PattaaNi* is the most appropriate name little S has earned so far. She semi-crawls, semi-scoots and sort of is omnipresent these days! One second you leave her in the living room and by the time you open the microwave to heat a glass of milk, she is tugging at your pants with a drooly-dribbly “athathatha”. You think she is asleep with her little blue whale keeping watch over her head and she’ll let you know how wrong you are by standing at one corner of the crib and practically singing into the room “daaaadaaaa” (which roughly translates to- hey maa, am not asleep.. you can come get me now) No Tom and Jerry or Bubble Guppies or Bugs Bunny on the TV can promise you alone time in the closet if you leave the door open!
Just the other day, my mother told me of this afternoon in Bangalore, when we were little and adorable (We continue to be adorable, not little). She thought she had everything under control and sanity was restored to the household when she had me packed off to kindergarten and my baby sister allowed to be sung to, rocked and finally put to sleep. Amma walked out to the front yard and saw the next door ajji** and thought she’d have a little chat. Ajji asks- ‘So what is the little one doing?’ Amma says happily- ‘Oh, she’s sleeping. I just put her down.’ Ajji says- ‘Ah, that is nice. Turn around and look at your sleeping baby!’ Amma turns back surprised and there is my baby sister, on her fours by the door, looking either ways and smiling contently at the sunny world outside.
Uncanny, how these tiny beings who still are in the crawling stage can find that half a curry leaf under the table or a peanut that rolled into the cranny between the fridge and the wall. Don’t let me get started on the discoveries from the carpet! Not do they just manage to find these amazingly well hidden objects, they also want to do a thorough research and analyse how each of these things taste! And I wonder why S doesn’t show half this excitement in tasting that carrot-potato mush that I so painstakingly made, the temperature just right, the consistency baby friendly, the colour eye appealing! <sigh>
Peek-a-boo is PattaaNi’s favorite game and blowing into her little tummy can have her in splits. Put her down and she will cry bloody murder if she realizes you are trying to make her sleep! Ever since she grew her first tooth, she is making sure it hasn’t vanished. She wants to check every few minutes with her fingers and with mine sometimes, just to double check. If there is a little bit of baby food on her fingers, she tries to rub it off; if there is plenty, she generously splatters it on her head. (I can hear her shampoo bottle groan)
Recently she was fascinated with two things. That stickers/tape/labels do not fall off upon being let go. She scratched out the price tag from her cereal box and it was great fun watching her try to drop it. She clapped her hands, threw her hands up in the air, hit the floor but the sticker stuck. She stared in amazement! And the “other baby”- the one who lives in the mirror. PattaaNi loves her! She reached out, touched, giggled and played with this baby for long stretches! During those times, she was not even looking for other adult company. She was happy and content with herself!
All that said, to have little pattaaNi roll around the house and under my feet, in the kitchen and to the closet- it has been amazing! Such a happy little problem to have!
**Ajji- grandmother in kannada