Mothers are partial to the youngest child, at least I thought so, for the rules were different for my youngest sister compared to us. My mother let her do a lot of things she didn’t let us do. And I have always been careful that my children don’t think so and always had the same rules for all three of them. But if you ask my older two, they will tell you that I am very partial to the youngest. For eg, I asked Yaya to carry her own bag when she was in grade 2, because I had to carry her brother’s bag. The same when the brother was in grade 2 because I had to carry baby’s bag. But I didn’t ask baby to carry her own bag when she was in grade 2. The only reason I didn’t ask the youngest to carry her own bag was because I didn’t have anything else to do. Was I wrong? Absolutely. Did I notice doing that? Not at all. I only noticed when the older two complained how unfair I was ! And over the years there were plenty of occasions where I was told over and over how unfair I was to the older ones and how partial I am to the youngest. Much as I hate to admit it, I do let baby get away with a lot of things that I didn’t let the older one do. But she was the one who spend the most amount of time with me. ( Being January born, she only went to school when she turned 6) I was also a lot more mature than I was when Yaya was little. Until last year, baby used to come and lay down with me ask me to read a story. She still believes in Santa and tooth fairy ! Her world is all about Belugas, fairies and chocolate. If we have any discussion about sex, she says excuse me and leave the table. She was still listening to Rafi’s baby beluga song last December.
If I could use one word to describe her it would be “Happy” She has been a bundle of happiness from the time she was born. She never got angry, always have a smile and never asked for anything but chocolate !
Perhaps knowingly or unknowingly she remained as a little baby in my eyes.
Two weeks ago, she downloaded Shazam on my iphone and every time an unfamiliar song was played on the car radio, she was looking it up. I haven’t heard her playing the Baby beluga song for a few weeks. All of a sudden she seems to be interested in the “Feel this moment” ( Christina Aguilera)song and I can hear her humming it even when she is doing her home work. She never wore jeans until recently. She used to say Jeans fabric is itchy. Last week when we went out for a drive, I noticed that she wore Yaya’s old jeans.
A part of me said “wait for it”.. wait for the impending explosion that announces puberty.. but the other part of me still didn’t want to accept that my baby is no longer a baby..It can’t be.
Last sunday, I asked her to take her clothes from the laundry line and hang it in her closet. It is a straight forward job. Having OCD, I can’t stand if the clothes are crumpled or of the edge isn’t straight. So I do spend a lot of time and energy to hang them properly to ensure that everything is picture perfect. In the evening as I passed by her room, I noticed on the floor a tangled heap of all those clothes that I hung so carefully on the clothes line.( not even on her bed..the floor!) She was laying down on her bed and was reading. I asked her to pick up all those clothes from the floor and hang them properly. She looked up from her book and gave me ‘that’ look. If her eyes were laser, I would have ended up as heap of ash on the floor. It was that mean and vicious.
“oh dear” I said realizing that we have reached that stage, where I am now the mortal enemy..
“Baby, why are you angry with me when you are the one who is wrong? You know I hung all those clothes properly and now you crumpled all of them” I asked gently
And I heard Yaya telling her brother “Look how nice mom is to baby”
So to make it all even I said ” pick up your bloody clothes from the floor and hang it NOW”
She actually was grinding her teeth with anger and I stood there trying to figure out where this will all end. And the truth is, I don’t know.