Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

America remains a free market economy after all.

Enjoy the ride.



(So, looks like I gave my 200th post to Mr. Newman.  Can’t think of anything that could top that.)

Nik has been doing so well in his new preschool!  Here are some of his milestones:

End of week 1:  Wanted to do his dishes, and clean up messes with the broom and dust pan. 
End of week 2: Was spelling, “R-E-D is red, mom!”
End of week 3: Improving his grasp of pen and pencil.  “I have to pinch it, mom!  Then I draw!”
End of week 4: Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance

Yes.  Really.

As Pete would say, its been well worth the money!

Picture Day

It is Picture Day at Nik’s school today.

I started preparing him for it yesterday, and telling him that he would wear a special shirt today. He was fine, and agreed to say cheese and smile for the camera.

This morning, I tried getting him in that special shirt I picked out, and he wanted nothing to do with it. “I want the tyrannosaurus shirt!” Well, even if I wanted to give in, I couldn’t, because that shirt was in the wash.

So then during breakfast he was very mopey…when I would look at him he would make a point of turning his head away and pouting. Finally, I asked him what the matter was and he said: “I’m sad, mom. I don’t want to wear this shirt. I don’t like this shirt.”

Me: “But its just like the ones Daddy wears when he plays golf. Don’t you want to look like Daddy?”

Nik: “Yeah. But I don’t like this shirt. I not smile for Ms. D. I not go to picture day at my school.”

And on and on.

Finally, I went and got another shirt that I could live with and brought it over to him. He gladly whipped off the offending shirt and wore the other one.

And then got very solicitous and asked me: “Are you drinking your coffee, mom? Is is just so yummy? Are you eating your waffles, mom? Take another bite!”


I was at Nik’s school for Parents Night on Tuesday. The usual stuff..rules, drop-offs, parking, overview of school philosophy, etc. Then we trooped into Nik’s classroom to meet his teachers and look around. Ms. D  showed us a couple of the jobs that the kids do, went over introduction of letters, sounds, etc.

The kids’ names were on the walls and it was so cute to see his name up with the others. Also on the wall, candid pictures of the kids taken during their school day. Doing jobs, playing, washing up, having lunch. There were pictures of Nik sitting at a job, and some of him in the backgroud of other pictures. There was also one of him sitting at a lunch table with Ms. S and A, the other special needs child.

During the talk with the teachers, Ms. D had mentioned to one of the moms that her daughter, M, always sat with another little girl, S. And that they looked for each other at lunchtime.

On our way home from school the next day, I asked Nik who he sat with for lunch. He said: “Ms. S. And Ms. D. And A.”

I asked him: “Do you sit with anyone else?”

Nik: “No.”

That made me very sad.

[Update: To answer some emails readers have sent me about this post… I was sad because it seemed like he sat at the teachers’ table because none of the other kids asked to sit next to him.  And I started imagining his future school life, the social outcast, etc.  Because that is what I do.  I extrapolate and make myself crazy.  But then reality caught up to me and slapped me in the face.  He has made friends and now is considered one of the class clowns.  Not necessarily the position I was hoping for, but still!]

When kids help kids

On our way home from preschool:

Me: “Nik, what did you do at school today?”
Nik: “Ummm…I did a job for Ms. S.”
Me: “What job did you do?”
Nik: “Ummm…THAT job.”
[its all perfectly clear now.]
Me: “What job was that?”
Nik: “The building job. No, O__, that’s MY job.”
Me: “Did O___ try to take your job?”
Nik: “Yeah…”
Me: “What happened next?”
Nik: “S__ told O__, NO O__, that is Nik’s job. Give it back!”
Me: “Oh. S__ helped you get your job back from O__?”
Nik: “Ummmm….yeah.”
Me: “Did a teacher do anything?”
Nik: “Ummm…yeah. Ms. D.”
[OMG, its like pulling teeth.]
Me: “What did Ms. D do?”
Nik: “O__ has to sit in the chair.”
Me: “Is S__ your friend?”
Nik: “Ummm…yeah.”

And that, dear friends, is how a conversation goes with my preschooler.


Overheard while making pancakes for the kids, who were sitting patiently at the kitchen table:

Nik: “I think we are going to eat pancakes.”
Anju: “Yup.”
Anju: “Uncle Kunal and Auntie Deepa coming to my house.”
Nik: “They coming to MY house!”
Anju: “NO! MY HOUSE!”
Nik: “That’s Uncle Kunal’s chair.  I think he wants to eat pancakes too.”
Anju (not to be outdone): “Auntie Deepa want pancakes too.”
Nik: “Yeah, Until Deepa wants to eat pancakes too.”
Anju: “I dwink wahtha.”
Nik: “I think Until Deepa wants to drink juice.  Maybe she ask Daddy for some juice. And then Daddy will say “No juice.  First you have to eat all your pancakes.””

[No, my sister and her husband are not visiting…the kids just love to talk about them and include them in their daily activities.  The other day, while we were driving somewhere, Anjali said out of the blue: “Auntie Deepa come in my car with me.”]