It was 12:15 am and I had just finished marinating the chicken for the biryani, for a brunch I was hosting the next day. The dishes were done, the kitchen was clean and the toys, well, for now, they were tossed under the coffee table for today. And voila! My house was in order.
And now, this was the moment I was waiting for. It was time to reward myself. I deserved this, I definitely earned it. The time had come. A beautiful, sumptuous, velvety, rich and dark chocolate cake was waiting for me. And the best part? I got to eat this all by myself!
Oh but wait, I heard a door open. Something told me that this couldn’t be good news. I wait, frozen, as the footsteps get louder and louder. Within seconds, I hear him scream, “MOMMMYYYY!!!”
What?! When! How! Why? Thoughts darted through my mind like bats chasing bugs in the dark.
I quickly hid the cake.
Now, before you get all judgey about this, hear me out. I share everything with my son. My food, my water, my bubble baths, my books, my pillows… literally, everything. In fact, I also share my “me” time with him! And besides, he’s already had his share of the cake. I specifically bought three slices of cake for each of us. I understand sharing is caring, but not always, and definitely not when a cake is involved and that too when it’s a chocolate cake!
How I wish he could just notify me in advance, stating this change in his plans, of not sleeping! You know, one email? One small notification? Ah, who am I kidding?
It had been a long and hectic day, and I know I’ll have to overcome this obstacle. So, I reminded myself to breathe… breathe again and to keep breathing.
Now that I’m trying to stay calm, I gave myself three options: First, would be to cry and beg him to sleep. Second, ask my husband to walk out of his dreamland and handle the situation and third, become the one person all moms are oddly trained to be. So, I put on the superwoman cape and prepared for a situation that I had no choice but to control.
As I put my cape on, I quickly get his favourite puzzle from under the coffee table. He absolutely loves solving puzzles and the excitement on his face didn’t pass me.
All I had to do now, was to sit and watch him solve the puzzle. This was my strategy.
He would try to put 110 of the pieces together and then at one point, he would say the golden word, “Sleepy…” I wondered if I should pour myself a glass of wine and just wait. The cake of course still remains hidden. That’s not coming out right now, nope!
Just as I was smiling to myself, I noticed him mirroring it. But my worry here, it wasn’t the cute smile, it was the one where along with, come two little horns on his head too! And that always scares me.
“What is it, buddy?” I asked nervously.
“You put the pieces together,” He grinned.
Was it an order or a request? I don't know.
“But why can’t you do it?” I’m trying hard not to cry.
“Because I am too tired,” He stated.
Oh, well. Of course. He’s tired, so now I have to solve this puzzle.
Ah, the joys of motherhood. I regretted my so-called strategy. I didn’t have the patience or the energy to do this. Why was this happening to me? Did he just read my mind when I thought that I was going to relax? Also, why is he still smiling? It’s karma, isn’t it?
As I sat to put the pieces together, with instructions from a three-year-old on how to solve this puzzle, I began thinking of Plan B.
And that’s when it hit me!
I looked at him and slowly said, “Darling, do you want to eat cake for breakfast?” His eyes lit up as he nodded yes and began screaming. “Oh, but you’ll have to sleep now…” I said, slowly. He thought for a while and then decided, “Okay, let’s go now.”
I just put Plan B into motion- The B card: Bribe.
And yes, yes! I know, it’s horrible to bribe your children, especially when you want them to eat or sleep, but hey, it’s 1 am now and I really want to just tuck him in bed, pour a glass of wine and eat my cake!
We (read, I) put the pieces back into the box, put the box under the coffee table and tugged my little guy back to his room. Some good music, a few short stories later, my baby boy falls back to sleep.
I shut his door and slowly walked back to my sofa.
It’s the end of another day.
As I folded my cape, setting it aside just for a few hours, I remember reading somewhere, “sometimes, you just have to do what’s best for you!”
And with the same devilish smile my son had on his face a while ago, I pulled out the box from the fridge and dived straight into my cake!