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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!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Just One of Those Days

It was already turning out to be one of those days.
At 8.30 in the morning!

Meltdowns should really come scheduled and never so early in the morning...or in a public space...or when one was headed out...or before bedtime...or ever, really!

The little boy stood his ground, engaging his mother in a staring match. He was a little bull. But she was his mother after all. He could have been a big, raging bull on a rampage, but that wouldn't change the fact that she was big mamma. Her bovinity trumped his bullishness any day!

The four-year-old mite had an opinion on everything and strong ones at that; be it clothes, food, toys and even TV shows, he had a strong set of likes and dislikes. Today, he wanted to take his other bag to school; the yellow one. It wasn't even his, literally speaking; it was a hand-me-down from his elder brother, that's why when he'd started school, Mamma wanted him to have a new one. But this morning, the little boy had decided that he'd been carrying Mon. Lightening McQueen for long enough, and it was now Master Mickey Mouse's turn. Plus, it was a bright, sunshiney, yellow -- his most favourite colour of all! Didn't his Mamma get that?

His Mamma lovingly pointed out that the chain was broken and needed to be fixed. If he took that, his water bottle, tiffin box and napkin would all fall out. Didn't her little boy get that?

When he continued to stand his ground, she tried a different track -- all his friends would laugh at him. Nope, that didn't seem to dint his innate sense of self-confidence either. "So what?" his eyes challenged her. "You're not taking it!", she glared back.

Sigh! Terrible Twos and Threes is what anybody ever talked or wrote about. They were absolutely no bloody match for the Furious Fours!!

By this time, the night ayah and the day ayah decided to join in Operation Logical Might. The morning didi showed him over and over again that the chain just wasn't working. He got that, but he didn't care. The night didi said she would take it home with her now, get it fixed and bring it back with her that very evening. But he wanted to take it to school NOW! He looked at these three women, perplexed and a little angry, didn't they understand anything??

Finally, Mamma's patience, having been stretched to it's very possible end, snapped and she gave him his marching orders. He was to put on his Lightening McQueen schoolbag, march down the steps, go give his Baba a kissie and leave for school; with a smile if possible, if not, well then just leave anyway.

He marched down the steps. Sobbing his little heart out. If there was one person in the whole world who would melt at his sobs and shivers, it was his darling dad; a man he had so tightly wound around his little finger that all he had to do was raise his wail to a C sharp and it would transform his father into a snarling, growling beast ready to mow down anyone who had dared do his precious cub wrong.

Papa Lion immediately roared for Mamma Lion and she came down, pinned Papa Lion with a glare and explained the situation, then she wearily sat down at the breakfast table and picked up a newspaper, hoping that the headlines would be less frustrating than the battle royale being played out on her domestic front.

The little boy waited for daddy darling to order someone to go and get the bag from upstairs, but this time, even daddy darling spoke the language of the three thick-headed women. That same old spiel about the chain not working. He wailed harder, but daddy didn't budge; instead, he grew more firm and fixed him with a I-know-better-than-you-so-stop-crying look.

By now, his grandmother, who was sitting and having breakfast and watching the entire drama unfold, finally went to pieces and gathered her cherished cherub to her breast and tried to calm him down. With soothing words and dulcet tones, she also tried to make him see reason. From the safe haven of his grandmother's arm, the little brat continued to give his mother the stink eye. Next, the chacha came out of his room, picked up the little boy and tried to distract him with hugs, cuddles and kisses.

The night ayah came downstairs to say 'bye' to the brat and she even showed him the plastic bag in which she was carrying the offending piece that had generated so much heat, tears and tantrums, with the promise that it was going to come back all fixed and in working condition. By now, the chachi had come out to take him to school, where she happened to teach. She gave him a big squeeze, dried his tears and proceeded to walk with him towards the door. They were followed by a chorus of "Bye! I love you's" and "Have a nice day's." Just one voice was missing.

The Mamma's.

She said it softly, under her breath. He turned at the door, looked straight into her eyes and...slowly lifted his little hand, curled up in a fist save the littlest finger of all -- katti, the accepted and acknowledged gesture for the silent treatment; to say as eloquently as possible, "I don't like you anymore" without actually saying it. In other words, the equivalent of giving someone the finger -- in a totally innocent and child-like manner, of course.

Mamma felt sick. Not because of all the high-voltage drama that had been packed into the space of just half-an-hour, but because she hadn't been sleeping well the last few nights. She felt a fever coming on. She drained her tea down to the dregs, excused herself and went to her bedroom. She called her yoga teacher and cancelled; told her husband that she was going to bed, put the phone on silent and tried to drift off to sleep.

Of course sleep did not come easy. She kept drifting between the hazy world of dreams and the harsh sunlight of reality and in both it seemed as if she was being haunted by a pair of big, brown, beautiful eyes, brim full with tears, sadness and accusations, "How come you couldn't understand me, Mamma?"

She remained in bed, flitting unhappily between both worlds, an unwanted visitor in either, when she heard the doorbell ring. She registered it as belonging to the corporeal world and realised that the day ayah, not wanting to disturb her, had gone to pick up the young one from school. She heard the door open. She braced herself to face those eyes again.

"Mamma??! Mamma!!?" she heard him call out. She heard the ayah tell him that his Mamma was in the room. She heard his footsteps approach her bedroom door. Through the haze of her fever, she saw the shape of a little boy standing there, bright, perky, happy.

And then she heard him say with every ounce of feeling that he possessed, "Mamma, I love you now again."


dipali said...

Such a sad and sweet little story!
This was one bhayankar ego clash!
Poor mom, poor baby!

Mamma mia! Me a mamma? said...

Aaah! Thank you for understanding Dipali!

Deej said...

awww bested by a wee mite eh?? poor u!

Anonymous said...

Awwwww..hugs.. mommy n baby.. this seems like a scene from our household!!!

starry eyed said...

Hah! Scene from our household too...a pretty common one :) after all, the Furious Fours are followed by the Frustrating Fives! I know that feeling too well...I get the "tu-tu-ticki-tu-I-don't-like-you" :(

Hugs! The last sentence choked me up. Bless him n you too!

Sue said...

Me: Come, give babu a kiss.

R: Oh, oi shob shudhu Diddi'r jonnyo.

The way I see it is, he'll get his. I can wait.

Mind you, Agneesh is so cute, I quite understand the whole family clustering around him. I'm still giggling at the kaari. Trust him.

Anonymous said...

Awwwwwww what a darling!!! Despite the terrible twos, threes and like you aptly said, furious fours, these boys are certainly a boon from above :-) They throw tantrums, they torture us, they make our head ache!! And after all that nonsense, they come and bless us with a cuddle and a kiss, and voila! All is well again. Just the way it should be :-) Stay blessed, B!!!

Rohini said...

Such scenes are a daily affair in these parts as well! The good thing is that these brats don't hold grudges. Some times, my fellow has forgiven and forgotten everything before I have!!!

R's Mom said...

What a sweetheart YO is :) This is pretty common in our house rey..R wants to wear one particular pair of shoes and then I dont agree and then we are fighting and then RD has to agree to her and blah blah blah..major meltdown!
now you are scaring me...R is just moving out of the terrible twos in two months time and you come up with furious fours :( nahi!!!!

Mamma mia! Me a mamma? said...

@ Deej: sigh, yes, as always!

@ Suburbanmumma: universal bonds, right?

@ Starry: Yup, gearing up for the Fives as well!

@ Sue: You're one of his ardent admirers, I knew you'd be on his side even if logic swayed you to mine ;-p

@ writerzblock: Yes, they can be so affectionate and loving that one hug, cuddle or kiss from them and the world seems an infinitely better place!

@ Rohini: Their forgiving nature is part of their charm and innocence. I dread to see it disappear when they grow older and 'cooler'.

@ R's mom: R may not even go through the Terrible EO didn't have these phases at all and that's why my YO is more than making up for that lack in my life now!

Just Like That said...

awww.. forgotten and forgiven so easily.. such sweethearts they are. I frequently find myself feeling like a witch too.. :-(

Cuckoo said...

So well written... and sigh!such an ego tussle. But get well soon.