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Posts Tagged ‘Motherhood’

A Day At The Park

The twins miss their evening time at the park.

With my schedule, its impossible for me to take them out. By the time the in-laws get back from work, it is either too late for them to accompany the kids or they are too tired to do so. Can’t blame them too. The nanny whom we had hired a long time back, was given the boot sometime early this year. Her constant disappearances and no-shows were not working for us. So now, the twins go to the day-care after school, the in-laws pick them up around 5:30-6:00 pm after which they come home. We cant let the twins go alone because there are plenty of bullies out there who have pushed and shoved my kids off swings and slides right in front of me !! I wonder what they will do if my children don’t have an adult for supervision 😐 .

Every weekend, I plan to take them to play, but each weekend, something for the other comes up and we miss out on the trip. Lately, I’ve been feeling very guilty of the kids being deprived their play-time. Sure they play at home, run around and jump over every visible furniture at home but it isn’t the same as going down a slide or feeling the hair blowing behind you as you reach out high on a swing 😐

Last Sunday, we visited the BF’s aunt. The minute we landed at her place, the kids pleaded to be let out to play in the society garden. Since we’ve been there before, the kids knew where to go and what to play with. I went down with them because I’m still not confident of letting them out of my sight in public places!

The sheer glee with which the kids went out running was a little heart-breaking! I mean, its a simple pleasure of life, loads of kids play in parks everyday, but for mine, it was a luxury to be let out in the open like this. Even after entering the park, they were torn between running to the swings or climbing up the slide or the merry-go-round or see-saw! They finally charted their own paths and began enjoying in earnest 🙂

swinging along !

swinging along !

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Shobby tried the swing, but as always, his motion sickness kicked in and within a couple of minutes, he begged to be let off! Its funny once again, how completely opposite the twins can get…Lui swings so high I’m terrified that she will flip and break her head and Shobbs cant tolerate even a moderately paced swing 😐

But my boy is a great slider! He can play on a slide in continous loops for ages, without a break! Wonder why the motion sickness doesnt kick in then….it sure does to me, at least when I look at him constantly. All that flurry of his movements makes me dizzy 😐

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Sliding down together

Sometimes, he’s brave enough to even try out stunts

"And this is where I decide to give Mom the shock of her life"

“And this is where I decide to give Mom the shock of her life”

After about an hour’s play, I took them inside. Keeping the kids occupied at relative’s place is usually a difficult thing to do so I normally carry some toys for them. This time, I’d bought a cheap railway track with four bogies (running on a single pencil cell) from a store near my place. It was a last minute purchase and surprisingly, the kids have preserved it in its minted form. Many expensive toys have been trashed within minutes, but this silly little train is cared for deeply. The twins dismantle it carefully, stack the tracks and the bogies in their respective slots in the box , put it inside its cover and then keep the box inside the plastic bag I had bought it in 😐 . The worst part is, they follow this routine religiously , each time they play with the train! Finally growing up, I must say 😀

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“Look Mom, we assembled the train”

I went a bit off-track there (see what I did here? 😀 ) . Was talking about the park-time!

The kids were so happy with the park that towards evening, they once again insisted on going there. This time, they wanted the see-saw. I’m not very happy about see-saws myself. I have sustained more injuries because of see-saws as a child and in my opinion, it is a very unsafe plaything. But the twins insisted so I piled them on one. I think what I’ll remember most about that evening was the way the twins laughed heartily each time they soared up and came crashing down 🙂

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Lui LOVES being called a Chinese. Wonder why?! 😀

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Shobby giggles far more than Lui. Wonder why?? 😐

For all the time I was there with the kids, I realized with a pang just how much they are deprived of some joys and how less they complain about it 😦 . We had a blast at the play area and I think I must make the visits to the society park at least a weekend affair.

Its only fair on the kids, right ?! 🙂

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Compensation

There was a short post on FB by Shail on modern parents compensating their love with gadgets. It was a humorous take on gadgets at least being available now 😀

It did get me thinking though.

What exactly does it mean by compensating love?

Does it mean that you cannot love your child enough and that is why you have to give them expensive stuff to be happy?

Or does it mean that you don’t have the time to love your child and buy them expensive stuff to keep them busy?

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If it’s any of the above two, then gadgets do serve the purpose, don’t they? They keep the children happy as well as busy. And if some parents are okay with it, who am I to judge? I, personally speaking, have very strong views about children and gadgets (it doesn’t help that a very popular cartoon character fishes out amazing gadgets at the drop of a hat! My children think he’ s the epitome of cool-th and want a magic pocket just like him 😐 ).

Since, its none of the above two reasons for me, I desist from making my children gadget friendly. I’d rather they be an ignoramus than be a smart-ass.

But then, this post isn’t about gadgets. It’s about compensation.

I wonder, who started using the word “compensation” in a parent-child relationship anyway? How exactly in this world can we compensate for something that we cannot measure? And by ‘something’, I mean Love, not time! Time is measurable 😀

What got me thinking more on these lines was an incident that happened at home the other day. The twins were jumping up and down on the sofas after being strictly warned not to do so. I raised my voice sharply and scolded the two to stop the jumping right now!

The FIL, who was in the hall with me, immediately cautioned me, “Don’t shout at the kids, remember, you are not at home the whole day“. He didn’t add to it further but the wheels of my mind started churning rapidly. Should I not correct my children when they are doing wrong, just because I go to work?  Should I be always sweet and obliging because I don’t spend the whole day with them?

I did not point out my vehemence to the FIL right then, maybe next time a similar situation comes up, I will voice my opinion.

But I just want to know, how many people believe that because a woman goes out to work, she should be extra kind and generous towards her children?

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Since the kids started school, I’ve kept telling them that I need to go to work just as they need to go to school. Only that my work timings are longer. The twins have learned to accept my absence. Sure, they miss me when I get late but it isn’t a deal-breaker in our relationship. I do everything that a regular mother does. I get them up, make their lunch boxes, prepare their breakfast, brush their teeth, bathe them, get them dressed for school, pack their bags and see them off. The only thing I don’t do is give them lunch (they have it at the day-care). Once I’m back, I take their homework/studies, feed them, prepare their uniform/shoes for the next day, tell them stories, give them milk and lie down with them till they go off to sleep.  Projects, assignments, preparing for assessments, all are done in time. Any extra work of mine is done after the kids are asleep.

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Nowhere in my regular day do I feel that I lack in my responsibilities as a mother. I may be spending less time with my children, but every second that I do, is accounted for. From the minute I come back from office to the time the kids leave for school, we are together. Weekends we either laze about or do some crafts. Sometimes, I even take them out to meet relatives or friends (Shopping with children is still off the list).

Till date, I’ve never let my work come between me and the kids. They are my priority, sure, but my work is important too. The kids understand this. I’ve done nothing to let my children feel that they can boss over me using the guilt train because I’m not at home! They don’t do it. I was just peeved that the FIL felt I should be guilty because I’m a working woman.

Maybe its just a generation thing. At their time a woman’s sole responsibility was to look after the home and hearth. My in-laws are by far one of the most broad-minded couple in my entire relative circle, but there are times, like recently,  when age-old conditioning sets in . I don’t grudge them that.

I’m just worried that someday, their perception of a working woman’s attitude towards her children will rub off on my children. I don’t want my kids to believe that I’m doing something wrong by going out to work and they need to be compensated for my absence ( They will never get anything from me if they take that route 😐  ) . Today they are too small to understand the implication of the FIL’s words, but tomorrow, they will understand it and God forbid, even use it to their advantage!

So, has anyone else faced similar circumstances, arm-twisting by the children, guilt-trips? Please share how you went about handling such situations!

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Once again, pulling out a post from the drafts!! I really have no idea why so many of my posts are lying in the drafts (around 65 at the last count) and I totally forgot to publish them 😐

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Till a couple of years back, I was very enthusiastic about applying mehendi to Lui. She has the cutest hands I’ve known, dimpled and chubby (though her nails are a different story altogether!!). Her fingers aren’t long, but they are soft and tender and when she cups my face in her hands or when we hold hands while crossing the road, I feel that they are something very precious, like the softest bale of silk, cool and soft. If I have a headache, she would gladly rub Vicks on my forehead, her caresses gentle and her touch beautiful!

Needless to say, I love her and I love her hands. Since she was a kid, I’d beg her to stay still while I drew pretty flowers and tendrils with mehendi. My painstaking efforts were tolerated by the toddler, which was roughly for 5 minutes, after which she would just rub her hands together and smudge the entire thing.

I would feel peeved, that my daughter didn’t show signs of loving this hobby as much as I did (not that I’m very good at it!) but I was hoping that the lovely green mehendi paste would play its magic on her.

It didn’t.

She would make it clear in no uncertain terms that she didn’t like it at all 😦 . Frankly, it was unrealistic of me to expect my daughter to like the same things that I do. She is so unlike me that I wonder if she really is my daughter. When a child shows liking for stuff which is close to you, it becomes easier to initiate the child into it, to show them the right way to go about it. Something to do with treading on familiar territory, I guess. With Lui, since we have nothing in common, bringing her up continues to be a challenge. I’ve introduced her to all my likes and hobbies, alas, she has zero inclination towards any 😦

In fact, it is little Shobbs who’s the picture of sincere curiosity as he asks me what ingredients I’m adding to the dish which I’m cooking, or wondering why I’m not wearing a matching dupatta with my dress!

Lui, couldn’t care less 😐

Anyhow, on the Friday evening before Eid-ul-Zuha, Lui went to play in the neighbour’s house while I went about my work of preparing for the weekend. After an hour, when there was still no sign of Lui’s return, I went to the neighbors place to check on her.

Imagine my shock, when I see her sitting calmly with her hands outstretched as the neighbors kids painstakingly applied little intricate designs on my daughter’s hand.

“You shouldn’t have bothered K”, I told the young girl,” Lui will mess it up within minutes”.

But K was almost done, so I let her finish.

Kharab mat karna“, K gently warned Lui.

“NO”, yelled the little monster as she ran back home.

I just shook my head, knowing fully well what the monster would do as soon as she reached home.

Alas, Lui proved me wrong. Once again. She sat as patiently and still as a saint till the Mehendi dried. And as she sat there, willing for it to dry, I couldn’t help but realize how much my daughter has grown-up! She’s finally more patient, in control. Moreover, she finally took a fancy to Mehendi…. 😀 😀 😀 That is reason alone for me to celebrate!

Cant wait for this particular one to come off….then I will draw those flowers on my baby’s hand  🙂 .

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For the record, I did apply Mehendi to Lui after that…she was still as a statue and very cooperative!

Alas, I don’t have snaps of that effort 😦

 

 

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Learning New Things

It is sleep time in the MomofRS household. The twins have drunk their milk, wiped off the mustaches and slumped onto their respective pillows.
“Say your prayers”, I admonish the two.
Little Lui immediately starts off with, “Dear Allah, please take care of our Big-Dadi .  Dear Allah, please take care of our Abu. Please teach him to make rice and tea and juice and bhaji and ghee and chocolates. Please give him little cold and little heat. Not too much cold. Please make him do good work and not do any naughty things ( 😐 ). Please teach him to wash clothes and vessels. Aaaaameeeeen”.
Shobby says, ” Dear Allah, please do all that Lui says, okie?”.

😐  🙄  😐

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The kids are getting ready for school. I dressed them up and asked them to go to the kitchen to have breakfast, while I get ready for work. When I came out of the room, Lui was doodling on the walls, deeply absorbed.
“Lui, did you have your breakfast?” I asked.
She didn’t look at me and just said, “Yes”.
“Look at me. Did you eat it? Really?”
“Yes”. Still not looking at me.
Shobby comes up to me in the meanwhile and seeing our conversation, butts in, “Mumma, Lui didn’t have breakfast”.
I was a little annoyed. “Lui”, I said, “you musn’t lie dear. Its okay if you dont want to eat. Just say that you didn’t”.
“Lui is a liar, Lui is a liar”, started chanting a very bratty Shobbs!
“SHOBBYYYY”, screamed Lui, who was silent till now, “SHUT-DOWN!!!!”

😐  🙄  😐

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This morning, I served the kids their bed-milk. Shobby finished his first and held out the cup.
“Yeh lo Mumma”.
“Hey!! Keep it on the table”.
“No you keep it”.
“Hello!! Its your cup, you keep it”.
Lekin, cup aapne laye. You keep it”.
“Very funny. YOU drank the milk, so you keep it”.
“No No. Mumma. Not say like that. Meri baat suno. Jo cup kitchen se laata hai, woh hi cup kitchen mein rakhta hai”.
“No way! Jo doodh peeta hai, woh cup kitchen mein rakhta hai“.
“Mumma!! Hamesha aap ki baat kyun sunu?? bade logon ne bhi chhote bachchon ki baat sun-na chahiye“, grumbled a VERY peeved Shobbs!

😐  🙄  😐
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I was coming back home last Sunday after a visit to BFS (where we had some awesome chicken curry and fried prawns!). I was riding my bike, with Lui in the front and Shobby sitting behind me. I usually keep both of them behind me but Lui simply insisted that she be allowed to stand in front. I told her it was long way back home and her feet will hurt after a while. The girl just wouldn’t listen!
To be on the safer side and prevent her from falling asleep/getting tired, I told her that she will have to press the horn whenever I tell her to. She was easily convinced and we went on our way. For the first 5-10 minutes, I told her when exactly she must press the yellow button.
After that, she just did it on her own, without the need for me to say anything. She practically became my left thumb 😀
Speed-breakers : small beep.
Turning : beep beep beep.
Crossing : long beep.

She got the hang of traffic so well, it was amazing!
Surprising part is, when we were coming towards BFS’ place, it was Shobby who insisted on standing in front and he was also busy with the beeping. Only difference being, he just beeped at will 😀

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And while we are on learning new things, this is how one is punished when one uses their grandfather’s handkerchiefs to mop the floor. She made sure that the said handkerchief was scrubbed really clean after that !!

sincerely at work!

sincerely at work!

The tyke wore a dupatta on her head because , in her words, “mujhe mere baal disturb karenge

😐  🙄  😐

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These days, I return home around 8pm (which is rather early) compared to the 9pm entry I was making until last year. I leave a little late in the mornings, making sure that the kids get into their school van and then leaving for work. I eventually reach office around 10am or later. which means, that after 9 hours, I leave around 7pm or later. So 8pm it is, when the kids expect me back home.
The minute I enter, the kids rush up to me. No no, they don’t rush up for a hug or kiss. More likely, they’ve been fighting over something and I have to make a judgement RIGHT NOW! I hold them up for a while and politely ask them to give me a few minutes to at least freshen up. “Okay, aap paanch minute mein fresh ho jao”, Shobby magnanimously permits. So I quickly wash up and head to the kitchen, where the MIL (Bless her) keeps tea ready for me, everyday :).
“No no Mummy. No tea”, both the kids yell at me. “Why not?!” I’m appalled. My cup of tea is my savior…to get me through the rest of the evening.
“okay, tea piyo, but no reading paper”, he pouts.
“Alright”, I resign to my fate. At least I’m allowed to have my cuppa.
The kids continue their bickering and fighting for every piece of toy that lays strewn across the house. I don’t pay heed. The picking up can be done later. Once tea is over, I have to practically threaten the kids with dire consequences if they don’t have their dinner ASAP. Shobby obliges, Lui doesn’t 🙄 . Much running after, the kids are fed. We quickly get our school bags out and check for the day’s homework.
The one thing that I’ll eternally be grateful to Allah for, is that my kids love doing their homework. They love their number writing or coloring or sticking pictures. The only trouble I have is to restrict them to the page they have to fill. Left on their own, they would cover all the pages with their scribbles and proudly display them for our compliments.
Homework over, we have some time for playing, mock-wrestling or pillow-fights 🙂 . Around 10pm, I start prepping them for sleep time. Last visit to the toilet is followed by cups of milk, narrating stories and then goodnight prayers. The lights are turned off and I stop replying to their umpteen queries. The idea is, they should take the hint that their mom is asleep and they should drop off too. Usually, I’m the one who actually starts snoring and the kids start playing in the dark. Their father comes in around 10:30 pm and the kids are up and perky in seconds. What follows is some serious father-children bonding time where I don’t come into the picture at all (since I’m busy snoring).
The kids are hyperactive (MashaAllah) and minding them for a few minutes is a trying activity. Sometimes, they are in good behavior mode and don’t run around much. But there are other times, when I’m left gasping in their wake, unsure whether to catch Lui before she upturns the box of cornflakes on the floor or run after Shobby, who is perched precariously at the edge of the window sill. Obviously, both are at separate ends of the room :|.
And this is the reason why, when I get up each morning, I look at their sleeping forms and wonder, for the umpteenth time, what if I had them earlier??
I never thought I would feel this way, but as the days pass by and I feel more and more exhausted by the time I come back home, I wonder if it was wise to have kids so late in life? Frankly speaking, we had the kids as soon as possible after our marriage, but the point is, we married late. I’m least ambitious where career is concerned, so that was never a problem. Its just that favorable circumstances for marriage came our way pretty late. I know it isn’t late late, but its late enough for me to regret it. I’m not as active and healthy as I used to be. I want to run around with the kids in the park without resembling an asthma patient with a severe attack. I hate to give up midway in some of our games at home because I’m too tired for the action. I’m annoyed with myself because a pillow fight with hardly 2-3 hits from me makes me feel as though my arms cant take the pillow weight any more 😦
These are the twin’s beginning years….there are many more to go. I had planned on teaching them badminton and playing matches with them. It seems like a distant dream now. I wanted to be a part of every new sport or game that they learn, but lately, thoughts of pulling out seems very appealing.I never wanted to be a mother who sits on the side lines and watches her kids play. I always wanted to be the mom who was right there on the field with the kids, dunking a ball through the basket even as they tower over her 😐 .
The twins and I have a neat 30 year gap between us. It didn’t seem to matter much when I had them. But when I look back now, I wonder why I delayed so much 😦 . I have friends who got married early and had kids early. They are the same age as me, but don’t have to run after their children anymore. That phase was over for my friends when they were still in their early 20’s. Most of them have kids who are teenagers now! I think I can handle teenagers in my present age. To think of handling my kids 10 years down the line petrifies me 😐

The only thing that keeps me from toppling over the cliff of morosity is that, if I had kids before, they wouldn’t have been Lui and Shobbs. Though mine, they would have been any other children (I cant even imagine faces for them), but not my twins. And to think of a life without Lui and Shobbs is…is …impossible! I’m addicted to my kids and though my knees creak after a couple of minutes of playing horse-horse, I’d rather have this than prance around lithely with unknown children 😐
What can I say now? As usual, motherhood never comes easy….early or late 😐



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The Day Care

Yesterday, the twins spent their first day at the day-care.

Now, this isn’t a professional day-care center. The woman who runs it is in her fifties (if I’m not wrong :|), is single and has a daughter who is pursuing her MBA.

The lady is an ex-school teacher who has been conducting tuitions to support herself and her daughter. We needed someplace where we can leave the kids between 2-6pm, that is, after their school gets over and the in-laws get back from work. Leaving them home was an option but we weren’t comfortable with the idea of leaving the kids alone with the nanny. The girl (the nanny), a slip of a thing, tends to sleep deeply, so deep in fact that many a times we’ve found the kids prancing around the house whereas she is deep asleep inside. As long as there were other adults in the house, it was okay. Now, there is no one 😦 . Thats the major reason we thought of keeping the kids someplace where they can be watched over all the time.

I’ve mentioned in some posts before, about my futile efforts in hunting for a day care. There isn’t a single one near my place, not surprising, since it’s a purely residential area. It’s kind of funny, that we found out about this lady just the day before the twin’s school was to start 😐

I met up with  the lady first, then the MIL accompanied me to settle on the payments and then I took the kids to meet her. One thing that did strike me was that the lady and her daughter were kind, but firm in their handling of the twins. When her daughter raised her voice at Lui who was jumping over the sofa, I’ll confess I felt bad. But more than that, I realized that so bratty had my daughter become lately that nothing we said or did made any difference to her. A little stern treatment would do her some good.

And that is exactly what each one of us kept re-assuring the other about yesterday.

 

MIL : I don’t like it….feeling bad….its not good to keep children away…..kya karein?…..lekin zaroori hai.

FIL : I don’t approve. What is the need?? We can call my sister again…let her stay with us….now you realize the importance of my mother?!….

BIL : I wonder how the kids are faring…..

BF  : I don’t like it….am upset…..what if they ill-treat the kids….poor Shobby….he has to suffer because of Lui….she’s a brat…but yeah, she needs some discipline…my babies…I don’t like it.

Me  : *call up daycare*….did the driver bring in the kids on time?…

          *call up nanny*…what?? shobby was crying??…

         *call up BF*….they’ll take some time to adjust..

         *call up daycare*…are the kids having something to eat?…..

         *call up MIL*…Lui seems to be doing just fine…..

         *call up nanny* pick the kids….

         *call up day-care*…hope they didn’t trouble much….

         *call up MIL* …did they reach?…

         *call up BF*…they’ve come home….

BF  : I don’t like it yaar 😦

Me  : Me too 😦

 

And so, we’ve all been going back and forth on our decision to put the kids in day-care !

As of now, they haven’t been scarred or anything. The only thing Lui complained about was that the aunty scolded her. But I know that my daughter can test the patience of a saint, so I don’t blame the aunty right-away. The lady is used to handling little children and I’m sure I’ll see positive results shortly.

On that positive note, I’ll try and get through another day, even as my mind diverts itself involuntarily, wondering how the kids will fare today 😐 . I know that this arrangement will be best for them and us. We can go about our work without the constant nagging worry of what the twins would be up to or how the nanny is treating them. Plus, the twins will learn to behave and eat (two things that the daycare lady has promised to instill in the kids). As of now, they are both fussy eaters and tend to boss others around !

It is 3 pm now and I’ve made only two calls (to home) and one chat (with BF). Still resisting the urge to call up the day-care. Shouldn’t sound too uncertain about them, I think. We need to get through this month before finalizing on our decision to continue further.

Hmmpphh!!

I wonder why we are all getting so sentimental about the day care !

Its not as if we are cutting off the proverbial umbilical cord or something! We are just keeping the kids in a different place till their grandparents come home.

Why then, is it so difficult to accept it  😐 😦 ?!!

 

 

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It was a moonless night….or maybe the moon hand’nt come out in our parts yet…the kinds when the sky looks its blackest and the stars seem to come alive with a bright new sparkle. The kind of night when a gentle breeze blows from the nearby hillock and for once, the traffic on the road comes to a decline.
And to top it, there is a power cut.
It was one such night last Friday.
It was hot and humid earlier in the day. I didn’t report to work as Shobby was very ill. He had been ill on and off for the last 2-3 weeks, but this time, his fever refused to come down even after administering crocin syrup and cold water sponging.
A visit to his pediatrician and a blood report followed. Post medication, he was considerably better and back to his chipper self by evening. The kids had their dinner in peace (for a change) and since it was too hot inside, we sat out in the balcony, the only place which was cooler by a few degress thanks to the breeze. The BF hadn’t returned from work yet.
The kids had a mild altercation on who would sit on their mom’s lap. This was resolved amicably enough when I asked Shobby to lie down next to me and rest his head on my leg. Lui clambered on my lap and rested her head on my shoulder.
We sat like that, in silence for a long while. The twins were mesmerized by the stars, even Lui, the restless one, sat still. I stroked the hair on Shobby’s head….marveling at their thickness, much like his father’s. I could smell the baby powder and the faint sweet smell of baby sweat on Lui. We sat there for ages, the gentle breeze cooling us and the dark night not a scary place full of monsters. Shobby asked if his Big-dadi was a star. Lui replied that she indeed was.
We sat there like that, just absorbing the sights and smells around us.
And in that moment, I realized what ‘inner peace’ means.
It means being content in where you are and with what you have.
It means being immeasurably happy to be with people you love.
It means not depending on flashy and expensive things to have your kids love you back.
It means a few precious moments caught at the end of a hard day.
I’m not sure if the kids will remember this time…..but by writing about it, I hope that one day, when they visit this place, they’ll be reminded of the simple pleasures of  life 🙂

 

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