New kind of questions that I cannot answer:
She: *pointing to a picture* Amma, is this tiger crying?
Me: No, it is not.
She: Why is it not crying?
She: Amma, are your spectacles broken?
Me: No, they are not.
She: Why are they not broken?
I wonder if there is something deeper behind those questions!
She wants to know who everybody's mother is. Including animals, ants, plants, even stars. But to test her, if I ask her who is the chair's mother, for instance, she answers haughtily that chairs don't have mothers.
She: Amma, I want the moon.
She: The moon. Please get the moon for me.
Me: How shall I get it?
She: Go to the sky, and bring it down.
Me: What will you do with it?
She: *makes a gesture of rocking a ball* I will play with it.
Kids these days, I tell you - they ask for the moon!
She loves dressing up. Her favourite past-time is putting on clothes. One on top of another. Drop in on a surprise visit, and you can see her dressed in various articles of clothing from socks to gloves to mufflers and bibs and scarves and pyjamas and sweaters and caps and necklaces and bracelets and ribbons and clips - ALL AT THE SAME TIME. She has a particular fascination for articles of clothing that she can no longer fit into. If you need her to wear something, tell her that she used to wear it as a child!
She has discovered a sense of humour. She gets a huge kick out of inserting her own words in familiar rhymes or stories. For example, she says, "Twinkle Twinkle Little Amma!" Then pauses for effect, before bursting into helpless laughter. She can and does do this all day. Or twists a word, or puts in a nonsense word, or puts in an extra word into songs, and enjoys the joke immensely. She loves it even more if I join in and add my own nonsense words.
I had read so much about kids being afraid of monsters under the bed or in the closet, and I had never paid too much attention to it, because of a vague observation that no kid I knew seemed to have such fears. But yesterday, while I was putting Puttachi to bed, she got up abruptly from her crib, and crept towards my bed (which is attached to her crib).
Me: What happened, Puttachi?
She: *pointing towards the other side of the crib* Shoorpanakha (a demoness) is sitting there.
In the articles that spoke about this fear, I had understood that the response to this should not be something like, "Where? There is nothing there, dear, see? Go to sleep." Apparently, it not only trivializes the child's fears, but also does nothing to remove the fear. Kids at this age have such an active imagination that they truly believe that a demon or monster or a scary being is sitting there. So I employed this approach.
Me: Oh, Shoorpanakha? *looking at where Puttachi was pointing* Hey Shoorpanakha, what is wrong with you? Why do you want to disturb Puttachi when she is trying to sleep? Do you know how strong she is? Go, go, go away, don't come back! *Looking back at Puttachi* See, Shoorpanakha got scared! She is flying out of the window!
And that was enough for her. Puttachi smiled triumphantly and went back to bed.
Speaking about imagination, Puttachi's is in overdrive. She gets so immersed in play-acting that there is nothing one can do when she is involved in it. Nothing can break her concentration, and she forgets hunger, sleep, and sometimes, she can't even hear nature's call! She burst into horrified tears when I accidentally sat on a "baby" that she had placed on the sofa, and she looked on with pride when I picked and ate "fruits" from a "tree" that she had watered and grown.
Even her dreams seem to be pretty graphic. Yesterday she woke up in the middle of her nap, told me something in garbled diction, and then laboriously dusted her pillow for two minutes before she fell asleep again. She wakes up sometimes, telling me something seriously about someone or something, and then handing over "something" to me before going back to sleep.
I find it utterly fascinating to wonder what goes on in that head of hers!
She is a fun child, and a funny child. And backbreaking as it might be caring for her, there never is a dull moment.