The Bean turns seven

My darling little menace,

I don’t know what I thought you’d grow into. But I had no idea it would be this. Filthy, fearless, funny. You have a fantastic sense of humour and a belly laugh to rival the best. You have the grace of a mountain goat (you get that from dada) and there’s no tree you haven’t climbed, no hedge you haven’t crawled through, no puddle you haven’t stepped in.

I admit there are days I look at clean little girls in neatly turned up shorts, glossy hair tied back in pigtails and then I look at you mournfully – in your brother’s hand me down tracks, sagging at the knees, your hair escaping it’s dozen clips, your tee shirt covered in paint, and I wonder if you’ll look back at your pictures when you grow up and wonder if I neglected you.

But then you’ll see the thousands of pictures I click – you standing on dada’s shoulders, his hands, hanging from his exercise bar and flipping over, balancing on a beam, swirling a hula hoop, chasing a puppy around a park, and you’ll know why you never looked as shiny as the rest.

You wield your tongue like a rapier. I find it tough to win an argument with you and shamefully often resort to the old – Because I’m your mother card. Your father, poor man, doesn’t know what he did to deserve two like us. On good days he smiles and says – Hah, I can’t wait to see the poor fool that falls for her and discovers her sharp tongue. He insists I didn’t show him the rough edge on mine until we were wed. You know I’m incapable of holding it for that long!

You haven’t met a rule you don’t want to break and I’ve had to pull you out of an empty home (you got in through the gap they’d left to fit an AC) and give you the dressing down of your life. You’ve argued and made me justify every bit of discipline I’ve tried to inculcate. But why? Many a time I’ve changed my mind because I realise that I’m merely trying to force you into a certain way because ‘we did it when we were young’. Barring some good manners, there’s little else I enforce now.

I don’t need to. You have your heart in the right place and are a fiery little creature, always ready to fight for the underdog.

But under the muck and grime and paint, you’re still tiny, like a baby bird. A delicate frame that I worry will snap, when I see you throw yourself off a tree. Long fingers that create wonderful works of art. Ugly little toes that I will never forgive your father for.

You’re unbelievably observant and I often send you to fetch and carry because your brother and father only stare blankly at me if I ask for cello tape, measuring tape, my black shoes or a roll of toilet paper.

You love dogs and I’m giving up all hope of ever having any grandchildren through you. You’re the one that will adopt dogs and refer to them as your kids. A thought that breaks my heart I have to admit!

I love the way you take pride in our home, painting little pots and appointing them in the most unstable corners. I love how you pat the Brat’s curls adoringly and say – ‘My anna is so handsome. Even strangers like to play with his curls.’ All this while your ‘anna’ growls at you in mock anger and very real embarrassment.

Your father’s parents have been won over by you. A fairly conservative couple who voted for a boy the moment they heard I was expecting your brother, they are in awe of your wit, your charm, your way with words, your sunny personality, your quick thinking. This is a huge victory of personality over tradition. It’s amusing too, because these very qualities in your mother, they find abrasive! But that’s a battle for another day. For now, I like how the female, skinny, dark, grubby little underdog took all her grandparents’ preconceived notions and flung them out the window, wrapping the old couple around her little finger. Your paternal grandpa called to wish you this morning, singing happy birthday on the phone and ending with an I love you – a phrase he’s never offered your father.

Your father and I have got used to you waving to the guard, the shopkeepers, the old gentlemen who brings his grandson down to play everyday. They all know us only as your parents. You’re our celebrity.

And just like that, I know someday you will grow up and win over everyone who ever crosses your path. You tire me, frustrate me, drive me nuts – and yet, I’m your biggest fan.

I love you,

Mama

Edited to add: You’ve been sick for the last 2 weeks now. Fever, cough, cold, gastro-enteritis, boils on your face, in your eye, nostril, and the final injury – urticaria. We had to cancel the party after weeks of running to the hospital every second day.

This morning I oiled your hair and Β you sit there with your hair up in a clip, in your pajamas, your skinny limbs gracefully yet carelessly arranged. You’re engrossed in that very rare treat, the iPad, tapping your sock clad feet in time to the music and all of a sudden you’re not 7, you’re 17 and I feel my eyes shining with tears. This is it. It’s over. I had just this much time to be mother to babies. And I’m only 35 and it’s almost over. You’re growing so fast. I spend more and more time with you, clinging to what it is that I seek from motherhood, but it slips through my fingers and rushes on. I have no complaints. I haveΒ received more than I ever thought I would.

 

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28 thoughts on “The Bean turns seven

  1. Don’t know what to comment..feeling too emotional about it..waiting for my little girl to grow up too. Happy Birthday to Bean and wish her a quick recovery!

  2. Awwww…my bestest wishes and kisses to the beanie on her B’day. Boy have we watched her grow on this blog or what. I distinctly remember that I began reading you when you were preggers with her and am feeling very nostalgic tonite about all those early heartfelt and honest posts from you at the time.
    What can I say! The beanie had us wrapped around her finger since she was a tiny tot peeping like a bug from behind your mighty plants. Get well soon Beanie and tell me what you want from a besotted cyber auntie on your big 7th. I’ll send it across to you somehow, someway from here.

    Deepa

  3. I hate you, MM, you make me cry! (Happy 7th to the Bean, though!) It’s amazing how I’ve know her since the time she was in your tummy. Thank you for sharing this beauty with us.

  4. Happy birthday dear Bean….wish you a speedy recovery and plenty of blessings from above.

    wow MM….its a little over 7 years since I started reading you. I remember you putting up pics of baby girl clothes you had shopped for while you were pregnant and hoping for a girl. You got your wish and how πŸ˜€

    I’m so glad you are posting again. Big hugs to the birthday girl. And MM…she’ll still be your baby at 17 …. lying on your lap and listening to music. And hopefully not to the Justin Bieber of her times :p

  5. Happy Birthday Bean!
    MM did you watch the youtube video of the little boy Mateo arguing with his mom for a cupcake…as i watched it i thought of Bean, cute and feisty!

  6. Like I told you the other day, its hard to imagine I’ve been reading about the brat and the bean since they were wee toddlers. That I have read about them growing up, across a distance and yet feel so in the know is a sign of how much much time has passed, how much they have grown, and how much you too have grown as a parent/adult person type thing.

    Happiest of happy bday to the Bean! Despite the party being cancelled and her illness, the pictures looked like she had fun. Its a good kind of party to be surrounded by the people who love, laughter and cheer. Big hugs to them both!

    Needless to say, this one made me shed more than a few tears, as so many of your posts have. You know how I feel about being a parent, so its not often that reading a mommy blog can do this to me. Aside from my own parents, and you and the OA, I don’t think I’ve come across too many other parents who make the whole journey of having kids such a fascinating, fulfilling and wonderful experience. If I ever decide to go down that path, you guys will be partly responsible πŸ™‚

  7. Awwww, such a beautiful letter, MM. Love the sound of the feisty, tiny but tough Beanie, with her heart in the right place. πŸ™‚ May she get well soon. Hugs and birthday wishes to her!

  8. Happy Birthday Beanie! – Cannot believe that I have know you virtually for 7 years thru your mom’s words.

  9. My eyes are watery too. This is so heart-wrenching and beautiful. I love her. And have secretly wished to adopt her so many times. Happy Birthday to the little one. All my love.

  10. Happy Bday dearest Beanie! I was just talking about you and your Anna the other day to a friend and there… You’re 7 already! Keep your fiery, lovely side growing πŸ™‚

  11. Dear MM,

    Happy birthday to dear Bean!!!! a picture would have been good too:)

    My prayers for her getting well soon.

    Sujatha

  12. MM, you made me cry again. You write beautifully and I have been reading your blog for 7 years now. Wow, time has flown. Wishing bean and very Happy Birthday an hope she feels better soon.

  13. Seven??? I guess I should lift my jaw off the ground, Happy Birthday to the Bean!! I shed a little tear of sadness to know that I am in the same boat as you. With a precocious, observant and wild daughter with untamed hair and a stick thin body. Who argues with me and drives me batty and asks why every 4 seconds. But just like you, I know, we wouldn’t want it any other way!! Hugs TMM. You still have 10 more years until 17 πŸ™‚

  14. I recall mental fistpumps when I read the OA’s post about the Bean being born. Has it been 7 years already? πŸ™‚ Lovely post, she sounds like a feisty lil thing alright πŸ™‚ And when I become a Mom, I’m sure there’ll be lots of posts on this blog I’ll keep coming back to!

  15. Aww, happy birthday Bean, like so many other readers here I have also known you since you were a toddler. MM, I totally understand the last para, you are right , they grow up too fast… take care..

  16. Happy birthday Bean! This also means I’ve been reading this blog for 7 years! Brat and Bean were my inspiration to have 2 kids close together! πŸ™‚

  17. A very happy birthday little Beanie baby! How lovingly your mother has captured your fire and charm, your innocence and spirit…
    Like so many readers I remember seeing the teeny weeny baby Bean and almost a baby himself big brother Brat. That can’t be 7 years ago!

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