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War And Peace

posted Feb 14, 2017, 9:29 PM by Kanika G   [ updated Feb 14, 2017, 9:35 PM ]

I just started reading War And Peace, again. The last time I tried my hand at the book, the littlest one needed a lot more attention and I had give up the venture a quarter of the way in. This time around, I am enjoying it a lot more.

It is set during the Napoleonic war, in Russia, in the early 1800s. Nothing at all to do with kids, except perhaps Natasha's contagious child like exuberance. But when I was looking for the title in the catalogue on my Kindle, I realised how aptly the title described raising kids, particularly 2 whose moods seem to rub off on each other with amplification.

Since the younger one turned two, my life has taken a funny turn. I get a lot more time to do my own stuff, because the two kids entertain each other. I have been eagerly awaiting for this milestone, for a very long time.

Unfortunately, the time I do get, is fraught with interruptions. Most of the time the girls can barely go ten minutes without getting into a fight. The house becomes a war zone. First comes the air assault, provocation and teasing, which escalates in to name calling and nastier forms of verbal attacks.

Then comes the cavalry. Somehow they involve the poor cat in their fights. Our cat has been giving me dirty looks ever since I brought the younger one home, as if to say, I have been very patient but there had better not be any more. My patience is running thin.

Soon the fighting degenerates into contact combat of the infantry. Hair pulling, pinching, punching and beating are all par for the course. I suppose I should be thankful that they haven't thought of biting yet.

And of course accompanying all of this are the enthusiastic battle cries. I mean screaming and complaining. Oh and I forgot to mention the baring their teeth and growling.
Yes they actually growl at each other and sometimes snarl. You'd never believe me if you saw their angelic little faces, but it is true.

Then there are the times the girls get along famously. Frankly these times are as much an assault on my ear drums as the times they are at logger heads, though emotionally less stressful. They are either squealing in excitement or shouting gleefully. Sigh...

But once every few days the girls get engrossed in some strange make believe play and wont need me for an hour or two. Only problem is, I never know how long the peace is going to last so I cant make the most of it.

So finally I have figured out ways to create my own predictable peace. Playing with a bucket of water can usually engage them for a fairly long time. So that is one thing I set them up with when I really need some me time.

But almost every weekday afternoon, I take them to the play area in the housing society, when it is empty and peaceful and let them play there. I carry a cup of tea and a book to read or a note book to pen my thoughts and enjoy moments of quiet contemplation or undisturbed reading while the girls make the most of swings and slides.

At 3:00 pm begins my hour of tranquillity in an otherwise turbulent day. Yesterday an old man walked past us and and said we appeared to be the picture of happiness and that is exactly how all 3 of us felt. I looked up from my Kindle, where I was reading War And Peace, and smiled at him.