Like Duck to Water, thats how I have taken to life :). This blog is the saga of love and adventures of a small duck in a large water body called LIFE....

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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Learning Life..

Its strange how events turn into memories and memories fade so soon. I know I have said this before, but its just the mystery of it all that makes me wonder again and again. Snugli is more than 7 months old now and the memories of her first few months are slowly fading away. It sounds shocking, I know. But I don't remember what all happened distinctly now. I remember the progress that has happened, but I don't remember what happened each and every day. Its like the sand in the hourglass is falling and there are some specks I remember, but most of the specks of sand have drifted away to be lost in time..

Well, I didn't really start writing this post with all that in mind. This was supposed to be an account of the progress of Snugli as such, but my thoughts also have a habit of drifting away :-D. I've said many times that its been a pleasure watching her grow, but haven't really explained how it all comes about. The changes are so noticeable that its like it was not there yesterday, but its there today. And thats the part thats astonishing. I always had this idea that as parents we'd "teach" stuff to the baby and what I've discovered is that we don't really need to "teach" her anything. Its like you do what you do normally and she learns everything slowly all on her own. And the whole thing is oh-so-gratifying :).

When Snugli was born, as it is with all babies, she was silent, meaning no activities most of the time. Yes, she'd cry when she was hungry (I still can't get over the idea that doctors call it the not-so-developed stage despite the fact that her-stomach in empty -> it-sends-a-signal-to-her-brain -> her-brain-sends-signals-to-eyes-and-mouth-for-crying -> she cries and as soon as she's fed the crying stops! If this is "not developed", what is? :-p) but most of the other times, she'd sleep. Slowly, things started to change.

She started smiling first sometime in her second month. This was random and with no connection to anybody/anything whatsoever. Some people even say that these might be due to gas bubbles ;-). But soon, she started to focus on faces and smile. Then slowly went on to laugh. I remember the first time she laughed loudly, she was alone in her crib. I thought she was crying and came running and discovered with wonder that she was actually laughing! And yeah I promptly ran back to get the camera to record this "achievement" :-D. Now-a-days she recognizes faces and smiles widely, laughs when tickled or when the person she's watching is laughing :).

Another progress that people usually keep track of is the movement. At first she stayed where she was (Obviously, she's not a calf to start running as soon as she was born :-p). Then one fine day, in April, when we were in India, she rolled on to her stomach from her back (we never "taught" her how to :-D). And the thrill was memorable. From then on she'd fall on her stomach whenever and then cry as she still didn't know how to roll back. At first she'd do this only during the day, so we'd be around to lift her back onto her back. Still later when we returned to US, she started doing it in nights too. So she'd cry in the middle of the night and we'd realize that she has rolled onto her stomach :-D. She was like Abhimanyu, knowing only to enter the circle and not get out :-D. But recently one day she tried and tried and rolled back to laying on her back all on her own :)). And she's been on a roll eversince, excuse the pun ;-).

At first her rolls would be hapazard, as in she'd roll under a table/to the edge of the sofa. Now she has learnt even to target her rolls. I have to narrate this incident - recently Snugli was lying in the center of the hall and Sri had his laptop open in one corner. She saw the laptop screen and then aimed her rolling in such a way that she ended up peeping right at the screen of the laptop! Right now, she's trying to lift her stomach. Previously she used to be supported by her wrists while on her stomach, but now she has graduated to palms. So we are looking forward to her sitting up/crawling soon :-D.

Other than these, her voice which was previously only for crying has advanced to different tones. In addition to laughter, there is a tone for protest, one for response, a squeal, and various other "Ha"s, "Tha"s, "Ma"s and "Dha"s. Now she cries if strangers get too close (happened at her last check-up where she cried at the touch of the nurse and the doctor) and cries if my voice raises a bit in volume/tone :-D. In other words she recognizes a scolding I give her ;-) :-D. She also cries at the bang of utensils (if they fall down or make sounds when they are being rearranged) and at the whistle of a pressure cooker :)). Slowly, she's learning fear and its a fascinating thing to see the changes :). She loves watching moving people and now recently, moving cars.

But the best of all these, according to me, is the grasp development I've been noticing very closely. Before we left to India, I bought her a smooth rattle. She wasn't really able to hold it in her palm then. Later she learnt to hold it with both hands and still later went on to holding it in a single hand. It was then we tried squeaking toys (in her case a squeeking toy bear). It was so different from the rattle that she wasn't able to hold it even using 2 hands. Slowly she learned to. Till one day when I discovered her holding it in one palm! Then she learnt to pass the toys from one hand to another, to hold soft toys and later bigger toys. Just yesterday I was really surprised to see that she was squeezing the squeeking toy and making it squeek! She wasn't able to do that 2 days back!

I can't really explain what a thrill it is to see these so-called minor changes. Its like, each and every hour of the day she's learning new things. Her brain is assimilating new information every minute and its an absolutely amazing phenomenon to watch as parents. I don't even have the words to describe the joy I feel whenever I see a new lesson learnt :). And imagine, this is only the beginning. There's so much for her to learn, so much more to do. I'm sure it'll all not be easy, but oh man, its gonna be so much fun. And I'm already looking forward to the whole thing :).

Thursday, July 24, 2008

On the cutting edge..

The relationship has always had its ups and downs, its lefts and rights. After all, it has been a really long relationship. It has not always been all hunky and dory, but many a days, it has certainly been a pleasure to the heart and a comfort to the soul. There have been some days where I can proudly say that I have fought for this to work.

Usually most relationships undergo changes as the years progress. But this particular one hasn't had any changes at all for more than 8 years now. 8 years back, it underwent a major makeover to my complete satisfaction. But since then, I have been happy to let it be and let it flourish. It has been going on and on and I wasn't really keen on making any changes at all. Maybe I was comfortable with the whole thing, maybe I had gotten used to the monotony of it all. Maybe I was too lazy to do anything about it, or maybe I was afraid that things may not remain the same.

But recently I decided it had gone far enough the way it was. I couldn't go on like this. It was getting difficult to maintain the the basic foundation for the relationship. And when the foundation flounders, where does it stand a chance? To put it plainly, the relationship simply lacked the lustre it had before. So I wanted to take a risk and deliberately bring in a change again. And now I am really glad I did it. Since the change, everything looks marvellous and it has been making waves :).

Still wondering what the heck I'm talking about? Scroll down to see...

..a bit down..

..almost there..


Well, the "NOW" is not exactly now, but 2 months ago. I got it cut again a week back :-D.