Mummm…ummm…mmm…aaa! Stunned I looked at him and with circled lips, twinkling eyes, he said it again – Moooomm…mmm…aaa. In a state of utter disbelief, I asked him to repeat and here came another version of it – Miiimmm…mmm…aaa. Oh the joy, the excitement and the emotions after listening to his first word! Well, I don’t think any form of written expression can ever do justice to describe how I felt at that moment.
Not that I wasn’t waiting for him to say his first words, we were trying to teach him Papa, Mumma etc for last few weeks but when it came out suddenly while I was busy doing something else, it just left me emotionally overwhelmed. He was trying to get my attention and he did it by calling Mumma. The next moment I dialed my husband and made him listen to his first word. After that whole day it was like a record playing in loop and my reaction was no different than his that he gives to his favorite talking-monkey-toy. So whenever this monkey makes a sound, little one grins and claps with joy! And here I was behaving like a nine month old, playing with my own talking toy, grinning and clapping every time he said Mumma.
Yet again I got my answer as to why babies are called ‘bundle of joy’. Oh yes, I am one of those crazy women who had actually questioned this phrase within my heart during my early days of motherhood. Bundle of Joy? Like really? Why? What is so ecstatic about going through all this? Honestly speaking I felt horrible and guilty whenever such thought came to my mind but still couldn’t help it. I didn’t have the courage to tell it to anybody, as I knew I would be treated with a scorn, with that typical ‘how could you’ look. I myself couldn’t understand or relate to my own emotions. Within a span of 60 seconds, my feelings used to take 360 degrees turn. From awwww to arghhhh, from olllleeee to oogawwwd, from tears of happiness to tears of frustration – myriads of diverse emotions, all within a minute!
On one hand when I held him in my arms or when his tiny fingers encircled my thumb it used to feel like the best thing in this world but then on the other that excruciating labor pain, millions of restrictions in the name of rituals or customs, agonizing struggles of breastfeeding, diaper changing marathons, nappy cleaning sessions, sleepless nights, never-ending days, unsolicited pieces of advice, scary suggestions… oh god everything was just more difficult than I had anticipated. By the end of fourth week after his birth, I was tired and frustrated and had this WHY in my mind? While I knew and believed that this was the best gift God could have ever given to me, there was also this tiny streak of negativity within, a weird feeling that life has changed far more than I thought and all this was way too much to handle.
But then as they say babies have their own ways of rewarding you for your efforts. Fifth week came his first smile, that toothless, gummy, angelic smile! A smile capable enough to melt the stoniest of hearts, forget about dad and mum like us! I actually had tears in my eyes when first time he looked at me, blinked his eyes and smiled :). To say that my husband and me were in a state of exhilaration would be such an understatement; nothing in a long long time had made us so joyous as his innocent smile that day. I remember his eyes, his smile and my husband’s face red with excitement. Everytime he smiled, husband would shout – “look Kanu, he smiled again”! For hours we did nothing except trying to make him smile. We looked like jokers, behaved liked kids but then who cares? After all he was returning our smiles :).
From first smile to first clap to first crawl to first word… each of his “first” left us happier than the previous one. And we also know that this is just the beginning, there would be many more such “firsts” waiting for us ahead. The journey has been tough but the rewards are unimaginable. Nine months into it and if you ask me now if a baby is really a bundle of joy? My answer would be not just ‘joy’ but ‘ultimate joy’, ‘incomparable joy’ and ‘the joy’ of our lives. Nothing, yes nothing could ever be compared with this phase of life. No idea if the journey that started with a baby bump is going to be a bumpy ride, joy jaunt, adventurous expedition or a roller coaster, but whatever it is, it surely is worth it and I’m certainly looking forward to it!
So all you new moms n dads out there, even if for a moment negativity creeps in, then all I would say is just hang on, you don’t know what’s waiting ahead for you :). And all you experienced ones, remember your reaction to the “firsts” of your little ones? Yes, that! Brought a smile to your face? Lo I’m smiling again, typing this post in this dark room past midnight while the little one is sleeping peacefully next to me :).
A mother, a marketer and a blogger, Kanupriya currently is enjoying her life as a full time mom and a part time working professional. She loves to read and her favorite lines these days are – “New Mum, New Fun. So Blessed, This One. Long Nights, Short Days. Go Back, No Ways ~ Author Unknown“. Connect with Kanupriya on Twitter.