Monthly Archives: July 2010

Twinnings 8

Kids! They drive you mad! For instance (and this conversation could happen with either child speaking any line and not necessarily in turn):

“I want the blue mat.”

“No I want the blue mat (It doesn’t matter that there are two blue mats; they will fight over one blue mat anyway, and outright reject the other.)”

“If you don’t give me the blue mat then I’ll be sad.”

“If you don’t give me the blue mat I’ll tell mama. Then mama will scold you.” (Truly terrifying, I don’t think.)

“No, if you don’t give me the blue mat, then I won’t give you chocolate. (Not that she has chocolate to give anyway.)”

And finally, the ultimate weapon…

“If you don’t give me the blue mat then I won’t be your friend!”

At this point, if nothing works, physical violence usually ensues, which usually requires some adult intervention. If my hands are full with food and dishes, as they usually are, my preferred strategy is to scream at the top of my voice, sending shivers down spines as far as 300 m away. Amit says all the kids within half a km radius of our house instantly stop whatever they are doing, even those who can’t actually hear me but just feel the shock waves. Maybe even some of the weaker adults freeze for a couple of minutes. Thankfully, it’s not completely ineffective at home either – maybe because I only do this when biting or other forms of grievous bodily injury are imminent. In any case, I always confiscate the blue mat – or whatever prized possession they happen to be fighting over.

The aggrieved parties retire, sobbing pitifully, and trying tearfully to convince me of their utter innocence, the justness of their cause, and the dastardliness of the acts committed upon them by the other.

One-and-a-half minutes later, resigned to using the red mats, they are best of friends again, sharing food, spilling milk, and bubbling over with mischievous (maddening) giggles. While I nurse a sore throat.

————–

Then, on the other hand, they can be such fun…

I took them to the play area today. They don’t have any friends there – just a bunch of other kids who seem to change every day. That doesn’t bother them at all. The other day there were only three other kids in the play area. One kid had his dad hanging around them. A few minutes later, the boy was completely avoiding his dad and running around with Mrini and Tara like he’d known them all his life. He looked a little older than the girls, but was less used to the play area. The girls ran rings around him – especially since there were two of them to do the running, and he probably couldn’t keep trak of which one went where – but he did his best to tag along as fast as he could. It was entertaining and cute to the nth degree. By the time he got home that evening, he must have been exhausted!

Today, there were plenty of kids. The girls ran around doing their stuff. Then a somewhat older boy found a kite. He must have about 8 or 9. He didn’t have a reel for the kite, just a short string, which, in the inexorable wind that’s been blowing the last several days, was enough to get the kite up in the air, but not very high. Anyway, a girl went up to this boy and the boy ran away taking his kite with him. The girl chased him, making him run faster. The girl looked about 6 or so, and might have been a sibling. The two of them raced around the playground, up the steps, down the slides, around other kids and in and out of the octopus-like tentacles of the playscape. Naturally, this was irresistible. In seconds,Mrini and Tara joined the chase. I don’t think they knew that they were running after the kite. They were just running because the other two kids were running. But it was great to watch!

—————

And they are just SO smart!

Tara: That is the train.

Me: Yes.

Tara: It’s moving slowly.

Me: Yes.

Tara: It has so many people.

Me: That’s right. In our car there’s only one person. (I don’t know why I said this; I wasn’t really concentrating on the conversation.)

Mrini (quickly): No, there’s three persons.

Me: That’s true. And when Baba is here, there are four of us.

Tara: Now what is the train doing?

Me: it’s going away.

Mrini: It will say, watch out everyone here I come.

(The train obligingly toots its horn.)

Tara: The train is at the station?

Me: It was at the station, now it’s leaving the station.

Tara: Why?

Mrini (knowledgeably): Because that is what trains do! Cars take people home because that is what cars do, and trains go to the station because that is what trains do.

Ok – so this is why I still want to drive them to school instead of putting them in the school van.

————–

And then, they are just so forward! What is going to happen when they turn teenagers I shudder to think.

Mrini (coyly): I gave Navneet kissie today.

Me: Really!? Then what happened!?

Mrini: Then Navneet gave me kissie.

Groan! They are not even four years old yet! Granted “kissie” is not the same as “kiss” (hopefully!)– but still!

(At least she’s loyal – Navneet has been her “special” friend since she joined school a year ago.)

Advertisements

In Conversation

I’ve been collecting these little snippets of conversation for quite a while. They are not so much fun when you write them down, of course, but for whatever it’s worth, here they are.

—————–

The other day I was telling the girls about a small little girl I’d seen at the tennis court who was really swinging her racket with elan. She must have been about six years old. I told Mrini and Tara about her and Mrini said, “what was her name?”

Tara supplied the answer: “Sharapova.”

Hmmmmmm… they’ve been watching too much tennis on TV. Apart from Roger (whom they can recognize a mile off in any newspaper or magazine photo) they know Rafa, are on nodding terms with Andy (Murray) and Novak, and are almost best friends with “Jelena Jelena Jankovic” and Sharapova.

————-

Tara: Baba scolded me because I’m so sad.

She means, I’m so sad because Baba scolded me. She often gets her “because” mixed up with her “that’s why” (to great effect!) when she’s composing a sentence, though she uses it ok when she’s answering a question that starts with “why”.

————-

At the playground, the girls decided to play running games. Mrini ran, and Tara ran behind her, trying to catch her. They completed an entire circuit, twice, and each time Mrini came running up to me at the end (I was the starting pole as well) and collapsed in my arms, and Tara ran up a couple of steps behind her, grabbed her shirt and said, “Mini, I caught you.”

Me: Now Mrini, you go catch Tara.

Tara: No.

Mrini: Ok.

Tara ran off with Mrini in hot pursuit. Then Mrini overtook Tara and the round ended much the same way that the previous two rounds had ended! They just forgot that Mrini was out to catch Tara!

————-

In the car:

Tara: See, so many cows. One, two, three, four, five cows. (There were three cows. Tara is never going to be a mathematical genius at this rate.)

Me: How many wheels does a car have?

Tara (sitting in the car and counting on her fingers): One two three four five six wheels.

Mrini (getting out of the car and walking around to count): One, two, three, four. Four wheels.

The next morning, they were showing me a sheet of paper on which the outline of a car had been drawn and they had each painted it in, red for the car and black for the wheels.

Me: How many wheels does your car have?

Tara: Two wheels. (It was a side view of the car, so it had only two wheels, of course.)

Mrini (to me): Your car has four wheels.

Me: And how many wheels does your car have?

Mrini: Two wheels.

Me: Then how will it go, with only two wheels?
Mrini: One, two, three, four. Four wheels. (She counted the two wheels that were visible and the two that would have been on the far side of the car.)

Me: That’s good – you counted the wheels you can see as well as the wheels that you can’t see.

Mrini (turning over the paper): Where are the other two wheels?

————-

Tara: I want to open the car.

Mrini: No, I want to open the car! You can lock the car when we get home!

This went back and forth for quite a while, with escalating decibel level, pitch, and frenzy. Finally…

Mrini: Tara, I have a good idea. Shall I tell you a good idea, Tara?
Tara: nodding

Mrini: Today I’ll open the car. When we get home then you lock the car, ok Tara? Is that a good idea?

Tara (nodding happily and smiling): Ok.

Hmmmmmmmmm …. Mrini is the one to watch out for – she just sugar-coated her words and sold the deal to Tara! And Tara bought it lock, stock, and barrel!

————-

Prior to go on any kind of outing, I make the girls use the toilet at home. Typically, this is how the conversation goes:

Me: Girls, go do sussu.

Tara: I already done sussu.

Me (suspiciously): When?

Tara (with conviction): Today!

I should hope so! This could be at 6 p.m.!

Football Fever (At Last!)

The most magnificent game of football was played out in our living room this evening. Not on TV, of course – that’s just mundane. The most magnificent game was between two four-year-olds with two silky pony tails apiece.

Not that the pony tails are at all relevant to the tale – they just add flavor. It’s so much more incongruous when football is played by female players under the age of four, if the said players have two silky pony tails each.

Mrini stood at one end of the living room. Her goal was represented by the carpet which is laid against one wall. Tara stood at the other end. There’s a broad white granite border running across the black granite floor and her goal lay behind the white border. The border actually spans the width of the room – which is far wider than the carpet – so poor Tara would have had an impressively wide goal area to defend, but the glass-fronted bookshelf occupying a significant portion of the width of the room did make her job somewhat easier.

They took it in turns to politely kick the ball to each other. If the defender fumbled, it was a goal. The goals came thick and fast at first, what with one goalie sitting down on a bolster and another goalie lying down on her tummy on the ground for a bit. Then at one point Tara place the ball neatly in the centre of the room and backed away preparatory to taking a healthy swipe at it. Mrini quickly rushed in and kicked the ball into the goal before Tara could sort out her left leg from her right leg.

At one point, Tara aimed for the goal, but missed and her ball struck the goalpost (the corner of the carpet) and rolled away harmlessly. “Not a goal,” I ruled. “But I did shoot!” came the indignant rejoinder promptly. Meanwhile, Mrini’s strategy was to touch the ball as lightly as possible, so that it barely crawled halfway across the room before running out of steam. She still managed to score a few goals, though.

The game progressed apace, with Tara scoring some spectacular misses, but making up with enthusiastic, inspired goal-keeping. She also had an impressive feinting technique. She lunged at the ball several times, in such a convincing manner that I’m not sure even she knew that she was feinting. When she finally kicked the ball, though, it went tamely straight to Mrini. Then just as it came to Mrini’s turn to shoot, Tara said, “sussu!” and rushed off to the bathroom! She was back seconds later, tugging at her clothes in comic fashion and grinning broadly.

After the game had been on for a while and everybody had lost track of the score, I decided we’d play for golden goal. There were seven or eight attempts without a goal being scored when finally Tara shot wildly, the ball ricocheted off my foot and caught Mrini unawares and it was… gooooooooooooal!!! (Though technically I think it should have been disallowed… if the ball strikes the referee it can’t be a goal, can it?)

With the championship out of the way, the champions were hauled off for bath and bedtime by the referee! I’m sure you wouldn’t see that happening in the televised version of the game! No red cards, no yellow cards, and not even a single self goal! All in all, it was the best match of the season.