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‘That’s it. No more TV for you today!’ It was the usual story but the PMS made it a little loud. I yelled at him and went into the kitchen.

(This has been the case for some time now. They’ve been watching a lot of TV lately. More so, after we came to Jersey. I don’t blame them. The place is new. It is super cold outside. (It is -2 deg C today!) They have no friends. And, to top it all, their school has provided a personal Chrome book to every student. Yes.. You heard that right. Sigh. Which means, they’ve made friends with all the technology they can get.

Their routine is reduced to Chromebook – TV – Chromebook – TV. And, if I scream too much, they sneak in the husband’s phone. ‘We are playing Chess, Amma!’

I try to engage them as much as I can. Read to them. Read with them. Listen to them reading. Draw. Paint. Color. Play pretend. Bake. But they are now old enough to veto me. And, they are two. Seven is the new terrible twos, except it’s bigger and worser.)

Anyway, this not-so-fine day I yelled. And yelled hard. And, went into the kitchen. After about five minutes, I felt bad for yelling and went back to him. I knew I shouldn’t have yelled so much. May be, a little talk could help.

He was writing something in a small pocket notebook. He looked up at me. He smiled a sad but sheepish smile. ‘What are you writing in there?’, I asked. He shook his head and tried to get away from me. In my mind, I was sure he hated me at that moment. May be, he was writing that down. I felt sad; more for myself than for him. I started reasoning with myself. I did have a hundred talks before I yelled, didn’t I? And finally, finally was when I lost it. Yet. I shouldn’t have yelled. May be, given them an ultimatum (once again!) Did I break him? Will this instant hate have an impact on him in the long run? When will I learn? Will I ever?

As I was breaking down inside, he tugged my T-shirt from behind. He held out the pocket note book for me to see. In it was scribbled with a sketch of bat-man, ‘I love bat-man. I want to become a bat-kid. I love to play with my sister. I love my mom very very much.’

So much incoherence but with so much love. How forgiving are kids. I hugged him tight and whispered in his ear, ‘I love you both very very much too.’