Today, Richa was telling me..”Mama, tomorrow I’m going to be the Mommy”.
“I will give Neha Didi(sister) Snanam (bath)!”
“I will open her dress like this”, putting her hands up straight to show me how Neha opens her dress, when she gives her a bath. My triplets , maybe 8 years old, but, they are Richa’s second Mommy.
They are the ones she turns to, when I am upset with her or she with me. When she is not allowed to get her way. Like, when she wants to watch TV for long hours or she is trying to avoid eating her food, when she refuses to clean up the mess she creates, and many other things a 3 year wants to do but isn’t allowed to. She thinks, that turning to her Didi(s) (word for elder sisters in Hindi) will resolve her problem. Either they will fix it for her, or they will be able to override my decision.
The other day, she sets up a contraption with a stool on top of a chair. This helped her reach a bunch of silly bands that the triplet girls had hidden from her. She had been eying them for long. Coming to the silly bands..what’s with these things called ‘silly bands’. The kids in schools have gone so crazy about it. Its become a big rage now. Even the pediatrician’s office and their dentist’s office have them.
“Only one per kid” The sign says.
I used to see Neha come from school always with new bands on her wrist. On asking her what they were, she would say that her friends at school had given it to her. Soon all the triplets had them and they had made quite some collection at home.
I would hear the triplets talk about whose mom is buying who, these bands. Clearly, I was not among them. Just as I had started to feel this getting to my nerve..I get this letter from the kids teacher,banning it from the class. No student would be allowed to wear them at school, it said. I was so happy about it.
I hoped that this would be the end of these harmless looking silly bands. They had hidden these silly bands in a container on the top of a self. I didn’t know she had known this. Then, that morning..after her Didi(s) left for school, I see her with about 20 bands on her wrist. I had guessed she had climbed up that ladder she had created..so dangerous it looked!! Lucky that she didn’t fall. I tried to convince her saying that this is not good for her.
As I tried to remove them..it appeared difficult to come off, a perfect situation to explain to her
“Richa, look it will make your hand red..this is so dangerous.” , I said
At this point she looked a little scared and convinced that maybe this women, the one that calls herself her mom, is right.
Then as soon as I was able to remove them she realized the trick.
She insisted that she needs the princess band, and started looking for them in that lot.
“I want the red princess band”, she said, looking for that shape among the bands.
“I have to show it to Ms.G. “, she says
“Ms G will not allow that Richa”, I said
“Remember Mama, we showed the unicorn silly band yesterday”, she said
“That was yesterday, today she is not going to like it. It is dangerous.”, I tried to convince her.
“But, Neha said it is OK”, she said
‘You are not giving me one , you are not giving me many, you are not giving me any, and I want my bands”, she cried getting loud. (Wow! she’s speaking all this..I thought)
“I like Neha, she is tall, she is the Mommy”, she continued.
“She is tall?!!”, I looked puzzled. Anything to have a convenient Mommy, uh!
“Yes, she is tall and she is my Mommy. I am mad of you”…she continued.
“Ok then, I cannot give you your toasty bread since I am not the Mommy and you are refusing to brush your teeth”..I said, hoping she would fall for the threat. (She had already asked for toasty bread, her favorite food recently)..
“Then,..I will brush my teeth”, she agreed letting me brush her teeth.
That was the end of needing Neha Mommy for the day.