Friday, June 4, 2010
Walking down memory lane with your baby
One of the very first things I remember doing when I conceived was going out to the bookstore and buying a baby-scrapbook for myself....u know those cute little ones that come with lovely pictures of cherubs and teddy bears and stars and fairies and all things magical and wonderful? I went out and got one of those and along with that I got myself a set of coloured pens...I was obviously going to fill out those pages soon, wasnt I ?
Hubby would leave in the morning and I would sit down to work, my colour pens in my hand, albums open beside me and my imagination and creativity running free. I would sit happily, drawing stars and balloons and sticking pics of me and hubby when we were dating. My cursive writing soon filled up lines and lines of details on pages that were till now empty - describing the would-be parents, how we met, where we met, our wedding, our likes and dislikes, even the names that I had shortlisted for the baby, depending on whether we had a girl or a boy. There were so many things to be jotted down there, things like what the would-be grandparents had exclaimed when they learned of the new status they would soon be acquiring, what names they had suggested, even what advice was being doled out. There was so much to fill in that, on most days by the time I had finished, the floor was covered with thin white paper strips from the edges of the pictures I had cut, to be pasted in the scrap book and my hands and fingers would be dotted in the multi-colours of the felt pens.
But now, as the days have passed and as I see my little tiny baby grow into an independent toddler right through my arms, I know I need not have bothered. For now, I don't even need to close my eyes - the image of my baby, from the moment she came into this world and every single day and minute after that - it is all stamped on my mind and my eyes and my heart with indelible ink.
That pic of my daughter that my hubby had taken right after she was born. The surgeon holding her in his hands and she looking at the camera, one eye scrunched up one wide open, her pink chubby body covered in hospital scrubs.
That yellow paste I smeared on her palms and feet to be caught in those pages forever... those tiny foot and hand prints. I can still see that morning when right before her bath I had put those yellows on her. She had sat with the bowl of the turmeric paste, her fingers dark with the colour, drawing lines and scribbling on her tummy. She had sat there on the floor, the bowl in her lap, that smile on her face that mommy hadn't taken away her new toy yet - I had sat beside her, smiling at the tiny prints I had achieved to capture in my scrapbook.
That pic when she first turned on her stomach..I was sitting on the bed beside her, and as she rolled over on her own for the first time, I had picked her up in my arms, kissing her on the soft round ample of her stomach, tickling her and loving the sound of her laughter in my ears.
The day she sat up and fell and sat up and fell again. I had picked up the camera and clicked and shot. That evening when the proud papa walked in from work, the laptop was already on and only the 'PLAY' button had to be clicked. He had watched it over and over again.
That first time she had milk from a bottle..that little milk moustache. That pic of hers staring at me with those big wide eyes, her cheeks round and chubby, the moustache in place. Later I had picked her up and she had wiped it on my face, tugging at my nose and kissing me with those sloppy wet blobs.
Her Annaprashan - the day she first tasted solid food. After eating the paayesh, which she had devoured with relish, she had touched the book, and I knew it then that my darling would grow into an intellectual one day.
When I look at my daughter now and laugh at her acts or scowl at her naughtiness, I can still smell that milky fragrance, the best smell in the world, that heady cocktail that can make me sit and smile for hours - happy. How I would pick her up at the slightest instance and bury my face in her neck, taking in that heady milky smell, mixed with the distance fragrance of baby powder. I would gobble playfully at her cheeks and those pudgy arms and legs, pretending I was eating her and poking her with my nose, while she gurgled with pleasure - that lovely innocent sound only a cherub can make. I still remember that feel of her cotton-smooth skin on me, I can still see those two distinct blobs of pink on her dimpled chin.
And as I look at her now, I can only thank life for what it has given me, for giving me a blessing, to know what it means to love, to know how a tiny angel can make you into a better human being each day. When I look at my baby now, I don't need to check those pages again... I know her for every single moment of her and my life......
And to her I can only say - THANK YOU for choosing me.......