Let me count the ways

Love expresses itself in so many ways. Sometimes it takes the form of a cliche like red roses and hearts. I wouldn’t shoot them down. Sometimes people don’t know how to tell you they care and they use standard measures – doesn’t make the love any less.

At other times, love is expressed in ways that can’t be admitted to in polite company. Like this one. (And I promptly proceed to give lie to that line by discussing it with you well bred folk.)

We’d had a good dinner and were on our way home. The Bean’s eyes were drooping even as we had dessert and she undid her seat belt and lay down with her head in the Brat’s lap on the way home. The OA and I looked at them and smiled at each other. Parenthood was good.

He was half asleep himself but clung on to her to ensure she didn’t fall off the seat as we rattled and rumbled over the Gurgaon death trap roads. His head lolled in his sleep and the car cooled too fast.

I felt them with a mother’s instinct and their bare legs were freezing. We switched off the AC and forgot to turn down the windows. We were almost home anyway.

As we turned into our parking lot, the Brat who is infamously motion sick, threw up in his sleep. Right on her head. She sat up, sleepily and looked at him, not a word of reproach. The OA and I swung into battle stations. I grabbed the two of them and rushed them to the house. She could barely walk. She was half asleep and there was vomit dripping down  her head.

The Brat was wide awake in horror by now. ‘I didn’t mean it, I didn’t mean it,’ he moaned in apology. I’m so sorry. I was asleep and couldn’t stop myself.

I was too tired, and angry at how a pleasant evening was ruined, to trust myself with words.

I hurried them into the bathroom and shoved them both in the shower. Getting lumps of half digested food out of hair is neither easy nor pleasant.

The OA rolled up his jeans, filled buckets and washed out the entire car.

I put them to bed and helped him.

By the time we were done, it was past midnight and we’d forgotten the pleasant dinner.

Parenthood sucked.


For all that the two of them fight over inane things, the next day passed without either of them referring to it. I was surprised, but the Bean played fair. No – You puked on my head hence owe me a kidney type of lines.

And then two days later they were back from school and the Bean was brushing out her hair when a clip she’d forgotten to take out got stuck in her brush. And when she yanked, it went flying into the toilet bowl.

They both looked at it in horror. It wasn’t the loss of a pretty bow that was the problem. They knew that anything stuck in the toilet bowl could create a problem.

The Brat looked at her kindly and said I’ll do it.

And then stuck his hand in the bowl and took out the clip, scrubbed the clip and his hand with soap a million times over and gave it back to her.

They told me about it later.


She was back home with yet another allergy – this time her eyes swelling up thanks to the pollen.

It made her tired and cranky and the antihistamine made her sleepy.

I made her lie down in bed as I frantically worked to meet a deadline, sitting by her side.

He came by with his Rubik’s cube to entertain her.

‘She likes me to make the red side so I’ll do that for her.’

A while later I looked up from my work to find her fast asleep in an awkward bundle.

As I tucked a pillow under her head and straightened her out I found the hard, poky cube clutched in her hand and pressed into her stomach. She’d gone to sleep with the red side made up specially for her.


There’s a lovely series of ICICI advertisements about Jo nibhaate hain, aur jataate nahi. I’ve always looked at it wistfully. Until I realised that my life is full of such moments. I just need to pause to observe them.

They’ll probably kill me for these stories making it to the public domain. But if they keep this up, I’ll die happy.

29 thoughts on “Let me count the ways

  1. waah….made my day reading this. My son and daughter are younger (3.5, 1.5) but I can already see how they both stick up for each other, especially when one of them is feeling poorly. Yep, happiness unbound!

  2. Hi MM,
    Just wanted to ask if you’ve tried homeopathy for Bean’s allergies? My almost two year old son had severe allergic reactions to just about anything, and what seemed like no reason at all sometimes. Frequent urticaria, which needed multiple runs to the emergency. But we switched to homeopathy last december and i haven’t had to give him a single dose of any antihistamines / antibiotics / creams with steroids etc since then. It showed so much improvement in 6 weeks time, we were amazed.

      • I can totally get you, hope something works for her!!

        If you happen to visit Hyderabad, you could consult Dr. K. Harinadham. We went to him after many recommendations, and he was as effective as we’d been told.

        (H.No.1-8-471, Chikkadapally,
        Nr. Venkateswara Swamy Temple,
        Hyderabad – 20)

  3. Your little muchkoo babies will be my favorite bhai- behen jodi of all times. Muah. One big kala teeka on the babies. I wish I could help the Bean find a permanent solution to all her sniffles and allergies. Poor baby.

  4. Don’t know why but I either end up laughing or teary eyed after reading your posts…they persuade me to have another kid..but that is another discussion 😉

  5. Awww….touchwood! And hugs to the darlings! I agree, all you want to leave for them is love….its precious and fragile.

  6. Wonderful post ! It remembers me of my childhood….I just got struck up with your writting spree…
    Happy blogging ….

  7. Coming to your blog after a long time, MM! And reading this, realised how much I missed your writing! Such a pleasure! Please do write on your blog whenever you can. If you are coming to Hyderabad, I don’t need to say that you will have to meet me. Do I?:) God bless the kids!

    Love, Anjali

  8. Sibling love is an unmatched love in this world. Such beautiful children ! Their mum and dad are doing something absolutely wonderful that makes them such thoughtful children. Children learn from us, don’t they ?

  9. First off, lemme just say that I love your blog. I love it when you write about your adorable kids. It’s the kind of thing that I would read and enjoy on a daily basis.
    I love it when I see a good writing in English, esp, when the writer is an Indian, coz I am a bit of a purist when it comes to the English language, even more than Malayalam which is my mothetongue ( yep, I’m a “mallu”. Let the jokes begin)
    My first impression of you, was that you were a Tamilian, Christian who married a Delhiite Hindu Guy… But then you mentioned that your husband is a Tamilian. And then I read that he spoke poor Tamil, so I assumed he was part Tamil. And then I thought you were part Punjabi or something.
    Could you clarify your ethnic background? Your mom’s, your dad’s and your husband’s, too. Only if you don’t mind.
    I hope I’ m not being nosy or rude.
    I’m just totally curious.I swear.
    I’m a final-yr engineering student, btw, so think of me as an annoying younger sis or something. 🙂

      • Phew. Glad it’s not a permanent break. But you oughta know that I’m missing the daily entertainment of your status mesgs which are then hijacked without fail by commenters. Without or without my input 🙂

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