My darling little baby,
As I sit to write this post, the pressure gets to me. How do I tell a two year old what she’s done to my life? Will you read this at 15 and roll your eyes in disgust? Or will you read it at 30, which is my age now, and smile fondly? Will you understand why this mad woman has been cranky and fighting with your father for days now? Will you know what it feels like for my little teeny baby to turn into a pre-schooler? I sure hope so. Its been amazing being a young mother and I hope you’ll let me be a young grandmother!! What??? Don’t roll your eyes at me young lady, I did it for your grandmother!
So much is running through my mind as I type this. You’re the baby I planned more than 15 years ago. The one I just knew I would have. The beautiful, spirited little girl who would be everything I was hoping to be and much more. And then when I was expecting the Brat, five years ago I kept wondering. Something deep down told me it would be a boy. Because you see, I knew that I would know when you came. Don’t ask me how, but I would just know.
And I did. I knew the day I was pregnant with you. Without the home test. Unlike others who are nervous right through, I was positive it was a little girl. God could not, in His mercifulness, deny me what I wanted so badly. And when you came out – bawling your head off, red cheeked and angry at being ripped out of your cosy home, I gulped in terror. What had I asked for? A holy terror?!
And then you quietened into this happy little, quiet baby – only bright beady eyes blinking out of a blanket. Fed, burped and put to bed. The Brat was in his element in those days and it was so easy to forget the quiet little newborn. You took your time and then one day you just took over. I don’t know when it happened but before I knew it – my little star was born.
The last year was spent with you being Daddy’s girl. All the way. It was good because your first year had you being this cranky, clingy child. You’d howl like a baby hyena if anyone other than me touched you and it wasn’t flattering, it was just back breaking, it made me give your brother less time and you were an embarassment to this family of 3 other wildly sociable members (read about it in my old blog when you do!). Your Dada was really upset because the Brat would respond to him beautifully and the daughter everyone promised him would adore him, was shunning him. He tried his best, to give him his due, but you were having none of it. You wanted mama. And since mama had prayed so hard for you – she learnt to rise to the occasion and deal with it.
And then you turned one and like a little thali ka baingan you went over to his side. And I watched, bereft, from the outside. All of this last year you’ve worshipped the ground he walks on. And then, in what seems to be your way of messing with our heads, you’re back to being my little tail.
Which is not to say you’re anti-social/shy again. But that in the last month you’ve favoured me over him. And we’re back to square one, with me being flattered but tired. No problem. I’d like it to stay this way. Every second word is mama, the maid is allowed to do nothing for you (why am I wasting money on her??!). Come to me mama, I want to sleep with you mama, Mama draw for me, Mama I want to sit in your godi, mama, mama, mama. And every time your little voice says my name, I smile. I love it. Being mama to you, has completed my life, completed me. There’s so little else left to ask for.
I’m thinking of stuff you might want to know about yourself and I can’t imagine what would interest a young, smart Bean of 25.
Will I remember to tell you how you insisted on putting everything in your mouth, all of your second year? Or that you spoke so much more than any other kid I’ve ever come across? That you are a gutsy little creature and other parents watched in terror as a one year old you insisted on hitting the bouncy castle with your 3 year old brother and other much older children? That thereafter there was no looking back and you’ve done everything the Brat does, from perfectly executed somersaults to leaping off the bed to land on a strategically placed bean bag. That you have an elephant’s memory and retain things we mention in passing? That you worship your brother but often discipline him more than we do – ‘Baba – don’t touch anything !! Put that down. Right now. Don’t do naughty, naughty. Okay?’ While your father and I do the guppy act and look on.
So let me ask you – because I doubt much will change in the next 20 years. What is it like to be the centre of attention in this house? To be adored by your brother and worshipped by your parents? Yes, even the old grouch who tries to act like he’s above it all, has been caught looking at you devotedly. As for me, I make no secret of it.
I watch your little skinny baby limbs turn lanky and take shape. They’re no longer just baby limbs.. they’re delicate, girly limbs. I examine your stubby little ugly toes for the nth time and sigh. Maybe this is your father’s blessing. The black mark to take away the evil eye – because other than that, I think you’re perfect! *looking over my shoulder to check if your father is reading this!*
I wonder what kind of girl you will grow to be. You are so at home in the ratty hand me down tees and shorts your brother wore and yet you want to wear a bindi and bangles. Aunty Noon has sent the most gorgeous dress for your birthay. I tried it on you and you took my breath away….
Well, I’ve cried, I’ve laughed, I’ve hugged you, I’ve squeezed the juice out of you and you’ve just tucked your head into my shoulder in that endearing way you have and let me be. It’s almost like your gift to me. Mama can do anything because mama cut her tummy and took you out of there. Oh yes, thats another thing you like to do – lift up my shirt and play with the c-sec scar. And ask me if you came from there. Yes my angel. You did. And now you live a little higher. Right in mama’s heart.
Perhaps the one thing I’ve left out in this post is how you’ve filled a place that lay empty for a while. The place your great grandmother left 3 years ago. You have her tiny build, her ferocious temper, her beautiful delicately shaped face – not the square face that your Nani and I share, her grace, and her way of filling up a room just by being in it. I often believe that she looked down from heaven and saw how much I ached for her and sent you in her own image. Well my baby, if you are half the woman she was – I’ll not need to worry.
God bless you my life, my love, my pride and my joy.
I love you baby…