2014 in review Or Why I Love WordPress

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,600 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 27 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

VaCaTiOn!

I thought I might blog each day of the vacation but that hasn’t happened. No biggies. It’s a vacation after all. Nearly free from rules except the 20-minute rule for getting into the pool post a hogging session.

The beach is clean, seem to have no riff-raff (none that I’ve spotted so far) and is pretty shallow so MLM and we have been able to venture pretty far in without worrying too much about turning turtle once a big wave hits.

The resort by itself is nothing over the top. It’s cozy, looks like a resort, feels like a resort, acts like a resort as it were but it’s not your run-of-the-mill filled to the brim during holiday season either.

We get enough pool time and don’t have to jostle for a good spot on the beach either.

One of the things we wanted for the vacation was an overall sense of being relaxed. We haven’t yet opted for too many activities (that’ll come with the second part of the holiday) and neither did we want to have our fill of things to feel that we’re getting our money’s worth. We wanted to relax, have some laughs, take a few pictures and have a good holiday.

Barring a smallish (well..not that small) with the luggage arriving once we landed in our destination it’s all been just dandy.

We’ve tasted the local cuisine, gone to a party, made half-assed sand castles, caught a wee mudskipper, chased crabs on the beach and seen a mangrove and it’s denizen amongst the whole of things we “haven’t” done.

MLM has been pretty social too….going up to people on the beach and in the pool, saying hello. Sometimes choosing people to interact with purely on the basis of their attire viz the boy who wore the alligator swim trunks or the lady who was just lazily floating in the pool till the little monkey swam up beside her and decided he wanted to do what “aunty” was doing 🙂

We’ve had to resort to the television only once or twice till now. The digital media is a companion during meals but we’re working on that.

All in all it’s a good way to round off a year that’s seen lots of hours in the office, lots of scoldings over handwriting and homework and plenty of time agonizing over the ironing, maids and choosing schools for the offspring.

So here we are….vegetating.

How sweet it is!

Treasures of the beach aka results of our scavenging

Treasures of the beach aka results of our scavenging

This says it all...happiness personified.

This says it all…happiness personified.

Vacation Diaries- Day 1

We’ve set off on what promises to be an annual vacation of sorts.

We’re in Goa with a whole bunch of other people who also are in Goa doing the same thing we are-lazing in a resort which caters to their kids’ ideas of fun viz the beach and the pool and also to their eating habits viz daal-chaawal-rotis with french fries thrown into the mix.

Sounds prosaic? Banal even. It’s not. So far. It’s a safe thing to do. Guaranteed successes and whatnot plus it’s that change from the everyday that we all long for.

That’s why am hitting the sack before 10 pm and why I’ll have to keep coming up with reasons why my kid can’t take the sheep and horse figurines from the Nativity scene on display here. Image some kid walking off with Christ’s flocks or just pinching off Baby Jesus.
Now that’d be a vacation blog worth writing.

Our trip was relatively painless. After the offspring discovered that cup noodles weren’t served on short distance flights (awww) and I discovered I saved 200 bucks because of it (yay) we settled down to some angry bird action. Just when it was going good we landed and promptly spend an extra half hour at the luggage carousel waiting for what turned out to be a bag with a busted lock (double awww).

Getting to the resort was fun. I slept. Red and offspring counted Christmas stars on the houses along the way. And on reaching here I found out that it was full of people I’d left behind aka a home away from home. So what’s not to like?

Day 2 will see the dawn of the SLR on the trip along with a walk (read run, after my kid) on the beach and some sorpotel down the gullet. Burrrp.

G’nite.

Watch this space for more trite, hackneyed and utterly predictable observations.

Reblogged:Playing With The Hand You’re Dealt…

Isn’t that what it all boils down to in life?
It isn’t always celebrating the things that go well or in accordance with our plans or even making our peace with the things that don’t. It’s finally just existing with what IS.
Sometimes we are able to do it gracefully and other times it takes a lot of plodding and prodding to get through each day.

There’s a saying by Oscar Wilde that people often smugly quote- ” There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.”

I’ve found that while tragedy might be too strong a word for it, it does seem difficult to comprehend and accept ,what you sought out, opted for even isn’t all that it’s cut out to be or even worse…it’s not what you want. Is inadequate.

So you shuffle the deck a few times and hope the next hand is better than the one that has you staring in bafflement.

Or you chuck the cards up in the air and don’t care if they scatter all over; since it’s mimicking life in doing so.

And some of us painstakingly make a house of cards. Trying to balance each card over the other and anxiously watching whether they stay up or come tumbling down.
In the end you either end up with a steady house you used up all your cards in making and are proud of or you decide to call it quits after you reach a plateau and are still left holding a few cards for later.

It’s all about playing with the hand you were dealt.

Reblogged: Marking Territory

Everywhere I look, I sit the offspring’s presence prevails.

The jar of Gummybears are usually within hand’s reach although with the child-proof caps it’s still a bit in our control when we want to hand the bears over.

There are clothes clips on the futon, tigers and lions (figures) under the sofa cushions and Play Doh and khakhra crumbs all along the path he’s taken through the house. Very Hansel and Gretel and one can guess who the witch in this story is too 🙂

Point is- kids take over your life in toto! And when they sleep you reclaim it and the house which has their artwork all over the walls instead of the nice designs you and your husband picked out as newlyweds.

But then again they surprise you in the MOST UNEXPECTED manner. After a terribly taxing day when you’ve restrained yourself from leaving them on some unsuspecting person’s doorstep they turn to you and execute a deep bow and say Thank You Very Much Ayu in the cutest manner ever and all’s forgiven till the next transgression.

Damn! Check and mate to the offspring. Mommy’s still figuring out her opening gambit!

Reblogged: Like A Phoenix

A lot of blogs turn out to be a plunge into some deep chasm of thought. It’s not. I suddenly get a notion in my head. It often cries for a platform. Some days I can give it one and other days it’s shunted onto my list of things-to-do-but-not-now-maybe-later.

After a long time I napped in the afternoon. It was my own fault. Sunday comes every week but I don’t indulge in heavy meals that make one languorous. Today I did and as a result I stretched out next to my mom (another factor in inducing sleep) and conked off the moment the head and pillow connected.

That Red kicked me out of the room and took charge of MLM was probably the biggest reason for being able to sleep for 2 hours.

When the mind is relaxed it seems into sink into itself. Not like a balloon with air going out of it but almost like it heaves a small sigh of relief that you aren’t stretching it to all ridiculous lengths and just starts emitting little blurbs of thoughts like a person lazily blowing bubbles. Or as in my case, a contented person emitting little burps.

So the mind burped this thought- everything that grows brings with it something that had to break.
It wasn’t a “Whoa horsey” kind of thought either. It was reflective.

An empty land becomes an apartment complex. It’s dug into and practically eviscerated but it’s growth. And breakage. The homes are built and we “break” the space which earlier existed and coop ourselves up into an affordable number of square feet and call it home.

Relationships grow and break your notions of what is and what should be. Things are seldom tweaked. It’s usually a structural kind of change that happens and the mind fits itself around the new thought, the new idea and tries it on. Sometimes it fits and other times you’re left with something that is chokingly tight or so loose that you just can’t work yourself into it and it just hangs uncomfortably around you and your life.

It was a very A-Ha experience as Red calls it. Another realization. One that you might have already had but didn’t allow yourself to dwell on for long.

And every time the phoenix that is the mind, rises above and tries to make sense of things, of relationships, of movements in life of the ground that is now a tall building that you have to call home, the people who are moving on, playing different roles, the child that is growing up…

Yup…Sunday afternoon naps are quite potent.

Am glad the next one will take another few months to come about 🙂

Reblogged: What You Say Vs What They Hear

I keep wondering what is it that makes my kid do the opposite of what I ask (read threaten/yell) him to do.

These are the very regular occurrences in our house:
  • Stand still gets interpreted as be anything but still.
  • Be quiet or HUSH= keep chattering incessantly.
  • Just a minute/second= I want it NOW!
  • Give me a minute to catch my breath= peppered by demands.
  • No iPad/TV = GIVE iPad/TV NOW!
  • Let’s eat dinner= I want JAMP (jam).
  • Let’s each lunch= I want chips!
  • Let’s brush your teeth= eating the toothpaste.
  • Rinse your mouth properly= water trickling out of the corners of the mouth with zero rinsing having taken place.
  • Enough ketchup= squeezing out another massive glob of it.
  • Eat properly with the spoon= eating with both hands in one go and looking absolutely simian in the process.
  • DON’T=DO
  • ENOUGH= NEVER ENOUGH
  • I’M ANGRY WITH YOU= thousands of kisses rained on my face as a bribe.
  • GO STAND IN THE CORNER= slowly inching away from the corner and smiling like an evil monkey.
  • Let’s not put the Play Doh on the sofa= rubbing it even more into the fabric.
  • Don’t write on the walls= put handprints with paint instead.
  • GO TO SLEEP= STAY UP AN EXTRA HOUR JUST TO SPITE ME.
See what I mean!
Clearly I live in the Land of Opposite and MLM is King!

ReBlogged: Fee Fie Fo Fum!

Said the giant before Jack whooped his bottom and took away his essence of being a giant altogether!

Ok…how does that make any sense you ask? I’ll tell you…just let me spin out my tale a bit more…

Parenting. Glorious parenting. Tis fun. Tis joyous. Brings tears to your eyes at times (for many reasons, not all of them good) but god dammit! Why does it have to be so HARD???!!!

One mom I met a few months back at the doctor’s office said something which is SO true for most of us…we wait for our babies to talk and take their first steps and then when they achieve said milestones all we seem to be capable of telling them is SHUSH and DON’T RUN AROUND!

If my speech was transcribed throughout the day (like a court reporter does) I have a feeling most of it would start like this (especially when taken in conjunction to my communication with MLM):

Morning (before coffee)- moan, groan, grumble, curse (while stepping on some toy which has wheels or a part sharp enough to poke).

Waking up MLM- (singsong) Hey Buddy..waaaaake upppp! Good morningggg! How are you todayyy? Kissy kissy, cuddley-wuddley and all that jazz.

Getting him to brush his teeth and bathe while keeping an eye on the wall clock- To the tune of This is the Way We Go To School- this is how we brush our teeth…la la la la laaaa.
On seeing that aforementioned teeth are not getting brushed- WOULD YOU OPEN YOUR MOUTH ALREADY!! JESUS CHRIST! YOU NEED A DARN JACK TO PRISE OPEN THIS CHILD’S MOUTH! OPEN UP NOW!!! GOOD BOY…see…pretty white teeth…keep them nice and clean…STOP CHEWING ON YOUR TOOTHBRUSH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! YE GODS..I GAVE BIRTH TO A GOAT!

And so the morning progresses.

On the way to school we sing Eeya Eeya O!! till new requests for songs get delivered right into my ear. And then the exchange becomes like this-
WHY ARE YOU HISSING INTO MY EAR!  NO! NO! DON’T FIDDLE WITH THE RADIO…AAARGH TURN IT DOWN..TOO LOUD..NO I DON’T WANT THE WIPERS GOING SWISH SWISH..IT’S NOT RAINING…OK FINE..NO! DON’T TOUCH THE HAZARD LIGHTS…I CAN’T SEE THE ELEPHANT IN THE CLOUD NOW I’M DRIVING! SIT DOWN NOW!!

And so we get dropped off to school, exchange kisses and promises of being good and having fun yada yada.
Then comes the coming back from school part- ( again imagine singsong happy-happy la-la voice…to start with): How was school? Did you have fun! What did you see? Did you eat your snacks? Wha..what…! NO NO…NO CHOCOSHOT! STOP LYING DOWN ON THE ROAD…NO KFC NOW EITHER…WOULD YOU PLEASE NOT KICK MY SEAT WHILE YOU THROW THE TANTRUM…AARGH….GOD! I MISS BEING SINGLE!!

Then comes the bath and evening play time: (less singsong…cheer is decidedly being summoned)- Let’s go bathe and get fresh…you’re all stinky poo-poo (yes we baby talk..so shoot me!). HANG ON HANG ON…DON’T POUR MY FACE WASH INTO THE TUB..THOSE AREN’T BUBBLES…OK YES THEY ARE BUBBLES BUT NOT YOUR BUBBLES..THOSE ARE MY BUBBLES…SIGH..TAKE IT ALL…just sit down and get clean you force of nature…

Going to the playground- Who’s going to have FUN?! YES! That’s right…10 minutes into the playtime…please share the swings…plEASE…PLEASE..WOULD YOU JUST GO PLAY ON THE SLIDES OR SOMETHING…IT’S BEEN AN HOUR AND MY HANDS ARE GOING TO FALL OFF..I’M NOT PUSHING YOU ANYMORE AND THAT’S FINAL! AM LEAVING…DON’T THINK AM BLUFFING..AM GOING…WHOA…HANG ON…DON’T RUN IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION THE CAR IS THIS WAY…grumble grumble…curse curse…pine for alcohol and wish for a husband who worked from home!!

Bed time: RINSE YOUR MOUTH. GO PEE. GET INTO BED. LET’S READ YOUR BOOKS FOR THE UPTEENTH TIME ON THE SAME PAGE, SAME LINE, SAME WORD….

By the time the little eyes close and the HUK (hug) and kisses happen the voice is again mellow and singsong and thinking ‘ awww…isn’t he beautiful? Yeah…I can do this another day. NOT RIGHT NOW…later. much later.

Mommyhood: Some Truths

Any mother will eventually admit to this- they love their kids the most when the children are either asleep or doing something that doesn’t require them (the moms) to be an active participant all the time.

See the thing with kids is this- you are doing things with them, for them, watching them do things while doing things with them or for them; you’re never really just watching them. And often when you do get the time to stop and watch them you realize that they’re grown up or a little less of the baby you knew just a few months back.

Here’s a silly little anecdote but one that made me feel all warm and gooey inside so naturally it’s all good.

Once we moved into the new place I realized that the toilets were higher than at the old place. MLM had to get some help to get hoisted onto the pot initially and would need to stand on tiptoes to pee. Very banal stuff right? And then I walk into the loo one morning and I realize he’s not on tiptoes anymore and can hoist himself onto the pot. Give the kid a medal! In a mom’s book that calls for an “awww my baby’s growing up”.

We can often miss out on the subtext in day-to-day life. The stuff going on in the background and even the foreground while we’re going about with the essentials.

What I like to do these days since MLM learnt to swing on his own is observe him and his interactions with other around him.

I find it satisfying in a way when he doesn’t come to me with his problems but tackles them on his own because that too is a sign of independence and growing up.

He has a funny way of referring to certain children’s’ moms as ‘Mother’. When I asked him why he was calling a particular lady as Mother since she wasn’t his mother and why not call her Aunty instead, pat came his reply- “So many aunties”. That is his to-the-point way of telling me he’s trying to keep from confusing the issue and directly addressing some kid’s mom instead of saying Aunty and having half a dozen women look at him. That he didn’t remember the lady’s name was well evidenced as well.

But the overall dynamics are very entertaining and enlightening to observe. Just yesterday MLM told another child’s mother than her daughter was hungry and wanted to go home. Out of the blue. The child in question was happily playing around with no idea she was the topic of a conversation. Why this sudden benevolence towards a peer? Well MLM’s soon-to-be-ex-best-friend who has of late started playing with other girls and keeping him at an arm’s length was approaching the playground and my darling son decided upon a preemptive strike before he lost the battle!

It’s amazing how these little minds work, how complex and yet simple their thought processes can be. And I get to be a spectator and take mental snapshots…all because a little boy has learnt to swing and I don’t have to give my biceps a workout anymore.

Amen. And thank you Galactic Ameba for your benevolence.