It’s a nice crisp morning-after-a-night-of-rain and we decide to drop the kids to school and then go to our favourite park for a jog instead of the OA hitting the gym and me the pool. Breakfast at a lovely little organic cafe, Roots and then home to dress and rush to work, is the plan. And so we head out to school.
The windows are rolled down and the kids are clowning around. The Bean’s hair is flying in the breeze and she’s pretending to be a pup and barking at other cars. The Brat is cheering her on and squealing with laughter. The breeze has blown our papers all over the place, the kids have had a pillow fight with the two cushions in the backseat, the OA and I are in tattered shorts and tees and sneakers and we’re dancing to whatever RJ Sarthak is subjecting us to. This car is a far cry from peaceful.
Just then the Brat sees his classmate in the car next to ours and waves excitedly. The other child is sitting quietly in a chauffeur driven car with his older, neatly groomed, dressed-for-office father reading the newspaper. Peace and calm reign in their car.
The Brat gestures to the other child who begs his father to let him roll the window down. The Brat then calls out, “Yours is a really cool racing car. You’re going to come first – yayy! I’ll see you in school.”
The OA smiles, “Only our son would tell another boy that he has the better car! He never feels the need to sound cooler or better, does he?”
I nod and smile back. That is our Brat. And we’re making our peace with our non-competitive child who will give visiting kids his cycle, share his Beyblades, offer you the better piece of cake and forgive you for punching him in about ten minutes.
A few days ago they went for a birthday party. The kids were mostly older and it was time for the pinata. The Bean usually gets stamped on and pushed out of the way, emerging from under the pile of kids with only a handful of sparkle. The Brat usually wanders around on the periphery, uninterested in the proceedings. I was surprised to see him dive in this time and emerge triumphant. In his hand, other than a few odds and ends was a pink sparkly pencil sharpener in the shape of a PC mouse.
Clutching it tight he came to his sister – I got this for you because I knew you wouldn’t be able to get anything out of there. Ma ka dil and all that jazz, I blinked back tears and looked away. Unwilling to bear witness to this sort of honest love. The Bean held up a bag – she’d already got herself a bag of loot!
The OA and I took one look at each other and burst out laughing. Clearly our little Monster no longer needs to be looked out for. Although I still felt bad that the Brat dived in there only to get something out for her and nothing much for himself.
Oh well… everyday in little ways we learn something about them. And almost everyday, what I learn about the Brat, breaks my heart just a little bit.