Friday, July 6, 2007

Terrible Two

And I thought terrible two was only for babies…

Most of us would have heard of the term ‘Terrible Two’ in connection with babies. If you haven’t heard of this term, it is the phase wherein absolutely angelic babies start behaving like brats. You tell them something and they behave the opposite. It is the phase wherein babies are tying to establish their identities.

I for one have found a strange coincidence of terrible two in marital life as well (personal experience). Like a newborn, marital life is also hunky dory in the first year. Everything is new and exciting with the first flush of love and adrenaline. Like first time parents patiently taking care of the newborn, new spouses are all understanding and self-sacrificing trying to be the paragon of virtues. But as time passes by, patience level also drops. As parents start disciplining the child, he realizes that things are not rosy as it was before. He does not like it and starts with his tantrums and whining.

I guess the same goes for marriage as well. As spouses settle into marital life, things, which you could earlier easily shut your eyes to and say as wonderful quirkiness of your spouse, become major irritants. “Ohh, she’s so reserved. How cute!” becomes “Why the hell can’t she be more social? @#$%#@” and “He loves sports. That’s so cool!!!” becomes “Why the hell can’t he watch something other than sports on TV???%&”

Like a child, spouses also start with their tantrums and whining. The major fear being that one’s identity should not be lost. Whereas the child fights to create his identity, the partners fight to retain their identity. In all these melee, people end up being hurt but also learn more about the other person, which you would have never found out during a candle light dinner.

The good thing is that babies don’t remain two forever and so does marriage. Both grow up. So now starts the next phase where kids and spouses are confident of who they are. So the fights and skirmishes are reduced to a large extent with an occasional one here and there. Parents learn to enjoy the kids for who they are, of course, with disciplining them wherever necessary and spouses also reach a compromise and begin to enjoy the real persons whom they have gotten married to.

Life goes on hunky dory and terrible two is largely forgotten except to pull each other’s legs about the fights that took place and then comes the next big thing wherein terrible two seems nothing in comparison. You guessed it right. It is TEENAGE. By now spouses forget about themselves and their differences and concentrate on their teenaged kids so that they can grow up into confident adults.

Will let you know if there is any similarity between teenage in children and in marriage when I cross that bridge. For now, let me get geared up for my next fight with hubby :-)

Monday, July 2, 2007

Conversations with Family

To my dear li’l cousin sisters,

How are you, my beautiful girls? I look at you and wonder how fast time has flown by. Wasn’t it just yesterday you were all fighting amongst yourselves wanting to be flower girls at S uncle’s wedding? All of you were on your best behaviour as your mothers had threatened you naughty girls that you wouldn’t get a chance to be flower girls if you threw tantrums.

I still remember the look of awe and wonder in your faces when sis & me landed home from Bombay for the summer vacations. You all very timidly asked us “Malayalam samsarikumo?”(Do you speak Malayalam?) I know it was our devilish uncles’ who had brainwashed you little ones into thinking we are some pseudo mallus, but believe me when I say that we are true blue mallus.

Being the eldest at home, there is too much of age difference between us. Dear T-kutty, you are old enough to be my daughter and whenever you call me “chechi” and show me one of your new discoveries, (like the time you discovered shampoo is for washing your hair) your words definitely tug at my heartstrings. Dear N, I still have the drawing you made of the parrot in the cage. I am very sorry I mistook it for a goldfish in the tank when you gave it to me.

In this year, some of you are finishing your twelfth standard, one of you getting into twelfth and some getting into high school. Its an eventful year for all of you.

For the ones getting into college, enjoy this new phase of your life. College life is one of the most enjoyable and beautiful phases of your life. Study hard and party harder. I am sure that a lot of boys are going to fall for you. Its OK to fall in love but don’t let that cloud your studies. Your focus should be to study well and be independent. And in the meanwhile if you have managed to find your life partner as well, what’s the harm? But if you are going to come home with poor grades and the reason being heartache or lack of concentration due to this good-looking boy, I will surely whack you.

Dear gals, empower yourselves, as your family is not going to be around you for the rest of your life. There will be times when you have to take decisions for yourselves. There will be times when you will have to go to new places for study, work, etc. Its ok to feel scared but don’t let the fear overcome you.

Believe in yourselves. Don’t feel disheartened when you hear some bad comments because you are all beautiful, intelligent, smart and confident girls. And don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.

Loads of Luv,