Letter to Madhav

This feature is inspired by Elise at eliseblaha.typepad.com. I plan to write a letter each to Medha and Madhav once every month.

Dear Madhav,

You had a slow start: You came out late; You crawled later; You began walking the latest. But now, it is as if you are trying to make up for all that lost time; You’re all over the place.

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During the day, when you aren’t taking a nap, not a minute goes by when you aren’t moving. You push your walker or the Megacar around; You follow us around like a puppy dog; You make insane number of trips to the trash can to throw away dirt as tiny as a strand of hair lying on the floor. I feel dizzy just watching you go round and round.

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You’re repeating the words we use. Not whole sentences yet, but just words. Plus, you imitate sounds of animals that your sister and I teach you. I mean, each sound sounds distinct! It’s amazing to watch you learn so fast.

It’s fun to hear the names you use to address everyone in the family. Your grandpas are “addha”, grandmas – “dhaddha”, Medha- “aadha”, papa- “abba”, Madhi- “baayi”, Srushti- “thitthi” and so on. “Addha” and “aadha” might look similar but we know who you’re talking about when you use one of them

You enjoy books as much as your sister does. Not the board books for babies that have a single word on each page, Nah, but the ones that have a sentence each, with colorful illustrations and words that sound funny.

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I borrow a book each for the 3 of us at the library, which means you get your own book. You toss it into my lap, insisting that I read yours, whenever I read to Medha.

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You enjoy spending time at the library. There, you sit at the tiny table and play with toy animals and puzzles for a while, pull books that are at your level and glance through them for another while. And, then start climbing the shelves or screaming about going round and round, which means if we stay a while longer we’ll be kicked out!

When I drive the car, it’s assumed that it’s you who sits beside me in the passenger seat, just as it’s me who sits next to papa, when he’s driving. You sit nowhere else. I strap you with the seat belt and you sit there the whole time without squirming. And I’m able to take you to a lot of places because of this.

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Sometimes I take you along to pick Medha up from school. Going to her school absolutely thrills you. You won’t let me hang around with her teachers, trying to find out what the kids learnt for the day. All you care about is sitting on the toy that rocks back and forth, back and forth until the security personnel ask us to vacate the premises.

When I think about how in no time I must begin looking for a play-school for you (that will not happen for a while, anyway, since I’m having a tough time trying to potty-train you!), I feel so sad. You’re growing so fast and you’re my last baby.  Oh I’m going to miss these baby-years….

With you, I’m making sure I enjoy every bit of this stage, no matter how exhausted and sleepless I feel.

Letter to Medha

This feature is inspired by Elise at eliseblaha.typepad.com. I plan to write a letter each to Medha and Madhav once every month.

Dear Medha,

The more I try to understand you, the more I realize, you are not just a little girl, my offshoot or my mirror image without independent thoughts or feelings. You are a tiny person with a unique identity; You know what you want and will go to any length to get it; You know you are pretty and you are pretty sure what you’d like to become when you grow up- a princess! I still don’t know what I’d like to become, even though I’m all grown up! Your confidence, the determination in your eyes, the attention you pay towards life’s details confounds me.

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You love carrying tiny things around in your pocket or a small bag. The things you carry range from a lip balm to empty shells of snails you collect at the park. And you’re so possessive about each one of them. You never let your brother touch them nor do you let go of them even when you need to use the restroom. I totally get your attachment to favorite possessions. I’m attached to mine. I never leave the house without my Samsung tablet or the book I’m reading, even if I don’t get to use them (like at functions). I carry them around like lifelines!

Your teachers complain to me that you’re too slow, still pondering over numbers 5 or 6 when the rest of the class has completed 50. They act as if and make me feel like IT IS the end of the world when you don’t get any of the letters right in your English test. When I push you to work harder, to be better at counting, you push back saying, “Numbers is so tough, no?”. I’m taken aback, but I agree. It is hard. Counting is hard. Remembering 26 Lowercase letters is hard. Life is hard. But I believe a bit of practice, daily, will make it easier. See, I love to write, but I’m not good at it yet. So, I practice writing a bit each day, which is helping me write better. I’ve mentioned this to you before, but I repeat -With a bit of practice and a lot of patience (No scribbling all over the book out of frustration when something goes wrong, please!) you too will get better at letters and numbers.

For now, since you are not even 5, all I’m concerned is that you get enough play-time. I want you to spend as much time outdoors as possible; I want you to get dirty; I want to watch you squeal with delight over the mud-pies and leafy dishes you prepare for me. So I take you to the park every single day unlike many moms I know. When you don’t do well in your class tests,  the other moms ask me to put in a bit more effort into teaching you, as if I don’t already. That hurts. Then I panic and try to be forceful with you. I mean, if the other kids can, why not you? I wonder. That just makes you more stubborn and prone to mistakes. I have to remind myself that every child is different; Spanking and threatening doesn’t make you work harder, a lot of praise for little achievements and a ton of alternate teaching methods does.

Also, my priority for you is different from the other moms’ are, for their children. That doesn’t mean your school-work isn’t a priority, it surely is, but not to the extent of forcing you to spend all your time preparing for tests. My priority is to keep your confidence, the determination in your eyes, your attention to life’s tiny details burning for years to come….