My folks were here in Canada to visit us during the summer of 2005 ostensibly to spend time with us but they really wanted to spend time with Rhea. At that point Rhea was just beginning to explore the world around her. So she was not really responsive to my folk’s antics.
How I wish that they had paid a visit now. Rhea has under gone a sea change since their visit. Her world now is quite large and she acts like it’s her realm. We are her subjects and if she wishes to throw us in the dungeons she would if only she knew what they were.
Her little things light up our lives and make us laugh all the time. Even after she has gone to bed, Charu and I always go through her latest escapade. E.g.
> Her latest thing is to come running to us and bang her head on our thigh and shout “Shourry, papa”. And then she will do it again and again and again.
> Another thing that she does is to pick up the big box of blocks (where does she find the strength to pick up that 1.5 kg box, I have no idea) and dump in the middle of the basement and toss the blocks one by one back into the box.
> She has begun to count till 10 and with help till 15. She recites her ABCs for a little while before she gets lost and needs help.
But we have bad moments as well. These days the fight between us and Rhea is over Dora. Dora has now officially become the parent that we never were. We never take Rhea on magical rides through story books (regardless of the fact that we read to her everyday) and we never have a sidekick called Boots who can swing on trees and make funny noises (I come close but my inability to
swing from branch to branch is a big let down). We are trying to cut down on the Dora obsession but limiting her TV time to dinners and 30 minutes before bed time. It’s difficult but I think it’s working.
The only thing is that we have to learn new tricks to keep her entertained the rest of the time. So out come the paint boxes, the stickers, the balloons and other assortment of toys. By the time we are done with one activity (which usually last from a few minutes to half an hour!!) it’s on to the next and then the next and then the next. It’s quite tiring but it’s a lot of fun. Unfortunately, Charu takes the bulk of the activity time with Rhea and I pitch in whenever I can. My favourite play time with Rhea is hide and seek. She loves to play that game and to watch her giggle when she is found out is one of the best moments of my day.