One Day At A Time…

by Varunika
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“I wonder why I am so confused! I do not know what I want to be when I grow up?” she said, trying to sound cute.

I am her mother. I know of her ingenious plans to evade sleep by engaging me into a conversation. Honestly, I really don’t mind these ones. In fact, some days, I look forward to them.

“It’s fine if you do not know it tonight. Or tomorrow or maybe many more nights to come. You are just 6 years. It takes a while to realize what one wants to do in life” I said as honestly and sincerely as I could to address her larger-than-life confusion. I continued “You know, when I was your age, I did not think the way you do. All I dreamt about, was good food in my tummy and lots of freedom to play. So, my dear daughter, the process of growing up will eventually lead you somewhere. But I will tell you a secret, a lot of grown-ups do not know what they want!”

“Really? I thought all the grown-ups know what they want and do things that they always wanted to! What is the point of growing up if we don’t ever find out what we want to do?” she sat up totally taken aback by my revelation. My secret sharing busted a big balloon of assumption within her.

I couldn’t help but chuckle at her innocent self. Children – They truly are a miracle on this earth!

“I think you shouldn’t worry about all this. You will find your way am sure.” I said wanting to appease her overanxious soul.

“Actually, I know what I want to do… It’s just there are too many things I want to do. I want to be a dress designer, a make-up artiste, a language expert, a painter, and a mother! See… so many things. I cannot choose one!” she exclaimed in one breath.

As much as I loved her unusual concoction of various occupations, the last one hit me with the force of an avalanche. Did she just say MOTHER? What part of my life looks desirable to her?

I mean look at me! I am one royal mess. I don’t have a routine. If tonight I decide on following a certain diet and exercise plan, I will fall flat on my face by tomorrow afternoon itself!

One day, I thought of making a delicious vegetable pulao. I followed a popular chef’s recipe to the T and then left the Pulao on the gas stove and then forgot about it. I left the house with my family to visit a pediatrician’s clinic for a prescheduled vaccination of our daughters. It was only after the vaccination was completed and I was strapping myself, in the car, that it struck me…I had left the gas on, and the pulao most probably had turned black as coal. Forget the Pulao, I had jeopardized my whole apartment! I called up my neighbors and since they do have a spare key to my house, the matter was taken care of. We couldn’t salvage the pulao, but everything else was just fine. I am still mourning the demise of my new Non-stick Cooking cum serving pot. Sigh.

Ok.. so that happened just once!!!

Doesn’t my daughter realize that the whole day I move around the house as if I am some sort of angry elephant rampaging through the jungle. From kids to my kitchen to the couch in the living room, I find everything messy and crying for an urgent overhaul. Strangely I can find 10 different types of faults in my husband as well, though he is sailing in foreign waters!

My social life is restricted to practically 5 households in this big city, out of which 2 belong to my In-Laws and their extended families!! So that kind of restricts my social life to 3, right?

My wardrobe stocks umpteenth number of clothes but you would usually find me in a pair of shorts/ pajama’s and T-shirt because on most days I do not have time to play dress up!

I feel like an achiever on Friday nights, if both my daughters attend school for 5 days in a row, and this is only online schooling!

Believe me when I say, being a mother is not the most desirable thing in the world!

And after that mind blowing mental monologue, I wanted to switch the lights on, wake and shake my daughter from this fantasy world of hers and scream No, you cannot dream of becoming a mother. Don’t you dare!!

Relax. I didn’t utter those words.

“I think you should sleep over it right now. You might end up making a wrong decision. Tomorrow start afresh. One day at a time.” hugging her tightly in my embrace, is what I actually said.

“Ok Mumma! But whatever I will be, I will still become a mother one day. That part doesn’t change.” she looked at me convincingly and graced my cheek with a kiss and fell asleep.

Watching her sleep, I am reminded of the time when my father used to keep whispering in my ear, that a lady Police officer is a great idea to execute in future. Someone like Kiran Bedi!  I could never understand why he said that. As I grew older, I thought about it and the distance between his line of thought and mine increased significantly. He adjusted accordingly but I did not know for a very long time what I wanted to do. Do I now? Just maybe.

Most children are brought up with pre fed notions about the process of growing up and the success parameters that tag along with it. I do not want to plant any dream in my daughter’s eyes. At 6 years, my girl finds everything desirable and achievable. Most importantly everything holds respect in her eyes without any malice in her heart. As of now, I have decided to leave it at that. I will take one day at a time, just the way I advised her. Till then I will let her beautiful confusions take their own course.

P.S. — I am still trying to process the Motherhood part!


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