I wish time knew that it was New again. I wish it stopped, did something remarkable or absurd to start off afresh. Human beings, though, cannot just keep going forward. They want a cycle of doing, evaluating, re-doing. And hence years and the imagined newness of time. So, just to humour us, time is young again. It has shed the infinite years of existence as baggage and has rewound to 2 days old. This is our chance to reset life to maximize happiness. And all this effort, calculation and organization would be in vain if every year looked the same in our lives.
Thankfully, with the baby, every moment is one new adventure. She is learning to talk (that includes some unwanted curse words, ahem), decide and demand. As parents, we either evolve or perish! So here are my five parenting resolutions for the new year:
#1 Read with her: While I am thankful to the faster internet and baby-appropriate content for saving my bum, I do want Baby T to grow a fondness for the good old, printed medium. I want her to be able to turn to a book in times of need and get lost in the pages. I would secretly swig a champagne the first time I have to punish her for hiding a novel in her school books. So, I must read with her – everyday.
#2 Listen to her: My baby is saying her first sentences. They are mostly cute and sometimes hilariously inappropriate. She is absorbing her world and reflecting it back to us. It is our chance to see the world from her unsullied viewpoint. So I resolve to listen, not just be present distractedly. I want to hear her repeat herself ten times over and enjoy the exhilaration in each repetition
#3 Try something together: This one is on my bucket list. I want to have one passion in common with my baby. Now that her cognitive skills are developing, I want to be able to pick up one of her interests and practice together. It could be dance, music or croquet. I might be a novice or an afficianado of the same – I do not care. I don’t want to relive childhood vicariously, I want to fall and learn with her.
#4 Give her space, yes already: As my tot becomes more and more interactive, I can feel my world shrinking a tiny bit more around her as the center. I can see myself getting addicted to my desperate need to be her guiding star. But, much as she needs my guidance, she needs time with her own self – yes already (she is 2+ today). She needs to explore and discover, fumble and pick herself up, learn and unlearn without someone cosseting her every move.
#5 Learn to share: Baby T struggles with the act of sharing. But it would be foolhardy to believe we are good at it. This new year, we resolve to share our happiness with as many people as we can, reach out to our loved ones more often, provide our time and companionship and share our material belongings with those who need it. We often mistake mere giving away with sharing – when you share you feel one with the person and not alienated from them. So here’s to our learning of being one with as many lives around us as possible!