Friday, March 18, 2011

Where does he get this stuff?

Vir: Mamma, do you know how to dance? 
Me: Yes. Why do you ask?
Vir: You know, you have to dance to get married.
Me: Really?
Vir: Ya, that's how you get married. 
Me: By dancing?
Vir: Yes, by dancing. That's how. And there's a princess who teaches you to dance if you don't know how to dance. 

Marriage is quite the theme of discussion these days. Here's another conversation:

Vijay (to me): Hey, we have to go that wedding this weekend, remember?
Vir: Is it my wedding?
Me: No, Vir. 
Vir: Why?
Me: Not yet. One day many years later, you'll find someone to marry and then it will be your wedding.
Vir: I will marry Tara.
Me: No Vir, she's your sister. You'll find someone else because sisters are different from wives.
Vir: Then I won't marry anyone. I'll just stay in Vatika City always. 

And another one:

Vir: Mamma, I miss Mamta didi (was the maid who worked with us when Vir was 2)
Me: Yes, Vir. I know that. (So do I!!)
Vir: Why did she have to go away? Did you fire her? (really need to start watching what I say in front of him)
Me: Umm (gulp). Yes, but she needed to go to her house anyway because she had to get married.
Vir: So why did she have to go away if she had to get married?
Me: Because sometimes when you get married, you need to go to a different house. 
Vir (from the bottom of his heart): Mamma, marriage is so unfair. 


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My conscientious student

It's so funny to think that my little not-even-two-year-old has been paying attention at school! She lay in bed last night just before she fell asleep babbling away like she always does when she started uttering some gibberishy thing followed by ha-ha-ha. Then again something something and ha-ha-ha. Then something something sugar ha-ha-ha. She was trying to sing Johnny Johnny to me! I have never sung this rhyme to her, so I figured she learnt it at school. Of course, Vijay and I were very excited and have made her repeat this so many times that she can now even say the no-papa part right on cue followed by a great big ha-ha-ha!

What will tomorrow bring? Maybe she'll tell me how the monsoon travels to India. I really never understood that lesson in Geography:-)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fitting the stereotypes

Before boys are born, they're made to drink a shot of the car-airplane-monster truck-anything on wheels potion. And before girls are born, they're made to drink a make-up and clothes potion. These are not just stereotypes. Looking at my kids, I'm almost certain this is what really happens.

Vir's undying passion for cars is no secret. Seriously, that boy scares me with how much he thinks about cars and how much he understands them already. Yesterday, he pulled out two pet cars for the day (he always has a one or two that go with him everywhere for a couple of days and are then put away safely while a couple of others get the honor for a while.) Anyway, the two dinky cars he pulled out were, as I saw them, completely different. One was a black and white police car with lights on top and some other embellishments. The other was a blue race car looking thing with a spoiler on the back. As always, he brought them to me to get me to read their names, typically written on the bottom of the Hotwheels ones. I couldn't believe it when I realized that different as they looked, they were both Dodge Chargers. Some part of his boy brain was able to figure out the similarities in the two cars despite all obvious differences and pull them out from his embarrassingly large collection of dinky cars to form a pair. Totally incomprehensible to me of course. I stared and stared at those cars after that to see if I could spot any similarities. None. At all. Of course, I was never given a shot of that magic potion before I was born. Maybe this is why boys don't understand the differences between mauve and lilac, or beige and taupe, or  jade and sap. Same as why I don't see the difference between a Dodge Charger and a non Dodge Charger.

The little woman in my house meanwhile is discovering that she loves all things girly. Ask her to show you her nail polish and she'll preen and show off without apology. It started when my sister in law painted hers and her cousin's nails to entertain them one day. They both came out of her room blowing lightly at their fingers as if they've been doing this forever. And today, she came running up to me urgently handing me my kajal and asking me to twist it open and apply it to her lips. All things that twist open must be lipstick of course! And she doesn't let a single opportunity to use creams and lotions and perfumes go by. She just has to see me opening my toiletry cabinet to come running up with her demands. She's always ready to show off her clothes and shoes and her pretty face to all willing admirers. Add a small purse to her ensemble and that's all she needs. My mom actually sent her a shiny little purse with two bottles of nail polish inside as a present to make her happy recently. Totally made the little show off's day!

Of course, we're not doing anything to consciously promote these stereotypes, but they're such fun to watch that we're not really discouraging them either. As if we could fight against the magic potions even if we wanted to!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tara Gogoi Goes to Preschool!

I know. She's not even two. You'd think from the way she's taking it though that she's been doing this forever and totally has it down. I signed her up for a two hour a day play school sort of thing near our house since I'm thinking of getting back to work and need her to get a little more used to being out and away from me. Knowing her though, I wasn't even worried that it's too soon. She's ready to be out and to meet more people and socialize. The limited pool of people she has to spread her magic within the house just doesn't cut it anymore. And sure enough, she just walked right into school and involved herself in everything that was going on despite the chaos and newness of it all. Yesterday, which was day one, I waited around near the office thinking I'll hear her crying any minute and will take her home since it might be too much to expect her to spend two hours there all at once. I waited two hours and the only time she cried was when I finally tried to take her home!

Back at home, Vir was extremely concerned that Tara now has to go to the big black hole called school and kept asking me if she was crying all the time at school. He can't comprehend that she really doesn't mind leaving me for a while.

I know she could throw me for a loop any minute (probably tomorrow since I've jinxed this by telling the internet all about it) and start screaming bloody murder at the sight of the school building, but for now I'm just so thankful that this has been so easy for her and for me. It's so great that she just handles things in her own little independent way and makes a place for herself wherever she goes. I hope she stays like this, and something tells me she will!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Parenting is tough

I had a particularly difficult day with Vir and vented about parenting on Facebook today. I was advised to write about it here instead. That got me thinking so here I am.

What's tough about parenting? Let's see if I can even begin to put this in words. Never having a totally peaceful night's sleep either because the kids wake you up or because you expect to be woken up even if you aren't or simply because some percent of your brain is thinking about the kids even when you're asleep. Never being able to switch off completely and do or think nothing because your brain is permanently wired to the kids and some part of it just won't let go even for a minute. Not knowing if the decisions you make all the time are right or wrong for them and knowing that right or wrong - it's all you. They depend on you and if you're screwing up, you're screwing with them. And then knowing that you're screwing up a lot. Not knowing how to handle the daily ups and downs and the big and small disasters and messes that naughty hands and curious minds just know how to create. Being too tired to clean more poop. Fishing out miscellaneous items from the poop pot. Feeding fussy eaters. Knowing that they are so vulnerable and trying to keep them safe and healthy. Worrying worrying worrying about their health and nutrition. Dealing with loud noises and tantrums while trying to maintain some amount of sanity and even panache as the parent and responsible adult in the room. Setting a good example - that's a particularly tough one! Looking at them while they sleep and feeling guilty about everything you're doing and everything you're not doing for them.

See what I mean? I can't even begin to put it in words...I've written so many things already and could go on. But what's stopping me (after all the ranting) is the thing that I find toughest of all and that's the guilt of complaining about them. Because literally above every other thing is the fact that they're my greatest love and for them, it's all okay. Many times over. Besides, they're just so unbelievably cute. What sort of person would I be to complain about those little hampers of adorableness who can make you smile on the most grey of days and make everything feel better with one snotty, slobbery, just-for-you kiss?

So let's just pretend I said nothing about any of this, okay?