So this morning, I hitched her on to the bike and rode to granma's. Anjali was excited. Got through a round of granma petting and then turned around and saw me eating strawberries. Now, anjali is very fond of eating food - from other people's plates. Yesterday evening Granma had a bowl of yogurt rice and another bowl of vegetables. Did Anjali eat it? Of course not. Instead, she made a beeline for my uppuma (spicy and cooked with condiments) ate a mouthful and kept coming back for more. She kept coming back for mouthfuls until I finished my plate, and then she put on such a morose expression that I had to laugh and get another plate of food - yogurt aval this time. At which point, no matter how much we tried to convince Anjali what i had in my plate was simply a differnet version of what granma had for her (just that hers was mashed and pureed), she refused to eat from granma's plate and wanted to eat my aval.
And this morning, Anjali saw me eating strawberries and made a straight beeline for my plate.
"mum mum mum"...
"Ok", I said, holding one end of the strawberry.
Anjali opened her mouth and bit through half the strawberry (she has six teeth now, so she can bite pretty well). The half strawberry went down pretty fast and she was back.
"Just hold the strawberry in your hand and dont give her. Let's see what she does", said granpa. Granpa always likes to do such tests with Anjali. Likes to see her asking for stuff and pointing at Om Namo Bagavate Vasudevaya (the Krishna picture), Mother's symbol (outside granma's door) and the exit sign before the elevator lobby.
So I just held the strawberry in my hand. Anjali toddled towards me and started jumping "mmmmm ummmm"
So we laughed and I held one end of the rest of the strawberry. But somehow, she managed to pull the whole other end of the strawberry into her mouth.
Granpa got stressed. "She will eat the stem"
"Let her" said granma and I. by now, Granma and I are used to Anjali's eating skills and are not too bothered by what she puts in her mouth. We know that for the most part, she will either swallow, or if it is too difficult, spit out the fibre after eating the juice. We tried to tell granpa. But nothing doing.
"Take it out!" And when granpa is stressed, his teeth get ground into pulp. So granma put her finger in Anjali's mouth and took out a mass off red pulp, with no sign of the stem whatsoever. The imp had chewn and swallowed it.
Then we wa upset because we had taken the strawberry out of her mouth before she was done with it, and so granpa went in and brought another strawberry, with the stem cut off this time.
That strawberry went down pretty fast too, in two great bites. And the next time granpa told me to not give her the strawberry but to watch what Anjali did, she didnt even bother with the umum ums. She came straight up to me, opened her mouth and said "aaa". I could not, but put the berry in her mouth.
Then it was time for me to go to work. Anjali went with granpa to the lift, but when she saw me, handbag up on the shoulder, lunchbag in arm, she realized that I was going off and did the koala bear act, which goes something like this:
One hand clutching my sleeve and the other hand clutching my collar and chain, both legs wrapped round my waist. Everyone else is ignored, and the clutch get tighter if someone tries to take her away. Yesteray granma and I tried a trick. I would turn her around and crarry her like husband does and then hand her over to granma, say bye and slip off without much fuss. It worked.
But today the imp cottoned on. She refused to be turned around and kept holding fast to my sleeve. For about five minutes, till she got distracted by something on the street and let go. Wonder what will happen tomorrow.
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