Daddy Diaries : Anika turns two

Seeing your child unfold in front of your eyes is the strangest sight. It is like witnessing a face being carved out from a lump of clay. An individual emerges with her own set of thought and quirks, her own way of interpreting the surroundings. You are awed by the way nature works and wonder if all this is just a dream. You keep reminding yourself that this is the same puny girl with crumpled skin whom you met for the first time outside an operation theater.
I have read enough on the internet to be scared of the terrible two. When I look back at the last one year, I can say that it wasn’t the easiest of times but the thought leaves me with a smile. There was time when I wanted to bang my head on the wall, when I wanted to run away and hide in the hills, when I wanted to sleep peacefully for a night but then there were also millions of moments when my heart melted at the mere sight of her. It was last year when she pointed a finger at me and said Papa. It was last year when I started telling her stories and although she does not understand a word, she listened to them with rapt attention. It was last year when she turned into this non-stop talking machine. I still tell myself that I am not made for being responsible for an individual, that I am still not ready for this but the fact remains that unless you jump into it, you are not ready.
She has started dancing without any qualms in marriages, she started eating Maggi and chocolates, she started admiring herself in the mirror, she started getting scared of doctors and needles, she started copying the maid and broomed the whole house, she started loving those videos on YouTube where someone opens chocolate eggs to reveal gifts hidden inside, she started playing Temple Run, she started liking nail paints and sunglasses, she started loving car rides. Her Bollywood fixation ended, which was a mercy. She is now more into animated songs for children. She is an entirely different person from who she was in the first year. Back then she only slept, pooped and cried. Yes, that was pretty much it.
Having her in my life has made me wonder about a lot of things. There are some things for which you become more perceptive and tolerant after you become a parent. For example, I do not make a face when I see a couple jostling with their crying baby, I don’t say – they can’t even control their child – when I see parents wondering what to do when their child throws a tantrum. I don’t have anything but sympathy and understanding for them. I can even go and help. I also do not understand how people abandon their girl child in dustbins. The mere thought of Anika out there alone send shivers down my spine. I also do not understand how parents allow their daughter to be mistreated by her in-laws. Believe me, I would end up breaking open their heads. I am now filled with more and more anger at how the girls in our country are treated as second-class citizens. I was always a feminist but now I am a feminist with a daughter which makes me doubly dangerous and doubly furious.
This may sound crazy but sometimes I keep thinking of the time when she will leave the house. She might leave to study or work in another city or get married. I know its years away but the mere thought chokes me up. See, its happening as I am writing this. I might cry right now. But, I guess its bound to happen some day. There is a whole world out there for her to see and experience. She will have to fall and fly because that is the only way to live your life. As a father, it is my job to be worried and overprotective for her but I will never take away her wings.
Oh well, I must come back to the present. So she turns two today and I am hoping that the next year will be as exciting and scary as the previous one. She will finally get potty trained which is such a relief because my life savings are depleting buying diapers. She has started joining words so I suppose there will be more non-stop banter all day. She has started understanding the world bit by bit but sometimes it breaks my heart thinking that she won’t remember any of it. She will start making memories only after three and that too will turn vague as time will pass.
Maybe, all this is just for us, her parents, to remember.
She is two and she is sleeping with her mouth open, showing her two front teeth. I must stop writing and look at her. This is an important moment to remember.

30 comments on “Daddy Diaries : Anika turns two

  1. Beautiful post, Amit and what a flourish for an end. Anika is a sweetheart, and jokes apart, she’s most welcome to give quality company to my son. (We’ll talk about the caveats on another day.) Happy birthday to her and hats off to you and Anuja for being such loving parents.

  2. Always love reading your Daddy Journals. Give the big girl a big hug from me. God bless! Yes, the emotions and the memories overwhelm you. Parenting is rewarding, frustrating and certainly turns you into better, more empathetic people.

  3. Your best writing is about Anika, you write with so much heart. Loved this post. And, happy birthday to Anika

    • Thanks Shweta. Yes, if there were more than 24 hours in a day, I would be here more often. 😦 The book should come out this year. The Publishing house editorial group is now working on it.

  4. That was a beautiful piece of writing, absolutely beautiful. Your posts on Anika are always moving.

    Happy 2nd to the li’l darling. She is growing up in such a wonderful way. Congratulations to her lovely parents too 🙂

  5. Concentrate on her being potty trained, the future will take its own course! Meanwhile, develop interests that doesn’t involve her so that when she flies away, you know you will be fine.
    Not that I have much experience!! 🙂

    • Nisha,
      Yes, that is going to happen this year.
      I think I have too many interests at the moment. I think I will be pretty much occupied after she flies away! 🙂

  6. Awwwww. Such a heartwarming post. Anika is a lucky girl, she will grow up to read these blog posts dedicated to her and will feel so proud! 🙂 Happy Birthday to the little angel.

  7. The one job for which we ought to have a PhD and even that doesn’t seem enough. You sound like a splendid dad. Happy birthday, Anika. When you grow up and read this please forgive your dad for mentioning your p**ping.

  8. I have tears as I type this. I am very attached to my dad and your words echo exactly what he feels but never says. He is just as protective and just as emotionally attached to me. Your daughter is really lucky. Happy Birthday to her! 🙂

  9. A very Happy Birthday to the darling princess Anika 🙂
    Loved this post because you reminded me of the many precious memories I had missed on writing about but am reminded of them all through your post. *Made many mental notes*

  10. I have always considered myself non-maternal. I am even sure I dont want to have any biological kids. Anika sounds like a fun daughter to have. Reading such accounts dissolves my resolve to not have kids 🙂 Happy turning two Anika 🙂

    • Sanityvows,
      To each his own. It wasn’t an easy decision for us to make either and believe me, it isn’t a bed of roses.
      Thank you for your wishes!

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