Oh, the small joys of parenting.
The first words I heard at 6.30 a.m. on Sunday morning before I was fully awake, were, from Mrini: Mama not there. Mama gone to tennis court. Only Baba there. Whereupon, she turned on her heel and headed back to her room with something close to disgust.
I was there, buried under the bedclothes, and it was immensely satisfying not only that she should disdain the company of her father, but also that she should go back to her own room, where she played very cutely (judging by the sound effects) with Tara, thereby allowing me to sleep “late” – all the way till 7.15 on a Sunday morning.
When we were all irretrievably awake, we decided to take the kids out for some loafing followed by lunch. The lunch venue, selected and declared vociferously by the girls, was Shanti Sagar(!). After a very successful lunch at this venue (successful, in this context, means that most of the food landed in somebody’s stomach, everybody got something to eat, and the place didn’t look perceptibly shabbier by the time we’d finished), we went to Corner House for mango milk shake.
There, I ordered a deliciously dark-looking chocolate ice cream that didn’t taste as good as it looked, strangely enough; while Amit ordered his mango milk shake, which turned out to be a mango ice cream smoothie, in disguise. Anyway: chocolate ice cream versus mango milk shake – which do you think the twins wanted? The mango, of course! Who wants chocolate when there’s mango on offer?! (And these are my daughters!?)
So the mango milk shake was passed around the table solemnly between the three of them, strictly turn by turn. It was a real treat to watch them eagerly reaching for it, then, after as big a gulp as they could manage, sweetly passing it on.
Of course, one between the three of them was not enough, so another had to be ordered, and I got to see them passing the glass all over again. (Though I must admit I wasn’t entirely a spectator the second time around!)
I was also very impressed with my daughters’ dustbin sensibilities this weekend. On Saturday, we were at a birthday party in a public place. After drinking water out of one of those small plastic glasses, Mrini turned and asked me where the dustbin was, and wouldn’t be satisfied until she was allowed to throw the glass in it. Again, at Corner House on Sunday, the girls both rushed to throw the plastic bowls in the dustbin. It’s wonderful how they pick up such things without having to be explicitly told. In the past I have often seen small kids littering and thought to myself that it must be tough to teach kids to be neat, but now I’ not so sure. Maybe it’s just a matter of setting the right example and letting the kids follow.
Or maybe I’m just being prematurely proud, and a few months or years later, my kids will suddenly start littering, too. I hope not… But for the moment, I’m just happy to see them being so angelic.
And then, this morning I overheard this exchange:
T (teasingly in a singsong voice): Mini not a goooood girl. Mini is a baaaaaaad girl.
M (indignantly): Why am I not a good girl? Tell me!
Oh gawd! Have they really entered the “why” phase already? Then I am in for it!!!