My little rock stars

Memoirs of my mommyhood


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What’s in a marriage?

Summer holiday is in full swing. There is no compulsion for the kids to sleep early. They are making the most of it. Every night they want a “role play” session once we are on the bed. Tunmun is the one who gets to decide which story. Sometimes it is “The little red riding hood”, or “Jack and the bean stalk” or maybe the “The little red hen.” Yesterday, she chose “The jungle book.”

For the jungle book role play, their dad always gets to be Baloo. After all he is the one with spongy tummy ;). Vibhu was down with cold yesterday, so he refused to let Tunmun (who was now playing Mowgli) sit on his tummy. “Mommy is Baloo today.”, he said. 

I refused to be Baloo. After all, I have already done my share of letting the kids lie in my tummy for 9 months. I am totally done with it. No more sleeping in or on my tummy!

Venky racked his brains, “Okey, mommy is Bagheera then. You can climb on her back Tunmun.”

“No way, I am mother wolf. Come, give me a kissie.” (Mother wolf gets to lick her kids ;))

“No. You will be Bagheera.”

“No. I will be mother wolf.”

“No. Baloo and Bagheera are best friends. You will be Bagheera.”

“How does that matter?”

“Papa is Baloo. You and papa are best friends,so you will be Bagheera.”

I was listening now!

“Who told you we are best friends?”

“I know.”

“How?”

“That is why the two of you married. Now you become Bagheera.”

Parenting is a tough job. You want to perform well there. In fact you want to excel. But you have no clue of how you are doing. Feedback is none/ limited/ vague. Your bosses are judging you 24X7 but not telling you. And by the time you get your report card, it’s often too late.

These sudden validations are relieving and heartening. Two important points to note here are

1. Venky thinks his parents are best friends.

2. Venky thinks marriage is about friendship.

So, as far as marriage is concerned and more specifically his parents’, we are giving him the right picture 🙂 Phew!


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Mother’s day

FIL underwent a surgery over the weekend. The day was hectic and needless to say, I did not remember that it was mother’s day. I never do. Our generation has not grown up on mother’s day.

Somewhere during the course of the day when FIL was finally shifted to his room, our minds eased a little. Vibhu reminded Venky that it was mother’s day. He offered to take him shopping for a gift for me in exchange for points. Well, Venky had a better idea – he promised 10 good night kisses everyday as a mother’s day gift and I was more than happy !

Later in the evening Venky and Tunmun made a card. Basically , their new found obsession  – paper boat, stuck on a paper and decorated and colored 🙂 When I found some time later, I made my weekly call to my mother. She said “I was waiting the whole day for you and your brother to call. Today is mother’s day!” Really? I was taken by surprise. My mom, who lives in a small Indian town was waiting for a greeting on American Mother’s Day? And why not? I thought. While I did not care too much about this day myself, my kid’s card did lift my spirits. Oh yes, mothers are important, all of us know. And are loved, we know that too. But it’s always nice to be reminded and appreciated once in a while.

So, this post is for you dear Ma. We are poles apart. You, the quintessential , sacrificing Indian woman who selflessly puts her family before herself and follows the rules of patriarchy. I, who was always branded selfish and am proudly so.

After years of thinking there was nothing common between you and me, a mausi of mine said  “How do manage with two kids and full time career and no real support system (read grand parents)? You really are your mom’s daughter!”  That struck home. It WAS true. My strength and will power to fight the system comes from your strength and will power to follow and manage in spite of the system. That STRONG gene is yours!!! It just got used differently 😉

Dear Ma, I truly learned to appreciate you after I became a mother myself.  As my kids grow, I discover my traits that are yours. Now, I can hold long conversations with you and for the first time after kids I see myself nodding at what you say and I realize that I am more you than papa. 

So, thank you Ma and thank you kids for giving my relationship with Ma a makeover!