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Thursday, September 30, 2010

I knew this would happen

In the early years of our marriage, I used to go to a nearby Turkish cultural center to learn the language from a great teacher, Zafer. Our class had great chemistry and we looked forward to class after work/college every week. We missed each other during the off days so much that we forced Zafer to meet with us over the weekend as well. We'd study grammer and then wrap up the class over tea and snacks, sharing stories from each other's day.

Somewhere in between, guests would come and join us. There was one lady, a latina married to a Turk, and who also had a 18-19 year old half Latino/half Turk son. I don't remember much about the lady, but the kid was a piece of work! He spoke English well enough but when he started speaking Turkish, it was like a stand up routine. He'd only have to ask for another glass of tea and we'd be laughing ourselves out of our chairs. It had to do somewhat with the accent, a bit with the word placement and I bet now, a whole lot with him just milking his Turk-lish charm on us.

I told his mom, I bet when I have kids, they're going to talk just like him and that I couldn't wait!

Well, it's happened. I have a Turk-lish speaking child. Since she's still under three, the charm is natural and the mix ups for real. However, instead of enjoying it, I'm a bit concerned for her.

Tonight, as I was cuddling her and kissing the top of her head, she suddenly piped up "Kiss-may!"


And then she pushed me away laughing. Ok kiddo, I get it you don't want me to kiss you, but what did you just say?

Monster: Kiss-may!

Me to Wizard: Does she mean Opme? As in Turkish for don't kiss?

Wizard, always trying to come up with genius solutions: No, she's just saying "me" with a drawl.

Ummm...I don't really think that's what it is.

We can add another Turklish made up words to Dictionary of Monster. Her other Turklish phrases include:
Water-Su, Window kapat (close the window), sit burda (sit here), where is cocuk (where is the kid)among others.

I suppose I should just sit back and enjoy the show for now, and send her to good schools later. I'm additionally scratching plans of teaching her Urdu. That will just limit the pool of potential baby sitters that can speak the required languages to communicate with her

Almost Rainy Day

There have been so many of these that when there is a small break between pouring raining and flash flood warnings, we try to enjoy the short calm and let Monster roam free in a park.

Her last time in Lou Lodati a few days ago, she had her face painted for the first time. It was a perfect small, quick application by a nice lady that showed up with a kit and painted butterflies on all kids' faces.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Kid: This is fun! Me: This is sad!

At Lou Lodati Park:

Some older kids deconstructed the barriers put up there to keep kids away from a particular corner of the park, and piled everything together to make a wobbly see-saw.

At first, they tried sitting on the ends, pushing each other up and giggling like innocents kids do. Monster was curious too and they even let her sit in the middle securely for a while. I felt such sympathy for these kids as they ooh'ed over the structure they rarely see in NYC playgrounds. I wished for a moment that the city would start including see-saws in the playgrounds again.

Then I immediately took my generous sympathies back when,

The kids literally started jumping off of the slab of wood using it like a diving board! A few times Monster barely got out of the way as the slab swung sideways because someone just pushed it without warning.

This is why city will never include see-saws in the playgrounds: Too many kids getting creative and breaking legs, too many lawsuits over a $100 piece of metal.

Times like these, I wonder how in the world were we such benign children! What are us moms eating now to produce such dare devil children? Or is the lack of opportunities to get hurt naturally making kids curious to test their boundaries?

Should there be a waiver of all rights when parents bring their children to a city park and let them play like we did in the old times? Would it be better for children to fall a few times, skin a knee or two and learn how to stay out of harm's way? Or should we continue over protecting our kids so much that they forget to look both ways when crossing a street?

The View from my napping place

Gantry Plaza, LIC September 21, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mike Posner Makes us very happy

Waiting in the car is not something I tolerate well. As young couples, if Wizard took too long inside a shop while I waited outside, I used to spend time fantasizing about taking off and wondering what his face would look like when he can't find the car. I may have moved the car once or twice just to freak him out hehehe.

Waiting in the care with MONSTER is, how can I put it nicely, hell on my nerves. Nope there was no way around it, I have to be honest.

As she's getting more curious, it's a big big risk to let her entertain herself in the driver's seat. What with coins lying around, the car only a push button away from starting, a hand break we couldn't find for the first 5 minutes of leasing the car, there are a host of possibilities what she can do.

In an attempt to entertain myself while keeping her occupied, I desperately try to find her favorite songs on the radio and encourage her to dance so she keeps busy enough to not notice that the cd slot may be a great place to hide coins yikes, Nephew has already done it to my brother's car.

So who gets her attention these days?

Mike Posner You're Cooler Than Me

Ke$ha Take it Off

Enrique Iglesias I Like It

David Guetta Gettin' Over You

Eminem and Rihanna Love the Way you Lie

Selena Gomez Round and Round

among others.

What songs do your toddlers like, and if they are still only dancing to Barney and not interested in Pop, introduce them to some Brooklyn culture! It's all the rage!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Venture into URDU-land

Eid Mubarak my peeps! Did you all wake up at 3 am starving? No? It was just me then? Shucks!

Well, now Monster is up too, so at least I'm not alone forced to chat with myself. She going to be out of reach for at least another 25 minutes while she watches Curious George with her morning milk though, let me take this time to share what happened the first time I tried to teach Monster anatomy in Urdu.

I pulled out a Karen Katz book one day, determined to at least teach her a few more words in Urdu. She already responds correctly to idhar aao, haath ooper, and calls drinking water her paani-su (yes, it's half urdu, half turkish. Her name for water to play in is water-su).

We successfully talked about haath (hands), pair (feet), naak (nose), kaan (ears), munh (mouth) and then the motherload came...the belly button!

The belly button??? What the heck is a belly button in Urdu??? Soorakh? That's hole! Not very accurate. I can't teach her that there is a hole in her tummy!

So after a few painful seconds of delibration, I put on a big smile on my face and told her "That's yooourrrr......BELLY BUTTON!"

She can find this one out on her own.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Is it my turn now?

Among Wizard's frequent urging for me to speak with Monster in Urdu more, and requesting certain Pakistani dishes, I think we are slowly bringing about a change in our family dynamics.

For the last 5 years, we've been mostly Turkish in all we did. Hung out at Turkish restaurants, with Turkish friends, ate Turkish breakfasts, most food I made was Turkish, even the way I dressed was predominantely in the Turkish trends.

Could it be that it's my turn to revert to my Pakistani roots, and Wizard is actually egging me on?

For example, a few instances of what has been cooking in our home recently:

Fruit Chaat
Dahi Phulkiyan!

Chicken curry with naan (that Wizard ACTUALLY ate!!!)
For those of you who don't know him personally, he's a wheat bulgur guy...through and through. Doesn't eat white rice, brown rice, pita bread, or naan of any kind.
I'd say that this Ramadan, we had parathas 98% of the time for sahoor! And tonight instead of Turkish tea, he ASKED for Rooh Afza... and had two glasses!
I have no idea what's going on in this man's head currently. I'm just riding it out and enjoying the now frequent trips to Patel Brothers =)