Posted in mom's life, Parenting, relationships, short story

The perfect mother (a short story)

It was a routine day for Pooja, who worked at an old age home in the heart of the city. She worked at the reception for six hours and also helped in the accounts and inventory later. It had been a month since she had started working there, and she knew all the forty five residents of the home pretty well. She had just finished her graduation and wanted to do something in her free time. This old age home was a perfect work place for her. Within walking distance of her house and flexible working hours. She liked it’s architecture too. It was an old brown building with ground plus two floors with a small garden on the backside. Each floor had fifteen rooms with an attached bathroom. There was a mess on the ground floor adjoining the garden. There was also a TV and a carrom board kept in the mess. They had enough nurses and care takers to look after the residents. They also had a doctor visiting them every week. Although the place was in the heart of the city, there was a sense of calm when she entered inside. It felt very homey. Her desk was directly in front of the entrance which was flanked by rooms on either side. .

She was particularly fond of Jaya aunty, an octogenarian, who would talk non stop and entertain her from all the gossips of other residents. Jaya aunty had voluntarily left her son and daughter who had settled abroad and made this place her home. She always said that she could never fathom the western culture and so she came back to her motherland and decided to stay here as it was difficult to stay all alone at this age.

Then there was Sudha aunty, Ashok uncle, Joseph uncle, Laxmi aunty who were other gossip mongers; and others like Sarika aunty, Pradeep uncle who preferred to keep to themselves. There were many others who were in their late seventies or eighties, some of them came voluntarily whereas others were forced to. They all stayed like a big happy family.

Pooja had noticed a particular man called Sagar, who would come everyday even before she came and he would leave by 9am. He was always impeccably dressed in suits and always carried a laptop bag. And on Saturdays, a woman whom she assumed was his wife would accompany him. They would spend a good two to three hours with Sarika aunty, who was staying in the last room facing the small garden on the ground floor.

Being new to the place, she did not know the health problems that any of them had, but the ramblings of Jaya aunty had kept her updated. Today, curiosity got the better of her and she thought she would take a peek at what Sagar was talking to Sarika aunty. As she stopped by her door, she heard Sarika aunty laughing at something that Sagar was showing her on the laptop. Then he turned to her, took her hands in his and told her, “Aai, mi aahe, Sagar. Tumcha Sagar. Mulga tujha?” (Mother, it’s me, Sagar. Your Sagar. Your son?).

Sarika aunty looked at him and said, “Ha Sagar, majha mulga, tula kasa visarnar?” (Yes Sagar, my son? How can I forget you?)

Pooja felt that she was intruding on a very private moment and she decided to leave. As she was about to leave, she heard Sarika aunty saying, “Aapan kon?” (Who are you?). Pooja was frozen in her tracks as she thought Sarika aunty had caught her listening to their conversation. But when she turned around, she saw that she was asking the question to Sagar. A stray tear escaped Sagar’s eyes, but before he could say anything, Sarika aunty started laughing at something she saw on the laptop. And Sagar’s eyes met with Pooja’s as she mouthed ‘sorry’ and went back to her desk.

When Sagar came out to leave, he was met with the curious eyes of Pooja. She din’t want to sound imposing, and so she did not ask him anything. The next morning, Sagar came with a cup of tea and instead of going to meet his mother he sat with Pooja in the mess.

“She’s my mother.” He began. “Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease three years back. It’s worsening with each passing day. We used to stay together, all of us, my wife, my twin sons and my mother until last year when it was too risky to keep her alone. She would lock the main door from inside and forget how to open it. Sometimes, she wouldn’t let us inside our own house as she wouldn’t recognise us and think we were theives. At times, she would keep my car keys in the refrigerator and we would end up searching the entire house. So, for everyone’s safety and more importantly her’s, we decided to bring her here. She’s been here since a year and sometimes she recognises us, sometimes she doesn’t.”

Pooja’s eyes had turned glassy on hearing his story. She said, “She’s a very quiet lady. Hardly talks to anyone. I was surprised to find her so happy when you come. I’m sure deep down she knows that you are her son. It’s not your fault that she doesn’t remember you.”

“I know it’s not my fault. But every single day, I feel sorry for myself for the way I have always treated her. She wasn’t very fluent in English, and when I grew older, I have always ridiculed her for that. I used to be embarrassed when she would come to school. I used to tell her that she’s not my perfect mother. She doesn’t know anything. I used to yell at her, tell her to leave me alone. But she would always smile at me and still cook me my favourite dishes. I was never thankful to her. I hardly expressed my love for her. But when my sons were born, I saw my wife struggle raising them. I would help her, but not that much. My mother stood by her, and we sailed through. But I was too busy with my career to even acknowledge her for that. And by the time I realised that how difficult it is for a mother to raise her kids, it was too late. Today, when she doesn’t recognise me, I feel broken, but then I think that I probably deserve it for the way I have treated her. I visit her everyday for a couple of hours, I show her videos on my laptop of whatever place she wanted to visit but now cannot. I show her videos of my sons growing up. I feel very happy when she recognises me even for a few minutes. I tell her everyday that she is my perfect mother and how much I love her! And she smiles, she always does.”

With that Sagar left to move on with his day.

Pooja couldn’t grasp the emotions she was feeling. She just started sobbing, but realising where she was, she went back to her desk. Later in the evening, when she went back home, she hugged her mom and told her, “You are my perfect mother. I love you. Always remember that.” Her mom laughed at that and told her, “I love you too, you are my perfect daughter”.

There’s a perfect mother in spite of all the imperfections.

Dedicated to all the mothers

Author’s note : This post first appeared on momspresso.

Pic courtesy : Google images

Advertisements
Posted in Married life, Personal, pregnancy

Confessions of a pregnant woman

When I was pregnant with my first child, I was bombarded with numerous tips and advice from my friends, relatives and other well wishers. Some of them were really helpful, whereas others were downright hilarious and a few even offending. I used to end up arguing with a few of them when they would tell me about what I should do and not do. The end result being an upset friend/relative and an upset me.

So, when I was pregnant again, I thought that the tips and advice will stop as I was an experienced mother. But no, it didn’t. So I chose to keep my mouth shut and rather thank them for their wonderful advice.

Let me take you through my journey of the three trimesters and the ‘wonderful’ tips that I received in the course. What I wished to answer them (but chose to go mute and smile) are in italics.

First trimester

‘Oh my God! Pregnant again? Congrats anyway. Why so fast? You should have taken more rest.

Yes, why not. Why don’t you make all my life decisions? A burden less for me, eh?

Look she’s sleepy and drowsy all the time. Looks like you are having a boy this time too!

Ah, here comes the old wives tales! Try looking after my older one while puking your guts out. Then we will see who is sleepy and drowsy! Ha!

Second trimester

Start eating more dear. You need to eat for two. We want a chubby baby!

I had heard this one last time too. How about you let me swallow my own saliva first? 

Your elder one is so naughty. I think you should take as much rest as possible now. How will you manage otherwise? It’s going to be really tough.

Thank you for your ‘encouraging’ words. It won’t be tough. You don’t worry. You stay right next door, I’ll send my older one at your place for some time everyday. I’m sure you will help. Right?

Third trimester

You should start looking for a full time maid now. Things are going to get difficult as soon as the second one pops out!

Sure, the position is open. Are you interested? 

I think your water broke. Your dress is wet from below. Let’s rush to the hospital. Hurry!

No, that’s not my water. There’s still a few weeks left. Don’t look at me like that. You din’t let me go to the bathroom on time. Sorry, I couldn’t help it!

Post delivery

Oh my God! Your second one is also a boy. Now what? You always wanted a girl. Are you going to plan for a third one again?

Oh yes, I will. But not ‘Until the sun rises in the west and sets in the east’. What? Don’t stare at me like that. You’ve never heard it? Duh! This is a very famous dialogue that Daenerys Targarean tells her husband Khal Drogo in the Game of thrones. Go binge watch it now and don’t claw on my brains!!

Have you too received such pieces of advice in your pregnancy?

Do let me know in the comments section below!

Àuthors note: This post first appeared on momspresso. 

Pic courtesy : Google images 

Posted in Married life, mom's life, Personal

The weekend fear

 It’s a beautiful Saturday morning, and as I get up, stretch myself and look at the clock, I’m happy to see the time. It’s thirty minutes past nine, and I feel that it’s an achievement itself; I’m able to sleep so long without any interruption. Kids and husband are in deep sleep too! As I freshen up, I find a steaming cup of tea ready (courtesy mother in law). What a wonderful start to the weekend!

As husband and kids wake up, we settle for brunch with some parathas and pickle. Post that, we watch a movie as the kids are busy playing on their own. Then late afternoon, we take the kids to a nearby park, where they have their share of fun. This is followed by watching the sunset at the beach and then proceeding to a restaurant for dinner.

The same thing happens on Sunday, except the menu for brunch is different and for dinner, we order in instead of going out to eat. I’m so happy and content after a wonderful weekend that I’m looking forward to Monday morning and the week ahead. With those thoughts in mind and with a smile on my face I slip into a deep slumber.

How I wish my weekends are like this! All of the above only exists in my imagination! 

Here is what happens in reality.

It is a beautiful Saturday morning indeed, just not beautiful for me, as I feel someone pulling on my hair. I wake up groaning and look at the time, it’s thirty minutes past six! I look at my smiling toddler still content in pulling my hair and tell him, “Couldn’t you wait an hour more?” No matter, how thick the curtains are, a single ray of light is enough to wake him up! He says something in his toddler language and moves on to the next interesting object. There goes my dream of sleeping more! I then proceed to freshen up and as I emerge from the bathroom, I find my preschooler awake too, courtesy toddler. 

My cup of steaming tea is ready, courtesy mother in law. She’s an early riser, so she makes tea for everyone almost everyday. After managing to make a quick breakfast and feeding the kids, there’s a quick discussion between me and mother in law. What to make, how to make, etc etc. I really want to order something, but husband always insists on home made ‘exotic’ food atleast on Saturdays. It never turns out to be exotic. That’s a different story altogether. 

As I’m almost done with the food preparation, I take a peek in my room and find my husband blissfully sleeping. The clock reads 9.30. Now, my face turns green and I can feel smoke coming out from my ears and nose! I call my preschooler and put the toddler on bed and ask them to jump. The effect? Husband is awake in five minutes! I mentally hi-five myself and decide to do it at 7 am next time! I can be cunning sometimes!

Later in the day, as husband watches some thriller on TV, kids are busy playing with the grandparents, I decide to take a nap. The moment my head touches the pillow, the maid wants a half day. Ofcourse she wants to celebrate the weekend too. So, off she goes, and as the kids now decide to play with me, my dream of a small nap goes down the drain. And then, when it’s time to go out to the park, they doze off! And later, husband demands something different for dinner too! I want to tell him no, but when he shows me his puppy dog eyes, I cave in. Five days a week, he usually eats out and skips dinner half the time. So I can try to give him an ‘exotic’ home made meal for a day.

Sundays are more or less the same, except I refuse to cook dinner. We either go out or order in. The only good thing is we rarely have guests coming over. All our relatives are in the same city and anyone coming from outside, don’t prefer to stay with us as they have to  climb four flights of stairs with their luggage without any lift! (I do it three times a day, that’s the secret of my fitness). And add to that, two small boys who take the house on fire and create so much noise that even the airplane would be put to shame! 

Sometimes, I feel my weekdays are better. Even though I’m a working mother, I atleast get to spend time by myself in the mornings. I get to do things that I love doing, like reading the newspaper. Weekends are so hectic, I can’t even read the newspaper in peace! I literally fear weekends!

Very very rarely, we leave town on weekends. But we do go on impromptu picnics for a day. By Sunday night, I’m dead tired but in spite of all that, I  look forward to the coming week. And hope that maybe my next weekend would be slightly better in terms of mental peace and physical rest! For all the other things, I’m very thankful!

So moms, how are your weekends spent? Do let me know in the comments section below.

P.S: This post first appeared on mycity4kids parenting platform. 

Pic courtesy : Google images 

Posted in gaming, mom's life, Parenting

Why ‘screen time’ is good for my child 

As parents, we are always concerned about how much time our kids spend on the phones and tablets or watching the television. A few days back, I came across this TED talk addressing the fears of parents regarding screen time for their kids. I was amazed as the speaker pointed out so many useful things that can be done using digital media. I tried them out on my 4 year old son, who is extremely fond of my phone.

When our kids are engrossed watching their favourite stuff or playing some game on the phone, we often wonder that when will they go out and play and what about their physical exercise? My son is very fond of ‘fireman Sam and his adventures.’ So, one day I decided to ask him to role play his favourite character. And that’s exactly what he did! He went around the whole house, running and jumping, pretending to extinguish the imaginary fire in his imaginary fire brigade! And he still loves doing it. Some days, he also mimics ‘peppa pig’ and goes from one room to another playing different games.

Another very nice thing that he’s learnt from his screen time is the use of new words and his vocabulary has improved a lot. Just a few days back he told me, “Excuse me, I want to ride my bicycle. Can you sit somewhere else?” I was fascinated by his use of the word ‘excuse me’. So I asked him, “Where did you learn that?” He replied, “Mom, Grandpa pig was telling Peppa pig in the garden.” I made sure to reinforce what he’s learnt from time to time.

On another day, when I had taken him to the park, instead of running to the slides and swings, he went to see what the crows were eating. Of course he wasn’t very discreet and the bird flew away before he could actually see anything, but I asked him what he wanted to see. He told me that he had seen on my phone about crows and that they eat dirty food. So he wanted to check the same. I was surprised and actually quite proud of him that day, because the least likely thing to happen when you take your kid to the park is that they run to see what the birds are doing!

And I had learnt one very important thing as well. Talk to your kid about what he is watching and what he is playing. Interaction is very important. Otherwise the whole point of allowing screen time would be meaningless.

So yesterday, when I asked him what he was doing on my phone, he got very excited and told me that he was playing his ‘car wash’ game and then he went on to describe in details what he did and how he did it. This exercise made him more confident in recollecting his thoughts and speaking.

The key lies in talking. We need to talk to them and show interest in what they do in their screen time and not just merely hand them the phone and then forget about it. We live in a digital world. And when we use our phones for every single thing, we cannot deprive our kids from the same.

It is high time that we focus on the positive impacts that the digital media can bring instead of focusing on how to hide our phones from our kids. We should definitely harness the potential of digital media for the growth and progress of our kids. It is upto us to teach them how and why to use the phone.

P.S: I give 60 to 90 minutes of screen time to my son. Though everyone may not agree to it, but I have tried my best to do something good with the screen time for my kid and it’s definitely working for him!

Author’s note : This post first appeared on mycity4kids parenting platform. 

Pic courtesy : Google images 

Posted in mom's life, Parenting, siblings

It’s time for some ‘live’ Tom and Jerry

The last four months of my life have been quite interesting. Or rather adventurous. The day my younger son started walking, things have not been the same. And add to it the enthusiasm of my three and half year old in encouraging his brother to walk faster, my once peaceful house has transformed into a cacophony of yells and laughter.

Every single day as I get up in the morning wondering what my now four year old preschooler and sixteen months old toddler have in store for me, there’s always a surprise waiting. Some day all the diapers are out of the diaper bag scattered all over the house, some day all utensils are out of the kitchen and on another day, all their clothes are out of the cupboards! 

One evening, as I sat on the swing in my house (I consider myself very lucky to have a swing indoors) watching them play or rather fight with each other, I remembered the cartoon ‘Tom and Jerry’. I imagined the older one to be Tom and the younger one to be Jerry. And then, it was time for some ‘live’ Tom and Jerry. As I sat there watching them, various scenes unfolded before me.

Scene 1: 

Tom was playing with his favourite car and Jerry was trying to stack the rings. But he was not able to do it properly. He looked around for help. He saw Tom and started pulling his T-shirt to get his attention. But Tom was very busy. So Jerry decided to snatch his car away to get his attention. What followed after that was a maniacal chase throughout the house and Tom finally got his car back. Then I had to intervene to calm down Jerry and help him with his stacking rings. The chase wouldn’t have happened at all if Jerry would have come to me for help in the beginning only. I was sitting right there on the swing. But where’s the fun in resolving things quietly? In fact, I too, enjoyed the chase! I was actually laughing and telling them to stop. But they stopped only when they wanted to.

Scene 2:

Now, it was payback time for Tom. After Jerry was done exploring or rather scattering his stacking rings, he sneaked behind Tom and took a couple of his cars. Tom din’t realise that. Jerry came to me with his prized possession and started playing with them. He must have played for a few minutes, then he got bored and started throwing the cars in Tom’s direction. After that, all hell broke loose! Jerry was laughing hysterically and Tom was yelling at him and I was enjoying being a mute spectator. Before the violence started, I calmed them down and distracted them with other things.

Many new scenes unfold every single day. Sometimes, I enjoy watching the ‘live’ show, sometimes it gets on my nerves! Sometimes, I also participate in their antics. No matter how much they fight, they love each other equally well. When any third person threatens (albeit jokingly) to take either of them away for a few days, the other one gets all possessive and caring.

It’s heartwarming to see their love for each other blooming with each passing day!

Siblings won’t be siblings if they don’t fight with each other and then make up only to fight again!!

Although in the cartoon, Tom and jerry weren’t siblings, but they did show concern in each other’s well being. And they did put their rivalry aside, when they had a common goal to pursue.

Do your little ones keep you entertained? And do you also get to witness ‘live’ Tom and jerry in your house? Do let me know in the comments section below. 

Àuthors note: This post first appeared on mycity4kids parenting platform. 

Pic courtesy : Google images 

Posted in mom's life, Parenting

My son’s best friends

My four year old and me were having a casual conversation about his school one evening. He becomes very excited and animated whenever he talks about his school and his friends. He kept on talking about what he did, what toys he played, what he painted and other things that he did with his friends. Then he said, “Mamma, D is not my best friend now.”

“Oh. Is it? So, A must be your best friend then”, I told him. 

“No, nobody in school is my best friend.” He told me looking very sad.

“So, who is your best friend then?” I enquired.

He pouted at me, thought a lot and suddenly his face was lit with joy when he said, “It’s Peppa and Sam! They are my best friends.”

Of course I knew who Peppa and Sam were, but to know about his fondness for them to the extent that he considered them as his best friends was shocking for me. But in a good way.

He is not fond of watching TV per se, but I allow him 30 to 45 minutes of screen time on my phone where he watches whatever he wants on you tube. Earlier, he used to watch all sorts of nursery rhymes and ‘Ryan’s toy reviews’. He would sometimes imitate what Ryan would do with his toys in the video. But lately, he is become very fond of Peppa pig and Sam, the fireman.

He watches Peppa’s adventures with so much interest, it is quite fascinating to see him like that. In fact, he introduced me to peppa pig and her family. I wasn’t aware about such a character myself. Similarly with Sam, the fireman. He watches Sam as he goes off in his fire brigade with his colleagues helping all those people in trouble in the town of Pontypandy.

Some days, when he is very engrossed in playing with his toys, I just observe him. He role plays the characters he loves. He calls himself Peppa and his little brother George. And then he imitates them. Drives his toy fire brigade and pretends he is Sam, and goes to save Norman Price with Penny and Elvis! Sometimes, he makes a garden with his lego blocks and plays with George and Rebecca rabbit! It is truly fascinating to watch him like that. The way he talks to himself, pretending to be the characters himself; it’s truly amazing. But the moment he catches me watching him, he abandons everything, starts laughing and runs out of the room! 

I really enjoy watching him play with his ‘best friends’ or rather imitate them and I have learnt to be discreet while he is at ‘work’.

Yesterday, as he was going to school, he told me, “Bye bye Mommy pig.. see you later..”

“Bye Peppa, take care,” I replied.

Then I told him, “No, wait. You are not Peppa. Peppa is a girl, but you are a boy. So now what shall we do?”

After thinking for a while, we came up with a solution. “Dear, let’s name you ‘Peppo’. So now, you are peppo pig and we are all your family members!” I told him.

He was so happy with his ‘new name’ that he literally went skipping to school!

He really has a wonderful time playing and imitating his best friends. Do your kids enjoy their play time with their best friends? Who are their favourite cartoon characters? Do let me know in the comments section below!

Author’s note : This post first appeared on mycity4kids parenting platform. 

Pic courtesy : Google images 

Posted in mom's life, Personal

5 things that changed in me post motherhood 

It’s been eight glorious years since I got married, and four years since I became a mother. Over the last decade I have seen myself transform from the very shy, introvert girl to a little less shy and a little more outgoing woman.

But there are a few things that have changed a lot since I became a mother.

1. Cooking skills: Before marriage, I hardly entered the kitchen. After marriage, I learnt to cook some basic stuff and after becoming a mother, I’m always in the kitchen! Every day I try to make something that looks more interesting and appealing to my kids. I still can’t make round chapatis though! But that’s alright I think, because my kids now know all their shapes extremely well. (even those that do not exist!)

2. Memory: Earlier, I used to be known for my photographic memory, but now? Phew! If I don’t make a list of ‘to do’ things for the day, I end up missing half of them! And the worst thing is, I forget that I have put something on the stove for cooking! The end result being burnt rice, spilled milk and other things which I cannot even describe. So, I have to make sure that I finish off my kitchen work before doing anything else. Also, the next time I forget your name, please excuse me!!

3. Fashion sense: Before motherhood, I enjoyed dressing up everyday. Of course I still do, but considering the presence of a preschooler and a toddler around me it becomes a herculean task! My fashion sense has transformed from ‘a lovely outfit with matching jewellery, a nice hairstyle and heels’ to ‘grab what I can outfit with no jewellery, hairstyle not interfering with line of vision and flats’! I know that is just a matter of time and once they are are little older, I can resume my fashion centric activities!

4. Patience: I’ve realised the true meaning of patience only after I became a mother. Earlier, I would be the one telling others to ‘be patient and calm down’ among other things. But now, I hear this almost everyday! Such a drastic change! I try very hard to control my temper every day, but sometimes it just blows. Blessed are those souls who can truly contain their anger and be patient with their kids!

5. Time management: I never knew I could multitask. Actually, it was never needed before. And not just simple multitasking. Literally following the hands of the clock on a minute to minute basis! Any delay of more than a minute affects the entire day. And also decreases my ‘me time’ which I simply cannot miss or else I would go insane! So, following the hands of a clock seems a better idea. It works most of the time. Some things are unpredictable, not in my hands, and since I can’t do much about them, I simply go with the flow! I feel that learning to manage my time is a gift that motherhood has given me.

So, what changes have you seen in yourself post motherhood?

Author’s note: This post first appeared on mycity4kids parenting platform. 

Pic courtesy: Google images