If there is one thing in common between the two kids, it's that they are both exasperatingly "strong-willed". Even when authority figures like teachers tell them to do something, they won't if they don't like it. They both behave well in class, get along with friends, and usually make the teachers' life easier. But occasionally they are told, for example, to do an activity that they dislike, and will stand and stare (while I, who'd never have dared disobey a teacher, watch and wither)
Today I was talking to Pranav in the car, trying to teach him a new word. (Which I forgot, but let's just say it was "pigheaded") "Say pigheaded, Pranav!"
Silence from the backseat.
"Can you say pigheaded?", I said.
"Yes", he said. I waited for him to say it.
More silence from the back seat.
"Will you say it?"
"No!" (mischief in his voice)
Oh, so he could say it, if he's in the mood for it or wants to do me a favor, but he doesn't feel like it right now, so he won't.
Bringing up children is like having to make that proverbial horse drink water all day, every day.
One morning four months ago, I talked to my parents on the phone. Then I got off the phone quickly because I had to take Pranav out for a class. I heard my dad say "Good Night" to me across the room from my mom, on the speakerphone.
That night, I got another phone call, a dreaded one. We packed up and left for India. I would see my dad a final time, but he would not wake up to see me or his grandchildren again. I cannot come to terms with this yet.
He was a loving dad, and such a loving grandfather. My best memories of childhood are of lying down next to him on the open terrace, looking at the stars while he told stories. This is what I'll always remember when I look at the stars, dad.
We still go to the movies with Pranav. Kid movies are easy. For movies that are either inappropriate or too boring for him, we have worked out a strategy. We go at his sleepy times, afternoon or night, and get into the theater early armed with popcorn. He stuffs himself with popcorn, drinks water, snuggles up and falls asleep by the time trailers are done.
Today, we went to the latest Star Trek movie. He ate popcorn, curled up and went to sleep as usual, and woke up after the two hour movie was done. He even commented that it was a short movie.
I guess his movie review would read: "Buttery, salty, crunchy, and delicious! Comfortable seats. Very refreshing, walked out of the movie feeling well rested."
A few months ago, Pranav was in the bathroom brushing his teeth while I was outside the bathroom door. I heard splashes of water, followed by a short period of silence. Then I heard him muttering to himself, "I better wipe this up before Amma sees it." :)