When the triplets had turned 9 this summer..Richa had asked me when was it going to be her birthday. Actually, she had put it better,
“How long for MY birthday, Mama?”
Hers was the only name not on the cake..during this summer birthday. Seemed so unfair. I had answered,
“6 months, Richa!”
She had exclaimed a disappointed “Ahwwww!” like she had any clue what 6 months meant. Even today when somebody asks her how old she is, she answers in the elaborate..
“I am 4 olds now and I will be 5 olds in Ja-nu-ary. In 6 months!”
I’ve heard this phrase called “The terrible 2s” but, seems like in case of Richa, the 2 is just extending seamlessly across all her years.
Of late she’s been troubling her Didis to her hearts content. She steals their pencils or erasers or just about anything they are working with and runs away, inviting them to a game of tag.
How else can she get the attention of these popular angels of our home. She hasn’t been accepted into the sorority of her sisters, yet! Frustrating enough. They seem to talk cool stuff, get to go in this big yellow school bus along with the rest of her friends, seem to know much more than she knows or comprehends!
She just wants to be there … at their level because the possibility of them toning down a little bit and talk stuff that sounds less gibberish to her..seems like a remote option.
She’s not the type who wants to give up, is she?! She’s up for the challenge. She makes up by showing them how agile she can be…
Just sneak up to them and flick their stuff and run around. They’ll be running behind her, the next second. She knows! Now , she has the whole troop behind her…chanting her name! Maybe bellowing sounds closer to the truth.
All of them running behind her..yelling
“Richa!! Richa!!! Richa!!!…give it back..!”
Sounding like music to her ears, her adrenaline getting a kick. The triplets, frustrated with this guerilla attack on them..have formed a union against her for such situations. They have realized the im-pon-tence (Richa’s version of ‘importance’) of this phrase
“United we stand..divided Richa rules!!”
One of them is available to shout out,
“Mama..Richa took our stuff!”
Another is running behind her to get it back..without hurting her, for if Richa even feels any molecule in her body move because Didi managed to get a tight hold of her..she would be ready with her version of a war cry which even includes some foot stomping, following which, her Didi would be in for a dose of Mama’s medicine.
So, that calls for some fine handling.
The third one is hiding all the other stuff from the table so Richa would not get her hands on them. After a full summer of dealing with this, day in and out, I’d only started to breath a little easy when I realize that the start of schools didn’t mean a stop to all this.
Now that the triplets had discovered Richa the Menace, they had started to keep their doors closed to her. They would lock the door of their room from inside and almost immediately, we have holler,
“Mama, Didis are never gone let me come into their room!!!”
Then, another one follows..this time from Mama,
“PNK!!!! What’s all this?! I said, no playing with the doors!!”
Immediately..the doors open and Didis are shouting
‘Mama, she is stealing our things!”
Now, it was time for Mama to find a place to hide…
As much as she has been troubling the living day lights of us…every thing she speaks is a delight to hear. The other day, as I was working, Richa comes to me and asks..
“Mama, Did Didis tell on me?”
“About what?!”, I ask
“That I had taken their legos and run away! Did they tell on me?”, she asks without even realizing that she is the one who is doing the TELLING on her!
“No, they didn’t say anything.., Why are you touching their stuff, Richa?!”, I ask, now that I’m aware of what she has been up to.
“Mama, Didis are never going to let me touch their city..their lego city”, she continues…
As much as she is enjoying being the shoe stealing puppy..she is very aware of all the talk around her .. She makes it a point to stop us point blank and clarify…her big doubts!
Hubby dear, who was on a call is heard saying..
“Ok Guys..I’m going to drop off now!”
“Drop off! What are you going to drop Papa?!”, she asks immediately. Or, another time…
“Mama, what is opposite..why did you say opposite?”
Which wasn’t as difficult to explain as when she asked..
“Mama, Why do you say internet?! What is internet?!”
She had just eavesdropped on a conversation that Papa and me were having.
“Richa, its another planet. It has lots of stuff called information in it and I can get that information on to my computer through these wires..”,
I say, suddenly caught unawares, unable to use words like networks, communication and sharing, emails etc. I suddenly realized as I blurted out what had come to mind…I really wouldn’t have been able to define it if the triplets had asked me either.
They know better now..they find it easier to “Google” than to find out what a dumb a-- Mama is!!
Sometimes its confusing to understand the kids of this generation. How much information is too much for them, you wonder?
Thinking again, I don’t think anything is too much for these kids now-a-days. I tell you, you start explaining to them the concepts of networking and trust me they will get it, much better than you did the first time! I have that confidence. Then, I wonder, why I hold back…
Sometimes she reminds me…as if telling me
”Make no mistake of my innocence, mama!”
Like the time I told her…that bugs will start to make their homes in her hair, if she keeps refusing to wash her hair…and she replies, saying,
“You’re funny Mama!”
The other day, after we came back from school, I tried to find out from her if she had in fact eaten her lunch or thrown it in the garbage.
I was sure she would’ve have finished the yogurt because, that’s something she can live on and not want anything else. But, I still went on..
“Richa, are you sure you finished your yogurt?!”
“Yes..Mama, I did!”
“I will talk to Ms. J and find out if you really did”, I said, intently watching her for her reaction..Waiting for her to say…”Fine! I threw a little bit, Ok!”. Instead, she answered.
“Did you finish your jelly sandwich?!”
“How much did you throw in the garbage?”
As she searched for the right words…I was already glowing inside..thinking..
“Ahh there! I caught you baby!!!”
“Nothing!…I placed the two slices of bread on each other and then..I ate it all up, like this!”, she answered, acting out the whole episode!
“Ok, let me check you tummy and see if I can feel the 2 slices of bread”, I say.
I just pressed a little bit here and a little bit there on her tummy…and acted like I am touching something and said..
“Here! I can surely feel one slice of bread here!”,
“But, where’s the other slice?!”, I asked..
“Really!!!, You can feel the bread in my tummy?!”, she asks, her eyes popping out, totally believing me..Astonished, that one can do that.
She then..stops walking and spends some time feeling her tummy for a while and says..
“Ma…that’s 2 slices of bread! I can touch 2 slices of bread!”, she said with a sly smile that she couldn’t help hiding, totally catching me of guard and letting me know.. “It was me who was taking you for a ride all this while, missy!!”
Recently, she had her hit with a harsh reality called HOMEWORK! That she is liable to learn stuff forcefully too!!!
She has been getting a few minutes of Music and Dance lessons from the triplets Guru and suddenly she finds herself in midst of something that she had not signed up for!! HOMEWORK!
She was supposed to memorize the Dadra Taal. A taal constituting of 6 beats (A measure of 3 beats!) with the finger movements. The simplest of all taals. Somehow, this didn’t come across to her as a fun activity. You see, It came to her in the form of HOMEWORK!
Wasn’t HOMEWORK..something only Didis were supposed to do?! She never had to do this before..She was just meant to do fun stuff, where she got to decide what she was in the mood for.
There was another insider information she knew about HOMEWORKS! Mama or Papa would eventually need to check it, sometimes with..some soft words, and other times, with some more softer words…not soft enough to mean they were fun..She knew that.
She’s now liable for all this?!!
When did life take this weird turn?! The consequence of approaching her 5th birthday in another 4 months now, I remind her.
Why don’t birthdays feel enticing anymore?! I could hear her insides scream. Same shoes that I find myself too Richa, I commiserate with her mentally.
She has suddenly understood the importance of remaining a small kid…
“Mama, I’m a baby still, you know!”, she reminds me. Already fearing a backlash, she adds,
“Fine!!! I’m not a baby, right, I’m bigger but, still a tiny kid!”, she says, trying to defend her stand, for not being subjected to any homework!
Sitting with me…as I’m trying to teach her this sequence of 6 funny words, to be repeated in a pattern, and she stares at me and says..
“I don’t know how to say that Mama”
She has learnt it early enough..agreeing to do some homework today, will be like asking for more, tomorrow!
Here I am…with my hands on my head, trying to hold on to whatever sanity is left while some more seeps away, well aware, that this girl will soon be doing all these things expected of her…Only, the road to getting there, doesn’t seem like an easy one. And, I wonder..why everybody asks me..
“Triplets!!! How did you take care of them?”
Weren’t they the easiest, I wonder.