You came into our life exactly one year before and kept us on our toes (not really) ever since. You have so far been an easy maintenance baby not making a big deal of anything. You eat anything we give you, even fight for your share when any of us eat, sleep well and reached every milestone ahead of time (Ammachi says I should not say these loud). Touchwood!! What more can I ask for?
Oh, may be I have an appeal to you. You are so obsessed with being carried around that you think your Appa is the only creature in this whole wide world who can make you happy. You care a s**t for your Akka and Amma and honestly that breaks my heart into a gazillion pieces every time you repeat that act. The act of bypassing us and hurriedly reaching out to your Appa who is yet to enter the house. I dread arriving home at the same time as Appa arrives. He carries you on his shoulders and walks around for hours and you stay there not holding on to anything with your head held high like a Maharajah sitting on top of an elephant. You laugh like crazy when he tries to do squad or jump with you on his shoulders. You are a total Appa boy much to my dismay but I am equally happy about the same. Strange?
Like I always tell your Father, no one would have celebrated him as much as you do and I hope this man with “I-am-not-sure” attitude for all inner feelings is enjoying this attention.
So my son, my appeal to you is please come out of this “carrying around” illusion soon. Your momma can’t bear it for long. Will ya?
I keep telling
your Appa people that even if our love sprouts little late it will be stronger. Like that “late-a vandhalum latest-a varuvom”. Don’t fail me ok?
You have the bestest Akka. Period. You have bit her many times, even tiny drop of blood had seen daylight sometimes, but her constant response is “avanukku enna theriyum. paavam. innum oru vayase agala” (what would he know? poor chap. he has not even turned one yet). She repeats the same and runs around to save her books and folders when you are in attacking mode. She goes cross with anyone who shouts at you for your impulsive act. She agreed to sleep on one side of the bed just because that side is close to your crib. She hugs you in her sleep. She is one of the main reason you are with us now. She absolutely denied to travel without you and broke our alternate plans of leaving you behind at India for few months when we had to migrate back to US. She calls you “Chelly” and only she can call you like that. Its cute to see her calling out “Chelly, ingae vaa”, “Chelly en da ippadi panna” with that puppy face, “Poo da Chelly poo, Akka homework pannanum. Poo da”. as if you listen to her. She would never let her mood swings impact you and even don’t hesitate to carry your dirtiest diaper to trash can. At times, I feel that she is handling you better than us. She ordered us to pick her up early today because she wants to be part of every preparation of the small party at home today evening.
Its very easy to make you laugh and pacify you too. Just lay you flat and rub on your chest with my forehead or fondle your ears will make you laugh like crazy. You are also very generous in kissing us back with all your spit landing on our face. Akka, loves that ten minutes family cuddle session we have before bedtime once in a while.
You started walking at the age of 9 months but yet to speak a word if I don’t account those occasional Akka’s and Amma’s. I succeeded in my effort of making you say “kkaa” as the first word. Not to mention, your Akka was on top of the world upon hearing that. “Avan kka sollaran, Avan kka sollaran, keteengala? keteengala?” She was super thrilled is the least to say.
Ammachi is your care taker now and she enjoys every moment of being with you. She knows the nuances about you better than us. She keeps giving us instructions on how to handle you when you are cranky, how to make you sleep and takes you to her room even if we let you cry for an extra minute at midnight. She keeps saying its going to be very hard for her to part you in few months. You take her for granted and get all your work done with just a stare at her. She predicts that you are going to poop minutes before you get into action. Such is your relationship and I enjoy being a spectator of both your love acts. I am glad that she is here to celebrate your first birthday and pray for both of you to have enough strength to deal with the separation.
R thatha took utmost care of you during our short stint at India. He bought a second hand cycle and dusted the iron basket that your Akka used to take you for an evening walk. The basket will be fixed to the hand bar of the bicycle, you will sit on the basket and look around with head held high as thatha walks pushing the cycle. He learned to change diapers. His full time job was to fix the electric points and find alternative to keep things out of your reach. He would finish all outside work including grocery shopping during your nap time and plans his schedule very carefully based on your schedule.
If there are two people who have played very important role in your first year of life other than your parents and Akka, it is R thatha and Ammachi. You will know them better by yourself as you grow. Be thankful to them always kanna!
You know how to get down from bed or couch. You reach few inches closer to the edge, turn to your back, bring down your legs and slide down slowly until your foot touches the ground and then land safely on the floor. None of us would have ever done this in front you. From where did you learn this technique da? Seriously!!!
You climb on to anything and everything. Its getting challenging day by day to keep things out of your reach.
Today, we are keeping it as a simple celebration for various reasons. We would probably go to the nearest temple as a family weather permitting and have a minuscule party at home just inviting two of our next door neighbors.
While starting this letter I was skeptical as what to write about just an one year old. All an one year old will do is eat, sleep, poop in a loop but looks like you have occupied and impacted our life more than what we thought of. So far, I have reached only half of what I wanted to say but its better to stop here.
This pic sums up most of your antics in this one year:
left to right (starting from top left descending to bottom right):
with your love aka Appa
(pretend) riding your cycle gifted by a special person
evening walk with R thatha
double climb on to the chair and then to the table. You were this close to hit the TV hard with the remote.
playing with dirty clothes hamper and tub
trying to explore the box in the kitchen (do you see the tippy toe?)
sucking your big toe
daring the dogs living in our apartment floor with no fear
fun with bucket
trying to carry over-sized doggy with one hand
peeping out of the thotti..
Overall, you are a happy baby and I silently send out a prayer everyday for you to stay the same forever da.
Happy happy birthday and love you loads kanna!!
P.S: For my readers, party details and more importantly our collective effort to pull it off will be posted soon!