Friday, July 18, 2008

Be Better For Me

It’s still light outside. It’s close to eight in the evening. Chip and I enter the cool, dark house, hauling grocery bags, away from the blazing mid-summer heat. “Are we going to another store today, Aie?” Chip is asking, hope bubbling on the edge of his voice. “Not today honey. It’s almost eight. Time for your bath now.” I say thickly. I leave the groceries in the lobby and go inside the study. “Are you working?” Chip asks. “No.” I reply. “I am trying to call Baba.” I dial BigGeek’s number, once again. Work and Cell. They both go to voice email. Not unexpectedly. I have been trying to reach him for a better part of two hours now. Worry creeps up to me. Unwanted thoughts gathering for a storm. I open my email and send a one-liner to BigGeek. “Call me”, it says.

I lug the groceries into the kitchen. Keep the refrigerated items in the fridge, the rest in their bags, on the counter. No energy to keep them away now. I shoo Chip upstairs and run his bath. He topples his bucket of bath toys and is soon engrossed in quiet play. I enter the bedroom and collapse on the bed. The long day, the mid-summer heat, the hormones, and my inability to get in touch with BigGeek all mutiny against me. Tears sting my eyes.

“Aie!” Chip calls out to me loudly. “What are you doing Aie?” “Just lying down.” I say, steadying my voice. He doesn’t miss the slight quiver. “Are you OK?” he yells again. “Yes, I am.” I reply. Just then, the phone rings. I pick it up. It’s BigGeek. I tell him I am not talking to him. The battery had died and he hadn’t realized it, he’s is telling me. Chip calls out again. I go inside the bathroom.
“Is that Baba?” he says pointing to the phone.
I nod. He looks at me. “Are you OK, Aie?”
“Yes.”
“Are you crying, Aie?”
“No.” I hang my face.

He bends down, trying to look at my eyes. “Are you crying, Aie?” he asks again, softly this time. I shake my head, unsure of how long this could go on. “You are crying.” He says. “Are you feeling sad?” “A little. But I’ll be better soon.” I admit, hesitatingly. “Is Baba doing silly things?” I smile a little, unsure whether to answer his question or not, but nod in the end. BigGeek is listening to all this. “Oh-oh. Aie. But you be better for me, ok, Aie? Don’t cry. Be better for me, OK? Will you be better for me?” I nod, speechless. The storm passes on and the evening continues.

38 comments:

mumbaigirl said...

Heartwarming, amazing how they pick up even the slightest change of mood when so little. Hope you are feeling better now.

Subhashree said...

Aww... ain't Chip sweet! I've noticed that kids are exceptionally perspective and sensitive to mother's moods and feelings. Hope you felt better for Chip's sake.

K 3 said...

Aww Dottie, Hugs!!! Hope ur feeling better today.

Chip is so sweet, hope my boy has at least half of Chip's intuition and smartness. :)

PG said...

Heartwarming it was. He is such a sensitive child and still so wise for his age, to console his mom like that. And what a good mom you are to him for sure. Blessings to him!

Tania said...

awww, chip, the child with empathy!hugs baby!
Kids are so intuitive!

Daisy said...

that is so sweet Dottie!How cute he is and how does he know to say the right things?!!

hope you are feeling better !!

Mystic Margarita said...

I know how worrisome it can be when calls go unanswered and not returned. And kids are so perceptive, na? They realize something is not right from the inflections of a parent's voice. Chip's right, though....you have to be better for his sake. Hugs.

Shobana said...

Now...if I had had a girl instead of a boy, I would have asked for Chip...he is such a sensible boy with cuteness in bucketfuls.

ddmom said...

aww.. such a sweet kid.
I can so relate with you Dottie.. I am the crying types too. What to do, it comes naturally. But I am trying very hard to not show that side of me to D. Or rather fix myself so that I don't have to act in front of her. For the very same reasons as you have outlined here.
Hope you are feeling better.

Neera said...

Its moments like these which make the whole journey aka motherhood absolutely priceless. :)

Last night, I was reading the 'perceptive child' portion in 'Raising ur spirited child' with ur post on 'Raising chip' at the back of my mind and I thought to myself 'Perceptive! That's what Chip is' and saw this post today :)

Kodi's Mom said...

brought tears to my eyes. he's incredibly sensitive..."be better for me" is the cutest line he could have coined.

noon said...

He is a complete, distilled sweet heart! :) So sweet isn't it?!

Anonymous said...

Sooo swweeeet!! Is this ('be better for me') what you tell chip when he's not in good mood ?

Suki said...

:is still blinking back tears:

Suki said...

Trust me, I know how scary it is to be alone in the house with Mom when she's crying.
Slowly, though, you could try and explain to him that crying doesn't just mean you're sad, it means you're letting all the sadness out of you - seeing it as "starting to feel better" rather than just "feeling bad", maybe. This is something I'm only just beginning to realize.. wish I'd understood it earlier.

Trish said...

Aww Dottie, this one left me all teary-eyed.I want to get on the first flight and come get Chip..REally!!!he is such a sweet-heart!!! lotsa love to him.
And big hugs to you..I know how nerve wracking those unanswered calls are!hugs!

Mona said...

aw, dot! what a sweet post. it almost had me in tears :)
he's a sweet one, your chip!

GettingThereNow said...

Hugs, Dottie. To all of you.

I understand how it would worry you to not be able to get in touch with BigGeek. Happens.

Hugs again...

GettingThereNow said...

Darn you, Dottie. Rula diya mujhe.

utbtkids said...

Dottie, I almost cried.
Hugs to you.

Mira's mom said...

Very heartwarming indeed Dottie!

dipali said...

Awwww Dottie. What can one say?
Dear Chip- give him a hug fro me please.

Suma said...

he sure is a gem of a child...

god bless...

Girl Next Door (gnd) said...

O my god! wish i'd read this sooner...would have given both of you a big hug instead of talking aimlessly earlier today!
Chip's getting all grown up!

hope big geek had a reason to not answer...
Hubby here started being sensitive about it only after he was on the receiving end once...and after only a 30 minute suspense!!

Monika said...

cho chweet...children have a way of bringing smiles to ur face... best stress busters on days like these

Preethi said...

aaw so cute.. kids are so amazing.. I of course don't deserve it all the time. I pretend to cry every time I need a hug or a kiss. I tried it with my friend's kid and it works there too :P
As for the phone bit.. I would be worried too.. hugs to you!!

Rohini said...

Awwww... that is so amazing. When my brat senses a down mood, he nags me to smile till I finally do. Now if only they would continue to be this sensitive as they grow into men!!!

Mama - Mia said...

:)

do all of them become this sweet?! just say yes to make me hope! :)

cheers!

abha

rayshma said...

aww... chip is just SO adorable, dottie. really. are all kids like this...?
and u try not to worry much! did big geek make it up to u later?

the mad momma said...

so we're raising sensitive boys :) makes me hope they stay this way and dont turn into their fathers !! actually that is mean - the fathers arent too bad either.

i do that too btw - panic if i cant get through. and the OA's battery is always dying...

hug. glad the storm passed.

DotThoughts said...

mumbai girl: isn't it? i am much better, thnaks :)

suba: they are emotional barometers!

k3: oh he does.. you have a wonderful boy there!

pg: you are sooo kind! he ia good kid.

tania: they are! i wonder how we come to loose it as we grow older.

daisy: I am thanks!!!

mystic: tell me about it.

shobana: I hope he stays that way!!!

ddmom: i wasn't crying, crying. My eyes had misted over. but yes, i do cry by the bucetfuls, ut only in front og BG :)

neera: they are emotional barometers, aren't they? isn't the book awesome?

kodi's mom: i am sure he picked it up somewhere.. but he sensitive.

noon: when he is not being the devil :)

anon: no.. never use that phrase.. i am sure he picked it up in school.

suki: ouch! i wasn't crying crying. my eyes misted over. I guess I looked so forlorn and off-color and the eyes.

trish: i will exchange chip for aadya. but no returns, ok?

gtn: thanks! it doesn't take a lot to do that to you ck.

utbt: gosh. what a bunch of crying babies we are!

DotThoughts said...

mira's mom: :)

dipali: given, dipali!

gnd: lol. it was just a passing moment. can't stay depressed for ever :)

monika: you said it!!!

preethi: you sly mommy :)

ro: amen, sistah.

mama-mia: well.. honestly they are like this maybe 25%. I am not telling about the rest 75%

raysh: your will be raysh. and it will be a gurrrl.

madmomma: no, the daddies ain't bad at all :)

Usha said...

What a darling! and it is moments like these that make mothers go through it all over again.
Chip, sweetheart, may you stay as sensitive and gentle as you grow old.

Vinita said...

Very well worded..by chip . I am sure your husband who could hear everything on the other side felt a tug in his throat too just as we all did here.

Vinita

Collection Of Stars said...

Beautiful :)
That was so sweet of Chip.

DotThoughts said...

usha: amen.

vinita: he so did :)

cos: he can be such a sweet child!

Squiggles Mom said...

Oh my, what a perceptive soul. They really can mend anything, isn't it?
Bet you're one chuffed mama :).

DotThoughts said...

squiggles mom: you said it :)