Wednesday, July 30, 2008

...and so spiritual too!

My 9-year old niece, who spent a couple of days with us this week has taught Vir the cutest thing. He can now say the following"
"Mata - Pita - Guru - Devta"
(mother - father - teacher - God)
Mata and Pita are really clear. Guru comes out Guddu and Devta stops at Devet. These words of wisdom about putting first your mother, then your dad, then your teacher, and then God because God is in the first three and disrespecting them would mean disrespecting God are especially profound coming from an 18-month old, don't you think? :-)

My efforts are paying off!

I've been trying to teach the boy some manners...starting with the basics...say please, say thank you, don't beat people on their heads with your bat...that sort of thing. He used to just scream for whatever he wanted till I taught him to say "please." Then, he moved to screaming till you looked at him, and then saying "please." But yesterday, he was in his car seat when he dropped the bottle of water he was holding. It was so gratifying to hear him gently say "pa pui" (pani please). I jumped all over myself to get it to him quickly so he doesn't start thinking screaming is a more effective way of getting what he wants. We're on our if only I could get him to stop killing everything in the house with that wretched bat.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Why do I keep doing this?

I have been so lazy about posting for a while that there's now a huge backlog of updates from Vir's side of the world. I'm going to try and present an executive summary here, but I'm pretty sure I'll miss out stuff. So, Vir, some out of the last month-full of your antics are now never to be documented since I don't remember the details. Hopefully though, there are more antics where those came from, and I'll have more chances to write them. I can almost hear the forces that be laughing to themselves ("Crazy lady wants more antics, we'll give her more antics!") Here's a random list of things since the last time I posted...
  • His vocabulary is now too long to keep count of. He basically tries to copy everything I say, especially if I say it slowly and deliberately. What amazes me is the number of words and labels for things he's picked up without any of us even realizing it. Like when he pointed to a cartoon in the newspaper and announced that it was a "cartooo," or when he looked at the mop lying in the balcony and informed me that it was a "pochu" (pocha is Hindi for mop.) Some of his words are so cute, I keep getting him to repeat them a million times a when someone goes to the bathroom, I make it a point to ask him where the person is just so I can hear him say "baa-(long pause)-thoooom." That's also his response when I ask him where he should be going to potty, but of course, that's all just theoretical knowledge. He'll do well in a viva question about potty habits, but will flunk any practical exam on this all important of subjects.
  • What's also amazing to me is how much Vir is constantly observing and absorbing whether or not we're realizing it. I didn't think, for example, that he can identify the sound of birds chirping. If you live in Gurgaon, you'll know why I might think this. But I guess there's hope for Gurgaon and there must be birds here, because he heard the sound on TV and accurately told us it was "chi-yaa" (chidiya being Hindi for birds). I'm beginning to think he now knows everything...he knows where things are kept in the house, he knows when we're going to be going out somewhere, he knows when others are going to be going out and are looking for ways to sneak past him, he knows when I'm thinking of going to the bathroom and trying to find a way to do it without him clinging to me and begging me not to go, he knows what time he goes to the park every day and that there's a routine for getting him ready to go and play - from drinking milk, to changing his clothes to applying mosquito repellant, to wearing shoes, to gathering his water and napkin and toy of the day, he knows when he can get away with something and when he's crossed the line, he knows how to make me come around when he's crossed the line, and most of all, he knows how to get his way. He's even beginning to figure out generalizations all by himself...he now calls all older males "bhaiya" and all older girls/women "didi" (older brother and sister respectively). It's pretty comical when sees Shah Rukh Khan on TV or a picture of Lakshmi Niwas Mittal on a book I'm reading and proclaims them his bhaiyas! Or when he stands in the balcony and yells didi or bhaiya to random passersby in the super loud scream that is now his voice for 70% of the day.
  • The other big thing is the variety of extreme antics that he has picked up. Honestly, that boy does nothing straight all day. If I can't hear or see him for more than a minute, I can bet he's sitting behind the blinds in my room putting his fingers in the grooves of the window and licking the dust that comes off. If I can't find something, or if I see him looking deceptively innocently at something from the balcony, I know something's been thrown off the second floor. If he's not doing this, he's climbing chairs, tables, side tables, beds, bookshelves, balcony ledges, or our backs. If he's not doing that, chances are he's torturing Baggdu, which is his favorite pastime. God bless Baggdu for being as tolerant as he is. I guess one incentive for the dog is all the food that comes to him when Vir comes running asking urgently for a bicsuit or another snack and then goes busily looking for Baggdu to feed it to him. You scratch my back, and I'll pretend not to care when you pull my tail (or my balls, as has sometimes happened, much to the dismay of all spectators).

One thing is certain...he literally makes my day. He takes up every minute of it in a way that I can't really say I've been productive in the normal sense of the term. All I have at the end of the day to call it productive is a baby sleeping in my bed - clean from his bath to wash off the grubbiness of the day, tired from constant naughtiness, satisfied from his indispensable bottle of milk, and miraculously still in one piece despite the odds presented by his behavior and personality!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Current vocabulary

Buddy (birdie)
Oatu (oats)
Pish (fish)
Daail (dal/lentils - in response to the question, "what do you make in the cooker?")
Aaoo (aaloo/potatoes)
Tuppush (tamatar/tomatoes)
Mana (Mamta, the lady who looks after him)
Oma (Omvati, the cleaning lady)
Guddie (backup cleaning lady)
Moon (for moon as well as airplane since both are in the sky!)
Davai (medicine)
Baw baw (any animal)
Ditty (dirty)
Ca (car)
Po (potty)
Ba (bahar/outside)
Bo (ball)
Unka (uncle)

This list is getting longer by the day. It's cute to see him try out new words...sometimes you can see him trying to move his lips to make a word and then hear something entirely different come out of his mouth!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Change the topic, quick!

Every so often, Vir does something that makes me yell at him...take a swing at me with his plastic bat, bite Baggdu (yes, really), throw something off the balcony, throw something into the toilet, throw something into the mopping get the general idea. When he does one of these things, he's fully aware that they're not allowed (fun as they may be) and chances of me yelling at him are high. So, he has a well prepared response. This is how our exchange usually goes:

Me: Vir, what did you do?
Vir (to himself): I think I'll just look at her dumbly for now.
Me: Vir, why did you throw your battery operated toy in the water?
Vir: *claps hands gleefully* (this should make her think I'm a "good
Me: No, Vir. You've done nothing great, so there's no need to clap.
Vir: (looks like this hasn't worked. What else does she like...oh monkey impression) Ooo Aaa Aaa Ooo Aaa Aaa?
Me: No Vir, I don't want to hear your monkey expression. What
have you done?
Vir: She's a tough cookie. Try the dumb look again.
Me: Can you say sorry?
Vir: Oh thank God! An Out! *Puts both hands to ears in the cutest way
possible immediately cracking the tough cookie that is me.

Looks like I have to practice my stern face much more if I plan to make a disciplined little boy out of the monster I've been handed :-)