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The Phase

It is not his birthday today for me to contemplate on such thoughts. It is only on birthdays when a mother or a father expresses their surprise on how big their child has grown and that time flies when a child comes into existence. But that is not true. Time does not fly all the time. Because when my son was a baby, I was desperately waiting and wishing that the next phase comes in so that it becomes easier. But then, I realized that parenting was never meant to be easier so expecting it to be a cakewalk is futile. Perhaps, it is the labor and the stress behind those long sleepless nights, the endless cries and now, the never-ending questions and the toddler tantrums that he comes up with make it worthwhile.

I do indulge in conversation with other mothers about how hard every phase is and that it never is going to be easy. But then, I secretly tell myself that it’s the challenges which he sets for me that make it even more interesting. Sometimes, I think kids are so simple because their needs are not complicated unlike adults. Yet, there are times when I am forced to think that children are the most complex of creatures. It is this combination that fascinates me and surprises me every day.

People ask me – how old is he? A question that I get asked very often in the company of other parents. From one to two to three and now I say, he is three and a half. It is then that I realize how big he has become, although he is only a little child, just a progress from being a baby to toddler. Still, there are no longer traces of the infant that I held in my arms, or the baby that had just learned to flip to his side or the baby that would cry profusely because of the ‘separation anxiety’ phase.

I do, however, search for traces of the baby that I had three years ago, and I find none. Funny how I yearn for those days when back then, I had only wished for time to roll a bit faster. There are however, new traces of a little child who is learning to make his choices, learning to use his words and one that knows which tantrums works like magic and which doesn’t.

Despite being a child, I also know that he is my companion, not just for his needs but also fulfilling mine. For instance, I no longer feel the silence of being alone in the house because there is two of us when my husband is not home. Of course, I can’t talk with him or have coffee with him the way I would do with a friend. I also can’t express all my thoughts which I might do with my husband or a friend. Yet, he listens to me in his own way and makes sure that I listen to him as well.

I know that he doesn’t really like playing with crayons or play boring games when he’d rather be outside on his bike or playing in the sand. Yet, I keep trying so that I teach him how to stay indoors because in my head, I feel I should be teaching him better ways of play that are creative and productive. He does seem to comply with me, if he is in a cheery mood when he is not hungry or sleepy. And he does so because he enjoys the company of me being around him.

Sometimes, I am too engrossed on my phone to be listening to him. It’s so easy to be looking elsewhere when I should be listening to what he has to say. And I tell myself that he probably won’t realize that I was staring into my cell phone. But I could be wrong. After all, children do understand the world that is beyond the reach of adults. I put the phone away and remind myself that it doesn’t matter that he repeats the things too often than needed. It doesn’t matter that I sometimes wish he wouldn’t be talking so much. But this is all a part of his growing and developing, one that I cannot stop but I can be a good participant.

This part of my day is true. The only times when I want to cajole my child is when he wakes from his bed, because that is when he is the most dormant and is still not into his active mode. During the day, he manages to turn my mood sour very often and I end up appearing like a screaming, demented woman. But tell myself often that it is the tantrums that I must enjoy, it is the tense-filled fiery moments that I must cherish because like every other phase, this one will quickly move to another. Perhaps, people are right when they say – Enjoy it until it lasts because they grow up soon.

About the Author Chital Mehta loves to explore new books. After becoming a mother, she started this blog to share her experiences as a mother. Apart from being busy with her baby, she makes times for writing, reading and watching movies. She has authored 4 fiction novels. You can find details on her Facebook page :Chital Mehta facebook


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