Category Archives: Motherhood

Complicated

“So how was your morning?” the Viking queries from a random platform somewhere in the North sea. Suddenly he might as well be on the moon for all the difference it makes.

“Terrible, ” I reply. “Arvind awoke, cleaned up, dressed, ate breakfast, drank his milk and just WALKED OFF TO SCHOOL ALL BY HIMSELF. He didn’t even need a walking companion. And I watched him walk away till he was a little speck with a hint of an orange cap on his head.”

“This is terrible?”

“And Armaan. My self-toilet training little man shouting “You are SO CLEVER, Armaan! Flinke du!” in wild appreciation everytime he tinkles successfully into the toilet bowl. Dressing himself, feeding himself, frustratedly trying to belt himself into his car seat. Just in case I’m not being clear –  he wants to do EVERYTHING himself!”

“Awesome,” responds the Viking enthusiastically, ” You realise this is it, right? We’re almost past it. Diaper changes, broken nights of sleep, following their every move. We’re almost FREE! WE can actually do things *gasp* TOGETHER soon because they will be self-sufficient. This is great!”

“No, you idiot! It’s not!” I wail inconsolably, “This is part where you say, Oh dear, we no longer have any babies to snuggle and babble gibberish to. There is no little person needing us and we need to have a NEW LITTLE PERSON needing us right now!

The gobsmacked man at the other end of the line manages to force the words, “You really want another baby?” through the complex circuitry connecting us somewhat tenuously at this moment.

Oh boy, the silence.

” No, I don’t want another baby. I want YOU to want another baby desperately. Then I can be the irritating voice of reason shooting YOU down with how life is good now and how everything has gotten so much easier and LETS GET A LIFE already. Please want another baby. That way, all the time I spend thwarting that thought will be time spent not wanting to do this all over again.”

Even my subconscious didn’t know it was all THIS complicated.

Meanwhile, I have a feeling that the huge FAIL – ACCESS DENIED on my application form to the Viking can be attributed to my total and complete lack of mental health as evidenced by sparkling conversation recorded above.

I’m going to have to win one soon.

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Filed under Motherhood, The Viking

A Graduate is Born

Dear Nice People at Kindergarten,

There has been a mistake. This is not my little boy.

‘Twas but yesterday that I swaddled him up a blanket and brought him home only to stare at him in wonder.

There was a little boy here just now who would fly with the velocity of a speedy bullet into my arms and who fit perfectly in my arms like a snuggly koala.

He was just here. A scrawny little thing who was a late speaker and an early thinker. Sweet, gentle and with such knowing, old eyes – when he wasn’t furious and frustrated that the world was so much bigger than him and so much stranger.

He was just here. I need to find him again because I’m not sure I’ve hugged him enough, listened to him enough or told him enough about things that matter. I’m not sure he knows that he changed my life for the better.

You might just have the wrong boy.

This boy sings clearly and with absolute enjoyment. He is seemingly without nerves when speaking in public before an audience of 50. This confidence is new, the bowing with relish, the handshaking. This piece of paper you gave him today made him grow a few inches this week – though I have barely had time to notice between browsing through baby pictures and bursting into tears.

We’re glad you like this boy. Thank you for having him. Now, could I have my baby back please?

Yours Sincerely,

Mamma Miseryguts

Am I graduashuned?

Am I graduashuned?

Best Friends and KGgrads. Now where's that cake?

Best Friends and KGgrads. Now where's that cake?

We'll miss the lovely Miss

We'll miss the lovely Miss

You don1t get KG smart without McFlurry in your belly. Whats that? It's all toxic waste?

You don't get KG smart without McFlurry in your belly. Whats that? It's all toxic waste?

Now you know how Mick Jagger started out

Now you know how Mick Jagger started out

arvind5

fast forward from this moment

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Filed under Motherhood

Riding In Cars With Boys

Dear Arvind,

On Thursday, the entire family will attend your kindergarten graduation ceremony. This is it. You’re done. You’ve been wanting to be done with kindergarten since you discovered the concept of Proper School and you’ve been prepping for that since August last year.

You may not miss KG too much, as eager as you are to move on, but I’m going to miss our car rides. Your new school is just a minutes drive and a five minute walk. The KG being a good 20 minute drive away meant that we could enjoy our two favourite things – driving and music – together. Any crappy morning could be salvaged by those minutes in the car with you. With you picking out the song that was going to make this a great day.

One those occasional days when I had time to plan, I would pick out a song I wanted you to listen to. We had an interesting couple of weeks with the “Queen Lectures”, where we went over Queen’s songs one by one and I told you about Freddie Mercury and what each song meant to me. In ways which a six-year old could almost understand.

Arvind: Mamma, is he the guy who sang in his undies?

Me: Yes, occasionally.

Arvind: Why did he do that?

Me: Why? Because he was Freddie. He was a brilliant performer. Freddie was magic and people loved his music so much that they didn’t care if he sang in his undies.”

I love it that you are the kind of kid who just gets this stuff. You’re the Phoebe to my Holden Caulfield.

You knew Life Is A HighWay and Funkytown way before Disney made it cool. You can almost tonguetwist your way around You Spin Me Right Round.

You love ABBA, Boney M, Van Halen, Def Leppard and Starship. We almost swerved off the road once, belting out, “We Built This City”. You in the backseat, in a small voice saying, ” Did you almost kill us, Mamma?”

You adore anything by Norah Jones because you know that is what I sang to you when you were a baby.

This was our time, totally in sync with each other. “Quality time” cannot possibly cover how much I treasured it. No matter how much we had fought the evening before, coming morning, come car-ride, everything was forgiven and forgotten.

No matter how much you roll your eyes otherwise, in the car, I’m cool. You are impressed by how I know all the lyrics to every single song you love. Even your new Camp Rock stuff. I will never forget the day, about a year ago, when looked at me with your earnest eyes and asked me,

Mamma, do know every single song in the whole world?

And then when you found out that I used to sing in a college-band,

Were you a real, real rockstar?

Errr. C’mon, even mothers need to be impressive heroes sometimes:-)

Our music, our drives, its going to be a part of who we are. It already plays a role in how we relate and how we understand each other. How can I express how it feels when you get why I tear up at this song and countless others?

I will miss the casual chats about our day in our car. The “Best Of” and “Worst Of” of each day. The occasional sombre talk about Why Parents Can Fight Sometimes And Why It’s Okay. The way you immediately perk up and wonder aloud if I had a bad day when you see me rub my temples. Endless questions about the universe that I can never answer, but which never bug me as long as I’m relaxed behind the wheel.

Arvind: How come you don’t know how far it is from the sun to the earth?

Me: I’ve forgotten. I have no idea right now. But I love you to the moon and back! (lamely)

Arvind: D-uh! Thats from Guess How Much I Love You.

Well baby, thanks to you, I now know that its a whopping 150 million kilometres to the sun.

I know we will still have our chats. And we will continue to go on drives, just me and you. Because in the cool interiors of this car, its magic. Just like Freddie at Wembley.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

This one is for you, so that we can both remember, many years down the line, the song we looped continuously on this last week driving to KG. The song we’re currently crazy about. Hey, I never said we listen to age-appropriate music. We just go with what we love!

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Filed under Arvind, Motherhood

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

…even when they are sleep-deprived Mums and working women to boot. I am stone cold sober tonight, but high as a kite. Yup, very oxymoronic of me, but there you have it.

Our Yummy Mummy  – And Just Plain Yummy” group had its monthly get-together tonight. I lurrrve this bunch of women and hanging out with them never disappoints. Some of us are mothers, some of us aren’t. We are lawyers, journalists, bureaucrats and engineers. Our lives on any given day are incredibly different. We have strong views on everything from the coming elections to the nutritional benefits of cod liver oil. And Dear Lord, can we ever crack open the wine, mix margaritas and paarrttaay!

The Mad Momma recently did an interesting post recently based on an interview she read featuring Julianna Moore, where the lovely Ms. Moore states that motherhood doesn’t wipe out the person you are.

It doesn’t have to Julianna, but it can. It can wipe you as you know yourself out for a while. Try not sleeping well for two years and anyone can be a lesser shadow of themselves. For me, the first year of being home with a baby, getting to know the baby and caring adequately for it while staying whole was an exhausting process. There were details, routines and schedules and I stopped caring about things that weren’t relevant to the task at hand. Eating, showering, sleeping, socialising, smelling nice, dressing in something other than saggy-arse jeans – everything got moved to the back-burner as I went about like a horse in blinkers. Loving my child so much it almost hurt, loving being a mother, but often at odds with myself and inexplicably miserable in my own new skin at times.

And then the girls came along. They firmly took off  ’em blinkers, stuck a glass of wine in my hand, fed me scrumptious food and laughed themselves silly over their lives, their loves and their ways. They were irreverent, snarky and rolling-in-the-aisles-funny. They were secure enough to call a spade a bloody shovel and wham!

I was back.

When we meet, its so not about motherhood. Some of us are mothers and sure, it has changed us, but it is far from the only thing that defines us. Even if it is the one factor that most influences our choices in life, its bloody fantastic to have that night with the girls when you can forget that. When you are one-on-one with the world and your primary tag isn’t Mum. These evenings are about what I think, not what I think as a mother. I don’t know about you, but for me there is a difference.

Moore says in her interview that she finds it incredibly reductive when people ask her how something affects her as a mother. I can understand that. I am a mother of two, but I am capable of seeing the world through non-mother lenses. While being a mother has made me see very many issues and situations differently and often, more emotionally, would I necessarily feel differently about Robert Mugabe if I wasn’t a mother? No. How I feel about the Indian elections, French immigration policy or Jimmy Choo shoes for that matter is totally unaffected by motherhood. Its my informed opinion and squeezing two kids through my hoo-haa ain’t got squat to do with it.

Did I really spend all these years developing confidence and and a sense of self to allow myself to be projected as a cardboard cutout Mum figure?  Sure, I care about the world I will be bequeathing my children, but I would care about future generations even without a child to call my own. If I was single and childless, I would incredibly pissed off right about now at being considered less moral and more selfish – like I have no reason to get all fired up about investing in a better future for mankind.

So, here’s my gyaan for the day. Find and keep great friends.

Friends “who love the YOU, you love” (quote from SATC). Friends who open their homes, minds and hearts and give you a wide and non-judgemental berth. Who make wicked soup and know their way around their mojitos and caiparinhas. Who are game for an impromptu car ride at 2 a.m. along a coastal route, blasting music that makes you feel 23 again, 19 again:-). Just a different dimension to feeling vibrantly alive.

I leave you with the two songs that topped our charts tonight. Cheesy, but  at 120 km/hr on a motorway, they rock your world!

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Filed under Female bonding, Happiness, Motherhood