His toddler hood was the most difficult. The delayed development. The PDD/NOS diagnosis. The seizures. The hospitalisations. The terrible behavioural issues. The therapy sessions. The constant struggle. The taking him to malls and parks every single day and struggling with himand fending off questions from well meaning folk who asked if there was something wrong with him. The wondering how this child would cope as he grew. The cruelty of other children who left him out of their play, leaving him in tears as he ran behind them yearning to be accepted. The jokes they played on him. Their teasing him "Buddhu, buddhu," when he couldnt grasp the rules of a game, or make himself understood, having no speech till he was around three. All that was validated when last week, the doctor told us that the brat was fine. He has no issues. He is like any other six year old. He is the child other children fight with to have on their team. On a holiday, the intercom is buzzing with kids wanting to either come home to play with him or to have me drop him off to play with them at their homes. Returning from the park every evening generally involves a tug of war with opposing friends wanting him to stay on and play with them. Sometimes, I remember days when he longed to play with other children and had the doors shut on his face and feel my eyes well up.
The schooling. The miracle with which he grasped information and assimilated it, his fascination for music and dance. His dandy nature, his obsession with jackets (which he has thankfully outgrown now, only to replace it with hideous superhero synthetic costumes). He has changed too. His face has changed for one. He was this chubby baby with rolls of fat spilling over from every limb and torso. Now I would be lucky if a fat caliper got a grip on any part of his body, including his bum. His eyes were lighter when he was born, an indeterminate shade of grey. They're deep dark brown now, like his fathers, but look exactly like mine. He's taken the best of both of his parents along with the worst and blended them into a completely adorable mix that is uniquely him. People struggle to come to a consensus on whom he resembles. The truth is that he is a mix. We catch glimpses of each other in him.
His teeth have started falling out now. He is at the age where he is still cute but starting to become an insufferable know it all.Where he still needs me around, but would rather I stayed on the periphery. Where he is openly defiant, but clingy and demanding the very next moment. Where he is still my baby, but slowly morphing into that very strange creature, namely, a big boy.
I hold him and cuddle him and kiss him as much as I can. I wish I could freeze him to be my baby forever. But I know that like sand through my fingers, my son's childhood is quickly passing through, and I'd better enjoy every moment I get of it, before he sneaks off and grows up on me while I wasnt looking.