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Contractually Yours…

Parenting often comes down to reaching agreements with your offspring in order for lessons to be learnt, set and accepted patterns of behavior to be established and also for those invisible lines to be drawn that help kids know crossing which ones will make the parents go medieval on them.

Image courtesy Henry Hustava@Unsplash
When TO was a baby I really, really liked him. He was adorable, always had a smile on his face, wasn’t a fussy baby…he just wouldn’t sleep much but he was not a pain. And he ate pretty much whatever I held up to his mouth.

Image courtesy Kyle Nieber@Unsplash

Somethings he didn’t like from the beginning like ripe papaya, anything with too much crunch or things which left an aftertaste he was iffy about; but this kid ate his fruits and veggies just fine!

Image courtesy Vince Lee@Unsplash

Fast forward a few years and this kid goes around spouting nonsense about being allergic to nuts AND fruit!
No clue where he picked it up from but trust me when I say that the only allergic person in this house is me in regard to excuses this child makes when faced with something he thinks he won’t like.

Yesterday after one of those Eff-It moments when parents decide on the ‘my-way-or-the-highway’ kind of scenario; a historic fruit- consumption contract was drawn up which includes not one but THREE fruits! My mother’s heart was about to burst forth with joy.



Naturally, I had to make it worth his while. And no, I don’t mind using lures when it serves my purpose and gets him to eat and live healthier.


That’s how I got Red to eat more veggies too. I’d wait for the cricket matches to come on and serve him meals that had all the stuff he claimed he never ate and before you know it Mr.Zombie-In-Front-Of-The-Telly had eaten the entire lot of things “he never ate” and liked it too.

So kids, the lesson here is this…next time you want mom to buy the load of tripe about being “allergic” to something, be prepared to go into anaphylactic shock to really drive the point home.

Over and out!

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Lost In Translation#248

TO had a good time dancing to Shaitaan Ka Saala on New Year’s eve but didn’t know the name of the song. His Hindi being what it is, half the words just escape him entirely! And when he does utter them, they are so far from where they started out that it’s more of a #dafuq moment than a #LOL one.

He asked me for the name of the song so he could tell Alexa to play it. And this is what happened…

TO-“Alexaaa wake up”. Alexa- I am awake. What can I do for you? TO-” Alexa play Sankranti Masala“. Alexa- goes round and round till she gives up the ghost and begins to reboot!!

Hooman-1. Gadget- still rebooting.

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School Holiday Bloglet

There comes a time in every parent’s life (mainly the mothers) where they realise that their child is more like a cartoon character than they previously realized. It’s not always a happy realization. Imagine telling yourself, “Crap. I gave birth to Woody Woodpecker.”

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Movie Review: Spies In Disguise

TO and I started 2020’s fun segment off with a mother&son movie date. That nachos and cheese popcorn were a part of it goes without saying. And that the dust from the nachos and the cheese from the popcorn don’t go without a hard scrubbing; goes without saying also.

Now, onto the movie! A lone wolf master spy and a lonely young brainiac scientist learn about each other and what it takes to be a team in this new offering from Blue Sky Studios. Will Smith is smooth as ever as Lance Sterling, the uber cool, unflappable, repartee-trading spy who always ‘flies solo’. Tom Holland with his vulnerable ‘young man’ voice as Walter Beckett come together and learn what it means to be friends, save the world and why pigeons are rather misunderstood and far more cooler than any of us every imagined.

It’s a fun movie with the kind of appeal fun that works with both the kids and the big kids in their lives. Check it out for the slick animation or if you simply like Will Smith…or pigeons! because this flick sends messages without being preachy, too uppity or without being too in your face about it. No spoilers here barring that there are LOTS of pigeons.

Rating: 3***

 

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Fowl Language Redux

Brian Gordon…redefining the reasons we sometimes want to flip our kids off!

Note: all images are sourced from the book Fowl Language: Winging It: The Art of Imperfect Parenting by Brian Gordon.

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Antsy Pantsy

Some people have trouble being cooped up. Even if it isn’t in a tiny space and even if they don’t suffer from claustrophobia.

Take my kid for example…sitting still is a challenge. He’d rather be running his mouth and legs off all at once and flit between shadowing bowling, getting jiggy with it and talking his distracted head off.

We’re on a train right now and off to visit my folks for the holidays and am wondering why we didn’t splurge on flight tickets instead. Spending time with our children is seriously overrated at times.

We have a comfy cabin and everything but it’s not big enough to bounce hyperactive balls on, or take a running lead and pretend to bowl out a phantom batsman playing cricket among other things.

Seeing him go through stages of being slightly tolerable to obviously obnoxious, I was reminded of the days when I used to work and he was in kindergarten. His school transport would drop him off at my office and between me and my colleagues, someone would keep him busy while I got on calls or spoke to clients or sent out emails; often at the speed of light just to be able to wind up everything super quick and get him back home

One day I was on a fairly important call with a team we wanted to partner up with while offering our services and an-almost 4 year old decided that post going to the loo he no longer wanted to wear his pants and wanted to moon all the people I worked with instead.

The person I was talking to was droning on and on, not letting me get a word in edge-wise so I couldn’t hang up either and this is the scenario that played out: an irate and striving-to-appear professional woman chased a half-naked kid around her office and hissed at him sotto voce to put his pants back on immediately while uh-huhing with a guy who was tripping on his own voice.

Finally I think I bellowed to a kid who was on top of a kiddy ladder and about to bounce onto a foam mat to behave himself and put his pants back on or he was going to get spanked!

There was an immediate pin drop silence from the phone while a semi-naked little boy flew through the air, giggled his butt off and again ran off to do something else that would make the veins pop on his mother’s head.

The call was hastily wound up and a new time scheduled. The new call went by in a blink, we kept to the main points and even skipped the pleasantries entirely. The synergy took place, bumbums were covered up and the world was at peace again.

Till the next time. S-I-G-H

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Sunday Morning Bloglet

Yesterday TO was in a bit of a defiant mood and decided to test the waters by flouting the rules and diktats laid out.

I did the only thing that I do when yelling isn’t an option; I stopped talking to him. It was quite a bit of a blessed silence for Red am sure.

The requests to read a book at bedtime fell on deaf ears amongst the litany of chants of my name. Finally a little boy fell asleep with a sulky moue.

This morning he woke up and gave me a hug and kiss and looked relieved when I responded in kind. It led to outpourings and declarations of love about me being his favorite mother!

I said I had to be his favorite mother because I was his only mother and he said, “That’s what you think. Ma (my mom) is my mother too! She’ll love me when you don’t!”

I dont think the lesson’s being learnt here, eh what?

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Saturday Facepalms

My kid rates fairly middling to high on the maintenance scale. As a family am sure we all do. In each others’s eyes if nothing elseImage result for keep calm+family

We rate above average on the drama scale too. And not the kind that rates the good drama and invites curtain calls and huge bouquets of roses. This is the soap opera kind which has varying quantities of MELOdrama, pathos, angst and ire. And that’s all in the first few sentences uttered by TO. I am perpetually the evil witch and boy am I glad! It maybe in the genes but when I see a kid who acts up, my palms itch to connect with their backsides and bring out all the shades in the spectrum of red.

One thing that TO has been pulling on us is threatening to run away each time he gets UBER exasperated with us. The first time he pulled that nonsense I admit, I was taken aback but then knowing his love for peanut butter and the telly; I knew he’d be back. And he was.

Fastforward a couple of years and this morning suddenly the “I’m leaving” bomb gets dropped on our head. Again. Red was no help at all being the good cop.

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Thankfully I was fully caffeinated and had happy things to do for the rest of the weekend so I didn’t sweat it. I asked TO to make out a list of places he thought he could go and stay in and keep the list a bit long in case some people were unavailable to have him crash at their place long-term or use their wi-fi free of cost- whichever is the bigger transgression.

Not surprisingly, he quickly changed his tune. He started negotiating with me and started tell me that for the low, low cost of screen time, I could have the pleasure of his company at home forever. Clearly this mom found that too high a price to pay so I insisted that he keep the list ready since he was going to get the digital media taken away sooner or later and he’d again get upset and want to leave.

I even suggested putting the list up on his door, in big, bold font and colors so it would be easier for him to choose where he wanted to go and live. Weird how soon the threat fizzled out soon after that. If this were a cartoon, TO would be like a balloon, whizzing around the room, rapidly deflating.

Evil Mom-1. Whiny Kid-0

Nuff said!

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Turbulent Toosdays

We’ve been having slightly wonky weather here. It’s rainy and overcast one minute but suddenly bright rays of sunshine will burst through the clouds and blind us all.

TO has been slightly under the weather. His usual scheduled spell of cough-cold-almost-guaranteed throat infection during the monsoons is slightly delayed this year but it’s finally made an appearance.

He’s been home since Monday and my good cop’s taken a hike and left the bad cop on indefinite duty.

This morning after meeting our family physician, I told TO that he’s not really sick so he should get cracking with his chores and not spend the whole day whining about screentime.

The love of my life, flesh of my flesh did his chores…with aplomb! He made his bed by folding the bedcover in halves like a door. And he proclaimed it was a coffin. For ME.

I told Red that I’d need a lot of alcohol to get through today. Or maybe a Valium. It’s all the same when your kid prepares a coffin for you with glee and adoration.

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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!