Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Mayil for me, baby

Rows and rows of little shops selling bits and pieces of hardware is probably very close to what my husband imagines heaven is like. Rarely have I seen such a gleam in his eye or such a smile on his face as when he was wandering through that crowded IT Mall, drooling over the latest and greatest in hardware, exclaiming over prices, and pointing out specs to me.

I was along for translation and deal-making services that were required only intermittently during the 3 hours that we were there. So while he pottered around happily in some little store, I plonked myself down on a bench outside to give my aching back a break.

That's when I saw them, a mom and daughter sitting in a hair salon. (Remember, this is Thailand, there are beauty salons everywhere - even in IT malls.) The little girl was about Moppet's age, and her mom was amusing her by throwing a small towel over a stuffed toy and then flicking it off to reveal the toy. The girl burst into loud laughter every time the towel came off and she saw the toy. It was a cute sight, and I watched them with a smile.

But it was a wistful smile, because it's been a long time since it was that easy to make Moppet laugh. A simple trick like the stuffed toy and the towel would earn me nothing more than an inquiring 'how-dumb-do-you-think-I-am' look from her. I remember when she was just a couple of months old, putting her hands together and clapping them would bring on the most gorgeous wide smiles. Peekaboo, funny faces, silly sounds - easy enough, but they only worked for a few more months.

It's not that she doesn't laugh, just that the things that make her laugh are far more elaborate. So when Ally the Aligator strolls along the bathroom platform, falls into Lake Washbasin and screams for help in a shrill falsetto, I get a giggle. And then when Wally the Walrus arrives to rescue Ally and falls in himself, I get another one. When the jug I'm balancing on my head falls off and I just barely manage to catch it, I'm rewarded with an appreciative laugh. And it's even louder if I don't manage to catch it and it bounces off my foot. More laughter when she slips out of my grasp while being lotioned up after her bath and streaks through the house in her birthday suit, with me in hot pursuit. Laughter when she pinches me and says 'AAARGH' herself.

Two days ago,she found these swim goggles and cracked up looking at herself in the mirror. It was just wonderful to watch, for me in particular because although she's taken after her more serious father, my secret (well, not so secret any more now!) wish is that if she could have just one of my traits, it would be the ability to laugh at oneself.

The world is not always a happy place, and life can be hard. Finding humour in every day life helps me stay positive, and I like to think that I'm confident enough in who I am to be able to laugh at myself on occasion. I hope I can give my daughter the same confidence in herself.

But for now I'll settle for another one of those delicious giggles. Time for the tickle monster, I think!

22 comments:

Tharini said...

Akhil was right behind me as I read this post. And he took one look at Moppet's pic and exclaimed... Woooow...that's a funny picture, Amma!.

Cute post. :)

DotMom said...

I always admire people with the abolity to laugh at themselves... and I simply don't get people who take themselves so seriously.. I am sure Moppet will foloow your footsteps and delight scroes of friends like you do :)

Timepass said...

Cute pic of Moppet.

noon said...

She looks very confident as it is - am sure she will continue to be...and be as light-hearted and jovial as you are too!
And boy what you describe about what makes her laugh - feels like you wrote about Kutti boy - if I really trip, he laughs, but if I pretend he somehow knows and doesn't laugh...if I am holding something and it slips out of my hand he laughs. Only thing though if he pinches me and I even pretend to be in pain he gets worried and his face changes to serious...

Rohini said...

Just wait till she turns her nose up at you ans says, 'Mom, that's such a PJ' :)

utbtkids said...

Wow she looks like an aviator from the 60's. Very cute. How about....hmph....dancing? Chula rolls on the floor lughing if I am dancing for her. Same, same, I drop something and say 'oopsey doopsey', she is spliting with laughter. Tickle monster coming also has a good effect.When I read a book it always has to be with actions, '...the biiiiiigggg lion came and walked around (me diong lion walk) and he roared (mother and daughters roar)....' and so on and so forth!!!

Anonymous said...

You mean to say that wonderfully mischievous grin doesn't flash all the time?
But never fear, am sure that look in her eyes means that she's got your sense of humour all right, but just that she values her yet hidden 32 pearlies too much to let them on show.
With Sonny boy, sometimes, all I need to do is a wiggling motion with my fingers and take them closer to him, for him to break out into rollicking, helpless laughs.

Anonymous said...

PS that was me, JLT

Kodi's Mom said...

oh the things we do to elicit laughter! I tell you, we could all give Seinfeld and the likes a run for their jokes. so Moppet has a cruel sense of humor, eh! and abt learning to laught at self - with you all the way!

@utbt:! ditto! what is so funny abt oopsi, doopsi anyway?

Moppet's Mom said...

Tharini: Ha, I got a smile out of Akhil too! Good day today :-)

Dotmom:Hey, thanks for stopping by. And yes, fingers crossed for my secret wish.

Timepass: Thank you.

Noon: It's really too soon to tell, isn't it? It's just a mom's fond hope right now. At least kutti boy has a soft heart - yet to find evidence of that in Moppet! :-)

Rohini: She already shows her disdain for silly tricks with a bored look that says it all - I guess I'll be used to it when the words come.

Utbtkids: Yeah, dancing works if I'm being particularly silly. But with the tickling, if she's not feeling like being tickled, she just wriggles away shouting, NO.

JLT: The grin is in evidence a lot more than giggles and laughter. But yes, overall I'd say she's a bit on the serious side....

Kodi's Mom: Really! Although right now, it's slapstick all the way. It's a good thing for Moppet that I'm used to playing the clown :-)

Cantaloupes.Amma (CA) said...

She already looks like a Confident child ... so what if she is hard to crack ...
With Cantaloupe it is as hard as well ... but when I pretend to be a jerk, like looking for numbers in an alphabet book or asking Dora questions when reading a Barney book, I am sure to get a laugh ... a pitiable laugh mind you !!!

Sunita said...

The peekaboo doesn't work with the peapod too when I am trying to engage her ..she just walks off but she enjoys playing it with her cousin, and mostly because the little one screams in delight everytime she is seen.
Totally with you on the "ability to laugh at your ownself" and also the bit about..please get a few good things from me as well pleaseeee. :)

Poppins said...

I'll tell you what's happened, you've raised the bar too high. With you being so funny, she's not the child who gets amused easily. Ta da !

The picture is awesome :)

Sahithi's Mom... said...

That is one cute pic of moppet there..
Look at her chin...it says it all :):):)

Gauri said...

I'm sure the "humor" genes have been passed on to Moppet. Look at that twinkle in her eyes.

Moppet's Mom said...

CA: Ah the pity laugh! Yes, I've got that a few times too...

Sunita: Yeah, the rules are all different when they're playing with other children...

Poppins: No, I'm not taking the fall for this one. It's her papa's fault, damn dominant genes and all! :-p

Sahithi's Mom: Welcome here! Yes, she's a determined little creature alright!

Gauri: I so hope you're right!

upsilamba said...

Couldn't agree with you more on this.

She looks like a lil tadepole. A cute one at that!

Kodi's mom: did you make fun of my name?

Sue said...

I'd have given a lot to say I don't know what you are talking about, but these days, The Bhablet gives me these old-fashioned looks at my attempts to make him laugh. His father though can still succeed.

choxbox said...

n3's was reading this book called '1000 whopping jokes' this evening. guffawed and giggled all through.
n4 used to laugh every time n3 did but is more selective now. such a pair of clowns i tell you.

WhatsInAName said...

soooooooo sweet!
:)

Collection Of Stars said...

From her eyes and smile, I am sure she has taken after you in her sense of humour :) She is the cutest little imp :)
And psst...my husband is a big fan of Moppet :)

Parul said...

I think the increasing difficulty in making 'em laugh is a great sign...shows that they are on their way to developing a high-brow sense of humour.

But wait, that also means that soon Adi will not appreciate his mother's slapstick humour....waaaaahhhh.

I like the pictures.