Not Your Mother!

If a gypsy fortune teller, staring into her crystal ball, 30 years ago, had given me a glimpse into my life as it currently is, I would have, in disbelief, kicked the crystal ball, gypsy, and her tent into space.

But in 1990, I was a coy, bookish, introverted, and demure, final year dental school student. At my core, I have always been brutally honest and I tend to tell it like it is but back then I would have been more diplomatic.

Academically I was always a good student, and since I just missed out on medical school by a few marks, I automatically turned to dentistry. I was a bookworm and a diligent and conscientious student. Fuelled by ambition and a drive to succeed, I aced every test. I was a superb rote learner with a photographic memory. When I graduated, I was the first in my class to set up a dental practice and had imagined a conservative life dedicated to pursuing my chosen profession.

Fast forward to 2020, I now am a retired dentist, full-time mother to two brats; my elder 18-year-old daughter A in The Gateway School of Mumbai, and my 12-year-old son S in another school. My loving husband V, is from the same dental school, and I met him in 1993 at a party, while still doing my post-graduation. Our love saga is entertainment for another time. He jokingly calls our home “a madhouse”. Our daily evenings at home make for a dramatic web series and seems to be garnering more TRPs (Television Rating Points) currently than Saas/ Bahu serials, but I still see my home as my haven. It is where we endeavour to bring up our kids with the right values. We are a closely-knit family and my kids see me as the person who says, "There is only one Gunda in every team and I am the Gunda of this team!"- borrowed dialogue from SRK!

Having said that, everyone but me seems to control the going ons of my home, and my kids’ so-called 'sibling rivalry' gives the term new meaning!

My younger one S is a kind, compassionate, “12 going on 18” boy. My day starts with getting the kids up in time to just about change their clothes, brush their teeth, if possible, as they think having parents who are qualified dentists gives them an excuse to be lazy and that their dental issues will be taken care of! I have to help them get to school on time. Their end of school day means the usual jamboree of after school classes- guitar, fitness, speech therapy, Math, coding - every mother's mantra to buy herself some moments of peace!

Most days S keeps to himself and I spend 80% of my time with A, me helping her with homework, we walk together, check each other’s WhatsApp Messages and Fb posts. Baking is a new hobby we started during lockdown. My daughter is the queen bee and I am the lazy worker bee. Put simply, I bake and she supervises and distributes to all our equally surprised relatives and neighbours!

A is obsessively possessive about me. She believes she has full proprietorial rights to me as I am her primary caregiver.

Sometimes my son will emerge from his independent haze of various hobbies, activities, and addictions like squash, Fortnite, homework and seek my attention. Then there is war akin to a new age Mahabharat. A will don the avatar of my second skin/ armour and make sure there is no way I can give him that attention. He may demand it. She commands it.

In this role, her favourite dialogue is; “Not Your Mother!”, meaning that I am only her mother so he cannot ask for my attention. At first, this really upset him, and we had constant dramas between the two. S has also grown from the 2-year-old looking up to his elder sister and obediently following her every wish as his command, to a 12-year-old who is today ever ready to stand up for his rights and not afraid to speak his mind. After several times of being told, “Not your Mother”, S strongly expressed that it was hurtful and disrespectful and I was scared he would grow up to be a traumatized adult.

Our 3rd offspring is our 3-year-old Labrador dog. Her name is Athena and she is closer to V than any of us. She is a smart girl and realized, early in life, that my husband was ready to give his time and attention to anyone who asks for it. There was too much "maara maari" for mom’s attention.

One day we were all lounging in bed, when Athena jumped into bed next to me, and was promptly told, “ Not your Mother” by A. S looked at her and we all started laughing. To him, this was an example of how honest and simple she was, and how he didn’t really need to fight her for my attention. Since then, we have spoken to A about how my spending time with S, does not need to make her insecure or jealous, but having S more relaxed also helps. They still have their fights, and there never is a simple one-time solution to all situations, but “Not Your Mother” has become like our family joke! It has also shown us all that using humour can help defuse an otherwise potentially explosive moment!

Disclaimer- This article means no disrespect to anyone and the author may have taken some creative liberties to make the narrative entertaining and should be viewed in a light vein

Main characters of our drama series

The Supporting cast of our drama series



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