Saturday, February 21, 2009

What are little girls made of?

I confess old wives tales had misguided me.

In every party,

In the park, in the lift, in the club,

Experienced and confident,

The young and the not so young mothers

Conspiratorially assured me.

"Not showing much! Easy Pregnancy? It will be a daughter."

"Daughters are easy to bear and bring up. "

And "Daughters are such angels."

A daughter!?
I hoped she'd have my sister in law’s hair ...
My brother's eyes.

And her dad's knack for sports.

And then the much awaited first cry
like in the movies ...

I had grabbed her greedily

To see the face
that belonged to the tender feet that had been gently kicking beneath my ribs all these months.
The first thing I had seen,
even before the misshapen head and the flattened nose
was a dimple on a yet unwashed cheek

I had never given much thought to babies ...

and then a strand of hair from my perspiring exhausted head

Caught in her little fist.

That strand of hair could actually have cut her skin!

This little demanding thing for all the noise she made |

For all her capacity to keep a family awake

Couldn’t open or close her fist at will.

She couldn't see clearly,

Couldn’t scratch herself,

She didn’t even know I was her mother.

But she learnt fast,

She would pretend to choke to get me to attend to her immediately

And give herself away with a wicked victorious grin.

This little miracle
That changed our lives

She became the centre of our being.


But where was that angel I was promised?
No lipstick survived her
No book could be read except to her
Although Walt Disney collections echoed in the house
The endless circles and spirals she drew on every piece of paper
looked nowhere like Minnie and Micky mouse

Did someone say daughters are innocent?
The little mermaid's washroom dilemmas were a matter of grave concern
Moisturizers were applied to teddy bears and clean blankets

Porridge was fed to all soft toys (what mess!)
Dolls had high fever
and they were read to
And often responsibility forced upon us ...
Oh how I loved to see her asleep!

Daddy's shoes were preferred to her own
My skirts were worn as off shoulder gowns

When she was five, I was advised to use my perfumes sparingly
And take good care of all my clothes
She couldn't imagine what she'd inherit
If I finished everything before she reached my height.

But they grow so fast,
Soon you have nothing left in your wardrobe
that's entirely your own
And then you hear yourself wonder
she is seventeen!!
Time truly does fly ...

So I call my mother
I am going to have an eighteen year old child! Can you believe it, she will be eighteen!”

"So what did you think IHM,
after seventeen she was going back to being sixteen?
"

Edited to add: You may also like to read 'What are little boys made up of? '

59 comments:

@lankr1ta said...

Aww IHM, how adorable
:D

Indian Home Maker said...

@Alankrita :) You liked it!!!! :)

Varunavi said...

Enjoyed reading IHM.I was smiling all the while reading ur post.Maybe i will also have the same feeling after 13 years,my baby will be 18 then
When she was five, "I was advised to use my perfumes sparingly"-- i loved this.
.

hitch writer said...

Thats what even I feel still, my 4 year old is growing too fast... once past 13 or 14 he probably wont want us around... So we want to enjoy as much as we can now... we just hope the days go slowly.... yes we have to read too many stories to him, wish my mom was staying with us !! lol...


Beautifully written IHM ... its a mother who is writing... the way you describe them so tender... so delicate... I can now see why my mother wanted a daughter, why my wife wanted a daughter...

They can be the most wonderful gift God can give us !!!

amen... God bless u !!

really heartwarming post !!

Monika said...

awww that was touching, brought a tear to my eye...

and kids grow up so fast mine is just 14 months but i still feel he is growing up so fast... everymonth i feel ike oh no he is already 14

shail said...

*sob sob* I have no daughters... not yet anyway. I am waiting for them to arrive, all readymade. In the meantime I enjoy my time with all the 'girl' friends my monkeys have!

Rakesh said...

very sweet post IHM! My saturday morning blues disappeared thinking about my niece on reading this post. She's recently learned to kiss and all of us always keep pestering her for one more 'umma'

Indyeah said...

This is so warm and beautiful and tender and ...words are just not enough...I suppose only a mother could understand this..:))((hugs))
if ma ever wrote this is what she would pen down too ..everything is the same to a T!:)

This is the first time I have been taken on a nostalgic trip of my own by someone..!

the 'not showing much' and other old wives tales were told to ma too..:)and specially'you are glowing'you look really beautiful itll be a girl!'
(go figure!:D)

''and then a strand of hair from my perspiring exhausted head

Caught in her little fist.

That strand of hair could actually have cut her skin!

This little demanding thing for all the noise she made |

For all her capacity to keep a family awake

Couldn’t open or close her fist at will.

She couldn't see clearly,

Couldn’t scratch herself,

She didn’t even know I was her mother.''

this is poetry ...the words the emotions all of it...You have so tenderly described all of it....and you say the words dont come to you of all that is poetry...:)but this is that isnt it?:)

lol@wherewas the angel I was promised?:D
Oh! she was in there hiding somewhere....biding her time...making the most of it till then ..:))making the most of all that she had been given:))

lipsticks ,perfumes,high heeled sandals,are all not mom's but our very own..didnt you know?:D
what is our moms is ours by default..:D


''Moisturizers were applied to teddy bears and clean blankets;lol!!I can so picture this..because in some distant day in the past I have mempries too of putting cream to make a doll's skin baby smooth:D


When she was five, I was advised to use my perfumes sparingly
And take good care of all my clothes
She couldn't imagine what she'd inherit
If I finished everything before she reached my height''

LOL!let me try to imagine a little angelic faced girl saying all that to her mom with a staright face and an expression that must have been as innocent and earnest as can be!

dady's shoes...*sigh*yes...and daddy's oversized shirts too:))the shirt trailing behind on the floor...:))

skirts worn as off shoulder gowns and
sarees like they were a cape..:))

A very happy eighteenth to a daughter.....
but most of all to a mother who is lost in memories so innocent and tender..ones that tug at the heart..unsure of letting her little girl go out in the big world out there
wanting to keep her for just a minutemore while that bundle of energy is raring to go...:))

this again has turned into a letter...:))
but how could it not?when you write this....

roopscoop said...

awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

i can't say more.

am touched.

so beautiful. :)

Solilo said...

IHM, I am partial..partial to girls. When I was pregnant I prayed for a daughter though told the entire world when asked what I prefer, I said just a healthy baby... gender doesn't matter. Somewhere still I wished for a girl. But didn't say it loud for the fear that if it was a boy I would feel bad for yearning for a girl. But in the 5th month when we learnt that I was carrying a girl, both of us jumped with joy. YES!

I still am partial to girls even when I know that she is her dad's daughter in every way and she would pick her dad over me anyday :)):)).

Yours is turning 18? Mine is turning 5 in 2 weeks. They grow up fast. Don't they? :(:(

I won't add anything here. I echo everything you wrote here.

Iya said...

this is so beautiful..i cud relate to it completely..i was so much like your daughter...i so loved reading this piece..

Solilo said...

@Shail: "*sob sob* I have no daughters... not yet anyway. I am waiting for them to arrive, all readymade. In the meantime I enjoy my time with all the 'girl' friends my monkeys have!"
-------------------
Loved what you said. I say the same about boys. I want them readymade when my daughter brings home one. So many years........

Angel's Flight said...

aww this is such a lovely post!

I bet my mom echoed ur thoughts "where is the Angel I was promised?"...lolz

Usha Pisharody said...

This is the daughter I wish I'd had too.. :)

You lucky lucky lucky girl, IHM, to have a daughter you'll always be proud of, as each word here shouts out loud and joyfully!!!

I loved loved loved this so much :) To all of you who have a daughter: you are the luckiest persons there are; take it from one who yearns, and one who has acquired these darlings on life's way, hoping for more of them:) :) Though of course, i wish I had babied them just this way.. just so:)

An adorably tender post this one IHM :)

Happy Birthday to the gorgeous sweet seventeen :) Here's A song for her to sing:) :) Watch out for bachelor dandies though. LOLzzz :) But having a wonderful mom such as you, she'll be the one caring for the others, and asserting herself.:)

God Bless her, and her lovely family :)
:)

Indian Home Maker said...

@Varunavi I had you in mind while publishing it ...

@Hitchwriters Babie make us see the world so differently ... I read another blogger say he changed when his kid was born, I think that happens to all parents. There vulnerability makes us stronger!
I read your post on your son, I know ...

@Monika They need so much caring, the efforts we take for every little thing ... knowing it matters, like looking for a baby friendly place for a hair cut :)

@Shail LOL @ monkeys and their girl friends :)
I remember a great fascination for talcum powders, saris and lipsticks ( We were forbidden from touching, my mom was a Hitler-mom!) as a kid ... and we would wrap anything a sheet, a dupatta or a sari to make a sari and pretend to be my mom :)

@Rakesh I loved that video of hers.. frowning so adorably too!

@Indyeah 'daddy's shoes...*sigh*yes...and daddy's oversized shirts too:))the shirt trailing behind on the floor...:))

skirts worn as off shoulder gowns and
sarees like they were a cape..:))


Yes that too :)))

And amazingly accurate, "unsure of letting her little girl go out in the big world out there
wanting to keep her for just a minute more while that bundle of energy is raring to go...:))"

Yes. But the choice Indyeah is between 'guide her well and let her fly' or protect her and never let her grow, and find eventually that you cannot possibly protect her forever, you can suffocate her for a while and then find when she does go out into the bad bad world, you were too busy protecting to teach her how to survive it.

@Roopscoop Thank You... :)

Rakesh said...

IHM, Just updated 4 new videos, you gotta visit that site again. Trust me, you'll love it.

Rakesh said...

Don't forget to keep your speakers on :)

Goofy Mumma said...

HUGSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! Love to you and the daughter. So sweet.

i am what i am said...

wow!!!!!!so beautiful. now i know what my mother must have felt when she had me and through all the years she has nurtured me. i too am just like the daughter you have described. a devil in making my mom used to call me and she still does. i too wish i have a daughter and hope she is not a terror like me. this year i have even wished that i be a better daughter to my parents cos the whole of last year i have not been the daughter they had raised.

Chikki said...

This one is also really cute..:-)!!

I am just catching up with all your posts, that i missed on weekdays..:)

Indian Home Maker said...

Solilo :) LOL let her grow up a little!!! We have such fun,shopping, eating out, going for drives, sharing secrets and jokes ...
HERE'S WHAT DAUGHTERS BECOME TO MOTHERS
I love it!!
Please take a look ... I know you'll love it too.

@Iya Were you also a little devil? Take a look at
this link
also ... :) I think both mothers and daughters will enjoy it!

@Angel's Flight lol :) Us, mothers of devilish imps have a hard time ;)

@Usha Pishrody Awwwww .... You break my heart ...

Thanks a ton for the lovely song, played it loud for all to hear! It isn't her birthday today ... that was just me getting excited at the thought of there being three adults in the family ... :)
And lol @ bachelor dandies :)
I find myself linking to your lovely poem again ... LOVE it.

@Rakesh Cute videos, loved them!

@Goofy Mamma Aww thanks :)

@Chiiki Nice to see you back ... I know you will relate to the other one about little boys :)

@I am what I am All children are devils in some ways and parents quite enjoy that :) But, be a loving and caring devil :))

vishesh said...

lol,ya well from the brother angle- the try to copy whatever we do...they hit us ans start crying..the can jump on us and kick us but we have to put up with them coz they are girls..but we still love them all the same :)

my space said...

Awwww this is sweet...sheer poetry this is..and girls are adorable..my lil girl would patiently apply nail paint to my mil every week! And of corse she bullies her brother and cries at the drop of a hat to get things done her way..and then walks off with a triumphant smile ;-)

homecooked said...

LOL....at ur moms comment :) This is such a cute post! Did she really ask u to use your perfumes sparingly so that she will be able to use it when she grows up...LOL. Your daughter is lucky...she has a really cool mom :)

ugich konitari said...

IHM, what a simply outstanding post . Our daughter was adopted at three and a half years, and I possibly missed out on a lot of the babyhood , (although I do have an older biological son). I could relate to so many things in your post. Stuff my daughter did when she was 5, and continues to do today , when she is about to be 23 .

I did a post for her in honor of her 21st birthday. This occasion reminded me of that. Please wish your daughter a very very happy birthday and aashirwaads from me....

Aathira said...

I have done so many of my things, my mother tells me :)

But, everything said and done, I always will want a baby girl!

Ritu said...

Gwash... my daughter is 9 and I am already feeling the pangs of having her grow up too fast. She wants mehendi at weddings, danglers in her ears for birthday parties, lipstick when we go out for a weekend evening movie... Goodness me!!! I simply LOVED your post IHM...

Sandhya said...

awww, that is such a heart warming post. My mum says nothing is fun anymore since I got married, to be precise she said things are so easy now without all your complicated thoughts but they aren;t fun. I guess thats what we daughters are and I have one too, I keep waiting for her bedtime and then once she is asleep I keep waiting for the morning to come! 'sigh'

N said...

aww.... a cute series by u :) little boys n little girls.. :) I used to wear my dads shoes too.. and write letters to him when we went with mom to my grannys place, despite the fact that mom would say that u would also be back home by the time the letter reaches, but who cared?

vimmuuu said...

Woah!!! Is this by any chance poetry ???

churningthewordmill.wordpress.com said...

this is even better than the one on boys!! may be because i can relate to this more easily... :D
lol@Moisturizers applied to teddy bears and clean blankets and porridge fed to soft toys... messy stuff, i know, but still cute.. :D it was a mess that needed cleaning up then, but look wat nice memories it made for u!
@indyeah-what is our moms is ours by default.. yes, yes, totallly!!

Mamma mia! Me a mamma? said...

Sigh! For all these reasons and more, I want one of these devilish-angels!!

Mystic Margarita said...

What lovely and touching post, IHM. All I can say is that you and your soon-to-be 18-year-old baby girl are lucky to have each other! :)

R and I have always wanted a girl. Would have had one, too, and she would have turned 3 last Dec. Maybe, God willing, we'll have her again.

Indian Home Maker said...

@Sandhya I also enjoy my daughter's company ... right from the beginning, lots of communication!! But I always was glad to see them both asleep ... kind of some time to sit in peace - read, drink a hot cup of tea ...:))

@Mandira LOL I was never seriously annoyed by any of of this :) She even gave haircuts to all her dolls ... and although some people thought they must learn to 'look after their toys', I could never see why that should mean not trying some creative fun. :)

@Vimmuuu :) No.
:)

@N I also wrote lots of letters to my dad ... are still there somewhere! Glad you liked these posts!

Indian Home Maker said...

@Ritu I had totally forgotten about mehendi - mybrat was obsessed with mehendi :)And gaudi jewlery, I used to call her 'chammak challo' :)

Indian Home Maker said...

@Ugich Konitari I would love to read that post, let me come and explore your blog :)
That she is adopted makes it even sweeter!!
Three and half is a big age, but older children need adoption too! Most people choose small kids, you had the courage to adopt an older baby ... I would LOVE to read more about your experiences ... I hope you have blogged about it :))
My warmest respects to you.

Indian Home Maker said...

@My space Oh yes!!! Nail painting! She 's even forced manicures and pedicures on me ...I have no interest in nail paints but madam has a huge collection, always has had ... and all from my aunts and my sister who sympathized with her because she has such a 'boring mom'!

Indian Home Maker said...

@Homecooked What she actually said was if I am not careful she will get nothing when I grow old and die :)))) I asked her what 'dying' meant, Of course she wasn't clear ... and then you realise how innocent they are and then you wonder how children ever survive without loving parents ...
On the streets and all ... only when we actually spend a lot of time with kids do we really understand all this ... or if we have our own kids.

Indian Home Maker said...

@Vishesh It's not good of them to hit or bully, even if they are younger ... even if you love them :)
Fair play is a good value to learn at an early age, no?

Vikas Gupta said...

Sweet, nice!

Someday I will have a job, and I will be married and I too will have a daughter! Amen!

I liked the boys one too but I liked this one more!

P.S.: my exam seasons is coming and I will appear here less often. I do keep an eye on you from the Google reader of course! Thanks.

Indian Home Maker said...

@Mystic Margarita I am sorry ... and my warmest wishes to you, I hope we will read about her (or him) on your blog and share your joy :)

Yes it is great to have her ... really great.

Indian Home Maker said...

@Mamma mia! Me a mamma Awww my best wishes, may you have the devilish-angel or an angelic-devil and have to go through the torture of buying pretty hair clips, bindis (yes those too!), nail paints in blues and greens and purple, nice smelling lip glosses, colourful footwear, back less Indian choli-lehenga sets, parandees ...
That's me reminiscing! :)

Indian Home Maker said...

@Vikas Gupta All the best for your exams!! Do well... look forward to seeing you back here!

Indian Home Maker said...

@Aathira I think mothers love daughters company because of many shared interests ...
And all these delightful things kids do only make lovely memories :)

Varunavi said...

Thanks IHM, came back again to comment.I felt your are writing my feeling when my baby was born."To see the face
that belonged to the tender feet that had been gently kicking beneath my ribs all these months.
The first thing I had seen,
even before the misshapen head and the flattened nose was a dimple on a yet unwashed cheek" I love it
I read this post again and again.

ugich konitari said...

See this , and maybe this later and more recent ....

Biju Mathews said...

Wow! IHM. You made me cry!! That was very nicely written!!

"...Moisturizers were applied to teddy bears and clean blankets. Porridge was fed to all soft toys (what mess!)..." Ha Ha :-)

Keep Blogging!!

Piper .. said...

what a beautiful post,IHM! You make me want to be a mom! :)

Indian Home Maker said...

@Biju Mathews I am glad it touched you ...
:) Thank You!

@Piper Awww or just pamper any little devil :)

@Varunavi ... I still can't get over this absolutely awesome miracle ... can't get over this full grown person arguing that she is not wasting her time was ever like that ... and then you understand what makes parents so blind to their kids faults lol :)

@Ugich Konitari Thank You for sharing these links :) I am just coming over to read about your little angel :)

Gauri Gharpure said...

This is a super wow post.. really enjoyed it

roopscoop said...

did ur daughter read this? :)
i came back to read and awww again. it's just so mushy , so cute, so adorable ... bless you both the best there is!

freespirit said...

"Soon you have nothing left in your wardrobe
that's entirely your own"!!!

LOL! My mother and I have a lot of arguments on the topic. This post came straight from the heart and it goes on to touch the heart...

Chirag said...

Reading this now, I understand why my mom wanted two daughters and unfortunately got two goonda. Well!!

DeeplyDip said...

i commented atleast 3 times on this post the other day - but guess it still didnt come through (was using my phone and there was some prob i guess).

I hope your kids have read their respective posts...they'll be so happy to have such a loving mumma!

Cantaloupes.Amma (CA) said...

Lovely post ...
Only recently I wrote about my daughter asking me to preserve my jeans so she could wear them someday ...

Surbhi said...

Awww...

Imp's Mom said...

awww....beautiful post and can identify with it...her teddy's and pups are well moisturized and fed...they communicate with each other..they sleep with her...

u knw i read a gist of this post and was waiting for some free time so that I could come back and read this..without any interruption..and now I have tears in my eyes cause soon it will be me saying the same words..

Imp's Mom said...

oh...totally forgot to tell u, got something for u! :)

Bindhu Unny said...

Touching, hilarious, what not! :-)