Wednesday, 13 April 2011

I'm just soooo beautiful!!!!!!

Naina walks into the kitchen & asks “Mama, have you noticed that chechi is singing the same song over and over again????” 

“Yes I did, she made it up herself didn’t she???” I beam.

Naina didn’t quite like my 'brimming with maternal pride' tone.
“Have you heard the words of the song???” She demands.

“Eh……no, why????”

“She just keeps repeating one sentence and its beginning to irritate me” Naina expostulates. Its always about “I’m beautiful, I’m sooo beautiful……”

I stare at her taken aback. Naina looks satisfied that she has rattled me out of my comfort zone & walks away. It was true; I never quite listened to what she was singing. So I walk casually to where Nikita was grooming her doll lovingly all the while crooning “I’m so beautiful…”. The whole of the 5 minutes I stood there she went on and on “I’m so beautiful…..just soooo beautiful” experimenting with different variations and tones.

After looking around furtively to see if Naina was anywhere around I let myself smile. It was actually very funny. After that every now and then I would hear Nikita humming, singing and performing the “I’m so beautiful” ditty. And there was this one time when we all were playing Uno and when she won the game she shot upwards and roared the “I’m so beautiful” lines, like a rockstar strumming an imaginary guitar. We couldn’t help laughing at her exhilaration though Naina looked part amused and part aggravated.

I wondered whether I should be worried. After all, narcissism should be nipped in the bud right, atleast for the sake of the people who are going to be around her in future. Maybe any other time I would have but there are reasons why I didn’t. Years back, I was not a very happy kid. The hard fact is that I didn’t have a very good opinion of myself. When compared with my friends I found myself lacking in everyway… affected my self-confidence and sometimes still does. It’s a baggage which is not very easy to shrug off.

So when Nikita was born I didnt want my daughter to go thru the same and tried in my own way to make sure she didn’t harbour any doubts like these. I always tried to make her feel good about herself. For instance after giving her a bath I would dress her up and make a big fuss of her, open my eyes wide and ask “who is this beautiful little girl???” And she would delightedly say “I’m Mama’s beautiful girl” and so on.

Time passed quickly and before my eyes she has grown into a very loving & positive 9 yr old. In spite of all this she is still very timid……actually she is very self-assured among family & friends and even assumes leadership but if the teacher lets say, asked her to read out aloud in front of the whole class she’s petrified. She was given the chance to be monitor of the class but she gave it up after a week saying she didn’t want to be. So many times there are impromptu competitions held in the malls or at the get-togethers we go to and all the children there fight each other to be called out but my child always holds herself back. She once admitted to me that she gets tears in her eyes when she has to do something in front of the whole class or strangers.

My heart goes out to her coz I know exactly how she feels. But I can’t show that I sympathize and so advise Nikita to just concentrate on doing the work the teacher gives, not the surroundings and her nervousness will vanish. She is not very convinced.

I know I’m handling it casually but I don’t want to give it too much attention and make the child think that something is really wrong with her. At the same time I’m concerned. I keep hoping she’ll grow out of it if the problem is not highlighted all the time.

But instances like these[see below] make me think there is nothing wrong & its all in my mind:-).

At any given point of time the kids will have a favourite dialogue, advertisement tagline or joke which they’ll keep repeating until a new one takes it’s place. The latest dialogue doing the rounds in our house…..

Scene description: Nikita will make a dramatic entrance at the doorway, will place one hand on the jamb and the other on her hip, her feet very elegantly positioned.

She will give us 2-3 seconds to admire her and then she’ll gracefully lift her hand & blow kisses in all direction and say “To all my fans out there, muahh, muaahhh, muaaahhhh”.

I will clutch my heart & pretend to swoon in excitement;-D, Naina will look on digustedly & say "Oh puh-leeeze!!!!"