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Sydney, Australia
My musings and meanderings on childhood - mine juxtaposed with that of my kids'. Everyday incidents and images from our life in Sydney turn my thoughts towards my own wonder years growing up in Bandra, Bombay, India.

17 November 2012

How I realised my son needed Speech Therapy

So Caleb and I are on a bus that's winding its way through North Sydney. He’s giving me a running commentary of what he spies through the window:

“So many people going to office,
... tall trees,
...big, big buildings. Daddy works in a big building.
...three school children,
...a cafe. Does it sell doughnuts? I like doughnuts.

Look Mummy, two BIG COCKS!!”

“What?!?” I splutter.

He points to the North Sydney Post Office with its clock tower looming large.

“CLLLL-ocks, Caleb, CLOCKS,” I enunciate.

“...and there goes a big fuck too!”

“Yes, Caleb, that’s a TRuck.”

Caleb with his toy TRUCK

Pin drop silence on the bus. The men in black shuffle their newspapers; the women in their power suits swipe their iPad screens. Hehehehee!!! A teenager sniggers. A split-second later, the entire bus roars with laughter. The bus driver is laughing so hard, I’m surprised the bus doesn’t swerve off the road.
Oh well, at least 30 people got their jollies that morning...

And I made that call to Community Services’ Speech Therapy Centre, pronto.

Have your children said anything that has made you cringe? Have you made some unfortunate slips of the tongue? Is there any word you just can’t pronounce, or spell? Do you ever take public transport? What do you do on your journey to pass the time?

15 November 2012

The Write Way

Caitlyn and I are at loggerheads at the moment. She flat-out refuses to practise her writing. I know, I know, she’s part of a texting-tweeting generation; my need to teach her the art of penmanship may remain a pipe dream.

My kindergarten report card (age: 5 years 4 months)

But I relish the chance to write something down on paper – a birthday card, a cheque, a To-Do list... There is something organic about writing; a connection between your physical and emotive selves, between your ideas and that blank sheet of paper. You have to distil the thoughts that somersault through your mind before you put them down. There’s no backspace. No cut and paste. No delete button. So you take more care. You pay more attention.

I remember when I was little, my Nana would write letters to our relatives scattered far and wide. Inland letter paper for domestic post; blue aerogrammes for international. I can still picture her beautiful cursive script – every loop and swirl languidly arching across the page. But first things first: the ink pen would take a delicate drink of indigo ink, and then, minding its manners, wipe its nib on a pink square of blotting paper. Soon the words would pour forth – yarns spun about family, friends and festivities; tales about love and loss, the minutiae of life... Once concluded, she would fold the letter upon itself with a lickety spit and, hand-in-hand, we’d stroll down the street to pop it into the gaping mouth of an old letterbox...

Then we would wait for a reply... Nana and I would peer out from the front porch, waiting for the khaki-clad postman to do his rounds. Never mind that the news was probably a couple of months’ old by the time it got to us! While my cousins and I would bicker over whose turn it was to get the fancy foreign stamps, Nana would pore over the letter, reading it once, reading it twice, savouring each word.

So tell me, do you have nice handwriting? Can you write cursively? When was the last time you wrote something? Did you ever write letters to anyone – a penpal, a relative, a lover? What do you remember most about this?