My Darling Anna,
In two more months, you will be FOUR years old. You will truly be a big girl and I sometimes still have trouble wrapping my head around this fact. I haven’t written much about you in the past year and I really want to remedy that, so I will try to cram in a years worth of experiences into this one letter.
A switch seemed to be have turned on inside you on your third birthday and almost magically you became so much easier to handle. The time from when you were two and a half to three was tough for both of us. I got very, very busy at work and that was also the time I got pregnant with Niki. The horrendous work pressure combined with the fatigue of the first trimester made sure that I wasn’t able to give you as much time as I should have. I would leave around 8:30 in the morning and come home around 6. Your Basanti Aunty was taking good care of you but you weren’t getting the attention you desired. You became quite difficult for me to handle in the evenings, sometimes clinging to Aunty and not letting her leave, asking me to go back to office, not eating, huge tantrums over things I don’t even remember. Often your Papa would come home to find us both in tears. Luckily that phase passed soon.
You really enjoyed our Goa vacation in March last year. You were a real tourist and spent all your time either in the pool or on the beach or sleeping. You loved, loved, loved the pool and I feel so bad that Bangalore weather and your constant cough/cold don’t let us take you to the pool more often.
Health-wise, you still get frequent coughs and colds but are able to handle them much better. You don’t puke so often and never make a mess when you do. You take your medicines without complaint even if they taste horrible.
You really enjoyed your birthday and I think having a birthday is your favourite thing in the world. You insist it’s your small birthday also whenever any of us has a birthday. You get jealous if it’s the birthday of any of your cousins but you’re learning to deal with it slowly.
From June, you started going to Nursery in a proper school with a uniform and all that. You really seem to enjoy school even though you’re often reluctant in the mornings to go. I used to drop you in the mornings and you used to come back by van till we left for Nani’s place in October. Since coming back, you’re going by van both ways and are handling it quite well. Your teacher always has really good stuff to say about you. She says that you’re very cute and bubbly, ahead of your class in ‘academics’ and good in colouring/painting. You got a prize for ‘Budding Artist’ last week during the prize day function. Your teacher had told me earlier that it should have been the one for ‘Academic Excellence’ but they couldn’t give it to you since you missed two months of school when I was on maternity leave.
On 1st August you became a big sister and I’m really proud of how you’ve evolved and handled yourself over the past seven months. You never complained that you don’t sleep with me anymore, you were not as jealous as I’d expected. There were some difficult times, specially after we went to Guwahati with Nani since it was a totally new environment for you and I was also adjusting to having to look after you the whole day. But we got into a routine soon and really enjoyed our stay there. The house and garden were beautiful and I’m so happy you got this chance to play in a big garden. It was also really good to be able to spend so much time with you and I really felt happy seeing the changes in you. You slowly stopped resenting Niki and doing stuff like climbing onto my lap just when he needs to be fed. Instead you would come running with a rattle when he was crying and would try to make him stop. Now it gives me so much pleasure from seeing you with him.
You’ve started watching TV now and I’m just happy that we were able to keep the first three years screen free. It started when you dropped you nap after Niki was born. You started with half an hour of Dora each day which soon became one hour. Sometimes when we were traveling and exhausted after a day of sight-seeing we would plonk you in front of the TV and let you watch for a couple of hours. But you understood that this was only for when we were out. In Guwahati you were playing on the iPAD for around an hour and watching one hour of TV. Playing on the iPAD changed to watching Peppa Pig when one day you saw an episode on Youtube. Currently you’re watching an hour of Chota Bheem (having gotten fed-up of Dora) on weekdays. On weekends you get to watch an hour of Peppa Pig on the iPAD.
You’re a really girly girl and love to dress up. You’re happiest when you’re dressed in a ‘party frock’ with pretty clips in your air and a dot of kumkum on your forehead (which I hate but I’ve learnt to not fight some battles) and wearing pretty party shoes. You also love it when I brush on a little make-up onto you and preen in front of the mirror. You often get scolded for your obsession with looking pretty and the tantrums that go with it (I want a high ponytail not a low one like this, I want to wear a party frock, why can’t I wear colourful clips to school? etc etc). I’m trying my best to make sure you wear all types of clothes – jeans, skirts, leggings, shorts and that everything need not be sparkly and glittery but there are bigger battles to fight so I often let you get your way.
Stuff you know – counting to 100, really counting objects up till about 20, ABC without singing it, sounds of all the alphabets, recognition of all alphabets, you can tell the first letter of any word, basic shapes etc and basically all that is expected from someone your age and more.
Your love of books is still as strong as ever and having books read to you is still a favourite activity. Hopefully you’ll be reading soon.
You’ve really learnt a lot of English in the past one year and are able to speak quite correctly. You understand almost all of what is said and now I can read a few books to you without having to translate into Hindi.
This year was a challenging one for you – new school, a baby brother, busy parents, two months at your grandparents place where there were no friends, no school etc. You handled everything so well sweetheart and we’re so proud of you. You’re the smartest, cutest and pretties little girl in the whole world and we love you so very much.
With all my love,