Friday, December 28, 2007

His Mother's Child

Chip is peering at her. She is a mother and she has a toddler and she is on TV and she is quite pretty. And she is a toon. “Hanuman’s mother is nangoo(naked)!” Chip exclaims as he watches the toony Anjani toss a baby Hanuman in the air to the captivating strains of Akdam-Bakdam. I am speechless at the observation. “She is not naked. She is wearing a saree.” I say, in my most matter-of-fact, no-nonsense voice. Chip has a deep furrow on his forehead as he ponders the veracity of my statement. A couple of pregnant minutes later, he nods his head. “Ok. I want Hanuman chi Aie pahijey (I want Hanuman’s mom).” Just when I think the issue is resolved and closed, Chip comes with this. “You do? OK. Let’s go change into your pajamas first.” I whisk him upstairs to brush his teeth and put him in his pajamas. We wrestle over the toothbrush. I bite my tongue as she slathers liquid soap everywhere on the counter and makes bubbles. I turn away as he pours water in the toilet bowl and flushes. Finally getting tired of his own gimmicks, he washes his hands, wipes them on the towel, turns off the light, shuts the bathroom door and comes out; surprised I haven’t said a thing. I help him in his pajamas wordlessly and he says it again. “I want Hanuman chi Aie pahijey.” “You do? What will happen to Chip’s Aie then?” He thinks for a second. “Ummm… You go to the moon and the stars.” Already? “If I go to the moon, who will give you hugs and kisses and cuddle you and give you jam and poli (chapathi)?” I bet his Dad won’t be too averse to having someone like Hanuman’s mom around too. My active imagination spins into high gear. “Hanuman’s mother deil (will give). Doodh deil, grapes deil, apple deil.” He chants his favorite foods as he climbs down the stairs. Suddenly he stops. “Hanuman chi Aie oradtey, Chiiiiip? (Does hanuman’s mother yell Chiiiiip).” Now I realize what this is all about. The last few days have been rough. Chip has been very, very difficult and I have raised my voice almost constantly. Don’t do this. Don’t do that. Don’t say this. Don’t say that. One thing after the other.

Chip and I sit down on the steps. “Are you afraid of me, Chip?” I ask. “Yes.”. I can’t believe he just said that. “Why are you afraid of me Chip?” “Aie oradtey, phatka detey (Aie yells and gives a swat).” “That’s because you don’t listen Chip.” I am trying to reason with him. “You can’t run away in stores. What if you get lost? And you can’t say rude things to people. But I will try and not yell. OK?” Chip smiles and heads down the stairs to the family room calling to his Ajji, “Ajji, I want Hanuman chi Aie pahijey.” I follow him into the family room, but he pushes me away and shuts the door. I am truly crestfallen now. I have a 2 year old who just told me he would rather have Hanuman’s cartoon mom than me, who has told me he is afraid of me and has shut a door to my face. Do I act like a grown up that I am and go inside and make peace? No. I decide to go hide under a desk. As I hear my mom tell Chip to open the door, I quickly dart into the dark study next door and cram my ample self amidst cables and dongles and other junk under the desk. I hear Chip open the door. “Aie, Aie. Aie.” He is calling out but I don’t make a sound. He goes into the kitchen calling my name and then is about to head back upstairs when his father sees him. BigGeek has no idea what has happened. “I don’t know where Aie is Chip, is she in the family room?” BigGeek comes by the study calling my name as Chip goes into the family room saying “Aie, I want Aie.”

From my vantage point from under the desk, I can see BigGeek opening the front door to see if I have stepped out when he catches me flailing my arms from under the desk. I put a finger to my lips and he understands. “Aie has gone away” he declares to Chip. Ajji comes out and joins the party outside the study. “Well. You pushed Aie out and shut the door, didn’t you?” My mother is looking to see where I am hiding and I wave to her from under the desk. “If you say sorry loudly, she might come back.” My mother is telling Chip. Chip shakes his head. “Say Sorry Chip, Aie will come back then.” BigGeek tries to coax him. Chip’s eyes are filled with tears. But his ego is still winning. He purses his lips and crosses his brow. And lets out a whisper. “Loudly, she can’t hear you.” I hear my mom say. “Sorry Aie” Chips tearful voice comes loud and clear as he peers out the front door into the dark, cold night, perched in his father's arms to see if his Aie comes back magically. I get off from under the desk and sneak up behind him. Chip breaks into a wide grin and dives into my arms. “Do you still want Hanuman chi Aie?” I ain’t letting go. “Nooooooooo” Chip squeals. “I want Aiechya kushit nee-nee (I want to sleep in Aie’s arms)”.

So, on that note, I bid adieu to 2007. Happy New Year to All. See you in 2008.

13 comments:

dipali said...

Even though they love to hate us sometimes, they do love us, these children of ours! Really sweet post, Dotmom:)

radha said...

//“I want Aiechya kushit nee-nee (I want to sleep in Aie’s arms)”.//

Oh Dot Mom, we all want to do that dont,we? Thanks for writing this beautiful post.Gotta call my mom now :D

Happy New Year to you and the family.

radha

Preethi said...

aaaw.. hang in there girl.. this happens all the time.. like i recently discovered... I asked around and most parents say the same. HAPPY NEW YEAR.. Have a great time.

Usha said...

Such a sweet post.
Kids have such a way of making you feel guilty and inadequate but yes, what you did was right. Just two minutes of your absence and they get rattled.
Wishes to you and your family for a new year filled with joy, love, good health and peace.

Moppet's Mom said...

Isn't that just the way with these kiddos? Driving you to the point of wanting to just walk away from it all and then doing something so sweet and tender you can't help but melt.

Hope you, BigGeek, and Chip have a wonderful new year 2008, full of health and happiness.

Mona said...

happy 2008!
what a sweet post. hope you cuddled chip lots and lots!
i always feel i'm at my most immature, churlish and childish, not to mention selfish, where it comes to hana's love for me. i want most of it, if not all, for me.

Squiggles Mom said...

You mean I have all this to face!!! I'm glad I've been fore warned.

choxbox said...

i also want to aiechya kushit nee-nee. waaaah. she must be doing nee-nee right now else i'd have called her right away.

give the lil one a hug from me please.

rayshma said...

:) that was SO adorable!
wish you & urz a wonderful 2008! :)

noon said...

Wow - what a sweet happy ending story! Happy new year! Chip is so sweet!
BTW - we stage this drama on a regular basis now every night for dinner for sure and some days for lunch also! So much so he now tells me to go to the yard...we have a stand off. I wait out even if it is chilly until he says "mammmmmaa...come...it's cold out"...
and then he calmly starts eating after a huge fight before all this!

DotMom said...

dipali: I suppose they do in their own, inexplicable way :)

radha: you go call her and sunuggle up!!! And Happy New Year to you too!

preethi: I wonder how his teen age years will be. hmph. Happy New Year to you all too!

Usha: You think? I thought I was being terrible evil :) Thanks for making me feel better! Warm wishes for a joyful and peaceful new year to you all too!

moppet's mom: Yup! They know how to push your buttons. And Happy New Year to you too!

mona: ah.. no..you are not any of that..you are just a perfect mom. Bless you and hana.

suqiggles mom: hahaha and then some.

choxbox: will do that!

rayshma: wishing you a wonderful 2008 too!

noon: KB does that???? Wow. these kids... well.. do a post on it. I wanna know it all :)

Anitha(Nikki's mom) said...

You are a great story teller DotMom! Happy new year to DotMom, Big Geek and Chip!

Mama - Mia said...

:)

i have a feeling i am gonna see a similar scene chez nous soon... i hope he willw ant me too! :)

this was beautiful!

cheers!

abha