This is a sappy, mushy, gooey post. Quite unlike me, but hey, I haven’t been a mother for that long. Give me time and my inner gushing self will emerge from the closet.
When Ankita was first placed in my arms, I felt nothing. I waited and waited for thunderstorms and lightening but nothing happened. Over the next couple of months, I felt a variety of emotions. Primarily frustration because the kid didn’t get that she just had to close her eyes to go to sleep.
There was affection and care. And there was pride and joy. I mean, she really could roll on to her side and hold her head high when she was just three months old and say octopus, six months later. Total smartness. Though only my husband and I got what she said most times and words were said after much prompting.
Anger and irritation loomed large since the arrival of the terrible twos. The daughter could not wait to do things quickly. So she got to the dreaded phase three months in advance. If you are my neighbour – I DID NOT touch her. I swear. She howls like her bum is on fire. VOLUNTARILY while my husband and I are too busy hiding under the bed to protect our eardrums.
There was worry when she went off to play-school. Worry for the teachers, for the other children. But it turned out fine. Five months down, they are all alive and accounted for AND, we didn’t get burn-in-hell stares when we went down for her first parents-teacher meeting. She even made me a Mother’s Day card. It was all awwwness and sweetness and a wee bit of pity because Father’s Day wasn’t there yet.
Yesterday, as she sat in a corner, painting her face and the floor alternatively and I bunched up my vocal chords for a yelling session, she looked up and smiled… that mischievous, eyes-sparkling smile and I felt love. Strong, unprecedented and totally I-am-going-to-squash-you for the rest of your life kind of love.
Love. It is not all that bad you know. Except I have been trying to give her many, many hugs and kisses and she has been pushing me away.
The little miss so and so.
Uma Iyer is a writer, a mother and a freelance consultant for marketing communication to several organisations. She was raised in Mumbai and currently lives in Delhi. Her retirement plan includes two dogs, many books and a shack by the sea.