I am a first time mommy and a full time working professional. Correction, I am a part time mommy and an overworked professional. As a management consultant, I work 10-12 hour days and sometimes 4-6 hours on the weekends (sic!). It is a rigorous schedule that leaves very little time for my daughter or for writing a blog! Now, my mother is the Supermom who is raising my child and needless to say “Naina Rocks” (Naina is what my daughter calls my mom). Naina also has a perpetual headache, tries to be strict but fails regularly, dreams of her house being tidy and does a little bhangra every night around 7-9 pm when I come home (no pun intended).
Given my rather hectic work schedule, any time that I get to spend with my daughter is priceless. Only it is not!The thing is that my daughter is in the race to become India’s Top Tantrum Throwing Toddler. She is like Dennis the Menace on steroids and then some. Any attempt to reason with her is like asking Donald Trump to make a logical argument or worse hoping KRK will become inactive on twitter! Neither will happen atleast not any time in the foreseeable future. I am not exaggerating. I just feel exasperated. And tired. Also I feel guilty. I want our time together to be perfect. But of late its more din and drama than I can handle.
The Din & Drama
In school I had a flair for dramatics and maybe she gets it from me but dealing with Captain Jack Sparrow every night can be taxing. What is particularly troubling is that when I come home at night after work she does not really want to spend time with me, “ her adorable part time mommy ”. All she wants is my iphone. “ Mama phun phun phun” “ Phun de do Mamaaaaaaa” “ Pehle phun” “ Phun phun phun phun phun ” “ Ab Miraaya phun de do! ”. Darn Steve Jobs. Darn, the persistence of this spunky toddler. Darn, I shouldn’t have come home so late. Darn this phun. Darn. Darn. Darn.
As I begin to explain that my phone has been snatched by a big doggy aka as bhow bhow, she starts opening my purse and within a few seconds has emptied its contents onto the floor. On finding nothing she doesn’t give up. This girl is Alex Parrish. Like an FBI agent she decides to body search me while I protest and ah! ha! She finds it 🙁 It is tucked in my pants and she exclaims with excitement “MAMA PHUN HAIN (Mama phone is here)!” SCORE – Miraaya – 1, Part Time Mommy – 0. “Oh, doggy left it there”, I exclaim but by now she has already found the youtube icon and has started playing her veedoh (video). There goes my quality time with my little girl. She wants to watch veedohs (video) and I want to know about her day. Here begins our struggle to connect.
Eventually we do connect when I clandestinely switch off the internet and she exclaims in disbelief “net gaya mama” “ab video bhow ho gaya”. Bhow is a metaphor for everything that goes wrong in her life. I seem to be having a zillion bhow days lately! But these modern day kids, they never cease to amaze me. They know so much and so early on in their life. I wonder if they are growing up a little too quickly and this innocence will vanish in a couple of years. I hope not.
Pursuit of Happyness
I often struggle with the child vs. career choice and while I am determined to make both work this year has been tough. Dealing with a cranky toddler whose moods swings are worse than mine during PMS is a nightmare. I don’t know if it is the terrible twos and kids are really difficult during this phase or is it my being a part time mommy that is causing this behavior. I know that she misses me and I suspect a part of this behavior is to grab my attention but it is frustrating to be spending time on war games and tears rather than mommy-daughter bonding.
Toddlers have tremendous gumption and they know how to get their way around. So as a working mother, I get subjected to a lot of irrational demands. I have always sucked at game theory but of late I have been honing my skills in the area. These days I tend to deploy the auction model – come to bed then I will read 2 books to you? She says, “No, five? “. “O.k., five if you come in the next 2 minutes.” “OK !” Success. Ofcourse the wily little fox trots in with 10 books and demands that they be read aloud before her highness can even consider sleeping. Sigh! I still suck at game theory.
Eventually we do find our zen and it lasts no more than 30-45 minutes. This is the time of the day I call “happyness“. It is pure bliss. It is when we truly connect, play, laugh and engage with one another. This is when I feel like I am her full time mommy and not a part time mommy. I feel she gets me and I get her. It is all about banter and bonding. It is surreal. It doesn’t last! Suddenly, she wants the phone again! She screams, shouts and rants as if she is Kejriwal and I am PM Modi. Dr Jekyll has become Mr Hyde.
Yikes! Heeeeeeeellllllllpppppppp !