Potter Mania Continues

Look what Buzz got from her school library


..and it is such an adorable book. I sneak read parts of it while she was at school. Hundreds of kids who think Harry is real, who want Harry to come over their place, who are writing new spells for Harry.

Oh and from Buzz’s perspective please look at the book’s name. That is the only reason she picked it up🙂

Hello Potter

Mr. Harry Potter has taken over our house. Despite my misgivings she got her wish this summer and she read the whole series. She is too young for the books, I feel, but she insisted and read the seven books.

Now that is all we talk about. There are detailed questions about things she does not understand. There are games about the characters, that she has made up. There are back stories she has given all the characters. ‘They only spoke about Harry growing up, but everyone has a story, right Mumma!’ Even Bugz who was least interested in all the happenings in the world of Mr. Potter knows that Ron and Hermione are the good guys, Diagon Alley is the place where good things happen, Quidditch is the best game there is and Dumbledore is the greatest wizard there is.

The books do get dark as the series progresses and I was worried about how she would handle them. The biggest blessing came in the form of adults during her summer camps. Apparently people don’t think twice about giving spoilers about books. Way before she got to the end of any book, she knew who was going to die and sometimes the how. In her case it was indeed a blessing because she was mentally prepared for it. She was mad at ‘You know who’, ‘Bellatrix’, oh and Snape – so so angry at him! But the only time she shed a tear was on Dobby. That one she could not take. She shut the book and walked away for a good couple of hours. Then again the seventh book was the hardest she found to read. She took the longest time reading it and would not touch it for long durations in the middle.

The child who figured out Santa and Tooth Fairy are not real, all on her own really wants the words of Harry Potter to be real. She wants to visit London and find the entrance to Diagon Alley. She believes that she will get a letter from Hogwarts when she turns 11 and is worried that she will be called a Mudblood. I ask her, ‘How she knows I am not a witch’ and she replies, ‘because you do everything by hand. Our house is not like the Weasley’s.’ When I insist that I am a witch and chose not to use magic, she asks me details about my wand.

Our camping trip this past weekend had both the kids found wood twigs and pretended they were wands. They would stick their wands in the campfire and scream ‘Luminous’ and then run around to make sure the glow on the wands were gone as they screamed ‘Nox’

Why would someone pick dark magic over good magic she does not understand. Was Bellatrix every good? How could Voldemort not know he created another horcrux? The questions are endless and the passion never ending. The world of Harry Potter has another avid entrant.

New Year Resolution

Almost at the end of August, the 8th month of the year, and I write a New Year Resolution. Late am I, or what?

The night of December 31st, eve of the New Year, we were at a friends place. We were there for only a little while as there was somewhere else we needed to be in an hour’s time. While the adults mingled, the kids were upstairs playing together. Soon it was time to leave and we called to kids to go. Bugz came down with her regular huge smile, talking mile a minute but Buzz looked very subdues. After repeated asks about what was wrong, she quietly said, “the girls were mean to me.”

A big reassuring hug to her and we moved towards the door. As D opened the door, the hostess came and asked us not to forget to write our New Years Resolution on the poster by the door. While we thought about ‘eating right’, ‘working out’ – the usual resolutions, Buzz picked up the pen and wrote ‘Be Kind!’

Buzz has been in drama camp all week and today there was a performance for the parents. The kids were amazing, funny, confident, silly – perfect kids. At the end of the performance there were certificates for all the kids with one word to best describe them per the coaches. They were creative, happy, focused, funny. And then her name was called and she was ‘kind’

A check for the New Year Resolution and how! We are so very proud of you sweet Buzz, so very proud!

Strong now

“Life is best lived with minimum effort” – That seems to be Bugz moto. If she can get away with not doing something, she will do her best not to do it. This includes cleaning up after playing, remembering the simplest of things, trying to read, coloring between the lines. The list is endless.

For the past year Bugz has been taking swimming lessons. Progress you ask? None, nada, zilch, zero. The instructor tells her to put her mouth in the water. Bugz follow. The instructor then tells her to mover her arms and legs. Bugz looks up, gives her a huge smile and does nothing. One year of lessons, just because she loves to play in the water. Who needs to learn to swim?

For two people as parents who love to hike, Bugz starts to crib the minute she hits the trail. One day D and I decided to go for a walk with the kids. Bugz did not stop whining about being too tired, about how she hated to walk, about wanting to turn back. 15 minutes of non-stop Bugz whine, we were ready to turn back. And if anyone were to say that the cribbing was because it was too much distance or she is too young for the distance, Bugz proved them all wrong by running all the way back home.

She is one strong girl! Her punch can knock an adult off their feet. She can carry a gallon or two of milk without really thinking about it. She can walk/hike long distances and that too at an adult’s pace, if provided with the right incentive. It is not that she can’t do something, it is that she chooses not to do it. There are no words to state how frustrating this is as a parent.

In any case, given our love for hiking we keep taking her on hikes and as she cribs, there are talks about how hiking is a form of exercise and exercises are important, they keep us health, they make us stronger.

This past weekend, on a super sunny day, we were on a particularly difficult hike with steep incline right from the beginning of the hike and no shade. The kids were both having a hard time (and so were we). After a break for water, we started again and Bugz found her strength. Off she went running up the trail, leaving most adults behind, including us as we ran panting behind her to keep her in sight. Then suddenly she turned, let me catch up and said – “Mumma ab mein strong ho gayi. Ab chalo waapis.” (“Mumma now I am strong. Let’s turn back.”)

My minimum effort kid wins at all times. And don’t forget stronger!!!

Get Milk

D’s trip to a grocery store follows a general pattern –

Me: Can you head to the grocery store? We really need to and I am stuck with xyz right now.
D: Sure, can you make me a cup of tea before I leave?
Me: !!!!
D: OK OK, what do we need to get?
Me: *rattle out a list of things which are everyday grocery list for me* Onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, green chilies, eggs, milk..
D: What? I can’t remember all that! Can you write it down for me?
Me: *rather than argue, I quickly find a paper and pen and write it all down*

20 minutes later the phone rings.

D: I lost the list. I kept it in my pocket but can’t find it. Can you tell me what all I need to get?
Me: *goes over things again*
D: Wait, I can’t remember all this. Let me grab things from the veggi section and call you back!
Me: !!!!

Call after 5 mins

D: Do we need Penuts?
Me: No
D: How about juice?
Me: No
D: Oh oh I see yogurt?
Me: No! we make our own. Can you please stick to the list?

2 or 3 calls later, what is required is bought and paid for and I get a message saying, “Done, heading home!”


All this is of course when he is going to the grocery store from home. Then there are times when I tell him to get something on his way from work.

6:15 P.M.
Me:  Can you get so and so on your way from work?
D: Sure!
Me: What time are you leaving?
D: 15 mins

6:40 P.M.
Me: Have you left yet?
D: Got stuck. Leaving in 5

7:00 P.M.
D: On my way
Me: Don’t forget to get so and so
D: Yeah!

7:30 P.M.
Garage door opens. The kids run down to greet him. There is general cheer everywhere. And it all comes to a stand still as soon as he sees my face.
D: Oh no! I forgot. I will go now and get it.
Me: Never mind! We will make do without it for today.



I was out for a run when a car caught my eye. It had something written on the driver side windshield. As it came closer, I looked closely. In bold letters, with a red sharpie, it read – GET MILK!

I had to stop to take in the brilliance of it! It was practical and funny and perfect, all at the same time. Try and forget that one, dear husbands!



Matter of heart

Buzz came back from school with an envelope, 3 pages of instructions and talked about heart, jump, donation, puppies. With a lot of things on my mind and emotionally not open to taking in everything she was talking about, I told her we would talk about it in a few days. With a long face, she walked away.

A couple of days later she came back and talked again. The school was hosting an event to support American Heart Institute and the kids were all to jump rope based on the money they collected, to educate about the importance of exercising and keeping the heart healthy. Could I donate some money, so that she could participate? Also there were different stuffed toy puppies that the kids earned based on the amount of money they collected, and she really wanted a couple of those.

I sat her down and explained that the idea behind the money raising drive was not asking parents to give the money. It was about talking to people, raising awareness about heart health and asking them for donate for the cause. Hard hearted mom that I was, I could not make things easy for her and give her money just so that she could get some stuffed toys and participate in the jumping rope activity in school. If she really wanted to do it, she had to do it all. Go talk to people and ask for money. We would donate some as well, but only if she did some work first.

She sat on the idea for a couple of days. Asked questions on how she could raise money. The grocery store, knocking door to door, the mall – ideas we came up with.

We were heading to the grocery store yesterday and she carried her envelope. She said her ‘excuse mes’ as she walked up to someone. Explained what she was doing and asked her question. ‘Could you contribute may be $5?’ She thought it would be easy. With $100 her goal, she did her math and figured all she needed to do was ask 20 people and she would be done. The script of course did not work as planned. A handful of people gave her a dollar or two but mostly all she heard was ‘All the best, but sorry!” After about 30 or so tries, there were tears in her eyes, here voice heavy. I told her I was proud of her for putting herself out there and knew it was not easy to hear ‘no’, but collecting money was not easy either. I asked her to stop and we could try again later. Demoralized we came back home.

Back home as she counted her money, $11.50, D encouraged her and told her that we would match everything she collected. $23 already she finally laughed.

Today after school we went to the mall. ‘There are more people there’, she told me. As I sat with my book, she walked around and made her case. After yesterday’s experience she took nos with a lot more grace. She smiled and thanked people. She talked and made a better case. At one point she spend 10 or so minutes talking to a mom and returned with a huge smile and 65cents in her hand. She jumped with excitement with every amount that she raised. And then when she was tired, she came and said ‘Lets go home Mumma!’

Current count is $54.34. She has also made a deal with D to convert her $4.34 to $5. $55 and matched by us she comes to $110. She couldn’t be more excited. We couldn’t be more proud. She did it on her own. She learned and can say she raised the money. I learned as well and can say, always be kind to kids trying to do something like this, even when you say no for whatever your reasons might be. Kindness goes a long way and the kids remember those more that even the amount of money they get. Buzz definitely talked more about those people than anyone else.

As she takes the money in to school tomorrow, she has to deal with a new challenge. Jump rope 220 times. Wish her luck!


Question and its answer

Buzz has this fascination with family relationships. There are always questions around Bua, Mama, Tau Ji, Nana, Dada – the list goes on. But more importantly there are always questions around how do people come together to get married. Or I should say there were.

The other set of questions she has are – Do I have to *insert question* when I grow up?

Do I have to become famous when I grow up?
Do I have to cook when I grow up?
Do I have to give up milk when I grow up?

Most times my answer is, “you don’t have to if you don’t want to.” (based on the questions of course. “Do I have to eat my fruits when I grow up?” has only one answer, a resounding yes.) This answer, I almost always follow up with a “Why?” Mostly because I want to understand her thought process and where the question in coming from.

That the two set of questions collided came as no surprise to me. One evening on our drive back from school, she asked “Do I have to marry when I grow up?”

“No you don’t. That is your choice,” I told her, “but why do you ask?”

“Because then you have to kiss and that is just ewww!” she replied.


Her class was learning about the life of Martin Luther King recently. The kids were really impressed and spoke about it constantly. Ask me, I had impromptu quiz every day and disgusted looks were given because I did not know the year Martin Luther King was born.

Buzz’s teacher wrote the anecdote in one of her class emails – When I spoke about his marriage, a collective ewww went out in the class. They all looked disgusted that such a great man could make a blunder like this.

Buzz came home with another set of questions”

“Do you know who Martin Luther King’s idol was?”
Ahh finally a question I knew. “Mahatma Gandhi” I replied.
“Was Mahatma Gandhi married?”
“Yes he was.”

Before I could show off my knowledge and rattle details about Gandhi, she had walked away shaking her head. Two great men had made the same mistake!


“I don’t like S. I am not going to talk to her again!” she told me in her angry voice.
“What happened? What did S say?” I asked.
“She said A and I will get married when we grow up.”
“I am not getting married to him or anyone else. I don’t want to get married, EVER!”
“OK then.”


Bugz was cribbing about being the younger sibling (story for another day), so we got talking about how Papa was the youngest sibling and how Mumma was also the youngest sibling and how much fun it was to be the youngest in the family.

“Mumma do I have to get married when I grow up?” Buzz asked again.
“You don’t have to, if you don’t want to.” came to standard response.
“Because kissing is ewww, right Didi?” asked the youngest one, remembering the conversation in the car.
“Well Bugz, at some point in your life you will have to kiss someone!” She shrugged.

And she has grown and how, that to in less than a month, mom laughs holding her stomach.