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Saturday, February 14, 2009

If don't say it enough, my Honey Pot...

You amaze me!

In the morning rush, packing lunch for you, Appa & me, and supplies for Oggie's daycare, feeding changing and getting Oggie ready for school, taking a quick shower and hastily throwing on some clothes and a presentable appearance, making sure you eat your breakfast and are ready to be strapped in the car seat for the ride to school, I seem to take for granted how independent and efficient you are in your own way.

I register in passing how you wake up happy to see your family most days (I know, you are just a baby too and you have your bad days), you rush to empty your bladder and brush your teeth with very little coaxing, and sit on your favorite seat at the dining table patiently waiting for me to set out the cup of warm milk, a stirring spoon, and the jar of Ovaltine so you could relish the experience of make your own coffee juice.

When you pick up your empty cup and set it by the kitchen sink for me to wash, my eye is on the oven clock while my mind is listing the endless tasks that need to happen before we leave that morning so I fail to tell you how much I appreciate your little gesture. Instead, I barely hold back my drill-sergeant tone asking you to go get dressed.

As you head out to your room to pick out your clothes, right from panties and tights to tops and skirt, I settle Oggie down with his morning bottle and jump in the shower.

Sneaking a look at your slow progress when I get out of the 3-minute shower (which includes washing hair), I suppress the urge to ask you to hurry up.

You seem to have a method to your madness: you emerge confidently exclaiming, "Amma, look! I am wearing purple tights because it matches my purple skirt and I am wearing this pink shirt because I like the pink Strawberry Shortcake on my shirt... I am wearing full sleeves so I won't be cold, see, Amma?" all in one breath. But this time, I do manage to compliment you, even pick you up and plant a kiss before you wriggle out of my tight embrace.

As you chatter away at the table after choosing a breakfast from the choice of two I offer that morning and eat a few spoonfuls to satisfy me, I miss the opportunity to tell you how wonderful it feels to have you comply on certain mornings, making the day already quite cheerful for me - I do wish we can do away with the other days when you protest so vehemently about breakfast...

In the middle of all this excitement, when little Oggie screams, clearly unhappy that his bottle turned out just shy of how much he wanted to drink, you surprise me by running and fetching his pacifier and putting it in his mouth to, well, pacify him right away. And it works!

While I try to make myself presentable, I smile quietly hearing you chatter away with Appa, using the full extent of your charm to have him take you to school that morning, which he very gently yet firmly dismisses with the trusted Distract-and-Divert tactics.

"Amma, wait for me! I am not ready to go to school yet! I am going to wear my ballerina shoes today and my magenta coat", you blurt out scrambling worriedly so as not to be left behind when you see me don my coat, grab my keys and cell phone, pick up my purse, put on my work shoes, and kiss Oggie as Appa whisks him away to deliver him at daycare.

On our drive to school, my Honey Pot, I admit I mechanically respond to your jabber sometimes while my attention is split between NPR on the radio, the traffic flow around us, the tasks I need to get done at work that day to meet deadlines, errands I might have to run on the way home... vowing silently to make it up to you when we get home in the evening.

I try not to dwell on not having acknowledged your competence and independence enough that morning. While I do not believe in lauding every dainty little sneeze of yours, I do wish I have the sense to appreciate you when you amaze me, truly amaze me, which you do - a lot by the way.

I treasure the dash from the parking lot to the school door that we do every morning, just to get you excited about spending the day in school. I watch you hang up your coat on your allotted hook and set your lunch bag in your allotted spot, then prance merrily ahead to wash your hands before you get into the classroom - a very good habit your teachers set up, I am glad to note.

Knowing that parting time is near, you allow me to pick you up, hold you, hug you, kiss you, cuddle you and tickle you so I can walk away seeing your happy face - an image I carry in my head throughout the work day... promising to come and get you in the evening, as usual.

On my way to pick you up in the evening, I remind myself over and over not to let my exhaustion and stress from work carry over to you.

Strapping you in your car seat and heading towards Oggie's daycare, we talk about your day in school... sometimes you are very forthcoming, amazing me with your vocabulary, observation, and narration skills, sharing the wonders you discovered in school that day; and some days you tell me in no uncertain terms to leave you alone, extracting a promise from me to let you watch your favorite DVD when we get home.

Your exuberance at seeing Oggie with his little friends in his daycare transfers over to him easily. As we three ride home, I try to push aside thoughts of dinner and how to make the best of the evening before we all get in bed.

I do wish I could read your mind and your mood better to make you the dinner you'd relish, but, you are very reasonable when I ask you to try 5 bites of the bean soup or vegetable rice or quesadilla or whatever else I manage to put in front of you, while I try to dodge Oggie's swatting hands to sneak in spoonfuls of avacado or buttered rice & veggies I decide to feed him hoping to make every spoonful count.

Bath times, my Honey Pot, are my favorite. Watching you and Oggie in the bathtub, playing and splashing, and occasionally fighting over the same bath toy, is exactly what the doctors should prescribe for mommies to decompress.

Getting you both ready for bed - brushed teeth, potty/diaper, and warm jammies - might seem like a tightrope walk at times with both of you being cranky and demanding at the end of your long and exhausting day, but we manage....

As you pick out the books you want me to read to you, with Oggie being a silent and willing spectator at times, I fight the drowsiness and force my eyes to stay open and my cheer to remain undiminished...

When Oggie is cranky and I try to rock him in the middle of reading to you in bed, you amaze me by singing "Rock-a-bye Baby" ever so softly urging Oggie to close his eyes and get some rest so Amma can finish reading the book. Precious. Simply Precious.

After tucking you both in bed and hovering around finishing up the kitchen chores and getting things ready for next morning, I give in to my tiredness and decide not wait for Appa to come home before I retire to read a few pages in bed and let sleep overcome me, knowing full well that within a couple of hours Oggie will lure me to his side with his nightly wails...

I check in on you one last time, barely pushing aside thoughts of how better I could have handled certain situations that day with you where I almost lost my temper, for no real fault of yours except being a 3-year old, hoping that your big heart will forgive and forget and give me another chance, every day, to show you how wonderful you make me feel and how much I cherish you...

Weekends are a whole different game, my little Honey Pot, and am glad we have those two whole days to bond and get to know each other better... soon you'll have your own set of friends you'd want to hang out with on evenings and weekends, and there'd probably be very little you'd acknowledge having in common with me... I just hope I am using all this precious time together establishing our intimate connection that is both a miracle and a blessing I could never have dreamed of half-a-dozen years ago...

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At 3:02 PM, Blogger B o o said...

I had tears at the end of this post. You have just read my mind. Im at loss for words. This is a beautiful beautiful post, Sheela.

At 2:21 AM, Blogger Foodie to the core said...

I second with Boo. Although i'm not a mother yet but reminds me of those days when I complained that my working mother didn't spend enough time with me. I still complain. I've never read anything like this. Heart pouring post.

At 8:25 AM, Blogger Ann said...

eautiful, I almost started crying. I was thinking of my morning routine, and how I endlessly yell at my precious one to get her ready to go to school, how quickly I forget how independent she is and how much she does herself....

At 5:15 AM, Blogger Sandeepa said...

Your Anna is a darling. I am totally amazed by how a 3 year old is so independent. God bless that child.

Same routine here only hubby handles morning since I am out very early and there is a lot of crying & shouting that I hear over the phone. But I guess kids forget, 'coz when I pick the 5 year old in the afternoon she hardly remembers the morning madness

At 10:51 PM, Blogger Poppins said...

What an uteerly beautiful post, I could as you probably can sesne, just replace Ana with Poppin and it would all be the same. I doubt if I could have said it as well as you did though. Lovely post, a keeper this !

At 9:47 AM, Blogger NC said...

you made me cry with this one. Very well written.


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