Category: Double Trouble

In the middle

“Mumma why do I not have a middle name?” Buzz asked me one day.

We went on to have a long conversation about how names are chosen in different cultures, why some people choose to have a middle name or a number middle names, why some people choose to have Jr. etc. behind their kids name.

“Mumma some time at school I add a middle name to my name!” she told me then.

Taken by surprise I asked her what she wrote?

“Sugar”, she came back, “because you some times call me cheeni, which means sugar!”

Suddenly, Bugz, who had been listening till then chimed in with utter glee:

“So my middle name will be Pataka!”

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That be that folks! 😀

Question and its answer

Buzz has this fascination with family relationships. There are always questions around Bua, Mama, Tau Ji, Nana, Dada – the list goes on. But more importantly there are always questions around how do people come together to get married. Or I should say there were.

The other set of questions she has are – Do I have to *insert question* when I grow up?

Do I have to become famous when I grow up?
Do I have to cook when I grow up?
Do I have to give up milk when I grow up?

Most times my answer is, “you don’t have to if you don’t want to.” (based on the questions of course. “Do I have to eat my fruits when I grow up?” has only one answer, a resounding yes.) This answer, I almost always follow up with a “Why?” Mostly because I want to understand her thought process and where the question in coming from.

That the two set of questions collided came as no surprise to me. One evening on our drive back from school, she asked “Do I have to marry when I grow up?”

“No you don’t. That is your choice,” I told her, “but why do you ask?”

“Because then you have to kiss and that is just ewww!” she replied.

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Her class was learning about the life of Martin Luther King recently. The kids were really impressed and spoke about it constantly. Ask me, I had impromptu quiz every day and disgusted looks were given because I did not know the year Martin Luther King was born.

Buzz’s teacher wrote the anecdote in one of her class emails – When I spoke about his marriage, a collective ewww went out in the class. They all looked disgusted that such a great man could make a blunder like this.

Buzz came home with another set of questions”

“Do you know who Martin Luther King’s idol was?”
Ahh finally a question I knew. “Mahatma Gandhi” I replied.
“Was Mahatma Gandhi married?”
“Yes he was.”

Before I could show off my knowledge and rattle details about Gandhi, she had walked away shaking her head. Two great men had made the same mistake!

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“I don’t like S. I am not going to talk to her again!” she told me in her angry voice.
“What happened? What did S say?” I asked.
“She said A and I will get married when we grow up.”
“errr”
“I am not getting married to him or anyone else. I don’t want to get married, EVER!”
“Ever?”
“Ever!”
“OK then.”

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Bugz was cribbing about being the younger sibling (story for another day), so we got talking about how Papa was the youngest sibling and how Mumma was also the youngest sibling and how much fun it was to be the youngest in the family.

“Mumma do I have to get married when I grow up?” Buzz asked again.
“You don’t have to, if you don’t want to.” came to standard response.
“Because kissing is ewww, right Didi?” asked the youngest one, remembering the conversation in the car.
“Well Bugz, at some point in your life you will have to kiss someone!” She shrugged.

And she has grown and how, that to in less than a month, mom laughs holding her stomach.

The Question

Bugz currently is that stage of life where play rules and food loses every time in front of it. Even with her favorite meal she gets distracted in a little bit and starts out on some game or another, so imagine the plight of the food she is not fond of? In an effort to avoid battle lines being drawn over dinner table where the two of us stand on opposite sides, I poured my creative juices in to the mix. There was coaxing her to finish her meal, there was putting the food away to eat later when she was hungry, there was ‘no playing at the dinning table’ rule, there was award for finishing her plate. Needless to say nothing worked, but the sight of food being wasted every day was something that was getting to me.

On my very edge, I spoke to her about wasting food and how there were kids going hungry. Buzz got interested as well and the two of them started asking questions. Excited to see that they were thinking about the concept, I searched online and started showing them pictures of malnourished kids. The pictures were very graphic, and I could see that the two of them were a little shaken. The questions started again as they saw one picture after the other.

– Why are they not eating
– Why do they not have food?
– Why don’t their parents get food from the store?

And then Buzz comes up with the question of the day:
If people are so poor that they don’t have food to eat, why do they have babies?

at which point all things came to a halt as I grappled to find the right answer. The question has been asked a couple of times since and I still have not answer that I think will work. Please help if you can!

Uncertainty..changes..tears..looking ahead

I was to start back at work when Bugz was six months old. The transition did not worry me as much as it did the first time around with Buzz, but decisions still needed to be made and we decided that we wanted her to stay at home for a little while more before she went to a daycare or school. We started looking for a nanny, talked to more than a few over the phone, met 4 in person. I can’t pinpoint on what/why we settled on the nanny we did, call it instinct, call it a feeling, but looking back I can only be thankful for it. The love and care Bugz gets from S is unmatched. Bugz said, Bugz did, Bugz wants – this is what I walk home to everyday. Every interest of hers is taken care of, every dislike preempted. As a parent, while your heart swells up with love for you child, it also gives an extra tight squeeze when you see an outpour of love for him/her from someone else. I have lived with this feeling for over two years now and I still can’t find the right words to tell S what she has done for us.

Change of course has to come and as unbelievable as it sounds, Bugz starts school soon. S was involved in the entire process of finding the right fit of school for Bugz, applications, acceptance letters and when things were in place she booked tickets back to her home town for a long overdue visit before she started her next nanny job. We have all known the dates for 6 months now but as the numbers come down to single digits, the heart sinks a little. I come home to S holding Bugz a little tighter, her eyes moist and promises of phone calls. I look the other way as I blink away the tears. Goodbye were never my strong suite for a reason.

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Buzz is coming to the end to her school year and with it comes the next set of changes. She will be moving to a different branch of her current school due to a few different reasons. From a small, cozy 5 class rooms, all in one hallway school, where everyone knows everyone else, she is moving to 3 floor, six hallway, big school.

Her current school has been amazing for her. She has played and laughed and danced and performed and kicked a ball and skipped over rocks. She has made art and collected jewels from the yard and made friends and shared her toys, she has found ways to express herself and has grown in confidence.

The fact that she is moving to different branch of the same school, helps calm me down. I know the main core of the school is the same, I have loved the various focus points of the school and I know that is not going to change. A couple of teachers and a lot of kids from Buzz’s class are moving as well, which will help with transition big time. In all I am fairly relaxed about the move, but the fact that I walk in to her class with teary eyed teachers upsets me. How do you thank teachers that get so attached to your kids? How do you find words for all they have done for your kids?

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Re-orgs happened at works a few months back and a new project came online. It seemed interesting and I signed up for it. It was exciting and new and a great learning experience. As I was getting in the rhythm of things next set of re-orgs happened. Since I was committed to the first set of work, I was asked to continue till the end of June after which I transition the work to someone else. The first part is set to release by the end of the month and as I spend a lot of hours finishing as much as I can, I also prepare handoff documents for the person unknown to take over. There is a part of me who wants to see it to the end, but the practical part tells me, learning is done so move on. The silver lining of course is that I will be coming back to my original team and they are counting days.

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Momentum is building – bye bye S, yearend performance, bye bye school, deliver on work, bye bye project and it all ends with us getting on a plane for a vacation in the sun.

After all the anxieties of June we will welcome July with open arms for it brings calm along. Buzz and Bugz will be going to the same school, I will have my old team back, things will find a way to settle down again. Till then the countdown is on – 17 days to the vacation we have all been looking forward to.

What the..

I have never been much of swearer (is that even a word?) In days of the past “ullo” and “gadha” were my go to words. “Sh*t” and “Holy crap” joined the list somewhere down the line.

With the kids around I started to be very very carefully on the words I used. Additions were made to swearing vocabulary.

“Oooooohhhhhh,” I would go and add “shoot!” to it.

“Holy moly chipotle!” came next.

The kids picked it up, of course!

One day Buzz was trying to read and she made it through a particularly difficult sentence (for her) and I exclaimed “Oh Boy!”. Buzz laughed very hard and that became our go to word from then on.

About a month back she came home very excited.

Mumma, pata hei Ms. A kya boli? Oh My Apply Pie!

Giggles followed and Bugz picked it up as well.

“Oh My Apple Pie!” is now randomly heard around our house. Always followed by laughs, always brings happiness, age no bar.

Happy, innocent times, I hold dear as I go about my day.

Why

A few days back, Buzz was playing with two sticks. Bugz wanted to play with them as well so Buzz handed over one as she said,

We share Bugz

One minute they were playing together, the next Buzz looked the other way and the little one was off with both the sticks. A chase around the house, lots of screaming, reasoning and crying followed, to no avail. Drama was escalating to an unmanageable level but the scariest part for me was the sticks moving in all directions so I stepped in. I did exactly what Buzz had done to begin with, gave them one stick each and explained that they had to share.

Bugz went in to her stubborn meltdown. Both sticks it had to be. So I shrugged, tough love and all that, only to turn around to Buzz saying,

Here you go, Bugz. Aap dono le lo!

Having witnessed this multiple times in the past, I had to ask Bugz’ favorite question,

Why?
Because I don’t want Bugz to cry!

Sigh! Sibling love in our house means one really spoilt little kid and one forever giving elder one.

Smiles

– All my work backlog is done. There is still a lot to do but at least it is only my work that I need to do. Plus the project I am working on is new (to me), super high importance but more importantly very interesting. #LearningNewThingsAndExecutingWellOnThem

– Ski season is done and dusted. Snow is melting away to give way to flower filled meadows. Buzz has gotten used to lazy Sundays again. No longer does she demand to be taken to the mountains. #FreeTimeForAChild

– For two weekends straight we stayed at home. The house was cleaned from top to bottom. For every place I cleaned, the two helpers cleaned the same place twice over. #SparkelingCleanMessFreeHouse

– Buzz has half an hour swimming class every weekend. I started taking Bugz to the pool as well. Bugz loves water, a flotation device keeps her safe, I let her do as she pleases. There will be time for learning the skills, this is time to have fun. She loves to play in water but was scared to jump in while standing at the edge of the pool. It took me 3 or so weeks but the fear is no more. Now jumping in is the new favorite activity. She is in and out of the pool every 5 mins #JumpRightIn

– Buzz’s school had an art show recently. They save three art works for each child through the school year and then display it on a particular day. To see art done by your child, presented beautifully is an experience. Buzz loves art, she is forever drawing, coloring, creating but this year’s art show was an eye opener for me. The things she imagined and how well she executed on them. We redecorated her room with the new art she has been doing and the ones we got from school. #JoyOfCreativity

– Bugz was a miser when it came to kisses. My younger one not giving me kisses went against my right as a mother so I started working on it. “Bugz kissi,” became a mantra. Now we have it down pat. I get a kiss each on each cheek and so does she, after which we grin ear to ear. She continues to be a miser with everyone else, Paa included. #ProudMomMomentEvilMomMoment

– A friend recently had a baby. I was on standby all day Friday to drive her parents to the hospital as soon as the baby was born. I got the call at 5:15 in the evening, “baby is here!” I called D to pick up Buzz,  buckled Bugz in her car seat, drove to pick up Uncle and Aunty and then to the hospital. Besides the parents and the hospital staff, I was among the first ones to see the little guy. Adorable is the word. You forget how tiny and fragile they are and how absolutely precious. Bugz was besides herself going “chotta sa baby!” #HoldingPreciousnessInYourHands

– A trip has been planned, tickets have been booked. We are still a couple of months out but the excitement level is high at home. We can’t wait to get through the school year and then relax for a week before starting summer school. #DreamingOfSunSandAndBlueWaters

– I started running again. The ankle is almost all good and to test it further, I went for a run. Minor soreness and nothing else and so I started. I try running about 3 times a week, 40 mins, 3 miles. The muscles are sore, body asks what the heck am I doing, but I go on. #GoodSoreMusclePain

– D does not travel out of town as much any more. When he switched jobs early last year, it resulted in constant travelling for him. He was gone a couple times a week, every week. It took a toll on all of us. Buzz would have a meltdown every single day he was not home. “I miss Papa!” she would cry. Bugz would follow in tune of course. There was all the travelling for D and all the extra work for me. We were a total mess. Re-orgs, upper management decisions and crafty deflections (from his side) and he has only travelled a couple of times this year. #TogetherWeMakeAFamily

– Wedding preparations are in full swing in India. Every call made ends up in discussion of what the kids will be wearing, what I will be wearing (D no one cares about). Given how my tastes for India wear runs toward cotton which is a big no no for a wedding, but again given how no one is sure what I will like, there is constant talk but no end result. The latest is that I have told them, find me a tailor who is ready to do all the stitching in a week’s time and I will take care of the rest. #ExcitementOverAFamilyWeddingAfterYears

– Buzz can’t wait to go to India. Her demands are long and ever growing. “I want to eat paranthas everyday. Paneer paranthas are my favorite! I want mehndi on my hands! I want to wear a saree. Please can I wear bangles? Can I get holes in my ears? Will there be mithaa to eat?”. #FirstWeddingCelebrationForTheLittleOnes