This would have been my third victorious return from Mt Everest. I would've packed my bags in a jiffy, done all the rigorous strength and stamina building exercises, happily kept quiet to preserve my oxygen supply and come had ice-creams to celebrate my conquering of the summit. I would've been the first woman representing the South and North India to ever climb up there – and 3 times. 29029 ft *3 times.
But instead, I utilize all my energy - physical and mental trying to win over my 3 ft dynamite. I can still pick her up and put her to bed if I am too tired and kiss and distract her with something shiny now, but I feel the shiver down my spine every time I think about her teenage years. If this is just a glimpse into the years to come, my tenure as ‘the mother’ is going to be a long and arduous one replete with hair-pulling and high blood pumping experiences.
It’s not so much the physical endurance. I do like running, so she gives me ample reasons not to go to the gym. And nothing can beat the labor pain. So my threshold of pain has increased leaps and bounds since the last time I had a paper cut and made a big deal about it.
It’s the mental shock that she gives me with her ready replies or as they say ‘haazir jawaabi’ in Hindi that I find a little (I won’t admit defeat beyond this measure) difficult to handle.
Today for example, Ady and Driti were having a discussion on why she should eat her dal and curd. The senior was making a case for eating both of them, the junior, the South-Indian junior – just for the curd.
A: “Driti, dal is very smart. It knows the answers to all the questions. You should eat it. Mix with curd if you like”
D: “No. Curd is smarter. It knows all answers”
A: (acting every smart himself) : “Let’s try” and he asked the curd the following question “Curd, what is the capital of India?”
D: “New Zealand” (she heard me whisper ‘new’ something. And New Zealand is the only place she knows, starting with ‘new’. Thanks to her uncle who lives there. Her aunts in Delhi, live in India. And she doesn’t know Delhi is ‘New’)
A: (looking very satisfied): “No. See, it does not know. Now let me ask the dal” And he looks all very smug as he asks the dal “Dal, what is the capital of India?”
A: "New Delhi" he answers trying ventriloquism.
D: “No, even curd is smart. See…” and she sets about asking her own question to the curd
D: “Curd, what is the most popular character in India?” If dad can, so can she. “Chota Bheem” was her ventriloquial reply.
And Ady and I did not have a retort. At this rate, she’d just get what she wants. So we had to use our powers to distract and get her to get some protein in her body.
This was definitely one of the few times that I had to think of a comeback. I didn’t know if I should be proud of her ready retort or upset at my lack of response.
I just hope this is the extent she’ll go even as a teenager. I know my limitations. I just don’t know how strong my strengths are!!
So you see, Everest is a much easier conquest than actually explaining why food is good to the little monster.