Priorities

We have a Gopro mini camera. The offspring loves it because he can take it underwater. I love it because it helps me not lug the entire camera gear I tend to normally take.

For a totally amateur photog I have quite a bit of gear; which we discover only while packing.

We’re vacationing in Kerala now and I got the head harness for the camera so we can have fun in the ocean and have our hands free at the same time.

MLM aka the offspring wore his swimming glasses today and mounted the camera on top much to Red’s dismay because in the water the brat turns into a much more slippery customer to tackle. To add to that, the added weight of the glasses and the camera kept hampering his foray into deeper waters. Phew!

When Red complained to me about bringing the camera along I told him clearly, ” When in doubt, save the kid first and then the camera.”

Here endeth the lesson.

Trivandrum Mornings…

Here for a spell. My kid wants to see crocodiles. Look into reptile retail so we can buy one and take it back home. In the meanwhile he had his first lobster…literally willing it to come flying out the kitchen doors. And then later wanted me to turn the crustacean over so he could see the shell and make sure it was what it was supposed to be.

I woke up to a dark room because the hotel drapes are dark and thick. Two blissfully sleeping brats by my side.

Stepped outside to Christmas carols somewhere in the distance. Some busboys running around here and there but overall the place is calm. You get to hear birds chirping, no one yelling at their kids to get out to bed but then again there’s always Church where quite a lot of people are to be found this time on a Sunday morning.

Trivandrum after 14 years…I’ve come to discover you again.

Here’s to day one!

In The Dance Of Life…

I often suffer from tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon. My husband would disagree entirely given how often he gets a pained look on his face when I keep gabbing away or how quickly he reminds me that it’s really late and I should be FAST ASLEEP already!

There are occasions when a particular concept floats into my head but doesn’t make it down to my tongue. This morning, one of those nebulous concepts got cleared up…PITSTOP!

Mornings at my home are really a race, bar none! Usually Red and I work in a relay but often we tag-team just to get MLM out the door. And our precision is quite fine. In the 6 years the child has been going to school, he’s missed the bus only thrice. That’s practically a spotless track record! Pun totally intended.

Today Red got him dressed while I buttoned him up and got lotion on the spots Red missed. I got one sock on while Red did the other and then swapped me for one of MLM’s legs while I did up the shoe. Then I bundled him in his jacket (Red’s jacket which he’s usurped) while Red got his book bag packed. And we were out the door, near the bus stop before you could stop to ponder on life before having kids!

It’s an intricate dance…you have to get the steps right. Wake-up, brush, cha-cha-cha. Drink your milk, go bathe, cha-cha-cha. And then of course if things are right you either waltz your way into the school bus or you’re doing a tarantella and just managing to get a toehold on the bus.

I often have the William Tell overture as the background score in my head. And as psychotic as it may seem, it’s the truth! My kid makes me experience life at so many levels that I think in color, sound and taste!

And please excuse me while I cha-cha my way to my daily chores!

Alors on commence!

Loose Lips…

Yesterday while running an errand I got blocked into a narrow lane by an imbecilic cabbie who had parked bang in the middle of the road with no thought for anyone else. Apparently when you have to take a whizz everything comes a poor second.

So there I was, getting more annoyed by the minute with bystanders trying to help me find my way out of an impossibly narrow space between the badly parked cab and a tractor. To make it worse, some of them mumbled, “lady driver” because a male driver would have pulled off a feat worthy of the Knight Bus and squeezed through the wedge of space available, nevermind if it spelled the death of their car’s paintjob.

As always, adding to the fun was my kid, who from the back seat kept offering me his helpful tips about how not having come out of the house at all would have been “so good” and how stopping for chips on the way back home would somehow miraculously solve all the problems.

Cut to 20 minutes later. Errant cabbie comes back post-pee, unapologetic and does a “talk-to-the-hand” gesture when I start giving him my “I want to squish you under my foot like the worthless slug you are” look. I guess I might have muttered a word that rhymes with duck and luck in a sotto voce manner. And guess who heard it with the windows half down and being a few feet away? The same child who can’t hear me when I’m yelling for him to clean his room, my loud voice booming through the whole house!

And this morning the little monster comes upto me in a moment I’ll always remember…he had a ridiculous toothpaste mushtache around his mouth, crud in his eyes and told me in a fake whisper, “You said the ‘f’ word yesterday”. My knee jerk reaction was to say, “No, I didn’t” followed by “What’s the f-word anyhow?” and he told me, enunciating it clearly enough for me to have a WTF moment.

And being a parent caught doing something wrong, I lied like a trueblue hypocrite and said, ” I said fudge…not the other thing”. And bang comes the question,” What’s fudge?” And I told him in great detail, trying to distract him from pondering on the original f-word. And it seemed to be working as well, till the monkey boy came back to bathroom door, whispered conspiratorially and told me, ” I know you said the F-WORD!!!” and he laughed a mini-villain laugh and scampered away.

Oh FUDGE!!!

Kids: Boon Vs Bane

The jury is still out on that one.

On one hand you can remember them as the cutest, cuddliest, chubbiest drooly monsters that walked around with a diaper-covered bum. And on the other hand you wish you could sedate them or keep them in suspended animation when they’re getting their best and most annoying bratty groove on.

At the risk of pissing off my husband, who is more predisposed towards liking the offspring and not wanting to punt him over the fence into the neighboring building, let me say that kids are the people who test your patience to the extent you want to chuck everything and join a convent or do a Hansel-Gretel with them and leave them in a forest clearing somewhere…preferably in a galaxy far, far away.

There are some day when praying for divine intervention does no damn good at all and the only thing that helps you get through things are longing glances at the booze cupboard or the promise of a weekend ending and school starting up again.

And kids really can be quite rotten. They are trying on the days they need to be angelic. They mouth off at the time when they need to be mimes and they stay up like owls on the nights you need them in bed and knocked out by 7:30 on the dot!

But if they always did what was expected of them they wouldn’t be kids at all. They’d be flitting about with wings and halos and spotless white clothes. Instead these oompa-loompas have decidedly tarnished halos and the wings which mimic the headless chicken scenario.

Oh well…c’est la vie.

 

Moving On…

I’ve lived in quite a few places. Changed houses, states, countries and a continent in the process.

But the longest I’d lived anywhere till date was the first place Red and I bought after we got married. It wasn’t that much of a well-thought out decision. We didn’t factor in any green space close by, or schools.

The place was BIG, we had the room that we needed for our books, clothes and kitchen stuff. When the parents came to visit, they each had their own rooms with attached loos and the view from the balcony, while not spectacular, was cozy and I had flowering plants on the parapet for the almost the entire duration we lived there.

We planned a family in the apartment, had a kid who learnt to walk there. We had our fights, plans for the future, packed for trips and ultimately made it a home. And now, 4 years later, it’s gone back to being an apartment again.

We had tenants living there till recently and when they moved out I realized that I’d cut my ties with the place well and truly. Earlier, I used to be able to see glimpses of my kid toddling about the house along with other memories of us going about our lives; without getting hauled in for hallucinating.

But this time around I felt like it was someone else’s space that I was visiting. I still knew where the light switches were (Red doesn’t remember them for the place we live in even now) but there was not tugs felt once I switched off the lights and locked the door on the home we’d lived in for 6 years.

People move on. Sometimes it’s a such a smooth process that you wake up one day and realize that you no longer possess a particular frame of mind. And there are other times when you literally browbeat yourself into moving forward.

The people we couldn’t do without once- we can now go without talking to them for days on end and things still seem alright. The lifestyle we held to be an absolute truth gets swapped for another one and we ease into it so seamlessly it’s almost as if nothing else ever existed.

It’s a heady and yet a very reassuring thought…I for one am relieved.

Have a good weekend people.