Every week come mid-week, Hari would start the countdown for Saturday night. What’s special about Saturday anyway? Drum rolls please before I make the grand announcement. Saturday nights are sleepover nights in our house. Hari, Ram and I cozy up in our queen size bed while Da is delegated to the twin mattress lying in our room. Of course, when Hari is around, bed time is party time for Ram, and it takes a good 30 mins before the kids mellow down. Once they are ready to hit the sack, the kids rest on their human pillow, which would be yours truly. Hari would take over my left arm. Ram wanting to make sure that he doesn’t end up having less of his amma, would climb over me and stay perched until he doses away. If I managed to stay awake amidst all this drama, I slip by to catch up on weekend chores. But on most Saturdays, I am drifting to dreamland with a huge thank you heavenward for this little moments of bliss that I get to experience every week.
Drafted on Nov. 11, 2011
“Amma you and I should go on a date”, said Hari when he got down from the car. “What’s a date kannama?”, I played dumb. “A date is when you want to spend some time with someone, you spend time with just that person. Like you go to a movie or eat out or go to Chucke Cheese”, he eagerly shared his knowledge with me.
So when Hari’s school was closed for Veteran’s Day, I took the day off for the first official date with my sonny boy. So what did we do, you ask? Movie and pop corn, and a hike to the mall. We agreed that Puss in Boots was not so funny after all, and the pizza at the mall was lacking in quality. We concluded that it did not matter because we had fun hanging out with each other. A very happy Hari declared, “Amma may be we can have a date every Friday after I come back from school.” Ahem, ahem, we will see about that child!
Drafted on Nov. 14, 2011
Ram has been going to a home based daycare since he was roughly five months old. Until recently, the drop off in the mornings has been my least favorite part. If he was not crying, you could see his eyes weighed down with melancholy and longing. Needless to say, the drop offs felt like the most unnatural thing to do.
For the past few weeks, things have been different though. And today, in particular, is a red lettered day. During drop off, Ram smiled at his care taker, went to her willingly, and couldn’t wait to go to the play area. Better still, he happily waved a good bye to me. My morning could not have started on a sweeter note.
I would like to think that this milestone means Ram is beginning to understand that his daycare is his home away from home, and that he realizes that he can trust and be happy with folks outside his family. First of the many life lessons to come.
Drafted on Nov 15, 2011.
When I received the 13-month, 3-weeks old newsletter from BabyCenter, it dawned on me how it is already close to 2 months since Ram turned one. Time sure flies at lightening speed, doesn’t it? So what has Ram been upto these past few months? Very busy, I should say. Very busy growing, developing, expressing, interacting, and being mischievous.
He started taking his first tentative steps around 11 months. Whenever we sang, “thathi thathi nadanthu varum chella papa, engal chinna papa”, he would take it as a cue to toddle away in delight. It has been such a joy to see him grow physically and build on his strength, muscle by muscle.
He is beginning to understand and execute simple instructions. If Da or I were to ask him, “Where is Stitch kannama”. He would scan the room searching for the stuffed toy and bring it to us. In the kitchen, if I were to tell him “Ram, can you get me a bowl for your grapes”, if he is in a mood to indulge me he would pull the draw and look for a bowl there. “Kunjalame, give amma a hug”, would make him lean over me.
For the past few weeks, he has been “chatting” non-stop. “Ba” stands for ball, bat, and book. “Boo” means balloon. “Tha” is for thank you. “Ba Bye” stands for bye bye. “Uh adha” means something fell down. When he is not able to articulate using words, he communicates using his body gestures – pointing to the pantry when he wants cheerios, bringing a plate to me when he is hungry, and leading my hands to his back to pat him when he is sleepy.
Music is to Ram as books is to Hari. When Hari was a kid, he loved reading with me. Even as a 11-month old, he could focus on a book for close to 20 minutes. Ram, on the other hand, is a music lover. When Hari and I sit with our legs criss crossed during prayer time, Ram would sway because he knows we will be reciting slokams. Likewise, Ram loves to hang out with his dad and anna when they are working on Hari’s key board lessons. Right from his baby days, music has had a soothing effect on Ram.
Ram is a foodie at heart. He is a sport when it comes to being open to new food experiences. While Hari was a Gerber baby, Ram loves his cereal and prefers variety in his menu. He likes to eat finger food, and recently has been wanting to eat with a spoon by himself.