Kids do say the darnest things! Temperatures in the bay area, haven’t really been spring-like for some time. And today was no exception. Ruchi wasn’t too bothered with the cold weather, or so it seemed until today. When I went to pick her up at school in the evening, she held on to her jacket tightly, and said “Amma its too cold. Can we please have another Sun? One Sun is not enough”. I laughed and said, that was not possible, to which she replied, “Please Amma, just two Suns”. When I asked her why she thought another Sun would help, she said “Because Sun is a big ball of burning gases”. By then we had reached our car. So I set her in the car seat, expecting to have a long conversation on our way home, and dreading how I was going to explain to her, how our Sun is more than enough, and how nothing is going to help, during a cold front. Luckily a passing fire truck, distracted her attention, and by the time the truck had passed, she was warm and toasty in the car, with its heater running on high. Since she wasn’t feeling cold anymore, she completely forgot about the need for two Suns.
Of late Ruchi has been crazy about camping and tents. She tries to build a tent with pretty much anything she finds in the house. When she is done with the tent, she picks up a different color blanket, and places it on the nearby couch, making one end of it to fall to the floor. She calls that her waterfall. I sometimes wonder where she gets all those ideas from, especially since she has never been camping. Now according to Ruchi, camping is not complete, without an Ipad. So, once she is done, she picks up her Ipad, crawls under the tent and gets busy with her games and puzzles.
Finally! After weeks of waiting it was time for the show. Ruchi has been very excited ever since she found out that we were taking her to see the Disney on Ice show. So when she realized that the day had finally arrived, her excitement knew no bounds. I had a hard time trying to put her down for a nap, so she could be wide awake for the show. When we headed for the show, we were afraid if we would make it time, due to the traffic. But thanks to Praveen’s insistence of heading out of the house by 5:45, we made it in time to find our seats and also have fifteen minutes to spare. Enough time for Ruchi to get excited about the merchandise being sold, as well as for Praveen to buy us some popcorn. Ruchi wanted a spinning glow-torch. She played with it till have way through the show, and then asked us to return that and get her another toy. We had to explain to her that that is not how it works. She thought it was some kind of a sharing thing going on. According to her, toys are bought only in stores, everywhere else they always belong to someone else and you share them. Finally the show started at 7:30. Ruchi was very excited to see all her favorite Disney princesses and mickey mouse clubhouse characters. The theme of this show was very different from the Worlds of Fantasy show we saw in 2009. The first surprise came when Jack Skeleton showed up singing “This is Halloween” and “Whats This” with a host of Disney villains. Jack being one of her favorite characters, Ruchi shouted and clapped with joy. The second surprise was when Ruchi saw Mickey pop out of the fountain. She was so surprised, she out her hands to her mouth and gasped. The last and best surprise came at the very end. It was of course none other than Woody, Jessie and Buzz along with their Toy Story friends. Ruchi was so happy to see them, she kept shouting and clapping for a long time. Overall it was great show, but we personally preferred the Worlds of Fantasy show. Since in that show the characters acted out the stories of their movies, Ruchi felt like she was seeing the movie live. In Lets Celebrate, with the exception of familiar faces and a few familiar songs, everything else was new. Since kids love familiarity, I felt Ruchi enjoyed the previous show more than she loved this one. But that does not mean, she did not want to see it again. As soon as we got home, she kept asking when we could go watch the show again.
What a week! The weekend started off so well, with Ruchi shopping and then preparing cute valentine cards for all her friends. She was very excited and couldn’t wait to go to school on Monday. After I dropped her off at school, I decided to run some errands. Halfway through my errands, I was surprised to get a phone call from the school. I called them back and was informed that Ruchi was sick. She had a runny nose and a slight temperature. I rushed to school, and found her in the principal’s office, sleeping on a mattress. She started crying when she saw me. I signed her off, and took her to the car. I saw that she had a runny nose, but not a fever. I asked her what had happened, and she replied, my nose was running and no one was cleaning it for me. That cold, which she must have caught while shopping on Sunday, lasted the entire week. Which meant house arrest for both mom and daughter. Thankfully, Ruchi is not the type of girl who would let a little cold tie her down. She entertained herself with her books and toys. She was especially excited to play with her new doll Betty. Ever since she named her doll Betty (new year gift from mom and dad), she has been trying really hard to learn the limerick “Betty bought some butter”. I am very proud to say that she now knows it very well. Her other big achievement of the week is telling the colors of the rainbow, from top to bottom and also in the reverse order. She figured that out all on her own. And oh yes, she has finally learned how to write the first letter in the English alphabet, “A”. The perfect end to the slow week, was a birthday party on Saturday and having her cousin Mahika over for lunch with her family. Ruchi was very excited about the beautiful hat she got as a present and her first board game. Now every free minute she gets, she wants us to play the Disney princesses memory game with her. And so begins the first of many things to come.
Finally, after many postponements, we were able to perform Aksharabhyasam puja for Ruchi. We had an appointment with the priest for 8:00 in the morning, at the temple. So we had to wake up early to make it in time for the puja. When we reached the temple we realized that booking the puja so early in the morning wasn’t the best option. We were the first ones at the temple, and the temple was closed. We had to call the priest to figure out how the enter the parking lot, as the gates were closed. He told us that he was still on his way and asked us to wait in the car. So we ended up waiting for more than half an hour in the parking lot, waiting for the temple to open up. Finally all the priests arrived and our puja began at 9:00 am. With the exception of the one hour delay, the puja went smoothly. We were very please with the puja and the priest and best of all, Ruchi enjoyed performing the ceremony. After writing some holy words, we made her trace letters in Telugu, Hindi and English. And so began, Ruchi’s journey to learning how to write.
Now with her school schedule in place we could finally re-enroll Ruchi in her gym. Ever since we landed, she has been asking when she could go back to her gymnastics. So when I took her to her class today, her happiness knew no bounds. Luckily, nothing had changed much, so she was very happy to see her old coaches again. It is amazing how much a kid grows in terms of size and strength in just a couple of months. Before we left for our vacation there were a few routines that Ruchi couldn’t do on her own. But, today she went at them, as if she had been doing it all her life. I was amazed at how well she was swinging from the suspended rings. After the class she was still so full of energy that she came home, took out her bike and started riding it in the driveway.
After a lot of unforeseen delays, Ruchi finally started preschool today. She has been to a couple of play schools before, but that was a long time ago. So, like most parents, we were a little apprehensive about her first day in school. It took us one minute into our arrival to realize that we had nothing to worry about. When your kid is a three and a half year old, they are very much ready for school. As soon as we stepped in, Ruchi picked a seat, sat down and got busy with a craft work that was laid out for them to do. She did not even bother to say goodbye when we were leaving. At the end of the day when I went to pick her up, her teacher, called out to her to let her know that I was there to pick her up. She looked at me, smiled and went back to talking with a new friend she had made. It was so cute watching her lazing on the carpet, talking and laughing with her new friends. Her teacher had to call her a couple of times to make her realize that it was time for everyone to leave. After that she couldn’t stop talking about school. She kept talking about all the things she did, till she went to bed at night.
Ever since we landed in Bayarea, we were planning on taking Ruchi to the Oakland Fairyland park. But for some reason, those plans never materialized, that is, until today. Since the weather was beautiful we decided to take Ruchi out. After debating for a while we decided the afternoon would be better spent at the fairyland park, than the zoo. Ruchi was super excited, especially since her friend, Siddhu was coming along too. The kids had a blast. It was a small park, but Ruchi recognized almost every setup. They had some very interesting setups like – the old woman in the shoe, the three little pigs houses, Alice in wonderland’s tunnel, the crooked man and his crooked house and many more. The kids also enjoyed the train rides, carousels and merry go rounds. They also got to see some real donkeys, rabbits, goose, duck, guinea pigs, horse, sheep and alpaca. The best part of the trip was the puppet show. It was the gingerbread man story. Since Ruchi knows the story, she was very excited to watch it.
After many discussions and arguments, I finally convinced Praveen in getting Ruchi a haircut. So before he could change his mind, I dragged him to the hair salon. Though I always felt that Ruchi needed a haircut, I really did not decide on the style. I was so busy trying to think of ways to convince Praveen, that I did not put enough effort into finding a hairstyle for her. Thankfully the salon had a couple of magazines with kids haircut styles. We decided a bobcut would be the best look for her. Ruchi was very excited to get a haircut too. She sat down and patiently waited while the lady cut her hair. When it was all done, I was very happy with the new cut, but Praveen was still sulking. He liked her better with the long hair. The style suited her so well, that I am sure he will come around soon.