Saturday, August 17, 2013

The warrior princess diaries - XII

So the last warrior princess diaries post was on 3rd April and I'm seriously lagging behind. Fortunately, FB comes to my rescue because I jot down little things about her as my status, which not only updates my family and friends about her antics, but also helps me when I compile these posts.

Xena is now at an age where she thinks about things, and processes information and makes little statements that touch my heart. Every day on the way back from school, when the bus would take a sharp turn and she would cling on to me, scared. I would hold her hand and say, "It's okay, baby." One day, as the bus turned, before I could do or say anything, she took my hand and said, "Sokay, mommy."

Then there are other times when a potentially touching moment becomes hilarious. She was peering into my face with much interest so I peered back into hers, tapped her nose with my finger and said, "Mommy loves you." She tapped my forehead with her finger and said, "Mommy has pimple." Great.

But then the touching moments always come back. Once I held her face in my hands and said, "Hey, beautiful." She then held my face in her hands and said, "Mommy beautiful." Then she held Viv's (whom she calls 'poppy') face in her hands and said, "Poppy beautiful." Then she finally declared, "Sab log (everybody) beautiful."

And then the other moments come back. She came running to show me her latest bruise and said, "Mommy, please sayang-sayang!" ('Sayang' is a Malay word for 'caress/pat'.) So I sayang-ed her bruise and just for fun, showed her an old scar on my hand and said, "Xena, please sayang-sayang?" She took one look at it, realised it was not worth her time or sayang-ing, and said, "Mommy, please sayang it yourself." :|

I didn't know she observes me so keenly whenever I take a cab with her. We were at a friend's place and he offered to drop us home in his car. As soon as she sat down and belted up, she turned to him and said, "Siglap". (That's where we live.) It was a facepalm moment of course, but it was hilarious nonetheless.

In April, my mom-in-law's sister and brother-in-law had visited us and went back and recounted her antics to my mother-in-law, such as how she says, "Xena almost gir gayi" ("Xena almost fell down") when she stumbles but doesn't fall. My mother-in-law could take it no more and planned a sudden visit to see the live show. Xena had a lot of fun getting pampered by her grandma. And I started making chai again (I only make it every day when mom or my in-laws are here). Xena was once playing with an umbrella when I suddenly felt mean and adventurous and gave her a long set of instructions, "Baby, can you put the umbrella back in the bag and then go out and see if paati (grandma) is awake and ask her if she wants chai?" To my total surprise, she put the umbrella back in the bag, went to the living room and said to her napping grandma, "Wake up, paati. Chai?"

I'd also asked my mom-in-law to bring a plastic cricket set from India as I couldn't find it anywhere here. Xena was super excited to see it and took to it like a fish to water. Viv was so proud.

As outdoorsy as she is, she loves to help out with housework too. This also helps me keep her occupied in the late afternoons, since I still don't let her watch any TV. Whenever she sees me with a broom, she asks for her "blue wala" and sweeps the floor, aka, pushes everything that I'd swept back to its original location. So I just allocate a corner to her and tell her that it's VERY DIRTY, and as she rushes there to launch a vicious attack on the non-existent dust, I quickly sweep the rest of the room.

She also likes to peel boiled eggs and garlic, which works great for me since I hate peeling garlic. She gets really engrossed in it. Once, to liven up the tedious (to me) activity, I tried to make small talk with her. Without looking up from her garlic, she said, "Xena is peeling garlic. Please don't disturb Xena." Whoa. My mom-in-law had told me that when Viv was a kid, he once pointed to the crescent moon and exclaimed, "GARLIC!" I was very amused when the first thing Xena said when she saw a garlic clove was, "MOON!"

She's a total chatterbox, and forms full sentences with ease. I love looking at the world from her perspective, and figuring out why she says what she says. And some of the words she uses send me into splits. Once she pulled the skin at my elbow and said, "Wrinkles." I bent my elbow and she was totally amazed that the 'wrinkles' disappeared. She straightened my elbow, pulled at the skin again and said, "Mommy, please switch off the wrinkles again!"

Just yesterday, I introduced touch-me-not leaves to her at the beach yesterday. I got her to touch the leaves with a stick and she had a blast watching them close. On the way back, she was surprised not to spot any (it was getting dark and the leaves had closed) and asked me, "Touch-me-not kahan gaya?" (Where did the touch-me-not go?), and then answering her own question said, "Home chala gaya, dudu peeke, teeth brush karke soooooo jayega." (It's gone home, it will drink milk, brush its teeth and go to sleeeeeeep.)

Lately, more and more people are saying that she looks a lot more like me than Viv. Muahahaha. I still maintain that she looks most like my dad, but then I look like my dad so it's ok. Last week, she and I were on Skype with my parents and I was telling them how much she looks like my dad. Just for fun, I tapped her nose and asked her, "Is this Grandpa's nose?" She said, "Nooooo," and pointing to my dad on the screen said, "Grandpa already has nose."

Honestly speaking (and touchwood), I'm not having a hard time with the so-called 'terrible twos'. Yet. She's generally well-behaved and does not throw tantrums. It's possible to reason stuff with her in a calm manner. Of course, I do use my 'stern mommy face' when needed. Once, she was about to throw a toy to the floor when I glared at her with the sternest face I could make. I'd never given her this look before and I think I even scared myself a little bit. She looked at me for a few seconds, gently put the toy down, burst into tears, came running to me and said, "Mommy, happy face, please!"

Of course, I'm not the only one doing the scolding. It comes back to me too. I was reading a book and cycling at the same time when I got a rap from my little safety inspector, "Hold the handles, mommy!" Did I mention I was riding a stationary bike?

We spend our afternoons singing a lot of songs and nursery rhymes (I had to actually Youtube some to recall the lyrics!) and she seems to love it.

She's eating a little better now, though she's still very very underweight (8.5 kg at 2 years and 5 months). Her teachers tell me that she's started self-feeding a bit, so that's great. Her average lunch at school is still about 2 spoons (the teachers note it down for me every day). I have stopped pureeing everything and she's tolerating a little texture now. Sometimes she surprises me by actually asking for food. Once she was reading a book where an elephant was drinking orange juice from a glass with a straw (don't ask) and she said she wanted to drink orange juice from a glass with a straw! You can't imagine how high I jumped with joy, and how fast I produced the deliverables in front of her. She's also been eyeing this strawberry kitchen toy set that I have been withholding from her. Now she knows the drill. She will point to it and say, "Strawberry wala toy chahiye." ("I want the strawberry toy.") and then she will say, "Xena bahut sara khana khayegi, dudu piyegi, big and strong ho jayegi, toh mummy strawberry wala toy degi." ("Xena will eat a lot of food, drink a lot of milk, become big and strong then mommy will give the strawberry toy.")

When the haze hit Singapore, we had to stay indoors all day, which was a pain. Luckily, I always keep a stash of library books which pulled us through. I also think that the haze had hindered her photosynthesis so she was actually asking for food. Look, she's having popsicle for the first time! Of course, she had three licks and politely returned it to me, but still!

My haze-hindered-photosynthesis theory was further supported by the fact that when we were making banana 'happy face' pancakes for her school project, she actually ate a 1 mm x 1 mm x 1 mm piece!

And ooh, she finally fit into a very pretty dress that our friends had given her for her 1st birthday!

Recently, her Bubblegum masi (one of the bar's bewdis who met me and became best friends with Xena instead) came home, armed with her DSLR and took some really nice photos of Xena.

Speaking of great photographs, here's one of Xena and me taken by my sister-in-law at the beach.

Last week, her school celebrated Hari Raya Aidilfitri (Eid) at school. Children could dress up in traditional Malay clothes if they wanted. I braved and scoured the Hari Raya bazaar for two hours and came back armed with a kebaya for her. I wish they had it in my size too! (Purple is my favourite colour.) The teachers were thrilled to see her in the outfit.

She also celebrated Singapore's National Day on 9th August, dressed in the Singapore colours of red and white. I had dressed her up in a red and white dress, red and white socks, white shoes, a red and white clip, red and white flag stickers on her wrists, and armed her with a flag. OTT much? I think so. But I reckon she will only let me do inane things like this for another year, after which she will learn to roll her eyes at her crazy mommy. Till then, crazy I shall remain.


Sri said...


Amazing post! When Xena reads them , she will be so happy that her Mom is such a hands on mother!:)

I am actually awestruck that she still doesnt watch TV!

Happy to know her eating habit is improving...all the best!

Prasoon said...

"Mommy, please sayang it yourself." Hehehe.
Lovely post Sayesha and so nice to read about Xena's antics :)

Alice said...

So so cute. And that kebaya waala pic is ekdum jhakaas :)

gugun said...

Loved this post !

Bubblegum.... said...

A Proud masi :P I might have to change my blog name :P

Unknown said...

May the craziness never cease. May she grow on to be bigger, stronger, smarter and much much more!

She is an adorable child with oodles of enthusiasm and am guessing is not letting mommy pull stern faces too often.

Ha Ha Ha! On the kebaya, my first thought was do mommy and beti share fav colour. It is a very pretty outfit. And for the N-day OTT, yep enjoy it while it lasts, soon the eye rolling and vetoing shall begin.

Huggs and muaahs to A!!

ioyces said...

The taxi bit cracked me up! Well done Xena!! :D Such a darling!

~ PragyaN ~ said...

love the 'moon' n 'garlic' connection! great post, as usual! :)

vijayaraghavan said...

The news about Xena's improved intake is very good. May Xena's appetite grow multifold. Regarding Xena's Antics, she is so cute and intelligent. I don't know whether you have a fan club or not, I certainly know Xena has a fan club. Because I am the Secretary of All India (world) Xena's fan club. May her antics continue. I ask you to update about her well being and antics on a weekly basis on behalf of all Xena fans:)

Porkodi (பொற்கொடி) said...

so awesome to see Xena all grown up.. wonderful job bhai!

Thisisme said...

LOvely Lovely Lovely!! thats all i can say :-)

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