My Youngest Grandchild


Today I scolded my granddaughter (ten months old) by calling her gunda baccha. It means dirty child in Urdu. She has the bad habit of throwing whatever she is eating on the floor. Then she tries to get out of her baby chair by squirming first, and then crying. Once she is on the floor, she scoots herself to the fallen food, and eats it. It must have gathered something from the floor to make it more appetizing.

I’m like forever cleaning the area, so that whatever she eats from the floor won’t make her sick. Yesterday we had to eat out, because it was lunch time. We had a bunch of errands to run beside her mother getting a booster for her Covid shot. We sat outside, and the dear child wanted to be on the floor, so that she could eat all the appealing dirt secretly signaling to her to get down. Though she didn’t get her heart wish.

We have to block her way onwards to the stairs. At the upper end of the stairs, Son has installed a gate, but at the lower end the stairs are too wide, there is no way for a gate to be added. We put different obstacles to block the way. Maryam’s favorite pastime is to head towards the stairs, and try to climb them. We try to be vigilant, but one day she climbed them. Thank God she didn’t fall down.

When she doesn’t want to interact with you, she won’t even look at you, but if you are sitting at the dining table, and eating something, she climbs up into your lap, and demands to be fed. She eats with all of us. Usually I’m the last one to join, but as soon as she sees me, she gets down from her parents’ lap, and clamors to be held by me.

One evening I was standing by my chair, she crawled to my side, and held on to my legs. I picked her up, and continued to talk to her parents without sitting down to eat my food. She waited for like ten minutes, and then bursts into tears. Oh God! I realized she wanted to eat from my plate. I prefer her to sit in her baby chair, not in my lap, as it’s easier to feed her. She thinks her grandma must be eating something different from her parents, so she must sample whatever I have. Once satisfied, she decides to climb down, and crawls away.

If the door of my room is closed, she tries to call me to open the door. If I don’t answer, she keeps a vigil, and patiently wait outside. She doesn’t talk yet except for the words Baba (her father), Ma (her mother), and Da (me).

Her childhood is the sweetest time for us to enjoy. Once children grow up they turn into aliens.

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