My little rock stars

Memoirs of my mommyhood


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Life in little conversations # 2

Dadu was teasing Tunnu one afternoon after she came back from a swim.

“Tunnu, where did you go?”

“Swimming.”

“No, I think you went to the beauty parlor. You look so fair!”

Tunnu did not quite like the compliment clubbed with parlor accusation. She insisted that she went for swimming. She also checked with me if she was indeed looking “fairer”. I assured her that she was still the “same old color”.

But Dadu continued his banter. Tunnu got increasingly irritated. It came again on the dining table.

“Tunnu. I am sure you went to the parlor. Else how are you looking so good today?”

Tunnu looked him straight in the eye and asked, “Was I ever bad looking?”

Dadu was rendered speechless and Tunnu got a standing ovation.


Vibhu and I were discussion the title of a kiddie book that we are planning to produce. I made suggestion to which Vibhu replied, ” This word is too heavy. The kids won’t understand it.”

Venky chimed in, “But moms will. They are the ones who will buy the book!”

“Wow, you can already identify the decision maker. That is something that I learnt in my M.B.A.” Vibhu remarked. He was pleasantly surprised.

“Well… yeah.. I have lived with a mom for 10 years, you know!”


Venky has been wanting permission to go and play with his friends in another apartment complex opposite to ours. We have been refusing so far as we do not consider it safe. A number of times all his friends go to play in that complex and he is left behind. A few days back Vibhu and I discussed it and decided to relax the rules. We felt he could play in that apartment complex as long as he was visible from its gate and we (parents) were at home. So, we decided that we could lay down some rules for Venky and lift the ban. I broke the news to him.

“Venky, we think we can let you go to play at Jayadarshini apartments!”

I waited for Venky’s reaction. I was expecting him to start dancing with joy. Instead, he just continued to stare at me expressionless while I kept looking at him expectantly. Finally he said,

“Okeyyy… So, what are the terms and conditions?”

My son knows us too well now! 🙂

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Life in little conversations

Venky wanted to go on a play date. We were reluctant because the friend lived too far. After some discussion we figure out that it is the same kid who never pays attention in the class.

“That kid? He was not listening to the teacher at all when I went for class observation!”  Vibhu exclaimed.
“How can he be your best friend?”

“He has improved,” defended Venky.

“How can he improve in 1 year?”

“Papa, if you saw a caterpillar last year, will you expect him to be a caterpillar this year too? He may have turned into a butterfly!”

Vibhu was speechless! Venky went on his play date the next day.


 

 

 

 

 

 


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The bully talk

The husband is on a business trip. Tunmun has slept off. Venky has viral fever. He is lying on the sofa. I am stroking his hair to make him feel better.

“Venky, who are your best friends in class these days?” I ask. This year the sections got reshuffled. He does not have any of his old pals in his section anymore.

“P, AV and AB”

I discuss his new friends with him. Then, I ask him about one of his long time classmates,

“What about G? Where is she?”

“She is in another section now.”

“She was your best friend last year, isn’t it?”

“Nah. I did not like her!”

“Why?”

“She was rude. She would always threaten us with her big brother!”

“Really?”

“Yes. One day, her brother came to our class. He called out Z and shouted at him badly!”

“But Z was very naughty, isn’t it? You told me that he used to hit other kids.”

“Yes. But G’s big brother should not have shouted at him. It was scary.”

“Well, won’t you do the same if one of the boys from Tunmun’s class troubles her?”

“NO WAY! I am never to going to shout and bully little kids.”

“But shouldn’t you protect your little sister?”

“She should be able to manage her classmates on her own. My sister is not a weakling!”

Venky’s refusal to bully smaller kids and regarding his little sister as a strong individual made me feel warm and happy. So far, he is growing up just right.


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A second chance

As the year winds up, celebrations begin. Festivity is in the air. Our company threw us a party last weekend to celebrate our hard work and appreciate our families. There were shows and songs from some small celebrities.  There was a dance floor too, but it remained empty as the crowd was shy. The singer repeatedly kept asking people to come up and dance but no one volunteered. At that moment miss T declared

“Mamma, I want to go and dance!”

I paused for a moment. That clearly meant that I had to accompany her to the dance floor in the front. I am rather shy and dancing in front of a crowd is clearly not my forte. But Tunmun is uninhibited. As a parent, I could not let my daughter be stopped due to my inhibitions. So, I had to break out of my comfort zone.

So, miss T and I were the first to begin dancing in the whole goddam crowd. Soon, we were joined by other moms and daughters and then by the other men too!

As I continue to explore parenthood, one thing is becoming largely clear to me. Parenting is not about the child at all. It is about the parent. Kids grow up in many different circumstances. I am not sure how much parents really effect the kids’ personality. However, for the parent it is one hell of a learning experience.

They help us break our barriers like my daughter did last night. We strive to be better human beings as we are the default role models. We care a little bit more about everything. About child labor. About the state of affairs in the country. About the environment and the air quality. About he paper littered on the road. For this is the world that we will leave behind for our children. We notice the flowers and butterflies and birds and fish and stars a little more and we discover the magic of these moments. Their innocence put you to shame and their questions make you question yourself. They help you see the futility of ego and the power of love.

Parenthood is all about the parent’s personal growth. It is literally your second chance to become more human.


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More Tunmunisms

I have been trying to get miss T into a habit of wearing footwear. My daughter whose shoes cover most of the racks in the shoe shelf is mostly found running around bare foot! I have tried all techniques – lectures, threats, emotional blackmail, confiscation of her favourite shoes, punishment. You name it. Nothing works on Tunmun who continues to conveniently forget her chappals! So, one day she came running down the stairs, you guessed it, barefoot.

“Tunmun! Where are your slippers?” I asked in a stern voice.

“I don’t know!” Tunmun looked at me directly as she made herself comfortable in her fathers lap.

I glared at her. Tunmun met my eyes steadily.

“You asked me a question, I gave you an answer!”

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Tunmun has her dad wrapped around her little finger. She says “Papa will feed me.” and lo, there is her father putting spoonfulls in her mouth. “Papa, I am tired!” and papa carries her rest of the way. But there are times when Papa refuses. For instance a request like “Papa, I want a chocolate!” might get a firm no. These are the occasions reserved for her brahmastra threat

I will not show you the universe!

Well, miss T’s dad can see the universe inside her mouth, just like little Krishna.

“Tunmun please show me the universe!” Vibhu requests and Tunmun promptly kisses him and pop opens her mouth. Her dad is able to spot some planets and stars inside.

One fine day, Tunmun declared matter of factly.

“I know that there is no universe inside my mouth!”

“What? Who told you!” asked Vibhu, disappointed that his little daughter is growing up fast.

“I know!” she shrugged.

“Then why do you open your mouth when I ask you to?”

“Because you like it that way!” Tunmun shrugged again.

And hence the duo still go on playing the universe-in-a-mouth, but there is confusion around who is kidding whom! 🙂


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A dad’s profession

We are taking a walk inside the colony. Tunmun is skating with us. Actually, she is just rolling holding our hands on her either side. We are making random conversations with her.

“Tunmun, do you know what does your papa do?”, asked the curious dad.

“Yes!”

“What does he do?” I asked wondering what she makes of his work.

“He kisses me!”

That indeed is the most important thing that her dad does! 🙂