Hubby dearest has been on a pretty long tour, and not having spoken to him all of today has gotten on my nerves. My calls haven’t been returned and messages responded to in one word- “meeting”.
What meeting? I fume. Meetings that go on for the entire day? Surely there must be a lunch break? So I call him at lunch hour.
“Working lunch. Anything urgent?” he messages back.
The day ends, the moon rises, and so does my temper. I am ready to blow my top like the proverbial pressure cooker. It’s past dinner and still no call.
I wash some grapes and put them in two bowls for my little ones after dinner and try to catch something on TV. Shortly, an ensuing sibling battle calls for my attention.
“No, only ten…” shrieks my younger one.
“Not ten… see there are more…”counters the elder one.
“Who got more grapes” seems to be the favourite fighting topic amongst siblings even today, I sigh as I get up. My sister and I have never fought more for any other thing than this all important, “who got more grapes”. Time for resolution…before the war erupts! I am pretty sure I gave them an equal number of grapes though.
“Hey, what’s up champs?” I try to calm them. “You can have more grapes if you want.”
“Mom, look at chiku, he has so many grapes in his bowl and he says he has just 10”, scoffs the elder one.
“No mom, I have only 10,” the younger one says defiantly, trying to show that to me on his little fingers, some folded, some open, not sure how many fingers make ten, and still trying to count. And then he begins counting the grapes, “one..two..thee, foe, faiyou, thit, theven, eight, niyen, ten…” he looks at me triumphantly. “See only ten.”
“And who will count the others?” asks my elder one, hands on his hips and one eyebrow raised. He looks so cute when he does that!
So the little one starts again, “One..two…” and I burst out laughing.
“Eleven, twelve..” says my elder one helpfully.
“Thee…foe...” continues the younger one, his voice one decibel higher, annoyed that his brother should interrupt, and simultaneously nodding his head from side to side.
The elder one looks at me, and I suddenly realize I am supposed to say something.
“Who’s right?” he demands to know.
“Both of you are.” I tell him.
“How?” he wants to know.
“Chiku can count only up to ten, so you can’t blame him. Look at it from his point of view,” I say laughing and then that laughter turns to an sheepish grin as something else dawns on me.
Just then the phone rings, and I jump to grab it. It is hubby dearest, and a smile threatens to break on my lips. I allow it to.
“I’m sorry yaar…” he begins, the tiredness in his voice evident.
“Looks like you had a difficult day.”
“Don’t even ask…” he says.
I smile again.