I realise, second children are made to mock the smarties out of the parents.
Just when you gloat and think you’ve done well with the first, along comes the second and dismisses every parenting tool you choose to use.
With Oviya, from the beginning we followed a routine. Meal times, bed time, no-TV days etc.
But with great foreboding we realise that with Nilah, our test as parents is going to get horribly tough.
There is a daily routine that I find cute now, but has the potential for extreme embarrassment soon.
Every day, as soon as I return home, N climbs onto me and peeps into my shirt/blouse/kurta. Then she flashes this ‘aal iz well’ smile. For the rest of the evening, she takes quick breaks from play/harassing O/shadowing K (babysitter) and repeats the peeping-Tom exercise. When she is bored, she decides to do a touching-feeling thing too.
For her there is no discrimination of time and place. Even when we are out, she sits on my lap with her hands safely ensconced inside my tops. Cute, you may think. But not if she insists on doing this in the food court of a busy mall! Ha! What were we thinking, by even trying to have a normal life with a toddler in tow.
Second borns also serve another very useful purpose. You appreciate your first more! At least in our case, we are increasingly grateful to O for letting us believe parenting is easy.
When I raise my voice with O (even when she was really little), she immediately pays heed. When I do that with N, she screams back. But I am quite sure this horrible behavior is in no way a reflection of me as a mother, but more a reflection on O. As a big sister, she is way too indulgent with N and misguides her. I am not to be blamed. Hmph!
After a long, long time I heard the term ‘boy cut’ at a saloon yesterday. That should have been inspiration enough for me to jump off the chair and run out with a ‘not-quite-finished’ hair cut… hindsight and all that. I stayed put and left only after the ‘boy cut’ was done – complete with stubble on the neck, which R says only the Marines still find fashionable. Yeah, the man has a smart mouth which he should keep shut to save his teeth from being knocked off.
The two most important people in my life, who are not related to me by blood or by marriage, are T the tailor, and K the maid.
My life as I know it will go to pieces without these two fantastic human beings. The first provides me with almost-stylish clothes, that I don’t find in my size in stores. The other runs my home, and cares for my children.
But sometimes, I wish they would just SHUT UP!
Two weeks ago when I picked up a set of new suits from T, I told him he seemed to have got the measurements wrong. And pat came the reply (arms stretched wide, as if I would misunderstand his Malglish and need the charade): “You’ve become fat!”
K, till a few days ago couldn’t stop boasting about how ‘anthee’ was one of N’s first words. As if that weren’t irritating enough, yesterday she tells me with a pretend-sad expression: “N is not calling me ‘anthee’, she keeps calling me ma-ma!”
If I didn’t need them so desperately, I would kick them.