The fear I didn’t realize, because I am not a parent

While on my quick trip to my hometown, my first niece (age 6.5 years) had this idea that she will accompany me back to Bangalore since her vacation had already started and stay here with me until her parents and my sister join me two weeks later. I rebooked my tickets after consulting everyone. But when the day arrived for me to leave along with her, my brother was more than worried. He was almost panicking to leave her alone with me. He sat me down and recited a big list of do’s and don’t’s. What to feed her, what to do while I take her out, what she might do and how I shouldn’t react etc. All the while I was rolling my eyes wondering what has got my brother’s pants in a twist. Not that I haven’t take my nieces on my own while I was there. She is totally comfortable being with me and she was ready to come and explore a new place, given that this was totally her own idea. And it is not that I don’t know how to handle my nieces and nephew and they all know that very well.

While I was having a fitful sleep on the bus I realized that this it the first time ever he is going to be away from his daughter for almost a week or, and if she wishes, more. He does keep going for his business trip for a day or two away from home but stopped being away for more than 2 days at a stretch. Irrespective of how active he is or isn’t in their studies or other activities, he needs their presence at home. And one or two weeks of one of his kids away might not have been a pleasant thing for him, I guess. I had to keep updating her status every one hour today after reaching my place so that he would be rest assured that she is safe and told him that these updates will reduce every day except for daily calls in the morning and evening 🙂 So far she is doing good because it is a new place and she is still exploring. No idea how things will pan out in a couple of days. There aren’t too many toys available at my place, obviously. But I do have books and my iPad with lots of games in it, which is more than enough for her, I hope. She is also planning to join me for the gym and watch me do exercises and probably take part in it too (wondering how that is going to go).

While on our way here in the early morning, the bus arrived quite early (close to 5 am) and I had to wake her up and get her ready to get down the bus and catch an autorickshaw to get to my place. All the while, I had an iron grip on her so that she wouldn’t wander away. Even in the autorickshaw, I wouldn’t let go of her. The moment we stepped in our apartment complex, I felt a big relief and was overcome with a sense of safety. I needed a familiar surrounding where I have people whom I trust and a place I have control over, to feel that she is indeed safe with me and that we made it through. That is when I realized my brother’s fear. No wonder he was panicking. And I didn’t realize how much difficult it must be for him or my sister in law or even my other niece to let go of my first niece to a surrounding totally different from their own in a totally different place, where they won’t be available for any emergencies. The cons of not being a parent. I don’t think my brother will let her be here for more than week if not less, but I will try my best to assure him that she is enjoying herself out here as long as she is here (and I don’t think he will be assured at least not in this trip, but I can definitely try) . She wanted a different experience for her vacation this year and I am planning to give her one to the best of my abilities.

 

Short break

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Leaving to my hometown to celebrate Karthigai function with my folks over the weekend (among a chaotic work environment right now and I won’t be surprised if I end up working over the weekend too..). And the following week, I will be in training. So might not be too active in WP.  I guess this week’s regular photography challenge and SoCS will either be skipped or posted later. And will catch up on all the other posts a bit later.

See you all soon. Stay happy and safe.

PS: The image is from last year’s function.

Some things are hereditary

Yesterday when my sister had called me, half the time she was yelling at her son to go slow in his cycle. She was constantly complaining how he is too fast with his cycle, especially now that he has properly learnt to do the pedaling correctly and doesn’t keep his foot on the ground. But he is not ready to learn how to brake in spite of her constant efforts. I told her that she should really chill out and relax. He is a kid and they learn at their own pace. If he is a little fast , its perfectly fine. Somethings just run in the family. We just can’t help it. (For the background story which involves a few of my bicycle memories, you should probably check out this post). She was like , yeah right. OK for you to say it but if he runs over some one else I would have to do the explanation. And then the yelling started again. I couldn’t help but smile. This kid, my nephew, wanted to do wheeling in his small cycle even when he was around 2. And with the size of the cycle all he could do was to lift it up and turn it around and slam it back on the ground. I can see it vividly how things are going to happen later once he gets his hand on a better cycle. (And aunts are known for spoiling their nieces and nephews 😉 ) I hope he learns to do all these stunts a little carefully without any harm to himself. A little bruise and some pain is OK according to me, without which we cannot learn anything at all. And that way he would also know his limit.

My sister wouldn’t know about getting hurt while learning something because she is one of those people who did not learn to cycle because the probability of getting hurt was too much. I have had my share of bruises and accidents but I have always been amazed by how my sister, when she was trying to learn to cycle or rather when we coerced her to learn, did not get even a single scratch on herself. Whenever there was a small hope that she was gonna fall down and get bruised, she would somehow push the vehicle down and stand and at the end, the vehicle is the one that got severely scratched everywhere. And after a few such scratches I refused to give her my cycle to learn. But now after all these years, she has at least learnt to drive a two-wheeler (geared vehicle) even without knowing how to do cycling and she managed to fall from the vehicle too. Not once but twice. Thank God she did not hurt herself. If my nephew is going to look up to someone to learn about cycling or driving and stuff and if he looks up to me or my brother (he has the highest chance because of the proximity), then my sister is gonna be worrying for a very long time in her life. My nephew likes to ride with my brother in his bike, especially when he is driving fast with all that wind in his face…really, some things are hereditary I say. And he loves cars and going for a ride especially long drives. He loves riding with me in my two wheeler because I go faster than his dad or mom. And that is what excites him (and 40-60 isn’t that bad especially in my home town where the traffic isn’t that worse). Now I am just waiting for my second niece who is as rowdy as my nephew to catch up to him. And with her father (my brother) as her example, there are some fun times ahead.  

The yay and argh’s of being the eldest

Being the eldest in a family comes with its unfair shares of Yay’s and Argh’s (argh’s being the prominent). Recently I had this discussion with my friends during coffee time about why most of the times the eldest are the most paavam’s (i.e. requires pity from everyone 😉 ) in the family. Here is my list.

  • We get to have the new things first and also have the pleasure to hand down unwanted or over used items (mostly clothes) to the siblings of the same gender. Siblings of other gender are spared the hand downs unless it is an electronic item or a study book. – Yay!
  • Any fight between the other siblings , if there are more than one, becomes the responsibility of the eldest, because they are supposed to take care that they don’t fight. Really ? I was a kid myself for God’s sake 🙂 and I was trying really hard not to pick a side and make matters worse. Shouldn’t I get an award for that ?Argh!
  • We become a involuntary role model for the other sibling(s) to see and learn what not to do in life and very rarely what to do well in life. The pressure of performing well all the time!!!!Argh!
  • During festivals, being the eldest means that you have to slog in the kitchen to help mom prepare (especially if you are a girl/woman) food and sweets etc, and the rest are happily enjoying the television and all the new programmes playing in it. Grrrr!!! –Definitely Argh!
  • You have to get married and settled first !!! What the heck!!! If by chance you dont want to or you would rather wait, that can never be an option. And by chance if the eldest was a guy, and he had a sister, he has to wait for ever to get his sister married first. – Uh!!! Argh!!!
  • You get called into every small misunderstanding between the siblings and you have to act as the mediator and that invariably makes you the loud mouth lady (or lord ).  – Argh!
  • When there is any function related to the kids of the siblings, being the eldest puts you in a position where you have to deliver the expected gift to those kids for each function that comes in the way , and most of them will expect things in Gold. (For e.g. the first year of a kid, the eldest should gift a gold chain, minimum, to the kid) I don’t remember if there is any such stipulation for the youngest in the family. – Argh!
  • Being pampered, being spoilt is something the eldest rarely knows , especially if the other siblings are not too far away in age. They tend to become adults too soon in life. – Very Argh!
  • If there is a fight between the two siblings, the eldest is the one who is always asked to let go and forgive and forget and all that s**t. Why? Why I say ? *sob* Argh!

I know there would be a list that my youngest sibling will have which would tell her woe(s), but I am sure, where my only yay! was the first point, in her case, there will be only one Argh! I am sure of that 🙂 Until she reads this post and comes back with a list, I can play my akka paavam (big sister is pitiable) card.

I just want to be a little bit

taller. I am an average ‘5 ft 6 in’ Indian woman. And I am quite tall enough actually, compared to the standards around my place. But still, even when I was very young I always wanted to grow till 6 ft. Why? I have no clue. May be I thought that would boost my ever low confidence when I actually can look down on people 😉 Must have been some crazy adolescent thought but there it was. And I never got away from that wish. Reason or no reason.

In fact there was a time when I was the tallest among my siblings in my family. And when I saw my sister’s growth I panicked. And I used to make her sit down and push her shoulders down so that she wouldn’t grow taller than me 😀 , an action she quotes even now to use it against me saying that was the only reason she is still in 5 ft 4 in. (rolls eyes) whatever!!. And I was very sure that my brother was going to be the shortest one and I would get to bully him if he ever was mean to me. But with boys, you never know when they grow up. God! I think he grew up overnight and became the tallest in the family at around ‘6ft 1 in’ and also put on a lot of weight (how can they become like a Hulk in a short span of time, I wonder) Damn!!! Now he acts like he is the biggest and meanest of all 😉 (and he at-times is)

If there is one thing that I could physically change in me it would be, to be a little bit more taller. I am OK with being a little fat (I actually call them big bones!!!) and also with all other physical imperfections I have. But a little bit taller , yeah, I would like that. And no, I don’t want to wear heels (one of my friend’s suggestions) because I cannot walk even two steps in them without falling and with my history of flat feet and injuries, so many mishaps are ready to be happen. So God!, if I do get a next chance, can I be a little bit taller, like 6 ft , pretty please 😀