The incident I most fondly remember of my son is the first time we got him squeaky sandals. He was about 11 months old and just started taking few steps on his own. He was constantly practicing his walking. Falling, getting up and again at it. Sometimes he would get hurt, but as soon as he forgot the pain, he was at it again. Initially he would take the help of the walker or anything or anyone nearby. Sari, dupatta, towel, hanging clothes anything and everything that he could just hold on to. I can see him in my mind’s eye, the cute little one, of course, he is my son and he is cute for me, world can think anything. It is another matter that now he will glare at the mere mention of the word “cute”.
We got him a pair of squeaky sandals. The ones that makes noise as they walk. In telugu, we call it keechu sound. I think squeaky is the closest translation in English. One evening, we put it on his tiny feet. First the whole experience of wearing the sandals was new to him. So he played with them sitting. The he just tried to stand. Then he took a few steps. Sound followed.
He was puzzled. He looked back to see, where the sound was coming from. Thoughts must have been raising in his mind. Where did this sound come from? Is it the naughty parents (in his eyes) who are making this noise. As soon as he stopped to look where the sound was from, it – the sound stopped.
He looked around, puzzled at the sound stopping, turned around and again started. Another set of steps and the sounds starts again. He is again turning back looking to confirm the source of sound. He was obviously not thinking about himself as the cause of the sound. We had just then moved into a new house with a big hall. We had not yet moved any furniture that night and so the sound was reverberating. This enhanced the squeaky sound to the little ears.
I can still remember that day vividly. The hesitant steps, pause, puzzled look, look around to confirm and then move again. This went on for about five minutes. Then he hesitantly put a step and understood the source of the sound. Once he did that, there was no stopping him. He just went around the house enjoying it. For the next few days, he would ask us to put on the sandals as soon as he was up. Oh, how we enjoyed his first squeaky sandals.