“Open your mouth Aayesha” I guide my little daughter as I feed her the last morsel of food from the bowl. She looks up to me, showcasing her puppy dog eyes the best she can. I laugh and ruffle her hair as I tell her” not going to work with me kiddo”. As if getting the message clear she submits and empties the content of the spoon. Little baby she was, sure she did not understand the words I used but she interpreted them right. I pick her up from her baby chair and walk to the sink where I wash her hands and mouth, she has a dirty habit of playing with the food on her plate, the activity fascinates her to no end as she bounces up and down on the chair with excitement when I place the bowl of food in front of her, I did not have the heart to scold her, beautiful she looked when she wore that garb of naughtiness. We then go on to play her favourite game of blocks, her small palms holding onto the blocks as she tried and fixed then to form something. Sometime into playing the game and she walks into my lap and sleeps, taking off the bangs from her eyes I cuddle her and pat on her head. Little snores filled the air when my little girl was lost in that lala land of hers, and I was left to look at her peaceful expression.
Motherhood was new to me, little by little I was learning too. To keep patient, to deal with sleepless nights and to find happiness in everything your baby does. From her first word to her first step everything gave me happiness that knew no bounds. I had to reorganize my priorities, think twice before I did something. I had to be extremely careful while handling her. People have a misconception that motherly skills comes to a woman naturally but that is not true, lot of learning is done on her part to mould into the role she is expected to play. Even she is scared when suddenly a life depends on her. It is like she is taking baby steps towards motherhood.
There were times when I called my mom to take her advice when things got beyond me, times like last week when Aayesha was down with fever and the usually cheerful baby was awfully quiet, it was hurting me inside and there was nothing I could do except to wait for medicines to kick in. Mom kept me strong with her words and told me the stories of my childhood and how Aayesha is mini me. The worst feeling a mother can ever have is helplessness when her child suffers in pain.
Lifting her up gently I set her in her crib and go on to sit on the chair in the balcony. With a photo album that I got from mother’s place last night when we went to her place for dinner and a steaming cup of green tea I start reminiscing the days that accounts of me growing up. The album contained pictures of my first day at school, the fancy dress competition that I won, the times when my face was a mask of different colours when I tried to paint key word being ‘tried’ there, then one picture of mom oiling my hair and tying them in neat pleats for school taken by dad. Every picture in there had so many feelings and unspoken words behind them. How I miss my mom’s lap and her hand on my forehead that somehow calmed my nerves, how I missed the nights when my mom cooked what I demanded and how I miss not having to worry about anything because I knew she has my back. Now I know what she felt when I giggled out of happiness or cried out of fear. Two hours passed and it was time for my little angel to wake up, I place the album aside and go to her, time to make new memories for me and her just like me and mom did. I have to give her times that she can claim to be hers.
There she was eyes wide open playing with the soft monkey that lay beside her in the crib. I lift her up and she giggles as I touch her nose with mine and play with her a little. Then I get her changed into a pretty dress and matching shoes as we head to the garden close by. We play with the bat and ball, watch pigeons, feed dogs and then it was time for her daddy to pick her up. Aditya entered the garden loosening his tie and running his fingers through his hair multiple times, there were lines on his forehead, sure he had a hard day at work today but as soon as he lay eyes on our little angel a beautiful smile adorns his features. Leaving the bag next to me he starts messing around with Aayesha has he lifts her up on his legs and swings them in the air and Aayesha enjoys the thrill the ride dada’s legs give her. Just one look at them and I knew my efforts are worth everything because my family means the world to me. They will always be my priority no matter what.