A Fight of Unusual Consequence!

Have been in a rotten mood these past few days…generally crabby and short-tempered with all and sundry.

Only Ishaan, with his solemn stares and mischievous smiles brought the occasional smile to my face…


Mr. Solemn-Face!


Two days ago, had a blow-up with hubby (Much needed, extremely therapeutic and thoroughly enjoyed! So don’t feel sorry for me in the least ;-)), over some trivial matter (which have since forgotten), first thing in the morning. Almost didn’t send Ishaan to school because of it…was just so pissed off and what do a few missed hours of school matter anyway at the age of 2 and a half, I ask you! However, wisdom prevailed (my own), coz I needed those precious child-free hours to get some editing done and meet with the publisher and so sent him, rather shell-shocked (that’s what makes me sad – the volume of our voices scared him…don’t want to have that happen again but know instinctively that it will), and so rendered silent, that…he forgot to cry! Uh Huh! He did! And then he went ahead and had a great time in school! Yoohoo for prayers answered!

Since I was treating my hubby to the full-fledged ‘silent treatment‘, I didn’t get to know of this utterly inexplicable and uplifting fact until last evening! Since yesterday, he’s been going quite happily to school, apparently calling out to his ‘aunty’ (they don’t say ‘Teacher’ in the Montessori system apparently), and going off with her with new enthusiasm! Strange are the ways of children and even stranger their timing!! I have been noticing his growing interest in other children. He likes older children and approaches them rather shyly but with conviction and calls them all ‘uncle’ and ‘aunty’ to my amazement and horror! They don’t seem to mind though (perhaps they don’t hear him too well :P), and pinch his cheeks and call him ‘sweetie’ and ‘cutie-pie’ in a most satisfactory fashion 🙂 The girls do. The boys offer him a firm hand-shake which he returns in an adorably grave manner, as if to say, “I’m one of you too!” Straddling two worlds with ease, my little chap!

So, it looks like we’ve finally made it to a tear-free school-life, although I’m still cautious and I have reason to be! Lest you think ‘All is Well’  (that would never do ;-)), he’s now started howling his head off, when hubby leaves for work!! “Paaaaaaaaaaaaapa”, he howls, “Paaaaaaaaaaaaapa”, in heart-rending fashion, especially on days, when hubby has to leave as soon as he’s dropped off from school (like today), only to fall into an exhausted sleep 5 minutes later. Is it just me, or do all children look like ‘angels’, only when asleep?! Oh come now…I know, you know what I mean!

With the weekend here, I’d rather reserve final judgement until Monday. But I’m hopeful and cautiously optimistic and of course fingers & toes crossed firmly 😛

But, my devious mind is now off on a dangerous track…dangerous to hubby that is! If one good blow-out brings such miraculous results, what might a regular dose of them do? Every couple of months or so? What say? Therein may lie the secret to my potty training issues 😉

But you guys…you have a fabulous, blowout free weekend, People 🙂

I’m going to…don’t you know…NO HOMEWORK!!!

Homework…Ishaan’s First Assignment, Undone!

Where there’s school…can homework be far behind? And one mustn’t forget, this is India, where ‘learning’ is sadly secondary to exam results.

So I wasn’t quite surprised (just a little sad) when Ishaan brought home, his first ever homework assignment – coloring, just surprised at the detailed picture he was supposed to color! It seemed way beyond anything a toddler would have the skill or patience to do. Ishaan like all almost 2 and a 1/2 year olds is incapable of sitting still for more than a minute at a time. The only exception being when he’s watching cricket (with Sachin Tendulkar in it), when that period can stretch up to two minutes 🙂

The picture he had to color was one of ‘Shera’, the mascot for the Commonwealth Games to be held in India next week. My only knowledge of said Games is that they have been mired in controversy…everything from the actual ‘bid’ to the construction of the stadia and athletes accommodations has provided sensational headlines & fodder for the Media, tainted as they are, by scandal, corruption and shady politics. Sadly, none of this surprises me, cynic that I am.

"Shera"...the Tiger. Mascot for the 2010 CWG to be held in New Delhi. Pic from Google images.

But I digress. Some quick research on Google (Where would I be without it? Indeed where would any one of us!) and within minutes, I had a print-out of the Mascot for ready reference. He is rather cute! Ishaan however was completely uninterested! The most he would do was repeat ‘Shera’ after me a couple of times and after the fifth time, he just grabbed the printout, crumpled it up into a ball and proceeded to play cricket with it…sigh…what am I going to do with this boy? I persisted…mostly because the worksheet had two tiny clock-faces on it with start and end time to be indicated, one could only presume, by drawing tiny clock hands on them! But Hey! No Pressure! I handed him his crayons and the test of wills and patience begins…and please, no prizes for guessing who comes out tops! I’m just human after all 😛 He picks every crayon and either flings it across the room or lays it aside with contempt (Yes, toddlers do feel and display contempt!), and eventually the living room room floor is colored with bold strokes of green and blue, while Shera remains quietly watching on the sidelines, pristine, untroubled by color (except for a few blue strokes that bisect him in two), black on white! I give up after 10 minutes…I’ve decided to write a note to his teacher saying I tried but he’s not interested, which is the truth. I glance at the paper and read that the objective of this exercise is for Ishaan to identify Shera with India, his country! Ambitious! Too ambitious methinks!

I postpone the note-writing until late Sunday night. As I write, I’m aware of a vague sense of failure, probably, coz somewhere within, I feel like I haven’t done my homework, like I’m failing some crucial test, and worst of all like I’m failing Ishaan, in a way that will forever scar his future ‘homeworking’ ability! I should, I could have tried harder, longer, been firmer…sigh…I know I’m over-reacting, of course I am! My rational self scoffs at all the crazy thoughts in my head, but there it is, another lesson learnt, parenting is not always rational is it? So I write the note and it goes into his school folder. Eventually it will come back to me with his teacher’s comments and staying with irrational, I dread the day, as if her assessment of this one thing left undone will decide Ishaan’s academic future! Why do I allow so much power to slip away from me to another human being where my child is concerned? Another unanswerable.

And so this story ends here…a tale of homework undone but lessons learnt. I’ve learnt that I need to trust my knowledge of my son’s ways & interests and leave the homework-obsession to those who care 😛

Drive. Dinner. Mr.Tickles!

The gist of my Saturday!

A glimpse of the Reis Magos fort...

The morning started out with a drive, its been a while since we’ve been on one…and the weather was perfect! Misty, crisp, breezy and a light drizzle. We set of in the direction of Coco Beach…we were in the vicinity for a family gathering on Monday last, and loved the surrounds 🙂 On the way, we stopped at the Reis Magos Fort (Goa has more forts than I had imagined. Apparently the Portuguese were keen fort-builders!), although we didn’t go up and explore it. That’s for another day.

Sea. Sand. Stone.

We did however stop by the road side and feel the breeze in our faces while taking in vistas of a heaving, choppy, Arabian Sea and the Panjim shoreline. At the risk of repeating myself ad nauseum…I must say that Goa in the monsoons is enchantingly beautiful and the air you breathe…words fail me…suffice it to say…I feel ALIVE and it’s a good feeling 🙂

Colorful Sentinel!

We wandered on until we got to Coco beach and there stopped on a narrow road that ran along the bank of the Sinquerim river. It’s an idyllic spot…paddy fields stretching green all around, a temple in the midst of them, standing colorful guard, exuberant greenery bordering the road with tiny yellow and purple wildflowers that seemed to have attracted every butterfly and bee in the neighborhood, a pair of black ducks diving for fish and the river flowing smooth, it’s surface disturbed only by the soft pattering of random raindrops, providing safe harbor for resting fishing boats. Calm. Peaceful. Soothing. I could have stayed there forever…well for a few hours at least…urban soul that I am 😉 Ishaan enjoyed too and ran around yelling ‘Butata‘ (his word for Butterfly), trying hard to catch one! All in all…a fabulous morning 🙂

A typical Goan fishing village scene...

In the evening, we had dinner with family @ The Pan Asian Bowl, a restaurant that specializes in South-Asian cuisine, which means it’s got a great Indian-Chinese menu, of which most of my family (those who have good taste ;-)) are die-hard fans! Stuffed ourselves on Malaysian Chicken, which came with delicate rice noodles, fried (heaven!); Shrimp in chilli garlic sauce; Thai-style barbecue chicken; Fish Phoenix (I half expected the fish to rise from it’s sticky, red-brown sauce!); Burnt garlic rice and that old favorite American chopsuey!! Great food and company, a very decent Mojito to go with and an old favorite, a glass of Bailey’s on ice to finish of a fabulous evening 🙂 I wish I had pictures of the food (it was pretty too!), but it disappeared soon enough and I didn’t want any distractions while eating. So maybe next time! We didn’t take Ishaan along, leaving him at home with my Grandma and his Nanny, which brings me to Mr.Tickles 🙂

Enjoying the breeze 🙂

We were back home at 10.30 pm and all seemed quite within. I am disappointed…I hate it when I don’t get to tuck Ishaan in and say goodnight. It leaves me incomplete. I tip-toe to Granny’s room and the lights are out…further sinkage…I nudge the door open an inch and instantly hear, “Mama?” In a flash, he’s in my arms and all is well with the world!! In that moment, I remember Maura’s tag and the question about best compliments received…and I think…this is it,right here! My son gives me my best compliment every time he says Mama 🙂 Lots of kisses and hugs later, the scene shifts upstairs to our bed…and that’s when the tickling starts…he loves being tickled and it’s become part of our bed-time routine 🙂 Then the giggling begins and the sound of his laughter surrounds us. For a good 20 minutes we’re all lost in an orgy of tickling and laughter, until finally, spent, cheeks flushed and eyes shining bright…I hush him and crooning softly, coax him to sleep.

Oh Happy Day 🙂

Getting better…Day 3

The dawn of day 3 is a little scary since Ishaan hasn’t had a good night. He’s been restless and I can sense a cold in the offing…sigh…

We get to school in time, but today the crying starts as soon as we park and he sees other children milling around waving their goodbyes…it’s not the start I was hoping for! He’s beginning to cry and cling and pretty soon the tears flow freely. I harden my heart (I’m beginning to realize that it’s the one skill I’m going to have to master in as short a time as possible, if ever there was one!), and carry him down into the waiting arms of his teacher.

He disappears into the room, still calling out to me, arms outstretched…leaving me standing there, feeling like Monster Mom! Such are the joys of Motherhood! Today, I’m alone and as I sit on the ledge outside, my back to the school (lest he catch a glimpse of me), swinging my legs, I feel a lot like a school-kid myself – unsure, insecure, nervous and scared. If I feel like this at 41, how must he feel at 2? No…this is not helping…this is just making me feel worse then I already do. I feel like a coiled spring…watchful & tense, with no avenue of release. Positive thoughts…think positive thoughts…think positive thoughts…meanwhile the silence inside is vaguely disquieting but oddly comforting…

I look around the garden and decide to take a few pictures so I can show them to Ishaan later and because it gives me something to do (in typical hare-brained fashion have forgotten to bring a book and my camera!). I use my phone to click pictures of the two turtle statues and an earthen flower-pot shaped like a shell. I take pictures of the black-board outside, with its quote by Dr. Maria Montessori. I peer surreptitiously through the long window panes, trying to catch a glimpse of Ishaan, but he’s nowhere in sight and the silence persists. I should be happy…shouldn’t I be happy? He’s probably enjoying himself somewhere, having forgotten all about anxious Mom waiting outside. Why then do I mistrust the silence? Why is my heart not jumping with joy?  Why is everything to do with children a double-edged sword? Questions, questions…where are those positive thoughts when you need them?

The turtle!

A butterfly catches my eye…there are many and they offer welcome distraction. There are large Monarchs, others with opalescent wings, still others with white-rimmed, light-brown speckled wings and yet others with green and lemon-yellow wings that catch the sunlight and shine like green-gold! Pretty, delicate and uplifting. Then I catch sight of the centipedes crawling all over the garden…their fat chubby bodies moving smoothly, with equal ease both forwards and in reverse, on the wave-like motion of their hundred legs. Not so pretty (I’m not an insect person, except for butterflies), but still fascinating. They seem so purposeful, I envy them, sitting here swinging my legs, purposeless! The teacher appears and asks for his shoes. They’re taking him for a walk in the garden out back. Before I can ask, she assures me he’s fine. If only I were too!

The Shell!

I go back to my meandering thoughts and old school-memories come flooding back. I loved school and had a wonderful time, especially in Japan at the Stella Maris Convent, where I studied from grades 2 through 5. I think of Mrs. Rosario, my Grade 4 home room teacher, a stern-faced disciplinarian with a heart of gold. An excellent academician to boot! It’s hard to find teachers like her now. She took us girls in pairs to spend a night at her house, a great honor it was, though a little scary, and I remember walking down the lane by her home to watch the cherry blossoms in spring, while she spoke to us about seasons and nature 🙂 A practical lesson in science and a wonderful memory! Then there was Sr. Mary McDonald, the Principal, I still remember her calm countenance and smiling face. I don’t once remember her flustered or angry. And Mrs. Callan, my Grade 5 teacher, the first one to recognize my love for writing and encourage it. She had me write a letter in response to an appeal from a zoo where an elephant was sick. We collected money and sent it along with my letter and we received a letter of thanks in response. I remember feeling proud, the pride that comes from making someone you love and respect, happy! It’s a great feeling and it’s what I want for Ishaan…happy memories from school that he will treasure ever after! There are many more memories and I’m pleasantly lost…until I look down at my watch and it’s past 10 am!

The Quote!

The one hour is up and I am eager to see my boy, but it’s not to be…today they’ve decided to keep him for another half-hour (sigh), and he seems to be doing Ok. Suddenly, there he is at the window and he sees me as I’m talking to the teacher.’Oh Lord!’ I think, ‘Now he’s seen me and that’ll set him off again!” and I try to hide my bulky self as best and as quick as I can. He’s calling Mama and he’s tearful but he’s not howling. He’s told the teacher he needs to use the potty, and she leads him to me, but it’s a false alarm and he has to go back, which is when the crying begins again, which I confess (Monster Mom that I am), is oddly comforting!

But he goes back inside and quiets down and I stay outside. Hubby joins me and we wait together a while, before it’s time to leave. This time he walks out to me, holding his teacher’s hand and he’s not crying. He’s happy as a button to see hubby and runs straight into his arms 🙂

And so, another day is done…not too bad at all…rather well done methinks…I pat myself on the back before I bury my nose and inhale the sweet, sweaty fragrance of his hair 🙂

The next day…Day 2

So, here we are on Day 2 and this time I have reinforcements in the form of Mom – she of the veteran parenting class and nerves of steel…not quite (she’s now been ‘Grannified’ which means her heart’s softer than butter where her Ishaan is concerned :P), but still, her presence calms me down.

I’m not expecting miracles…I know things will probably worsen a lot more before they begin to get better…and yet still, I hope! We go down to school and again the crying begins as I hand him over to his teacher with a quick hug and kiss. Then Mom settles (barely!) into the chair and I try to find a place where I can be omnipresent but inconspicuous…channel all my Mommy stores of sixth sense & intuition! We hear him crying from the depths of the school and then suddenly everything goes quiet…instantly the silence becomes ominous and not peaceful, as I begin to imagine breath-holding spells and other medical emergencies! But I don’t let my worry show, ‘coz Mom is already worried enough for a thousand of us! She looks at me and mouths “Poor baby!He’s so small, too small! He’s barely begun to speak! We were never in a rush to send children to school in our time! They went when they were good and ready, when they were 5!” At that moment, I agree with everything she’s saying and I tell her, but to convince myself and her that I’m doing the right thing here, I tell her that times are changing and that he would probably cry just as hard if not harder, if he were 5. He would probably have had long arguments about why school was totally redundant…don’t underestimate 5-yr-olds! She nods. She knows what I know, heck she knows a whole lot more! It’s just her butter-heart acting up!

While we’re wondering what’s happening inside, the Directress of the school, visiting from Delhi, comes outside and does her bit to soothe us. She assures us that Ishaan is doing fine, and that crying is totally normal and in control. She tells us how she explains to anxious mothers that when they cried as adults (she used the word great hulks!), while leaving their Mom’s house after marriage to a man they loved and chose and wanted to live with (well most of us), then it was silly to expect that a child, who leaves home and the comfort & security of Mom’s arms, against his will, would do so without a good howl! Indeed it is! Beyond silly! I never thought of it quite like that before! Her analogy is amusing and makes us smile for a while, before drowning out in the next wave of crying.

And so we sit outside, comforting each other with all manner of platitudes, while our hearts are elsewhere, listening for the sounds of his anguish, glancing ever so often at our watches, counting seconds, minutes. I realize my Mom is suffering twice over, for Ishaan and for me too, watching me go through ‘separation anxiety’. There are periods of silence though and a teacher comes out twice, once to let us know that he enjoyed playing in the sandbox and then to tell us he’s naming animals on a chart 🙂 We make it through the hour, all three of us and although it was hard, it was just a little less harder than yesterday.

On the way home, he’s back to his chirpy self, but I imagine I can see the change…a seriousness in his eyes, subtle as it is.

He’s growing up…one tiny step at a time…

Ishaan starts Playschool!

All set for school!

He went. He saw. He cried.

I watched. I wondered. I cried too…a little. Unseen, silent tears.

That would be the short version! And yet it was one of the longest hours I’ve ever spent, as I’m sure has he!

The night before, I was pretty with it, trying to soothe my nerves doing the little things – laying out his uniform, getting the toddler bag ready, setting out his blue crocs, all the while mumbling muted prayers to the Almighty, to get us through the day without a major mishap. This whole shebang is spanking new to us both and once again I doff my hat off to mothers everywhere! You Rock!

This morning was smooth (Perhaps that should have served as warning? I’m a naive mother, with much to learn…sigh), Ishaan was up at 7 am, breakfasted on fruit and a sandwich, played cricket while hubby and I did the same. We dressed and so did he and I took the regulation picture – the one in uniform, like every kid has in their album, duly titled ‘First Day of School’. He had no idea what school was but he was happy to be driving somewhere in the morning.

How does one prepare an almost 2 and 1/2 year-old for school & separation? Especially one who has just begun stringing together three words into a sentence? How do I explain that it’s a place where he’ll meet other children and adults called teachers, who will play with him and teach him things and hopefully love him well? How do I tell him, that from now on, he’s beginning a new journey, one that will take him away from home for a while every day but will hopefully be as rewarding as it is exciting? How do I let him know that when he’s howling his lungs out inside, my heart is breaking & I’m crying too, just on the inside, so he can’t see, trying to stay strong for him on the outside? How do I assure him that after a week (Hope springs eternal in this naive mother’s heart!), he’ll forget these tears and be like all the other kids, happily playing, learning, settled? How do I convince him that all of this is for his betterment? How? How? How? I don’t know how and so I just hug him tight and kiss him and silently praying, let him go…

And he does go too, holding a teacher’s hand he disappears into the large schoolroom. I wait outside as she’s instructed ready to rush to the rescue when needed, fingers and toes firmly crossed. He’s whimpered a bit when hubby left, but now seems to be holding it together although a bit confused. He’s never been around so many children before. He wants the teacher to carry him all the time but she gently dissuades him and he seems ok, just sticks to her like glue. I exhale and think we might just make it through…Hah! The phone rings and a cousin wants details of an employment agency in Bombay. Her maid just gave notice! I’m on the phone for 5 minutes, when I hear the unmistakable sound of his crying. He’s caught a glimpse of me through the window and that’s when everything starts going downhill…

After that, although I go inside and hold him, wipe his tears and his runny nose, sit down with him and try to get him interested in an activity, there’s no stopping the boy. There are a pair of turtle statues in the garden outside and he wants to go near them, he wants to be anywhere except where he is, he wants to be held constantly, but I’m firm. Where do mother’s find the resolve to stay firm with their children? I have no clue but I’m sure glad they do! I hold his hand and walk him around the room, still crying but trying so hard to be brave, and point out the colorful artwork on the wall (I am embarrassed, and angry that I am. I confess!). He tries his best to identify some of the pictures, a tiger, a fish, a clown. A few of the children stare at us but they remain remarkably undisturbed, not particularly interested in or affected by his continuous crying! I am impressed! If this is what school does, I’m all for it! They are wise these kids, in the quiet, assured manner that children are wise (they are!). They’re probably reliving their own initial misery and I imagine most of them looking at me with an expression of knowing pity! He quiets down every time a teacher appears to soothe him and call him darling and sweetie, but he clings to me like a koala!

It’s almost 10 am and the teacher says, I can leave now. Apparently, he’s had enough exposure to the new environment for Day 1! I agree! Him and me – both! He perks up, realizing with that intuition peculiar to children that the tide is now in his favor and Dad is on the way to rescue him! Suddenly bright, he waves Ta-ta to the teachers and jumps straight from my arms into hubby’s! While we’re leaving, a senior teacher advises me to avoid talking too much to him about school, staying firm but gentle and reassures me that he is by no means the worst child to have crossed their threshold! She makes me feel better 🙂

In the car, he’s absolutely normal although a little circumspect. He knows he’s behaved badly and Mom is a little cross. He knows me too well for his own good! All the way back home, he points out cows, goats, and dogs. The phone rings again and I ignore it. When we get home, Mom and Granny are waiting at the door, having heard the car approach. Mom especially has been miserable and out of sorts since we left, sick with worry! I tell all as Ishaan leaps from hubby’s arms into Mom’s bear hug (and he’s just barely been away the one hour!). Back in familiar territory, he is once again Prince of all he surveys, but he glances at me occasionally, he knows he’s not out of the woods, not quite. Then showered and juiced, I sit him down with two bowls and some almonds and ask him to transfer them from one to the other (an activity that met with much resistance, when his teacher tried to get him to do it in school), and he happily complies, his little face screwed up in concentration, for 40 minutes flat! I realize then that through all those tears, he’s still seen stuff and absorbed it! I smile and his face lights up 🙂 Children…mysterious souls 🙂

And so tomorrow…we do it all over again!

Wish me LUCK!!

p.s. Many thanks to the wonderful staff of The Ardee School for their wonderful encouragement, gentle manner and support. You truly made this nervy Mom’s day easier 🙂

In the Heat of the Night…

This post is dedicated to all those who think living in Goa is akin to living in Paradise.

The sound of the wind blowing to the accompaniment of rain splattering on the roof awakens me from my already fitful sleep. Recognizing the immediate danger, I instantly begin to whisper a little prayer that might keep the current from blowing away with the breeze! A few minutes later as the ceiling fan inevitably grinds to a halt, I sigh resignedly…in another couple of minutes, the buzzing will begin. Mosquitoes, making the best of optimum conditions…30 minutes and no sign of the current returning…Ishaan stirs restlessly in his crib and I tiptoe across to have a look. There’s nothing else to do but pick him up as gently as possible and carry him downstairs, where the inverter provides electricity &  mosquito-protection! It’s not like this is the first time that’s happened, only like the millionth! If you think things are not too bad, well they are about to turn bizarre!

As I navigate the staircase in the dark, I see a chunk of light downstairs and run into my Dad brushing his teeth, like that’s the natural thing to do at 3 am in the morning!! Disjointed thoughts run through my distracted, sleep-deprived brain in quick succession…Dad is brushing his teeth…is Dad brushing his teeth?…the lights are on…huh? Yes they are, bright and glowing. Why is Dad brushing his teeth at 3 am? The lights are on! Is it really 3 am? The fans are working! Maybe it’s 6 am? Is this a dream? Why won’t the upstairs lights work? What on earth???!!!

First things first…I deposit Ishaan between Granny and Mom on the bed and return to tell my Dad that it’s not 6 am (I’ve checked) and he needs to get back to bed. He nods but I can see he has no intention of doing anything of the kind, ‘coz brushing done, he picks up the shaving foam! I give up…who am I to stop him from shaving at 3 am if that’s what he wants to do? I plunk down next to Ishaan and try to get some shut-eye. Fat chance. Dad finishes shaving and goes off to bed. I know, it will be a while before the power upstairs comes back on. If there is a major power outage, the chances of it being resolved quickly are high, but when it’s a single phase outage like this one, nothing is likely to happen until morning, which is a good 4 hours away and sometimes not even then!

After checking to see that the fuses are Ok, hubby tries to settle on the living room couch without much success. After an hour of fitful sleep (if you can even call it that!), I abandon all pretense and resort to my favorite insomniac activity and switch on the laptop! How I would survive life in Goa without the Net is something I hope I NEVER have to find out! At least Ishaan is comfortable…thank God for small mercies. He starts play school on Wednesday and if we have a repeat of tonight…but I don’t need to go there!

It’s 7 am now and pouring! Hubby manages to get through to the Electricity Department, who as always, sleep soundly through every crises, with their phone safely off the hook! (How else does one explain the engaged tone all night long!) They say they will send someone across asap which in Goa means nothing at all! Dad wakes up and has his morning cup of tea. He makes it himself. He does not brush his teeth!

I can feel it in my bones…this is going to be one of those days…

So, what say…you want to trade places??

For the first time, I can’t think of a title…perhaps you can suggest one…’Butterflies’ maybe apt…given that those are what I have a tummy-full off this weekend.

On Monday, hubby and I leave for the week for Tiruvalla in Kerala, to attend my best friend’s brother’s wedding. I’ve been looking forward to this reunion (she lives in the UK and we really have to plan our meetings!) for a long time and am all set to have a ball! Just a teenie-weenie little hitch…Ishaan’s not coming! We debated a lot and were very keen on him making the trip with us, but the logistics of an overnight train journey, the thought of all that boundless energy contained within the space of a single compartment for almost 24 hours, the thought of sharing a narrow train bunk with a boy who likes to travel in his sleep (makes perfect circles in his bed!), the fact that he’s not potty-trained, coupled with the fact that I avoid using the loos on the Great Indian Railways like the plague, if I can help it, and the thought of what all this (And more! There’s always more when toddlers are involved!), would do to us and our hapless fellow passengers (mostly to us!), made us reconsider, much as I hate the thought of being separated from my boy for 5 whole days!!

So, now I’m excited to be meeting my best friend in the whole world and really sad at the thought of leaving Ishaan behind, more so coz I know Beena and the whole family were thrilled at the thought of meeting him again! Haven’t had the heart to tell her he’s not coming. Out of sorts is what I am…although I’m quite sure of having made the right decision. At least I don’t have to worry about him too much – he’s attached to my Mom and I know that once we leave he’ll be fine…he’ll ask where we’ve gone and to see our pictures probably, but otherwise he’ll be Ok. It’s when we get back that all hell will probably break loose 😉 But that I can handle – coz in a few days after we’re back – I’m sending him to school 🙂

So, I’m thinking, I’ve got all my bases covered and it’s only 5 days…and why can’t I seem to get started on my packing…sigh…see, Life was so much simpler before Mommy-hood had me in its clutches 😛

Wish me luck!

p.s. Next post when I get back!


Last night…I had a moment…one of those much-needed, unexpected, ‘all is well with the world’ kind of moments…

I was out all day at a medical CME on Pediatric Rheumatology and had spent Sunday, away from my munchkin, listening to lectures on how to diagnose, investigate and treat children with all kinds of joint aches and pains and other related issues. That’s the thing about Pediatrics, while it is uplifting to be of help to children, it is hard (though necessary of course) to have to sit through images and cases of those same children suffering from all kinds of problems and for the most part, being ever so brave about pain and life in general. It’s heartbreaking and yet so incredibly…I don’t know…I can’t seem to find the right words to describe their extraordinary courage, but I know they have my complete and total admiration – I salute them! So after watching pictures of children suffering from all manner of deformities, I came home rather jaded, looking to escape reality, for sweet release from a day of overwhelming medical jargon and debate. I was anesthetized from all the listening and thinking I had been forced to do and longed for my two tried and tested ‘stress-busters’ – my boy’s impish smile and a comfy bed! I needed a renewal of spirit.

Back home, after a quick dinner, I gathered up Ishaan and off we went, upstairs to bed. Lying down, side by side, we curled up, rather like a dog curls up on itself, with its tail tightly wound around its body, a ball of warm fur 🙂 That’s when I realized, how well he & I fit together 🙂 How wonderfully he fills the hollow spaces in and around me, physically, emotionally, spiritually, with his presence –  his fragrance, his smile, his fingers that clasp mine. How beautiful it is to hear him whisper “Mama” as only he can, how one deep look into his sleep-drenched, liquid eyes makes my life, my world, this planet a better place…and to know that here – I am needed, I am loved, I am safe, I am home 🙂

Serendipity 🙂