100 Billion, And Counting…

My almost-two-year-old (Pumpkin) looks like she’s two and a half and talks like she’s three ! Here’s what my BabyCenter update had to say about this incredible phase called Toddlerhood…

My almost-two-year-old (Pumpkin) looks like she’s two and a half and talks like she’s three !

Here’s what my BabyCenter update had to say about this incredible phase called Toddlerhood :

Your baby was born with about 100 billion brain cells. That’s amazing enough – but what’s happening now that she’s a toddler is almost more so. Each of her brain cells is sending out and receiving electrical impulses called signals, which (with the help of brain chemicals like serotonin) create connections. Repetition turns these connections into the networks (often called wiring or circuitry) that allow her to think and learn. By her third birthday your toddler’s brain will have formed about 1,000 trillion connections – about twice as many as you have!

Your toddler’s a natural "imaginator" – all children are.  Almost anything can be a prop for imaginative play. Towels become turbans, plastic beads become precious jewels, old bathroom rugs transmogrify into magic carpets, and that moth-eaten collection of stuffed animals transforms itself into a rain forest, animal hospital, or farm.

Believe it or not, the best props for imaginative play are often generic ones. Since most of the action takes place inside your child’s head, detailed costumes – such as those specific to particular movie characters, for instance – aren’t really that helpful. A Batman suit can only be a Batman suit. But with a plain hat and towel, a child can be a lot of different characters.

While I may not have known the science behind it (until now), I was already making all possible effort to ensure that Pumpkin grows up with an active imagination.  But, with such a vast treasure-trove of information out there for parents, today, things can only get better!

It’s simply amazing to participate in the development of a child.  I hope each of you get the opportunity to experience it, some day…

My Time Machine

A few days ago, a friend mentioned in an email that she’d been following the developments in my life through my blog. That’s when I realized that I last time I’d written something about my daughter was over 5 months ago! Time flies when you have a baby. In a way that only a parent would understand…

A few days ago, a friend mentioned in an email that she’d been following the developments in my life through my blog.  That’s when I realized that I last time I’d written something about my daughter was over 5 months ago!

Time flies when you have a baby.  In a way that only a parent would understand.

The past 5 months have been exciting from a “fatherhood” perspective.  Pumpkin is now 21 months old, and talks like there’s no tomorrow.  My last post on her spoke of how her vocabulary was already over 200 words strong in spite of her being just 16 months of age!  But now, she’s putting entire sentences together and constructing combinations of words (coherently) without any one mentioning them earlier!  Repeating what you say is, of course, reaching dangerous levels.  So one needs to be careful each time she’s around. 

And, it’s not just words.  At less than 2 years, she’s already exhibiting a wide range of emotions and feelings : Joy, Sadness, Pain, Anger, Jealousy, Gratitude, Excitement, Anxiety, Loneliness and even Embarassment!

It’s remarkable to see how cognitive development progresses in a child… All the books and theories in the world are no match as compared to the real thing : The experience of a parent.

Sure, there are times when you feel like tearing your hair out… times when you feel you need a break.  I always tell people, after having a baby, I have developed a new-found respect for single parents… I don’t know how they do it.  But, most of the times, it’s more than worth it.

When I come back from a tiring day at work, and she runs towards me to give me her unconditional love (and a hug!)… all is well with the world, again.

Sweet Sixteen!

green / blue / orange / red / yellow / one / two / three / yes / no / hi / me / open / stuck / up / down / dip / please / this / …

mama / papa / dadi (grandmother) / grandpa / grandma / uncle / aunty / bhaiyya (brother) / didi (sister) / mary / wesley / reshma / katie / mandy / mandira / mother mary / baby jesus /

green / blue / orange / red / yellow /

one / two / three / yes / no / hi / me / open / stuck / up / down / dip / please / this /

teeth / eyes / ear / nose / hand / toes / head /

zebra / rhino / haathi (elephant) / doggie / meow / pig / penguin / monkey / cow / lion / tiger / rabbit / tortoise / raccoon / bear / duck / fish / peacock / pigeon / crow / chicken / squirrel / bow wow / mooo / kaw kaw / coo koo /

papaya / banana / apple / strawberry / pineapple / grapes / unda (egg) / chocolate / bread / rice / aloo (potato) / tomato / dudi (gourd) / pumpkin / curd (yoghurt) / coffee / chai (tea) / green peas / cheese /

helicopter / car / motorbike / cycle / auto / aeroplane / truck / school bus / bus / bike /

doll / takiya (pillow) / ball / chaader (bedsheet) / shoes / socks / hairband / clip / potty seat / spoon / dudu (milk) / baby / bed / chair / pillow / flower / tree / bath / ok / wow /

keyboard / phone / tv / radio / music / book / paper / watch / ring / comb / soap / shampoo / clock / perfume / powder / light / fan / remote / door / cupboard / fridge / bath tub / pen / drawing / button / pocket / pant / cd / bottle / dabba (container) / cap / hot / cold / tablet / calcium / children / pooh / cartoon / mickey mouse / photo / children /

coming / go away / another day / wants to play / susu (piss) / potty / out / garden / rain / water / going / chapati bhaji (food) / keep it here / happy journey / put it back / polly put the kettle on / coming / no touch / good girl / sit down / touch / how are you / fine thank you / baby bear / mama duck / thank you /

khushi /

Pumpkin – my daughter – is all of 16 months old, and already speaks over 200 words !  Isn’t she something ?!  🙂

Her First Christmas

This time, last year, was a time of anticipation and anxiety. The baby was due in Feb, and we didn’t know what it would be like to be “parents”. But it’s been a year since then, and the not-yet-born is now a 10-month-old. And she is revelling in her first experience of Christmas.

This time, last year, was a time of anticipation and anxiety.  The baby was due in Feb, and we didn’t know what it would be like to be “parents”.  But it’s been a year since then, and the not-yet-born is now a 10-month-old.  And she is revelling in her first experience of Christmas.

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
Jack Frost nipping at your nose
Yule-tide carols being sung by a choir
And folks dressed up like Eskimos

Last night, we decorated the house with a Christmas tree, stockings and twinkling lights.  When Pumpkin woke up for her midnight feed, she was so taken-in by the transformation of her familiar surroundings that she simply stood in the room (yes, she can stand now!) with her mouth open… for 10 minutes!  And then she just broke into a smile.  And would not stop smiling for a long time after that.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas.
Let your heart be light,
From now on our troubles
Will be out of sight.

From her point of view, it must have seemed like the sensory equivalent of a triple sundae, don’t you think?  It must be such a fantastic feeling to discover something new and wonderful for the first time! 

And so I’m offering this simple phrase
To kids from one to ninety-two
Although it’s been said many times,
many ways Merry Christmas to you.

We are just getting ready to leave for the traditional Christmas Lunch at my in-laws’.  Later today, we will take Pumpkin to meet Santa Claus at the local mall… 

This weekend is going to be a merry one!

More Than Words

My precious daughter is all of eight months, and hasn’t yet spoken an intelligent word. But she sure can “communicate”!

It started off as babble, and soon she was reeling off a flurry of ‘mama’ and ‘papa’ sounds, at will.  She still did not know who among us was the mama and who was the papa.  But she liked the sound of it, and wanted to say it over and over.

To tell you the truth, apart from that, it still is just babble.  But you should have no trouble understanding what she wants, when she wants it.

Using a combination of gestures and facial expressions (and screams and laughs!) she can convey exactly what she wants to.  You’ll know when she’s hungry, and know when she’s thirsty.  You’ll know if she likes something, and know when she doesn’t.  It won’t be a mystery that you’re someone she likes, and it will be as clear if she’s scared of you.  She’s full of beans one moment, crawling at full speed all over the house.  And then there are times when she only wants to sleep. 

My precious daughter is all of nine months, and does not know a lot of words.  But she sure can “communicate”!