Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Rollercoaster Month

That’s right, it’s been more than a month since I last posted. And what a month it’s been – Christmas, two weddings, three days at a jungle lodge, a flying visit to Goa, school admission formalities, the quitting of a maid, international travel – needless to say, it been hard to squeeze out time to post. I am in Brazil right now and getting ready to make my way back home where I will again be sucked into tackling all the work that has piled up over my vacation and Brazil trip while also working overtime to assuage the guilt of having been away from Ayaan. So if I don’t get this update on what’s been happening now, it’s never going to happen…

We got to Bangalore on Christmas Eve. Thanks to playschool, Ayaan was all up-to-date on the Christmas songs – spent most of the flight loudly singing Jingle Bells, Shiny Nose (his name for the Rudolph song) and Santa Claus is Coming to Town. Once at my in-laws place, he was thoroughly delighted by the Christmas tree and proceeded to grab a shiny ball of the tree and throw it across the room (Who can blame him – balls are for throwing after all, right?). Once he was dissuaded from destroying the tree in this manner, he proceeded to adopt the ledge next to the tree as the designated spot for drinking his milk through the holiday. The montage below captures some of the moments from Ayaan’s Christmas experience – his first run-in with Santa at our club’s annual Christmas party, mixing cake batter with his Grandma, singing Jingle Bells with suitable accompaniment and hanging out at the Christmas tree.

Next on agenda was my brother-in-law’s wedding, where Ayaan was the pageboy. I was quite nervous about whether he would come up to scratch and do what was expected of him but as usual I underestimated his capacity to surprise and delight me. Other than refusing to pose with the bridal party for all but one picture, he did all that was expected and did it with panache. A brief summary of his exploits:

  • He wore his outfit with minimal fuss. He usually wants to pick out his own clothes and hates accessories of any kind but he condescended to wear the bowtie and cummerbund without bringing the roof down.
  • He fell head over heels in love with the flower girl (Jai’s cousin’s 4-year old daughter). He gave her atleast a hundred HUGGEEES over the course of the wedding festivities and followed her around everywhere with a complete puppy dog look on his face. I think she was singularly responsible for his well-behaved walk down the aisle (bodes well for his future wife) since she just held on to his hand and he followed without a murmur.
  • He was slightly less well-behaved during the ceremony. This was compounded by the fact that we were sitting in the very first pew. He took the confetti from the flower girl’s basket and scattered it all over the floor and then spent the next fifteen minutes crawling all over the floor picking it up. He then decided he wanted to converse with me at the top of his voice at the very moment that the vows were being taken – after several unsuccessful attempts at shushing him, I finally just picked him up and took him outside where he expended some of his pent-up energy by running up and down a slope. He also flatly refused to pose for photographs with the bridal party. However, he did redeem himself by leading the wedding party out of the church and later into the reception venue – but the credit for this can solely to be laid at the door of his infatuation with the flower girl.
  • At the reception, he discovered a treasure trove of confetti. Each of the tables had packets of confetti for the guests to throw at the bride and groom. Most of the packets still had loads of confetti left so Ayaan spent most of the afternoon scouting for these remnants and making sure that they found their rightful place on the floor.

Check out the photographic evidence of his exploits – all dressed up in his pageboy finery, walking down the aisle, HUGGEEE time and creating chaos in the church:

After the wedding, we spent New Year’s Eve at a jungle lodge at Bheemeshwari, a 100-km drive from Bangalore. It was a quiet break after all the wedding madness. I was quite worn out when we got there and having my mom around really helped me to recharge my batteries – especially since Ayaan slept in her room thereby allowing me to sleep in during the three days we spent there.

Bar a few tantrums and some car sickness on the way over, Ayaan too had a great time. He spent some quality time with his Patti, messed around in the mud, played in the river, went for a couple of treks (and walked for almost half the way) and got to see a bonfire for the first time. In the pictures below, he is playing in the river with my mom, enjoying himself at the barbecue and trekking.

The next leg of our journey found us in Goa for Jai’s cousin’s wedding, where again Ayaan was a pageboy and much to his delight, his favourite flower girl was part of the wedding too. But overall, I think the fatigue and upheaval of the previous ten days had started to get to him and he was markedly less well-behaved at this wedding.

The pageboy clothes here had not been made as well so he was uncomfortable in them and he had quite a meltdown while being dressed up. I managed to convince him to walk down the aisle with the flower girl. But halfway through the march, he stopped and wailed out a pathetic ‘Mama’. Thankfully, I had managed to get to the front by then so I was able to get him to complete the walk. After that, he was very restless and loud in the church so after the first five minutes, we had to take him outside and there we remained till the end of the ceremony. He had quite a good time playing with the parking signs though.

After a lot of convincing and me walking alongside, he did walk in front of the bridal party at the reception though. But after that he was pretty cranky and grumpy and we were all quite exhausted by the time we called it a night. His difficult mood continued well into the next day (probably helped along by a pretty big sleep deficit). He hit some other kids, broke my lipstick, threw stuff around and generally behaved like a complete brat. I too had a mini meltdown just before we left and asked Jai to take him away for a while. Not a proud moment…

We also managed to squeeze in some beach time in Goa. Ayaan really enjoyed playing in the sand but he hated the sea – the waves really scared him. Thankfully, the beach also had a river by the side and he had great fun playing there. He and Jai cooked up a silly game where they threw his shorts into the river and then dived to catch them when the current brought them back. It was father-son bonding at its best and when I tried to join in, I was told, in a voice that brooked no argument, “Mama, stand here”.

Here’s a set of pictures from Goa - playing outside the church, on the beach and breakfast at Infantaria:

Overall, the trip was pretty good. Ayaan was pretty co-operative about food for most of his meals, as long as there were some non-spicy options. And since I took along his booster seat, mealtimes were reasonably efficient and conducive to my patience levels. I also managed to keep his potty training from taking a step backwards. Other than nights and the actual weddings, he was diaper-free through the trip, even on the flights. He is now fully potty-trained for pooping but still needs to be asked to pee at regular intervals to avoid accidents.

Life post vacation has continued to be pretty crazy. We came back to find a letter from the school we had applied to for Ayaan saying that he had been accepted and that the very next day, we had to go over and complete the admission formalities – which included scrambling to get all the necessary documentation together. Then my sister-in-law and a friend came across to spend a few days with us. And then the worst news of all – my maid called to say that she won’t be coming back from the village. It seems someone in her village made some snide comment about her parents living off their daughter’s earnings and so it became an ego issue and she decided not to come back. It really sucks because she was so good with Ayaan and he was so fond of her. The maid search has been re-started in earnest but no luck so far...

And then I had this trip to Brazil coming up. Thankfully, my mom came across to be with Ayaan during my week away.

My trip has been good fun so far and since I had to spend the weekend here between meetings, I got to see a little more than just the hotel and the airport, unlike my last trip. One of our colleagues took us to the island of Santos (two hours from Sao Paolo) and among other things, I went on my first speedboat ride and danced at a free Brazilian pop concert on the beach. It's time to head to the airport now. Ciao... see you on the other side.

41 comments:

  1. and boy I thought I had it rough..yours looks equally hectic (end of the yr-start of the new one), that is! enjoyed the pictures, thanks for sharing and ayaan looks adorable as the page boy..enjoy the rest of your trip and hope you have it easy when you get back.
    Cheers!

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  2. Gosh, ro, you leave me gaping mouthed with admiration. To think we just snoozed the month away doing absolutely nothing. And Ayaan made such an adorable pageboy. Have fun. And post some Brazil pics. Will live vicariously.

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  3. sounds like a full month alright! i loved the pictures, ayan is just so cute as a pageboy freely giving out his huggees! aww.
    have a safe trip back :)

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  4. Sounds a lot like my grandson :)

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  5. Boy, you HAVE been busy! And doesn't Ayaan look handsome in that page boy outfit!

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  6. OMG he's all grown up now!! looks like a little boy. and i still had the image of a lil toddler in my mind.

    loved the pictures and the post.

    welcome back :)

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  7. boy! I do all that in one year..if I am lucky:) you have had it rough.. but glad you got some respite at thejungle lodge.. that must have been complete heaven. hope you find a maid soon!

    And Aayan looks very dashing the the blue bowtie and cummerbund..OMG.

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  8. kodi's mom10:32 pm

    incredible! how do you handle so much tossing around! that page boy-flower girl pic walking down the aisle is oh-so-cute...esp Ayaan's attention stance :) and you're changing schools from the current one? do his hours change?

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  9. oh that pageboy thing is too cute. my brother didt have a church wedding so i havent forgiven him for denying my son the ruffled shirt and bowtie...

    and isnt infatuation the best?? even the brat is on his best behaviour when girls are around..

    i second the brazil pics demand!

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  10. adorable pics. Gudiya is going to be a flower girl at her cousin's wedding in July. Wondering if there'll be a page boy with her hahaha! Btw u have some energy to do everything that u've listed. Kudos to u busy momma!

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  11. the pictures are just too cute and wow, you, my dear, have taken so much time to patiently do a collage. Kudos.

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  12. Busy doesn't describe this last month for you. But I am glad you are being busy and enjoyed the weddings and the vacation. At least Ayaan behaved for the most part...thanks to the flower girl.

    Dance some more in Brazil for us too.

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  13. The Godfather1:28 am

    Can you please write an update on the love story? Is Ayaan still smitten with her?

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  14. Loved the pictures, and the 'lovefest'. Here, we have the opposite problem - the girls in the colony follow Chubbocks around like puppydogs and want to marry him and he refuses...Brazil - how fun is that!

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  15. Loved the pictures, and the 'lovefest'. Here, we have the opposite problem - the girls in the colony follow Chubbocks around like puppydogs and want to marry him and he refuses...Brazil - how fun is that!

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  16. [Orchid] Thanks... though it's only going to get 'easy' (if there is such a thing) when the new maid is found...

    [Kiran] Yeah right - somehow I am pretty sure you were doing a lot more than snoozing the month away... and seriously, Brazil is a lot less exciting than it sounds.

    [Mona/ Moppet's Mom] Thanks :)

    [Hillgrandmom] Has he been flirting with flower-girls too? :)

    [Aqua]Grown-up? No way - he's going be me my baby for atleast 20 years... no?

    [Dotmom] He does, doesn't he? Nice to hear it from someone who's not his mom though :)

    [Kodi's Mom] He was going to a playschool for the last few months. This is the nursery class at the school he will go to till Class X or atleast as long as we are in Mumbai. It will be three hours instead of the current 2 and this one starts early at 8.30.

    [Mad Momma] Yeah the pageboy thing was totally cool and next month he's going to sit on the horse with the groom at my cousin's wedding! Some of the fun parts of having a mixed up heritage :)

    [Big Zed] Hey, look forward to hearing your account from the flower-girl's mom perspective... :)

    [Taamommy] Necessity is the mother of invention. So much happened and there were so many pics that uploading them individually would have been far more painful :)

    [Shobana] I may not have survived to tell the tale if the trip has coincided with one of Ayaan's difficult phases :)

    [Godfather] Well, they met a couple of times at the park back and all signs of infatuation continue... :)

    [Bird's Eye View] Ah well, he's obviously going to have the girls lining up to date him - the man who doesn't have to try too hard! :)

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  17. THERE you are! Welcome back, I say!

    The Bhablet and I have been having some difficult moments. But outsiders (including MM) think he's a positive angel. And I thought of that when I was smiling at Ayaan's antics.

    Oh but he looks so handsome in the wedding finery.

    Can't believe he's off to school...

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  18. you are one jet-setter!

    what a dapper pageboy! also noticed the t-shirt saying 'genius is in my gene'!

    n4 asks me at least once in two days if we can go to the beach, though its been like 6 mo since we went :)

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  19. Great photos! Wowee, that's a lot of busy-ness! Two weddings already--how many two-year-olds can say that?!

    Just remember to breathe...

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  20. Wow, you have been busy. Nice post.

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  21. Page boy looks sooo cute! Esp considering that he was so well behaved for his dear flower girl! How sweet! Oh man I am now eager to see how KB will react around a girl like that...will be so cute to see if first hand! You really have had a super hectic month! Hats off to you for managing all this!

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  22. [Sue] Ayaan can be pretty cute but I am yet to hear him referred to as an angel...

    [Choxbox] Thanks for noticing... sometimes, I think I am the only one reading Ayaan's T-shirts... :)

    [Talena] Just had my first free weekend in a long time so life is a little less chaotic

    [Alan/ Noon] Thanks

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  23. Hi, nice to see post from you after so long...i really missed your posts this last month.

    reading this particular post, i almost feel like you have taken parts of my life and pasted it here...after changing a few names here and there....the (1) getting cranky at wedding, (2) hugging cute girl, (3) having a melt-down yourself, (4) being afraid of the waves, but loving the beach (5) eating anything as long as there is non-spicy food....woh! its just wild!

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  24. It's well worth the wait, this post ! Although with such a busy crazy schedule you are completely forgiven for not posting. I did feel a pang everytime I read "Bangalore" in your post, but maybe next time.

    So Ayaan (the cutie with that outfit, how adorable!) starts school now? How different is that from preschool?

    Pattis are the best aren't they? Thank god your mom's around to help out right now. Good luck on the maid hunt.

    Although how on earth you handle your career with virtually no family living closeby to help out I don't know. Hats off to you Ro.

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  25. Pictures too cute! Especially the pageboy ones and the one at the breakfast place - in the orange t-shirt. :)

    By the way, you're tagged. :D

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  26. have been trying to restrain myself from making gushing comments about how ayaan looks in his bow tie and cummerband...what the heck- first time in history i look at him and his clothes and think- oh how cute would a boy have been!

    adorable.

    and brazil? damn! thats one country i want to visit. pictures?

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  27. It has indeed been a roller coaster month. Playing with confetti…Wish I get to do that now *chuckling to herself*.

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  28. WOW! You HAVE been a busy B- Bangalore, Bheemeshwari and then Brazil! Couldn't rsist the pun. LOL And Ayaan looks very snazzy in the pageboy outfit.
    Am sorry about the maid, hope you find another gem soon..

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  29. Couldn't resist to add that Ayaan looks really cute in his pageboy attire :).
    And me too awaiting brazil pics.

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  30. [Lawyeramma] Well, the reassuring bit was that you had a meltdown too... I felt quite crappy about it at the time

    [Poppins] Well, actually this is Nursery, which is what he would have done at his playschool as well. But this a proper school that goes all the way to Class X.

    [Sur] Now you know what mothers of boys feel like every single day!

    [Lavs] The thing about the confetti - not so much fun when you are the one cleaning it up...

    [JLT] Hope so too (fingers crossed)

    [Sunita] Thanks. Brazil pics really not that exciting, I promise.

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  31. im SO glad to be back and finally soak in the quiet!!
    glad you had a wonderful holiday! im just going to be lazy now.. hehhe

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  32. First time here... very interesting post.. Ayaan seems like a handful.. :) And so much fun.. I loved the bit about Ayaan and the Flower Girl .. too cute!!!! Good luck with the maid search.. have been there so I can imagine how difficult that is!!

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  33. wow one of those things where you need a vacation from a vacation.

    my record of blog posting is better than yours... i went 2 months without... and i think i missed my 2 year bloggiversary as well :(

    personally i blame it on the photography, can't think of words any more.

    Congratulations on ayaan's school acceptance! big step.

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  34. Rohini..delurking...have been reading your blogs...and like the way u write.....

    Ayaan is a nice name....what does it mean? trip and work and baby.....busy?? I get it soo well :)

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  35. You, my dear, are tagged !!

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  36. [Grafx] Can't quite remember what lazy feels like :(

    [Preethi] The maid thing is still not worked out - we are managing somehow but I have virtually no free time any more...

    [Ranjit] Damn! Now that you mention it, I forgot my bloggiversary in Jan as well :(

    [Choxbox/ Taamommy] Glug, glug! *drowns under the collective weight of undone tags*

    [Mamaandmol] Thanks for de-lurking. Ayaan is an Arabic name that means 'Gift from God'

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  37. I meant to ask too, What does Ayaan mean, is it a combination of your names or some such complex undecipherable reasoning behind it ?

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  38. Holy moly! Did you take a month-long nap after all that?

    My cousin has asked my little girl to be in her wedding. While she may be cute and all I tried to explain there's no rhyme or reason to what sort of mood The Girl will be in the day of the wedding. This morning she pitched a fit because her brother looked at her while she ate her cereal.

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  39. Ro: That last month really whacked you out. Time for a new post. Hope alls well with you and Ayaan.

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  40. Anonymous6:02 pm

    Ayaan looks sooooooooooooooo cute!!! I wish I had a brother as cute as Ayaan. Mine is pretty obnoxious.

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