Yesterday evening when I went to pick kids from the day care, Mannu came running to me and said that she cried today. Even before I could ask her what made her cry, Tammu came hopping and jumping and told me with a wide grin ‘Mamma, Aaj amar uncle ke ghar jaabo’ (I will go to uncle’s home today). Uncle is one of the admins there and they are both fond of him. Mannu immediately blurted out – ‘Amar isiliye cry korechi. Taa uncle ke saath chala jabo’.(That’s why I cried Mamma. Taa will go along with uncle) I consoled Mannu saying ‘Let me talk to Tammu’. I told her ‘Tammu, we are going to the dance class today’. She replied ‘Okay, amake uncle dance class mein chod debo’ (Okay, uncle will drop me at the dance class) By this time, Mannu was cranky and said ‘Amar sad hoye jabo…’ almost ready for a second round of shedding tears. I told Mannu – ‘Why will you be sad? Anyway you both fight for all things at home. Now, you will be alone and don’t have to fight. Whatever we will bring home will only be yours.’ Tammu declares without further delay – ‘Amake uncle shaaabbb kine debo’ (Uncle will buy everything for me). By now, the uncle started giggling and I was trying hard to remember if we scolded Tammu too rudely last time, did we hurt her in some way, did she think we did not love her, why did she not want to come home, yada yada yada… million thoughts parsed my mind in nano seconds. I decided to play along and see how it goes. I stepped out with Mannu and put on her shoes. Tammu waved at us happily from inside. When her caretaker (CT) told her to go as Mamma was leaving, she said that it was fine as she was anyway going to uncle’s home. I went to the lift and tried to look at her from the corner of my eye and she was least bothered to see if we had left. By the time we could get into the lift, the Uncle, CT and Tammu had come out and were locking the main door to leave. Tammu held uncle’s hand. We entered the lift together and her hand tightly clutched uncle’s. I tried to act cool. When we came out and headed towards the street, Tammu asked uncle pointing to one of the scooters parked, ‘Uncle, ye aapka scooter hai?’ Finally I gave up as she was not even giving me a glance. I said ‘Tammu, you come with me today. We’ll go to dance class. You can go to uncle’s house some other day’. She looked at uncle. He said ‘Yes Tamanna. I have some other work today. I’ll take you some other day.’ She nodded at him, came to me and held my hand. As we waved to uncle and walked towards the dance class, I asked her ‘Tammu, if you had gone with uncle we would have been sad and would have cried for you’. Guess what was her reply? ‘Amar to Shim-paa-lee bola’ (I told shim-paa-lee meaning simply) and her face sported a mischievous look and a wide grin.
On the way back home in auto, she suddenly came and sat in my lap. I asked her ‘See, what if you wanted to sit in Mamma’s lap after going to uncle’s house? You would not have been able to reach Mamma.’ She said ‘Arey Mamma, amake to pata hai kaise ghar jaana hai. Auto mein ‘dead-end-left’* bolna hai’. (I know how to go home. I need to say in the auto ‘dead-end-left’) I didn’t know what to say to her!!!
Back home I asked her a couple of times why she didn’t want to come home? And each time she replied that she told shim-paa-lee *rolls eyes* I dunno what to make of this? Is she really that grown up to play around with our emotions to see our reaction? Is she that mature to know that she would be questioned about her action and to avoid any confrontation, she thought she would get away with it by uttering the word ‘shim-paa-lee’? Am I over reacting and thinking too much about it? I am totally confused… Help please…
*Dead-end-left – Everyday after saying our area’s name to auto driver, I say dead end left.