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Last single digit birthday!

Every year I open my letter on your birthday like a broken record quoting my favourite ‘time flies’. How very true when we remember the day you were born and realise how far we have come together in what seems like no time at all. In the initial few years of your lives, when our lives had become topsy turvy, I would always wonder when you will grow up! I couldn’t wait for your next milestone and wished if your growth could be fast forwarded in some way. I longed to enjoy the luxurious ‘Me’ time. Now I can have as much time for myself as I want, as you both have become so independent. But I sometimes do wish to go back to that phase where you were still dependent on me for the most basic of your needs (though I was the one who was in a rush to teach you those skills). I miss those innocent questions that were asked by the dozen, even if I would get annoyed at times. At times like these, I can’t pat my back enough for having started blogging and recorded those simple moments of joy along the years. No matter how many photos or videos we have collected, these snippets of conversations are much more precious as they bring the magical moment alive, which would have otherwise got long forgotten.

 

Mannu,

Like I always say, “What would I have done without you sweetheart?”. You are my Girl Friday. I could barely function if it were not for the assistant like you, who is blessed with so much care, love and responsible nature. You are a leader and always impose your own rules and/or orders on Tammu. As much as she enjoys you taking care of her, she detests your bossing her around even more. We keep talking to you to work on this, you have improved to an extent. But I can’t blame you in totality as Tammu does act kiddish all the time and you cannot handle it. You are an adult in a child body, aren’t you? Abbas and I absolutely admire your ‘never-say-never’ attitude. Tammu and you both joined Gymanstics class, Tammu was a natural due to her body structure and flexibility. It was an uphill task for you, but you refused to give up. We learnt heaps from you, dear, to step out of comfort zone and punch your scariest demon in the face, and with gusto. Atta girl!

Cleaning is something you are obsessed with and I can’t thank my stars enough (Abbas still thinks I have used some kind of black magic to brain wash you into this because we have hardly seen adults work with such precision) I remember the day when we went to our Tax Consultant’s office and it was extremely untidy. When we came out of there, without a moment lost, you commented “Mumma, how dirty was that uncle’s office. I was so tempted to clean it then and there” I was in stitches laughing at your craze for orderliness. You follow me like the proverbial Hutchison dog wherever I go. I declared that I would start going for walk over the weekends. You started setting alarm next to your bed so that you could accompany me, even better wake me up in case I bailed out in the morning. During our walk, you started picking rubbish strewn on the way. Your tiny little hands weren’t enough to hold the amount of rubbish we encountered. So we came up with a plan to carry a garbage bag along. You teach me to do a lot of good dear. I wish you never let go of your attitude towards life and care for people surrounding you.

 

Tammu,

 

My cute little baby, hope you always remain my teeny tiny bundle for life. While Mannu acts all mature and grown up, you are still holding on to innocence to a certain extent. You are a happy go lucky personality with a jovial persona. Your creativity never ceases to amaze us. The funny stories that you spin spontaneously, the hilarious expressions, weird poses you strike in front of mirror, the minion language that you speak… bring so much of zing to our lives. You care a damn about the worldly responsibilities and rever in your own beautiful dreamy space. Due to this nature of yours, you inevitably get to hear the lectures from us about how it is important to do your duties, take up responsibilities, yada yada yada. You try to adhere to the best of your ability. But the carefree soul in you takes over more often than not. Well, it’s not all that bad as I have realised that it is this very trait of yours that makes you forgive, forget and move on like a piece of cake. You hardly ever carry any baggage. So, be the same little nutcase that you are!

 

Your love for dolls and toys are still in tact. You really take care of Johnny like your own son. He is one fortunate doll, I tell ya! This year around Grandparents day at school, you cried because you have never seen your maternal grandparents. That was the day I felt so helpless and incapable of consoling you. Thank you for always cheering me saying you would go to Kundapur when you grow up to convince them to speak to me. You have been going to different classes but you don’t seem to keep your excitement for long. The only thing you have consistently kept at is writing and drawing. You wish to become an author and illustrator one day.

 

Sweethearts,

 

No matter which path you choose in your future, all I wish is for you to be great human beings. Always be kind, helpful and caring towards everyone that crosses your way. Remember to celebrate the simple joys of life as they go a long way than any material possessions. Never be afraid to take chances, as you would either end up with success or a lesson. There is nothing you will lose. Live, let live, be happy and spread happiness!

 

Love,

Mumma

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Eleven completed, forever to go

Dear Abbas,

Just another year passes by with the hope of my family accepting our union, and honestly the chances seem to be slimmer with each passing day. Sometimes, I tell you that I have given up but you rekindle the belief that they will come around one fine day. I dunno if we will have the much hyped ‘happily ever after’ with my family but today I want to rejoice the ‘happily-married-for-eleven-years’ moment.

Our relationship has grown so much. We both have transformed a lot shouldering responsibilities together, facing new challenges life hurled at us and most importantly by being parents to the two little fairies who we brought into this beautiful world. It has been one helluva journey, hasn’t it? As much as a fairy tale that it sounds, we have had our fair share of obstacles, downfalls, skirmishes and the not-so-nice moments. But they have only made us and our love for each other stronger.

The life in this country tests our patience at times. With no support whatsoever, the going gets tough. Both of us seek downtime and we hardly get any. Atleast I have a great deal of fun as I go to my company’s parties, go out for lunch with colleagues/friends, do things that I enjoy every now and then. But you have been working tirelessly without any rejuvenation. I wish you took some time off for yourself but you tell me that you would rather spend time with the three of us.

In the last one year, as my workouts saw the transition of going from seldom to almost non-existent, I became increasingly lethargic. Although I still do all the cooking, and the usual chores in the house, I do realize how I drag myself reluctantly to tick them off. Those were the days when I would be up at the break of dawn even during the weekends and by the time you and Mantam woke up, breakfast and tea would be at your service, But these days, not only am I sleeping in but also am waking up so late that you make tea and wait for me get my lazy butt off the bed and make breakfast for everyone. As a result the lunch and every other weekend chore gets delayed by domino effect. You always pitch in and help me to get my act together in every possible way that you can. I can’t thank you enough for supporting me even in my worst possible avatar. If this is not true love, I wonder what is?!

You have always been and still are the best at calming me down when I’m agitated, admonishing me when I lose my sensibility, correct me when I am at fault, praise me generously every so often that it makes me wonder what I have done to deserve you. You put me on a pedestal in front of Mantam and encourage them to appreciate all that I do for them. You are so proud of me and keep yapping away to all and sundry about every trivial of my achievements. I try my best to reciprocate all this but I think I still have a lot to improve on.

Thank you for being the kind of man that you are. I love the way you always make sure that you ask me before even making trifle commitments with friends/relatives. I feel so proud to have married a man who has no qualms about declaring that he will be able to confirm after checking with his wife. I feel at peace thinking of what a good example you are setting of being a lover/husband and a father. Mantam would clearly know what qualities they must look for in their life partner.

Marrying you was the best decision of my life and I consider myself fortunate to be your wife. Here’s to many more years of nagging, annoying and of course doing what we know best, loving each other!

Forever yours,

Seemu

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Day 19 | 10th Anniversary

The anniversary was way back in May 2016

Abbas and I celebrated the milestone anniversary by taking the day off work, dropping the kids off to school in the morning and setting off to spend some time together. First stop was Sydney Heliport from where we took our first ever helicopter ride that took us over the beautiful city of Sydney. I for one, fell in love with this gorgeous city all over again. We were overwhelmed by the experience and the sight of the various scenic spots from such an altitude. Fortunately for us the weather was in our favour that day. From there we moved to our next stop which was Sydney Tower, the tallest building in the city. We went to have a delicious lunch buffet at the revolving restaurant which again offered the 360 degree view of the city. We headed back to pick Mantam from their school and drove to Palm beach. Known for its golden sand, the beach was amazing! We spent good quality time as a family, cut the cake with our darling daughters, waited for the sun to set and returned home. We celebrated with a home made biryani before calling it a day.

Here are the pics:

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Posted by on January 19, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Announcement Time

Digressing from the travel series, I have a big news to share. It is probably too early to announce at this point in time but I am extremely excited and want to record it for posterity. We are going to get a house built for ourselves to call it our own home. We have signed the deal with a land developer and a builder. The entire process of getting the land registered and building construction getting completed will take at least a year. But at the end of it, we will be able to move into our own place. It is a huge deal for us and a dream that we have been nurturing for the longest time.

Abbas and I have always lived in a flat and once we moved out of Kolkata we were always in a rented one. Due to several circumstances we were never able to invest in a property. It took me a very long time to convince Abbas to enter into a mortgage. He is too psyched by all the jobs getting redundant around us in Sydney. But my funda is, even if you are not paying mortgage you would still have to work to pay your rent because you would certainly be living under a roof. After a lot of discussions, arguments, coaxing, pestering and nagging, he had to finally give in.

Once we had decided that we would buy a property, then came the confusion of whether to go for a unit (flat in Aussie lingo) or home and should we go for a new one or old? All of us wanted a home so getting a unit was ruled out in the initial stage itself. We were happy to go for an already built house if we could get one close to the area that we currently live in. We simply love it. But no house around this area costs less than a million and completely out of our budget. We had to move out of this suburb which brought us to think that if we had to move out of this area anyway, then let’s buy a land and get a house built as per our liking. Most of the new suburbs where block of lands are being released are far away from the city. My only criteria were that there should be a train station and it should not take more than an hour to reach the Sydney CBD. Luckily this place has a station and it takes 55 mins from there to CBD and Abbas should take about 15-20 mins to drive to his workplace from there.

It was a stressful last one month. We had been saving money the entire last year but we spent a lot of money on the trip. When we returned we had about 5% of property value in our account. We had to save another 5% to seal the deal. We always keep Mantam aware of the situation without sugar coating anything. They too could sense that Mom and Dad were struggling to arrange the money for deposit. Tammu comes up to us “Mumma Baba, we understand that we are now meant to spend only what is required. We will live the same way that we did when you both were looking for jobs!” Mannu, whose fav place to visit is Kmart with Abbas every single week and buy some trifle things for a dollar or two, says “Baba Mumma, let’s stop going to Kmart. If we go there, we’ll buy. It’s better we don’t go”. We have always been proud of them for being so understanding.

Luckily we did a split contract and didn’t have to pay the entire 10% together. We got some time on hand and things worked out in our stride. Now that the money matters are very much in control, the next step would be different appointments to select so many things around the house like colour, bricks, tiles, walls, kitchen, electrical details etc etc. We are already confused with so many options available but equally excited with the whole process. It makes us feel that we have taken the right decision. Most of our acquaintances say that they took 5-6 months to finalise on what they wanted by going around different suburbs every weekend and doing a lot of research. But Abbas and I took the decision within a day or two. That’s how we have always been. I think we are the living examples of what Ratan Tata said “I don’t believe in taking the right decision. I believe in making the decision that I took right”

The day we signed the contract, we went out for dinner to our favourite restaurant and had our favourite dishes. When we came out and walked towards Black Beauty (our car) there was such amazing and soothing cold breeze that we just stood out there and enjoyed the nature’s celebration of our happiness. Tammu started feeling cold and she suggested sitting in the car with the windows open. We sat in the car, opened the windows and the sun roof, played some favourite songs, stretched our seats backwards, gazed at the stars in the sky for quite some time. It was so beautiful. The music player sang “Gun gunaati hai yeh hawaayein, muskuraata hai gagan, gaa raha hai ye saara aalam, zoobi dooooo paa ram pum” 😀

 

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Mantam’s 7th Birthday Party

As mentioned in this post, we had plans of celebrating Mantam’s birthday this year with pomp and show J First item to tick off in the list of preparations was choosing the theme. We were confused as Mantam had both boys and girls coming to the party. The theme had to be gender neutral and something that all kids must equally enjoy. After a lot of brainstorming, we finalized “Magic” as the theme as Mantam had developed a sudden interest in Magic at that point in time. After theme selection, planning other things around it becomes easier. We booked a party hall as our flat is too small to entertain people. We I decided that the colours we would play with would be Black, White and Red. I searched for free printable invites but did not find any. I found an idea of Bunny-in-a-Magic-Hat invitation on Pinterest. We took it up as a small project work and made around 28 cards by cutting, pasting and writing each one of them.

Mantam had made a list of friends they wanted to invite. Since they were both in separate classes and also had a few common friends from the after school care, the number of invitees came up to 28. They handed out the invitations to their guests and I waited for the kids’ parents to RSVP. Out of 28, we got confirmation from 19 kids. We went to a store called Discount Party Warehouse and bought all the party essentials like balloons, party popper, table covers, cutleries, tissues, hats, blowouts, birthday banner etc. I looked for magic wands high and low to hand out to kids as soon as they entered the hall. But the ones that I found costed 5$ each and we didn’t want to spend so much on giving it to all the kids. I didn’t want to buy just for the birthday girls as that might dishearten the other kids. We left it at that.

For return gifts, I searched so many websites which offered theme based items. But this theme not being very popular had very few options and I was dilly dallying on whether to order or not. Just then on one random visit to K-mart we found Magic Kits for kids which had lots of magic tricks and accessories along with the magic wand. That was the perfect bet for us. We bought 20 of them. After return gifts, the biggest headache was what food to serve and where to order from. Since this was our first time hosting a party here, we were a bit confused. We decided that we would keep it simple and make it at home. Our close friends were to come over the previous day to lend us a hand. This made me increase the level of complexity and plan for more items.

Me being me, am used to overloading my plate to the brim. I also took the responsibility of making the cake and cupcakes. I wanted to make a magic hat with bunny cake to match the invitation. I made it using fondant. Since it was my first time experience with fondant, the end result was not well polished. There were cracks and to hide them I piped some white butter cream with some unusual designs. I made bunny cupcakes to go with the theme. (The bunnies looked more like baby pigs to me :-P) I pinged my dear friend in Bangalore who is an author with the list of items that we planned to serve. I asked her to add some suffix to each of them to make it sound magical. She did a wonderful job and we had magical (sounding) food items on the table.

I planned to make Mantam wear black and white gowns but I did not find good ones in our range of budget. Then we decided to buy their dress from an Indian store. I wanted to wear a party gown and luckily got a plain black one with a golden belt. Abbas wanted to be more casual and comfortable and we let him be. My friend Shree and her husband Ravi came over the previous day. If it wasn’t for Shree, I wouldn’t have pulled it off. She has a never-ending source of energy and enthusiasm within her that kept the momentum. We made one dish after the other like efficient chefs. Our close friend Ro also came over and helped us a lot with prep and shuttling around for stuff. Oh, by the way, I forgot to mention that we looked for magician to perform a magic show at the party. But they charged a bomb and we decided to drop it. Yours truly, who knows a few magic tricks herself, decided to don the magician hat and entertain the kids. How was I to go wrong when the birthday girls turned my helpers?

The D-Day arrived and we were ready with everything right on time. We had booked the party hall from 4 PM to 10 PM. The party invitation was from 5:30 to 8:30. We had 90 mins on each side to deck the hall up prior to the party and to clean it up later. We worked as a team and set everything up by the time guests started pouring in. Most of the parents dropped their kids and left. Some parents whom we had personally invited stayed back. Kids started playing with their magic wands and blowouts. We had arranged a few games like pinning the magic hat on the magician (which was drawn on a chart paper by Abbas) and passing the magic hat. I then performed the Magic show by involving kids from the audience. I would like to believe that they enjoyed it J

We did the cake cutting ceremony and when everyone gathered on the stage surrounding the table, we realised that we had missed the lighter. Abbas quickly ran to get it from the car. It was funny as we were all about to cut the cake yet didn’t have anything to light the candles. Cake was cut, food was served. Kids quickly had their food and started playing. The hall was quite spacious and they simply enjoyed running around and entertaining themselves. Slowly the parents started coming back to pick their kids. By 8 all the guests had left and we started packing up. We asked Shree and Ravi to stay back that night as well as we were all dead tired. They had brought a Barbie house for Mantam and showed it to them after coming home. Mantam were on cloud nine and couldn’t wait to open all their presents.

A few pictures:

The party hall

The party hall

The stage all decked up

The stage all decked up

Abbas and I

Abbas and I

IMG_3416

Bunny cupcakes

Bunny cupcakes

Sausage rolls made by Ro

Sausage rolls made by Ro

Veg noodles

Veg noodles

Fairy Bread

Fairy Bread

Vanishing cake label, Pick your stuff label at entrance

Vanishing cake label, Pick your stuff label at entrance

Name tags for guests

Name tags for guests

The magic potion in true sense

The magic potion in true sense

Return gifts wrapped

Return gifts wrapped

The food labels

The food labels

The content

The content

Bunny in a hat invitation

Bunny in a hat invitation

With the loot

With the loot

Cake Cutting

Cake Cutting

The Magic Hat Cake with Bunny perched on top

The Magic Hat Cake with Bunny perched on top

Performing a card trick

Performing a card trick

Hat and bunnies

Hat and bunnies

Magician and the helpers

Magician and the helpers

With Shree, the backbone of the party. Couldn't have pulled it across the line without her

With Shree, the backbone of the party. Couldn’t have pulled it across the line without her

Twin love

Twin love

Mantam ready to host their friends

Mantam ready to host their friends

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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7th Birthday

Dear Mantam,

This has been the most awaited birthday for you both. Last year when we moved to this country, both your parents did not have a job. For most obvious reasons, we did not have any kind of celebration as such. The only thing you demanded was a visit to the beach and you were always accommodating of the situation we were in. But somewhere in your tiny hearts, you did have a desire for a celebration and it only grew as you started attending your friends’ birthday parties. Baba and I wanted to make it up for you and we thought you deserved a great party this year. As usual, your Mumma has been planning it for a couple of months now and has driven your Baba crazy. But truth to be told, we are equally excited and looking forward to it as you are! (PS: We might have a low key one next year to recover the money and effort spent this time :-P)

I haven’t been blogging regularly ever since the marathon came to a close. I know I have missed out on recording a lot of your activities, dialogues and milestones. I would like to sum it up in this post before I forget 🙂

Tammu,

You are still the baby of the house always being looked after, being doted upon and always the one receiving advice from the rest of us (Mannu included). You have always conveniently leaned on Mannu for help and support. We were worried that you might not be independent and would always look for a shoulder to carry your burden. Hence Baba and I thought it right to separate the two of you into different section this academic year. You were resistant to the prospect but we did convince you with the positives. Though you reluctantly gave in, you have fared quite well for yourself. Initially you did miss out on getting your home reader everyday, forgot to submit your homework, lost the notes handed out as Mannu was always there last year to remind you all of these. But with constant reminder from us, you are getting used to being by yourself. We are happy about this decision and I know for a fact that so are you J You are a social butterfly and the last time I went to your class, I came to know why your tiffin box always comes back with food. You are too busy chatting, greeting and catch up with so many of your friends during the recess / lunch breaks 😀 You seem to be quite popular among your friends and seniors as well.

In the initial days of this year, your school had asked students who were interested in dance to go for rehearsals during the lunch break on two consecutive days. They would be selecting kids to represent the school in dance events outside school. You being you, did not bother to attend the rehersal at all J Mannu, enthu cutlet, attended and got selected in it. When we got a note from the dance teacher that Mannu was selected, we lightly patted her out of nervousness. We were worried how you would react to this. Surprisingly you were happy for your sister as much as we were. After some time, we got a note from school saying that your were selected to be a part of the school’s writers’ club. You were excited to be a part of it J Last week when Mannu and her dance group performed on the stage during school assembly, you were found cheering for her and you later told us how proud you felt at that moment. Moments like this make us feel that we must be doing a decent job at raising you two!

You know darling, your love for reading and writing makes me feel so good. I love the way you write notes and stick it around the house. It never fails to bring a smile on my house when I see your trace in almost every corner of the house. Be it a message or some drawing or a doll wrapped in funny attire or some creative craft. You are a joker and make all of us laugh with your funny expressions. You have always been the ‘eat-to-live’ kind of a person but in recent times, you have been making rounds to the kitchen when you find the aroma attractive. It gives me a new hope that you will regard food as more than just a necessity to quench hunger.

Mannu,

What do I say about you? It’s as if I’m speaking about myself. As you are growing up, I can see you as a reflection of me. You have inherited my positives along with all the quirks without being partial J Abbas goes bonkers when you initiate cleaning the house as the first priority on Saturday mornings. In spite of his efforts to shush you down, you are persistent about getting it done before putting your feet up to relax. You are the go-to person when any of us is looking for something around the house. I love the way you always follow my tail when I plan to do something new and I feel that I am in adult company when I discuss with you. Unlike Tammu, you readily accepted the idea of being in a separate section. But from what I have learned from you, you both hug each other when you meet at the after-school care. At home, you still try to dominate Tammu as you think she is a kid. We keep telling you to let her learn by mistakes.

When you brought the letter from the dance teacher home, you sneakily handed it to us. You whispered to us and said that Tammu might be sad if she knows. You said you were ok to let go of this opportunity as your sister can’t be a part of it. What do I say about you? You are like the guardian of our family. You keep a track of all that is going on. You remind me to take my jacket, you warn Baba to be careful when he gets fish and tries to cut it with a butcher knife. You are always aware of what the weather is going to be in the morning, sometimes you check outside window, at times you check the app on my phone and then advise us what we should carry along when we venture out. When I take you out for shopping with me, you constantly check the price of the items I am checking and ask me if I really need it. Lol J And when I reach the billing counter, you scan the shopping trolley and tell me that it might all cost a lot of dollars. Do I have so much of money on me? I smile and give a nod. At times you even carry your small money pouch with coins in it and tell me that you have some money on you just in case I fall short!

You are and have always been Baba’s girl. Next to me, you are the one who makes him go weak in the knees. But lately you are also worried when you think that some of your actions might hurt him. You chose me as your confidante and I’m loving every bit of it. Unlike Tammu, you are crazy about food. Whenever we go to a restaurant, you keenly participate in the process of ordering. As soon as we place the order, you clarify what kind of dishes we have sought. You eat like a pro with a fork, spoon or knife as applicable. Simultaneously, you keep a watch on each of the plate and shoot warnings at us if any of the dish is about to get empty saying “I haven’t tried that yet. Save some for me” I love the way you taste everything with so much passion. Whenever we go out, you carry a bag without fail with sunscreen, lip balm, toys, notebook, pencil etc. You try to be independent in whatever way possible. You ask never ending questions and we do get irked with them often. But your silence bothers us more than your banter.

Mantam,

Both of you are two different personalities, yet you always speak in unison when it comes to being righteous. Even though you know that we make you eat the food you bring back home in tiffin boxes, while doing so you have to listen to a repetitive lecture of why you must not waste food, you never throw it in the bins. You have also been found advocating the same lecture to your friends who chuck their food into trash cans. Both of you have also stood up for friends who were being sidelined by a group of kids. Even if Baba and I have a silly argument, you both pitch in from nowhere to see how you could calm us down 😀 Baba has programmed you well by now to switch the channel or divert me when there are scenes/songs where parent love is being portrayed to prevent me from shedding tears. The innocence of childhood is slowly weaning off from you and you are exhibiting a few signs of growing up. Baba and I have always been proud parents and we feel that you balance our life in the right proportions. No matter what situation you are in, always remember that Baba and I will stay by your side.

Love,

Mumma

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Day 4 | Mantam’s change in routine

When I first started working, Abbas took care of getting Mantam ready, dropping them to school, picking them up, washing utensils, washing and drying the laundry, vacuum cleaning the house – pretty much everything except for cooking. Life was so easy for me then, I would get a cup of tea in my hand after coming back from work. I would luxuriously sip it, freshen up and then start preparing dinner. He had an interview to attend one day at 2 PM, so we thought he might not be able to make it in time to pick Mantam from the bus station at 3:15 PM. We asked a mommy friend M (the one I wrote about in Abbas’s bday party post) to ask if she could take Mantam to her home and that Abbas would reach by 4 and pick them up. She was more than happy to help and even told us that if we require any help from her, we must never hesitate to ask. M is a SAHM and a mother of twins too.

Once we got the confirmation that Abbas had grabbed the job, we were thinking about getting them admitted to the after school care. But we had a lot of other parameters to consider before taking the decision. First being Abbas’s office was in a remote suburb and there was no direct public transport to reach there. By car it would actually take 40 minutes but he had to change two trains, then ride on a bus and then walk for 10-15 mins which led the total travel time one way to 1.5 hours. That meant that he had to leave home early and would reach back late. Secondly, the day care is open till 6.30 PM and it is a 20 mins walk from the station. I would reach station everyday by 6 anyway, if I would walk to their day care I would reach by 6.20, on the way back Mantam would be too tired to walk as it is 20 mins to station and a further 15 mins to our home. The buses from day care plied every half hour, one at 6.25 which I couldn’t get and next one would be at 6.55. So, if I opt for that I would reach the station at 7 and then walk home and reach by 7.15 We thought that it was 1.30 hours of precious time in the evening that would get wasted. But that was the only option in sight though and life would only get easier when Abbas would be able to drive to work so he could come early and pick them up.

Abbas’s joining date was not confirmed, so we were thinking about all the aspects and I told him how awesome it would be if M could take Mantam to her home like she did on the interview day. Since her home was very close to the station, I could easily pick from her home. “Wishful thinking” – I told Abbas and left it there. One day when Abbas met M while picking kids, he told her what we were thinking and she actually seemed interested in the idea. Since she was a good friend, both of us felt somewhat awkward in discussing the cost. We thought that it would be fair to pay her what the day care charges for the evening session. Although, if we would opt for day care we would’ve got a 30% rebate from the govt, we thought we could trade it off for time and convenience. So the evening bit was settled with M.

Now for mornings, the school bus picked them at 8.45 AM from the station. Abbas would leave home at 7.15 for him to reach office at 9. The onus of dropping them now fell on my shoulders. I thought that if I had to get them boarded on the bus then the next train I could take would be at 9 AM and I would reach office at around 9.45 which was extremely late for a workplace where most people came by 8.30. We thought that the best idea is to drop them at the station at 8.25 and I could take the 8.30 train and reach by 9.10. I was a bit skeptical and Abbas was too upset with the idea of leaving Mantam at the station on their own to wait for 20 mins and hop on the bus. M assured me that many parents leave the kids at the station and by 8.30 many parents arrive. She told that she would reach by 8.40 and ensure that they are boarded on the bus and message me. That was a relief to hear. We broke the news to Mantam and they agreed without any issues. These are times when my heart feels heavy when they happily accept whatever we hurl on to them without any resistance.

The first day that Abbas joined work, Mantam and I left home by 8.10 and we reached the station by 8.25 as expected. I stayed with them for a couple of mins, made them sit in a safe place, talked to them about not leaving the seat until they saw their bus and other kids boarding it. They obediently nodded and I walked away. Tears already started dripping from my eyes when I saw their innocent faces trusting their parents’ decision blindly once again. I cried like a child in the train, tears wouldn’t stop at all. I kept checking the phone to see M’s message. It felt like a lifetime!!! Once I saw her message, I consoled myself. I messaged Abbas. I couldn’t wait to see Mantam in the evening and just wanted to hug them tighter than ever before. I told them I felt terrible for leaving them alone in the train station but I didn’t have another option. Abbas told them that their Mumma had cried in the train. They consoled me and told me that they would be just fine. Next morning when I bid them goodbye at the station, they made me promise that I wouldn’t cry in the train again.

That’s how it has been since the end of August. They would hop the bus on their own in the morning, M would pick both set of twins from school and take them home. I would pick them from her home around 6 in the evening.

Will write more about their experience at M’s home soon.

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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