This evening, one decides to go to the park with the kids. So Vijay, I and our help Rinki valiantly make our way with the three kids.
When we get there, Pickle and Papad decide that the best way to enjoy the park will be in Mama's arms. This is a bit of an issue given that they both now weigh well over 10 kgs each, and I can only hold the two of them up for a couple of minutes before my arms feel like they are going to fall off.
After much persuasion, they decide to grace the grass and potter about happily for a bit. I lie back sprawled on the grass as Vijay looks on, commenting that about half the kids in the park seem to be ours. I decide not to be lazy and get up for a jog. Papad spots me trying to sneak off and runs after me, screaming, worried that I am abandoning him. Pickle joins the fray.
Peanut, who is also looking like a little boy thanks to the haircut she gave herself - yes, my four year old cut her own hair today - is running around me excitedly. It looks impossible that I will be able to get in a jog, but some kids are now trying to fly a kite in the colors of the Indian flag in honor of independence day. The kids are distracted by this, and I whisper to Vijay that I'm just going to be back in exactly five minutes. He is not listening to me because he is most excited about the kite himself. I poke him a bit and get his attention and then make off for a jog of about seven and a half minutes some distance away from the park.
When I come back, the children are splashing about in a puddle. Which is okay except for the fact that they are completely wet from head to toe. It is when they start trying to drink the water that we decide we must draw the line. Vijay sees that Pickle's shirt is wet and so he removes that. When he sees his vest underneath is also wet, he removes that too. My child is therefore running around the park half-naked and other parents are casting disapproving looks at us. We don't care until we see that he appears to be shivering and not just in excitement, and so I ask for Rinki's chunni, wrap him up in it and we all head back home. Sufficient time has passed anyway with little shirtless Pickle and the wet-but-clothed Papad acting like little bullies, together ganging up on other kids older than them in order to steal their toys and generally trying to pick fights.
All three kids are brought back home and we think wet must bathe them. It is clear that it will save time to bung them into a tub together, and so their clothes are quickly removed and all the children are therefore splashing in the water. Vijay and me are responsible for managing them in the bath while Rinki brings out their clothes and towels. By now, my own clothes are completely wet, but it's fun. It would be even more fun if there wasn't the fear of one of them getting water into their lungs, since they seem to feel that they are supposed to drink this water instead of merely bathing in it. Soap is somehow applied and removed, with minimal screaming, and mostly on Peanut's part - Papad and Pickle are reasonably low hassle about these things. Except when it comes time to get out of the tub.
Papad goes first, and makes his protests heard in a deafening manner, wailing constantly while a determined Rinki dresses him. I volunteer Vijay for Pickle - Pickle is the next to start screaming as his father grabs him and gets him out of the tub for some drying. Peanut is the easiest. When she refuses to get out, I simply switch off the light and say 'Hey, the light's gone, you better get out'. She comes out right speedily and it's not going to be too hard to dress her.
At least, it wouldn't be too hard if Pickle and Papad both decide that this is the exact moment in time that they both need me to feed them. They start squirming and struggling and crying even louder and poor hapless Rinki and Vijay can no longer hold them back. I take Pickle with me and try to feed him. He's okay for about two seconds and then he starts to bite me something fierce. I squeal in pain. There is just always so much biting involved when it comes to these two. Every day I come home and lie down on the drawing room floor so that both of them get access to me, and the way they make their affection known is to bite me in all possible places until I'm bruised and begging for them to stop - they leave their sharp little tooth marks all over me, and there's no real way to stop them. And no real reason to, actually, given that I actually love it although it makes me cry sometimes.
Anyway, Pickle is least interested in actually feeding now that he's got me all to himself and he clambers off the bed to go and play with the dustbin. Papad suddenly appears at the door and they fight over the dustbin, pulling at each other's shirts and hair and squealing 'Baiiya-baiiya-baiiya'. That's the only word they really know apart from 'Mama', and the 'Mama' is used to refer to absolutely everything. I watch them, fascinated, thinking for the nth time that I must have done something right sometime to be so lucky as to have twins.
Earlier in the day, I've gone for my guitar class and pretty much taught myself some new songs because the teacher was busy with some band practice. I've also had a nap - such a rare occurrence- and also gone to the parlor. I had to take Peanut there anyway given her disastrous attempt at cutting hair, and also myself enjoyed that form of Chinese torture otherwise known as 'Full Waxing''. With that, the whole day seems to have gone by. It's amazing. Even days when you do so little just absolutely whiz by - I've been sleeping a lot this weekend and could sleep some more. I am clearly convinced that I am not sleeping enough on most weekdays, therefore. This is even when I've rationalized various other ambitious attempts to pack more in - I don't try to write every day, but I plot a little daily and write on weekends. I don't bother practicing my guitar but just go in for the weekly class - mostly it's still fun, except when I'm sulking about how my fingers never seem to move as fast as my teacher's. I don't do a whole lot else apart from focus as much as possible on my work as I can when I'm in the office, and as much as possible on my family when I'm at home. But I do need those intense little breaks of about fifteen minutes that keep me sane.
Like that little stolen moment of guitar-ing that ends with the promise that by next year, I'll actually be playing the most complicated songs and producing the sounds with my fingers that my ear and heart aches for.
Like that few moments of jotting down some ideas for a book that I hope someone will publish sometime despite my being 80,000 words down and only half of the meandering fictional story through.
Like this post that in it's own rambling manner captures what I've been meaning to put down for weeks.
In the meantime. I leave you with a picture of what I leave behind every single morning at about 8.15 a.m. after we've all gone and dropped Peanut to the bus-stop ( someone remarked once 'ek bachhe ke liye itne saare log aate hai, because it's usually Vijay, me, Pickle and Papad who come to drop her. But then that's our circus.)
Anyway, here are my two little monkeys bidding me an unwilling goodbye.
It's not easy to walk away from this, I promise you.