Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Dead on target

Friend (over WhatsApp) - Tell me your secret. How do you get so many things done?

Me - Because I'm a carcass.

Damn you, autocorrect. 'Hardass' is a real word, ok?!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Weighed down

As a mommy who is on Facebook, my newsfeed is understandably bombarded with funny stuff about parenting and kids. But I never thought I'd laugh as hard at a video that doesn't even feature a kid or a parent as I did when I came across this one.

Presenting to you, ladies and gentlemen, the funniest kid-related video featuring only non-living things. Oh, this was just too much truth for me to handle, even though Xena is not even a toddler anymore.

Honestly, on some days, Internet humour is my best friend.

Especially on days when humans are a little difficult to tolerate, such as the mother of the obese kid who tells me how she "totally gets my pain" because "her kid also doesn't eat at all", or when someone says that Xena is "VERY tall for her age" (well, she's just above the 10th percentile and I really really don't think that translates to "VERY tall for her age" at all) or when someone complains that her kid is only at the 70th percentile for weight (woman, you need to google how percentiles work; it's not like board exam results), or when someone with a 12-kg two-year-old tells me that Xena's weight is totally fine and I just want to respond with a "I'm sorry, but you only get to talk if you have a 5-year-old who weighs 12 kg. Kthxbai."

I do not go around asking for sympathy or advice, so I really don't get why people say these things. Maybe they want to offer their sympathy but just don't know what else to say. Maybe they want to make me feel positive. Well, then just send me funny stuff. Make me laugh. Don't make me cry.


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A spirited young lady

Xena is now able to read by herself quite well and only seeks assistance for long and complicated words. Also, she has made it her mission in life to read every bit of text she comes across. For example, she was no longer satisfied with us referring to the solution we apply on her ear piercings twice a day as 'ear medicine'. She needed to know what exactly was written on the bottle. So I read it out to her -- 'isopropyl alcohol', wondering if she'd remember the long name.

Recently, she opened her school communication notebook and turned to the last page.

"Mama, what are these words before 'form'?" She asked.

"Medication administration", I read.

"What does that mean?"

"It's a form for parents to fill... to inform the school about any medicine that the child needs."

"And what's the table for?"

"It's to write the name of the medicines and how many times the child needs to take it."

"Oh Mama," she chided, "You need to fill this form then!"

"I do?"

"Yes. You need to write - ALCOHOL. TWO TIMES A DAY."

Monday, May 23, 2016

People of colour

Xena - Mama, look!

Me - Oh wow. Nicely coloured. Tell me something though... why do Snow White and the prince have green and yellow faces?

Xena - Because it was their wedding party and there was a face painter.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Monkey talk

I work on a science magazine for school-going children, and by 'school', I don't mean preschool, which is why, I find it very amusing when I see Xena taking such great interest in my work. Sometimes, she even asks me questions as if she's my boss. Actually, even my boss doesn't ask me the kind of questions she does. Sample these (and imagine her saying all this with a serious face): Is the next issue's cover ready? Can I see it today? Have you finished checking all the proofs?

Whoa whoa whoa.

She also loves to flip through past issues and if she finds something interesting, she brings it to me and then I have to explain to her what's going on. Some times, it's simple enough to be explained to her ("Banana slugs are named so because they are slugs that look like bananas.") but sometimes, I struggle because she's too young to understand some of the things.

Today, she found an infographic showing the evolution of man and then she wanted to know 'why the monkey had turned into a man'. I tried to break it down for her, but as I found out, it's really, really hard to explain evolution to a 5-year-old. Their distorted understanding and follow-up questions will drive you insane.

In the evening, she had her swim lesson. Her coach has got to be the most patient man on earth because she interrupts him some 3458957847 times with random facts and incidents and he listens and nods in mid-water. I sit by the poolside and I can hear every word of their conversation.

Today's conversation:

Coach - Okay Xena, head under water... blow bubbles...
Xena - Coach, did you know that you were a monkey?
Coach - Haaaa?!
Xena - All the monkeys became people.
Coach - ...
Xena - Everyone was a monkey.
Coach (not knowing what else to say) - We are all monkeys. Okay Xena, head under water... blow bubbles...

All right, time to go google 'How to explain evolution to a preschooler' before she calls her coach a monkey again.

Friday, May 13, 2016

A labour of love

Usually, I finish all my office work by the time Xena wakes up from her nap, so that there is nothing coming between us and our late-afternoon funky/goofy time. But this day was a little different. A big deadline was hanging over my head and when she woke up, I was still hard at work.

"Give me 20 minutes, baby?" I asked.

"Ok Mama, I will sit here and write something."

"Sounds great."

I turned back to work, while she fetched a sheet of paper and a pen and started writing.

"Mama, how do I spell 'don't know'?" She asked.

"D-O-N-T-K-N-O-W". I quickly said. The apostrophe would have to be mentioned and explained another day.

She didn't disturb me anymore after that. She was bent over her sheet, busy writing away.

"Okay! I'm done!" I said after 20 minutes.

She looked up from the book that she was now reading and came to me, holding the sheet of paper.

I took one look at it and... I could literally feel my heart melting away.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Flying colours

Hello bewdas and bewdis,

Too many of you have asked how Xena and I made the elephant artwork featured in the previous post. Since good things must be shared, here are the details.

What you need: 
- A blank mounted canvas
- Scissors
- Black paper
- Crayons
- Glue
- A hair dryer

Step 1: Think of a concept you want to make a picture out of. Xena was given the following three options, but you can do almost anything actually. 

Step 2: Cut out the desired shape (e.g. the elephant's head) on the black paper. Fortunately for us, the cut-outs had already been made by the hosts, so we just needed to pick one. 

Step 3: Select the crayons you want to use (we chose rainbow colours) and break them into thirds. 

Step 4: Place the black cut-out on the canvas (do not stick it yet) and stick the crayons on the canvas with glue. 

Step 5: After the glue has dried, use a hair dryer and melt away! Tilt the canvas to control where the flowing wax goes. I don't have a picture of us using the hair dryer on our picture, but here's another kid using the hair dryer on her picture. This should give you an idea of what to do. 

Step 6: Stick the black cut-out over the melted and dried wax. Ta-da!

Xena used some fluffy beads to decorate her artwork. To be honest, I'd have preferred not to have them at all (I feel it looked classier without), but she really really wanted them... that too, all over the painting. Yikes. So we negotiated and reached a compromise -- we would have the beads, but they would match their background. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Art attack

"Ok this is very eerie, in light of what I recently blogged about."

These were my first thoughts when I saw it.

But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself.

So last weekend, Xena and I attended an art-themed birthday party. The birthday girl's dad is an amazing artist, and I say 'amazing' because I've seen his portrait of his wife and it actually looks like his wife.

At the party, each kid was handed a mounted blank canvas and some crayons. So my immediate thought was, "Oh, they're gonna get the kids to scribble on the canvas." and because the average age of the kids at the party was five, my next thought was, "Oh dear, what a waste of the nice mounted canvas..."

But I was in for a big surprise.

The artist gave everyone step by step instructions on what to do, and because the steps involved scissors, glue and a hairdryer (to melt down the crayons, no less!), I pitched in to help Xena.

Before we'd started, she had been shown three 'sample paintings' and she had to pick one to mimic. I had absolutely no say in which painting she'd picked, but look at what we had made at the end of the day!

My head is still reeling a little bit.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

A bromantic rendezvous

"Having dinner with my buddy." said Viv's WhatsApp message to me.

From time to time, I get updates from both him and his dad on what they're up to during the road trip. But this message made me sit up.

My buddy??

Viv referring to his dad as his buddy was just tooooooo much. It was not possible at all, in spite of the fact that they have been road-tripping for a week.

So I asked, "Which buddy??"

And then he sent me a photo of him... and S! I almost fell off my chair.

Yes, S - one of the original 'hum paanch', S - whose brainchild it was to kidnap Viv to Malaysia on his birthday, S - who is married to one of my bestest friends Shub. S of the grand S2 wedding fame. S, who used to live in Singapore once upon a time, but has moved back to India now and taken my Shub with him! Grrrr.

Shub and I used to be so amused at the bromance between S and Viv. They clicked from day one, bonding mainly over cars and bikes and racing and running. I always used to tease Viv that he should be thankful that I blog because that's how I met Shub, leading him to meet S.

Viv doesn't say much, but I know he does miss his buddy. Every time he goes racing or go-karting anywhere in the world, he always remembers S and says, "Need to come back here with S."

So I was really amazed at this sudden rendezvous in the middle of a road trip on the other side of the world. It turns out that Viv went for a run (he has a target of 600 km to run in 2016, so he runs even when he's on holiday), and the Runkeeper app notified S about it. S sent him a message asking him if he really was running in Fremont, as he had just landed in SFO on work! The rest, as they say, is history.

It's so heartwarming to see technology bringing people together. :)