The day for which the Sharma family was eagerly waiting arrived a few days back. Anika started crawling on all four (more like an alligator) a few days back and the house was buzzing with gossip about how long we had before she would fall off the bed. Everyone was of the opinion that her crawl was more of a slither and that she won’t be able to pass the single pillow barricades. How wrong we were! It so happened that one fine evening when Geet was stuffing stuff in her overstuffed almirah while Anika sat sprawled in her pillow cage, she suddenly heard a thud followed by a blood-curling wail. Anika had broken the cage and fallen off the bed.
There was a sudden buzz in the house. Anika was passed from one hand to another, like a stack of bricks at a construction site. It was one of the landmark days when you realize that your child has crossed a very important milestone. We almost had a party to celebrate the bump on her head.
Anika has also started reacting to all the food that is never going to get into her mouth for a long time. She hates her Cerelac and mashed bananas but stares gluttonously at the aloo paratha in my hand. She then licks her lips and makes sound with her tongue as if she has not eaten in months. She stares beseechingly at Geet’s dinner plate but closes her mouth the moment I try some fruit juice on her. She seems to be a pretty good actress.
Geet and I left Anika with her grandparents and had some ‘us time’. We watched the desolation of Smaug and had pasta followed by brownie dipped in boiling chocolate sauce and got nostalgic about the good old days when we used to eat chocolate off each… never mind. So, we came back home and I decided to create a Lonely Mountain in our bedroom. The trigger was the fact that Geet was feeling tired and wanted to have a nap. So I turned Anika into Bilbo. I was Thorin, the Dwarf king and Geet was Smaug who was lying under her comfortable duvet which was actually millions and millions of coins. I commanded Bilbo to go into the mountain and find the Arkenstone which was nothing but Geet’s hairclip. Bilbo quietly slipped into the mountain of coins but she wasn’t very quiet. She woke up Smaug but before the dragon could shoot fire at the hobbit, Bilbo snatched the hairclip and pulled it with all her might. Smaug bellowed and Bilbo and I ran for our life. Thankfully, that was not the day Bilbo fell off the bed but Smaug made us feel sorry that we woke her up.
Seven months have gone by and Anika has turned from a sleeping beauty to a roadrunner. It is hard to catch her and make her stay still. As much as Geet and I are scared of the terrible twos, we are also looking forward to having a full night sleep, an act about which we have very faint memories. Recently Anika went through a phase of nightmares and would wake up screaming like the heroine of a Ramsey movie. We had to eat Crocins before going to work during that horrible phase.
We have realized that with a child you never know what the next day holds. And as a wise man once said – The smaller the package, the smaller the problems. I find solace in believing that nightmares followed by screams, diaper rashes and hobbitses falling off beds are smaller problems as compared to what lies ahead.