Growing up, I never imagined being a mother of two boys; leave alone being a mother. I think I was always very skeptical of the whole parenting thing, assuming that my children would turn out to be little horrors. They would sit all by themselves at lunch break at the playground. They would be picked last to join the team to play tag. They would never get invited to play dates. We would never be able to return to a restaurant since the place looked liked a hurricane had struck at our table. And our neighbours would invent a secret code by which they would communicate about their pot-lucks.
It's funny how little we know about ourselves. Actually, I should be more specific and refer to my ignorant self. My children are not only the most incredible gifts I've received from God, but they seem to have a knack for making me feel like the most incredible mother as well. I know, I know, everyone thinks their children are the most wonderful in the whole world. But I'm not talking about them being perfect in any way. Especially the older one. Oh no!!! Shiv will be 3 next month, and has become quite comfortable yelling out his sentences. Honestly, I come from a loud family (we Indians are a trifle deaf due to the high levels of noise pollution back home, and just a general inability to remain calm under excitable circumstances), but my older son can out-yell any crazed person. And then of course, he has this obsession with drums. Every and any surface can transform into a percussion instrument, including his baby brother's head!! And does he just use his hands? That is an affirmative no. He's drumming (I actually mean "banging the crap out of....") with his silverware, with his toy tools, with the little train tracks and even with the bread sticks at dinner!!! Arrrrgh!!! And then of course, how can I forget about his need to poop in his pants after we've spent the last half hour on the pot, having read through a dozen books and bribing him with every treat possible. And is it the kind that's easy to clean. No again!! His butt looks like he actually rolled in the stuff; not to mention a generous amount trickling down his legs!!
He's constantly rocking his chair, pushing his legs against the table. I always imagine him sprawled on the floor bleeding profusely from the head, just when I decide to blink for a second while I sneeze. He always runs, never walks. It's almost like his legs suffer from ADHD. He dances to music like a horse on a caffeine high. He's the only kid with his back turned to the teacher, vehemently shaking his head to some imaginary tune in his head, while the others are diligently playing 'Simon says'. He decides to stub his toe (really loudly) against the wall in the next room, just as I'm trying to put my younger one down for a nap. He insists on singing at the library. He decides that it's fun to run up and down the aisles at the grocery store, and push the shopping cart to see how far it can go...before it kills an innocent shopper. His vocabulary has shrunk to a single word..."NO".
But let me not digress from my original line of thought. There is something wonderful about my little boy. It's the way he makes people smile when he looks at them and says, "Hello". It's how he manages to befriend any person within minutes of meeting them, and making them feel special with his hugs. It's when he puts his tiny arms around my neck and looks deep into my eyes and says, "I lah you, Amma". When he plays peek-a-boo with his little brother and calls him 'his cookie'. When he comes running to me with his eyes wide open with excitement, when I pick him up from school. When he gives me soft kisses as I lay with him in his bed for an afternoon nap. And even when he does all those things that annoy me most of the time, there is that little moment amidst all the confusion and havoc, when I stop and look at my son, and think, "Oh my god, he's his own little person now." That moment where I feel love that is indescribable.
I look at my younger one and know that he'll be doing all the things his brother did. The forces of nature (or genetics) haven't yet transformed my sweet angelic 8 month old. But it doesn't worry me. I know my kids are alright. Shiv is a kid after all. He's growing and exploring and telling the world, "Hey, this is me!!". And I love him for that.