Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Richa, Don’t come!


It had been a summer afternoon. All of us had had a sumptuous lunch of starch!..It had shown itself in so many forms and we had jumped at it hungrily and consumed it greedily. The kids had laden themselves with Idlis, White Rice and Papad, while, we grown ups, the Moms, Dads, Grandmas and Granddads, had not only loaded ourselves with those yummy Idlis..we had also added some Kheer and Upma made of Starch..( Yes! did it remind you of those starch balls called “Sabu Dana”). Right, we had ravenously eaten copious shares of those yummy appetizer and dessert too, apart from the starch and fat ridden main course.

It reminds me of this “Calvin and Hobbes” strip.


So, maybe, it wasn’t a healthy menu but, it was a tasty one. And we had gulped as much as we could of that heavenly food. So what, if it had made my kids get a bountiful load of empty calories. So what, if it had made them so hyper and us so full and sleepy. Remember, Kumbakarna and his six months of sleep pattern. Right! we were ready for that after that meal. The triplets were about 3 years old then. Usually, when driven around in the vehicle, they used to fall asleep. But, not today. Not after this meal.

We had returned home carrying those heavily burdened bellies, first perching them on our lap as we sat in our vehicle and then, letting it hang as we got off the vehicle and managed to get the kids to their rooms. We had even helped the grand parents to their respective nap spots. Then, we had asked each of the triplets to get into their toddler beds and have a nap because, we grown ups needed very badly to have one too.  They looked at us so meekly, giving that innocent “cooochy…pooochy” looks and almost making us feel guilty that the thought of keeping a watch on them, had even crossed our minds. 

Richa was no where in the picture then.  We went and lay in our room. At that time it was just “Mama and Papa’s” room. As we dozed off into sleep we could hear the ruckus happening in the other room through the intercom.

There were excited shreaks and loud noises. The kids were obviously hyper. They were not going to sleep now. So, we let them continue their play, but when the noise got louder, we had to stop it..I went to their room and what did I find..all the walls were colored with crayons…Only K’s spot was clean. N had put layer after layer of crayons on the wall adjoining her bed and P had done the same at her spot.

That was it…I got so mad that, after that day..I loaded the home with so many paper supplies that the kids never looked towards the wall again. They had easels, and boards and art paper and doodlers and drawing books and coloring books that, if they desired to scribble for the whole year non-stop, they could find paper to do so..

It had taken us 2 coats of the strongest primer available in the market to hide those crayon marks. I had done that for their fifth birthday. I had gotten them pink walls.  (They had almost been free to add more crayon marks where they had and I wouldn’t be able to find out). 

All this availability of paper had gotten them into this habit of putting everything in their mind onto paper, either through drawings or writing. Now,  this started a new trend at home..The need to stick these pieces of art and literature on to the walls. When the walls were zoned off from sticking stuff on it, the doors became their next target.

Fast forwarding a few years..Richa was born and is 4 today. Today also, the triplets continue to be the same. RIcha has also joined them in this effort. Actually, she had taken it a step further and let us know she belongs to the current generation. She prefers typing on a word editor!!

Her Didi’s still scribble their thoughts or their art on to paper and put it on their door  for everybody’s display. Sometimes..there are seasons greetings for thanksgiving, Christmas or just paper cuttings of snow flakes itself. Other times, there are instructions for their family and friends telling how to behave once they enter their room..A few weeks back it was this:


That’s the sign that was posted on the triplets door..It had been there for some time now. Suddenly, Richa notices that it was her name indeed on that paper all this time! No wonder, it had looked so beautiful. Her name written so big that it almost felt like a decoration for the door. She felt so proud of it.  She brings that sheet and sticks it on the door that belongs to HER!   Its the room she calls..”Mama, Papa and Richa’s” room.

From the day she was conceived, it had ceased to be “Mama and Papa’s” room. It had become her room. Mama and Papa have no choice but to accept that it was “Mama, Papa and Richa’s” room. If Mama and Papa were cruel enough to omit her name along with the room’s, she would be kind enough to attach it. She would very politely add “and Richa’s room”. Even if a slightest suggestion was on the table that the room just belonged to “Mama and Papa”, there would be an uproar which Mama nor Papa would be able to calm. 

Trying to get her to accept Didi’s room as hers, Mama and Papa, have even put her to sleep in Didi’s bed every night, but, there is a bed bug or a nightmare hidden in that room, that has taken Mama and Papa to task on this. It always wakes up Richa, in the night and lets her know…she is not on her own bed. She sincerely thanks the bug for reminding her every night, before she comes back to the bed she should be sharing with Mama.

She didn’t care that her Didis had put up this sign that says “Richa, Don’t come in” on their door during moments of despair when she wrecks their stuff. Who cares if anything is even written after the word “Richa”. The most important word that ever matters to her is “Richa” and its on that paper. It was written so boldly, almost adding a world of beauty to that paper in a jiffy.

Even if told verbally that she  is not allowed to enter their room, she never recognized nor understood those curfew conditions. All these things hardly mean anything to her. She believes in what she knows.  That she lives in “Mama, Papa and Richa’s” room and she also almost lives in “Didi’s” room. She frequents the room just as she pleases and stop them from clearing the room, when they try to so, she could continue to be at the table where she is coloring or on the bed where she is lying and watching TV or reading a book.

I can imagine if the same was written for P, N or K. There would be clashes between the three, that would take us ages in Mom years, to resolve. Dare if Papa put up such a sign for Mama.. Can you imagine the Battle of Kurukshetra erupting from the flames of that sign? Now that Richa has planted the message herself on the door..How many more Mom Years is it going to take to convince her of the MMMAATTER on the sheet?! Any guesses?  :D :D :D :D :D


P.S. As much as I portray this as a problem..there is nothing more beautiful for me than to give that comfort of protection to my kids while they sleep. If I just kept the privacy, the inconveniences,  and all the other matters the world makes such a big deal of, aside, I love to share my bed with my kids infinitely.

At least, it makes me aware, which kid of mine grinds her teeth or kicks me out of bed, or turns around 180* in bed with her covers everywhere except on herself or, talks in her sleep. I will also be able to know what’s going on in that little head of theirs while they mutter in their sleep.  And when they cry out, scared by a bad dream, or a loud thunder..I would be able to give them a tight hug so they could relax and fall back to sleep.

Keeping this in mind..we had bought this huge king sized bed so all of us could fit into it sometimes but, who knew, kids grew up so fast or beds get smaller by the day, or Mama and Papa also add to their size by the day! :D , or that, we would have Richa to add to the number, one day.

Love you so much my babies!


Bhagyashree said...

Lovely post. My kid refuses to leave our bed and what more refuses to even eat by himself. I do get angry but then feel that very soon this phase too will pass and then I will be left with only memories

Ramaa said...

I agree.I like it when Sumi sleeps in our bed.But with the arrival of the little one, she has adjusted to sleep in her own bed as long as its in our room next to ours. ;-)

As your friend puts it, this phase will soon pass away and I will miss it then.

Rachna said...

It is harder for the younger one to move out. We first shifted him to the mattress in the same room, and then at approximately the same age at Siddharth, he moved out to his own room. Phew, I am happy to have my privacy back. Now, I am teaching them how to knock before entering our room. The worst part about kids sharing the bed is that they kick so much. That used to get my goat!

Gayatri said...

Hi Bhagyashree..I so love to have Richa sleep beside me. Actually, I find those kicks so comforting. I turn my back to her and its a massage. But, because she sleeps with us..her sleeping pattern varies..its not steady like the triplets's is who always slept in their own room.

Then, I used to sleep with them..we had this low big bed set up for all three..and they used to fight who get to touch me. So, I slept sideways, that way all of them get to touch me with their feet.
eventually, in the night they used to kick me down the bed.
Then, I got fed up of falling down..I started sleeping on the floor beside their bed, so they felt comfortable. That was ok for them as long as I was in the room.
I used to wait for them to fall asleep and then, get up and comeback to my room. Mosttimes, I used to be so tired, I used to fall asleep before them. :-)
I so miss all that. They are big girls now.
Enjoy all this while it lasts. Later we only miss it.

Gayatri said...

Hi Ramaa, Sometimes, we let the triplets sleep with us in the king size bed. They were smaller then. But, after Richa came..even that stopped. I couldn't leave Richa and go and sleep with them. They got adjusted to this. Now, its Richa's turn to find her own spot. But, I'm happy with her sleeping with me..while it lasts. its so sweet to cuddle with them and they feel so comforting too. I love all those "I love you" kisses she gives me..and the sweet talk we do before she falls asleep. its beautiful.

Gayatri said...

Hi Rachna..if they got used to it easily and you needed the space..then good for you. Is it the boy thing? not sure but, when Richa kicks..its very soothing

Soon, I know she will herself want to be away in another room. I'm going to miss al this cuddling up then.

Venky (வெங்கி) said...

During sleep, getting kicks from babies and toddlers is far better than getting it from their makers. Its priceless, So enjoy every moment of it.