Random Rant-a-nayaki…

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

At, from, about… school

Every day there is a funny story from school, that keeps us in splits. Oftentimes, O (8 years old) doesn’t find any of this funny, and is only recounting incidents or exchanges, as was. The last two Wednesdays (and 2 more to go) I’ve been going to her school to do a writing workshop with grade 6 students, and so I’m coming back with crazy anecdotes of my own.

Mr Honest

O: Maths teacher threw S out of class today.

Umm: Why?

 O: Because every time teacher enters the class he would say ‘oh! no’; so teacher asked him why he did that, and he said because her classes were boring.

 

Early lessons in genetics

O: Amma, H’s younger brother doesn’t look like her at all.

Umm: It happens…

O: He doesn’t look like her mother either. H and her mother look alike. But he has blue eyes, Barbie blond hair and light peach (sic) skin.

Umm: Maybe like her father?

O: No father also looks different.

Umm: But don’t go ask her all this…

O: I didn’t ask H… but M (O’s best pal) did

 

 

Autograph please, just in case…

After Wednesday 2

Boy 1: Ma’am, give me your autograph.

Me: Are you crazy, no…

Boy 2: Why not?

Me: I’ll give you when I’m famous.

Boy 1: But we won’t be able to meet you, if you are famous, no?

Me: No, don’t worry, I’ll meet you.

Boy 2: What if you don’t become famous?

Me: **Controlling hysterical giggling fit exits the class**

 

 

First impressions

O: Amma, I want to go to India forever, to be with ammamma, ammachi and everyone.

Umm: OK, but amma and appa have to find a job first.

O: Why?

Umm: How else will we live there, we need money right?

O: Can’t ammamma and all take care of us?

**sigh! Can’t then?**

 O: Amma, but will there be good schools in India.

Umm: Of course, all of us studied there, didn’t we?

O: So, not all schools there are like ‘orphanages’, is it?

(Her only visit to a school in India was when we went to provide lunch for a school for deaf and dumb children from neighbouring slums, so she assumed that all schools were that way.)

 

Let’s resurrect Roald Dahl, by daughter is upset

After immersing herself in a Dahl book (gifted by RenJay), that also had a bit of his biography at the back

 O: Amma, Roald Dahl is dead. So sad, amma.

Umm: He was very old O. It’s ok.

O: I know, but he has written only nine books, what will I do after I have finished all of those?

… to be continued

O is 8

already.

I am not going to get all senti and mushy over her conception, birth, first poop and first steps.

Instead, I am going to get philosophical.

About the lessons I learn from her — the most important of which is ‘just get on with it’ or ‘get over it’.

O is a big planner. She plans play dates, weekends, her reading order… so little surprise that she plans her birthday parties months in advance. This year, she had it all down by end of August.

It would be a zoo party, she will take a few friends to the zoo, and will cut the cake at the zoo cafeteria (‘only if it’s clean’) or else we would come back home for that. She chose the snacks; selected the invite design; she even chose the grown-ups who would accompany us. It was an animal theme, so the return gifts were ‘tiger mugs’.

The zoo-picnic was planned for the weekend before her birthday. The cake was ordered. The snacks were bought. Rsvps received. But the night before the picnic, she falls ill, unable to even keep water down.

We waited till the morning of the picnic (Friday, 23 Oct), and decide to call it off. I was heartbroken, my sister who has flown in for her birthday from India was upset, O was shattered.

She was too weak to protest loudly, but the expression on her face was enough. We finally decide to move the party to our home for later in the evening.

She sat next to me, grim-faced, as I made the dozen calls.

She promised me she wouldn’t eat anything at the party, so that she doesn’t fall ill. She napped.

And with a brave face she welcomed the guests home. She enjoyed herself, so did her friends. Almost every single one of those kids came and told me how disappointed they were that we were not going to the zoo; they made me promise that I would take them any way later; and they all had a BALL!

O did tear-up a bit, as she watched others tuck into chips and pizzas, but true to her word, didn’t have a single nibble. If I weren’t so busy running around, I would have done nothing but hug her the whole evening.

As the 1-hour party, came to an end 4 hours later, she beamed me her inimitable smile that lights up her entire face, and said she loved her party: ‘even if I cried and felt sad amma, I had a great time.’

She didn’t mope over all the planning that went down the drain, barring the initial few minutes of utter disappointment. But she got over it so much quicker than I did. And that’s something I need to imbibe from her… to not sulk and throw tantrums, which I am famous for.

She does crib a bit about stuff she doesn’t get. Who doesn’t?

Other than that, she has always been an incredibly easy child.

And while I sing praises of my first-born, let me not forget how wonderful junior was. N allowed herself to be squeezed and pulled and pinched by akka’s friends. She allowed herself to be passed around like a ball. She reached out to me every time I passed her, but after a quick hug and kiss, was willing to go back the next pair of willing arms. She knew the day was her akka’s, and was so unbelievably well-behaved and cheerful, I dread the thought of how the party would have turned out if she had been a cranky brat.

So from her I learn that you don’t always have to be the centre of attention, you can be just as happy watching the fun.

The next time I feel like acting like Moaning Myrtle, I know I only have to take a leaf out of my daughter’s book.

Below are the two looking a lil tired at the end of the party

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a secret heaven for stationery?

I wonder, as I walk the stationery aisle of the supermarket to replenish O’s school stuff for the nth time this term…

Is there a heaven, or some such place, where pencils, erasers, rulers and sharpeners escape to from school?
And does that ‘heaven’ only permit entry to stationery in good condition?
How else do we explain the disappearance of good stationery day after day, while chewed up pencils, blunt sharpeners, used up erasers and scratched rulers find their way home?

The Photo Tag

A man who has a way with money is appealing.

A man who can make you laugh is attractive.

A man who opens the door for you is charming.

A man who brings home the bread is dependable.

A man with kind eyes and a cool bike is sexy.

But a man who can fall in love unconditionally, without hesitation, and carry the trust of his girls with pride… plain HOT!

 

I’ve known R for over 13 years, been married to him for 10.

However, I honestly and irrevocably fell for him when I saw how he was with O.

And as if to remind me, and to warn me against taking things for granted and giving trivialities importance, the scenes are enacted once again.

 

O was the first baby he ever carried or touched… but I guess with loving you don’t need practice. That’s why the second time around too, with N, it comes just as naturally to him.

 

So for this tag from Deeps, where you are supposed to pull out a photo from your picture folder and give the story behind it, I chose the two below. And as they say, a photo is worth a thousand words.

On the left is R with N, and the other with O