Role Model

Amma says I know everything. You know, like what to do and what not to do. ( Phew! It should be tough being me, then. Knowing everything and all, right! ) .

Like, I put something in my mouth I wasn’t supposed to and since everyone around me would ask me not to do that, screaming ‘Abhiiii’, I start saying ‘Abhii’ as soon as I put something in my mouth.

I start reading a book and since I suddenly get excited, I start tearing the pages. Then I say ‘No Tearinggg’. I know I am supposed to give back the books I tear, so I immediately also say, ‘book bye bye’ and kick the book away.

Then I pick another book and decide to stand on it. I tell myself again, ‘No tanning’ (No standing), I step down, say ‘book pommachi’ (book is God) and I do the thing that I was taught to do after stepping on the book. That is, bend down, touch the book with my fingers and then touch my head. I move on.

Amma is busy cleaning up the food on the carpet I just vomited. That perfect ‘orders-obeyer’ little girl, my sister, Achu is guarding the cleaning spot, telling me ‘No Touchey’. Yeah. Sure. I just bend down, touch the cleaning spot and say ‘No Touchey’.

I suddenly wanted to thank Amma for everything. I go to her, lean on her shoulders, pretend like I am going to kiss and start biting her. I immediately also look at her and say ‘No biting’.

I am in bedroom now, on the bed, precisely. I stand up, say ‘No standing’ and then I sit. See, I know I am not supposed to stand on bed. So, I start jumping. I also say ‘No jumpinn’.

I run away when my diaper is being changed. Pants is not one of the things I like to wear. I run as far as I can, calling myself, ‘Notty boy’ ( naughty boy). I am also ‘ditty boy’ (dirty boy) depending on my mood.

I unplug the power cord I was seriously told not to touch and say ‘No Touchey’. I put, whatever that thing was, inside my mouth and say ‘No, no’. I close any open door I see and say ‘No cossing’ (no closing) (Even if that meant I would get locked), I stand on the toy basket and say ‘No tanning’. I also touch the yucky diaper and say ‘No touchey’.

(I should also mention that my little sister, Achu, keeps running behind me, half of the times, yelling ‘No Touchey’ for everything I do.)

Wow, I really do know everything. That’s why Amma also says that. But, knowing doesn’t mean I have to follow them, right. Besides, Amma doesn’t know the truth. In reality, I am trying to be a role model and teach all the kids what they are not supposed to do. Like I tear something and say ‘No Tearing’. See, I am trying to teach by example. Whats wrong in that?

< Shuts the laptop down and says ‘Cosse’ (Close) >

Helping Hands

Last week or so, after I came to work, P pinged me on IM and said ‘I am very sorry, Dil’. I knew what she was apologizing for, but I asked what that was about. I can never be sure with what P is feeling bad for. (You know, you could have just met her and if you looked sad, she would think its her fault and she will feel bad for ever for that.) Anyway, it turned out to be what I was expecting it was. The week before, I think I was getting less sleep than usual, so I felt quite more tired. The night before this, I gave up on washing dishes, cleaning kitchen etc and just had to hit bed early. For some reason, I did think P would take care of the cleaning that night even though I didn’t ask her. She usually offers me help, but I don’t let her do anything. I like doing all these chores as long as I have the energy (even no time is fine). I woke up next day to find kitchen as-is 😦 . Despite, hitting bed early, I didn’t sleep much, was still tired and now I had a load of dishes to wash, clean and prepare meals for Abhi and Achu.  But, I didn’t say anything. Later, when P apologized, I tole her she didn’t have to apologize and it was fine.

At lunch, I was mentioning this episode to my colleague and she asked me, why I was not taking extra help from P as much as I can and as long as she was with me (She has the problem of having some relative stay at her place and not helping at all). The reason is what happened during my India trip. I always wanted to write about my day when I was in Hyderabad for those 4 months. My trip began with the horrible/tiring journey of a life-time and that was only the beginning of me being tired. My day began at around 6:30 when Abhi woke up. Change him, feed him (which he would religiously throw up minutes later), so change him again. Achu would be up by now. Same routine. Minus the vomit (most of the times). At 9 or so, I would give Abhi his bath, get him ready, feed him and put him to bed for his morning nap. I used to leave him on the big bed, surrounded my pillows and he would sleep on his own. Next was Achu’s turn for bath, dress her up, feed her, rock her to sleep (which mostly takes for ever) and put her to bed. Since they both are sleeping on the same bed, then I would keep praying that one of them wont cry and wake up the other one. Some of the days I slept too. Around 11, I would start preparing their lunch, would wake them up at noon and feed them both their lunch. Phew, feeding them used to tire me so much. 😦 We would now play for another hour or so. At 3 in the afternoon, feed Abhi some milk and put him down for his nap. Achu’s turn next. After they are up in about an hour, we used to play. I would make their dinner, feed them, play and entertain again until 9. Then, Abhi goes to bed, later Achu. Abhi, almost always, slept through the night. Achu used to wake up every 3 hours and needed to be rocked back to sleep each time.

This was all after Abhi and Achu got into a schedule. Bringing them to this schedule was another tiring thing. Add to all this, constant nuisance of people around me, being so disappointed and lonely all the time, everyone around staying so busy and not helping me much and me not getting a break much. (Now, that I wrote the schedule down, I can’t believe I did that continuously for 4 months. I am kinda of proud of it. )

Switch to now, my life is so different. P has been living with us from day 1 after we came back. First month was quite tough. Adjusting and everything took its time, but we got over it soon. During day time, after nanny comes in the morning, I start cooking for Abhi and Achu (and also for us). I get both lunch and dinner ready for them. Nanny looks after kids for everything after that. After I go home, I try to finish some of the chores before nanny leaves. And then I am with kids full-time until they sleep. After they sleep, I do the rest of home chores and get things ready for next day cooking. At nights, P takes care of Abhi. Achu is with me. Weekends, Murali is here; He takes care of kids in the morning while we get some extra sleep. Even the rest of the day, P and I feed kids together (sometimes Murali entertains them and we feed). Later, I am cleaning kitchen, Murali or P is cleaning up Abhi and Achu. If we are stepping out,  we get kids ready together. There is so much work sharing compared to the time I had in Hyderabad for those 4 months. Most of the times, I don’t need a helping hand in the kitchen or anything, but I feel happy that there is someone giving Abhi and Achu direct attention, instead of me trying to entertain them while doing my work.

That’s the reason, I don’t ask of more help from P. I think she is already doing me so much help compared to me not-having-any-help at all. I couldn’t ask for more. She is still my guest. She doesn’t have to take care of one of my kids all night. Yet, she does. Its okay, if she doesn’t help me anymore than what she already is. Each time I feel like getting more help from her or Murali, I remind myself of what I didn’t have. I remind myself to not take what I have now for granted.

Saturday night, Murali and I went to watch a movie. By the time, we came back, living room was messy as-is and kitchen the same. I got frustrated a little, but not at P. Like, I said, I don’t mind cleaning my house at 12:30 midnight, but people taking me for granted for getting these things done on my own, bothers me. What’s more annoying than washing dishes that late is no one caring that you are doing it. I did feel bad for myself, but I have moved on, remembering the point of this story. Because the way I see it now is that there was no one watching my kids while someone else took me to watch a movie before. That’s why all seems fine.

Few Things To Say

To Crazy Owner Lady…

Hi. This is your pet fish, Buthabey. I understand that you care about me. I understand you were blamed for the sad demise of those two fish, few years ago, but STOP POKING the bowl whenever I seem still. I am not what-you-think-I-am. I get some rest sometimes, so I don’t move. Unlike you, I sleep. So, I don’t move. Each time I look still for 4 seconds, you are either raising an alarm or poking at the bowl to check if I am alive. Yes, I am. It’s because of you that I am always moving in the bowl. And so, I feel more hungry. I know you have been warned to not give me more food this time, so stop making me having to exercise more. By the way, what was all that jumping when you were changing the water in my bowl last time? I was scared to death that you were going to drop me or even worse, fall on me and kill me.

To Buthabey…

Hi. This is the crazy owner lady. Sorry. I am worried if you are feeling alright. Okay. I wont poke you anymore. But, can you please send me a signal before you sleep? Like, we do a feeding/sleep log for Abhi and Achu. Can you add an entry before you go to sleep? Then, I will certainly not bother you. By the way, you also have to stay on schedule and wake up in 2 hours, may be. Or else, you will be poked. Period. Totally agree with your point about changing water. I have officially outsourced the duty to P and I will stay as away as I can. (By the way, remember, P eats fish and ever since she started living with us vegetarians, she hasn’t been eating much of seafood or meat. So, if she is looking at you and saying ‘yumm’, run for your life)

♠ ♠ ♠

 Dear Chitti…

Hi. Its me the owner lady who adores you. I can’t believe I havent introduced you here, yet. Aah. Pardon me. Time is really a constraint. 😦 But, it’s never too late to introduce great things to the world. What do I say about you? You are the best. You are the cleanest. You are the cutest. You always stay on schedule. You never leave your work undone. You are the BEST vacuum cleaner, there is. If such thing called, loving vacuum cleaners was legal, trust me, I will be telling you ‘I Love You Chitti’ everyday. Ahh! What the hell? I love You Chitti. You cut down on my work so much. You just take care of things on your own and I am so proud of you. You are my perfect solution for the scale of mess Abhi and Achu make, Now, don’t feel bad about Abhi and Achu doing your job and picking things off of floor. You will always have work to do (such is the mess AA creates).

What more? You also entertain Abhi and Achu when you are doing work. Best thing 🙂 . I know, Achu pretended like she was all fine and when you almost touched her, she scooted far far away. Now, she is not scared of you at all and will touch you. I also know, Abhi has taken a liking on you from the beginning and will turn you on and off repeatedly, if not stopped. But, rest assured, you will be protected from Abhi and Achu. You have my word (Plus you are a little bit expensive to be a toy for AA). By the way, don’t you dare die on me right after your warranty expires (as I read from your reviews).

We all love you Chitti. Remember, you were named after RajniKanth’s Robot movie’s Chitti and you are just as amazing 🙂 .

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 ♠ ♠ ♠

To Carpet Monster aka Murali …

No introductions. Lets get straight to the point. I am quitting my job of cleaning every stain off of carpet. You have scared all of us so much to not put any stain on the carpet and whenever kids throw up or something happens, I am struggling so much to cleanup the mess. I have become a pro now on how to clean a stain and I don’t like being one. And guess what, yesterday, when Achu was looking like she was going to throw up, I put her in the kitchen. To make myself feel better, I told myself that putting her in the kitchen will divert her attention from throwing up, but I know the real reason was that I thought it would be easier to clean up the mess on the kitchen tiles than on the carpet 😦 . So, like I said. I am quitting. All fresh stains will be freshly waiting for you when you come home.

P.S: We are out of carpet stain remover, again. Get that when you are coming home.

Dad And Daughter

Or as we like to also call them, the Fevicol Jodi. In the first few weeks after we came back from India trip and when Murali was visiting us on the weekends, I would find in number of pictures and videos, Achu is always in hug-mode with her daddy 🙂 . We don’t know when the fevicol relationship began exactly, but we noticed her getting a tad bit more attached to Murali than Abhi was. She worked her magic such that, pretty soon, she had her dad on her side. And whenever we (P, Nanny and I) openly talk about the daddy and daughter duo team, Murali is all happies inside. 🙂

Last week, while I was in the kitchen and Abhi, Achu were playing with the nanny, Abhi took something away from Achu. When I heard that, I told Abhi that its Achu’s and he should give it back to her. Nanny quickly responds saying ‘Achu tortured Abhi, so he took the toy away from Achu’. I was laughing listening to that, thinking, ‘Oh Achu. There is no one to support you except for your daddy’. 🙂 P and nanny, both side with Abhi. I have to stay neutral, you know. ( Not that I don’t have complaints against that girl 🙂 ). And so, Dad always sides with Achu. According to him, we all tease his little baby Achu a lot. Because from his eyes, she doesn’t do anything naughty or wrong. She is the most innocent girl there is. She never takes anything away from Abhi. She never throws anything across the room, never pulls Abhi’s hair, never pushes him etc. etc. According to dad, she does none of that. She just sits in the corner, reads books, eats whatever we give her and doesn’t complain about anything at all. Really 😀 . Add to that, anything *good* Achu does, things like really reading, sharing properly etc all magnify 100 times in dad’s view.

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(I missed getting this on time, but this would have been a totally appropriate Halloween costume for Achu 🙂 )

We know dad has closed his eyes to all of Achu’s mischief. But it’s not just on dad’s side. Achu has put on her own magic, you know. Why else would she eat without complaining when Murali is around. On the weekends, if Achu refuses to eat a spoon, I say ‘Achu..Nanna is looking’ and Achu gulps down the food as fast as she can and looks at her dad. Dad is all super impressed and Achu has immediately added 1000 points of ‘Aww, my darling daughter’ to her account).  One week, she was cranky all 4 days of the week and when it was Friday, suddenly she became a mellow baby. You know why? Dad’s coming home in the evening and she is transitioning into her good baby avatar. 🙂 P claims that, whenever Murali comes home on the weekend evening, he holds Abhi first and then Achu. Because, if he holds Achu last, he can hold her for as long as he wants (P said it; Not me. 🙂 ).

Weekends, Achu gets more pampered than ever (Not that she is getting anything less on the weekdays) . Some time back, Achu suddenly woke up at 11:30. Murali picks her up from her crib and gets her to our bed. ( I never do that. Reason#1, Even though she has a little body, she does all her gymnastics so well that she manages to kick me out of the bed and assign me little space to sleep. Reason#2, Even sleeping in that little space is not the problem. She continues her gymnastics even in her sleep that she rolls over to all possible directions and for the fear of she falling down, I continuously watch her not sleeping . 😦 ) That night, Achu immediately got into play mode, did this and that, jumped all over the bed and learnt to blow kisses. Yep, at some 11:30 pm, some weekend night, Achu, playing around with us, learnt to blow kisses. Some other time, we were driving, I am asking Achu to sleep. Achu, obviously, doesn’t listen to me. Once, just once, Dad calls out from the driving seat, ‘Achamma, close your eyes’ and Achu immediately shuts her eyes, pretending to sleep. 🙂

You know, everything she sees is ‘Nanna and Achu’. Like the two birds pasted on the wall are always ‘Nanna and Achu’. There is a photo of someone in the book, it’s always ‘Nanna’ (We have already discussed the problem of amma being no-where around. 🙂 ). Oh, there are just so many more instances, I want to write. But I don’t think I will have enough space here. Maybe, Dad and Daughter can open a new blog and record all their things there. 🙂

Twin Things

♥ Hiding behind my clothes in the closet is one of Abhi and Achu’s favourite things.  Earlier they used to stand in front of the clothes, close their eyes and think they are actually hiding. 🙂 But then, I showed them they can hide behind the clothes really and they do that each time. It’s actually a part of Achu’s sleep time routine. 🙂 Yesterday, Abhi decides to hide there again. I can actually see his head and I pretend like I don’t see him. I keep saying ‘ Huh! Where is Abhi, Where is Abhi? ‘, look here and there and I finally find him. Abhi and Achu laugh. Now, Abhi goes hiding again. Before I say anything, Achu steps out of the closet and starts behaving like I would in finding Abhi. She starts saying ‘huh! huh!’, pointing her hands like she doesn know, looks around the room, in the crib, outside, goes back into the closet and finds Abhi. Abhi, Achu and Amma laugh this time. 🙂

♥ While I was in the kitchen, Achu comes to me and says ”mammu…mammu’ (she is asking for an empty food bowl) and then asks for ‘Poon’ (spoon) (She did this last week, trying to communicate for the first time about what she wants using words, otherwise its pretty much always ‘wai wai wai..’ 🙂 ). I give her a spoon and she walks away. A minute later Abhi comes by. Asks for ‘mammu’ and then ‘Poon’. 🙂 With empty bowls and spoons, both of them go to the patio door, sit next to it. Apparently its THEIR place to make mammu. They sit next to each other and start mixing mammu in the bowl with the spoon. Also saying ‘missing missing’ (Mixing). All of us, including the invisible kaki (crow) outside, also get to eat the invisible mammu from their bowls. They even feed each other. Each time they feed anyone, they definitely mix the mammu once with their spoon. Maybe, it tastes better that way 🙂 .

♥ It’s snack time for Abhi and Achu. I give them one of the finger foods they can eat by themselves. Both of them walk to the patio door again, sit next to each other (effect of having them always sit next to each other in booster seats, I think 🙂 ) and slowly and carefully bite the snack and eat. When they are done, they come back to me, ask me for more, take a new piece and go back to their places. 🙂

♥ Achu decides to climb the toy box and stand on it, ( like both of them do, N times a day). Each time this happens, one of us calls out ‘Abhi or Achu … get down’, something like that. When Achu climbed the box yesterday, Abhi spots that and says ‘Achhuuuuuu’ like we do. 🙂 Achu didn’t get down or anything, but I was pretty amused seeing Abhi trying to do what we do and controlling his sister 🙂 . ( I did think that neither of the twins should try to control each other. Because its kids, they don’t know when to stop and then one of them will always be controlling the other. Besides, I am all eyes to see Abhi and Achu gang up together for anything 🙂 .)

♥ Best of all current twin things is Abhi kissing Achu. That means, he will gently touch her head with his head , touch her hair. We all say ‘Aww’ and both giggle. This mostly happens when we ask Abhi to kiss Achu. But, sometimes, Abhi sees Achu and decides he wants to kiss her. 🙂 Sometimes, Achu runs away when Abhi is trying to kiss. 🙂 For some reason, it’s not Achu’s thing to kiss Abhi. She will only give him a hug, if she wants 🙂 .

Finding That Balance

Ahhh! This mom is confused beyond limits.

♦ Last week, she talks to her friend V who brings back a conflict she was already struggling with – how awesome we used to be at first job and how we are just good/average now; What happened  to all the fire that she wanted to be awesome and do everything at work? Most importantly, how does she get the fire back and not just stay normal? She thinks about how she wants to spend more time focussed on work.

♦ The she goes and watches the movie ‘The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty’ and realizes, there is so much more to do in life, not just be best at work. (She loved the movie btw and wants to ride her bicycle on those breathtakingly beautiful roads in Greenland)

♦ The next day, she goes to an open house checking out new BEAUTIFUL homes and wishes she owned one like that. She wishes they had everything stable and right in life to make owning a home possible.

♦ Then she meets an old mentor of hers and thinks of being that person who she used to be at work. She tells herself, ‘I am doing this’

♦ (It’s not over yet.) One lunch with a mom-colleague of hers, this colleague says ‘its not possible to do more things at work without spending extra time at work’. This mom knows that’s not true, but she gets to the mindset ‘My kids need me. I can’t take any time away from them than I already have.’

♦ (Nope. Not done yet.) Then she makes a casual call to nanny taking care of kids at home, who brings Achu on the phone. When asked to say bye Achu so excitedly says ‘ByByeeee’ in her style and now mom is wondering why is she not home spending precious moments with her twins.

Mom reminds herself, “the company you hang out with is very important. It either makes you laid back at something or super motivates you to do something.” She knows what she wants, but fears that will take time away from other precious things.

This mom needs to keep thinking. Apparently ‘being what she wants to be at work/career’, ‘enjoying life outside’ and ‘spending time with kids’ are all important to her. And she wants it that way (No, I want to take a break and stay at home) (No, I want to make my life more balanced working too) ( Sigh 😦 ). She needs to find a way to strike a balance between all three. She is going to be feeling very guilty otherwise about the thing she missed. 😦

200

Dear Blog,

I can’t believe we reached 200 posts. Seriously, what did we write for 200 posts? 🙂 It’s an accomplishment, really. Not because of the number, but, because I continued to write here. There were days when I wanted to give up (the last one happening 2 days ago), but, you know, when it comes to blogging, I think I know our goals are very clear. We don’t want to be the funny blog (and we are highly incapable of being that 🙂 ). We don’t want to give free gyan (because we dont have the gyan ourselves). We don’t want to talk about socio-economic problems (Greek and Latin to us, mostly ). Luckily we are not in comments business, either. None of that.  Last time someone said that there was nothing creative or imaginative about a post, I didn’t say anything. That’s because we NEVER intended to be that.

I know clearly what we aspire to do. Primarily, we want to write about Abhi and Achu. We want to write about every minute I spend with them. Every move of theirs. Every action, every reaction, every feeling, every lesson and every experience. Until, they start driving me crazy, that is. Oh wait. I want to write about that too 🙂 . I need to 🙂 . Secondly, we want to write about good things in life. Since I have the habit of easily forgetting the good things in life, we want to record them. Thirdly, we want to vent out, sometimes about things that are super bothering me, sometimes about things that I have mulled over in my head for a long long time and still havent managed to escape from the disturbances. Now, occasionally we may do things differently, but we will always be a dedicated mom blog. 🙂

They all say, right? Writing helps. Oh it does. So much. In the last few months especially, it’s because of writing here I was able to relive the fun moments with Abhi and Achu that happened months ago. Many times I read the same posts about them over and over and felt happy. It’s because of writing here that, I felt the joy of watching a movie again. Honestly, that day, I was more happy about watching that movie after I wrote it down than I was at the time of watching it. 🙂 I can be happy twice. What else can I ask more from you? But, there is more. Sometimes, I have developed a perception of whats happening in life, because of writing here. Sometimes, I wrote down what I should do, read it back and tried to implement it. Sometimes, I just let it out and felt better. Writing about good things during some event, made me forget the bad things related to same. There has been many more helpful things that I can’t list each and every one of them, but, I am so glad I found you. That I stick to this. You are the friend I always looked for. If only, you could talk back to me 🙂

Hope you will help me the same always.

-Dil