Niki’s Birthday

I know I am late – by a full 3 weeks. Anyway, my little baby turned ONE year old on the 1st of August and I am still in shock. I no longer have a ‘baby’ in my house. There is an pre-kindergartner  and a toddler. No more babies in my house ever again. Sniff sniff.

Stuff he’s up to – crawling like a pro, walking from one end of the room to the other (though walking is still not the preferred mode of transport and he needs to be coaxed to do it), running full speed just holding onto one finger for support, 5 teeth out and more on the way, recognizing loads of stuff and the two big things – slowly learning to talk and loving to be ‘read’ to. He still doesn’t have any words other than Mumma and Umba (for the maid) but is making loads of new sounds. He points to something he wants and says ‘buche’. He points to where he wants to go and says ‘udhe’. Ask him ‘lion kaise bolta hai’ and he growls. He loves, loves, loves everything electric/electronic. One of his favourite activities is to be taken to a switch board and switch on and off the lights. He toggles the switch and looks around each time to see the light going on/off. Musical toys are still the best and he has an instinctive understanding of which buttons to press, even in the more complicated ones which used to belong to Anna (when she was older than he is now) and which she never played with.

For the past few weeks he’s really picked up an interest in books and I am so thrilled. When Anna was a baby I always used to hope that she’d love reading as much as I do and she’s right on track to being an avid reader. With Niki I never hoped – maybe because he’s the second baby and I usually stay more in the moment with him knowing all too well how fleeting these moments are and also because having ‘two’ babies who like books seemed too good to be true. It’s just the beginning and I don’t know if we will grow up to be a reader or not but he is showing interest now and that makes me so happy. He loves sitting in my lap and flipping through his board books. When he first started picking up the books some time ago he would get really frustrated with them and start yelling and then throw them away. We figured out that maybe he’s angry because he turns the pages and presses the pictures but (unlike his toys) nothing happens. No music plays, no lights come up. Then we started telling him what was on the pages but it had to be a running commentary or else the yelling would start again. Now he seems to have understood what books are about and sits and sees the pictures and turns the pages. Dear Zoo is his favourite and he’s already managed to tear/fold some of the flaps unlike his careful sister whose book it originally was.

His birthday was pretty low key. My father had come over for a week (and then he and Mummy left – sob sob) and we’d called over some guests a couple of days before his birthday and were still eating the leftovers (including cake). So I got just one pastry and stuck candles on it and Anna and my brother’s daughter blew them out and cut the cake. We all went out for lunch the following Sunday (including my brother/cousins and our many children) and all the kids enjoyed themselves. Niki liked it too since there was a big garden and he got to walk around a lot. He was cranky by the time we cut the cake and went to sleep 5 minutes after that so the cake cutting pictures mostly feature him with an almost crying face.

He is an overall serious baby. He does laugh and play a lot but his default expression is a serious and slightly suspicious one so other people specially think that he’s an angry young man. Which he isn’t actually. Till now he’s been pretty low maintenance – plays by himself, doesn’t give too much trouble in eating, sleeps a decent amount and at good times, became a year old without my even realising it! In fact he was really sick this past week (an extreme case of hand foot and mouth disease) and still ate a bit, took his medicines without too much fuss and played whenever he felt better.

Here is what I had put on Facebook for his birthday-
My second little baby – sometimes ignored, sometimes spoiled. Always being crushed by Didi’s enthusiastic hugs. Growing up quietly day by day without our even realising it. Today you are are a year old. Today I find it hard to remember how we were when you were not here. You made me realise that being a mother is not so very hard after all. You became a year old without a fuss. Just keep being the lovable, squishable baby that you are.
Happy First Birthday NIki!

Twelve months of Niki

 niki collage

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About anna's mom

First time mom to my lovely little Anna. Mostly swinging between exhaustion and exhilaration. Avid reader, feminist, and out of words at the moment No longer a first time mom. Now mom to my darling babies - Anna and Niki. Still exhausted, still exhilarated,
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