Happy 12th

Dear Adi,

I have a 12 year old daughter. Phew. Life is moving on lightning speed. You know what makes me terrified these days. The feeling that you will soon fly out of this nest. And whenever that pang of feelings hit me I rush to the room where you are and just hang around. I know I am insane, for god only knows you might just go to college from home but with every day passing that feeling of “I am going to miss you” is hitting me hard kannama.

You are a well rounded child who knows the nitty gritty to handle most of the situation. You adapt very well. You are an adviser to some of your friends. You know your values. You are honest and compassionate. You are considerate.You cannot hurt others. You don’t like to be a defaulter. I am sure you will not get involved in any act that will make you regret later. You have that self control. Yet, you still act like a child and happy with watching just kid appropriate movies. What more can I ask for? I am proud to be your mother and you give me that grand feeling that I have done a good job in raising you so far ma.

You are part of a gang of 8 girls and your gang in named MAARRSSS after the first letter of each of the gansgter name. You girls are like a close knit standing for each other for anything and everything. I am so glad that you are part of a gang. I love listening to all the chit chats and meaningless convos you girls have and how you all plan every small thing.

A major shift I noticed in you this year is you have come out of the cocoon to participate in competitions. Some of the competitions you participated this year are Odyssey of the mind, battle of the books, battle of the classes and celebrating art. We had rich experience with Odyssey of the mind where both Appa and I volunteered with a 4 yr old in tow and we as a family spent the whole day at a different middle school. There was so much to learn. I enjoyed all those off site meetings you girls had at our home to prepare for the competition. I would just sit there and watch you all chit-chating and working at the same time. I already see me in you in some of your actions ma. One of your art has been selected to be published in an art book. We are yet to know your ranking. My jaw literally dropped looking at your recent portrait for an English project.

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You are continuing with carnatic music and piano. You agreed to sing during golu visits (it is a big leap) and recently gave a performance in local sai baba temple. Still long way to go with both arts.

You can make an omelette for yourself now with us not in the vicinity. One day when I was late to work and you were home, you made onion ring omelette and packed it for me 🙂 You love cooking the non messy stuff and you are up for baking anytime.

You don’t like to dress up. You are absolutely fine with a pair of t shirts and pants. You think skirts, ear rings or any kind of jewelry are not meant for you. Its a big deal to even take off knots or oil your hair, forget about styling.

You are taking school bus in the morning from this year. That is you walking to the bus stop on the first day of boarding bus. All these years we have dropped you at school and this is a first. I love packing your dabba every day though that means I have to wake up one hour early. You noticed that I packed your favorites for lunch all this week to keep it a special week.

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LHB annoys you the most but you embrace him like a second mother. I couldn’t avoid this as much as I want to. It just happens naturally and me trying to keep you out of his chores looks out of place. So, I just let it go with the flow. My point is not to make you think of him as a burden. You are the bestest Akka and my eyes well up with happy tears when I see you both cuddling. Sibling love is magical. I wish you both to enjoy this all your life. That’s the two of you watching TV.

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I can’t wait to see you as that independent woman handling the good, bad and ugly of life all with a grace. I am sure you are going to rock it ma.

I love you to the moon and back kannama. May god bless you to stay the same always.

Always with you and for you. You can count on your family for anything under the sun.

Love,
Amma

LHB Holiday shopping and winter concert

There is just two more posts that I wanted to do during blogathon but couldn’t so please please bare with me. How can I miss recording the first’s of kids in the blog that is all about them?

LHB’s first holiday shopping at school. He was upset in the evening that I didn’t accompany him for the shopping. Looks like some of the other mommies went with their kids. The thought of how LHB would have looked out for me in the crowd was killing me for few days. Mommy guilt has no end!!!!

He purchased thoughtful gifts for all of us but only father and sister’s gifts made it to home. I was the only one at home who was hyper about the whole shopping experience and was looking forward to see what he gets for each of us. So much for all that anxiety. More than that it was that killing look of the father/daughter duo when they came to know that I didn’t get any gift. But LHB kept saying that he got a ring for me. I am sure he got it for me. Poor chap!

Father and sister each got a pen with the words Dad and Sister written on it. That red super slime with spider was fun to play but it spoiled a quilt and part of couch at home.

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He was part of winter concert at school this year. I think this is his first stage appearance so calls for a post 🙂 The kids sang few carols for the audience. The boy was trying his best to lip sync and it was a sight to watch him act so much.

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Valentine’s day dance

The boy had valentine’s day dance at school today and I couldn’t go as I had an important meeting to attend at work. So, M went for the dance and told me in the evening about how the boy enjoyed the dance. I believed him but this email from his teacher made my day.

He seems to have inherited the dancing gene from Amma is all I could say 😉

All world class dancers watch out, my shining star is coming!!!!

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Happiness is

Late night time spent with daughter listening to favorite music and making crafts. We are making valentine cards for LHB’s classmates and Adi’s friends. This is the time I introduce her to my favorite tamil songs and I am glad she is willing to listen to them. Moments like these are magical when I treat her as my best companion with whom I can share my likes.

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So, as we were making the cards, I requested her to be extra careful with the cards made for LHB’s five girl buddies. This is the first time he is sharing hand made cards and I want my charming boy to give the best impression to the girls at his class. I know I sound crazy. I didn’t stop there. I also told her as how this day is seen during my school days, how the boys wait for this day to express their interest to girls, how girls shy away et all.

Then, she asked “Has anyone given you a card Amma?” I wanted to be honest to her and said  “Not really as somehow I had never been in that list of attractive girls”. Then we continued with the topic about her school. She said the boys at her school are scared to express. Boys oh boys!!!

I see myself getting into the next stage of parenting with Adi as she is soon going to enter teen officially. I am trying to be honest with her sharing my thoughts about all topics hoping her to reciprocate the same. This next stage of parenting is very tricky that doesn’t involve much of physical effort but it needs mutual trust and openness between the relationship. I want Adi to treat me as one of her best companion with whom she can share almost everything with no inhibition. This is my first step towards that journey. Treating her as my companion and keep myself honest with her.

Like the other day she was mad at me for some trivial thing and I bursted out to her in private. I told her that “I am going through a lot at that moment that is beyond her imagination and the last last thing I would need at that moment is for my kids to be mad at me” and walked away. I could see her understand the situation and be kind to me.

I don’t know if this is the right way of parenting but I know that I want to keep our relationship mutually strong and honest with lots of talk. Talking is very essential for any relationship. 

 

This week

Yesterday evening I had to wait in station for about 20 minutes to be picked up and that 20 minutes was close to living in hell as M was not reachable (he left the phone at home and was on road with kids, dropping Adi at a class and coming to pick me up). Would he have been caught by the police? Would they have met with an accident? Did anyone get sick? Are they rushing to ER? With these train of thoughts I stood there in the cold feeling helpless with tears flowing down my cheeks.

Unfortunately it has to happen at that time of the year when all I want to do is just curl up in a corner hoping for this week to pass through quietly. The memories from the past about this week is haunting me every second and makes me weak. I don’t know if I will ever be able to reconcile with those terrifying memories. It is this week I fear everything around me. I fear if I get a call, I fear if I don’t get a call for a prolonged time, I fear if family is not reachable, I fear everything around me and the mind is on a constant turmoil. Wish there is a better way to deal with this!!!

On a lighter note, this is every other day scene when I return from work and board car

(LHB is sitting quiet in his car seat)
Amma: Hi Kutti (without turning my head)
**No response**
Amma: Whoever is Amma’s kutti can say “yes Amma”
**No response**
Amma: Hi Kutti!!!
**No response**
Amma: Oh looks like my kutti is not here.. Hmm.. I miss my kutti
LHB:  (shouting) YEESSS Amma

Love you da!!

Happy 4th

Dear LHB,

Happy happy birthday kutti. This is a special once in a lifetime birthday when you turn 4 on 4th. Akka herself has to wait for 2 more years to get this special one da. And you can eat two vitamin gummies from now on. Isn’t that awesome my beeg boy?

You were hinting about party this year but Amma chose to wait till next year when you will not give a hint but demand by standing upside down. We had a small celebration at school yesterday morning. You were brimming with pride all the time when Amma and Appa were at your class.

You have a craze for paw patrol so I got paw patrol plates/napkins/tshirt and sneaker for you. I am sure that would be the best gift for you now. Akka has instructed me to buy trucks, cars and some of your current favorites (she is paying for them from her pocket money) and she is going to gift them all to you today.

Amma has planned to keep it a fun day for you today. We will start the day with temple visit, family lunch at restaurant, fun time at chuck e cheese and end the day with cake cutting of home made cake (Akka’s special).

Ok now where do I start about this year kutti? That is how Amma call you “kutti”. Akka keeps changing her way of calling you every other month. The names are strictly to be used only by her. Some of the cute names I could recollect are veeki baby and chu chu botta! Don’t ask for the meaning. IDK!!!

Your sentences evolve every month. Some of the cute ones are

“As a baby, I do … You member (remember) that Amma” – You say this when you do something that is not acceptable like throwing something or peeing on pants or other gross stuff that only babies do.

Now you claim to be “almost grown-up”. You eat chicken and drink milk as you believe only that will make you grown up.

“My teacher said…” is another phrase I have to listen to every evening. You readily listen to all that your teacher says and I can’t thank her enough for that. The best is your teacher said “you have to watch only little bit TV every day” and you follow that on weekdays!! I can’t ask for more da.

You are at the prime age to learn and observe. You have come a long long way from where you were at 3.

You got potty trained in no time, you can sometimes feed yourself, you can write, you recognize almost all uppercase alphabets, you can follow instructions, you can communicate, you can talk lengthy sentences, you can zip up your jacket, you can remove your sneakers, you try to button your shirt. Oh my goodness this has been an eventful year for you with so much learning kutti. I can’t be more proud of you.

I learned my biggest lesson about you with potty training and writing. I was preparing myself for many months to prepare you for potty training but you didn’t co operate. I gave it some more time and you still didn’t show sings of getting trained. But, when you were ready, you got trained in no time. Same with writing too. So, my biggest learning about you is that I have to wait until you are ready. I need to practice that patience and give the time you need and trust you da.

After last year’s India visit, you have started calling us as “Amma/Appa”. That was in my checklist and my heart just melts every time you call me “Amma”. We had to train you for few months to call Akka as “Akka” and you got that too. I love the way you run behind her all the time calling out as “Akka”..

Akka puts you first in all her thoughts da. She doesn’t say anything even if you accidentally sneeze on her face. Her patience with you is something I am still learning to practice myself. The way she protects you when I get mad leaves me speechless. She is the first person you run to when you are in trouble or not feel good. She reads book to you at bed time. She loves you to the moon and back. When we give her a choice she always says “I will go or stay where baby goes or stays”. I wish you both to remain the same all this life.

I get very emotional with you kutti. You cover up for Akka and shower me with hugs and kisses when I ask for one! You are one happy happy boy. Your cuteness makes situations lighter at home.

Oh last but not the least you talk a little about your classmate “Grace” and I told Akka may be we should tag her as your first crush 🙂

Your kutti moolai (tiny brain) works over time and processes so many things. May you be blessed with good health and happiness all you life. You are a precious gift to this family and we promise to stay by your side always no matter what.

Love,
Amma

All is well

All is well that ends well. Thank you all my dear readers who have made me feel better via your comments to my previous post. The home was set clean before I reached by the clan and the evening was well spent with quality time with kids.

This year I didn’t find it difficult to churn out posts for blogathon as I know its coming, I know I have to be part of it and prepared myself ahead with drafts just title as fodder. I added them whenever I felt that the incident is blog worthy and the wordpress app in my phone helped with this approach. Infact I have couple of more posts sitting on my draft. I might bug you all with it in coming days.

Unlike past years, I didn’t write it advance and schedule. I wrote the post every day. It helped me to relive those happy moments.  Also, somehow this year I didn’t feel the pressure as much as past years. I enjoyed the whole process and was slightly confident, it could have been due to my drafts.

So, how did I fit in time every day for blogging when I was not able to do it in other months? January was luckily an easier month at work, so I sneaked now and then to write and read posts in between work. Also, I utilized the one hour long train journey to read and write. I have mastered the art of talking over phone to loved ones and read posts 🙂 Work is getting tougher as I am typing this so I am glad the timing worked just perfect.

I am behind by a week in replying to the comments on my posts and clearing my reader. Will get to them slowly as I am sure the reader will see downside from tomorrow 😉

Kudos to all who have completed, attempted and be part of this lovely yearly tradition. It felt great to connect with you all in this yearly reunion. Thanks to Maya and RM for initiating it this year.

See you all next year dearies. Stay happy!!