It’s funny, when you become a parent, you feel like talking about your kids and nothing else. I have been resisting myself for long from this typical ‘parenting post’ as I didn’t want to go run of the mill with this blog. But now it’s done. Parth and Sarika are far interesting than many (or rather any) things in my life.
I don’t know if it happens to you or not, but whenever I wish for something quite ardently, I mess things up at the eleventh hour. Regretting thereafter is definitely a part of the story. ‘But I would, in no case, let that happen when it comes to raising my kids up’, I took the resolve perhaps the day when I realized Sarika is my responsibility or may be on the day when she started calling me ‘Mummy’ rather than ‘Chachi’.
My mom is not a woman of letters, though she managed to get past her higher secondary and bag a decent government job. She can write letters, applications, files and diary entries much better than many of her colleagues and even superiors. It is said that South Indians are by default, good in English, if not great. I don’t know how true that is, but I have seen Narial Pani walas in Tamil Nadu, making themselves understandable to foreigners quite well (‘Twell rupees. No less. Take it or go’) But when it comes to speaking in Hindi or replying to a simple Hindi question…. “No Hindi, Only Tamil, English”.
Ok, now coming back to the point, I still remember my mom’s signature phrase when she used to reprimand me for something- ‘Nothing Doing’. Whether it was more chocolates, going out after 7 or watching a late night flick, she would respond with a stern glance and a sterner ‘Nothing Doing’. By and by, I started repeating the phrase.
So I thought, why not introduce, Sarika to the globally-accepted-as-mandatory language, English. I started off with ‘Don’t Touch’. Quite apt, as she has a habit of toying with things that are strictly not meant for her. (The other day, she swallowed some ten Thyroid pills, her granny left on the table.. don’t want to recall the horror!)
“SARIKA, DON’T TOUCH” – when she was about to break my husband’s favourite R.I.O CD,
“SARIKA, DON’T TOUCH” – when she inched towards Parth’s Cerelac bowl perhaps irritated and jealous as he was on my lap for the past half an hour and she was not.
“SARIKA, DON’T TOUCH” – when she tried to mercilessly plug out the TV plug from the wall socket, dangerously, her favourite of all the pranks.
“SARIKA, DON’T TOUCH” became my favourite rebuke line.
The line became so popular in my house that the other day, I heard Sarika’s Bangla-only-no-English granny commanding “SARIKA, DON’T TOUCH” when she made desperate attempts to lay her hands on the box of vermilion (Sindoor) to smear it on her face.
Today, I was getting ready to go to work while trying to keep an eye on my little imps and they trying to dodge my watch to do something mischievously interesting. Suddenly, I heard something that made me turn around with glee. “PARTHU, DON’T TOUCH”. I saw Parth holding my hairpin and ready to have a bite. He stopped short at his Didi’s command. My efforts got paid off. My baby learnt her first English sentence and knows the meaning as well.. and guess what, even Parth seems to understand what it means (he dropped the pin instantly and started looking for something else.)