Sunday, November 29, 2009

Fear conquered

About the start of this year, 2009, when we took Jillu to the beach, I was totally not prepared for her reaction. She was so scared of the sea and the waves.Petrified is not the word for it !!! She cried even when she was not standing and I was carrying her. She did not let me or anyone stand in the water.
Being a lover of the beach, I was determined to get Jillu over her fear of water.

As a first step, I worked on getting her to get into the bath tub (the round one for the kids which can be inflated).There was a lot of resistance and it took over a week to make her stand in the tub. Post that, she would not sit in the tub. She would just keep standing. That is when, I got her a water resistant book which can be read in the bath tub. She took to the book like a duck to the water:). She was instantly floored and abruptly sat in the tub the moment I gave her the book. I was so gratified to see that :) From that day on, she is very eager to take bath and if she makes a fuss, all I have to say is "tub" and she will come running.

But that still did not improve the situation at the beach. She was still scared and would not come to the water, though she loved playing about in the sand. Then, the next couple of times I observed her behavior. She would be okay when the water touched her feet, but the moment the water started retreating, she would cry. I think the sensation of being dragged was what was making her scared and the fact that you had to dig your feet in to keep your balance. This status-quo was maintained for some months.

And then this month, Jillu has been asking my mom daily to go to the beach for consecutive 2 weeks. So, we took her to the beach last Sunday. Since,the trip is her making, I thought about it and kind of prepared her in advance. I have found that, with Jillu, prior warning and preparing her well in advance works well with her. Previously, she had stranger anxiety and used to cry whenever we went visiting to our relative's or friend's place. So we used to tell her, we are going to so & so's place and you should not cry after going there and that you should be a good girl. This kind of prep talk would happen before any visit and actually it seemed to work. It worked so well that she started saying "Anga poi....azha koodaadh" (Should not cry after going there) when we were about to leave. So, I thought, why not prepare her this time to the beach as well.

So, when we were traveling in the car to the beach, I told Jillu, "Jillu, we are headed to the beach.And you shall be standing in the water. You should be a good girl and should not cry. Anga poi.. azhaa koodaadh. okvaa?". There was total silence for a couple minutes and I could hardly hear her "okay"

And then, when we were actually standing in the water, she started crying saying "bheyama irukku" (I am scared). We calmed her down and reminded her about being a good girl. Initially she was okay when the waves came in and water touched her feet. She started saying "bheyamaa irukku" when the water was retreating. So, we are back to square 1, I thought. We did some small talk and I showed Jillu how the water was sliding backwards into the sea and comparing it to her slides in the park. She seemed intrigued by the idea and then, slowly things started changing. After some time, she actually said "vaa..vaa.. Jillu kitaa vaa" and it was music to my ears :). She had started enjoying the first bit, though she still cried when she felt that she was losing her balance when the water retreated. I was further delighted when she said "innoru vaati.."(Once more) when we were moving away from the water towards the sand. 

Though, it was clear that she was still scared of water and there would be hiccups still, I think the trip last Sunday was a turning point indeed!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Perfect Imitation

Jillu is very well known for understanding and repeating whatever we say and there have been enough instances to prove the same. However, in my eyes, this takes the cake

A couple of days back, when I was putting Jillu to bed , as usual we were singing the usual set of songs.
Carnatic includes songs like
1) Alai Paayudhe, Kannaa
2) Broche vaa revaru raa
3) Krishna nee Begane Baaro
4) Jo achutha nanda jo jo mukundaa
5) Raara venu gopaa paalaa
6) Bajagovindam, bajagovindam

Rhymes includes
1) Chubby cheeks
2) Baba baba black sheep
3) Twinkle twinkle little star
4) Ding dong bell
5) Pussy Pussy cat
etc.. the list will go on to include another 10 or so

1) jai jai krishna (title song of krishna serial)

Usually, Jillu will be asleep before we cover everything in the list. That night, however, she was still wide awake even after we had gone over all. Then she said

"Amma, innum vera yenna padalaam maa? hmmmmmm? "(Amma, what else can we sing ma? hmmmmm?)
She actually did make the "hmmm" tone, the one that we use when we normally think aloud and it was so natural and convincing as well!!! And all I could do then was double up with laughter :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Start of comparison

Jillu has this kind of whistle, only its orange in color.

She was playing with it for a while, whistling on and off and also playing with the rope. And then, she put on the rope over her neck (like a garland!) with the whistle hanging down near her midriff and she said, to  all our astonishment
"Kalyaanam maadhiri" (Like a wedding!)

We were all gaping at her! She has started comparing things already ??? and wedding ???


There are several things in queue to be posted here, but they have to wait because of what happened tonight. What Jillu did tonight when I was putting her to bed now takes precedence over everything else that are still in the drafts :)

The bed time routine went on as usual and once we were in bed, we started singing songs (read that as I started singing and Jillu demanding song after song), after a short prayer. This is nothing unusual. After the usual plethora of Carnatic, lullaby and rhymes, there was the usual lull and she was only half awake. And then, after a while of silence, she said "Amma....". I kept quiet. I knew this was not the time to talk. If  I remain quiet and unresponsive, she would drift away into sleep.
Still silence
"Amma...chubby cheeks paadu" (Mom, Sing Chubby Cheeks)

I maintained the silence and then she did this..

Any guesses?

It was something totally unexpected and amazing that I could not believe it in the first place.

She very very very quietly hushed, as though whispering a very dark secret in the most secretive tone (the tone we use so as not to disturb a sleeping child), "pesa koodaadhu..shhh..." which was barely audible to me. Needless to say, more than the words, the manner and the tone stunned me.

P.S : I wish I could have recorded it, to go with this post :(

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Well Prepared already!

Q : Jillu, un birthday anniku yenna pannanum? (What do we do on your birthday?)
A : Thopi potukanum (Have to wear a cap!)

Q : Vera Yenna pannanum? (What else?)
A : Choto yedukanum (Take photos!)

Q : mm..innum vera yenna pannanum? (What else?)
A : Cake cut pannanum (Have to cut the cake)

After effects of attending a couple of birthday parties. All these out of her own observation and assimilation with absolutely no coaching from us.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

This is your's, please..

My mom's mobile phone rings. My mom is busy in the kitchen and hence my dad wants to pick up the call. Jillu runs to the phone and picks it up.
Dad : Jillu, give it to me.
Jillu does not listen, she runs away from my dad and proceeds to the kitchen."Paati, chone, indaa chone." (Grandmom, phone, take it)

My Dad : Jillu, come here, give it to me. Jillu, Jillu,

Jillu : (completely ignoring him and running to my mom) Paati, indaa and gives it to my Mom


The other day, my uncle had come to visit us and he had brought a pack of biscuits for Jillu. When he came in, he handed over the same to Jillu. He stayed for a short while and when he was about to leave, she came running forward with the cover holding the pack of biscuits and gave it to him "Indhaa, vechiko". (Here, you have it). He tried giving it back to her saying that he had got it for her. Every time he tried explaining, she repeatedly thrust the cover back to him. It was so endearing to watch her like this and both of us were laughing. Finally we convinced her and he did leave, minus the biscuit packets.

This morning, absentmindedly,  I had taken our toothpaste and was about to squeeze it on Jillu's toothbrush. I wasn't watching what I was doing. Immediately Jillu said "Adhu Appa paste. Naanaam" (That's dad's tooth paste. Not for me). And I looked down to see that she was right. Thank god she stopped me. Otherwise, if she had tasted our regular toothpaste, then she wouldn't have let go :). As it is, she relishes her very bland tooth paste and once she swallows her tooth paste, she proudly exclaims "yellaathaiyum chaatutten" (I have eaten all)


 I have seen this in many instances.  She perfectly maps and has a clear understanding of which is what and whose, which is really amazing

Friday, November 20, 2009

Inexplicably Misconstrued !!!

While we were coming home yesterday, we saw a Juju (Jillu talk for Dog) on the road eating something from a paper lying on the road. 

I casually asked her, "Jillu, what is juju doing?"
She immediately replied "Koppu pidikardhu" (Jillu talk for "Koppalikardhu" ) which is basically goggling/rinsing one's mouth.

I was completely taken aback and am still amazed by the answer because I still cannot understand how she misconstrued a dog eating something to goggling :) and even now when I think about it, it makes me laugh :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


According to Oxford English Dictionary, Machiavellianism means "the employment of cunning and duplicity in statecraft or in general conduct".  Too strong a word for a less than two years old toddler?  But I don't know what else to call it.

The victim here is my mom and this is her account of the incident.
Its time for her haircut again, but it has to wait till the weekend. So my mom had put on a  tiny pony to keep her hair from falling into her eyes. Immediately, Jillu, as usual, put her hand to the hair band to remove the pony. As my mom was feeding her mosambi, she said "No mosambi if you take away your pony". So what does Jillu do? Behave like a very good girl with no signs of mischief as though she is even unaware of its existence. 

And then, the moment she completes eating the fruit, before the blink of an eye, in a flash, the pony is undone.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

First person reference

Its You & Her and NOT I & me.
Jillu still has not got the hang of referring to herself properly.

Initially she used to refer to herself by second person reference. If she wanted biscuit, she said "unakku biscuit venum", "unakku paal venum" etc (You want biscuit, You want milk instead of I). If she wanted to get hold of something, she used to say "adha unakku kudu" (Give that to you!)

Now these days, after she heard us referring to her in 3rd person she has started to do the same. Now its "avulukku biscuit venum", "avulukku phone kudu" etc (She wants biscuit, Give the phone to her)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Writing style

See the proper and precise hold of the pen

Hard at work. She could be at it continuously with no need for supervision for more than 5 minutes which is an achievement in itself :). So when i need 5 minutes, you now know what i will make her do :)

And the result.....

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Yesterday's titbits

Yesterday, I showed my netted dhupatta that I was wearing and asked my daughter "Jillu, idhu yenna, sollu paapom" (Jillu, What is this called?). She knows the name (Dhupattaa) well and I was fully expecting her to say the same. But what did she say? She always manages to surprise me and what she said revealed a whole new perspective. She said "Tissue" and while my mind was busy thinking how she knew that word, let alone associate with my dhupatta, her dad agreed !


Last evening, after I came home, she was demanding to go out and already started to put on her shoes. I managed to distract her somehow and took her into the bedroom. After some time, it started again and I told her truthfully in tamil, "Lets go tomorrow, We shall go in train and enjoy ourselves" to which she said "Train la venaam. Car la polaam" (No Train. lets go in the car). Well, Well, Well. A lesson for us ! I think we should start taking her in train (and other modes of transport) more often.


There are a couple of birthday parties that we have to attend this weekend and I was wondering how to fit in all. While my mind was busy with all the logistics, I asked Jillu "Tomorrow is your friend's birthday. Shall we go?" and pat came the reply "Happy Birthday polaam. Cake chaapidalaam" (Lets go to Happy Birthday. Lets eat cake!!!) Me : ???!!!***


Friday, November 13, 2009

Colour hopping

Some months back
everything you touched was aed (red in color)

One month back
everything you touched was bloo (blue in color)

One fortnight back
anything could be any (aed, bloo, yello, geen)

One week back, 
aeds are indeed reds
bloos are indeed blues
yellos are yellows and
geens are greens
At other times,
aeds are bloos and

bloos are aeds

but its not too far
aeds will always be reds and
bloos will always be blues

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Moon Connection

Obviously, this has to start with "Nila Nila Odi vaa, Nillaamal Odi vaa...." (Famous Tamil Poem/Rhyme). Needless to say, she knows this by heart.

When we travel in the car, she stands on the back seat and looks out into the sky in all directions for the moon. When she sees the moon, she says  "Nila, inga vaa " (Come here, Moon) with a beckoning gesture. My MIL will then say, "Jillu, Nila nambaloda namba koodaye varum ". (The moon will come along with us to our home)

MIL "Nilaa ku namma saapida yenna kudukalaam?" (what shall we feed the moon?")

Jillu "Thachi mamam, Paal" (curd rice, milk)

Me : "Nee yenna kai kuduppe?" (which veggie will you give)

Jillu : "Urla kazhang" (potato)

Me: Apram? (what else will you give?)

Jillu: Vendekkai (ladys finger)

We all (excepting the dad who is driving of course) closely watch the moon , follow its direction to see if it is actually following us and Jillu will be alternating between my lap and MIL's lap depending on the moon's orientation.And then after we reach our home, we don't forget to check again to ensure that the moon has indeed followed us to our home. And then we say "Bye Nila, Naalaikku Paakalaam" (Bye Moon, see you tomorrow)

The moon is part of our everyday life now. I have to draw the moon for her in a paper, computer anywhere. She looks out for moon in all her books :). And then we follow the moon daily when I bring her back to our home from my mom's place.

And then on those days when its cloudy and the moon alternates between being seen and partially obscured by the clouds,
Jillu : " Nila Yenga Pochu? Megam Marachuthu" (Where did the moon go? The clouds have made the moon to disappear) and then we (Jillu and me) patiently stand there till the passing clouds go away and we can see the moon again "Adho, nila vandhuduthe.. megam pochu"(See, its back) 
When I take her in bike (only within the 4 streets surrounding my place), she always looks for the moon and keeps talking about it. "Adho Nila","Nila Kaanum","Nila va megam marchurthu","Nila va building marachuthu" and so on and so forth

The last time we saw the moon (1 week back, I think), we were singing "Vennilave Vennilave, Vinnai Thaandi varuvaayaa" song (Famous tamil movie song) to the moon. Now, we are waiting for the weather to improve to catch up with the moon

Pretend Play

Jillu has never been over attached to dolls or soft toys (one of the reasons could be that I never gave her soft toys with fur as she in the habit of biting everything ). However, there are a few dolls (without fur obviously) lying around but she never plays with them much.

Lately, she has been wanting us to pet/flatter the doll as we do her. This was surprising because she used to cry if we did that before and she used to want all our attention. But recently, she comes to us, hands over the doll and says "Konju", "Appu ponnu sollu" and  keeps silently watching us pampering the doll. Only we feel awkward after some time (how long can we do this and there is a limit right?) and I switch back to pampering Jillu.

And, last week, after she had her dinner, she was playing with the doll and was talking to the doll. At first I didn't give my attention, but then immediately, I caught a phrase and I started listening to what she was saying. She was asking the doll her preference for dinner

"Nee thachi mammu chaapidriyaa, illa yummy pasta chaapidriyaa?" ("Do u want curd rice or yummy pasta?")

"yummy pasta chaapidriyaa illa thachi mammu chaapidriyaa?" ("Do u want yummy pasta or curd rice?")

"chollu paapaaa" ("Say naa baby")

(that night she did have Yummy Pasta for dinner !)

I laughed out loud and just could not stop. She had really noticed and realized that we always asked her the reverse way as well. You remember this right? She always chooses the second part of an option. She is yet to grasp the concept of options. So we ask her both ways to guage her needs and wants.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Counter arguments

From the Denials, now its on to counter arguments

Whenever anything is against her wish, she has started to argue her case in her own way, albeit the reason being the same always

Before,When she put her thumb in the mouth, we say "Baaaaad", she takes her hand out and says "good". Now,we say "Baaad" and she says (still with her hand in the mouth mind you) " Ippo dhaan pottundu irukken" (I put it in just now!)

Some days back, as is the norm, she was in my arms as soon as she woke up. However, I had to put her down for a few minutes for attending to something else. So I told her "Get down kanna, I will just be back". She immediately said "Ippo dhaan amma madila ukkachikaren" (Just now, I sat in amma's lap)

 She was wearing a new dress (trial for size) and we wanted to change it so that it can be put on for a better occasion. You don't need a prize to guess her reply to that. Yes,
"Ippo dhaan pottunden"

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Roles Reversed II

You might have read this post where the roles were reversed earlier way as back as 5 months or so. This week, again the roles were reversed but in a totally different and in a so beautiful manner.

Normally, when we have some light dinner or breakfast in the form of fruits or vegetables, Jillu will come to us, peek into the bowl and take her pick. This was a good way to get her eating veggies and fruits, i thought, and let her do it. These days, I give her the same in a different bowl and she has it. 
But some days back, she had had her dinner already and I was having a bowl of fruits later. She came, saw what I was having and out of all assortments, was picking out papaya and guava for herself. I let her. 
After some time, she stopped eating and i didn't mind as she was already full. However, to my complete surprise, she started feeding me. 

"Amma, aa pottukko ma" (Amma, have one mothful !)

"Amma, avvu kadikkanum.. muzhungaadhe" (Amma, you must chew. Not swallow)

and one by one, she fed me the remaining bowl of fruits sitting on my lap:). Though I got my own instructions quoted back at me, I simply went with the flow and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

It would always be so lovely if and when our mom feeds us (sigh...i cant even remember this happening but surely must have happened though), but then being fed by your little toddler daughter ? mmmmm... lovely... amazing...a wonderful feeling and as beautiful as it can get.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Broken heart!!!

One day last week, I came home in the evening to find Jillu being non cooperative and generally creating problems for her grand ma by not eating. So fundoo, creative and innovative mama that I am, I pretended to cry by making wailing noise and squeezing my eyes and sobbed saying "Jillu saapida maatengaraa..mmmmm..hooooooooommmm....sob..sob..."(Jillu is not eating !!!)

and you know what? she said
"Azhaadhe amma.. naan samathaa irukken" (Dont cry mom. I will be a good girl). Wow !!! I was so touched and ecstatic that my girl was reacting in such a wonderful and caring manner. What more could I want?

My mom said  "Then come and have a mouthful and amma will not cry"

Jillu obliged. And I was so happy.

And then again the whole thing was repeated for the next mouthful. 
After some time, when I judged that the proceedings were okay and did not need my intervention, I was diverted and on to something else. Then guess what happened?
After a couple of mouthfuls, Jillu came to me and said
"Azhu maa, Azhu" (Cry mom !!!)
and there came my wonderful world crashing down to smithereens!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fascinating Interests

Jillu, You are such an inquisitive child.You keep asking lots of questions and you have fascinating interests, ie your interests in such things fascinate me.  I have listed out all things that fascinate you currently. Though this may not be the complete list, I have tried to list all I can.

1) The kitchen sink tap has a filter and there is a fan mechanism for the water to flow out in a shower fashion. You noticed that minute detail and keep asking "chuthardhu paakanum "(Want to see the rotation!)

2) After you finish your meal, you insist that you need to put the empty bowl in the sink (however,more often than not, its a throw) and after that I will have to lift you so that you can see the bowl and the spoon in the sink for yourself.

3)You have a fascination for the spices and the pulses. By now, you know all the names of the spices that are kept at the front in all our shelves in the kitchen. You know salt, sugar, dal names, turmeric, Dhaniyaa (coriander seeds) and especially Dhaniyaa has a special hold on you.  There have been several days when you woke up with the request for "Dhaniyaa paakanum" (Want to see Dhaniyaa). You will bestow the responsibility of lifting you (so that you can list all the items to them) to whoever is standing in the kitchen.

May be you will become a great cook and take up hotel management?

4) I carry a stamp size photo of our family (you, me and appa) in my hand bag and you were only 6 months old when that photo was taken. Every day, when I take my bag, you demand to see "kutty paapu " (small baby - you call yourself kutty paapu). And as a very good girl, return it to me after taking a look at it. This has become our daily routine :)

5) Every time you visit the bathroom, you want to the see the WC flushing

6) And I am going to let out a secret with this one. What should anyone do to capture your interest or to keep you quiet? Its very simple. Any empty box or bottle will suffice. You have such a fascination for boxes and bottles. You can roam all day with just a box and a bottle. My !!!

7) And you also have a fascination for the broom/mop. You just wait for someone -either the servant maid or us to take it out (you would take it yourself if it was reachable for you, but knowing your penchant we leave it out of your reach always) and pounce on it. You say "naan thodaikanum" (I want to mop) and infact proceed to do so too and a you do a nice job as well. We cannot get our job done if we dont give it to you. Though you are very agreeable when I say that you can do it after Amma finishes. You then patiently wait and then after i finish you take it over from me 

8) And then, the balls. Right now there is a brillinat helicopter toy (gifted by your perima and perippa) which sings rhymes and make all sorts of sounds with colorful lights. But are you bothered by it? Not at all. You are just roaming around with the 4 balls that came along with the helicopter. You are suppoed to drop the balls into the helicopter, but no.. you just want the balls and no amount of persuasion has made you play by dropping the balls into the helicopter