(Edited to add the bit at the end...)
Yesterday, the four of us and my parents went for a birthday party. My Maa-Janoni's schoolfriend's grandson's 1st birthday! (Whew! Could you say that in one breath?) ANyway, it wasn't really a kiddie affair at all...more like a formal introduction of the little tyke to family and friends, since the three of them have just moved to Kolkata from London.
The venue was a nice swanky banquet hall in a nice swanky hotel. There wasn't any kiddie 'entertainment', like you get nowadays at birthday parties...you know what I mean, magic shows, clowns, ball pools, etc. But we were early, the banguet hall was huge and I had two little boys who were born restless and with ants in their denims. They just took one look at the open space and telepathically communicated to each other, "Let's make Mamma lose the weight she claims we put on her!", and they started running from one side to the other. The MIM and I had quite a time trying to keep the bundles of wriggles on a chair for a good length of time! (Note to self...birthday party with boys minus ayah also means lose the heels and stay short!) But the hosts and my mum's friend kept assuring us that they weren't causing any harm and we really didn't need to sit on them. So, we relaxed a little bit and truthfully speaking, they were so happy. I was just scared witless about one of them running into a server with a precariously balanced tray laden with soft drinks and juices. When the crowds started growing, so did my anxiety and I tried to think of an in teresting way to occupy at least one of them. I set my sights on the EO, because I knew the YO would follow his big brother's footsteps. And it turned out to be quite literal too!
I asked the EO to count the diamonds in one row from one end of the carpet to the other. It was quite funny really, he couldn't walk in a straight line (hmm? should I conduct a study about alcoholic-like effects of Mountain Dew in children under the age of six?) and started walking in a zig-zag pattern...with a YO, in absolute puppy dog fashion, trailing him, trying to copy him and falling over his own two little feet! After repeated attempts, the EO came to me said that he couldn't do it.
I took my big baby by the hand, led him to a corner and showed him how it was done -- by putting one foot in front of the other upon the diamonds, so that he could remain in a straight line. My EO looked at me and exclaimed horrified, "But Mamma! Fairies walk like that! (???) I'm not a fairy!"
I chuckled at his point of view and also thought how relieved his father would be to hear that ;p when he said something even cuter...
"I'm a prince!"
And it didn't end there. He went on, "And you're a queen and my baba's the king."
Aww! My little sweetheart! My dear! My prince! You certainly made me feel like a queen I must admit!
What 'thing' do I detest most in the world? Cockroaches! My nightmare is to be trapped in a box with them crawling all over them...eeewww! Blech! I couldn't even write that without my heart beating faster and my skin crawling! Yuck, yuck, YUCK! I once even broke some, umm..err...bathroom furniture, because a cockroach crawled onto my arm!!
Anyway, so here I am at my Maa-Janoni's and she's sprayed bug spray all over and the miserable wretches that Time left behind are crawlinh out of the houses pores and struggling with their last breaths before flopping onto their backs, waving all three pairs of legs in the air and fading into oblivion. The more resilient ones, however, are limping across the floor, hoping to find an un-sprayed, unaffected drain somewhere nearby (hah! not bloody likely!)
Well, when I saw these things, slow, dimwitted and ugly, moving like blobs of sludge, I got up on the bed with trusty laptop and stayed there. The EO screeched in a manner that could put a Victorian soprano to shame and I couldn't help but recall that just last night he was making some kind of remark about not being a fairy but a prince! So while he tried to scramble up the ayah like a monkey on a banyan tree, and I looked on totally unamused, who should arrive on the scene but my little hero, our saviour and henceforth known as Enemy No. 1 of the Family Genus Species "Cockroach Grossicky Pukalot" a
There he stood, arms and legs akimbo, equally outraged and fascinated by the mere precence of these things. Thinking fast and acting even faster, he promptly decided to chase the one nearest him and cover it with his napkin as if trying to suffocate the evil out of it!
Aaah! My little hero! You cockroach squasher, you! Mamma need never be afraid of those horrid things now, need she?
And then of course my gallant cockroach annhilator goes and plonks himself on his grandmother's dressing table top, finds a BIG bindi, picks it up gently between his themb and fore finger, lightly and delicately places it between his eyebrows, admires himeself for the longest time and then turns to me with a twinkle in each eye and a smile that goes straight to my funny bone.