she exclaims, quite unconsciously, this being her constant epithet, when something does not go the way she wants it. The first time I heard it, a couple of weeks ago, I did a double take, and hesitantly asked her parents about what she has seen/heard, for her to use this danged expression. I was wondering at that point, if it would lead to less desirable expressions that her peers and she would find easy to absorb. Yep, typical overbearing elder mode here 😀 I was assured that whatever she watches/hears is supervised. And then a while later, that same day, she invited me to watch one of her favourite videos with her. It dawned on me then, YouTube Kids has quite a few of these videos where the girls talking seem to use this a lot. A lot. And that is how it crept into her expression 🙂
(Long long post alert* 🙂 )
And that is simple one part of it all.
Over the past four years, this rambler continues to be awed by this girl. The one who owns her heart as no one else has, or ever can, I know. It’s like me dear Meggie (LINK to her blog) says of how your first born will always hold the lion’s share of your affection; the first grandchild will also be the one who will always have you open-mouthed, in awe, at the way that tiny being keeps making you proud, and simple grows the love within you, in ways you think is beyond you. 🙂
So is it with mine. She does, all the time. Naina. My Kurumbiiii… The one I can talk to, endlessly, the one with whom I’m the child almost all the time, the one who I even quarrel with, with her asking me at the end of it, Ammumma, you don’t like me? – and me saying, Whaaat? I’ll always love you my darling! Because that is the fact!
Oh Mahnnn, I want to say, how can I not?! The best part here being that I can say that and she will understand! At two years, she joined the pre school they have, next door, and she was the littlest girl in the school itself (the admissions are given once they turn two. And they are admitted to the play school on 1 April. So One has to be two to join. She turned two on 28 March, a couple of years ago, and was just in time to join. I was extremely hesitant, and wondered how this wee mite would even spend the two hours she was to, without being traumatised. I mean, she could talk but her speech was yet to be clear and articulate! But given her cheerful and upbeat nature, she quickly took to school and its routine easily and went on to become quite at home there. All thanks to her first teacher, and the helpers there – Sheetal Aunty as she was known, and the “Amma”s there. The previous blogs for her, (ONE, TWO, THREE 🙂 – Links at the end of this piece – if you do get to the end of it 🙂 ) all have mentioned her ability to be the ray of sunshine wherever she goes. She is after all an Aries born, just like her father 🙂 my Sun Child!
When school started, I wondered if her ability to communicate in English, which she has acquired by way of exposure to some delightful movies, the books she has read to her by her parents, and her funny grandmother, 😛 , would kind of be lost in the acquisition of other languages, primarily Hindi, because that is what most of the kids communicate in, when the class is comprised of children from different language backgrounds. But thankfully, she has maintained that level she acquired! No mean feat 🙂 And that amazes me, even now 🙂
I’ve been here with her for the last two weeks plus, and each day I continue to admire something more about her, the way she articulates. Oh Mahnn is what I want to say, while conversing with her. Bath times are the best, after play times, of course. Bath times take a long time too. You must realize that taking a bath is serious business, and mostly, for her it’s a communal thing.
Naina, lets go take a bath!
Ohhkaaeeiii Ammumma, let me get my bath toys.
No , no, there isn’t much time today! We’ve got to be quick.
Ammumma, that’s not fair! My ponies have been waiting to join me!
Ammumma gives in, DUH! So we visit her toy room (it’s practically a toy godown now!) and figure who the lucky ones are. Once she’s got them, we get to the bath basics. Dunk them in water, all the while talking to them, for them, among them, and to Ammumma in between 😛 There is never a break in the flow of the conversation, which is fast paced, fluent, and in English! Oh Mahnnn I think! So these friends of hers are diving, swimming, jumping from bucket to mug and back again, splashing, flying… and talking ALL THE TIME! When the Ammumma is sure that ALL of them are likely to catch cold with the amount of time being wet is considered, she orders them… oopsie, HER out. So one by one each of them staggers out from the bucket to the mug. Except one. (This happens EVERY single time! 😀 )
But Ammumma, Flutter fly is being naughty today!
Fffllllutter who? What?
Ammumma, Flutter Fly, she doesn’t want to come out of the bucket!
Ammumma is getting impatient; she’s half wet already, her grandottie is completely wet, even her hair, and the chances of catching cold alarmingly rise, but she has to let Flutter Fly decide she needs to come out 😛
Ammumma, Flutter Fly isn’t behaving herself!
Tell me, dear readers, how does one deal tactfully with that, and being awed by the proper use of words by this wee delight? 😀
Ammumma decided to reprimand the said pony, and sternly tells her that she won’t be allowed to join Naina’s bathtime EVER again!
Oh Please! Ammumma, I’ll jump out, I pwomise! This was in a high pitched Pony-voice 😀
On the way out, Naina jumps to the said pony’s defence and says Ammumma Flutter Fly is ‘kaared of you (consonant clusters are still a difficult area for the grandottie 😀 ), you ‘ckolded her! It’s not fair!
Ammumma gives up! This is bathtime. Each day, a different motley group of ‘friends’ join in, and there is ALWAYS ONE being that is naughty and will NOT jump out of the bucket! But yes, I don’t think there s anything the Ammumma Monkey can do about it 🙂
She has these ‘knock knock’ sessions too, when she comes in as a Salon Lady, the Furniture Person, a Doctor, and makes house calls. We are to join in the conversation. At the end if we were to giggle, oh my, Oh Mahnn , we’re in for it! It’s NOT funny! She fumes!
And her puh-tend games, oh my oh my! I’m just puh-tending Ammumma is a favourite escape route for many a mischief she plays 😀
She’s curious, and if she hears a new word, she won’t let you be, till you explain it to her. The other day I remarked that she was observant. She asked. I said she noticed things, details, and spoke about them. Soon, that became part of her register 🙂
I love how I can conduct a ‘gwon up’ conversation with her, and make sense of it, both to her and myself. Oh Mahnnn I tell myself, she’s such an articulate soul already!
I worry too, about how she might not be understood, or make herself understood to others, the kids, maybe, the teacher, others like her Naani, who would find it difficult to follow English. But she had that covered too. With her less fluent Hindi 🙂 She knows to who she can speak in which language for optimum communication. I know you’ll wonder why I’m so chuffed about this ,when, probably, most kids can do so… I am so, precisely because most kids I’ve been around, as adorable as they are, do find this aspect a bit difficult. Yes, she has them strong linguistic genes, as I mentioned in last year’s blog, but with it she knows how to use it optimally too! That is a wee bit of maturity along with ability, wouldn’t you say?
And then to top it all, she goes right back to being the kiddish kid she is, not the gwon up I sometimes wonder she could be 😛 And she asks for ‘godi” – or to be carried. And I heave a sigh of relief 🙂
This past year, she became an elder sister, and while she still wants attention, she knows the little one does too, and helps much, so much with giving her that. Naira is as much her baby 🙂
The other day, she carried one of her toys around, and told her mother that she, the toy, had a baby in her tummy 😀 She also said she’s going to get the baby out by making a C on her tummy and getting it out 🙂 Another of those little videos for kids she’s seen. I am certainly looking forward to questions on how babies got to get placed inside the tummy and what answers we might have to give 😀 In fact she’s already decided that only Mummys get to have babies in the tummy, and not daddys, though her daddy might be an exception 😀 Intriguing, most certainly, this is!
So, Malayalam? I know a lot of you might wonder at that. Well at the moment, she knows ‘adi’. Workable knowledge like that is enough. Because finally, it’s all about being able to communicate, right? She’s got that pat 😛
Each time, each birthday, when I feel my heart is filled with love that it might fair burst, I find a capacity for more. She’s entirely responsible for that.
For keeping the child within alive.
For letting me know that sometimes puh-tending also is just fine 🙂
For never ever giving up on those that don’t behave!
For telling me that talking talking talking is the way to do things 🙂
For helping me understand that my framework of expectations needs to be set aside, and we can frame the rules, as we go along 🙂
For still loving me, with that supreme knowledge that I love her as much, if not more 🙂
For helping me appreciate my own offspring better, and understanding that a lot of things I got wrong, they;re doing right, by their kids.
That redemption, finally, is what your grandchildren give you.
She gives me that. I know I can’t have been all that bad, when I wake to her smile, and hold her close, as she sleeps, trustingly, in my arms.
She keeps me sane, that’s what she does. In a world gone crazy, she’s the brightness, and the cool shadows too… to rest this heart 🙂
She’s four already, today 🙂
Happy Birthday, my dearest darling Naina! You make our world immensely enchanting, you, you, you… 4 sometimes going on 14 m-m-m-millenial 😛
I love you, gurl! ❤
This is one of the videos I saw her watching, with much concentration, and interest. The best part is, she follows each of these conversations, and her articulation is very close.
28 March, 2018
Naina’s four ❤
PS The Grandparent Manual essentials, discussed in her Blog, when she turned TWO, still hold good, even if wee Naira has made an appearance 😀
Her Birthday Blogs are here 🙂
Nearly 2000 words! 🙂