Thursday, December 26, 2013
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Saturday, December 21, 2013
Let me start with a few action shots.
In the next photo, the tall building on the back is Home.
And here are the two scooting wonders, up close.
Next, a couple of rare instances of mamma being in the photo too. (Thanks, S, this time you did a good job!)
The rest is Lila trying to keep up with her brothers - and she does that quite well.
Sunday, December 15, 2013
For those who called us to inquire about the state of health of the poor little girl, let me just show you a picture of the patient, taken on one of the first days of her illness.
Any other questions?
Saturday, December 7, 2013
A special announcement:
Someone had a first pee in the potty today!
And, just to quiet any doubts right away, it wasn't me.
Monday, September 9, 2013
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
The monkey was about half my size, but it looked quite strong and scary right then. No more bananas out in the open! At least the kids were not scared, in fact quite the opposite. We had to have a little chat to explain that no, it is not ok if a monkey "just wants to jump on you, mamma" (Rajiv's words). :)
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Rohan - "The days die.."
Mamma - "Uh?"
Rohan - "The days pass, and they die."
Mamma (a little anxious) - "Well, I guess you could say that.. Does it make you sad?"
Rohan - "No."
Mamma - "???"
Rohan - "Only the other days are sad, those that haven't passed, because their friends are gone."
Rohan - "Mamma, you are the yolk of the egg!"
This is clearly a metaphor, which makes me proud. Whether it is also a compliment, I am still pondering.
Yet another time, when he was smaller:
Rohan is crying. We try to wipe his face. He says, angry: "Don't take my tears away! I need them!"
Saturday, August 17, 2013
Friday, August 16, 2013
Thursday, August 15, 2013
It is one of the bottom front teeth, not so easy to show in a photo. We tried a couple of poses, yesterday night:
and again today morning:
but I'm afraid we will have to wait for one of the upper teeth to go if we want the classic toothless shot.
Rajiv and Rohan have heard of the Tooth Fairy from American books and movies, but I grew up with the "Little Mouse of the Teeth" (literally translated from the Italian "Topino dei Denti") and I told them about this a few days ago, when Rajiv's tooth started to wiggle. It might sound ridiculous, but I don't feel good lying to them about this sort of things, so I just told them that this was a story my aunt and grandmother told me, never saying it was a true story. The thing is: kids are eager to believe in gift bearing magical creatures and there is no need to push the idea, they will right away embrace it, even when they know that it really doesn't make much sense.
This is the compromise I have worked out for now so that they don't have to grow up without Santa and the old Befana just because I have a problem with encouraging uncritical faith in the supernatural :)
Anyway, what I was told as a child was that if I put my tooth, all wrapped up in aluminum foil, in a corner of the kitchen floor, at night a mouse would come to take it and leave a little bit of money for me in exchange. This is supposed to be a gentle little mouse, the kind that you might not mind too much having around your house at night, but for some reason the kids have decide to call it the Money Rat. Not as charming as the original, in my opinion. More changes: we wrapped the tooth in colorful paper instead of foil and Rajiv insisted in keeping the little packet under his pillow, which would make more sense for the Tooth Fairy, I guess, but is really not the natural place for a mouse to go and look - at least we would hope.
In spite of all these changes, as it turns out, the Money Rat showed up. He took the tooth and left another little packet under Rajiv's pillow, wrapped in paper of a different color. The same kind of paper we used too! Inside the paper was 100 rupees bill. The rat was very generous, maybe because it was a first tooth, which is very special.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
As a start, we have signed up the children for a couple of after school classes at Lila's daycare, which used to be their daycare too and is therefore not a scary new place. Rohan, I think, was especially happy to see a few of his friends and teachers again. So far they have art on Mondays and freestyle dance on Fridays. Art is going very well, but the dance thing was probably a little too complicated for them last time and they are not so enthusiastic about a repeat. Still we have paid for a month and so they will give it a try for a few more weeks, then we will reassess.
The best catch though, was being able to enroll Rohan and Rajiv for football practice right here on the institute premises. This kids football group used to meet for practice in a different area and just moved here, where we have a half decent field next to the hostel and the canteen. Some good luck, for a change! The children just went for the first session today and if it works out they can practice three or four days a week. I didn't want to be the mom with the camera on the very first day, but maybe tomorrow I will try to casually get a couple of snaps. Now I am off to take a look, more later..
Monday, August 12, 2013
Saturday, August 3, 2013
I am at home with Lila. All the boys are out and we have retreated to the bedroom for a bit of ACed quiet time. While Lila rolls on the bed, and on me, I am trying my first post ever from the ipad. It seems easy so far, except of course for Lila tapping on the screen. (In case anybody wants to know, I am using Blogsy and I like it so far..)
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Friday, July 26, 2013
Saturday, July 20, 2013
Saturday, July 13, 2013
Friday, July 12, 2013
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Monday, July 8, 2013
Friday, July 5, 2013
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Monday, April 15, 2013
It is hard to know where to start, so let me talk about the most concrete issues first. One that I already mentioned, of course, is the cost. Summarizing what I already said, we are not ready at this point to try a government school and private schools are expensive. Without being too specific, overall yearly we are talking about the equivalent of a few thousands of dollars, and in addition to this many schools ask for an initial "donation", i.e. a non-refundable fee that is almost as high as one full year of regular fees. In the school we almost enrolled our kids in, this fee was intended to cover the cost of a new building. After an initial moment of doubt, we were satisfied that this was a legal and legitimate request, but you can see how this kind of commitment can only make sense if there is a long term plan of staying in the school all the way (the school does cover the whole K-12 course of study). It does not however make sense for us, given that we do not even know right now whether we will still be in India in one or two years time.
When we explained this, the first reaction of many generous family members was to offer to help pay some of the fees, so I feel compelled to clarify that while money is a very important factor in our decision, it is not the only one. There are other reasons that are just as important: I mentioned some in my earlier post and I will try and explain more here.
Avoiding the daily commute ranks high on our list of reasons. We live a bit out of town and most schools that could be acceptable to us in other ways are really far. We have subjected the kids to a long and stressful commute - hours in the car *every day* - for almost two years now and we would like to try and simplify our daily life a little. In addition, even though our job allows us to work from home every now and then, at the moment we are very rarely able to take advantage of this. Maybe I am experiencing a dangerous wave of optimism here, but I imagine our quality of life really improving substantially with this choice.
These are our main reasons: money, uncertainty about our future whereabouts, a very stressful daily life. I will leave my wisdom about education for part III :)
Friday, April 5, 2013
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Saturday, February 23, 2013
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Thursday, February 7, 2013
Rohan - Mamma? Mamma? You know? A piece of my school has fallen down!
Mamma - Uhm.. really?
[A somewhat confusing exchange follows, in which we clarified that some plaster must have crumbled down from a wall at naptime]
Rohan - I don't know *how* it happend! Maybe there is a scratching monster! (giggling)
Rajiv - No, Rohan. (With just a hint of impatience) The cement between the bricks must have come loose and that's how the wall fell down. Maybe they will have to build it again.
But now worries: as of today, the school still stands.
Monday, January 14, 2013
I can, however, show you this picture taken by S with his phone.
Last Saturday I gave a talk at a conference at IIT Madras and while I was speaking S took the kids for a walk in the beautiful IIT campus. Here you can see them "hiding" to observe a deer without scaring it away. It helps that the animals are used to having people around and are not easily alarmed :)