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Sundar Narayanan's Travelog

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Entries in baby (38)


What is he searching for..

We had promised ourselves a one day trip to Big Sur, when we had visited Julia Pfeiffer Burns park last Christmas. This week we finally made it. It was also a little anniversary treat.

We were all having a good time, until...

The little one decided to walk a 0.3 mile steep trail by herself. She would insist on holding my hand, her mothers hand as well her blanket wedged between her shoulder and head and walk the trail at the same time. Talk about having your cake, eating it too, and more.

Any attempts to lift her and walk, would end up in a wail, falling on the floor head first, a rolling action of the torso, with her butt held high in the air and legs kicking, all at once. A motion so complicated, yet executed in such a fashion that spiders, centipedes and other organisms with complicated body structures would dedicate temples in her honor.

We were at the bottom of a waterfall view point, when this tantrum (which I call Combo #1) started. I picked the little one up and started running. San, Balaji and the few other hikers present, were trying to find out what I was searhing for. It was a weird sight with a guy running around with a screaming, fighting kid on his shoulder, looking at the ground.

I was literally searching for "ground"! Combo #1 starts with "falling on the floor". When you are on a steep trail with rocks and roots everywhere on the ground, the surface doesnt provide the adequate banging cushion for a 19 month old kid! These manouvers were perfected on carpeted floors and the little one is still learning the concept of relative hardness.

Granted, it was not as glamorous as a Harrison Ford, Tom Cruise or Mel Gibson trying to find some field in a foreign location, to land their bullet ridden plane with the tail in flames. But I was in effect trying to do the exact same thing. Safely land the little one on a flat surface so she can start banging her head on the floor and teach the wild life at Big Sur a thing or two about showing displeasure. I kept running and finally dropped her on a wooden bridge. She promptly bumped her head on the wood, put her butt high in the air, did the kicking and screaming routine.

By this time, everyone in our little travel group caught up with me. I was expecting a pat on the back for saving the little one's head. But they did not understand why I even dropped her on the ground in the first place and gave me the "how cruel?" look.

They did get to see Combo #1 in gory detail multiple times as we walked back and have probably forgiven me by now.

I am still working on a video blog of all the different tantrum combos. The compiled movie will hit your screens sometime before 4th of July!

Here is the bridge, and the little one crossing it before she entered her phase.

And in other news, got the new camera on Friday, :)
And in other other news, will get the lens only on Monday, :( !!!
So the photo and video you see were all the work of the old S30.



A day in the life of Jr. and baby...

Decided to go eat with friends at the famous "Yan Can Cook" restaurant. As fate would have it, there was some ingredient in the yummy stuff that I was allergic to, and ended up sick on friday night. That meant, spending some quiet time at home with the kids and keeping a low profile (not to mention the two birthday parties attended over the weekend)!

They were up to their usual antics..

In other news, the canon S30 has reached its limit. After making it through steam and sulfur at Yellowstone, even daylight images are getting grainy! (the fringes you see in the video however are not due to the S30, they are due to the insect screen on the sliding door!).

In other other news, San is getting me a new camera for our wedding day!

To all those (you know who you are) who have recently gifted digital cameras to your spouse for various occasions like anniversary's, birthdays, fathers day etc. thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Needless to say, you will hear all about the new camera. I can't wait to open that box!!



Daily morning dance

Every morning, Jr. watches Barney while having breakfast. The little one has taken to the purple dinosaur in a big way. The minute the titles come she becomes all shy and then gets all excited. She runs around in circles, tries to jump (has not figured out how to get both feet off the ground yet! she is 18 months old) and starts clapping and dancing..

I have caught it on camera several times, but she is usually in her diaper then. Today she was wearing a nice frock and the dancing was kicked up a notch! This inspite of the fact that our big 52" TV got taken out for maintenance and we are back to our old 20" TV screen. Barney looks a lot smaller, but she did not seem to notice the difference!

I thought we were done with Barney, but I was so wrong. We better get ready to accept the purple dinosaur for another four or five years!



In the drivers seat ?

Parent's magazine had an article on the previous issue about the top three mistakes driving mother's make which cause serious accidents or fatalities. These should have been generalized to any person who drives around with kids in the vehicle, because men who drive the "mommy van's" as equally guilty of the same mistakes!

They were :

a. trying to calm down fighting kids by looking back or sending one hand back to touch the kid in the backseat
b. feeding the kid or yourself while driving
c. talking on the cell phone while driving.

Of course we could always add the special case of :

d. trying to operate a DVD player that is behind you with one hand because the kids want you to go back to the previous song!

But these are the standard offenses. This post is not about them. This is about something even more fundamental with kids in a van. The seat belt!

Apparently it is safe for kids only if they are in their car seats or booster seats and nicely buckled up. One can understand this logic, especially with all those videos you see with kid sized crash test dummies flying out of windshields during accidents when not buckled up!

Unfortunately, real kids are not as co-operative as crash test dummies. The day my kids look as calm and serene in their seats, accident imminent or otherwise, I would gladly keep my mouth shut!

In our case, putting the seat belts on is supposed to be safe for the kids, but it is highly unsafe for the driver! Jr. has learnt to unbuckle her seat belt on her own and baby has a tolerance limit of about 5 minutes in her car seat. By the time we reach the end of the street she is screaming her head off trying to get out of the belt. That said, it is impossible to focus on the road and drive, with one kid floating around the van like a free electon in a metal lattice and another one setting new records for the maximum decibel level ever achieved in a confined space of 150 cubic feet or less!

Are there any alternatives to seat belts for kids ? (I am talking legally allowed alternatives here! I already know that they will be quiet without the belts). If anyone knows of any, please do let me know.

In the meantime, I have an idea. How about I make an inflatable cushion that takes the shape of the back part of the van. The kid sits inside this box and it can be padded so well that even if the kid bounces off the walls of this enclosure, they will be safe! I am modeling this based on the space shuttle here!! Would that have a chance of making it through the transport authorities ?

Please note that I said "kid" and not "kids". The only thing more dangerous than a free floating kid in a van is, another kid! There has to be separate enclosures for each kid. If horses, cattle and wild animals can be transported on highways without restraint, why can't I transport two wilder, crazier, out of control creatures with the same rules?

That brings me to the topic of "If my wife or mother-in-law release a kid from the seat, because the kids is making a racket (this in spite of my pleas to keep them in the seat), then who gets the ticket if we are stopped by the cop ? Me, or the wife ? or mother-in-law ? ". If anyone knows the answer to that one, please let me know as well.



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Baby at 1 year :

DeDa (daddy, yes.. it was her first word!)
sha (sock)
SHA (shoe)

Baby at 1 year and 3 months :

added Maa (mommy)
Mmmaa (grandma)
ka (elder sister)

Baby at 1 year and 4 months :

added Damma (falls down, break, get down .. basically down)
akka (elder sister correctly pronunced)
baa (bad girl)
kaaka (crow, or any generic bird)
bow (anything from a dog to a zebra on TV which walks on 4 legs)

At 1 year and 5 months :

akka baa (akka is a bad girl)
SHA damma (I have dropped my shoes)
(deda, ma, akka, Mmmaa) + (sha, SHA, kaakaa, bow)
Nooooo (with a nice sing song tone, worth mentioning considering it was Jr.'s first word).

At 1 year and 6 months :

Amma sha Damma (I just threw down mommy's sandals)
Deda akka baa (daddy, Jr. is being a bad girl)
Ma baa (mommy is a bad girl. so far everyone has been baa except deDa!)

Today : (1 year and 6 1/2 months)

Deda, maa, akka sha damma. akka baa ! (daddy, mommy, sister didnt wear her shoes, she is a bad girl).

We are having word fun, all over again, and enjoying every bit of it!


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