Hello 2010

We begin 2010 with equal parts excitement and uncertainty. Here are some disjointed musings about the last year.

Our biggest news in 2009 was welcoming baby Rohan into our lives. Rohan arrived on May 2, only one day late, and seemingly identical to Ruben in size and shape, except for his startlingly prominent Krishna nose. Many a well-meaning observer noted, with good intentions, how Rohan “looked so adult”. They may as well have said he had a good personality :-).

In any case, Rohan’s face has balanced out just fine now (parental bias aside), his cuteness aided by inheriting his mom’s eye and brow shape along with an ever-present jangery (sweet) smile.

Rohan has been crawling since five months of age and mostly uses his advanced mobility to chase around Ruben and/or his toys. Rohan can stand and cruise a little as well, so he may well be walking before he finishes his first year.

Ruben has had an exciting year as well. Being exposed to two-plus languages has meant his verbal skills are emerging more slowly than monolinguals, and he does show a certain amount of reservation with new strangers and situations, but among friends and family you can’t shut him up. Put a car, a book, or better yet, a book about cars into the equation, and you won’t hear the end of it. He also loves messing with mama and dada’s computer, so for Christmas Santa presented a solution.

Physically, Ruben has already passed the meter mark (around 3’3″), and routinely gets mistaken for a five-year old. This has been no surprise, given his lineage. Other than occasional accidents or cries for attention, he’s effectively potty trained. And he’s generally polite and considerate with strangers and other children, including his little bro. Not bad for an almost three year old.

Ruben started at an international Kindergarten this month (taught primarily in English, but with some German). Although he seems happy there so far, there are definitely signs of adjustment trauma. For sure, Ruben is missing his old buddies at his day care group, occasionally inquiring about going to “Margit’s” (the name of his day care provider).

His cohort, about ten kids, seems to be bimodal at the moment, with Ruben is spending his time with a group of older boys (mostly age four or close to it). There’s a younger group closer to age two and a half, but I suspect because of his physical size Ruben’s been placed with the older boys. Or, he’s self-segregated to the group that plays more interestingly with the cars and trucks.

Either way, it’s been hard to see Ruben experience his first social challenges. In classic heartbreaking fashion, when I picked him up the other day, four of the boys were sitting close together playing something, while Ruben was sitting about five feet away playing listlessly by himself. Whether he was being ostracized or just hasn’t quite connected with them, who knows? Regardless, I couldn’t hug him hard enough that afternoon.

Ruben is having some fine moments with his limited but improving verbal and reasoning skills. The other day he asked about why mama had gone to work. I tried to provide a brief explanation…mama works so she can get money…so we can buy food and clothes and cars and trucks, etc. He seemed to like this explanation well enough.

A few minutes later Ruben declared, “I no go kindergarten. I go work.” I asked him why, and he replied, “get money, buy cars”.

Overall, it’s been wonderful to experience Rohan’s many firsts and match them to Ruben’s parallel experiences of the recent past. K and I spend ample time reminiscing, with both fondness and envy, about those first months with Ruben, as well as our time before kids, the latter especially during the nighttime wakeups.

But as much as Rohan’s arrival has triggered the pleasure and pain of nostalgia, it has also prompted a fresh bout of excitement about the future.

I can’t wait until Rohan is old enough to defend himself against his big bro. I can’t wait until the boys are old enough to shoot baskets with me. And I really can’t wait until the boys can put on their long underwear by themselves.

The uncertainty about 2010 comes from my pending job offer with the State Department as a Foreign Service Officer. Nothing is guaranteed yet, but I have passed the major hurdles (written test, interview, etc.) and am currently going through the background check. If it pans out, we’ll be moving to Washington DC and parts unknown thereafter. I’ll have a longer post on this sometime soon.

Until then, I can’t help but think how lucky we are. Kirstin likes her job, I’m enjoying full-time fathering, and the boys are happy and hale. Life is good.

We spent the Christmas holiday in India. I was really proud of how well Ruben handled things. Ruben was old enough to realize things were different, but young enough to take most things–wet bathrooms, weathered, mustachioed passers-by and the constant cacophony–in stride. Rohan, other than understandable sleep issues, did really well also. In the end, yours truly was the grumpy goose of the trip, stricken by illness and allergies. In spite of that, we had a good time.

Here are some pics from the trip. Yes, I’ve finally given up on kodakgallery (nee ofoto), who inexplicably made it easier and easier for readers to ignore my commentary.

India Pics

Wishing everyone all the best in 2010.


1 Response to “Hello 2010”

  1. 1 Jef Wednesday, 27 January, 2010 at 17:17

    Wonderful update, Anand! The boys are growing so fast! Best of luck on the job. We will keep our fingers crossed for you. Keep me posted about potential future trips to Vermont. We could catch up with you guys in Burlington for lunch one day! Well, I better stop here and “go work, so I can get money, buy cars.” Take care, Jef

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