The busy-body Varun finds great joy in placing his diaper-clad bum right on the face of any member in the house lying down with face up, or on the head if lying face down. The piggy-back or elephant-ride on his brother is always on the reverse.
He holds me by a finger using his left hand and puts out his right-hand in the direction of the kitchen and talks his talk as he drags me in pointing to a box. “Dhaaacheee” he says asking for dry grapes and does not let go till I pick the box. He opens his mouth for me to pop a raisin into his open mouth and insists on taking one between his tiny thumb and fore-finger and ambles out of the kitchen.
Assorted utensils with ladles of different sizes and some water can hold him in a place for a solid 20 minutes. “Amma, theeethaa”, he pleads when he wants water. He pretends to drink from the tumbler and does drink a sip or two. The eyes then suggest mischief and even as you are watching him you see a fountain spray from his mouth. He dashes in any random direction to avoid getting caught by anyone of us, giggling away to glory.
His potty-training is yet another lesson on patience and I must say we have almost hit the threshold! This man thinks that just by virtue of the sitting-act on the potty, he will find the expected! He sits for 2 seconds, gets up immediately to look disappointingly at the empty pot, gesturing ‘why nothing?’ with his palm. And decides to put both his feet inside the pot and sit comfortably! The potty is also his store-house for putting away his brother’s stationery or his toys (disgusting I know!)!
Whenever he bangs himself against something (both, intentionally and unintentionally), he comes rubbing his head saying , “Ammaa, dungaa”, meaning his head, back, hand, whatever, hurts!
He goes green with envy if he sees me cuddling Vyas. He pulls his bother by his hair or shirt, whichever is in reach and pushes him away from me and places himself between us. Expresses discontent strongly if his anna puts his arms around me again or kisses me! A brat!
The choice of lullaby is his. If there is any soul on this earth that is happy listening to me singing, it is only Varun:) “Amma, Nandaa” he says when I have to sing him one of the 3 bhajans that has the word Nandana. If not the bhajans, he ‘requests’ the rhyme ” aee iyaa iyaa (A B C D E F G)”, or “baa baa baa baa (Baa Baa Black sheep…)”. These go on in a loop when he insists on a change. And then we switch to Thaaye yeshodha or sakala vidhya or any such that comes to my mind. He excuses all abaswarams!
And when his eyelids really grow heavy, he puts a plug into my mouth!! He thrusts his thumb or the fore-finger of one or both hands into my mouth and I have to hold it between my lips just hard enough for me not to bite and at the same time not let him touch my teeth or tongue! Plugging his own mouth seems to be a better option!
The vocabulary list is growing by the day and the primary list is something like this:
1. Amma – for mommy
2. Appppa – (bites his lower lip as he says it) for dad
3. Anna- for his brother
4. Thaatha – for grandpa
5. Dhaadhaa or paaapu – for this grandma
6. Akka – any girl whose name he does not know
7. Chitthi- for his aunts
8. Chittha – for his uncles
9. Aaacheee – for Aashraya
10. Duddeeee /Anna- for Aathrey
11. Chaethaa – for Swetha (few of his girl-friends in our apartments:))
12. Acchhhaa – for Varsha
13. Athyaaa – for Sathya
14. Nannni – for Nandini
15. Aanni – for aunty
16. Thannu or theetha – for water
17. Kaayee -for veggies
18. Aaappii – for all fruits- apples, mangoes, bananas, grapes!
19. teeyaa – for tea, coffee, or any drink
20. Baa – for ball,
21. Kaanii- for tamil Kaanom (when playing hide and seek)
22. Taataa- to take him out for a walk
23. Dhaai – for bye
24. A Che- for AC
25. Mammam – for any food
This besides a lot of other mumbo-jumbo that we struggle to decipher!