When your daughter asks for broccoli as enthusiastically as she asks for chicken for dinner, you know you are very lucky. When it comes to taste in food, Ruchi took the best from both Praveen and me. Like her dad she loves chicken, shrimp, bread, eggs and cookies. And from me she gets her love for vegetables, fish (only certain kinds), milk and chocolate. Lucky for us she prefers the cookies and chocolate only in small amounts and it is an occasional craving. If she can maintain that interest in food till she is an adult and also add fruits besides grapes and banana to her diet we are set for the rest of our parenting years.
Ruchi has been a big fan of breads from the very beginning. It didn’t matter what type of bread it was, as long as it was soft and plain. She hates anything on it. Today it was different. While we were at the grocery store, the baker brought out some fresh french bread and put it on the shelves. The bread was still steaming hot. It was irresistible. So I bought some bread, rushed home and made some olive oil dip and sat down to eat the hot bread, with the hot dip. Ruchi who was sitting next to me nibbling on her piece of bread, asked if she could dip her bread in the the oil too. She loved it so much that from then on she wanted some oil to go with her bread.
After checking out some of the malls in our area, for the perfect birthday dress for Ruchi, we decided to give Stanford mall a try. This is the first time at this mall for Ruchi and me, and it ended up being more of a fun play trip than a shopping trip. A quick look into the stores made us realize that the stores cater to more college students than kids. With so many beautiful flower plants and fountains around, Ruchi felt she was in paradise. She had a great time running from one fountain to the other and admiring the water. The only downside was she emptied all the coins in my purse to throw them into the fountains. She was very fascinated by the huge Dahlias everywhere. Though it was getting cold and dark, she did not want to leave the place. Made me wonder why we fork up all those entrance fees to some of the parks when Ruchi can have as much fun in such places for free.
After being stuck home for a couple of days dues to Ruchi’s running nose, we were finally able to get out of the house in the evening. Praveen was dying to try out his new camera, so we decided to go the the nearby Alviso Marina Park, which we never even knew existed till a few days ago. It is a decent wetlands and bird reserve. There were very few people walking in the park, so Ruchi had a wonderful time running around picking up stones and trying to throw them into the water. Overall it is a wonderful place to catch some fresh air and have a good walk without worrying about running into bicyclists and dogs. Which is a huge deal because, in most parks Ruchi is usually restricted to holding our hands while walking so she doesn’t get in the way of the cyclists.
Whenever I ask Ruchi where she wants to go and spend the day, majority of the time her answer is “Library”. She is really fascinated by the library. She loves the fact that it has so many books, that she can sit and read, and then take the ones she likes, home with her. Today when she said she wanted to go to the library, I decided to take her to the Sunnyvale library for a change. The Sunnyvale library is much smaller and older than our Santa Clara library, but that did not dampen Ruchi’s excitement. She found a cute giraffe chair to sit on, and picked up a book and asked me to read it to her. When I was done she put it back in its place and brought another book. After reading around fifteen books, and talking to the kids around her, she was ready to go home.
After being down with a cold and cough for a week and then having to miss school for another week because I had the bug, it was finally time for Ruchi to go back to school. Surprisingly the experience second time around was totally different from the first. When I told her we were going to school, she was very understanding and in fact suggested that I go run my errands while she played at school. It is always wonderful when your kid willingly goes to school. But somewhere deep down it hurt that she didn’t need me any more like she did before and that she was ready to be independent. A couple of hours later when I went to pick her up, I felt much better. She was happy to see me and told me that though she had a great time, she was ready to go home. Wonder how I will handle it when she goes off to school full time.
Though Praveen was not traveling this week, he still had to work on the weekend. They were having an internal hackathon and he had to be there. So Ruchi and I spent the entire day lazing around the house. The evening turned out better, with Siddhu coming home. Ruchi as usual had a great time, but she was super excited today, because she couldn’t wait to show off the fireworks at night. Praveen came home just in time for the fireworks. At 9:30 we started walking to the park. Both the kids were excited to walk to the park and more importantly play in the park at night. When the fireworks started they were both jumping and cheering. It is definitely more fun to share such moments with friends. When the fireworks were done and it was time for us to head home, Siddhu gave us a fright by running off on his own.
Celebrations are more fun when you have a kid in the house. Today Ruchi was there with me from beginning to end of the Varalakshmi Vratham puja. She helped pick the flowers while preparing for the puja. And when it was time to perform the puja, she followed the entire procedure by copying what I did. She had a marvelous time and it felt great to share the moment with her. The funny part was when she picked up her small lion toy and pretended it to be her phone. She made a pretend call to her best friend Siddharth and narrated everything she did for over two hours. It was so cute. In the end she brought her Barbie and made her fold her hands and offer prayers to god. She was very excited to be all dressed up, that she refused to change into something more comfortable after the puja.
Since preschool starts in a few weeks, I decided to send Ruchi to playschool as a warm-up. So today was her first day. We talked about school all weekend. Though she was a little apprehensive, she was excited as well. As soon as we entered, she couldn’t wait to go in and play. It was snack time so all the kids were wrapping up playtime to go wash up for snacks. One of the ladies in charge took Ruchi to the restroom along with the other toddlers. The lady left the kids there instructing them to wash up while she laid out the snacks for them. Incidentally she had put Ruchi on a stool and after Ruchi was done, she couldn’t get down, so she started crying. After that she was in no mood to stay anymore, she wanted to go home. Being so used to getting attention from at least one grown up all the time, she did not like the feeling of being left alone. I know that she will feel better once she gets to know the kids. It took her around twenty minutes to get adjusted. But those twenty minutes were the most painful in my life. Watching her staring at me with those sad eyes wondering why I was leaving her behind. It was hard to fight back my tears, i just wanted to pick her up and bring her home and try again next year. But I am glad I stuck around because after that she started playing, so I left. When I went back to pick her up, she came running to me, and as soon as I opened the door, she did not stop running until she reached the car. She then declared she did not want to go back to school again. Wonder how day two will turn out.
The best part of living close to a theme park, a free fireworks show right in our backyard when they have one. The Great America Park near our house has fireworks every Saturday starting in August until Labor Day. Today was the first day, so we decided to go to the nearby kids park to get a better view. Ruchi was very excited that we were at her park at night. She had a great time running around. It was fun watching people gather in the park with blankets and camping chairs, for the fireworks display. When it was time for the show, Ruchi sat on her dad’s shoulders for a better view. She was very impressed by the show, cheering every time a big one exploded. And when it was over she said “It was a good show, I had fun”. And it was.