Ye pehle ho chuka hai!

They say, it’s not easy being a pre-teen and even harder parenting one. I say parenting for kids of any age group has its highs and lows. My elder daughter is about to be a teen very soon. No one in this world prepares you for what happens when kids start growing up and are constantly trying to use and experiment their new found confidence and independence. There’s no manual, road map, or guide to fully prepare you for the years of parenting.

My elder daughter’s final exams got over recently and she along with some of her classmates decided to go for a get together party at Flurys, an eating joint, just outside of our complex. They were meeting at 12 noon in the lobby of our building. My daughter was all dressed up and ready at 11:30. “I will be back by 1: 30, bye bye I love you”, she said animatedly pressing the lift button. It was 11:45. The lift door closed before I could reply her back. I came inside and got busy playing with my younger daughter who was upset as her Didi had deserted her for some get together with strangers.

I started feeling uneasy as the time ticked beyond 1: 30. It was 2’O clock now. I looked outside my balcony, the roads were all deserted and sun was beaming with all the heat it had. “Shomoy khoob kharaap boudi“, my maid said and I panicked more. I could hear every second ticking on the clock. “It’s already 3’O clock, she said she will return by 1:30!!” What if they went to some other place which is further away…after all they are all of 12 years. What if one of them is feeling sick? Has there been an accident!! Kidnapped!!! Na…that’s not possible…or is it? Arrgh! My stomach started curling up from inside. “Aami ki dekhe aashbo (should I go and find out)?” my maid said in a pacifying tone. I should not have allowed her to go alone with her friends outside of the complex. I should have given her my phone so I could contact her.

At 3:30, I could take no more ….I decided to go find my ‘lost’ child. I opened the door to go and kick some kidnapper’s ass, and there she was…standing and smiling.

I don’t believe in raising hands on kids, but I swear I slapped her thrice in my mind.

Why are you so late?” I screamed.

O, we could not decide on the menu so we got late” she replied.

That’s it!!!… you could not decide what to eat and lost track of time, here I pretty much lost my mind.”

Mom, chill, why do you get so worried, have some confidence and trust in me”, she said with much ease and no expressions.

I said, “When you become a mother and reach my age, you will understand”.

When you become a mother and reach my age, you will understand…. suddenly my mom’s voice echoed in my head. I quickly came back to my room.

‘Ye pehle ho chuka hai’. As cliché as it sounds, but these exact words came to my mind.

I must have been 10 or 11 years old. One afternoon, I went to my friend’s house, which was a little far away. I was a proud owner of Atlas cycle. No distance was far enough; my cycle glided me to her place in no time. My friend and I played all day long. Around evening, her father said to me, “beta..ab ghar jaao” It was then when I realized that I have lost the keys of my bicycle while playing. It was already too late. Though I wanted to walk back, it was getting dark and uncle insisted that my friend’s elder brother would drop me back home on his scooter. While I was sitting on the back seat of the scooter thanking my stars that I didn’t have to walk all the way back, I heard my name called out. I looked around and saw two ladies shouting my name and 10-15 people had gathered around them. It was my Mom and my Bua. They had a fair idea of the colony where my friend stayed but did not know which house. I asked bhaiyya to stop the scooter and nervously walked towards my mom.

“Mummy…I was…”.

Sattttaaaaack!!!

Yes…my mother did believe in beating up her kids. My friend’s brother saw this and fled the scene in a millisecond. My mother was crying and hugging me and getting angry at the same time. I was brought home and lectured whole evening by everyone around. I could not understand all the hoopla going on. I was coming back as fast as I could!! Late evening, my mother fed me with her own hands. I asked her, “why did you come after me…I am a big girl, I was coming back!” She said lovingly, “you won’t understand it now…wait till you have children of your own.”

I was overwhelmed with all the memories of my childhood. It took me some time to gather my thoughts. Later I went and hugged my daughter. She said, “why don’t you trust me mom, I was coming back!!” I just smiled and gave her a kiss. My younger daughter said, “When will I get to go out with my friends?”

“Not very soon darling….” I replied immediately.

I guess worrying is just a part of being a parent. It is tough to let go of being over protective and always be there for your child. They have to create memories of their own path and life. Inevitably, little girls become big girls, then women. The parents who understand this and have the resolve and emotional energy to accept life’s changes will be able to build a deeper, more powerful set of memories of life with their children.

What a Day!!

You know you’re in your 30s when putting that new carpet and wall decors you bought is in the top 5 highlights of your day. To prove otherwise, I thought we all should go out somewhere. So while rolling out Aalu paranthas for my family, I suggested my husband that we should go to a mall. Although I know my husband is completely against the idea of going to a shopping mall on a Sunday, to my utter surprise he said “hmmm.. yeah..Ok!!!” You see he is a man of few words.

Within an hour, with kids tucked in back seat, “chicken kuckdu ku” song on full blast, we were on road. By the time we reached there braving all the traffic, it was already lunch time. After circling the mall parking like a planet in its orbit for a long time we finally traced an empty parking slot. At least 5 cars rushed towards it in gladiator style. Unmindful of basic courtesy or consideration for the unfortunate soul who was the first to sight the bounty, we managed to park our car.

Eating at the food court can be an option in peak hours only if you like playing musical chair. I suggested that we should eat at a foriegn burger joint. Atleast you get to sit and eat peacefully without three people standing on your head with sizzlers and dosas. My husband said “hmmm…yeah..Ok!!! Kids were happy too. They got a free toy with the meal. Little did they care that daddy has paid four times the value of that toy for one burger.

The day started unfolding once we got into ‘Starmarks’. Four of us with different agenda on our minds went four different ways into the store. I was looking out for my next read, when I spotted my younger one kicking one of the shelves. I reached there in one big leap just before the toys came crashing down. A stern “NO, dont do that” was enough to make her howl on top of her voice. A lady standing across had a wicked smile on her face. She had her maid tagged along to take care of the ‘baba logs’. Damn that b****. In desperation, I looked towards my husband, who in turn moved further ten feets away with “its my bloody sunday too” look in his eyes. Somehow managing the situation with the younger one on my waist for rest of the evening, and ten different shopping bags, I thought it was enough of quality time. “Lets head home”, I said, to which my husband replied, “hmmm…yeah…Ok!!!”

We must have heard that bloody song from Bajrangi Bhaijaan at least 10 times on way back also. I had a splitting headcahe and backache by the time we got back. Kids got busy with the books they had bought. My husband lovingly applied MOOV on my back and said “Baby, lets avoid going to a mall next time unless absolutely necessary”. I replied “hmm…yeah…Ok”.

The girl that I am not..

Now that I am mother of two beautiful little girls, I feel like I have a purpose in my life. From deciding on what they will eat, dress & play, I pretty much own their individuality. And no, I am not the only mother who is obsessed with their kids, believe me there are many more in this tribe – Perfectly Imperfect.

I would like to describe this term.

I remember as a kid, me, my brother & my cousins used to get discarded ice from  the ice factory behind our house and make Popsicle and eat. The most unhygienic waste ice Popsicle used to taste better than any gourmet ice-cream. Today, when my elder daughter wanted to eat orange bar ice cream, I just could not say yes. Why? Well,..first of all it could lead to cough & cold, may be result in fever….or it may result in swollen tonsils. Yeah, weird, but I take into account every possible outcome.

What is it that stops us to let the kids have fun like we used to. Our parents were equally concerned but they let us be. So why is it that every time my kids want to pick up stray pup, play in mud or simply run too fast, my heart drops thinking worst of possibilities. As kids, we used cycle for hours on roads, eat nonsense street food, drink water from anywhere and it was so much fun. My kids carry hand sanitizer to the playground and my maid is within 20 feet’s distance when my girls are cycling.

This control for their well being is getting into their way of having plain simple FUN. I am trying to be a perfect mother but this is actually being imperfect! I would have dwell on this topic more but i need to check few symptoms on net. You see my younger daughter said she doesn’t want to have dinner after having a bag of chips. What could be the reason…