Promises

I remember how my heart burst when I saw you for the first time

How overwhelmed I felt when I held you for the first time

How I made so many promises looking at your innocent face

How I promised to be this supremely cool parent.

How I promised to love you unconditionally.

How I pictured all the fun things we would do together.

How i wouldn’t be one of those crazy worriers.

How I would be this ocean of patience,

How I would never yell

These were a few. There were a million more.

I think I’ve broken all except one.

Parenting has taught me one  HUGE thing:

That raising another human being doesn’t follow any pre-written rule-

And if you think it does, you’re in for a big shock.

My thoughts on parenting before kids and the reality are so different.

There will be so many people doling out advice. Most well meaning. But you need to do what you need to do.

You know what’s best for your child. Else you will figure it out. Your own way and sometimes the hard way.

It’s been almost 9 years since the mom version of me was born

Since then,

I’ve eaten my words,

I’m not the “Cool” mom. I’M the mean one.

The rule breaker me created and enforced rules.

I found my inner disciplinarian.

I embraced my inner chef- the one who made jam sandwiches when sleep deprived.

I realised that love and patience were related but not by much.

I’ve yelled more than I care for. My love and my temper had nothing to do with each other.

I had to go back to the drawing board to raise my daughter because my kids were so different.

and I found myself changing so much.

But there’s just one promise holds good from both those days- the first time I held my babies .

The promise of unconditional love.

And that will always be.

The rest, let’s just play it by the ear.

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Writing as a part of Team Blue Lagoon on the prompt- Promises.

 

 

 

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Of shoe addicts

She walked into the big bright store,

All wide eyed and all of four.

She looked around and then

dragged me

to the brightest section she could see.

An array of colors,

And silver and gold

Shiny and strappy

heels and flats.

” I want”  she said to the salesman

Who grinned at me and then told her

“You have baby feet. You need tiny shoes”

She looked at her feet and then picked out one blingy pair of heels.

“I want”, she said. Looking at me with big eyes.

And then she turned to the shoes

and said- “I want them all. So pleetty!”

Kids section first floor , ma’am.

The salesman said.

I took her there and she asked

” Can I have them all?”

And picked out a blingy pair of shoes, a size too big

“I want shoes, mamma. I don’t want the doll.”

They didn’t have it in her size. We bought in any way.

I couldn’t believe she changed her mind

and wanted shoes as a gift for her birthday

She wore a year later

when she turned five.

It finally fit.  Those golden blingy shoes.

tiny shoes

For every occasion since, we’ve bought the shoes first and then a dress to go with that. As we walked out of the store that day, she grinned at me – “I cant wait to glow (grow) big and wear all those shoes. ” Well, that’s been added to the every growing list of growing up goals- become a story teller, wear lots of shoes,  buy a Harley at 18 go to Disneyland, and go  “under the sea” to see Australia’s great barrier reef… etc.

My little girl has her priorities right.

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Writing as a part of team Blue Lagoon on the prompt  Tiny Shoes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

in flagarante delicto

My relationship with my mom alternated between friendship and her being my mom.  I was extremely independent, had a mind of my own and could be rather mouthy. My mom was incredibly understanding- my best friend and my greatest enemy all rolled into one. She was a friend but didn’t delude herself that it was her only role. She was my mom first and had no issues calling me out on any bullshit . She also didn’t particularly care to explain herself to her kids. “Because I said so”  “I’m your mom and that’s good enough”  ” That’s just too bad. ” “Life is so unfair.” So in all those huge altercations with Amma, I would swear  ” I’m never going to be like you”. “You’re so uncool. ”  I had this huge list of parenting things that I would never do.  Looking back , I was a walking, talking, rebellious , pain in the ass.

One of the things that annoyed Amma big time was my brother and I fighting over chocolates. She considered it fighting over food and it was something that always got her goat. She didn’t understand why we couldn’t just share. While we didn’t seem to have any problems sharing other things , chocolates were a huge no no. We would argue and fight over who got the bigger piece. ” Aren’t you both ashamed to fight over food?” she’d go in Malayalam- between her tone and the Malayalam language the disgust over us fighting over chocolates was conveyed loud and clear. One time she got so mad, she took the whole bag of chocolates and gave it to the maid for her kids. And given that those were chocolates an aunt had brought from abroad, I was so mad!! She did hit upon a solution. One person broke the chocolate and the other person got to choose first. So we were careful to break it equally. Looking back, I don’t understand why she just didn’t get us individual chocolates. She always got us one and said, “Share. ”

Cut to 2014.  In my home, we speak mostly English. While the kids understand hindi and malayalam, they both speak in English.  Mom was visiting and we went to meet my aunt. My aunt gives my kids this big bar of chocolate and they decide to have it at once. Of course, in two minutes, the fighting began. I was quiet for the first five minutes. Figured they could sort it out between them. But hey, do they stop? No. it’s getting very intense. And in someone else’s house. I lost it. I rounded on them : ” Stop fighting right now!” And then I just continued…” Aren’t you ashamed to fight over food? Give that to me. Here, D .. you break and S gets to choose. And if I hear you fighting again, I’m giving that chocolate to jaya didi for her kids. ”  There !!  That should sort it. My kids are looking at me wide eyed. My aunt and my mom seem to have identical grins on their faces.

And that’s when I realised what I said. And I said it in Malayalam. In the same tone. The one I HATED growing up.

And here I was. Caught red handed. In Flagarante Delicto. In front of the two women who were very explicitly told that I would be nothing like them. All strict and not understanding and railing away at my kids. I had done just that. heck, I’d even used the exact words and tone!

Well played Karma . Well played.

It’s a different thing that, today, I feel that if I could be half the parent she is, then my kids will be fine.

But really, Karma, did you have to make me eat my words IN FRONT OF THEM?!!

Image source:

sometimes

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Writing as a part of team Blue Lagoon.

Games of the Imagination

Motherhood is awesome, frustrating, hard, crazy , fulfilling and can drive you round the bend. But, one of the things I love about motherhood is hearing  the kids come up with wild stories and  made up games.

Forts are created and destroyed by aliens.

Barbie is the scientist who does many experiments.

Yum Yum restaurant serves exotic vegetarian stuff including vegetables that aliens bring from different galaxies.

M&Ms are super power pills. Hershey’s kisses are  “do homework” convince-rs.

Songs are belted out with made up lyrics especially on a Sunday when they wake up bright and early and the rest of the world is trying to grab a few extra hours of sleep.

Accents are imitated.

“Tattoos” of wild scribbles are drawn on arms and legs. Of course the wild scribbling has a story behind it always.

Walls are canvases of art work.

Papa is the prime candidate for guinea pig while putting kiddy nail polish, four pony tails and girly hats.

We are regularly fed healthy TASTY pretend food and junk food that is magic. It will not harm the body.

Cars come alive and have conversations.

My daughter has superpowers like Elsa from frozen. But she can also bring back spring and summer when she feels like it. It rains especially hard when she doesn’t want to go to school.

Pillow forts are built for reading… And my son pretends to be the cat in the hat to make my daughter laugh. Or he chases her around pretending to be a T-Rex.

Skyscrapers are  built and torn down to plant imaginary trees to make mother earth happy.

My husband and I end up being the pigs in a live angry birds game while they throw angry birds soft toys at our heads while we have to do the sound effects.

Jenga is used to build recycled skyscrapers.

Big fights dissolve into random games and big tears dry up into sunny smiles as funny stories are told.

When one whines about something being boring.. the other says  “Bore the bore.”

This was from this morning. Angry Kung Fu Pandas. It was an hour of sound effects, story telling and action.

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The last half hour before they sleep, they spend talking to each other , telling the other about their day, made up stories, big discussions about what all they want to do during their holidays, about their friends, and his current fave topic- football. Couple of weeks back, my son tells my daughter that he loves being seven. When she asks why, he tells her “Because I can be a different person everyday.”

He planned to be THE HULK the next day.

Aaah! the absolute simple joys of childhood! 🙂

HOLD thy tongue!

So this is true in our house. Esp since small ears seem to hear things they shouldn’t… I remember the first time my son said F**K, he was two.  I was absolutely stunned till I realised he actually wanted a FORK!  The first time he said “Shit!” he was told very firmly that he was not to use that word. But there are times I forget this rule as I realised today…

While watching the IPL match:

Sonu: “Shit!”

Me: What did you say?

Sonu: “I told mishti to SIT”

Me: Oh! I heard something else….

Sonu: (Looking at me thoughtfully and figuring what I thought he’d said.) I didn’t say shit, mamma! You told me not to say it. I told Mishti to sit. SHIT is when someone gets out in cricket!

Damn! I need to learn how to swear in my head or better still- Stop Swearing!!!!

Out of the mouth of the babes

So my 4 year old and I had this big  blow up yesterday… so this morning when I had a talk with him and we apologized to each other.. he said, “But that was yesterday, mamma!”

Leave it to a child to remind you never to hold grudges. Inherent wisdom in kids’ speak!

On a separate note.. i found this on pinterest.. and loved it!

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Learning to play with a two year old

My two year old has started talking nineteen to a dozen – mostly in English. She’s also at this stage where she demarcates her wordly possessions and toys and is still learning to share. Off late we’ve realized that its become impossible to play ball with her. She’ll give you a sweet smile and ask you to pass it.. before she runs away with it-screaming- SSSSMMIIIINNEEE!! I NO Give!!!!