TO often asks me trivia questions especially about animals. Today’s query was about a bird whose name starts with P and ends with an N and it lives on an island. I initially said penguin and got an eyeroll for my troubles. Actually I led with pigeon because where don’t those little poop machines live?
When I said Puffin a second later, a disappointed TO told me that he was sure I wasnt going to be able to guess the bird and dang it! I did and he missed out on a chance to tell me about the bird.
Since we were talking about something other than cricket, the coronavirus and screen time, I encouraged him to tell me more. And he did. His opening sentence was classic- “If you were a puffin, this is how you would look and walk and he proceeded to describe it in great detail.
Before 2009 I never would have had a thought like ‘if I were a puffin’ not even if I were profoundly drunk. And those who have seen me such will testify that barring the rare barf fest, I just show a tendency to get louder and maybe climb on tables. But be a puffin…naah!
Apparently you become a parent sentences like ‘I want to have teeth like a walrus’, ‘I want to grow up and be a dragon’ or ‘ if you were a puffin’ is all in a day’s work!
TO is the gift that keeps giving. Sadly, I don’t know how to switch it off!
I was helping him out with some comprehension sentences when the name Elizabeth came up. He knows Elizabeth mainly in conjunction with the Queen and Buckingham palace and automatically tacked on “The Queen” in front of the name leading to a lot of hilarity.
A short while later while he was pestering me for a hug and I aquiesced, he jumped on me and called me his “Precious” in the tones Smeagol used to have before he became Gollum.
Yet another thing that they don’t tell you in the parenting books!
Am sniffly, have a stuffy nose and my head feels like it’s full of rocks.
Once I gave TO his afterschool snack, I made myself a cuppa joe and leaned into the cup in DEEEEP appreciation. The brat looked at me contemplatively and asked, ” You love coffee more than me and P (Red) don’t you?
I told him, with my nose still vacuuming up the coffee aroma, that coffee helped me love him and Red just a little bit more.
Who’s going to tell a 10 year old that the Almighty Bean kept his mother from going loco on a *very* regular basis. I just LOVE euphemisms, don’t you?
The word ‘turbulent’ here refers to the frame of mind of the parents of tweens and not the tweens themselves. Honestly, I can even begin to take a gander at what these self-involved little hoomans are thinking, with half their brains trying to not give into the sociopathy that kids seem to have a blueprint for vs the sulky, snarky era that apparently spans the way ahead during their teenage.
While I have often wished and wished hard, that I could be one of those parents who fawn over their kids most of the times; I am unable to suppress my gag reflexes at the thought of constantly thinking of TO as my “little prince”.
‘My-little-pain-in-the-ass’ seems closer to the mark and I’ll tell you why. My usual interactions with him seem to go in these directions- A) I’m a slave driver and he’s a slave especially when it comes to getting him up in the mornings B) I’m not justified in asking him to bath properly rather than just looking at the soap and imagining himself as properly lathered, C) Expresing disappointment at the state of the loo post his using it (Ok now that’s the problem with most men but I’m trying to get him to be a bit more aligned to women in this regard), D) Me not behaving like we offer room service when the water bottle, glass etc is just two steps away. See? It’s not him, it’s CLEARLY ME!
This is the starting of the age when anything that comes out of my mouth is met with a “no”. And it’s not like when he was chubby, drooly and cute and saying no because it was a new word he’d just learnt and wanted to use it to death. Now the ‘no’ comes because he clearly has a setting activated in his brain that says keeping pushing that short, round woman in front of you till her head explodes. It’s not a fun time for me. And am told it gets way more interesting from here on. See how I effectively demonstrated the use of an euphemism? My English teachers are doing this somewhere-
But getting back to my causes of being in a snit- the kid’s growing up. Acting dumber at times sure, but growing up. He doesn’t fit into my lap, he’s not soft and squishy anymore and it takes more and more work to not flick his ear in irritation every damn day.
So pretty much on most weekdays and definitely on all weekends there’s a scene playing out which looks like this. For those of you who aren’t parents, that’s TO’s confused “What did I do look” followed by my “Eye of Shame/ I’m a part-time Medusa” look followed by TO’s nyah nyah attitude which in turn in followed by my “Now I’m seriously displeased look” and that’s all topped off with Red’s “Oh man! I have to run before they ask me to take sides” look.
Parenting often comes down to reaching agreements with your offspring in order for lessons to be learnt, set and accepted patterns of behavior to be established and also for those invisible lines to be drawn that help kids know crossing which ones will make the parents go medieval on them.
When TO was a baby I really, really liked him. He was adorable, always had a smile on his face, wasn’t a fussy baby…he just wouldn’t sleep much but he was not a pain. And he ate pretty much whatever I held up to his mouth.
Image courtesy Kyle Nieber@Unsplash
Somethings he didn’t like from the beginning like ripe papaya, anything with too much crunch or things which left an aftertaste he was iffy about; but this kid ate his fruits and veggies just fine!
Fast forward a few years and this kid goes around spouting nonsense about being allergic to nuts AND fruit! No clue where he picked it up from but trust me when I say that the only allergic person in this house is me in regard to excuses this child makes when faced with something he thinks he won’t like.
Yesterday after one of those Eff-It moments when parents decide on the ‘my-way-or-the-highway’ kind of scenario; a historic fruit- consumption contract was drawn up which includes not one but THREE fruits! My mother’s heart was about to burst forth with joy.
Naturally, I had to make it worth his while. And no, I don’t mind using lures when it serves my purpose and gets him to eat and live healthier.
That’s how I got Red to eat more veggies too. I’d wait for the cricket matches to come on and serve him meals that had all the stuff he claimed he never ate and before you know it Mr.Zombie-In-Front-Of-The-Telly had eaten the entire lot of things “he never ate” and liked it too.
So kids, the lesson here is this…next time you want mom to buy the load of tripe about being “allergic” to something, be prepared to go into anaphylactic shock to really drive the point home.
A highly caffeinated and enthusiastic mother greets her only offspring first thing in the morning.
Seeing the zombie walk, the groggy look and the utterly gorgeous lashes fan his cheeks she chirps,” Oh why are you so beautiful?!!”. And the child replies, “Because you made me.” “You bet your ass I made you!” “Hey! You said ASS!! “You bet your ass I did!”
Such is the love fueled by the Almighty Joe. *does we’re not worthy* and silently bows out of the room.
TO had a good time dancing to Shaitaan Ka Saala on New Year’s eve but didn’t know the name of the song. His Hindi being what it is, half the words just escape him entirely! And when he does utter them, they are so far from where they started out that it’s more of a #dafuq moment than a #LOL one.
He asked me for the name of the song so he could tell Alexa to play it. And this is what happened…
TO-“Alexaaa wake up”. Alexa- I am awake. What can I do for you? TO-” Alexa play Sankranti Masala“. Alexa- goes round and round till she gives up the ghost and begins to reboot!!
When TO came home from school today we were discussing things that are going on in the world. I asked him if he knew what was going on in Australia and he said yes there were bad bush fires.
I told him a lot of animals were dying and it was a very difficult time over there for humans and animals both. He put on his sad face and said dingoes were dying and it was awful. I told him dingos, koalas when there was a firm grip on my hand and I looked up to see TO looking very grim and saying, “Koalas don’t die Ayu”.
So we left it at that…koalas don’t die. This from a kid who can sit and watch an anaconda swallow a cow on Animal Planet. Kids!
There comes a time in every parent’s life (mainly the mothers) where they realise that their child is more like a cartoon character than they previously realized. It’s not always a happy realization. Imagine telling yourself, “Crap. I gave birth to Woody Woodpecker.”