Posted in Ram Leela

Toddler Tales

We haven’t talked about Ram in a while, have we? Want to know what this little mister is up to these days? Please note that this post is more for the purpose of recording his milestones than for reading pleasure.

We rejoiced the onset of toddler tantrums, stubbornness and meltdowns late last month. Very natural and age appropriate behavior. After all with every passing day he is realizing that he is not a mere extension of his mommy. And with that knowledge comes the need and desire to be independent and figure out where his boundaries lie. The first few meltdowns left me exasperated, but with time I am learning to identify the triggers and what battles NOT to pick. I am teaching myself to  be compassionate while being firm and consistent. To be firm and consistent without being rude. These days I actually find these episodes darn cute. When he is in tantrum mode, I would tell him – “Sorry kannama, amma cannot give this to you. But amma can give you a hug. Want to come?” The second he hears me utter those words, he would do the exact opposite. He would distance himself from me, face the wall and weep uncontrollably. The very next moment he would come rushing  for some cuddles and kisses. I would hold him tight wanting to freeze that split second when a smile spreads on his face even as the last drop of tear stays firmly planted on his eyelashes.

Ram is capable of carrying out any instructions. As soon as we come downstairs to get ready for the day, I would tell him, “Kannamma poi ommachi kapathu pannu” , meaning go say your prayers, and he would rush to the altar to hum a little slokam and would throw himself down as a mark of salutation. Of course, it is another thing that there are times when he would choose not to indulge us depending on his interest in the underlying request. For instance, he hates to have his diaper changed. When I call him for a change, he would swiftly nod his head from left to right, and would try all tactics up his sleeves to dodge the said activity.

Ram is learning his body parts. He likes to point to his head and say “head” when we sing the head and shoulder, knees and toes song to him. He can recognize his mouth, nose, hands, and others. The belly button is his favorite though. We call it Bee-bo (from the Belly Button book by Sandra Boyton), and he likes to call it Baa-bee. He loves to lift his dad or mom’s t-shirt and blow raspberries on their bellies early in the morning. Yes, that’s his payback time for all the raspberries we blow after his diaper change.

Shape sorter, wooden puzzles, and balls are some of Ram’s favorite toys. He builds towers with simple blocks, and with a bit of luck he manages to put the shapes in the right slots. He also loves to play with toys that have  sounds. He would turn the music on and sway this way and that. And the child loves to pretend play. He likes to wear anna’s broken goggles, his crazy hat, etc. He would bring two of his plastic sippy cups and offer a “drink” to us and wouldn’t let go unless we tell him “nalla irruke, rhombha nalla irruke” (tastes yum!). If he runs out of things to play with, he would grab his lunch bag, and declare to all of us “Bye bye” and head to the door. However, no matter how many toys he is surrounded with, his eyes are always tracking anna. Anything anna has should be more interesting and cool than what he has.

Ram loves things that are grouped together like pencils, markers and crayons in anna’s stationary box, chess and checkers coins stored in a zip lock, and the plastic containers tucked away in kitchen cabinets. It is not uncommon to hear one of us shriek his name n fury after stomping on these small coins or pieces that sure is very hurtful.

He also loves to stay perched on me and observe with his eager eyes when I am cooking. Be it making dosai or seasoning with mustard seeds, he finds them amusing and entertaining. Da and I think he will become a chef some day.

He continues to be a foodie but he is becoming more selective about what he would eat. Blueberries, bananas, and kiwis that were once his favorite food are now treated with disdain. Pasta, veggies, and curd are doing the rounds these days. He eats very well with a spoon, even semi liquids such as oatmeal.

Want to know the sweetest of all developments? He can give hugs and kisses, sort of.  After I drop him off at day care, I would ask him to come to me for a hug and kiss. He would immediately rush to me with overflowing affection. No wonder we are all head over heels in love with this little shaker, faker and trouble maker!

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Posted in Ram Leela

Thanjavur bommai

Heard of a Thanjavur thalai aati bommai? We have the cutest one at home and we call him Ram. This little bommai does an attami every time he wants or doesn’t want something. As I feed him his cereal, he does an I-don’t-want-it-now  attami*. If you please him by giving him something he wants, you will be rewarded with a thank you attami. If you use a rough tone on him, he will give you a how-can-you-scold me attami as tears stream down his cheeks. While you cannot keep this Thanjavur bommai in a showcase and adore him, you sure can pick him up and squeeze him with hugs and kisses!

*Neck, hand and eye movements commonly used in Bharthanatyam