Black Friday

I’m thinking of carrying out research on why supermarkets cause or trigger tantrums in children.
Rolling in aisles, causing a traffic jam for other shoppers, causing everyone to stop in their tracks to see WHO or WHAT is making that kind of sound.

I’ve often thought it was INCREDIBLE the amount of anguish a child can inject in their voice while crying over the silliest of things.

Initially I used to be appalled at such a sight thinking MLM’s rolling on aisles which have been tread upon by God knows who et al; but now I know it washes off. If not today then tomorrow. It took me a week to get his subway line-like scribbles with permanent marker off his leg. BOTH his legs actually. So am good with washing. It’s just a pity I can’t put him in the washing machine for the Extra Soak cycle. The tub’s too damn small…he’d need his bath toys for one thing and they all wouldn’t fit well.

So unless I have to do anything very urgently I usually let him cry it off and kind of cordon off the area around him so his flailing legs don’t knock over things from shelves or end up hitting some non-child loving person.

I no longer try to pick him up during tantrums…nothing more dangerous and nerve wracking. Far from perceiving it as comfort, the child thinks you’re putting an end to their civil disobedience and scream and kick with renewed efforts. Also that’s their outlet…better let them have their carpe diem.moment rather than having them seize anything else later on.

So there I was..experiencing my very own Black Friday in between the cereal and toy aisles and there were the usual suspects walking by- horrified looking young married couples- (yup! just look at me as the Ghost of Thanksgiving Future!) no doubt adding more boxes of contraceptives to their purchases; the young’uns out for a nice Friday night after work who just breezed past-nothing on their horizons except after-work drinks and hooking up; sympathetic or smug mothers ( depending on the frequency of their child doing thing); and finally the salespeople of the supermarket who were giving me looks that clearly said, ” BUY THE KID THE DAMN THING AND GO ALREADY! YOU LOOK LIKE YOU DON’T MISS ANY MEALS SO STOP BEING STINGY ABOUT THE KID’S TOY LADY!!”

And so I gave in…because urging from a far more critical source had registered and I simply couldn’t ignore that! Yup…your bladder makes a very convincing argument 😦

So we got home, went managed to go out for a rare dinner with the Lord&Master and came back with minimal fuss.

So yeah…I’ll be researching away on my dissertation titled- Supermarkets: The Bermuda Triangle of Parenting ( The disappearance of normalcy and obedience in a formally fairly ok child and mysterious appearance of behavioral aspects that instigates paddling the Gluteus Maximus).

Once this one has won be the Nobel Prize for Science I intend to begin work on my 2nd dissertation titled: The Direct Correlation Between Tear Ducts and Toys.

Ole!

Who’ll Blink First?

Raising a child often turns into a staring contest where the winner is the one who blinks first.

I seldom win. I imagine quite a few parents share my plight.

Whether it’s to get MLM out of the bath, get him to not whoop it up in his birthday suit when others are around or just about anything under the sun…I throw down the gauntlet and he ups the ante.

I am severely confused in my mind about what would possess a child to get on his mother’s bad side. I hold the keys to his happiness as it were. I am the cookie dispenser. I also dispenser paint, ketchup, bubbles, body cream and Play Doh. Anything that gives him happiness outside his school and let’s him muck about I obtain or make available for him.

Logically he should be the world’s best brown noser where I am concerned instead of the worst antagonist. And yet the battle rages.

Some days it’s skirmishes and other days it’s a no-holds barred, all-out war where the spoils that go to the victor usually lie with MLM and I lose a bit of my poise and sanity each time.

It’s got to the extent that the ‘Look of Shame’ parents cultivated when I was a tot has been rather rudely been blown off and instead he’s got me dancing to his tune more often than not.

It used to be that a changed inflection in my voice, a particular gesture would be enough to signal the beginning of parental censure for him. Once I nipped the naughty plans in the bud I’d give a small or big reward depending upon whatever I’d managed to forestall. I thought Pavlov had it right…condition them well for desired behavior and it’s life on the easy street. Balls!

Instead the offspring deliberately goes quiet, knowing fully well no matter HOW noisy it is in the world I will always hear the sounds of him *not* making any noise. When I sneak up on him to see what’s he’s doing so noiselessly he looks up and grins full of cheeky impertinence and without a care in the world. Rubbing my nose in it so to speak. I often end up giving him something (read cookies) to prevent the onset of activities that will take a long time to clean up.

Somewhere…Pavlov’s dog’s laughing it up big time!

No I won't and you can't make me!!

No I won’t and you can’t make me!!

Trouble IS a Friend

I heard this song for the first time on a Grey’s Anatomy episode and apart from it’s rather catchy rhythm and bounce it really appealed to me on a personal level.

I mean when things seem to be on a downslide consistently then it seems like the only constant in your life is trouble or ills.

There are times when it seems there’s no end in sight and you just can’t get a grip on the situation at all.

You’d tear your hair out except the bald look does nothing for you. You’d go and run it off on a treadmill or a kickboxing class but you need to monitor a munchkin who shows all signs of becoming a marathon runner or just running like Forrest Gump!

You listen to music while you pick up the nth wet towel from the bed while managing to notice that your child is sneaking towards the fridge to snag yet another slice of cheese (his 3rd one today).

You see the unplucked brows, the blotchy skin and agree yes..trouble is a friend. Never lets go.

When My Mom Learnt To Rock

My parents are fairly cool. I say fairly because given the fluidity of our lives during my childhood and adolescence they were usually ok with most of the things they came across when dealing with me.

One of the biggest changes came when we relocated to US for a few years while I was still in elementary school. Flinstones gave way to VHI and MTV and that change too they took in their stride as well as they could.

I remember that ours is a home always filled with music of some kind. My mother sings while she cooks, we ask my father NOT to sing at all and the record player was on during the weekends and used to stay on for a good, long, while.

Stuff from my parents’ youth like The Ventures, some Joan Baez along with classical Indian music is what was around.Β 

Then came the Era of Music Videos. And that was “interesting” for them because the videos aren’t always just freaks of nature depicting their freakiness, sometimes I guess it was tough for them to let their young and impressionable daughter watch videos of Kiss and Billy Idol’s Cradle of Love (to name a few that rattled my mom up). My father’s all time favorites feature We Didn’t Start The Fire, Unchained Melody, some Bryan Adams and nothing of rap or rock.Β 

But the audio is what they always liked, thank goodness. So I could get away with listening to stuff if they found the video unsuitable for some reason.

I remember one morning my mother heard me watching Enter Sandman while doing something in the kitchen and somehow she thought it was “nice” and am quite sure she hadn’t heard the chorus πŸ™‚ she came out of the kitchen and was confronted with Hetfield’s face and saw the video (which is quite tame by most standards) and got a frown on her face. Am sure over the years she would come across videos which would make parents run for the child lock on television as well. Rap too didn’t fare too well. I guess she wasn’t able to connect with it or find melody in it. The only rap song I know she remembers is House of Pain’s Jump Around for the distinctive shrill sounds through the track

She also used to get mucho annoyed by the smashing of music instruments on stage and the lack of clothes by many- another reason why I wasn’t allowed to watch the full Blonde Ambition Tour being aired on tv. Madonna started her presence on screen with the F words and my mother got irritated, “she’s there to sing, why does she have to use bad words?”. Although watching movies like Good Fellas or for that matter ANY Joe Pesci movie was ok for her because the curses were in context to the situation and therefore acceptable.

Over the years Ma’s liked MLTR (such clean looking boys with no holes in their clothes and no screaming), Scatman (just because he could scat!) and of course Elton John’s songs along with the stuff she grew with- Engelbert Humperdink, Cliff Richards, Elvis and the other oldies. She enjoyed the 3 Tenors and Barbra Streisand and of course Celine Dion. But she also tolerated me blasting Def Lep’s Vault when the album came out among others but was also quite happy with I started watching more things on Youtube or listening to stuff on the iPod.

I want to show her how innocuous my selections were back then and have her see some of Miley Cyrus’ videos and antics on Youtube and see what the now-grandmother has to say!

This should certainly be worth a watch πŸ™‚

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A Walk Down Memory Lane

Some of us actively live in the past. How things were, how they happened et al. And that’s understandable. There’s a comfort in looking back at things which have already occurred. You don’t need to worry about them again…they’re done. Maybe not dusted but you know how they’ve played out. It’s *not* the unknown.Β The present is fluid and the future uncertain so the past is often the only reliable thing you have.

The past is a powerful thing. It shapes you. It holds a repository of YOU and your life that you can go back to and pluck instances out of that help you in your present and may help you in the future.

There are times when I pass by a place where significant things in my life have occurred and if I try hard enough I can actually see myself there. Not too clearly but as a hazy memory. Too clearly and it’s ground for being certifiable :p

But sometimes a walk down memory lane helps. Especially when you’re getting your present to pull up it’s socks and get it’s act together!

Image courtesy-http://merettapater.wordpress.com/tag/memory-lane/

Image courtesy-http://merettapater.wordpress.com/tag/memory-lane/

I Give Thanks For…Retaining A Grip On My Sanity

When I was a kid studying in P.S 20 in Flushing, N.Y.C we learnt about the Pilgrims and how Thanksgiving came about.

In India, we don’t have a dedicated holiday to commemorate Thanksgiving but global trends being what they are, things catch on and we get together to eat the Thanksgiving turkey, reach out to friends and family during this time and give our thanks for good health, the life we lead et al.

But at times it’s essential to give thanks for things that keep us grounded and “normal” even before the onset of the holiday.

Anyone who knows me well will vouch for the fact that being demure, having patience and essentially being ladylike isn’t in my DNA or my behavior.

While I’m faar off from being uncouth but flaring up, mouthing off and generally not holding back on my opinions of things and people who irritate me is something that I’m prone to do. And I *do* tend to go on about it.

This move to a new apartment and getting the kinks worked out has been stressful to an extreme I’ve not experienced before. We are bereft of daily emotional support barring each other (Red& I i.e.), work isn’t something that agrees to take a backseat entirely and having an active and lively child entails pushing yourself above and beyond the known resources of energy and mental stamina.

In the midst of all this if you throw vendors who are tardy to the point of being almost absent, work pressures and seeing so little of each other that we’re practically bonded via chat apps and sms, it creates fissures in one’s equilibrium that are very difficult to overcome.

See, accepting that there is imbalance in the immediate environment is inevitable. To what extent you allow it to develop from being a bugbear to a maelstrom is entirely your call.

So here I am giving thanks for people who are my safety net, my outlets for inconvenient outbursts and rants and generally who make me feel that no matter HOW untethered I feel I don’t actually come undone.

Thank you.

My residual sanity thanks you all profusely.

bth_exploding-head-zone

T.G.I.F

So it’s a Friday night. MLM conked off early with all the excitement generated due to both his grandfathers being under the same roof.

I had my dinner leisurely (YAY!), watched the last half of Jaws (YAYx2) and toyed with the idea of a drink and then opted to wait for Red to get home while I watched Criminal Minds.

Mundane?…Au contraire! There is such a thing as too much excitement. And excitement comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

While I wish from time to time that the option of going to a bar and doing shots was freely available or listening to live music on a slightly chilly roof top was part of the menu but occasionally the best thing to do is to really and truly be able to put your feet up and chew your food, reclaim the laptop for yourself, flip between channels and hear Roy Schneider say this!

Happy Weekend πŸ™‚