My youngest child turned 6 years last week and the first thought that came to mind was, “time sure flies!”. Didn’t realize when the effort she put into rolling onto her tummy got diverted towards rolling her eyes. Didn’t even see it coming!
Not only was she so eager to turn as soon as she was three months old..she was in a hurry to walk , talk and bid goodbye to her day time naps too! With that went my last chance of enjoying those brief quiet afternoon time.
She hadn’t had a afternoon nap since the time she turned a year old!! Surrounded by 3 kindergartners…the world had felt like a place to stay awake rather than waste time sleeping. What if she missed out on something so exciting...
The pediatrician had suggested that I pull the curtains and darken the room, make it quiet, lock myself inside the room with her to put her to sleep..she had hinted persistence..but, can you imagine leaving 3 kindergartner’s outside the room while I do that..Not practical at all! Not for me! I failed miserably.
She enjoys the company of her triplet Didis as much as she complains about them. They’ve always been her second set of arms to run into, another chest to bury her face into whenever she feels down..or, .. just plain, let down by mommy dear!
They’ve also become her new set of teachers now!! They have found in her .. a perfect student, to practice their teacher’s idiosyncrasies on! And R gets to experience a 5th grade class through this pretend school!
The homeschooling that happens on weekends..is a sight to watch. There are Science classes, Reading, Free time, Hindi class and 3 teachers. Student Report cards and behavior reports all updated placed in baskets..properly organized..giving me a nightmare when it comes my time to organize their room..to clean it up!
They love to please her as much as they don’t like her ..trying to be one among them. As queer as are the ways of siblings, she received more gifts than she had asked for..thanks to her “Santa” sisters…who made sure that the magic of Santa was not lost to this yet to be 6 year old, back in December…or, in R’s own words “5 and three quarter years old”.
She had found quite a few letters addressed to her, written to her by her “Santa” Didis, under the Christmas tree. The letter’s appearance, as magical as Santa’s very existence, approving of her behavior, reassuring her of her gifts…and even suggesting some more to be added to that annoying Christmas list. They made sure..gifts were delivered to her before we left for vacation and more waiting for her after we came back, under the Christmas tree.
R had made sure to leave a letter to Santa explaining the missing glass of milk…reassuring him, the cookies had extra milk and cream to make up for the missing glass of milk..
“Mama…I got more gifts from Santa!”
“I had asked for a Barbie..and he did give me it!”, she exclaimed, leaving me to my realization that I’m not done, I still have a few more Barbie years at home to endure.
“Richa..didn’t he know .. u haven’t been a good girl ?!”, I had asked her pretending to be so surprised that she even got a gift.
“I don’t know about that..I got my gifts!!”, she replied swiftly, bouncing away.
They made sure each gift appeared as magically as Dad had made it appear to them when they were 6!! One day, R came back from school saying…
“Mama..my friend K in school says..Santa is not real..she said that Santa is our mommy and daddy, or elder sisters!”
PNK, her elder triplet sisters, got right to work..trying all they could to brainwash her back to Santa-dom.
And the excitement with which they helped R make her birthday wish list…like they are all set with their check books ready to write off any amount for her.
“Mama … get some more boxes ready to fill them up with Barbie s”, N comes back to me saying..”She wants the pool party Barbie now ”
“No! She had wanted a watch and to play musical chairs with her friends”, I exclaimed back.
“I’m sure you asked her if she wanted a Barbie for her birthday?”, I continued trying to decipher what must have happened.
I started to realize the truth a little too late…instead of Richa wanting to play like a 10 year old…her 10 year old triplet sisters now, want to play Barbie and Legos!!
In spite of all this lovey dove show by her sisters, there is no dearth of lone battles that she fights with these 3, 10 year olds…most times trying to convince them that they have been mean to her. It mostly culminates with her stomping her feet and walking away from them..to ME!! This will just make her stronger..I try to convince myself deciding not to intervene.
Then there are times I see this curious side of R..trying her best to fit in with the world around her. She has had words like multiplication and division thrown at her so many times by her triplet sisters…Its amazing to see this fire of curiosity inside of a child, that age.. No learning seem of limits to these tiny minds.
“So, Multiplication is nothing but addition done so many times?!!”
“and, Division is diving a group into smaller equal ones and see how many groups you can make?!!”, she continues.
“Wow! that’s easy too!”, she remarks and showed off her worksheet to her sisters letting them know, she’s conquered these 2 beasts too! She even went about creating her own problems…let her sisters know, they can’t just take her for granted.
Its really wonderful you know..to look at the world from a 6 year old’s eye. Everything seems achievable to them. The hunger to know, the gusto to learn new stuff, to draw monsters and happy families along with those silly stories they write, those wonderful spellings they create, mumbling silly dialogues during pretend plays with their platoon of Barbies, all that inexhaustible energy, it’s a joy to watch and a pain to endure sometimes, when they ask you to participate!
All that talk about school and her day during bedtime and within the next minute…she’s fast asleep wandering somewhere in dream land…and I just looking at her…this poem ringing in my mind, the best seller poem
by Maryann K Cusimano
I am your parent you are my child
I am your quiet place, you are my wild
I am your calm face, you are my giggle
I am your wait, you are my wiggle
I am your audience, you are my clown
I am your London Bridge, you are my falling down
I am your Carrot Sticks, you are my licorice
I am your dandelion, you are my first wish
I am your water wings, you are my deep
I am your open arms, you are my running leap
I am your way home, you are my new path
I am your dry towel, you are my wet bath
I am your dinner you are my chocolate cake
I am your bedtime, you are my wide awake
I am your finish line, you are my race
I am your praying hands, you are my saving grace
I am your favorite book, you are my new lines
I am your nightlight, you are my sunshine
I am your lullaby, you are my peek-a-boo
I am your kiss goodnight, you are my I love you
I wish for you my baby, a healthy long life, I wish for you to be happy..to go places, to learn from your mistakes and not be afraid of taking chances..and at the same time I wish for myself the courage of the lady “Sally Field”…from Forrest Gump when she says to her son having braces on his legs..
“Don’t let anybody tell you that they are better than you, Son..If god wanted everybody to be the same..we would all have had braces on our legs”.
Here is a birthday video I had created for my child …. I hope you enjoy it.