Monday, May 31, 2010

First day at school

Today was Puttachi's first day at school. She was prepared to go in without me, and was very excited to wear her new uniform and shoes, and carry her new bag. She even woke up early in the morning, raring to go to school.

She looked heart-breakingly adorable - big, dark eyes full of excitement, short, unruly hair pinned down on either side by inadequate hairclips, wearing a uniform too loose for her in spite of attempts at alteration, unfamiliar shoes, and a no-nonsense brown bag - and she couldn't keep still as usual.

When we reached school, the watchman and an ayah took her from me, smiled at her, patted her head and cheeks, and led her away lovingly. She did not even look back at me.

I stood on my toes and watched her little figure until I could see her no longer. And then I stood right there and wept shamelessly!

She came out quite composed too, but the moment she spoke, I knew from her slightly heavy voice that she'd been crying. But the first thing she said to me was, "Amma, they gave me green milk! And something yellow to eat. It was sweet. I finished it all!"

Slowly, out it came without any prodding. "I cried just a little bit, Amma. I knew you would come and pick me up, but yet I wanted you, and so I cried. "

A new beginning, new feelings, new emotions. Decisions taken in the belief that it is for the best. A little girl going out into the world.

Silence.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

My baby's baby.

I am a Grandmother.

No, really. Puttachi has a baby. A "kaaNisade iro" (that, which you cannot see) baby. This baby eats kaaNisade iro food, drinks kaaNisade iro milk, and bathes with kaaNisade iro water. And this baby, which is called Little Puttachi, goes with Amma Puttachi everywhere.

Last night, after Amma Puttachi had gone to bed, Little Puttachi felt thirsty.
Amma Puttachi: Amma, please turn on the light. Little Puttachi wants water.
Me: Give her water without turning on the light. Puttachi, did you want water?
Amma Puttachi: No Amma, I don't want water, my baby wants water. Please turn on the light so that she can see. What if she thinks I am giving her milk?
Me: I'm sure she can make out the difference in taste.
Amma Puttachi: (Making "glug glug" noises.) She could make out the taste, Amma.
Me: Good. Go to sleep now.

Little Puttachi came with us to England. We had bought a stroller for Puttachi to use there, and so, immediately, Amma Puttachi obtained a kaaNisade iro stroller for Little Puttachi.

When travelling by London Underground, S~ carried the stroller on the escalators while I carried Puttachi. The commuter movement was very fast as can be expected, and we had to be quick on our feet, so as not to obstruct anybody in a hurry. Just as I stepped on an escalator, I would lift Puttachi and place her on it simultaneously. But, I had forgotten that my daughter had her baby to attend to. The moment I bent down to lift her, Amma Puttachi bent down to lift her kaaNisade iro baby and made little endearing noises, and adjusted the baby's clothes, while I teetered on the edge of the escalator trying to grasp my daughter, holding up half a dozen irate commuters behind us! Finally I suggested to Amma Puttachi to carry her baby in her pocket like a kangaroo, and she thankfully complied.

Little Puttachi felt scared when the car went too fast on the motorway, but Amma Puttachi was very brave. Little Puttachi felt sleepy and hungry and cried all the time, but Amma Puttachi was usually cooperative.

Little Puttachi will probably go to school with Amma Puttachi. I'm hoping kaaNisade iro baby will give Puttachi company for the first few days until she gets some kaaNiso (visible) friends.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Three

My little one turned three today. And at the risk of repeating myself, it has been a lovely three years.

And she starts school next week!

Yes, I'm back from the UK. It was a wonderful vacation and I have loads to tell you. Soon, soon.
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