These days we need to be extra cautious about what we say, sing or how we express ourselves in front of BB.

He quickly latches on to any interesting phrase or expression, quietly records it for later references and it soon shows up in his conversations.

Sometimes he manages to use the phrase  in the right context, but there are times when he seems to be using it to just show off his improved vocabulary.

1)PP and BB are busy repairing one of his toys.BB wants to do something and PP tells him not to do it.BB is not very happy with this, decides to get back at PP and loudly states ‘Papa, chumma* you are cooking up stories’. PP looks shocked and I start giggling. BB seeing the effect his new vocabulary has on us decides to use the phrase again and again like he is trying very hard to convince his dad not to con him. PP and I are soon laughing our guts out.

PP uses the ‘cooking up stories’ phrase quite frequently in his conversation and our chuppa rustam BB has quietly picked this up.

2.It’s late in the night and we were getting ready to leave after visiting my parents last Sunday. My dad is helping BB put on his shoes and is trying to convince him to stay back.

Muthacha(my dad)- You stay back here today. Let your Amma and Papa go.

BB: No Muthacha, I am going to my house.

Muthacha: But this is also your house.

BB: No no, this is not my house. This is your house.

Muthacha: No, this is not my house. I only stay here. But this is your house.

BB: Muthacha, chumma you are cooking up stories.

Muthacha looks shocked initially and then starts laughing. PP and I the other hand don’t know if we should be shocked, amazed or proud, reprimand him or just laugh it off.

3)I say ‘Oh My God ‘ and ‘Oh Man ‘ when I am surprised and now the copy cat BB does the same.

‘Oh my God, that is the problem. Repair it and then the car will work Papa’ BB says as PP and BB together figure that there are some lose wires in his remote controlled car.

4)If I happen to hear a catchy tune on TV or radio, it stays in my head and I tend to sing/hum the same song for couple of days as I go about my work at home. One day I realized that I was absent-mindedly singing the ‘Shiela ki Jawani’ song. I stopped singing very abruptly when I reached the ‘I am too sexy for you’ line and turned to look at BB. BB gave me a mischievous smile and started humming the song. Luckily he had not picked up the lyrics and BB soon filled in some personalized lyrics. So now father and son go around singing ‘Bua ki friend Vani, I like to drink pani…..’ to the tune of ‘Sheila ki jawani’.

*Chumma-mallu word for simply. Not to be mistaken for the Hindi Chumma.

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Isn’t it wonderful how a little greenery can change the look and mood of a place?

This is what our terrace looked like when we moved in about 5 years back.

And this is what our wild terrace garden looks like now.

I was not a garden enthusiast.When we moved into this house, the MIL, SIL and PP who are all garden enthusiasts would try to outdo each other to get the best flowering plants and kitchen garden plants for the little patch of land we have in the backyard and for the terrace garden.But over the years, the interest levels waned and I realized that the terrace garden was beginning to look really sad.

Initially I only took up the job of watering the plants . I didnt even know the plants I was watering for a long time.But this was one chore that I looked forward to very morning.There is a certain joy in watching as a the water from the hose pipe brings life to the just waking up plants every morning , as the sun-baked soil in the pots( specially with the scorching heat of the summers) soaks up the water and  almost breathes a sigh of relief ,as the little earthworms, insects etc come alive after their shower ,as the whole cemented area gets drenched in water.

And soon the love for gardening caught up with me.

PP who planned the garden initially does not believe in any organized planting. So he planted 2-3 plants in every pot.And BB who has been trained by his father also adds to the wild confusion by popping shankupushpam, tulsi seed pods and doddapathre stems into random pots. So now our  garden(if you could still call it one) has about 40 pots with 2-3 plants each and all the plants grow in happy,wild abandon.

Lily Pond

Fresh mint

Lemon grass which we use to make yummy Thai green curry

Red greens(oxymoron?)

Bachale(another type of greens)

Wheatgrass and mint in the same pot

Wind chime we picked up from the Dastakar mela this year

A little flowering plant growing in the crevice

The view of the garden from our room

A little belated,but wanted to put down this lovely memory to reminisce about later on

My veliacchan and veliamma( chacha and chachi) , their 2 sons with their families  decided to celebrate Onam in Bangalore at my parents place this year. So my Dad’s younger brother(appan) and his wife(cheriamma )and their 2 sons also decided to join the celebrations.My parents had also invited my in-laws and my sister’s mother-in-law this year for Onam.

How did it become a celebration of national integration?

My dad’s younger brother wife (cheriamma) is a Tulu speaking Mangalorean. Her sister and her husband also decided to join us for Onam this year.

My brother-in-law(sister’s hubby) is an Kannada+ tamil speaking Iyengar. My sister’s MIL K aunty came along with her sister. K aunty decided to add yummy Vangi bath to the traditional Onam Sadhya. So while the there was the Paladda paysam bubbling away on one stove, all the ladies were standing around learning to make Vangi Bath from K Aunty at the other stove.

My in-laws are originally Rajputs, but their ancestors migrated to Tenali(in Andhra) generations back. So they speak Hindi at home, but they follow the customs,food habits and festivals of Andhra. My MIL’s brother,wife and his in-laws who are from Tirupathi were visiting us and so they all decided to join the Onam celebrations at my parents place.

My sister, BIL and my niece could not make it for the afternoon Onam Sadhya,but they joined the celebrations later in the night.

BB had a blast with my cousin’s little daughter A and later on with my niece N. He almost smothered A with his love and affection.

The simple pookalam was completely the handiwork of BB and his cousin A.

When BB started school in January this year, we decided to give him time to settle down and not burden him with too many new changes.So we did not bother to send him by the school van. Instead PP dropped him off and picked him every day over the 3 months before he started his summer vacation in April.But now that he seems to have settled down in school, we decided to get him to travel by the school van.

His school reopened on May 27th and I dropped him off at school since it was his first day after a long break. He went to school without a whimper and he didn’t even turn and look at me when I left him at the gate. But I was really apprehensive about his first day in the school van on Monday morning as he is the first one to be picked up and the last one to be dropped off.

On Monday, we managed to get him ready in time for the school van( which is a big deal in itself as the father and son duo used to leave home at around 9 which is when he is supposed to be in school 🙂 ). But he didn’t have an appetite and refused to have his breakfast.So to keep him going, we bought him a tetra juice pack . Sipping his juice, he happily climbed into the van and waved a cheery bye at us as the van moved away. The whole family (papa, mama, bua, dada, dadi and badi dadi ) just stood on the road, shocked  at how comfortable the darling ladla seemed to be going away on his own. The papa and mama left for work and when I called home later in the afternoon,I was told that BB returned in the van without any tears. But he seemed to be in a state of shock about this sudden responsibility of going on his own to school. The driver also mentioned that he was very quiet all through the trip and didn’t kick up a fuss or cry or interact with the other kids.

So we knew that Tuesday morning would bring its share of tantrums. And as predicted, he refused to get into the school van. Finally both PP and I also got in and he calmed down. The driver drove up to the main road and then we discreetly got out. As the school van drove away, we could hear BB crying loudly. PP and I stood there holding hands and I cried a few silent tears as I watched the van drive away. After all which mean mother sends her not-even 3-year-old in a school van all by himself.We slowly walked back home and the guilty mom that I was, I decided to take the day off and stay at home to receive my brave brave baby when he came back from school.Half an hour later we called the driver to check if BB was OK and he informed us that he had stopped crying the minute the van drove away from us. And to think I was playing the guilty mother drama queen role to my best  of my acting abilities.

Today he had his usual tantrum in the morning when getting into the van.But we saw that he had settled down even before the van reached the end of the road.And when I called home later in the afternoon, I got the good news that BB had come home smiling and happy in the school van.

So my almost three old is now not only attending school without any tears, but is also happily travelling on his own in the school van.Hope he makes loads of friend and enjoys his journeys as much as he enjoys his school hours.

Its  a relaxed Sunday morning. I am in the kitchen chopping veggies for lunch, BB is in the living room  playing with his toys and the FIL is instructing the electrician who has finally made an appearance after a few weeks of playing truant.  I am talking to BB in a mix of English and Malayalam. Suddenly BB enters the kitchen with a toy in his hand.

BB: Amma, kanuna kay kanu.

Me: Doshu koshu Tosh. Kanuna kon kay lishto.

BB: Honu Kon

Me: Kolu Kosh mich tow how lao. tish pish kish. Honu kon kay listhto.

FIL and the electrician are now curious and are listening intently to this conversation.

BB: hanamana

Me: kalu bolu tolu dish. hanama rish pish.

BB( suddenly getting bored with the effort of this  converstaion): Amma dont talk like that

Me: OK baby. Amma will not talk like that.

And we go back to talking in our mix of English and Malayalam.

The previous  few sentences of the conversation remain our secret. A secret to us also as we have no clue what we said to each other.

But it was a moment of a rare mama-son bonding and we both enjoyed it! 😀

BB has been introduced to 3 languages-Hindi, Malayalam and English.

PP speaks to him exclusively in English. FIL, MIL and SIL talk to him in Hindi and I speak to him in Malayalam.But the smart dude has slowly figured that knowing English is good enough as it is the common language that we all know. So he has quietly stopped conversing in Hindi and Malayalam and responds to everybody in English. Even when I make it a point to talk to him in Malayalam, his responses are always in English and I have to force him to give me a response in Malayalam. Only his Dadi  (my mother in-law) who is not very conversant with English gets the special treatment and he makes it a point to speak to her in Hindi.

And I have to say that while Hindi and Malayalam are being ignored royally, his grasp on the English language has improved by leaps and bounds.

About 3 months back, PP’s  uncle visited us. He is a very dramatic person and likes to express himself in a similar fashion. So he was trying to convey how BB and his antics have taken over our lives and so he taught BB the famous ‘I came, I saw and I conquered’ line. BB learnt the line and went around parroting it for a few days after the uncle’s visit.

Last week, BB was playing with a balloon. The balloon kept slipping away from his hands and into the air away from his reach.He spent about 5 minutes frantically running after the balloon, trying to catch the knotted portion with his tiny hands.Finally he managed to get a good hold on the balloon and shaking the balloon excitedly in the air, he shouted out ‘ I conquered the balloon’.  PP and I stopped in our tracks, looked at him and then at each other with surprise and then smiled proudly at our little conqueror.

He had not only remembered the slightly complicated word  from about 3 months back, but had also understood the exact meaning of the word in the line and has just used it in the right context.


Shruti, this one is for you.Thanks for the lovely idea.

I had shown this lovely tree to the hubby and PP being a tree lover and an artist had loved the idea of using simple hand prints and finger prints to depict a tree.

It was his birthday this week and Baby Banana and I decided to surprise him by hand printing a tree for him.

 

The brown trunk of the tree was BB’s contribution and the leaves were my contribution to the surprise. (The original idea was to get BB to do the whole tree. But BB got quite carried away with the hand painting and had to be given a fresh sheet of paper to try his creative prints  on while I completed the leaves).

Needless to say,PP loved the card 🙂