Bye Bye Little Boy

So he went for 2D1N trip.
It turned into a 4D3N trip.
The kid’s back today.
With a National level gold medal.

He looks a few inches taller.
And somehow leaner.
And all “growed up”.

He left a little boy.
And came back no longer “little” boy.

I never got to say bye… to the “little” boy.

He told me the stories….
About the kicks and the points and the sensors
That I just couldn’t follow.

I just kept nodding along.
For the first time, there’s stuff he knows more about than I do.

And I just kept hugging him
Until he said mom, you’re over doing it
And he wriggled away
And ran off to play with friends.

For 4 days, the house was spotlessly clean. No effort required.
For 4 days, it took me less than 30 min a day for all meals.
For 4 days, I wasn’t picking up after anyone
Or telling them to eat

But for 4 days, I was constantly checking my phone for some news from him.

And now that he’s back
His stuff strewn all over the house
Food all out over the table and kitchen platform
Home feels complete again

My heart.. now that’s another matter
It feels like my “little” boy’s gone.
And we’re starting a new phase
I feel out of my element
And yet, it’s the start of a new adventure

Sunday morning breakfast. Easy. Lazy. Father and son conversation over a lazy breakfast
H: My birthday's coming up next month. What gift will you get for me sweetie.
A's eyes light up, face animated, all excited  - I will get you stars, like the ones in my room! Then you can also put in your room.
The kid's thrilled. The Dad a bit let down.
H: And what other gift will you get for me..
A rushes in to his room and gets a Ben-10 package. Happy Birthday Baba! This is for you. It's very big. It will fit you. It's just like mine. Then you can wear Ben-10 bandi just like me!

Aah.. these melting moments.


Continuing the lazy Sunday.. It's just 10 am. We've already been up a few hours. Yes, we're like that. The Damn Body clock just doesnt realise it's a Sunday. The maid's gone. The cleaning up chores all done - well atleast the ones I cant turn a blind eye to. Breakfast made by H - soupy noodles. All 3 of us sprawled out on the chitai, with the balcony glass doors wide open. The view opens out to lovely blue white grey monsoon skies, cool wind, the 4 palms swaying away, the yellow genda and the pink xyz adding a dash of color. Kid finishes and jumps off dancing to the balcony. Then stoops down to smell the roses..sorry er genda fool...

I say to H - feels just like a holiday. 
H: Ya. Almost.
Me: a chirpy sigh. What's missing? its such an enchanting moment.
H: Room service!??!

Exercising. At age 3.

You know the kid is growing up too fast when he falls to the floor and copies his Dad doing pushups. Perfectly. Just the right posture. I’ve seen gym instructors and sports coaches break their heads trying to get guys to do the damn thing right. And he goes and simply copies his Dad. Copycat!

Shouldn’t have been a surprise. We’ve been using ‘strength’ & muscles and biceps ‘just like Baba’s as the motivation to get him to drink milk and eat daal. Best intentions. Sigh.


Of papaya smugness

Feeling smug. Made papaya jam this morning. In all the morning chaos before heading to work. And papaya achar, yes, achar, y’day morning at 7am.  Pretty pleased with the results too.

All thanks to a persistent 3 yr old who’s been pestering me non-stop since he plucked a chotu raw papaya.

Day 1

“Mumma, i want to eat this”. It’s raw baby. You cant eat it.

“Iska sanji banao na”. Iska sabji bhi nahi banta hai

“Fir kya banta hai. Make pickle na”. No sona, papaya ka pickle nahi banta…

He sulks,  puts it in his bag and carries it home.

Day 2

“Mumma, chalo iska pickle banate hain” – in the most enthusiastic persuasive tone, just the way I do when I try to coax him into doing something.

Repeat above 10 times.

He washes it. Then he goes to the maid. “K aunty, iska pickle banao na”. And they start off in their own version of Marathi, she explaining to him that its not done.

Then I start saying I’d love to, but I dont know how. “Dont worry Mumma. Mujhe aata hai. Mein tumko batata hun”.  He creates a recipe. “Wash karo. Cut karo. Pickle masala dalo. Ready.” Huh! Where’d that come from!

Recite recipe 10 times.

I tell him it’s late, time to sleep, we’ll do it tomorrow.

Day 3

The brat who has to be shaken awake at 8 just in time for school, wakes up by himself at 7am and saunters into the kitchen sleepily rubbing his eyes. I’m making chai. He takes his papaya and climbs up on the counter. Tells me to get some water to soak it. What for I ask him. “To make papaya achar”.

And that’s when I gave in.

I call up my ready reckoner for recipes – my Mom. But  ***gasp** she’s clueless. So we decide to go with the brat’s recipe.

Chopped up half the papaya. Threw in the usual suspects – salt, mirchi, nimboo, saunf, mustard, er “sab masala” as he calls it, and shook it together.  Set in it in the sun the whole day. And wala.. in the evening we actually had a yummy papaya achar ready.

Sheesh. I’m now getting cooking lessons from my son.

Day 4

Similarly make papaya jam with instructions from son.

That’s what Mommy Days are made of 🙂


While Mom’s gone….

I dont know how, but that kid seems to grow exponentially each time I’m not around. Even if its just a 2 day work trip; or a long day at work. I’ve been gone for 24 hrs – on a quick 2 day trip.  And he comes up with these

When I called after landing in BLR
– Mumma, tum bangalore kyon gaye? Tum pune aa jao.
Baby mein na office ke kaam se aayi hun bangalore.
– Accha theek hai. Tum kaam karke aa jao.

Over the phone this morning as Baba fed him milk
– Mumma, I want you here.
I didnt hear him properly and asked him again
– Mumma, I want you here in Pune. Please come na.

Over dinner to Baba
– Abhi mumma ko ye aacha wala aaloo ka sabji nahi milega

Instructions to Baba:
Tum movie chalo na, mein tumhara godi mein duddoo (milk) peyonga.

Son: Hum mumma ko airport lene jayange.
Father: But baby, wo bahut late aaygi. night mein. 10:30.
Son: No problem. Mein sleep nahi kaoonga.
Huh! How did he know 10:30 is late?

Someone please tell him he’s not 3 yet.


How much I love you

We have this game where we ask Aarav – baby, do you know how much I love you. And he replies with his arms stretched wide “Soooooooo much”.

H asked him again this morning over breakfast “Baby, do you know how much Baba loves you”.

Pat came the reply. “No. I’m busy now”.

A dream come true

We’re watching a movie and there’s a dance scene. A jive or something like that. I look at H and jump – please please please dance with me”. He continues sitting on the bean bag, eating dinner. A hand reaches out to my knees “Mumma, mein dance karta hun tumhare saath”. His small hands grab mine. Firmly. And lead me on to the dance floor 🙂 Like he knows this is important for Mumma. He jumps and he twirls. He runs around me in sheer delight. All the while holding my hand, firmly. Leading me. In his own dance. Up and down and round about. Throwing in what he’s seen us practise the last few weeks (from the one and only single salsa class we managed to attend). Leading me through gleeful turns and twirls. Round and round the floor in a mad dance till I’m giddy.

Bliss. Just what I’ve been waiting for my whole life – a man who can lead me on the dancefloor. Finally.

You made my day Sweetheart.

Business dinner = Pizza

A=Aarav aka Goosh. “Goosh” has been deprecated now that he’s a big boy 😉
Of late I’ve been having quite a few business dinners. And each time I’m torn – whether to run home to A; or stay back for a somewhat boring business dinner.
The first time H spun a story around it and told A that it’s a boys’ pizza night.
The second time, I caved in; bunked the business dinner and joined them for pizza.
Today, I’m caught. H asked the lil fellow if he’d like to go for pizza. The brat usually jumps for joy at the mere mention of the word. Instead, I’m told, he pulled a straight face and said “let’s wait for mumma.”
Hmm. Now I’m really torn.
How do other working moms deal with this?
And do the ‘working dads’ also routinely face these guilt pangs?


Miss you

It’s been a crazy week at work. Going in early, coming back late with meetings all day.

So A and I have missed our morning routine – milk together, breakfast, then the drive to school. And by the time I get home, he’s fast asleep, or I just go and crash.

I crawled into bed at midnight, after my calls. I’d last seen him at 8:30 am. He’s had a mild fever in the evening…

His eyes closed shut, he reaches out, feels my face and asks “Where’s Dad? Who’re you?”.

And my world shatters.

I mumble, “Its me. Mumma. I’m back”

Still asleep, he answers back feebly “I didn’t cry. I didn’t bite. I won’t scratch. Promise.”

It took a while for it to sync in.  Earlier, I’d threatened him I’d go off to office if he threw a tantrum & bit & scratched me. And then I was gone. The whole day. 12 hours.

He was still a bit feverish. He sat in my arms for a while. We went searching for his Gems ball. He had some water. I tucked him in again.

2 minutes later, I came back from the loo. He was sitting up on the pillow. “You went to the bathroom na…. I was very sad… I was waiting for you..”. And I melt into a complete puddle.

Baba and baby

During the morning prayer this morning, he points to the 2 agarbattis and smugly says “This is Baba and this is Baby!”

Huh!? well, one was tall and the other was short…

Speaking of tall and short, these days when I pick him in my godi, his feet reach down all the way to my knees! I wonder how much longer I’ll be able to carry him around 😦