Monday, March 31, 2008


On Sunday, Rama and Miriam made a mess. Which I only discovered after Miriam had left. I was shocked to see the bathroom sink (and mirror and and floor and tub) splattered with paint. Water-based, so it's really OK. But I was just really shocked that these two sweet little girls could wreak such havoc. I proceeded to clean up, Rama standing by my side. I wasn't even aware I was doing it, until Rama called my attention:

Rama: Why are you saying "Jesus" over and over again?
Me, winging it, again: Because I'm calling on god to help me clean this mess.
Rama: Oh.

Monday morning rush. I was helping Rama get dressed - into too-small pants. Turns out I was muttering again.

Rama, under her breath: Jesus, please help my mom pull up my zipper.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


Props to Ate Mercy's great timing. She got Rama this wig. Which is so appropriate, as Rama and I are still basking in the afterglow of the We Will Rock You experience. One of the characters, Oz, has hair exactly like this.

Rama repeats dialog from the show. Her favorite, which she reenacts with flourish:

Rama as Figaro: Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the fandango?
Rama as Scaramouche: Are you trying to get in my pants?

On another note.

Britney got a new haircut. So I made the comment:

Me: Brit, you look like Dora. And Rama. Hmmm. Let's see. You look like... Boots! (the monkey.)
Rama: He doesn't have hair. (Pause). Can you come with me?

She takes my hand to the other room, in private.

Rama: You hurt my feelings.

Gasp! So I said sorry, and explained that I didn't mean to, I was just playing and just having fun, etc.

Rama: It wasn't even funny.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Last night, at her dad's place, we heard animal sounds behind the walls. Scurrying sounds. This was while we were prepping dinner - she was helping me chop turnips.

Me: What's that?
Rama quiet, just straining to listen for more.
Me: Maybe it's a squirrel? Or daga.
Rama: I hope it's Ratatouille, so he can help us make dinner.
Me, addressing the creatures: Hoy, kayo diyan, punta na kayo dito, tulungan niyo kami magluto!
Rama: English sila.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Healthy Detachment?

Here is Rama with her new friend, Miriam.
Yesterday, Rama gave Miriam 3 of her most precious mermaid dolls. I just overheard some parts of their conversation.

Miriam: WIll you let me pick which ones?
Rama: Sure
Miriam: Ok. I promise I won't pick Ariel.
Rama: No, it's ok if you pick Ariel.

And in the course of the afternoon, instead of just one doll, Miriam happily went home with 3 new mermaids, including Ariel.

The following day, I tried to talk to Rama about it.

Me: Rama, hiningi ba ni Miriam yung dolls?
Rama: No, I just gave it to her.
Me: Why?
Rama: Because I like making people happy.
Me: Will you miss your mermaids?
Rama: Yes.
Me: What will you do if you miss your mermaids?
Rama: I'll think of nice things. Or masahe. Or just play with something else.
Me: WIll you take it back?
Rama: No. It doesn't really matter.

Childhood Zen.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Our Backyard :-)

Prudie Ever

Rama and I had some company today. She made friends with Miriam, 6 years old, a while back and we've had pizza parties at their place. Today, we were all going on an Easter-themed outing. But before that, we had Miriam and her dad over for lunch at our place.

In the middle of the lunch, Rama stood up and picked up a framed baby picture of hers. It was on display in the dining area; our guests had their backs to it. She calmly stood up, walked around the table, picked up the frame, and brought it into the bedroom. Miriam followed her. Rama simply told her, "I just want to hide something." No big fuss. She went back to the table, and gave me a look that asked, "Was that ok?" I let it go, reassured her everything was ok, and we all just went back to enjoying our lunch.

Later that day, when I had her to myself, I had to ask her.

Me: Rama, bakit mo tinago yung picture mo kanina?
Rama: Kasi nahihiya ako.
Me: Bakit?
Rama: Kasi I'm naked.

This picture will now live in the bedroom. I should get new photos printed.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Booze and Cigs

Just today, I learned about these exchanges between Rama and her Tita Krung Krung. They have a special bond - they share a love for funky handbags, movies and other vices. 

One night in Manila, they were watching a DVD. Tita KK had to take a smoking break. Rama tagged along. After a few puffs, Tita KK put the cigarette out. She assumed Rama wanted to go back to her movie right away. 

Rama: Bakit mo pinatay na?
Tita Krung Krung: Tapos na ako. 
Rama: Sayang naman. Dami pa nu'n. Bakit ka nagmamadali? Andito naman ako. Sasamahan kita. Sindihan mo na ulit. 

Another time, Rama kept looking at Tita KK's full glass of vodka. 
Rama: Inumin mo na yan.  
Tita Krung Krung: Bakit?
Rama: Kasi matutunaw na yung yelo, mawawalan na ng lasa yung vodka mo, magtitimpla ka pa uli. 

Rama was around 4 years old. 

Friday, March 14, 2008

Not Normal

Ate Mercy: 'Day, hindi ba talaga umiiyak si Rama?
Me: Hindi. Madalang na madalang.
Ate Mercy: Kahit nung maliit pa siya?
Me: Oo. Kahit madapa siya, tatayo, pagpag lang, walang iyak.
Ate Mercy: Paiyakin mo naman, kahit minsan. Para tumibay ang puso. Kahit itanong mo sa doktor, kailangan umiyak ang bata. Hindi normal, eh.


When it's snowy outside, we amuse ourselves with all sorts of stuff indoors. Dancing, drawing, pretend play, and of course, a game of Jenga.

When we first started playing Jenga, Rama was around 3. We would play with my siblings and it would get pretty intense. She would get so anxious and would beg me not to play anymore. She didn't want ME to be the one to topple the tower. 

Thursday, March 13, 2008


On our way home from the bus stop, Rama sees dog poo on the ground.

Rama: Mommy, why does the dog not have hiya?

Sunday, March 9, 2008


These were taken on the same day. The upside-down-in-the-snow shot was taken right outside the Ontario Science Centre; the lush tropical forest, bottom, was inside the science centre. The Rain Forest is a permanent exhibit, one spot in the city that's hot and humid all year long. Rama loves both the wintry city and the tropics in equal measure.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Britney and Ate Mercy

Meet Britney. She is Rama's current BFF. Britney is also a mutt - half-Canadian, half-Bisaya. Rama and Britney are classmates in Senior Kindergarten; afternoons, they spend more time together at Britney's house. They play dress-up - Britney has a trunk-full of costumes - Princess dresses, feather boas, shades, gloves, glass slippers, the works. Or they just tear the house to bits with puzzles and toys all strewn about - they love it.

Britney talks funny ("makamownee" = macaroni). For a while, she wanted so badly to speak Tagalog, hearing Rama and me converse. The most I managed to teach her was "Kamusta." She tries to copy the sounds and says "Kana! Kana!" - her one-size-fits-all expression. Whether she's pleased, or looking for something, or upset. It's always "Kana! Kana!" I guess she just figures that it's as Tagalog as she can sound. Britney has the most well-developed 5-year old calves that I have ever seen. Because she has motion sickness, she hardly takes the bus or streetcar. She walks everywhere with her mom, as far as 5k sometimes.

Ate Mercy, Britney's mom, looks after the girls.

Ate Mercy. She was too shy to have her pic taken. But she is a sweetheart. The first time that we met, she shared that she met her wonderful husband via Love Connection. I didn't get it at first, then I realized it was an online match-making service.
Some evenings, I don't even have to cook dinner - Ate Mercy will pack some food for me to take home - pancit, sinigang, ginataan, banana cake. Ate Mercy has come through for me countless times - she will do emergency shopping for me, like during the first snowfall and Rama was wearing the wrong shoes, wrong jacket, wrong everything. Thanks to Ate Mercy, Rama was winterized by lunchtime - outfitted with snow boots, snow pants, and all the fleece she'll ever need!

Ate Mercy, typically Pinoy, is doting and protective. She always fusses and worries about her wards. It tires me out just to watch her. Especially in the playground. When I'm not around, Rama is not even allowed to go on the monkey-bar ("It's not safe, only when your mommy is here," she would tell Rama). That's her style - "Ako, madami talagang bawal sa mga bulilit ko. As much as possible, ayoko silang masyado maglaro ng rough. Si Cody (her eldest boy, 11 yo), 9 broken bones na yan!" Of course, I had to stop myself from saying right then - if Cody has had 9 broken bones, something isn't working, Ate....

But it's all good. Rama and I humor her. She freaks out when she sees Rama and me doing "dangerous" flips and tumbles.

The Magic Royal Vacuum Cleaner

Rama: I wish I lived in a castle.
Me: Ay, ako, ayoko. Hirap linisin. Dami va-vacuum-in.
Rama: I know. The royal fairy will make the vacuum. So you don't have to move. And the vacuum will vacuum everything in the castle, everything in the universe! That would be cool.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Nothing Escapes Her

This actor was a minor character in Hairspray. Tracy's teacher. She also appeared in Twitches Too, a movie that Rama caught during the weekend. The second she came on screen, as a housekeeper, Rama spotted it. "That's Tracy's teacher."

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Shake It!

We went to the Gladstone Hotel for a Bunch Party. The linked vid is from another venue, but you get the idea - it's indie for kids. Had fun with the shakers. And watching Rama play and try to find *the rhythm* 

'La-lang Update

Lying in bed, trying to go to sleep last night, Rama bolted up and described something that she misses from Pilipinas.
Rama: It's like an egg. Pero may matigas sa loob. Tapos may soup sa loob ng egg. Higop mo yun. Tapos you'll eat the inside.
Me: Balut?
Rama: Ya. I miss balut.