Life with a Toddler is challenging, fascinating and thoroughly entertaining. What they are capable to do and able to grasp amaze me every single day!
Here is a list of things the toddler in the house does these days. This one is for memories’ sake:
Alphabets: We bought the mega blocks set after much thought and it turns out to be total paisa-vasool. For last couple of months now he has been playing only with these blocks for hours. Saying 'Papa aao, Mamma aao, tower'. Now we have moved on to making Alphabets. I don’t really remember how it all started. Perhaps I made ‘T’, I don’t remember. Perhaps he joined blocks and it looked like ‘T’, so I said so. I showed him in his ABCD book what ‘T’ was. And then there was no looking back. Barring a few alphabets, he recognizes most of them. Obviously that feels good because I never tried teaching him ABCD in terms of rattofying it. It is better when they learn from their own interest and free will. He makes simple ones and asks me to make the ones he can’t, with his blocks.
Colours: Like alphabets, I was never hell bent on teaching him colours. But we consciously asked him to hand us over certain colours when playing with blocks. Few months back, we had observed that he would match colours while playing with blocks. So, we knew he understood the different colours but could not really identify them. And guess which colour he started identifying first? Orange! He pronounces it as ‘Anela’ for some reason. It is his favourite colour at the moment. He says Orange, Yellow, Purple, Green, Black in his own language but no Red. He hasn’t come around to saying ‘R’ properly so far. So, he can’t pronounce Mumma’s name but that’s Okay.
Vocabulary: It is amazing how his vocabulary is expanding leaps and bounds. He repeats almost everything that we say. In order to have a discussion between us, we now have to spell out the key words so that he wouldn’t understand what we are talking about. Ha ha! One day he told me ‘hat hat’ [move]. May be he picked it up from our cleaning bai. I told him, ‘you should say hatiye’. Another time, I told him ‘hato’. You know what he told me? ‘Hatiye’. It was so cute. One day he was asking for something from his dad [he needs everything that we pick up and that very moment]. He was saying ‘do do’ [give]. Daddy asked him, ‘shouldn’t you say something else when you want something?’ Then he remembered and said ‘Papa pease [please] dijiye’.
I would like to think that reading to him from when he was only a few months old, helped him. Because I have read and heard from friends and family that boys start talking much later. It is how they are wired.
Identifying alphabets: Now he tries to identify alphabets everywhere – newspaper, books, packaging, toothpaste, magnets, t-shirts, keyboard! It is incredibly cute. Of course, all kids do that. But it is an exciting phase for us. He will pick up my books and read the upper case alphabets.
Mock reading: He mock-reads these days. You just have to tell him to read something, he would start yapping gibberish. It is actually a good sign. Sometimes we find him looking intently at newspapers as if he is reading. Many times when we are reading, he would pick up the newspaper and start pointing the text and start mouthing gibberish. He would point t every single text, even going back to something he missed.
Mimicking us: Like all kids his age, he mimicks us all the time. He would do dusting like the aunty who cleans. He would try to fold clothes, arrange things like Mumma. He would put clothes in the washing machine like us. And he would do things with complete attention and focus.
Doing chores: We have always involved him in putting his toys and books back. Sometimes he likes to do, sometimes he does not. That’s okay. But I make it clear that Mumma is only helping him. Many times he would clear out toys and books on his own, putting them properly back to their respective places. We would ask him to arrange cushions or get the bowl or glass or put the bowl near sink after he is done or hand over washed clothes for drying, etc. Kids are naturally inclined to do things out of curiosity. We are just trying to get him into the habit of doing chores around the house like all of us.
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Favourite Food: He likes rice and daal. He can eat chapatti on his own and on good days he would also eat chapati with vegetables, otherwise we feed him chapati and veggies separately. He absolutely loves dry fruits and all kinds of fruits. Even if by mistake we dropped ‘kaju’, ‘kishmish’ in our discussion, we have to give it to him. He loves Milk. He is very open to tasting new food. He likes Pasta in white sauce, cheese, etc. The only thing is if we feed him something remotely spicy, he will not eat another morsel. But surprisingly, he will keep on hogging bhujiya sev despite being spicy! I have not given him too much of chocolates, biscuits, packaged namkeens, wafers so far. Of course, he has tasted them and eats them every now and then but that’s about it. I stop everyone from handing him chocolates. Ya, I know I am very mean, but what to do!
I have stopped reading about developmental milestones because I feel they are different for each child. My experience so far tells me children naturally learn whatever skills are required. I never put him in walker, he started walking on his own and quite early. I never supported him to sit; he started doing that on his own. No sleep training either. I love walking him around to sleep when I am not too tired. Sometimes he will tell me ‘Mumma, aaa aa aa”. Many times he will doze off on his own. So, I know he is doing fine and he will keep doing so. After all, it is a natural process.