Parent-Child conferences

I’ve gone to a few already, much as you’d raise your eyebrows.

I mean as a parent. Wasn’t it a while back that I were going as a child. Can we pretend that it was? If we’re being entirely honest the last one Achan went to for me was when we got (temporarily) suspended from college for going on a tour without official consent. That’s a different story though.

I make it sound like it is a big joke and calling it parent-child conference is, when said children are all of 2 years old and are in daycare much as you’d pretend like it is real school and all that.

But I do like going to them for Igi. And trying to shrug it off and trying hard to not be the beaming grinning ear-to-ear parent, that’s more Vin’s game :P. Prefacing everything with “Not to be the proud dad but” and going on to tell everyone what new incredibly smart thing she did today. Like screwing a lid back on or something. For instance.

Anyway, point is I like to go. And listen to good stuff 🙂 And be told that she belongs with the 5 year olds and she’d be getting bored in her current class etc. That she is so smart they have to give her activities from senior classes. (Same child who can’t count to 10 at home? Whatever)

Anyway I now know how my parents might have felt 😛 I forgive them for being so proud 🙂

PS: I also forgive Achan for not realizing that Chakki was smart too 😛 Like the other day he said it in so many words “didnt realize Lekha was so witty and smart” . I guess he was busy going to parent-child conferences for the elder one, he didnt get the memo on the younger one being smart and witty too 🙂 She didn’t quite take it as a compliment. Why I wonder. Prolly coz she is witty and smart 😛

Parent-Child conferences

Between then and now

I’m thoughtlessly hitting publish on everything I had in drafts and going to pick up from now on.

A lot has happened since.

Igi turned one and then two.

Her chitta and chittappa moved from all the way from India to the US of A, I’d argue as much to be with Igi as anything else career/life types. That was also about the time I started counting my blessings (many many thank God) and stopped asking for more 🙂

Chitta started  a Masters at Berkeley no less, I put a congratulatory post on her wall that had people thinking she was pregnant. Oh well.

Chittappa is accumulating superstar awards and all star performances at Qualcomm. Pinkpanther Qualcomm no big difference. All the same. Except he cooks as well now. Since she is away. And asks for amma to bring kudapuli from India like he’d know what it is.

Igi’s Achachan and Achamma were here and had a fantastic time.

Igi’s Muthassa was here as well and was decently fed and taken care of because his visit coincided with the Achacha/Achamma pairs’.

And her ammumma is back. Just so we don’t lose count the third time in the US.

Okay, so now that the audience is all brought up to date we can resume normal programming over here. And pick up where we left  off. 2 years back was it?

Between then and now

Igi and Muthassa

I’m writing this a good year and a half after Muthassan’s trip transpired. In fact so late that he has come and gone again. I’m glad his first visit was when I was still not working, which meant a lot of time for Amma, Muthassan and Igi to lounge around at home. I do wish I was more mobile and with the world and the parenting thing than I was back then though.

We had a wonderful wonderful trip to the east coast. Igi Muthassan Acha and I. Again, good thing it happened back then coz now leave and all that..God knows when we’ll be able to do that sort of thing again. Achan (mine not Igi’s this time) always wanted to go to Niagara falls, having read about the world’s largest (largest longest widest whatever, some est) waterfall in school. And going by the number of desis that descended on the falls the weekend we went, a lot of fellow Indians went to the same school. So one thing off his bucket list anyway. We did the usual patel-shot round of New York, complete with the statue of liberty (Meh as per Achan, and also “Liberty ivarkku mathram mathiyo? Vietnaminum Aghanistaninum Iranum vende?” or some remark like that) – still nice to be able to go there see it and then remark thus rather than from afar I guess. Achan was fascinated by NY and the skyscrapers and lights. So would anyone on their first trip ..

Most of all, he enjoyed his time with Igi and his forced vacation from his time running between KSSP and the library council and all sorts of citizen group meetings in Thrissur. He’d take her out in the stroller in the morning, sing her to sleep with a choice selection of mallu melodies (I’m sure Igi has “innale neeyoru” and “kalpanthakalatholam” and songs from chemmeen indelibly written in her subconscience)..Achan was pretty good at the making her sleep thing though so I must say his singing voice worked for the Igg – his one person then-6-month-old fanclub. He also had monopoly on feeding Igi and would get impatient if I didnt have stuff ready by Igi’s mealtime. If Igi’s appetite is anything to go by (yesterday she came home from daycare with a report that said she had 3 servings of lunch, I think the teacher was politely trying to say please  dont starve her at home. Yes, I do have the report nicely photographed and preserved to show at her graduation if she does graduate) that was a pretty auspicious start 🙂

All said, I know Achan would enjoy Igi at this age a lot more than he did back then (sorry to break it to you Igg, you’re better and cuter and more fun as you age, kind of like wine, I guess there is a good side to that). Which is also why I’m a little sad Achan’s next visit coincided with that of her paternal grandparents (who will soon, in chronological order of visits be featured on this blog) and at a time when there were one grandparent too many vying for Igu’s attention. (Not that it wasnt a happy time or anything and not that Achan so much as even mentioned or complained, but you know how grandparents more so than parents are inherently selfish creatures) Oh well, he will make his yearly pilgrimage soon and he can suit himself taking care of Igg full time and exclusive 😀

Igi and Muthassa

Unda in India

More like the making of unda, coz she went there a teeny lil baby and came back the unda.

We’re doing photo post. Coz there is so much to say otherwise. Pumpkin’s India trip was all it was expected to be and some more. She was indeed quite the princess, with grandparents chitta chittappan cheriyachan et al swooning at her fingertips. She didn’t even seem to mind the heat so much. Despite nearly getting roasted in it a couple of times. And she happily lapped up all the attention and pampering she got, having suffered much neglect at the mother’s hand between the grandmother’s departure and our own trip to India.

Unda with chitta. I’ll never ever forget this moment. Walking out the Nedumbassery airport with pumpkin in hand. Towards her chitta muthassan and ammumma. Pretty high on my list of life-moments. Next perhaps to giving birth to pumpkin. I’m sure her chitta won’t forget either. I can’t believe how small she looks in this one. And I can’t believe I’m already saying that! They do grow up pretty fast.

Here’s pumpkin on her first outing since getting to Kerala. To a farm. On a 35 degree day I guess. (isn’t it hilarious, how the pilot says..the temperature is a pleasant 30 degrees. or something outrageous like that. When you land in Kerala. (yes, we’re doing NRI type talk already, we’re up-to-date like that)).Sporting her ‘I’m done posing for pics on top of a hillock at 3 in the evening, can we all please turn around and go back already’ look. Notice her chittappan sneaking into the pic.

(this post is continuing where we left off, but when Igi is now 16 months old, so forgive lapses in memory)

She also completed her half-baked rollover manoeuvre which she’d mastered while in Boulder and also picked up a few other moves. Of course, now that I’m writing this when she’s 16 months old I can tell my last-year’s self to stop gloating at her rapid progression through milestones- coz she would go on to take the longest time mastering the major one, much to the regret of her mom who had to answer a million is_she_walking_yets in the interim. But then again, let’s hold our horses and stay where we are.

Her dad left and Igi and mom stayed back another 6 weeks, and he spent all the time pining for her  (and his wife) and swearing he’d never do this another time. We missed him as well, but we were busy back there.

She loved her giraffe, Emil’s gift. So did Appu so we had to rescue it from his mouth a couple of times. (I can say this safely now since we’re 12 months later and her dad won’t prosecute my anymore). But after appu had taken it into the yard another time and God_knows_done_what_to_it we decided the contest should be decided in his favor. Thus goes the story of Igi’s first favorite toy.

She met her youngest aunt (the one eating the giraffe in below picture, not holding her, although she’s pretty young too but she’d be Igi’s grand-aunt by relation)

And oldest grand-uncle.

Was part of her mom’s 30th B’day celebration

She spent a lot of time with her chitta and chittappan. Happily, that story continues to date 🙂

Playing her favorite lift game  with Achacha.

Oh, and she had her choroonu (first rice). Despite her dad’s best effort to give her biryani for the first meal, she was forced to settle for the regular choroonu fare at Gurvayur. And if her affinity for food is anything to go by (knock-many-times-on-wood) that wasn’t too bad  a start. The choroonu itself went well, but the whole thing in Gvyr is so commercialised. Even before I could intervene Igi was being made to do all these post-choroonu funny poses of praying to the God and sitting up (She wasnt sitting up yet) for the pictures! She looks so terrified in the pics. But we did do the thulabharam that everyone had offered during the preterm saga – with butter for Igi (good thing we did that before she got any bigger) and with plantain for the two of us together. There was also a do at home which was very nice – Igi was in good spirits despite waking up at 2 in the morning and the sadya was nice. Overall good thing.

Her first vishu. She got her first kaineetam too – a 100Rs note that was barely saved from being swallowed.

First computer lessons. From who else but.

Got her ears pierced. Predictably didn’t go down very well with her. Wait till you beg me for more piercings Igg. (Assuming you will ask before you do get them). She was fine soon after though.

She loved her open-air baths. Loves water in general.

Did a quick trip to Achankovil.

Where a thottil was dedicated in her name.

I hope she gets to go back many more times, to experience a vacation at her greatgrandparents’ – best evaar. And also to experience the beautiful little place her grandmom is from.

She used to lounge around in her diapers – total mallu male style. Worked well for the Indian summer.

Had her first real solid meal. This was a good month after her choroonu but I had to fend off a lot of pressure from both sets of grandparents to delay it that long. (I think I did the right thing though).

Unda in India