Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Height of procrastination

It’s been too long. Again. Anyway, I am back and have decided to start off with addressing the backlog of tags. To start with, here's my attempt at the heights tag from Itchingtowrite and Artnavy.

Height of cruelty

Ayaan’s violent behaviour which is usually directed towards me – on an average day, I am subjected to biting, slapping, hair-pulling and pinching. If this is not domestic abuse, I don’t know what is.

Height of reward

Opening the shoe drawer (which he knows I disapprove of), closing it and then clapping for himself – all the while looking at me expectantly, waiting for me to join in the applause.

Height of challenge

Ayaan trying to help me with the laundry. To start with, he wants to take the clothes out of the laundry hamper that just happens to be taller than him. Then he wants to carry the clothes to the machine. At first, he tries to lift the whole pile. After attempting this for a while, he decides to scale down his ambitions a bit and picks up a smaller part of the pile. He then takes it to the machine and puts it in. He continues to repeat this till all the clothes are moved but he gets more and more tired so the clothes are dropped off at various points in the route to the washing machine. So the end result is no clothes near the hamper, 3-4 clothes in the machine and all the rest in a long trail from the hamper to the machine…

Height of vigilance

Ayaan always knowing where our mobile phones at are every moment of the day and constantly trying to figure out a way of getting at them.

Height of dieting

Ayaan refusing to eat more than a few spoons of his dinner. And throwing it up on the day that he did finish it all. I think it must have something to do with the big, fat molars sprouting in the back of his mouth.

Height of comparison

Ayaan putting on Jai’s shoes and walking around in them as if that’s just the right size for him to be wearing already...

Height of rivalry

Hating it when I have any conversation (live or on the phone) that does not revolve around and include him. In the car, he will actually start whining and fussing if Jai and I so much as exchange a couple of words of adult conversation.

Height of anger

Everyday meltdown moments when even the smallest of things don’t go according to Ayaan’s grand plans – made all the more complex by the fact that he lacks the ability to communicate these plans to us.

Height of table manners

Sharing his breakfast with the crows by putting pieces of his toast out on the window sill. The crows have become quite bold too – they hop right up and grab a piece while we’re still sitting there.

Height of choice

First thing the morning, the only thing that Ayaan will agree to eat is cornflakes – just plain, without the milk.

Height of choosiness

Ayaan agreeing to sit on his potty only while fully dressed. Putting him there minus the bottom half of his clothing is a surefire recipe for a meltdown moment.

Height of dadagiri (bossiness)

Ayaan ordering the whole household around by pointing at things and uttering an aggressive ‘unnnhh’ roughly translatable as “GIMME THAT! NOW!”

Height of provocation

Ayaan throwing down his plateful of finger food and then watching for my reaction. He gets thrilled by both anger and amusement on my part so now I am trying the ‘I am pretending I didn’t see that’ approach to discourage the throwing.

Height of endorsement

When I am feeding Ayaan, he turns his head away to refuse whatever it is that I am trying to feed him and then picks up a piece of the same offending item and offers it to me…

Height of embarrassment

Ayaan showing his whole arm down the front of my top and pulling the neckline down…

Height of irony

Ayaan refusing to sit in his pram in his pre-walking days and then months after he started walking and just when we were going to give the pram away, he started enjoying morning walks in the pram.

Height of starting early

Ayaan already practicing his parenting skills with his Noddy. If you say “Ayaan, put Noddy to ninnee (sleep)”, he will put the Noddy on the bed and start patting him!

Height of daredevilry

Ayaan wanting to climb up and come down the slide all by himself! Any obvious attempts to help or support him are met with extreme irritation.

Height of cleanliness

Ayaan hating to get his hands dirty. If he gets too much food on them during meals, he holds them up to be wiped.

Height of grooming

When I am dressing Ayaan, he picks up his brush and first brushes his hair and then tries to brush mine. I use the word ‘brushing’ pretty loosely here – mostly my head just gets banged a bit.

Height of participation

When I am having breakfast, Ayaan comes and hovers around me and takes bites out of whatever I am eating (even if it is the same thing he rejected for his own breakfast just minutes ago). Once I am done, he insists on taking my plate to the kitchen and handing it to the maid.

There, all done. Now comes the part when I pass it on. I tag Talena, Mint and Ranjit (for the doggy perspective on the heights)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

We finally did it

The great feat that I am talking about is a solo trip with Ayaan. So far, all trips with Ayaan have either been to visit our respective parents or with my mother along to help. This time we finally bit the bullet and went without any additional support structure in the shape of parents or maids. And it was quite an adventurous first attempt too – involving a long car drive, some horseback riding and a tranquil and low-activity hotel.

We went to a small hill station called Matheran which is a three-hour drive from Mumbai. We were quite nervous about such a long drive with a hyperactive toddler in tow, but Ayaan behaved quite well. He slept for about 45 minutes of the drive and was reasonably quiet for the rest of the journey. The only time he got upset was when we encountered traffic and the car slowed down… On the way back too, he behaved just as well. The only mistake we made was feeding him his mid-morning snack before a long, winding drive downhill – which was promptly ejected all over Jai during the course of the drive!

Now, the interesting part – the thing about Matheran is that automobiles are not allowed to enter so we had to leave the car in the car park and then traverse a hilly, uneven path on horseback for an hour to get to our hotel. Yes, we had to travel on a horse with Ayaan! Much to our surprise, this was much easier than we thought. He stayed on the horse for most of the time and the guide sweetly agreed to carry him for five minutes every time he got restless. On the way back, he got so comfortable on the horse that he actually slept through most of the ride.

We stayed in this place called The Verandah in the Forest and it’s actually the kind of place where a typical holiday would involve lots of walking around followed by periods of lounging, reading and napping. That is, unless you happen to be accompanied by a noisy and restless young fellow. Ayaan completely altered the profile of the place while we were there by charging around the place at high speeds and shouting and screeching at the top of his voice. I am sure people who came there for some quiet time were in for quite a shock!

It was quite rainy while we were there but we did manage to get in reasonable amounts of outdoor activity. Ayaan really enjoyed himself and got completely dirty every time we left the hotel. He went to sleep at his normal time so we got atleast a couple of hours to have a drink and a quiet dinner but for the rest of the time, he was constantly on his feet with one or both of us running behind him.

There was a 5-year old boy there who befriended Ayaan and they had a complete ball chasing each other around the drawing room. The boy really took to Ayaan and his mother had a tough time convincing him that it was not possible for Ayaan to sleep with him in their room! Seeing them play together made me want to have a second child tomorrow! But I guess that will have to wait a bit – Ayaan is still in a very needy and clingy stage and work is quite hectic. I don’t think I could manage being pregnant just about now…

Anyway, all was good and I am very glad we mustered up the guts to go ahead and do the trip. Till now, I was always balked at the thought of going on a holiday with Ayaan but this trip made it quite clear that it is not only possible but even fun, though different from the kind of fun we have been used to. It’s challenging and tiring but well worth it… it exposes Ayaan to new experiences (horseback riding and meeting new people, to name a few) and also allows us to get on with our plan of seeing more of the world than the cities where we and our families live.

So now our new family motto is ‘Have baby, will travel’.