Month: February 2012

Being a dad

The day we made our way back from India was one shubh muhrat day. As we drove from our house to the airport there were big pandals, band, baja, barat and fireworks every 20 yards. Buzz looked at the pink and white tents lit up from inside, the sparkles that went boom, the guys with their face covered sitting atop a horse, guys in similar dresses playing tunes with fascination. D started explaining it all to her. Groom, bride, marriage, phera were words that were used. And then came, ‘Long time ago Mumma Papa also got married. Papa came on a..err..in a car and married Mumma.

Aur Buzz bhi thi wahaan pe’*, chimed in Buzz.

No no Buzz was not there’, said D

Then where was Buzz?’

 ‘err..hmm..you know..errr..’, D tried pacifying the super upset Buzz where no answer was the right one. 

I am still laughing!

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I could hear the two of them talking, D patiently trying to explain something to Buzz. And repeating it over and over again. Some 10 minutes later as Bugz slept I went to see. These two were still at it. Now 3 days later, I can’t for the life of me remember what D was teaching Buzz but what I remember is that he looked at me, smiled and said, ‘If I keep at it, a few minutes every day, she will pick it up soon. I want my girls to be confident and self-reliant.’

Aah the father speaks!

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I finally got some pictures from the India trip out to my computer. As I was going through them I came across a picture of Buzz with D’s sister. I gasped, ‘Oh my! Buzz looks so much like Didi.’

Don’t say that. Why would you say something like that?’, D said in anger.

err Didi and you have a lot of features in common and Buzz takes after you. So…’

Then say Buzz looks like me. She is my daughter, she looks like ME!’

OK then Dad dear!

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Buzz sat in D’s lap. There were laughs and hugs and Iloveyous. Suddenly D looked at her and said, ‘If you ever have a boyfriend, he is going to be in so much trouble.’

Dad is having nightmares already!

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On the other hand: I took Buzz to the doctor’s office. Her pediatrician asked her what she played with?

Papa’, pat comes the reply.

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*And Buzz was also there

When you grow up

Dear Buzz,

‘Jab mein badi hoingi’*, you say every other minute. You will be allowed to cut onions using a knife, or drive the car or feed Bugz and endless other things you come up with. It all started when Bugz came in to our lives. As your Paa told me a few hours after Bugz was born, you grew at least a foot in height and a year in age in the span of half a day. You were our baby one day and the next you were the big sister and when compared to the little member of our family, you looked so big. You of course are tickled pink to be a grown up. ‘

‘Bugz to choti hei. Per mein to badi huin’**, is another favorite of yours. You have grown up and how. Your Maami pointed out that something was different about your voice when we were talking to her on Skype while in India. For a minute I was stumped and then it hit me, you had lost your baby voice. You had the sweetest baby voice and on top of that you spoke in a sing song manner. It was so different and cute that we all used to copy it. And then in a span of two weeks it was gone, taken over by a more mature voice.

You now have firm choices. You understand when something goes wrong. You know how to show affection, how to get your anger across and how to butter us up when you know you are in trouble. You ask for a hug after the punishment is done with,, as if to wipe the slate clean. You laugh with your eyes shining when given something you want. You remember things that happened months ago. You jump, you run, you talk. Oh how much you talk!

When you were a year old, you would play with the pots and pans while I worked in the kitchen. Slowly it morphed in to your version of helping me out, which meant you played with the spoons, moving them from one basket to the other as I emptied the dishwasher. And then there is now. I don’t know when things changed, but now there is no pretend help. You actually help me. In fact you have defined your part in everything that we do. You hand things to me that are not too heavy, to keep away, as we empty the dishwasher. If I try picking them up myself, I hear from you almost immediately. You just have to add that small pinch of salt or a dash of cilantro powder as I cook. Your Paa cannot make tea without you adding the tea leaves or the sugar. As I said you have marked certain tasks as yours and taking them from you means a full blown tantrum.

And then there is Bugz. You would take over and not let anyone else do anything for her if  we would let you. You are fascinated with her diaper changes and massage and bath. You are amused because she has no teeth and you have so many. You lie with her in her play gym, giving her frequent kisses. The same play gym, mind you, that you found too boring when you were little because who would want to stay in one place when one could see the entire room by rolling around. You show her off like crazy when we come to pick you up from school. ‘My baby’, you say over and over away as you dance along. Every time she wears something or plays with something, you want to know if it was yours. ‘Jub Buzz choti thi, to Buzz bhi yeah pehenti thi?’***, you want to know. And every time I say yes, you laugh with glee. Did I not say, you are just too happy that you are a big girl?

There is a certain joy in you that I hope you keep for a long long time to come. It is so easy to make you laugh. A funny voice, stomach kisses, a fast push as you sit on a swing, a voice on the phone, a glass of juice, certain song, a sweater, balloons, cupcakes, blueberries, packed lunch, umbrella, stickers, candy (err your gummy bear vitamins), milk, parantha with butter, pasta, the sound of the garage door opening. The list is endless and so are your laughs.

As I make rotis and you roll one alongside with your roller, you tell me, ‘Jab mein badi hongi aur Mumma choti, to mein bhi aap ke liye khaana banaoingi’****. And I melt. (And no I don’t try and explain that I will not become small. A little too much to understand that). You have filled our lives with your laughter. You brighten our days with your smile. You entertain us endlessly with your non-stop chatter. You test our patience too but then that is part of being you. And your Paa and I love you for that and more. We love you for what you are now and what you will be when you grow up.

Stay healthy, stay happy, stay you. Always!

Loads of love,
-Maa

*When I grow up
**Bugz is small. But I am big.
***When Buzz was small, Buzz also used to wear this?
***When I grow up and Mumma will become small, I will also make food for you.

While no one was watching

Dear Bugz,

‘Was she always this cute’, your A Maama asked. While your Didi is awake she takes all the attention. She talks, she runs, she laughs and she makes everyone around her laugh. You are forgotten in all the noise. I am not saying you don’t have your way of being heard. Your cry can be heard at least 3 houses down. But as you sleep your day away, you don’t get much attention. Then you open your eyes just as your Didi sleeps and you start to talk and you start to play. Your hands pump and your legs don’t stop moving. Suddenly people notice you and are surprised at how utterly adorable you are.

I know every mom says this but I think you have the most beautiful smile. It lights up your entire face. This in turn makes everyone who sees it smile. But what makes us all laugh is that you flash it even in the middle of a crying session. It is as if you can’t control yourself and just have to smile when you see someone smile at you. And then when you think something is really funny you chuckle. A real from your belly chuckle and that just cracks us all up.

If you are well fed and your diaper is changed you can play on your mat and in your bouncer for over an hour. All we need to do is pick you up every 15 or so minutes and keep you upright for a few minutes so that your acid reflux does not act up. But no matter how happy you are playing by yourself, you get so excited when you see one of you coming close to you. You start kicking your legs super-fast and give your best smile. After all nothing beats being picked up and held close.

As much as I have been a mom before and as much as everyone including me thinks – been there, done that, there are so many things I had forgotten about having a baby. In all the diaper changes that came as your Didi grew up, I forgot all about the sweet baby smell. Your Didi developed a bad case of dry skin when she was 2 months old and taking care of it for months and months made me forget how soft baby skin is. This time I want to remember all this and not forget. I hold you close, I bury my nose in your neck and inhale big. I kiss your cute little cheek, somehow always your left one which makes me worry that your right one will get upset at the discrimination and then I try my best to even it out. I can’t have either of the two angry at me, now can I?

Everyone looks at you and tell me that you look just like me. And I go awww, I must have been one seriously cute baby. Oh sorry! This is about you. I watch you day in, day out and still as I watch you sleep it hits me how much you have changed from the day I brought you home. You have grown so much.

Buzz is my first baby. The first one I felt move inside me. The first one I held in my arms. The first baby weight I felt. The first one I loved. But you are my last. I will never carry another one or feel another kick or hiccup inside (cross my fingers here that we have no accident, oh please God not that). And that makes you as special as the first one. Love you like crazy sweetheart, through endless sleepless nights and never-ending diaper changes. With that love in my heart all I can wish for you is – stay healthy, stay happy, stay you.

Loads of love,
-Maa