I am not going to get all senti and mushy over her conception, birth, first poop and first steps.
Instead, I am going to get philosophical.
About the lessons I learn from her — the most important of which is ‘just get on with it’ or ‘get over it’.
O is a big planner. She plans play dates, weekends, her reading order… so little surprise that she plans her birthday parties months in advance. This year, she had it all down by end of August.
It would be a zoo party, she will take a few friends to the zoo, and will cut the cake at the zoo cafeteria (‘only if it’s clean’) or else we would come back home for that. She chose the snacks; selected the invite design; she even chose the grown-ups who would accompany us. It was an animal theme, so the return gifts were ‘tiger mugs’.
The zoo-picnic was planned for the weekend before her birthday. The cake was ordered. The snacks were bought. Rsvps received. But the night before the picnic, she falls ill, unable to even keep water down.
We waited till the morning of the picnic (Friday, 23 Oct), and decide to call it off. I was heartbroken, my sister who has flown in for her birthday from India was upset, O was shattered.
She was too weak to protest loudly, but the expression on her face was enough. We finally decide to move the party to our home for later in the evening.
She sat next to me, grim-faced, as I made the dozen calls.
She promised me she wouldn’t eat anything at the party, so that she doesn’t fall ill. She napped.
And with a brave face she welcomed the guests home. She enjoyed herself, so did her friends. Almost every single one of those kids came and told me how disappointed they were that we were not going to the zoo; they made me promise that I would take them any way later; and they all had a BALL!
O did tear-up a bit, as she watched others tuck into chips and pizzas, but true to her word, didn’t have a single nibble. If I weren’t so busy running around, I would have done nothing but hug her the whole evening.
As the 1-hour party, came to an end 4 hours later, she beamed me her inimitable smile that lights up her entire face, and said she loved her party: ‘even if I cried and felt sad amma, I had a great time.’
She didn’t mope over all the planning that went down the drain, barring the initial few minutes of utter disappointment. But she got over it so much quicker than I did. And that’s something I need to imbibe from her… to not sulk and throw tantrums, which I am famous for.
She does crib a bit about stuff she doesn’t get. Who doesn’t?
Other than that, she has always been an incredibly easy child.
And while I sing praises of my first-born, let me not forget how wonderful junior was. N allowed herself to be squeezed and pulled and pinched by akka’s friends. She allowed herself to be passed around like a ball. She reached out to me every time I passed her, but after a quick hug and kiss, was willing to go back the next pair of willing arms. She knew the day was her akka’s, and was so unbelievably well-behaved and cheerful, I dread the thought of how the party would have turned out if she had been a cranky brat.
So from her I learn that you don’t always have to be the centre of attention, you can be just as happy watching the fun.
The next time I feel like acting like Moaning Myrtle, I know I only have to take a leaf out of my daughter’s book.
Below are the two looking a lil tired at the end of the party