It’s the little one’s second birthday today, and I am still in denial. It can’t have been two years already, can it? My tiny bundle of love and baby smell and smooth skin and honey breath and sleepy smiles has grown into this wiry little thing who cannonballs into my arms while running at breakneck speed, her laughter filling up every inch of the room, and all I did was blink an eye. My gurgling babbling cooing baby has now learned to sing and negotiate and demand and say thank you and please and sorry, and it is all happening too fast. Before I know it, I will have to throw her a sweet sixteen where she will have a million demands and then after nitpicking over every tiny detail all throughout, at the end of the day will throw her arms around me and say thank you and sorry and Mamma I love you, for all I know.
*Okay, okay. Breathe. In through your nose, out through your mouth. Breathe.*
We’d gone all out for her first birthday. I had obsessed for months (not kidding) to find the perfect venue for the party. For the weeks leading up to the party, my mind kept whirring with details that I needed to keep in mind. It was our first ever party as parents, and I desperately wanted it to be perfect. We had found a cute little restaurant that was colourful and quirky and old school just like me, and I turned to Pinterest (do I hear guffaws?) for decoration ideas. I made the birthday bunting, the menu cards, and the tutu she wore. I though too much about the party favours and not enough about the cake, which is probably why now when I look back at the pictures I regret not getting a better looking cake. I mean everybody told us the cake tasted awesome but it did look a little “meh” and I keep thinking how years from now no one would remember how it tasted but the photos will be a testimony to how it looked. So it was not exactly party of the year but for us it actually was. It was *the party* to celebrate our most important year ever. The biggest highlight of my day was not the actual party though. It wasn’t even when I kicked off my heels inside the cab on our way home, and thought to myself that I could finally stop worrying. No. It was when the Husband had come back home later, having wrapped up restaurant bills and stuff, and he’d brought back a bunch of pink and lavender helium balloons from the party with him. Something about seeing him standing at our door, dressed in an impeccable suit, holding pink and lavender balloons, made me melt inside. This was the father of my baby girl, and I loved him and I loved us and I loved to bits the one year old having a blast opening her birthday presents. It was just one of those moments. Sigh.
Everyone knows the second is just not as important as the first. And we had thought we would let her second birthday silently pass. Maybe a small cupcake, a humble offering of thanks to the divine powers for keeping her safe and healthy, and a day out for her at an indoor playground. “But she loves cutting a cake and singing the happy birthday song!”, we both pointed out to each other, and so it was decided we will invite just a few of our friends and throw a small party at our apartment. Very humble, very simple. The very humble, very simple party at home has now turned into a high tea at a cafe close by, and I find myself obsessing over details yet again. We are incorrigible.
The day started earlier than either Miss Munchkin or I wanted to, all thanks to the Husband. He’d had an early meeting and wanted her to open her birthday present before he left. And so, still groggy from sleep, the little one had opened her present, all the while saying “Happy Birthday Tanvi!” to herself. The present, a piano mat from ELC, turned out to be such a huge hit that she spent most of the day running along it, crawling on top of it, butt scooching over it and at one point, lying down over it listening to her head and butt make symphonies on the piano notes. Such fun!
I, on the other hand, worked on keeping at least some of the promises I had made. I showered early on and made kheer (our payox) like the quintessential Oxomiya Ma, and prepared my xorai with fruits and maah-proxad for the evening prayers. I then cooked pulao-mangxo for because we had a couple of our friends over for dinner. Come evening I lit the lamp and sent my prayers out into the universe, hoping and wishing nothing but the best for this little hurricane of a girl who is my everything. The Husband got a gorgeous chocolate cake and baby girl absolutely loved cutting it and polishing off the chocolate shavings from on top of it.
I will not turn this post into a mish-mash of mush, although I am dangerously on the verge of blurting it all out. I have now had two solid years of motherhood under my belt, and even now, every day feels like I am under training. I remember how people had told me it would get easier after three months. And at the end of three months I remember realising just why it becomes easier. It is because it is around that time that it dawns on you: you will never be able to anticipate what comes next, so you might as well surrender to the unknown and stop trying to know everything. It is around that time that you realise that the only way to face it is head on, and just hope your reflexes are good enough to tackle whatever it is that it hurdled your way. There are no shortcuts, no life hacks when it comes to motherhood. And yes, two years down the line the only thing that I have learned as a Mother is that while it is not always exhaustingly frustrating nor ridiculously fulfilling, it kinda undulates between both, sometimes bizarrely at the same time. All you can do, is learn to be okay with both. So here’s to accepting the chaos, inviting unpredictability through the front door and letting satisfaction and happiness and love huddle in a corner by the back door. Tanvi’s Terrible Twos, bring it on!