Her shrill scream brought me running from the kitchen to where she was. I had left her playing with her pet soft toy on the cot. I was shocked to see her, my dear first daughter, all of two years and two months, perched on top of the table where I had placed the hot iron after ironing some of her clothes. She had climbed there to pull out the pile of clothes one by one, something she enjoyed doing, and her forearm had touched the hot iron. I carried her to the running water tap and then applied some Burnol. The cake I had been trying to bake for my second daughter’s birthday was temporarily forgotten.
The commotion had woken up the younger tot, too. Multitasking became the order of the day! Thankfully just then I received help from their father, home for lunch. The amazing child that she was, my aggrieved daughter soon forgot her pain amidst all the joy of celebrating her sibling’s birthday. As I remember, she was prone to such minor mishaps in future, too, being a very carefree and mischievous child. I remember the bliss I experienced by just watching the various postures and tiny soft hands while the duo charmingly slept.
What can replace the glee got from a child’s play and laughter? It was the perfect antidote for my blues for the day!
Verily, the joy of parenting came only to Yashoda and never to Devaki. Whenever my three-year-old first daughter would teach the alphabet to her sibling in their teacher-student game and patiently explain the intricacies of writing the alphabet C, I would shake with silent laughter. Parents should never forego the blessed chance of enjoying the infancy of their child. It is unparalleled and the opportunity cost immeasurable. But sadly enough, a few of the new-age parents have set different priorities. Such toddlers grow up under the alien care of “indifferent” Yashodas rather than in the warmth of their homes and shelter of the mother.
My bluebells soon grew up and each took to her chosen calling, breaking free from the sheltered cocoon and sending mixed pangs through me. While one became an engineer, the other embraced higher academics, globetrotting now and then. While the former proved her mettle in a foreign land, the latter, during the course of tutoring gained a maturity far beyond her age proving to be a source of strength to me in my weak moments.
Although their marriages reinforced the tradition “kotta hennu kulakke horage”—meaning that the married daughter no longer remains in parental lineage—the husband and I take comfort in the fact that the daughters are loyal all their life.
I sometimes yearn for my tiny tots and nostalgia engulfs me, but then I am reminded that time never multitasks, it simply moves relentlessly in its forward march, relegating all happenings to the past. So I shake myself up now and wait for the arrival of my grand tots and a repeat experience! Three cheers to all like-minded parents!