Dated for the 4th of May, 2011
My boy, my boy
Come talk to me
Tell me where the years took flight
Man, four years! I can only shake my head in disbelief at that. I guess the sleep deprivation has dulled my senses, specially the ones that mark the passage of time. All I can say is, I am glad he is not turning two. That, my dear friends, was one hell of a party, except that it was more hell and less party. It didn't look like it at the time but we did make it past that, and then another year and look at him now, he is playing with the globe and wants to know where Angola is.
This last year was extra-important in the overall scheme of things because as soon as he had finished cutting the cake and blowing out the candles, he was presented with a baby sister. Hey look, a birthday present for you, a baby! Enjoy the responsibility, happy birthday. He does take his role as Ragini's older brother very seriously. What sort of a baby have I got, he queries, I am asking her not to eat tissue paper and she is biting me. Tough times.
The shyness keeps coming and going but there is more evidence of a social being, someone who perhaps can tolerate the human race. Somewhat.
It's really difficult to encapsulate a whole year into one milestone letter. All I can say that some things remained the same. I am as far from being a perfect mother as conceptually possible. The house is messy. The maids are forever quitting and staging walk-outs. I regularly have nuclear meltdowns of my own, some of them quite capable of stunning even the kids into silence. I yell and scream and say No! No! No! much more than I should, despite all those e-mail forwards that instruct me not to, if I want to truly enjoy these years. In fact, I think there is way too much emphasis on enjoyment. There is no time for all that touchy-feely nonsense, I say. Not for me.
But there were things that changed too. The house became...well...fuller somehow.I fretted endlessly about sibling rivalry, about the boy feeling neglected when the princess arrived and all sorts of things that only I can think up. Well, I should have spent all that time worrying about something else because he clearly adores her. More than anything, she amuses him, like a pet almost and I think we can live with that.
He still looks like me and like M and on good days, like distant granduncles and aunts. On my side, ha.
There is still no interest in food. He eats to keep us happy. The foodie gene has mutated.
He speaks English like a native of Bandra, which he is I guess and these days has taken to the upsetting habit of adding a questioning No? after every phrase. Mama, that boy no, he is my friend no and he wants me to come to his party no so you will take me no? I respond calmly, meaning I clench my teeth and shout - Adi, you don't have to say no after everything, no?
His Hindi on the other hand seems to a nod to our colonial past. I do think I saw him shed a silent tear when Bob Christo died. Daddy, what is that long thing with which we clean the floor, he asks the other day. Abey, angrez ki aulaad, jhadoo bolte hain usse, said the frustrated father. I think M and I should spend more time conversing with each other in Hindi. It's just that we cannot spell bad words in Hindi when we need to (and we do need to...at least I do).
He is a bit of a geek, there's no getting around that. He is fascinated by all things gadgety and electronic. We visited someone recently who had remote controlled curtains. You know the rest of the story. Let's just say peace was bought with a Spongebob DVD. He loves to read and write and know things. Most tiresome, when I am trying to focus and write the magnificent total of a hundred words everyday. But it's a fair trade-off. It's amazing to have a super-bright kid around. These days for example we are very heavily into saving the environment. We like to spot The Green Triangle on things and then we want to put them in 'a magic machine' that will throw out new things. Now to figure access to this magic machine.
So yes, fun year. Very tough, no doubt but rewarding in the non-monetary sense (always a toughie, that one). One whole year of being a mum to two. Surprises will never cease.
Happy birthday, Aditya. Live very long and very happy.