They never cease to amaze me, these kids. Despite all my misgivings, on the way to their new daycare on Monday, a place they’ve never seen, apart from driving past it fairly regularly, Tara said, “I’m so excited because I’m going to a new daycare.”
That’s the attitude! I wish I could be more like that – for me, it’s equal measures of excitement and apprehension for new things – and sometimes more of the latter and less of the former.
My new job, for instance – there have been innumerable interruptions till date. On two days in one week, I took a half day off to attend to personal errands. It was planned – but the way things turn out, when I planned it, it appeared my work load would be fairly slack, but by the time that week rolled around, it was pretty hectic! Then one day Tara was sick, so I worked from home. Then one day I had to go to their school to pick up bits and pieces of their uniform. Then just yesterday Mrini was sick. This time, I didn’t work from home… but while I was in office, part of my heart and mind was at home, holding my baby.
Not the most auspicious start for a position where you want to establish yourself early on.
The kids? Well, on day one at the new daycare, we heard that they had their lunch and went to sleep. In the evening, I quizzed them about their day. When we had dropped them off in the morning, the place was deserted, so I was kinda worried about whether any kids would eventually turn up or not. I wouldn’t want to find that I had ended up selecting an empty tomb kind of place for them – the whole fun of daycare is to have lots of friends around, right. But the kids reported that evening that there were three babies and five or six big kids but they didn’t know anyone’s name. The second day was better – when I dropped them off in the morning, they took one look at a dad offloading a lunch bag from the car and named the girl who should be inside already. “My friend,” Tara proclaimed, happily. Sigh – things are so easy for five-year-olds – meet a girl one day and by the next day, she is your friend.
The following day, Amit dropped the kids to daycare and by 10.00 in the morning, I got a call – Mrini is vomiting and beginning to cry. Sigh! Luckily, I could send Amit off to get her, while I stayed in office. But Mrini was puking all over the place and she called me in a sorry sounding voice that broke my heart. When my girls are sick, they want me. Fathers are good for the fun times, but when they are sick, they are mommy’s girls. It was not an easy thing to do – to be the one stuck in office. But there was a meeting in the afternoon that I wanted to attend in person, so I stayed and felt bad.
And now, to top it all – today is a holiday. It’s not fun – a holiday should be a holiday, but this is a bandh, which means – no going out for a movie, a meal, or anything else. And what’s worse, this “holiday” will have to be compensated by working on a Saturday. Ugh. Our Saturdays are busy enough and there’s no daycare on Saturday. But today is a bandh and there’s no daycare today either. So here we are, stuck at home with two cranky kids hanging around the house, whining, fighting and constantly saying “I’m hungry!” I haven’t even managed to get out for a cycle ride.
The only thing one can do on a day like this is to put them to work making cake. After all, every cloud has to have a single lining, even if that lining is made of butter, sugar, and gluten-free flour.