Whenever I’m out there in public with Mantam in tow, I always manage to grab eyeballs and gazes which easily interpret themselves on the lines of ‘Awww, wow, how cute, how nice to have twins’ and all that jazz.
But in practicality, it is not as cute as it appears to be to have twins.
During their first year of birth, before I could leave a sigh after quenching one of their hunger pangs, I would have another pair of hungry eyes looking expectantly at me. When I would massage one of ’em and then give her bath, bring back and smear lotion all over, comb hair, put on dress, feed her and put her in the cradle, I knew it was no time to relax, but to get the butt moving for another round of the series of events. When both of them would be hungry at the same time and I would have nobody close to aid, I was amazed by my own skills to position my hands in a ‘double decker’ arrangement with one lying in lap, other lying on my left hand, right hand gripping feeding bottle to the one at the top and fingers of left hand balancing the other bottle. I guess, I looked funnily cute then 😀
As they grew up, when they would A.L.W.A.Y.S want something that had a singular presence, I swear I did not find it cute! If one was sick, I had to administer medicine to both (I had to tactfully con the healthy one a capful of water) There was a packet of diapers that we bought with pictures of animals on it. I picked a rabbit and a dog before taking them to bed. Both were smitten by rabbit and dog lay smug unable to impress my lads. Mannu snatched the rabbit diaper from my hand and threw tantrums to let go of it. I tried convincing Tammu listing all good things about a dog! How faithful it is, how it eats chicken and rabbit only eats carrots. I was successful as she was smitten by the DOG at the end of 10 mins of coaxing from me. But hey, I’m a mom of twins, I am not destined to preen so easily. I could hear a sobbing Mannu – ‘Mamma, I want dog! I don’t want rabbit. I hate carrots’. I vowed not to buy that brand of diapers again!!!
I wish I could leave a message to all those sales promotion guys to drop two pamphlets at our door. For I have reached the saturation point in making justice over the ownership of single pamphlet. Sample this:Tammu grabs hold of it. Mannu says – “Mamma, I want it”. Coolly I say – “You ask Tammu politely to give it to you.”. Mannu – “Ta, Dao” (Ta – Mannu calls Tammu as Ta. Dao in Bengali means Give) Tammu plainly ignores. Mannu – “Mamma, Ta amake diya nahi” (Ta didn’t give it to me) Me – “You didn’t ask politely. Say please and pyaar se poocho” Mannu – “Ta… Please Dao” and rubs her palm on Tammu’s cheeks Again Tammu is indifferent and moves away Mannu – “Mamma. Please bola. Phir bhi nahi diya” Me warns Tammu: “Tammu, next time when you ask Mannu to give you something, expect the same from her” Scared, Tammu gives it to Mannu. Within nano seconds: Tammu: “Mannu… Please Dao” Mannu looks at me helplessly, I’m even more helpless. Tammu: “Mamma. Please bola. Phir bhi nahi diya” and the infinite iterations continue till a frustrated me tears the pamphlet into two and gives each one a half.
Next time when you meet me, if you notice the lack or absence of hair on my head, please don’t ask me the reason.
Although they are double the trouble, they undoubtedly are double the joy.
When I am down with a head ache, I have both of them sitting besides me like hawks and massaging my forehead. When I let out an ‘Ouch’ after some minor accident in the kitchen, I have not one but two souls running to check if I’m alright. Both pairs of eyes are welled up with tears, four arms opened wide to embrace me to make me feel better. Times when I am gloomy, lost in thoughts and not responding well to their never-ending questions, I can’t resist being rejuvenated when I simultaneously hear two sentences – ‘Mamma, please happy ho jao’ and ‘Ami Mamma ke koto big much love you korbo’.
These days, Tammu approaches Mannu when she is not finding her eraser or book. Mannu reassures her “Wait Ta… Ami Dhoond-bo” (I’ll search) and rummages nooks and corners of the house just to uplift her sister’s mood. Yes, that certainly is cute!
When a certain someone gives a chocolate to Tammu and she takes it in her right palm and presents her left palm and asks one more for Mannu… that isn’t her greed, but unconditional love for her sis.
When Tammu is pretending to be sick trying to trick me into carrying her, I have an age-old solid excuse to not give in to her demand. I confidently say – “I can’t carry you coz Mannu will be sad then.” This worked for almost 3 years only till that day when Mannu said “Mamma. You can lift Tammu. I will be happy. I promise”. I dreaded to let the realization of them having grown up sink in but yes, the cuteness was undeniable.