Monday, 29 September 2014

Pass me the salt, Mama!

My elder son Kavin(there I've revealed his name) has high chances of becoming a chef. Or a food critic. Or both.

My family and I have always encouraged him to soak in the sights and sounds of the kitchen since he was a baby. He would crawl into the kitchen to the aroma of frying and demand to be picked up and shown the wok. He would also, as a baby, watch any cookery show on TV with a look of steely resolve. Why, one of his first words was, "pizza!"

 My mother attributes it to the hours I spent watching Masterchef Australia through my pregnancy. Whether or not that has played with his culinary gene is unknown.

 So well, as Kavin grew, so did his interest with food and the kitchen. He took to spicy Indian cuisine like a fish to water. As an eight month old, he accidentally ate Rasam rice(a spicy, tomato and lentil broth mixed with rice)from my plate much to my dismay.He loved it so much, that he gave me a look which seemed to say, 'what have you been depriving me of, evil woman!?' Kavin refused to eat his bland baby food ever since. Rasam is still one of his favourites.
By the time he was eighteen months old, Kavin's chapati rolling skills were better than mine.(Oh, the shame!)
I'm proud to say that his palate wasn't limited to Indian cuisine. He loves his fried rice, pasta and nachos. On our travels, Kavin attacked the local delicacies of London and Sri Lanka with equal gusto. It wasn't long before he declared himself the official sous chef of the kitchen.(Stirring, mixing and garnishing were his departments)

 I know what you're thinking. "Oh, you're so lucky- my kid lives only on air and ONE cookie!" or "Wow!Good for you, my child is sooo fussy!!" Hold on. Did I mention that my kid is a food critic? I did, didn't I?
Yes, he eats his veggies. But, they have to be cooked and seasoned to perfection. If they're a tad off balance, he scrunches his face in disgust. The puff pastry from an expensive bakery will be wolfed down in minutes, that from a slightly cheaper bakery, will be refused. 

Kavin is also that know-it-all sous chef (he's become more like the head chef) who tells me that my cake batter is all wrong. And then I have to rectify it till his Highness approves. He also has weird suggestions. "Can we add garlic to the cake, Mama? Can we try at least?"

Sigh! I have to improvise my cookery skills to satisfy this culinary monster. Some day, he'll be in his chef whites and pose in front of his Michelin Star restaurant and say, "my mom is the reason for my success." And I'll wipe off that tear behind my glasses. Hahahha!!

The other day husband and I decided to gift him a toy kitchen set. "Could you show us a sturdy kitchen set for our son, please?" we asked the shopkeeper. "A kitchen set for a BOY??"the shopkeeper frowned. "Yeah, why not?" retorted husbie. An uncertain guffaw.

Haven't we progressed? Do we Indian parents still limit our kids to gender specific toys? Is the sight of the Invincible Indian Male (cough!cough!) in the kitchen still a hard to digest sight in our mindsets? I hope not. Because the kids of today are going places. Let's let them.

By the way, I watched House, M.D. when pregnant with No. 2. Hmmmm....

Thursday, 25 September 2014


"Having one child makes you a parent. Having two, makes you a referee."

24 July 2014- the day Junior was born. The day I got promoted to mum of two kids.                   

Also known as the day I became referee.

Senior was born on 2 November 2011. We had officially stepped into parenthood.
It was tough, but after a few rough initial months following his birth, we learnt the ropes. Husbie and me eventually settled down with parenthood and began to enjoy it.

 Soon we considered ourselves pros. (ha!) We proudly exhibited our diaper changing skills, toddler recipe ideas and advice on potty training(taming tantrums were still tough) to our newbie parent friends.
 So after senior turned two and our arms ached to hold a toothless infant, we decided to have no. 2. "He'll have a companion and they'll grow up together", we agreed.

  I am only child and wanted to experience camaraderie between my own kids, something I couldn't-    my reason for wanting baby no. 2. My husband has a sister and they share a wonderful relationship- his reason. We also saw some of our more experienced peers' kids playing happily with their siblings and looked longingly at them. Senior also got bored at home easily and longed for his friends to come over to play most of the time.

So that was it. We got pregnant soon after senior cut his second birthday cake.

And then there came the first nudge.(I would prefer to call these experiences nudges rather than kicks as they were not all that unpleasant now when I think back)

My first pregnancy was a smooth ride. My second, a drive on Mumbai roads in the rains. Morning sickness, shortness of breath, heartburn and severe varicose veins dotted those nine months. To top it, managing a turbo toddler with my growing tummy was a new experience for me(Thankfully, I had immense support from my family, but every mum has her personal experience). That was my first brush with being a referee. What would happen once the baby was out??

 Then there were the doubts. Ok, will I be able to give the elder one enough attention? Will I be able to monitor his daily activities closely? Will he feel upset with me breast feeding the new baby? Will jealousy make him harm his sibling? Could I, as a referee; be fair to either child? How can I handle their fights? These doubts deepened when in my eighth month, senior broke his elbow after a fall when I wasn't fast enough to catch him.
  But as they say, only after you jump into the water, do you learn to swim. So now that I've jumped in, I shall learn. I now look forward to managing my boys and live and love the experience, day by day. I know there will be days when I'll cry and doubt my ability to sustain, but I shall hold on. There will also be days when I'll wonder why I ever had kids in the first place; but I'll bounce back the next day.

 So, at last in the boxing ring of parenthood. With a salute to all those mums who are managing multiple kids with such ease, I begin my duties as referee(with husbie, of course). The whistle is around my neck. Tttweeeeettt!!!

P.S.- I just felt comfortable calling the boys Sr. and Jr., their names will be introduced as and when suited.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

My first Post, finally!

 So, after years of toying with the idea of starting a blog, I have finally kicked myself in the rear and done it.  Finally decided that mollycoddling the procrastinator in me wasn't going to work. Also finally decided that getting a variety of thoughts in my head, doing nothing about it and smiling to myself in self praise wasn't fun. That those thoughts need to be unleashed on a blog. They look uh, better. I have also promised myself to accept constructive criticism well. And to accept that it's MY blog,so not everything I write here may be acceptable to everyone. But I finally have resolved to break free.

 A full-time mum of two now, I know I will mostly be writing about my sons and activities around them. Because it's motherhood that's liberated me. I pledge to myself to be a flowing writer mum and do justice to motherhood. I also hope to share wonderful experiences through words and gain insights into writing from other mums. Good, I like this! :)

 And happy birthday to me! Finally, a sensible thing to gift myself.