“I had the best day ever!” exclaimed Pattani as she licked the spoon clean. I watched her with an amused expression till she leaned over and gave me a wet slobbery kiss. I was pleasantly surprised and mulled over the day even as the wetness on my cheek dried.
It has been a hard week. A week punctuated by sickness. A week filled with father and kids taking turns to be sick. In the tiring routine of cooking, cleaning, groceries, washing and feeding, it is easy to forget the little moments that take me by surprise.
Moments such as these.
The grinder whirred in the background as I added heaped teaspoons of salt to the batter. I lifted Ammani so she could see the batter being made. “Can I see too? Can I? Can I??” pleaded Pattani. Putting Ammu down and lifting Pattu up, the excitement was contagious. She peered into the whiteness and said softly “I love dosais”.
“Dosai kutty!” I said as I put her down and worked on transferring the contents of the grinder to the tall container where I leave it overnight to ferment. “Can you keep the oven door open for me?” I asked and turned around to watch Ammu and Pattu pull the door open with their combined might. They stood aside as I put the canister inside and switched the setting to proof. The oven light came on and they stood transfixed waiting for a miracle to happen and the batter to start rising.
“It popped!” exclaimed Pattu every five minutes as she and her sister ran around the island keeping watch on the batter. Trying to explain fermentation to four year olds was an exercise in futility and I gave up giving in instead to their excitement.
“Mommy you look beautiful!” piped up a tiny voice as I stepped out of the bathroom in my candy cane red and black PJ’s. I stopped and looked at myself. Me? whispered an inner voice. “You look beautiful!” reiterates my daughter as if sensing my self doubt.
As I wind down for the day, the little things from the day play in an endless loop in my head. The unabashed joy. The heartfelt compliments. The unrestrained love. Knowing full well this innocence will be lost over the next few years, I sigh and lock away the memories in the only way I know.