Left the laptop unattended for barely a few seconds to get the Tataskaai (as MLM calls it) and once I was back on the loveseat I saw he’d opened Google and had started a search for Jhummandi Naadam (hyperlink JN here)! Before I make a 29 month old sound like a preschool prodigy let me clarify that he’d managed to put his paws on the letters J-H-U and Google had done the rest. Still, it gave me a start!
I have no illusions about my child. I’d have wanted it if he was walking earlier; talking more if it had happened about 6 months ago. But seeing how far he’s come along and the way he tries to imbibe things in his immediate environment; is enough for me. For now. While experts will say that children will do things on their own time and there have to be enough indicators to consider any milestone being delayed per se, I find that my child does something when it evokes curiosity in him and also induces some amount of confidence in him shall we say?
He took his 1st steps much before he actually started walking. I’d just taken him out of his bath and he took exactly 7 faltering steps in the bathroom. But soon after that he seemed bored by the prospect of walking and seemed to prefer his earlier mode of mobility viz crawling and walking while holding onto furniture, walls et al. A few days short of completing his 14th month he suddenly walked of his own free will and fairly steadily. I should mention that there was a Choco Lava cake and a Dominos pizza box on the coffee table at the time.
Once he walked that distance and was rewarded with a wee bit of the melted chocolate, he walked and walked and didn’t want to stop it. In fact Red and I were so thrilled that we sat at 2 ends of our hall (a big distance for a newbie walker mind you)and had him walk back and forth between us for over half an hour. I guess that borders on child abuse huh? But he was only too glad to do it and since then rapidly picked up speed and has progressed now to the extent where he doesn’t bother with walking and only runs or flies low.
Kids learn vicariously for a long time to come. Even when their power of language and comprehension kick in properly, I guess that mode of watching something and repeating it because it appeals to them continues. Seeing how his facial expression changes I can tell when MLM has understood a particular instruction or tone. And the spanks come in when he chooses to disregard it and still wreck havoc all over the house! But his latest muse is Chhota Bheem. I really can’t stand that animated little munchkin for some reason but MLM lurves him! He smiles wider, bigger, glows when Bheems on the telly. He’s gone from saying just ‘Beem’ to “Shota Bheem’. He’s even started enacting kung fu poses courtesy the Christmas day telecast of Chhota Bheem Master of Shaolin. Well the kung fu poses and the Sumo wrestling bit that I’ve been doing with him for a while now J
But getting back to the vicarious learning bit- children need things that appeal to them. After they turn two, they seldom do things because they’re told to. They tend to focus more on things which seem fun because they can clearly distinguish between fun and being bored. If they knew the words they’d probably say them too but for now they just grumble and throw things when they want more of fun. At least mine does. And he claims he’d like to ‘THO’ me also!
So between lisps, mispronouncing stuff and a general goofiness our kids grow up and help us grow some too. Either that or we too regress so we can have fun with them eating mud and giggling hysterically at whatever amuses them. Somehow I think they got the better deal in that bargain.