Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Identical and Fraternal! (Part 2)

But as they grew up I started noticing a chemistry develop between the trio…Clearly, the identical twins supported each other more.  Especially, Baby2’s  first choice to help would be her identical twin.  If either of the identical had gotten a timeout, the other would cry and ask that she be released(They are still the same!).


In pre-school, the teachers clearly noticed that the identical did things at the same pace.  My interaction with other parents had increased, and the triplets started understanding what people spoke.  Many would make it a point to point the obvious in front of the kids, that two of them looked alike

“She is different, She has curly hair!!” somebody would say, pointing to the fraternal twin.

“Oh! she is thinner !!” another would say trying not to be offending but, I would have preferred that such remarks had not been made.

The fraternal, understood all this, and clearly felt left out. She also started to take objection to when people referred to her as a triplet.

“Mama, I don’t like to be called a triplet”. she used to say.

But, eventually, she got over it with all our support.  They were about 3 year old here, having ice-cream on the porch on a warm October day.IMG_0083  

The identical twins , especially Baby2, had to be pushed at times to support her fraternal sister a little more which she did so happily!  But then, it came to a point where she was doing everything for her fraternal sister. She would try to fix her dress if she was unable to wear it , help her find her brush and put the toothpaste on her brush. In fact, both the identical sisters had started to pitch in to help their fraternal sister. Eventually, I had to stop them from doing this since, the fraternal twin wasn’t getting an opportunity to try things for herself.

As they grew, and started to understand appearances,  the fraternal twin, got conscious of her hair being more curly and lighter than the identical s, and she would try combing it, pressing it straight, when wet so it appeared straight like her twin sister’s. It took a lot of convincing to make her feel that her hair is as beautiful as her sisters. 

Later, it was not just the appearances,  their sense of humor and their stamina at physical games started to differ. Most of the times, the fraternal triplet, being weaker in frame compared to the identical could not sustain her stamina for games that needed more physical energy and preferred to watch them play.

It is not like there is all similarities between the identical twins. Although they do look similar, they have different personalities. they surely have different voices.  They are outgoing, one of them being a tad bolder than the other. I’ve also seen them taking turns in their growth. Its like one of them takes a break while the other identical twin is having a growth spurt.  I’ve seen them taking turns at expressing art too.

Currently, Neha is the one who has this irresistible urge to put her imaginations onto paper(Every stage their drawing’s have been different too). Poojha is not putting much on paper. A few months ago, Poojha used to be in those shoes and before that..again it had been Neha. I’m sure there’s more than just the drawing part that is going on in the background. They do loose their teeth around the same time. When it comes to tears, one of them does a better job at being a cry baby.

There may be a lot of differences that may exist between the fraternal and the identical twins and surely, the identical twins may have a stronger bond between them, which I don’t think any schooling or parenting will be able to change what is nature. They are sharing the same DNA, right!!  Still, I would say, this fraternal twin has more fun being a triplet than she would have had otherwise. All these years of growing up together, have ingrained in them a sense of belonging to each other. They don’t feel nice if anyone of them is grounded. Their relationship is something to feel.

Here I present some pictures of the fun times they have had together (as well as of times that could be funny to us).

Like in this pic, they were about 3 years and the day was Diwali. I had dressed them for the festival..but by the time I finished..they were all tired and sleepy. This is the pose we got all dressed up…All of them screaming and Pavan trying to save this pic by showing all his 32’s.Picture 101


The next Diwali, …a year older, they were much easy to handle…Instead of being tired and sleepy they are cracking up here!!IMG_0120


Fancy dressing had been their favorite. Nothing like trying Mama’s clothes along with their accessories. Here Neha is the Rani and Poojha the Raja…DSC_0060 


Raja and Rani with their baby…This Raja seems to be very snotty.DSC_0059


Presenting Rani Neha Devi  DSC_0069

Being Raja Poo and Rani Neha Devi..of Nepal (?!)DSC_0083


The Actor, The Actress and The Director. DSC_0074

Then came the year of Jodha Akbar. They came up with this idea and here’s their dress up. Again,  my closet was ransacked for my dupatta’s (Indian scarf’s)                IMG_2051_5_1


Here the identicals are enacting the riding hood story…only we called it the blue riding hood.DSC_0282


Here they pose for their characters.  The mean, hungry, angry wolf and the naive blue riding hood. send5

Kauvya just loved to watch them do their skit. She would be jumping around in happiness as she is directing their play again.DSC_0270


I look like mama in her clothes. The funniest funnest part of winter days and summer afternoon’s, were the dress up’s of course.DSC_0688



Neha not just dresses herself up…she is helping everybody go through my closet.DSC_0696

They didn’t spare Richa too DSC_0703


Here they were trying to be the earth, flower and sun. Neha was wearing green and is on the ground being the grass, Kauvya was the flower wearing purple and Poojha was the sun high up in the sky (Well, as high as she could go!)DSC_1842


Cracking  wild jokes    …    IMG_0751



Watching their newly born sister…and totally disappointed!! Babies cry like this?!      I’m sure each of them is thinking “ I would prefer the baby doll over this real one”.IMG_1234  


Having a chat with Johnny Apple. That’s what they called it. DSC_1981

And climbing treesDSC_1985

and hanging from them…DSC_2001

Being a Palle triplet, identical or fraternal…is the same..FUN FUN FUN!!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Identical and Fraternal! (Part 1)

Not only did we become parents of triplets. We are in a unique situation. Two of the triplets are identical!! Our journey with this situation started with the doctor looking confused and telling us during our first appointment after we got pregnant.

“You could be having another baby, an identical one”

Not only were we informed that we were going to have more than one baby,  we were slapped with the possibility of the TTT syndrome. (Twin to Twin transfusion syndrome). After carefully monitoring the identical s as well as the fraternal baby through out the pregnancy, one day they all came crying out loud, and liberated me from that pain.

Before they were born, I would worry if I would end up feeding the same baby twice. But, nothing of that sort happened. I just knew who was who.  I did not have to look for their birth marks too (although they did have a very big mark).113-1349_IMG


Clearly, the fraternal twin was different in looks from the other two. Her hair was different, she was smaller framed, her appetite was different and so was her disposition. Sometimes she would be so calm and sometimes, very rare but it did happen where nothing could pacify her.

I can’t forget that one time. She was about 7 months old, I think, the way she cried looking at me…like she was looking at the devil inside me..If I wanted to carry her, but,  if I got close to her..she cried more. The only way I could calm her down was when I put her in a room lone by herself for sometime.  That day is still a puzzle for me.  I was already going to call the doctor if she hadn’t calmed down even after this. She loved being carried around.  It was so amazing to watch the triplets pictures that I took. Both the identical twins would be watching something in one direction while the fraternal would be looking at something else, like they saw the same things and thought alike. 118-1841_IMG 118-1815_IMG  


They had been super babies. Never a trouble. So engrossed with each other..Didn’t need mama to be there to entertain them.  I could just sit around with my camcorder or my camera and keep clicking away..and they didn’t care.   113-1334_IMG

I just interfered in their gossip.110-1008_IMG  


They could be left in their cribs for quite some time after they woke and they wouldn’t be annoyed if mama was not in there. They would start conversing with their neighbors.113-1400_IMG


When left on the jumpy bed…they would have a gala time together.119-1934_IMG



They fed at the same time, slept at the same time and got up at the same time.   110-1038_IMG 110-1034_IMG


They looked out for their dad together.121-2148_IMG


They were partners in crime. 113-1375_IMG

114-1416_IMG 119-1905_IMG

Those pictures were of times, when they were innocent enough to not even realize they were sisters and were born together.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Genetic Material!

As a mom, I feel proud passing a lot of my traits onto the kids, My nose, or my eyes, my hair, my flare for music, even at art, and much more. But, there is one aspect, that I would rather my kids not be like me. The part where I can brood, for hours and days and weeks and months and years!.( Well! this is stretching it too much.)  The part where I don’t forgive and forget. The part where I would see myself as a victim in a situation that turned sour.  Now that I am grown up and aware of myself, it’s a constant work for me to get past it everyday. But, this is what grown ups do, right?

On the contrast, Pavan who sure is annoying at times, actually very annoying (I’m as annoying to him as he to me, I’m sure!), is the other way around. He cannot brood on things, almost to the point of being insensitive. He loves to forgive and forget. He loves to move on. He would want a closure to the argument with a hug to seal the topic. But, I would be like...”How ridiculous, You hurt my feelings  (not sure what that means after all these years of arguing with each other on the silliest of topics) how can you even expect me to hug you” , “You haven’t even apologized”  or “You haven’t even acknowledged your mistake..” or it could be like “ you made me look like a jerk in front of the kids” or it could be “you didn’t let me have the last word”.  Yes! very childish but, that’s what you earn for doing all the cleaning and washing and caring etc that is life.

Luckily for us, we complement each other in many other ways than any mentioned above. I’m a stickler for details , tiny details.  “Why did this move here?”, “Why did you mix the dark shirts with the light?”, “You can’t dump all the dishes like this into the dishwasher, you have to face them down, the spoons have to face inwards”. He is more of a big picture kind of guy. He is the kind of guy who prefers to get 90% of the work done with just 10% effort. and I’m the type who would put in 100% of effort to finish 40% and on rare occasions 60% of the work.

He’s an extrovert while I’m a perfect introvert. He’s the type who could crack a joke with a person he just met. I would need to know the person well enough to be that pally.  He so easily lets my mom know that, something irks him while I’m still figuring out after all these years, how to convey it to my mom so, I don’t offend her. He is very a optimistic person who would see the glass half full while I would worry about who drank that half glass of water since the glass wasn’t washed well.. These are all some qualities that I would rather my kids take after Pavan.

Now look at my kids. Of the four of my kids, one of them missed to take these positives' from her dad..or shall I say..I managed to pass my traits on to her.  And shouldn’t she be the easiest for me to handle, that, she is just like me! That, I understand why she is being so difficult in a situation. On the contrary…I would need to go back to college to learn parenting kids who are like myself. Since that's’ not an option..I’m taking each day at a time trying to get better at it. In the school counselor’s words “she sure is going to be your difficult kid”, seems such an un-caffeinated or mild way of putting what I’m going through. Pavan’s take: “Look at the positive..of the four kids who could have taken after you in that respect,…We have just one which is a pretty good ratio”.

Maybe someday, when we’ll be successful enough in rubbing of her dad’s anti brooding attitude onto her, I’ll be able to write a book on the topic..”Learned behavior can easily override genetic material” or how about this “How we did it?” Like the cake we ordered for the kids first birthday. It wasn’t marked for the kids..but, for the fact that we got through the first year of parenting…Looking forward to that day.



P.S. The blue cake was the triplets first birthday cake, while we got another cake (the yellow one) for Pavan and me..which said “We Did It”…This is my MiL and FiL holding the kids on their first birthday.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


After I had picked Richa from school, when we were about to get to the parking lot, she said..DSC_7138

“Mama, I need to get my face project”…pointing to her eyes and nose and mouth as quickly as she could.

Realizing that I didn’t want to go back..I told her

“Richa, We can get that tomorrow, Ms G is going to keep that safely for you”.

“Its OK mama, we can go and get it..” she said consolingly and immediately turned back. She started to skip towards her classroom singing a song “I made a project…I made a face project…”

As we opened the door, Ms G was talking to another parent while Richa headed to where the project was kept and started to skim through them to pick hers out.

Meanwhile, I told Ms.G that we're back to get her “face project”.

Ms.G went to Richa and started to tell her, that she can take it tomorrow.

“Richa, we are going to put this project on the wall..Look at that decoration over there”, she pointed to the wall that had a big brown blank canvas on the wall.

But, Richa didn’t care what that meant, she continued looking for her project and found it.

She was about to take it when Ms.G tried to stop her. There was almost a fight there for a moment. Ms G trying to make eye contact with Richa and Richa trying to move her elbows so that she could avoid Ms.G’s hands on her.

She knew very well that, if she made that eye contact that Ms.G was trying to get, then, she would have to put that reasoning button ON in her head. She was in no mood to do that.

“That is mine, I made it…I want to show it to my Didi’s (sisters)” Richa said.

She couldn’t understand this fuss about wanting to put the project that she created with so much interest, on the wall!! She had been watching her sisters make the secretive “greeting cards” project the day before, for their mommy..with so much interest.

I’m sure she had offered to help them and I could very well see that, they would have turned her down and may even have, locked the door so that she wouldn’t be able to disturb them.  So, today she had gotten a chance to earn the respect of her sisters, this project was going to showcase her skills to her Didi’s (means “elder sisters” in Hindi) that she was as capable as them, to do a project.

She was putting up a brave fight to that end. But soon, Richa understood that she could not win this war with Ms.G for if she had to..she would have to resort to fist fight.

So, folding her hands, and pouting her mouth and pointing her face up in the air, she started to walk to me, her face red, and ready to burst out crying because Ms.G didn’t let her take her project with her.

She came to me and burst out crying hugging my legs but,  the next second, Ms.G was behind her with that “face project” of hers and told her

“Ok Richa, you take this home, but, will you remember to bring it back tomorrow? Then I will be able to put it on the wall so all the mommies can look at the project”, Ms.G said.

“Ok “ Richa said.

As I watched this drama, I was astonished at Richa’s boldness. She used to be so quite in her class last year, She had been so scared at the mention of any of her teacher’s names. We had used that to our advantage, to get Richa to do stuff she used to refuse, like finish up her food, things like that. But, today I saw a different Richa. She had grown up. She was confident and knew what she wanted very clearly. She was ready to fight her teacher if that’s what it took.

“Is she like this in the class with the other kids?” I asked Ms.G

“She does take this liberty with me but, I haven’t seen her behave like this with anybody else”, I added

“No, she is not like this. But, I can understand her. She wants to show her creation to her sisters. She had mentioned PNK’s names as she was doing the project. She had done the hair with so much interest. “ Ms.G said.

She wouldn’t let Richa leave without smiling back at her..which Richa did eventually, we thanked her together.  Then we walked out of the class. As we walked out, the wind was strong. So, I asked Richa

“Can I hold your project Richa? The wind can blow it away”

“Yes Mama” she said handing over her precious project to me.

“If the wind blows it away…it will fly away up and up and then..get stuck in the tree” pointing to a huge oak.

“If it gets stuck in the tree, How lil I climb the tree?”

“I don’t know how to climb a tree”…she continued.

Meanwhile we had reached the car. And today, I had been driving my husband’s green car. She reacted immediately.

“Oh! You can drive this car?”

“Mama, only papa’s can drive this car, this is not a mommy car, this is a papa car” she continued as I had finished buckling her up to her seat.

“Mama, you are a mommy…you are tiny big…you are not a car is por Papas” she continued in the background while I got lost in Raag Jaunpuri, that I had been practicing. A beautiful raag with 3 flat notes. As I sang, I started thinking to myself all the competition that’s getting generated at home between Richa and her sisters. How important it has become for Richa to be accepted by her sisters as their peers.

P.S. She ran to her Didi’s as they came back from school and showed them her project and the Triplets had showered their appreciations for her project with such gusto. She sure felt that it made her day. Later I found the cookie man nicely put to sleep on her bed, on her pillow and convered with her chunni (Indian scarf) for a bedspread, he sure looked cozy and happy.

Monday, September 20, 2010

“Aaj Apun Ka Happy B’day Hai!”

Meaning “Today is my Happy Birthday”. This was what Aamir Khan had said in the movie “Rangeela”, wearing that bright, really really bright yellow shirt. That’s what I am doing today. Saying the same boldly to the world sans that yellow shirt.

After I had crossed 30, birthday’s became more like a reminder that I’m one more year closer to menopause. I more year of youth gone by. I conveniently let myself forget how old I am. It felt better that way. I know most people would prefer being 20 something or even sweet 16 forever..but, where I stand now, I’m happy with staying 30.

But today, just like this day last year, I feel different. I am happy that its my birthday again. I feel happy that my friends and family did not let me forget it.  Thanks to my friends on face book for their wishes for me. It really means a lot to me. Very valuable and I feel very fortunate to have so many of you wish me good wishes. You just increased my reserve of karma points. Priceless!!! (yeah, again). It really feels horrible, not to be wished on one’s birthday. To let you know what I mean:

Having gone to school in India, uniform was a requirement. But, one was allowed to wear a civil dress on their birthday’s.  In the class of 60+ students, the teacher never knew nor cared to know the kid’s birthday’s. The civil dress was clue enough for the teacher to understand, its the kids birthday today. 

I had worn that civil dress in one of those elementary school years. I’m sure it was the second grade.  I had worn a very nice Lehenga (long skirt) that my mom had sewn for me. She had also given me a packet of toffee’s to distribute to the class. I had gone to the school nervous and excited, that I would have the attention of the teacher today. Today, she would know that there is a girl called “Gayatri” in the class. She would call me and ask me, “Is it your birthday today?”    I would say..”Yes” and she would ask the class to stand and sing for me, the Happy Birthday song. Then, the day started at school. She didn’t call me. It was already recess time.

“Did she even notice that I’m wearing a civil dress?”, I had thought.

She had clearly noticed that. Who could miss that parrot green fabric, so strikingly visible. Then, it was time for lunch. I had thought that she would ask the class to sing for me at the end of the school day. But, the day passed and she hadn’t asked me, if it was my birthday, nor did anybody wish me “Happy Birthday” at school. That little girl, that I was, wasn’t bold enough to go and tell the teacher, “Today is my birthday” and give her a toffee or two. In the evening, the aaya (child sitter) came to take me home. It had hurt me so much. I had given that whole packet of toffee’s to the aaya and told her not to tell my parents that I had not distributed them at school.  That was the end of that day. Or maybe not, because, I still remember it so vividly till now.

Through school, college and up until the kids were born..I was the type, who couldn’t understand people who would forget friend’s birthdays. “So careless?!!” I used to feel. Without the internet’s interference, I had taken all that time, effort and money in choosing the right card for the right person. If it took 2-3 different cards that were apt to express my wishes, (especially to Pavan), I would do that. He understood how important this thing was for me, and reciprocated with the same fervor.

Then, one fine day, I had my triplets and immediately after that, everything went haywire. My father would call me up, on his birthday and if after some talk, he guessed,  that,  I didn’t remember, he would tell me, “Goodie, aaj mera birthday hai” (Today is my birthday, dear). I had felt so embarrassed and I would not forgive myself for days. Its been years that I remembered my friends and families birthdays on time. The people who know me, have almost given up on me, in that respect.

This thing about, remembering dates had become such a juggle, that when I got a call from a friend or family, my mind would race through the calendar trying to make a mental scan of all the relevant dates, if there were any dates relating to this person I had forgotten to remember recently.

I hadn’t remembered my own birthday, many times too. Pavan would just give that sweet hug and tell me, “Don’t worry, your a  mom now, too many things on your mind”. Obviously, my brain’s cache was not enough to maintain so much data on one page. All that data relating to birth dates had taken a page somewhere in the back. The ones with priority were the ones dealing with my kids, their activities, their appointments.  I needed a bigger memory box in my head, and a bigger processor, to be able to go through all the pages quickly. 

Now that my kids have grown, they are taking over these responsibilities from me. They remember theirs’, Richa’s , Pavan’s, Mine, their grandparents, and cousins and their friends birthday’s too. So at least, I’m covered on the family front. Today, the kids gave me their hand made cards that they have been creating ..for the past few days. This supposedly “secretive” project that made two of my scissors disappear. Their reply at being caught stealing my scissors..

“We are making something…a surprise, can you go to your room”

Neha wasn’t able to sleep through the night. I’m sure, the excitement to give her card kept her awake. She got up “before dawn” (in her words)..brushed, dressed for school and then fell asleep.  A picture of the trio’s cards for me is posted below. One of it, turned out to be the hit, the pop up card..(looks like all the 3 spent their creative energy on this one), but each of them had a card for me and so different. One was a fold up card, with very sweet words for me, one was a “peek behind” card..with hearts and smiley's…It was Kauvya’s. She loves books which have the “can you spot?” pictures. Her card was just like that. The wishes were hidden between the different pictures and pop ups.  She also had a P.S. for me…where she hinted me to watch out for Neha’s card.

Poojha was so sweet with words. Almost had to stop myself from melting like a wax candle!






P.S. I just love the way they draw me always in a salwar…So creative, showing the flare of the dress..And, don’t forget to notice, that in the drawing above, Neha has drawn herself..watching Poojha, Kavya, Richa, Papa and Mom celebrating with the big yellow cake.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Priceless! There’s Visa, MasterCard etc for the rest.

Yesterday, Pavan and myself went out cycling together, we were out almost 3 1/2 hours. This had been a very rare and priceless moment where we were able to spend time together without being bothered by the kids. The kids were at school and Pavan was home and the day was perfect to go out cycling.  As usual, started off with my camera…and there came that poking remark from Pavan.

“What if it falls?” he said

It hurt because I knew he was right.

“Pavan, do you have to say that! I took it along yesterday, we were fine right?!”

“Lets say there’s a 10% probability that you may fall, and if you bring it out 10 times, its surely going to happen, one of those times”.

He was surely right, and I knew it and was hoping that he had not said anything.  Now, I had to put it back, what if I fall and then he would get to say

“I told you so!!”

So, as I went inside disappointed to keep the camera back, I heard him telling me

“After we finish cycling, lets go out for a walk, and that way you can take the camera along.”

So, we set out..we went through bike paths and walkways. DSC_6943



The wind was heavy at times and it was so fun to drive against the wind up the hilly terrain, without slowing down. I almost felt that burn in my tummy. We went through trails and other ways we hadn’t tried earlier.  Then as we were about 17 miles into the drive, I FELL!!….Pavan was showing me how to leave his hand off the bar and stay like that…I had turned to look at him and driven straight off the road. It was not a bad fall but a fall indeed. I got up and was able to feel better within 3-5 minutes and we set out to complete the 20 mile drive.

As I was completing, I saw something on the road, this tiny thing trying to run away from me and the road..I ran home and ran back with my camera. Pavan followed and here is the thing that I was talking about. It had reached the edge of the road. Look at those polka dots..beautiful color



After we left it alone we went on a long walk. The fall colors had already started to set in. I’ve been trying to experiment with the “Bokeh” effect a lot, and here is one I took that has a beautiful color crystals effect…Intentionally took this out of focus to see the bokeh…and I wasn’t displeased.DSC_6948

The look of fall was everywhere..DSC_6992

Almost all the fauna around was busy saving their food for the winter. We found squirrels running around hiding their nuts. Look at this guy looking at us so intently..DSC_6950

Here’s one running with the nut in his mouth DSC_6959

Then he pauses to find a spotDSC_6962

And hides his nut..DSC_6966

We also found Blue Jay’s busy with their nuts..But, what’s with these birds..they just refused to give me a shot of their face…

Here is one charging straight at me holding a nut with its beak..Face not clear!DSC_6967


Then we have another turning towards me holding something with its beak..Face not clear again!!DSC_6972


Then we have another one, perched on a Linden..Not showing its face!! The bark of this Linden …so nice photographic material. Can you spot the blue Jay?


Here’s another one on the Linden, trying to face away again!!DSC_6982

Now, I need to take this challenge and get a picture of this beautiful looking bird….During my next walk!

Maybe the blue jays didn’t want to show their face to me..but the butterflies were so obliging. As I reached home, I was delighted to find a few of them on my flowers.



Can you spot one here, on the Lavender?DSC_6803

This butterfly was so good at camouflage, Not able to spot it on this Lavender right?  The only stops it took was on spots that appeared brown, other than on the Lavender. Never on the grass.DSC_6818


Then we have this monarch..that I had spotted a week ago. Haven’t been able to spot the big ones. I guess, they have left, that fall is here.DSC_6667

I followed this lone guy to the butterfly bushDSC_6687


Gliding by our window.DSC_6673


Then…my gaze fell on one of the beautiful spot of my garden. The Rain Lilies!!! They were in bloom that it had rained yesterday.



It was already time for me to go and pick up Richa from School. But, when we returned, me and Richa spent a lot of time in our garden taking so many more beautiful pictures of the flowers in bloom.

This can be picture material for the next blog…..