Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Of Fairy Mothers

Our new flat is two-bedroomed, which means that we finally have a second room for Rahul. He has been gifted his grandfather's old bed (made by my grandfather himself) and he has his bookshelf and for good measure, I packed Vicky into that room too. I mean, Vicky's workspace and things are over there.

The thought was that Vicky could work while Rahul slept so the boy wouldn't feel abandoned. Also, that both would be out of my hair! (I know, don't tell me, I'm downright Machiavellian.) It's working out well enough but each night he wants to cuddle me while he sleeps.

I cannot tell you how precious that is to me. (Even when I'm fuming at how long he is taking to sleep because I have Things to Do.)

All these years Rahul has always seemingly preferred Vicky and my mother to everybody else, including me -- or so it feels. It hurt quite a bit when I was a new mother and insecure as dammit. It hurt just as much when I was working at the agency and he handled that by telling me outright and through his behaviour that he did not need me, thank you very much. But the older I get, the calmer I get, the more I finally acknowledge what I sense beyond his hurtfulness -- a very deep need that he feels he must hide.

Now, I have no idea why he feels he must play these mind games with me, but as he grows older and more demonstrative with his affection, he comes and cuddles me randomly, tells me he loves me a hundred times a day, tries to keep the peace between his father and me, wants me to spend time with him, tries to distract me from my work by inviting me to teach him something, reminds me I am his baking fairy... there are so many little things he does to show how much I matter, that I finally find it easy to dismiss him when he tells me he loves his father more and that I should go away.

In fact, one of the cutest moments we've had all year was when he had just returned from his Delhi holiday and had a fight with me and sobbed in anger, "You are NOT a fairy, I was wrong, you are bad." It took me all my will power to keep a straight face.

At these moments I wonder if my parents found me this funny. I hope not!


dipali said...

You are learning!!!!!
That is one powerful young man you have out there, the operative word being MAN!

Bubble Catcher said...

sigh!! I so understand your feelings.
My son is also an outright papa's boy.There have been days when he does not even turn and wave a bye when I leave for work and then throws a full blown 30 min tantrum when his papa leaves for work hurts(specially when an outsider observes this and vocalizes it).But today I am more comfortable as I realize that I he shares a different relationship with his dad and with me.His dad is the fun person, but I am the person he turns to when he wants to be comforted.And he needs me to cuddle him when he goes to bed too :)

Anonymous said...

you and rahul are not doing different things.
you both feel the hurt and hide it.
i wonder if by telling him you're hurt by his comments,you would like him to see a vulnerable mother or make him sensitive to others' need.

think a bit.
you both have same attitudes towards each other.both need to hide,and child is projecting his mother.

Aathira said...


Divs said... they say...a child does need both parents afterall :-)

Mamma mia! Me a mamma? said...

Sunny Sue, sometimes your posts just break my heart!

Little boys...aaah! Where does one start?

Sue said...

Dipali -- Oh yes, the Y chromosome makes its presence felt in every little thing.

Bubble Catcher -- Exactly. Fathers are fathers and mothers are... mothers. We have our place, however much the brats want to deny it. :)

Anon -- I do tell him his comment hurt me, that is partly why he knows what hurts and what doesn't. I don't mind him seeing that I'm sensitive to his attacks. But I do see that as I grow older and more relaxed, so does he. To that extent I agree with you.

Aathira -- :)

Divs -- Don't we all! :)

Mamma Mia -- Where does one start indeed... Rahul is living up to what Spock said of 4-5 year olds: that they are little romantics at heart. He is very loving at this age and I shall miss this dearly when he grows up.

Devi Raman said...

Hey Sue,
I got teary eyed after reading this. This happens with me as well. Like you said, I will also miss this sweet little age when he grows up. I think stay at home moms are relaly lucky to spend more time with their kids. I envy them. That is one big reason to opt out of your career.


Sue said...

Devi Raman -- Depends on the mother, I suppose, but in general I really appreciate stay at home mums. I had one myself and valued her availability. (I still do.)