Okay, so I always start these posts with updates from Xena's hospital visits so I can get the unpleasant stuff out of the way and move on to the really fun stuff. However, this time, the hospital news is the best news. The hole in Xena's heart, which had not closed at her last scan, has now closed by itself, so she won't be needing any surgery. I don't think blogger has the font size that I want to write this in, so I will just use the regular font size, borrow Gogoji's ghaghra, and dance to 'DHAKKI TIKI DHAKKI TIKI DHAKKI TIKI!' Though she still has about 7 more years of follow-up at the hospital, this had been one of the more serious issues. With this out of the way, I can now focus on my research paper titled 'Human photosynthesis -- How Xena gets all her energy without eating anything'. This research paper also features poetry, and below is a sample I wrote on Xena's behalf, while Viv was away on work in Paris:
Papa, I think you should come back soon
Mama's going all crazy and hyper
She says if I refuse another meal
She'll refuse to change my diaper!
To be fair to her, I won't say that she doesn't eat anything willingly. She does eat some things. All her toys for instance. She has tried to, at some point or the other, devour all of her toys, be it plastic, cardboard, rubber or fabric. To the point that I have to classify the toys and voluntarily hand her select items. One day, I actually found myself saying these exact words, "Baby!!! Don't chew on the book! Cardboard is not edible! Here, take this plastic duck instead." (Yep, I'm wondering the same thing as you. They actually let me write science books for children??)
On the advice of many parents, I decided to try out some iPad apps to persuade her to eat. So I enter a search for this app called 'Babycards' and the app store, perhaps familiar with the plight of several such exasperated parents, asks me, "Did you mean Bacardi?" Sure, I thought. It may not help her with her eating, but it might just help me with her non-eating.
Speaking of apps, you know how babies these days are born with the ability to proficiently use Apple products? Mine is one of them, and one of her favourite activities is quitting apps on the iPad. And how. She actually says "Buh-bye!" to the apps as she quits them. I think she is ready to be the new ambassador for Singapore's courtesy campaign. (Yes, we have a courtesy campaign in our country. We are very very rude as a people.) We also have a kindness movement, a clean public toilets campaign, a speak good English campaign, and a 'Folks, please be patriotic and have more babies for the country' campaign. I swear I did not make any of that stuff up. If you don't believe me, ask google.
Anyway, going back to Xena and phones, I was puzzling over why my phone's dictionary was not allowing even simple words when I realized that she had secretly changed the dictionary language to Malay! I think I should get a 'Bahaya! Jangan dekat!' ("Danger! Keep Out!" a sign often seen at construction sites) wallpaper to keep her away from my phone.
It's not just my phone that needs that sign. Xena can't stay in one place for more than 7 seconds. She wants to go everywhere. Except the kitchen. I don't even have a safety gate for my kitchen because for some strange reason, she never steps inside. Maybe she knows that her greatest enemy lurks there -- FOOD. And because she photosynthesises to get energy, she believes that the rest of us do too, and hence she does all she can to prevent us from eating anything in any restaurant we go to. I was extremely impressed with the staff at Indian Wok though. The wait staff realised that there was no way Viv and I could eat in peace because Xena wanted to go here, there and everywhere. And so they took turns to carry her and play with her, while we managed to have an actual mealtime conversation after ages. At one point, they even took her inside the kitchen, presumably to meet the chef, who I hope told her that food is not as evil as she thinks it is.
A few years ago, I would look at such 'unruly toddlers', shake my then judgemental head and say, "Look at that toddler walking all over the restaurant! Sheesh. I mean, how hard is it for the parents to keep their kid in one place??" Now I shake all over. With laughter. At the thought of anyone thinking that a toddler can be made to stay in one place.
Of course, her extreme mobility has its advantages too. I can eat all the junk food I want and not gain a single gram. In fact, Viv and I were talking about the Insanity Workout package some of the guys at cricket were using, and it suddenly hit me -- I should market and sell my own Insanity workout package. It will be a set of 11 DVDs featuring me chasing Xena around. Cheap. Effective.
And when I'm tired of chasing her around, I simply praise the malls for having these things.
The photo below was taken today. She's wearing a traditional Maharashtrian outfit that Viv's aunt gave her. Anyone knows the name of the outfit? I'm tempted to say the generic "Lehenga choli" but I bet it has a more specific name.
Lastly, wish us lots of luck as we embark on her first flight to the US next week. We have been meaning to do this trip for a while now, as I haven't seen my sister in years, and Xena hasn't seen her cousins, umm... ever. I'm not yet excited. I will only be excited after the most challenging part is over -- the flight and keeping Xena entertained on it. True, she has done Singapore-Perth, but back then, she was only 8 months old, didn't walk around, slept a lot, and didn't expect entertainment. Singapore-New York will be something. Any tips on preserving the sanity of the unsuspecting passengers and cabin crew we're going to unleash her upon?