20 June, 2007

Time Has Flown .......

I still remember her as a roly poly baby.

A baby who used to think about 10 times (probably more) before even crawling across a few inches. A baby whose unending fascination with footwear and the curiosity of how they would taste drove us nuts. A baby who used to give us nightmares when it was time for her to sleep. A baby who cried and threw up all over me and my freshly laundered Kanchivaram silk saree on her first birthday party. A baby who used to laugh her heart out – and what a delight that was to everyone around her. A baby whose first word was “Appa”. A baby who, for a few heartstopping days and nights (heartstopping for the parents, that is) thought she was an earthly avatar of one of the Teletubbies. A baby who drove us mad wanting to watch Barney tromping around at 2 o clock in the mornings. A little baby girl whom just about everyone used to mistake for a baby boy.

Then came the transition into toddlerhood. That seemed to just rush past and before we knew it – there she was – officially titled “little child”. No longer a baby, not a toddler anymore, but a “little child”.

She started kindergarten well before the official minimum requirement of three years. She was all of 2 years and 9 months when she started school. And from then on time seemed to fly past. It was a blur of sorts and before we knew what was happening she was on the verge of starting Primary School. The world, as she knew it, was expanding. The panorama, as she had known it, was growing and so was she.

Three years of Primary School and now a Primary Three Graduate, she stands on the verge of her Fourth year at school.

A new campus beckons as do a world of other opportunities. Come September, she’ll be starting the second half of Primary School.

In the midst of all these, there has been another transformation taking place. That of Aparna, as a person.

Slowly, but surely and steadily there are changes appearing. Changes, the chief reflections of which, are in her demeanor, her disposition, her approach and outlook.
There is always a moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.
~ Graham Greene

Wherein previously, she would stare rather diffidently at my jewelry or clothes, now we frequently hear “that’s a cool T-shirt” or “that’s a pretty ring” or something on the same lines. Just the other day, Vic was almost ready for office when Appu sauntered past saying “Daddy, I like your T-shirt”.

Wherein previously there was an element of retreat, now there are the beginnings of courage. Wherein previously there was an element of hesitancy and tentativeness, there are now shades of confidence that are slowly making themselves visible. Wherein previously there was an element of ignorance, there is now visible awareness. Wherein previously, when the phone rang we could be sure that it was for us, there is now a constant barrage of phones with a query “Can I please speak to Aparna ?” . Wherein previously there was submissive compliance and passive acquiescence, there is now a sureshot element of budding defiance. Wherein previously we used to have to explain the humor in a particular situation to her, there is now a definitely wicked twinkle in those eyes, most of the time.

While we’ve been absorbing these shades of transformation for a while now, reality fully hit when she casually asked me the other day

“When am I going to have a telephone number of my own ?”

When pressed for details, she explained, what she had meant by a “telephone number of her own” was a “cell phone of her own”. The influential impact of peer pressure is just about beginning. And the simplicity, the ease and the totally matter-of-fact manner in which the explanation was put forth was what really smacked home.

Yes, the winds of change have surely begun to blow. A mild breeze is what it is right now – a breeze that heralds a future which seemingly will bring with it, a myriad of transformations.

Transformations for Aparna, as an individual in her own right. And transformations for us, as parents - as our concept of parenting, the notion, the theory will yet again have to be synchronized so that the wavelength facilitating communication remains lively and active.

But then again, like someone once said,

“If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies.”


post signature

17 voice(s) said so:

Poppins said...

Oh My. What a post. If there was ever a perfect post, this would come damn near that !

Kowsalya Subramanian said...

Excellent post, Gauri. That was a nice pen down on "how" she has changed :)

Tharini said...

Wow. Beautiful words for emotions. I always enjoy all the quotes you dig up to go with the context. Excellent...and here's to you enjoying all those pretty butterflies!

namvor said...

lovely. you put it really well.

my baby has grown up too :( :) (she turned 7 in march)

NainaAshley said...

Great post. You have beautifully captured Aparna's transformation.

Anonymous said...

wow! is it normal for a 7.5 year old to be in 4th class/grade/standard over in hk?

- s.b.

Gauri said...

Poppins, Kowsalya Naina Ashley : Thanks a lot :-)

Namvor : Thanks !! Don't you too feel that they grow up a little too fast ? :-)

Tharini : Thanks Dear. As far as the quotes go, both me and Vic have a huge collection of them. Just putting them to good use :-)

Anon (S.B) : As I had said early on in this post, she did start school a lot earlier than the stipulated minimum age here.

karmickids said...

That was such a wonderful post, I hope your daughter treasures it when she grows up...

Orchid said...

Vow!...is all I can say for this one!

utbt said...

As much as you want them to grow up, it is scary to think about loosing the degree of control. Its a delicate balance huh?! Grat post Gauri.

Gauri said...

Kiran, Orchid : Thanks girls :-)

UTBT : welcome to my space and sure hope to c u around more often.
It sure is a sobering thought - kids growing up - I mean.

itchingtowrite said...

awwwesome...

Usha said...

Watching your little baby transform into a person is an ver.y poignant experience and to articulate it so well is amazing. This is a beautiful post - aparna is going to love this when she reads it in her twenties something

the mad momma said...

ok.. so i want to know. when does she get her own cell phone?? :p

Gauri said...

MM : Annh Annnhhha. Not in the near future, much to her consternation :-)))

Just like that said...

A very lovely post.

I always feel torn between wanting my baby to remain my baby and wanting him to grow older and wiser...and stronger and healthier...

Aparna is going to treasure this when she gets to read this some years down the line.

Kusum Rohra said...

this is such a lovely lovely post. Totally made my day.

I have been wanting to do a similar post on my brother, he is ten years younger to me

From a chotu sa gol-gaape sa cute baby he has become a handsome young lad who has his own cell phone and a girl friend and SHAVES!!! I just can't take this transformation!!