Thanks, Madhurima, for the great pic!
My son is an absolute joy.
He creates joy. And shares it. Maybe not on purpose (he’ll snatch a tea biscuit from my hands, even when he already has one in his other hand). But joy radiates out from him into the room.
OK, that’s a bit sappy. I am his Baba after all, and he my little “nom-ti-nom,” so I could be biased. But I don’t think so.
There are some things he’s doing now that I’m going to write down so I don’t forget them. Or rather, I will have forgotten them someday, but I’ll come back here, read, and remember. I’m already looking forward to that rediscovery.
1. He hates hats. He doesn’t want to wear any hats, but he also doesn’t want me to wear a hat, or Madhurima, or anybody, if you get too close to him with a hat, he’s likely to grab it off your head. I may have helped create this particular hat monster. I’ll put something on my head that’s not a hat, like a toy or a placemat, and say “Is this a nice hat?” He’ll give me a big smile, pulling up on my shoulder and stretching until he can knock it off. But his answer to “Is this a hat?” is always no, even if the thing on your head is, technically, an accessory designed to keep your head warm.
2. He sits on the floor and pulls his socks off, then tries to reapply one sock by smooshing it on the top of his foot. But to get sock to foot he lifts his foot up into the air with one hand to meet the sock in his other. He does this semi-regularly now and it gets me every time. This morning he tried it with his shoe in the car seat.
3. He points to just about everything and says “cat” or just “ca.” Every once in a while he will point to the actual cat and say it and I treat him like he just discovered the cure for cancer. I know that most babies at a year or so do this and I don’t care. It’s amazing.
4. There’s a game that Madhurima plays with him (and I steal it sometimes) where he has his pacifier and she leans in and grabs it by the handle with her teeth and pulls it out of his mouth. He is half amazed, half thrilled. She then leans toward him again and lets him take it back, and repeat, and repeat.
5. I do the opposite with my keys. This started with me taking him out of the car seat, and I would hold my keys in my teeth while I got him unfastened. He started grabbing the keys out of my mouth, and then trying to put them back in. Now I oblige, biting the keys again and letting him take them out. This often ends with my keys in the back yard, but again, I don’t care. It’s the best.
6. He loves people. He’s interested in anybody new and seeing a bunch of people can cure a bout of crankiness. This past Sunday we had a Diwali party and he was asleep while everyone arrived. Madhurima went upstairs, woke him, dressed him and brought him down; he delighted at seeing all the familiar faces and was totally wired at the end of the evening. Madhurima thinks he might be a bit of an extrovert. I was shy as a kid, and I hope this means he skips that stage, at least in part.
7. There was a time a couple of months ago when he decided to stop eating food with texture. Cheerios were out, bananas were suddenly hit or miss; the boy wanted applesauce and yogurt only (always yogurt…even when he’s had a whole nother meal and is obviously bursting his proverbial belt buckle he’ll open his mouth and wait for the yogurt spoon to come in).
Madhurima wondered if he would be ordering applesauce at candlelit dinners when he was thirty. She made him some killer soup, with little potato bits and turkey sausage and kale blended smooth enough for him to eat. But we still had the babiest of baby spoons for him which held about two molecules of soup at a time. We had to hold the spoon completely level and navigate it down to his mouth, careful not to spill one of the soup molecules while dodging flailing baby hands and trying to sing “The Wheels on the Bus,” which distracted him long enough to (possibly) get some soup in his mouth.