Still Keeping Calm and Mommying On

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‘So? What are you getting me for the Mother’s day?’

The younger one was feeling unwell and so was bundled up in a blanket and the older one was sprawled on the floor with Gabbar.

‘What now?’ That seems to the younger one’s favourite phrase nowadays.

‘Never mind.’ I pretended to sigh and look sad.

‘Well, you have been telling us all these years that these designated days are nothing but a ploy to create a market and get us to buy stuff.’

The older one added, ‘what was it again? Yeah, digging one’s own grave.’

‘Take that grin off your face. You don’t have to buy anything. He at least makes a card for me. When was the last time you did that?’ Now, as a rule I do not compare. Unless they band up against me. Then rules do not matter.

‘Now wait a second, mumma. Making a card is his strength. His strengths do not mean that they are my weaknesses. ‘ His smiled widened. ‘You said that too.’

‘Have you guys been reading my book?’

‘Do we need to? We are the ones you wrote about, remember?’ And then both of them dissolved into laughter. Two teenagers, mostly obnoxious, laughing their heads off at a woman wondering what she has created.

‘I obviously wrote the wrong book! It should have been, Run! They will be teenagers soon!’

More laughter followed.

A notification flashed on the phone. A right swipe and Facebook opened to a video posted by a college going girl for her mum. It had quite a few animated hearts in it too. The boys were still rolling around laughing. Thankfully, I will not get a video like that.

‘Oh! Oh! I have an idea! We could post something mushy on Facebook.’ They were on a roll.

I narrowed my eyes and gave them what they call the ‘death stare.’ That is their cue to quit while they were ahead because I was about to use parent privileges against them. Mostly it ended with me looking at the clock and declaring that it was bedtime. I smiled as they gave a triumphant smile and hugged me before hitting the bed. This was a good day. It just ended with them joking and laughing.

Some days are not that great. They end in slammed doors that are quietly opened by me in the middle of the night to look at a sleeping teen and kiss his forehead. On those nights I wonder if it is all working – the positive parenting, the patience, the ‘trust your child’ approach – or did I just write a book full of hogwash? Then the sleeping teen turns and half opens his eyes, looks at me and gives a sleep-smile. He stretches his arms out for a hug and says, ‘I am sorry I shouted,  mumma. I do not know what came over me.’

I hug back.

‘It is okay. Just remember that nothing you do can every change my love for you. I will always be there. Can’t help it. Faulty genetic programming. ‘

We both smile as he sleeps with his arm around me. I gently cover him with his blanket and proceed to the room of the second door-slammer. The routine is repeated with the only difference being that there are no sleep-smiles. There is a startled jump.

‘Shhh! It is just me.’

‘Oh. I got scared!’ He looks like a soldier caught in a crossfire.

‘Go back to sleep,’ I whisper as I hug him. ‘I am sorry I lost it on you today, betu.’

‘I am sorry too, mumma. I promise to try and see your point.’

‘And I promise to see yours.’

‘I love you, ‘ he sleep talks.

I hug a little tighter as I reply, ‘always.’

Read Tanushree’s book Keep Calm and Mommy On here.


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