I started blogging when the Brat was about one and he turns seven today. I almost didn’t do a birthday post because I am just so disinterested in blogging these days (and so full of my garden. Who? Me, obsessive?) but it seemed unfair to go off without even a birthday post to his name.That and the fact that in the recent past I’ve done two posts on the changes in his personality ( this one and this one) left me rather Bratted up and quite undesirous of saying much more about him. Clearly I relented. Aren’t you deeply thankful for that?
So, getting down to business, what I might not have mentioned, is an increasing streak of fair play and diplomacy. So if I grab a hand and drag him in for a hug as he passes by, he’ll not just submit but twist around and plant a huge kiss on my forehead (in the sweetest, almost paternal way). And I’ll say, “I love you, my little ugly bugly bum’ and he’ll nod, accepting it and add, ‘ Yes, and Dada loves me too,’ Somedays we’ll all be lazing on the bed in one of those rare moments of peace, a book in my hand, a dry leaf in the Brat’s hand, the OA poring over a newspaper and the Bean seriously trying to figure out why her father’s soles are not ticklish and I’ll turn around and squeeze the living daylights out of whichever one is closest and say, ‘You’re my life’. The father and daughter soak if up as their right. But the son will solemnly respond with ‘ Yes, and Dada’s life too.’ Just so that I don’t get too cocky. Just so that Dada doesn’t feel left out, simply because he’s not verbal and demonstrative.
And while we’re on the topic, can I add how much I love these moments? We’re now at a stage where they’re all old enough to be absorbed in whatever they are, at the moment. And yet they’re young enough to still think of their bodies as a part of yours. Arms and legs entangled, soft cheeks pressed against your arm, thoughts unselfconsciously expressed. Even if you don’t believe in a God, these are the moments that give you that flash of doubt.
The Brat is also one of those kids who is hugely concerned about the environment and when we recently picked up a new vehicle, he refused to come with us to the showroom. It broke my heart to see the OA in his excitement pleading with his son to join us so that we could go as a family, and the Brat stubbornly looking away and saying, ‘We should cycle everywhere, not buy cars.’ The OA, who was most excited about the hill trips we will be making in the new Scorpio asked him if he planned to cycle for days to get anywhere; there was no response from him. His famed stubbornness reared its ugly head and finally we left him home and went to the showroom to pick it up. They did the usual tamasha of asking us to take a picture with the vehicle etc which they framed and gave us immediately. I came home and tossed the frame on a table. A while later I saw him picking it up and looking at it wistfully – the OA, Bean, and I framed against our new Scorpio and a spot where he should have been. I saw the corners of his mouth droop and I know he regretted it instantly. I had every intention of throwing the ugly frame and the terrible picture in it, but now I’ve kept it as a reminder for him when I see the familiar set of jaw and closed look come into his eyes. He might have been right in theory about cycling to places, but it’s unlikely a family that lives in Gurgaon and works in Delhi can do that any time soon! And since he’s only a child he often just blocks us out on the most essential matters and will need a gentle reminder of the last time he was stubborn and regretted it. Of course the Scorpio is now his favourite vehicle and he refuses to go anywhere in the other one. But he had a point to make, and he made it.
The difference between the 6 year old and 7 year old are minimal, so last year’s post should do just as well (yes, I’m clearly getting lazy!) but what I do feel is the sense of losing my son. He’s going into a world I have no interest or understanding of. Power rangers, super heroes, Kawasaki Ninja bikes and Harley Davidsons (my dad was in town and they both took a test ride on a Fat Boy and he’s smitten) and what not. He asks his father statistics and insightful questions and I am already beginning to lose my boy to the men. I suppose it was only a matter of time.
On the flip side, inspite of his fantastic motor skills (he can run across a bamboo ladder suspended in mid air) he is still not interested in actually playing a sport. Exertion, is not his scene. We’ve tried cricket, football, basketball and every other ball possible. He goes, plays a few turns beautifully, and just when we begin to imagine he’s found this thing and is taking an interest, casually tosses the gear aside and floats off behind a leaf with an unusual shape or a strange bug. Here I have to say I’m proud of the OA for dealing this disappointment in a rather mature way instead of bawling his eyes out the way I might have, had I cared! I know the first thought he had when we had a baby was that he’d spend weekends pounding the court. The Bean thankfully is showing some interest, but I know he’d be happier to have both his kids love sports the way he did, instead of one. Dealing with his stubbornness without breaking his spirit is a fine line to walk and these are the parenting issues that really make me nervous. That said, there’s a little voice at the back of my head that is cheering my son on, telling him that he’s the right one to kick his hard headed mother’s butt and get her to give a little. He manages to do all this with an innocence I don’t see in too many kids his age. I’m not sure what it is, but it shines through in the chubby cheeks and the long lashed eyes.
This has been a rather unemotional post compared to the usual sop I write on birthdays and I’m beginning to get the feeling that I’m growing up along with my son. So I’m going to leave you with some Brat-isms.
Bean: Mama, please please please let me be your servant.
Me: Eh? What?
Bean: I want to be a servant like Snow White.
Brat: Okay, but don’t kill our mother. She’s a real mother and not a step mother. Thank you, fairy tales.
Bean: I’m never going to get married. Because if I do, Mama will die of sadness.
Brat: Then how you will you have babies? You will soon get bored of your toy babies and want real ones.
Giving the Bean a marine biology lesson the Brat says: “A squid has ten-tacles and an octopus has eight!”
I squashed the Brat into a corner and kissed him nonstop (its tough to do that now that he is a big boy). Then I saved my hide by apologising – I’m sorry I harassed you, darling. He nods in a long suffering way and walks off. Then comes back a little while later and says “Harass me more, mama”.
Brat to his 21 year old maama K: You want to see an Eskimo kiss? Here.
You want to see a butterfly kiss? It’s like this.
You want to see how big boys and girls kiss?
Maama drops Brat and runs like hell.
Bean to Brat when she leaves the babydoll in its stroller at the head of the stairs: Father, keep an eye on our baby.
Brat: I’m not interested in the baby. You wanted to bring her on our space trip, now you take care of her.
Brat to me when he’s in one of his annoying moods and I ask him why he’s behaving this way: I am an irritating machine. It is my job to irritate you.
They say a father is a son’s first hero. Watching his father dance at a party, the Brat says: Mama, Hrithik Roshan is the best dancer in the world. And dada is the second bestest.
Brat watching the Bean stuff her face with Amritsari fish: Bean, I’m going to call you Lady Kha kha.
Further proof that we listen to bad music and don’t feed the poor Bean enough.
You know your son has been watching too much football when he gets pissed off with his father and says - That’s it Dada… I’m giving you two red cards. Don’t come back.
And yes of course, some pictures too.