Leaving behind things,not memories
It has been a very emotional day for us today.We finally made up our mind and cleaned the garage.And that meant removing or getting rid of a lot of Aadi’s stuff that she hadn’t been using-like her swing,the walker,play-pen. I had no intentions of giving up this stuff..These things had too much of emotional value,but sometimes,you need to be practical. All this stuff was just taking up a lot of room and it was all in a very good condition,at least someone else could use it. So, we decided to go to Once upon A Child.The first emotional breakdown happened when,Sanj was loading all the stuff in the car.Since,everything was already packed we didn’t need to do much. But the walker was unpacked.Aadi saw it..and started playing with it.Even climbed in and out of it..all by herself!!!! So,it was the right time to give it away. As soon as Sanj picked it up, she started crying,screaming..Nahi nahi nahi..NOOOOOOOOOOO No no no…And she was inconsolable. She was crying so hard and for so long,we decided to let her keep the walker for some more time. But soon,she got interested in other stuff,and forgot about it. Of course,not before sulking and giving cold treatment to Papa!
At OUAC,they opened all the boxes -first the play pen-the lady there set it up so effortlessly,and to think,we struggled every time,we put it up. But with the opening of that first box,all the memories came flooding. Suddenly I could see everything like it was happening in front of me-everything from choosing the brand and style to seeing Aadi in it the first time.
I remembered how I used to spend hours looking for just the right stroller/swing/play-pen..then forward my searches to Sanj,then we would go visit a few stores to see the shortlisted ones. We put together each of these things,with me reading the instruction manual and Sanj,following my instructions.We couldn’t wait to see the baby using these things.
I remembered the first time,I put Aadya in the play pen..It had become her makeshift crib or her day-time bed. I used to keep it in the living room or the den. It had a detachable mobile,which would play music and nature sounds..and every time,Aadya was fidgetty,I would play the sound of water,cooing to her softly..saying again and again,ohh wow..just like mumma tummy..and it used to always calm her down.
I remembered her waving her fist and cooing and gurgling to the teddies hanging from the mobile.This mobile didn’t move.So,Sanj used to move it manually and she would coo,and they would be at it for hours together..It was so hard,seeing it there,in a strange place..I felt like we were giving away a part of our life.
Then,they set up the swing..The swing had become sort of a life saver for me. But the first few days were rough. Aadi would start crying the moment we put her in the swing. I have a video(courtesy Sanj) of me sitting on the floor, slowly rocking her,and she is crying and holding my fingers tight..and all the while,I kept telling her..Oh wow..aap toh swing main baithe ho(* you are sitting in the swing) and some other random blabbering..that I dont even remember now..And she kept crying all the time.She was a little over 1 month. So,Sanj suggested that we should let her sleep and then slowly put her in the swing,so that when she wakes up,she realises she is in a safe place.We did..and it worked. And then,life was so much easier.We had hot meals on the table,thanks to this wonderful entertainer.I would pull it up,near the kitchen entrance and finish my work-cooking cleaning etc,while she watched me,or listened to music or even dozed off.
Seeing them,set up the swing,Sanj also got all emotional,he squeezed my shoulders and said..”you remember the first time,we put her there” and I said..”I do..but please don’t make it harder for me”.
Then,they saw the stroller..Aadi slept in it one last time,just before we gave it away.And just before giving it away,I figured out that there was some sort of shield,to make it into a cozy crib.We had deliberated so much over the choice of the stroller,we had decided on the brand..but it was the color and pattern,that we were debating on. We knew it was a girl,so,I wanted to get a pink one. But we hadn’t disclosed it to our families, and so Sanj didn’t want them to feel offended and wanted us to go with a neutral color.Finally,we chose a denim with a cute pink trimming,but almost everyone thought,it was a boy’s stroller .And we used it extensively and it was beginning to show signs of wear and tear. It was time to give it up
Aadi woke up as soon as I lifted her out of the stroller. Sanj came forward and took her from me,as if he needed to feel his baby girl close to him. He took her to see her swing and told her how,we had put her in it,when she was a baby..I distractedly caught snatches of their talk,as I tried to concentrate on what the lady at the store was telling me.
When I finished,I saw the cutest thing ever-Sanj told Aadi-Chotu,we are going to leave your swing here..you used to sit on it when you were a baby..chalo,lets say bye..kissie kar do isko( give it a kiss) and Aadi,went forward and gently planted a kiss on the swing.
My heart broke,I just wanted to pick up everything and put it back in the car.These were my memories and I didn’t want to leave them there..I didn’t want to SELL them or give them away.But then,in this Nomadic life,its so hard to keep collecting things..I knew I couldn’t afford to take them back..another move may be on the cards,real soon and then,I would have to leave these things behind anyway.
My only consolation is all the pictures and videos that I have..that way,my memories will be safe..
We used the money that we got from selling this stuff,to finally get the new stroller that we had been putting off.We had initially planned on getting a cheaper stroller..but,when we went to the store,we really loved this stroller.But it was way beyond our budget..and as a rule,we never charge any of Aadi’s things to the Credit card. The money we got at OUAC just added up perfectly to our original budget and now Aadi has a brand new stroller.Its still in the box..I will share pictures when I click some.
Editted to add :For some reason,I am not able to create a link for Once upon a Child..But here is the site