Baby Lelan- 6 Months Old

Dear Lelan,

You have spent half a year on this planet already and every single day is a treat. Life has settled into a nice rhythm with you. Most days, you are the clock by which we set our schedule. Your pace is steady and predictable, which makes all of our lives that much easier.You really are the happiest baby on the block! You smile, belly laugh, giggle and grin more than you ever cry. Even on those days when you’re going through growing pains, you make an effort to be happy. Your positive disposition is downright contagious, buddy!

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We’re still waiting for your first tooth. I think I’m more traumatized at this point than you are. We’ve had a couple of bad nights where you were in a lot of pain, but hopefully they are few and far in between. You’re still a champ through it all, my darling! You had a little cold last month, but the humidifier helped you recover faster. Other than that, you haven’t had any major health issues. You’ve even handled all your shots without much fanfare, which makes me believe that you have a healthy composition. At your last doctor’s visit you weighed a healthy 17.6lbs and measured 28.5in long.

You are turning into a good eater. You prefer sweet tasting food to savory, just like your daddy, but you’ve yet to taste any processed sugar. You’re still eating purees that I make from scratch and it’s been fun trying our new fruit and veggie combinations. You will try anything once and will definitely let us know if you don’t care for it a second time. You’ve started holding your own bottle. You are starting to self-feed using a mesh and by holding crackers in your hands. Your coordination has improved greatly in the last few weeks.You are my fiercely independent boy and I’m here to help you reach your developmental goals.

You are still into music, especially Tamil movie songs. Our babysitter was amazed at how quietly you played while listening to these songs today. When certain songs come on, you visibly perk up and start bopping your head or clapping your hands. When you go for a walk on the stroller or are getting changed on the changing table, you’ve started tapping the sides with your hand as if you’re hearing a beat. I wonder what song is playing in your head??? Other artists you like are Bill Withers, Michael Jackson and Ella Fitzgerald.

You’re babbling a lot these days… mostly coo’s and vowel sounds. You’ve definitely said dada already. You say yum-yum when you like something and blow raspberries all the time, and repeat/ mimic our sounds whenever you feel like it. You are into books, but would rather eat them than finish reading them. For the most part, you would rather be left alone to play. You don’t like being held and prefer to roll around freely. You’re still not crawling, but you have figured out that you can roll towards your goal… You are a determined boy!

You love being around people but take your time warming up to strangers. As long as I’m holding you, you feel reassured and will flash anyone your brilliant smile. I fully support your nature and encourage you to keep up your guard. The world is a scary place and you have every right to be weary. Your dad and I are committed to never allowing you in a situation where you feel uncomfortable. We will always respect your feelings and act accordingly.

A couple of weeks ago, papa taught you how to clap and you’ve been perfecting it ever since. Today, you wouldn’t stop clapping your tiny little hands all day. You are such a fast learner!!! The next month will bring a lot of changes for all of us as you start to become more mobile. We’re also on tooth patrol every day! I can’t wait to help you through these transitions. We’ve come a long way, kiddo and still so many adventures await… We’re with you every step of the way, so go ahead… the world awaits!

Love,
Your Mom

Love Trumps the President!

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In the aftermath of this crucial election, I am angry, deflated and disappointed by the outcome. A billionaire businessman convinced a white working class that he was one of them. How did he pull this con??? His hate-filled, fear-inducing, racist rhetoric has resonated with so many Americans that I’m genuinely shattered by their betrayal of our social contract. What has happened to this country? He preyed on people’s fears and won bigly. I’m not okay with that.

Elections matter and the positions we take matter even more now as we contemplate the future. This election had a lot at stake… women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, universal healthcare, wall street regulation, supreme court nomination, securing our borders, bringing jobs back, saving the environment, income equality… these are all very important and personal issues for so many. We’ll probably never know the exact reasons why Trump was more appealing than a seasoned veteran like Clinton. The argument I keep hearing is that it was a referendum against the same-old same-old in Washington, but what puzzles me is why then did they vote the same people into the house and senate???

I’ve always maintained that no matter who wins we must come together after the election, setting aside our differences and work towards perfecting our union. But, how can I reach out for, let alone hold, someone’s hand when I’m not even being acknowledged? How can I let my voice be heard when I’m discounted even before I speak based on my skin color, looks and sex? How can I feel safe when the man holding the highest office in my country has openly and repeatedly legitimized hatred and division? Where we go from here is largely unknown but one thing is for sure… we cannot let hate win. We may have lost the battle, but the war against bigotry, racism, sexism and any and every kind of discrimination is ongoing and we must fight the good fight.

Trump is flawed in so many ways. He’s the sum of everything that’s both good and bad in our society. He is not someone I would choose as a role model for my son, let alone president of my country. But, elections must be respected and he has won decidedly. He’s our president for the next 4 years. I believe Trump wants to be a good President. It’s a legacy issue for him. While it’s impossible to discount everything we’ve heard over the last year and a half as mere campaign rhetoric – red meat- could it be that he was pivoting in his victory speech last night?  The one we’ve all been waiting for throughout his campaign? Is it too little too late? Can he actually become the President for all Americans as he claimed? One can only hope!

There was a time to be cynical…but that time has come and gone. Trump may have taken a very unconventional, controversial route, coveting a subset of the population who were angry, disenfranchised and aching for change, to win. But one could argue that it’s just good politics, though fanning the flames of bigotry is never a righteous path to victory. He outwitted every one of his opponents, pundits and naysayers. He has exceeded our wildest expectations time and time again, so we know he is capable… cunning even. He has an air of unpredictability, which gives him a slight edge over his opponents. If he doesn’t get in his own way by allowing himself to be baited by foreign leaders or become a pawn in the religious wing of his party or feel confined by his own ridiculous promises and statements made throughout the campaign, he has the potential to be a good president… one we can endure for 4 years. But, can someone as impulsive as Trump manage that effectively? Only time will tell!

Still, I’m rooting for him. Unlike how the right treated President Obama, I want to give President Trump a chance to fulfill his destiny. I want nothing more than to be proved wrong about him… because I love this county so much. If he succeeds, America succeeds.

He said… She said…

Him: Why does it look like the men are stalking the women in the Tamil movies we watch?

Me: It’s called love. Stalking is how they convey their interest.

Him: Wow! Do you think it’s appropriate for our son to watch it? I mean, I don’t want him to think that stalking is acceptable.
Me: ???!!?! He’s 6 months old! Relax!