Kit for Kat!

Lifeguard on duty
Posted By SLK on Wednesday, August 31, 2011   { 0 Comment(s) }
OK - August has been very eventful for us. 2 weeks driving down the West Coast from San Francisco to LA (around 1500 miles in all). An earthquake last week and then Irene (a hurricane and then a tropical storm) – all these combined with several migraine attacks! We’ve been busy...

It has been a never ending round of packing and unpacking suitcases this month (latest being the one we packed few days ago in case we had to rush downstairs when Irene struck)...all is getting back to normal now (sort of!)

Kat was actually sad to get out of the rental car (aka our mobile home) because she felt that it had been her home for the last 2 weeks (I don’t blame her – with all the snacking we did on the road, it did seem like ‘Mom’s kitchen’!) On the other hand, Kit was sad as the end of the road trip meant a stop to endless snacking (anytime, anything!) and the uninterrupted Backyardigan after Backyardigan episodes she watched on the iPad (courtesy Kat who had the brains to download these before we left).

Call me ‘weird’ (it’s actually trendy to be weird now!) but I will miss the constant running around and the checking in and out from so many hotels en route. However, the most I will miss is the bonding time Kit Kat had over this holiday; both with us and between themselves...cherished times!

One such display of sisterly love was when Kit Kat were floating on the tube (attached to our boat) at Lake Tahoe. Sunny sky, warm water and peace and quiet in the air – the only sounds we could hear were from Papa driving (so fast!) and all of us shouting in excitement.
After several rounds of duo floating together, Kit wanted to do one turn on her own (more so, because Kat had one!) – Papa and I agreed and Kit had a ball!! Beaming from ear to ear, she held on to the tube with all her strength and at some point, Papa got so excited that in the flow of it all, he suddenly accelerated – Kit caught on well but the other second, she lost her balance and fell into the 1000 ft (at some parts 1500ft I believe) deep lake.
Of course, Kit Kat had their life jackets on all the time but still the sight of a tiny Kit in the vast expanse of water was chilling. We reversed the boat right away and would have got there in a few seconds BUT Kat was already in the water – going to save her little Kit! There was a look of extreme alarm on Kit’s face when she fell but I could not miss her joy on seeing Kat swim up to her. Our expert swimmer made it to Kit before us in the boat and swam back with Kit. Since then, Kat has been the official lifeguard for Kit (rewarded with hugs and wet kisses from Kit much to Kat’s eww!‘)
Kit's fun ride at Lake Tahoe

Moments like this and I am truly convinced that no matter how much the sisters fight, there IS a special bond between them…most days, I am almost positive that given a chance, they could pull each other’s hair, teeth, clothes, books and everything apart!!



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A major feat...accomplished!
Posted By SLK on Wednesday, August 03, 2011   { 0 Comment(s) }
Just 10 days ago, I wrote about Kit’s musical first – her first piano lesson. Since then, every time she passes by the piano, she will practice her ‘Old MacDonald... going up to E-I-E-I-O. I am so proud to hear her and see her little fingers playing on the piano (it’s a nice change from thumb sucking too!

Of course, the minute Kat touches the piano for her practice, Kit will magically appear from somewhere and this will be the beginning of a heated argument dominated with “I want to practice my piano” from both sides. In the end (always), Kit can be seen sitting (with a victorious grin) on the piano stool playing some music and singing something totally impromptu...(after all, how much MacDonald can one practice?)

So, this is what happened last week…

After much fighting when Kat had resigned to the rocking chair with her Taylor Swift Speak Now lyrics and piano music, Kit first walks up to her “I want that book” – even before she finishes the sentence, she tries to snatch it from Kat, who has now become an expert at dodging Kit (it’s a survival trick!) quickly hides it behind her.

Kat: “If you are not going to play the piano, I will”

Kit, realising she is not going to get the book OR the piano if she does not decide fast, decides to go straight back to the piano (without wasting any more time – split second decisions here!)

Playing piano with both hands I am in the kitchen right next to the living room where the piano is and I am desperately wishing all this fighting away...in vain. It’s the typical Please Stop – Please let me finish this last thing situation – of course my dinner is not ready yet so this is not helping at all! To make matters worse – I told Kat’s teacher to come early today which has taken away 30 mins from my cooking time – what a true martyr!

I silently peep from the kitchen and see Kat singing her Taylor Swift lyrics softly (if she’s too loud, Kit will think it to be more interesting and will immediately do something to end Kat’s fun!) and Kit is busy working on her left hand (her most recent piano homework).
I go back to the kitchen before I can be spotted and loaded with complaints.

All of a sudden...I hear music being played by two hands. At first I think Kit Kat have made truce and are playing together but then when I walk out of the kitchen, I see that Kit has placed her play Casio keyboard on the piano and is playing her right hand on it and is slowly but surely playing her left hand on the actual piano – I am speechless...this is a huge achievement for her. Anyone who has played piano will know the significance of playing with two hands for the first time. It is a totally different feeling and it takes time to get used to the feel of it…of course, after that you learn to appreciate the sounds more when you play with the left hand as an accompaniment. To see Kit playing this naturally, figuring it all on her own is GREAT WORK. As soon as she finished (all this was MacDonald by the way), I point this out to Kat (who has been watching anyway) and she then tells Kit to play without Casio but on the piano itself and Kit DOES IT! She's got the hang of playing with both hands!!

Fights forgotten, Kit Kat share a hug and when Kat says “I’m so proud of you” to Kit, you can literally see stars in Kit’s eyes. Kat’s praise surpasses everyone else’s. Such is their love hate relationship...
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The musical FIRST!
Posted By SLK on Thursday, July 21, 2011   { 2 Comment(s) }
Old MacDonald had a farm....E-I-E-I-O – every one of us with any kind of baby exposure will know that THIS song is what all parents learn quite early on in their parenthood. It never fails to work – at a birthday party, in the car or even to impress grandparents, friends and family!

Ditto at our home. Although Kit sings the Sparks Fly, Mean or It’s Magic, you know by Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez very animatedly (notes and lyrics perfect), she also happens to enjoy the good ol MacDonald in a big way. Still...to hear her sing the same song while playing the piano herself was a very emotional moment for me.

YES, Kit had her first piano lesson yesterday. Those little fingers actually played the keys and after a 45 min (originally intended for 30 min) lesson I was overwhelmed, to say the least. For someone who has been trying to get her to focus and at least remember the middle C on the piano, it was a magical moment for me.

After her lesson, Kit was super excited to show me what she had learned. I was not prepared to hear her playing so sweetly – a proud parent I am, yes I am!

Piano Book for Kit Our piano is a major feature in the living room and Kat has matured immensely in this art of music – credit to our most wonderful piano teacher, Kat has truly blossomed. Maybe it is this familiarity (and of course the competition!) that playing the piano (with the same teacher) has come so naturally to Kit. Whatever it was, it was a big FIRST for her and I am so proud of her.

The gift from Kat All morning today, Kit has played her ‘Piano Homework’ umpteen number of times (and definitely over and above teacher’s expectations). The highlight of Kit’s achievements was a special notebook presented to her by...who else but the role model KAT and with a pen too – this has become the most valuable gift of all times!

Waiting (already) for her next lesson next week...Kit is on her way (I hope) to join Kat in this wonderful world of music...
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You've got mail!
Posted By SLK on Thursday, July 14, 2011   { 0 Comment(s) }
Every morning, Kit comes out of her room and looks at her mailbox placed right by her door...

“What? No mail? Again!” she says and then turns to Kat, Papa or me “why didn’t you write me a message?”

After a (God) promise of doing it tonight , all is fine and a major situation averted. Phew!

Kit's mailbox


So this is the reason each one of us can be seen writing little notes for Kit at night – to ensure that she has mail every morning.

Mama's note My messages are usually small (unless there is a specific demand for a BIG card) written out on little post-it notes with a heart, flower or just ‘Mama loves you’ kinds.

Kat's note Of all the messages, Kit most eagerly looks forward to Kat’s messages; not only for the heartfelt thoughts but for the materialistic side of them (after all, she’s only 4yrs old!) – Kat will always attach something with her note – an eraser, a sticker – a little something every single time!

Papa is the one with the longest messages – he writes few but he writes big cards always addressed to ‘My Little Princess’ and from ‘Papa Prince’.

We all are creative in this set up as well so some days Kit will get paper goodies – a fan (me), aeroplane (Papa) and basket (Kat) in her mailbox and her reaction is instantly gratifying.

Kit's message This message business is not one-sided either – Kit spends a lot of time writing for us or making cards and pictures for her family. Very often, we enter our rooms and see a card or picture on the floor (that was sneakily delivered to us).

Also, now that Kit is learning to read, it is indeed heart warming to see her read her messages, all by herself.

Nice change from the good ol’ keyboard, thanks to Kit, the joy of writing by hand is being rediscovered in our house...
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The Hair Dilemma
Posted By SLK on Friday, July 08, 2011   { 0 Comment(s) }
It’s taken Kat a good year and a half to get rid of the layers and grow her hair and she has now reached the point where she can make a nice ponytail or a neat braid (without hair sticking out). Of course, she does not want two braids (although easier to make with her hair) as she does not want to look cute but she wants to look pretty (?!) I am convinced that this must be a preteen thing but the obsession with hair is currently quite HOT in our house (second only to Kat’s love for lip gloss!)

Selena Gomez,Taylor Swift, Victoria Justice

I look around Kat’s room and see Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift and Victoria Justice everywhere – I like them all too except that ALL of them have beautiful, long hair and have Kat believing that this style is very ‘in’ and here to stay. Personally, I and Papa think that she looks much smarter with short hair but when you have an 11 year old with opinions and confidence of her own, you have to let go and give some degree of independence for them to live with their little decisions.

There was a time when both Kit Kat had the same haircut as me (a French Bob) and everywhere we went, they were the mini-me. At least Kit still has the “same as me” cut and she does look adorable (not to forget smart and more comfortable in this heat!) – Even Kit has started asking for long hair and the only reason she goes for a haircut and forgets about her original plan is the ‘lollipop’ that she gets there! (So far so good)

Well (*sigh*)...Not all of us are blessed with enviable tresses and as is the case with Kat, she does not like her hair so much after she’s washed them (she has only publicly admitted this now) – they have natural waves and this is the reason why she needs to tie her hair almost all the time...

Glad to know, I’m not the only mum who is freaking out with my daughter’s long hair. I know of other mums complaining about similar issues with their daughter’s hair and how they wish for them to get a shorter haircut (easy to maintain, no fuss style I hear?)

I think the time is coming or will come soon (fingers crossed)...Kat was visibly upset with her hair last night and Papa and I gave her opinions of our own (very daring I must admit) and instead of stopping us, Kat was actually contemplating...baby steps and pure motherly instinct maybe but I feel we will be making a trip to the hairdresser before school reopens (Yay!) – we may be praying silently for a certain decision but in the end we will accept whatever Kat decides to do – like we always tell her – “We will never lie to you…we will only tell you the facts and you decide what you want to do – we can guide, not force our opinions”.

After all it’s Kat’s hair, long or short, Kat’s decision…she will get the last word. That’s that.

See also the post "The insatiable yearning...for long tresses " which I wrote last year.
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