SMILES







Sharing few of the oodles of fun my daughter and I indulge in.

Queen of the Jungle

Posted by: Chetana Katpally on: ● May 10, 2012

This week my daughter’s class theme is “King/Queen of the Jungle”! Each child is involved in an activity everyday that will honour him or her and help the class to get to know a little more about their special classmate. So Wednesday’s theme was Parent Letter. Parents have to write a letter to the class telling them how special their child is to them. The content can be funny, silly, serious, poetic, things that class did not know about their special classmate. Well, my daughter insisted I do an acrostic of her name – ANSHULA. So here below is what I wrote to her class. :)

Random Musings ….or is it word-i-cal?

Posted by: Chetana Katpally on: ● November 8, 2011

I got caught up with a few things lately and not being able to come to a conclusion I decided to blog a few of my child’s opinions hoping to free my mind and keep smiling :). Here they are:

1. One day while we were driving and eagerly waiting to get home she said, “Road is a large part of land that never ends”. :)

2. It always amazes me how kids enjoy a variety of fruity and sour candy. To me the only best candy is Peanut M&M’s or any candy with peanuts. Last week she forced me to taste some sour candy she had collected while trick or treating. I asked her how can she enjoy fruity and sour candy. In reply she said, “Food is food and you cannot change it”.

3. This one is the best. I was explaining her the various nouns we use while addressing family members from both sides in the Indian culture as opposed to cousin/aunt/uncle/grandpa/grandma in english. She took a mathematical approach while using the appelations in the family hierarchy. I am glad my teachings for over an year are paying off. Happily I said, isn’t it mathematical and logical? In response she added “AND WORD-I-CAL”. 😀 Although she realises that it is not a word, we were quite amused and together we laughed repeating “Mathematical, Logical and Wordical”. 😀

Perhaps I must also say magical, as it does free my mind. :)

Fairly Odd Parents and my progression on the roller coaster rides

Posted by: Chetana Katpally on: ● June 14, 2011

The past weekend was our first day at Kings Island this season. It has been our summer weekend hangout place for 3 years now. For those of you who didn’t know, Kings Island held the record for the world’s tallest, fastest looping wooden roller coaster named as the the “Son of Beast” from 2000 – 2006. The loop was eliminated in 2006 but it still remained the tallest and fastest wooden coaster until 2009.

Well, back to my story, these three years my progression to get over the fear of rides has been very slow although I ride along with my daughter only to get off feeling very sick. But this season, my daughter encouraged me saying that unlike the previous years I would enjoy the rides and will not be fearful at all. I wasn’t sure if it was the magic of Disney or something else that prompted her to say it. Whatever it was, felt very good to hear it from her.

Below is our conversation over the years that indicates how have I progressed –


@ 5 Years

@ 6 Years

@ 7 Years

Her: Mamma when can I get on the big rides?

Me: When you grow up a little more

Her: When I grow up I can enjoy those rides with my friends!!

Me: Don’t you want mamma to join you on the rides?

Her: Mamma, you will be too old to join me on the rides!!

Me: (Dank!!! She already thinks I am old. I will change her opinion)

Her: Mamma I want to get on the Fairly Odd Parents roller coaster. Can you come with me please?

Me: Sure!! (Sounding excited to make her happy while trying to muster all the courage I could and hide my fears to make it enjoyable for her)

Her: We will sit in the front car

Me: Can we pick something in between?

Her: No, I want to be in the front!!

Me: SURE!!!! (My courage slowly slipping at the thought of being seated in the first car. NO!! I cannot let myself looking scared in front of her. I hope she doesn’t figure out!)

Her: I am going to lift my arms and enjoy the ride

Me: SURE!!!! (Do I have anything better to say at this time?)

Me: (As the ride started downwards from the highest point, I could only hear myself scream and clench my fists to not to scream but was absolutely useless. Darn!! I messed it up.)

Her: Mamma, I want to go on this ride again……ALL BY MYSELF!

Me: You don’t want mamma to join you?

Her: No!

Me: Please!! Let me join you. I promise I will not to scream and look scared

Her: OK!!

Me: (HA!! She is so nice) Smile

Me: (After the second round) Did I do better?

Her: A little.

Me: Can you go on the roller coaster rides all by yourself? You are now 7 yrs. old.

Her: No mamma. I want you to come with me. Don’t worry, you will be fine and I am sure you will enjoy the rides this time.

Me: Sure! I will join you. (And the ride felt much smoother than in the past and we merrily rode 3 times on it back-to-back)   Smile

I am surely progressing, aren’t I? Smile

A Letter to President Obama

Posted by: Chetana Katpally on: ● May 4, 2011

At school all the kids had to write a letter to President Obama and each kid was allowed to ask three questions. Unlike the past, I do not want to assume that this is a pretend letter writing as “Flat Stanley” on his world tour (A cardboard cutout of Stanley mailed out to diff Geo locations) ended up at my parents residence in India. Well, I shall find out from her teacher if these letters really went to the White House for the president’s perusal. So, here are the three questions my daughter had asked:

1.       How many people do you meet in a day?

2.       How much work do you get done in a day?

3.       How smart are you? (Although she told me today that she had eliminated a portion of the question as she did not have enough space to fill in. So the eliminated portion was “……to answer difficult questions”)

I was stunned by her third question and asked what prompted her to ask that question. In response she said: “he is the president and is trying to make the world a better place. So I wanted to know how he answers difficult questions”. :)

A Wednesday!!!

Posted by: Chetana Katpally on: ● March 24, 2011

Yesterday I was fasting all day and was also acting animated as I was very hungry.  With that said, I am going to narrate something that may or may not tickle your funny bone.

 I needed to reset my TV to factory settings as I had forgotten the account I had used to register it to personalize the internet TV. So I called the Sony Customer Support asking them to reset my TV so that I can re-register on the support site. The tech support was showing me all their technical chops to resolve my issue. As they proceeded, I thought “what a day, its A Wednesday” and randomly my thoughts trailed off to think about the movie – A Wednesday. I was trying to personify one of the characters Naseeruddin Shah or Anupam Kher. I didn’t know which one until our conversation slowly began. Just as the lead protagonists in the movie had their own agenda, I had my own agenda/plot – Reset my TV. I knew that reset is the only option as I had done my research to resolve it (I could be Naseeruddin Shah, the one with the plan), the Sony tech support could be Anupam Kher as they were currently figuring out what needs to be done to resolve the issue without the need for a reset (Sony Tech support is against my idea). I grew tired of trying to explain to them that I have been thru this technical process and the ONLY option is to reset it. They would not accept my idea and were trying to buy more time like Anupam Kher, giving me unsolicited advice.  As I was jelling with the idea of being Naseeruddin Shah, I told them that should their advice not work, I shall be calling back again in oh so….minutes. Well, though Shah eats lunch during that time, I could not eat as I was fasting and the only option to cool down was to take a power nap. So I took a power nap and called Sony Support again. I repeated my request tersely like Shah and finally the tech support conceded and without further questions had reset the TV. Did Shah win? HA, I win. Well, I got what I wanted and now I can stream movies from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and toy around with all the widgets on my TV. I lived the entire movie in a few moments. I was certainly acting animated while fasting all day. What a day? A Wednesday!! :)

Human vs Machine!!!

Posted by: Chetana Katpally on: ● February 14, 2011

Have you ever noticed a child being calm, confused and scared when mom – the mightiest and invincible machine, falls sick? :)  As I put my daughter to sleep today I was reminiscing the conversation we had about me being sick when she was about 5 years old. I said to her then that just as our car needs a regular maintenance to function properly, mamma too needs rest to work better. And when I fall sick, the body is telling us that it is time mamma takes care of herself to take care of her baby again :) . Then it seemed appropriate to elucidate in this manner which helped allay her fears. Perhaps an unwittingly smart reply it was to convince a child that young.

Connection between Santa and lunch!!!

Posted by: Chetana Katpally on: ● February 3, 2011

Every parent someday has to deal with the question, “Is Santa real?” My daughter made it easy for me by realizing it herself. How did she do it? Here is a short story – My daughter is a slow eater and doesn’t ever finish her lunch on time although she makes sure that other kids finish their lunch (Now you know she is busy talking and watching other kids). Very funny!!! :) So, for last Christmas I decided to write her a letter on Santa’s behalf hoping that it would convince her to eat fast. She did quite good for two months but perhaps got tired of the routine. So our conversation went on like this yesterday –

Me: Did you finish lunch?

Her: I ate 3 bites of fries, 2 bites of dessert and half a slice of pizza.

Me: (I love how honest kids can be. So what am I to do when she is telling me the truth…..cannot be mad at her either) Mamma is not happy. What about Santa? Don’t you think he is watching?

Her:  Santa is not real!

Me: (Stumped – thinking another one of my ideas is down the drain :-o) How do you know?

Her: Hello! I am not a kid anymore. I have seen so many Santa’s so far that each looks different. They are wearing a mask.

Me: You really think Santa is not real? (Slowly trying to accept the loss of an idea and accommodating to her logical perceptions)

 Her: Had Santa been real he would only have had one face. Besides, people don’t climb the roof to enter the house sliding down the chimney. They knock the door and enter thru the door. And don’t you see the birds in the sky? Reindeers are not birds, so they don’t fly. If all of this is not real then it cannot be true that they live in the north pole.

Me: OK. Santa is not real. But mamma is upset since you did not eat lunch.

Her: I ate a little bit. I do not like to eat fast. It is not a race.

Me: (Completely tongue-tied, wondering what to do to make her eat fast. Situation analysis – down with the task of dealing if Santa’s real, loss of an idea and task of making her eat fast is invariably at the forefront. I am running out of ideas)

 All the parents out there, any ideas you could share or experiences perhaps!!!   :)

A vacation for just the two…

Posted by: Chetana Katpally on: ● November 30, 2010

Our very first, just the girls, Disney World – FL was the magical vacation for us. As nervous as I was about the trip, I was equally excited about vacationing with my daughter. We visited the four Disney theme parks, Downtown Disney and SeaWorld. Away from the monotonous routine of everyday life, we spent some valuable time eating unhealthy food and spoiling ourselves. Although it was very tiring to go around the parks on a tight schedule, it was in every way precious as every moment was filled with SMILES :). At 6 years, I thought the time was just right to take her to Disney so that she could feel and enjoy the magical theme. As I tried to teach her a few things along the way, she conversed saying “It’s true, I know” while adding her version to it. I was moderately confused thinking how high should I raise the bar. This vacation also helped me learn a lot about her. I was very surprised to see my bashful daughter come out and dance, hulahoop, talk to the animal conservationists, find out which among the wet zone was the complete soak zone only to get soaked when Shamu – The Killer Whale splashes the water. We hula-hooped together and were cheered by many. We rode bikes and tried to fish. Hoping to hook a worm as bait I hooked my finger instead… :) ouch! ouch! and decided that fishing is not my sport. She was very excited to lose her first tooth at SeaWorld just before getting on the ride – The Journey to Atlantis. I don’t like roller coaster rides and apparently I rode along as she did not want to ride alone, or she is not allowed to ride alone for her age. I was happy to be taken care of by my daughter when I fell sick on one of those rides. I can go on narrating the endless fun and precious moments we had but to all the parents out there I would like to share something I have learnt: 

  1. Make sure you get the correct pricing on every item your kid is prying for so that you don’t get heavily billed.
  2. Put a logical thought ahead of your child if he/she tries to manipulate you into buying them something. Because saying NO is very disappointing on a vacation. Remember how you’ve felt during your childhood vacations.
  3. Vacations are a very good time to teach your child how money can/should be used and that liking is one thing and buying is another.
  4. Don’t forget to lay the ground rules. :)

Dreams and Days

Posted by: Chetana Katpally on: ● April 20, 2010

Late last year, on one of those pleasant days, I asked my child about her dreams and if she had any lately…err…then. She said “No”. When I asked her why not, the little philosophical smart said “Mammaaa, dreams go like dreams and days go like days”. Perhaps she heard the line during her Language/Arts class. We exchanged our perspectives about it and were quite interesting. While a lot can be interpreted from that saying, I started to wonder if this kid is already trying to differentiate between reality and illusion. However, the words were engaging and paved a way for introspection. As I once said to myself, I am really living it – Growing with her again. :)

Soap Crayons

Posted by: Chetana Katpally on: ● March 29, 2010

Kids love to paint their world in color, especially pink if it is a girl. Any stretch of white paper is not enough. Since I strictly prohibited my child from scribbling on the walls she chose to scribble with the crayons in the bathtub and on the tiled wall. Wow!! quite a comfortable space! she might have thought. Water, Bubbles and Color. Less did I know that she was adding a chore to an insurmountable list I have. Just about the time when she turned 4, I read about soap crayons. Great Idea!!! So I brought the pink mould, pink washable color and soap to make her the “Pink Heart Shaped SOAP Crayons”. She was very excited to use them since I wouldn’t stop her from scribbling anymore on her chosen turf. And I was equally excited to knock the chore off of my list. HA! HA! 😉 😀