You just turned 2 years old on 25th August. I still find it hard to believe that 2 whole years have passed by since that fateful day in 2011 when you decided to pop out exactly after 38 weeks in your Amma’s tummy.
The auto ride back home, the drive to the maternity centre, the 3+ hour-long wait in the labour room with Amma, the approximately one hour-long wait outside the operation theatre, most of these incidents are still reasonably crystal clear in my memory. And then, when one of the midwives carried you out, all wrapped in green, looking like a half Caucasian-half Chinese kid of whom only the face was visible, I still remember the serene expression you had when you were asleep. I still remember when your Amma was wheeled out on the stretcher, her ‘doped with anesthesia’ expression and her words “wow, what are all you people doing here?” with a smile on her face. Man, that was one crazy day…
But then I digress, this letter was meant to be about your second year and not about the day you were born. As you grow older, you will realise that I have a tendency to digress from the given topic that I start with. But again, I also have a tendency to course correct in a short while, just one of those endearing character traits, I hope.
In any case, most parents talk about the ‘Terrible Twos’ in hushed tones. They make it sound like the second year of all kids’ lives is probably the worst phase in all parents’ lives. I mean they do call it the ‘Terrible Twos’ for a reason, don’t they! Apparently, this is the age when kids slowly start learning to be just little more independent of their parents compared to the first year, this is when they have figured out how to be mobile on their own (walking and running), this is also when their vocabulary starts developing and they start stringing words together and start screaming their lungs out.
And based on anecdotal evidence, I also believe that this is when they start figuring out that tantrums work in their favour and quite obviously, they start using them extensively as a bargaining tool.
However, in your case, R, the second year has been quite a wonderful and eventful one. First of all, seven months into your second year, we moved down to Bangalore and are now staying with your paternal grandparents. That way you have the benefit of being with your grandparents every single day and being showered with their love and affection. You also made two relatively longish trips to Thrissur and spent some quality time with your maternal grandparents as well, who in turn absolutely loved your company for the couple of weeks that you spent with them. And two months ago, you also joined a playschool near home. Based on what the teacher has to tell your mother, it looks like you are yet to make friends with your classmates, but that is only just a matter of time.
You have settled down into a good daily schedule now with 3 hours of playschool in the morning, approximately 2.5 hours of nap time in the afternoons, around 1-2 hours of walking, shopping, etc. with your mother and me in the evenings, around 1-2 hours of reading books and playing other kiddie games in the evenings and nights, and a good bedtime routine with your mother where she reads out your favourite books to you. That is a good schedule, and this was developed in the terrible twos’ year.
You have been an awesome child in this second year. You have almost been potty trained, and are now able to put together more than 3-4 words to make a reasonably coherent sentence. You recognise all the English alphabets and are more than happy to show off your skills wherever you see a signboard, or anything which has capital alphabets written on the same. You are absolutely in love with your books and keep reading and re-reading them at every given opportunity. You know the days of the week, months of the year by heart and narrate them out to yourself even when nobody wants you to. What more can parents ask for from a 2-year-old girl? You, R, are the best gift that your mother and I have ever received.
Soon, you will be making friends at school, and in your third year, you will also begin real schooling starting off with Lower Kindergarten. Slowly you will start loving your teachers and friends as well and we will have to compete with them for your attention. But we don’t have any issues with this setup as that is the way things have to be, and we are more than happy.
Go on R, it is time to learn that there is a big world out there beyond the boundaries of your immediate relatives. Go on, explore the world, the wonderful opportunities it offers to be happy and contented. We (Amma and Appa) are always going to be there for you.
Yours lovingly… Appa
Jairam Mohan is a 33 yr old father, of an almost 2-year-old daughter, settled in Bangalore. He and his wife tend to see the funny side of things in life which helps them maintain sanity in their otherwise crazy and stressful working lives. While his day job involves poring over Excel spreadsheets and preparing PowerPoint presentations, his other hobbies include frequent updation of his blog on varied topics and watching/writing about movies.