the author makes sensational things happen every couple of pages - just to get it moving. He said this when we read Six suspects by Vikas Swarup last year. I liked it - somewhat. He didnt and didnt want to finish the book.

Sensational things didnt happen at every page in, say, Charlotte's web, which did end up making me cry. 
 
Any recommendations of books that truly move?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

More negotiations

Anjali was playing Go tell Aunt Rhody on the keyboard. She played one line

I moved my finger to the next line.

"One day one line is enough mummy"

"Then play for yesterday one line. you were too busy celebrating your birthday yesterday and you didnt practice"

She hesitated. "One line for today and one line for tomorrow. Ok?"

"Ok"

She made to get up from the chair

"Anjali!"

"I will play tomorrow's line tomorrow!"

"Why not try today, you may forget tomorrow while you are doing other things, and this will make up for it"

And then she played

lots of love

I had pencilled a number of threading cards for the children's goody bags. My mutual agreement, Anjali and i had decided to draw pictures of things starting with "A" - Alligators, Angels Aliens, you get the picture...

I was just beginning to outline them with markers when Anjali came up and wanted to do the tracing. With painstaking accuracy, she did the alien and the acorn. However, the crisscrossing wings of the angel proved a challenge.

Husband came along afterwards, and he didnt know which were the ones I had drawn and which Anjali had drawn. He picked up the angel

"What is this? It looks like a spooky ghost"

Anjali got all indignant

"its not a ghost!! I put a lot of love into this"

"Oh I see", said husband, rather mollified. "It is full of love Anjali"

Then I found him taking a lot of time pouring over the drawings to determine which had lots of love in them and which didnt.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I cyed becaushe

Sophia threw several tantrums on Anjali's birthday. After the third tantrum, I took her in the bed room, locked the door, got husband to stay with Anjali and kept her in my arms until she subsides, then got her to tell me what was the problem. The problem was that she wanted her own birthday cake.

After she had gotten it out, she was better and played fine. Here are some of the things Sophia wants and cant get

======================
"I want to stay with Anjali in school!!!"

Well she couldn't and we were registering her. She played happily in the office while we finished the registration formalities, playing in the rocking horse, pulling the baby chair, running all over the office, enticing sweets out of the staff.

Then she realized that she was still going home with us.

"I want to go to school!"

"You can go next year."

"I want to go to school now!!!"

"Physically, she is eligible. She seems ready for school", says the staff. "Maybe you can send her for the afternoon session from term three. But then she will have to repeat N1 again next year"

This ofcourse is not an option for us. 6 months more of school without any particular gain? No thanks.

But Sophia sniffled and snivelled while husband and i discussed the reasons why we sent Anjali to playgroup at 2 years old and why we are not even considering sending Sophia to playgroup. Then husband said that Sophia learns chinese songs even without going to school, whereupon the lady in question immediately began to sing

"tou fa cian pa shou shou shou"

what ever
===================

Later, after the S cake discussion, I asked Sophia why she cried

"Mummy...", she said. "I thew a tantyum becaushe...becaushe..."

"Why?", I asked her curiously

"Fisht I thew a tantyum becaushe Anjali take aay my blue coloy, then I thew a tantyum becaushe Anjali didnt let me open that thing, then i thew a tantyum becaushe Anjali hitted me"

Well, if she can list down her tantrums in order, i am sure she can work on them
========================

I enjoy very much Friday evenings and other playdate days with kiran and Shreyas, because it is interesting to see the dynamics of development and how the children learn from each other.

Thattha, ofcourse, has a blood pressure when he sees four kids in the house, but I quite enjoy it.

Kiran positively sits for stories about 10 percent of the time, and Anjali takes pleasure in showing her work to Kiran. She invites him to jump on the bed with her.

YEsterday Anjali took the pick up sticks to make a square. Anjali made a square with four sticks.

Kiran took the remaining sticks and started lying them around.

What are you making Kiran?

"I am making a big quire!"

It had six sticks and was a rectangle, but that is just the technicalities

And then the kids were painting with glitter. I had to be extra cautious there because of Anjali's new dress, but they were doing fine. Then Anjali and kiran squabbled over the silver glitter (There were six other tubes on the floor)

"Which color do you want Kiran?"

"I want this color!" (pointing to the one Anjali was holding)

But all in all, the two of them are learning to share and take turns. Guess they are learning. b

Celebrations for Anjali's birthday

Anjali has had something like fours celebrations for her birthday. Here is how it happened

part 1: Fidgets

Last week: Mummy, lets go to fidgets, please!! We have never been to fidgets in a long time!!

Incidentally Anjali's piano class this week got cancelled, and we decided to take her to fidgets instead. On Saturday, we packed lunch and headed out to Turf city, making a detour to Horse city. The girls are ofcourse fairly cool with the pony riding business. Here is Anjali on the pony



Sophia actually went first on the pony and showed her support for the activity thus : "la la la la laaa laaa"



Then we hit fidgets while husband went shopping to giant (The man takes it easy!) while I had to climb through squeezing contraptions and five storey slides and tunnels multiple times.

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Part 2: Walk and brunch cake cutting

Swati: if you are reading this, Ananya's sudoku ball somehow ended up in my handbag. Will pass to you next time we meet. Do tell her.

Of course, Anjali woke up at 6.30 on the day of the walk, despite having slept late because of the ICC cricket match (India Won!!). Girls had matching dresses, Anjali walked four km with patti around the reservoir, Sophia rode on daddy's shoulders most of the time, and four girls (unless you count Ananya having two knives) cut the princess cake. No photos on that one. Anjali wore her white princess dress
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Part 3: Celebration at school

At first Anjali was going all out for buying a cake. But we discussed the cake husband made for Sophia and suddenly Anjali remembered the cake with Poseidon that she had picked out when we were doing Sophia's birthday cake

"I want the mermaid birthday cake" (three days before her birthday)

Ofcourse, i lost no time in telling her that she needed to give us a couple of weeks if she wanted birthday cakes like that (one for making the cake and one for mental preparation).

"Can you make me a heart shaped cake with butterflies?"

Until Sunday afternoon, i tried various means of getting her to let me buy a cake from the shop like "Let's buy a birthday cake and make a pudding" to which she would answer

"Lets make a cake and buy a pudding"

Yucks. "anyone can bake a cake, but only mummy can make puddings that daddy likes to eat!"

To which her reply was

"Lets make a cake and a pudding"

Gosh!

on Sunday morning when we were going for the walk, I tried to worm out of it by telling her that we didnt have time to bake a cake! How could we because we had a walk

"Make it this afternoon", she answered. "When we come back from the walk, you hurry up and make it"

I gave up and decided that making the cake was sure to be faster than arguing.

First she wanted vanilla icing, Then I found a recipe for chocolate icing that seemed simple, but she wouldnt have any of it. So we went back to vanilla icing. And here is what we ended up with. Not half bad



On Monday morning, here is what Anjali wore


Here is what Sophia wore!





My heart shape M&M cake in school


All the kids wanted the m&ms. A fair number of takers wanted cake too.





Was Anjali happy? At some level, she felt something else was needed, so on Sunday evening she asked why didnt have a pizza party like Sophia. So we had one - a small one, with just Kiran and Shreyas and patti, but the kids made ad ate pizza, patti got carrot halwa and they had some craft games.


Somewhere in the middle of it all, Sophia had a tantrum of course, and claimed that she wanted a cake with only "S" and no "A", so i sent discrete messages to everyone who would call to speak with Sophia as well.