THE CONSTANT MUDDLE

By Ms. Ankita Gupta

Podcast by Ms Trisha Shrivastava

You can listen to the article here or read the transcript below…

Babies grow up very soon, they said. Seeing your baby grow up will be the toughest heartbreak you see, they said. I never realized how correct they were until recently when my little one simply waved me a goodbye going to his day-care, without any fuss, without any tears, happy to go and be in the company of his new friends.
I had so many mixed emotions that morning: relief that my boy now liked his daily routine and loved going to meet and play with his friends (without his parents); pride that he transitioned so well to being in the care of other people even though he is just 2.5 years; happiness that he was learning new things every day, new words every day. And suddenly, just like that, in a moment, the happy feelings switched to those of sadness. Sad that my baby didn’t need me like he did few months back. He was becoming independent. He didn’t come running to me when he needed to open a box or to find some pens or to lift something off from the table.
Mothers are crazy. Or at least I think I am. Few months back, I prayed to have a little free time on my hands and wished that this little one could learn to do some things on his own and not chant ‘Mamma-Mamma’ every minute of the day. Now that my prayers have been answered, I am still not happy. It was indeed overwhelming for all of us when he started day-care. I used to pray that he should adjust soon and start to like his new teachers and friends. Now that he simply adores his teachers and can’t stop talking about his new friends and the new puzzles he solved, my heart aches to be a part of this journey as well. Meanwhile my mind says I should be happy that he loves it there, and I can go to work peacefully.
From diapers to underpants, from purees to solid foods, from gibberish sounds to singing rhymes, from a stroller to his own bicycle, he’s grown so much. The days seemed long and hard but the years, they just seem to have passed in the blink of an eye. As much as I am eager to see what comes next and what new opportunities and challenges lie in store, I sometimes long for that moment where I could just get a that just-born smell of my child.
Learning to eat by himself, putting on his socks and shoes, opening the top drawer, choosing what to wear, with each passing day he seems to be getting more independent. Where on one hand, my heart swells with pride when he’s able to put on his Velcro shoes on the correct feet, on the other hand, it feels soon he won’t need me anymore. But then again, I realize, even after having a baby of my own, I haven’t stopped needing my mother. I need her and her experiences, her wisdom, her love, all the more now. This daughter always finds a path to her mother whenever she feels lost in the blues, or needs some worldly advice or maybe that savoury laddoo recipe. I would love it if I am able to have such a relation with my future little-boy-turned-big-boy (but-still-my-baby). I hope he flies high and knows I’m always here for him!

The author is a software professional working at Netherlands. She describes herself as a literary enthusiast and a doting mother of a super-active child.

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