Friday, October 04, 2013

More about Sanaa

At 3 years and 2 months old, Sanaa is a holy terror – and growing up much too soon (a complaint made by everybody who ever loved a baby, I think). Her Sanaaisms, as I think of them, grow exponentially, and HOW I regret that most of those come as second-hand information. I wish that I lived closer to them... but then again, even if I lived in Seattle instead of a few thousand miles away, unless I lived permanently with my brother and sister-in-law - a situation they would definitely describe as not quite ideal - I would still miss quite a few of her sayings and doings. Thank goodness for Skype, because occasionally I get to witness/hear some Sanaaisms for myself!

- During one Skype session, Pete was talking to Sanaa while sat at his desk, and I was leaning over his shoulder. My hair was hanging down by his face, so he idly draped some of it over his head. The effect it had on Sanaa was remarkable. Her eyes grew perfectly round in horror as she screamed “What are you doing Pete athimber? What are you doing to Shyamala athai’s hair??” She was laughing and horrified at the same time, and her agitation was extremely funny – she was hopping up and down, covering her mouth with her hands, squealing like a little piglet. And when he made himself a mustache of my hair, the decibel level went off the chart. This was at least 6 months ago and she reacts pretty much the same every time he does it. Our reaction to Sanaa’s reaction is also pretty much the same – hysterical laughter.

- Invariably nowadays, as the days draw in, it’s quite dark outside when my mother or my sister-in-law Skype me, so I’m unable to show Sanaa my flowers or bell peppers or tomatoes – all of which she is absolutely fascinated by. I’ve had to resort to telling her that “the bell peppers/roses/tomaytoes (she’s American, after all!) are asleep”. But she’s got her own way of getting around that. She always asks me “Can I see the tomaytoes that are asleep? I’ll be very quiet”, or “Show me the bell pepper that is sleeping”. If I tell her it’s too dark to see, she says with an impish grin: “Can I see if it’s too dark to see?”

- And of course, it’s not enough just to hold up the iPad from where I’m sitting, to show her that it really IS night outside. No, I have to go outside with the iPad (Back Camera setting, so that she can see where I’m going) and show her what she can’t see! I guess she finds it fascinating that for her in Seattle, it’s daytime, while it’s night time in “Shooshbery”. - Once she’s satisfied that it really IS dark outside and she can’t see the tomaytoes or bell peppers or flowers, she assures me “When I come to Shooshbery I will see the tomaytoes and it won’t be dark”.

- During every call, she usually finds some time to confirm her plans for when she visits here: "When I come to Shooshbery we will go to the icecream factory and I will eat strawberry icecream (her all-time favourite flavour), then we will go and swing on the jhoola in the park, then I will play with your puppies and kittens (toy ones)." Sometimes it's a statement, and at other times her itinerary is posed in the form of a question to me. But it always gets said.

- Sanaa knows all the rooms downstairs at my house (not that there are many – there’s the kitchen, sitting room, Pete’s office room and the conservatory/dining room). To get to the conservatory you have to cross Pete’s office, so she’s firmly convinced of the sitting room and the office being “Pete athimber’s house”. So if she wants me to go to the conservatory so she can see the plants or the bookshelf there, she asks me “Can we go to your house now?” I tell her every time “it’s not my house, Sanaa, it’s the conservatory” – but it’s pretty hard to shake her conviction, and “my house” it continues to be.

- Yesterday, though, she proved that she can bend the English language to suit her need to express herself. Now, one of the things that she associates with me is bread. She’s seen loaves that I’ve baked, she’s seen me in the middle of baking, so she mostly always asks “Can I see your bread Shyamala athai?” - which is my cue to march into the kitchen and hold up whatever loaf is in the bread bin. And she always makes a round-eyed awed face accompanied by a long-drawn-out “wooooow”. After this ritual, she went on to the next part of the programme – “Can you go to your house now?” I broke from the ritual by saying “Where do you want me to go now Sanaa?” “Your house, Shyamala athai, can I see your house?” “Where?” I said again. My niece is a “Gen-N”* child, like practically all children, and her patience reserves are always low-to-empty. “Shyamala athai, go to your – your – your...” then - evidently unable to recall the word “conservatory” in her excitement - she blurted out this gem: “Shyamala athai, go to the back of the front of your house!”

- Sanaa can navigate her way around the iPad like a pro, knowing exactly which button does what, whether it’s to get to her favourite game, or whether it’s Skype. Also, she knows by now to stay out of its range if she doesn’t want to talk to someone. Yesterday she mischievously cut the call short while I was talking to my mother. When they came back online, she must have had a reprimand from my mom, but evidently not a sharp one, because she giggled through her apology, her eyes sparkling with mischief: “Sorry Shyamala athai, I’m sorry for pressing the red telephone button on Skype and cutting the call.” Then she scampered out of sight, because I guess she had found something more interesting to catch her attention.

* Gen-N - Generation-Now


mim said...


Kamini said...

How absolutely delightful! Yes, it's sad that families are scattered all over the world these days, but thank heavens for Skype and the IPad that keep us in touch!

Anu said...

So cute :-)


I should join your skype sessions...I am missing out :-)