Must Post

It constantly lingers in the back of my head- the thought about not updating this space regularly. But quietly ignoring it was easy..until..I received this nice virtual whack on the head from a dear little friend recently. The dialogues were strong and effective. Sample these –

“You don’t want Paapu to grow up without documenting any of her toddlerhood, do you?”
“You’re being so mean”


I know, I know. Pepper, you win. ( and Revs, good training on drama dialogues πŸ˜› )

So, here is a sincere effort to fill in on what went by, with special focus on ..who else? Paapu ofcourse πŸ™‚Β Now, dozing off while reading is bad ( manners! ), so have a few pictures for you to keep going, okay?

So, the flight from Amreeka to Apna Desh is quite a one and the first time in air for Paapu. I was terrified of the thought- “Will my Paapu be one among those shrieking non-stop on the flight? What will I do?!”.The in-laws were travelling with me and so I tried to breathe easy. However, this little girl on the plane was one of the best babies around * insert a big big proud grin here * She not only was her cheerful self, but made a number of friends up there. Here is one proof of Paapu entertaining herself using a few oranges and a Korean guy πŸ˜€

Such was the love of a Sardarji uncle on another flight that he just said “It’s okay beta, bachi hai”, when Paapu toppled and spill an entire glass of water on his crisp suit ! He was only worried if the little one was hurt in the process. Sigh! πŸ™‚

India welcomed her with open arms, literally. With so much happening and so many to entertain, Paapu never showed a single sign of jet lag. Took off on day one like a puppy to the puddle ( yes, I coined that phrase). My quiet little town, my home and garden is where I spent the first part of the trip and honestly, cherish the most now. Pure unadulterated joy! Laughing, eating, playing, talking – generally being happy while watching my baby soak in the warmth that love brought in.

I also noticed that there are just so many little things, that we take for granted, while at home there – which remain elusive while in the US of A.

For example, who would dare leave a naughty baby walking around ‘free’ and naked like this without a diaper in the carpet land here?

Or, how many times would your baby’s curious eyes follow a row of busy ants right inside the balcony with such amusement?

One other scene that may not have a picture proof, but will forever remain in me is – My Appa, who recently turned 60, holding on to my Paapu, all of 11 months, and plucking flowers for the pooja. He plucks a flower and delicately slides it between her fingers and she holds it tight ( almost squishing the petals) and gingerly drops it into the flower basket. Every morning, every flower plucked and dropped into the basket was a source of such delight to all – the Grandpa, the little girl and of course the mom of the little girl watching them inconspicuously.

The in-laws place houses many kids – of cousins, relatives and neighbors. Paapu was the youngest of the lot and mostly loved the attention from all other kids around. One little fellow became so protective of Paapu, he would follow her like a shadow( literally) to every corner of the house. So much so that a sudden stop or turn and she would bump into him, loose balance and go * plop* on the floor, giggling πŸ˜€

Then, there was the big occasion – of turning ONE! ( not by the calendar date but the one according to her star sign, as per traditional norm)

There were invitations printed, hall booked, special pooja arranged, food menu picked – Thanks to the in-laws and their efforts – we ( me and H) did not move a muscle until the D day. The gathering had hundreds of people, everyone wanting to hold Paapu, everyone wanting to pinch her cheeks. She relented for quite a long time, then gave up after a point.I noticed that look -” Who are all these people? I want to run with those kids there..leave me!”. I tried hard to rescue her, I really did. 😦

After all the pooja ceremonies, came the dreaded moment of the day – the ear piercing! The in-laws, in spite of my pleading against it, arranged for the ear piercing right on the same day, same hall, as part of the ongoing event. Tradition – bah!! I rather take her to a mall on a calm day and get a gun-shot-no-pain ear piercing on her tender ears. Boo hoo. And yes, that’s exactly what I did – Boo hoo-ed all the way. When that bulky man with the sharp thing drew blood from my paapus earlobes, she screamed in pain and I sobbed uncontrollably…holding onto my parents. After a few minutes, when all was done, Paapu went about grinning and I continued my sobbing. Yes, am an emotional fool like that and yes, there were many jokes about a mommy crying as if the baby was being married off and sent to nowhereland πŸ˜›

There were only a few days, before tradition took over again. They said – soon after the baby turns one the head needs to be shaved. Not only does it help lustrous thick growth of new hair , but is also part of…( no surprise here)…tradition! I sulked until the last minute, but let them have their way. After all, H supported their views and I respected them enough to not create a fuss.

Off we went to the place known for tonsure – the one and only Tirupati. The drive was beautiful and I kept kissing Paapu’s soft baby curls every other minute. They were too dear to let go..couldn’t anyone understand? Argh!

Anyways, she was a champ when it came to shaving the head with a blade-knife. A little whimper and few tears, then smiles as always πŸ™‚ Me? I did not let a single teardrop trickle. Just held them tight inside. But, hurriedly grabbed a few of her shaved off baby curls before I left the venue.Paapu will be shown her baby scrapbook one fine day and I’ll watch her as she gets a glimpse of her own baby curls right there ..and scream with utter delight..or..with sheer disgust πŸ˜€

The day to bid good bye and fly back soon arrived and while my gut twisted and tossed at the thought of missing ‘home’, I also felt quiet charged up. My days as a “working mom” were about to begin without any help and I was eager to take up the challenge! Oh, who am I kidding? I just had enough of the rules/traditions and wanted to run away to my place and make my own rules πŸ™‚

It was hell the first few days after we returned – the jet lag, the tiredness, the cranky baby, the house work with no-help, above all the biting silence…..The Silenceeeeee…

Paapu seemed to be looking for the people and the noise and then constantly running to me when she found none. It was heart breaking, but I held up pretty strong, I think. At least, I did not cry along with her, see!

Time does heal every pain. The silence passed soon and life started rolling at a familiar pace.

When I took Paapu to her day care for the first time, I prepared for the worst, just in case. But, she took one look at the toys and those other little toddlers and went in with a “Aye!”. Not even a second glance at poor Amma. Oh, how happy that made me..and a tiny bit sad πŸ™‚

There have been colds, there have been coughs, fevers and sleepless nights, there have been infections, doctor visits and sleepless nights, there have been antibiotics and much crying. And oh, sleepless nights.

But, minus those bad days, life has been sane.

I am/have been working really hard at it and am proud it has been alright so far. Hubby, who was a terrific example of a lazy bum when parents were here, now is seen doing unbelievable stuff like – vacuuming, heating food, readying-up Paapu ..even giving her a bath at times – no, really! I knew I would make my money’s worth from him some day πŸ˜‰

Paapu is no more the chubby baby I went to India with – she is a toddler sprouting 1.5 teeth, 1.5 millimeter of newly growing hair on the head and a naughtiness 1.5 times notched up. Don’t believe me with the last one?

Sample these –

– If not allowed to play with something ( ex: remote control), wait until Appa-Amma are not looking and then pick it up fast, run even faster in the opposite direction! Doesn’t matter if you trip and fall on the way.

– Amma is all sorry and pouts worriedly while she rubs on your ”boo boo’ ( hurt) lovingly. You imitate the pout and add a pair of puppy eyes to it for extra drama.

– The grandparents repeat the “Hello” and “Namaste” a 100 times for you to pick up and finally you say “Hey!” in true American style.

– The crying is not just crying when you don’t get your thing done in a given 3.8 seconds. The voice graduates to a customized scream almost sounding like an order, that cannot be ignored.

– To get a point across, you talk matter-of-factly with your right hand raised up and the Β index finger pointing to the sky. Always! The daycare provider claims you are a leader in the making, just because of this.

Okay, enough for now πŸ˜€

Leaving you with this favorite pic.

Send in much of your loves, alright? πŸ™‚

This entry was posted in Paapu Tales, See if I can make you smile. Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to Must Post

  1. Pepper says:

    Awwww.. This post has made me smile from beginning to end. I am so glad my dialogues made you take action πŸ˜€ You really *need* to post every now and then!

    The pictures make me want to just hold her and cuddle her. Sigh. She is growing up so fast!

    I can totally understand and empathise with your bawling when she got the ear piercing done. I am positive I would be sobbing too.

    So good to know you guys had a great trip to India πŸ™‚

  2. Seena says:

    Loved reading abt Paapu, I too cried loud when my daughter ear was pierced, though she cried only for few seconds.

    Recently we went to India and your posts made me smile all the way from start to end, its so true how India is home and we find the best place with no tension. We went to Tirupati too, but didn’t shave her hair, gave only few hairs, later I cut her hair after we came back here, you could read when you get time.

    Paapu looks so cute even after her hair cut..She looks so so sweet in the pattu pavada..I absolutely loved the cycle pic..

    • Thanks Seena, very sweet words πŸ™‚

      I went in and read your post – lucky, you did it here in peace and calm. Your little girl looks SO ADORABLE! * muah * kisses to her πŸ™‚

  3. Comfy says:

    Good work there Pepper. Keep at it since that is the only way we get our dear Paapu’s updates.

    AHK this is such a sweet post. Loved reading every single word. Touchwood for such a happy, ever smiling Paapu. But then she takes after Amma, how can she not be always smiling. πŸ˜€

    I still can’t get myself to get Buzz’s ear pierced and I bet if I were to suggest it D would have my head for it.

    I loved Paapu’s beautiful hair. Hope they come back bigger and better.

    Much love to the little sweetheart with tons of hugs and kisses.

  4. Chatterbox says:

    Wow! what a super sweet post AHK πŸ˜›
    Paapu looks super cute in all those pictures, especially the one on the cycle and the one in a traditional dress πŸ˜› πŸ˜›
    I am so glad you had a fantastic trip to India and I must say you definitely need to find time to write in more often about her πŸ˜› πŸ˜›
    {{{hugs}}} to the little princess and her loving mum πŸ˜›

    • I love those pics too..and the traditional wear is my desktop wallpaper πŸ™‚

      Yes, yes, need to write more and please feel free to thwack my head/butt if I don’t, okay? 😦

  5. jottingsnmusings says:

    Super sweet post! It’s so wonderful to see our parents play with our little one na? Especially in the home we grew up in!

    Paapu running around without a diaper is so cute… we leave Baby M like that sometimes (to air him out we say!) but it led to an accident so horrific last night that you are much better off with your diapers, believe me. πŸ˜‰

    And how do you manage work and home along with that naughty imp? A big salute to you A!!! I am struggling to manage Baby M with all the help in mom’s house. These babies just get cuter and naughtier day by day!

    • Yes- parents playing with our babies – just too heart warming to look at πŸ™‚

      Managing work with the help of the daycare, which is thankfully, all that I could ask for * touch wood *

      Thanks for the sweet comment dear.

  6. awwww πŸ™‚
    I have melted into mush here!

    I love that pic of motte Paapu touching her head with a hint of confusion on her face πŸ™‚

    And that pattu pavadai pic – awwww πŸ™‚
    My love and blessings to the cutie pie πŸ™‚

    Totally with you on coming home and making your own rules!

    @Pepper, Revs – huge pats on the back πŸ˜€

  7. HappyFeet says:

    So good to see you post!!!

    now lemme go read all that πŸ™‚

      • HappyFeet says:

        The pics are absolutely adorable. My fav is the one she is watching the ants in πŸ™‚

        And my heart aches hearing about the ear piercing thing, not for Paapu but for you! Paapu is the brave girl here πŸ™‚

        its been months I have seen my baby and the other day he told me over phone that he saw a ‘bo’. Boat πŸ™‚

        Blow my kisses to the lil princess you have there. Feel so bad I coudnt see her 😦

      • HappyFeet says:

        *not seen my baby, I meant!

  8. ilovelucy says:

    Awwww! Mudhu bangaaari!!!

    The India trip sounds like so much fun! That whole flower picking routine made my eyes go misty πŸ™‚ I am so glad you wrote this post just so that such wonderful and warm memories got chronicled.

    We should also spare a thought here for Paapu’s poor Amma for keeping it together I guess! So there you go AHK, a big pat on your back too!

  9. Titaxy says:

    aww, she’s so cute! especially the pattu paavadai pic…

    hereafter pls do write more often with paapu updates, pretty pls

  10. revsjoiedevivre says:

    *sobs loudly* There was a Paapu post and I’m so late *sobs more* *blows nose on AHK’s sleeve*

    How cute is this girl!! I love this mottai paapa. Although, I’ve seen ALL these pics and some more, already πŸ˜€ (A girl who arrives late to comment can show off no?) I loved the pic of her with the sardarji uncle.

    How did she find it with so less people after she came here, AHK? Did she search for her little friends?

    • Issokay, busy with many things. πŸ™‚

      Seen all pics – ALL? Hmm, yeah. yes. πŸ˜›

      She did look around for people Revs..and came back crying to me when she didnt . Lasted for couple of days.Paavam.

  11. Finally!

    I thought we would never see this post!

    And shame on you, Paapu is ONE year old and you have posted less than 10 times.

    P.S. How is that for emotional blackmail πŸ˜€

    Now, that we have cribbed.. how gorgeous and adorable is she!! Paapu, remember, ur mom did not make time for us to meet when she was India. Remind her, 20 years from now, that she cost you some very very pretty things from Aunty Dee! πŸ™‚

    • Oye..that line about my shame et all..almost worked , until I saw the “p.s” πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

      I was there only for about 1.5 days Dee..still my bad. Okay, Wat pretty pretty things may I tell her? πŸ˜€

  12. smartassbride says:

    *smacks self* how did I miss this? I have to graduate to using reader. now off to read the post!

  13. smartassbride says:

    wow wow wow. I’m also a member of the club that badgers you for paapu updates and this post does justice or what! *joins Revs in showing off that I have seen these pics too!*

    What a beautiful baby she is! you are pretty, AHK, but this one is the true show stealer πŸ˜€ I loved that pic where she is sitting “free”(Is that after an oil massage?)

    The flower plucking duo you described reminded me of the pic you had posted earlier(when amma, appa had come to USA). There was a pic like that, no? appa, paapu and a flower?

    I hope you had enough time with amma and appa and at the native.

    PS :AHK, you are the kind of daughter-in-law people get after standing on one leg for twenty years or something! seriously! Tell H from me that he better thank his stars every day! There aren’t many who’ll do what you did or even if they did, they wouldn’t adjust as gracefully as you did! Promise-a.

    ps 2 : the hair will come back and how! dont worry abt. it. If she is fine with it, try the shoe flower leaves(pluck leaves, put it in mixie and it works to a lather automatically), that worked for me after my eight mottais because mom really wanted to maintain the curly hair I was born with

    • So true about the daughter-in-law comment!

      I would be a total tyrant if it came to my child. I have a feeling, even the DH’s opinion’s would not be taken into consideration.

      I birthed. I make the rules! πŸ˜›

    • This post did justice? Yes? Phew!

      The β€˜free’ pic is indeed after a oil massage!

      Flower plucking – The scene was very similar to the pic you described Abi ( awesome memory BTW)..only it was in the garden I grew up playing in

      Your β€˜PS’ pleased me so much..I am sending you a prayer -”May Abi and Vijesh get a maaplai or maatuponnu ( whatever the case, or both) who are like the products of standing on one leg for twenty years”

      Heard back from up there..she said β€œAwwright!”

      Thanks so much for such good words Abi. Really means much.

  14. anna's mom says:

    awww. occasional reader and first time commenter. i read your post on paapu’s birth when i was 6 months pregnant and it made me want to give birth then and there. paapu is so cute. even without the hair. we shaved off anna’s hair when she was 9 months old. she didn’t cry too much but i miss her soft baby hair so much. she thankfully had her dad’s straight silky hair and not my wild curls. just hoping it comes out the same again. as for ear-piercing. i’m just dreading the day we get it done.

  15. memani says:

    Cute post!!! But believe me however you did not like cutting her hair you did it its a must. Saying from my experience. My mom did not do it to me and my sis! Even at this age we feel we should go for it but we can’t! I feel so sad thinking that the texture and volume could have been so nice and…. πŸ˜₯

    • Hi, welcome here πŸ™‚

      Cannot agree with ‘ its a must’. We do not have the shaving off custom in our family and I can confidently say most of us still have good hair. * touch wood*

      Shaving off the hair is not the ‘sure shot’ way for a luxurious hair..though it can be beneficial.

      Well, to each his/her own πŸ™‚

  16. Writerzblock says:

    Awwww… Pappu kutty is just sooo cute πŸ™‚ CAme here from Pepper’s blog and totally enjoyed reading this post. All the best to Pappu, I am sure she will be super happy in India!!

  17. La Vida Loca says:

    the paavaadai pic is my fave. I want to bite her so much. She is a lovely child.

  18. ooo..i loved the last pic…it is simply awsum…:)

  19. Divs says:

    Awwwww….what a warm love filled post. Your little one is really cute. Hang on to every moment coz they grow up too soon!

  20. scorpria says:

    What a super sweet post! She looks supre sweet in all the pics — and I LOVE the one on the cycle, her lil curls showing up so well on the light-coloured wall behind πŸ˜‰

    Please give her this hug (((((hug)))) and these kisses * * * * * and my love! πŸ™‚ Now do all that all over for yourself πŸ˜‰

    Such a smile-through-it-all post! πŸ™‚

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