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What Being with a Toddler Taught Me

Inspiration and realization come when you least expect it.

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As I sit in a Portuguese cafe in the Old Town of Phuket, I’m left reflecting about babies! Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted children and like many women, I’ve had dreams of having my own. Being a juggler with a few babies, while manning the house with a loving husband by my side, running my own counseling business from our comfy home may seem chaotic to some but it is heart warming and beautiful in a soulful way.

For the last 6 days, I was fortunate enough to spend so much time with my adorable 2ish-year old nephew who I’ve barely seen as he lives in London with his parents. Seeing him be him was one of the most amazing ways for me to learn about conscious parenting and the values we instill in our children.

One of the many lessons I learnt was when my nephew did something that needed correctly, which we’d loosely call ‘wrong’. He was never yelled at or saw aggressive reaction from my cousin and his wife, but instead a dialogue was carried out. Remember, he is only 2ish years old and already they are using explanation of what good behavior is and why certain behaviors are not nice. He also gets to experience his parents being angry (the look and not yelling) with him and he knows that he should apologize and soon after everything is back to normal. The toddler is not made to feel guilty or told he is a bad boy because he did and does something wrong. Clearly he doesn’t know any better until he is educated. When he is corrected, he is reminded of what he is doing (like throwing toys on the floor) as he is developing.

 I noticed how I was afraid on so many occasions when it came to playing baby sitter. While I’d like to believe I’m good with kids, being out in the open can be scary. My fear was what if he runs so fast and I couldn’t catch up and he jumps into the pool? Or what if he cries asking for his parents and they weren’t around, what do I do? How do I distract him and ‘win him over’? And to my fear these things did happen and I survived. One late morning, he was with me playing in the seesaw and slides, which are by the pool in the hotel we stayed. Believe it or not, I forgot how much fun that was (even though I couldn’t get on the slide!). I did however get on the seesaw with him and he laughed hysterically. I’m diverging. Suddenly he said he wanted his dad and his dad and his wife had gone out! I was in a panic. He ran and he ran fast, his baby legs suddenly seemed stronger than mine! I caught up with him and had to use the same approach. Asking him if he’d like to go back to the playground or we can go to the room and watch cartoons. I let him choose and so he opted for cartoons. I reassured him that his parents would be back in no time. I immediately rang his dad and luckily they were heading back. Whew!

I was afraid of not knowing what to do assuming that parents always know what to do but they don’t. They learn as they go. I must say though my cousin is superb as a parent – he has the right balance of being funny, goofy, does the diaper and feeding (and while that seems easy or straight forward, feeding can be challenging when the baby is tired or not in the mood etc.), loving and everything you’d want a daddy to be! I can see that in my nephew. He is kind, willing to share, wants to be helpful and loves being around people, which is such a delight.

My nephew has inspired me to be a mom and go through this challenging but oh-so-beautiful phase in my life. I’m in my mid 40s so here comes fertility tests and hoping that like with everything I’ve gone through, this too shall happen because I want to bring to this world a kind, generous, happy baby and adopt one as well.

To babies for inspiring me especially my nephew. Kudos to parents for raising strong, resilient, healthy, happy babies.

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