One of my favorite words in the dictionary and in life is change. Looking at you, I recognize that you are the word itself. Change. I’m amazed at how much a person of your size can learn everyday. Come on, how much memory is there in your little brain? And how much processing it does everyday? every minute?
You surprise me every waking moment of your day. Sometimes I ask you questions to which you wouldn’t know the answer. But you think for some time and start guessing the answers. Most of the time, you are right. Even today morning I asked you who my parents are and you immediately identified it as your grand parents. You have a great memory for people. You precisely remember people and incidents from at least 6 months ago. I know that you didn’t get your memory genes from me. It must be from your father. He is the one who even recognizes his school mate from kindergarten after 20 years in a city that doesn’t belong to either of them. As I always keep saying, your father is intellectual. And so are you.
Actually you think a lot. When I talk with you in big people style, you absolutely understand it. I can see you trying to digest any new information I pass to you and you ask your doubts and even reaffirm what I had just told you, all in terms of single words. Your most recent book is “Being fair”. You love the book and I love it too, for it contains sentences that I keep repeating to you when you are among others. Now you have more reason to believe me!
You also know genders. You can identify whether a person (even most babies) is boy or girl and you are right all the time. And of course, if you called those tomboyish girls as boys, it’s not at all your fault.
You know all your shapes, colors and numbers. Okay, you know numbers from 1 to 10 and then lots of 2 digit numbers. One of our favorite games when we are waiting for something or someone in public (and when you are impatient) is to identify shapes in the rest of the world. When I tell you to find out a specific shape around you, you really go out of the way to find it even if it’s a tough one to crack. You have learnt to identify numbers too, you recognize many numbers when you find them even in different locations and different sequences.
Our singing and dancing is going on really well and you have started singing. You love to perform in front of known people and sometimes strangers too. You take a good place to stand and sing some of your favorite (and easy) rhymes. Your words are not clear but your keep to the exact tune of the original song. You talk quite a lot of words even though you don’t seem to be talkative. Your father’s genes, I bet. You talk when it is required. But you say it clearly and fluently. You still haven’t learnt to speak in sentences but you say words together. You communicate everything this way and these days, even outsiders are able to understand what you say, most of it.
It’s so funny to watch common words becoming a tongue twister for you. Chicken soup would become “kackan soup” and then “chinken choup” while you try to say it. And you realize it if you say it wrong and you keep trying. The cutest part is, you have to spit some saliva out while saying your tongue twisters. Don’t worry, I’ll try to keep this part a secret from your teenage friends to be. Triangle, rectangle, water melon are some of the other tongue twisters. You still don’t pronounce ‘f’. You say ‘sh’ instead. Whenever you see a McDonalds restaurant, you point out to the big M and ask for ‘shench shies’ (french fries).
You love to eat. You have favorites even though you enjoy most fruits and vegetables. It helps that I avoided biscuits and chips (even baby versions) almost completely from your diet during the initial months. (I had to do it to make sure you were eating enough fruits and veggies for snacks because you didn’t start out as a good eater. I replaced whatever little amount you ate with the healthiest options) You still take fruits for your snacks, vegetables during lunch, fish and chicken whenever they are served. I had been thinking you were a fussy eater during the first year but now your have totally changed into someone else. You even eat whole boiled eggs now and a little milk too.
Quite often you say something called ‘see-ma-pop’, as I hear it. This is the only thing in your vocabulary that I do not understand. You say it when you are happy, when you are jumping and having fun. I hope I’d find it out soon.
You understand cause and effect. Everyday I tell my mom on phone about you and one day when I was probing you with questions (like I always do) you smiled and said that I had told your grandma about it on phone. Of course, I did talk about that on phone but I thought you were playing and had not listened. That gives me an early alarm about talking about you to others, good or bad.
You love Barney. And you love to watch TV. I love the former too, but not the TV factor. Your screen time is around 1.5 hours a day even though I try to cut it short. Not that I’m a strict mom but I just don’t want to spoil your precious physical play time. I truly believe and I do see that you tend to sit idly in front of the TV for longer periods. But I appreciate that you learn a lot from TV, why I do too. In fact many times, I use Barney’s name to get things done from you. Recently, I also discovered that singing the “clean up” Barney song will make you really really clean up the place and put your toys away with very little help. Sometimes you even claim that I sing the song and you start tidying up by yourself.
You are so confident about your common sense that you do not even need my advice. Today you were helping me putting away folded clothes and I handed you a old towel (that I wanted to use for kitchen cleaning here after) and asked you to keep it in the kitchen. When I saw you carrying it towards the bed room, I reminded that that cloth would go to the kitchen. You looked at me with disbelief and said “towel. there!” and you proceeded to the bed room. Oh yeah, towels are supposed to be kept there and who am I thinking I should recycle old clothes. Common sense, you see? Is it time for you to learn the 3Rs of saving the environment?
You are getting increasingly friendly with strangers, and are wary with them at the same time. It depends purely on the strangers themselves. There are times when you totally get playful with one person in the train and all of a sudden you find someone else noticing you and if you don’t like them, you try to hide yourself. You either hide behind me or you tell me you want to sleep. As if, closing your eyes would make this person disappear.
You have reached a stage of independence where you are slowly moving out of the protective nest within your parents’ arms which kept out any kind of negative energy and was always feeding your mind with positive thoughts. I know this is being hard on you when a much bigger boy pushes you out of the play car and I had to take you away from there saying that you should wait for your turn and that the boy will soon try to be nice. It must be hard on you when you get smacked by another kid in the play ground. I also realize that soon you will go through similar situations in my absence and I wouldn’t even know it.
I’m not sure if you fully understand this when I say, but I say it anyway. People are sometimes unfair, why, we all are. It is forgivable. But be kind for as much as possible, because nobody likes to be bad, and nobody is. There’s good everywhere in the world, it’s only up to us to dig and find the good. And I’m sure that the sensible person that you are, you will be able to identify it!
I love you,