Category: Bugz

In the middle

“Mumma why do I not have a middle name?” Buzz asked me one day.

We went on to have a long conversation about how names are chosen in different cultures, why some people choose to have a middle name or a number middle names, why some people choose to have Jr. etc. behind their kids name.

“Mumma some time at school I add a middle name to my name!” she told me then.

Taken by surprise I asked her what she wrote?

“Sugar”, she came back, “because you some times call me cheeni, which means sugar!”

Suddenly, Bugz, who had been listening till then chimed in with utter glee:

“So my middle name will be Pataka!”

********************************************************

That be that folks! 😀

Advertisements

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!!!

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.”
“errr”
“I am not getting married to him or anyone else. I don’t want to get married, EVER!”
“Ever?”
“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.

Chat Chat Chatter

Dear Bugz,

The phone rang today and before I could say “Hello”, you had it in your hands and were talking away. I was only invited to the conversation to help explain, what you were saying, to the other person on the line. Excitedly you talked and I looked on with a smile.

Everyday during pickup there is some new story about your talks from one or the other teacher at school. You stop in the middle of the road to talk to a stranger. You chat up people in the pool, while they are trying to swim. You talk about school, your teachers, your friends, your ladybug backpack, the books you like, how Didi and you landed up in the same swim class, your plans to ski during the winter, your new car seat, gummy bears, ice-cream, letter sounds, songs – the list is endless.

Your Didi is the shy one, who does not even say hello to people she knows, so it has been a slow realization for your Paa and me that you are the exact opposite. We are not used to having to watch what our child says to people and then to have to look horrified and apologize to some stranger at the gym, just because you called out to him, “You silly guy, why are you not wearing a shirt?” is definitely an experience. While we are still learning the pitfalls of a talkative child, we can only be thankful for your still baby voice which makes understanding what you say a little difficult for people who are not used to hearing you talk.

Every time we talk to family, they only want to talk to you. Well because you talk back. Your giggles, your laughs and your non-stop chatter keeps them entertained. You also have your pet phrases for everyone. There is “funny Nana!”, “when will you come here?” for S Mami, “Russo!” for Bua, “We will come for Christmas!” for Mama and Mami and the list goes on.

I look back at the time when as a year old, you hardly spoke a word. Your Paa was so worried for you and I would laugh as say, “Wait till she starts and then she won’t stop.” You have proved me right and how! Even when there are times when I put my hands up and ask you to stop, I wish you a world full of happy conversations. Stay happy, stay healthy, stay you – my dear little chatterbox.

Loads of love,
-Maa

The Question

Bugz currently is that stage of life where play rules and food loses every time in front of it. Even with her favorite meal she gets distracted in a little bit and starts out on some game or another, so imagine the plight of the food she is not fond of? In an effort to avoid battle lines being drawn over dinner table where the two of us stand on opposite sides, I poured my creative juices in to the mix. There was coaxing her to finish her meal, there was putting the food away to eat later when she was hungry, there was ‘no playing at the dinning table’ rule, there was award for finishing her plate. Needless to say nothing worked, but the sight of food being wasted every day was something that was getting to me.

On my very edge, I spoke to her about wasting food and how there were kids going hungry. Buzz got interested as well and the two of them started asking questions. Excited to see that they were thinking about the concept, I searched online and started showing them pictures of malnourished kids. The pictures were very graphic, and I could see that the two of them were a little shaken. The questions started again as they saw one picture after the other.

– Why are they not eating
– Why do they not have food?
– Why don’t their parents get food from the store?

And then Buzz comes up with the question of the day:
If people are so poor that they don’t have food to eat, why do they have babies?

at which point all things came to a halt as I grappled to find the right answer. The question has been asked a couple of times since and I still have not answer that I think will work. Please help if you can!

In the middle

Higher, push me higher!

She screams, trying to catch up to Didi. Didi, of course, pumps her legs to go higher still, laughing as she swings back and forth.

—————————————————

Bugz, come catch me.

Off they go running. Little feet unable to catch the bigger faster ones, but laughter follows and so do shrieks of frustration.

—————————————————

Biking, biking! Let’s go biking

Longer legs, bigger bike, she zooms off as soon as we get to the trail. With her little bike, sitting comfortably on her bike, training wheels still in place, the little one peddles on leisurely, laughing gleefully as she spots her Didi, every now and then.

—————————————————

With the perpetual need to keep an eye on both of them, I run between the two of them – sometimes faster, sometimes slower, sometimes backwards, sometimes forward. The sun is out, the day is beautiful, the kids are happy, there are laughs, there are stops for hugs, there are endless smiles. As they go about playing, they run circles around me. Never consciously, always unsaid, mostly unacknowledged, yet I always find myself in the middle – middle of their play, middle of their fight, middle of their love – and every time, my heart swells up.

—————————————————

Mumma, let me push her now. Higher and higher!

She comes and takes over, while the little one nods her head excitedly.

No Didi! I can’t catch you.

She comes back to hold hands and off they go running together.

Didi, wait for me!

Barely able to keep her balance, she rides alongside, just to keep the little sister happy.

Rapid Fire with Bugz

Comfy proposes, real life disposes!
So much for proclamations of being a regular, but rather than crying over what is – let’s begin with asking the ever spontaneous, forever in motion, little bunny of the house,  Bugz a few questions.

Favorite Food: Pasta with Pesto sauce, yes that sauce is very important and PANEER!
Favorite Color: Pink, duh!
Favorite Show: Cat in the hat
Favorite Song: Ball gana, or Mr. India parody song from what Mom keeps calling it.
Favorite Sport: Skiing! I can ski, did anyone tell you? Yes, I can!
Favorite Art to do: Cutting! Anything to cut and I am for it. I can make any shape, or imagine shape as per Mom, all I need is lots of paper and a scissor. For extra credits, give me some glue.
Favorite Game to play: Pretend cooking. I love to get everything I can lay my hands on from the kitchen and cook away.
Want to be when you grow up: A cook, of course!
Favorite Thing to Say: No Didi!
Mom’s Favorite Thing to Say: Bugz, Clean up.
Your response to that: AGAIN!
Reaction when you don’t get your way: Start coughing, which may or may not result in to throwing up. Gets immediate response.
Picky about: How my blanket is spread when I go to sleep. It has to touch this part of the wall and not that one. It has to fall like this and not go there. All important stuff, I hope you understand.
Don’t like doing: My letters and numbers. Writing them is still kind of OK but mostly it is all boring.
Current grown up thing to do: Give up nap. I would be much more successful if the people in the house would let me sleep at 5:00 in the evening.
Candy love: I don’t like chaloclate, but lollypop I can’t resist. Ice-creams are another favorite but again no chaloclate.
Last thing to say before you sleep: “Hum kab uthega?”, meaning “What time will we wake up?”

Thank you Bugz for your precious time but before we go, we wanted to share something special Bugz’ teacher wanted us to share with all of you. Here is Bugz’ “Mommy and Me” responses from Mother’s day. Till next time — 

BugzMother'sDay