My Pint-Sized Gangsters

Written By

Rajrupa Ghosh

Pint sized gangsters.Nov17 2015.Colour6-03-03 Loading

Numerous well wishers had told me, with unfailing belief, that I was an incredibly lucky person. Since I was going to have not one, but two, girl babies. Sweet-natured, docile, only smiles, all things sugary and nice – ‘it is so easy to bring up girls!’, they had cooed. And so there I was, waiting for practically two little ladies, with lacey parasols, to set sail from my harbor.

Imagine my dismay when they fought their way out in the goriest of ways, kicking and bouncing, tearing up the road to their freedom in the bloodiest possible act of rebellion. They promptly proceeded to keep up their revolt that, in turn, kept mother and neighbors, groggily up every night, continuously, for the next few months.

They lay in bed, turned on their tummies, pulled each other’s hair, scratched each other’s faces, and gum-chewed each other’s fingers – thinking, most likely, those were their own heads, faces, and limbs. But then, I told myself, they are babies. I still had faith in their impending girliness, which I believed was just around the corner.

Then they learnt to crawl and sit up. And the party got wilder… butting bums, banging heads, sharpening new teeth on each other. I remained unwavering in my belief that my lady butterflies were mere caterpillars, waiting to crawl out of their boisterous cocoons, soon. Very soon.

Learning to walk meant it was Woodstock time — constant commotion, triggered by what seemed like super drug-induced hyperactivity and bouts of pride at their newly-acquired ability to walk (if only to toddle), followed by short naps, anywhere (from under the crib to on the diaper changing table), with milk bottles strewn wherever the duo had dropped them. My faith in little girls, made of all things nice, and their innate docility, was taking a topple.

From then on, my life has gone steadily awry. With the father away in far-off continents for weeks at a stretch, the mother has been held under siege, as the lady tots carefully plan a total coup.

Pouring baby powder on the wooden floor as the other one tries to skate on it. Squeezing water out of a sippy cup, making a pool on the floor, while the other plonks, belly down, trying to swim in it. Using wipes to clean said powder or water, and then wiping each other’s faces with the same wet sheet. Licking each other and serving trays clean, after an intense bout of ice cream eating. Carpeting the bathroom floor, in an amazing 10 minutes of tandem working, with toilet paper. Decorating each other’s hair with Cheerios or pop-corn kernels or squashed grapes and strawberries, during breakfast or snack-time. Giving each other an Alfredo sauce facial at lunch or a nice, quick daal-soak at dinner. Hiding banana peels in the bed linen and hiding each other in suitcases. Throwing shoes, four at a time, with two pairs of hands, out of the window, making a growing pile on the grass, under the balcony. Feeding each other body lotion, in sudden bursts of sisterly love. Drinking ketchup, from each other’s tiny cups, like tequila shots. Egging each other on to eat out of the trash can, wash hands in the toilet pot, or play a game of ‘let’s jam the printer with the tiniest of toys’. Holding an entire kinderkrippe hostage, with bigger boys shivering in fear of, what caregivers solemnly call, ‘a gang of two’!

Pinkness, dolls, sweetness, docility, have all slipped a little out the window, every time my girls have tried to scale a new tree in the yard, or fence at the lake, or a Billy goat at the baby zoo.

My flailing heart has learnt well now to remain un-thumped. In a way, my well-wishers had been right after all. The girls are indeed doing a splendid job of bringing me up.




Likes to take long walks by the lake, have tea from artsy teapots (served on a tray with a single flower), bake fabulous looking fondant cakes, be a Facebook diva as a smashing, manicured mum, and rock Twitter with 140 clever, feminist characters. Likes, but can do none.

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