Like Duck to Water, thats how I have taken to life :). This blog is the saga of love and adventures of a small duck in a large water body called LIFE....

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Once upon a Snugli :).

As usual I have a hugggggggggge backlog of Snugli stories (they keep piling up since something happens everyday :-D, sometimes even twice/thrice a day), so I thought why not put some of them up for her birthday :-D. She imitates us day-to-day in mannerisms, words and gestures and its simply confounding :-D. For example, a few months ago, she kept repeating the phrase "Enu samachaara illa" ("there is no news") whenever she spoke to both sets of grandparents (which amused them to no end and hence they kept asking for more :-D). I'm certain she learnt it from one or either of us :-D. Whenever I would do something with my camera, she used to make a mock-camera with her Lego blocks (loves them and is always constructing "buildings" :-D) and would pretend to take pics. Now a days we have another point and shoot in place, which she demands to handle and I'm very proud to say, has taken several snaps of us with :). I usually have a habit of kissing her Good morning while waking her up. The days I missed, she'd demand "Kiss Kodu" ("Give me a kiss") :-D. She sings so many rhymes whenever we don't ask her to and becomes awfully quiet whenever we do :-p.

These days she likes making a big fuss out of small hurts - for example, she falls down and cries loudly at the top of her voice, just to be cuddled by me. And no matter that its me who yells at her and spanks her, she always comes to me with kisses and hugs. Sri is the softer one and he hardly gets anything :-D. I guess thats the bond between a mother and a child :).

Now lets get on with the stories :).


One day, a couple of months ago, we were both having bread for breakfast. I don't really like eating plain bread while she does. So I put some pickle (Indian red chilly pickle not vinegar stuff they call pickle here) inbetween 2 slices and she immediately wants to know what I've put in it. I show her the pickle and her comment in English is -

"Mmmmm that is nicccce!"

Don't know till now where she learnt it from :-D.


Summertime, as I've said before, we'd head to the playground now and then. But if Sri or me were too tired, we couldn't really say the word "park" aloud too much. because once she hears the word, then she would insist on going. So we would spell it out P-A-R-K. Guess what, she soon learnt to associate the spelling with the word and soon started saying "P-A-R-K hogona" herself :-D. We had to change the word to Udhyanavana, park in Kannada, which I'm pretty sure will be understood in the next summer :).


Whenever Sri and I try to hide something from her oh-so-sensitive ears and talk softly, she comes and shouts at us "Hmmmm? Enuuuuuuuuuu? Enande?" ("Hmmm? What? What did you say?"). Hehehee, grandma wants all the details :-D.


One day, I had made avalakki oggarane (a breakfast item with flattened rice - thick poha). I have a habit of using lots of veggies in my cooking and usually have carrots, peppers and edamaame (soya beans) in that particular item. I was feeding her, when suddenly she pointed to an edamaame and said "Edamaame Snigdha na nodthide" ("Edamaame is seeing Snigdha"). When I laughed, she ate the edamaame and said "Edamaame gulum maadbitte" ("I swallowed that edamaame") and grinned :-D.


When we get out of the house, she knows most of the time, the general direction of where we need to go. There is an intersection about a mile from our house, where we go straight to get to her library and take a right for most other places. You can take a right and get to the library, but it'll obviously be a longer route. I did that one day and was promptly reminded by her highness that to get to the library I had to go straight and not take a right :-p.

Most of the times, when we are going for our weekly shopping or any of our eating expeditions, one of the regular questions we get asked when we reach that intersection is "Naana, straight hogbeka? Right hogbeka" ("Dad, do we need to go straight? Or do we need to go right?")!! Moreover if we go right, she knows that we approach a particular road (which is a freeway ring road around the city) and asks "New circle road hogbeka?" ("Do we take the New circle road?"). God!! Plus she can point to where her doc office and another library are once we are on the New circle road (you can't see the buildings from the road as such, but she knows the particular exits!).

Past couple of days, because of the slick icy roads, we took a different route while coming home (went straight instead of right at an intersection) and got to see lots of Christmas lights. Just today when we were coming home, Sri took our normal route of turning right and she says "Naana, straight hogu, Christmas lights nodbeku" ("Dad, go straight! I want to see the Christmas lights!"). They are becoming more and more brilliant, I tell you!


While we are on the road, another thing she knows about are the traffic lights. We have taught her that red says stop and green means go. But you know that traffic rules aren't that simple. Here in the US, most intersections have free rights albeit you have to yield to the vehicles who have right of way (like free left turn in India - since its opposite lane driving here). So yeah, when we do take a free right, with the traffic light showing red, you can guess her question - "Amma, yaake hogtha iddiya? Red ide" ("Mom, why are you going? Its red!").

Similarly, if there is no green arrow but a normal green light, you have to yield to the vehicles in the opposite direction before you take a left turn (yielding means wait until there are no vehicles in the opposite direction. If you have a green arrow, then you have the right of way and don't need to wait for anyone). So yeah, you can guess again, when its green and I am not going but waiting, she literally shouts "Hogu, yaake hogtha illa? Green ide!" ("Go, why aren't you going? Its green!"). Hehehee, I still can't explain the road rules to her - I just say we need to wait, until the vehicles coming in front pass. But sometimes it can be stressful to say the least ;-).


We have video calls with her grand parents every weekend (one set Saturday and one set Sunday). One day when we were connected to Sri's parents, they asked her whether she had her milk and when she answered affirmatively, her thaatha, paternal grandfather, asked her "What about some milk for me?". She replies instantly - "Thanthange naanamma ready maadthaare" ("Naanamma will prepare some for thaatha") :-D. Ensured several rounds of laughter around :).


One good thing about Snugli (there are several good things about her :-D), is that whenever she takes something and plays with it, she usually remembers where she left it last. Once I was searching for Sri's mobile and knew she had been playing with it last. Not finding it, I asked her where it was and she told me it was on the table. I again searched and later learned that it was under a hat on the table ;-).

Well, one day, we went shopping and when Sri took out his wallet to pay, he found his driver's license missing. He asked me to take over the driving (since we didn't want to get caught at the wrong time and I had my DL with me) and once we reached home, searched at all the usual places in no vain. Remembering that Snugli was last seen playing with it, he thought of asking her about it, but didn't know whether she'd know the word for it. So he showed her my DL and asked where his was. She doesn't hesitate the least, goes straight to the computer table, climbs up and pulls it out of one of the floppy nooks! If she hadn't remembered, we wouldn't have found it for a long long time, maybe months together!


Now that she goes to school, she is slowly, step by step, learning to speak English, especially with an accent. Most of times, she just speaks some accented gibberish but yeah, there are some times, when she really scares me that she's turning into a little Miss American :-D. Several examples:

1) Sri pretends to be ill around her just to hear her ask "Naana, what happened? Are you okay?" in perfect American accent :-D.
2) One day she asked me if I saw her toy and when I said I didn't (in Kannada), she says "I didn't see it either". I was shocked to hear her use "either" :-D.
3) One day, the DVD player remote was nowhere to be found. Since she is usually the one playing with it, we asked her where it was. Her response? "DVD remote? I don't know!" with the accent, the gestures, everything :).
4) There was a time, she would say "Oh my Gosh!" for everything. Don't know whether she learnt it from school or one of the TV shows :).

These are very small examples. She usually pronounces normal English words with accent, words which she couldn't possibly hear in school. Which makes me think that they learn the syllable accent, rather than the words themselves :). My in-laws are already worried that they'll not understand her anymore after a few months. Well, I have to admit to that worry myself :-D. Which is why I have started to insist that she speak either Kannada or Telugu at home..


Talking of school, she knows most of her classmates (she calls all of them her friends) by name. I have heard her mention more than 12 children by name and she has about 18 classmates. Plus she tells stories about how one boy was naughty and was given a time-out, or about the cartoons they watched, or how they went to the playground and she fell or how she played "burger party" with a girl. I love hearing these day-to-day reports :-D.

Plus she loves school - we sent her only for half-day the Friday this week and she asked me about 10 times why she wasn't going to school and how much she wants to go there :-\. Even if she's ill, she wants to go. I'm very happy to see her enthusiasm for school, but a cynical part of me does wonder how long this is going to last :-D.


The days she is at home, she's literally hyper active. I have to keep a continuous eye on her no matter what I'm doing. One minute, she's pulling a stool to wash dishes in the kitchen sink (or try and drink water from the dirty dishes!), the other minute, she's drawing on the walls. The next minute she's up on a chair trying to access something she can't and the very next she's jumping either on the sofa or on the table. One day, she locked a bathroom door and jumped up and down till I opened it, only to dump some toys in the sink and try to wash them! She loves the bathroom sink, insists on washing her hands herself and usually this hand-washing business lasts for many minutes until one of us shouts at her to come out of the bathroom :-D. Another day, a package arrived for Sri and she insisted on it being opened. I told her to wait until her dad came home (because I wasn't really interested in one of his technical toys :-D) and turned away for a moment. The next moment I see her trying to cut open the package herself with scissors! When I warned her, she put away the scissors, but turned the package up and down wondering whats in it. The moment Sri was inside the house, she brought the package to him and asked him to open it, the curious kitten. So you can see how exciting it is to have her at home :-D.


Another thing I have seen her do in recent times, is pretend. Her imaginations is growing leaps and bounds and its fun to see her implement that with her toys. For example, I saw her take one of her teddy bears to potty the other day and say good job :-D (I immediately insisted that she do so with the toilet lid closed, because I was afraid of her dunking a stuffed toy in the toilet :-p). I have seen her give timeouts to her toys. The other day, she made her stuffed toy sit in her high chair, fed it some food from an utensil, made it drink water with her water bottle, wiped its face and got it down with a good job :-D. Whats more, I have even seen her giving bath to her stuffed cat toy in the bathroom sink (it was half wet by the time I found out). Fun times :).


Snugli loves books. I still take her to the library twice a week and we make it a point to read atleast 2 books twice a week. If she's been very naughty, sometimes she gets a choice in punishments - either a timeout (sometimes replaced with 2 spankings) or no reading that day. She usually insists on the timeout or the spanking instead of the no reading :-D. Plus, recently I have even see her go through the books once I have read to her and go over some of the phrases or expressions herself - generally telling the story in her own few words :).


Lastly, another thing these days she has an increased awareness of, is time. She usually associates the morning with sunrise (whenever Sri tries to wake her up in the morning and she can't see the sun yet, she literally shouts at him to leave her alone and that Good morning hasn't happened yet :-D) and the nights with sunset (which might not be too accurate since in winters the sun sets by 5PM here :-p). But thats not what I'm talking about.

Remember that she can't read a clock yet. Just 2 days back, she woke up after a nap of just 1 hour - slept at 1 PM and woke up at around 2PM. She was lying down for quite sometime and later played for a long time while I was watching something. Suddenly at about 4:30 PM she comes and tells me "Naanange call maadu. Kelsa idya antha keLU. 4:30 aaithu yaake bandilla innu?" ("Call dad. Ask him whether he has work. Its 4:30, why hasn't he come home yet?"). I called Sri and passed the phone to her, just so that she can pester him with the very same words I generally use ;-) (he's usually back home by 4:30 Pm or 5PM in the evening, and if he gets late, I usually call him).

I still don't know how she found out the time. There are digital clocks in the kitchen on the conventional and microwave ovens, but I don't think it was that. It was more of a body clock thing where she realized it was evening. But the "4:30" might have come from imitating me, because when it crosses 4:30 PM in the evening and Sri hasn't come home yet, I can usually be found muttering the very same thing she said :-D.


And so the stories go on..

My fierce little warrior has been ill for sometime now. High fever on and off for 4 days got us worried and yesterday, we took her to the doctor and found out that she has some ear infection which is causing the ups and downs. Hopefully she should be alright today, but it has been sad to see her ill during her birthday week as such. Not at all the way we were expecting to celebrate her third birthday.

I keep repeating myself, but I can't believe she is 3 years old today. They grow up oh-so-fast. We are just hanging on, trying not to miss all the "moments" - the good times and the bad, the fun times and the sad, the frustrating times and the glad :). There have been lots of those and I know there'll be many more in the future. And thats what keeps me from looking back and makes me look forward :).

"Happy birthday and loads of love to my not-so-little-anymore Snoogli bear :)."

Friday, December 17, 2010

The update..

Things have been hectic in the Deeps household to say the least. I know it has been quite sometime since my last post and I do have things to write but these days I simply seem to have an aversion to the computer, of all things! (Nice excuse, don't you think? :-D). First of all, we went on this hugggggge trip to Grand Canyon and Las Vegas on Thanksgiving weekend, so there is a huge travelogue to be written. Around that time, I somehow lost touch with my computer :-D, and somehow didn't have the urge to get back once we did get back. At first I thought it was a good thing (I am finally over my addiction to Mafia wars - a game on facebook I have been avidly playing for an year!), but now its getting in the way of my filtering/editing the photos, writing blog etc. Hopefully will get my enthu back, starting with this post.

Secondly, things have been crazy around Lexington since we got back. Its been snowing almost continuously, so its chilly, cold and cheerless :-p. Plus lucky us got an ice storm a couple of days ago, so every single thing around is frozen. There were these window-pane like ice panels frozen on the car, which I had fun breaking apart today - until one almost fell on my feet and brought me to my senses (most of these are sharp and you could get easily hurt). Plus every sidewalk is slippery - its almost like skating/skiing when you are trying to walk :-p. The temperature went as below as -1 degree Fahrenheit one night which is about -18 degree Celsius :-p. Good times :-p.

Thirdly, Snugli's 3rd birthday is coming up - so we, err I have been running around in preparations for that. Invites, bookings, stocking up on decorations, ordering cakes (yeah plural because she has a party at school) and what not! Plus there was a Christmas party at her school yesterday - in which she and her friends sang a couple of songs (she was totally the enthusiastic one of the troupe :-D, goes after her mom in that :-D), so there were some things needed for that. Sunday is her birthday and her birthday party for our friends here. Today was supposedly her party at school, but since her teacher and about 10 of her friends didn't show up, we postponed it to Monday (this despite my running around to get the cake and balloons for today :-\). Plus Snugli has a doc checkup coming up on Tuesday next week. So next week is all crazy now :-D.

Finally, above all this, Snugli has fallen ill. Poor thing, she has a cough and a fever and has generously passed some of it to Sri and me :-p :-D. She is lots better today, but I'm afraid that its not looking so good for the rest of the household. Hopefully we'll be able to hold it together for the parties ;-). Things just can't get better, can they? :-D.

I'll surely have a post up for Snugli's birthday, so see ya then :).