18 months

Raihana has started to look very much like a big kid, as in, toddler not baby. As she should, because today she turned 18 months old. I’ve tried not to compare her and yet have compared her to other kids her age, and I believe she’s started to look a little bigger than she is because she is quite tall mashaallah. Yesterday someone looked at her and said that she was going to grow taller soon – why? because, she said, she had a big tummy, and toddlers have this bigtummy-stretchout-bigtummy-stretchout cycle. I have no idea if this is true but it would be strange to have a child in middle school who was taller than me.

She still has that rounded look that babies have, that delicious roundness to her all over that is so adorable in children. And she now has a new impish mischievous streak that is maddening and sweet at the same time.
She loves her lego blocks, her musical toys (she dances to anything, including the fan) and slide and seek books. But most of all she loves cellphones, laptops, the dishwasher, remotes and anything shut securely inside the TV cabinet. (Do we have an engineer?)

She plays musical armpits spontaneously – as soon as you take her shirt off, she runs off making funny noises with her armpits like a frat boy. She babbles a great deal now, and concludes her “sentences” with a serious, “and now I shut my mouth” look that makes me feel like I should really respond.

Most of all she loves “baahir” (outside). Mention that, and off she goes to the door. Anyone who steps out had better take her too, or she will raise hell.
These days I’m not sure why, but she has developed a clingy streak. She wakes up during the night and will not be content until I hold her. Even during the daytime sometimes she begs to be picked up oftener than before. I don’t mind the latter so much: little arms around my neck are sweet. Sometimes I think she does it because she thinks I need comforting.

I often wish I had cartoons and more storybooks (board books) in Urdu. (Here I’m building a list of some. ) She’s surrounded by English and I feel upset that Urdu doesn’t have a great chance unless I really push it. Still, she mostly understands Urdu – today the daycare teachers were asking me how to say “Sit” and “food” in Urdu!

She’s been relatively slow in the table foods department. Part of this is because she has not made many teeth: she only has 7. On occasion I’ve noticed that she doesn’t always chew her food – what is a body to do without molars? So she may be the only 18 month old that’s still eating stage 2 baby food once or twice a day – apart from some table foods.

8 thoughts on “18 months”

  1. She’s surrounded by English and I feel upset that Urdu doesn’t have a great chance unless I really push it

    No – the honest truth is that Urdu has *no* chance unless you speak with her exclusively in that language. This is a dilemma we faced, as Bivijan is fluent in Urdu but just decided not to push it with our kids. Later, when she would begin to lament over the loss of her first tongue, I gave her the world’s smallest violin.

    (Being as I am barely fluent in English, let alone other languages, I cannot push anything.)

  2. oh dude – belatedly came up w. another name for the blog: Chez Koonj!🙂

    Love the new look.

    The kid’s a cutie, mashallah.

  3. I promise not to copy this new look! Happy semi-birthday to the gorgeous one. My theory for 18 month clingyness (tis not uncommon, if I recall)is that this is the age of unfolding possibilities and you are the safe return!

  4. aaaw man..i was hoping you had some urdu stuff for me to read with issa. i’m sure a lot more stuff is availble for kids now than the urdu qaidas we had…alif se anaar, alif madd aam…be se bakri….

    i only speak urdu and punjabi to issa. (yes, the sardar punjabi that i know…) rabiah speaks to him in urdu and english. so i’m hoping that between the two of us he’s getting enough exposure to urdu/punjabi. i know he understands a lot of urdu works. my favorite is asking him, “jahaz kahan hota hai?” and he points up and sometimes even says “jaa” (we live near dulles airport so there are plenty of opportunities to practice “jahaz”) and of course aa jao, uthho, baithho, and last but not least, “nahin”. he also says “de” and points to the thing he wants us to give him.

    i’m gonna get a magic marker and translate all his books into urdu. i dont care if it sounds weird or not. i remember one simple sentence in one of his books that just defied translation: “Some ducks take rockets to the stars.”

    Kai batakh falaki jahazon sitaaron tak lete hain?

  5. The new look, Julaybib and a., is only so that the first words of the Punjabi verses don’t disappear. When I can get a tech-savvy person to fix that for me, I doubt I’ll stick with the plain-Jane look.

    Hassan, I love that you’re speaking Urdu and Punjabi (even if it’s Amritsari and not Lahore — oh the utter disgrace …) to Issa. Raihana gets 98% Urdu from me and 99% English from abbu. I’m hoping that will work. For now, since I am most of her universe, she knows only Urdu. aajao, baitho, jahaz etc – yes, Raihana and Issa could have some conversations.

    Love the magic marker option. Not weird at all. I’m gonna do it too. My version: Kuchh batkhain rocket le kar sitaaron ka safar karti hain.

    Julaybib, I agree with your theory. It’s true: there is much, much change and excitement, and every now and again she just calls out and yearns for my arms.

    Jihad, what, no Arabic either? One would have expected the Shoshara kids to be fluent in Urdu and Arabic and to become bridges between biryani and mulukhiyya!

  6. rocket = راکٹ
    spaceship = خلائی جہاز

    Urdu is a losing battle for us. The Kid speaks more Spanish than Urdu despite understanding most of what we say.

    The fun times with Raihana must be starting. Kids are so much more fun at this age when one can communicate with them and actually play with them.

  7. My N is 19 months and she’s looking like a toddler already. She has become clingy too and I still have a problem with her not wanting to sleep in her crib throughout the night. I wake up in the mornings feeling like I have been on a *night-shift*. Blocks are a big hit here too. Does R like sesame street? N loves it and also Dora/Diego, she just loves those and recognizes them(images) when we go out shopping.

  8. heh…the spanish thing is a trip for me…seeing this next generation of desi kids using spanish words. i’m certainly not opposed to it – maybe because of my line of work – but it reminds me that finally, at least in certain areas, the US is becoming a bilingual society. now, we’re not like switzerland or india or pakistan where everyone speaks at least 2 languages….but we’re headed in that direction, and if it’s spanish and english, so be it…gotta know them, and i think it’s very american to speak spanish.

    but it still trips me out. one of my friends has a young son who knows english and understands some urdu and spanish. so daddy tells him something in urdu and the kid, exasperated, tells his baba, “Daddy stop talking in Spanish!”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s