Lessons from Mimi

by Anita Menon

Mimi is my daughter.

She is my precious bundle, my joy and my pride. Even her littlest of accomplishments mark such milestones in my head that I had to start this blog in her honour. While I have tried to teach her what new mums usually teach their toddlers – say a few words, to walk, to help recognize things and people, but it pales in comparison to what she has taught me without even making an effort.

Just yesterday a friend of mine recalled a quote he read from somewhere, “A child gives birth to a Mother”.  This wonderful quote couldn’t be truer. This got me thinking about how much I have evolved (because change is a small word in this context) and turned into this balanced person who views life in a very different light now. I do not want to sound cliché when I remark that people who do not have children now have no idea what a child can do to your life. But I say this with all the right, because there was a day when I was on the other side of the fence scratching my head over how people manage with children and how care-worn their lives had become. How wrong I was!

Two days ago, I received a call from one of my recruiters that I couldn’t make the cut for the position I sought within their organization. Before I received this call, I was riding high on optimism and had little doubt about why they wouldn’t want me. You see, if you know me, you’d realize this feeling hadn’t stemmed out of over-confidence but more from naive optimism. Undoubtedly, I was crushed as I had already started day dreaming about working and living that fast life with a toddler in tow. I wanted to be that successful career mum who had perfected the art of family and work life balance. I cried for a bit since I do not take rejections and failures easily.  My lovely husband comforted me with his kind words but they did not do much to soothe my hurt feelings.  Meanwhile my daughter, Mimi, sensed all wasn’t right and came to me and started to do all that she would do to try to make me laugh. Ran around in circles, performed her famous fake laugh routine and then came over and rubbed her nose against mine. I managed to smile through this and then got up to do my chores. I suddenly heard a thud and realized Mimi had had her customary fall from somewhere. I rushed to the living room to see her sprawled on the floor but when she saw me; she smiled and got up on her feet instantly. She was standing on the dining table and had slipped.  Almost immediately she scampered onto the dining table again and tried to jump on to the sofa adjacent to it. She slipped and fell again. I do not know, what I was thinking! I was numb and felt stupid for not protecting her. But she got up again, rubbed her knees and smiled. She climbed back on the table (this time, I stood near her) to jump again and this time she succeeded. She was so happy and thrilled that she said, “Amme, Ammme, Amme!!” squealing all the same. What she probably meant was, “Did you just see what I did? Wasn’t that the coolest thing?” As scared as I was, I felt extremely proud of her endeavour. But the thought that stayed with me for the rest of the day was, she did not give up. She did not care that she had failed and fallen twice, hurting herself both the times. She did not care about being watched while she performed this daring feat. There was a resolve in her eyes and she seemed unaffected by her failed attempts.

Instantly, I felt better. I did not have to give up. This wasn’t the last organization on earth that I had applied to. There must be so many others who would want me.

This was one such incident that helped me trail back to all that tiny, beautiful yet vital lessons that my daughter has taught me.

She taught me to sit straight with my spine absolutely erect. This has given me great relief from my back aches. It may sound very trivial but small changes like this do a great deal to bring a huge change in posture and how you feel about yourself.

She taught me to not eat even a spoonful extra, once she is done with her meal. Even if it is her most favourite thing in the world, she would pout and not let me give her a single spoonful when she had had enough. This is one thing I am trying hard to implement because it would help me curb my over eating. I even try to emulate her eating pattern by eating as often (definitely not her portions though) as she does. That itself warrants that I do not over eat at a single meal (barring weekend eat outs)

Finally, the most important lesson of all- To have fun all the time. I know for a fact that with the passage of time, there will be more lessons from Mimi and I will not forget to document them. I want her to grow up and read these chapters from her life. This would be a way to thank her, for these “Pearls of Wisdom