Oh, really…where is it? How can I hold onto these days rolling by? How can I pause time? I am growing old, but that’s not why I want to slow the ticking clock… I want to, because I am finding it difficult to cope with my son’s growing up!
Wasn’t he born just a few months back? Wait.. it’s 13 months already? They said the first year goes really fast, but this fast? In my conversations about V, I already find myself saying, “When V was small, he’d do this…” V was small? I correct myself in my head and say again, “V is still small. You mean when he was just X months old!”
Yes, I have to correct myself that my boy is still a boy. It’s another thing that he doesn’t fit into my lap anymore. And that he has little patience for my lullabies. He doesn’t like his tel maalish lying down anymore. He insists on practicing his gymnastics while I huff and puff with his maalish. And did I tell you we’ve moved the maalish sessions to the bathroom, inside a bucket? He also has an attention span of barely 50 seconds. So gone are the days, when he’d bang his rattle and play happily alone. Now, he wants to know where is Maa going, why is nanny maashi not around, or who rung the bell? The boy rules the house the moment his father steps out. The (little) Man of the House – that’s what we call him!
The kitchen is the centre of the house. So while we sneak in and out to cook and stir the pot, the little man wants to know “aaj khaane mein kya hain?” He insists on a tour into the kitchen, where he points at the various wares – pots and pans, to vegetables, milk, meats and fish. He wants to know, what’s cooking and how soon can he get them. The fish has to be fried, and fried really quick, because he can’t wait! The doi (dahi) has to be served soon after lunch, and it doesn’t matter if it’s still icy cold. (I give him curd that has been brought to room temperature, but he doesn’t have any patience for that!) And, why do Maa and Baba order food an eat? Why do I have to eat ghar ka khana everyday? Isn’t there a Chinese for Kids anywhere?
He knows the maid comes early in the morning when he’s still snuggling up to Maa and Baba, so what business does she have to bunk work while Maa has to do the cleaning? He points at the empty kitchen and turns his hand at me, “Where is Meera Maasi Maa? Why are you sweeping the floor?” He has found a way to silence the barking dogs on the road.. he just growls at them! He insists that all the big cars on the road outside our house are ‘Mumma’s’. He knows she drives the tiny Nano parked before our house, but then, who cares?
It’s November and Delhi is dipped in smog, but the little man can’t go to bed without the AC! He prefers an optimal temperature and there must never be a compromise! Also, who gave Maa & Baba the brilliant idea that the boy is ‘old enough’ to sleep in a baby cot? He sure knows ways to get back between them at night! A little howling, as if after a bad dream, and Maa quickly scoops him out of his bed! And did I mention how possessive he’s grown to become? Maa and Baba can’t hold hands, hug, kiss or even snuggle up before him.. he’ll give us an ‘one-eyebrowed smile’, that says “I know what you are doing” and quickly crawl up to make room between us!
Aaah… yes… crawl. That’s the only thing that the little man does like a little boy! He refuses to walk, and those new swanky shoes don’t matter at all! “I will crawl, I will crawl and I will crawl!” So, there is pointing at all directions, “Take me there, and there and there.” Recently, at a wedding that we went to, he quickly asked a stranger to carry him to where the baraat had gathered for a dance! Loud dholkas, flashy clothes and lights, a man on a horse, and surrounded by unknown people, the boy didn’t bother to look for his mother’s familiar face!
We have forgotten the use of laptops, phones and iPad. In our own house we have to hide our gadgets and use them in stealth. Lest the little man takes over and insists on watching Twinkle, twinkle! And no, dummy phones don’t have his funny videos! Oh yes, the funny videos…we have to show the little man his videos and pictures every time we take them! He insists on seeing them the first thing in the morning – his daily dose of entertainment and narcissistic indulgence! And did I tell you, he finds himself most amusing and lets out a hearty laugh when he sees himself in action. So much so for a sense of humour!
He knows that once his father gets into his suit it’s time to say tata. So the hands twirl in a goodbye. Sometimes if his father is lucky (or the son is too eager to bid goodbye) both hands are put into motion. On days that Maa goes out of home, he gives her one long look and then twirls his baby hand. Maa is soon forgotten, and his games and toys take over. Out of sight, out of mind! It’s another thing that the mother feels a tiny prick of pain in her heart when she has to spend the day away from him, knowing well that her mind is neither with her or at work… when will I grow up? Or do we mothers grow up at all?
For now… where is the pause button you said?
A former TV junkie & workaholic – turned – stay-at-home-mother – recently turned work-at-home – mother Rituparna Ghosh loves herself as @VeesMother (my twitter identity as a parent). Her son’s student, she is learning the ropes of parenting every day. Rituparna blogs at http://onboardthemommyship.wordpress.com/