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Melt my heart

LHB melts my heart at random times. Here is how he did it today

LHB: Amma, I could smell and feel the dosa when I was at class. Can you make me some dosa!
Amma: Sure da. How many dosas do you need?
LHB: Did Akka eat?
Amma: Yes da!
LHB: Did everybody eat?
Amma: Yes da!
LHB: How much maavu (batter) do you have?
Amma: I have enough baby!
LHB: Okay then make me how much ever you like ma!

And he melts my heart…

Mother’s day 2020

Started with this post yesterday but dozed off before I could publish. So please adjust and read it like its published yesterday πŸ™‚

I woke up before the kids, walked around the home, had my coffee in peace, made few phone calls and then it happened!

LHB woke up and freaked out as last night he ordered me to stay in bed all day today. He made me go back to bed and stay there for next two hours until breakfast was ready. While Akka was busy in the kitchen, LHB was busy walking between bedroom and kitchen to make sure I am not stepping out of the bed. I was bed locked. Thankfully, I was allowed to speak over the phone so had a looong chat with my friend. He said I can even watch TV if I am bored BUT I was not allowed to step out of the bed.

After two hours, I was blindfolded, taken to the table and presented with an elaborate spread.

Dosas
Scrambled eggs
Buttered bread
Leftover capsicum chutney
All sorts of sauces/jams/pickles
Masala chai in a travel mug
Hot water in flask

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Adi made all of them with no help and the little boy helped to set the table. I was surprised and proud. We relished the brunch and then I was allowed to carry on with weekend kitchen chores.

Next 4 hours was spent in kitchen with songs in the background. It has been a while I listened to songs and the songs lifted up my mood. I decided to make mango kara kuzhambu. Just the thought made my mouth watery and I could literally taste the kuzhambu even before it was ready.

In the next 4 hours, with songs playing in the background thik thai kitchen* dished out

Idli batter
Onion tomato chutney
Mango drumstick kara kuzhambu
Brinjal fry
White rice
Appalam/Fryms
Ground and refilled all spice powder – pepper powder, jira powder and saunf powder

We had dinner in formal dining room and I dressed up for dinner πŸ™‚ Looking at me, LHB also dressed up and surprised us by eating dinner all by himself like he made a plate for himself and ate with hands.

*thik thai kitchen – LHB named our kitchen as thik thai kitchen as apparently he believes that his mom loves Bharathanatyam form of dance.

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He forgot to give me the cards and made up during bedtime.

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Thoughtfulness is

LHB asking me to buy peanut candy for his Appa as Appa is coming home tomorrow bringing loads of goodies and LHB wants to get something that Appa likes to eat.

He also saved this for Appa. He clearly knows the junk person of the house πŸ˜€

It reminds me of M’s deal with the kids. “Eat any junk but give me some and then eat”

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Exhausted but happy

Apologies for the long post.

Today evening was very exhausting and chores drained almost all my energy but I was happy and content with the way the events unfolded.

I can’t go to sleep without reliving the moments from today’s evening that will make me smile wide. Writing it down here is equivalent to recollecting those moments at least 10 times and these precious moments will help me to stay up at least for next few months. Reminder to self is to come back and read this post when I have a bad day.

I went to office today and came back home at 6:45pm. The situation at home was normal. LHB was watching TV and Adi was in happy mood as she finished all her work for the day. She was waiting to watch Master chef with me. That’s the latest show we watch together.

I got refreshed, finished my dinner and had a cup of coffee. Then, started with kitchen work right away while the kids were fighting over TV. LHB wanted to watch one more episode but Adi wanted to take it over. I let them fight and continued with my chores. Started preparing tindora usili (one of my recent improvisation. why only beans usili? why not tindora?) and spinach paratha. I already had the dough ready in refrigerator for paratha.

I have been reminding LHB that he has to come to the kitchen table to start with his work. That today he has to do his work by himself as Amma have lot of kitchen work. It was a rough start. He came to the table after some whining and finished his school work reluctantly while Adi played Master chef in the TV. But he finished the work and that is all mattered to me and I didn’t lose my cool.

Then, it was his tuition work. He had to finish two english workbooks. He did few pages of first book and declared that this is too much work and he is done. I continued with my cooking and said if that is the choice he is making then I am okay with it. I told him verbatim “we all have choice to make in every single step and it is the choice we make will define who we are”.

He went upstairs, came down and then started a random chat with me. Usually, I don’t encourage such talks while its study time but today I went with the flow. We spoke about random things. Then, again he went upstairs and got the rest of first book done with Akka’s help. He then declared that he is not going to do the second book. I repeated in a zen tone that I am okay with it if that is his decision. I said “It is your decision so I have nothing to say. Just remember that you are making this decision”. Honestly, I didn’t have the energy to spend with him and was prepared to accept if he doesn’t finish his work. There is no point in raising my voice while he is trying.

He came back to the kitchen table, ate two hot spinach paratha (the special puffed ones) and one banana while chatting with me. I continued to chat and this time we talked about food and his classmates. Then, out of the blue he asked “Do I really have to do the second book Amma?”. I least expected that from him. So I replied “Its your choice da kutty”. To my utter surprise, he started working on the second book. I extended help when asked and he finished half of second book with no whining while I was wrapping up cooking, cleaning and washing dishes. The deal was to do his work till I have work in kitchen so he can give me company as I love having company while doing kitchen work. I actually taught him about singular vs plural vs irregular plural and he listened!! This was a big win for me.

Then, we both went upstairs and he wanted to watch TV. I told him that I have something to say and he can decide on what to do after hearing me. That his decision will be final. I told him how watching TV just before going to sleep is not good for eyes and instead he can play with his new truck. He replied “Oh yeah, I almost forgot about that. Thank you for reminding me. You are the best Amma. I will play with my truck” **I was pinching myself at this point to see if this is all real** as on a normal day he would throw a big tantrum in similar situation. The difference today is I handled it with a calm mind not expecting the outcome to be my way.

He played with his truck for a while, then we read “Chintamani, the magic cow” book. Spoke about cows, had other random conversations and then started with bedtime routine.

I told him that he filled my bucket many times today and I am very thankful to him. He replied “You are the best Amma”. We exchanged hugs/kisses and he drifted to sleep.

I had a quick hot shower after that and felt very peaceful though body was yearning to rest. He didn’t finish half of second book but somehow today I had this gyan moment that its okay to not finish the workbook rather than finishing it with not focusing and whining just because I force him to do it.

Some small change in my reaction and attitude in spite of having chores busy evening made a big difference in the way LHB and I interacted today and this evening will stay in my memory for long time to come. On other days, I freak out and that energy is radiated to him as well that makes both of us cranky. It is really okay to let go sometimes and this letting go does wonders!

Now tell me, how can I go to sleep without writing about this exhausted but happy evening? Tomorrow will be another long day. I have to leave early to work and have few important meetings to tackle. But, I am ready to handle it.

When there is peace in mind, there is harmony in life. Nighty night peeps!

Holiday gifts

LHB is all about giving and I love this nature he possesses. Mind you he doesn’t giveaway things he own. He wants to save everything for memory and takes a dozen pictures everyday for memory (I exactly know who passed down this gene to him. Let’s not talk about that πŸ˜‰ ). I think I already wrote here about how he wanted to keep the torn Nike shoe that doesn’t fit anymore. For remembrance is the right word but he says “for memory” and I am sticking with that.

For holidays, he bought thoughtful gifts for each of us and gave gifts to all his teachers. I gave him about 6 gifts to give to his main teachers. But, he wanted one for the school security Mr.B, for the music teacher he meets once in few weeks, for his gym teacher, bus driver and the high school assistant in his class. I gave him 3 more and said he has to decide whom to give. His fingers were not enough when we counted the teachers he wanted to give gift πŸ™‚

I opened the gift he bought for me the same day and wore it right away. But, he told me I am supposed to take it only on the day of Christmas. So, took it back from me, packed it carefully and put it under the tree.

He bought mood changing pendant for me (It really changes color, I don’t know how it works), a big marker for Akka and a coffee mug for Appa and a rattle snake for himself. OMG the little brain has overworked to buy thoughtful gift for each of us. What more can I ask for?

I wear the pendant and show off to him just to see the pride in his face πŸ™‚

 

Best secret keeper

LHB was invited to a play date with 3 other boys living in the neighborhood. They all go to same class. I bought brownies to take it to the playdate and told the boy to keep it a secret and not tell his friend G about the brownies when he sees him at school.

Me: Can you please keep it a secret da?

LHB: You know Amma, I am the best secret keeper. Do you know how?

Me: How?

LHB: Because I forget everything after a minute

Me:?? !!!!! Whatever!!!

Next day morning:

LHB: Amma, remember the secret you told me? I don’t remember it anymore so I won’t tell G. No worries

Me:?? !!!! Whatever!!!

Afternoon:

Adi went to pick him from bus stop and this is the conversation they had

LHB: Akka, guess what? I didn’t tell the secret to G. I am the world’s best secret keeper.

What do you guys think? Did he tell G or not?

Bonus point: Now I know how to make him remember something **evil laugh**

Of shoes and choice of kids

Scene: Driving back home after dropping Adi at her class

LHB: Amma, these Nike shoes doesn’t fit for me anymore!
Amma: Okay baby. Let’s donate it
LHB: Actually, can you keep it for memory (he meant for remembrance)
Amma: Okay, we can do that
LHB: Like, I can keep it or even give it to my kids!
Amma: That’s nice of you (and the mommy brain got quirky)
Amma: So, how many kids are you planning to have?
LHB: One
Amma: Are you sure?
LHB: Yeah!
Amma: Boy or girl?
LHB: Boy
Amma: Hmm, you don’t want a girl?
LHB: I don’t know. What if the girl wants a girl? (by the girl he is referring to his wife)
Amma: I didn’t get it!
LHB: Like it’s her choice. What if she wants to have two kids or she wants to have a girl? I can’t say anything. Its her choice Amma!
Amma: I just can’t be more proud of this little boy. I told him he made me shed happy tears and my happy meter has reached the top for the day.

I know its coming from a 6 year old but I sincerely wish for him to stay the same and show respect to his life partner’s interest and choices. God bless him with a deserving life partner and may the both make loads and loads of happy moments and memories.

Oh my god, a mother’s imagination is endless! It’s so hard to stop it once it kicks off!!

If I share all this with some sensible person, they would say first let your son pass elementary and make his way to earn his own bread! Finding a deserving life partner comes after that ! True that!

Summer ends and School begins

It is first day of school today. The older is stepping into 10th grade (they call it Sophomore year) and the younger is stepping into 1st grade. I am working from home today and the home is so quiet and empty.

This summer, we didn’t do anything fancy. Kids just stayed home with grandparents and the four of them being at home all the time kept the home fully alive. There is always something going on

LHB’s summer at a glance:

Ammachi (that is how kids call Amma), did you see the TV remote?

Thatha, thanni venum (can you get me some water?)

Ammachiiiii, don’t use the mixer now. I can’t hear anything from the TV!!!

Thatha, its bad to watch laptop in the morning. Close it NOW!

Ammachi, paal (can you get me some milk?)

Guys, who is working from home tomorrow?

Ammachi, dish washer clean-a? (when he wants to grab a cup for water or a bowl)

Ammachi, can you switch off the cooker? It’s disturbing!!!

Ammachi, innikku diiner-ku enna panareenga (what are you cooking for dinner tonight?)

M have installed wireless plugs in main rooms to control the power via phone. He has set a schedule to turn off family room by 9pm and it needs to be manually turned on the next day. This is how LHB demands to turn it ON next day as TV is in family room

Appppaaaa, turn on the TV NOW, or else I am going to eat you!!!

LHB calls me while I am at work in middle of a call and goes on and on and on about how Thatha is not behaving, how he litters and how he sneezes without a tissue!! He starts “Ammmaaa can you hear me? You know what Amma, you know, Thathaaa…..”

He will visit basement office room at least 10 times in a day when one of us WFH. I have trained him to whisper or make gestures to ask if I am in a call and if I am on mute before he starts talking. The way he does that is uber cute.

He would have called out for more Ammachi and Thatha than Appa and Amma in this summer and that is exactly how I have dreamed summer to be for my children. If not all summer, at least one was made possible. I am a happy bean (Oh Adi is into this phase to call everything a bean and I am an influenced mother)

In the last two weeks, he made friends with the high school boys living next door and started messaging them using iPad inviting them to play. They had few play sessions shuttling between the homes and jumping in trampolines. Adi was astonished as she was so hesitant to even say a Hi while this guy was rocking the show πŸ™‚

Today is many first for LHB:

  • First day going in school bus all by himself
  • First day taking home packed lunch (I hope he handles the dabba well). We practiced opening and closing the dabba a few times at home but still I am nervous
  • First day going to public school system

Its new school for both of them and they have to build everything from scratch! It sucks! Hope they will have a wonderful school year.

Why do I yearn for alone time when they are around and miss them terribly when they are not around? Can’t wait for them to come home and share all stories.

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Adi’s lunch

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LHB’s lunch/snack (Pasta/Apples/Grapes)

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Adi boarding bus (that’s another enthu dad taking pic to embarass his kid)

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LHB boarding bus (the last guy. why rush?)

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LHB’s school (I went to school few mins after the bus left to just witness, enjoy and breathe the first day air at school πŸ™‚

An evening to remember

So many things happened/happening now in life. But, I would like to record yesterday evening here before that memory is replaced by something else in my tiny memory bank.

Its about yesterday’s evening routine at home. I am single parenting the kids for past few weeks and though it is tough and challenging to juggle all needs of every day, I took this as an opportunity to take charge of the situation.

LHB is now trained to eat on his own, focus and follow my instructions during study time and he has not watched TV for the past few evenings. This is a big achievement for me.

The kids and I eat every meal at home together in the table without watching TV, talking to each other about the day.Β  I love this routine. Yesterday, LHB was sharing with us how his lunch buddies didn’t help to get lunch and his dotting Akka was advising him how he should get the help of his teacher at such situations, how he should speak up and stuff. I was a silent observer of the conversation puffed up with pride.

LHB is listening to me and understands the implications of his actions. I have to move on and accept the fact that he has grown from being a baby to a big boy. He is now capable to process instructions. I should not treat him like a baby anymore!!

We watch movies together on weekends, have our own fun time before going to bed and laugh for silly reasons.

It is exhausting and this may not last for long but I am totally loving this dedicated time with kids. I do not want to trade this for anything else in life.

Star of the week

LHB is the start of the week. He has been waiting for his turn since the beginning of the year.

Monday – we shared the details about his favorites.
Favorite color – Golden
Favorite story – Power rangers
Favorite food – French fries (I suggested cone dosa and he said his school friends doesn’t know about tamil food) Apparently dosa has become tamil food to him πŸ™‚
Favorite animal – Elephant
He wants to be a Vet when he grows up

Tuesday – Shared pictures. He took pictures taken with his friends, grandparents and family. They will be displayed in the class for this week.

Wednesday – Read a favorite story. I had to hunt down for a power ranger book but couldn’t find it in any library. Finally, a friend and his daughter came to rescue. They got me some marvel story books from the library closer to their home. Thanks to the friend for dropping the books last night. I read stories about Iron man and Hulk to his class today morning. I love these story reading sessions. LHB sat on my lap when I was reading and the proud on his face. Priceless!!

Thursday – Take favorite toy. He has a big list of stuffed animals to take with him tomorrow.

Friday – Craft day. We have to do a craft with the class. I am happy the teacher sorted out the craft details. All I have to do is take the supplies she requested for and show up πŸ™‚