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Lots I want to write here – Anna and Niki’s birthdays for one, but taking the easier option for now. Hopefully a proper post will be up soon.

16.9.2015
“Mumma, I soo wanted to be the blue fairy. But Ma’am said ‘so and so’ is doing better than me, so she will be the blue fairy. I will not be ‘so and so’s firend.” Tears, first heartbreak, difficult lessons, a chance to grow, a chance to learn. My heart was hurting for her too; a tiny part of me wanted to say ‘your Ma’am knows nothing’. But I hugged her and smiled; told her that we should try our best but we may not get all that we want; that feeling hurt and disappointed and jealous is normal. but we have to try and get over it; that we should never look at others and decide our happiness, our happiness is in our own control. 
She’s too little to be facing all this, but we must take it as a chance to learn an important lesson. It’s such a small thing, but so huge for her. A lesson for me too, I no longer have the power to protect my baby, to keep her happy always. 
I taught her a childhood favourite and it did seem to make her fell better.
Do your best,
And leave the rest.
It will all come right,
Some day or night.

25.8.2015
The Terrible Two’s Round Two:
I had somehow foolishly thought it would be easier this time. 
‘Doosra’ has now been replaced by ‘Nahi’ as the favourite word (like his sister at the same age but his is far more vehement). 
He refuses to wear his clothes but gets wild with anger if I take them away. I try to dress him; he runs away; I try a few more times and tell him that he can stay like that and I am going to get dressed myself; he howls and screams; I try to dress him again; he runs away; repeat.
He won’t brush his teeth.
He won’t sleep.
He wants chocolate.
He wants to watch songs on the TV.
He will not let me hold him when he is crying. Lying naked on the floor is so much better.
He breaks my heart when his lower lip quivers after I scold him.
When he really wants something he says in the sweetest voice, ‘Mumma pleaaase de do’. I am trying hard to resist.
He makes me beg for kisses. 
He is irrational, stubborn as hell, naughtier than I ever expected, will not tolerate being ignored, will not tolerate being forced, makes me realise how well-behaved his sister is, has pushed me to crazy new limits, sometimes makes me dread the years to come but can always, always bring a smile to my face; no matter what.
Hopefully this caterpillar will turn in to a beautiful butterfly.

11.8.2015

Niki pointing to Anna’s doll house – “Tumko chahiye”(meaning I want that).
I happily give it to him, glad that for once we will play a ‘gentle’ game. 
We put the dolls in bed and he puts his finger on his lips and says “Shhh, dolly so rahi”. Then he grins, swipes his hand, the beds with the dolls come crashing down and he laughs. Then, “phir se”.
Me: “Umm. Tumhari blue car kahan gayi? Chalo dhundhen.”

01.08.2015
My funny little baby, now you are two! In the past one year, you have learnt how to talk, play football, sing songs, jump with abandon on any cushion you come across, listen to songs, sit on my lap and ‘read’ books, talk to and charm anyone you meet, keep us entertained all the time. We’ve also been experiencing the terrible two’s for the past many, many months. But maybe you’re done with that by now? 
Happy Birthday Niki!

08.06.2015
Anna grabs Niki’s favourite ball as he’s kicking it around.
Niki: Didi, ball do. 
Anna, ball do.
Annaaaa, ball do!
Anna, bad boy!
Finally she gives him the ball.
Niki (very sweetly): Tank yoo Didi.
Non stop entertainment!

15.05.2015
The day you had been impatiently waiting for finally came; ‘Mumma how many days to my birthday?’ From 2-3 months, to a month, to a week, to 2-3 days to finally here. You got up much earlier then usual and immediately demanded your card and gift. 
You are a proper little girl now, you eat by yourself, can bathe yourself, when your best friend comes to play, you take her to your room and shut the door, you demand that we go somewhere for summer holidays, you are learning to read and write, you can add and subtract small numbers and the list goes on. The hard, physical part of parenting you is long gone. It’s so much fun to play with you, hear your stories, your plans and be a part of your wonderful world. 
Sometimes you get jealous of the attention your little brother gets and you copy him and behave like a baby; sometimes you are whinier than I could ever imagine; sometimes I feel like you are the most spoilt, self-entitled brat in the world; but not a single day goes by when I don’t find myself marvelling at the delight you are. The lovely, well-mannered, intelligent, cute, sensitive little girl is now 5. 
Happy Birthday Anna!

08.05.2015
For Anna, the word was ‘nahi’; the word used to make Mumma’s life as happening (difficult) as possible. For Niki, the word is ‘doosra’. Give him a biscuit and he says ‘doosra bikkit’ and keeps taking biscuits and licking them till the whole packet is empty. Try feeding him a bite and he insists he wants a ‘doosra’ bite from the same bowl which will somehow be different. Middle of the night, he wants milk, I give him his bottle but he keeps whining for ‘doosra duddu’. Sing/play him a song and he’ll keep demanding ‘doosra’ song. I am sometimes tempted to tell him to go and find a ‘doosra’ Mumma.

08.04.2015
Anna, Niki and I were playing near a hole which was dug in the apartment complex some time ago. They were throwing stones into it and I was hanging on to them so that they couldn’t throw themselves in. Then Anna points into the hole and says “That’s Kunchamma and she’s trying to get out of the hole. She can’t get out so I am throwing food for her. In Baby Town (the place where according to her all babies go to play), she is my Mumma”.
Me: Okaaay. Let’s go home.
The next day, the hole had been closed.
Still creeped out!

27.03.2015
Got Anna’s ‘report card’ the day before yesterday. As expected, all ‘A’s and ‘A+’s, plus some very nice comments from her teacher. The icing on the cake was the ‘Most well-behaved child’ certificate that she got. We’re enjoying it while it lasts because I’m pretty sure Niki won’t be receiving any such certificates in the future.

27.02.2015
Question: Papa ka naam kya hai?
Answer by Anna (age one and a half) : Ravan
Answer by Niki (age one and a half) : Papi
R, do they know something I don’t?

04.02.2015
We were talking about climbing trees. Then she said, ‘I can’t climb trees because I’m a girl’. I asked her, ‘Who told you that?’. She said, ‘Nobody, I just know it myself’. I took a deep breath and then we had a loooong conversation; about how she can do whatever she wants; she can play cricket and her brother can play with dolls if he wants to; if anyone tells her that she can’t do something because she’s a girl, she should tell then ‘My Mumma has said that girls and boys can do everything’. It starts so early and no matter how hard I try I can’t keep her away from such thinking. But I will never ever let her believe that she is ‘just a girl’; somehow inferior. The world needs more feminists.

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About anna's mom

First time mom to my lovely little Anna. Mostly swinging between exhaustion and exhilaration. Avid reader, feminist, and out of words at the moment No longer a first time mom. Now mom to my darling babies - Anna and Niki. Still exhausted, still exhilarated,
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