Facts about a 9 month old

These facts are based on a sample size of one 9 month old.

  • 9-month-olds can eat 3 whole grapes before they get bored of it.
  • 9-month-olds can go from smiling to crying in 5 seconds flat. I've also managed to reverse this reaction in 5 seconds. Once!
  • 9-month-olds have no sense of personal hygiene. If you try to kiss them on their cheeks, they can turn their head at the last second and slobber all over your mouth.
  • If you give them an avocado to eat, make sure to wash their hair afterward. Avocado leaks out of their hair and all over their face.
  • 9-month-olds are dramatic. They are emotionally moved when you pluck them out of their mother's hand. They cry out in joy for saving them. With tears flowing down their chubby cheeks.
  • 9-month-olds are thrill seekers. Even though they can't walk to save their lives, they will try to launch themselves down the stairs or climb up tables.


Classical music geeks

I'm a bit of a classical string instruments nerd. I can't pay any instrument but I listen to classical music a lot.

Sempi and I like to name our trucks. Sempi goes for the classics like Mary Anne and Mike Mulligan. I usually go for Jacquline Du Pre, Yoyo Ma and Stradivarius. 

Me: So Yoyo Ma is driving the Stradivarius (the dump truck) and Jacquline Du Pre is digging the dirt with Guarneri (the excavator).

Sempi: Appa, Mike Mulligan and Mary Anne are driving up the hill and coming to the construction site.

Me: Paganini (the steam roller) is flattening the road. Perlman and Heifetz are pouring the concrete. 

Sempi starts struggling with the names at this point.

Sempi: What should we name our back hoe. 

Me: How about Beethoven? 

Sempi: Ok, we'll call it Beethoven Backhoei. But we'll use Backhoei for short. What do you think? 

Me: Nice try buddy, we're calling our backhoe, Beethoven.


My hope is that by the time he starts taking Cello lessons, he's already used to the names of big wigs.

Conversations about an 8 month old

Vian is starting to pull himself up. He stood up and tried to grab everything in his reach. 

Me: We shouldn't keep the water cup here. Vian might grab it.

Yoshi: We just have to keep an eye on him. You might think he has tiny T-Rex hands, but nooo. He's more like an octopus with tentacles.


Nostalgic Programming

For some unknown reason, I looked up GWBasic today and downloaded an emulator. GWBasic was the first programming language that I learned. I have fond memories of that language. I love the fact that I could switch to a graphics mode and start drawing circles and squares. 

After about 30 minutes of fumbling around, my muscle memory kicked in and I started to write a simple program to draw some shapes on the screen. I asked Sempi to sit with me and help me with the drawing. He wanted me to draw a truck, so I decided to give it a shot. 

He lost interest midway when I started looking up various commands in the programming manual, but I stuck with it. 

Here's the creation in all it's glory. 

Needless to say, I had a lot of fun. 

Broccoli and Carrot

A few weeks back while eating at a restaurant Sempi wanted me to tell him a story. I noticed he wasn't eating his vegetables, so I made up a story about these animals that lived in the forest and how they discovered Broccoli. When they ate broccoli they became strong and could lift heavy things. Then came carrots which made them fast. Somehow this worked and he polished off every broccoli and carrot in the plate. 

Recently we were playing with a hole punch and he was having difficulty piercing through some strong pieces of paper. So I helped him out and punched holes. He asked me if I've been eating broccoli. I said yes and told him that I'm going to eat all the broccoli in the house. Visibly disturbed by that he protested "But appa, I want some broccoli, can you please give me some broccoli next time?".

I'm supposed to feel bad for manipulating him into eating vegetables, but I have no regrets.

I want a baby

Sempi had this conversation with Yoshi yesterday. 

Sempi: Amma, when can I have a baby?

Yoshi: Well, you have to study hard. Finish your pre-school, then your elementary school, middle school and then high-school. Go to college, well that part is optional. Get a job, meet someone, fall in love and then you can have a baby. Most importantly you have to be at least 18 years old.

Sempi: Man, I'm never gonna have a baby.

Yoshi: Why do you want to have a baby? 

Sempi: So I can fiddle with my own baby monitor.

Previously, Yoshi had told him not to play with Vian's baby monitor and this is his solution. :)

My little helper

Sempi loves Vian. Vian thinks Sempi is the coolest guy ever. When Vian is crying and I've tried every trick in my book, I call Sempi for help. Sempi starts doing something funny (sing a song in gibberish or jump up and down on a mattress), immediately Vian starts laughing (not just a smile but a wholehearted laughter). Vian thinks Sempi is hilarious and Sempi loves to entertain Vian. It works out great for me. :)

Little Hands Big Work

My son's preschool Whole Child Montessori is running it's annual fundraiser called Little Hands Big Work. It's an event where the school raises money to provide scholarship to kids who need it. In addition the kids and parents volunteer to restore a natural water shed. So donors get the double benefit of supporting early childhood education as well as making the environment better. 

It is a worthy cause that deserves your support.

Here's the link to donate: http://www.wholechildmontessori.org/little-hands-big-work/

When you donate mention Sempi's name in the student column, I'm sure he'll appreciate it. :)

Levelling Up

A common advice that is given to people in software is "Surround yourself with programmers better than yourself". Somehow this advice does NOT work for me. Whenever I've worked on a team with programmers who are better than me, I get lazy. I tend to write code that is slightly worse than my average. I reckon it's because I rely on the better programmers to catch my mistakes. I do learn things from them but it's not quite at the same pace as when I'm thrown in the deep end with minimal help.

When I work in teams where people are about as good as me or they come to me for advice, I produce significantly better results. This goes beyond code, I've noticed this effect in project direction or project management. I find myself doing a lot of self-study and personal experimentation to make sure I know what I'm talking about. This naturally leads to better results.

I still need access to the expert when I'm stuck, but that access should not be as easy as turning my head to ask a question. I prefer that access to be through an email where I'm forced to write my thoughts down. Describing my problem in written form usually triggers cognitive dissonance and I end up solving the issue before hitting send.