.. I need you to design a special gadget for me. This one will be tougher than anything you ever designed for the Bond man. I need one that would let me look inside the heads of my children. Who ever said children were simple and uncomplicated never did have children. Mine are just getting set to be five and already there are times I feel out of depth. I wish I understood them better……….
|Pic courtesy Google pics|
I started writing this post after a bad night a few days back when Hrit cried at hourly intervals till the wee hours. He was thrashing around restlessly and talking in his sleep but I couldn’t make out what he was saying. All I could make out was Naisha’s name. After he fell asleep I kept wondering…. What is going on in his mind? Is he having nightmares? What is bringing on these nightmares? I wished I knew. Earlier in the evening one of the older kids gave out a ‘ghost’ scare in a dark corner near the building lift. Naisha was incredibly cool about the whole thing but Hrit’s reaction was way too extreme. He panicked. He insisted we collect Naisha and go home immediately. Nothing I said made him feel better and he spent the rest of the evening sitting with me on the bench. I wondered whether that had come back to ‘haunt’ him.
.. and then the Open House
Then we went for their Open House on Saturday and the need for that device has suddenly become much greater. Naisha’s teacher had a revelation for me. Said she, “The other day I drew a sad face and Naisha made a sentence.. “When mama gets sweets of my brother’s choice that’s how I feel.” She went on to suggest that maybe Naisha was getting less than her share of attention. That was my ‘O My God’ moment.
Am I being fair?
Since the kids were born I was paranoid about not distributing my attention equally between them. Being on my own didn’t make it easy .. I hated handing over one child to the maid during meal and sleep times. When they were babies Hrit was the sick one and obviously I spent more time with him. Yet I was very conscious of it and made sure I spent time with Naisha too. As they grew up and Hrit’s wheezing became less frequent things became better. It’s been a long time now since I gave this issue a thought and now this.
To begin with the ‘sweet’ thing is just not true. However I am trying to look beyond the statement.
- Hrit remains to be more clingy of the two and still hangs around me. Naisha on the other hand is more gregarious and is often playing with friends while Hrit is at home. When I go to the market it’s Hrit who wants to tag along while Naisha chooses to stay with her friends. Hey come to think of it… it is I who should be complaining of not getting enough of her attention!
- There ARE a lot of things I do with Naisha only.. crafts, drawing, painting.. Hrit makes an obligatory presence but she’s the one really interested.
So I’m not completely convinced. Yet I do understand that I might lack perspective when it comes to the kids because I’m so deeply involved with them. Certain issues might be more clearly visible to an observant and concerned outsider. I give the teacher’s observation credit. I do realize that…
- Naisha loves being the centre of attention and needs more attention than most kids not just from me but from everyone. She loves being ‘special’.
- Also, I have to admit that Naisha is an easy child to take for granted. If both of them are clamouring for my attention, she is the one to say “okay mama you can listen to Hrit bhai first.” And I accept that. Was that unfair? Yes, now I think so. Maybe she was giving in only for my approval (oh yes she does a lot of things to prove herself a ‘good girl’) but wasn’t really happy doing it. Sigh! Well… no more taking her for granted, ever.
Am I reading too much in a simple incident? Maybe, but it’s better this way.
Q, do you see now how desperately I need that device?
This is just the beginning. It’s going to get worse as they grow older and get better at hiding their thoughts and feelings. How will I figure them out then? Will I know how to help them? Is there really something like a ‘mother’s’ intuition which will come to my rescue? Do I have it at all? You see Mr Q how easy you can make my life if you help me out here?
Meanwhile, in case Mr Q fails me, Hrit Naisha, here’s a request -- Keep us in the loop please. Even though we might seem like antiquated fuddy duddies we will try really hard to understand you. If you feel we’re messing up, losing touch, being unfair .... let us know. Like this time I promise to give your thoughts, feelings and beliefs as much importance as my own.