My brain fried like omelette frying on a pan, spluttering and throwing tiny droplets of hot oil over the pan. "It must be checked," I thought, with resolve, "or it will blow me up."
My daughter oblivious of my mental state went about with doing what she was doing. Ignoring me and not even bothering to listen, as she sat with her favourite book, in her room. A room which gave an appearance of a place, recently visited by a deadly storm, leaving behind the debris of destruction. And my little one sat on top of the pile of debris left behind, like a victorious soldier watching with satisfaction the favourable outcome of a Pyrrhic war.
Aanya has always made the monster in me squirm, with so little effort, I have begun to wonder which is the real me: the cool organised woman of the world or the Mom who blows up at the slightest compulsion from her kid, rendered paralised by the sheer helplessness of being outwitted by a nine year old.
I morph, in my mind, for a brief moment, to the mom of a new-born. The sleepless nights, the nappy changes, the endless struggle of the new mom, they looked like child's play now. Now was the time for some real matching of wits with a girl! Then it was the time for matching of wits with a new born. "They are both the same," I summarised at length. But the former was the war at hand. And therefore it manifested itself with more ferocity.
I shouted at Aanya one more time, "can you hear me? Please finish your homework!"
She shifted just a little, for a moment raising my hope that she had heard me finally, I was ready to sing a victory song, but alas, she did not raise her eyes from her book. I was ready to pull my hair or to pounce on her, but I held myself back with a creative thought of a loser who refuses to give in, "isn't this what I wanted? For her to be a thorough book worm?"
And then the other sound in my mind raged back, "but she must do the homework!"
And then again the other sound quietened that devil again, "but she is so focused can't you see? This is just what you wanted for her, this is the precursor to some real success."
The other stern voice followed, "And what about her grades? She will downgrade!"
Then yet again the other voice said, "What are grades for, can't you see she is learning to take her own decisions?"
My mind exploded, with the two mothers fighting over Aanya. Both right in their own way and none ready to lose the battle. Who has ever convinced a mother? And here in my mind I had two, equally confident and adamant in her own right.
And I glanced at Aanya from the corner of my eye. Still reading her book with no notion of the war waging in my mind.
And then at that weak moment, one of them won, I roared at the little girl, "I said home-work! Now!" And she raised her head just a wee bit and quite unimpressed with my blood shot eyes and maternal roar, sank back into her book.