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Thursday, 27 October 2011

Break ke Baad!

OK guys I am still alive and kicking and not a chart topper in ‘Missing Person’ list as yet!

It has been a rollercoaster ride last couple of months: Moving into our new home, Adya starting big school, and mad rush to meet deadlines at work, grandparents’ yearly visit and Adya throwing tantrums while missing Daddy on his never ending business trips.

Autumn has arrived here already with the mercury fast dropping, days getting shorter, horrid clouds and rain turning London grey and morose. And with all the activities described above – both manmade and natural- happening simultaneously, my hair is falling at a quicker rate than all the orange leaves from trees all over town!

I mean come on I am not Sarah Jessica Parker from ‘I don’t know how she does it’ (Although, secretly I wouldn’t mind!) Any working mom who has seen this movie or read this hilarious novel by Allison Pearson would identify instantly dying with time starvation and juggling with priorities on your daily Rota. At least this actress gets paid to look good on camera – we moms would feel good if we got 8 minutes only to put our feet up and enjoy our evening cup of tea after a hard day’s work and surviving the Underground Tube journey back home!

Then, you face the great challenges of ‘I don’t like this or that’ and ‘Mummy, I am not happy with you, Say Sooorrryyyy right now’.

Adya brought tears to my eyes this morning when she said ‘Don’t say STOP IT STOP IT all the time mummy, LEAVE ME ALONE!’ I just couldn’t digest this coming from my 3.5 year old rebel already. I could feel a sharp pain in my heart thinking how much I must have hurt my parents when I said the same lines and much more….I guess these are lessons learnt with growing up pains…

Adya’s volatile mood changes can defy the changing colours of the season and nature around us…she is hot headed one moment and a cool cucumber smiling cheekily the very next moment. But,can’t blame her with the big turmoils happening in her lil world all at once.

In July this year, we bought our 1st home located in a quiet woodland of suburban London away from the hustling City noise. Adya actually liked it at the very instance when we went for viewing and said ‘ Daddy, this is Adya’s new yellow house- Just like Peppa’s’.

 It is a pretty Victorian style house with a lovely front garden and a back porch- ideal for barbeques, teddy bear picnics and cycle rides (and drying soiled nursery clothes!). Although we didn’t catch much of the summer sun this year, we did manage to have a few housewarming parties and play dates thoroughly enjoyed by my little champ.

The Big Move was back breaking with more cardboard cartons carrying toys, books, puzzles and high chair, prams and cot bed than all our grown up clothes and essentials put together. We had to wrap up everything very hastily - that includes shifting baggage, delivery of furniture and appliances, house legal paperwork, unpacking, settling in within 5 days of official leave from work and all this without ‘the storm never passed by here’ look on our faces! 

All this done and dusted, Adya settled in pretty quickly in her cozy bedroom which Daddy and I made sure had all elements of our own childhood fantasies…books, toys, mirror, mini piano, bed and study table-  all coordinated with her choicest characters such as Peppa, Disney Princess, Pooh Bear, Upsy Daisy!     

(At least that took care of her not creeping into our bed each night from her cot bed). Frequent repetitions of the chant ‘Adya you are a BIG girl now!’ actually worked for us!

My lil helper has fallen for this line so badly that she actually gives us a hand around the household chores now- picks up every crumb she drops down to throw it in the bin, helps me put the with the laundry out to dry and plays Daddy’s assistant gardener to water plants and mow grass!

The ratio of Adya’s house warming play dates with her nursery friends compared to us adults is already 3:1! But, it was a pleasure to host the lil cheeky ones enjoying their ice lollies and soaking up some sun in the garden. 

The number of attendees at the summer fair in the next door playground rose steadily with Adya’s pals paying her a visit.

And, oops I forgot to mention the teddy bear tea parties with Daddy whenever he was home on a weekend and not travelling to yet another foreign destination.(I loved these so that I could quickly escape to the parlour or read lat few pages of the novel dying to know who the killer is!)

Next stop: Adya’s big school. I have never seen a child so happy and excited to go to school. Both Joy and I cried every morning when left at the school gate when we were kids…and there was my lil angel donning her brand new uniform, hair neatly combed back complete with school bag and accessories and kissing me goodbye like she has done this all her life…

Instead, it was mommy having tears in her eyes to see her march to Mrs. Standing’s arms and greeting her with a big smile and a charming ‘Good Morning’…
Since, I am a full time working mom since Adya was 10 months old, and need to travel constantly to client sites, I have arranged for this angel for Adya’s school pick up drop. And guess what, my photo copy machine promptly apes her style- commanding us to sit in her mock- car, straps us securely to the pretend car seat, jangles her car keys and forces us to drink some juice while she drives us home!!!

Going to school for today’s Gen-x is learning how to operate a computer at 3 + and improve communication skills?? I mean come on at that age I barely knew what is ABC and Adya and most of her friends know the entire alphabet, numbers and much more…I am sure at this rate they will overtake our present IQ levels at 5!

I am glad my book bug has bitten my little girl too and she gets a new book home each day for us to read together.(And then mommy gotta write a book report daily to say what she liked the most- Ya right what about mommy trying to save the dinner from burning in the oven while saying…and they lived happily ever after…’)

But honestly, I quite enjoy this quiet time together with her each night when I read to her while tucking her to bed and a adding her own stories on what activities she was upto in school today and which boy was doing naughty and who is her best friend for the day. 

Adya insists some additional reading sessions on weekends when we both must read different books at the same time and mind you she will check if you are reading the right storyline or just pretending, coz she can actually memorize and judge the book by its cover…

Finally, Adya’s yearly rendezvous with her grandparents was really entertaining where she constantly played BOSS- It was hilarious to see her picking up Bengali terminology from them and reproducing them in her firang accent: Kachakola khabe, bhaat mach khabe Dadu? 

She would have endless hours of Shopkeeper- Customer sessions with granny and bully her to dig out ice lollies hidden in the freezer by mommy after school! She would pretend to be their teacher, mummy, ballerina, cleaner and many other role plays took place but with each one directed, scripted, orated, produced and edited by Adya alone!

She behaved like a grown up lady dressing up in Indian attire and praying with her eyes closed during Durga Puja at home. I am a proud mom really!

I see so many changes in my daughter in so little time that its tough to keep pace just like the ever changing weather. I try to capture these priceless moments in photos, videos and words but I know this too shall pass and one day she will be all grown up and read these lines and say ‘What rubbish Mommy, I never did that or I never ever said that!!’

In simple 2 words, Adya was, is and always be my PAAKA BOORI !

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

The Great British Summer!

Yes! Its officially here now…

PIMMS, barbeques, Royal Ascot, Strawberry picking and of course Adya and my birthdays…just some of the joys of summertime…the things that help us survive the cold and grey of England for the rest of the year!

Come June, July and August, all residents of the English soil cross their fingers to leave home without an umbrella!  The only 90 odd days that you can actually play peek-a-boo with the sun and clouds and have those warm coats and boots tucked away in storage cupboards.

In London especially, you better check the 10 pm news for weather forecast to predict whats coming up the next day on order to choose what to T-Shirt or Footwear and whether you can wash your laundry out to dry this weekend. This unpredictable 4 seasons- in- a- day behavior of the English Summer can ruin your perfect picnic basket spread and you would never know when few droplets can turn into a heavy thunderstorm and downpour out of the blue!

This summer kickstarted with the double bonanza of the Easter and Royal Wedding Bank Holidays. It was truly an overdose of off-season fun with the back-to-back holidays and what it brings along with it…

And what did I just do? Spotted another grey hair…I cannot take this any longer man…few more bank holidays and I will need another desperate salon visit to cover up for my act literally…I mean cmon, holidays are supposed to relax you, not make you go grey…

Not with a nearly- 3 year old with perpetual 4 bars of battery refusing to discharge no matter how much you tax her grey matter or muscle mass…

We have tried all possible activities to keep those lil feet busy. Right from getting a summer crop at mommy’s salon to the first attempt at the Cinema watching our first film as family chomping popcorn…having picnics in Surrey and feeding ducks at Hyde Park… innovative Easter Egg creations at the nursery and watching the Royal Wedding extravaganza on TV…we even tried dressing up in mommy’s saris and childhood dresses that were brought back from India utilizing the free excess baggage allowance by Air India!

There are definitely worse ways to spend lazy summer weekends than going to Peppa Pig World and facing the mayhem created by this tiny pink character. My daughter definitely contributes generously to the top grossing merchandise seller in UK…Peppa was Omnipresent! On bags, shoes,caps,duvet covers, suitcases, curtains, books, keychains, stickers and what else have I missed here??

Every ride had 30 minutes minimum waiting queues that drove all the kids bonkers everyone wailing for their turn and parents cursing Astley Baker Davies(Creaters of this menace!) After exploring every silly ride and the Live Appearances 4 times during the day, jumping in muddy puddles, paying 9 pounds for a snap with Peppa, Adya still wanted to stay back and had to be coaxed to go home when the gates were shutting!

Then, came Adya’s 3rd birthday celebrations and no guesses for the theme of the party! Again the pig resurfaced on every item- Birthday invites, ballons, cups, plates, tissues and Voila- the Birthday Cake and 85% of her birthday gifts and cards. We had to play the part of Daddy Pig and Mummy Pig with  no escape!

Her birthday gift from us was a Princess Bicycle complete with helmet and accessories which she simply adores and goes tring tring every evening post nursery. We were shocked with our little girls confidence in riding the bike as if she rode it before she started walking!

Now, the summer makes everything grow including my appetite chomping away Adya’s leftover cupcakes (Can’t even blame the post baby fat any more)…and it has made my baby grow up so quickly soaking up the sun…

Last week, Adya asked her Daddy for some pennies as her pocket money, and when he refused, she promptly pointed to the ATM Cash Machine as the source! Her speech is now filled with ‘’I dunno, Not yet, Go away, No naughtyyyyy, Take your shoes and go home to your mummy, I can’t find my bag anywhere, it must be lost’’ and many more hilarious terms.

She is so adamant about her demands nowadays; Adya spotting the icecream van = having a cone instantly, no matter how many bottles of Tixylix that mommy would need to pour down her throat later! She loves chatting with her friends on the telephone in imaginative role plays telling them about the latest Peppa DVD episode she knows by heart and would prefer not to be disturbed then! She remembers the route to the supermarket and moans the moment the car turns near the traffic lights during our weekly grocery sprees.

Miss Posh insists eating even the finest cheese gratings with a fork and spoon and wouldn’t entertain any mess on the dinner table. We have to pretend to scold all her nursery playmates who ‘supposedly’ take away her toys or push her or do something nasty or the other while she just watches!

But all said and done- Adya is my Summer Talisman: She can assist me to win a lost deal with a client or her never-give up attitude inspires to get through a super hectic day at work just like the rainbow after an untimely shower in the summertime. Look forward to many more beautiful seasons of the sun with you my darling daughter!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Spring sans Daddy!

Yes, it’s finally in the air! I can hear the birdies chirping early mornings, smell the new shoots and fruits in the air and love eating dinner while the sun is still shining outside the living room window…Those long awaited spring weekends are finally here- where you can shed massive kilos of warm clothing and gobble down ice creams while having a stroll in the park in flip flops and flaunt variety of summery dresses and sunglasses in your wardrobe….

But, all this warmth simply goes up like barbeque smoke when Adya and I sulk in the absence of Daddy out on his business trips that loom up every now and then like the dark grey clouds appearing out of nowhere and heavy downpour playing  spoilsport our wonderful picnics!
Although, mummy really tries to make it funny and interesting at the same time by inventing new funny faces by rolling her eyes and sticking hey tongue out or tickling me nonstop or yawning loudly, Daddy is dearly missed.
We have our Library trips to have some reading up before Night- Night time and the London bus Carrousel ride that I so enjoy. She gets me new Jigsaw Puzzles to solve and also invites my friends over from the nursery for awesome girly kitchen pizza parties.
Daddy Out –of-home status does give us some GIRL TIME to catch up on some essential shopping sprees for yet another pair of shoes or that must have summer top for both of us and also all the junk food we could chomp behind the fitness conscious male in our family: READ Mac Donald burger and chips which we both simply adore since mom doesn’t need to cook then! But, the best part is that I can crawl in next to mummy at night without her screaming since she’s really afraid of sleeping alone!

But we both know, that life is just not the same without my best buddy who simply removes zero from 30 to be my playmate, singing partner and dressing up pal all in one!
I miss Daddy helping me put baby doll to sleep by feeding her milk… I miss Daddy taking me for picnics in the park or jumping on the bed or having a blast on the bouncy castle at Funky Monkey…

I miss Daddy assisting me to paint my first masterpiece or ten pin bowling OOOPss game at home… I miss him so….

Till he returns from his trip with his suitcase filled with goodies for me: pretty dresses, chocolates, toy laptop and telephones, dollies and the list goes on..and occasionally some pretty looking jewellery or magnet curios for mummy, for being such a patient babysitter, which I don’t know why she finds so very interesting as compared to all these return gifts literally!
Daddy, when and where did you say was your next trip again??

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

From Boo Boos to Yippee Yay!

Every cloud has a silver lining they say….It holds so true in my case…sometimes life gets so erratic and crazy with client deadlines and home chores like laundry overflow or last minute grocery shopping and gala dinner cooking and of course baby making and hubby keeping that you want to just break free from and run away some place doing absolutely nothing…I just finished reading ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ where the author Liz Gilbert so aptly describes this syndrome predominantly affecting Italians since centuries; They refer to it as ‘ The art and joy of doing NOTHING’…

I didn’t think I would get the chance to drop what’s on my plate and disappear into the oblivion…and actually that is not exactly what happened…but I got to put some brakes on my daily 6-12 daily schedule of home- work- home.
This blessing in disguise came in the form of my little girl contracting Chicken Pox at her Nursery. The infection chose my darling as his favourite host on a Monday and come Friday it had best use of the incubation period and started showing tell tale signs of red eruptions across her body accompanied by fever, tiredness and an all- time high temper!
So, I packed up my laptop and work papers, waved goodbye to Boss and dashed to the Doctors where all she was prescribed was Paracetamol and Calamine lotion.
Now, being a typical Asian mom, I tend to overreact to any minor health issue and this was Chicken Pox, and there was the doctor smiling calmly as if these horrendous spots were nothing more than mosquito bites…I was enraged...unfortunately kids under 6 in UK are not prescribed any anti biotic drugs unless absolutely urgent…so I came back home sulking with my poorly child ever so thrilled to be picked up early from her Nursery!
Another freak situation was that I was the only one who hadn’t got it till date and so my altar of obsessive compulsive disorder of cleanliness and sanitization took over! I swept, wiped, brushed, vacuumed, disinfected every square meter of our home every few hours and prayed hard so that my childhood sufferings of vaccinations against this cute named infection really pays off and crossed my fingers, arms, legs etc to come out this with still appearing to be a sane human being!
Next 12 days were like an extended picnic for 3 of us…I was granted the plea of ‘Work from Home’ for which I am still making up  grinding at my office…Daddy got round the clock ‘health check’ report cards from Mommy and of course, Adya was knighted ‘Queen’ status overnight and all her wishes became our instant commands…
To name a few indulgences:
·        Non Stop repeat performances by Peppa Pig (God bless the DVD section of our local supermarket).
·         On demand ice-cream supply with all different flavours to excite the taste buds.
·         Multiple bubble bath hours with loud pitched bathroom singing of favourite nursery rhymes.
·        This was followed by pampering sessions of hair blow drying and moisturizing (P.S: Daddy at my service).
·         Since, we were quarantined indoors, the only fresh air we got was to feed bread to the birdies through windows - They got more bread than me at breakfast…
·         Red cheddar cheese gratings and sweet corn with butter and salt became our regular snack.
·         Ceebies (SKY Channel 614) was the only button pressed on the TV remote with torturous episodes of Chugginton, Timmy, Show Me Show Me, Gigglebiz and many more…

  •   All the books in Adya’s library had to be read out at least twice morning, noon and night.
·        Tea parties at her play kitchen could beat any English Afternoon High Tea offerings at 5 stars.
·         Ringa Ringa Roses and Jumping on the bed substituted afternoon naps.
·         We learnt the Alphabet and almost made it there with Potty Training with unlimited stars on the bathroom chart. All unopened toys hidden for a rainy day came out of the Pandora's box!
·         Finally, quick drives in the evening when daddy returned from work made our days complete.

Oh yes, in between these activities, mommy slipped in the timely fruit juices, yoghurts, strawberry milk, home made chicken stews, fish or lamb pastas, French fries and canned coconut water to cool off the tummy which definitely contributed to the rapid recovery!

But, the best part of this ‘Happy Health Problem’ was getting reconnected with my baby. This bonding was really needed amidst the regular running about where I realised that she is growing up so rapidly…Must mention that I had to super multitask while she had caught her forty winks to catch up on work front and complete assignments and pending projects.
But, my heart just melted away to see her snuggling up to me on the couch every time she got exhausted...this I must confess that I have a fighter in my girl...never gave up with the weakness and fever trying to bog her down…
During these days, she simply refused to sleep in her cot and would invariably come into our bed, no matter what time or how quietly we moved into our room with our mute buttons firmly pressed…but I guess it is something with the parent touch- therapy comfort we all needed when we were younger and unwell…it was an out of the world feeling to feel her soft skin against mine and smell her sweet Johnson’s baby lotion scent just when she was a new born…
Have you ever watched a kid sleeping just like that? It is truly a heavenly sight when I stood and just silently watched my mamma sleeping soundly with mini snores whooshing out of her tiny nostrils and her body heaving up and down with her rhythmic breathing…On warmer nights, I loved to see the lil beads of sweat on her forehead and the way her hair sticks to her head…
I feel so proud of my creation when this 2 feet something lady conquers our life with her non stop blabber and jumps right back into the daily grind, with no blues whatsoever. Thank you God for taking away her pains and boo boos and joining our Yippee party being her cheeky self again…And of course, for this delightful bonding break!

Friday, 4 February 2011

New Year Resolution: Make Mommy my personal Wikipedia!

When you bring a baby home from the hospital, you never think that 1st day of the Kindergarten would ever arrive…yet this year my lil girl will actually go to ‘BIG SCHOOL’…Sorry! Adya will be really annoyed if she realises I am even remotely referring to her as a little girl when she is a very BIG girl capable of taking care of all the younger kiddos at her Nursery, or she thinks!
Daddy and I were doing the admission procedure rounds of the local schools (Parents: Please note that this task is more tedious and stressful than even planning for your own wedding!) It dawned upon us that Adya has grown up so much in the last six months…she is getting taller by the day, outgrowing all the pretty skirts at rapid speed…at this rate she would soon overtake me in height according to her father…LOL!
We recalled how she has gone from Goo-goo – Gaga to WHY, No Thanks and Excuse meeeeeeeeee! The recent great big Indian vacation has contributed largely to her growing vocabulary….but you gotta figure out the context of application in her sentence Hahoo may mean Mathew and well as Love u…Doggy, birdy, potty all sound the same, you gotta decipher the code…
She shows off her newly achieved motor skills such as carrying her own cereal bowl to the dining table and tossing the crumbs and leftovers into the bin, or cleaning the tables with wet wipes for the 125th time! Daddy has become an official member of the’’ Wrapped around my daughter’s finger ‘’ club, clapping after each ’Tidy up’ session or giving a big star after every potty training success story!
She considers Mommy as her private advisory board to confirm and validate every new shape, animal, colour, number and alphabet she recognizes for its correctness. Shes already very protective of me and advices like a granny: ‘Mommy, Be Careful…Its raining’. With a mind of her own already, she loves following a streamlined storyboard and dislikes the sequence of activities being broken…like mommy has to be picked up from the Underground station before going home daddy…who would make our dinner then?? Hates if the same instructions are repeated more than 2 times and replies sternly ‘I KNOW DADDY’ if asked to have her cheese or fruit…
Adya has matured into the ‘BFF’ category already for me with a myriad of offerings such as handpicking her hair accessories matching with mine, asking me for my bracelets and neck wear immediately, trying on my gloves and stilettos the moment I take them off. And dare I step outside without my Lipsteeeeeek! She loves to put cream on herself and daddy and is already the fiercely independent chic kind: brushing her teeth and combing her hair without my interference.
She is my personal alarm system with ‘Mummy: Wake uppppppp’ call preset for 6 am each morn. Then we play the Animal Farm and ENT game recalling all her fav Old Mac Donald characters and Human anatomy recognition, while still being lazy in bed. Our personal ‘Health and Safety Officer’ at home ensures saving electricity by switching off unnecessary lights and ensuring buckling up seat belt of even her baby dolly before taking her for a walk in her pram in her imaginative park and say ‘ Don’t Cry’ each time with a pout worth dying for…feed her milk at regular intervals like a grown up carer....she wont set a foot outdoors without proper winter gear covering her from head to toe, even if that means having a battlefield attire just to go and buy milk… inherited clearly from mommy’s overprotective nature along with my sweet tooth and cleanliness syndrome, of course!
My brave lil fighter baby can start an anti-needle phobia training campaign…im so proud of her smiling after all her vaccination shots the moment I kissed her…and daddy should be the 1st sign up member of this group….
Normal kids of her age would love to play with toys and there is ADYA…She would first look for battery slots, buttons, LED displays, flaps, knobs…..her mark up territory is the Kitchen area with Microwave, oven, washing machine…plenty of gadget terrain to explore for my lil engineer in the making! She gets annoyed if the wrong remote is used and knew to distinguish between the TV, DVD and Sky box remote control since she was 10 months old.
Adya has been blessed with memory cells that cannot be manipulated easily which lands mommy in trouble at times….she remembers exactly which book is missing and returned to the library and where she left that hidden chocolate left over from last evening.. During our weekly shopping sprees she simply remembers to pick up her favourite items like comic books and puts it promptly on the till for billing….
At times it gets a little catastrophic with Adya on weekends providing 24/7 brain stem cell stimulation…God bless Giggles Nursery for saving us on weekdays..I end up tearing my hair after tripping on blocks, wiping off food from her highchair or cleansing tiny fingerprints left on the TV screen or scrubbing off paint marks from her new jumper….
But, my heart melts away the moment my vulnerable baby comes crying to me to kiss away her boo boo when shes hurt or unwell.…My 3 feet angel is my only solace after a hectic day at work….she kisses my tears away in her own way to say she is there for me…
 Adya, I may have been frustrated with you, been jealous of u, angry with u…but you can lift my spirits in a second with your gorgeous smile a simple Love u Mummy….
One of my best miracles on earth is to b your mum…May our hearts be best of friends linked forever….through childhood , teenage terrains and beyond…im just a call away…be it night or day…My spirit belongs to you and my love for u is an unconditional lifeboat, sun up or sundown…

Your Fan no 1,