Wonky Wednesdays

I admit, I should be caffeined up before doing anything pertaining to my child on weekday mornings. Actually that’s a good rule of thumb to follow all through now that I look back on the last 10 years.

Like every kid on a “winter” morning, he was snuggling deeper under the covers and refusing to get up, saying he couldn’t go to school because he was soooooo sleepy. That’s when my uncaffeinated, let’s also call it my lizard brain, decided I should open my mouth.

Instead of just yanking the covers off him or alternating between kissing him and pinching his butt, I chose to say (most unwisely), ” You shouldn’t have been walking around like a bhatakti aatma last night when you should have been in bed then, shouldn’t you?”

See, giving any sleep-addled person unfamiliar info that their brain needs to process first thing in the morning is just wrong. Especially in the case of a linguistically-challenged child who’s decided that he cannot process anything else barring English. So an unpronounceable word first thing in the morning was like dumping a whole world of WTFiveness on his drowsy head.

Our conversation went like this- TO: What’s a batati aatma? Me: BH-takti. TO: Bakati? Me: BH! TO: Butt-aakti? Me: BH-BH-BH!! TO: just gimme a hug Ayu and I’ll get up.

Now he tells me..

Movie Review: Frozen II

Disney’s latest offering is a testimony to parents’ love for their children. A) They buy the movie tickets and then spend a bomb on snacks the kids didn’t need to eat and B) They sit through the entire movie while a small voice in their minds keep going, ” Gag me with a spoon!”

The fact that I have a boy doesn’t stop us from watching a movie which is firmly in the “girlie” territory. The sequel had giants, magic, mysticism and lots more but it also had its characters breaking into a song at the drop of a pin and was very reminiscent of the Bollywood dramas where people gaze off into the unknown and sing their hearts out due to love, fear, doubt…any damn thing that catches their fancy!

But the main things which stand out in this movie are the lack of a strong storyline which was the foundation of the earlier one. It’s almost as if Elsa needs a new drama in her life because being queen and having a normal existence is so humdrum. She begins to hear voices which she cannot resist and that starts off the chain of events which unfold in predictable cliche after cliche. The animation too, doesn’t delight like the previous one. There are one or two instances and those are best watched in 3D but the rest is fairly meh.

So unless your kids *really* love the princessy feel, skip this one. Go watch Inside Out or Hotel Transylvania instead; again. I’ll take Adam Sandler’s Drac over Kristoff singing his heartbreak in a sequence reminiscent of a 90s boyband video.

Sigh…

The Grubby Tales

Surf&turf paella

Catch of the day

The gourmand goes gourmet

Pesto and avocado galore!

They even make eels look good. Almost.

Mercado San Miguel is all about fresh seafood displayed to perfection.

A night cap (or caps) of sweet vermouth really hits the spot!

The peppers are always prominently displayed and are huge!

Wine, meats and cheese- can’t go wrong with that combo.

A regular supermarket or mercato is a riot of glass jars filled with olives, fruits and tangy things that tickle the tastebuds.

Viva La Flamenco!!

The cries of Ole resound in the small room. The lights are dim but bright enough to shine on sheen of sweat on the faces and bodies of the dancers.

Suddenly a deep baritone growls out notes to a song you don’t understand but can feel all the way down to your toes.

The thudding off the heels, the snapping of the fingers and the flinging of the fringed shawl in a frenzy is enough to create a tempo that you are moving along to; even without knowing.

The sangria is forgotten, the fatigue of the day is parked for a while…and you just watch the fury that is the flamenco!

Discovering Barcelona-III

This was our last day in Barcelona. We decided to skip the beach in the less than balmy weather and spend the day in the Gothic Quarter instead. A good decision as it turned out.

Browsing through a flea market, listening to street musicians and having a perfect lunch in a quaint, hole-in-the-wall place in one of many warrens of the Gothic quartets was a leisurely way to see not just see the tourists but also see how the locals look at the likes of us.

Street artists who busk all day at the main square

The wall of an art museum there.

Huge wooden doors with wrought iron knockers dot the area

A Brit watercolor artist who’s called Barcelona his home since the 70s.

Lladro statues being sold so casually at a flea market.

The saints outside Barcelona cathedral

August Recap

The month of August is usually quite festive in this household. Both Red and TO have birthdays. Incidentally both had milestone birthdays this year- their 40th and 10th. Needless to say, the 10th birthday brouhaha was everything that it should be. Between 2 cakes spanning the loves of his life aka cricket and reptilian monsters which Hollywood makes tons of money out of; this child was left delirious with joy.

We also thought we should start a phase where the gifts would come in only from family and To start associating birthdays more with the fun factor, memories to be made rather than gifts to be counted. Check back with me next year to see how far we’ve comeĀ  down this road.

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The munchkins who keep the good times rolling!

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The usual suspects Part-1

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Trio from the usual suspects

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Birthday cake #1

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Birthday cake#2 that paid homage to Godzilla: King of Monsters

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The bouncy birthday boy in the background.

By contrast the 40-year old baby’s day was fairly low-key because Red had already done a stag trip to Oz at the start of the year and wasn’t in the mood to enter his naughty 40s with a bang (‘cuse the pun) in the presence of his in-laws and his father all at once! Hopefully this weekend we’ll be able to engage in some amount of indulgence for the grey and dignified Java God.

We’ve also come a bit of a distance as a family as well. Getting TO settled into another academic year comes with its own set of ups and downs and some amount of anxiety on our parts…chiefly mine. Apparenty when your kid becomes a fifth grader, everyone’s focus gets onto punting the child up to the next grade in middle school and the whole year ends up being a prep for the latter. Phew!

However, striking a balance is what we manage to hack for the most part so not too worried on that front. Being an Indian parent, it goes against the grain to *not* worry about your child’s academics or their potential areas of excellence. After all, what would we put up on our social networks if it weren’t for updates of the child taking newer and greater strides in some or the other field. Of course there are the endless selfies with the puckered up face that most of us instinctively seem to excel at.

Speaking of which, I have rediscovered Snapchat with a vengeance! The initial disdain at the airbrushed faces and the boughs of flowers over the head-filters has melted away and I quite enjoy looking at a smooooooth, blemish-free face and have realized that I wish my eyes were a nice irridescent color and not the browns that I’m destined to sport life long.snapchat-12868228883841078127944242142.jpg

TO on the other hand has gone so deep down the rabbit hole of cricket that I’m afraid he’s lost to the non-cricket loving junta. Luckily for him, he has a father with exceptional hand-eye co-ordination and inclination to listen to his soliloquies on the subject instead of the mother who looks for a pile of cushions to dive under to stop the flow of words from battering her already battered mind.

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Before the all important toss!

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The rare photo where the V sign didn’t make an appearance.

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And the fake smile’s back!

Red as always is the buffer between the two excitable entities that live in this house. He stays calm and collected and only loses his shit during tennis and cricket matches.

So as we gear up for a season of festivities over the next two months, am just happy that all the important stuff is getting ticked off properly and we’re back to the mundane bit where I just have to drag a kid out of bed and boot his behind out of the house on a regular basis and phone the husband with the usual, “when are you going to be home?” spiel. Bliss.

Have a good weekend…Salut!

Alexa…Get Me A Gun!

I got too busy catching up with my folks and forgot to publish this last night.

A little girl who’s become a part of our family of 3 was paying us a visit this evening. Needless to say with TO turning 10 and his cuteness factors dipping day by day; a chirping and twirling child always scores higher on the Awww scale. And they know it too!

TO was busy utilizing some unscheduled screen time when his little friend dropped by. After giving her some toys to play with, he snuck back to the living room to watch some inane crap that he’s very fond of these days.

When I asked for a quick sitrep, the little one promptly ratted him out and smugly waited till he came to play with her. Ah..girl power!

They played, they made a dinosaur park, fenced with dominoes and then they started tormenting my poor poor Alexa.

Now our Echo Dot’s a Gen One and getting on in the years. After going back and forth trying to decipher TO’s accent and then just going back to her factory settings, she now had to contend with understanding chipmunk. Because that’s how fast and perpetually talking 3 year old girls sound like.

Today Alexa had to shuffle between Baby Shark, Faded and Bulleya, which she kept interpreting as Imagine Demons’ Believer. After getting barked at by an increasingly annoyed munchkin and being spoken to by a giggling older child, Alexa gave up the ghost and just rebooted. That’s how she lets us know she’s not going to take our shit anymore!!

Soon after I was dropping a reluctant munchkin home. I’d already disappointed her by not forking over chips before dinner time and limiting the cookies to plain vanilla ones and nothing worth licking in leisure.

She was a bit miffed with me and to recover some ground with her I told her Red’s birthday was coming up and asked for gift ideas. She said, “Give him a gun. A big one.” Seeing my surprised face she added, “Give him some polos too. They come in green colors and they are nice to eat. Polos and guns are the best gift ever!”

There. It’s settled. Red’s going to have the oddest 40th birthday ever. Tons of polos and hopefully a gun. But maybe El Munchino isn’t too far off the mark. Look at Red instructing the flesh&blood in the fine art of aiming and shooting. Ah..out of the mouths of babes…