This was initially a photography challenge about shooting a toddler but it became something more…Enjoy
Few weeks ago, I had this idea of shooting a toddler. I knew it was definitely going to a challenge for me. Why? Because I am terrible with kids. I am not exaggerating. They mean well and their energy is unparalleled which is why I always find a way to disappear when I’m around children. I cannot keep up with that amount of energy thrown at me. The first time I held a child -eight day old – I was shaking. I told my mum “he’s so tiny and pink” and my mum understanding my awe said “that’s how they usually are”.
I am the first child of my parents’ two children and my younger brother was born when I was a toddler, I literally grew up with that boy. We were both kids at the same time so there was no phase in my life when I had to be a big sister to my younger one(s). The only time I had those chances were during Christmas which only last few days and no one has time to play big sister, we are all just excited to hang out. You know?
I’m awkward around grownups and I’m awkward around kids, so I just find a way to make sure I am not caught in either scenarios. I know this might not seem like a big deal to some especially if you grew up with big sisters and brothers who got married and had children when you were a teenager, it is a normal territory for you. For me, it’s a foreign territory.
I don’t understand children, I look at them and I’m awed at how simple minded they can be. I think about this a lot and I remember few years back, I was convinced I was not going to have children because I did not see myself in that place. But few months ago, something in me changed. It can be linked to the fact that I am in a relationship (My first relationship that I can share with basically anyone including my parents) and now my perspectives are changing. It does not mean I am fully invested in the idea of having children but the first layer of anxiety has been peeled off. So now when I see children and I am not afraid of them, I instead start to study them.
I envy their innocence and I think about my lack of it. I sometimes wish they could stay put and not grow up to this life where all we worry about is responsibilities and what-nexts (But I’ve learned not to say that out loud because the last time I did, a Mum in my class almost threw a hand that I was cursing her child lol)
It is really exhausting caring for another being who is not an adult but during this shoot and my past visits to my muse’s home, I realized how these exhaustion becomes a routine – a routine of care giving. Because it’s your child who you are caring for and even though they ask a billion question and their attention span is short, they mean well. You are all they know. They rely on you to be there for them. They take every step not thinking of any consequence because the world has not colored their minds with doubts. They see things with a fresh perspective, they want to learn.
This shoot was a challenge for me because I had to calm her down by telling her what to do and how to pose. She was so excited to wear her cute little dress and pack her puffy hair up, she did not second-guess herself. She just smiled and posed; being who she was – a child.