Every year as we approach your birthday, the only thought that crosses my mind first is the speed at which time flies. Eight years ago Baba and I were dying to meet you both. Baba would say ‘Seemu, it’s been a very long wait. Pop them out soon na?’ The day I was to get admitted to the hospital, I was the curious cat who woke up before everyone else (both of you made sure I slept scantily anyway) and packed my bags and waited for others to get ready. I just couldn’t wait any longer to hold you both (well, to be honest I was tired of carrying my humongous bump around too, but that’s not the point :-P) Baba and I had no clue how we were going to manage raising you both, but I think you made the job a lot easier for us. It was as if we had some kind of a magical connection between us that works even today. We often get sympathised by people as to how difficult it would have been in the initial years. Yes it sure was double the effort and time, but you both made our lives much easier as there has never been an instance when both of you cried at the same time. When one of you would be cranky the other went quiet and watched the parents’ anguish with patience and made sure their twin is calm before they took turn to wail 😀
In the last one year, many things have changed. Both of you have taken a great penchant to reading books. And it’s like a dream come true to me who always wanted her kids to love books. But there is Baba who never reads and prefers watching movies rather. You get sucked into lazing in front of the Idiot box more often than not. You both are the biggest fans of bollywood and must have seen record number of Hindi movies in the last one year. From Amar Akbar Anthony, Maine Pyaar Kiya, DDLJ, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai to the latest flicks, you simply love them. You displayed your interest in music and we got you enrolled to learn one instrument each. You both are growing in height far too rapidly that Baba and I drop our jaws frequently when the clothes or shoes bought just a couple of months ago don’t fit you anymore. You both have matured so much. The way you both keenly notice the clothes Baba and I wear and compliment or criticize us, the way you both come running to check on us if we let out a small “Ouch”, the way you sometimes give our necks and shoulders a lovely massage with those tiny finger and palms, the way you admonish me when I don’t listen to Baba, the way you take my side if Baba raises his voice, you both have filled our lives with so much love and made every moment of it worth living.
You are still the go to person when something is missing in the house. You work better than the phone reminder and hence we always feed the tasks or shopping list in your head and we are sure to be nagged till the task is ticked off. You act like an adult 99% of the time and the seldom time that you actually act your age, it gets hard for us to take it. I am the one who gets angry when you act kiddish but thank god for Baba, he promptly brings my wrath down by a quick reality check. You are always aware of what’s going on in the house, even if Baba and I are just having a conversation between us. Many times Tammu feels left out and thinks that we tell everything to you, but in reality you either involve yourself in the conversations or you are just cognizant of things around you. Your presence of mind leaves us awestruck all the time. It’s hard to put in words what I mean by that. Whether it’s holding the door if our hands are full or stacking the heavier items in the shopping back first and then the lighter ones on top, switching on the light as soon as you enter the house and things like these that we never taught you but you just learn by observing adults. I have repeated it a million times already on the blog but you are so similar to me Mannu. There are some traits of me that I would rather get rid of, but when I see you displaying them I feel awful about myself! If you fix your mind on something, you would go to any length to acquire it or get it done. It sure is a positive characteristic but it does become a bane due to situational constraints. But the way our brain is wired makes it hard to accept restrictions and I relate to your stubbornness. My dear, I have tried to change myself to be considerate and flexible in impractical situations and accommodate uncertainties and I hope you do too!
Although you love reading books, colouring, crafts, cleaning and other activities, you are at a stage where given a choice you would rather watch TV or iPad. You know it very well how much I despise this habit of yours. But then I recall my childhood and a phase during which I used to be glued to the telly watching movies and serials back to back. And I did outgrow of the addiction and I keep my fingers crossed that you do too (pretty soon please) You are good at Maths and making steady progress in English ever since you started reading more. You are the best helper anyone could get as you put your heart in everything you do. Be it shopping, cleaning the car, your room, folding the laundry, your skills are unmatched. I am not surprised at all to see you inherit the sarcastic tongue of my paternal family. I chuckle at your sarcasm and clever wit secretly you know?
When we enrolled you to the music classes, Tammu chose Keyboard and you chose drums. We already had a keyboard at home which was unused till then. When Tammu started showing us the lessons she had learnt and we appreciated her, you would feel very low. There was no way you could show us the way you played drums. A couple of times you cried and you demanded us to buy you a drum set (which by the way was the first time when you threw a tantrum to buy something) In spite of the cost, even if we would have bought it, there was no ample space to keep it at our home. Finally I sat you down and talked to you honestly that we could not buy it and that you had to work a way around it somehow. I felt bad to have denied it to you Mann but I think you understood. The following day, you took a couple of empty containers of different sizes and placed them on the table, took a small dustbin and placed it on the floor near the table, took two big pencils and drummed away like a pro kicking the dustbin pedal for good measure. Baba and I couldn’t have been more proud of you 😀 Your own made up music was selected in the contest you had recently too.
You are still the innocent child of the house. You keep all of us entertained with your comic dialogues and expressions. Your way of speaking in minion language is the funnier than the minions themselves 😀 Despite having the humour streak in you, you have an equally dominating emotional side to your persona. The way you are attached to your dolls, the way you still miss Bulu (our car in India), the way you tell me not to feel sad for my parents and that you will go to them once you grow up and bring them to me, we feel so touched Tammu. You have improved your drawing skills immensely in the recent past, you love playing your keyboard, you even give us a nice massage when we need it. You are still the slowest eater ever and I have to keep nagging you to eat your breakfast quickly during the weekday morning rush. The funniest part about it is that you frankly told me “Mumma, when I grow up and have kids, I think that my kids will get late to school because of me”.
Your personality is bundle of contradictions. Although we think that you are very innocent, you mature self gets surfaced only when we are watching a bollywood movie together. I dunno how but you seem to predict everything so accurately. Your memory fails you all the time except for when we are discussing any movie’s story, scenes, actors or dialogues. The one who sometimes shoves her head into her pants and slides her legs into a Tee but on the contrary remembers every little detail of a movie watched couple of years ago. While you are capable of beating a snail’s pace at eating your food, you polish your plate sparkling clean when Biryani is on the menu. While your attention span is less than that of a goldfish at mostly everything, you are a natural at spelling words. There has been hardly an instance when you have got a word or two wrong in your spelling tests. This year you joined the school Dance group and will be performing at the Dance festival soon.
Tammu, you know the most irritating habit of yours these days? You always say ‘No’ when you are asked to try a new thing. When we pester you to give it a chance, you resist with all your might. I give up but Baba forces you till you reluctantly give in. And soon to everyone’s surprise, you become a convert. Baba tells me that he knows you inside out and that’s the only way to get you habituated to new habits. Baba and you have these silly skirmishes all the time especially coz you are averse to Baba’s kisses. Serves him right, I say, as he too reacts in the same strange way when I smother him with kisses 😀 Baba gets green with envy when you cosily snuggle with me and relish my cuddle.
We are in a major phase of life where we are building a home for ourselves. We enjoy sharing our happiness with you and at the same time the financial stress that we face at times. But you girls have been so accommodating as always. You both voluntarily asked us not to have a party this year as we are already spending a lot on the house. We didn’t want to have a big celebration like last year, hence planned a simple gathering with only a few of your close friends. As your current obsession is Bollywood, there was no two thoughts about the theme for the birthday party. Hope you both have a memorable celebration this year too.
Lastly, as I always say, no matter what happens always remember that Mumma and Baba will always be there for you.