MMS


The sibling justice system is an ancient one, with its own laws and by-laws, defying common, every day logic. It is a system like no other, which morphs itself often to suit sibling convenience.

These laws were in evidence in our home last week, as my kids had had a fight. And as I was to find out, over something so silly that I shook my head in disbelief. So, the silly fight simmered through our rooms, words clashed, apologies were demanded, none were given and multiple eruptions happened that evening.

And then there was an eerie silence, the siblings had descended into a cold war. They looked past each other, ignored each other and stopped talking to each other. My husband and I intervened, but the cold war froze us in our tracks. And as all wise parents know, we adopted the best course of action by letting them be.

Image courtesy – http://www.shutterstock.com

However, this cold war brought about some unexpected challenges. Both warring factions started referring to the other as ‘You know who’!

Though they did not talk to each other, they constantly sent messages to each other. Enter yours truly – Mom’s Messenger Service – MMS. All through the week, I patiently carried messages between the two warring factions – a neutral messenger, without passing any comment or judgement.

Finally, a couple of days ago, when I got home from the supermarket, I realized that both kids were in the kitchen, chattering as usual and discussing the merits of chocolate and ice-cream.

I smiled. Another sibling fight in history had just ended, till the next time. And as I put away the groceries, I remember all the fights and petty squabbles I had with my sisters over pencils, pens, food, pillows, books and over everything and nothing.

This sibling saga will continue and so will the MMS!

Little brother, big brother


My little nephew, all of six, keeps his four older cousins on their toes, whenever the whole family meets up during the holidays.

It is fun to watch these four teenagers drop all their eye-rolling and headphone wearing behaviour to play games that my nephew wants. Games that mostly involve buses, cars, airplanes and a lot of role-playing and running around.

Image courtesy – http://www.123rf.com

He demands and gets their undivided attention, from the moment he is up everyday till he decides that he’s had enough.

And woe betide the cousin, who slinks away to do teen things. He goes after them and ensures that they get back to being drivers or pilots. But the older kids indulge their little brother every single time. They call him ‘their bundle of cuteness.’

When we all met up during the December holidays last year, my son and my nephew were engaged in playing games the entire morning. By lunch time, my son wanted a break. He pleaded with my nephew, who would not let go, and the boys ended up squabbling.

In just a few minutes, my son walked out and sat down on the couch, with a loud sigh.

My nephew came to me, clutching the right side of his chest and said, “Periamma, you know he (pointing at my son) punched me on my heart.”

My son jumped up to retaliate, “I did not” and then with his eyes narrowed my son said, “By the way your heart is on the left of your body, not the right, so this proves that I did no wrong.”

My nephew looked slightly taken aback, but was not going to back down. Very quickly he shifted his palm and placed it slightly below his right chest and said, “Ok, not my heart, but he punched my right lung.”

The entire household burst out laughing.

And very soon the two brothers made up and disappeared to play.

How quickly time flies.

And, just this week, my little nephew has a baby sister in his life. A tiny, pretty doll, whom he adores.

He has transitioned smoothly from being a little brother to being a big brother. He spends all his free time looking after her, cooing to her and generally showering her with love.

Time flies, kids grow, but our love only gets deeper for little, big brothers and their even tinier sisters.

Family time


I don’t know about all of you, but when the members of my family try to get ready to step out of the house together, usually one of these things is likely to happen.

  1. Three members are out the door, while one is still not quite ready.
  2. And on the rare occasion that we are all miraculously out at the same time, one of us has to rush back inside to pick up a life-saving item like a book or a bit of paper or a cookie.
  3. One of the children always decides to wear his or her footwear only after we are inside the lift, doing a one-legged hip-hop dance (hopefully there is nobody else other than our family in the lift).
  4. A sibling war breaks out just before we leave the house, so the siblings are glowering at each other in the lift.

There are many more such things, but let’s stick to these four items to keep it simple.

So, four individuals, sometimes irritable, sometimes glowering, sometimes indifferent – manage to reach the car park.  Based on the mood before we leave home, there is a mad scramble for the seats at the rear, with each of my children marking his or her own territory; getting quite predator-like in their behaviour.

Image result for family time car drive clipart

My husband and I get in, busy with our own thoughts.  As the car leaves the condo, the gentle swish of the air-conditioner sweeps the car, and teases our faces.  We watch the world outside flit past, trees, joggers, cyclists, mothers with prams, and many more.

My son takes the phone, and plays some lovely music.  There’s Billy Joel, Cold Play, One Direction, A.R.Rahman and many more.  The melodious music wraps all of us together.  We smile, and enjoy the drive, our petty irritations and squabbles completely forgotten.

 

Bliss between two lists


Once or twice a year, there comes a day, when I realize that all my work projects are done, that my ‘things to do’ list is ticked off, and that there is just ONE DAY before school holidays start, after which the children will rule my life for three weeks. 

Today was that day. I woke up lazily, plodded through my chores, ran a few errands (there is no escaping these), and then felt a frisson of excitement. I had nothing in my ‘to do’ list. All this means is that I am done with my old list, but mercifully  have not added the hundred other things that need to be done.

I think I was quite sensible by cutting off the list at such a point, where ‘today’ could become a reality.

Courtesy – Clipart Kid

I giggle at this absurdity of suddenly having four hours to spend. I decide to do a little bit of each of the things I love. I read, I watch some of my favourite shows on youtube, I stare into space and ponder about life, allowing myself to drift away with my memories, and sit down to enjoy a great cup of filter coffee, on my easy chair, watching the heavy rain outside.

In what seems like four minutes, the children are back, in a high state of excitement that their holidays are within touching distance.

I smile, as I ready myself to become a referee to their squabbles over pencils and space and air, in the room they share. I prepare to get started on packing for our trip. I prepare to hoard the refrigerator and stock up on food supplies to feed two children, whose constant refrain over the next three weeks will be, “Is there anything to eat?”

The holidays will fly, and the New Year will glide in, and we will all get back to the grind.

But such days, the one between two ‘things to do lists’ are pure bliss.