Yashodhara Lal is an Author, Coach, Marketer. Mom of Three, Fitness Instructor, Music Lover, Yoga Enthusiast and Transactional-Analysis-Psychotherapist-in-Training. Allsomeness is her venture dedicated to helping people connect with their passions, and to design and live their fullest lives.
I had this feeling that I've got a lot of mini-stories about the kids on my Facebook page here; and the feeling was right. Below is a compilation. I feel much better now that I've got them here for posterity ;). But join the Facebook page for more regular doses of randomness and the occasional brilliant flash of insight (rare).
Papad beats Pickle in a swimming race and gasps proudly 'TodyaCRUSHya!'
I turn to him and say 'What?'
Peanut sighs, treading water near me 'Oh, he just copies my motto. Everyone copies my motto.'
'What's your motto?' I am amused.
'It's kind of a song I made up. It goes -
I told ya, I'd crush ya, I crushed ya, I win!'
'Peanut! That's ...' I'm impressed, but I try valiantly to be a good parent. 'Not very sporting. Where did you come up with that?'
'I was playing tennis with Anusha and I beat her and then when I was shaking her hand over the net, I whispered it to her - I told ya, I'd crush ya, I crushed ya, I win!'
'Well, you're supposed to be saying 'Good Game' at that point, right?'
'Right!' She gives me a bright grin. 'But it was more fun this way.'
I struggle with it for a while and then give up. 'You mind if I use it on your Dad?'
She shrugs wearily 'Go ahead! Everyone uses my motto anyway. I bet even the President of the United States will want to use it.'
Inside I'm thinking, yeah, maybe not the current one but sounds about right for at least one contender. But I refuse to let that thought spoil it for me.
I Told Ya I'd Crush Ya I Crushed Ya. I WIN!
Pickle and Papad are watching the 'Finding Dory' trailer.
It finishes and then a Spanish version of the trailer starts, with baby Dory speaking to her parents.
Pickle (with a frown of concentration): What they are saying?
Papad (with an air of great wisdom about him): Pickle. It's FISH language.
After watching Football, some match between Italy and Spain, for an hour with my husband, my kids run out of the room shouting
'Guess what? Idli won! Dosa Lost! Yesss!'
From Peanut's diary. How interesting.
"My mom is an author and a famous one." I smile at that.
"We are not really that rich like I expect other famous authors to be."
Me, getting angry because he's not listening to me: Pickle, now I've told you enough times that you're supposed to brush your teeth first thing when you get up and now you're asking me for things to eat without doing that and ...
Pickle, in the most biting and spiteful and mocking manner that the words have ever been said: Baa, baa, black sheep, have YOU any wool?
(Sweeps out of the room with impressive dignity)
And this is how I'm misrepresented at home.
Papad walks up to me and shows me the bandage I tied on his foot 'See I am bare-footed. That means hurt, right?' I correct him. 'No, bare footed means you're not wearing anything on your feet.' 'But I am wearing the bandage.' 'Yes, but not shoes, right?' 'So what is that word for hurt?' 'Wounded?' 'Yes' He says with inordinate pride 'Wounded. I have a wounded feet.' 'Foot. Yes, wounded foot.' 'Mom! Will I have to take this off if I go for a swim?' 'Well, I guess it would come off anyway, so yes I suppose so.'
He nods sagely with complete understanding and then trots out of the room on his wounded feet and I hear him tell his twin. 'Pickle! Guess where Mom says we can go? For a SWIM!'
My daughter, the one with the sense of humour. She sees a certificate from Micromax "To a Colleague who was awesome till the last mile..."
Turns to me and asks "Hey mom! What happened to you in the last mile? Why were you only awesome TILL it came?"
Me: Peanut, just help Papad finish his homework please... Peanut: How? He is just copying the letters... Me: I don't know! Just... Cheer him on or something. Peanut (yelling right into her little brother's ears): Papad, Papad, He's our man! If he can't do it, no one can!
'Will you kids please stop shouting?'
'Your Tau is sleeping. He doesn't sleep at all at night, so he's sleeping during the day.'
'Because he's still on America time.'
Peanut shakes her head and chuckles. 'Americans are so weird!'
"Do you know what they're doing?" My husband asks me.
"They are playing music on the laptop and waiting for birds to come..."
"That Mary Poppins song... What is it?"
"Feed the birds, Tuppence a bag?" I guess.
"No, the other one... With that robin..."
"Ah... " I get it. "Spoonful of sugar?"
"Yeah, that one." Vijay is very amused. "And they are wondering why the birds aren't landing up!"
Childhood. Such innocence. Such wonder.
Such little Bhondus they are.
I look with interest at my husband's new profile pic on Whatsapp. That's cute. When was he on a boat? And hey, it looks familiar but-
I message him furiously "what the heck? Did you cut me OUT of your profile pic?"
A few moments of silence and then watch him typing back.
"Of course. If I didn't cut you out, no one would look at me."
Well saved, buddy.
We are sitting and watching Frozen.
Princess Anna and Prince Hans fall in love and sing their duet "Love is an Open Door"
Peanut sings along word-for-word.
Pickle covers his ears and protests "sing in your MIND!"
Papad beams beatifically and then wonders out loud "How do the prince and princess know the same-song-words?... Why you laffing Mom?... Tell me!!"
Peanut stares out the car window and since I am not paying attention either, we almost miss our turn to the music class.
After correcting the driver, I unfairly mutter to my child "Why are you dreaming?"
"Why shouldn't I dream?" she says calmly.
I am chastened. It's true. She is but a child and I expect her to do a lot of things with the maturity of an older person. These are the days she must enjoy and cherish, and if one isn't allowed to dream now, by George- when?
"I'm sorry, Peanut." I whisper.
"It's ok Ma" she beams "you know nowadays if anyone asks me why I am doing something, I just ask them why I shouldn't do it! It works very well."
Now I'm a little pissed. It was just a trick.
"Bit of a smartass, aren't you?" I sneer.
Another peaceful smile with just a hint of smugness
"Why shouldn't I be a smartass?"
Random statements by Random Kids:
Papad: (excited) ...and it's the best in the WHOLE WIDE UNIVERSITY!
Peanut: (wonderingly) Mom, if I am trying to adopt someone when I am 21 and I write 50 instead of 15 by mistake - (now panicking) what will I DO if I end up with a child OLDER than me?
I am doing my yoga this morning before work, in the privacy and sanctity of my bedroom.
BANG. My son shoves the door open and potters in, waving a piece of paper excitedly. 'Mom, mom, I made DIS.'
I resist the urge to ask him to retreat and look at his picture. It has a tiny creature drawn in the centre that looks like a cross between a camel, a baby elephant, and if he insists, a mouse.
I am in Ommmm mode, and thus I remember that a child has to be appreciated for the effort he puts into his work. Criticism is to be avoided at all costs, as is the natural desire to correct his efforts. And at the end of the day, he is clearly doing this for the love of art, and it's good to see that he's interested in something besides breaking his toys and the house.
'It's great, Pickle.' I enthuse. 'Well done! And you even wrote Mouse.' I can't stop myself here.'Well, you wrote Muse, but that's great too!'
He looks up at me with a crooked smile and says in a brisk, businesslike way. 'Wanna buy it? Only fifty lupees.'
I stare at him for a moment. Get out, get out, get out of my loom, I want to scream. Oommmmmm.
(I ended up buying it for fifteen lupees.)
It's a possibility that my kids may be watching too much TV.
Papad, spotting my husband coming home, shouts ''Daddy's BACK...!'
And then adds 'On NICKELODEON!'
Pickle brings me his homework sheet after I come home from work, saying 'What we have to do in dis?'
I turn my bleary eyes towards the sheet.
Peanut barks at him 'Bring ME your homework. Let Mom relax.'
I turn my teary eyes towards my 8 year old daughter.
If I'm dreaming, don't nobody DARE pinch me today.