~ 81 weeks to my 'Tees' (30th) ~
On March 26th, Ayaan turned 2.5 years old.
It's unreal the pace at which time seems to be flying - surreal more is to see how fast our toddler is growing up!
It's been 6 months since our fun trip to Tokyo and Kyoto to ring in Ayaan's 2nd birthday. I had written an emotional heart-felt poem
at the time - on how I felt about weaning him off...
Incredulous to just look back and see how far we've come since then!
I'm going to use this blogpost, to just recap some of the highlights from the last 6 months (not in any particular order) - sit back and enjoy reading, dear Ayu :)
1. Weaning off to the tumbler
A few weeks after you turned 2, we finally decided to latch you off. While it was tougher on me, because you had the bottle as an alternative - it didn't seem too traumatic on you - save for times, when I'd be back from work, and you were used to latching on soon after I stepped in (and freshened up) and you had to be abruptly deprived of that. Of course I would hug you tight and cuddle, and oft I would almost want to let you latch but your grandma and dad would strictly say "No!" and that I had to be stronger than that if I wanted to wean you off... Soon you adjusted; infact we found it harder to wean you off the bottle! But soon enough, you were kicked to just drink off a straw-bottle -- even more excited to hold your own little steel tumbler, and drink from it, on your own!
2. Joining playschool
Though infants and toddlers in Singapore, are enrolled in childcare much earlier, we waited until you turned 2 to send you to playschool. It took you just about 2 weeks or so to settle in, and we couldn't be prouder! We were let to stay in with you only for the first 3 days and after that you had to go in on your own. You did cry initially and heart-breaking though it was, we realised the longer we stayed around, the more time you took to calm and settle down. Your Mamama would drop and pick you up everyday, and days that I worked evening shifts, I'd come too - and to see your face light up on catching a glimpse of us at 12.30 pm - was simply wonderful! You enjoyed playing with the toys and listen to the stories and songs - special credit to two of the teachers, your favourites, whose laps you'd find refuge in, in a completely new environment and soon, things changed, and now, as an everyday routine, you take fresh flowers for your teacher(s) and they've come to expect it too from you everyday and if one day, if you didn't find any, they'd ask you about it! Now, you look forward to going to school, you say "Your friends are waiting for you!" Two girls (Viola and Olivia) from our own condo eased you in during your early days, and now, you are able to help newbies settle in too and know the names of all your mates - how endearing. We get regular updates on you and it's amusing to see what all you do in the 3.5 hours you spent there every weekday morning. Your precious art and craftwork have now become exhibits on our walls in our little "Ayaan corner"; you teach us new songs these days and we were completely bowled over when one morning you started singing "Majulah Singapura..." all in tune! You've in fact been on a field trip too to the Gardens by the Bay with your school friends; we also celebrated Chinese New Year and had some fun parent-child time with your fellow batch mates and their families, rolling glutinous rice balls together. All in all, we're really appreciative of the teachers for taking such good care of you and for teaching you at such a young age - you can also say the Chinese numbers, and pronounce them perfectly (I had to Google to find out what you were uttering in the first place!) - oh so impressive!!
3. Toilet training
We rarely ever have to wipe and change you out of soiled diapers now! You've a good morning routine and clear your bowels by habit, prior to going to playschool. You still aren't dry by day, but that has mostly us to blame - we've just not been around much to ensure that happens - but hopefully, we'll be able to achieve that in the next few months. Potty time is also your nursey rhyme singing time - for that's how your Mamama would train you :D And so, that ritual sort of continues. Be it ABCs, London Bridge, Baa Baa Black Sheep or Johnny Johnny - we go through many iterations of these.
This aspect I think, by far, beats all others. The amount you've grown in your verbal and non-verbal communicative skills is mind-blowing. So not only can you express so much more, be it affection by means of kisses and hugs, group hugs even or displeasure, by means of screaming etc, your vocabulary also seems to have grown manifold. You can speak in sentences (albeit a bit broken sometimes) and use so many big words now - from caterpillar, butterfly to orangutan & dinosaur - wow! But the most enterprising is to see you use a few Konkani words (like 'Mogacho', 'Jaai', 'Kenle', '... Kartave' etc) with Mamama-Ajjo and Bengali words (like 'Muri Dao', 'Chool' etc) with your Dadu-Thamma! Maybe that is how, Prantik and I will learn each other's languages too ;) And now, maybe Mandarin too huh! You also throw in a couple of Hindi words that you would have heard us say in passing (like 'Chalo', 'Aa Jaao', 'Chaalu' etc) - such a parrot you are - and hence we really ought to be careful what we speak in front of you :D Like, you even copy the tone so well (like 'Nonsense', almost with a rolling-your-eyes tone :D aping me!)
It's been so much fun singing and dancing to songs too - especially the "I love you, You love me" Barney song. The long conversations we get to have with you these days, are simply wonderful, but more awe-inspiring are the emotions that are interspersed within - like when you'd fetch medicine for an under-the-weather parent, or empathise with me after a long shift and give me a tight hug and end with "Don't do hard work, Amma (pause) I miss you..." . One afternoon, I was tucking you in for a nap, you hugged me, and smilingly said "I want Amma to be happy :)" Such scaringly wise, yet supremely kind words from a toddler - had my heart brimming with such pride and joy!
It wouldn't be honest of me if I only spoke about all the cute stuff you do and missed on a major aspect of entering your "Terrible Twos" - the tantrums! So, as you've grown and learnt so much about yourself and the world around you, I can imagine how overwhelming it must all be, for a tiny little being, in a world so large - there have been tantrums, as you try and carve your own identity and individuality. There are days, you want to mix all the food, and feed all by yourself, some others you are adamant that I must feed you. Some days, you really don't want to fasten the seatbelt on your airplane seat, some other days, you're summoning everyone else to do just the same! Some days, you want only curd + sugar for dinner, some other days, you want more dosas and more butter and some more :D. Some days, you are fixed on wearing the exact same clothes you wore yesterday, "One Fish Two Fish" green tshirt and shorts, while it's still drying! Some days, you want to only use pens to colour; mix play dough with water; use your toy food processor, add water to it and then use it to water the plants - what not! You clearly have a strong mind of your own and while at times, the tantrums do get on our nerves, often, either (or both) of us is able to get onto your level and play along and enjoy the fun. Most importantly, for us, as parents, it's been a learning curve on how to teach you and ourselves, how to regulate our emotions and project them rightly, in a timely fashion.
6. Co-sleeping to getting your own bed
After 2 years of sleeping in between us, (yes, we co-slept ever since your birth - it was the most convenient with breastfeeding through the night especially and I wouldn't have it any other way - I wouldn't miss out on watching you sleep next to me, and to be able to caress your cheek, stroke your hair and smell you :D at will, in the middle of the night!), you now, sleep on an adjacent single-bed, which is slightly lower than ours, so it almost seems like a lower bunk bed of sorts! At times, you still get up in the middle and climb over and find your place in between us :D but nights you're fast asleep, we binge watch Netflix and Amazon Prime ;)
7. Being adaptive and resilient
This is something, I probably have to learn from you! How you've adapted to the many changes the past 6 months is beyond me - be it adapting to joining school, our old helper nanny leaving, your grandma too leaving us after a lovely 2 year stint, a new helper coming in, my longer, erratic working hours, a traveling dad, our busy social life, our frequent travels including some unplanned trips like the Bangalore one, when your uncle had appendicitis, I whisked you along, and you didn't fret once. You were such a darling even on the road trip earlier this month to celebrate Maamu's birthday. You've been a good boy even on super-late night flights, way beyond your bed time. You're our little foodie, and haven't given us any trouble when we're in different cities and you've to eat different cuisines etc. This - gives us strength - to be better, to be the best parents we can be to you!
This week, in celebration, we played with organic colours, on Holi and went to the Carnival over the
weekend, where we enjoyed flying and riding around on the fun rides with you.
Ayu, just know, we are so lucky to have you as our little wonder and may you continue to love and be your beautiful self, in this amazing world, happily swirling around in innocent happiness.