Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Story of The Little Girl and The Baby

At the tender age of 16 months, one little girl’s world was rocked. Everything was hunky dory in her world one day, and the next day, the world was definitely greener. And we’re not talking about more trees here.

It all started when two giants and two normal people turned up at home one day with Daddy. She had never seen them before. They were kind of interesting. They had some big boxes with them. Everyone seemed kind of excited but that was lost on this little girl. She hid behind her Mama for a while but she soon lost her shyness and ventured to find out a bit more about the two normal people.

One of them was a little taller than her. She could not understand that this was a boy. And the other was a lot tinier than her, with big eyes. And a ready smile which immediately captivated her Mama and Ba (for the uninitiated, Ba is her nanny). This was ‘The Baby’. She ventured a conversation with The Baby and was immediately rewarded with some excited shouts which she found fascinating. She laughed in delight at The Baby, all the while unaware that the world as she knew it had changed. She was unhappy when Mama dragged her to bed. She kept wanting to know where The Baby was. She dosed off dreaming about The Baby. And woke up to a different kind of morning.

The little girl was the first one up the next morning. Ba went through the morning ritual with her, all the while explaining the importance of being quiet so that The Baby wouldn’t wake up. When Mama managed to pull her eyes open, she was wisely advised ‘Shhhh, Baby’. Mama was clearly meant to understand that she had to be quiet or else The Baby would wake up. In the meantime, dark clouds were gathering on the horizon.

The Baby woke up but her Mama was still asleep. So, Ba went and picked her up and brought her out to play. This was great because the little girl wanted to play with The Baby. The morning progressed smoothly. Mama had the day off and so it was a special day. The other normal person also woke up and soon it became apparent to the little girl that The Boy was equally interesting. As he came up with crazy ideas, she realized she could have fun playing with him as well.

Except her attention kept getting distracted by what The Baby was up to. The Baby seemed be fascinated with the little girl’s things. And with things belonging to people who the little girl considered her own private property, like Mama and Ba. This was not right. What right did The Baby have to play with the deflated balloon? Full of righteous indignation she walked across to The Baby and admonished strongly, “Nooooooooooo”, and snatched the balloon away. Next The Baby went for the toy train. “No Touch”, screamed the little girl and took away the train. The Baby was bewildered. Why were these tempting things being snatched from her?

The Baby was not one to dwell over the past or such rude displays of temper. She merrily went about picking up toys and chewing on them enthusiastically, only to face the righteous indignation of the little girl. Mama and Ba kept telling the little girl to share with The Baby and told her not to be rude, but their pleas fell on deaf ears. Stronger action by either person was rewarded with big tantrums. Things came to the crunch when The Baby decided to chew on Ba’s slippers. This was the height of injustice. Ba’s slippers symbolized going down to the park. They were a symbol of freedom, playtime and going out. Taken beyond anger, she marched up to The Baby and snatched it away from her and looked at her angrily and mouthed incomprehensible words. The Baby’s face crumpled. And Mama scolded the little girl.

The little girl couldn’t get it. Why was everyone shouting at her when it was The Baby who deserved a licking? She liked The Baby. She really did. But she didn’t think it was very nice of The Baby to touch her toys. It’s not that she didn’t want to share; it was just that when The Baby started playing with any of her toys, she had an indescribably strong urge to play with it herself. She still liked hearing The Baby laugh. As long as she wasn’t being held by grandma. Most times she was even OK with Ba taking care of The Baby. But there were enough times when she was not OK with it. Life was so unfair. She expressed her frustration and anger and jealousy by whining, throwing tantrums and clinging to Mama. The world was definitely greener.

The verdict was out. The little girl was jealous. She was cheerfully and loudly declared as ‘High Maintenance’ by Mama and not so loudly by other more polite giants. Let’s pray that God gives Mama some extra reserves of patience and humour to deal with the little girl because The Baby is here for a week and the little girl has just got to deal with that.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The experiment that did not work!

Let's just say that Squiggles howled through the 2 min ordeal. It was a fun thing to have tried though....... I am still trying to convince DD that I went for Squiggles' benefit and not my own! But he's having none of it :(.

Credits to Avanti. Thanks a ton for the pics. It was such a wonderful surprise to find them in the mail.

Ashtami comes around again

Remember her 1st Ashtami? Here's a picture of her a year later, in a gorgeous salwar kameez.

All grown up :). She was invited for puja by an Indian family in my mom's condo. Mom says she behaved rather well which was certainly a surprise. She's also done well for the day, picking up quite a bit of cash along the way! Not to mention loads of fruit so I'm glad I didn't bother with my grocery shopping this weekend :).

Monday, October 6, 2008

16 Month Update

It's been forever since I did a monthly update. Mainly because I would forget to do one on the DAY and then think it wasn't right to do a monthly update on any other day. Now that I'm older and wiser I recognise that I can do a monthly update within a one week vicinity of the monthly birthday, which basically means whenever! Hah, I'm smart. Actually, this one probably wouldn't have happened either except that I am doing it two days early and I don't care. At least I am doing one. And to compensate for not doing as many as I should have, I am going to do a super long one. In fact, I am going to tell you 16 things about Squiggles, her antics, habits, whatever comes to mind.

In no particular order..............

1. Squiggles has discovered tickling. Please note, not being tickled, 'tickling'. She is tickling us. She will poke one finger in our armpit and wait for the thunderous belly shaking laugh that DD has taught her to expect. Or she will lift DD's shirt and poke her tiny little finger in his navel and laugh like the silly girl she is. It's quite funny actually, watching her do that. She loves it.

2. Her favourite moving object has got to be the bus. Whenever she spots a bus, she exclaims loudly, 'Buuuuusss' and claps gleefully or just shouts and screams. She especially loves the red local buses and the blue Comfort buses. We took her on the bus this evening, 2 stops, from our condo to one down the road. She was surprisingly quiet inside it. I bet the other people in the bus thought we were weird when we kept saying loudly, "Wow, Buuuusss". And of course, we looked a sight when we waved 'bye-bye' at the Bus. Who said sanity has anything to do with being a parent!

3. She has started playing football with DD. In the house. This is how it usually plays out. DD will kick the ball in the air till it hits random points of the wall and bounces over all surfaces that it shouldn't and displacing all objects that are precious. Squiggles will giggle in delight and then attempt to kick the ball back. Sometimes she will put her foot on top of the ball and then wonder how to kick it. Sometimes she gives it a good old push and sometimes she gives it a good little kick with visions of 'Bend it like Beckham' flashing through my mind.

4. She loves books now. This is the ONLY thing that she has inherited from me. We put up three colourful shelves in her room where her books are kept. She will drag me to her room, point at her books and say loudly 'Book, Book'. Considering how hyper she is, she is quite happy to sit down and look at her books. Some of them are in a state of disrepair but who cares. She loves books! Now I can buy her more books without feeling guilty!

5. She has all of DD's food habits and none of mine. Which is probably a good thing. She loves savouries, papad, chips, fruits (specifically bananas), kishmish (raisins, just like her dad), idli (!!), dosa (!!!!!!!!), rice. Basically, what DD likes, she likes. I love sweets, she doesn't like sweets much. Unless it is a lollipop. But that's point no. 6.

6. Watching Squiggles eat her lollipop is eye boggling. Because it is impossible to keep track of all that sugar syrup down her chin. She licks it, but then struggles to swallow it, So, it all just drools down on to her clothes. Basically, lollipop = change of clothes. And if you (meaning I) take it away from her, there is a HUGE unending wail.

7. She has started going for these music and play sessions once a week, in a nearby condo with my mom. To put it simply, she hates it. She can't sit still and pay attention. All the other children sit quietly and listen to the story telling and the singing, while she is doing something else. I'm hoping it'll grow on her. *fingers crossed*.

8. She got her first black eye last week. She hit a table just below her eye. She didn't hurt her eye thankfully, but she had a fantastic shiner. Damn, should've taken a pic. Anybody else can beat that?

9. She also managed to hurt her toe thumb nail on Sunday. Culprit - Living room door and DD.

10. There are moments when she can just go on and on with what I call the 'mama papa song'. This is how it goes. 'Mama Papa, Mama Papa, Mama, Mama, Mama Papa, Papa Papa', in varying tones. You get the picture.

11. Instead of asking for stuff, she now catches my hand, pulls me and takes me wherever and then points at the thing she wants. So, if she wants to look at the boat from her bedroom, she will come up to me, grab my little finger, pull me till I move and then take me to her room and the window and say 'Boat!'.

12. We bought a cabinet recently for DD to store his liquor. There are two drawers with handles (!). Her favourite game is to lift the handle till it rests in the opposite direction, at which point she claps her hands and laughs gleefully. And keeps doing it.

13. She had fever over the weekend and we have a digital ear thermometer. Since we had occasion to use it several times on her over the last couple of days, she has observed and figured out how to use it on us! Last night when we woke her up to give her her medicine, she attempted to put the thermometer in DD's ear and then promptly went back to sleep.

14. She can identify everyone's shoes. This morning as were leaving for the doctor, she pointed at DD's shoes and said 'This Papa shoes'. I asked her "Where's Mama Shoes?". Since I'd already worn mine, she couldn't find them. She didn't point out anybody else's shoes though. And when I showed her that I was wearing mine, she gave a big laugh as if it was the biggest and bestest joke. I know bestest isn't a word, but your point is?

15. DD has been trying to teach her how to jump. Jump up and down, you know. I told my mom this and her reaction was 'Jump out of the balcony!', hence the clarification. It was funny seeing her try it. She couldn't jump, but she bent down and shook her little tush. Very cute.

16. She can create chaos in the blink of an eye. This needs no further explanation. There was something else, but it's completely slipped my mind.

We're having a blast with her. Playing, doing silly things, talking gibberish. It's like there are many children in the house. The more that she's interacting and responding, the better it gets. I can't believe that she was so tiny once. Seems impossible and yet I have seen it with my own eyes. And this impossibility is so common.

That's all for now. Good Night.