This is now officially the twins’ first five-syllable word. Anjalimasi, my sister, has been here for a short visit to meet he nieces. Whether the twins remembered her from previous meetings or not was not clear, but they took to her very quickly and seemed to be completely comfortable with her. Very soon, Anjalimasi was doing a vast bulk of the parenting activities like keeping them non-destructively entertained, handling bathroom trips, and running after runny noses.
Not only that, she provided two stints of baby-sitting on Saturday that were absolutely invaluable and precious beyond words. The first was early on Saturday morning, when we went for tennis together – without lugging the twins along – for the first time in over a year. Considering we used to have that luxury about thrice a week, a year without seems like an eternity. (And though we have been a few times with the twins in tow, it’s not at all the same thing when you have one eye on the ball and the other on two moving targets that should not be on court.) It was not an exceptionally long session of tennis for a Saturday (when I can spend three hours on the courts if all circumstances conspire to permit) but it was soooo good because Amit watched me play for a while and declared that I was playing well. And he’s not one to be very lavish with his praise.
The tennis was followed up with homemade chicken biryani (courtesy the cook, who knows what’s what when it comes to biryani) and plenty of beer.
What was already feeling like an exceptional Saturday (a day usually reserved for chores) became really exciting that evening when Amit and I set off for our second 1:1 date in a month (also the second in over a year, which is what made it exciting). We had seats for the latest Bond movie, Quantum of Solace. It’s not the greatest movie ever made (far from it; where are all the gadgets???) and it certainly wasn’t opening night or the best seats in the house… But at least we caught one movie while people are still talking about it (aren’t they?), instead of 6 months later when it comes on DVD and then we don’t bother because nobody remembers it anymore anyway.
In addition to exploiting her services as a babysitter, we also had a lot of fun with Anjalimasi. We took her along for the kids’ school admission interview (that’s another whole post in itself); we all went out to one of our favourite restaurants nearby, Jukebox, (that we haven’t been to in – you guessed it – over a year) and we discovered that smoking has been banned from all restaurants countrywide(!), so the twins would not suffer from passive smoking at least; and we discovered a gigantic supermarket, Spar, in a mall near home that we had never even known of the existence of. And, best of all, Anjalimasi took us all out for lunch on Sunday to Barbeque Nation, which had all-you-can-eat kebabs and a buffet spread and I left the kids to Amit’s and Anjalimasi’s tender mercies, while I focused on the food and pigged out like I had never seen food before.
In other words, my sister’s visit was a complete blessing, one I could do with every three months or so (I’m not greedy), although the inescapable conclusion also is that if you must manage twins, it’s a lot easier if there are three of you in it… There’s safety in numbers when it comes to managing toddlers.