Tuesday, July 7, 2015

I won't have it any other way!

The other day, I was invited to judge a fancy dress competition for nursery kids at Aloka's school. The fancy dress show had several intervals in between, during which older kids came on to the stage to present songs and dances. Aloka participated in two songs, one at the start and one right at the end.

Because I was the judge, I had a seat right in front. Aloka saw me as she climbed up the stage, but unlike other kids who smiled or waved (or cried) at seeing their parents, she looked through me. This despite my grinning at her. All through the song, she refused to make eye contact. She sang the song without a miss but her eyes were averted. To anyone watching her, she would appear shy and withdrawn and perhaps even timid, and a couple of people did comment along those lines.

When I asked Aloka why she was too shy to look at me, her answer was unexpectedly straightforward. Unlike her usual distracted self, she said very calmly and clearly "I was not shy. I was serious. I wanted to sing my song seriously." That's a response of a clear-headed strong young girl, not of a shy or timid person.

Basically, my little girl is a bundle of contradictions. You never know what to expect from her at any moment.

There are days she is smooth as cream, doing everything as needed to get to school in time- which includes getting up when asked, brushing her teeth, bathing, changing, eating breakfast, getting her hair done and setting her school bag. And then there are days when everything is a battle and requires repeated warnings and a whole lot of frustration for me.

There are days when I can't get anything out of her when she is back from school. Her response to my standard question about the high point of the day is at best "lunch was great", and that for the low point no more than "Ayushi was absent". And then there are days when she starts chattering about what happened in the school even before she gets in the car and continues to repeat everything to her nani at home.

There are days when I find it hard to get a genuine hug from her despite cajoling. Her body is like a rock that you can't envelope properly. And then there are days when she won't stop kissing me and her nani till our cheeks hurt.

There are times when she is happy to be on her own, watching her TV shows or doing her squiggly messy drawings. And then there are times when she wants my attention 100%, and nothing less will do.

There are times when I can't get her to pay attention to what I am saying. I have to repeatedly ask her to focus and repeat what I just told her. And then there are days, like yesterday, when she listens to me spellbound, her eyes wide open and her little hand squeezing mine every now and then to let me know that she is getting me.

That I never know what to expect from her makes her a constant mystery to me. That she is unpredictable, unlike my son when he was her age (and I think unlike me when I was her age), makes being her mother a challenge for me. A fun-filled challenge. Mostly.

I simply love this bundle of contradictions. She fills our lives with fun and excitement and laughter and growth and introspection...and forces me to be a better person that I am. And no sir, thank you, I won't have it any other way! 


  1. Yes! Though frustrating at times, I am sure it will be a nightmare if they were predictable!

    1. Not really Anand. Atreya was a perfectly predictable boy in his behaviour with me. And it was a delight too! :D