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From my little baby to my little girl…

Where do little girls come from? I don’t mean anatomically. I’m going to have a hard enough time explaining that to my inquisitive little Z when she is older. So, let’s not go there now.

But more figuratively. Where DO little girls come from? Yes, yes, we do have the sugar and spice and all things nice. But I’ve realised there is so much more.

Big puppy-dog eyes, expressive gestures, stinky diapers, dirty bloomers, unkept hair, drooly t-shirts, butterfly kisses, warm hugs, curious minds – this is what transforms a baby into a little girl.

Z has been growing by leaps and bounds in the last month and a half. As this is a blog to document these milestones, I would love to highlight some of them.

  1. Little Ms. Fashionista

Z is now pretty particular of what she wants to wear. Too many ruffles, too big, too itchy and she’ll try taking it off before you can say, “Please baby, just for an hour!”

She hates hairbands and we are lucky if we can sneak in a hairclip without her knowing every now and then! Or else Mama has to take action and make the clip-wearing process a lot more fun!

She’s old enough to appreciate beauty around her and says,” Wowww” every time she sees pretty flowers, a big tree or her aunt trying on a gorgeous dress.

2. Forrest Gump

Z is in a ‘marathon runner’ phase at the moment. She runs and runs and runs. Everywhere. All the time. As I type this, I see her running across the living room to give her grandfather a big hug; and it’s hilarious because her legs are still a bit wobbly and her arms flop around behind her almost like wings.

3. Dancing Queen

Z absolutely loves dancing. And even more so, when there are lots of people around. It’s almost as if she’s performing. We went to a night market a couple of days back and there was some lovely live music playing. While we were busy with eating and drinking, little Z danced and danced and danced the night away, entertaining all those around her.

4. Little Marie Curie

Why say Einstein when you can say Marie Curie, right?

Anyway, I believe Z is incredibly receptive to information and knowledge right now. A cute little sponge, if I may. It’s incredible how quickly she is learning things. From counting 1, 2, 3 to saying A for Apple and B for ball; from making a funny face to saying Hi and Bye to strangers without anyone prompting her; from knowing all the actions and most of the words from her favourite rhymes to knowing there is food in the vicinity just at the crunch of a packet – it’s amazing to see her learn and retain all this. Granny is currently teaching her to say, ‘No nonsense!’ and she repeats with a whisper, ‘No nanas’.

Sometimes, she shocks us with little sentences – ‘Cat there’, ‘Tutti there’ and ‘Mama here’. She has her own little gibberish language and it annoys her when we can’t understand what she is saying, especially when she feels like she is communicating so beautifully! Oh and she calls herself, ‘Vova’ or ‘Joya’ at different times!

5. Little Foodie

In true Menon and Rao style, Z loves her food too. Her favourites are rice, chicken, ‘sheez‘ (cheese), ‘offan‘ (orange), chocolates, ”ship‘ (chips), and those little colourful jeera sweets. I’m pretty sure the word she uses the most is ‘amm‘ which means food. She also pretends to take little chunks out of her arm or couch and puts them in her mouth to tell us she is hungry!

6. Show-woman and clown

Z is definitely a little clown and show-woman – all rolled into one! She lives for the applause and ensures she does things to make you laugh. Even when she’s not trying to be funny, it’s hilarious. For example, when she sees anyone dressed in all black, she starts making monkey sounds! Because she’s seen black gorillas in her books. Can you imagine how embarrassing that can get at the mall or restaurant? She also goes into look nooks and corners to sing little gibberish songs to herself.

7. Ms. Manipulative

Usually, Z gets what she wants. And if she doesn’t, she manipulates people into getting it. She’ll kiss, hug and scream ‘love yous’ just to get her way. And if the person doesn’t give in, she moves on to the next person and repeats the whole process. So most of the time, it’s a win-win for everyone! Having said this, we are also very strict with her and she is very receptive to our ‘No’ and ‘No touching’.

Anyway, that’s all from us for now. It’s so lovely being able to witness these amazing changes to a little person – changes that will eventually make her the awesome person she is!

Thanks for being part of this crazy ride with us.

Love,

Z and Mama

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What a little rockstar! *Update*

Z and Mama have arrived in Pietermaritzburg finally! And can I just say – little Z was a complete rockstar! If you read my previous post on my fears of flying with a toddler, this post is just an update of what happened…

We had to wake up at 4:30 am for our 6:30 am flight. I thought I would let Z sleep in and carry her out of the door in her pajamas. But little Ms. Alert that she is, she woke up at 4:35 am when she realised something was happening; she obviously has a bad case of FOMO and did not want to miss a second of the action.

She did a whole dance and jig in the car to ‘Despacito‘ and was wondering why it was so dark outside. Oh, did I mention the temperature was 4 degrees!

At the airport, she was a bit overwhelmed with the thousands of people and suitcases and sounds. And she decided to lie on me and take a power nap. Little did I know that she had one eye open and was watching every single thing!

We walked into the airplane and she burst into tears. She was so scared of the tiny cramped space and a hundred people staring at her. I was thinking to myself – “Oh, no! This is going to be a disaster!”

We were lucky enough to have a seat with no one next to us. So we had all the space to put her bottles and books. Before take off, she made a little friend who was sitting behind us – a little 16-month old little boy called Brody. The fascination was mutual and they ‘talked’ animatedly to each other for 20 mins.

She loved the little window, which she insisted should be opened and closed every 30 seconds.

After takeoff, she was fascinated by the clouds – a word she learnt only a few months back. She was awake for most of the flight and it was only by the end of it that she decided to take a nap. Afterall, she did wake up at 4:30 am 😘

So all in all – she was a complete little rockstar! And I was worried for nothing.

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Omg, I’m flying with a toddler! 

Z was pretty much a seasoned traveller as an infant with all the international flights we took to India. But that was 6 months ago. She is now a full-blown toddler with a mind of her own. And guess what? We are taking out first flight since then TOMORROW!

I’ve been up since about 6:30 am, trying to make a checklist in my head of 1) Things I need to pack for her (obviously!) And 2) Things that can go wrong! (Aaarrgghh!)

So, these are my top disaster situations during travel. Any advice or even plain lies just to make me feel better would help! 😂

1. Screaming baby aboard plane:

This is something I’m terrified of. What if she has a ear ache due to the pressure or feels claustrophobic because she is stuck in one place or just feels like crying?! I do know a lot of passengers do understand (most don’t though) but it’s something I really want to avoid.

2. Poop explosion:

I think this should have been point number 1. Pampers, you better be listening and do your job!

3. Toddler running aimlessly around airport:

Z is in a very independent place in her life. She would rather walk around than be carried. She would rather eat on her own than be fed. So picture this: Z running around Joburg airport with me trying to keep up while carrying the baby bag and handbag. Oh and did I mention I’ve hurt both my hands? 😶

4. Flight is delayed

I guess this shouldn’t be too bad as long as I have snacks and cartoons in tow, but I would rather avoid it in an ideal situation.

So these are my little fears about travelling tomorrow. I will update the blog on how Z was as soon as I land! Wish us luck 😊

Z and Mama 💓