Thursday, December 15, 2011

Stalling tactics

As Pranav is getting smarter, bedtime keeps slipping farther each day. Once he's in bed, he has a lot to say. For example:

"I don't want to sleep in the bed, Amma."

"Can I sleep on Akka's bed, Amma?"

"Can I play with Akka, Amma?"

"I am thirsty, Amma. Can I drink some water?"

And today, he was almost asleep when he suddenly sat up and said: "I forgot to eat rice, Amma." Of course he has me figured out, and knows what will get me ( and him) out of bed. He had eaten spaghetti for dinner, but what if that hadn't filled him up? But after eating a couple of spoonfuls of rice, he said he was done and he wanted to play.

Even Summy, who used to be the bedtime stalling queen, tries to get him into bed earlier, so that she can sleep peacefully. The stalling queen is growing up, has school, hobbies, responsibilities, and is starting to understand the value of sleep (It's not like she can wake up at eight, and settle down in just a diaper, to watch Dora with a nice warm cup of Horlicks, like some in the house do. She has school to go to, a bus to catch!)

Why does Pranav dislike going to bed so much? Maybe I should ask his mom, who is still up at 2 am, writing and complaining about Pranav not sleeping early enough.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


After Pranav's bath this morning, I cuddled the sweet clean bundle wrapped up in a towel, while telling him how cute and huggable he was.

After I put him down, he toddled around saying "Gabool! Gabool!".

"What's Gabool?", I asked him, and he laughed and said, "Gabool!".

"Where is this Gabool?", I said. He giggled and pointed to himself.

Then I realized what he had heard me say: "Huggable" had become "Gabool" :)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

He is an Boy!

Pranav, now that he's all of 23 months old, is trying to be grammatically correct.

"Me do it." has disappeared, and has been replaced with "I'll do it."

He makes complex sentences that do not make complete sense, like: "Daddy has an umbrella, but it's raining outchide (outside)."

He hasn't figured out the difference between "what" and "who" yet, though. He points to people and says, "What is that, Amma?", when he feels friendly and curious. (a couple of embarrassing times, I've pretended that he was pointing to and talking about something else: "That? Oh, that's a tree, Pranav.")

He did notice that we say "an" instead of "a" sometimes, as in "an ant". So now he's replaced all "a"s with "an"s.

Tonight, in bed, he waved his finger around in a circle, and said, "Look at this, Amma. What is this?" when I ignored him, he answered himself, "It's an shircle, Amma."

Then he thought for a while, and informed me, "I am an boy, Amma." At that, I had to give him a kiss.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Pranav's been learning our names.

"Nanna's name is Kiran." This one he's got right.

"Amma's name is Amma." He can't imagine that I could have another name.

"Sameera's name is Akka." This one is a little mixed up, but still kind of close.

"Pranav's name is Pranav." This we can't argue with.

Saturday, November 05, 2011


Politest (and longest) sentence ever said:

"Can I have a drink of water in a cup, please, Amma?"

Longest conversation with me (during a long car ride):

"Where is the whale, Amma?" (out of the blue)
"In the ocean."
"Where is the dolphin, Amma?"
"In the ocean."
"Where is the whale, Amma?"
"In the ocean."
"Where is the dolphin, Amma?"
"In the ocean."
"Where is the whale, Amma?"
........... (and on and on, all the way until we got home.)

Most flattering conversation:

"I like Akka's hair, Amma."
"Yes, Pranav."
"Do you like Akka's hair too?"
"Yes, she has nice hair."
"You have nice hair, Amma."
"Thank you, Dinky. You have nice hair too."
"Pretty hair, Amma." (with both hands rubbing my head).

 If he starts a sentence and cannot finish it, he will start over and then start over again, until he gets it right. If I know what he is trying to say and finish it for him, he'll say the whole thing again anyway, indignantly.

Sunday, October 09, 2011


The smarter the kids get, the more scatter-brained I get.

Eight years ago: Summy was learning to sit up, babble, and drool.

Eight years ago: I was an Engineer, working on cutting-edge technology. I was reading, writing, drawing, keeping a home, bringing up a baby, and most importantly: I could speak a sentence without forgetting what I was talking about by the time I got to the middle of it.

Now: Summy is writing poems, drawing, painting, thinking up ideas, singing, dancing, offering me solutions to problems, babysitting, bossing around, swimming, bicycling, roller-skating, reading up a storm, including three Harry Potter books in three weeks.

Now: I am a stay-at-home Engineer with vague memories of cutting edge technology from eight years ago. I stared stupidly when an electronics store salesperson talked to me about micro-SD. When my aunt asked me to save a received call on her mobile phone, I saved it to a wrong name, called a total stranger from her phone (stranger to me, but not to her), hung up on them, deleted her received calls, and then passed on her phone to my 10-year-old nephew to fix. To keep up with the times, I occasionally read a two-week-old newspaper.

One year ago: Pranav was learning to sit up, babble, and drool.

One year ago: I was handling the transition of moving to India, taking care of baby, helping Summy with new school and syllabus, multi-tasking, and most importantly: remembering when I had last taken a shower.

Now: Pranav is talking in sentences in two languages. ("That's my pillow, Amma. Don't touch it.") He is singing the alphabet song, reading letters and making their sounds. He is counting in several languages - though the order doesn't matter, and a few numbers are left out along the way. He is singing words to several songs, and replacing lyrics with his own when he feels like it. ("Twinkle, Twinkle, Panda Bear"). He has taken over my phone. He knows and names many colors, shapes, animals, and things. He is running, and climbing impossible things. He has an amazing memory - hears a word or a song once and recalls it a week later.

Of course he has an amazing memory, because he took my memory too. Because, now: Everyday I ask   Summy, "What date is it?" And sometimes, "What month?" 

Yesterday, it suddenly occurred to me that I could really use a labelmaker (so I wouldn't make Upma with the Idli Ravva again, or Rasam with the Pau Bhaji Masala). I wished I had asked Kiran, who is in the US on a business trip, to get me one. "Oh, well", I thought, "I could still ask, he might still have time to buy one." 

So today, on the phone, I was saying, "And if you see a labelmaker,...", when Kiran interrupted: "I bought a labelmaker already." I was stunned. We'd been married for so long that he knew what I wanted before I did! "But how could you know that I wanted a labelmaker?", I asked. "Because you put it on the shopping list you gave me.", he said, surprised.

Now, any ordinary scatterbrain could forget to put a labelmaker on a list. But it takes an extraordinary scatterbrain to remember to put a labelmaker on a list, then forget about it, then think of it again without ever remembering having thought of it before, then regret not having put it on the list, and and then be surprised when it is discovered to be on the list already.

While the kids are learning more, I'm going the opposite way. So if I ever start to babble on this blog, you'll know Summy and Pranav are getting really smart.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Help (un)Wanted

Pranav frequently helps me out when I ask for it. More often though, he helps after I specifically ask him not to.

This evening, I piled freshly washed laundry on the sofa and began folding. I had to stop in the middle of this task to do something else.

Our resident neatnik, Pranav, found this unsightly (in his opinion) mess. He climbed onto the sofa, pulled the unfolded clothes off and stuffed them back into the laundry basket. This wasn't enough. He climbed onto the sofa again, took the folded clothes off and piled them up in the laundry basket.

All this time, I was pleading with him to leave the laundry alone, and he was ignoring me. When he was done, he looked proud of himself. Nobody said the usual "Good Job!" to him. So he said it to himself: "Good Job!", he said, with a smile of satisfaction, and walked away.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Poem About Me

By Summy:

My Mother

My mother is special
The way you find
is she is very kind.
She makes good
yummy, delicious food.
She calls me sweet
and very neat.
My mom can sing
like a bird can tweet.
I love her all the time
But sometimes she is a lime.
My mother makes the best nest to give
to let me live.
She is the best mother
anyone could have.
I'm helpful when I wash dishes
and she loves to watch fishes.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Bottoms Up

We were lying down comfortably on the sofa, little Dinky and me. He was on my tummy, face down. I asked him, it being a warm, lazy, afternoon, "Would you like to eat some watermelon, Pranavi?".

Normally, he would nod. But with his head resting nicely, I guess he felt too lazy to pick it up and nod it. So he sticks up his little bottom in the air, and wiggles it up and down, twice, to say "Yes".

I bet this one is not in the baby sign language books.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Guys and Girls

This one's for Summy. I couldn't resist posting this, though I'm not supposed to write about her.

She was learning genders for animals in Hindi. "Haathi, Haathini, Sher, Sherni, Bile, Gaay". She stopped and stared at the words "Bile" (bull) and "Gaay" (cow). And then she said:

"Daddy, if a cow is a girl, why do they call it a "guy"?"

Thursday, July 14, 2011


I call him that, because he talks like he's in a Marvel comic book, with sound effects.

He hits head on something, and says, "Bonk!".

He sees somebody sleeping, he says, "Khrrrrrr. Khrrrrrr" (that's his sound for snoring).

He rings the doorbell and says, "Ding Dong!" musically.

He bounces a ball and says, "Boiiinnng! Boiiiinnng! Boiiinnng!".

Walking, talking, entertainment.

Pranav Ball

Pranav is a very polite and friendly baby in the apartment play area (though not always so polite and friendly to his sister). He doesn't just stare at other babies or play alongside them, but wants to play WITH them.

The other day, he brought his baby soccer ball to the park. There was another toddler, same size, looking at the ball, and I suggested to Pranav that he could play ball with that boy. (What was I thinking?)

So, Pranav walked over with a smile and handed the ball to the other boy. The other boy's face lit up, and he hugged this new ball.

"Tho! Tho!", said Pranav, trying to tell his friend to throw the ball to him. The other baby just stared back. As far as he was concerned, the ball was handed over to him, and was now his. (Fair enough.)

"Peez! Peez!", said Pranav, now starting to want his ball back. (Peez = Please) The other baby didn't understand, and hugged the ball closer. So Pranav went close and tried to grab the ball back.

That was when the other kid started to wail. He ran to his grandpa for support.

Now, this was a shock for Pranav. He looked stunned, then his lower lip jutted out, cutely and comically. Then he started to cry, ran to me, and hugged me tight. He would not let go of me for the next five minutes.

During those five minutes, the grandpa of the other baby talked to him and cajoled him into returning the ball.

This incident seemed to stick in his mind because that night, in his sleep, he kept whimpering and saying "Pranav ball! Pranav ball!".

I was afraid that he would never ever share anything again, but he still fetches other kids' stray balls for them, like a puppy. I think he'll be fine.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Party Time

Pranav has just learned the Happy Birthday song. He goes:

"Appy Birday to yoo. Appy Appy Birday to yoo. Appy Appy Appy Birday to yoo."

So when he got his first birthday party invitation today, from his sister's friends, Summy and I were excited for him. He looked over the invitation card with great interest, exclaiming about the balloons, stars, and the picture of Mickey Mouse on it.

Sameera and I made a big deal of it, saying, "Pranav gets to go to a birthday party! Pranav gets to go to a birthday party!".

Pranav watched us. Eventually, he got excited too. He got off the sofa, where he was sitting, and went "Birday Party! Birday Party!".

Then he turned around, said, "Pranav go Birday Party", and started running away.

"Not right now.", we tried to tell, but there was no stopping him.

He ran straight into the bathroom and pointed to his potty seat. That's when we realized that he was actually saying, "Pranav go Birday Potty!"

He's in for a surprise when he gets to the party on Sunday, dressed in his best diaper, and there is not a potty in sight.

Edited to add: I just remembered that Pranav's baby potty seat has pictures of baby birds on it. He calls they "baby boodies". When we said "Birthday Party", it sounded to him like "Birdie Potty". Of course! It's all clear now, later. Much much later. The smarter the children get, the slower I get.

Friday, July 08, 2011

How about this.

We were going to sleep at night, and that's the time we say "Good Night" to everything that we can think of. Toes, knees, eyes, ears, shirt, diaper, lights, fan, Akka, even to the bathroom, and the water and the shampoo in there.

This night, Pranav was haggling with me to watch his favorite videos on Youtube instead of sleeping. (What's the world coming to when a not-yet-18-month-old has favorite videos on Youtube?)

"Watch ABC balloons?", he said, hopefully, starting to slide down the bed.

"ABC balloons, Good Night.", I said.

"How 'bout, Kangaroo?"

"Kangaroo, Good Night."

"How 'bout, Gummy bear?"

"Gummy bear, Good Night."

By this time he was settled back into bed with a mischievous grin.

"How 'bout, Dora?"

"Dora, Good Night."

"How 'bout..... , How 'bout......."

I waited because I could see his brain working at it.

"How 'bout, Ducky?"

And so it went on until he started to yawn, and finally, fell asleep.

P.S: I realize that Youtube is not a safe place for a kid to be. I only allow Pranav on there, because I get to choose what he sees. Summy, being older, is not allowed on there unless I am there too. I have personally seen Summy's friends stumble upon inappropriate videos while surfing around with little supervision. So please do be careful if you are not already.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Being Careful

Pranav was standing on a stepstool, next to a low table on which the laptop sits. He was watching "The Gummy Bear Song" on youtube.

It seemed so cute, the baby using a stepstool to get up to the computer, so I got the camera and started to record him. I got closer, and said, "Dance, Pranav!".

He looked at me, danced a couple of steps to the music, and then stopped.

Again, I said, "Dance, Pranav!".

He looked at me again, seriously, and said, "Fall down.".

Which I roughly translate as follows: "Dear Amma, you might be too busy to notice, but I am perched precariously on a narrow stepstool. If I dance around on this, I will fall off."

At least one of us uses their head.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011


Pranav is a pretty tough little guy. He falls down in the park a lot, then dusts off his hands and pants and goes running again.

But there are times when he likes to be made a fuss of. At bedtime, he said, "Boo boo" and pointed to his toes. "Kiss?" I said.

"Kiss.", he said. Then after I kissed his toes, he gave me his other foot. "Kiss."

Then he said, "More kiss. More kiss.", and kept passing me one foot after the other to kiss.

Finally, he looked at his toes and apologized to them, "Sowwy."

When Cows Fly

Today while driving in the car, Pranav pointed out of the window.

"Look! Cows!", he said.

"Cows?", I said, looking all around and not seeing any cows. "You see cows? I guess we've gone past them. Bye, cows."

"Bye, cows.", he said.

Then in the evening, in the park, he said:

"Look! Cows!".

I looked around. Again, no cows.

Then I saw him looking and pointing up at the sky. Sure enough, there were the black "cows", flying in the sky. Technically, they weren't really even crows, they were eagles.

But Pranav had fun running around while looking up (and meanwhile, tripping over things), saying, "Catch it! Catch it!" and laughing.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Midnight Sun

Last night, I put Pranav to sleep. I turned on the light in the attached bathroom, so that I could see him easily from outside the bedroom.

Soon, I heard his voice calling "Amma". His eyes were closed when I went to him, so I lay down next to him. "Sunny", he said. He talks in his sleep all the time, so I said, "Yeah? Is it sunny?". He kept saying "Sunny", "Sunny", "Sunny", until I finally realized that he was telling me the bathroom light was too bright for him.

Funny bunny.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Pranav is one month short of being a year and a half old. He is little in size, but big on talking.

We went to Kung Fu Panda 2 last week, and he not only stayed awake to watch the movie, but made many comments on it (If people who were sitting close to us in the theatre are reading this, I'm sorry. Yes, that was my kid, but atleast he was not crying through most of the movie like that other baby. Ha!)

At one time in the movie, when everyone laughed - he didn't get the joke but said, "Funny! Ha ha ha.". Not funnier than him.

The other day, somebody in the lift asked him, "What's your name?", and I was going to answer for him as usual. But this tiny guy in his little shorts, looked up at and said, "Pannav".

He notices things without appearing to. He loves to rinse the lentils ("pappu") before I cook them, and I let him do it most of the time. But this one time, I was in a hurry, and calculatedly put on a Dora DVD for him, so that he would not notice me rinsing the pappu. I put veggies in the pan, I chopped stuff for the pappu, I put on the rice. He was watching Dora intensely all the time. The moment I touched the pappu cooker, amazingly, I felt a soft creature hugging my legs, pawing me, and saying "Pappu! Pappu! Wash it!"

I look at him and think he's going about his business, but he's soaking up everything that's going on around him. Yesterday at the park, he was rocking on a little rocking duck. Some girls stood around talking, next to us. Pranav pointed to one of them and said, "Akka".

"That's not Akka", I said distractedly. "Akka is on her bicycle."

Then he pointed to her again, and said, "Simran Akka.". We had never met this girl before, and he had never heard that name before. Surprised, I turned to the girls and caught one of them calling the other "Simran". He must have been hearing them talk.

He is also a neat freak. I empty his box of books on the floor sometimes, so he can get to them easily. When I go back to check, I always find them neatly stacked back into the box. This kind of thing used to surprise me, but now I know that's what he does.

Once I dumped a jar of clothespins on the floor, and gave him some plastic cups from my kitchen drawer. I thought maybe he'd like to sort the clothespins into the cups by color. He wasn't interested in sorting them, but methodically put the clothespins back into the jar, and put the lid on it. Then, he stacked up the cups I gave him, and put the cups and the jar neatly away in the drawer!

When I put him to bed at night, and hug and kiss him and say, "Pranav, good night!", he pats himself on his chest and says, "Pumpkin pie, good night.", before I can say it.

When we lie down in bed at night, he goes through the happenings of the day in shorthand. "Akka school bus. Renuka is calling. Rain. Cheesy pasta." and so on. He dreams a lot, because he always wakes up saying something out of the blue. He talks in his sleep too, very clearly.

Babies are amazing. Pranav learned all this in less than a year and a half. Next year, I think he'll be running this blog. I'm only half kidding.

P.S.: "Brogging" is when you blog and brag about something at the same time. I just made that up.

Anyway, I might seem to be "brogging" in this post, and in others, but I can't help it. I'm a mom writing about my kids, and I mostly write only the best things about them and me - ofcourse I'm not writing about the times when they are total brats and I'm an absolute monster. I'm saving that for my tell-all book.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Dear Dinky

I'll regret not noting down all the funny and amazing things that you have done in the past few months. You are now sixteen months old.

You have started to speak, though we don't always understand. I used to count the words in your vocabulary, but she stopped counting a couple of months ago, after you started to be a parrot and learn a new word or two every hour.

I had never noticed until you started talking, but you seem to be a very smart baby. You have figured out how to get our attention and to get your way, and slow Amma is just starting to catch on.

You love Akka and are happy to see her, play, sing duets, and dance with her, but you're also starting to fight. Today I saw you grab a toy from her hands before yelling "Please?". She also takes interesting things right out of your hands , so I suppose you're even.

I'll try to keep up better writing down the things that you do.

Saturday, May 07, 2011


Pranav loves to learn and use words. He seemed to be progressing normally until he was one. Then in a couple of months, he seemed to have skipped a year and acts more like a two year old in many ways.

I used to proudly count the number of words he said, but stopped counting after it crossed a hundred, and he seemed to be learning a few new words each day. Because he says so much, I know what he wants, and what he is thinking, much of the time, much more than I did when Summy was a baby. The most amazing thing to me, though, is how he dreams.

I read that babies start dreaming at a year of age. He cries in his sleep sometimes, and I guessed he was dreaming too. But one day, he started to talk clearly in his sleep, and suddenly we not only knew that our one year old was dreaming, but also what he was dreaming about!

For example, one night he cried, "Akka! Tone!". He must have been dreaming that Summy, his Akka, took away his favorite toy, my iPhone. Sometimes he giggles out her name, sometimes he cries, but "Akka" is a recurring theme in his dreams.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


"Pranav, do you want to read a book?"


"Get a book from your book box."

"Book boksh?"

"See this? This is an apple."


"This is a banana..."


"And this is a pineapple."


(Suppressed laughter from me.)

When I talk to other people, he listens and repeats words from our conversations.

This is when babies start loving the word "No". And Pranav has several ways to say it.

He says "Done?" whenever I offer him food, even before he's tasted it. He waves his hand to show me he's had enough. He shakes his head "No" vigorously.

He says "No-no" while waving one finger, in a preachy little voice, just before doing something that he knows is naughty.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Little Sponge

I close my eyes for a second, and when I open them, Pranav has learned something new.

Like today: he opened his mouth, and said "teesh", pointing at his teeth. Where did he learn this? I have no idea, and I'm with him all the time.

By the way, to the June bug moms who may still be reading this, I finally got to meet D today! Thanks for stopping by, D, it was such a pleasure.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Little Sportsman

Some older kids were playing with a cricket ball in the play area. Pranav was stomping around excitedly, going "Ba! Ba!". When the ball came his way and a boy came after it, Pranav stretched out a hand, like he was one of the boys, and said, "Catch".

The boy gave the ball to Pranav. I told him to throw the ball back to the boy, and he did! I carried him away (proudly clapping for himself), so the boys could play in peace.

Pranav is obsessed with "ba", as many babies are. If I feed him rice or cheese, it has to be rolled into a "ba" first (he rubs his hands together to show me how I should roll a ball). The setting sun is a "ba". He flips through books and magazines, looking for any round object ( even a plate), that he can call a "ba".

He is gaga about ba ba.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Mountain Climber

Last week, I was relaxed because Pranav seemed suddenly independent. He was walking by himself, playing by himself, entertaining himself. Today, his indepence is scaling new heights, and he has me on my toes again. He is climbing.

Yesterday, he stared helplessly at things that were high above him, beyond his reach. Today, he suddenly has a new perspective. He doesn't see a stepstool, chair, and a table. What he sees is the possibilities, steps reaching up to a so-far-unexplored treasure site.

Now that he knows what he can do, he loathes being taken away from a forbidden thing or activity. He screams and throws a tantrum. I thought this happened when they turn two!

He is speaking volumes with only three or four sounds. "ma", "na", sha", "ka", and so on. Some words are so subtly different: "shish" for "goldfish", "schiss" for "cheese", "shiss" for "shoes", and "sish" for "sit". Only a perceptive mom can tell the difference. Ofcourse, I'm not that mom. I only guess at what he means by the general direction that he's pointing at.

If I'm out of his sight for only a minute (no exaggerating), he sets up a one-man search party and goes around looking for me, calling "Amma! Amma!" about every two seconds.

He also thinks of his dad and his akka when they are not around, and goes around calling "Nanna!" or "Ka!"

He is a great dancer. Music of any kind makes him shake his little bottom and twirl around (the twirling comes from his sister). He loves to hold my phone and dance to the music from it.

He has tried all the play equipment in the little apartment complex playground. He loves the slide best. He sits on the flat bottom part of the slide, and looks around the park. That's his hangout. When he's tired, he loves to swing in my lap, and fall asleep while looking up at the trees and birds. He has made many friends of his own size.

I know I say this on almost every post, but our little boy is really growing up.

Uh Aah...

When Pranav drops something, I say "Uh oh.". He has been imitating me, but says "Uh aah". Sometimes he says it after dropping something. Sometimes he says it before, which is a useful thing, because I can rush to catch whatever it is that he's dropping.

To him, all it means is " on the floor". I discovered that only today. I was holding him, and he pointed to himself and then the floor, and said, "Uh aah.". He was asking me to set him down!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Mama? Pop pop.

He was sleeping on the bed, and started to wake. So I ran to him.

He was sleeping on his stomach with his cheek resting on the sheet. He half opened his eyes, and looking at me, said "Mama?" sleepily.

"Yes, Nani?", I said.


"Yes, sweetness?"

"Pop pop."

"Pop pop?"

"Pop pop."

"Pop pop?" I said, with a laugh.

"Pop pop pop pop." with a smile and still half closed eyes.

Then he closed his eyes and contentedly went back to sleep.

I have no idea what we were talking about, but I am pretty sure we had a conversation.

Why Worry?

The Dalai Lama was here, in Bangalore, on Sunday. I didn't even know. I was doing mundane shopping (diapers, of all things), while I could have been hearing him speak.

I love him, for his honesty more than anything else, for not pretending to be something that he is not.

Oh well, maybe I'll see him some other time. As he said on Sunday (paraphrased): if you can do something about it, why worry? And if you can't, why worry?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Toddling and Waddling

Pranavi turned one year old. He is waddling around with his legs apart and his arms up, bent at the elbows. He is walking in the house, walking in the park, walking in the mall, walking everywhere, and he is thrilled about it.

About every five minutes, he brings us his little sandals. If we accept them, he sits on his bottom and stretches his legs. While we put his shoes on his feet, he helpfully spreads his toes so that there is always a toe or two sticking out of his sandal holes.

Once his shoes are on, he gets one of our shoes. He points at our feet and the shoes, trying to get his thick-headed parents to understand what he wants. When they say, "No! Don't touch shoes! Shoes dirty!", he goes to the front door and points to it, hoping we'll take the hint. When we ignore this, he'll bang on the door, cling to our legs (he's an excellent clinger), and so on, but his clueless parents only take him for outings twice or thrice a day.

If he had his way, we would be outside the whole day. The few times that we step out of our apartment and wait for the lift, he gets so happy that he runs around in circles, laughing, in the hallway.

He loves to dance. Especially with his sister. He gets along grandly with her, as she does with him. They giggle and play games together. She holds him and twirls and bounces to music. She even brushes his four teeth, and he sits uncommonly still as she does this.

He understands what we say, but like his older sister, hears selectively. He says many words, including "amma", "nanna", and "akka" for his mom, dad, and sister. He says "ba" for ball, and " brrmma" for balloon.

He is growing up fast, as one year olds tend to do.