Raising a Toddler

A couple of months ago, a friend asked me about how I fill my day with activities all day long with my toddler (2 year old in June this year). I hadn’t given it much thought until then, and I have been sort of mulling over it since. Strangely, I found that I don’t have any free time all day that needs to be ‘filled’. I am always on the go. I don’t pre-plan anything. I don’t have any set schedules. Except the sleep hours and meal times that I don’t compromise on. Me and my toddler just wing it every day, and honestly, have a blast doing it. Does this stay at home with an annoying toddler get tiring? Yes. Does it get emotionally and physically draining? Yes Yes Yes! Would I want it any other way? Heck no!

I’ve discovered what makes the ride smoother is having zero expectations as with anything else in life. For example, I had my munchkin enrolled in a couple of gymboree classes not too long ago, but I took her out. Not because she was not learning anything but because I deemed all that learning unnecessary in comparison to the cons. It was more stress trying to get her ready on time, get to class in time, and be done with it before she even warmed up to it. The classes were pointlessly an unnecessary headache in our case, to be honest. An unnecessary expectation from myself and the child to follow what the cool mothers of my generation are supposed to be doing. Bah. How wrong was I!

What we do at home now instead:

Read books that we get from the library every week

Tickle each other until one of us cries (ok, I make her cry :P)

Sit on a couch staring at the street counting the cars passing us by

Dance around the house

Do chores like laundry, dishes, cooking etc.

Cold iron the carpet

Do somersaults

Go to the park

Play in the grass

Go to the river

Go hiking up a small trail

Ride her tricycle

Listen to music

Make bubbles

Kick a ball in the yard

Play catch

Go swimming

Spend rest of the time either sleeping, talking to each other, eating, or changing clothes (that she does by herself) given that is her favorite activity at the moment.

When do I have time to schedule any other activity? We are already always on the go.

Having no expectations from myself helps immensely. I don’t expect myself to be able to teach her anything just as much as I don’t expect her to learn.  So every time, she says or does something new, it is always a pleasant surprise for me and makes my job all the more worthwhile. All I do with her all day is play with her and talk to her. She enjoys it. I enjoy it, and hopefully, I am not screwing her up too much. We don’t do anything that she does not show any interest in. She is not a big fan of toys. We don’t bother with them. She doesn’t care to sit and paint or color. We don’t bother with anything art at the moment. At the same time, we do everything with a full on passion that she shows even the slightest bit of an interest in. We are avid play ground goers because she loves it. We are swimming enthusiasts as well. We spend plenty of time at the library too, and reading many different kinds of books. We also play with one – just one – particular doll that she is currently obsessed with by putting it to sleep, feeding it, hugging it, loving it plenty times in the day.

The goal that I’ve set for myself in my job as a mother is to simply ensure that my kid is well rested, well fed, and always has fun while constantly feeling loved and protected by someone who she can fully entrust herself to. Nothing else. She is learning her ABCs, days of the week, months of the year, and plenty more as we go along because we talk about these things all day in various settings. We could be talking rainbows one day if she spotted one, and we would learn rainbow colors that day. At this age, she is like a sponge, and luckily for me, she picks on things quite fast to surprise me and make me happy and proud (for her and for myself ;)). But, like I said, none of these teachings figure into my goal. Definitely, ABCs and the likes are essential tools for anyone’s success, I feel that it’s more important that my child develops confidence in her abilities first and foremost to learn those skills.

For that, I talk to her a lot. About a variety of stuff. Ask her questions on things that I tell her. Ask her to finish sentences for me. Make up a lot of stories. I am always telling her stories about how much she is loved and treasured. A much altered version of the ugly duckling story is also one of my favorites to share.  I also tell her stories that remind her to not talk to strangers, to stay with her mom and dad in an unfamiliar setting, and to always ask her parents before trusting any new person. I, in fact, didn’t even know this would work until last week when she went out grocery shopping with my mom. My mom introduced her to a friend of hers, but the little brat didn’t even go beyond saying a ‘hello’ to the friend. When we asked her about that later when she came home, she said, “because I ask Mama”. Imagine my surprise!! Told you right? Ha!! That’s the BEST part of a mother’s job.

You keep doing what you feel is right … enjoy every minute of it … do not expect any results … and when the results do come on their own accord, they make every bit of your hard work worth it :).

hiker

Struggles of a new mother

I read this article today about a mother whose body was found in a river after bodies of her 2 year old and her 3 month old were discovered in her home presumably killed by her. As saddening as the news is, what shook me the most is that:

Ms. Gibson’s open Facebook page, which has since been restricted, was full of happy pictures of her children, Anna and Nicholas. The page included a family photo that appeared to be taken at a hospital shortly after the birth of Nicholas in April, along with a proud birth announcement.

The last posting was mid-June – a picture of Anna with the caption reading: “Man I love this kid.”

Obviously, she was in love with her children. Everything on surface must seem all so normal to everyone but then what drove her to take the action that she did? Now, in today’s age of online social media, when sharing babies’ photos and your happy moments has become a common fare, is it possible that we are sweeping the not so pleasant moments of motherhood under the rug all the more? Photos of a glowing Kate Middleton with not a hair out of place a day after giving birth are accessible to every new mother in the new world of internet at fingertips. Let alone Kate with her team of cosmetic miracle workers, our new mother friends on facebook also have a series of gorgeous photos of their beautiful newborns all calm and comfortably tucked in their glowing mama’s arms. Is that the whole truth though? Let me tell you first hand: NO!

Facebook envy is not a new concept. Plenty of studies are being done on it. It is now an accepted phenomenon. Truth is that most of us put our best face forward on these websites, and tend to screen out the reality of our lives. What others see of us or what we see of our friends is only a piece of the whole picture, and unfortunately, our human brain is not evolved enough yet to compute that without conscious intervention. When I was a frazzled new mom with a less than a month old awake in the middle of the night with no hopes of wanting to go back to sleep, I’d sit on an exercise ball with her in my arms, bouncing up and down to keep her from crying, yawning, and scrolling through my phone to keep me awake to last me the night. During those moments, when I saw a mother-friend with a baby as small as mine throwing a full-fare dinner party, I remember that I nearly bawled. I felt incompetent. Here I was, with my hair all over the place, dark bags under my eyes, with no time to eat my own food let alone invite someone else over for dinner, and there she was … had it all together within days!! Of course, I conveniently ignored that she had her mother in law, mother, and her sister in the same house to help her whilst I didn’t.

The point of my long winded ramble simply is that I think it is a good idea for mothers to whine, complain, throw a fit, and put up not so great photos of their babies online. I highly doubt that any of us has a textbook motherhood with pristine white sheets for us to cuddle in with our babies as everything around the house gets done miraculously. I don’t care what you say … it d o e s n o t h a p p e n ! Unless you are the Duchess of Cambridge of course. :/ Even then, you are in trouble if you are wanting to nurse, and your baby just won’t latch. Bah. Nope, motherhood ain’t easy and you are not alone, my friend. No mother should ever feel alone. Unfortunately, new motherhood also comes with a barrage of hormones that leave you more vulnerable and susceptible to self deprecation. That is the time when a mother needs the most support, and assurance that all babies, as adorable as they are, can be extremely bloodsuckingly annoying and frustrating!! And assurance that she needs to hang in there … things do get better … before they get worse again. ;)

In that vein, I am inspired to write my personal experiences that I went through if in case that helps anyone out there reading this blog. Please add on your own in the Comments section. Who knows who might need your shot of encouragement?

Aite, sistas, here we go:

1. The days post-delivery suck. I can’t speak for c-section, but for normal delivery with stitches to boot, please drink loads of prune juice the first two days. ;)

2. Everyone tells you that breastfeeding is the best, but no one tells you that breastfeeding can also be a beast. You might be one of the lucky miracles for whom breastfeeding works as easily as swimming for a baby fish. But if you are anything like me, it took us (me and the kiddo) 3 months to sort the darn thing out. It was brutally painful. I had to consult 3 lactation consultants who told me the same thing over and over that the latch was perfect, and they couldn’t do anything to relieve my pain. I dreaded nursing times which, sadly, were every two hours during the day, with just one 6 hour break at night. I cried buckets. I watched a lot of videos on my laptop to distract, but I stuck with it. And I am so glad that I did. We went 16 months strong and it was one of my best decisions.

Suggestion: Do not give up! Don’t give in to anyone telling you that the baby is not getting enough food. B S. If you want to nurse, keep at it. It does get better!!! Sometimes, it does take longer than 3 months. I am proof of that. Do not give up.

 If nursing, drink loads of water. I’d even suggest a Gatorade now and then.

3. Sleeping. I was a baby sleep nazi. Maybe because my baby hated to sleep. Especially during the day. Research all the sleep training methods out there extensively, and choose the best for your family. Even if you don’t choose one, rest assured that all will fall in place in a few years. By the age of 3 years, most kids are sleeping through the night … and by the age of 5-6 years, they might not even need you to put them to sleep. So hang in there if sleep training is not for you. Sleep is one thing that I promise you gets much much easier!!!

4. It is perfectly okay to question your judgment. Bang your head on a wall if you are feeling frustrated and out of options. Please put the baby in a safe place first ;p. After frustration-release, remind yourself that the next day will be better even if it means that the day after that will be shitty again. Ups and downs are a part of motherhood. Ride the wave. Don’t fight it. ;)

5. Because as soon as the babyhood ends, toddlerhood starts. That has its own perks which certainly deserve a post of their own. ;)

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Please add your own points in comments? Thank you. I hope to keep updating this list as I think of more.

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Proof that I am not making anything up … one of the MANY tricks I tried to keep the nearly 2 month old daughter napping … I kept a lightweight book on her to replace my hand because she would wake up as soon as I removed my hand haha. This worked maybe 2 times? until she figured it and I was left to search for new tricks … so, no, dude, you ain’t alone. ;)

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When you are a teenager, remember …

My dear daughter

Now that you are 13, I thought I should remind you of the times when you were 2 … when life was simpler, our relationship a lot less complicated, and a hug and a kiss from Mama solved all the life’s problems. ;)

Believe it or not, but when you were 2:

1. You crawled into your mama’s bed every night – around 12 pm to 2 am on most days -, curled up next to her, wound your arms tightly around her neck, and said ‘I love you, mama’ before drifting off to sleep for the night again. And Mama too held you close melting away in your arms.

2. You woke up in the morning next to mama beaming your best smile at her expecting her to smother your face with kisses. You didn’t mind your Mama’s stinky morning breath. Instead you repeatedly told her that you loved her more than she loved you.

3. You wanted to spend your every waking moment with the people you loved. You never could stay alone. Not a minute. Never played with your toys. You wanted people interaction. Constantly. Your face lit up with joy every time you saw your Papa or Mama especially if you saw them after a while. By ‘a while’, I mean 15 minutes. :/

4. You expected Mama to kiss all your boo-boos better. And strangely, Mama’s kiss always worked magic too. Your tears stopped, you hugged Mama tightly, and all hurt and pain was all gone immediately.  :)

5. Mama and Papa never did any wrong. They were your heroes. You imitated everything they did. You watched them like a hawk, and absorbed everything like a sponge. You learned everything they taught you. They knew everything, and they had answers to all your questions.

I am sure that nothing has changed now at 13 either ;), but I figured I write you to remind you of what you were like at 2 haha. Regardless, one thing shall always stay constant for certain ……. the bond of love that we share will always be the same whether you are 2 or 22 or 222 (ok, that’s a bit much). Mama will still shower you with her stinky kisses whether you want them or not. Papa will still tell you bedtime stories even if he does it sitting outside your door after you’ve kicked him out for some alone time lol.

Love you loads, my munchkin!!! I can’t wait to see the beautiful and accomplished teenager/young adult that you will become!! :)

xoxoxo

your madly in love mad mother :)

Happy 2nd to my gorgeous angel

My dearest munchkin, has it already been a year since I last wrote you a letter? It certainly doesn’t seem so. I clearly remember every moment of when I wrote you the last letter on your first birthday. I remember where I was sitting, what I was wearing, what music I was listening to. It is as fresh as yesterday. How can it be one whole year? How can you be two already? You are growing much too fast for your poor mama to keep up, my sweetheart! But I also cannot deny that the same mama is much too elated to see how beautiful a person you are turning out to be, and is much too excited to grow older and wiser with you. Welcome into the third year of your beautiful life, my darling. This year will be equally as fantastic as the last two have been. Both for you, and for me. And, of course, your Papa who is still as madly and deeply in love with you as he was the day you came as a blessing into our lives on this day two years ago.

Today, as I was wrapping my presents for you to rip into tomorrow morning, your T maama (my brother) commented on how cool a mother I was. I couldn’t believe how happy that one heartfelt comment made me. Such comments that appreciate my work as a mother always do. Not because I am getting complimented, but because they give me the comfort of knowing that I might be successful doing my duty as a mother, and give me the encouragement to keep doing what I am doing: trying my best to give you an upbringing full of so much joy, happiness, love and warmth that you never give up on happiness ever in your life. Not even in the roughest phases.

Priorities in life keep evolving as we age, but if there is something that should remain a constant, it is the pursuit of happiness, and I want you to absorb that into your bloodstream and breathe that thought into every moment of your life. I want you to experience the ecstatic joy that only a happy life can give. I want you to be able to make music when there is none. I want you to know to dance in the rain without a care. I want you to always believe that there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I want you to keep the curious 2 year old that you are today alive forever inside you. I want you to tell yourself that “it is okay” with a pat on your arm when you are upset, as you do today for your Mama when you see her slightly bit upset.

Whenever you come back to read this letter, I want you to know that all I ever expect of you is to never give up on your happiness. Believe in yourself, and let your heart guide you. You know what’s best for you, and we – your parents – are always here for you to support you, to gather you up, to set you back on your path of choice, to celebrate your successes, to dance in your joy, to learn with you from your mistakes, to laugh at life’s googlies, to walk with you hand in hand, and to always assure you to never give up on hope and happiness. You are extremely precious to me and your father, my angel, as should every daughter be to her parents. Sadly though, that’s not the story of all of this world’s daughters, and it’s sadder that you will learn about it too soon enough by yourself. So on the occasion of your second birthday, (as the tradition goes haha) I am to give you some nuggets on how to be a woman in this so-called man’s world. Listen up!! :)

1. You set your own glass ceiling regardless of gender. You can be who you want to be. No one else can and should be allowed to dictate your life’s decisions for you.

2. You may be expected to act a certain way in some societal situations on account of you being a woman. If you don’t approve of those expectations, remove yourself from the situation rather than fight the norm. The fight is not worth the time wasted. You do not have to behave or act in any manner that you are not in compliance with. You are a citizen of a country and a society that allows you the freedom to make a choice. Use that freedom. Refuse to be a part of any social setting that makes you uncomfortable.

3. While I am a strong proponent of voicing your opinion and taking a stand for yourself, it is always wise to keep your physical and mental safety in mind before taking any such decisions. It won’t make you any less of an independent or a strong woman.

4. Speak through actions. Live your life on your own terms. Set your own priorities. Do what makes you happy. Don’t let anyone else’s regressive nonsense drag you down. Run as far away as you can from someone who tells you that you can’t do something that a man can. (Except peeing standing up, donating sperm and growing facial hair maybe.)

5. You don’t carry the baton for anyone’s honor or izzat. You are your own person who should always keep your safety and happiness above all, and live by that rule not for anyone else but yourself.

6. Own your womanhood. Make it work to your advantage. There will be many in the world who would see you as a fragile and a vulnerable object meant to be taken care of. No use fighting them. Get far away from them immediately, but if the situation doesn’t allow it, work with the circumstances. Let them think what they think of you. You get done what you need to from them, and get the heck out.

7. Only accept a partner who respects you as an equal. Never settle for anything less.

8. Embrace your femininity. Be your husband’s strength when he needs empathy to stay strong. Hold your babies close to your heart like only a mother can. Build your home and family with warmth that only a woman’s love can exude.

9. Accept that there is no right or wrong in life. You do what best suits you, and allow others their freedom. Your idea of a strong, independent woman will never be a universal definition. Every woman’s priorities are different. Respect that.

10. Having said all of that, do voice your opinions on what and who you think that a woman should be if you are certain that it won’t result in unnecessary confrontation that might do you more harm than good. Who knows that by making your voice heard, you might even touch a soul or two and make a happy difference in their lives? Weigh your pros and cons. Think smart. Think strong. Think independent. Everyone else will just follow along. :)

Now, that I have bored you enough ;) …. I am going to sign off laughing at all the crazy things that you are up to lately. Like blowing on the iron to cool it down when I told you to stay away from it because it was hot when I was ironing your clothes. Like calling underwear ‘under wonder’. Like covering your face, and asking me, “mama, where is pari?” Like kissing me all over my face when I come home after spending just barely 2 hours with friends. Like hugging me tight and telling me that it’s okay when I raise my voice at you for spilling milk on the carpet for the 983984th time. Like how you show empathy and love to everyone in your life. Like you are the source of extreme joy and laughter in all of our lives. And how all of us wish to give the same back to you ….. now and for the rest of our lives.

Love you to the moon, to the stars, to the whole big universe, and back, my sweetest pie!!! A very HAPPY SECOND BIRTHDAY TO YOUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!! Let’s live this upcoming third and many many many many more together to the skies and backkk just as well as our first two together!!! LOVE YOU SOOO MUCH!!!

always yours

with loads of mushy kisses and a tighhhhhhhhhhhhhhht hug just the way you like it

mama :)

A song for you this year, my darling (Daughters by John Mayer):

Another one for you from this diehard bollywood fan of a mother of yours haha (ignore the video :D) … Tere Naam (title song):

To my 1 year old

… and she is 1. A year flew, Month by month. She grew in pounds. And in inches too. A tiny creature that was placed in my arms a year ago is now a big girl who has an opinion, walks around the house claiming her territory, and gives mommy the best hugs and kisses ever. :) Babies grow but some things always remain the same. Her hair might not be as soft as it was when she was a newborn, but her head smells just the same. She might not cling on to me as she did as a newborn but her snuggles are just as warm. Her hands might not be as small as they were when she was a newborn but her little fingers wrap around my fingers just the same. Her feet are not the same size as they were when she was a newborn but they are delicious just the same. She might be a walking talking little human being now but she is my baby just the same.

My darling baby girl, on the eve of your 1 year birthday, I can’t begin to tell you how absolutely proud I am of you. You are a delight to be around! I cannot wait to see you grow into a beautiful confident young lady who has a mind of her own, and is not afraid to use it. Your father and me hope to be able to give you the right tools, guidance, and support to get you there. As a part of that strategy, here is my first dose of words of wisdom that I’ve gathered over three decades of my life. Here we go:

- Always think for yourself, my darling. Read everything written below, think about it, question it, discuss it with whoever’s opinion you value, accept what you agree with, and discard the rest. Never be pressured to think that you have to follow anyone’s opinion. You are free to form your own. Never let anyone take that freedom away from you.

- Don’t rush to be an adult. Maturity is overrated. Enjoy each stage of life for the beauty it holds. You have all your life to be an adult but you won’t get your childhood or teenage back. Live it. Enjoy your friends. Dream big. Don’t let reality limit your creativity.

- Always remember that you have only you to answer for every action you take. Not your Mother. Not your Father. It is you that you have to answer. If you are not comfortable with your decision, it’s best to not go that route. However, if you did take the route clearly wrong for you and realized later that you were wrong, accept the mistake, and move on. Do not regret your decisions. Mistakes happen. Learn from them and let go.

- Don’t be afraid to fall in love. Love wholeheartedly, love sincerely. Be prepared to fail in love too. It’s ok to fail. No two relationships are the same. You will fall in love again. Love wholeheartedly again.

- Respect your body. Stay fit. Take care of yourself. If you don’t respect yourself, no one else will.

- Nothing is ever free in life. There is always a catch. If something is too good to be true, it always is.

- Don’t give away your trust too easily. Give everyone a fair chance but take your time to get to know the person before confiding in her.

- Try not to get involved in lending or borrowing money in friendships. Money has a tendency of ruining friendships. If you lend money to a friend, don’t expect it back. If you borrow money from a friend, return it as soon as you can.

- No one’s life is a bed of roses without any thorns. Everyone is dealing with demons of their own. Never compare yourself to anyone else. You will also have many downs in life as you will have ups. It’s normal. Face life as it comes at you, accept it for what it is, and smile through it all because it will eventually get better … before it gets worse again. That’s how life is. A sinusoidal wave (as your father would say).

- Don’t expect anyone else to make you happy. Happiness lies within you. You are your biggest cheerleader. Never give up on yourself. It’s ok to feel sad, but you have to find it within you to cheer yourself up. No one else can do it for you.

- Trust yourself. Don’t ever fall for the self-blame game. It never does anyone any good. You will eventually always do what is right for you. A few wrongs don’t define a life. The rights do. Focus on all that you did and do right. Ignore the riff-raff.

- Separate yourself from negativity while dwelling in it because you can’t always walk away from negative situations in life. Don’t let the negativity affect you. Don’t be afraid of it. It cannot beat you if your faith in yourself and your skills stays strong. It is only temporary. Strength of character always wins over all undue criticisms.

- Never be afraid of baring your emotions to those you trust.

- Pursue your passions. Follow your heart. Dance, paint, sing, express your creativity … let yourself free. I already see a spark of intelligence in you. Don’t ever let that fizzle out in this world of 9-5 jobs. Work is important to survive, but so is staying true to yourself. Don’t ever lose yourself in the midst of what you have to do.

- Love yourself, love those around you, love life, value every moment of life, seize every opportunity along your way, be prepared to fail, be yourself … and always remember, if nothing seems to work, mommy’s always here to scoop you up in her arms and make it all better in a snap. It works beautifully now and I guarantee you that it always will.

I love you soo much, my little angel. I can’t wait to see those wings that you’ve got hidden so well at the moment to open up, and see you take a flight on your own accord. You are so capable of it. I know it. I see it in you everyday. I wish you the very best on your first birthday, my sweetheart. No matter what you choose to do in life now and whenever, please always know that mama loves you more than anything in the world.

Loads of sloppy kissesssss!!

Yours …. xoxo :)

I want to share a song with you that has always shown me through my toughest times …. I am sure it will for you too … :) *hugss baby* :)

Letter to an 11 month old

We skipped the 10 month old letter. We are horribly late for the 11th month letter. And we have no excuses for it. How does it matter if a little superbaby keeps Mama on her toes all day? It’s her responsibility to sit herself down at the end of the day when the baby is in bed, get her creative juices flowing, and write all about the superbaby’s amazing accomplishments. Mama is sorry, baby. She was just being lazy but we are sooo close to the 1-year mark that she was reminded that she has no time to be lazy anymore.

My sweetheart, 12 months have gone by so fast. I cannot believe that you are almost a year old! I am now in panic mode and I have loads to catch up on!! In this letter, I’d list all your accomplishments from the last couple of months and then we will do a proper letter now on your first birthday. Sooooo now at 11 months:

- You are an expert walker. Although I do miss your crawling occasionally, but nothing can make me giggle like seeing you toddle around the house.  It’s adooooorable, my love.

- You went on your first vacation and your first flight in your ninth month! To Vegas. Yep, the sin city, my darlin’. And you had an awesome time charming everyone’s clothes off. (Not that people wear that many clothes in Vegas haha :D)

- You also took your first international trip to Canada in your 10th month. The less said about that trip, the better. You are not too comfortable with sleeping in new places, and neither would you let mommy sleep if you can’t sleep. Yawn. I still get sleepy thinking of that week!

- You now have four teeth. Two top and two bottom. :)

- You are an overactive baby who finds sitting in one place even for a minute very boring. You are constantly on the move and have not gained an ounce since your ninth month doctor’s appointment.

- You had your first injury in your 11th month. You scratched your nose falling on the driveway concrete, but you were so brave about it! You only cried for a couple of minutes and let Mum cuddle you to make you feel all better. :)

- You interact with your environment like a real person now!! You wave goodbye and hello, you understand small commands like ‘sit’, ‘stand’, ‘brush hair’ etc, you enjoy sweeping the floor with a broom three times your size, you help Mum with laundry, you bring your shoes to Mum to take you outside when you’ve had enough of indoors, you love playing in water with your Dad every evening, you love the pool! You are … a human now! It’s amazing how one year ago at this time, I was still waiting for you to be born, and now, within a year, you are this fully functional human being already albeit still sooo little. :)

….. My baby, I love you sooo much. You hug and kiss me now whenever I ask you. I’ve gotta say that it’s the most precious achievement of my life so far! You are the brightest spot in my life. Your smiles cheer me up. Your persistence to explore motivates me. Your capability of learning new skills humbles me. Your sense of humor enthralls me. Your silliness amuses me. Another thing that interests me immensely lately is that I see so much of me and your father in you every passing day. You are fast getting out of the age where all kids reach the same milestones even if at their own pace. You are now becoming a unique individual who has a personality of her own, and different from other kids your age. The major milestones have been reached. Now it’s time for your personality to shine through, and I see it happening everyday. Although it makes me wonder how much of it is nature and how much nurture: now that is a struggle that I am certain will continue to boggle me for the rest of my (and your father’s) parenting career.

It’s June already. The month of your birth. 9 days from now, it’ll be your birthday. Last year, on June 1st, I was 38 weeks and 1 day pregnant. I was writing you a diary at that time too. And this is what I wrote:

Dear darling baby girl

Yep, it’s now June 2011. This will be the month of your birth undoubtedly. This will be the month that will change my life forever. This will be the month that you will start your life in. This will be the month that you will celebrate your birthday every year for many many many many decades to come. You’re no longer kicking me. You are tossing and turning and flipping around instead. Movements are intense but, as always, I love them. :) I am getting all the more impatient to meet you now though. 2 more weeks to the official EDD (June 14th). Let’s see if you make an appearance earlier than that? I need a day or two though to fix up a couple of things that I need to get ready. I’m certain that you’d give me that time considering the fun that you’re having pushing my insides around.

Your grandma is here to help me with the transition from a baby-less life to a mother’s life. Hopefully, all will go well. Fingers crossed. Please go easy on me during these final moments of descent too as you have been throughout the pregnancy? Thank you. That’s all I ask for. :D

Can’t wait to hold you, hug you, love you,  feed you, bathe you, smell you, and gaze into your gorgeous eyes. Hey, they will be gorgeous. You have to get my eyes. ! :D Muaaah love you, my little cupcake!!! See you even sooner than I would’ve a week ago. :))

Maybe the next update will have your photo?!?!

All yours
Your Materrrr :D

Ah memories!!! I cannot believe that I wrote this a YEAR AGO! Wow. And I got to do EVERYTHING I wished for. Thank you, my darlin’. You have gorgeous eyes too!!! :D Now I’ll go spend the night thinking that time goes by so fast, and how I don’t have much time left to plan for your birthday party. Panic setting in !!!! More love for you now at your birthday. Much Much love for you, my angel. Hugs and Kissesss!!!

Here’s a foto of you with your bruised face:

Letter to a 9 month old

My dearest burfi ke tukde

Tonight, when I was cuddling you before your bedtime, I told you that you were the most beautiful baby in the world, and you immediately responded with placing your smiling open mouth on mine and biting my lower lip with that nasty sharp one tooth of yours. As if you felt the weight of love behind my words and had to reassure your tired mother that you loved me too. You are growing up, my darling girl. You were a baby once. You are fast becoming a beautiful little girl who knows to laugh at your mom’s silly dance moves, knows to beat on her dad’s head sitting on his shoulders, knows to play hide and seek fearlessly, knows to giggle at herself when she catches a reflection of herself in the mirror, and knows to wrap her lovelorn parents around her tiny little toes and trample all over them whilst they keep asking for more.

Baby, when you were a teeny weeny baby thing, I couldn’t wait for you to grow up. Now that you are grown up – relatively -, I wonder if I want you to grow any more. You are perfect now. In every way. You are a miniature human being. It’s amazing. I am fascinated by you every day. You communicate with people around you in your baby ways. You interact with your environment. You explore your surroundings. You look for appreciation when you think you’ve done something that we’d applaud you for. You test your limits. You look for a firm ‘no’ (to giggle at it when you hear it) when you go rushing to the shoe stand to eat the shoes for the fiftieth time in a day. Your mom is equally stubborn though. She could remove the shoe stand and put it someplace else away from your sight, but she wants you to learn the value of the word ‘no’ and wants you to learn that you cannot always have everything in life. That is the truth, my darling. The earlier you learn, the better. Kabhi kisi ko mukammal jahaan nahi milta. You have to work for what you want, and then too, there will be times when you will fail. Failing is ok. You must learn to let go of your failures and keep going on your path of exploration.

Sometimes, when I see you crawling about, pulling yourself up on furniture, trying to walk, I sit there staring at you hoping that the spirit that I see in you now – the vigor with which you seek to explore, learn, discover, and grow now – will always continue to persist in you with equal strength. Always remember that life only gives us second chances if we give ourselves that second chance. You have to never give up on yourself. Stay strong during your rough times. You will achieve what you set to achieve. A friend once told me – and I shall always remember – that somethings in life might be improbable but nothing impossible. Take risks. Believe in yourself. Do not be afraid of failing. If you fail, get up and try again. You might fail again but you won’t know that if you don’t try again, rite? That’s your father’s line by the way. I am sure he will tell you all of that himself when you are ready to listen to him. :) Talking of your father, you know what he told me today? He said that he was afraid that he is going to give in to all of your whims. You’ve already got him all wrapped up around your little finger, you little one. Don’t worry though. I assured him that I won’t let him be walked all over by you. I’ll be the tough one. Ahem. I’ve got it all under control. Yes, I have …

or Have I? Why the heck do you have to be so darn cute and melt me into a puddle with your giggles? Why do your cheeks have to be so edible? Why do you have to be so cuddly wuddly? Coochie Moochie Poochie!! I love you, my bachhu. I love you (yes, complaints follow … hey, they are a must for every letter) even if:

- you wake up at 4 AM in the morning and won’t fall back asleep until I put you back to sleep

- you won’t eat your food sitting in your high chair

- you won’t eat your food anywhere

- you won’t sit in your carseat without waterworks after a few minutes

There. That is my list. Now I feel better having spit that out. :D Other than that, life is peachy, hun. You are a model child. Beautiful, smart, funny, social … yep, your mum and dad did a fantastic job creating you! Credit is all ours. Even when you are a grown up and are reading this now, you are you because you have such a wonderful mother like me and an almost wonderful father like your pops. Don’t forget to thank us. Pick up that phone and ring us to let us know, will ya? And when you do that, do remind us to tell you all about your life at around 9 months when you would happily eat shoes over fruits, plastic over vegetables, paper over roti, styrofoam over rice, and not to mention, you’d jump on something as banal as a laptop with such excitement that you’d pull out keyboard keys, drool over the keyboard, push the laptop into a flat board … whilst your dad sat around letting all of this happen. Arghh!! :D

Mom and Dad love you soooo much, my child. You have so much potential to be the best that can be. I see it in you now. A few months ago, I didn’t see it. Not at all. I now am beginning to see that special streak of cleverness in you that you’ve obviously inherited from your mother (not a joke). Ok, that might be a joke but the following sentence is definitely not. Love, I promise you that we will try our best to support you in every way to help you grow as a well rounded individual who has all the resources to explore her potential and reach it too. You have to promise yourself though to never give up on yourself. There will be many down times in life when you’d think that life hasn’t been fair to you. Get past them, and go on fighting. There will be some things that you might have to toss out of your dream basket. Do it. Mope over it. Feel bad about it but get over it, and pursue whatever is still left behind in that dream basket. I promise you that if you do that, there is no force stopping you from achieving the best that you can. We, your parents, are here for you … now and forever … in person and in spirit … always hoping and praying for the best for you … loving you regardless of what you choose to do in your life.

Loads of kissessssss

oh btw, I kiss you SOOOO much now!! I can’t do that when you grow up rite? Gosh, no, please don’t become a teenager!! :(

I love you, baby

Your silly but very clever mama !! :D

Here you are at 9 months, my beautiful child!! :)