Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Eleven Months

I call my eleven-month-old Puttachi a baby and something seems wrong. She is hardly a baby any longer. She is a walking, communicating, interactive little girl. Where is my baby, I wonder, until something upsets her and she comes crying and clings to me. Ah, here she is.

But, more than a baby, she is -

My Buddy - We sing together, we jig together. We walk hand in hand, tickle one another, even feed one another (When I am feeding her a meal, she feeds me the morsels that have falle on her bib). We play ring-a-ring o'roses. I tell her stories, and we read books and play together. She talks to me, and understands what I tell her. She is my buddy!

Communicator - Overnight, she has become extremely communicative. It was as if, all these days, she had been watching, observing, listening, and storing everything in her head. And then suddenly one day she wakes up and says, "Ok, lemme show 'em what I know", and turned into another involved member of the family. The change has been really overwhelming.

There are things I have taught her, and I know she knows that. But there are some things I have no idea she knows, and this is where she surprises me with her vocabulary and her knowledge of things. The other day I heard her say, 'Taats'. I turned round to see her holding her socks in her hand. She repeated, 'Taats." She then held it out to me and said, 'Ta-ta". She was showing me her socks and saying, come on, put it on me, let's go Ta-ta! (btw, anything worn on the feet is Taats.)

When we visited my parents, she went to my mom, pulled her to the kitchen, asked to be carried, and then she pointed towards the sugar box and demanded, "Ajji, Ta-kke!" (Sakkare for Sugar). We have no idea when she registered where the sugar box was. Then there was this other time when she suddenly stopped playing, came to me, asked to be carried, and then she yawned, rubbed her eyes, put her head on my shoulder, and said, 'Taachi', telling me that she was sleepy.

Her favourite book has a cheetah on the cover. When she wants it, she says "Ti-ta-te" (Chirate in Kannada for Cheetah) and looks around for it. When she has lost something, or when someone goes out of the room, she chants, "Elli? Elli?" (Where?) and goes loking for it/him/her. She brings her toys to me one by one, and says Ta-tu (thank you) herself, when I accept them.

And then there was this time when I was singing a song, and I paused, and she completed it in her baby language. Not in tune, no intelligible words, but enough for me to realize that she was completing the song. And this with a sway of her head and a sparkle of her delighted twinkling eyes.

I could go on and on, but I am sure you are already bored now. It is just that I cannot get over the fact that yesterday this kid stared at me, apparently blankly, while I talked to her, while all the while she had been storing things in her little head to surprise me with.

Observer - I had left my mobile within her reach. She picked it up, and I called from across the room, "No, Puttachi, put that down. You use it only to call somebody. Whom will you call? Papange phone madthiya? (Will you call PapA?) She smiled, and put the phone to her ear. And I fainted. She puts her teddy bear that is almost her size, down on her lap, pats it (rather beats the hell out of it), and says, "Te-tte Taachi" (Teddy Sleep) thinking she is putting it to bed. Then there was this time I was down with a cold, and she saw me sneezing into my handkerchief. When I was seated, she brought a random piece of cloth to me, held it to my face, and said, "Shi! Shi!"

Climber - Her mantra in life is "I must climb." Steps, objects, people - must be climbed. If there is something higher than the level on which she is standing, she has to climb it. She raises her leg almost higher than herself and keeps it first on that level, and then makes all efforts to climb, in the process losing her balance too. But climb she must. I hope even metaphorically, she is a climber in life! Realistically, this is one habit of hers that has me scared stiff.

Acrobat/Gymnast - Her body is always twisting itself in the weirdest positions, and her hands and legs are flying all across the rooms. During her bath, she raises her leg higher than herself to put into the bucket of water. When she is asleep at night, she suddenly turns over, or somersaults, sits up and cries. My guess is that she can sleep through the night, and let us sleep to, if not for this strange habit of hers. When we put her back on her back and pat her a couple of times, she falls asleep without any fuss. Any ideas why she might be doing this, and how it can be solved? (She sleeps in a crib, attached to our bed).

Violent person - Not only is she extremely restless, she is also a very violent person. Her limbs fly in all directions, often hurting herself. There is one thing I am worried about. What if, when she and I are alone, she lashes out and knocks me unconscious?

Protester - All these days, if she wanted a forbidden object and screamed for it, a minor distraction would be enough to draw her attention away from it. But now, she remembers. She enjoys the distraction, but then goes back to what she wanted in the first place, and looks for it. If she doesn't find it, we are done for. And previously, she just would scream in frustration when being changed, or fed medicine, etc. Now, she protests. Loudly and violently.

Imitator - When she sees anyone do something or say something, she imitates it immediately.

Strange kid - I read in books that babies this age point at objects when asked where a certain object is.. This kid points either with her foot, or with her head, or with her mouth (by licking the object in question). Only very recently has she started pointing with her finger.

She has been sick for a while, and she has become extremely clingy. She wants no one but me. When she is feeling particularly low, she screams until I carry her, buries her head in my shoulder and then calms down. I am writing this specially because when, a few years down the line, she will be ashamed to be seen with me in public, I can read this and comfort myself with the memory that there were such times too!


Usha said...

Thu thee that wath a very thweeth posth. She talks so much already?

"What if, when she and I are alone, she lashes out and knocks me unconscious?"
hehehe, I am in splits just imagining such an eventuality - the tiny one knocking you flat.

What a joy it must be just watching her every minute she is awake.
I think she just misses your warmth when she wakes up and cries looking for you. Once she is assured you are around, goes back to sleep peacefully.

~nm said...

She sounds such a wonderfully little girl! I guess I can definitely pass on the title given to me in my hay days - "Chulbuli" :D

Shyam said...

I hope she will want to lick me when I see her :D

Kadalabal said...

cho chweet tachi tachi puttachi
just can imagine all in front of eyes taking your mom to kitchen and identifyig sugar box and demandig sugary sakkare
akkaereya magaqla 11 ne tingala
vivarqvada varadi thumba chennagide
pratisaladante. sagaqli i payana nitya niranthar avalu yavagalu nimma kanamani yagirali yendu haraisutta ashirvadisutta nimage
vandanbe abhinandane


Anu said... cute..:)

snippetsnscribbles said...

chooo chweet ! I loved the same line as Usha did :-) was funny imagining it :-))

thanks so much for putting up some updates of Puttachi. Its been pretty long since you updated us about her and see, now she has learnt to talk so much too !
- M

Anonymous said...

It is amazing how the little ones keep observing and listening to all the sights and sounds they see and hear everyday and keep-in- waiting to surprise when they try to complete a song or complete a story line.

My favorite was when my son started completing the story lines that we had been reading to him since he was about 6 months old. One fine day when I stopped in the middle of a story he would complete it by uttering the next word in the story line.

Wait till they come up with their own concoction of nursery rhymes once they become familiar with them and try experimenting with those rhymes!

Nice post.


Abhipraya said...

I have said this before your posts make us go aaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwww so much that people around look at us suspiciously :)

It is such a joy to read about little puttachi growing up :)

Veena Shivanna said...

Wow! Great to hear about puttachi. Very nice to hear all that you say, and the way you put it is really amazing. I just started imagining all this with my little son.. Such a great feeling parenthood is...

Veena Shivanna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jottingsnmusings said...

No Shruthi, how could you imagine we would get bored? This was a beautiful post! The two of you are on a wonderful little discovery trip of your own, aren't you? :-)

Puttachi sounds delightful - a total cutie-pie! Wish I could meet her. Oh well, I had a nice time imagining too!

Nalini said...

Kitani pyaari Puttachi,
sabase nyaari, sabase achchi,
Must admit she is a great Imitator -How can I ever forget her imitating me when I sang `Chanda Mama...and she shook her cute little head and said 'Chana' with soooooooo many 'jugnus' in her beatiful eyes!!

snippetsnscribbles said...

so when exactly is Puttachi's bday next month? :)

charu said...

Cant wait to see her and watch her learn some more climbing skills from my children !does she attack your mother's Tanpura?

Lively said...

Aww that was a very cute update of Puttachi. Do let us all know when her bday is. And do post some pics :)

Mahalingesh Daddi said...

you write really nice, I read few of your posts

I linked now

Endevourme said...

after long time here; gud to see that u hv kept the blg alive :D
ya children often get clingy when they arnt well, tell my get well soon to her ..

Srik said...

Wonderful writeup. Brought out tears, literally. Children grow very fast, and how!

Anonymous said...

Very nice post, Shruthi. It makes me recall my 3yr old daughter's activities from those days when she was 12mo two years ago. At times she still calls herself "baby" and climbs up on me; and at times "big girl (ishtuddha - a taller one)" when she wants to use scissors for paper cutting or to go for biking.

Sumana said...

Hey puttachi truly is cute and handful. I agree with most of all that you say. My son just turned a year yesterday and all of a sudden he has started to make more sense of what we speak or do.

Sanjay M said...

Recently I was walking around on the terrace putting my 10 month old to sleep and i was just singing some song la la la la and then stopped when he was so still for quite a while I thought he was asleep, and suddenly he looked up and looked me in my eyes and continued la... oh boy what an unforgettable moment of my life!

I remembered your post then and thought i should put in a comment sometime :)

Really nice to read about all that communication - and one thing I've learnt from my son is that its really really important that I spend that much time with him closely involved with him as well i.e. not just smiling or carrying him him occasionally while watching TV etc but really making eye to eye contact, and often I get on the floor on my knees while talking to him (because for him we all look like giants!)

Best wishes for Puttachi to cheer up soon... and I'm positive that at your level of intimate involvement and respect for her individuality, a day can never come when there will be any kind of generation gap where she will be ashamed to be seen with you ;)

Sanjay M said...

I get on the floor on my knees while talking to him > even if he's trying to tell me something just making some sounds. But the expression on his face looks like he's saying something really important :) and I try to listen really intently putting off whatever else I'm doing.

Sanjay M said...

Veena many times I too have been drawn into speculations about how my son will be as he grows older.

But I find that by doing that, I'm missing him on what he is now at this moment! :)

Poppins said...

Lovely post Shruthi, isn't it amazing all the stuff they retain and bring on when needed? She's certianly hitting her milestones fast and furious!

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