However, Mondays are days where they have their Show and Tell, and I'm happy to report that they have stopped now running away from me when I try to get them to prepare. Earlier, there would be huge tantrums regarding this event, with both of them eventually throwing themselves on the floor, with a clearly stated refusal to participate, crying 'Main nahin boolunga enlisss main...Kabhi bhi nahin, Kisso ko bhi nahin!'
Recently, they have even started taking some pride in correcting me ( Mama, dis iss not paani...dis iss ou-ater), and have taken to speaking in short halting sentences in English, post which they proudly announce 'Maine Engliss main bola!'
This weekend was a little challenging though - they were given lines for their Special Assembly. Papad had something simple 'Now we will sing Bhajans for you', but Pickle's was a little complicated.
I was mulling over the line in his diary 'Lord Krishna grew up in Mathura, under Yashodhara.'
Vijay said 'What is 'under' Yashodhara? ...and plus, it was Yashoda, not Yashodhara.'
I was irritated 'I don't know, Vijay...this is how they've written it here...'
He said sagely 'They must have gotten confused because you are Yashodhara.' He turned to Pickle and explained 'Beta, you must say Yashodha.'
Pickle, who was sitting with us at the table eating Chocos, firmly repeated after him 'Jashodha' with his mouth full, attractively spewing his half-masticated food.
Eventually, Pickle learned his line, although he probably wouldn't end up with full marks for clarity, mumbling as he was ' Lord Krishna...(mumble, mumble) MATHURA...(mumble) JASHODHARA!'
A little disappointed after several practice sessions, I turned to Papad with hope in my eyes, saying 'Papad, and now you say your line?' He had been saying it quite smoothly, and was quite the Prince of England in comparison to Pickle.
He puffed out his skinny little chest and said 'Now we will sing a Bhajan for you...'
'Very good.' I exclaimed, clapping my hands in delight.
I froze mid-grin and stared at him. 'No, sweetie, you're not supposed to say that...'
'Haaaaaan!' His tiny face crumpled and he started to cry. Through his blubbering, I could just about make out the issue - he clearly felt that since he was also Jashodhara's son, he needed to end his line with the same declaration. No amount of explanation on my part could remove this impression from his mind. Eventually, I had to let the matter go and hope for the best.
Today, they would have delivered their lines with their characteristic flair.
I can't wait to get home in the evening and read the teacher's remarks.
I just can't wait.