My darling pixie-prince, my teddy bear, my coochi-coochie-coo,
It’s your third birthday today! FINALLY!! Yaaaaayyyyyy!!!!! You have been waiting for this day desperately, ever since your brother’s birthday party, last month; you’d ask me at least twenty times throughout the day, “Aajke aamaar budday?” (Today's my budday?) and your little face would fall each time I said, “Naa babu, aajkey na...aashchey!” (No baby, not today...it's coming!) Whenever we went anywhere, you thought we were making tracks to your birthday party and you’d begin to cry as soon as you’d see the gate to the house and begin wailing, “Naa, naa...baari jaabo naa!! Aamaar budday paatee jaabo!!!” (No, no!! I don't want to go home! I want to go to my budday paatee!!!)
Well baby! Your day is here! You had ‘two’ birthdays actually, this time round. Today being Diwali, we knew it wouldn’t be a good idea to throw a birthday party, so your party with your friends, presents, Noddy cake and the works, was on the 15th and today, we had a different, but definitely wonderful celebration at home and at my mama’r baari. But more on the celebrations some other time. This letter is about you, me and this past one year...
Do you know, that as much as you were looking forward to your birthday, I was dreading it. You just up-ed and grow-ed on me sweetheart and where was I? Wasn’t I looking? Wasn’t I paying attention?
It's official...you are not just not-a-baby-no-more, but a toddler-no-more! And it kills me to think that I somehow missed it all. I wish I was more 'in the moments' of your transformation from pupa to caterpillar rather than obsessing about the fact that you are indeed transforming. I was all mopey and down from the fact that my young one, my little one, my last one is, well, not a baby anymore. And never will be. And I'm afraid I've missed out. On your babyhood, your toddlerhood, moments, kisses, missed opportunities...and I'm never going to get those chances back. I wish I could turn back the months and watch everything on repeat mode with editing as and when required.
However, it's done. You're a little boy now, with a big personality and a huge smile and I promise you one thing my son, no more wasted moments.
But I have a confession to make here. While you were potty-trained a long time ago and weaned an even LONGER time ago (another lifetime, in fact!!), there's one thing that you are not yet still free from and that is due primarily to your father's stiff resistance and my half-hearted attempst, and that object is...the bottle! Yup, you still need your bottle of milk first thing in the morning, as soon as you open your eyes. You want it for your evening milk as well, but even though it's a mini-battle (anything food-related is a battle with you my son!), you finally do have it from a cup, except when you're sick or cranky due to no afternoon nap. I know I should try harder to make you switch from bottle to cup in the morning as well, but there's just something so beautiful and tender and yes, adorably baby-like as you fall back on the pillow in a grateful thud and start putting the milk away. Sigh...it's just makes me cling to the illusion that you're still a baby. Okay...maybe three more months?
You, my late-bloomer in the speech department (and I say this because your seven-day older cousin was chittering, chattering and chirping away in the most adorable way imaginable) are now speaking in not just long, lengthy sentences with logic and reason, and...you can speak in three-ish languages now! So yaaayyy! Your Bangla’s the best, your English, adorable, and you Hindi, very entertaining!
You’ve never been a big fan of The Cuddle, like your big bro, but whenever you feel like it, you cover us from top to toe with the sweetest, softest, gentlest kisses in the world! They make me sooooo greedy for more, and you only indulge me if you feel like it, but if you’ve dispensed with your quota, nothing on earth can make you part with even one! While it pains me a little to see you squirm in my arms and twist away, what more than makes up for it is the way you suddenly, out of nowhere, come and plant these kisses on whatever body part you can grab! It’s always most unexpected and never fails to take me by surprise! Muwaaah!
You are so a ‘baba-ka-bachchaa’. The relationship you have with your father is something special. Whenever the two of you are together, it’s like you are ensconced in your own little world and I can only watch from the fringes. Yes, I do feel left out at times, but mostly, there’s a lump in my throat and a melty feeling in my heart as I watch you both, thoroughly entranced. It's touching and tender and funny too, and I'm just so grateful to be a part of it even if it is as spectator.
You are such a dare-devil! Nothing scares you my baby! It's like Speed Racer is your guru, your hero, your idol! You have this 'car' which we bought you for your last birthday and you're always racing around on it, skidding and performing tricks on it! You fall down on purpose and crash into things on purpose...and always get up with an impish grin on your face and a mischievous twinkle in your eyes. And last week, we bought you a cycle for your birthday, and you're already performing baby!! F1 racing? Tour de France? Or just plain old entertainment? Whatever it is baby, keep that deadly combination of smile-and-twinkle and you'll have quite the fan base, I assure you!
Oh, but about the 'not scared' bit, well there are two things, actually. You hate going into a dark room by yourself and you hate heights. The latter is quite confusing really, considering you love climbing up things...window ledges, curtains, table tops, kitchen counters...you even bring the wicker modas to places you can't reach and attempt to scale peaks. And yet, whenever your baba or kaka pick you up above their heads for a whirl, or try to make you sit on their shoulders, you cling to their heads like a baby monkey clutching onto a banana tree with all four limbs! Quite the sight, my baby, quite the sight!
But everything about you is a sight, my jaan! I watch in wonder as you grow from giggle to chuckle to belly-shaking laughter; from anger to wail to full-blown tantrum; from cuteness to sweetness to pure, unadulterated delight!
You take my breath away darling, in many, many ways...and I absolutely know that you always will!
God bless you my jaan! Happy, happy birthday! I love you more than you can imagine...I love you more than I can imagine!
Thank you for being mine,