Thursday 5 November 2009

Happy birthday Yukta

Our little pumpkin is 1 today. It has been a year of family, travel and learning the ropes as the mother of two children. My learning curve has never been this steep. We largely ignored Y in the initial months, preoccupied as we were in tending to Ads’ issues and tantrums, supposedly common for a 3-year old. I might have given her more attention if my parents and in-laws weren’t around; as it was, she thrived without me doing much more than nursing her every couple of hours. As she grew older and more demanding, she began getting her share of attention, and well-deserved it was too.
My beautiful, feisty, vibrant and adventurous baby. What a pleasure she is, every moment of every day. We call her “little princess” and indeed it’s almost impossible to imagine that our family was complete without her. She seems to have overcome her stranger anxiety and is much more comfortable with people she doesn’t know, unabashedly staring at them (I love how un-self-conscious kids are!) and waving her little hands at them. She is unafraid – we frequently find her sitting on the floor in a room with the lights off, quite happily playing with a toy in the dark. She is incredibly affectionate – when S or I enter the house, she drops whatever she is doing and runs, nay hurtles, towards us on her little chubby legs, a large toothy grin fixed on her face. At that moment, the heart turns over. Always up for a game, a big laugh or some giggles, some dancing or some rough-housing, she is going to be a confident, gregarious girl. I can already tell that she shows every sign of maturing into a typical Scorpio; and it’s a foregone conclusion that she will be able to wrap her father and me easily around her little finger, something her much-too-innocent brother has never figured out!
When I was pregnant with Y, I used to (naively) wonder whether I would love my second child just as much as I loved Ads. Could anything match the fierce protectiveness and heart-stopping love I felt for Ads? How could it be possible that I feel the exact same thing for another child? I knew it would happen; after all, don’t our parents love us and our siblings equally? Maybe in different ways, but equally nonetheless.
The strange thing was, I fell in love with Y immediately. There was none of that waiting period which I experienced with Ads. It was unadulterated, unconditional love at first sight. As intense a feeling as I felt for my first-born. I think I enjoy my time with her a lot more than I did with Ads. Perhaps that is the magic of the second child. You are less paranoid and less focused on being the perfect parent, and more on just being there and savouring every moment.
And yes, we take as many pictures of her as we did of her brother!
Happy birthday, munchkin. It makes my heart break just a little bit to know that you are entering the strange new world of toddlerhood. Soon you will not be a baby any more. That heavenly baby smell, that velvet baby hair and that sweet baby taste will vanish much too soon. When will science allow us to bottle touch? 
I hate letting you go (don’t all mothers?) but the coming year will be filled with new joys and adventures. Here’s to a long healthy and happy life, Yukta.

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