Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Mama's little boy.

My son's first sound was the most beautiful grunt I'd ever heard. I couldn't wait for the day when he would look into my eyes and say, " Mama!". Everyday I would point at myself and say the word, hoping it would register in his little head. But instead he chose to say, "Baa baa!!". Good for the sheep, is all I can say. And then came "grrrrr", which meant doggie; "tee tee", the bird; "phrrrrrr", the elephant; "naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa", the horse, "ishhhhhh", the fish; "saaaaaaaaaaaa", the snake; "mmmmmmm", the cow, "peeee", the pig,.....but no "Mama".

Of course, we were still thrilled that he could recognise the animals. And Shiv always obliged when we'd ask him to make his sounds. When we'd talk with my parents and in-laws back in India, Shiv would always get a chance to showcase his "talent". We would mention the animals, and he would dutifully respond with the appropriate sounds, a big smile and lots of drool. We would clap and hug him, and tell him what a smart little boy he is. And his grandparents would be absolutely besides themselves listening to him, so many miles away. Shiv loved our walks in the park. He would spot a dog half a mile away, point and 'grrrr' all the way, till we passed it. He would manage to catch a glimpse of a bird way up in the trees, and excitedly "tee tee", wriggling his little fingers. At night, we would read his favourite book, 'Time for Bed', where he would point at the animals on each page and "mmm", "naaa" or "saaa" accordingly.

And suddenly, he said the word!! But everyone was "Mama"; Kirstie Alley on the Jenny Craig commercial, the Victoria Secret models, the lady bringing us the mail, our 85 year old neighbour tending to her garden, and occasionally, the long-haired, herculean dude on the Harley!! At the store, Shiv was really good at making eye contact with people, especially the women. He would get their attention,by cooing, and batting his eyelids, and then while they smiled back at him, say, "Mama!!!". I remember the one time, he was trying to get this lady's attention, and she seemed too preoccupied to notice him. We seemed to bump into each other quite often around the produce section, and Shiv was determined to make himself noticed. Talk about babies with big egos!!! Anyway, at one point, right by the onions and potatoes, she happened to be standing directly behind me. Shiv arched his head to one side, so he could look around me, pointed at her, and yelled in his loudest voice, "MAAAMAAA!!". The poor lady almost dropped a sack of Idaho's on her foot. She looked at us, and Shiv immediately began bobbing up and down in the cart seat, grinning away at her, and singing to himself, "Mammammamma!". I think she managed half a smile and scurried away!!

It's been a month since he's been calling only me "Mama". And now, he won't stop. Whether I'm in the bathroom, or cooking, or on the phone, or trying to put him down for a nap, he says it in his sweet little voice. There's so much love in the way he says it, and I fear that may not always be so. That word may be coloured with anger and exasperation and frustration toward me. There may be times when he shuts me out, whines that I'm not being fair, claims that I don't understand, and maybe even confess that he hates me. But you know, I'm not going to worry about all that now. Right now, I'm content with him looking into my eyes and saying, " Mama!".

1 comment:

Jen said...

Oh, I can't wait for that glorious day when Dylan says "Mama" and knows he's talking about me! Make sure you get lots of video. One day when he is a teenager and comes in the living room of your beautiful, big, new house and finds you watching the videos longingly with a box of tissues, he will snort, roll his eyes, and think you're weird, but you'll still have those videos!