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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

"thsssssssss" sounds perfect for now

It was a particularly trying evening as I had about twenty thousand things to do before i went to bed. i managed to side-step a few times when TJOML came excitedly towards me with outstretched arms and i successfully distracted her with a piece of snack or a toy; i sometimes had to shimmy and shake in an attempt to dislodge TJOML from my pant-legs while i was cooking dinner; but, most of that evening, i was feeling guilty about not giving as much attention as TJOML was demanding.

So, i decided to do something about it: I cleared my evening, told myself everything else can wait (including dinner), and so, when TJOML came carrying one of her favorite books and looking expectantly at me, I did not try to distract her and send her away. I sat down with the book. Waited till she settled herself on my lap as is her wont and started reading to her the way she likes.

Soon she won't need me the same way. Even before I am ready for it, she will be reading books I haven't chosen for her. And it will be years, if i am lucky, before we choose to read the same books and share our thoughts on them.

But for now, this is good:

"Curious Caterpillar, what do you see?
Red apples on the tree."
(gleefully rubs her tummy while drinking the page in visually)

Do you see apples?
(eyes search the page and land on apples with a triumphant sign of recognition, followed by a dainty 'aa-pl')
Yes, good job, that is an apple.

Do you see a caterpillar?
(tiny little index finger goes straight to the caterpillar on the page)
Yes! good job! that is a caterpillar.

We switch to another book now:
Do you see a snake?
(scanning... hesitant...)
Where is the snake?
(spots the snake at the bottom of the page)
Good Job! Yes, that is a snake.

What does the snake say?

And when I hear the beautiful lispy, "thsssssssss" from TJOML, I feel things are all right with the world. For now.

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