Saturday, October 18, 2008

Lil' General at twenty-two months..

-- is two months shy of turning two. I eagerly waited to do the post when he turned twenty-one months September 18, only to miss until it turned too late to be relevant anymore. So here I am, not wanting to missing the opportunity of recounting the month just gone-by again. Monthly birthdays are exciting...the steam builds up a couple of days before the event and on the 18th of every month, the day starts with "Happy Birthday" and goes on through the day everywhere - in the loo, while jo-joing (LG's vocabulary for bathing), walk in the park, eating sessions and just about randomly. The difference being, LG understands now and joins me with "Appy Appy" with this huge grin on his face gleaming with happiness that he is being made feel special. Isn't that what it's all about after all?

The milestones in the early months - from one to six months were more noticeable and easy to write about. But if you ask me the difference between what LG did as a 21-month-old and a 22-month-old it's difficult to pin-point to one particular thing saying he completely developed this habit this month. Many habits have been manifesting in subtle ways over the past few months such as his preference for using left hand over the right. His first instinct to pick up a piece of biscuit or feed himself or lift a crayon from the floor is his left. I'm not against his being left-handed or right-handed; whatever comes naturally to him is good for him. But when it comes to eating and shaking hands with others, I encourage him in a positive way to held out his right and slowly I realise he is able to use both his hands with equal ease and the first instinct still remains left.

His need to assert himself has grown over the past month. He insists on feeding himself. More often than not, he can't bring himself to eat more than 3 spoonfuls. I appreciate him on his effort but there are times when I run out of patience because the meal times just seem to take ever and at times I feel there is hardly anytime left between the previous one and the next session. As a child he was quite fond of plain milk. He has perhaps outgrown the taste and now likes it flavored with Bournvita or something similar. It's down to one bottle a day which again is out of my convenience for the morning and not because of his demand. My goal is to completely stop bottle this month and move over to the cup for all times.

I can't quite recollect when I developed a phobia for cockroaches. As far back as my memory goes, I've always been afraid of the creepy insect. Maybe LG is too young to understand fear. He doesn't battle an eyelid before picking up a big grasshopper or chasing tadpoles, frogs, ants, dogs and cats alike. The only time I saw him cry out of fear was when the power went out last night and the inverter was down. He was seated in his high-chair having his dinner with me sitting beside him when total darkness engulfed us. Tears rolled down his cheeks and he began sobbing; a good amount of reassuring that I was right next to him soothed him in a while. Separation anxiety is still there but he doesn't throw a tantrum if I step out for a while like 30 mins. He enjoys donning a hat all day and putting one on the horse and his other teddy friends too.

His curiosity hasn't died down a bit; if anything it only gets worse by the day. LG lets the whole neighborhood know during the day that the power is gone and inverter is on. He goes onto check the lights on the mains, opens the fridge to see if the lights are out, then switches on the tube light and fan to see if it runs. And this process is repeated in a sequence atleast a dozen times and if it's our lucky day, the power comes back before he is done with certifying that the power is indeed not there. Or like the other day when he was all set to open the fridge with a knife.

One significant milestone of the month is his explosion in vocabulary. It's been over a month and half that he has gotten into one-nap-a-day routine; sleeps for over two-three hours at a stretch in the afternoon which is good. But it's become challenging to keep him actively engaged during the day and later in the evening as I run out of things to do with him. We do about two or three trips to the park in the morning once before breakfast and once before lunch. And then follow it up with a longer one in the evening and one last one to say good night to the moon before going to bed. At home, it's nursery rhymes time for an hour, seeing pictures of The Seniol and rest of the family for 30 mins, a visit to the neighbours' and then toys. Still we are always short of things to do as he can't sit in a place for more than 2 minutes - has to get the dough or water the plants or throw stuff into the sink or run into the bathroom. After a lot of conundrum on what is the right time for him to go to playschool, I finally made up my mind one morning this week that it was time to let my baby go for a couple of hours for his own good. Not much is going to change between now and two months. It's tough to come to terms of letting him go for the first time to be in someone else's care considering I've taken care of him every single day without a caretaker since the day he was born through my good days, bad days, through my sickness and days of being down and out. I try convincing myself he is too young to go to a play school which he is. At the same time it might do good to him playing with other kids. I took him to two schools nearby and both the times he was all excited while there and quite sad to leave. The expression on his face said it all though he cannot express it in words yet. The boy has inherited his expressive face from his mom, perhaps! So, he is all set to join one after Diwali.

I'm told the terrible twos phase is yet to come. But I sincerely believe it's arrived well before time. Temper tantrums are more one day with the little boy pointing his authoritative finger at me with that seriously frown on his face when he doesn't get his way; and then there are days when he is the perfect little charmer with twos getting terrific than terrible. He quite understands that his mother won't budge for unreasonable demands no matter how much fist-beating and fake cries he enacts. At the same time he also understands that with half the effort he can get his way with his grandfather. So he turns to him for all the unreasonable ones which miffs me. It's a challenge to mix grand-parenting and parenting. Because then the child starts understand his mom is not on his side so much so that I get slapped by him now and in the next breath he is trying to comfort me running his fingers down my cheek. I don't like raising my hands on the kid but I do raise my voice and he understands it is not right to do what he did.

On a closing note, having LG was one of the best things that happened to us. He makes everyday beautiful and living worthwhile.