That Bhablet is hurtling towards his 18 month birthday and it's a big day for all concerned because his grandparents want his head shaved then. I'm aghast at the prospect of losing that wonderful combination of straight hair in front and horizontal rows of curls at the back but V only sneers and asks me if I wish to tie plaits with those selfsame curls. Someday, when he spends months itching with those curls growing inside him, we'll discuss this further. Until then, I refuse to recognise his right to speak.
Anyway, so as I was saying, The Bhablet is now reaching an age that I'm familiar with. I've dealt with toddlers and young kids, but this whole newborn and infancy time was a bit of an unfamiliar nightmare for me.
Yesterday evening we went for a walk in Golf Green with Gayatri and Little Star. It was a pleasant evening, with lots of rides on swings and slides, and afterwards, The Bhablet and I had an extra half hour in the Central Park, playing with all the kids there. I came away feeling more than a little ashamed of myself. I've been displaying a silly kind of snobbery at the recent discussions about school, especially to the Mad Momma. My take being, look, the schools are OK but I'll have to blend into the atmosphere and watch him blend into being the typical boring Cal schoolkid.
I've always been proud of my cosmopolitan background. I use the word loosely, because we haven't travelled all that much, but it's true that the places we've lived in have been so different from Cal, that we learnt to adapt to very different styles of living, of thought and learning. It has been a point of sadness to me that marriage meant the end of this life, because V is not interested in moving anywhere out of South Calcutta. And I did fret within me that The Bhablet would grow up thinking that Cal was all there is to see, that he'd learn to be xenophobic and poke fun at anybody who came from a different language and culture. Because that is what I was on my way to being when we moved to Hyd. Four years after we left we were still calling Cal 'home'.
And you know, the Cal mothers are so typical. Obsessed with their offspring, and the homework and the teachers, and they seem to have a life that doesn't go beyond this. They are all overweight and badly made up and, and... You can see why I'm ashamed of myself.
Last night at the park we met a bunch of kids, all of whom were older than Rahul. They basically ranged from about 2 to 10 years. And they were all so sweet to him. Running to include him in their games, doing tricks to make him laugh, keeping him entertained, pulling him into their fun. Their mothers were friendly to me, and I chatted with a few parents. Their concerns were the same as mine: when will they talk, what does he eat, he walks so well etc. Bolstered by the blog-reading I do in the mommy-blogosphere, I sounded calm and knowledgeable. And I was comfortable with the whole thing. I hadn't expected that at all.
I was dreading school because I wasn't at all OK with anybody but me (or V or Giga or the other grandparents) disciplining R. I didn't want him studying with a bunch of prissy bores from boring Bengali families. I didn't think these schools were interesting enough for him.
I guess a half an hour at the park did what all the talk didn't. I'm perfectly comfortable now with him studying with kids like these.
Note: This post was written on 14th March, that's almost a month ago. Since then the Bhablet has had his curls cut off and he looks such a little boy. But I didn't go ahead with the shaving, I couldn't. He's a year and a half old now, but I still tell his age in months. V says I should get out of the habit now at least. Perhaps he's right.