A few weeks ago, while I was at home working on the computer, Skandhu crawled to me, pulled himself up by holding the chair and tugged my shirt. As I turned to look at him I heard him utter those ever sweet words “Bapapapa….” (Bapa meaning dad). Then, knowing I was watching him, he turned slightly and with an air of assurance, left both his hands that were holding the chair to stand by himself, without any support. Then there was, the first uncertain step, the second one a bit more confident, then the third and fourth until he could not stand any longer and sat down. I had just witnessed our dear son, not quite 9 months old, taking his first steps! There in the span of a moment, his whole life flashed before my eyes.
Time flies! It seemed only like yesterday when we got admitted in the hospital for our dear son’s delivery. I clearly remember my wife in a sedated state, after taking the epidural, resting and letting the little one take his time coming out. I distinctly remember both the fetal monitor and my wife’s heart rate monitor beeping incessantly, each shooting over 140 beats per minute, steadily chiming in an otherwise quiet room, perhaps foretelling me of how fast things would happen. I remember the concern in the nurses’ faces at such high heart rates of both the mother and the baby. I remember the doctor voicing concern that a C-section might have to be performed as the baby might be stressed out and not be able to make the journey to the outside world on its own. I remember a whole 14 hours of labor that seemed like an eternity until our little one popped out. Then suddenly at 6:53 pm, without giving too much trouble to his mom, our little one came out, defying all the doctor’s gloomy predictions and thumbing his nose at the doctors, kicking his feet and crying at the top of his voice, so much so that he got an APGAR score of 9 on a scale of 10! Yes!! Our bundle of joy, our own little boy was finally born in one of the most natural of child births I have ever known. All those stories of long labor resulting in stressed out baby and mother turned out to be false in our case and the doctor and nurses were astonished at how the mother and baby were bubbling with joy, enthusiasm and activity
Fast forward to a couple weeks later and I noticed our man starting to follow us all round with his eyes! At around one month, he’d look at his surroundings with curiosity and recognize our voices. Two months into it, our little guy started holding our fingers, recognizing day and night and switching his sleep around. At the three and a half month mark, our chap promptly flipped on his tummy. Around five months, he began to sit, and would army crawl, mostly backwards. At six months, he was freely crawling on all fours. We had to start baby proofing the house. Seventh month saw him trying to pull himself up and trying out the sippy cup for the first time. He also uttered his first word “Amma” (meaning mother). Eight months on, he would be able to pull himself up and stand. He’d “cruise” around holding the sofa or chair and move from one end to the other. Eighth month also ushered in his first teeth! Just a week into the ninth month, our little one started walking all by himself! At just over Ten months, he rarely crawls, mostly walks with his hands open and wants to eat only “adult” food. No more baby food for him, even if it’s solids like cereals and purees. When we try and feed him baby food, he just nods his head saying “NO”!!
Of course none of this would have been possible if not for my dearest wife Her constant encouragement, enormous patience, undivided attention and perseverance, and way of bringing up our little one truly goes beyond words and borders on awesome! The way she indulges Skandhu and engages him with various activities is pure fun to watch. I am really gifted with a beautiful family and thank the almighty for springing one of the most pleasant surprises in my life. If anyone had told me last year that one year down the line, I’d have a kid that would be doing everything so fast we’d have to constantly keep playing catch-up to him, I wouldn’t have believed it. But with hindsight being 20/20 I can fully see it happening and feel proud to be a dad