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Mother, writer and daydreamer. Also chocoholic and chick-flick lover. But mainly mommy. To two boys, at that! When not escorting my Elder One (EO) to karate class, I'm trying to get in as many cuddles as possible from my Younger One (YO). And when not doing either, I'm hard-at-work trying to maintain a steady relationship with my laptop. And as for the Man I Married (MIM), well, let’s just put it this way – even though we share a bedroom, our most meaningful conversations are held over the cell-phone!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Of Animal Stories and Lessons Learnt

A few weeks ago, eight wild Brazilian Marmoset monkeys were stolen from the Alipore Zoo. The good news is that they were rescued. The bad news is that the monkey-napper who had been nabbed by the police, did a Houdini. Not that it would require one to know expert escape tricks when your captor is SLEEPING!! Tcha! Shame! But then again, meh! What else is new? What's new is, that he was caught again!! Bravo!

Well, given the EO's love for stories, especially stories that have the familiar and comforting features of action, good guys, bad guys, an encounter, a comic twist, some animals and finally justice and a happy ending, I thought this would be a great story to tell him. So my parents and I told him what happened and he listened, wide-eyed and fascinated.

His questions ran thus:
1) Were they baby monkeys?
2) Were they brothers and sisters?
3) But what was their mamma doing when the bad mans came to stole them?
4) [directed at me] Aah! I know! I think so she was sleeping like sometimes how you are still sleeping when I am awaked, right naa?

When qtn nos. 1-3 happened, my heart melted with love. Such tender, little-boy concerns. Such a strong belief that Mamma, all Mammas, will save her young from all harm. You can't put one past the universal Mamma because she is the ultimate protector, the shield, the forcefield, the safe haven. I started wondering whether I did the right thing in telling him this story and whether I should have gone in for heavy-duty censoring with regards to this particular tale.

And then of course qtn. 4 happened and I felt guilty.

There was a time when the EO would sleep in between the MIM and me.
Then his brother came into the world, got a cot and therefore the EO got his own bed.
So, instead of waking up between us, he would come snuggle in between us after having woken up in his own bed in his own room.
Of course, it never remained at snuggling. It also involved sitting on our chests, blowing raspberries on our tummies and planting wet, slobbery kisses on our faces. Not to mention singing into our ears.
While we loved it, the MIM and I are night-owls and go to sleep very late at night. I can still manage on a few hours of sleep, but the MIM can't. So, as soon as the EO would come into the bed and immediately after the first few cuddles, I'd carry him out, back into his room and lie down next to him on his bed and have the YO brought next to me too.
Then, what with school timings and getting up early in the morning and all that jazz, I started getting up earlier than him, so I'd go and lie down next to him and cuddle-and-tickle-and kiss him awake.
School timings have changed once again. Both my boys wake up at the same time. So I've asked my ayah to make them play with each other until I come out.

But he misses it. My very-very-VERY-soon-to-be-six-year-old son still misses sleeping with his Mamma. Once upon a time, the requests to sleep in our bed or at least have me in theirs would start non-stop from the moment the sun would set. Then it went down to a few times through the entire course of the night-time rituals. Then it became a single, solitary pleading. And now, it's gone down to every other night.

I thought maybe my son finally is becoming a big boy and then he goes and says something like "because she was sleeping". That's when I realised that the little-boy in him keeps quiet because the big-boy that he is struggling to become is trying to put on a brave face and adopt an air of maturity.

I should be grateful that my EO still wants me around. That most often, his moments of bliss are just of him sitting next to me and chattering non-stop even as I'm working on the comp and grunting in response.

It's all changing though. He loves being with his friends, hates coming home when he's having a good time with them, goes off happily to do fun things without me, has a world of his own which I know about but am an not a part of. At times I feel intensely proud to see him blossom into his own person and wear that streak of independence about him so casually, so non-chalantly. And at times, it hurts real bad when he'd rather be with his cousin or his friends than me. It hurts. Real. Bad.

But here's the thing.

And the thing is, he still wants to wake up and snuggle his head under my chin, breathe in my particular brand of Mommy-Love and sigh to himself that all is right with his little world.

I'm setting my alarm clock for an hour earlier in the mornings so that I can sneak into their room and lie down in between them until they wake up, Mondays to Fridays. I'm doing this for them. More so for the boy who will be celebrating his sixth birthday this month, but still believes in Santa Claus and in the myth that his Mamma is perfect.

But I'm doing this most of all for me.

Don't all animal stories come with a moral? Whoever though that this particular story would have a lesson for me.

Well, lesson learnt. Lesson learnt.


Poppins said...

Aww Aww Aww

Why am I not surprised that EO's birthday is this month? What is the date? I think September borns are something more our two EO's have in common :)

Passionate Goof said...

the bitter-sweet emotions of mothers with growing-up kids, that is the single thing that comes across to me from this post. Hugs M4. And yes, i love those early morning snuggles. :D

grace said...

Reading your blog was such a pleasure. The fact that you are sensitive to your life and to things which we generally pass off as insignificant,is praiseworthy.
Your expressions and choice of words enhance the beauty of your experiences.
Happy living dear blogger.

Pallavi Mittra said...

Reading your blog was such a pleasure. The fact that you are sensitive to your life and to things which we generally pass off as insignificant,is praiseworthy.
Your expressions and choice of words enhance the beauty of your experiences.
Happy living dear blogger.

Anonymous said...

M4 you are amazing! Loved the questions including the one that really became a lesson for you... my kids moved to their room around the same age, and I used to tell them stories and sing them to sleep... but didn't give morning snuggles much thought... :(

I often made up sweet endings to not only news articles but also fairy tales.

Rohini said...

This mommy guilt just catchers you unawares all the time, doesn't it :|

Mamma mia! Me a mamma? said...

@Poppy: Yaaayyyy!! Really??? He's Sept. 14th, and yours?
I'll be setting him after your little beauty in about 18-20 years stand warned :)

@PG: It's tough watching them grow up. Very tough...

@grace?Pallavi Mittra: Thank you for coming here and leaving your heartprint behind.

@IHM: You are my an inspiration of mine, I hope you know :)
ANd sometimes, these stories do require modification!

@Ro: It's everywhere, I tell you!

Piper .. said...

what a perfect "aww.." post this is :) and the first part had me in splits! Cant imagine this actually happened!! :):)

Mamma mia! Me a mamma? said...

@Piper: Yup! It actually happened. And now, in typical 'chor paalaaley buddhi baarey' fashion, they're putting up extra bars on the walls of the Alipore Zoo!

Monika said...

awww awww and some more awww

The Ketchup Girl said...

Dear M4 mashi: I loved this story. ma said it to me too, and I had similar questions. Maybe some day i'll get to meet your yo and eo. for now do come visit me and collect your badge.

Indyeah said...

awww MM....for someone who is yet to embark on such a journey your posts always leave this feeling you know... something I can picture with a smile on my face .. thinking that this is how it should be done:)) this is how easy and how tough and how complicated love gets...:))

these were questions I asked too:) and hugs were always around to be shared:))

my mom who is such a compulsive hugger ..the one who gave endless (and still does) hugs to her kids and a gruff and tender hearted husband:))
and I am one too:)a born hugger:)))

LOVED this:))))