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Dearest Lui and Shobbs,

I’m visiting these pages after ages! For no fathomable reason, I had stopped writing. I convinced myself it is because I’d rather ‘stay in the moment’ than mentally take down notes to blog about it. I wanted to be an active participant of your life than be an observer of your growth (of which I’m guilty at times!).

But I was wrong.

Capturing the precious moments of my life with you is what makes this blog so special to me. Each time I pull out an old post and read about your antics, it brings a smile to my face 🙂 . I may not immediately remember the incident, but reading about it does jog my memory and everything becomes clearer, as if it happened recently. I’m sad that these last two years, which have brought about such tremendous changes in you, have not been penned 😦 . It is my fault and now that you are turning 7 (Gosh! I still can’t believe it !!), I think its high time I do justice to you and my blog.

But first, a confession.

I sit here sobbing a little as I type. Tears flow down my cheeks because I feel overwhelmed. You two have turned out to be so terrific in every way that I feel incompetent as your mother, your guardian. I can’t think of any single good deed that I did to deserve you. I sob because I want to give you all that you desire, but you never demand. You both derive pleasure from the smallest things in life, making me realize that it isnt money that buys happiness. I’m proud to say that you both are my sunshine. You are the brightness that fills every crevice of my heart and make me giddy with joy 🙂

Lui sweetheart,  you are our resident angel, bet you already know that 😀 . You can spin me and the BF around your little finger just as easily as you did 7 years back! The only difference being that you’ve got a loud mouth to go with it now 🙄 ! I have watched you grow into a wonderfully confident little thing, quiet unlike the shy, gawky me of yore. I puff up with pride at your grace, your kindness and generosity, your impeccable manners and your readiness to apologize for your mistakes. Believe me darling, it takes people many many years to achieve all that! You are just seven, but I have seen how wonderfully  you go about making friends, being kind towards the underdogs, helping out friends and classmates as best as you can and pleasing your teachers with your impish smile 🙂 .  These are not things that I have ‘taught’ you, they come from within you. I can only pray to Allah to keep this warmth in you forever.

Shobby darling, you are our bundle of joy, wrapped in multiple layers of humour and mirth 😀 . I can’t believe that a kid as young as you has a wicked sense of humour, but you do! It is a great gift and I seriously pray that it stays with you forever, for there is no medicine like laughter, right 😀 ?! You are seven but people ask me if you are 4! Some even ‘recommend’ that I feed you 🙄 . At times I feel offended, but then I realize that those people don’t know how tough your beginning was. You put up a good fight champ and and in the last 7 years I’m grateful to Allah for giving you a healthy constitution. Though tiny, you are sturdier than most kids your age. Like Lui, making friends comes so easily to you! This is all the more surprising because earlier you were quite the shy guy, offering nothing more than a smile! Your confidence has blossomed and I’ll confess that I preen a little when people complement me on your kind disposition.

Seven years back today, as I lay on that hospital bed, I marveled at the beauty of Lui and the fragility of Shobbs. Today, I see character in Lui and strength in Shobby. So much has changed, for the better I’m glad to say (Alhamdulillah) and I can only pray that you progress towards your own betterment. I have not set any benchmarks for you, I do not expect you to do great things, frankly, I feel just honoured being your mom.

We’ve reached the lucky seven, you and me together, although for me, it is twice the luck 😉 . You are neither little kids nor young adults. It is a difficult phase for me because you have grown curious about so many things. You ask questions and I do my best to answer them (ex: What does showing the middle finger mean?) . It is difficult to gauge your level of comprehension and I worry that I might push you across the border of innocence (frankly, NO mother likes to believe that her kids grew up!), but there are so many things you need to be prepared for. The world today is not as kind as before, people around you would be quick to judge, quick to blame and quick to demean. But you need to hold on to the goodness in your heart. Keep that flame of kindness alive, no matter how others treat you.

And laugh. Laugh as you laugh today, from your belly, with abandon, with the sparkle in your eyes.

Because that’s all it takes to make your world a better place to live in 🙂

Many Happy Returns of the Day my Babies…….!

PS : Here’s a little collage of you two over the last two years! Am sure you’ll find pictures of before somewhere in this blog 🙂

Six to Seven :)

Six to Seven 🙂

 

Love you forever 🙂

Yours,

 

 

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Today was Columbus Day in US. I believe it is the day to honor Sir Columbus who discovered America.  The schools had an off today, but I guess the offices didn’t have a holiday (Saw the usual rush of professionals at the bus-stops).

The kids had brought back poems on Columbus from school last week. Lui was reading the poem, when the BF asked the kids, “Who is Columbus”?

Lui immediately started off with the tale she must have heard at school, about ships and voyagers and high sees and she seemed to go on and on but we were not close to understanding who was Columbus 😐 (brevity is so NOT her style !)

So the BF turned to Shobby and asked him the question. Shobby gave his typical reply –

Arre Abbu, Woh Columbus Pune jaane waala tha, Chicago pahunch gaya“. (Oh Dad, Columbus was heading towards Pune but reached Chicago).

Succinct, I say!

We were rolling over the floor laughing for a good five minutes after this 😀

Needless to say, Shobby has a better understanding of the heart of the matter 😀

Anyhow, since Columbus Day doesn’t really ring my bell (Am more used to Gandhi Jayantis), I woke the kids up early this morning. Pestered them for brushing, toilet, bath, etc. Got them ready and off we went. Only after reaching the school did I realize that something was missing –  the rest of the students ! And the faculty! And the school buses!

*Groan*

(The above line was from the kids. Ever heard a collective groan from two disgruntled kids? It sounds terrible!)

The twins admonished me all the way back home.

“Momma!! You ruined our holiday” (this one’s from Lui. Believe me, she used those exact same words!

“Momma, you should have seen the calendar”, said practical Shobbs.

“Yeah, yeah! Why couldn’t you two have reminded me?”, I shot back at them.

So we reached home and I tried to divert the twin’s irritation with some cartoons (bad parenting example. Guilty *gulp* ).

Now, Lui has this bad habit of fingering her ear-lobe, to the extent that the piercing developed some bruising, After nearly a month of keeping her away from ear-rings, I had put in a stud just that morning, to check if the piercing still existed. Luckily, it did, so I asked Lui to wear the earrings till evening.

Now Lui being Lui and fidgety to boot, started fingering her ear again.

“Mumma, can I remove my earrings now”, she asked.

“No. Not now. Later”.

“But Mumma, I want to remove it”.

“Leave it sweetie. We don’t want that piercing to close, do we?”

“But Mumma, it is MY body. I should decide if I want to wear the earring or not. You cannot decide for me. Right Mom?”

*POW! WHOOOSH!! THUD!! *

(That was the invisible sucker punch to my gut and the subsequent fall of my pride).

I couldn’t speak for a while. There were myriad images running in my mind, of Lui as an adult, with multiple piercings and tattoos all over her body, telling me that it is her right to do what she wants with her body.

Whew!

Shook my head a bit to clear that image. There were bigger issues at hand here.

“Sweetheart, its your body, I agree, but right now, your ear piercing is close to getting closed forever. If it does, it’ll hurt when you pierce it again and if you don’t, you won’t get to wear all my earrings that you adore so much”!

There, that did the trick.  Lui agreed to keep the earrings on till evening.

A girl’s vanity always comes to the rescue , doesn’t it ?! 😀

 

"And that's how we fake a smile"

“And that’s how we fake a smile”

 

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Planning Ahead

With the BF away for a few days, life at home has become a tad boring. This weekend is worse! I mean, not that we did something groundbreaking when he was here, but its just that it was easier to while away the day . He would laze around the day, the kids would sprawl all over him and I would have time on my hands to ….well, do some darning or cleaning or shopping( yeah , yeah! that is how I entertain myself these days!).

The kids were missing their father terribly, so I gave in and allowed them to watch cartoons for longer than their ration. And, in order to give them a break from all that television, I gave them some plastic beads and satin cords to make into necklaces. It is an easy activity and it helped keep them occupied without my interference.

Lui grumbled all along because apparently, I didn’t have the exact bead colours and shapes that fit the pattern in her mind 🙄 . She couldn’t believe, quote- “are you kidding me? You didn’t buy green beads?!”-unquote , that her mother was careless enough to not buy green and pink beads.

*Sigh*

I really need to prioritize bead colors while purchasing them 😐

Anyhow, the beads were strung and the Lui proudly wore it around her neck.

I asked Shobby to do the same.

“No Mom, when I get married, I will give it to my wi-“, he broke off.

“Errr……Whom are you going to give it to?”, I pestered, because obviously, I wanted to know whether I heard it right.

“I’ll wear it Mumma. On my shaadi“.

“But you said you wanted to give it to someone”.

“Oh-ho Mumma. You keep this”, he finished the topic by firmly wrapping my fingers around his necklace and scampering away to the bedroom.

I sat there for a long while, digesting the fact that my 5+ year old just made a necklace to gift his future wife.

*Gulp* 😐

And oh, here are the necklaces –

 

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Pink thread=Lui; Blue=Shobbs

 

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I’ve made it a point that we all have dinner together at the table after the BF gets back from work. We have an early dinner, around 7:30 PM, so that we can start packing the kids off for sleep time around 9pm. Given the cold days and even colder nights, the twins are reluctant to come out of their comforters in the morning. Unless of course if they have slept well. Then they get up bright and early.

So dinner time is when we all get together and break bread. I mean that literally! The BF had bought two loaves of bread one day (on my insistence that two was better than one). The loaves were huge and had a zillion slices each. So we gave up on rice and rotis to finish the damn slices before they got stale 😦 . Anyhow, the kids love talking about the day at school, the teachers, classmates (no friends yet !), their Pune friends and mostly lots of idle talk . Lately though, we’ve been having some rather interesting things to talk about. Hear this :-

1) We were talking about why the twins need to eat the vegetables when suddenly, Shobby had a brainwave.

Shobby : Abbu, mai bhi apne bete ko vegetables khane bolunga.

BF : Huh?! What?

Shobby : (gives a loud sigh and explains as if to child) Jab mujhe bhi baby hoga, tab mai bhi unko vegetables khane bolunga.

BF : Ohh! Okay, good.

Lui : Shobby, aapko kitne babies chahiye.

Shobby : (promptly) TWO!!

Lui : Boys or girls??

Shobby : Boys!

Lui : Abbu, mujhe two girls chahiye.

BF : (looking totally baffled by now) Huh?!

Lui : Shobby, aapko girl chahiye?

Shobby : (After a thought) Yes. Two girls.

Lui : Ok. So you have 2 boys and two girls. That is four. I will have 3 boys and 3 girls (counting on fingers) Six children.

Both the kids look pleased as punch and beam at us.

Sitting across the table, the BF and me just shake our heads in wonder. Or was it sorrow?!!

2) Another day, another time. We are all having dinner. The BF was to leave us for a short trip to India (He’s left already even as I type this) and he was preparing the kids for his departure.

BF : Lui, I will go only for a few days. Be good and don’t trouble your mother.

Lui : (with all solemnity) yes Abbu. I will be good. But I will miss you so much.

(Here she makes her puppy dog face and the BF and barely control the pricking of tears in his eyes )

Lui : But I promise I will NEVER leave you and go.Ever, ever, EVER!

BF : What about when you get married?

Lui : Koi problem nahin? Mere husband ko bhi hamare saath rakhenge.

Here, both the BF and I almost choke on our food.

Me : What??

Lui : (looking very decisive) Dekho mummy, shaadi toh mai karungi hi, lekin, mere husband ko hamare ghar lekar aaoongi rehne ke liye.

The feminist in me did a fist-pump and cheered for her. The BF knit his brows…probably, the future worries him 😛

3) The BF isn’t here. While we were having dinner, the twins got talking about the Pune home.  I realize that they miss the space to run around, not only in our house but also our neighbours. They even miss the trips to the grocery store on the ground floor of the building to buy a packet of Maggi or Chocos (Oh the luxury of it all 😐 ). But I didnt realize that what they missed the most were the bathrooms and wash-basins 😐 . The twins started talking at length about how each of them could brush at a different sink without needing to share or how they could both attend nature’s call at the same time ( 🙄 ) . For the record, we have only one washroom in the apartment here which has a large sink, commode and a tub . As I mulled over the things the kids were talking about, Shobby turns to me and says,

Shobby : Mummy, dekho. If I am taking bath, aur aapko bahut zor se toilet jaana hai, toh aap andar aa jana. Waise bhi curtain hai, aap mujhe nahin dekh sakte.

Lui : Haan mummy. Hum aapke liye adjust karne ke liye tayyar hai.

Me : Ya Allah!! The sacrifices these kids make for me 😐 😐

😀 😀 😀

Here are pics of the two struggling with chop-sticks. For the record, they did manage to finish their dinner with it 🙂

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“MUST get this damn noodle into my mouth!”

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“Its going to be a long night, I see!”

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Hair There Everywhere!!

The BF called up one day to confess that he has gotten rid of his mustache.

It was a news I didn’t take too well 😐

“WHAT?!! How Dare you?!! OMG!!! Don’t you know? Moochh nahin toh kuchh nahin??” I yelled at him the minute he told me.

The hubby pacified me the best he could and then, since I was simmering, asked to talk to the kids. The first up was Lui, who took the news of the missing facial hair rather coolly.

‘Abbu, aapne shave kar diye? Koi baat nahin. Woh phir aa jayega. Waise toh aap hamesha achche dikhte ho“.

(Goodness!! With the amount of butter Lui slathers on her father, I wonder how he still manages to stand in one place 😐  !! )

Next up was Shobby.

“Hmmm….Aapne shave kar diye….hmm…lekin Abbu, mujhe toh abhi tak muchhi nahin hai!”

“You’ll get yours in due time”,  the BF consoled him.

Lekin Abbu, ek good news hai“, says Shobbs.

“What is it?”

Mere hands and legs par abhi small-small hair aa rahe hain. Thode din ke baad bhar-bhar ke aa jayega. Phir mai bhi aapke jaise dikhoonga“!

Me : ROFLOL

BF : 😐 Err………!

Quite a hair-raising moment it was 😀 😛

 

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The Nurses At Home

We were settling down for sleep last night. The twins were done with their goodnight prayers and begged me to tell them a goodnight story.

I wasn’t well, had a bad cold and cough, was even coming down with fever, so I croaked,” Cant tell a story today pumpkins, I’m not feeling well”.

Shobby immediately comes up to me checks my forehead with his tiny palm.

“LUI”, he yells, “Mumma ko bukhar hai“.

Lui scampers up to me and checks my temperature.

Haan Shobby”, she says solemnly, “Mummy has fever. Mumma, please don’t go to office tomorrow”.

“Why baby? I’ll be fine by tomorrow”, I said feebly.

“Lui, humko kal chutti leni chahiye school se“, says Shobby to Lui.

“But why??”, I croak a little louder this time.

Arre Mumma, agar hum school chale gaye, toh aapka khayal kaun rakhega?”, says a very concerned Shobbs.

Abbu ne humko bole thhe, Mummy ka khayal rakhne ke liye. Thats why we will not go to school tomorrow”, adds Lui.

Cue for me to break into tears *Sniff* .

I hugged the two and thanked Allah for the millionth time for giving me two priceless gems as kids 🙂

This morning, the kids got up, dressed for school and didn’t make the fuss that they usually do every morning. They seemed a bit disappointed that I was up and about 😀 😀 😛

“Mumma, if you are not feeling well, then call me from school. I will come”, said Lui as she boarded her school van.

Again, *Sniff*

😀 😀

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F-I-V-E

Dear Lui & Shobbs,

There were a lot of ways in which I wanted to write this post. The first plan was to do a comparative analysis of the differences between the time when you were wee little infants and your current boisterous selves.

I dropped that plan pronto 😐

(No point in going back to the infant you. That time is long past. You are individuals in your own right with a mind of your own 🙂 )

Then I thought of doing a round-up of the year, of listing all the major milestones covered, the achievements, the speed-breakers….but then I realized that I have not chronicled this year very well 😦 . There were large gaps between my posts and not much can be inferred from what I did put up! I regret it deeply and I guess this situation kind of motivates me to write more often, take down every little thing you say or do 🙂

Frankly, this year was very different from the past few. This was the first time your father wasn’t here to pamper you silly. If you were a little older, you could understand how deeply he was hurt at missing your birthday. His prayers though, are with you , as usual 🙂

We didn’t have a party on your birthday, per se, but two days before that. It confused you a bit initially, but you realized soon enough the difference between “just-a-party” and “actual-birthday” 😀

You got more gifts this year than all the years before put together!

This was the first time you both helped me with the decorations, suggesting where to put up the balloons and how to string the streamers 😀

You didn’t cry or throw a tantrum, rather, I guess this was the first time you were comfortable with the crowd and enjoyed the company of other children 🙂

You didn’t eat a single bite of the delicious chocolate cake or the kiwi one 😦 (everyone else enjoyed it immensely except the two it was meant for !)

As I went through the party snaps, I realized with a pang that you two have indeed grown up. You  Lui at 3’8″ and Shobby at 3’5″ are not nearly as tall as other children your age, but when I see the confident gaze as Lui looks at the camera, or the casual stance that Shobby takes as he poses for his snap, I realize just how much has changed. You have become aware, if I may use the term here….aware of your surroundings, things, people and each other. You understand your effect on your family. You know the reactions you can get out of us with your one statement or action. The difference now is that you aren’t as naive as before 😀 ….and I haven’t been able to figure out if that is a good thing ! 🙄

This year, you added to your vocabulary by leaps and bounds. It is futile to have secret conversations around you two 😦 . Which reminds me of your new-found love for secrets! Though you both confide in me, it is a little surprising that you both want to keep secrets from each other! Maybe, just maybe, you are making an attempt to wean yourself off from each other! Yet again, am not sure if that is a good thing 😐

This year I saw you both going through your own set of hurdles  …..friendly Lui had trouble keeping friends , got bullied ,was nick-named a cry-baby (even at home) but came back with excellent grades in school. Shobby, you turned into a popular guy in class, had to struggle with memorizing sentences, excelled in maths and drove everyone nuts with your constant volley of questions! None of the hurdles were bad enough to stop you two. And we are trying to make sure that you continue to do good in the things that interest you.

This last one year has been a little sad, with you both missing your “favorite Abbu” (your words, not mine 😀 ) like anything and insisting on talking to him every morning and night 🙂 . Somewhere along the way, I realized that you two had taken control over the situation much better than we had anticipated (Alhamdulillah). Though Lui cried buckets when your father was leaving last time, she was back to normal the next day, even philosophical about why he had to be away 🙂 .

This year, I saw an immense improvement in your manners and your public behavior….more than once, I have swelled with pride when people have congratulated me on you. I shouldn’t be taking credit, I’m not responsible for your good behavior alone.  Your grandparents and Chachu have done pretty much from their side in bringing out the best in you 🙂

Dear babies (and I’ll continue to call you that even when I’m halfway to my grave), you are the light of my life and your father’s life itself! We both love you so much, it is difficult to describe in words how we really feel. Many a times, when your father is here and we see you sleeping peacefully, your lashes fanning your soft cheeks, Shobby curled into a little ball like a hedgehog and Lui’s arms and legs flung across the bed, we can’t help but marvel at the wonder of having two gorgeous babies like you two and wonder, for the umpteenth time, what we did right in life to deserve you two 🙂

Happy Birthday Sweethearts…may you have all the best in life in all the coming years. Ameen.

I know I should have done this post yesterday but I was too busy spending the day with you to notice when time flew by! Its a day late, but I know you wouldn’t mind 😀

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Pretty in Pink

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Dapper Shobby

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Pleased as punch 🙂

Love you both! A thousand times over 🙂

Yours,

 

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