I entered home yesterday to ear piercing screams of Yog, coming somewhere from the second floor. From the quality of the scream, I could make out something was definitely wrong. I could smell Dettol as I started climbing the steps. I am proud to say that I did not panic at that moment. I do not panic at the smell of Dettol anymore. I calmly called out to Yog and his Nanny (Parvathi) came out of the room carrying the heavy weight, howling Yog in her skinny arms. I felt sympathy for her even before I could form an emotion for Yog. I immediately transferred the load from her arms to mine and gently carried the sobbing, Dettol smelling Yog to the sitting room couch. Toyna followed close behind. I asked what happened and there was an instant cacophony of sounds from multiple directions. Parvathi, Toyna and Yog had their own version of the story to tell. Trying to follow three different stories at the same time, I understood that Yog hated cycling, his shirt had torn off and Toyna had applied first aid to his back and elbow.
I thanked Toyna for her courage and quick thinking in taking care of Yog. I then inspected Yogs wounds carefully. I assured Yog that there was no serious injury and he would be fine in no time. Yog calmed down and hugged me close while still sitting in my lap. As soon as his sobs subsided, I heard another set of sobs from the background. I turned around to find Toyna sobbing uncontrollably now. She had retained her cool, all this while, to take care of Yog. Now that, Yog was fine and I was in control of the situation, she let go of her guard and her emotions flowed freely as tears down her cheeks. The pain that had bothered Yog physically had bothered Toyna more, emotionally. We three sat together on the couch for some time, hugging each other and thanking God that no one was seriously hurt.
This morning, Yog tried playing victim with me. “My hand is paining! I will not go to school!” Without commenting, I applied some medicine and bandaged the wound in a white bandage in the process of getting him ready for school. While the wound was not as serious to deserve a bandage, my experience told me that a big white bandage has magical powers to transform a wound into a bravery badge. Children love these badges, especially for school. Yog inspected the bandage carefully. After he was convinced that the bandage looked serious enough, he picked his school bag and rushed out for school.
As expected, he was bombarded with questions about the bandage as soon as he boarded the school bus. From the road, I could see, Yog basking in the glory of being the center of attraction. He immediately narrated the story of the evil cycle and the brave Yog. All though I couldn’t hear the story, I could read it from the expressions on his face as the bus rolled away in front of me. I smiled.
Every child has two characters – one which faces the Mother and the other when the Mother is not looking. Each child loves to remain a child, till the Mother is around. Lo and behold! The childhood magically transforms into a brave knight, courageous doctor or committed student as soon as soon as they know that the Mother is not around. Each child is completely capable of fighting their own battles, but then there is something so special about letting go and crying in the arms of your mother. When you are with your Mother, you know you are not being judged. You know she will keep you safe. Most importantly, you know everything will be all right.
Don’t worry, if your child depends on you for everything at home. Remember, they still go to school, play at the park, and even sleep on their own, away from you. Deep down, they are capable of taking care of themselves and even their younger siblings. But then everyone needs the indulgent love of a mother for some part in the day. I know I still do. So go ahead and indulge them and yourselves, while you can. These years are not going to last forever.