Friday, May 25, 2007

Trip to Malaysia

We had gone for a 4-day Nationwide Bonding trip for the firm to Malaysia (note that I called it a "trip"and not a holiday cos you can hardly call a trip with 70 lawyers a holiday!)

C/o Robi and me being in the same firm and having a kid whose too young to be left behind alone - we were the only full family at the trip. Everyone else came without spouses and children - so needless to say Karan was the centre of attention. Everyone wanted and did take pictures with Karan. Robi and I were much ignored :(

When we went on the "Eye of Malaysia" which is a giant ferris wheel from which they claim you can see all of KL, all the people in our bogey/compartment (what else can i call it?) had their eyes fixed on K to see how excited he would get. He looked more bored than he had ever looked and infact enjoyed the run from the ferris wheel to the bus (since it was raining) a lot more than the ferris ride!

But he did enjoy the water theme park, the animal safari and the pony ride at A Famosa - a resort place about 2 hours drive from KL. He also enjoyed the pet store at a mall and the ride in the sky train(to a lesser degree - I am ashamed to say that my toddler has become too used to flights and doesn't like other modes of transport as much), the swimming pool at the hotel, the bus and taxi rides and our hotel room tub.

There's not much else to do in KL if you're accompanied by a toddler, except shopping, which is also close to impossible ....but we managed to squeeze in a bit of shopping on the last day with Sandeep (my cousin who lives there), which was mainly shopping for K at Toys R Us. Taking K to Toys R Us is almost like taking a bull to a china shop - he went a little mad for a bit. Shopping for boys is also so boring - all my boy wanted to pick up (and ever wants to pick up for that matter) are cars (and balls once in a while). So much to my dismay, we picked up cars again, and due to my insistence a truck with blocks you have to drop onto the truck (read as educational toy).....i also managed to pick up (mainly for my enjoyment) a play dough set from the airport-duty free, which has been an A-Mazing success with K.

K was very well-behaved throughout the trip - ate without fuss, was pleasant and fairly obedient, slept at all the right times such as the 4-hour long conference that we had (god bless him), the sit-down dinner at the chinese restaurant on another day and the dance night at the "Planet Bombay" on the last night (where his father and mother drank and saw belly dancers in action). He also went to colleagues of mine so that Robi and I managed to eat and even to play a full uniterrupted game of bowling. And i was proudly dispensing advice to one of my colleagues who is an expectant father about how one should always take their little children along on holidays and get him/her used to meeting people and seeing new places.....luckily that colleague was not there on the flight back - cos K was an absolute TERROR on the plane. He did not sleep a wink on the 4-hour flight, ate nothing, screamed whenever he didn't get something he wanted, bit, scratched and pulled Robi's and my hair so often that i not only wished i didn't have a child - but actually that I had never been born at all!

But now that I have recovered from the melt-down on the plane, I am very glad we did take him along. I'm sure it was a wonderful experience for him and he keeps mentioning the word "Machaychia" very excitedly even now.

Here's to more of these trips. Note to self: Get drunk on flights so that I dont care about how K behaves!
I've attached one picture of the three of us and two of our collegues from the Delhi and Mumbai offices taken in Planet Bombay. You cant really see K - he had just woken up with all the loud noise there. More pics will follow if I can find any good ones.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Mamas and the Papas

Yesterday we went for a birthday party of a 3-year old girl - daugher of 2 of Robi's seniors from law school. The cutest little girl i have seen in a really long time. I believe this was the first birthday that they were cutting a cake for her, simply cos she had suddenly realised that birthdays meant that you could have cakes and blow out candles and stuff!

K was excited all day about the party and he had quite a blast, except for his brief disappointment at how short the birthday cake cutting session was. He would have liked an en core at least 5 more times!

Robi and I had a good time too. We met (for the first time I might add) so many young parents all in the same place (there were about 7 sets of parents of kids of ages ranging from 2 months to 8 years). Before motherhood, I always used to tell myself that when I became a mother I wouldn't keep hanging out with other parents cos all parents do is talk about their children and hence they are boring! But, yesterday was great for several reasons:

(1) I realised that young parents are as much fun - (they like to drink, joke and listen to music and talk about a wide range of topics which dont include their children) just like other young non-parent people. Well this, is something I knew on a smaller level c/o how Robi and I are now that we are parents - but it was nice to see that all other parents were exactly the same.

(2) You can take your kid along while meeting other people with kids (without worrying too much about how they would behave) cos these are people who understand exactly how tough it is to prevent a little child from spilling things, making too much noise and moving around furniture.

(3) Your child also has a good time, cos usually there are a whole new set of toys for him to explore and a set of new and interesting little people to hang out with (read as grab toys from, laugh with and at each other's silly moves etc). This actually gives you some time to relax, more than while hanging out at a non-parent's house, cos there, you have the added responsibility of entertaining your child while trying to make conversation with the adults.

(4) There is always food intended for young kids, so you dont have to plan and carry food from home or worse - go scouting for food which your toddler can eat and embarass the host for not having anything suitable.

(5) You pick up a whole bunch of very interesting and valuable tips.- specially if you're visiting parents of slightly older kids. Ofcourse there are obvious tips like what are the good play schools for toddlers. But, there are also some non-obvious ones which may be picked up. For instance, we learnt yesterday that JetX is a terribly violent cartoon channel which we should prevent K from watching and that it is tougher to kick out children who are used to sleeping with their parents in the A/C room and make them sleep in their own non A/C rooms. We also got the number of a guy who comes home and paints stars on the ceiling and other cartoon characters on the walls.

(6) These are people to whom you can share child stories with without worrying that they are getting too bored or that they have no clue what you are talking about. I learnt the important lesson that it is ok to talk about your child (as long as you dont talk only about him), cos once you are a parent, your child is the most important/one of the most impotant focuses in your life and there's nothing wrong with that - cos you made an informed decision to move to that next phase of your life.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

My naughty toddler!

I dont know if Karan has started his terrible twos yet, but he sure has become quite naughty these days. Yesterday when we got home, he ran straight to the bathroom. I unfortunately had to put down a few bags of groceries befor running behind him. By the time I made it to the bathroom, he was standing there armed with a hose (are they called bidets?) with the tap turned up to full force and he pelted me with water. I was completely drenched in like 5 seconds and he had a completely thrilled-pleased-with-himself grin ! The water one wasn't too bad cos atleast its summer and anyone could use a hosing down anytime of the day in Chennai....but he has lately been throwing food, driving over his toys with his cycle (with very much the intention of breaking them - luckily most of his toys are sturdy), and screaming at night for no real reason at all (and I know as his mother that its not cos he had a nightmare or cos he's in pain - its just 'i'm mad that i had to wake up" or "you nasty woman you're not letting me lie on your stomach" or the "milk isn't the right temperature or something like that..)

And boy! he is soooo stubborn. any form of reprimand or preventing him from doing something he wants to do like 1. opening the tap of the drinking water (to collect water for him to play with or just for kicks - to see how the adults would react), 2. throwing around the neatly ironed pile of clothes 3. climbing up somewhere dangerously high - causes him to hit us immediately. I must really try out the time-outs now - atleast for the hitting other people thing.

boys will be boys i'm sure, but sometimes i feel like tearing my hairs apart in frustration. the only good thing is that he is generally a cheerful fellow and you can if you try really really hard (and provided he's in the mood to listen) reaons with him - so even if he is angry and naughty one minute, he could be loving and give apologetic kisses the next! and he really does understand everything we say. yesterday, he woke up in the night and screamed and when robi went to comfort him he pushed him off saying "appa go, appa go". I started off on a long speech about how appa would feel bad and how he had caught a flight from Delhi in the evening just to travel home and be with K and me and how after all that K was asking him to go. I also told him that I think he should apologise to appa and give him a kiss. After listening to the whole speech, K turns around looks at his appa (whose back was by now turned the other way) and in his most loving voice says "appa, appa". Appa turns around and K moves towards him and cuddles up and then we did a "hug for 3", which is one of our trademark moves of ultimate family affection, and then K proceeded to lie down quietly and treat us to a quiet night of sleep without much further trouble.