There are so many things that parents pass on to their children – values, dreams and principles. But, once in a while, it is the child who imparts important lessons to the parents. For singer Jankee Parekh Mehta and her husband actor Nakuul Mehta, baby Sufi did the same. The two-month-old taught them to remain strong even in the toughest of times.
A couple of weeks ago, Jankee put out an emotional post on her Instagram handle, sharing how their son went through a surgical procedure after being diagnosed with Bilateral Inguinal Hernia.
After checking with the paediatrician and taking a second opinion, it was pretty much decided that they were going ahead with the procedure. This was also when Jankee’s instincts as a mother kicked in. What worried her most was that her little baby would have to go without milk for almost six hours as part of the procedure. She decided to prep him for it by mimicking the big day. “We had the procedure scheduled at 7.30 am, and I was asked not to give him milk post 3.30 am. On a usual night, he would wake up at 4.30 am and 6.30 am for feeds. So, all the three nights leading up to the main day, I dream fed him at 3 am and timed how long is he sleeping,” she shares.
The first day, he woke up at 6 am, next day at 6.30 am and the third day at 7 am. “I tried to stretch his feed as much as I could after he woke up on all days. I wanted him to get used to staying without milk at least till 7.30 am. I would distract him, talk to him. I also introduced him to a pacifier, as I knew that it would help us get through this time. He did not take to the pacifier on the first two days of prepping. However, he finally took to it on Day 3 which was a big relief and exactly what I envisioned for him,” recalls Jankee.
The proud mother is glad that her little Sufi has been such a champ through the experience. “He’s been strong and brave and taught his mumma to be the same. Sometimes, as parents, we do get over anxious about how the child will feel, the pain he will go through etc, but babies have an amazing quality of crying one minute and then immediately forgetting about the pain the very next minute,” she says, recalling the time he had to go through some blood tests before the surgery.
Babies sense every little thing that you feel. If you feel fear or sadness the baby will feel the same.
“The doctor insisted that I wait outside the room, as it will be hard for me to see him take the blood test. They took him away while he was still sleeping and I was standing anxiously outside the room, waiting to envelop him in my arms when he comes out crying. A few minutes later when they opened the door, I hurried inside the room just to find out that my baby is still fast asleep. He was sleeping through the blood test and didn’t feel a thing! He also slept through his first Covid test, which he was required to take before the procedure. Post these, I knew in my heart that if he can go through this so easily, he will sail through the surgery and that’s exactly what happened,” she adds.
Having a partner stand by your side in such times is probably the biggest gift she could have asked for. “Nakuul has been and continues to be my strongest pillar and also my punching bag whenever I have been low, angry, flustered, and anxious. His presence alone gives me strength,” she says with a smile, adding that there is no greater joy than when she sees their little Sufi smile his heart out when he wakes up to his daddy’s face every morning.
While there is no one formula to raising a happy and fearless child, Jankee believes that children do emulate their parents. “Babies sense every little thing that you feel. If you feel fear or sadness the baby will feel the same,” she says. It is important, she feels, for parents to feel joyful and grateful irrespective of the challenges that life throws at them. “I feel my Buddhist practice has really helped me strengthen my faith and belief in myself and has given me the tools to overcome any obstacle and challenge. Today, as parents it’s extremely crucial for us to not just take care of the physical and emotional well-being of our children, but also provide them with a strong spiritual foundation,” she concludes.