With the swine flu scare all over the world, and six cases in the Seattle area, it became more important for us to take care of the surroundings Ruchi comes in contact with. Since it isn’t a good idea to keep her locked up in the house, I started carrying chlorox wipes, to clean the swings, before she uses them in the park, and disinfectant wipes or hand sanitizer to clean our hands. I know as long as she is on the swing she is safe, however Ruchi loves to play on the slide. There was a four year old boy, who was very fascinated by Ruchi and wanted to play with her. Though the kid is a sweet kid, he had a running nose. I could not tell him that Ruchi will not play with him, so instead I had to keep a close eye on Ruchi, to prevent her from touching her face with her hands. Thankfully Ruchi lost interest in the kid very soon, and decided to play on her own. It really bothers me, when parents or caregivers of sick kids bring them to such public places, and hence expose the germs to other kids. Anyway I took care to clean up Ruchi well, and then give her a bath when we got home.
Ruchi has reached that stage in life where she knows that when nothing else works, crying does the trick. So when she asks for something and we don’t do it, she starts of with a fake cry, she is so good at it that she can even turn on the waterworks. Sometimes we give in to her crying (like when she wants to be carried, or doesn’t want to finish her dinner, etc), but if she is throwing a tantrum because we are upset at something she did (like today she spilled water on the hardwood floor, and Praveen told her to keep off while he went to get a towel, she stepped into the puddle and smeared it all over) we try not to encourage her. So she tries to cry for some time and when she realizes we are not giving in to her demands and are actually upset with her, she comes running and starts kissing us. After that show of affection it is impossible to be upset with her and everything is forgotten.
Today it became very obvious that Ruchi was too old for some of the songs we sing in the playgroup where I lead the English rhyme time. Some of the songs require the child to sit in the parents lap while the parent sings and swings the child up and down. For the past couple of weeks Ruchi was a little restless during the song sessions, and today it was very obvious when she decided to stand in the middle of the circle and do her own thing while we sang. Maybe its about time I did something to make the older kids like Ruchi more involved in these sessions.
With the weather being beautiful these past few days, we have been spending a lot of time outside. Like us, even the bugs in our garden have been venturing out a lot. I was so excited to show Ruchi all the different kids of bugs in our garden. But now that I think of it, I might have waited for some more time to introduce her to the bugs, because, now every time we go into the backyard, instead of playing, she sits down and watches for bugs. It is fine with me if she just sits and watches, but being a typical toddler, she wants to pick them up. While we are in the backyard, I cannot take my eyes off her for even a second. But I think after a week of being told not to touch them, she is slowing understanding what I am trying to tell her, so now instead of picking on the bugs, she started picking the leaves on the weeds. Though I am not too thrilled about it, I am just glad its not bugs.
Ruchi’s latest antics is pulling her pants down and sometimes even removing them completely. At first we thought she was just having fun, but later realized that it was her new way of telling us that she has to use the potty. Until now he signal for potty, was to change her face expression and tug my leg until I paid attention to her. I have become so used to that signal, that every time she pulls my leg with a weird expression, I just pick her up and take her to the bathroom. The fact that she usually has fixed times also helps. But now, with her removing her pants, it has made it much more easier for us to figure out what is happening. But it is so funny when we think about how embarrassing it would be if she did that in public.
The Tulip Festival, was one of the events we have been looking forward to ever since we arrived in Seattle. The festival starts on the first day of April and ends on the last day of the month. Since this was the last weekend of April, we decided to go check out the flowers. Luckily the weather was very beautiful. Mount Vernon is about seventy miles from where we stay. It took us an hour to reach Mount Vernon, and another hour to reach the gardens (due to heavy traffic). Our first stop was the beautiful daffodil fields near a bank. It was so beautiful seeing the large stretches of yellow daffodils. It was much more beautiful than I had imagined. Ruchi was very excited to see so many flowers in one place, she was not ready to get back in the car. After taking a few pictures we drove to Roozengaarde gardens. The garden has over 135 varieties of Tulips, daffodils and other flowers. Ruchi was so excited to see the variety of flowers, it was impossible to control her. She was running all over the place. I had to run after her, while Praveen took a few pictures of the beautiful flowers around us. Check out the link below to see the pictures Praveen took of the flowers. In a distance we could see the tulip fields. Since Ruchi loved the garden very much, we left her play in the open lawn for some time and when she was tired we headed back to the car. Before going to the tulip fields we made a quick stop at the yellow and white daffodil fields near the garden. By the time we reached the Tulip fields, Ruchi was fast asleep, so we could not stay there for long. So we parked on the side of the road, and took a few pictures, before heading home. The tulip fields were spectacular. From the road, the fields looked never ending with the beautiful red and pink tulips. We are definitely going back next year.
Pictures of Tulips and Daffodils by Praveen
One of my worst nightmares came true today. In the afternoon, I took Ruchi into the backyard to play with her ball. As always, I lifted the wooden door stopper, rested it against the wall at the corner of the door, unlocked and opened the sliding door, stepped out and then closed the door behind us. I must have closed the door a little too hard, the wooden door stopper fell back in place and locked us out of the house. I did not realize it, until I tried to get back in the house. I left my phone in the house, and I could not remember Praveen’s cell number. Disadvantage of having speed dials. After what felt like half an hour, I saw my neighbor Sashmitha coming home with her kids. I told her what happened, and then went to her house, to send Praveen an email. Luckily Praveen saw the mail but he was in a meeting. He left as fast as he could and was home in an hour. Thankfully the weather was pleasant and Ruchi did not mind playing in the backyard until Praveen came and rescued us. The first thing we did as soon as we got in, was to toss away the wooden stopper from the door.
The first rhyme out of Ruchi’s mouth, ended up being one of the first rhymes I ever recited to her. Since she was a month old baby I used to recite Hot cross bun to her, because it involved clapping hands. But I had stopped reciting that rhyme for a while, because Ruchi was more into songs with action like jumping. But recently while I reading her rhyme book I came across hot cross bun and recited it to her a couple of times. Today while sitting on the potty, she clapped her hands and said hot hot hot, after which she started raising her fingers one at a time to count one a penny, two a penny. I was very surprised because if any I would have expected her to sing Head Shoulder Knees and Toes, Itsy Bitsy Spider or Twinkle Twinkle first. Because those are the rhymes she can act very well every time I sing to her. In the afternoon, she surprised me again by acting out the entire song clap, clap, clap your hands. Its a song I made up for my playgroup, which involves, clapping of hands, patting of knees and tapping of feet. So she kept saying clap clap, when doing the clapping part, and pat pat when doing the patting part, and again pat pat for the tapping part. For some reason, she says pat even for tap. It is so cute watching her patting and then turning around and jumping. Now she can act out almost all the songs I sing in my playgroup, but these are the only rhymes she actually tries to sing.
Every day while playing I casually ask Ruchi, how does Ruchi laugh, or how does Ruchi cry, etc. The only question she replies to correctly is how does Ruchi laugh. So today when I asked her how does Ruchi sneeze, I was very surprised when she actually faked a sneeze. I thought it was a fluke and tried again. After ten trails I was convinced that she knew how to fake a sneeze. It was fun, because every time she did it, she would laugh. In the evening during snack time, I gave Ruchi her cheese stick as a whole, without breaking them to pieces. I wanted to see if she will try to bite and eat it, and she did. She ate the entire mozzarella stick without any help from me. She had stopped eating cheese sticks and Parle-G biscuits for nearly a month, and I thought she might never eat them again. But she surprised me by starting to eat the biscuits three days ago, and by eating her cheese stick today. In the spirit of celebrating Earth Day, Ruchi stopped drinking water from a straw today. I decided to try giving her water in her glass, and she drank it without spilling a single drop. This resulted in three less plastic straws in the trash.
Today after the playgroup, all the moms decided to enjoy the beautiful day by taking the kids to the park. Since the central park was the nearest to all of us, we decided to go there. This was the first time for Ruchi and me. They had a lot more slides and other fun things to do in Central park, when compared to all the other parks in our community. Ruchi had a great time in the park, though most of the time, she was just running around. Later in the evening we went out to play in the backyard. After playing for some time, Ruchi decided she wanted to read outside. So I brought some books out, and we sat in our patio chairs and read a couple of books. We had such a wonderful time these past couple of days. It is sad that today is the last day for this good weather. According to the forecast it is supposed to start raining from tonight. We will all miss the sun very much.