Each year, the night before their respective birthdays, Shakeel (13) insists upon taking pictures of the birthday boy/girl; marking their last few hours at their present age. Before bedtime, there are excited exclamations of ''The next time we see you, you'll be X years old!'' or ''Enjoy your last few hours as a Y year old!''
Today Aisha turns 3. For the past few weeks Shakeel has been staring adoringly at his baby sister saying things like, ''You are no longer a baby. You are a toddler now, '' before squeezing the living daylights out of her.
As if sensing the end of an era, our clingy baby has miraculously started to disengage herself from our stifling bond and regularly opts to spend time with Elizabeth, our domestic worker instead.
In addition, for the past week, she is completely off the nappy.
This is also her fifth day without her precious boobies.
Much to my pride and grief , my daughter really is becoming a big girl.
My other kids too, felt particularly sentimental last night before bedtime when they said their final goodbyes to Aisha-as-a-2-year old. In accordance with their usual tradition, they took some farewell pics, while fussing over her - much to her delight.
Because the ritual was becoming too sad, they put on her favourite song and joined her in a ''Farewell to Aisha-as-a-2-year-old '' party.
I watched them, while snapping pics and fighting back tears of sadness, pride, gratitude and confusion. (No prizes for guessing from whom my kids inherited their sentimental natures).
Only at bedtime, as she lay in my arms, did I burst into a storm of sorrowful tears.
I realise that I am being completely foolish. So this morning, determined to yank myself out of my selfish misery, I looked at these pictures we took last night - and it made me laugh.
Today it's time to celebrate our new 3 year old!
|I love this pic for Shakeel's adoring look at his little sister|