The moment I forget that I am her mother and have given birth to her, things get simpler. The moment I start respecting her choices, no matter how ignorant, or senseless they are or seem to me, I am astonished at how a two year old child is actually like a small adult, reacting and responding to ensure her wishes are met.
I watch her sleep and I wonder how I forget to see a person living inside the toddler. As a mother all I can see is a baby all the time. And the fact that it is me who have brought her to this world, so she is my property. She has to do, act, plan, think, and fall in line as per my wishes.
“Do as I told you.” Maybe because it makes me feel powerful.
However, the reality is just the opposite. I am a dependent variable. My stakes are higher. It is I who want to raise her in a certain manner or instill certain values. A child is born free and remains free for a very long time, at least in her mind. It’s the parents who become captives of their own ego.
It really took me some time to make myself understand that no matter how much I try, most times, I have to bow down in front of a ‘new’ and ‘young’ child person. I had to keep reminding myself to see the ‘individual’ living inside and not just size zero clothes or her dependence on diapers.
And the more casually I take this mother-daughter role, the more I get to enjoy. It is just okay to let things be out of order sometimes. It’s okay to let her skip a meal.
My greatest learning of late is that the more I treat her as my room mate or friend, even at this young age, I can get the day to run smoothly. A show of authority doesn’t make a difference to a kid. Logical reasoning fails terribly or sometimes works when I don’t expect it to at all!
Recently, when my husband left for the US, I was crying inconsolably. And then, it was this Lilliputian person who hugged me and said “Don’t cry Mumma” and then teased me, saying “Mumma crying baby, Mumma crying baby”. And I hugged her like it was my last hug and poured out my heart via tears. For the first time in two years I felt as if I have not just given birth to a child, but also that she is an extension of me and is now my emotional support.