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When my daughter was a " just born",I worried about whether or not I would be able to nurse her properly. A few successful feeds and I was happy and thankful to the almighty . When she turned one month, I started to worry about her weight gain and whether she was growing all right, her sleep patterns and whether she was sleeping adequate, her evening bouts of tears which was soon diagnosed to be colic pain.
Six months down the line and I still worried about her weight gain and the ideal time for transition to solid foods. A big concern at this point was whether she was going to meet her developmental milestones around time. She started crawling soon after and I breathed a sigh of relief. She transitioned to solid foods at 7.5 months and it was a smooth transition. The weighing scale indicated a steady increase . Having experienced the few "victory moments " as a first time brand new mother, I waited patiently for the first time I would see her walk.
At around 9.5 months she walked the first few independent steps. It was a magical experience for me. I recorded and re-recorded this exciting milestone over and again. Watching my little baby walk became my favourite pastime. Teething happened much later for her at around 12 months of age and it was thankfully less painful than I had imagined it to be. What I worried about at this stage was her propensity to munch on anything that she found lying on the floor or around the house . The next few months were comparatively worry-free except for a few episodes of cough and cold and we devoted our time to learning abc's , numbers and nursery rhymes. She was an eager and quick learner.
Around age 18 months , " the picky eater syndrome" raised it's dangerous head . I started to worry about her health and the reason behind this sudden transformation from an everything eater to fussy eater. Months passed and it was time for her to start school. We started with a play school and in a few months I found myself worrying as when she would master writing her abc's and 123's. When it was time for her to bid goodbye to her first school and favourite teachers, we started to worry about her admission to a good formal school. She started kindergarten in a formal school this April and now I worried about how she would manage to travel by the bus. I personally escorted her to school for two weeks ... What if she felt ill at ease in the new environment , how will she bear commuting in the intolerable heat with a heavier school bag, all by herself? However, after the initial two weeks, I had to have the faith and let her go .
The first week of commute by school bus went smooth for her. She had made some friends and said that they even shared their lunch etc. However, in the second week , when I went to pick her up from the bus stop, I was in for a shock. The helper on the bus said " your daughter is crying as she is a little hurt" . I see my daughter crying inconsolably and notice blood marks on her lips. I asked the bus attendants as how she was hurt and requested them to supervise little kids her age more closely. I carried her home in my lap and she related what had happened and how she was hurt. I found out that a little girl from our apartment complex,two years older than my daughter was eager to take my daughter in her lap to show her the view outside the bus window. As she lifted her up , a sudden brake and my daughter's lips bumped into the glass window. Hence, the bleeding. I listened to her story and advised her never to take the window seat or allow someone to lift her up in the moving bus and about other safety measures.
She had stopped crying by the time we reached home. I took her to the bed room and gave her the required medication . I noticed drops of tears rolling down her cheeks again. My daughter pleaded" mamma, can you dry my tears? " Tears that were as much an expression of physical pain as her helplessness in the new arrangement of things. I hugged her tight and a realisation deepened in me as i wiped her tears.Catering to the child's wide-ranging emotional needs is critical, especially in their formative years. The emotional health and well-being of the child is as important as their physical health and wellness or intellectual development. Positively influencing my child's emotional well-being is one of my primary responsibilities as a mother. As her first friend, confidante and mentor, it is among my foremost duties to be unconditionally compassionate and empathetic towards my daughter . To encourage her and give her hope that tomorrow would be a better day. To help her overcome her doubts and fears and to teach her to never get bogged down by unfair criticisms and comparisons . To encourage her to put her best foot forward , yet not be demoralised if it's less than a perfect 10. To instill the faith and strength in her so she can dry her tears even when she is far away from the nest that she was born in. Emotional nourishment is an intricate task that can be best accomplished by a mother's loving care and the "mother" brand of unswerving commitment. Indeed, a mother can make a world of difference just by BEING THERE.