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Happy 3rd Birthday Rehan!

Source: freeallimages.com

Source: freeallimages.com

Rehan, Rehan, Rehan! Happy birthday baby! What a year this has been, full of contradictions! You’ve been carefree yet so attached. Dramatic yet so calm. Loud yet so serene. Energetic yet so blasé. Difficult yet so compliant. Secure yet so vulnerable. Shy yet so cheeky. Relishing life with your contagious exuberance, you are a picture of joie de vivre, taking absolute delight in just being.

Puss in Boots cute expressionThis year you graduated from the College of Utmost Cuteness with Honors! Oh how you can charm the pants of anyone, talking so earnestly in that cute lispy baby way. You can pull of the Puss in Boots look faultlessly to your advantage, leaving us feeling warm and fuzzy but always with a nagging feeling that we are in some way being manipulated by this charm. You negotiate an extra cookie with simple but heart-warming comments like ‘but you’re my favourite girl!’, how can I say no to anything after that!

You’re allergic to taking showers, loud noises and snotty-nosed babies. You are very single-minded and willful about your notions of how things should and shouldn’t be. Pajamas should be worn precisely 5 minutes before bedtime. Toothbrush should be placed in the right holder. Broken crackers shouldn’t be handed to kids. Sometimes I wonder where you get these qualities that make you so stubborn and unyielding. Who am I kidding, of course it’s your dad’s genes! Just to detail how much effort goes into keeping you happy here is a sample of your dislikes – t-shirts with pockets, sand in shoes (interestingly sand in hair, nose and mouth is OK), other people’s towels, yellow cups, a single drop of water on your shorts, warm food, jam sandwich folded up, jam sandwich not folded up, bruised bananas, waiting for food at the restaurant, cold swimming pools, the list goes on and on.

Despite all this need of a sense of order and cleanliness, you are awfully clumsy. This clumsiness however, for reasons unknown, is solely for my benefit and I can’t say I am flattered. Playing with you means having to regularly shield myself from your unintended blows, head-butts, elbow jabs, knee rams and eye pokes. It seems being around me has a magical effect on your spine, it becomes all squidgy with your body just flopping over me. I have suspicion you think of yourself as being lighter than air. Either that or you see me as invincible, someone who has successfully birth two babies can’t possible get hurt right?

You have a favourite everything – number, letter, animal, part of the body, side of the bed, corner for pooping, planet, superhero, song, book. For the better part of the year, your favourite colour was orange. You granted yourself exclusive rights over it. Not only did we have to deal with you only wearing orange t-shirts, eating only orange-looking fruits with orange cutlery but also with random orange objects mysteriously appearing in the house. It took a long time for the understanding that the ‘if it’s my favourite it’s mine’ rule is not a socially acceptable norm, but we’re finally there!

official-age-warning-logoYou have intermittent love affairs with your toys, devoting yourself completely to one for days only to ruthlessly dump it in favour of another. With so many exciting toys, how can you be expected to stay committed to one? Like a true blue playboy (a boy who plays!) you sleep with whatever toy you fancy on any particular day. You’ve also laugh in the face of this sign here, almost exclusively choosing toys with lethal levels of choking hazards. What can I say, you are thrill seeker like that.

Occasionally, you get so involved in play that you go on an acknowledgement strike, combined with selective mutism. I would have mistaken your lack of response to assume you have mastered the Buddhist Zen state of awareness of the present moment, if you hadn’t so miserably failed the keyword test. This ingenious test involves throwing in some keywords while trying to have a conversation with your toddler – nothing fancy, just simple words like ‘ice cream’, ‘lollipop’, ‘candy’, etc. Yeah, that was no Zen state!

Self-preservation is very high on your agenda. You’re not one to get into trouble, test gravity or expend too much energy. The tiniest bruise will be a cause of much distress and also an excuse to not shower for days! If given a choice, you’d rather spend all your time at home just being silly with your brother or playing with your Legos or Octonaut toys, than go out. Is it any surprise then that you belong to the I-don’t-want-to-go-to-school club?

You don’t like the idea of growing up and vehemently deny being a ‘big boy’. I don’t like it either and sometimes find myself wishing I had the power to freeze time just for a bit. For what it’s worth, you will always be the baby of the house.

PS- Sorry about the terrible haircuts I gave you this year! And yes sweetheart, bread and chocolate bread rhymes 🙂

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Happy 5th birthday Ayaan!

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday big boy!

Wow, what a whirlwind year it has been, you loved being four, didn’t you? How can I describe you this year in a few words – energetic, crazy, untrammelled and occasionally cantankerous!

You have made me proud at what you have achieved in this small span of half a decade. You do everything a 5-year-old boy should – pulling silly faces, inventing daft languages, naming and occasionally ‘fighting’ inanimate objects, being socially inappropriate, waggling your bits about in the shower – you are a complete goofball at heart!

Your sense of wonder and boundless energy brightens up the lives of all around you. Not only are your questions innumerable, a lot of times they are unanswerable – What can I say to “How many days are there?”, your question was exactly what it sounded like, but unless I can predict judgment day, I have no idea how many days are there in the world. And what can I say to ‘what number is infinity + 10’ or ‘what is at the end of space’.

You are the King of Silly and have taken it upon yourself to singlehandedly entertain the pants of anyone who is a willing subject! Of course I use the word ‘entertain’ loosely as most of it involves jokes about the bottom, poo or farts. ‘Poopooface’ has been the phrase du jour of our house for the better part of this whole year. Not to mention ‘sillybumbum’, usually accompanied with a visual demonstration. All of these shenanigans are met delightful cheers and cacophony of laughter from you No.1 fan, your little brother!

Talking about your brother, isn’t he the luckiest? You absolutely dote on him, more than once I have caught you looking at him with a warm look of brotherly affection. You will go out-of-the-way to cheer him up if he is grumpy. Of course, you boys have an occasional spat, but the companionship and the bond between you’ll has been a pleasure to witness. You are the self-appointed minder for your brother too, constantly watching out for him when we are out and about.

When you’re not being silly, you spend most part of your day making comparisons about who or what is biggest/strongest/most popular/deepest/widest/longest, etc. You wonder about the stars and the moon, about time and numbers, about being rich or poor, about being nice or mean, about being vegetarian or not, about the food chain and wild weather, being older or younger, taller or shorter. You talk about death and have rather unsettling questions, but have accepted very matter of factly that people go away after they are old. You have questions about your past, “How did they take me out of you?”, “Did someone put medicine in you to start making me in your tummy?” You have questions about the future “Will we always live together?”

Your current favorite song is ‘Bad’, it pleases you immensely that Michael Jackson is very famous. I haven’t yet told you that he is no more, to avoid a myriad set of questions relating to his death! And is it really a surprise that songs like ‘Make ‘Em Laugh‘ have you rolling on the floor with hysterical laughter.

Most of this year you have been fascinated with volcanoes and caves (it was space last year). You unquestioningly accept Bill Nye as the foremost authority on all things science!

This year you had to cope with me going back to work, and you were such a champ about it! With your wiser beyond your years talk, you gave me great confidence in my decision, which in turn helped your little brother contend with the change in circumstances.

I love your fierce loyalty towards me, even if it is at the expense of neglecting everyone else! I love how you want to take up my middle name just so our names sound similar! I love when you come back from school with all sorts of gifts for me, from rocks to sticks to random paper crafts.

Here’s looking forward to another year of lots of fun, more questions, endless laughter, crazier play and more connection and hopefully less toilet humour!

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Happy birthday!

Dear Ayaan,

You are 2 years old today! Happy birthday, buddy! I can’t believe you are such a big boy now, in fact you’re technically a preschooler, no longer a toddler! And rightly so, as you definitely don’t ‘toddle’ anymore, you no longer have your stubby little toddler legs and you talk like a Pro!

You love story books, hand puppets, swimming, drawing and painting, blowing candles (pretending to!) and of course talking! Your favorite rhymes are If you’re Happy and You Know It and London Bridge is Falling Down. Not a day goes without you playing them and singing/dancing to the tunes or talking about them (How did the bridge fall? Who will put it back? Will the construction man wear helmet? Etc etc)

Your questions and ‘why’s’ are endless now and either you don’t trust us with the answers or you need to hear them over and over again, but you don’t stop at asking just once! You are also very much into ‘developmentally appropriate behavior’ as they call it – hitting (at-least it’s only reserved for dadda n mamma!), asking for something and crying if I give it to you, wanting to do EVERYTHING by yourself (life is crawling but I don’t mind now do I!).

You love playing with water, and have routinely tried to flood the kitchen or bathroom sink under the pretext of ‘washing dishes’ or brushing teeth! And let’s not even get started on your obsession for flushing the toilet! Needless to say bath time is your most favorite time!

You’re a complete daddas boy, you love running with him, playing ball and rough housing! Watching dadda shave is also one of your most favorite things to do. You also seem to be picking up lawyer-like negotiation skills from your dad! Your opening line when asking for something you are not supposed to be playing with is “I’ll be very careful mamma, I will hold it so tight, I won’t open it. Ok?” How do you say no to that! If I tell you something’s not for kids, your instant retort is “I’ve growed up mamma, I’m a big boy now”! You do keep things interesting around here with all this talking, or by wearing swimming goggles during lunch, or pretending to be a waiter serving me lunch or exchanging pleasantries with inanimate objects!

You’re not even as old as my newest pair of sneakers, but I can’t imagine my life without you! Happy birthday, little man. I love you.