Thursday, November 21, 2013

To the child I keep forgetting

Dear Netra

You have been now around for a wonderful six years. I formed this letter in my head much before we celebrated your sixth birthday this October but I could not bring myself to give it shape because I can only write when you are away and when you are away and I think of you I am overwhelmed with my feelings (which range from tenderness to mad anger depending on what I remember of you at the moment) for you.

Anyhow, now that you are out of the house playing and it is all suddenly quiet in here, I am writing this to tell you how happening this year been. You now outrun some other 6 year olds in the building, out-dance even bigger kids, get praise from the yoga teacher for your enthusiasm and have been bringing merit batches for good reading skills from the school.

This year you have acquainted yourself with perfect. You look for perfect in everything from a doll to a shuttle that would just be perfect for your green bats. You have added jokes to your arsenal. You have developed a taste for wordplay. You have learnt hero-worship and Kareena Gafoor is back to being Kareena Kapoor and Shah Rukh Khan has become the prince of your heart.

This year, you have turned fiercer. I often tell people that I behave with you as if you are a sibling and another joke that I make is that my teenage years did not get over and yours have appeared way before time. Do you know why? This is because you now respond with such conviction that you can't be forced to do anything that you do not want to do. In that you often make me angry. You have been at the receiving end of my anger very often......maybe since you were a toddler and this seems the right time and place to tell you how awfully sorry I am for the every single time I lost my cool and yelled at you, for scaring you ( I doubt I managed that, but even then) or for whacking you.

Whenever I have been miserable, I have been easily annoyed and in that state of annoyance I often forget that you are just a small child. I yell at you and say things like
Understood?
Understand...do NOT move
Why don't you listen?
Why won't you listen?
Uffffff....NETRA you are so stubborn, I told you not to move.

In such moments I forget that a child will do whatever she is asked to refrain from and saying these things I am just giving you the excuse to do what I would rather you didn't.

When I thought you did not understand much, I poured my troubles to you and told you that you should listen to me because I was so troubled. And then I would forget that you are just a toddler and that I knew that you did not understand much.

I am also sorry for not indulging you more. Like your father. Who rarely ever says no to you.
I am sorry for times I did not have ample patience to dig into for a child as playful as you.

But what I am happy about is that this year you have been asking questions and I have answers to almost all your questions. I am happy that we have had deep discussions of the serious sort in this year. Discussions have not been easy for a patience starved person like me but still I am glad that this way we had exclusive time to ourselves.

This has been a year of growth for both of us. I have grown I am sure seeing you grow. How? I am sure by your next birthday we will know.