All On Their Own

My 2-year-old.

She wants to do everything by herself.

If we have kind of done it for her, she goes back to square zero and does it by herself.

I remember my now-5-year-old also being the same around 2.

Recently, we had gone out of town. The trips consisted of visiting temples, travelling in autos and so on. If I had, in a habit of mind, carried her while getting into the auto or climbing up the steps in a temple or crossing over the main doorstep in a temple, she would get off me, go back to where I started and do all that by herself.

In one instance, we had to hurry from the reception party of a cousin to the railway station to board our train. And, my mind was filled with how we could drag our luggage with kids into the station to board the train, I had been requesting the auto driver to drive faster too. Though he would, in his cool, reply, 'don't worry madam, you can catch the train'. As soon as the auto stopped at the railway station, I carried my 2-year-old on my hip and held my 5-year old's hand and got down the auto quickly.

Right at that moment, my 2-year-old resisted my hold, got down, climbed back into the auto and got down the auto on her own.

I smiled.

Such things happen quite often or rather on a daily basis, I should say.

Just 2 days back, I took the metro with my 2 and 5-year-olds. Carrying one and holding the other's hand. As soon as we entered the metro station, my 2-year-old got off me, asked for the metro card. We went through the bag checking, in-person checking, reached the point where we had to swipe the card. Since 2-year-olds are not given a metro card, she had mine and since she could not reach the swipe point, I carried her while she swipes and both of us move past the checkpoint. We reach the escalator. She insists I put her down and she steps on to the escalator. Mind you, I should not hold her even when she is standing on the moving escalator. She held on to the railing pane to her left.

We got off the escalator.

Boarded the train.

Got off the train at the destination station.

2yo got off me again, asked for the metro card and kept walking by me.

Reached the checkpoint where the card needs to be swiped.

I held her at shoulders, lifted her up to the height where the card has to be swiped.

She swiped the card.

I continued walking forward, holding her in the same position, at her shoulders.

Once out of the checkpoint, she realised she was being carried and insisted we go back into the station, she swipes the card herself and walks past the checkpoint herself.

I explain to her that once we exit the checkpoint, we can enter only if we have to board another train.

She says, 'next time, you should not carry me, I will only walk on my own'.

I said, 'Okay'.

We walk out of the metro station and go to our destination place.

Next, it is our return journey.

Reached the metro station.

Kids ask for the metro cards.

We reach the checkpoint where we swipe the card.

2yo swipes the card and walks past the checkpoint and I immediately rush behind her so as to get past the checkpoint before it gets closed. and it closes right when my hand crosses the checkpoint.

The guard lady asked me to carry the 2yo, next time. I understood her concern since one swipe would allow just one person to cross the checkpoint.

We climbed up the escalator, 2yo refused to take my help. Boarded the train. Reached destination station. Reached the point where the card needs to be swiped at the exit. I explained my 2yo that the two of us should cross the checkpoint at the same time. She said yes, though, I could sense her inability to understand the point behind why she should be carried along.

We crossed the checkpoint while she swiped the card and I carried her along.

Just then, she again melted down while insisting that she wants to walk past the checkpoint. I carried her and again tried to explain that, we two have just one card and hence we should cross the checkpoint at the same time. She continued to sob.

Then, I told both my kids to look outside for their father who came there to pick us up. I was speaking to them while carrying 2yo as there was too much crowd in the metro station at that moment, reached stairs and I started to climb down the stairs. After coming down almost 25% of the stairs, my 2yo who was already crying realised that we were getting down the stairs, got off my hip, climbed up the stairs again and walked down the stairs.

Then the three of us reached the point where we were looking for our car and got into the car.

Do I dread metro rides with my kids, all alone? NO!

Do I dread going out with my kids, all alone? NO!

Do I want to take another metro ride with my kids? Would love to.

Also, this metro ride was voluntarily initiated by me!

Do I want to change any situation that had happened throughout the entire day? Heck, no!

If any, I would pray the universe to grant me a better mindset to understand my child's intention and be with her in all situations.

Throughout such incidents, the child was neither adamant nor rude nor immature nor overconfident. She just wanted to do things on her own just like how an adult does. And this quality is most sought after during adulthood. Some of us have already cut their wings during childhood and expect them to fly in their adulthood. Is it fair?

An adult who just stands by the child's side and protects from any danger would be sufficient.

Despite umpteen tantrums thrown by my children, I enjoy travelling with them. I take them on public transport quite often. I believe, the tantrums wouldn't last long, but the experiences would.