This one is for the loves of my lives, my raison d’etre, my cute kiddos-Khushi (5) and Lakshya (4).

1) I tell Lakshya to keep his hands off his ‘pee-pee’ at times and he replies innocently, ‘But my pee-pee says, ‘touch me! touch me!”

2) Whenever Khushi meets a total stranger, she says ‘hi!’ shyly. And then adds confidentally, ‘You know, my mother is a writer!’

3) If you ask Khushi what she wants to be when she grows up, she says ‘I want to be a writer like Mamma.’ Lakshya wants to be a ‘driver’

4) On ashtami, we do not eat food before doing the ‘puja’. But on that day, Lakshya was hungry but Khushi was still getting ready. I told him to eat his breakfast and he replied, ‘But what about the puja?’

‘That’s okay,’ I told him. ‘We all will wait for Khushi to do the Puja, but you are hungry, you eat’ I placed food in front of him and walked off.

Five minutes later, I walked back to the room to see his little frame bent over the untouched plate. He was singing his night prayer on top of his voice. ‘Thank you God for the food we eat……’. Finally he announced ‘thank you god for everything!’ and turned to me with a smile. ‘Now I have done puja,’ he said and proceeded to start his breakfast.

5) Lakshya has lost the very expensive color-changing Lightning Mcqueen his grandparents gave him six months back. Angry, I told him that ‘nana-nani will not get you anything this time.’

One evening I overheared Lakshya talking to my mom on Skype and assuring her that the Lightning Mcqueen was safe but it was ‘hidden somewhere so that she would not find it when she came’.

6) Like most kids, Khushi loves junk food. I have to control her pigging out on cakes and pizzas (awww…honey). To do this, I have introduced ‘eat as much as you are hungry’. Needless to say she uses the ‘I am not hungry’ tactic on healthy food but never on the intended junk food.

One afternoon after yet another bowl of unfinished daal, I gave her a lecture and made her finish it. Several days later she had an upset stomach. Worried, I told her ‘eat less. don’t eat the daal if you are not hungry’. To which she promptly replied, ‘But you don’t trust me when I say that!’

And she is just five.