Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ash does it!

And finally after so many of my failed attempts, Ash today used the lavatory to poo! I have been trying since like when he was less than a year old—he is 2 yrs and 9 months now. Of course not on a daily basis because, on the one day that I try to make use the potty (that cost me INR 750), or the traditional method, he would cry and make such a big hullaballoo that it would make me fear that he would develop a fear around poo-ing or would refuse to poo the next day and thereby leading to other complications (ask a paediatric surgeon's wife).

The first time around, I got several reminders from senior citizens on making it a habit to put the kid in between the feet and wait till they poo. How on earth would they know to do exactly that, when we put them is still a wonder. May be they are correct, I would really not know--it's not a been-there-done-that scenario for me here... Neither did my parents know. I am wondering how they taught us! Anyway, the point is I missed the bus. And yeah, a few more wonder stories (fairy tales) that I have heard were to train the kids in such a way that at the count of three, they pee or poo. In worst cases, I have even heard that they get so accustomed to the cause and effect that only when you count, anything at all happens. Now that can get really bad!

And then, after a few days, Ash learnt to pee when asked to pee and call out when he wants to. So, a major part of the potty training was resolved. I was once discussing with my friends and determined that potty aka toilet training involves two aspects--the habit of poo-ing and making them learn to use the toilet, and that is for peeing as well as poo-ing.

Me being around only on the weekends, makes the matter worse, because consistency is important with toilet training. Most of the weekends go past in spending time with him or taking Ash out for walks. Past all this, when on some enlightened days, I would think it is high time I gave this a try. And so, I pull out the potty from the attic and after strenuous pleading, I would make him sit on it, saying that I would tell him the 'Arnie the monkey story'. Ash being the skinny types, guess, lack of flesh at the bottom makes it difficult to sit on the potty and he keeps adjusting his seat and is never at ease. In the two or three attempts that I have made with the potty, he has landed up only listening to the story and never poo-ed.

The last time I attempted was when he voluntarily told me beforehand that he wanted to poo (of course not using the potty but the usual way of standing with a loincloth tied around his waist), I made him sit on the toilet (Indian style) because he was accustomed to the toilet (during the cleansing process). And what happened? Starting from this point and for various other reasons, he had cried for about close to 20 minutes and also enraged me. And this was two weeks ago, sometime on the Diwali Eve.

Today morning, the care taker who takes care of Ash told me that she tried to make him sit on the toilet but finally ended up in a failed attempt. When she said this, what was surprising was that he did not cry. And involuntarily, I gave her a reply saying, let's try this on a daily basis and see where it takes us—may be repeated attempts would let us win over him. And today, I got this great news! Honestly, it is such a great achievement! And no news about Ashwath has excited me so much after he saying 'anna'. :-)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Ash’s Attack on the Aliens

For the third time now, Ash has thrown such a tantrum before he enters someone's house that we had planned to visit. The first time around, I guess he was disappointed because he was under the impression that we were to visit Fun City, the play area at City Center... understandable. Umpteen attempts to appease him by offering him chocolates, his favorite custard apple or orange, just failed. Not for a second he put his feet inside the house. Apparently, they are people whom he has never seen before and are aliens to him! Believe me it was so embarrassing! Either of us had to keep him on the street just outside the house, with one or the other members of the host trying to engage him in a conversation. Only just when he left, he looked up at the hosts and bade a happy farewell.

Being the great hosts they were, they did not mind much of this happening and visited our house two days later with a gift for him, a motorized bike. Even now, unfortunately, they were around just when he woke up and as cranky as he ever would be after waking up, he exhibited even more resistance, and just did not enter the place they were seated. After an hour or so, he was okay and came around to be in the same room as they were. And after a while, he was interested in the bike. And even later, he did not mind being carried by them for a few minutes. Such was the case, in spite of the fact that the cycle is his dearest possession, and the gift the most amazing toy that Ash has ever been gifted!

The next time around it was my mom's turn to bear the brunt. She had taken him to her sister's place, and over there the lift played the spoilsport. Wherever he goes, if he sees the lift or the escalator, he would turn blind to anything else other than these modes of commutation. My mom had to wait for half an hour before he agreed to enter the house. And after he did, he thoroughly enjoyed the stay and had a long heart to leave the place.

The last time the showdown with the aliens happened was when we had visited my friend's place to see the newborn in their house. My friend first kid is an 8-year old son and there is no dearth for play items. Of course he does not about it… I can’t believe that he was throwing a tantrum the third time around! He went to the extent that he started going down the stairs that led to the house. Neither candies nor sweet talk worked. Thankfully, the car and the jeep came to rescue now, and after he started seeing his stuff, he was at peace and more of that. Unfortunately, we had to leave in 15 minutes because it was already too late in the night and already past dinner time.

The icing on the cake was when the next day he woke up and started crying because he wanted to go to anna's house. I had to pacify him saying we will make a visit after dad comes home. As it usually happens with kids, he did not bring it up again. I guess as he grows older, the fear of strangers and general social stigma issues come up. And then, as time goes by and the children start schooling, I suppose, they gradually get over them. However, the next day, I summarized all these three incidents to him and told that he must be a good boy when we visit someone's house so that he gets more play time. 

Let's see what happens next time!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Ash's Swear Words

Funny to hear the swear words (!) that Ashwath uses when he is in rage:

  • amma poya: meaning, 'mom go away'; Guess it translates to 'Go to hell!'?
  • onnum venaam: meaning, 'nothing needed'; translates to 'Don't bug me!'?
  • azhu moonji appa: meaning, 'crybaby dad'; Guess there is not much to translate...
  • amma kulika poya: meaning, 'go take bath'; translates to 'Don't show your face to me. Get away.'
  • appa shave pannanum: meaning, 'dad, go n shave'; again translates to 'Don't show your face to me. Get away.'

I can figure that the bathe and shave is not literal, because he uses the swear phrase, with everyone: avva shave pannanum, amma shave pannanum, etc... And when gets really angry, he puts so much emphasis on the first syllable of the word 'po'ya that he literally sings a song, appa poooya! :-)

I am wondering how the expression of anger through words happens at such an early age! 

And the longer we keep the habit, the harder it gets to overcome it... I am learning a little late in life; but at least happy that I am learning!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Anger Management with Ashwath

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold temper than to drive those nails into the fence.
Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail to each day that he was able to hold his temper.
The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, "You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same." 
When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound is still there. "A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one."

There can hardly be anyone who has not read this story—at least those who receive/received forwards in their inbox. And for a person like me who has access to anger within reach and in abundant and renewable forms, I think I'd probably need to make a creative poster, hit a nail on the wall at a good viewing angle, hang it up, and read as often and whenever I interact with my son, Ash, especially when I try to feed him breakfast and dinner, and of course, when he misbehaves.

In fact, at times anger soars up like a well-kindled and well-oiled fire, when he throws tantrums, or you know, when you get a slap your face unexpectedly, I mean, I can even tolerate it when it is done without that anger in his face. But with the anger, it is very annoying, and there we go... another one bites the dust! The result being, I get angry, I either reprimand him (not the assertive, non-violent rebuke but the violent kind), or worse-case scenario, hit back. Another case in point that evokes rage is when he does things you tell him not to do--something like, when he touches a wall splattered with layers of dirt.

At these times, I keep reminding myself that it is perhaps what I had sown, that I am reaping now. Perhaps the anger that I bestowed on him, is what I am getting back. At this point of realization, I decide I want to chop off the tree. So, if not chop at least not to water it—I mean, to not let the fire grow, at least one can stop pouring oil into it. So the next course of action is to consciously decide not to shout or express anger when anger is exhibited.

So, it is very clear... anger management is about a. fighting back a source of anger and b. not letting anger be evoked in you (and not being a source of anger): the two primary external and internal sources.

Thinking about the aspects of dealing with the internal one, the aspect not being a source of anger, at times, it is clear that anger is a sum of all minor irritating factors. Let's take the case of dinner: Ash sees Mickey on the TV. Earlier, I had insisted he eat by himself, and soon after, when all the playing started, I had to take over to get it done soon. So, here are the discrete set of items that surmount and evoke the fury: he spending too much time on TV, me needing to remind him to chew with his molars, to remind him to not soak food in his mouth, to threaten him on pausing the TV in case he does not swallow the stuff that is already masticated, to tell him that his food would be given away to whoever is in the vicinity, my aching back and behind. So now, each of this grows bigger and bigger over the hour that he takes to close off the session.

Anyway, too long a post! With the root cause being known, I suppose I need to know to tackle these individual components and get going (how about getting a nice cushioned chair, eh?).

And with the issues of fighting back anger, the external source, I think the poster must work. Let's see!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Acts of Awesomeness

The other day, Ashwath (2.5 yrs) was lying down in his nightclothes listening to one of the songs from Engeyum Eppodum from my SE Cedar (a low-end phone to save it from the physical brutalities of Ash); it was either Govinda or Sota Sota. He was dabbling with it and mimicking actions like those that you do on a tablet device--actions such as sliding on the screen to move to the next photo, or pinching it to zoom out (or drawing the fingers apart to zoom in). The only thing that I could sense was that my eyes stopped blinking and I could not even feel my heart beat!

About a month ago, he was at his cousin's place and he was being shown the pictures of a recent vacation on an iPad, and apparently he has picked it up from there. 

It was sheer serendipity that I chanced upon him doing this and I am happy I had this opportunity. I just loved those moments which has till now held me in such awe! I am just wondering about the level of retentiveness and the mind to apply it to the right genre of devices, from what he saw long ago! I mean, he has been playing around with this phone for about a year and though the slide-pinch concept was not introduced or associated with this phone since the time of its introduction to him, he had the thought to associate the concept with my phone. Just wondering...

I am not sure though if I am just being a proud mom and maybe any other kid would tend to act in a similar way that Ash does. 

I think this awe-and-pride feeling in a parent comes from these facts: that the kid who was dependent on you even for bare essentials as feeding and voiding, is now able to turn over, sit, crawl, stand, walk and talk all in just a span of two years, at an exponential pace. And of course, the 'pride' feel arises from the fact that such an awe behavior is exhibited by something that has come from you.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Spotted on the road

Andru, Gandhi uzhaithaar naattukaaga.
Endru, naam uzhaikkirom Gandhi notukaaga!

roughly translated to

Then, Gandhi worked hard for the country, and now,
we work hard towards earning the Gandhi currency.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Kazhugu (2012) - My view and a brief review

Certainly, Kazhugu (2012) is a movie that falls along the lines of Sethu (1999), Pithamagan (2003), and Paruthiveeran (2007). Camaraderie, friendship, joviality, love, innocence, and vengeance and tragedy, are the emotions running along in full swing in all these movies. Not to mention the soulful music for the company of the empathetic viewers.

If I were to reverse-engineer and develop a hints-development structure of the story, it would be as follows:

establishing a setting - introducing the associates of the story - character sketching along with occupation - introducing the protagonist's love-interest - falling for each other - a casual but a serious or an unrelated happening related to the antagonist - protagonist's part in this happening - innocent or naive or daring decision by protagonist - serious and unexpected repercussion affecting protagonist - vengeance - tragedy.

Maybe, the sequence of two consecutive events can be interchanged and yet, the above structure holds good for all these movies.

Maybe there are other such movies that I have missed; but there is definite correlation and a lot more similarities in all these four movies. Of the four movies, Ilayaraja and Yuvan Shankar Raja (YSR) have composed music for two each, Ilayaraja for the former two movies in the timeline and YSR for the latter two. All these movies have taken a minimum of two years for production, from start of project to the finish. Each such movie has been released with a minimum gap of four years--long enough to avert making the theme a cliched or a stereotyped one. 

One distinct difference is with the title--the rest of the movies have the protagonist's name as the title, whereas here, it is the occupation that takes the main seat. In fact, it is a very apt name because the story revolves around the protagonist's occupation. Indeed, it is a beautiful analogy. The eagle (kazhugu) makes its survival on the carcass and here the protagonist makes his living with that of those who die from clifftops.

Though Kazhugu maybe flawed or has its weak-points at certain areas of film-making, and I am not sure if Kazhugu was a great commercial hit compared to the others, but it is still a laudable effort from the team.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

About sophistication

A conversation with one of my friends about toddler behavior patterns led to a discussion on sophistication. She had mentioned that her 1.5 year old daughter, after going through a kissing-everyone phase has now entered into a slapping-everyone phase. And about the kid having clearly learnt about cause and effect--if I pull my mom's ear-rings, it will irritate her. That is when she made this statement: sophistication is fake; animal behavior is genuine.

I reworded it as 'Sophistication is man-made; Animalism is natural'.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Sleep Wanderings

I wonder if I am the reason for your smile bursts while you are asleep!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012


Imagery of a two-year old

My son's familiarity with the primary Tamil alphabets and his ability to say 'Nano' car lead to this. We both were revisiting his books after about three months and he saw the Tamil letter pronounced as 'A' and exclaimed 'Nano car'. After a few moments I understood what he really meant...!

I am still awestruck about it...!

Monday, April 30, 2012