A four year old Brat

My darling little Brat,

You turn four today. A birthday I particularly dread because this is the last year that I can call you a baby. After this you’ll be mama’s big boy. I’ve had you in my life four years and yet I can’t remember a life before you. A life before your bright eyes, stubby toes, soft kisses and gorgeous smile. I try and remember the anger, pain and resentment that I felt towards the crude hospital staff. The physical pain of my belly being cut open. The harsh operation theatre lights. The absolute terror as the anesthesia began to take hold. The dread that gripped my heart, as I youthfully, shortsightedly and foolishly   – focused not on the beauty and the joy of giving birth but the primal fear of being alone in my experience and of the blood and gore that I was about to experience.

I think of wishing for a second chance. But I don’t really want one. Because then I wouldn’t be your mother. I’d be the mother of the Bean. Your mother will always be the eager, nervous, stumbling, first timer. You, my darling, are unfortunately Dada and my guinea pig. But you also got everything fresh, brand new and shiny. You got our enthusiasm bubbling over. You got us younger. You got us tireless. You got us grinning. You got our impatience. You got our rough caresses. You got our untrained, fumbling fingers and diaper pin pricks.

And we – we get everything a parent could ask for. We got a smiley, happy, accommodating, bright, warm, loving, energetic child. You are our pride and joy. Our flagship store! Our first born. The one that convinced us that babies were good. That babies were almost as nice and fun as puppies – hell, sometimes even more. That babies are worth giving up pubbing and midnight movies for. That babies don’t just poop and puke – there’s more to it. That babies smell of powder and spit up and milk – and make you want to bury your nose in their necks.

corbett-0341

I chose this picture because it shows us where you are in life right now. Standing at a window and looking out at the great wide open beyond. So full of hope and optimism. Raring to go. Willing to learn. Ready to forgive. Full of generosity.

I feel bad teasing you but I love pretending to trip and get hurt, or looking sad when you say no to something. Because then you come running and you hold my face in your two little hands and look into my eyes with more love than anyone has ever looked at me with. And you say, ‘ Don’t cry mama, I love you.. see, I’m loving you..’ and then you stroke my cheeks and rub your baby soft cheeks against mine. Showing raw animal affection for your mother. I lap it up hungrily and hope it lasts. Already you show signs of shrugging off my hugs and kisses. And so I take what you give me with gratitude and a desperation as I see it end. Yes, I know love never ends. But I also know that the way you show it will change. Soon you will grow up and be more guarded. More impatient. Mama will do so much wrong in your eyes. And the clay from my feet will rise up and overcome me and someday I will be all wrong.

This single mail cannot really say much about the essence of you. I hope the posts I’ve written over the last three years will tell you more about yourself, your childhood and the girl you turned into not just a mother, but a doting, willing, happy mother.

You’ve started school this year. Big school. Without a word. Dada and I are not too happy with the place and we turn to you for a cue. For you to tell us you are unhappy but in characteristic Brat spirit, in a way that I’ve come to call the Brat way, you’ve taken every change, even the ones we find unbearable, in your stride, and have smiled your way through it. Walking out the door in your little uniform, your bottle hanging around your neck – with that calm smile on your face.

I often wonder where it comes from. You see, your father has that content smile too. A lady I hope you will meet someday, a patima, said it comes from the peace and calm he nurtures within. I suspect she’s right. You hold it too, even at this young age. In between bursts of war whoops and planes taking off, you curl into the couch and dream. I watch your big brown eyes sparkle with secrets I will never know. You dream so much, my little dreamer. I hope someday they all come true. But more than that – I hope you never stop dreaming.

I want to wish you so much in life and yet the best I can wish is that you never change. That you always hold that peace deep within. That you always adjust to change easily. That you never stop loving. That you never stop teaching us to love. Hell, if anyone could get that banker-ish father of yours to say I love you, it was you.

I don’t mean to paint a picture of a saint. You give me my rough moments. Intense, hyper, gentle, sensitive, your moods are so deep and so sudden that I struggle to keep up with them. You bare your teeth in rage at something I refuse you, climb into your timeout corner, with me hoping against hope that you don’t dig your teeth into me, and seconds later you’re dreaming your dreams, blisfully forgetting the punishment.

I must at this point mention your innocence and your resistance to buying into hype. You turn four and I’ve been talking about a party to you, off and on. You show no enthusiasm for it and instead ask us for a small plastic plane instead of the remote control one we were saving up for. We excitedly plan an airplane birthday cake and all you want is a Rs 30 plate of momos. Other kids ask for theme parties and all you want to know is if Lila baby (your first date ever) will come. I hold back tears and wonder how much longer big city life will leave you so untouched.

We went to baby T’s birthday party two days ago and as they broke the pinata, I saw you do something you’ve never done before. You held your loot bag right under it, ready to catch the loot. I don’t know why, but it really upset me. Until now you’ve only gathered confetti with the babies and let the other children go apeshit over the little plastic toys and chocolates that  come out of it. When did you figure out that you were picking up the wrong thing? And then the bag burst and there was chaos. When the clouds of confetti cleared I saw that you’d dropped your little loot bag and were back to stuffing your pockets with confetti. I heaved a sigh of relief and looked around to check if anyone noticed the tears in my eyes. By the end of the party you and the Bean were the only two left rolling in the confetti on the floor, like little urchins. All goodies ignored, revelling in the simple pleasure of tossing confetti on each other and then dada. I guess I needn’t have worried. You ARE picking up the right things!

In other notes, you’ve stopped troubling at meal times, you have (touchwood) put on weight, grown taller (you’re among the taller kids in class) and stopped looking like a starved rat. You love your motorbike, not so much your cycle, prefer cricket to football (take me now O Lord!) and have an elephant’s memory but a mind of your own. Unlike the Bean, you hate to perform and to ask you to recite for friends is suicidal.

Oh well, I could go on – but I’ll stop  – and get down to the important business of wrapping your gifts and the return gifts. You’ve filled up my life Brattie. And while I could do with a little more sleep, I can’t do with any less Brat. As someone wise recently told me – motherhood never ends. You just stop worrying about them falling off the bed and worrying about them falling into the wrong bed. Oh well – there’s a long life ahead and I know you’ll keep it interesting darling Brat.

I love you and so does the rest of the madhouse. You’re our little superstar.

Love,

Mama

————————————–

And now – a letter from your father….

Lovingest Brat,

We have endured the Terrible Twos and the Troublesome Threes and now welcome the Fearsome Fours with trepidation! You started out as a friendly and boisterous kid but seem to have quietened down a little while nearing the Four-year mark. I am hoping this is just a short phase and you will go back to being the extrovert you used to be… hey, what the heck, I love you either way! You are a handsome, loving and a genuinely cool dude and I know you will remain so forever. I especially love the ease with which you have accepted your parents’ whims and upbringing, the calm confidence with which you walk into your school and the shy grin you throw at every visitor, which ends up making them fall in love with you.

Lovey-dovey, I’m so glad to be your father…

Happy 4th Birthday!!!

PS: Have you guys cast your second round of votes? No? Go! go! Go!! Vote here for the mad momma!! *climbs atop a van, and waves to the voters, dressed in a cream neta ji?ni? saree!

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105 thoughts on “A four year old Brat

  1. Happy bday Brattie! Wishing you the best that life has to offer.

    Four is a magical number, MM – they do come into their own. Despite the fact that you will miss his babyness, you will really enjoy his spirit and character as it develops. Its like you make a new best friend 🙂

  2. Happy Birthday to Brat.. wow he is a big boy now. Liked the header too.. 🙂

    And i think i am going to stop reading you for a while MM. Your posts makes me want to have a baby right away, which is sadly not possible 😦

    Me: you can share mine 😦 dont go away!

  3. Happy Birthday to the brat.. can’t wait for the day when he will come to this post and read it.. can’t wait for the day when he will be reading it out to his gf… looking at her face closely, to see if she understands or not…. Happy Birthday Brat!!

  4. happy bday brattie pie!!

    MM- remember that picture of him in the orage towel with his beloved “kangiiiiiiiiiii”?that , for me, is the quintessential brat pic!

  5. Hey– I didn’t get no party invite? I want to see all the Delhi hot mamas totin’ their Gucci camel-toes.

    Great to see an OA contribution!

  6. Happy Happy Birthday Dear Brat. Wish you wonderful years ahead when you realise your dreams. I am so sure you will do your parents proud year after year. Enjoy your day with the lila baby, bean and the mad family.

  7. Happy birthday, darling Brat. Have a wonderful day and a great time with family and friends! 🙂

    MM – Even though I haven’t met the Brat, I know it for a fact that I want Popol to be like him 🙂

  8. How did this happen so fast, S? The years have got to slow down a little!
    All my love and sincerest prayers for an enchanted life ahead. Many hugs and kisses to Brattie and a happy, happy, happy birthday. Will call at a decent hour. Hugs to you all.

  9. Sob,sob, what a touching post. Happy birthday Brat. May all your wishes come true.
    My first born is turning 10 tomorrow(5/5) and each time I think how is it possible I have a 10 yr old.

  10. Happy Birthday dear Brat. I love the ‘yee-hah!’ fierce header pic and also the calm and sureness of his stance in the pic by the window.
    What did the Bean tell him on his budday?

  11. Happy Birthday to the Brat! The header makes him look like a brat but from your post and the ones before he hardly comes off as one! 🙂 Its all in the mother’s head 😉

  12. Happy Birthday little Brat. What a special number 4 is. And how much more special you will make it. God bless you, in all His bounty.

  13. Can’t believe he’s growing up so quick. He’s going to be a big boy soon, making all the past years plain memories!!

    Happy B’day Brat, hope you have more airplanes to play with this year 🙂

  14. Awww….a very happy birthday to the Brat 🙂

    Wish him all the happiness and joy in the world 😀

    You make motherhood seem so wonderful that I am getting cluckier and cluckier by the moment.

  15. Awww…I think you made me weep a little, MM !!
    Happy Birthday Brat!! Wishing you a fantastic fourth year, filled with new discoveries and experiences!!

    MUAAH!!

  16. Aww…such a beautiful post! Wishing Brat a Very Very Happy Birthday and year filled with aeroplanes and colourful confettis. MM, I hope we’ll get to see the Brats birthday pics before his next birthday 🙂

  17. Happy Birthday,Darling Brat!
    Though from your mom’s post,I am sure,you are far from being a brat:)
    MM,thanx for sharing this lovely little boy with us..I am sure,so many of us have come to love him and his little sis..as the nephew n niece 🙂
    Lovey-Lovey to all of you.
    And now..Damn you,woman for making me cry again!

  18. A very happy bday to the brat!
    It would be nice to see you move on to the next stage of parenting as well, you know, where you talk about big boy stuff and not baby stuff :-)(Not to imply that I don’t enjoy the baby stuff)

  19. Pingback: Happy 10th Birthday « Asaaan

  20. Happy birthday Bratty! Wishing you a fourth year filled with mischief that will strike fear into the heart of your quailing parents! Hehehehehehehe! Hugs and love!

  21. How do you do it? Each and every time?!? You just make me cry and right now my little EO and the Niece are looking at me worriedly and trying to distract me by making me look away from the comp.

    This was SOOOOOOO beautiful. If I’ve ever know anyone who has pinned down the essence of motherhood to a perfect decimal point, it is you. Darling girl, on a totally different level, you sooooooo deserve to win the Mother’s Day contest.

    And dear little Brat,
    I know you. You don’t know me, but I know you. I can feel your eyes staring into the clouds and dreaming secret dreams. May they all come true, little one. May you always be happy, adored and loving. God bless you!
    Love,
    Aunty M4

  22. Happy Birthday Brattie…have a wonderful day and bug your mad momma to take lots of snaps and no embarrassing ones to show girlfriends after 10 years please 😛

    Reading you posts make me think twice about waiting some time more to have kids…this is so cute and I love the header 🙂

  23. Wishing a happy birthday to the one
    Who brings sunlight to our days
    The one who makes us squeal and sob in delight
    In his own sweet loving ways

    A very happy birthday to the darling Brat.. hope you soak up the sunshine and your family’s love and grow up to be a Warrior of Light, albeit with the heart of a child- dreamer!

    Loved reading the OA after ages (literally!)

    Hugs and kisses to both the babies, and to you and the OA as well, for teaching us to find love and happiness in every moment of the day…!

  24. *sniff*

    Why, oh why, do you write so beautifully, MM?

    Happy birthday to our darling Brat! And may he grow up as naughty, as innocent, as smart, and as untouched by the big bad world! Lotsa love, cuddles, kisses, hugs, the works… And may you have many, many, many more, Brattie!

    Carpe diem!

  25. Dear Brat,
    it was you who made me desperately want a baby and as if God was in good mood, he granted my wish. i got a baby boy and i know he will hate me if he realises that at every step of his life, his mother was trying to see the lovely brat in him and eventually realised that all kids are different.

    Happy Birthday Brat, you are the first baby outside my home whom i have loved as if my own. Wish you all the best in your life.

  26. Happy birthday brat!
    AND knowing you will still be a handsome, cool dude twenty years down the line….”How you doing?” 😉

  27. Such beautiful letters to the Brat!! I am sure he will loooove them when he gets to read the blog and all the wonderful posts you have done 🙂

    Many many happy returns to the darling boy!! May God bless you with all the happiness in the world!

  28. Happy Birthday Brat! You have entered the Fabulous Four or Fun-tastic Four. Wish you a long and happy life!!

    Bless You.

  29. Awww Happy birthday big baby ! To us you’ll always be a baby 🙂

    Hugs to your parents for doing such a phenomenal job with you !

  30. Happy birthday, Brat! May you love more and may the dreams in your brown eyes never end! Love and kisses 🙂

  31. happy birthday 4th to the brat and i have to say he is surely blessed to have a mother who can put everything into such beautiful words.
    he will only love you more and more everytime he reads this blog 🙂

    you are THE BEST mommy blogger in india!!! 🙂

    Me: *blushes* aww.. thank you.

  32. Happy Birthday Brat! I hope you have a wonderful day with your planes. And I don’t worry too much about you growing up into a fine man. You’ve already started off the journey.

    Love and Hugs
    GW

  33. Wishing Brat many many happy returns of the day! May God bless him with loads of love, joy, happiness and fulfilled dreams.

    Please give him a big hug and a big kiss from my side.

    And the way you guys describe your parenthood, you and the OA, makes me want me and S to be parents too. just pray MM, I am sure God listens to you 🙂

    Love from Anjali mausi

  34. Happy B’day, dear little Brattie! May you continue to light up the lives of those around you (and who read bout it) 🙂

  35. Happy birthday, dear one. Wishing you a wonderful year full of all the love, happiness and excitement you bring to the lives of everyone who knows you. Mmmuah!

  36. Dear Brat

    Wish you a very very happy birthday! I have one just like you here who will turn four in August – so similar in some ways (not all! I could not imagine dropping him off in big school with the same ease!) – so I can feel the words here! Love you lots and wish you all the best of everything!

    Noon Aunty

  37. A very happy 4th birthday to our little Brat!! Wishing him a very happy and fun-filled life ahead!!

  38. Found your blog during the indus ladies contest…you have an excellent blog here…loved the words and the thoughts 🙂 have added you to my list of fave reads on my blog.

  39. Wish dearest brat a very very happy birthday…lovely post MM, but I have to admit i’ve no clue why but this time the one para that the OA wrote made me teary..just something about fathers & sons..i know i’m not making much sense even to myself : )

  40. Happy Budday brat!! 🙂

    have a brillaint year filled with fun and masti and may the charm of confetti never go away! 😀

    hugs

  41. Happy happy Brattie…Hope your particular form of brattiness continues to reign 🙂 Love and hugs from Priya aunty

  42. Happy birthday to the Brat.May he have decades of health and happiness.

    Somehow 4 seems a large number. When they are small, we want to see them grow up. When they do grow, we miss those baby days. Love is never enough, right?

  43. Happy birthday darling brat…
    big hug and kiss from saurabh mama and jayati mami
    P.S: MM- this was such a beautiful post

  44. Happy Birthday Brattie…OMG I still couldn’t digest that you are all grown up and 4 years… That you are no more a baby…

    MM, Its becoming a practice for me to read some posts of yours and have tears… eyes full….You silly girl… You cant be this honest and simple. Wish one day you write a book and I queue up to get your autograph… (That would be the first in my life)

  45. Happy 4th Bratster!! Enjoy your special day, confetti and all.

    And please do prod your momma into sharing more of your adventures, especially ones at your new ‘beautiful’ school

    🙂

  46. happy budday to my favourite brat!!….
    did u realise sumthing MM..along with all our kids we have also grown up- u a mother of a four year old kid..me a mother of a 22 months old kid….wasnt it just yesterday that we were savouring the half burnt Aloo parathas of Pandeyji or just living our lives of the small bank balance….life’s changed so much,nah?

    Me: 😀 the bank balance bit hasnt changed much. You know how the OA and I are with money!

  47. Hi!

    Just dropped by at your blog…… Happy B’day to your son…..

    This is such a wonderful post….. *sigh* Wish i had something like this to read, when i grew up…. I’d feel so much moreeeeeee special…. cause i was a brat too…..
    well ok… still am 😉

    Have a blast on his b’day….

    Cheers,
    Nachiketa

  48. Happy Birthday to the Brat! Am sure the Bean is excited as well, with all the talks of cakes, balloons and party!

  49. Happy birthday brattie! Trust your mommy to come up the most awesome posts year after year.
    (If I were her kid, I’d have died long ago of all the mush ;-))

  50. Happy Birthday Brat buddy. I can imagine ur mom drinking you in everyday, her handsome, cool, caring son. I can imagine you being the perfect foil for ur impetous, spontaneous, chutzpah driven sis. I hope you live to be a hundred and then some and that we can all shamelessly keep reading about you.
    Arrey MM – seriously? this is the last year you can call him baby? No kidding – I have only another 6 months of Reh being a baby left then!!!!
    I can totally understand now why people have kids when their youngests are even 8 and above….

  51. You have this AP series running in the family, have you realised – 5, 15, 25 … the Brat’s B’day, then the Beanie’s, your wedding anniversary (and your ma’s b’day also,no?) …
    Four fan-kisses to the Brat from Sumana mashi …

  52. Adore the crinkled nose and of course the post – how in the world do you capture such beautiful emotions and thoughts? You make me want to marry and have a kid, however, am confused! The Bean makes me think that little girls are just delectable and the Brat makes me wish that the world should have more of these lovely gentle’men’!

    Happy birthday to the ‘almost’ big boy!

  53. Why 10 extra exclaimations in the header? I mean I could understand 3 extras (this being Brat’s 4th Bday), but 10…..

    SURAJ RAUSHNI LE KAR AAYAA
    AUR CHIDYOn NE GAANAA GAAYAA
    PHOOLOn NE HAnS HAnS KAR BOLAA
    MUBARAK HO Brat KA JANAM DIN AAYAA

  54. Happy birthday,Brattie-kuttan-and a beeeeg *hug* from someone thousands of kms away who loves reading about you and your sister and wishes you only good things.

    PS he reminds me so much of my son at this age-very dreamy with a twinkle of mischief in his beautiful eyes…

  55. Happy Birthday to dear Brat!!! OA’s note is awesome and yours too. 4 years is a great age. They suddenly become adults and very mature. It’s nice but also a little sad:-)

  56. Here I am at the bottom of the heap of wishes…warmest wishes on the Brat’s 4th. You forgot to mention that it was the Brat and also the bean ofcourse who made you “The Mad Momma” Queen of the blogworld…the best known mommy blogger in India’s blog history!!! Happy birthday to you too MM, no wonder you cannot remember anything of your life before the Brat!

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