Note: I wanted to publish this on Bandar’s birthday, Sept 5 and had started writing it a week ago. I just finished it today though, so I figured better late than never.
And just like that, our Bandar turned two!
My silly little goose, you are two! Time really does fly. I remember the moment you were placed on my chest a minute after you were born and you just looked at me with an unblinking stare and then gave a lazy yawn. You were not much of a crier that first day, and your Mimi worried about this in her usual way. You more than made up for it of course, on our second day at the hospital, and I broke into tears too. I was overwhelmed, dear girl. Overwhelmed with the excruciating recovery pain, the no sleep situation (again, not your fault..you slept like a lamb that first night . I was on an adrenaline high and just couldn’t sleep), the cluster feeding that no one tells you about , the unsolicited contradictory breastfeeding advice I had thrown at me from all angles and I just broke down. This was too hard, I thought. I had no idea how this little ball of baby would be fed and nourished and raised. I was not cut out for this. I was a failure. But slowly and surely , Appa, you and I figured it out. It was just the three of us trying to make this whole feeding thing work those first few days. Your dad read multiple forums with me, researched positions , drove me all over town when I as much as hinted I wanted to meet a lactation consultant and you and I tired everything in our power to get this right. Lo and behold, you grew with each doctor’s visit and I no longer feared that darn hospital baby weighing scale. We then figured out how to actually get you to sleep. We did no pacifiers at all, and this meant you tended to comfort nurse for hours. At some point each night, you were unlatched and Appa walked you all over the house in the crook of his arm. Again, we handled this all on our own and got our own rhythm going as a family.
This year has been a lot like that, hasn’t it. As much as the first year was about extended family visits, this year has primarily been our little unit of three. We have had a lot of changes and have had to figure out how to make it all work. We moved to a new city, you transitioned from staying with your nanny at home to starting pre school, we traded our cars for public transport and sultry Texas summers to torrid NYC winters. You my little goose, did brilliantly through it all.
- You happily wore the 4 layers of clothing I put you in as we made our way to school in sub zero temps for weeks.
- You did a decent amount of domestic travel this year and enjoyed the plane rides immensely.
- You are a social butterfly, my dear and call out a cheery greeting and start a conversation with passers by on the road and strangers at the grocery store. The homeless man at our doorstep who you lovingly call dada and watch for hours on our video monitor is a favorite.
- You have learnt to walk and run and play and seeing you fearlessly climb the monkey bars at the park, confirms that you have a lot of your daddy in your genes.
- You excel at pretend play and one of current favorites is to pretend that we are at the beach. You get so caught up in the imagined play that we have to distract you to stop.
- You still have a fair amount of separation anxiety from your parents and are cautious ,as every child should be ,about who you go to. Despite that you have adjusted really well to different nannies when you are home from school of late.
- You have thrived in this school, though I sometimes fear it is a tad chaotic for you, and your teachers absolutely adore you.
- You have made a best friend who is the polar opposite of you and it is hilarious to watch you girls play together.
- You have met a new set of kakas and kakis and mamas and mamis this year and you have won over several almost 30 year old hearts.
- Talking to you is an absolute blast. You went from words one day to sentences the next and are now fairly expressive for a 2 year old. I particularly love the way you hear new words like “Steeple” and “Crescent” and use them perfectly in sentences several days later.Your vocabulary is almost 98% English with a few other words thrown in. Your dad and I need to work harder on the Tri Lingual thing if that is still an aim.
- On the same note, your baby talk is almost gone and I miss it a little bit. You recently kept using the word “alligator” for “elevator” and I stopped your dad from correcting you. But he did just a few minutes before I could stop him and you nowproudly exclaim “Alligator is an animal, Amma” when I try to get you to say it.
- You climb all 5 floors up to our walk up apartment on your good days.
- Your daddy and you have a special bond. He manages you all on his own for a week at a time every few months when I travel for work and does such a fabulous job of it. He is your favorite parent by far, though I am hoping this love is better distributed in a few years.
- I like to think you and mommy have your fun too when we are thrown together alone on weekends and all weekday evenings. We have done the zoo, the museum, several train adventures and lots of park and library trips on our own – just us girls around the big city! I can’t wait for you to grow up and have more fun places to explore on our own.
- You love eating out and keep urging us to go out to a “mamoo place” to eat. We have started being a little less stressed about taking you to restaurants as well and by now know the routine.
- You absolutely love the moon and can stare at it for hours. Amma has created a fun series of stories about a boy who is the moon and is called “Moon Baby” and he does pretty much everything you do during the day , except that he shines big and bright as the moon at night! The possibilities for Moon Baby are endless and I make up new incidents every bedtime and you listen gleefully.
Some other things that Amma true to her nature, has to call out!
- You are not a great eater at all , Bandar and I try oh so hard with this. I have shed tears and lost my temper a few times off late but I still cant get you to eat more than you want to, which IS a single bite at times. I really hope you grow to have a healthy relationship with food as it means so much to your dad and I.
- You are scared of any toy that moves in an unnatural way..be it the lovely train engine or the barking stuffed doggy. You are also scared of domestic pets that approach you , though you will admire them from a distance.I am not at all concerned about this and know you will grow out of it.
- You refuse to get potty trained and have no interest in even trying your potty seat. You keep saying that you will be trained “one day” and I can only hope it is soon.
- You are rather too free with your hands, darling and we are working on changing that. You feel immense guilt after a slap-happy incident and immediately apologize profusely. You enjoy your timeouts for this far too much and refuse to leave the naught corner.We probably need some other solution to correct this behavior.
Honey, if you look back at birthday pictures when you grow up, you will see the massive shin dig we had for your 1st with scrumptious home cooked food and almost 50 guests in Austin. As compared to that, your 2nd birthday was really different. You had a fun Disney World trip the week prior to turning two with your parents and you celebrated your birthday at school with cupcakes and loot bags for the kids. You cut two yummy cakes – at school and at home with mommy and daddy and we spent a pleasant evening at your favorite Central Park playground. Your grandpa (Mipa) arrived from India two days after your birthday armed with tons of gifts from both your maternal and paternal grandparents. You are always going to be the first grandchild on both sides and are much loved by your grandparents and two aunts. Overall, I don’t think you did too badly for a second birthday at all.
I am going to end this note with some fun stuff you have said recently.
Amma – Bandar, where were you born?
Bandar – In the hospital, amma.
Amma – And how were you born, Bandar?
Bandar – The doctor pull me out.
Amma – What did you do next?
Bandar – I went to have a nai nai( bath). Appa came with me
Amma – I love you, goose.
Bandar – I love you soooo much, Amma
Kaki asks – Do you like New York or Austin?
Bandar – (Thinks and says ) New York
Kaki – Why?
Bandar – I am settled there!
Amma – What does settled mean, Bandar? (I prod further)
Bandar – It means I have toys there, Amma. Lots of toys.
Bandar – (Notices a small pimple I am getting on my cheek) Amma , you have a tomato
Amma –That’s not a tomato,Bandar. It’s a pimple
Bandar – That is not a tomato. It just looks like a tomato.
Bandar – (Appa is back home from work and Amma is now given secondary citizen status). Amma, go away to that room. I am going to play with Appa.
Amma –( Pretending to be hurt) You want me to go away, Bandar?
Bandar – No Amma, I will play with appa and then call you when I am sleepy, You come and sleep next to me.Together.
Love you sweetheart, stay blessed always and always.