Driver’s Ed

Road mele car, car mele yaar?

Little N is taking driver’s ed in school. After all, she is 15 and will be driving in less than a year (super yikes, but no need to go there just yet).  In anticipation of obtaining some version of a driver’s permit in a few months, little N has been hard at work learning the rules of the road. Unfortunately, driver’s ed doesn’t come as easily to the munchkin as, say, pre-calc or chemistry, so she has been working extra hard at it.

Didn’t realize how hard, until today.

I was driving her to the library when a pedestrian suddenly crossed the road (while the traffic light was a clear green for me). Not just crossing, but confidently striding across incoming traffic and texting non-stop on top it. “Yov s. graaki, vootla sollitu vandhuttiya”, I wanted to shout. But controlled myself. After all, had impressionable young teenager in the car with me. I turned to look at little N. She was looking at me googly-eyed with disbelief.

“Mommy, did you know that it’s a punishable offence? If he is caught by the cops and he is under 17, he would be fined $22; if he is over 17, he would be fined $54; and if you hit him, that would be 8 points on your driver’s license, which would likely be super expensive”, she exclaimed.

Who do you think was all googly-eyed now? 😉


Touche 3

I am losing count of Touche posts inspired by our little resident sage (read my posts titled Touche and Touche 2, you’ll know what I mean).  So.  I told you earlier that I sometimes leave notes at night for the girls on their pillows.  Little A was around one night while I was doing this.  She was much intrigued, and decided that it would be so cool if she wrote me a bedtime note instead.

This is what I got from her a couple of nights back.


Deep, no?

P.S. Briefly considered doling out some parental disapproval for use of the “s” word, but decided to excuse a little profane in the middle of all the profound. 😉

Little Notes

Little N is in Philly this afternoon for an orchestra rehearsal.  Decided to use the time to tidy up around her room a bit.  As I was freshening up the sheets on her bed, happened to glance at the bookshelf nearby, and saw a few notes lying there. Off and on, when I feel like it, I leave little notes for the munchkins on their pillows. We don’t particularly talk about the notes (who remembers such vetti things while scrambling to get ready in the morning?). So it’s something that I do now and then, but really nothing that’s on our radar. You know what I mean.

So. When I was cleaning little N’s room, I found this note that I had written a few weeks back.  And little N’s response.

Such a little thing, but it made me soooo happy.  Mmmmm…. the best things in life are truly free. 🙂


The girls started summer camp this week.  Little N is gearing up for high school in the Fall (seriously, where did the years go?!!), so her summer is not looking particularly idyllic.  From what I hear, the workload that’s coming her way in the next four years is not a walk in the park either.  Good luck to my munchkin is all I can say.  That, and give inward thanks that my own high school years with the interminable studying are long gone.

On the other hand, little A, headed to fifth grade, has (for now) plenty of time to idle away.  She has art and cooking camps lined up for the next few weeks, and is having a blast!  She came home blissed out on Monday, after spending all afternoon making chocolate chip cookies.  “Kids in the kitchen is the best camp”, she exclaimed, as she climbed into the back seat of the car.  I (sub-consciously on the lookout for value in every experience) noted as I drove away, “That’s great!  You learnt some new cooking techniques today at camp then, huh?”.  There was silence in the back seat for a few seconds.  Little A then said slowly as if to a v. dim-witted person, “Mommy, I have been making pate a choux cream puffs at home.  Do ya think I learnt any new techniques at camp making chocolate chip cookies?!!”.

LOVE it, when the little one goes hoity toity like that! 🙂

P.S. Yes, I looked up the spelling for pate a choux.  Left to myself, I was going to spell it patashoo. 😉

On the Streets of Philadelphia

I am taking hump day off this week.  No, I am not going to be sitting on my couch and lounging around in my PJs.  I will be wandering the streets of Philadelphia with little A and her classmates.  Have never chaperoned any field trips so far for either of my munchkins. It simply has never come up – I have never contemplated taking an entire day off to volunteer, and my kids have never asked me to.

Except this time.  In the midst of revving up towards my intense May 7th work deadline, little A and I were filling out her school field trip forms one evening.  The last form in the packet was the chaperone sign-up sheet.  “We don’t have to fill that form, Mommy.  You won’t be able to chaperone, right?” little A said matter-of-factly.  I did not respond. Something about the way little A said it tugged at me somehow.  I was up to my eyeballs with work at that point, and pretty fed up of the Groundhog Day that my work life had become over the previous few weeks.  Seeing that I was staring blankly at the form, little A added “Or can you?”  “Sure, I can chaperone”, I replied brightly and signed up.  And that was that.

The trip to Philadelphia is tomorrow.  And truth be told I am both super excited and quite apprehensive.  I have realized that I don’t enjoy the feeling of uncertainty that comes from not being in control (illusion though that might be).  I have no idea how this chaperoning thing works.  They are calling for rain tomorrow.  I am not quite over my spring allergies yet as I had hoped.  And I will be responsible for not just my kid but a few others (whose parents, ahem, didn’t volunteer, and whose good mellow behavior I can only hope for).  Which all makes me more than mildly anxious.  As I put away the chaperone information packet that I read and re-read over the past hour, I paused to listen to my inner chatter.  And realized that I have a choice.  I mean, here it is – a whole day in the middle of the week stretching luxuriously ahead of me, and I am about to spend it with my munchkin wandering around learning about the Historic District of Philadelphia.  How delicious is that, and how silly to spend my time considering what could go wrong instead!!

Remember my word for the year – relish??  Well, tomorrow, I will remember it too. 🙂

Double Digits

My little A turns 10 tomorrow.  Seems like yesterday that she arrived two weeks early, a little ahead of her due date of February 14 (my Valentine!).  I was telling little A the other day that ten is such a special birthday, that transition from single to double digits.  I mean, here I am several decades later, still stuck in the double digits (although, I am in no rush to see whether I do make it to triple digits).  So.  Tomorrow is a super special day around here.  We will celebrate with dinner at little A’s favorite restaurant, strawberry shortcake, presents, balloons, and lots of hugs!

Some days, little A still seems to me like the baby she was in preschool, a few short years ago.  On other days, she’s wiser than the Dalai Lama (read my “Touche” posts, you’ll know what I mean).  She’s my conscience, and she inspires me to be a better person.  I am constantly amazed by little A’s generosity towards her friends, and her caring nature.  I am also blown away by her focus, how she spends hours on activities that she loves (like art) perfecting every little detail, and yet somehow creates something that looks breezy and effortless.  Like this picture she drew a couple of weeks back.


Super, no?  Makes me really want to be the cozy cat in that dresser!

Happy birthday my little love bug!  May this be your best year ever! 🙂

Compliments to the Chef

Today’s Menu: Take it or Leave it”

It has been a lazy sunday with no scheduled activities for anyone.  We have not had a day like this in ages.  With a balmy 60 deg F and intermittent rain and sunshine, it was absolutely the best kind of day to hang out at home, read, and do nothing much at all.  The laid-back, take-it-easy mood carried into dinner time.  In the mood for short-cuts, I looked around in the fridge, found some cooked rice, quinoa, and paruppu, and decided to combine the three into an ad hoc pongal.  The green chutney from the morning’s breakfast will give the pongal enough oomph, I decided.

I watched the kids start on their dinner, kind of unsure of what their reaction might be to the “dhideer” pongal.  I asked them how their dinner was.  Little N asked if I made it a different way this time.  It tasted good, but just not as creamy as usual, she said.  Ok, I can live with “not creamy”, I decided with a satisfied sigh, congratulating myself on pulling off a nice, healthy, no-effort, dinner.

Then, I heard little A muttering, “This must be how jail food tastes in India.”  “Huh, whaaat?”, I exclaimed in disbelief, laughing hard, like the rest of the family.  Little A was not done.  “Nah, prison food would probably taste better”, she concluded, v. matter-of-factly.  Finished dinner with a berry smoothie and a super yum red velvet cake that little A had made earlier in the evening.

Hmmmm…. looks like I cannot get away with anything around here!  Best to retire that dhideer pongal from my culinary repertoire, huh? 😉