Baby love

 is the best kind there is.

I hug twin1, he nestles closer to me and buries his head into my shoulder. I tickle him and he chuckles curling himself into a tight ball. Twin2 wants to get into the action and pulls himself onto my lap.Now i am holding on tightly to two warm, wriggling bodies and i decide the safest thing is to get onto the mat.

After a lengthy tickling session we decide a small game of hide and seek is in order. Twin2 hides behind the sofa while his brother and i crawl about searching for him. He is always in the same place but you’d never guess that we know where he is with all the time we take to look for him; twin1 helps by peering under the table and in between the gaps in the floor boards. Finally we find him and as i yell ‘ There he is’ , out gallops this little bundle of energy screeching with joy to think that he has fooled us. The babies then change places and now twin2 joins me in my search.

A little later we sit down to watch mummy’s program on telly. Twin1 crawls into my lap and plays with my fingers while twin2 is engrossed in trying to make the little animals pop out on his Farm toy. 10 minutes later twin1 jumps down to explore and as soon as he’s off my lap, twin2 stands and lifts his hands up to be picked up and cuddled.

My lap is full and so is my heart. I couldnt ask for more.

To borrow a few lines from the Temptations:

I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day,

When it’s cold outside, i’ve got the month of May.

I guess you’d say ,what can make me feel this way…

Baby love, Baby love….Baby love.

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I feel good

and it’s all because someone took the trouble to smile at my babies.

   I’ve been grumbling to Mr Toad that i was sure this was the only country where you can walk on the road with two babies who are cooing and reaching out their hands to people and those very same people will ignore them and walk by without smiling. Does it cost so much to smile at a little baby, i cried. The people here are as cold as their winter.

His response was that these days people are afraid to look at other people’s children. You never know what the parents’ reaction will be. They may think you are a paedophile. He has been getting funny looks from a couple he sees everyday on the way to work and whose baby he smiles at. He has decided to stop.

It was very depressing to hear that cynical tirade. What sort of a world have i brought my children into? These days most adults are so afraid of children that they don’t stop and interfere when they see them bullying other little ones. See a hooded teenager defacing a bus stop…cross over to the other side and walk away as quickly as possible. Don’t get involved, they aren’t your children. What happened to the thinking that it took a village to raise a child? Was this behaviour  now extending to tiny, harmless babies as well?

Well this morning, one woman at least refused to subscribe to these views, and actually smiled at my babies, waved at them and called them ‘gorgeous’. That’s all it took to make my day. To believe that there are still some people out there who will look you in the eye and acknowledge the simple, undemanding beauty of a child.

Thank you lady for stopping me from brooding on all the wrongs of this world and bringing to mind Nat King Cole’s velvet voice singing

” You’ll find life is still worthwhile, if you just smile “

Tradition,Tradition

shouts Tevye, my favourite character in my favourite movie ‘Fiddler on the Roof’. According to him, the only reason the fiddler on the roof does not fall off and break his head is…you got it…Tradition.

    Now this may seem a bit old fashioned but i am actually longing for a little display of some sort of  tradition. I know many people laugh at old customs and sit through them only to humour their loved ones.They dont see the relevance or even understand the significance of them.To them it’s often mumbo jumbo and they are willing to endur a small ceremony only to get at the good parts afterwards – the food and the drink.

  I have often felt the same way. The family i was born into is very big on tradition. I dont mean big religious ceremonies just something to mark every event. Houses must be blessed, new cars must be blessed even new jewellery must be blessed. No birthday or anniversary is left unnoticed and unfeted even if the only celebration is opening a bottle of champagne. My mum always lit a candle in front of the Sacred Heart when we had our exams on. We had to kiss the picture of Jesus or touch the crucifix before leaving the house. I often felt a bit embarrassed at this overt display of every emotion and thought that as long as you acknowledged it in your heart, there was really no need to put on a performance.

    It is good advice to be careful what you wish for because then i got married into a family that mostly goes about its everyday business without feeling the need to mark every milestone and i hate the ordinariness of my days. We lived for a little while with the inlaws before we bought our own house and i longed for the tradition of eating together every night and discussing our day. All i got was a whole lot of coming and going and eating in front of the telly. Birthdays went by and i longed for a little bit of fuss and all i got was a buffet meal. When i was expecting, from all sides my pregnant friends reported  having seven month ceremonies and being given saris: I had nothing of the sort. And that’s when it hit me….i was a tradition junkie after all. I wanted to publicly acknowlege all the big and not so big milestones in life. I didnt want every day to be just another one with nothing to look forward to. I didnt want my children to feel that achieving something, however small, was not worth celebrating.Most of all i wanted the joy that  fills your heart when you know you are not alone; that you are a not an island; that something that matters to you, matters enough to someone else that they make an effort to celebrate with you.

  That is when i decided that i would have to make more of an effort with my own family. Make sure that i didnt let anything pass by unnoticed and unrecorded. For all of us are like that fiddler on the roof,maintaining a fine balance against all odds and a little display of love and support everyday keeps us sane and happy. And so i join in with Tevye  ‘Tradition Tradition’ or as he sings it ..’Tradishun!’

We need to talk about Kevin

  is a very disturbing book i read recently. It is every parent’s worst nightmare written down in black and white. The author, Lionel Shriver( a woman with a misleading name), has dared to mention what none of us want to think about and in such a compelling way that one can’t stop reading.

    I have always believed that a child brought up in a loving, stable environment will be a happy, balanced one. The whole ‘nature versus nurture’ debate. Reading about juvenile delinquents in the newspapers has always made me feel a little superior, confident that my child would never be in that position, he would never need to act out like that. He would have all the attention he wanted at home.

    That was until i read this book. Now i know it is only a work of fiction and there are no claims of it being based on a true story but it is very, very believable. It makes you doubt yourself. It makes you want to hold your children closer to you and hope that they will never ever turn out to be like Kevin. It makes you wonder whether all the love in the world will ever be enough to prevent things from going wrong.It makes you afraid.

   Have i caught your attention? I’m not giving out the story here as i dont think i  could without doing it an injustice. Do read it if you get a chance and come back and let me know what you think. Did it affect you in the same way as it did me?

Doubly Blessed

 When i was first informed that i was carrying twins, i wasn’t at all surprised. I just knew i was. Maybe it was because all my life i have wished i was one(probably the result of reading the entire St Clare’s series and The Bobbsey twins). Anyway i just knew it was the best thing that could happen to me.

Before the babies arrived, i received a lot of advice on how difficult looking after two babies was going to be. Most of that is true. However very few people actually stated the many advantages ( probably because ,since none of them had twins, they had no idea of the good parts). Well i would like to note them down here for anyone else who will ever be in that position where the sonographer says ” No wonder your bump is so big, there are two in there, not one!”

1) If you plan to have only two children like i do, you need to deal with any of the possible unpleasant aspects of pregnancy only once.

2) Your family is complete in one shot.

3) You never have to worry that you are not as excited about your second child;that you will not make enough of a fuss about their milestones. Everything is new to you for both the babies even though they are individuals.

4) You get to see two babies interacting with each other is a most marvellous way. When i look at my two tadpoles teasing each other, chasing each other around the room, looking out for each other even before they are a year old, i’m so happy that they are both the same age. If they were normal siblings with say a 2 year age gap, i feel it would take a lot longer than this for them to communicate so well with each other.

5)You get to dress up two baby dolls at once. ( you can have a lot of fun with this even if they are boys)

6)You dont have to worry about them being alone on their first day at school. They can look out for each other.

7)They each have a readily available partner in crime at home at all times, no need to look anywhere else for entertainment.

8)It’s the best feeling in the world to see your baby look adoringly up at you and turn around and find the same expression again. ( the twins are not identical, it’s just their expressions when they want you).

I am very blessed.

Homeward Bound…

    I wish i was, Home where my thoughts escaping, Home where my music’s playing….Home..

   This afternoon i spent an hour in tears while going though some photos put up by a relative on Facebook. The photos were of a celebration, his fiftieth birthday. The celebration had been postponed for a whole year till he could make it back to India to celebrate with family.All i could think of while looking at those happy , smiling, oh so familiar faces was: wish i was there.Back among people who understand me, get me, have known me all my life.

    I have been reading a couple of posts where the authors encourage people to give new cities a chance, live a little and then make a judgement about the place they are in. I like ( dont love it yet)  the city i have lived in for the last four and a half years since i got married. The problem is this, it is not an Indian one. Yes, i have made a few friends, not many, just a few, but
none of them can compare to  having companions from your own country;those who understand your jokes and the flavour of your Indianised English.I know it takes time to really settle down in a new country and feel at home, i’m just  wondering whether you can ever feel completely at home, the way you do in the country you grew up in. I know i would not have had  a problem living in any other city in India but outside it,it’s so much more difficult. It’s not that people are racist ( i’ve only experienced that once so far, thank God), or even unkind, they are just different.
  I wonder how many of you out there, NRIs , feel you really fit in. And if you feel you do, how long did it take you to get to that point? Am i the only one taking so long to feel at home and longing to be in a place where everyone knows my name?

Cold Cold heart

 That’s exactly what i feel i have at the moment. I am struggling with this situtation and i dont know what to do. 

    I was counselled by all and sundry that having twin tadpoles was not something i would be able to cope with alone…looking after them i mean. I have given up my job and decided to stay at home for the next couple of years. Luckily Mr Toad has been very supportive. Everyone recommended getting some home help and after fighting it for a long,long time i finally gave in and agreed.

  Someone very appropriate was found and she joined our household and is a great help. Babies are happy, house is neat and clean, no disasters so far. But , i am still not happy. Why the dark clouds , you may ask. Well, it’s very simple. I am rather a private person and find it very difficult to deal with the loss of privacy. There is this person in my home who is watching me all the time. I cant spend hours in my room, hiding away, as the main point of my not working was spending time with the babes. I find it difficult to eat and drink anything, feel very guilty unless i give the person the exact same thing that i am having, which i then resent a little , especially if it is a special treat ( i know i am stingy). Not only that, there is a language barrier, i often find her  rude, she says she cant express herself properly, not sure about that but cant argue with the fact that there is considerable gap between us.

 To reduce the tension that i felt i was creating, i have decided to keep my distance. I communicate where home matters are concerned but the earlier long talks which resulted in me being able to write a major chunk of her autobiography have stopped. She looks puzzled at why i dont respond to her overtures and i feel terrible. I am a really bad person. It shouldnt be this difficult to get along with someone who is a cheerful and willing worker. Why do i have to make such a big deal out of everything?

I wish i knew. I would like to stop feeling this way but find it very difficult to do so at the moment. I am working on it but it looks like it is going to be a long journey.

Sunshine on my shoulders

makes me happy. Sunshine almost always makes me high….sang John Denver.

I so agree.

Today is a lovely day, no need for multiple layers. Can take the babies for a walk. La la la la

I can hang the clothes out on the washing line to dry and in the evening they will be filled with the sweet fragrance of sunshine. No need for miserable tumble dryer.

I can walk in my garden and look at my apple tree.

From my window , i can hear  lots of little children out on their bikes enjoying themselves.

I see people laughing, saying how do you do, what they really mean is i love you ….and i think to myself…What a wonderful world..

Cycle Tales

I get back home and my home help informs me that her ‘date’ is due and twin1 jumping on her causes her breasts to hurt. I didnt really need to know that.
Listen up Ladies. I dont care how painful your periods are, how much your back hurts, how you need to roll on the floor half an hour or so to ease the pain…. i dont want to know. Even if you have the perfect menstrual cycle.. clockwork, no aches, no pain, just the bloody discharge and you’re done…i don’t want to know. Yes, i am female, I have them too but there are some things that should still remain private in this world.
Even if you dont know this about me, when you start off on how you are dreading the next three days, do i look even slightly sympathetic to you? Surely i only look pained. Well, please take the hint then. I am tired of being subjected to all the gory details. I suffer them myself, i dont need affirmation that i am not only one.
Kindly excuse!

Somewhere in my youth or childhood

I must have done something good. Every day i look at my babies and Julie Andrew’s voice from The Sound of Music fills my head. It must be true. Why else would i be blessed with such bundles of joy, laughter and naughtiness in equal measure? Surely it must be payback for something i did.
If not, maybe i’m only the instrument. Its Mr Toad or someone else who deserves a reward and God decided to use me only as the messenger.
Either way, Thank you God.

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