Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Annoying boy!

Yesterday , N asked me during lunch , “Mama , can we get married at the age of 21 years?”. I didn’t understand the purpose of her question.  Thinking it was related to something she was reading about, I answered “yes’.
“Why are you asking me this question?” I asked her curiously.
“I’m making this book about a girl’s life, from birth to 10 years, to 19 years and so, I wanted to know if she can get married at 21 years old”. she asked me so innocently.
I looked at her collage that she was creating, of cartoons of a girl, The paper was divided into a grid and there were illustrations drawn in each of the box with a heading. The first one read ‘born’ and the next read ‘at 10 years’. It was of a kid sitting in a chair in the classroom raising her hand, trying to get the attention of the teacher. The teacher’s picture was small while the girl in the chair, hers looked big.  I told her, “the little girl looks bigger than the teacher”.
“That’s because the teacher is far away and the girl is closer”, she said.
The next box, had the heading of 19 years old and there was like a conference table with chairs around and people sitting around it. There was also a teacher at the board talking to the group. The girl was supposed to be in college. The illustration in this box looked so detailed. I told her, “this is very good”.
I asked her, “Is the name of the girl by any chance N? Is her last name P?” She answered “yes”.
The next box, was that of the girl getting married. The triplets had been watching our wedding pictures that morning. There is this part of the wedding where the bride and groom are made to sit in front of each other but, for the curtain between them. They are not allowed to see each others’ face until the auspicious ceremony when the paste of tamarind and jaggery is glued on the bride’s head and the grooms'.
This sticky paste is supposed to signify our life after marriage, that, there will be sweet and sour moments and we should deal with them and move on. Yes! Indian weddings, especially south Indian weddings, are a very messy affair for the couple getting married.  By the end of the wedding , the bride and groom are smeared with first the sticky paste, then comes the haldi (uncooked rice mixed with saffron), and then the red kumkum and rice as blessing for the bride and groom by each of the guests who come on the podium to wish the new couple.
Of all the pictures that N watched that morning..that picture where there is a curtain in between the bride and the groom caught N’s attention. That’s how she drew her wedding picture.  Then the next picture was of a hospital setting where the mother is on the bed and a baby is in her arms. So cutely, she told me, ‘this is the picture I love the most “.  “I love the face of the mother , she looks so nice”. The mother that she drew in the picture indeed had a very beautiful smile.
I asked her, “Is that a boy baby or a girl baby?”
She proudly answered,” I’m going to predict that it is going to be a boy baby and a very annoying boy.”
All of us at the table burst out laughing at this.
The next picture was of the mother lying in the bed..with her hand folded under her head and a crib beside the bed with a baby in it. The heading said “resting”.  Wow! I didn’t know I made  the job of mothering my kids seem so easy..It feels like “Resting” to her. 
Also, now I know why she had been asking me “ can we find a job when we are 42 years old? How will I find a job? How will I find a teacher’s job? ” She wants to be a kindergarten teacher.
I then enlightened her about looking for advertisements either on the internet or the newspapers in a section called the ‘Jobs’. That was the last picture in the collage. It showed the girl shaking hands with another person. That was N’s picture of being at work, that, one needs shaking hands with your colleagues. Maybe from her memory of the day she and her sisters, spent with her dad at his work place on “take your kids to work” day.
All in all, that was such a beautiful collage and it made me happy to know that she had college, education, marriage, kids, and then finding a job on her agenda.
edited_IMG_0001_neha's drawing


As I was putting the clothes in the dryer this morning, Richa was being less than helpful with me. There is a deal between us when she catches me doing laundry, that shewill  hand me the clothes from the washer and I put them in the dryer or air dry it as I find it fit.  This I found is much easier to get my work done than asking her to let mama do it. As usual she insisted on taking the clothes from the washer and putting them into the dryer. But, this morning she wasn’t letting me open the door of the dryer and pulling out more clothes than she could handle from the washer. I became mad with her and told her, “That’s to bad Richa, you are messing up the clean clothes”.

By habit, she told me..”I’m sorry mama”  She is so easy about apologizing which I love about her.  When I get mad with her, she apologizes immediately and insists that she hug me as tight as possible expecting me to reciprocate. Actually for her size and age, the hug that she gives me is so tight..that she puts all her strength that her tiny body can collect into the hug..I love those hugs. However mad I am with her,  the hug does the trick.

I was still being mad at her since she didn’t show any change in her behavior.

Told her..”what does your sorry mean? you are doing all this purposefully”

“Perfectly?” Richa repeated after me..asking me what it meant.

I said “No! purposefully.”

she tried to repeat the words after me..”purfoly”

As I continued doing what I was ,….she started singing a tune with the words ..”awfully, purfoly, ofully posfully perfully…”

Friday, June 25, 2010

Thanks to the Internet

Where would we be without Google or Wiki or Bing or the many other engines that are available now? How else would I be able to answer the zillions questions that the children pose to me every day and make myself look like a mom who knows everything. If there was no internet, I would have had to resort to answers like Calvin’s dad used to give him to his curious questions. For a few of those questions that Calvin bugged his dad with…read on……


Calvin: How come old photographs are always black and white? Didn’t they have color film back then?

Dad: Sure they did. In fact, those old photographs are in color. It’s just that the world was black and white then. The world didn’t turn color until sometime in the 1930s, and it was pretty grainy color for a while, too.

Calvin: But then why are old paintings in color?! If the world was black and white, wouldn’t artists have painted it that way?

Dad: Not necessarily. A lot of great artists were insane.

Calvin: But… But how could they have painted in color anyway? Wouldn’t their paints have been shades of gray back then?

Dad: Of course, but they turned colors like everything else did in the ’30s.

Calvin: So why didn’t old black and white photos turn color too?

Dad: Because they were color pictures of black and white, remember?

Calvin: Why does the sun set?

Dad: It’s because hot air rises. The sun’s hot in the middle of the day, so it rises high in the sky. In the evening then, it cools down and sets.

Calvin: Why does it go from east to west?

Dad: Solar wind.

Calvin: Why does the sky turn red as the sun sets?

Dad: That’s all the oxygen in the atmosphere catching fire.

Calvin: Where does the sun go when it sets?

Dad: The sun sets in the west. In Arizona actually, near Flagstaff. That’s why the rocks there are so red.

Calvin: Don’t the people get burned up?

Dad: No, the sun goes out as it sets. That’s why it’s dark at night.

Calvin: Doesn’t the sun crush the whole state as it lands?

Dad: Ha ha, of course not. Hold a quarter up. See, the sun’s just about the same size.

Calvin: I thought I read that the sun was really big.

Dad: You can’t believe everything you read, I’m afraid.

Calvin: Dad, will you explain the theory of relativity to me? I don’t understand why time goes slower at great speed.

Dad: It’s because you keep changing time zones. See, if you fly to California, you gain three hours on a five-hour flight, right? So if you go at the speed of light, you gain more time, because it doesn’t take as long to get there. Of course, the theory of relativity only works if you’re going west.
Calvin: Why do my eyes shut when I sneeze?

Dad: If your lids weren’t closed, the force of the explosion would blow your eyeballs out and stretch the optic nerve, so your eyes would flop around and you’d have to point them with your hands to see anything.
Calvin: How do bank machines work?

Dad: Well, let’s say you want 25 dollars. You punch in the amount and behind the machine there’s a guy with a printing press who makes the money and sticks it out this slot.

Calvin: Sort of like the guy who lives up in our garage and opens the door?

Dad: Exactly.
Calvin: What causes the wind?

Dad: Trees sneezing.
Calvin: Why does ice float?

Dad: Because it’s cold. Ice wants to get warm, so it goes to the top of liquids to be nearer to the sun.

Calvin: Is that true?

Dad: Look it up and find out.

Calvin: I should just look up stuff in the first place.
Calvin: How come you know so much?

Dad: It’s all in the book you get when you become a father.

I am in awe of the creativity of Calvin's dad (with Bill Watterson) for coming up with such answers. The internet has made most of us lazy parent’s. We’ve hit the snooze on our creativity. Otherwise, parenting is a situation that screams of creativity, in any form.

Thanks to Google and Wiki and many other such search sites..I just have to type in the question to get a valid valid and the most valid answer. The above clip of Calvin and Hobbes were also found thanks to my vague memory of the questions and the search engine clarifying it for me. We don’t need to remember anything now-a-days.

The stage of a donkey's life

Today, in the morning for a good reason my husband remembered a story that his mom used to tell him and he to me. It was not the first time I had heard it but, always love to hear that again and again like a kid. Its a story with so much depth and it can sound so funny, the way my husband narrate's it. After you have finished laughing, the mind is still pondering on it.

Here's the story:
It seems that initially god gave 40 years of lifespan to each of the man, the dog, the donkey , and the monkey. The dog, donkey and monkey felt that 40 years of life was too much for them. What were they going to do with it? While man said..40 years is too short for me for a life, I need more. So, god took 20 years of life each from the donkey, the dog and the monkey and gave it to the man. It is said that one lives a life of a human being up until they are 40 years. You are doing everything for yourself. You take care of yourself, you look good. No responsibilities.

At 40 years man enters the donkey's stage of life. Until he is 60 years, he is said to be in this stage. He slogs like a donkey during this period, working hard for his kids..educating them, raising them, getting them a decent education so, they will be able to support themselves later, is worried about getting his kids married and settled. No where during this period he had time to care for himself. This is supposed to be the peak time of a man's life when it comes to responsibilities.

At 60 years, he enters the stage of a dog's life where he is almost retired and home most of the time. Like a loyal dog, he is guarding the house for his children, taking care of his grandchildren. He is in this stage until he is 80.

At 80 years, he enters the stage of a monkey's life. Have you seen a monkey sitting vacant, turning their heads this way and that, starring around, scratching his head, moving their empty jaws and have nothing to do. Well, that's the stage the man is in until he passes away.

Last night as he was talking to his parents like every other night..He was telling his mom.."Mom, I will officially be entering the stage of the donkey in another 2 months." He said this profound statement in such levity.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I am a doctor

As I took Richa to have her breakfast this morning she didn’t seem to be interested.

“Mama, I don’t want to have cereal or bread, I want to have chocolate.”

“No Richa, you cannot have chocolate.” I said, trying not to given in to her demands.

“Mama, we have them ober there…” Pointing up to the cabinet and making a square sign with her hands trying to make me understand what she means.

I told her..”Yes Richa, I know we have chocolate over there..but, I cannot give you the chocolate now. You will have to have your breakfast. Would you like to have a bagel?”

“No , I don’t want to have bagel. You can do it, Mama…Come on! Come on!...You just have to jump up like this and get it. “ She jumped and showed me how to do it.

I once again told her that I will not be giving her the chocolate.

“ Lets have a tiny bagel with duddu”. I said.

She agreed and I toasted and put a bagel and a glass of milk for her.

As Richa sat down at the table to have her glass of milk. She heard a buzzing sound. She turned around to find a fly hovering very close to her..She screamed. I shooed the fly and brought a towel, found the fly at the door and hit it with the towel.

The fly fell down. She found that the fly was not moving. She turned to me and asked.

“Why did you beat the fly, mama? Why did you make the fly red? Look , it’s not moving”

“Because, you didn’t want the fly to be in the house.” I replied.

She turns to the fly, “Are you ok fly..? Are you ok..?” she said. Still scared as she approached the fly, hoping it will not fly to her. I opened the patio door and threw the fly outside..The fly just turned around and flew away. It made her happy to find the fly was ok after all.

Realizing that she is not going to finish her breakfast,I wanted to go upstairs for a Tylenol since I was having some bad stomach cramps and couldn’t afford to be sick today as I had arranged for a play date and sleepover for my kids with their friends.

As we were walking upstairs..Richa bumped slightly against the wall. I turned to look at her. She had a white scratch..on her legs.

“ Are you OK Richa?”

She turned to me and said..”Look mama, I am bleeding!!! I am bleeding white.”

“Can you wipe my bleeding white, mama?”

“Ok Richa”

Reaching for the Tylenol , I had my dose and she was as curious about it as possible. I walked out of the bathroom needed to lay on the bed unable to bear the cramps. Richa came over to me and asked..

“Are you sick mama? Are you sick?’ I replied “yeah”

Kauvya just entered the room.

“Look, my mama is sick” she informed Kauvya.

“That’s not your mama”

After a little bit of thought

“ok, its’ your mama too is sick”

“Are you sick mama? Say you are sick? “ Richa insisted.

“Yeah..Richa , my tummy hurts.” I replied.

She looked at me for some time and then told me..I will bring some bubbles and cream for you.

What was that..I have heard of cookies and cream but what was this? What was she up too, I wondered? After a few curious moments she returned with a bottle of Bandage foaming wash.

She moved my shirt up and squirted some foam onto my tummy and rubbed it.

"PERFECT!!!" she said.

I couldn’t help and burst out laughing….

“Don’t fun, mama. It is not funny, Be qui-ete”, she said to me very seriously.

Then she told me the obvious....”I am a doctor”.

How could I not laugh at this? She looked at my arm and exclaimed looking at the green veins..”Look mama, you got a se-men (for seven :-) ) hurt”

“Mama, this is not going to is just soap, ok” She squirted some more foam on my arm and told me.

“I told you..its’ not going to hurt”

After that, she continued to find stripe hurt and square hurt on my arms. I was booked as her patient until she got distracted into something else. By the time I was allowed to move away from there my tummy ache had vanished.

What a great doctor?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fruits of exposing my kids to art already showing..

After we had been singing Raga Bhupali together…N asked me if I was a fan of Swagata Aunt y (their Music and Kathak teacher). I said “yes, she sings so beautifully . so, I guess, I am a fan of her’s”.
She replied “I’m also going to be a fan of my kid’s music teacher when I send my kid to learn music”.
I reminded her, “why will you have to send your kid to learn music from another teacher, you will be teaching them yourself”.
“Remember, that I send you to a teacher because I didn’t get to learn classical music. Since you are learning music, you will know a lot of it by the time your kid needs to learn music. “
She smiled and said…”right mama, you are teaching us to swim because you know how to swim”.
I smiled “right”.

In that tiny head of hers, she has already made up her mind that her kids are going to be learning music. She loves it so much. Even though all the three of the girls love music, N’s passion for it wins by a notch. It’s a pleasure to hear all the three of them sing. All of them sing so beautifully, and each of their voice has a different characteristic. K’s is very soft and sweet like a bird’s. P's is thicker and a bit raspy which sounds very nice when she takes higher notes. N’s is a blend of all of this. Her voice stand’s out among the three when they sing together. All of them love to practice the Raga’s and don’t have to do long practice sessions because they catch the notes fast and thanks to modern gizmo’s where you can have their class sessions on i pods and hear it on the move. The only thing they have to practice at home is playing it on the keyboard.

The music teacher feels they should not be listening to movie song’s to keep their interest in classical music alive. On the contrary, I find the kids listening to movie songs and show genuine interest in classical music too. Maybe, it is because the Raga has been systematically taught to them and they can sing the whole thing, but, movie songs are self taught and their Hindi is not so perfect yet. So, they are not able to mouth them as effortlessly as the Raga’s and Bhajans they are learning.

The summer break is going to provide them with time to spend on the English songs as well. To catch up with songs of Miley Cyrus or Taylor Swift’s ‘U belong to me’. I was surprised to know that they know the words of most of the popular songs. The girl who took me most by surprise is K who seems to know most of the words of these songs and their tunes. During the school year, they haven’t been hearing these songs since they didn’t have time for it.

This is one thing that I am proud of myself to be passing it on to my kids. And I know this is going to continue through generations as it has done until now.

A little push.

That is all one needs to start. For me, I just need to get to the Gym and then I’ll be fine. I will complete my workout and feel happy that I did it. Have more energy throughout the day. Also feel sure that next day I’ll be there for more. Then when its time for work out the next day, I start to find umpteen reasons why I can’t go. Why do I need to be at the gym..why not home? Well, sometimes I do end up working out at home, but I prefer to be at the gym. There is an energy at the gym when you see the other people working out, some hard and some not so hard. Its very contagious. They inspire you to do your best. And if you have access to a gym like the one I go to, that’s inspiration enough.

Recently there was an article in the wall street journal on how a little nudge from either an alarm clock or a friend calling to work out together has made people workout more than they would normally. For me, surely the alarm clock is not the way to go, or wait, maybe, it could be!.. Imagine, being reminded everyday by a clock that you are not working out and after a while you will end up going to your workout at least due to the guilt factor. When I was young, my father had been my inspiration..he was the one who taught me to swim and the one who got me into yoga. The school did the next step by having a yoga drill at just the right age to test your flexibility. I was amazed at mine. There was no stopping after that. Now-a-days, My husband and kids are my inspiration. I want to stay active for them. The kids love to see us play active games with them. I try to put in a minimum of 4 hours of strenuous workout in a week.

We all know the importance of exercising. I wish it was easier done than said. Last year, Pavan was home in the winter…it was one of the best times we had in a long long time. I used to go to work out to the gym for 4 hours every day and pavan would go to his. An hour and a half of Yoga followed by swimming. Perfect!! Especially, the vinyasa yoga regime can get your heart rate so high and stretch you up well for the swim. The power yoga routine and the vinyasa routine, they have at the gym I go to, is awesome. By the time one finishs, we’ve done so many push ups, we don’t need to have a separate routine for weights. I’m still a long way from doing the 108 surya namaskars. That’s going to take a bit more than 1.5 hours to complete. Its' surely, something I’m going to work on this summer.

When it is time to swim, the feeling of the first lap in the water…the water is cool (about 81 deg, well below your body temp), have to just let my body loose and feel the water. Once that’s done, the water actually feels good. And by the time I’m thorough 25% of the workout, I can feel the difference in the temperature of my body. My body is way warmer than when I started. The cool water doesn’t feel cool enough. That’s the reason they keep the lap pools cooler than the other pools (therapy or kids pool). Then after about the first 20 laps…the body gets into this rhythm and feels like I can just continue going beyond the 55 laps that I do, except for the time factor. Another reason that pulls me to go to swim is the fresh feeling I come back with. Many times, that’s the reason I pulled myself to swim. Everybody has a nudge that pushes them to go and work out. What is yours?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

From 'No Samanna No' to Today

Yeah, seems a weird title. 'No Samanna No' was an article I read from a blog about 10 years ago. It was about a little 1-2 year old toddler and the mom’s interpretation of the baby’s mind as the baby was reaching out for things in the house. At the time we were planning on parenthood and any article that was on a baby was interesting reading material for me. All the pranks of the baby seemed cute. Every time the mother was saying “No , Samanna No!!” I Loved it.

I did not know the concept of a child safe house. Although we did have 2 pets and our house was pet safe. But the reach of a crawling or toddling baby is far more than a pet’s. The child safety required was of another level, or another planet. That disjoint from parenthood was our knowledge, needs etc.

Then, we got pregnant with 3 babies all at once. The most common comment I got at the baby shower at work was “Instant family uh!”. Then we had the babies. They came one by one from the hospital after what felt like a loooooooong time. Just one tiny thing in a car seat, that just needed to be fed every hour or whatever, brought about so much commotion in the house with 4 adults. That was the day when our house started to have a different look. Everything changed. There used to be a living room that was neat and now it was scattered with a bouncer, some bottles, diapers handy to reach. Then the next baby came and the next..A room full of cribs and bouncers and kitchen full of bottles to wash and sanitize. Baby toys appeared. It was so scary to walk in the night...lest something squeaked under our foot. People were so generous in giving us stuff, way more than our house could accommodate. Then the kids started to crawl. Until then, I was waiting for them to crawl and move. Once they started, I realized how child unsafe the house was. They crawled to our room from theirs and they would pull out all the stuff from the shelves that didn't have doors and closets, throw phones in the potty trying to flush it, pull out all the wipes from the warmer. Soon that house seemed full and we needed a bigger place. We found another place in a matter of a month and were able to move into it in another 3 months.

At the time PNK were not even 2 years old, and they got a lot of area to run around and a yard to play in. Got new friends. Didn't buy any tables for the family room as i didn't want the toddlers bumping into any of them. Basically, no extra furniture than needed. During this time, I had come across this article written by a stay at home dad who was managing 4 kids at home. One point that he mentioned made lot of sense to me. That, it is not going to work if we keep shouting “No” to the kid. The kid is not wired to understand a ‘No’ to be a ‘No’. So, if we want that the kid not touch something, it would be better if we picked that up and kept it out of the kid’s reach instead of shouting ‘No’ to the kid and get frustrated that the kid doesn't listen. It did need an extra effort from us to do that. But, always remembered to do that from that day on. It did make life much easier for the kids and me until now.
Today, Richa is the toddler but, I have 3 other half moms to her at home whose names are Pooja, Neha and Kauvya. They don’t know this concept and they generously help her get her hands on things that she is not allowed to reach. Now, 10 years later, I am back to the spot where I’m saying ‘No Richa No’. She is carrying Hobbes as he is shedding so much hair and she says to me “look mom, Hobbes is hugging me”. So cute. But,I can’t keep him out of her reach and I can't make her Didi's understand how to Parent.

Kids!! What's in it for me?

Recently, I was reading an article from the wall street journal saying how the perspective of parenting has changed in the modern times. In earlier times, the kids were considered as economic assets while today, the parents make personal and financial sacrifices and cannot expect anything from the kids. Today the young kids get the TV for themselves. Even my 3 year old daughter is in total control of the remote. She will only have NOGin running. Then as they grow, they do little to help us and when they are older, they don't find time for us.

The other day as we were playing tag with the kids in the yard and an elder couple who are friends of ours, were going on a walk. Walking past our yard they stopped by seeing us play. They have 2 boys in the age of 20+. During our talk, the lady mentioned that their boys find it difficult to spend some extra time with the parents. They had a family event, in which the boys took part and later in the day when the mom suggested that they go to a movie together, the boys refused saying they need their own time now. It just broke her heart. She was telling us to enjoy our times now that the kids love our company, later, its going to be lone time.

Right now, the stage where we are in parenting, we just want them to grow up to be healthy and responsible citizens. That they do well in their studies and go to college. Be able to stand on their feet. Don't miss out on anything in their lives. But, only time will say, how well we will take the situation when our kids will leave us and go. Hopefully, from what I have experienced and seen around, girls do tend to be closer to their parents (mom or dad or both). Its summer time and I see many girls who are back for summer break going for walks with their moms..hopefully, I'll be able to strike a cord with my kids that they will want to spend time with me or give value to our advice.

Not digressing from the article, it mentioned that since people value their happiness and money, the only way people are trying to win over this modern parenting problem, is by avoiding to have children which explains the fertility. US being the only country in the western world, whose rate of replacement of children is around what is needed. It is 2.09 children while the world's rate is 2.56 children and needed rate of replacement is 2.1 children.
The statistics says that childless couples are more happy then couples with children. Actually, once the couples are married they don't have as many highs in their marriage and after the child, happiness is much lesser. Although, the gap between happiness for childless and couples with children is so small. The first child is always the one that does the most damage to a marriage. After that, each additional child makes no change to the happiness index of the marriage.

Having kids seemed the most natural step in our marriage. Never were scared, that our happiness would be affected. If I had to measure the happiness in my marriage after the kids, sure, we are much more busy but, our marriage and our bond as husband and wife has only gotten stronger because of the kids. I remember my father telling me, during the time he was encouraging us to have kids, "kids make the bond between parents stronger. They also bring the girl's and the boy's families closer". That is so true. Surely, we don't fit into the modern parenting slot. I can clearly see my parents and my husbands parent's feeling this: "If I knew grandchildren were this fun, I would have had more children."

Miss my teacher

It was early dismissal for the elementary school kids since it was the last day of the school year. I went to the bus stop to greet the bus driver who's name I or my kids don't know till date. I wanted to give her a gift with a little thank you note for taking such good care of the kids. She is a very nice lady and for the last 2 years that I had known her, had been so caring of all the kids. She won my heart when she changed the location of the bus stop just to make sure the kids would not have to cross the road. My kids too have such good things to tell about her.

As I stood waiting for the bus, there was another girl who was waiting there for the same bus maybe. From her looks, maybe she was from middle school. She was going through some sort of school memory book. As she felt me gaze towards her, she moved away continuing to read her book. Her legs were covered with writings from markers. Autographs!! Couple of them read "I love you". The bus stopped and I saw my kids get off the bus, I handed the driver my thank you note and turned to my kids to find P bawling away. In the seconds that it took me to ask her what the matter was, many thoughts crossed my mind. She then replied saying.."I'm feeling sad that I won't be able to see Ms. Gardner". It was so relieving to hear that. I told her that she will be able to see her when she goes back to school in sept.
'Yeah, but she will not be my teacher, I want to be able to see her tomorrow.'

N joined in to convince P saying, 'Look P, even I'm going to miss my teacher but, I'm not crying.'

After a long time of consoling and convincing her that the situation is not so bad, she calmed down but still looked sad. Then the afternoon continued with her telling us, that if we do this or take her here or there...She will not feel as sad :-)

Yes, she started to use the situation to get her way but, the feeling with which she got off the bus, she just came to a realization that Ms.Gardner is never going to be her teacher again and that just broke her heart as she loved her teacher so much. At that moment, even I realized that the kids are growing up and their attachments stronger, I'm scared to face the situations as they will be growing up coz, it'll be classmates and bestfriends and then boyfriends..I see a difficult road ahead of me.