February 25, 2008

40 weeks of you

These weeks were some of the best in my life,
With the feeling of housing a tiny life,
With the joy of meeting a part of me,
With all the excitement of a mother-to-be.

You gave me energy that I never had,
Nothing ever seemed too bad.
I was absolutely in love with life,
It felt like walking in someone else’s shoe.

I sang and my listener moved,
I danced and my partner kicked,
I ate and my buddy did a somersault,
I was never alone, and that gave me a confidence like never before.

My tastes were different as can be,
My reactions were strangers to me.
I could carry myself in anything,
I could make myself not worry about a single thing.

I have often wondered if I was being you,
Is that how you are going to grow up to be?
Whatever it is I can tell you so,
I totally enjoyed the 40 weeks of you.

February 14, 2008

Flying through Changes

We moved into our new home about eight months ago; we have a pretty cozy nest going here. My partner and I live together here with our 4 kids. With the numerous changes that have come over this place, many of our friends and family have left the city and moved to greener pastures. But we are more the city types, we enjoy watching all the activities that go on through the day and the food- it is really hard to even think of moving away from this variety. What else do we birds need anyways?

I have been having a lot of time on my claws these days as the kids have been learning to fly and hunt for food from their father. I don’t have to go too far for food as we live in one of the trees in the backyard of a house, so there is always plenty of food that comes from the house. Earlier when we lived on trees near a house we always knew when they were cooking something, the aromas never failed to get us prepared. Now we rarely get those aromas, we know when something is cooking when we here strange sounds, it goes something like bee-eeeeep.

When I was little and stayed with my parents, the house next to our nest was filled with fun kids. They came out everyday and sang and danced and played all kinds of games. I never had a boring evening back then, I had so much fun watching them and trying to imitate them once they were back in. The kids in the house now hardly come out; I still see them through the window though. They are always perched upon a large seat staring at something; I never have figured what it is they keep looking at. But they are boring and being a bad influence on my kids!

My cousin runs an association for the safety and protection of our community, and she was telling me that we should start looking out for safer homes. Cities are no longer safe for us, she has told me, and I agree with her. I have myself seen so many of our friends fly back home to find their homes have come down to the street. That is why we ourselves moved from one of the street trees to a tree in a home. Usually we were chased away in a few days by the home owners earlier, but we are having luck on our side these days. They never seem to look up to see that there is a nest in their backyard!

February 5, 2008

Before and After - a Baby

Before: When we went to restaurants and the food arrived, we would relish it and eat it slowly in between a long conversation.
After: When we go to restaurants and the food arrives, we first keep aside a portion that is tried and tested to be less spicy for her, gobble the food up real fast and beam over her in between.

Before: When we got back home from work, it was lazy evenings in front of the TV, cooking together recipes from a cookbook or Chinese take-outs.
After: When we get back from work, it is energy filled running around controlling the mischief like switching on and off the TV continuously, quick meals with less spice keeping her in mind.

Before: On weekends bright sunlight awakened us sometime mid morning.
After: On weekends bright eyes and a smile lit face awakens us early morning.

Before: Most outings were impromptu; we decided now and were out of the door in 30 minutes.
After: We plan outings in advance; when we are adventurous we decide now and the plan is out of the door in 30 minutes.

Before: We grumbled about going to birthday parties and when we did go to a few we would be the first ones to eat and leave.
After: We get excited to see birthday invites; plan her dress in advance and are the last ones to leave as she is having so much fun.

Before: Friday nights were dinner at a restaurant and a movie at the cinema.
After: Friday nights are dinner at home and a movie on our laptop in our room to aid us to sleep in the middle of it.

Before: Conversations over the phone with family was about us, our progress at work, fun things we did on the weekend.
After: Conversations over the phone with family is about her, her progress, the fun with her, and all this only when we get a chance to speak over the phone after her.

Before: Days could be categorized as happy days, sad days, boring days, eventful days and so on.
After: Days can only be categorized as Fun days.

February 1, 2008

Fun at One

A (my baby) has started stringing 2-3 words together to make sentences. I thought I will capture all the baby talk and her funny ways to communicate before it turns into little toddler sentences.

Let me start with my favorite, what is your name and she says Anana. If she wants something she pats her chest and says Anana.

She knows two numbers. How old are you and she shoots up her index finger. And if you ask how many of anything are there, she says t-ree, with her index and middle finger wrapped together.

She has given me a new name, mi-mi. Don’t know how this started, she just came up with it one day (maybe its something to do with B referring to me as mommy to her). She also calls me amma at times, but it is mostly mi-mi, and if she is trying real hard to convince me about something it is mi-mi-ma.

If she feels a lot of love for someone, and she wants to express it she adds her name to ours, like, mi-mi-nana (that is mi-mi + anana) or appa-nana.

She was gifted the same kind of teddy bear by two people, so my parents told her that they were twin teddies and named them Ina and Mina. She calls out to them all the time as Ina-Mina as though its one word.

Her first animal sound was inney for neigh. When it started all farm animals said inney and we listened to it all day when she pointed to a pig, a horse, a cow and everything. Now she has added meow-meow, bow-bow and moo to her vocab.

She now knows how to communicate so that she gets what she wants. Like when we are asking her to finish up her dinner while we are eating ours, and she wants to tell B that she rather eat what is on his plate she says, appa mamm mamm. If B looks up at her to say what about my food, she pats herself and says anana.

She calls all kids ‘baby’ irrespective of their age. She is the youngest at her day care home and calls all the other kids baby. A few days after she started her day care, I asked her what do all the babies tell you at the day care, she pulls her cheeks with her hand and says, baby,baby much to my amusement!

She loves to ask for kisses (abba in her language), she points to her cheeks and says mi-mi abba.

She loves to talk over the phone to her thatu, tapi (she cant say pati), amamma, thata and her aunt (whom she calls by name!) She does a lot of pretend talk with her toy phone, and paces the room when she is talking. (We realized that is how B and I talk over the phone!)

Who says you cannot play Dumb Charades at 14 months. We had just blown candles and cut a cake when celebrating an occasion recently, after which she loved licking the icing. I put the whole cake away from her sight and started feeding her a piece I had cut. It did not have any icing and she did not like it. She tried to tell us something, but could not find the cake to point to. So she enacted the whole scene of blowing the candles and licking the icing to tell us she what she wants.

She knows what a restaurant is and gets all excited when we tell her we are going to one. When in a Chinese restaurant once, she kept nodding to the waitress indicating she wants food, when she realized that she is not understanding, she took her cheerios cup and showed it to her and said cup tappathi anana. Anything edible and circular is tappathi (chappathi) in her language, until she heard me tell naan at an indian restaurant last night. Every time the waiter came to fill our water glasses she called out her newly learnt word naan.

If she finds a book or a newspaper she pretends to read it and says, Ae-Eee or Ae-B.

She can understand 3 languages, thanks to the fact that I speak to her in Kannada, B speaks to her in Tamil and she is spoken to in English at the day care. It is amazing how kids learn at this age; though people told us we are burdening her with 3 languages she seems to treat it like second nature. When she talks she mixes all the 3 like mimi ba(come in kannada), baby tutam(water in tamil).

She absolutely loves the songs of the movie jungle book, and keeps walking on all her four limbs to imitate the elephants and mowgli march and sings akung akung.


We spent the last weekend in a cottage on a bay amidst water and wilderness. The scenery was beautiful and the whole experience very relaxing. But amidst all that I was enlightened about something. Birds! There were a lot of birds that came in front of the cottage to peck on the bird seeds we had scattered. There was one bird that caught our attention the most, the northern cardinal. The color of its feathers was a beautiful red and it looked by far the most attractive amidst the others. Not being very knowledgeable about birds, I took the help of a book at the cottage to identify some. And here I found a very interesting fact. The female specie of the northern cardinal looks a lot different and has dull brown feathers. As I looked through the pictures in the book it so appeared that the males of most kinds were far more attractive than their female counterparts. Well maybe this was well known, but I had no clue about it. And then I thought, of course peacock and peahen, duh!!