The past week was something I have never experienced in my life before.

In the past 45 days, my husband has been to two countries, Hungary and China, leaving kids and me to live our life on our own. All is well, and good till boredom starts kicking into these energy bundles, especially the younger one, as always when the following happens.

  • Tablet – Done.
  • Colouring  –  Done.
  • Arts and crafts (sticking paper pieces on top of paper pieces and making them into all the ‘pretend’ animals they see on YouTube.) – Done.

This week I also realised that there is no escape from YouTube even at school. One day the elder came home declaring,

“Mommy do you know the life cycle of a butterfly? Also, the life cycle of a frog?”

“Err…yes… isn’t it the way the caterpillar turns into a pupa and then into a butterfly?”

“What pupa? It is called a cocoon.!”

“Oh! yes, I forgot, it is a cocoon!”  ** blame my biology teacher. **

“Do you know that frogs lay eggs?”

“Yes…I know”.

“Do you know that they stick together in some grass, on the side of the pond?”

“hmmm… I haven’t seen them sticking together

**Actually, I haven’t even seen a frog laying eggs! **

“Then they become a tadpole with a long tail. Later the tail becomes shorter and shorter, and then the tadpole becomes a frog!”

“Oh, I see!” ** wish I had YouTube in class then **

Next day I went a little earlier to pick up and to get a good parking space near her school. As I was a bit earlier when I opened the class, I saw a YouTube video has been projecting into the whiteboard, in which a young bird was hatching from an egg.

Elder craned her neck from a group of necks to look at me. She screamed and told me, “Look, mummy, this is how a robin is born”

I saw Mrs Flood and Allen looking at me as if they just saw the dumbest mommy in the whole world.  I smiled flashing all my teeth out and tried to hide my embarrassment.

Once she was out, she told me,

“Mommy I know now how every young one is born. Allen always shows these videos through YouTube.”

“Do you know Kayla that got a ‘you are a kind person’ sticker?” for saving a worm?

“What!”

“Yes, a worm lost its way and crawled into our classroom. Kayla went, took that worm in her hands, and gently left it into the grass. So, the teacher gave her the “you are very kind” sticker.”

“Oh…I see… of course, she was very kind” ** and VERY BRAVE too **

“Mommy, I wish I could be a superhero?” ** her present craze is Teen Titans **

“Of course you can be any superhero you want.”

“Mommy I am going to be Raven– you know the girl in a blue dress?”

“Great! And what will you do when you become Raven?”

“I can separate my eyes and ears from my body. Isn’t that awesome?”

“Of course, it is. So, what can mommy become?”

**2- 3 minutes of silence while she is considering different possibilities for me **

“I think mommy, you can become Wonder Woman”.

**Wonder Woman -The world’s first and foremost female Super Hero and feminist **

I was simply proud of my girl. Wow, she thinks me as the embodiment of all female qualities along with super-heroism. Wow!

“Do you know why I think so, mommy ?”

“Why, dear?”

“Because wonder woman always jumps in front of the villains who tell lies and reveal the truth – JUST LIKE YOU.”

My brain churned the words I heard five or six times. Did she mean this as a compliment or did she mean that she is unable to lie in front of me?

Ok, I wasn’t familiar with DC comics, when I was six. So, let it be.

At this age, I am ready to be even THE Superman.

“Mommy, do you know that laser comes out of Superman’s eyes?

“Is it so?

“Yes, maybe if I get that power I can use it to cook things easily.”

“What! Did you see Superman cooking with the laser in his eyes?

“No, but with this laser, he CAN cook, isn’t it?”

“Yes, then we may not need a microwave oven.”

My elder has two Barbie dolls. I mean the real ones. They came with all the accessories from wardrobe and shoes and jewellery. As I was scared to give a real Barbie to younger, I tried to buy duplicates which looks like Barbie, but somehow she easily identifies as fake. Now don’t ask me how.

In two-euro shops, I try to get mermaid dressed dolls and give it to my younger. But after the initial scan, she will eventually understand that its worth is just two euro, and it goes into the darkest part of the drawer.

On peaceful days (i.e. on rarest of rarest days) there will be tea parties for whole dolls, along with the two hostesses.

Though it always ends up in tears and fights, their pretend tea party gives me some real peacetime.

On one such occasion, younger started asking me a weird question.

“Mommy I want mummy-made.”

“What”

“Mummy-made

“I need mummy-made also in the party.”

“But dear, mummy didn’t make anything to join the party.”

“I need mummy-made and the wail developed into a full-fledged cry.”

Then I looked into the place where she was pointing.

** light bulbs started crackling on my head **

She was pointing to the mermaid; which I heard / which she said as mummy-made.

Once she realised that I bought a very cheap Barbie look-alike doll for her, this is what happened to that doll…  (image above)

Now, after that, I am a bit more than careful.

-Swathi Sasidharan

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