Wednesday, December 28, 2022

All the times my daughter has surprised me

 All the times my daughter has surprised me

1-2yr old

The first day of you going to daycare. Although I was relaxed and I knew you'll be fine but your mother was very worried how you'd react. You were mere 15months old. Your mother was convinced you'll cry when you'd see us leaving the daycare and that you'd start to miss us immediately. But we were not only surprised, but slightly annoyed by your reaction. As soon as we signed the attendance sheet, you started walking towards room#5, where Miss Yolande was standing at the door and ready to welcome you in. You didn't even look back at us. Your mother was annoyed! But you just kept walking in, started playing with the toys in the room. We left daycare feeling slightly embarrassed. We came back late afternoon to pick you up and you were perfectly fine the whole day, adjusting seamlessly to the new daycare, new room, new routine all by yourself.

2-3 yrs old

I cooked chicken curry for dinner but it turned out to be little spicy. I was not sure if you'll be able to eat. I even thought to cook something else for your dinner but then thought to try it out first. I did not mention anything about the spiciness and served you on the plate. Not only did you eat the whole serving, you didn't even flinch for one moment. I learned to never underestimate you.

I cooked potato-beans fry one time. Again, I was hesitant because usually kids don't readily eat vegetables like they eat ice-cream. But I thought to serve anyway. Again, you finished the whole plate, and even asked for more. From that moment onwards, I never had issue serving you vegetable dishes. You were even able to handle slightly spicy curries. Totally unlike other kids I came across.

One time when we were eating breakfast together, you took a big spoonful of cereal and put in your mouth. I showed excitement and happiness, even clapped to express my amazement that you can eat such big servings at one go. Then you mumbled "oh, like fippo?". I couldn't figure out what did you mean. I asked multiple times, "what? what?" and you kept repeating "like fippo papa, like a fippo". After few times, I gave up and tried to move away from it, "ok ok, keep eating now, don't stop..". You looked out the window, thought for a sec, then said "papa, like monkey, tiger, mouse.." and suddenly I snapped "oh! you mean you ate like a Hippo there, oh I get it now". You were so happy. I was dumbstruck by your intelligence. You are mere 2-1/2 yr old. You know I keep encouraging you while eating by saying "you eat like a hippo baby girl", and you tried to remind me of the same but because of your lisp (or mouthful of cereal), I couldn't understand what you meant, so you made a correlation that hippo is animal like monkey, tiger etc so you dropped me a hint and voila! that was enough for me to get what you were saying. I'm smart but you proved yourself to be smarter.

3-4yrs old

You have grown surprisingly strong these days. One day we were just play wrestling. You were sitting on my back and for fun I pretended to rise up. You got the hint that we are not playing a new game where you'd try to push me down while I try to power through and rise. I was amazed at the strength through which you tried to keep me down. I was genuinely surprised you can be this string, this early. While I'm down, I count 1...2...3...go and I summon my strength to rise. You are smart enough to get the hint. You start exerting your force from 2 onwards. 

You have started to converse with me in Oriya. Although I would like the frequency to be more but I'm surprised you have picked up the language very early. I have ensured I only speak in Oriya with you and I've to keep prompting you to reply to me in Oriya. Over the past few weeks (you are 3yr 4 months old), you have improved your Oriya skills. It'll not be long before you'd be able to speark with me in Oriya all the time, something that I'll cherish personally, something like a secret thing between you and me, one more special thing binding us.

When you were 3.5 yrs old, my India trip was coming up. I was going to be away for a month to spend time with my mom. I was bit worried that you'll cry and not let me go. Few hours before I was about to depart, I held you in my arms and explained to you that I'll be going away to India for a while. You were so understanding, so calm. We played together for a while and when the time came, you hugged me tightly, kissed me and we bid goodbyes. You didn't cry at all. I was so amazed that you were such an understanding girl, so mature than your age.

Usually eating by hand is messy for you and time consuming process. That is understandable as you are yet to develop that kind of dexterity in your fingers, coordination between fingers and tongue. But one time at dinner, you saw me eating rice chicken curry with hand and you said I want to eat using hand as well. Your mom was at first not happy but I convinced her to come around. She was more concerned about the mess that'd be. You started eating by hand. There was the usual clumsiness. Then both mom and I coached you how to pick up rice curry mix into your fingers and 'push slide' the content into your mouth while the tongue helps to take it in. We showed 1 demo and voila! That was enough for you to understand the mechanics. After that you were flawless in your technique. I distinctly remember I looked at mom and silently we acknowledged that you have managed to excel in this also, so quickly. You were eating like a pro desi, eating using hand. No mess, clean plate.I was feeling very content in my heart at that moment. You made me happy, again!!

At this age(3.5yrs), you have started showing your slyness with a pinch of cuteness that is irresistible. You love food. There is no denying it. You are the one to finish breakfast early in the day, and I make a note to have my breakfast with you at the same time. Mom, however, wakes up late so she ends up having breakfast by herself after an hour or so and she usually like bread peanut butter which you happen to like as well. You are aware that doesn't like you gorging on her breakfast also. So when mom starts to eat hers, you slowly drop whatever you are doing, and cheekily sit on mom's lap, buttering her up with constant "I love you" and a cheeky smile. You are actually saying lot of things, without saying anything. Your gazing eyes, constantly switching from her plate to her eyes, would be trying to make a point. Then you'd cheekily just touch the side of the plate, like a harmless gesture of checking the waters. The next move would be slightly more pervasive, like touching the apple slice, adjusting the sandwich piece, or plucking the banana between the bread slice. At this point Mom (or I) would just cave in, and offer you a bite or handover apple slice. Mission accomplished. Very cheeky indeed.

Within a week (3yr 7m) you have managed to surprise me more than I could imagine. You are now able to count to 100 without any mistake. Not only saying the numbers out loud, you even attempted and wrote numbers from 1 to 100. Thats just amazing. It was brave, very courageous of you to take that challenge. Yes, it was you who blurted out "I want to write to 100 today" and then proceeded to do just that. Not only on the scholarly side of things, but outside of it too you managed to surprise me. I took you for biking. This time I took out my bike too, intending to bike alongside of you. It was a gamble but I wanted to see what you can do. You had been able to stop biking and balance without falling over, also able to turn the bike around but you needed help starting the bike, with the pedal push and balancing at the same time. This time, you were able to do that by yourself too. With the minimal of guidance, hints about how to position the pedal, how to keep one feet on the higher pedal and push while maintaining balance with the other foot and slowly rising it to the other pedal, and voila, next thing I see you are already riding ahead and I had to scramble to get on my bike to get ahead of you to clear the road ahead for any oncoming traffic, for you. I enjoy these types of small victories. These small small things build characters, it builds strength and the right mindset so that you are ready for the big things. 

Today(3yr 7m) you counted to 100 and without any mistake and today was the 10th time you've done so. You are also able to ride the bicycle all by yourself. Your feet is barely touching the ground but you are able to stop and start the bike by yourself, and also turn around. You've never needed training wheels. You started riding the balance bike since 2 years old and then pedal bike since 2.5yrs old. At this age, you are able to write upper and lower case letters with <5 mistakes which is amazing. More practice and you'll be perfect. You are also speaking with me in flawless Oriya. You fumble once in a while but it's much much better. You are talking in English with everyone else but as soon as you turn to me, you speak in Oriya automatically. Even my friends are surprised to see you speak with me in Oriya and it's so cute, I simply melt inside. All I'd say is keep it up. 

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