Tuesday, September 3, 2013

"My's" is the new buzzword...

...in the Das household. In case you are wondering what "My's" is, let me explain. It sounds like "Mize", means "Mine" and it's "the word"  Raya has begun to use these last few days to assert that something belongs to her.

It's amazing to observe how a child's cognitive, verbal communication skills evolve and the challenges that we, as parents, have to face to make sure that we are able to nurture the inherent goodness,resilience and curiosity that each kid is born with.

So a couple of months back, Raya started becoming aware of the fact that she was a separate 'entity' (I am not particularly fond of using this word in the human context, but oh well no other synonymous word immediately comes to mind) from her 'Mamma', 'Baba' and the rest of the world.

She began saying stuff like, "Raya cup" or just pointing to an object that she believed belonged  to her and saying "Raya's". Similarly she would point to my purse or something that she believed belonged to me and go "Mamma bag" or just say "Mamma's"...point to 'D's car and say "Baba caw" or "Baba's"...point to her grandmom's sandals and say, "Ata's"...point to a pen being used by her teachers (she absolutely adores them) at day care and say "Holly's /Ms Holly's" or "Kiki's/Ms Kiki's"...essentially she had begun associating material objects with people and talking in the third person.

These last few days though, instead of using "Raya's" to assert that something belongs to her and thus implicitly indicating that everyone else should keep their hands off it, she has started saying "My's" and "You's" , the "My's" being more proliferant than the "You's" ,of course...LOL. Funny as it sounds , it is probably her first attempt to comprehend and speak in the first person. That aside, the proliferant use of "My's" has meant repeated urges and prep talks by 'D' and me, to make her understand the importance of sharing. Needless to say , it's a challenge to make a toddler understand that everything in the world doesn't belong to her or work like she wants it to. Inculcating the notion of sharing and patience in a toddler is a challenge, but I personally feel, it's one of the most important aspects of parenting...more so because these notions sow the seeds of feeling empathy and compassion for others, as the child grows into an adult. Of course nature and a child's inherent personality is one of the things that determines what a child grows up to be. But the least we can do, as parents, is to try and  nurture their inherent goodness to the best of our ability.

So yesterday so we had a couple of friends visiting us with their kiddos. Before they came in, I sat Raya down and gave her a prep talk,"Raya...we all know that these are your toys. But you have friends visiting , so you will have  to share all your toys with them ok". I repeated the sentence one more time to make sure I had all her attention. She first said,'Yeah, mamma'...and then followed it with,'Yeah, mamma...share'...the first part of my day's mission of teaching Raya to share having been accomplished, I waited to see how the evening would unfold. I should say she did reasonably well. I have observed a prep talk more often than not does it's magic. There are some days more difficlut than others though when tantrums seem to rule the day. Yesterday evening, the number of "My's" reaching my ears were
minimal and the other kids were playing with her toys without much intervention while she played along with them or by their side. But of course, that was yesterday. Today is a different day and with a toddler in the home, every day comes with it's own set of challenges.

On a slightly different note, here are some snippets of recent conversations in Raya'ingo' in our houshold that I wanted to pen down before
they get pushed to the  abyss of my mind to become distant memories:

Scene 1:
I ask Raya : "What is your name?"

Raya replies : Raya ("Yaya" has finally become "Raya" now)

I ask her again : "What is your full name?"

Raya replies (after considerable thought) : Raya Das

I ask Raya : "What is mamma's name?"

Raya replies : Mamma Das (This came spontaneously and brought  oodles of laughter from me before I could  proceed with any further questions)

I ask Raya : "What is baba's name?"

Raya replies : Baba Das...

I ask Raya : "What is Aata's name?" (She calls her paternal grandmom Aata)

Raya replies : Aata Das...

I ask Raya : "What is koka's name?" (She calls her maternal granddad koka)

Raya replies : Papa (I guess that comes from the fact that I call him papa:))

I ask Raya : "What is ma's name?" (She calls her maternal grandmom ma)

Raya: No response

I prompt her : Dehu

Raya echoes : Diu

Scene 2:

After the above conversation, 'D' took it on himself to teach Raya what our actual names are and he did a reasonably good job of it I should say.
So now, conversations like the above progress as follows:

I ask Raya : "What is mamma's name?"

Raya replies : Panka

I ask Raya : "What is baba's name?"

Raya replies : DD

I ask Raya : "What is baba's full name?"

Raya replies : D'paanan Das (This answer comes back only if she's in the
right mood:) )

I ask Raya : "What is Ata's name?"
Raya replies  : KD (That's what she has been taught, her grandmom's name being "Kalyani Das' :) )

I ask Raya : "What is koka's name?"

Raya replies : Papa

I ask Raya : "What is ma's name?"

Raya replies : Diu

Scene 3:

'D' and I are having an animated conversation and we are laughing at something silly I did. 'D' playfully slaps my back. Raya absolutely doesn't like it and pop comes her angry reaction aimed at 'D' and she says, "Baba...Baba...Mamma,Boo Boo...Huggie...Kiss", pointing at me...when DD gave me a peck on the cheek in response to her urge, it brought the biggest grin to her face...LOL

Scene 4:

Our landline rings, she points to the phone and says, "Phone...Ma...Koka". She calls her maternal grandparents "ma" and "koka" respectively and believes that they have proprietary rights to call on the landline. If anyone else does, she is not a happy baby :)

Scene 5:

Right or wrong, I have my own bag full of tricks to get hudddles, cuddles, hugs and kisses from my munchkin. So last Saturday, I was skyping with my parents. I was sitting cross legged on the floor and Raya was holding on to my shoulders and trying to stand on my legs. I was like, "Raya...mamma is getting hurt"...When saying that a couple of times didn't help, I pretented to cry and said, "Raya...mamma..boo boo"..."Raya...mamma..boo boo"... I immediately got a big bear hug from my munchkin accompanied with , "Mamma...huggie...mamma huggie"..."Mamma...no cry"..."Mamma...no cry"....It's a different thing that I could cry all day to get that hug and hear that version of "Mamma...no cry"...LOL...

Her current favorite Bollywood numbers are Mika Singh's , "Mere Agal Bagal"... "Kashmir se Kanyakumari" and D's all time favorite "Om Shanti Om" from Karz...She even attempts to sing along with these too...and her current favorite nursery rhymes are what she calls, "Eee..Wee...Spyder" (Incy Wincy Spider) and "Ol..Ga...gaas" (Old Mac Donald). Other than that, in Raya'ingo', 'butterfly' is 'bug fly'...'remote' is 'motot'...'medicine' is 'mecidine'...'swimming pool' is 'swinging pool' ...so on and so forth :)

So that's that. Raya will turn two in a couple of weeks. It's an exciting and challenging phase of parenting. It's also a very important phase of Raya's as well as our lives,as parents, as she begins to learn the ways of the world and take baby steps towards becoming more and more independent. Bitter...sweet...it is, this feeling of your baby growing up.

But for now, "My's" is the buzzword in our home and "Sharing" is the mantra ruling our lives.