My four-month-old granddaughter means the world to me. I hadn’t realised that having a baby in the house could be so much fun and entertainment! As she stares at you with those wide open, innocent eyes, the world suddenly seems to come to a standstill. A flash of one of those sweet smiles and you find yourself on the top of the world. Our conversations initially started with just small spurts of sound, soon turned into more intimate cooing and gurgling noises. The latest is a more powerful squealing which turns into an ear-splitting shriek. These squeals could either mean “I am happy and contented,” or it could be, “I am bored, tired and hungry,” or possibly, “Don’t just stand there gaping at me. Pick me up!”
She is now into discovering the outside world and its array of activities. Fortunately, our garden attracts a lot of birds of different kinds. Chirpy birds like the red-vented bulbul and the fork-tailed drongo are frequent visitors. So, rather than waking up to the noise of the traffic, the little one is lucky to wake up to the sweet singing of the birds.
Sunday is baby’s day out. This day is exclusively set aside for gallivanting and shopping. Even though she dozes off as soon as we get into the car, on waking, she is alert and keen to explore and discover new places, people, noises and smells! As you may have guessed, shopping is entirely baby-centred. The wide variety of small clothes along with the endless assortment of toys keeps one shopping for hours on end.
The biggest in her collection is Minnie Mouse. Size doesn’t seem to matter as she expertly juggles Minnie up and down with her feet! A rattle which looks like a space ship is another hot favourite. In the absence of a toy, I quickly adapt and turn my hand and fingers into an object of interest. Sometimes she will hold onto my thumb with all her fingers in a very tight clasp, possibly making sure that I won’t ever let go of her! This special clasp has come to be known as the “GG Clasp” or Grandfather–Granddaughter Clasp!
Four months on, we have learnt that a baby at home brings out the child in us. I think all of us enjoy talking in that playful and high-pitched tone of voice specially reserved for babies. Words of love and endearment otherwise stashed away suddenly seem to flow unceasingly. Hopefully, a bit of this endearment will rub off on the rest of the family too!