The littlest person in our household, who knows to charm his way into our hearts and strum our heartstrings, turned two recently. We went to Storyland to celebrate the occasion. “Humpty Dumpty”announced Ram eagerly to our neighbors when they asked him about the theme park. Although he found the life size Mother Goose characters tad intimidating at the park, turns out that those are the ones that he recalls one week after the visit. He went happily on all the rides – from the merry go rounds to the tea cups and flying shoes..
When I think of the past year, some of the images that flash my mind are:
– Ram holding a slice of watermelon or a corncob, chomping it away happily. Such pride in knowing that he can eat what the rest of the family seems to be relishing. All by himself.
– Ram’s eyes twinkling with joy, his head nodding in an angle, his body swaying to an odd rhythm, and his lips trying to catch up with the lyrics. Music and dance are huge comfort factors for Ram. He would drag me with his tiny fingers and lead me into the living room “c’mon amma, let’s go amma, dance amma”. With a dance partner as charming as he, how can I refuse? So I ignore the kootu that is getting burnt in the stove and the clock that is ticking away mercilessly to join the merriment.
– Ram’s fancy for pretend play. Tea sets. Bindis. Costumes. Bangles. Hats. Helmets. Playhouse. Face Paint. Stickers. After dinner time, his favorite activity is to collect all our lunch bags, hang them on his shoulders, and announce with glee “bye bye amma, bye bye anna, bye bye appa” and head to the front door.
– Ram calling out for his anna to help him wear his shoes. “Anna Ram shoes please anna”. Hari sits there brimming with pride, from knowing that Ram chose him over appa and amma, and that Ram wants to hang out with him, and only him. Even if that exclusivity lasts for only few minutes, it brings much cheer!.
– Full blown tantrums. You can clearly see that the child needs food and sleep, but what he wants is control. And he will settle down for his needs only after he is convinced that he is the one controlling his choices and his environment.
– Ram’s liking for books. There are a few he likes more than others. Like the Brown Bear Brown Bear, The 100 Trucks book, and the ones from the Winnie the Pooh series. We play little games as we read – “Ram, can you show me where the cat is in this page?” I love how his eyes scan the entire page, a smile playing on his lips as he spots the kitty and points to his finding in delight.
– Politeness and courtesy even in the middle of a meltdown. “Don’t amma, please”, as he turns down something that I offer. “Thank you anna”, as anna brings his sippy. “Are you ok?” – when appa sneezes.
I have many more images of endearment that I would like to record here as keepsake, and those will be stories for some other day. Today I am writing to celebrate Ram’s second year into our lives and what a joy it has been. As you turn to two Ram, wishing you more music and dance, cheer and laughter, and lots and lots of growing, in the coming year and always! God Bless you dearest Pattu Kunjalame.