Milestones are important. Even in our mundane day-to-day life, we need milestones to measure ourselves. When I was down with Sciatica, if I could walk ten minutes at a stretch I considered it my first milestone. Later, when I could push myself to walk at a certain speed that became my next milestone. Today, if I can keep up with my regular tasks while managing the work stress every single day that in itself is a milestone for me.
With Thomi in our lives, the word ‘Milestone’ got a little more personal for all of us. Thomi was a fighter baby even when she was the womb. I could call her our miracle baby too. I don’t want to talk about everything my sister went through right from the time of conception to delivering Thomi, but it was not a mean task. It was a difficult pregnancy and more than anything, Thomi is what made it better for all of us. There were many a times, all of us were down emotionally. As much as a baby news can bring happiness, a small glitch is enough to send waves of tension. Seeing my little sister suffer hard, time and again, we could do nothing but pray. In the end, with Thomi in our hands we couldn’t ask for anything better.
From a baby, what expectations can you have? Nothing. With our little Thomi coming few weeks earlier than expected, on top of the initial scares, we were just happy she was all normal. She was an active baby right from day one and that was more than enough for all of us considering her pre-mature birth and low birth weight. It was around her third month, my sister was getting worried a bit. Thomi was every bit normal, unlike what the doctors had predicted earlier. But she wouldn’t look at us directly, a milestone required at that age. I tried talking positively to my sister, giving her all sorts of explanations to keep her worry at the bay. During one of the regular checkups with the Paed, Thomi did not respond to bright light as well and again, that was enough to put the new mom in misery. All the while, getting scared myself, I tried to remain calm over this. Not all babies are one and the same. Not everyone attains their milestones at the same time or as per the rule book. But due to some circumstances, we had to take Thomi’s milestones – atleast the eye contact and smile very seriously.
The darling that Thomi is, started looking at us in the eye and smiling at us directly – after getting us worked up unnecessarily for over three weeks. Sigh. What a relief it was. That really was Thomi’s first milestone. Ever since, she smiles at anyone and everyone.
Today, she had her second milestone. Thomi rolled over for the first time this morning. She had been trying to turn to her side for the past two weeks. Everytime she tries to roll over, her hands come in the way and she would be left wondering what to do with them 🙂 At times, she would get busy looking at her fingers, while forgetting to roll over. This morning however, she managed to roll over surprising and startling herself at the same time. While she could remove her right arm, her left arm was still stuck under her tummy and she couldn’t remove it herself! Lucky for me, my sister was taking a casual video of Thomi and that’s when she rolled over for the first time! We have it taped 😀 Ever since, she has not stopped rolling over, trying to lift her head. It seems super cute while she is doing all this, as if a tiny earthworm is ploughing out a lot of soil 😀
Traditionally in Telugu households, every milestone is celebrated with a delicacy prepared at home. And it is very interesting to notice how these things are carried through generations. For anyone interested, here is what Amma shared with us. With every baby in our family (including us), all these were prepared and shared with family & friends. I just love how these names rhyme in Telugu and how the families have been celebrating baby milestones right from the olden days 🙂
- Navvithe, Nuvvundalu ( First Smile, Til Laddu)
- Chonga ku, Chakkiralu (First Drool, Chakli/Muruku)
- Borlapadithe, Bobatlu (First Roll Over, Poli/Puran Poli)
- Pakithe, Payasam (First Crawl, Kheer)
- Gadapa datithe, Garelu (First time crossing over house entrance, Vada)
- Palukulaki, Chilakalu ( First Word, Andhra special sugary sweet)
- Adugulaki, Ariselu (First Step, Adhirasam – a sweet made from rice flour and jaggery)
- Allariki, Chillara (First time being naughty, coins)