It’s one a.m.

.. and I am kneeling by your bed, rubbing my cheek against your baby soft cheek. Someday it will have stubble and I will still have the urge to put my cheek against it, but it will no longer be my prerogative. You turn in your sleep, open your eyes, smile sleepily, grab my head, twist it under your arm, and cuddle closer. I lie there, half on the floor, head buried at an awkward angle under your arm until you fall asleep.

Then I slowly ease out and sit back in the semi darkness, watching your chest rise and fall. Peace reigns in the nursery. A night light glows in a corner. And I take stock of the last 2 weeks that you’ve lived in this new house and been to the new school. You’ve loved it. Not in a crazy war whooping way, but in a calm, coming home sort of way.

I’m glad you’re here. No judgment, but I’m glad that it is not a classroom full of cartoon-obsessed kids. There’s something to be said about having kids of like minded parents in school with you. I’m glad they’re just regular middle class kids who speak a good amount of Hindi and chatter on about their daily lives instead of what they saw on the idiot box. I’m hoping it will decrease the intensity of your super hero obsession. I can’t believe we succumbed to the school’s pressure of letting you watch more rubbish TV.

A few weeks ago I put on Animal Planet and you weren’t interested but over the last week or so that I’ve been home, you and I have watched whales, giraffes, sharks and baboons on TV and I see your interest coming alive again. What bothered me more, in a bitter sweet way, is how your personality changed the moment I stayed home. You love being welcomed home by me. You curl into me. You stop by to kiss me for no reason. You suddenly hold my face in your stubby little hands with their ugly little fingers and then say earnestly, “I love you, mama.” You sometimes just want to be with me. As though you’re drinking up every minute before I return to work.  You’re more agreeable, less stubborn. You’ve been running around the house with a broken antenna muttering things and swooping over and under furniture. You’re happily making plans in your head and writing stories and enacting them. You’re imagination is back, baby, and how!

You’re more confident and I love the way you go down to play football with your sweaty little five year old friends. You want to cycle and you’re learning to swim. Your sweet nature has bought you more than I could and a 12 year old girl has taken you under her wing, saying “Aunty, trust me.” And so I trust her as she takes off your arm bands and chucks them aside, then teaches you to hold your breath and dive under.

And just like that, in less than two weeks the two of you are splashing around like fishies, making friends and growing, growing, growing. I was worried about you making friends. So many people had told me that I’d need to sit with you in the garden and help you along. But I wanted to give you a chance before I did that. And you don’t need me. You with your absolutely disarming smile and willingness to get along. And the Bean with her confidence.

As night falls, you droop with the sheer exertion of a long day, literally falling into your dinner plate. And yet as I take you to bed and tuck you in, you sit up with a book of dinosaurs, begging me for a few more minutes before lights out. I watch you both struggle to squeeze a few more minutes of life out of the day and I smile.  You may have your father’s complexion, but under that fair skin, you’re both mine. You have my love for life and 24 hours is just not enough for all that you want for yourself.

I love you, brat. And I might hate my new life here, but for that sparkle that has come back to your eyes,  I’d do it again and again and again. And again. And go to hell and back, and  smile happily right through it.

Mamma

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47 thoughts on “It’s one a.m.

  1. “will still have the urge to put my cheek against it, but it will no longer be my prerogative” – pulled at my heart strings…

    Beautiful MM – i am glad the Brat is ok and loving his new school and back to knowing…umm some weird animal…which i had never heard about

    A big hug to him!

  2. The Brat reminds me of someone very dear to me. 🙂 Every time I read about him and Beanie, and the way you are bringing them up, I realize that if ever I have kids of my own, I’ll come back to your blog just to remember how you did it.
    You really are doing a great job.
    I wish all parents gave so much thought to bringing up their children. Our lives would all have been better. Cheers MM.

    • thanks Rakhi. we’ll never know if its a good job or not until they grow up. they’re the only two who can give me their stamp of approval. until then i stumble and fumble and get by with a little help from my readers and friends

  3. MM,
    I am glad Brat is enjoying every moment of it. Kids can assimilate very quickly in new environments and make new friends.A year from now, you will wish to never go back.
    It takes kids only a few moments to strike up new friendship. Every swim meet my 8 year old goes to, she always makes a new friend.
    About the previous post, B & B compliment each other and as they grow up they will be each other’s pillars of strength in their own unique way.

  4. I have to say exactly what Rakhi said. Every time I read a post about the Brat and the Bean, I jot it down that when I have kids… I need to remember all these small things.

  5. I am so sorry for the previous msg… that was from my official Id.

    I have to say exactly what Rakhi said. Every time I read a post about the Brat and the Bean, I jot it down that when I have kids… I need to remember all these small things.

  6. Wonderful post !!!

    “What bothered me more, in a bitter sweet way, is how your personality changed the moment I stayed home”

    I guess every working mother will be able to relate to this

  7. Beautiful indeed! So…the million $ question – is this going to lead you to start thinking about making that one week’s break a much longer one? 🙂

  8. Hi MM,
    needed some help. got an offer to freelance as a content writer and I have been asked to provide the costing for rewriting the content on a per page basis. Since I am a fresher I have no clue as to to how much I can demand. Do you happen to know what the industry rate is? Thanks!

      • This is just simple subbing.I have absolutely no clue how much to quote at all.I do not want to say too little or too much also. That is why I am looking for pointers.

  9. Thanks woman, you reminded me of my terror that one day my son will have that stubble, a deep voice and be taller than his lil’ old shrunken mother. *sobs*

    P.S. I’m so glad Brat has regular classmates, somehow that was the part I liked the best in this post! (((((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))))))

  10. Its 1:00 am and you are still not in bed ??????? When do you sleep MM ? I hope you get atleast 5-6 hrs of sleep a day.

  11. That child, it appears, loves and lives with an intensity that always takes my breath away!

    I wish I was that 12- yr old friend of his.

    And you, MM – if after marriage, I plunge headlong into becoming a mommy, you know I am going to blame you for it, don’t you? 🙂

  12. its the feeling of being with the babies that keeps one floating entire day. its a wonderful feeling to be around when the baby needs me.to realize the fact that i have plenty of time for them whenever they want to cuddle in my arms… its a wonderful life really.

  13. .. and I am kneeling by your bed, rubbing my cheek against your baby soft cheek. Someday it will have stubble and I will still have the urge to put my cheek against it, but it will no longer be my prerogative.

    🙂

  14. Girl, I’ve been reading all your recent posts — sometimes more than one at a go because that’s how I roll — but haven’t commented on anything because, well, it sounds like an echo of what everyone else has said. Nothing constructive to add. Only warmth and wishes from across the seas. Also the tag post about gender roles. Well, it made me want to write to you and say you’re my twin, albeit the smarter and more talented one.
    But this post, I had to respond to. For many reasons.
    A) It made me happy to hear that Brat (somehow I am a little uncomfortable calling your kids Brat and Bean.:) DOn’t ask me why!?) has settled into his new school, has made friends and that things are looking calmer in your neck of the woods.
    B) It’s such a gorgeously written piece, if sentimental in parts.
    C) I leave my two adorable kids at home and come to work in a place that I don’t enjoy too much. I love my work, but not the place I work for. Hence my inspiration to do well at work is also low. I digress. The point I wanted to make was. I hate leaving them. They’re tiny, with my older one being only two. And when I come home to their gorgeous, gorgeous smiles, they’re lovely sounds and their incessant madness, it hurts me more than ever that all I get of them is about 4-6 hours a day. Soon one of them will be gone to school and I won’t be there for her when she comes back home. If there was any way, I’d stay at home and watch them grow till they got to annoying ages. Then I’d go back to work. Your post made me realise how much I wanted that even now, even though I had made my peace with my situation.
    Thank god WordPress doesn’t have a small word-limit for comments. Hugs.

      • Sharbori, thanks! That’s an old blog that I shut down and sometimes when I comment on wordpress, I am logged into that automatically, and I click “Submit” before logging out because I am scatterbrained, like that 🙂 And to that blog shows up. The id I am posting this from is my regular blog. I’d love to see you there 🙂 Thanks again.

  15. It makes the heart happy to hear about the brat… Children should be carefree, playing & jumping around outdoors, making “dosts”…

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