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Entries in little one (131)


Another first

It has been a busy November with business and personal travel and the first two weeks of December seem to have flown by as well. 

Now that the rains in Chennai have stopped and things are returning to normal slowly, that is weighing less on our mind. That didn't mean things came to a halt here in Cupertino. It has been an interesting week here. 

The little one has been learning the violin recently. However, she is very shy and reluctant to go on stage. Her message to us has been "I want to learn because I like it. Not because I want to perform. So if you force me to go on stage, I will quit". 

With a lot of encouragement from her teacher and us, she participated in the annual recital.

The best part of this for me was to watch her recover even if she made a mistake and smile through the whole thing. Now that she knows she can do it, she seems to be more confident. 

Hopefully this brings out the Violinst 2.0 in her! Given that she saw the other kids from the school perform for the first time, she is definitey inspired to practice more. 

Funny thing is that Jr. now wants to learn violin too and has been making a stong case on why she should learn Violin asap. We are now mulling that over.. 



Happy Diwali 

It is always difficult when Diwali comes in a weekday and you are in the USA. They should declare it a holiday at least in Cupertino!

Wishing you all a wonderful Diwali!

May this Deepavali bring you light and joy.

They made the Deepams (Dia's) as part of their art class. The little one is going through the "conscious phase of posing for photos" now that she is a "tween" aka "big girl"! 

As far as I am concerned, they will NEVER be big girls.

They are growing up though. Finally did a collage of them in a third nice dress this year..

Cannot believe this year is coming to an end in a few more weeks. Have to post a lot of thoughts and pictures. Will get to them before end of the year. 

For now, time to enjoy the sweets and savories made by MIL, and enjoy the smiling faces all around! 

Happy Deepavali! 


Taking sides at a young age

Given my iPhone 5S is nearing its 2 year contract, I can get an upgrade to the 6 or 7 or whatever comes by November. 

Jr. already has got her own 5S and her iPhone 4S is now a hand me down to the little one. I have since been getting an earfull on how the 4S is useless! It has no memory. It has a poor battery life and keeps losing charge. It is slow and there is a long list of complaints. 

Also the little one is hoping that I get the new phone and she automatically gets my current phone as a hand me down... with a phone number. She now has a busy calendar and friends to call on play dates.. which will soon be called "hangouts"

Another thing I learned is that when a girl goes from elementary school to middle school and does the same thing with the same friends in the same houses, it still goes by a different name. It is not a Playdate anymore. It is a "hangout". 

Life was simpler when I was a kid. Same cricket bat, same electric box used as stumps, same bunch of boys.. same rules for what gets called a 4,6 or out. None of this playdate vs. hangout stuff. We didn't even have a name for when we all got together and played cricket or table tennis or went to the beach on our bicycles.

Given all the playdates and possible future hangouts, the little one made us wander to the phone section in target to "check out" the phone deals. Of course she points to a 5S and goes "it is 40$ per month ONLY appa!" 

If ONLY she knew what that ONLY meant for a two year contract! That is when San takes her to the wall and goes "why dont you pick one of these phones. they are larger, have more memory and come with cheaper plans"

The little one wanders through the display and comes back to us and goes 

"that wall is ENTIRELY full of Android crap!" 

I burst out laughing but looked the other way.

Jr. and San were shocked by the way she said it with all that frustration.

Given San uses a Xiaomi Android phone, not sure how she took it.

Looks like we have an "i-ddict" in the house. They got this one young.. 

Now we wait for November. 


Competing for eyeball time

It is not just the Googles, Facebook's and Amazon's that are basing their business on trying to get a share of our viewing times.

Every precious nano second where your eyes are target towards any screen, now count for real $. 

So much that there are technologies out there that actually read your cell phones vibration (from the gyro) and tell the source of what you are looking at, data about how long you looked at it, glanced at it, or just plain skipped through it.. all this from how you held your phone or iPad while viewing a page!

That is not where it stops. We like in a world where our kids are labeled "post-google" which means they grew up with the internet. So this stuff rolls over.

Three weeks ago, I had a picture of the little one as my screen saver. 

Last week Jr. comes to me in the evening, snaps her hands in front of my face and says 

"booyaah! There, I now have proof!"

Me: Please stop with this booyaah agressiveness. I dont know what it means. What proof do you have of what?

Jr. : I have more proof that you love her (little one) more than you love me!

Me : It does not matter how much proof you think you have. I KNOW that I love you both the same.

Jr. : She was on your screen saver for two weeks. Then you knew I realized it and changed your screen saver to my picture and it was not even a pretty picture. That too I was on it for 2 days. now it is a picture of both of us and she says she is cuter in that picture than me! so there you go.. Booyah! 

Me : !!!!!

Now we need a software that does facial recognition and devotes equal screensaver time for the two kids. Added plus if the kids can rate your screensaver, let you know how cute they think they look in those pictures etc. etc.

We live in a world where things are measured like never before! There is more data being collected than can be analyzed with any reasonable value. 

In case you are wondering, here are the pictures of Jr. and the final joint picture where LO is supposedly cuter..

Go figure!

Now don't get me started on the Chromecast screensaver that runs on the big screen TV in the living room... 


Conversations continue 

Parents are in the kitchen while Jr. has just started eating breakfast on the couch. The little one wanders in to the living room with her blankie and announces "Daddy, your favorite person in the world is now awake!". Given the way she said it in a cute voice, I was as usual going to come in and give her a big hug. 

So I walk from the kitchen with a tea glass in hand. 

Jr. gives me a glare and a mean look and says "I knew it. See, she declares she is your favorite person and what do you do? come out with a smile?"

It has been an ordeal the last few weeks to literally prove to them that they are both loved the same. While Jr. is not trying to make a point, the little one has really been pushing it. 

Then I read out a post from my SIL that mentioned how their older daughter same down to breakfast and said she was feeling sad. When asked why, she had mentioned it was because her baby sister was sick.

The kids heard it and the responses were :

LO : Ooooh.. that is soo sweet! 

Jr. : She is making a terrible mistake. She just doesn't know it yet. She will regret it as the younger sister will turn into her worst horror! I know.. from experience!

The little one ignored it matter of factly like a fast ball outside the off stump, while the parents looked at each other and went "where did we go wrong?"

A few hours later there is a fight of sorts because Jr. has to go for some practice and she does not want the little one tagging along. 

Jr. : No. She is not coming. Why does she come to all my stuff but when I try to come with you for any of her stuff she protests?

LO: that is not true

Jr. : I am not talking to you. I am talking to Amma

LO : but you are talking about ME! 

Jr. goes on to ignore her and the little one shouts 

"I can go where I want to you know.. I have rights. This is America. I am not in India!"

Me and San burst out laughing. 

Me : Where do you get that crap from? You can go anywhere you want in India also. It is a free country. 

San starts counting the total number of weeks she has spent in India as a conscious person within two hands and we go "you have not been there much! why are you saying that?"

She said "Sorry! I said it as a funny thing." 

After much prodding and digging around it hours later figured out that what she wanted to say was this is free country. . but to emphasize she had to pick an opposite corner and she picked the only other country that comes to her mind automatically.  The logic of "if I am good, everything else is bad.. and if I have to pick an example of everything else, I go with my second favorite" made my head spin.

Trust me, these are kids that we work hard to have a world awareness. Something we find most kids growing up in the US to be lacking. In the last twenty years if there is one thing that I find surprisingly waning is the abiilty of Americans we meet daily to empathize with things that happen in other parts of the world. Blame it on the school system here, the political system or the media changing over time, but it is there.

It is funny that as kids we knew every US state capital as part of Georgraphy but many our friends here in grad school could not put even the four Indian metros on a map. Never figured out why that was? 

When all this was going through my head, was reminded of another recent conversation few weeks ago. Was driving the kids back from a saturday afternoon class when we were talking about their school.

Jr. : I think we should stop social studies as a subject in school

LO : I agree!

Me : why? you don't want to know what goes on in other parts of the world? 

Jr. and LO (at same time) : That is NOT what they teach in social studies.

Me : then what DO they teach?

Jr. : Things that have already happened before. Who killed who and who killed who back and stuff like that. Why do we need to know that. We only need to learn things that will help in the future. We dont need to know who we are supposed to like and not like! that does not help people to become one and work together

LO : I agree with her appa. What happened has already happened. we do not need to know people have been fighting all the time. 

They both had no problem with Georgraphy! They had a point. If our kids have a futuristic outlook and they want everyone in this world to get along, they see no point in all these dark reminders of the past! 

Maybe we should stop teaching history for a few decades in schools and see if conflicts across the world simmer down or subside.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could do an experiment like that in our lifetime?

Our kids constantly show us how their thought process is so different from ours, on a daily basis. It is good to watch and learn!