Mama’s big girl

..also know as the Bean is entirely done with her potty training and is out of her night diapers too.

No accidents, nothing yet, touch wood. Of course as is usual with second babies, it’s been a month or two but I haven’t had a chance to post about it. And as is usual with second babies – she’s also a lot faster than the first was! I had written this very post about a year or so ago about the Brat and was so upset at being upset over his new found bladder control!

On the other hand, it’s not like stopping time or progress would make me any happier.  If she didn’t get bladder control we’d soon be talking to her ped about it. If she didn’t talk we’d go for speech therapy. When our kids don’t develop at the rate they’re supposed to, we panic. We see doctors. So why was I being so foolish….?

I was tidying up her wardrobe getting it winter ready when the half used pack of diapers stared me in the face cheekily. Almost taunting me with its uselessness. I took it out of the cupboard and sat down to think of who I could pass them on to. Nobody. Most of our friends’ kids are the Bean’s age or a little younger, but all much bigger built. And as I sat there holding them I felt my chest tighten. (PS: The irony of it is that she still sticks to her baby term for it – diapies!)

I guess its just the finality of it all. My babies are hardly babies if they have bladder control, are they? And this was my second baby. My last chance to indulge myself. I now watch with something close to envy as other women have their first baby. Knowing that right now they are awaiting their baby’s first step and first word while mine are chattering away, running around and growing up too fast. I know I’ve had my chance, but I’ve also had this time to realise that I am the best mother to new babies. There are women who prefer babies who do more than poop and sleep, or those who like their kids during the teen years, but I’m not one of those. I have endless patience with babies at the infant stage, I love their little soft bodies curling into me at night and I can watch them wobble on unsteady legs for hours.

So when the  2 year old Bean asserts herself and tells me that she will NOT wear what I picked for her, or the Brat turns away from me, hurt, saying he doesn’t love me, I miss the uncomplicated love of a newborn.  The not having to deal with personality clashes (yes, they start this early!) and being able to catch a warm wiggly body and squeeze it without it wriggling to get out of your arms to make a getaway.

Aneela visited with us for a few days and it’s a little cliched, but hell, I’ll say it anyway because its true. We might as well have always been friends. From sitting around on the floor drinking chai while babies crawled around us, to randomly picking up babies and burping them even though they’re not your own… we had a lovely time.

It also brought home a fact that someone else made a long time ago. Once you’ve had one kid you can have a few more and it doesn’t matter. Your systems are in place, so to speak. Aneela went for a bath and the OA and I lay in bed chatting, our kids running around the room, while Arhaan lay peacefully once across the OA’s chest and burped, another time rocked to sleep in my arms. Fortunately my kids fell in love with him (it helps that he is such a fall-in-lovable baby!) and wanted to do things for him all the time. The Bean was careless around him, almost falling on him, leaving me with my heart in my mouth (What? He’s someone else’s baby, for chrissake!) but she wasn’t in the least bit jealous – bringing him all her favourite toys and piling them up on top of him. The Brat kept wanting to clean his face, feed him dinner and then howled at night that ‘our’ baby was going to sleep in the guest room with Aneela Maashi and not in the nursery with them. Of course most praiseworthy was Aneela. New mom and yet she was completely cool about spit up, about my kids almost smothering hers and generally playing with him with unwashed hands etc. I was horrified and totally impressed – she’s going to be one of those entirely cool moms.

When they left for Dhaka my babies were totally bereft and the Brat had a meltdown as he accused me of sending ‘his’ baby away. I realised how simple it would be to just get another one into our home. It’s not easy eating a meal with a baby in your arms (of course they always wake up at your meal time and cry!)   but it’s not hard either. It’s just so much a part of our lives now.

I have to say I had terrible uterus contractions after she left and I glared balefully at my two big babies. Because of course it’s all their fault that they’ve grown up. I don’t see why the Bean couldn’t have stayed in night diapers a while more … it’s not like we’re running out of them.The OA on the other hand is keeping a firm eye on the birth control because I am deemed untrustworthy.

Okay jokes aside, I KNOW we don’t need a third and I wouldn’t ever do something so stupid deliberately… but just for the fun of it I try to talk the OA into it – ‘Three sounds so cool na?”  He refuses to be drawn into this and without even looking up, says ‘Two sounds cooler’. I snuggle up to him and try again “Don’t you miss the sound of baby footsteps?’.. He grimaces “Like I miss being hung and quartered”  And then he melts and grins. I know he loves kids as much as I do, but neither of us have it in us to go through this ever again… and yet.. what if?

I suddenly missed my brother and sister in law. The next lot of babies I have any sort of right to, will be theirs (whenever they plan some!) and the thought of them growing up somewhere else just bothers. Someone else knowing what makes them smile makes me grit my teeth. Someone else knowing what they like to eat is unacceptable. Someone else being their favourite aunt and uncle – is … is… blasphemous.

I know I whine about this all the time, but watching my kids with Arhaan made me realise how important it is for kids to grow up with lots of family in the house. With cousins. Learning to share and care and be gentle.  I leave you with pictures of them with Arhaan . And oh – don’t mind me. I’ll just be sitting in a corner mourning my last little birdie growing up too soon.

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On the other hand, I do take comfort from the fact that this picture looks just so complete…

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34 thoughts on “Mama’s big girl

  1. bean looks so sweet…but the pic whr the bean and the brat are standing on the table is awesome! stunning to say the least!

  2. 2 years-old and already diaper free! Wow, that’s quite a feat!

    Me: not for a little girl yaar… most of the little girls i know were free of night diapers before 2! i was the only lazy bum who didnt want to try it!

  3. 1.You need to get pregnant.
    2.Maybe go for adoption
    3.You need to move to the USA.

    You know going for 3rd is not a big deal. I am telling you, the 3rd child will be the easiest child. He/She will sleep anywhere. He/She will grow up in an blink of an eye. Your youngest child will display such emotions of love and protection that you will wonder whether they are only 2 years old. I can go on and on about how easy larger families are. I am doing it with no help and no family.

    Is it tiring
    Of course, most days, you drop in bed exhausted.

    Is it worth it?
    Hell yes.

    Me: You’re the only one who *gets* what I mean. of course its tiring. thats like telling someone not to climb mt everest because even if it brings you pleasure, it is tiring. I KNOW that. But I also know that now I am getting into the area of indulgence 🙂 and edging closer to the poverty line 😉

    Did I convince you? if I didnt, please go see my kids’s pictures on FB ?Another sis/bro(or maybe by an act of god, identical twins) would make the Mad house even more mad

  4. I also should add…I was watching wake up sid. And konkona sen’s character somehow reminded me of your blog…She is also a writer and you are also in something similar..journalism and writing if am correct. 🙂 Though it is in no way related to the post just added it as an after thought!

    Me: she *is* a lot like me in that movie. coincidentally, she was in college with me!

  5. Awwwwww! Feeling the same as Dhruv approaches four, and I desperately try to remember his baby babbles. coincidentally I was also staring at a half-pack of Pampers y’d, that hubby wants to stubbornly hold onto…he can’t express it, but it’s hard to let go…and like you I was feeling too that sibling’s kids and grandkids are not the same…we miss a lot of their growing up!

    Loved the pix. And congrats on the potty training success:)

  6. Congratulations on now being diaper free!
    Yes, the tiny birds grow up, spread their wings, and before you know it, they are out of the nest:(
    Lovely pics. Aneela and Arhaan must have had a ball with the Mad family:)

  7. dekho you are more than welcome to keep your nephew in the Mad House…just return him when he is 18 and toilet trained.
    and if you are thinking of #3, dont delay it… remember my rant ” But kuch tau age difference dekho between you and me” (when Arhaan pestered me to continue playing with him)

    Me: LOL! oh yes. if i have a third it will be within the next year or so, or not. I think 31 is late enough. no more after that. as for my nephew. … with pleasure. i give them back when the teens hit, thank you!!

  8. MM, just curious..abt you in love with the new babies. Did you feel the same when the beanie was a few weeks old needing to be fed and cleaned round the clock and the brat was just about 2 throwing his terrible 2 tantrums. If yes i prostrate before you.

    Me: admittedly – not with the brat. with the bean, it was a breeze. by then i’d lost all shame and was feeding her on the roadside! i dont carry a baby/diaper bag for them – havent carried one since she turned 18 months. just one diaper in my purse. and now not even that. as sraikh says – it just gets easier with each kid, na?

    I felt miserable during those days, there were moments when i wanted to put them up for adoption. There were moments when i felt i never never had the second one. postparatum depression, impatient mother…dont know what. I just wanted to done with that phase. Now i feel a bit foolish looking back… 😛

    Me: 🙂 there are always bad days. i’m no saint. but as someone mentioned in my last post – there are 10 good times for every bad time which makes it more than worth it.

  9. Don’t you dare talk us into going for a third! I have already put in time (and then some) for listening to your rosy pictures and having a second. Although I will admit it’s totally totally worth it – my babies love each other – and I hope it stays that way throughout life.

    Lovely pictures – kala tikka and all that !

    Me: so there then – where’s the problem? I’m already trying to talk itchy into keeping me company with a third. :p

  10. The kids are too cute for words! (I am not even listening to all this talk of more babies, cause in my mind I am thinking WHAAAT? remember the smell of spit-up and wet-wipes on all your clothes, and even the inside of your skin? remember? )

    Me: *looks blank* I have memory loss…. yeah. i think that sounds plausible.

  11. awww..MM..I feel you..specially since our little girls are so close in age..but i have hope that some day there will be another little baby..I hope sooner,than later!:)
    And I thought of you too,when I saw konkona in Wake up Sid.:)

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  13. 🙂

    cute all the way!! and yes its annoying to have siblings so far away innit? my bro is far from even getting married but still the thought annoys me!

    and that thing about knowing how important family is and having people over all the time, so so true! 🙂

    and then there are some like M’s bro who throw it all away even when they can get it. they are in same city with our nephew just a year older than the Cub and we meet them once in 6 months usually at someone elses place.

    i have come to terms with it but i know M hurts like hell! 😦

    LOVED the photos!! 🙂

  14. You might not remember but some time ago I’d commented on one of your 55 word posts. The one about the pregnant lady – I’d mentioned how desperate I was for a baby and how my husband of 1 year (at that time) was not. Anyway he too didn’t trust me with birth control – he knows how irresponsible I can be :). But then I found out a month ago that I’m pregnant (yippee :)). And strangely he was so much more calm than me. I totally freaked out. But now I’m sooo very happy :). God’s will :).
    No point in this just wanted to share it with you.

    Me: yayyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!! congratulations. break out the champagne!!! although none for you young lady!! God bless, here’s to a safe pregnancy and healthy baby *clink!*

  15. Adorable post with cute pictures 🙂 I can understand about having a huge family. Unfortunately, me and my siblings are so far apart from each other now. Sigh. I miss them so much 😦

  16. Have a 3rd one MM…have a 3rd one 🙂 All the best! As you said its hardly more work. Your kids seem ready to babysit the 3rd one anyway :p Arhaan is really cute. Whenever a kid visits my place and leaves even after a few hours,the house feels totally empty. Lovely pics.

  17. SO I came back to add more, I have met quite a few older woman who look at me and my kids and wish that they had gone for one more. I know now I am done, I dont have that ache anymore. Even when I had my 3rd, even in the darkest hours of having 3 kids who were sick, I knew we would have a 4th and final one. And when I had my last child, I knew I was done. I look at infants and hand them back to their mommies with no gut wrenching longing in my heart or uterus..so even if you have a teeny weeny bit of longing,dont supress it 🙂

    The Hum Do Hamare Do people would hate me. Though the Singaporean government gives huge incentives for larger families,since growth rate is declining.

  18. i STILL have a solitary diaper of jia’s fitro-ig around in his cupboard. and he’s 16 plus.
    i SO know the feeling…

    hugggzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  19. you met aneeelaaa!! im jealous. I had a miniscule chance of trying to run into her on bkk airport because we were both running for our next flight and had an hour free here there but the airport being huge and some routes not being allowed we missed it 😦 i kinda am feeling like it wasnt a total loss looking at your pics is that weird? 🙂

  20. So true…
    A couple of days ago, my Moonbeam stopped saying ‘baaku’ for ball and ‘shaatu’ for saturn . I thought she could have said that for a few more days. A part of me does not want her to grow up so fast!
    Lovely, lovely pictures, by the way.

  21. MM, I am jealous even of pregnent women, where ever I go I spot some, trying to cover themselves or by their wobbing gait. I LOVE being pregnant (though I sort of bloat up), it is not the looks but the feeling..It breaks my heart to see my babies grow up so fast too. I too love the touch of new babies, their unconditional love and their faith in their mom. Little eyes searching out their source of food in a room full of people. I wept when it was time to wean my mite as I knew that I would never again have a baby at my breast! It is a strange feeling to see baby feet become child’s feet before your eyes. We went for our first holiday without carrying diapers for the mite. Although our luggage was less baggy without it, I experienced a pang, similar to what you felt. It is not that I don’t want him to grow up, but the fact that he is already so grown up has sunk in suddenly.

  22. Love,love the pic of Beanie tenderly touching the baba…awwww sweetness!And it’s quite clear that Brat also adores him from the pic.:)

  23. my little one turned 3 last week and still refuses to sit on the potty….and of course driving both of us nuts. at the same time we recognize that she will come out of her diapers be trained when SHE is ready. so waiting with abated breath for this momentous ocassion. Congratulations and please go for a third. how about adopting a little one? we have two, happy and content with them but just like you, i miss the baby phase. we talk about it and although we are not ready for the third and i for sure dont want to go through another pregnancy ( the last one had numerous complications), we do tinker with the thought of adopting a little one a few years hence. will see…..

  24. Lovely. What a feeling to be free of diapers and also a mixed feeling for you to realize that your little baby is a big girl !!! The last two pictures are so cute.

    I am the same person who felt I reached a breaking point with two kids. But now, I feel fine it was just a phase I guess. Just yesterday when they both were cutely playing with each other for 5 mins and then going back to fight, I savored the moment!!!

    I totally get the feeling of yearning for a baby 🙂 It is this heart which seeks for that joy, but the brain tells otherwise.

  25. What a lovely post! Though I am getting excited about the rate at which my 27 month old is getting potty trained, I still want him to be a new born again. Since he is my first born I still have a chance of enjoying life with an infant:)
    And thanks a ton for those encouraging ‘as is usual with second babies’ phrase! I also added ‘girl babies’, while reading it!!

  26. Just you wait till they decide they dont want you to hold their hands when they walk on the road. Its heartbreaking.

  27. How do I find your older posts? My son is 20 months old and still I am struggling to pottytrain him. I need your advice/tips that can help me. I am worried. 😦

    Thanks MM, your blog is always a delight.

  28. I’m an only child, MM, and till date I envy families that have two and three kids. I often joke and tell my friends I’m going to have four 😀 But yeah, it’s important to grow up with your cousins. Mine are my siblings, we’re that close and fight just like siblings do.

    Lovely post as always. Arhaan is adorable and that pic with all three babies is adorable as is the one with Bean giving the Brat what seems to be a cheeky and adorable grin.

  29. Pingback: Dining fine « The Mad Momma

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