Chalte chale jindagi..
kabhi yoin he mud jati hei.
koyi nayi si raah dikhla jati hei.
I walk around these days with a sense of joy. The day to day life remains but I don’t feel weighed down by it. Don’t know what changed, was it the family, is it the growing kids? I don’t know, but with change of the year, I have stepped in to a new part of my life. I feel light, I feel buoyant, I feel happy.
Wo gunjati hansi.
wo chote chote pal..
Wo gungunati baatein..
wo khushiyaan har pal
The kids had a blast together. Potty jokes where at their funniest. A bear, with cotton coming out of the back seams, was named Poo bear. Pooka is the new name for errrmmm.. fart. Every toy was made to sit on the pot, sounds made, eeewww shrieked and giggles plenty. Couple of hour long trips went arguing over which part of the pot was whose.
Then there was the first time on skies. The falling, the getting up, the being together in it all. And the best part about the whole ski class – hot chocolate. Cold, snow, bulky clothes – every thing was endured without a complain because there was that special cup of steaming hot coco at the end. There was standing on Paa’s skis, holding on to the poles, pretending to do all the work while Paa propelled then around Bunny slopes.
There was playing with Nana/Dada (which ever kid called him by whatever name), there was confusion over how he could be Nana and Dada at the same time, there was demands for books to be read, there was mastiyaan his style, there was getting away with asking for candy because he did not know the rules, there was snuggling in the blanket with him, there was calling dibs over who gets to sleep in the bed next to his. Indulgence has its own fun, after all.
sawaloin mein uljhe se jawaab.
Pakdo, chode, dhoondo..
sang mein peerote raho khawaab.
Buzz and her questions get more complicated every day. “Why is the rainbow shy?”, she asks. “How can you build a column under water without water running it over?”, comes next. “Why does the sky change color?” “So does water?” “What is reflection?” “Why do flowers not grow in winter?” “Why do Cherry Blossoms come for such a short time?” “Why is Mango seed so big while watermelon’s so small?” “Where are the strawberry seeds?” “Why can’t a car fly?” “Why does bad man hurt someone when he knows hurting is bad?” “Why do we have to sleep? It is so boring.” “Why are you not going to work today? We need money to go to India.” “My friend said, doctor cuts Mommy’s stomach to get the baby out. Why does the doctor want to hurt Mommy?” “Did the doctor cut your stomach to get me out?” “How did I get inside your stomach, Mumma?”
They never end. And I get better at creative answering every single day. It is a constant balance of telling the truth, but just enough that she would actually understand.
Heartbreaking as it is, homework is part of our daily life now. It comes every Monday and is due the next week. My little baby can read small small books on her own. ‘Jack and Jill and big dog Bill went up the hill’, she reads to me and my heart breaks in to small little pieces. I love reading books to the two of them. Soon that will be gone, I cry. And just when I am at the doorstep of despair, she snuggles up in my lap, hands me a book and says, “Read to me Mumma.”
She comes stands next to me and puts her hand on her head and then a little above my stomach. “I am this tall, Mumma. When I am 7, I will come up to your shoulders and then by 10 I will be taller than you.” I hug her tight and tell, not quite by 10 but by 13 for sure. It is all so amusing, she laughs and I laugh right alongside her.
“Can I sit in your lap, Mumma?”, she asks.
“Always!”, she parrots right along with me.
Hugs, kisses, I Love yous – my world is full of them. They come and they come all the time and I gather them all up, holding them close. And as we sit, holding on tight, she weaves her dreams about the future – her house right next doors to ours, how she will drive me around and cook for me, our sharing of clothes. College, work, her little dreams, so fun to hear, so very precious.
uthti, baithti, naachti, gaati.
meeloin lambi baatein, sada khilkhilati.
Bugz, my little one, finally has a perfect name. Pataka, I call her and she gleefully smiles and says, “Me pataka.” Forever moving, never in one place, not predictable, anything can set her off – that is her, Pataka. Almost at the end of the day, when I am tired, she loves to sit on my lap, but sitting for her means sitting and getting off every 30 seconds. 10 mins in to it, I feel like I have been through the spin cycle of my washing machine. I hold her, I let her go, I pull her up, I help her down, I give her a blanket, I take off the blanket, I read to her, I give her milk, I keep them aside, I start over.
‘Me’ and ‘this’ are her favorite words. ‘Me’ for herself and ‘this’ for everyone else. Extra emphasis means saying these words twice. “Me me give dudhu.” “This this keep here.” The ‘r’ and ‘l’ sounds are coming to her but she still bungles them up, but ‘m’ and ‘n’ get interchanged all the time. Which is to say, ‘name’ becomes ‘mane’ in no time. Everyone names she screams out loud, but ask her Mumma’s name and she gives a shy smile and says “Me Mumma.”
My favorite thing to ask her is if something is ‘achha’ or ‘ganda’ (good or bad).
Didi thoda (little) achha, jyaada (a lot) achha?
Didi jada achha!
thoda accha, jyaada achha?
Me no jada achha, me thoda accha
Always without a fail and then when I look at her in mock horror, she giggles, literal he he he giggles and screams, “Me jada achha!”
Whatever Didi does, she has to do. Whatever Didi wants, she wants. Every toy is snatched, every action is copied, much to Didi’s dismay. When Didi sits with her homework, Bugz sits to draw circles in her book. She watches like a hawk as I get Didi ready after her bath and the minute Didi gets up she comes running to sit in my lap. If Didi wears her stockings, she has to wear hers. Party shoes are soon to follow and showed off to any and everyone. If Didi gets her hair in two ponytails, dare you not make two choti for her. Didi gives two kisses to Mumma, she will give double that amount. Not that Mumma is complaining at all!
Loud, assertive, lover of music, crazy about dancing, stickler for schedule, stubborn, affectionate, quick to anger, utterly adorable with kissable cheeks – that is her.
“This Didi me ka”, she tells us and we all agree without any argument. Who has the energy to argue, I ask?