Monday, 1 September 2014

Drama mama

"Ma angry. That is not nice."

The brat winsomely pokes her index finger into a nostril and offers it for my inspection after an exploratory journey within her nasal passages. 

I am sitting with K on my lap and engrossed in some work. Irritated at not receiving attention, she slaps me. I glare at her without saying anything. She begins humming nonchalantly and patting me (pretending that was what she was doing all along) while grinning like a particularly mischievous monkey.
We are at "Nani house" and I am trying to explain to K how nani is my ma, just like I am her ma. I put my head in nani's lap. She pushes nani away. Nani tries to explain that she loves both of us. I try the same. K is having none of it. She slaps herself on her knee; yells "CHOT" and tries to force a few tears out. 

The thing with K is that she has been able to cry tears from the day she was born. (Till that time, I had no idea that babies didn't actually cry till fairly late in the day.) Thanks to her over-developed tear glands, anyone not familiar with this, who has ever seen her cry thinks she is being traumatised brutally and I am a terrible parent. This was in play, even as a two-day-old, when she landed up in the neo-natal ICU under photo therapy lamps, thanks to a bout with infantile jaundice.

The nurses there, all fairly experienced in handling newborns and premature babies, would say to me, "Ma'am your baby has the loudest cry in the entire NICU. Please come a little before your feed is due. Poor thing cries so hard, she has tears running down her face."

Full marks for survival instinct. Extra marks for emotional blackmail. Even Dadi who is fairly inured to K by this point, melts when the poppet sheds a few tears. "Beta, zaar-zaar ro rahi hai. Kya hua?"

"Nothing mamma. I refused to let her have my specs."

So the struggle to raise a child who is somewhat un-spoilt, continues amidst much drama. I think she secretly practices twee faces in the mirror. There was the down-turned mouth just before she cried as a baby. There is the wrinkled nose with wide grin and upturned face now. And the "Peeese?" (Please) that she has mastered. Please note that "sorry" has not been included in the vocabulary despite much drilling.

The effect is pretty impressive when she unleashes her current arsenal on an unsuspecting audience. Everything from offering a favourite toy to force-feeding people (you know she is a typical Punjab-UP product in this respect) to shyly putting her head in my lap and blowing kisses... Come by some day and you'll see what I'm talking about :)

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