Traumatized by my baby girl! How crazy is that? April 11, 2012
Aadyaa’s been unwell and clingy for a week. She and me suffered the same infection, so it’s been draining out for both of us. Yesterday, she threw a tantrum and wiggled out of school. This morning, we were relieved when she was bright and chirpy and raring to go.
Happily, she hopped and skipped her way to the bus stop, after negotiating that she would come back home by car and that mum (that’s me!) would come to get her. The big, white bus draws near us and stops. She’s smiling, but it’s a frozen sort of smile. Kids climb in. Udai and his friend Anisa wait, wanting to help Aadyaa by letting her get on before them. Then she freezes. I carry her inside, the parent on bus duty offers to seat her next to him, the conductor and others speak kind words. But nothing works, nada. Before I understand what is happening, she and me are off the bus. I wave it away and stand there, defeated, dazed.
Moments later, panic sets in. I know I can’t afford to let her miss another day of school. She has missed many days, there have been holidays in between and every passing day off school is making her feel awkward and maladjusted at the thought of facing schoolmates and teachers, distanced and out of sorts with any sort of regular routine (it us weeks and weeks to get her started at school, that’s the history!).
So there are hot words, trauma and we manage to rush and drop her to school. More clinginess, loads of patient handling (I swear I have no idea where those kind words came out of, all I felt like doing was howling!) and finally, she let me go. Its four in the afternoon now, and the clinginess has persisted after I picked her up and got her home. I have barely been able to go to the loo! Have managed to be at my computer only with great difficulty.
If I am so traumatized by Aadyaa’s clinginess, what must be her state of mind to be so clingy in the first place? I do understand there is some deep sense on insecurity, an inability to deal with changes in her life, that manifests in her wanting to keep her parents always before her eyes.
And me? Why am I so impacted by her behavior? I’ve been thinking about it the past few days and I see how hopelessly intertwined my ambitions, need for space and my expectations of support from my family are. I see her clinginess as another form of fetters; I lose hope that I will ever be free; free to be creative, free to follow my dreams, free to be me.
It’s a scary thought, to realize that I see my children in this way. I don’t want to think like this, but I cannot control my thinking either. I take a deep breath. I say to myself; this too, shall pass. And I remind myself that this world, its crazy pace, its pressure, the beckoning of fame and riches, the ego, is all an illusion. In reality, I am but a speck of dust.