Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Mother of All Invention

You and Divya

You and Grandma Raju

Everyone swooning over you.

How you will look in 4 years... sorta

Dear Ellie,

Since last week we had a family gathering from my side of the family, this week we had one with your mother's.  We spent the weekend at Grandma Kottiath's house.  Your cousins Divya and Adree came by too and since Grandma lives next to her brother, we had a nice big crowd.  Divya, who has 5 months on you, was crawling along on a rampage.  Which made me jealous.  Sadly, you've somewhat fallen behind on your arm coordination milestones, so I think you might be crawling a little bit behind schedule.  You still aren't very good at lifting yourself with your arms, but that might have to do with the fact that you have a head in the 93rd percentile, which adds a ton of extra weight to lift.  On the upside, you aren't nearly obese anymore because you've gotten a lot longer very quickly.  In just a month, you've gone from 3rd percentile into the 30's.  You are still gaining weight nicely though, and you are just about to peak 14 pounds.  

You can sleep quite soundly now too, but while you were once a barracuda when it came to eating, now you've become a dainty little seahorse.  When we add prune juice to your milk, you suck it down like candy but the rest of the time, you put up a fight.  For the past few weeks, the only way to get you to eat was to pick you up with one hand, walk around the house, and feed you with the other hand.  Getting just short of your required calories was quite the endeavor and a lot of the time, we'd spend half the day dripping milk into your mouth at a trickle.

Well, I decided that enough was enough, so I invented a new technique: "taking you through the drive through."  Plato was dead wrong when he said that "necessity is the mother of all invention."  Nope.  Laziness is the mother of all invention.  I'm sure whoever invented the wheel wasn't trying to change civilization as we know it.  He was just sick and tired of dragging that heavy sledge around.  Once he invented the wheel, he could move stuff around with much less exertion, leaving him with more time and energy to sit around doing nothing-important-in-particular.  So to honor the tradition of inventive, enlightened slothfulness, I decided that rather than dragging you around one-handed like a 14 pound sack of potatoes, I'd try sticking you in the Ergo and feed you that way.  The result?  Success.

With you tucked snuggly in the Ergo Baby Carrier like a pouched baby kangaroo, feeding you took about as long as it might take to go through the drive through.  The best part yet?  If I was feeling especially yawnful, I didn't even need to use my hands.

So diet issues aside, I think its important to mention that your social skills are developing impressively.  You have become quite the expert at flattering people.  That is to say, you are a very upbeat, sociable baby that needs few excuses to smile.  When you flash that little grin and bounce your arms at witnessing a new face, I always tell them, "Oh, wow, look at that smile!  She doesn't do that for everyone!  She must like something specifically about you."  Granted, even though you smile that way for everyone, I don't think it's dishonest of me to say things like this to people.  After all, I'm only repeating from dictation what that brilliant little expression seems to be saying, that being: "I'm smiling because you are a wonderful person.  Yes, you.  The person right in front of me.  Not the balloon that is dangling over your shoulder.  I like him a lot and smile at him too, but not as much as you.  There is something about you, some deep and essential part of your soul which glints of the divine.  I smile this way because of that unique part of you.  And it's just for you.  Yes, you.  Not Mommy.  Not Daddy.  Not Mr. Balloon, either.  Just you.  Seriously."      

This is not an example of your biggest smile.
Unfortunately, whenever you see my cell phone camera
you stop smiling and start wondering: 
"What witchcraft is this mystical black monolith?"

To add to the adorableness, you are now baby babbling in full force, and you seem quite convinced that everything that comes out of your mouth is some sophisticated philosophical treatise.  So we talk back to you as though it is.  What a tremendous difference from just a month ago when the only sounds you could make conjured up images of a Honey Badger dueling a Burmese Python.

Of course, with all of these new social skills developing, you have learned other valuable skills as well... like manipulation.  It used to be that you'd only cry when something was really wrong.  You know, like, "Hey Mister, I'm gonna die here if you don't do somethin' about it!"  Now, you'll whip out that same old "I'm hungry" whine not because you are hungry, but because you're upset that I went away to the bathroom.  Once, when you were sitting right next to me in your Rock and Play, you started crying because I didn't have at least one hand on your torso.  Your belly was like an anti-crying button.  I'd touch belly button: no more crying.  Take my hand off the belly button: crying.  Touch the belly button: no more crying.

I think my favorite part about you so far, though, is how analytic you are.  Most babies your age seem to act like excited dogs with A.D.D. when they are alert, their heads bouncing around in every direction at whatever new distraction passes by.  But you are so focused.  When someone sits down with you, you'll lock your gaze on their eyes and take measure of every little thing that they do.  There is an sharpness, not a vacancy, to those little eyes.  Like an old soul in a baby's body.  


  1. Dana, many things you write about Ellie are foreign to me but every post tells me clearly that Ellie has a great dad who is amazingly expressive. I could imagine how happy Ellie would be one day to read all this. Beautiful clicks, thanks for sharing !

  2. Yes, Rani and I do have somewhat of an eclectic sense of humor. Hopefully Ellie won't think we're weird when she gets older :-)