Eight minutes past one am. Shawwal’s first day on the lunar calendar. June 26 on Gregorian. I just switched the light off in the ironing alley as I call it in my head. S and my clothes are ironed. Bangles aligned. Mehndi/ Henna tubes ready for tomorrow morning, the only pending chore.
SS will be 8 weeks old this Wednesday.
Last week one fine day (Tuesday June 22, 2017, just shy of the seven week mark on Wednesday), we suddenly started giving real smiles. Not gas, not to random invisible friends. To real people and as a response to real things. My baby is becoming a kid. With a daily play time and laughter to steal your heart away. The kicks and punches are getting hardier, the cackles louder and more frequent. Crying has a pattern now with spaces to breathe and it isn’t monotonous wailing any more. It has gained structure. We curve our lips in a frowny face which will stab anyone’s heart and cry like HRC needs to look out for us. Getting clingier, eyesight/ focal length improving, we are growing fast. F said he read somewhere that a 3-4 year old child asks an average of 400 questions a day. We laughed but seriously shared how lovely that would be. I might tire somewhere down the road but for F it’s a dream come true. Either way we are both waiting for it to come when she runs around the house and asks us 400 questions a day. She will then accompany him to his conferences as the little imp who changes the slides as he gives his presentations or sit through conferences looking very important as she would colour in her colouring books. Daydreamers’ refuge.
As I wiped the kitchen counter clean after (dare I say) “neatly” pouring out the freshly stewed sheer khurma in the serving bowl, all tidbits are taken care of, loose ends tied, clothes and bangles laid out in anticipation of wearers old and new. Yes. The teeny little new that this Eid gets to meet is my child. As she softly snores lying on top of me and I wince at the way her foot is wedged on my surgery stitches’ site, ready for a dig any time, I realise this is my first Eid too. As a mom. There’s little in life that matches up to figuring out tiny doll – like clothes and rushing around the same Liberty market that catered to all of our Eids through life, searching for the smallest everything. The smallest khussas, the smallest hair clips, the smallest glass bangles. I realised I’ll be doing these fun runs for quite a few years now. She makes it all worthwhile.
I got her clothes made, ready and unpinching done a week ago (anything remotely hard with the possibility of pinching or cutting into skin needs to be covered with the softest silk dyed in the colour to match the outfit. Standard procedure for myself so why would I even take a chance with my child?).
Made Firni. Made sheer khurma. Shami kabaabs. Dough for suhaali is ready and waiting in the fridge.
I did what Ammi would. Not as much as she did, not even close to as meticulous, but chores. All the mom things. I have a Beti this Eid to whom I’m a mom and this child sleeping on top of me is mine. I keep rephrasing and repeating the same thing because it is finally hitting me. This little girl is my baby. Yes I love her and I care for her but one day she might (consciously and willingly) love me too.
Chaand Mubaarak world. Be worthy of my fair child. Treat her right.