CHILDHOOD GLORY

Ammu alias Drishya Prasanth is three and a half years old.
Kannan alias Pranav Nair is two years old.
Vava alias Shreya Prasanth is one and a half years old.

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Kannan and his sisters light our world. Ammu and Vava are in fact my sister Radhika’s children. When they three come together once in a while, our life comes to a standstill. It’s because this group of three is full of extra life to lock everything and everybody out.

As a kid, Kannan is all alone in my home. He is the apple of the eye of his appooppan and ammamma. Occasionally he stays with his achachan and achamma too. He enjoys special attention everywhere. Some sort of ലേറ്റ് ആയി വന്താലും ലേറ്റസ്റ്റ് ആയി വരുവേന്‍ attitude. But always he is on his own with his sisters.

The second birthday has brought in a lot of changes in Kannan. He wants to take part in what is going on around him – exploring and playing, watching and imitating others, using his first words. Kannan now feel that he is a person in an interesting world of other people and he wants to join in.

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My two year old is discovering all sorts of things that he can’t do or mustn’t do. He is waging a constant battle with his own passionate wants, hopes and fears. He has feelings that he can’t yet manage by himself without tempers or tears. He is still struggling to sort out who he is and what he feel about the people who care for him – why they love him one moment and hate him the next. A change of tone in me or my wife Devika’s sound brings waves of tears in his eyes and initiate shivering of his lips!! He can’t just ask for our help. Instead, he mess us around with contradictory demands because that’s how helpless and confused he feels.

Everyone is expecting him to give up being a baby and become more independent soon. But what he feels is as if the grown-ups are always interfering and bossing him around. When he insists on wearing something strange, or doing things in a particular order, he may be trying to get us to recognise that he has his own choices and preferences. Sometimes it’s probably helpful to give in gracefully over things that don’t really matter. I know in that way he will get the chance to learn how to back down him.

And, of course, there are going to be plenty of times when he wants something impossible or dangerous. So there will still be opportunities for him to learn about ‘no’ and for me to learn to cope up with his tears. Such occasions have increased recently.

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The early years of a child’s life present a unique opportunity to lay the foundation for healthy development. It is a time of great growth and of vulnerability. Research confirms that early negative early experiences can impair children’s mental health and effect their cognitive, behavioral, social-emotional development. That’s why I allow my son to enjoy full freedom. I am extra careful in dealing with him.

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