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It’s A Wormy Friday Morning

This morning MLM and his father saved a wiggly worm. It was in a pool of water and unmoving and to me it seemed like a piece of bark but my kid knew different.

He wanted to see it move and have it taken out of a potentially watery grave and Red obliged.

This is the leggy critter after it dried itself out in the sun.

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Am sure it’ll multiply and leave squirming larvae all over the area.

No good deed goes unpunished 🙂

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The Perils of Callow Youth

I don’t know what has changed me more: growing up didn’t do much but becoming a parent sure did. And hearing about what goes on in the world around us on a daily basis is one shocker after another. This post may make me sound over the hill and preachy but it still stands because it does seem that many of us, women especially, still haven’t woken up to the fact that it’s a pretty gross world out there.

A couple of friends and I went to a club last night. The club was as most clubs are- darkish with strobe lights, lasers, LOUD music and lots of cocktails. One more instance of growing older was revealed to me last night, that I prefer my drinks to *not* have witty, funny names and not be too diluted with all and sundry ingredients. They should be a healthy splash of alcohol/ liquor, ice cubes and served in clean glass. But that’s another blog post for another day.

Our group was dressed differently from our usual everyday attire and we were getting silly amongst ourselves and saying harmless silly things amongst each other to elicit laughs. What I mean is that we weren’t hyper vigilant in our surroundings but neither did we take this break from status quo to go crazy.

There were plenty of “young” people there who had lesser inhibitions than we did. See one of the biggest disadvantages of being a youth is that you’re lacking in experience for a lot of things in life but you have bucketloads of confidence that whatever happens you’ll be able to see yourself through it. The reason I say it’s a disadvantage is because you can’t always be prepared for what you don’t know is out there.

The PYTs were dressed to what they clearly thought was their hippest best but I was disappointed to see that quite a few amongst them had overlooked a sense of safety and decorum to being fashionable or looking trendy. Case in point the young lady who get her date or at least the guy she was dancing with grab her ass on the dance floor in front of everyone and basically grope her very frequently in front of other guys who clearly were enjoying the show.

Or the other young lady who was in an outfit a few sizes too short and small for her and was sporting a very visible and large camel toe.We have all been there, wanting the freedom to go out and have fun, have a few drinks before we’re legally old enough to, or just barely old enough to imbibe, not wanting to think much about anything and just having F-U-N but with the kind of sticky situations going on all around us, isn’t it better to just dance your heart out, drink till you get a wee buzz and make sure the person you came with has more sense than acting like a wannabe pimp on the dance floor?

But this is age talking. Not callow youth who has some way to go before the fairly complicated life they lead about who likes whom, where do they hang out each weekend and discussing what’s the latest trendy thingamajig et al. I want them to have their fun and not feel pressured to grow up too quickly and sober down into 14 hour work days and mortgages all over the place. But still don’t leave your brains at home either. You’ll need it to let you know if you’re doing the right thing for yourself or not. Having fun intersecting with being irresponsible doesn’t always end well.

But back to the aged ones…we danced, we drank, we ate and we laughed. And I think for that was the funnest thing we could have done there. And we will be repeated it but I for one will not be doing it with a drink called Bunny&Clyde! Gimme a rum&cola any day!

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My Son: The Superhero Decapitator

I’d caught up with a friend for a belated celebration of her birthday at a kiddy place house-cum cafe. She’s specifically kept it in a child-friendly place so the moms would be able to take their eyes off their offspring and just kick back and relax. Erm…yeah. Sure. Why not?

It wasn’t a complete disaster I ought to point out. I ignored my inner paranoiac and thought that being on the play floor and having a brand new place to bounce around in.

This is was one the ingredients that contributed to the kookiness- there was a birthday party that was already going on in the same venue and without any kind of way to tell apart the birthday kids from the non-birthday ones. Either in terms of any clothing/ party accessories or even any cordoned off area.

The 2nd and most crucial element was that I took my eyes off him because there were helpers around to watch the kids in the play area (where parents weren’t allowed). And therein lay the disastrous element.

Our group of women was sitting right at the back of the room in full view of the door to the play area and that was deliberately done so we could keep an eye on our own brats. When the birthday party group started to sing the birthday song and heralded the cake cutting I mentioned to the other ladies in the group, I hope our kids don’t think it’s time for them to have a bite of cake. Phew! Talk of ill-timed prophecies. Within a few minutes of the singing stopping and the door to the play floor swinging open and shut with the kids streaming out, an angry woman stomped out and started talking to the servers in the venue and started pointing angrily at the play floor. And I thought, “uh oh”.

I walked as inconspicuously as possible to find out the cause of a human female turning into an angrily buzzing wasp and guess what I found…my darling son had somehow slipped in with the rest of the birthday party kids and while the cake was being cut he did SOMETHING.

The cake was blue with a fondant topping of Iron Man on it. It had been kept in the display case and most of the kids had eyed it longingly while passing it by. I hadn’t seen my son eye it much and hadn’t factored the cake in as any one of the potential “boo-boo” areas of everything that could potentially go wrong. Anyhoo…L-O-N-G story short…my son pinched the head off Iron Man and ran into the play floor and was nibbling bits off the noggin while the child’s mother gradually turned into a fire-breathing dragon.

This is a red-letter day in my life for sure…ohhhh boy. Next time I’ll salute the little paranoid voice in my head and tell Ms.Optimism to go take a hike.

I wish he wasn’t so cute. Makes it harder to stay mad at him and wish him inside a strait jacket!

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Kids: The Beauty Of The Little People

Witnessed two separate instances of candid and unadulterated (excuse the pun) kiddy behavior yesterday. Enjoy reading about them. I enjoyed experiencing them:

Scenario 1:

Last evening at the play area MLM and another little friend of his got into a tiff which seemed to be escalating to epic proportions. Well epic differs from people to people and for 5 year olds, it normally means yelling threats of ‘never seeing the other people again”. EVER!

It all started with silly stuff; the way it does for most kids. It was a matter where one felt the other should apologize and the other didn’t share the sentiments. The person demanding the apology turned into a mini stalker and followed the other potential apologizer around till they gave in. When that tactic fell flat they got right in each others’ faces and shouted they never wanted to see each other again.

After a lot of posturing they each went and plonked their little butts on the SAME merry-go-round, scant inches away from each other and tried very hard to stay miffed and NOT look at each other to see what the other was doing.

A bigger little kid came by and helpfully gave the merry-go-round a spin thinking to see them rise up in joy and go WHEEEE. The exact opposite happened. The warring kids turned on him as one and he was curtly informed that they did not  need his help at all and were perfectly capable of spinning around on their own. The story after that is one that needs no spoiler…they made up. Went dizzy on the merry-go-round and even teamed up against the innocuous big kid and laughed at their heads off. They even walked home together and promises were made of playing together again VERY SOON.

Go figure.

Scenario 2:

MLM was doing his homework and taking breaks in between to tell me how much he wanted to go and play with his little foe turned friend. Another friend’s (mine this time) son came over to run an errand for his mother. Seeing MLM doing his homework he asked exactly the kind of work that had been assigned.When I told him he expressed concern and dismay that a child MLM’s age was laden with the task of cursive writing and horrors…Hindi homework too!

The bigger little boy told me he was introduced to cursive writing in grade school and very seriously wanted to know the name of the school that puts so much pressure on a child smaller than him.

He seemed a bit surprised and slightly down with what he’d seen.

Children, up to a particular age, even with their exposure to adult subterfuge and whatnots are largely very blunt and very expressive. What they see , feel and think the world around them gets to know.

Their approaches to problem solving are ridiculously simple and extremely effective.

Maybe, just maybe…we should take a leaf out of their book when we get frazzled with the vagaries of the world around us.

Just saying.

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challenges education Life parenting raising kids what women want

School Shopping

We’re shopping for a new school for MLM. He’s going to 1st grade in 2015 and we’re a bit worried. Correction- Red is a bit worried. Am anxious.  Anxious because when I was going to school at his age and even at an age older to what he is now, there was usually one or the other choice. And now there are choices galore! Ergo more and more chances to screw up his proper introduction to academia.

The more schools there are, the more parents turn up; kids in tow. The more parents turn up, the more schools pop up. It’s the strongest symbiotic relationship I’ve seen in a long, long while.

Each school promises to nurture your child while not over burdening or even mildly burdening them with any academics and letting them grow in a manner befitting their innate personality and the visions the founders of the schools have held true while establishing the school. HORSESHIT!

A school is a business. A business can be started on noble principles but nobility isn’t going to pay dividends long-term so you get with the program and start adding academic gloss via whatever seems to be trending. And while what might seem cynical the fact of the matter is that the methodologies we studied in weren’t bad at all. The people who implemented them might have been sub-standard but the syllabus wasn’t and we just need to take a look at our own achievements and where we are in life to be cognizant of the fact.

We end up obsessing about teacher-student ratios, ventilated-classrooms, AC in school buses, travelling time to school et al and all of these are valid points to ponder upon. But I don’t consider any of them a make or break thing barring the school distance in the case of a small child.

Here’s what I want for my kid-

  1. patient teachers who like to teach.
  2. a school that has enough open space to make the child feel GOOD about where they will be spending 80% of their childhood.
  3. an understanding of a child’s learning styles so the academics can be pitched accordingly.
  4. a capable administrator as the head of the school who doesn’t just look at numbers but also wants the kids in the school to actually KNOW and UNDERSTAND what’s being taught.
  5. a decent ratio of classroom vs. outdoor activities.

No school will be able to influence or enhance a person’s native intellect. It is what it is. But if they make a child happy, especially a small child, the kind of commitment towards learning they will get is nothing short of phenomenal!

Fingers crossed this particular bit of shopping around doesn’t entail any returns.

Lordy…tough times ahead.

Image courtesy- http://daytrippingmom.com/
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The Therapy Behind The Retail

I can squeeze every last drop of therapy from retail therapy. Especially the online kind. Here’s why it’s fairly harmless and here are its benefits (and this is a prime example of Freud’s rationalization) :

  • If we really wanted to buy things, we’d go physically instead of cozying up with the laptop or some annoying app of a particular retailer.
  • It’s nice to see a variety of things and imagine what you’d do with all of them when you know perfectly well you neither have the room to keep them all nor the money to pay for them in the first place.
  • It shows you your own trends and inclinations over time.
  • If you do buy (and this pertains to online shopping) you save on time, fuel and parking hassle by buying from the comfort of your couch; freeing up time to do other things.
  • Seeing new things, fresh, bright, shiny things is an uplifting feeling on it’s own and provides the change that we needed from whatever rut we were in.
  • The internet is like one GIANT supermarket. Each new tab is a different department and there’s ALWAYS express checkout!

This was a L-A-M-E attempt to explain why I give my credit card such a lot of workout for the silliest things like a table runner 🙂 but on the other hand am probably putting some retailer’s kid through school and college so it’s all good.

Image courtesy- http://theavidonlineshopper.files.wordpress.com/