Was a revelation of what my life will look like in 20 years. When the daughter is living on phone/chat/skype all the time and the mother has no clue and is bugged and helpless. What makes it worse is I’m pretty sure I was the same or worse at her age. I’m having second thoughts about this whole girl thing now. There are advantages to being the only woman in the family, I’ve seen that with Vin’s mom. Maybe I’ll have a son next, just to make it all fair and square for everyone involved.
To be fair to paavam cousin P (to her parents actually) she is the quintessential well-brought-up kid. With sensibilities and rights and wrongs and everything in the right place. (that just makes it scarier if anything).
Also, she did make me pretty decent aloo parathas for dinner once(my own failed experiment at it is chronicled here) and chole another day. And was excited about feeling the baby and seeing it move, unlike the husband. In the grand scheme of things it all evens out.
The best thing that came from India – apart from amma herself – is this.
A book with notes and wishes from everyone in the family from my grandfather to the cousin and everyone in between. All put together by the sister of course. I cried reading achan’s and her notes. And then I read them out to Vin (whose command over written malayalam doesn’t extend to the handwritten word) and cried again.
She also put in one of my favorite pics of us, this when she was all of 28 days old. (Looks like I’d warmed to the idea of a younger sibling by then).
The aliyan’s impression of a cow. Obviously drawing isn’t one of his strong points.
– Vin said in a moment of concern that he’d cut his hair if she makes it out healthy and fine. And corrected that the very next second to ‘trim’ from ‘cut’.
– The scary sagittarian specimen declared last week in one of our drunken chat sessions (me sober, him drunk enough for 2) that he’d be the Godfather if she came in a sagittarian month. (In the true sense, I want the sis and my monkey aliyan to be Godparents, like if something were to happen to us etc..If not them for some reason, the parents). But this was more in spirit and all he insists is that he’d have to approve the guy she married (hopefully it’d be a guy, and hopefully there’d be a marriage).
Just recording all this here lest people go back on their words later.
– Thus the days drag on, with the stubborn patient and the bedrest mafia (the spouse and the mom – may their tribe increase. not.) slowly learning to negotiate their ways around each other – the former thinks the latter doesn’t understand the frustrations of being bedridden while the latter thinks the former is taking this all too easy. The big event around here was the wheelchair outing to the hospital garden.
– Everyone, including the spouse (not the mom though) is telling me 32 weeks is pretty good. From where I stand (or lie) (and what I read) nothing less than 37 is pretty good. I know I know, given this saga started at 27 I should be grateful for 32 but 32 still means 2 whole months in the nicu. Still means a baby who’ll be half the ideal birth weight. I still can’t bring myself to wish for anything less than 37 greedy or impractical as it may seem.
– I’ve been reading some more. Among others, I re-read totochan, which I especially enjoyed given the little toto I’m growing. That and more chick-lit and onam issues of all the Malayalam mags.
– Every time someone asked me what I was craving this pregnancy I’ve struggled hard to put my finger on a single cuisine or dish. What I really craved were tastes I grew up eating, and now that amma is here that is exactly what I’ve been eating. Every meal is such a delight. Vin and she went to Boulder yesterday and in a space of 4 hours she made – sambhar, aviyal, 2 kinds of upperi, kappa, fish curry, fish fry, idli and rice to last us 3 days. Makes up for everything I’ve missed the past 6 months.
– How do you all like the new template? Isn’t it awesome?
When they (the parents) brought her home (I’m told) I ignored them and (pretended to) continue to read my (Kindergarten) textbook (ever the studious one, me). Obviously the 3 year old might have felt the first whiff of sibling rivalry or jealousy or whatever. We grew up inseparable – being dressed in dresses cut from the same cloth and in the same pattern, always each other’s best friend and worst enemy, as sisters are wont to be. She still tells tales of my sitting on her (which I say is of no consequence if our sizes were of present-day proportion) and I can come back at that with marks left by her nails from our fights. (stop imagining cat-fights you all, we were still kids then..)
But then we also have tales, told by seniors who I’ve gotten back in touch on fb after decades of how the 2 sisters walking into the morning assembly – the elder one carrying the younger’s bag and bottle beside her own was a sight they’ve not forgotten (ah, melodrama. I did it as a matter of fact, she was a tiny thing then. My uncle caller her aatumkaattam :P) And of how she’d faithfully wait after school in front of her class for me to come along and take her to our bus (Bhavans had a fleet of a dozen identical-looking buses amidst which an aatumkaattam could easily get lost). And then one day I left her standing there – forgot all about her that is – and remembered she was missing only after the 45 min ride home and we had to go back – achan and I – and she was all tears but waiting in the same spot..(my memory fails me here, maybe someone found her and took her to the staffroom. But waiting in the same spot would be suitably dramatic a-la Karan Johar)
As we grew up we were the best pair of sisters ever, we were each other’s best confidantes, seeing each other through boys and men and the heartbreaks. The roles have somewhat reversed (it was never an elder-younger sister thing really) with her looking out for me most of the time, feeling more angry/upset on my behalf when I go through my rough patches with life and people. On the flip side she is prolly only next to Vin in how much I hurt if I fight with either of them and until things are set right.
She has grown up to be quite the fine woman and she’s always had the many talents that I sorely lack (I got by taking pride in how good a singer/dancer/artist she was..) And she’s the whole family’s go-to person where fashion is concerned. I could go on but this post would end up looking like a testimonial or linkedin reco..
And then she goes ahead and finds the perfect aliyan for me (well I could say I sorta found him for her, but oh well, the rest was solely up to her..) In fact so perfect he makes me miss them both even more and I sometimes wish she’d married some arbit mandankunappan so I’d only have to miss her..
Anyway, this was supposed to be posted on her B’day and it was semi-formed in my head so thought I’d put it down now that I’m on a posting run.
Over the past 3 days I’ve read:
Jitterbug Perfume: Vin had been gifted a copy of this and then a friend from Atlas send one with R. With 2 smart people recommending it it was about time to give it a shot. Love the way Tom Robbins writes, and what a fantastic tale and a beautiful love story that skips between the ancient and the present with such ease.
Good Earth: A classic I’ve been meaning to read for a while, such a sweet tale of the hard-working farmer and his honest and good wife and of life in a simpler place and time.
Enchantress of Florence: I couldn’t endure Moor’s Last Sigh beyond the first few chapters, and I’d returned East-West after reading just the ‘East’ section so it was with reluctance that I picked up a Rushdie again. But I’m so glad I did.
Of course I’ve been on a reading spree, but now that I have the laptop we’ll have to see.
– if I told you of the occasional fleeting thought of how much weight I’d gain just lying in bed and eating all day
– Or if I told you I wish I had a pic of the helicopter ride (more ammo for the ’10 maasam chumannu petta’ speech)
(right answer: you won’t. which is why you’re among the select club of readers_of_the_blog)
Lest it be said, or lest anyone be worried that we are making light of this situation let me hasten to assure you that, as the mother, I’m all too aware of the gravity of it.