Continued from the previous post..
When Pari was around fifteen months old, my husband left for a month long office trip. I was all settled with had a comfortable job which payed less, but allowed me to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Also, in January, we got lucky and got a trust-worthy live-in maid who did all the household chores, including excellent cooking and also looked after the baby. This effectively meant that I had absolutely nothing to do apart from my office work, and with the husband gone, all my time and attention post work belonged to my little girl. Now, this led to a major turn in events. It might interest you to know how it all began. The night he left, I sat with the baby and probably because I felt so low, for the first time talked to Pari like a person and not just a baby. And boy, was I in for a surprise! To my astonishment, I realised that she had developed a reasonably good understanding of things around her and was so eager to grasp all that she got exposed to. She already knew so many things that I never thought she could.. That 45 minutes of talk with her was my moment of revelation. She was no longer just a baby, a pretty pink thing who just had to be fed, cleaned, entertained and taken care of, she actually had so much more to offer. I feel compelled to admit that I had not been a good mom all along. How could I be, if I knew so little of my own baby.. and the bonding was seriously lacking. There were many reasons, no not excuses, but actual reasons for this, but I shall not recount those on the eve of her birthday. The only reason I would care to give now is that I could not relate to her. There wasn't sufficient communication and all I knew her to be was a doll, unaware, unintelligent.. I loved her, I played with her, I had breast-fed her for almost 10 months, but it was only her charm, her cuteness, her innocence that attracted me to her. Now, I saw a personality and a very beautiful one at that. Within no time, I fell head over heels in love with her... Those 5 weeks just flew off with her. I bought her small books and would read the names of the objects in those. My heart would burst with pride when 2 days later she would recite them back. I would sing and dance with her, talk to her. The husband came home to find a smarter kid and a wiser mom. She learnt the body parts as well, and could tell her forehead, elbow, knees, palm and feet too. This process of educating her bought us so much closer. English and Hindi alphabets, numbers and rhymes followed. She did not talk in full words, she just said the first syllable, but that was enough encouragement for me. And then her 'game' came into picture. My husband got it from the USA but I am sure it would be available here as well, and in all likelyness at a lower cost. I am elaborating on it a bit because I found it so useful and nice. It is marketed by Fisher Price under the name Laugh and Learn, it has this keyboard, one which fits over the desktop keyboard and then all you need to do is install a software. It has 3 levels to keep 1 yr to 3 yr olds engaged and learn in the process. I would recommend it to everybody who has a child in this age group. It is worth every penny spent, and better than most other learning toys and kid laptops put together. Coming back to Pari, she is completely hooked to it. Our little scholar has already spent many productive hours on it.
To be continued..