Last week, we were at IKEA. M fell asleep in her stroller and let us walk around the showroom. Once she woke up, she began cooing, or so we initially thought. Until she became more insistent in her coos with an “I am trying to convey something to you, won’t you please figure out what” expression. Sure enough, she needed a diaper change and a mini-feed, all made easy in IKEA’s baby care rooms equipped with POANG chairs. We were suitably, or perhaps more, being the parents, proud of her.
Until today, when she decided to put her newly acquired skills to better use – that of startling me while I was doing dishes. I suddenly heard a loud and very insistent “Mmmmmmm”, looking at me. Turns out, she needed a cuddle, a diaper change, and food. This time, a whole lot more aggressively. How dare I not pay attention to her (she was in my mother’s lap and R’s mother was talking to her) and do dishes?
My little girl is growing up. She can communicate!!!
My daughter’s first word, several days ago, sounded suspiciously and surprisingly like “google”. A random combination of the the two consonants she can articulate, “lait” (refer to My Daughter, la Quebecoise) and “ah-goo”.
E-anything – Electronic-…
Ee (Telugu, my mother tongue) – this.
2 relevant possibilities for the meaning of the title.
However, Ee (Tamil, R’s mother tongue) means a housefly. Oooh, I certainly hope that this isn’t the age of the housefly!
Sperm meets egg, combine, get attached to egg-maker. Thus begins the typical journey of motherhood. While the program for differentiation is written in the genetic code from father and mother, the raw materials for almost all cells comes from the mother alone. She gets to protect the baby inside her. She gets to nurture and nourish. Give the baby the spinach and the broccoli without so much as a fight from the little one.
Step 1 of letting go – giving birth. I have this insane urge to protect her from wafting smoke when I am out with her. But how? While she was inside, I would hold my breath until it passes. I realize that I have to let go. Left to me, I would create a bubble of fresh air around her. All I can do now is to pass by smokers as quickly as I can and hope that the smoke only rises up and doesn’t get to her in the stroller.
Step 2 – solid foods. As I lay in bed watching her after an early am feed yesterday, incidentally her 2 month birthday, I suddenly see her eating solid foods in 4 months. Somehow, that vision takes her all the way to college and living independently from us.
She is going to eat food on her own and digest it (or not sometimes), she’ll crawl and walk and begin her own exploration of the world, not just what we show her, learn from people other than parents/grandparents, in leaps and bounds, take a bus on her own, and on and on, go to college, and on to financial independence and living it up with her friends, creating a new family of her own. Coming back to food, she’ll also decide exactly what she eats and perhaps educate us on new schools of thought. Each step involves a letting go in some respects. Abundant joy and mini heartbreak and how many more emotions, I can’t say. I don’t know. Through it all, we hope to be her loving supporters, her number one champions, her solid emotional support. The bond deepening over time, yet letting go. I take heart in the thought that we wouldn’t have it any other way.