‘We parented our elder one as we wanted to. The younger one gets herself parented the way she wants to’, said a friend to me and I was stuck by how true that statement was for our family. Rules, instructions, discipline are for other people. They have nothing to do with you and no one can make you do anything you don’t want to. ‘Buzz clean up your toys’, I tell you. You look at me, smile, shrug and walk away. You want to go out, I keep telling you ‘finish your food and you can’, but you are set on going outside and nothing can move you. You run downstairs, you try to put on your shoes, you make so much noise that it is either give in or get a headache.
Your stubbornness and your ability to bring the house down with your screams, unbeatable combination I tell you. You are the first to snatch toys that you want to play with but if anyone so much as touched one of your toys, even when you are not playing with them, is greeted with a loud shout ‘No’ from you. ‘Book, book’, you scream and sit happily as I read to you, but the minute you lose interest, the noise you make and jumping around you do makes it almost impossible to finish reading the book for others who are listening. You love your ‘Pata’ (pasta) but others in the house who love pasta as much try even taking a bite out off of your plate, you scream and you scream.
You are also a stickler for schedule. If something in done a certain way once, it has to be done the same way always. Every morning I give Didi and you your gummy bear multi-vitamins. You used to get one of those while Didi got more. As you grew a little old your dosage went up to two and little one can I tell you how much time and effort it took me to get you to have two of those. And this is when you love gummy bears and look forward to them every day. You kept screaming ‘One, no two gum’, and handing the other one to either Didi or me. Cut to few days later, I tried giving you only one to see your reaction and you were on the ground screaming till you got your two ‘gum’.
You are becoming very independent these days. You want to do everything yourself. ‘Aape’ is your favorite word after ‘Me’. Brush, clothes, shoes, food – everything is met with ‘aape’ from your side. You need no help, till you need help but by then you are so frustrated that you are kicking and screaming all around.
Your choices are very distinct and you don’t shy away from voicing those. Jeans are your clothing of choice. If there is one in your closet then there is no wearing anything else for you. And if there is the one with the yellow flower at the bottom, dare anyone keep you away from wearing that one. ‘Flowaa pant’, you smile after you have it on and what a sight that is. The other piece of clothing that you love are the stockings. Pants and socks in one go and more importantly it signifies that you are going outside; what is not to love! And then no trip outside the house is complete without a trip to the park. How dare we return home without taking you to the park?
As I said, scream and shout are your weapons but when all that fails, you have your brahma-astra. Cry a little – no response. Scream – no response. Run around screaming – no response. Cough – no response. Throw up – there you go, now pay attention. Given all the acid reflux issues you had as a kid, may be throwing up is your natural response when you are too upset but you have learned over time that it gets you complete and utter focus from everyone around, so now a lot of times you force the issue. You actually start fake coughing, which turns in to true coughing and then comes the main deal. How are poor parents supposed to cope with something like that? But then you get what you want and are seen smiling a few minutes later.
There are moments aplenty when we are pure frustrated, at our wits end, not knowing what to do. Do you sense that too? Do you realize that you went too far? I sometimes feel that you do, because you come running, hands on your cheek and say, ‘Sooiieee! Mumma me sooiiee. Me acchaa’. You shower us with kisses and my personal favorite when you touch your cheek to mine and say ‘puchak’, not the sound but the word. Yes sweetheart you acchaa, you are good and we are good.
You have this big loud laugh, that makes everyone around laugh. You have your ‘oh’ when something happy happens around you, that makes everyone around you smile. You have your ‘me’ – ‘me mumma’, ‘me papa’, ‘me didi’, ‘me aunty’, that makes everyone around you agree with you.
You love to talk and want to talk in long sentences, but they don’t come easily to you. So you make your own way through them. ‘Me car, kldasjlk jklsdajksad jkdsajdsa jjlkasduu, mumma drive’, is how your regular sentence goes. You ensure that we pay full attention to what you are saying, pick up only the relevant words and reform the sentence to figure out what you are trying to say. And any delay in understanding and replying back is not met well from your side.
You love to be held, you can’t stay in a place for more than a couple of seconds. You love books, any more than a couple of seconds on any page is not acceptable. You love to go to the park, you don’t stay on any swing/slide for more than a few minutes. You cry and throw a tantrum, you are very quick to say sorry. You want to do everything your way, you copy Didi in everything she does. You don’t listen when I ask you to pick up your toys, you are the first one to come and help me when I empty the dishwasher. You are stubborn to the core, you get distracted easily. You are uniquely you and that is what makes you so special. A smile when things go your way. For everything else there is a scream!
We, your parents, get angry and frustrated and then turn in to a puddle of mush, all in a matter of seconds. This is you sweetheart, all you. And that is what I wish for you always – stay healthy, stay happy, stay you.
Loads of love,
leaving you with your current favorite song or as you call it ‘Tiggge gana’