It is fun to have fun, but you have to know how.” ~ Dr. Seuss

A couple of weeks back, as I was taking yet another picture of my very photogenic Thing 3, creativity struck. This is very unusual for me. I usually start the day with a super long to-do list and derive great satisfaction from getting (most of those) things done.  But that Friday morning, somehow, I decided to do something fun instead.

As I was walking W, found myself thinking about the fun custom design store that we walked past a few weeks ago. And how they had some very cute-looking, personalized totes (boy, am I a sucker for totes!).  Finished walking W as quickly as I could, looked up the design store online, pulled together some lovely puppy quotes (and lovelier pictures of my W), and spent a couple of hours designing and ordering this tote.

Cute, no? And environmentally friendly to boot!

Talk about win-win!! 🙂

Wisdom from Winston

Our blackboard currently reads – “What can we learn from Winston today?” (yes, I am having a prettttty idle Sunday). The family has not come up with any responses yet (after all, they are just starting on breakfast) but I (surprise!) have come up with a few gems.

You ready?

  • Give unconditional love to those around you
  • Keep trying until you get what you want
  • Long afternoon naps are the BEST
  • Love, food, shelter, exercise, play, and rest – what more do you need in life?
  • It is awesome when others clean up after you
  • You don’t always need to follow someone else’s agenda (aka pee pads are just a suggestion)
  • It is pointless to cry when no one is around to baby you and make you feel better
  • Try new things at least once
  • If someone is barking at you unprovoked, be sure to show them what you think too

And last but not least,

  • Never underestimate the importance of being cute 🙂


I asked the family what they would like to focus on to set the intention for the upcoming school year (yes, I do these sorts of quirky things).

What N, little N, Amma and I came up with.

Little A wants to focus on this guy during the school year.


But I think he gets a ton of attention already, thank you very much! 🙂

Thotho Tales

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.”  Charles Dickens must have had a puppy. 🙂

It’s been four weeks since W joined our family. It has been incredible. He has not slept through the night once since he arrived. That makes for a very sleep-deprived N and myself. We seem to be getting past it slowly – N, W, and myself. We have a certain rhythm going on these days. Not the idyllic “me and my perfect pet” type situation (yet), but a stable sort of rhythm. Which is huge in of itself (I mean, you should have seen us that first week – cleaning out doodoo all the time and clinically depressed).

Little N and I take him for a long walk at night just before bedtime. Little N spends a good chunk of time carrying him around when he won’t cooperate (although I think it’s because she loves to cradle him and cuddle with him). Little N’s step tracker show that we are routinely walking over 5K steps every day. Previously, I was mostly languishing in the “less than 3K steps – Sedentary” world, so this is pretty cool. The weighing scale is showing a decent weight loss for me (which is always nice on the tail of a calorie-filled vacation). Pants that haven’t fit in over a year are looking pretty good these days. Little N and I also talk so much about everything under the sun during our walks, which is such a pleasure for me. Hard to get quality time with a busy teen (who’s turning 16 next week!). Is it such a huge pleasure for little N too? Well. You’ll have to ask her, won’t you? 🙂

W seems to absolutely ADORE N. N is so super patient and kind with W, and shows him so much love. W’s little non-tail wags at express speed when N is in the room. He searches so desperately when N leaves the room, and cuddles up with N with such a confiding and peaceful air that even I find endearing.

Little A had been doing doctoral level research on puppies for at least seven months before we got W. So, she’s the one with all the information. She also has strong opinions on how he must be handled, which prompted little N to give little A several nicknames for bossing us around: Doggie Dictator, Animal Autocrat, and Furry Fascist. But seriously, thank God for little A’s research. Our first week with W would have been insane had little A not already made sure to stock up on basic supplies (and then some). W is so playful with little A, which is such a delight (and sometimes mildly alarming) to watch. The girls have been trying to train W to do tricks. Helps that he is very motivated by food. Super fun!

W seems moderately interested in Amma and myself. Amma doesn’t engage much with him, other than speaking to him in Tamil sometimes when she is in the kitchen (W is going to be bilingual!). And sometimes sharing outdoor time with him while walking.

I spend a LOT of time with W. But it’s more functional time than fun time. When he wakes me up at night, I clean up without making eye contact. Willing him to quietly go back to sleep and not think that I woke up to play with him. I don’t let him lick me (what’s a puppy to do, W despairs, I am sure) or nip at me (serious no, no). I am v. no-nonsense with him. I mean, I am already quite indulgent with my two munchkins, I just do not have the bandwidth to pamper one more. So, I interact with W in a sort of semi-professional way. Meanwhile, he seems to think that I am his Ayah. That I am there to clean up after him and walk around with him when it suits him. I don’t see the uncontrolled tail wagging that he reserves for N and the girls. We have a strange dynamic going on – W and me. Which suits me fine.

I am not proud of this and I am telling you (and you only). I have been catching myself snapping at people around me between 4 and 6 pm (hunger, tiredness, and sleep-deprivation all catching up to me by late afternoon). In the past few days, I have been making sure to have a cup of chai and a snack, and sit quietly by myself for a few minutes during that time. Works like a charm.

Most importantly, I find that W forces me to be in the moment. With all the additional work around a new puppy, I don’t find myself dilly-dallying around mundane tasks, churning over minor decisions, or worrying about things that I can’t control. I have always been pretty efficient and organized, but I am now operating with military-level precision. For the first time in a month, I am finding myself ahead of piled up work (hope this trend continues!). Our family dynamic seems to have changed somewhat, and we are somehow all closer, chatting and laughing (and bickering) more, bound more tightly together by W.

So. A month in. I am learning that there are lots of pros and cons to puppy ownership. I am not going to tell you that the pros outweigh the cons. Or vice versa. It’s all part of the package. And, in my own way, I am happy that we have this little package in our family at this time.

For now, that’s quite enough.

Puppy Parent

You know that you have become a puppy parent when:

  • in addition to sometimes mixing up your two kids’ names, you have now started calling the puppy by their names as well
  • you go into work and you look around while riding up the elevator thinking that you hear him whining
  • he walks up to your room at 3 am, and instead of getting frustrated, you marvel at how cleverly he got past the gates and climbed up all those stairs (“poor baby, knows to climb up the stairs but not back down, like Abhimanyu”, N and I said to each other)
  • you then lie there in the darkness at 3:30 am – him on the kitchen floor back inside his enclosure, and you not too far away (don’t ask) – and you find yourself singing lullabies that you have not belted out in several years
  • he totally calms down within seconds of your singing (score: 1 for Winston, 0 for baby stage little N and little A)
  • you constantly have a camera around so as to not miss one fabulous thing he does
  • you sit there working furiously on your laptop (I mean, you still need to work during work from home, no?) but keep one eye on him taking a long nap
  • instead of enjoying the (temporary) lull, you wonder if he is ok and worry that he doesn’t seem like himself (and then you tell yourself “Get a grip, girl! He’s been with you for four days! You have NO IDEA what himself is like. Maybe he is actually a cat wannabe and likes long naps.”)

And last, but not the least

  • you come out of the bathroom after doing your business, and you look around expectantly for a treat 😉



We brought home our little guy today. Winston Peanut Narayan.

The girls have been asking for a puppy (and assorted other pets) for years. N has always been supportive and quite ready to become a puppy parent. I have been the one with all the doubts and fears. I finally agreed in December of last year.  It took us another seven months, and finally, here we are on this glorious summer Saturday.

He is 12 weeks old, born on April 22, 2018. The day that my MIL passed away. Which makes him even more super special to me.

I love his sweet face, his innocent trusting eyes. I shed tears when we picked him up and said goodbye to his mother. It pains me that he won’t ever see his mother again. I rubbed her back and whispered to her my promise that we will take good care of her baby.

The girls are beyond thrilled. They have been cuddling him and playing with him the whole day. From what I have been reading, potty training is going to take a few months (at least).  But what’s a little pee and poo in unexpected places in the grand scheme of things, huh?

Wish us luck as we “embark” on this new journey with our little Winnie! 🙂