Category: Double Trouble

Different anyone!!

Buzz and Bugz are caught doing something they should not be doing. “What are you two up to?”, I ask

Buzz’s eyes promptly fill up and she clings to me with a “I am sorry, Mumma. Galti ho gayi.”

Bugz on the other hand puts on a *Look aren’t I cute Mumma? You can’t be angry at me* smile, turning this way and that.

What is Mumma supposed to do, me wonders?

My Dil goes hmmm

Chalte chale jindagi..
kabhi yoin he mud jati hei.
Jaate jaate..
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.

Laakoin sawal..
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.

Chanchal gudiya..
uthti, baithti, naachti, gaati.
Chamkti aankein..
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 achha!
Didi thoda (little) achha, jyaada (a lot) achha?
Didi jada achha!
Me 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?

Joy of unexpected

Mumma Bugz mujhe copy kyoin karti hei?

she asked me.

Just like you try and do things I do, Bugz looks up to you and tries doing things you can do. She wants to grow and learn and that is what she is doing

I answered back. Satisfied, she ran back to where Bugz was and said,

Bugz jump!

Bugz of course followed.

Bugz spin around!

Bugz stopped only after a couple of spins.

Bugz jump and spin!

Bugz managed even that.

Bugz airplane!

Hands out she ran towards Bugz, but Bugz did not follow. She came to a sudden halt in front of Bugz, hands straight to her side, said,

Bugz wings out!

Bugz looked up, leaned a little way forward and gave her Didi a hug. Didi’s hands dropped to return the hug, game forgotten. As for me, I smiled a smile, gathered the unexpected, unguarded moment and held it close.

Big Sister..Little Sister

Last night Bugz was in her ‘throw-a-tantrum-at-every-turn’ mood. I tried calming her down, holding her, reasoning with her, to no avail. After she threw a glass of water on the floor in her ‘my-way-the-only-way’ fit, I walked her to the timeout corner.

Timeout is when the drama quotient increases exponentially in our house. Bugz cries, then screams (ear splitting screams) and then fake coughs in turns. I understand that these are all attention grabbing techniques and I ignore her for a bit. After a couple of minutes it is easy to calm her down and reason with her.

I’d had a very tough day yesterday and had a mild headache before Bugz started her antiques. Timeout and her screams – I lost it completely. All I wanted was for her to stop the drama, so I warned her to calm down else.. Now this else is where I have the most issue. Else what? Honestly nothing right? Timeouts are my last resort, she has no concept of privileges, she is too little to understand getting something as a reward for good behavior. So else what?

After a couple of warnings, at my wits end, I told her that I will leave her outside if she did not calm down. Bugz loves it outside, so my actual idea was to take her out for a small walk. All this in the hopes that she stop screaming.

As I started walking a screaming Bugz, out came Buzz running and screaming ‘No’. Tears in her eyes, her hand engulfing Bugz in a hug, ‘No, mumma! Don’t leave Bugz outside’.

Over and over she repeated the same thing as Bugz held on to her Didi while Didi made a case for her.

‘Bugz, sorry bollo! Sorry bollo’, she insisted.

Bugz did her part on point. Put her hands on her cheek and said, ‘Mumma soiee!’

My anger long forgotten, I had a smile on my face. It was so difficult to keep a straight face and say, ‘Fine’.

Little one, you have real special someone in your Didi. Hope you realize that as you grow up.

Sweetheart, your care, your love, your warmth flows through our house. You teach us how to be parents when we lose our way.

Dear little kids,
Seeing the two of you together is like an answer to a prayer. Your bond makes everything all right. You laugh and you play. You fight and you make up. You copy each other and you help each other. The two of you together are the best thing any parent can hope for. May this bond only grow stronger as you grow older. Stay healthy, stay happy, stay together. Always!


Random Thoughts

  • Buzz and Bugz are as different as chalk and cheese. One loves to take any/all medicines, the other absolutely refuses to open her mouth to take even a drop, even when down with fever. One takes forever to fall asleep, the other is up at the crack of dawn. One can’t even find things right in front of her nose, the other will find things that are not even needed for the time being.
  • My body has gotten used to an almost full night of sleep all over again. Even a night without 6 hours of sleep and the headache comes down with a vengeance.
  • Sorting through pictures from a trip a few months back, I have come to realize that D loves to take pictures in threes. 700+ pictures and only every fourth picture is different. If I were to make a set of three, each set would have difference in only a slight head tilt here, an eye flick there, everything else – same to same.
  • Looking at same picture three times, so annoying! Especially when you are trying to sort them in some sort of unloadable order.
  • I am not liking the new (now not so new?) changes to Picasaweb. In trying to simplify + unify their product integration, Google has made a things a lot more complicated.
  • Now a question on the unifying front – why do the important features not work across applications when unifying is such a big deal? They used to before and don’t post all the work. What a mess!
  • Need to find another alternative to Picasaweb!
  • I hate social media. I am a social media recluse. There I said it. I, who could not handle FB, now am on Whatsapp! Something that I forget to check till someone sends me an email about!
  • I have not updated my FB in years, I think. No pictures, no status, nothing. I like a few things here and there (few and far between) but can’t seem to get myself to let the world know what goes on in my head.
  • The security settings in all these social media sites make me panic even more. Anyone can tag me for the world to see? The only thing I can do is not have them show up on my profile for my friends to see?
  • Even when I learn to live with that, putting in settings that I think I am somewhat OK with, they go and change them is some way, shape or form and then there is a scramble to figure it all out, all over again!
  • Despite my hesitation about social media , I have a public blog? I seriously need to get my head examined.
  • I want to get back to running again. Ankle last 1%, get on with it please.
  • There are almost no pictures of only Buzz and me. There are loads with me holding Bugz, but very few with Buzz. Will there be, ‘you loved her more’, in my future? God hope not!
  • D, what the hell? There are like 10 pictures of the sleeping wolf! Like really?
  • Bugz baby take some medicine and sleep please. It is good for both of our mental health.
  • How can you notice Didi’s shwminshoot in the dark, while you are crying and get excited about that, I will never know.
  • This is going to be another LOOOONNNGGGGG night, me thinks.
  • Wonder what will happen first, the pictures getting uploaded or me getting some sleep? At the speed the uploading is happening, I will place my money on me getting some sleep. Imagine that!
  • There seems to be so much time in the evenings when D is not in town. hmm need to think about this a little bit more 😛

Edited to Add: They now are showing random ads to posts on Wordpress? I foresaw it a couple of years back, so why does this upset me so?

They came, we had fun, they left

One particularly depressing day, I picked up my phone and called them. The minute they answered, I went on a rant, “It is summer, the kids are out of school, why can’t you come over, even if it for a few days”. The two of them totally shocked, calmed me down and asked me what was up. Like a petulant child, I kept repeating, “Just come”.

Plans were made, tickets were booked and days counted. Sheets were washed, beds were made and towels in place. The day of, Buzz asked me why there were not here yet. I explained that she had to go to sleep and she would wake up to them in the house. The innocence that she is wanted to go to bed at 7:00 itself. D left just as I was putting the kids to bed and then the wait started again. It took forever for the clock to strike 10:07 and the garage door finally opened and I rushed down to fall in their arms and hold on tight.

Laughs, talks, dinner and it was time to catch some sleep. Somewhere in the middle of the night Bugz got up and started screaming, “Mumma” and would not stop. Groggily I walked in to her room, to see her pointing to *her* sleeping and saying “Kon?” (who). Soon *her* and Buzz where up too and giggling excitedly. Love, sweet words, angry words, big eyes – all were used to finally get all three of them back to sleep.

6:00 in the morning saw the same story repeated and I gave up on any further sleep. Bugz was re-introduced to big didi. And then with the rest of the family as they woke up.

Once Bugz got to know them, big didi became Didi2 while Buzz stayed Didi. Mama was Papa. “Whose papa Bugz?”, came back with a prompt “Didi2”. Similarly Mami became Mumma and the adults were thoroughly confused every time she called out, “Mumma/Papa”, which means there was increasingly frustrated Bugz pulling at someone’s shirt. Bhaiya had to make do with finger points and “enh”, poor little baby.

There was showing off of the cousins at school, trips to various parks, amazing food, picnics, splashing around in the lakes, ferry rides and long drives. There was teasing, fights, tears, time outs and making up.

There was a night of sitting and remembering, sharing of worries, re-living the horrible months, missing Maa like crazy, tears, holding on, re-assurances, opening of private feelings, reminiscing childhood days, laughs, promises, care – all soaked in so much love.

There were 5 rakhees made and tied to the utter confusion of 4 little munchkins. There were fights over colors and frustration about not knowing how to tie them. There were huge smiles on all four faces once the rakhee were in place. There were showing off of little wrists.

There were the hugs good bye and as they left, I walked around the house as a lost soul. A week since they left and the house still feels empty. There are art projects that the kids did to be collected and put away. There are socks and T-shirts and books to be found in obscure corners of the house, that I gather and keep aside for the next trip.

Bhaiya and A – I miss you so very much.
Kids – Can’t wait to hold you all over again.
December – Please come quick.

Itti si hansi..itti si khushi..

Dear Buzz,

The more you grow up, more of your personality comes out and more I am thankful for the wonderful kid you are. I am not saying that when you start crying for seemingly no reason and don’t stop, I don’t lose my patience or when you keep playing during a meal despite constant reminders to be careful and spill your milk all over the table, the floor, your clothes, I don’t get mad. I am saying that this is a stage you are in and as a kid you are entitled to you tantrums and your games but there is so much positivity in you that as a mom I am grateful every single day.

The first time Bugz got a timeout was mostly because of you. No, you were not at fault, she was. But that day, I stopped trying to explain to you that she was too little and did not understand what she was doing. I took her to the timeout corner and made her stand and I turned around to see a huge smile on your face. You two were on equal footings from then on. You both could and would get timeouts for things that you were not supposed to do. The next time Bugz got a timeout you asked me not to give her one. When I stood firm and Bugz had to go to timeout, you went and sat next to her. Bugz being Bugz pulled your hair and you came running, complaining. I asked you why you wanted to sit with her, you of course could not put it in to words so went back to your games. A couple of minutes later you came to me and asked if Bugz was done with her timeout. As soon as I said yes, you ran to her, held her hand and brought her back. Now a days every time you figure Bugz is about to get a timeout, you run to stand in front of her and tell me, ‘Mumma Bugz se galti ho gayi, phir se nahein karegi’ (Mumma Bugz made a mistake, she will not do it again). Then you turn to her and say, ‘Bugz sorry bolo’. Bugz, the smart one, promptly puts both her hands on her cheeks. I keep a stern face and nod but I smile this big smile inside.

Not just this, but in so many other things make you an amazing elder sister. But for the time you go to school, you always want Bugz to go with you when we step out of the house. You hold her hand before any of us can. You come running if she falls or is crying. You show her off the few times she comes to your school. Once you are dressed, your next question is about Bugz’ dress. You keep her entertained and make her laugh in the backseat of the car when we are on long drives. You hold her milk and keep it aside when she is done. ‘Didi’, she calls out and you come running no matter what you are doing. Little things, so many little things you do for her and my heart swells up seeing it all.

When we were in India, you Fufu got you a cake. By the time he came home you were fast asleep so you saw it in the morning. You decided with your Fufu that the cake was to be had in the evening. You waited all day and refused to cut it without Fufu. You were again asleep by the time Fufu came home. The same thing happened the next day. The morning after Fufu decided, morning was as good a time to cut a cake as any. The cake was cut and you sat in Fufu’s lap, smiling, talking, eating your cake. I looked on amazed at the control and will of a little kid. You wanted everyone around when the cake was cut and you waited a couple of days for it to be so.

You know our rule of not having more than one candy a day. ‘Too much sugar’, you come and tell me and you follow the rule, no questions asked. I can’t believe that we still have candy left from Halloween and Valentine’s day. You don’t even ask for them every day and I am left wondering at the kid you are.

You were crying a few days back and said a few nasty things to me. I replied calmly and said ‘no’ to whatever it was you were asking for. You came back with, ‘you are not being nice to me’. I asked if you were being nice to me for saying all the things you said. You started crying louder, looked at me with tear filled eyes and said, ‘I am sorry for not being nice, Mumma’. I held you and consoled you but you kept saying sorry. You calmed down after I convinced you that I was not hurt and that I still loved you, but what stayed with me was my shock at your realization and how much it meant to you that you had hurt me with your words. I know they talk about this at school but you are still a little kid. I guess I was not expecting this depth of remorse from you.

I make rice two days in a row and you tell me, ‘Kal roti banana OK?’ (make roti tomorrow, ok?). I think out loud on what to cook for the day and you are there with your preference before anyone else – Kadhi, chole, rajma, paneer, dosa, khichadi and your Pa and I laugh out loud. Our kid is old enough to dictate what gets made in the house. But then there are times when you look at some vegetable and don’t like it (to be honest I look at it and don’t feel like eating it either) but you still finish your meal without much fuss. The only extra requirements in such a case is that there be extra serving of yogurt and I feed you the last part of your meal. How can I ever say no to such a request?

We have this game of kisses getting over. I tell you my kisses are getting over and you give me loads of yours to fill up my stock. I do the same and we laugh and roll as we play. In between all your plays and friends and activities there is always time for a hug for you Pa and me. In between all the times that Bugz hogs the limelight there is always a quite holding and sitting on my lap from you. In all the daily grind of running around, there is always your laugh to make us smile. In between all the stress that comes every day, there is your innocent non-stop chatter which makes us laugh.

At the end of the day as I kiss you good night, you tell me, ‘I love you, Mumma’. I put the blanket on you and we blow kisses to each other. I step out of your room, thankful for everything that you are, thankful for having you. You are precious to us, more than we can every say in words, like an answer to a prayer send out unknown to even us. Your laughing, jumping, talking, ever moving image is what I carry with me as I close my eyes every night. My very own hansi, my very own khushi. Stay healthy, stay happy, stay you sweetheart. Always!

Loads of love,