Tidbits: January 2011

Lately, we’ve introduced the practice of a daily quiz over dinner. Both the kids have dinner with us, so it’s a fun way to engage them in conversation, teach them about interesting things and make learning & quizzing more enjoyable.

The kids take turns to choose the “subject” and also take turns at answering questions.  A few days ago, they chose History. Here’s what happened next…

Papa: Pumpkin, tell me, who is known as the Father of the Nation?

Pumpkin: I know, I know… Gandhi Jayanti ! (Jayanti means birthday celebration)

Papa: Well, you’re close.  It’s not Gandhi Jayanti, but Gandhi ji.

Papa: And, Tiger, what is Gandhiji’s full name?

Tiger: I know this one – it’s Gandhiji Bachwani.

(We’ve been teaching Tiger that every one’s full name in the family is XYZ Bachwani.  So, that’s what he figured!)

Another day, another quiz.  This time, the topic was Birds…

Papa: Tiger, can you name a pretty bird?

Tiger: Yes, a pretty bird is… peacock!

Papa: Very good!  Now, Pumpkin, can you name another pretty bird?

Tiger: (Before Pumpkin could answer) I know, I know… Another peacock!

Now, you know.

Tidbits: October 2010

The “Tidbits” series I started many moons ago, has proved to be very popular among the readers of this blog. With this post, I now introduce little Tiger’s antics to you…

Earlier today, as I was getting ready for work, I saw little Tiger upto some of his naughty antics in my room.  This is what happened next…

Papa: Tiger, which planet have you come from?

Tiger: (Gives me a mischevious smile and points his finger towards the sky!)

Papa: Yes, I know it’s up there.  But, what is it called ?!

Tiger: (almost instantly) Zoo Ba Gaa!

Papa: Really?  Is it a fun planet?  What does it have?

Tiger: Food! (with a lot of emphasis and a big smile on his face!)

Papa: Oh! Sounds fun.  What kind of food?

Tiger: Chinese… And, many other restaurants…

By the way, Tiger just turned 3 last week.

Tidbits: September 2010

A casual conversation at breakfast left me a little stunned.  I was going through the headlines of the local daily, when the following happened…

Pumpkin: Papa, do you know why girls are better than boys?

Papa: Why, Pumpkin?

Pumpkin: I’ll tell you… it’s because of 2 reasons…

Girls go to col-lege
to get know ledge
Boys go to school
to become a fool !


Girls drink pepsi
to be sexy
Boys drink “dudu” (milk)
to become a “buddhu” (fool)

Now, you know.

Tidbits: July 2010


Hidden Treasures

Earlier today, I was helping Pumpkin get ready for school when we began talking about Disneyland.  Now, typically, when we talk of any thing that costs a lot of money, I try to bring in the message that, if we really want something and it costs a lot, we can buy it if we “save” for it.  I should also mention that just a week ago, we’d bought some furniture for the house and had told Pumpkin that mama and papa were saving for a few more pieces of furniture we wanted to bring into the house.  Here’s what happened…

Papa: You know, a lot of parents and children visit Cinderella’s castle in Disneyland?!

Pumpkin: Really?!  I want to go too…

Papa: Sure.  We’ll take both of you there once we’ve saved up enough money to buy us the tickets.

Pumpkin: I hope you start saving soon for it, Papa…

Papa: Sure.  We’ve already started saving for it.  Don’t worry about it.

Pumpkin: Now, please stop saving for all the tables and cupboards so that we can save for Disneyland!

Papa: Don’t worry, Pumpkin.  We’ll save for both Disneyland and the furniture we want to buy…

Pumpkin: (After a slight pause) I think we’ll need to find a cave soon.

Papa: A “cave”?!  What for?

Pumpkin: In case we can’t save enough… Caves have hidden treasures inside them!!!

Now, you know.

He, The Man!

Tiger is now two and a half years old, and has certainly come a long way from the “Small Beginning” he made when he began speaking around a year ago.

It still takes us by surprise that, somewhere in the past one year, his vocabulary shot up so suddenly and significantly that most folks who meet him, find it hard to believe that he’s just two.  It’s almost as if he was accumulating all the words he was listening to, only to explode like a volcano one day with every thing that’s inside!

There are a number of things he says routinely, that are so typical and unique… and special.  Here are some of my favourite examples…

When he’s angry with someone’s behaviour, he’ll come up to them, make his best “angry” face and tell them in a stern voice : “I’m angee with you!

Like Pumpkin, he also can’t pronounce any word that starts with an ‘s’.  So, “school” becomes “cool”, and “stand” becomes“tand”, and so on and so forth.

His favourite animals are dinosaurs, and his favourite movie is Ice Age 3 in which the most “powerful” role is that of the “mama dinosaur”.  So, he’s grown up with the thinking a “mama dinosaur” is the most powerful beast that ever walked this Earth.  And, about 1017 times in a day, he rushes at someone with one of his favourite glow-in-the-dark dinosaur models in his hand, threatening them with the words: “I’m a mama dinosaur, and I’m coming to eat you…

The other day, he observed that he and I are both “boys”, so I gently corrected him saying, “That’s true, but I’m a grown up boy which is called a ‘man’.”  So he clarified, are you a “Papa man”?  I said yes.  He immediately added, “I’m a mama man!” in the voice he uses when he threatens us with “mama dinosaur”!!!

Speaking of grown ups, he struggles with the phrase and always ends up calling them “growm ups” !

Early on in life, he figured out his own name for a sleeveless shirt.  He calls it a “tickle tickle t-shirt” since it’s so much easier to tickle him in his armpits when he’s wearing one of those!

He frequently asks us what is our favourite colour, and God help you if you happen to answer that your favourite colour is something that you’re not wearing on your clothes!  He will argue with you that your favourite colour is not X since you’re wearing Y.  That’s that. (His favourite colour is “blown“, by the way.  Pronounced as “brown” with an “l”)

One of the things I really find amusing is his constant effort to figure out the world around him.  Almost every new thing we show him, or something he encounters by himself, is followed by an innocent question: “It’s for eating?

Whenever we’re watching the TV or a movie, and he sees a really pretty girl on screen, he looks at me or his mama and says, “I like her.  She’s my friend.”  That usually means he’s taken a fancy for this one.  And, I have to admit, it’s always the prettiest thing in the entire cast!

Somewhere along the way, he’s also developed the habit of allowing me to go to office only after he tells me a secret in my ear.  What is it, you ask?  Well, it’s a secret!

Watch this space for more.

Read Also: A Happy Journey

Tidbits: April 2010

If Memory Serves

A little background before this post:  My mom – the kids’ Dadi (i.e. grandma) – lives with us.  She is more than 70 years old and is often forgetful of things that were told to her not so long ago.  One day, on returning home from work, I learned from Pumpkin that Dadi had slipped and lost her balance while she was out walking with her.  Now, sometimes, Pumpkin tends to exaggerate things a bit, so I thought I would clarify, just to be sure.  Here’s how it went:

Pumpkin: Papa, did you know that Dadi fell down today when we were down?!

Papa: Really?

Pumpkin: Yes, papa.  She really slipped and fell.  You can ask her.

Papa: Oh!  And what will she say if I ask her about it?

Pumpkin: She’ll say no. 

Papa: Why would she do that?!

Pumpkin: Papa, you know Dadi doesn’t remember any thing… How will she remember this?!

Now, you know.

Tidbits: January 2010


Growing Up…

I’m one of those parents who believes that children should grow up and be whoever they want to be, irrespective of how their parents feel about what they are capable of.   I also find it fascinating to observe how a child’s mind develops with age and how his/her aspirations change with time.  That is why, every few months or so, I casually ask Pumpkin if she has decided what she’d like to be when she grows up. 

In the past, her answers have included painter, artist and a ballerina.  But, this time, I was taken by surprise!

Papa: Pumpkin, what would you like to be when you grow up?

Pumpkin: I want to be a “birthday person” !

Papa: What’s a “birthday person” ?!

Pumpkin: It’s someone who has a birthday every day, and gets lots of presents and balloons and candy floss… every day!

Pumpkin: Can you imagine that?!

In 2 days, Pumpkin will be 6 years old.

Tidbits: December 2009



Pumpkin loves to be a navigator when we’re in the car, and often provides us with directions based on what she sees the indicator lights do!  As always, I try to encourage her efforts whenever possible…

One day, as my wife was backing the car into our parking slot, Pumpkin started voicing helpful directions asking her to come a little more, little more, little more, stop!  Here’s what happened next:

Papa: Pumpkin, you’ve become an excellent navigator.  Good job!

Pumpkin: That’s because I practice, Papa.  You should also do that!!!

Now, you know.


Ulta Pulta

One Thursday, Pumpkin had a holiday in school on account of their Annual Day celebrations, and ended up waking up early anyway.  Here’s what I overheard during a telephonic conversation between Pumpkin and her grandma, that morning…

Pumpkin: Grandma, you know it’s all “ulta pulta” (topsy turvy)?

Pumpkin: When it’s a school day, and I’m supposed to wake up early, I wake up late.

Pumpkin: And, when it’s a holiday, and I don’t have to get up early, I get up early!

How do you deal with that?!

Li’l Champ

It’s been a while since I wrote about li’l Tiger.

When my book on parenting was first published, all my near and dear ones insisted that “I should do another one for Tiger too!”  And, my reaction was : “It’s not the writing that’s tough, it’s the ‘getting published’ part!”  But, the fact remains that writing about your second child is harder than it seems.

The reasons behind it are many.  For one, it’s so much easier for me, as an adult, to identify with my almost-six-year-old who has impeccable communication skills and a much-advanced intellectual development (naturally!) than my two-year-old who has just started on that road.  There’s also the fact that every thing was so new and interesting when it first happened… I end up wondering whether or not readers of this blog will enjoy reading similar experiences written about another child, the second time around?

Be that as it may, Tiger is a unique individual who faces the world in his own distinctive way.  So, starting today, I’m going to make an effort to blog about him, as often as I can…

Over the past few months, Tiger has gone from “pointing to something and grunting for it” to “trying to name the object in broken speech” to “constructing complex sentences that are almost grammatically sound”.  Sure, he still has difficulties with some of the sounds that all kids his age would.  But he’s getting better at it, and fast!  Not to mention, he’s equally fluent in English and Hindi.

By nature, Tiger is one of the naughtiest and most adorable babies I have ever encountered.  Full of beans, he doesn’t tire of energy till the time he retires for the night.  He can never get enough of his mama.  And, he can never have enough of repeating what his “Pumpkin didi” says or does, which drives her nuts and provides wholesome entertainment for the rest of us.

Tiger is an outdoor baby.  He’s always ready for what he excitedly refers to as “drive-drive”, and enjoys watching the world go by his window, like a happy puppy in the car.  He really makes the most of his trips to the garden, and wants to accompany any member of the house, every time any one is going down!

Earlier today, he participated in his playschool’s Annual Sports Day, where he was among the youngest participants of them all.  His batch – the Yellow group – participated in two races: Obstacle Race and Socks Matching Race.  True to his nature, he gave it his all and had a lot of fun along the way.  By the end of it, he’d come first in one race and second in the other!

Too young to even understand the concept of “winning a race”, he was happy to be handed shiny packed gifts, every once in a while, by the organizers.  As a parent, I was, naturally, happy to see that my child had won.  But more than the victory in the race, I’m even prouder of the way my li’l champ has turned out…

Tidbits: October 2009


Simply the best!

One day, at the dining table, Pumpkin decided to share her learnings on shopping…

Pumpkin: You know, Papa, I saw some ads on TV that showed three Barbie sets.

Papa: Really?!

Pumpkin: And you know, what?  It is now possible to buy them!

Pumpkin: When you buy something, you should only buy the best… like I bought the best papa!


How much do my feet weigh?

One fine evening, on returning from a tiring day at work…

Pumpkin: Papa, do you know how much my feet weigh?

Papa: No, tell me!

Pumpkin: 20 (kilos)

Papa: How do you know that?!

Pumpkin: In the evening, I stood with my feet on that weighing scale, and it showed me “20”!


Now, you know!