Mama, I’m shaking like a leaf

… says the Bean to me this cool winter morning, shivering dramatically.


And I’d promised someone that I’d dig around in archives and put up posts I’d written on the old blog. Here’s one that I wrote on Thursday, January 17, 2008.  When the Brat started playschool. Anyone from those days still around?

What is it about a cold, grey winter morning

…when you can see your breath go up in wisps of smoke…

and a silver van drives away – a tiny little gloved hand waving through a fogged up window and a little capped head barely showing above it….

…that makes a grown woman hug herself and feel a shiver run down her spine? It’s more than just the chill in the air.

Two year olds should not be going off alone in vans on cold, grey mornings. They should be home and warm and cuddled against their family like little puppies.

Edited to add:  I wrote this early in the morning and had it lying in my drafts. I planned to publish after breakfast and reading my newspapers. And then I found this piece of news. A school van carrying little children overturned. I feel a sob rise and I hold it back feeling silly. This happens all the time, doesn’t it? Road accidents in Delhi are common. Fortunately until now it’s not been my child.

I know I shouldn’t be so morbid, but tiny little toddlers the Brat’s age are delicate. Remember my post on the little toddler who fell down in the garden and didn’t get up? I can’t bear to imagine the trauma of an accident. The confusion. The being rushed to hospital by strangers. Not knowing what happened. Most of them can barely frame a sentence at this age. And we’re risking their lives and sending them in school vans – choosing an education over safety. I feel like a fool.

And it’s common in Delhi. School van accidents. Drivers talking on the phone. I am torn – I want my child to lead a normal middle class life and I want to do my little bit to save the planet by not sending him in a chauffeur driven car BUT I hear of this stuff and I want to strap him into a car seat and send him in our own car, driven slowly and safely and handed over to the school authorities. It was particularly bad this morning because I saw him off, felt miserable as I watched the van disappear and came in to read this piece of news.

Every morning I wake up and the tussle between the hysterical, protective mother and the calm woman begins. And I know that all I can do is send him away with a little silent prayer.


79 thoughts on “Mama, I’m shaking like a leaf

  1. How dramatically poetic 🙂

    As for your concerns about vans and other modes of transport for school kids, I have my own personal horror story.

    Luckily, we have a car pool for the EO where a mom (or some member of the family) HAS to be present in the car…non-negotiable.

  2. I’m there! I was there those days I remember this post.

    Me: yayy poppy – remember the awful arguments we had in the good old days? we’ve sobered down rather – becoming boring old ladies

  3. Oh yeah MM – I remember this post very well. I especially liked this post. I could relate to how you felt. I relate to these mommy tussles in general now! 🙂 Awwn…can you believe it MM – now even Beanie is not a little baby – she is so used to school already. I think we are all ready for your third! 🙂 Who cares if you are or are not! 🙂

  4. Oh of course drama runs in her veins and arteries 😛 And what a use of language! Is she all that big now? Tears of joy in my eyes for baby Beanie.
    And speaking of mishaps, now that talking on phone is banned during driving, I think it has drastically reduced. But I’ve still seen kids stocked like livestock into autos and vans and driven off to school. Scares me to death actually. You make me go all mommy like. Sigh!

  5. Your little Bean seems to have inherited her momma’s ways with words, shaking like a leaf!:-) And can relate so well to the older post!! Nice one..

  6. I was not there then, but I read this post when your old blog archives were still on and not password protected. (May I know why?) I like reading your blog as there is a lot of imagery in what you write..this post is one such example.

  7. Oh’l drama queen!:))
    and just wanted to add that the anxiety levels ,as the offspring of your womb undertake solo trips, never actually get better…sad but true:(

  8. A little silent prayer is great. I think we can trust God with the safety of our children! And love the way Beanie expresses herself!

  9. Around from the earlier blog phase :). Has it been two years since then already? Gosh time floes and babies grow up!

    Awwww, Beanie has a lovely way with words. Definitely goes to prove that reading to them from an early age has it’s merits! Wouldn’t you agree?

    • 🙂 i dont know if its reading. most of the times its just her little ears pricked up, listening to our conversation. but yes, we do read a bit. i dont make too huge a thing of reading though…

  10. Oh yes, I remember this post.

    And pray tell me what is it about cold grey winter mornings that makes a single woman curl herself into a ball and hide under the quilt, when that damned alarm goes off?

    Here’s something to make you a proud-er mamma. 🙂
    Lord McCaulay when he was about three years old, had coffee spilled on him accidentally. When the coffee-spiller lady asked him a little later how he was feeling, this is what he is said to have replied: “Thank you, Madam, the agony is abated.”

  11. Yeah, I’m from those days, back when Bean was still a baby. God, she is so cute! (anti-jinx, anti-jinx). I’m not jealous of the Delhi winter though (not that its any better where I am). I wouldn’t want to get out of bed!

  12. Of course I remember this post … I have been one of your long time readers … from blogspot to a different URL and now this.
    Bean is sure growing fast and her language skills are fantastic … another journalist in the making ???

  13. I dont remember this particular post, though i have been reading ur posts before that. I remember the one about cold weather where the bean was wearing cute stockings and a skirt. And your title was something like ‘this is why i like winter, where even snorty kids look beautiful’ 🙂
    Even though i dont like winter as much, i love the layering dresses for my daughter too!!

  14. Beanie is a drama queen, but a cute one!!! I really thought it was cold and she was shivering.

    I’ve been here for long and I remember that post.

  15. I remember that post 🙂 When I read it, I told myself that maaaaybe you are being too paranoid. But one pregnancy changed everything – I guess worries and paranoia are part of the baby package!

    Beanie is such a cutie.. n very interesting to see her use of words! 🙂

    • 🙂 perspective DOES change the moment you become a parent. But the last time I wrote that about stretchmarks the world went nuts and I got hate posts written over that simple statement of fact.

  16. i was around! just realized that i have been reading u for almost 2 yrs now…starting from ur old place on blogspot n working my way to here now! 🙂

    i dont comment often enough…but the Beanie is adorable!!! 🙂

  17. I’ve been lurking around since 2007 so this post does ring a bell. Its a blessing to see the babies growing up so beautifully…

  18. Hey MM, can completely relate to your older post. Silent prayers are what keep me going.
    And.. little beanie’s words are cute… can picture the scene 🙂

  19. Haha, totally unrelated. But I saw that the post had 64 comments, scrolled down to read the ones that had been added later.. and lo! the last is comment # 38. Such is the maya of nested comments. Completely forgot that those count too 🙂

  20. Hi MM,
    I’ve been a regular follower of your blog for a long time now and read through all your archives the day I stumbled upon your old blog.
    Love reading your posts.

  21. I remember that one .And when you moved & closed the blog when I was away for some time I was so upset to not be able to read your blog that I emailed you for permission to be able to witness some of the antics of “the mad family” as you called yourselves & you very graciously directed me here:)

  22. I am a good 3 days late. I did manage read some of your archives from your old blog before it became password protected, but dont remember reading this one.

    Nice’s kind of nippy here and both boys just refuse to get out of bed in the mornings..sad na..they hv to get up at a certain time and need to be packed off to school at such a young age. Yes, we do have the option of not sending them to a play school…sigh! but i too joined the rat race pack them to school and wonder if i made the right choice…

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