Our 52 cm just above 3 kilo bouncy baby, 3 years down the line, is a 3 feet over 13 kilo lanky little man! This physical transformation, albeit miraculous to watch, is nothing compared to the internal revolution within this body! He is a walking, talking, and thinking individual with a spirit of his own who continuously strives to set his own boundaries – a perpetual tug of war with his two closest – his Mama and Papa!
He, who was a crying creature for whatever he may need where our gut was all we could base to decipher what to do, is now articulating exactly the specifics he wants. ‘Mama, I want egg white and egg yolk with rice, without pepper’!
He, who needed our lullabies and rocking motions sleeping a foot’s radius from us, now sleeps in his own room, in his own bed at his own time after we leave him.
He, who needed our constant entertainment now has his own familiar friends, his own enticing imaginary world and his own amusing self! He humours us cracking his own jokes reminding us of events of weeks ago!
He, who needed our unceasing presence in close proximity, is now one who takes his strides to school bagged with the knowledge that he will be taken care of and picked up by us always.
He, who could not comprehend our words but only our eyes, smells and smiles, will now fight back resisting most things told by us! `No Mama, I will not say thank you to that aunty!’ When he himself thinks of manners, he is of course full of smiles knowing it was his own doing!
He, who was slowly uttering and faltering always on the lookout for our approval, is now correcting us. ‘Papa it’s not punishment corner, it’s naughty corner actually’!! And yes, he who was the sweetest thing walking under our clouds always yearning to please our faces, enjoys defying us now exploring his boundaries and our limits! And hence the naughty corner, which for now at least, frightens and disciplines him!
He, who we had to cuddle, kiss and admire feeling as if it was all one way, now comes to us with his own sporadic hugs, smooches and ‘I love you’s!
He, who we had to constantly hold and guide, is now holding our hands to take us and our guests on walks down new paths – pinpointing all the little delights on the way including alphabets and numbers on buildings, for sure his current passion!
Now I know I should let go more often. I should breathe somewhat easier. Let him be the big man he craves to be. On his 3rd birthday, as I plant my kiss, he says he wants to be 4. Then he wants a car but for now he wants a green t-shirt, Thomas cake with a big green 3, rainbow coloured eggs and lots of blue balloons! He seems so sure of himself and at times so grown up with his words, actions and sentiments, that I tend to forget he is in fact ONLY three!
At one of our usual park outings in the neighbourhood, my big little man is running over the hill and is about to disappear down to the playground. I let him. He turns around, smiles and continues, knowing I have his back.
As undoubtedly every parent knows, it is never over… not till the last breath leaves our body. And it is for this reason, we must stop, take stock and savour the spectacular shifts of growth and to this – line our own mind set and parenting!