The original plan was to write you a letter every quarter between 2 and 3. I wrote the first one at two and quarter, but miserably failed there after. Now, we are at the two and five-sixth mark, so I decided without further ado, I should write #27 before I complete writing #26 (the one that was supposed to go up at two and a half). I will try my best to capture the stories from April 2019 to now, but if this letter reads a little bit all over the place, you know why.
I started a new job in April, and since the office was quite close to ajji thatha’s house, I figured that you and I could stay with them for a month while you get accustomed to living in Bangalore and I get used to a new job without having to worry too much about you. Ajji thatha had a great time with you, although spending entire days running behind you might have been quite exhausting but they never complained.
Some highlights of being in ajji mane was being well fed at regular intervals by your “Gramma” with tonnes of stories. You loved playing with Ganapathy, the cat who came to ajji thatYou loved eating “uppu thuppa anna” everyday. You loved that Ajji’s cupboard is filled with “make-ups and everythings”, so your grandma was your natural scapegoat for your make up sessions. The thing about so much pampering in India means people treat you like a child who is incapable of doing anything without adult support/ supervision. A lot of the independent thinking and abilities that were nurtured in you through the two years in London will unfortunately fade off into conditioned dependence. For instance, you started eating on your own at about 10 months, but now you are back to being fed almost every meal, which is a bit disappointing. I like feeding you alright, but I prefer you did it on your own. May be that’s why everytime you are hungry, you think of gramma, and not me. 🙂
You started day care in India from May 2019 as we moved back home to Jayanagar, and both appa and I got into the grind of work. You joined Klay, which is a pretty good day care by Indian standards, but I guess it is sooo different from the one you were used in London, that you never quite took to it. There’s far lesser outdoor playtime in this daycare. Also, there are auntys who “take care” of kids, which makes the setting feel like a bit of a jail rather than the free and independent place Buttercups was. They feed children, pat them to sleep, take them to the bathroom, hold the kids by their arms and drag them as if they were incapable of walking along on their own. Now, I would have never ever noticed any of this, but I have seen much better in London, so I can’t help but empathise with you. I am only going to say, I am so sorry to have moved you from your natural habitat and have to subjected to something that treats you as less than who you are.
We did try to cheer you up with a mini trip in May to be able to spend more time with you. We went to Tapas’s homestay in Sakleshpur where you made a new friend, Aku (Smayan). You enjoyed that trip so much, that you still keep remembering your friend and his family. You even got to play in a waterfall while on this trip. You saw tadpoles that you called “cadpoles” and for some reason, you were quite worried about getting into water with them.
Going to nursery started becoming especially painful once you started school in June as the school was markedly more free compared to daycare. After much debate, Appa and I put you in this school called “The Montessori School” in JP Nagar. Yeah, that’s what the debate was about because I thought it was too far, but Appa thought I was being shortsighted to base my argument on something so trivial. So, Appa ferries you back and forth from school everyday while he works at a cafe nearby while you are at School. You absolutely love this school because I think they let you be you. They even challenge you everyday with little “work” that keeps you so busy you don’t find the time to eat the snack at school. Actually no, you just find the food too “tasty” to bother (your word for yucky is tasty, and we haven’t bothered correcting you because we want you to figure it out on your own. :D)
You have lots of friends at both school and daycare. For a while you never told me any of their names, and every time I asked, you’d say, either “I don’t know” or “nothing” and laugh. Occasionally, you tell me about some bad guy or bad girl in your school or nursery. When someone troubles you, I am not sure what you do but you come and tell me that you told them, “No, thank you.” Poor british thing. We have generally refrained from teaching you how to fend for yourself in such situations, because frankly, I am not quite sure if one person’s strategy works for another and so you are probably better off evolving your own. Now, if some intervention is required at any point, you can trust that I will hunt down like a mommy hawk. 😀
You can very quickly perceive unacceptable behaviour. Appa is usually the one getting a lecture from you everyday when he slightly raises his voice. You tell him off that he is not very nice and that he shouldn’t be shouting at you. Thatha also has relatively lesser patience with you, and so when he is a bit stern with you, you tell him off too. Given that you are great at pattern recognition, I worry that you’ve kind of built a pattern in your head that all men are bad. You tell me that you don’t like daddy because they shout at you, especially when you want to put on lipstick and clip.
You love girls for sure, because you got to meet tonnes of friends of mine.. Shru, Mads, Taps and Yashashree. You like that I have friends just like you. Apart from school and nursery, you also have friends who are appa or amma’s friend’s kids, like Sahana and Veda who you loved playing with when they came home. You have also attended 3 birthday parties so far – Richu’s, Sammu’s and Avani Akka’s. You love parties and presents, which makes me wonder how we should celebrate your 3rd birthday which is less than 2 months away now. I’d really like to have a little party at home with just your friends, but let’s see how that goes.
The wonderful thing about moving back has been that you’ve met more people in the last 2 months than you did over the two years there. You get to visit ajji thatha often, meet avva, Ashi, Jaaga, Mamu, Babli, Swaroopa, Chinni, Shreya, Pinkoo, Kavya on mumma’s side. On appa’s side, you love going to Inna ajji’s house very often and you also have a special chap-li just for her house. You love playing with your brother Sammu and Snaaku, meeting Putti atte, Sreenath, Mama-ajji and Shivamma. You miss Manti a lot, you keep telling me how she died like the beans plant every time we are in the balcony by her house. She would have loved to watch you talk this much. 😦
On the skills front, you now know how to wash clothes, fold clothes (only hankies, mind you as irregular shapes mess with you), wipe tables and also recognise all pawns in chess and arrange the board on your own. We have started introducing you to puzzles. If they are too complex, you get flustered quite quickly. But what I have realised is that you need a little teaching and handholding before you can do something on your own with a bit of persistence. So, I have started sitting down with you to do “sticking activity” which you absolutely love doing with me, apart from bathing together of course (Amma and Berry gujju time is your favourite daily activity). You continue to love your bed time stories, and I keep adding books to your collection. Oh and the most recent addition to your interests is your own baby violin (which was appa’s violin when he was little) which you like to play. Now, I want to find you a teacher to help you play the violin, but then it might be too early for you. So, hopefully by the time I write the next edition, we’ll be there. 😉
As usual, love watching you grow my munchkoo, can’t wait for you to grow more wonderful each day but then again I want you to be my little boo forever. Happy two and five sixths!