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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fridge art

One of the joys of daycare: knowing that your son can express himself with paint, glue and what not, and he is not doing it on your walls. :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Amazing Appu (aka Rampant Rajiv)

Warning Warning -- Heavy bragging alert --

Time to talk about my favorite toddler!

He knows the whole alphabet and recognizes printed letters and numbers. Sometimes he mistakes an A for an H and stuff like that, but mostly he gets it right. He likes it when I write things for him, like his name, and he can distinguish MAMMA from APPU, because one has the M and the other has the P. He likes to read the number plates of the cars parked downstairs and he enjoys counting along with the display in the elevator as we go up and down. He doesn't quite get the counting backward thing when we go down, but thanks to the elevator he now knows that zero is a very important number, because that's where you go out to play :)

He likes to sing and in the last few months he has added quite a few tunes to his repertoire. My favorite though, is still the first song he learned before he was even two. This is his version of the lyrics of "row row row your boat":
ROW ROW ROW ROW ROW (this can keep going forever unless you stop him)... BOAT!
.... DREAM!

Other great interpretations include the alphabet song, "twinkle twinkle", "C is for Cookie", "giro giro tondo" and "CONNI" (aka "Unicorni"), the two latter in Italian and complete with accompanying dancing and signing.

He is speaking better and better. He can say things like "It's broken" (no comment), "I don't want taia!" (which means "I don't want mettiamo via", which means "I don't want to put this toy away"), "E' pronto" (which literary means "It is ready", but it is more used like subtle way to say "Why haven't you started making dinner yet?"). I think he understands that there are at least two languages in his life and he somehow also understands that weirdo who is his mom is somehow connected with one of them. He is very willing to switch from one language to the other when asked, and when nothing else works he just screams :)

He can say "Rohan is sweeping" (sleeping) and "Rohan is crying" in both English and Italian. With this he has his brother's range of activities more or less covered, but he is quite pleasantly surprised when Rohan deviates a little from his routine and plays with his cute little screams. I can't wait for Rohan to start crawling, then it's going to be wild around here! ;(

We no longer have major problems putting him to bed - with some exceptions of course, just to keep us on our toes - a long as "latto" (mamma's milk) is available. If I say "Rohan is crying" normally he lets go right away though, which makes his mom very proud of him. He is beginning to be a little confused about what other people call milk, like something in a carton, but he seemed fine with the explanation that that is cow's milk, as opposed to mamma's milk, and he found it hilarious.

When he is not asking again and again for the same cartoons on tv, he likes to do puzzles. He is getting so good at it, he can do 12 pieces puzzles almost by himself and we do together some 24 pieces puzzles, where he places most of the pieces himself with a bit of help (like "can you see the eyes of the cat, where do they go?"). I am so glad he is able to sit down and work on something for a little while, it kind of compensates for his usual tornado approach to life. It also shows once again that one shouldn't be too quick in placing labels on kids: the same child can be wildly adventurous and impulsive and calm and attentive too.

He is also learning to play with other children. He knows that is he takes something he should give it back and if someone gives him a ball he throws it towards someone instead of running away with it like he would have done a couple of months ago.

Unfortunately he sends a lot of time away from me, otherwise I would have many more things to tell, surely. Sometimes when I read the reports from daycare I can't help thinking that they are even more deluded than I am (he said "we'll see"?? please...), but maybe that is why I love them so much. I couldn't leave my little guy with anyone who didn't think he is an Indescribable Wonder!!

(quoting from "Chrysanthemum", a recent favorite: you have to watch the version read by Meryl Streep)

Week eighteen

Rohan turned four months, but most importantly, he is teething. Welcome to the latest episode of the long running show "The Menace Of The Phantom Tooth". This time, however, we have real evidence: loud screams, baby finally sleeps only after having been given Motrin, two white dots seem to be visible under the lower gum. And yet, this was yesterday, while today he seems to be doing much better. But I don't lower my guard: teeth have been known to try and fool me before :)

The week has been busy, even if we don't count yesterday's madness with Rohan screaming - because he is teething, right? - and Rajiv screaming louder to show who is boss around here. Dad is doing this tutoring thing that keeps him busy until about 6:30PM, you know, like a real job, and we are doing the best we can not to miss him too much. I go and pick up Appu from daycare in a rickshaw and he loves that. In fact when dad managed to go himself with the car last Friday Appu was heart broken.
I would have lots of rickshaw tales, including one that could be titled "The Creepy Driver From Hell". I will pass, but let me just mention the end when he said that it was 160 rupees, because it's 60 each way (and it's 40, anyway).

The tutoring ends on Friday, just in time to take Rohan to the doctor for his vaccinations before we fly to Paris on Saturday night. It is not really a vacation: dad will be working and mom will be mommying, but I promise at least one picture of Appu in front of the pyramid or the Louvre. I have bought a couple of guides to "Paris with Kids" and I am now under the illusion that it is possible to make Appu enjoy this trip and see something worthwhile at the same time. Only time will tell whether this is fantasy or reality. My mom will come and see us in Paris and Emiliano will drop by too, so that at least will be good.

By the way, the best thing that happened this week is the arrival of my new camera. So we are ready for Paris and the pictures of the fratellini will start flowing again very soon!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Happiness is...

... a red fridge with Winnie the Pooh magnets!

Sometimes it is hard to be alone with a small baby, especially one who sleeps beautifully at night but not so much during the day. But as I pace the house with little cranky Kunju in my arms, trying not to look at the messy kitchen and dining table and.. - you get the idea - at least Winnie makes me smile. Fortunately sometimes it takes so little!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rohan's favorite things

Cose che piacciono a Rohan:

Le facce e soprattutto i sorrisi; il rumore della doccia e le goccie d'acqua - anche in testa! - il piccolino sorride appena vede la fascia blu portabimbo che usiamo per fare la doccia insieme; leggere un libro con la mamma, soprattutto "La gatta Emma" di Nicoletta Costa - mordere e scalciare il libro poi e' ancora piu' bello; saltare nel "disco volante" (vedi video); guardarsi allo specchio, soprattutto lo specchio del bagno mentre viene risciacquato nel lavandino; vestirsi e svestirsi e rivestirsi, mille volte al giorno; il suono dei cartoni animati in televisione; stare senza pannolino; essere sollevato su e giu'; stare in piedi; le collane e i capelli da afferrare; e se mi viene in mente qualcos'altro lo aggiungo dopo..

Faces and smiles; the sound of the shower and the water, even on his head! he starts smiling when he sees the blue sling that we use to shower together; reading a book with mom, especially "Emma the cat" - and chewing and kicking the book is even better; jumping in his jumper (where else?); looking at himself in the mirror, especially while being washed in the sink; being dressed and undressed; the sound of Appu's cartoons on tv - when he was one week old he was already turning his head towards the sound - power of the tv! ; being diaperless; being lifted up and down; standing; necklaces and long hair to grab and pull; and if more comes to mind I will add it later..

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Week seventeen

The big news this week is that our little almost four month old baby has learned to roll from back to tummy. Yeah for Rohan!

Appu learned to roll at about the same age and this fundamental milestone opened up for him a new world of play and discovery. It also started our diaper change struggles, because our little guy could no longer bear to be on his back even for a second. The moment his shoulders touched a flat surface he would flip as if he had a spring under his butt. Our little Appu never seemed to do anything gradually - for example when he learned to crawl he was so taken with it that he would sometimes try to crawl over the pillow in his sleep at night.

Rohan instead, doesn't seem to be in a hurry. He slowly moves one leg across his body and then from there keeps reaching until he finds himself on his side and then keeps working on it until, to his own great shock, his tummy touches the floor. At that point most of the times he cries and looks as if he is wondering who did that to him. He doesn't roll often, only a few times a day, but he is getting used to it. He seems to be a little more cautious than his older brother and maybe a little less independent, in the sense that he prefers to look at someone's face and smile back rather than go exploring around (not that he can explore much yet :) ). All he really seems to want is somebody's company and attention.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Back home

We are back from our trip to Calicut and Bangalore. Our city welcomed us with deafening Diwali celebrations ("Boom, boom, boom!" was Appu's perfect account of the situation), but we made it through the weekend and we are more or less back to our routine. S is going to be very busy for the next couple of weeks and this means mom will have to do for a few days what women all around the world do every day - manage home and kids without constant help from their husband. Crazy, uh?

I wish I could show you pictures of our trip, but I haven't replaced my point-and-shoot yet and the bigger camera was, well, too big to carry with us, so I hope somebody will send me some pictures I can post. I know plenty of photos have been taken, so please send them on!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Week fifteen

Yes, I skipped week fourteen. And we are leaving tomorrow for a trip, so if I don't post something today chances are my usual laziness will take over and the blog will go into hibernation (right, we wish...).

What is new? Nothing very exciting, but I am slowly getting into a stay-at-home-mom routine. I say byebye to Appu in the morning and he goes to daycare with his dad. Then I pick up all Appu's puzzles from the floor and I play with my littlest one or read to him, or I put him down for his nap. Sometimes we work out together a little. I have one of those mom&baby dvds and he loves it, he smiles for the whole fifteen minutes (yes, I know, I won't be getting ready for the next chennai marathon with this :D ) Later in the day we might go out shopping, or if he is feeling sticky we might take a shower together. He really likes the sound and he seems to enjoy the water falling on his head, he never cries. Nothing much, but overall we have a good time and I am not going insane yet.

Today I took the perfect Rohan picture. There he is, our little boy, laughing like a maniac, as his dad would say.

In the last few days he has wanted to be on his tummy more and more and he is definitely becoming more active. He can roll from tummy to back and he is working on the way back, but so far he has only managed to turn on his side and that is a source of endless frustration to him.

In the afternoon we went to the doctor and it turns out Rohan is almost 7 kg now. He might get his BCG caccine tomorrow morning, but we are having a few doubts because he seemed a bit unwell in the last hours. Could he be teething? If you lived with us you would know that this is the million dollar question, the doubt that fills every day of our lives. We always think that our children are teething. I don't even know if Appu is supposed to have any more teeth coming any time soon, but we are still sure that teething explains why he drools over evrything, bites his dad's shoulder and chews on his puzzle cards.

By the way, let me conclude with this picture. This shows beyond any doubts that S is Appu's father. Just look at the family frown! You would think the little one is reading algebraic geometry, but in fact he is just watching Dora on tv ("'sioni!"). Rohan has the frown too, but it might take me a while to get it on camera, so please be patient.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sling snaps

A few pics of my littlest one. Too bad there is no audio, because some of these were really wild moments. But no crying baby can resist The Wrap... Anyway, these pictures should also satisfy those who say that mom doesn't appear enough on the blog :)