My nine-year-old son is the center of my universe. This is the story of his childhood as it unfolds. Please read the first post, "Why I started this blog," to know more.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Childhood Scenes - 1-8

I've just decided to document some memory flashes from Munchkin's childhood. Scenes that I think are worth remembering. Times when I wished I had a camera to capture the moment. Since I couldn't get a picture, I guess descriptions will have to do instead.

I - 'You look pretty, Mommy'
I kid you not. It was April 2002, which meant that Poppet's head hadn't steadied yet. We'd been invited to a baby shower and it was the first time that I'd dressed up after having my son. He was asleep when we left the house, waking up 10 minutes after we'd started. In the car, as I played with him on the back seat, his eyes widened in curiosity as he looked at every inch of my face. Slowly, he smiled. He seemed to like what he saw and gurgled his appreciation the rest of the way.

II - 'She's here!'
He's always been very attached to my mother. This happened when he was a little over 4 months old. Mum had just finished all her post-lunch work in the kitchen and hurried into his room to give him a quick hug. She lay down on the bed and hoisted him over her. The brat beamed and exclaimed what sounded like: Aayeehai. In Hindi, that transaltes into: She's come! Mum and I both burst into laughter and the brat beamed some more.

III - 'You have no idea what I've been through'
We were at the hospital for his vaccinations. Most children cried when the needle pricked their soft thighs and the nurses took advantage of their howling to put the polio drops into their mouths. The bitter taste made them howl some more. This time, Poppet howled when he was given his shot. But as soon as the nurse put the drops into his mouth, he stopped crying and smacked his lips instead. I brought him outside, where Mum was waiting and he promptly started to 'cry' again - wailing to complain about his recent ordeal. He wrangled a few hugs and kisses and plenty of baby talk from Mum on the way down to the car park where my father was waiting. As soon as he saw his grandpa, he started the whole wailing-complaining bit all over again until he'd had his fill of attention and affection.

IV - Windy Ride
We went out for lunch and the only way to get there was to use an autorickshaw since the car wasn't available. We'd put a hooded blanket on Popppet and I held him close to me. It was his first windy ride and he opened his eyes to look out. The wind was too much, prompting him to squeeze his eyes shut at once and bury his face in my neck. Five seconds later, he dared to check out the view again, and was once again forced to shut his eyes because of the strong wind. But he refused to give up. I tried to put him between my Mum and I but he wriggled and yowled his way to the windy side, only to be forced to close his eyes again. He kept it up until we reached the restaurant and then fell asleep from sheer exhaustion.

V - 'Am I being stood up?'
We were getting ready to go out somewhere and were in a rush to leave. Poppet was all dressed up and looking forward to getting out of the house. Mum scooped him up in her arms and walked out of the room. Suddenly, she remembered something she needed to take, came back into the room and plonked Poppet on the bed. He looked up at her with the utmost misery - a look that clearly said: you put me down! why? Needless to say, he was promptly scooped up again and hugged and kissed even as he milked the situation for all it was worth, snuggling against her neck and coo-ing his way to even more affection.

VI - 'Drooly Kisses are the Best Medicine'
Mum had a really bad throat and the cough refused to go away. I've rarely seen her so upset. One afternoon, she sat him down on the table in front of her and said: "Poppet, do something. Grandma has a really bad throat. It hurts so much."
The next instant, Poppet put his little hands on her cheeks and gave her a kiss on her nose and then a few all over her face, all the time with an I'm-so-worried-about-you look. Mum was pretty taken aback but loved the affection he showered on her, drool and all.

VII - Clap, clap, clap...with my feet!
Mum was teaching Poppet to clap his hands. He tried a few times but couldn't co-ordinate very well. After a few minutes, he threw his head back and lay down on the bed. The next minute, he had raised his legs in the air and started to clap with his feet. As Mum turned to look, he gurgled and shot her a mischievous smile. A couple of months later, we took him to visit his great grandmother and she would request the feet-clapping performance three times a day. Like the good great-grandson he is, Poppet obliged every time.

VIII - Bouncy, Bouncy Toes
If you held Poppet under his armpits and if his feet touched any surface, he would start bouncing on his toes and could keep it up forever. Hey, I have a video of this somewhere. Must dig it out. We also had this little song for him: How does the tree dance? Like this, like this (he would sway from side to side) How does the baby dance? Like this, like this, like this (he would start his toe-dancing routine.)

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