Phunless Phlegm

It’s been consistently sporadic rains for the past few days in my city. And if that’s too much of an oxymoron, tough! It’s the best a mother can do after her gravelly-voiced offspring woke her up yet again with a loud honk of his nose and his constricted breathing, not to mention the countless sneezes.

The fun (and I use as much snark as I am capable of while waiting for the milkman to deliver the farm-fresh goodness that will go into my life-saving beverage) of phlegm is actually way beneath zero. If you can think of rock bottom, imagine scratching your way to Tartarus in the effort to evade phlegm.

Your nose becomes a leaky faucet, your throat constricts in odd ways and if you’re like TO, you end up leaving mucus-encrusted napkins wherever you may roam.

All in all, a mother’s lot in life is no phun with phlegm on the horizon. Imagine me holding up a tissue box and saying, “Get thee behind me phlegm!” Nuff said!

The Art of Teaching

I realized this quite early in life; not everyone can be a teacher. Rather not everyone can be a good one. And mind you, a good teacher isn’t necessarily the person who is always a jolly, smiling individual but one who genuinely makes you interested in learning.

While I was going to school, children were largely meant to be seen and not heard unless expressly called upon to show the teacher that they hadn’t wasted his or her time lecturing a class of 40 kids, every day about things they didn’t know they needed to learn. And yet teachers are an inescapable part of life; the inadvertent ones and the one we recognise as teachers.

After going to 9 different schools from pre-primary till my 12th grade exams, I thought I had a pretty good fix on who can be considered a good teacher and then college hit and I began to have multiple A-Ha experiences. While it is harder to hold down the attention of school-going kids and give them an exposure to all the subjects in one go, it is that much harder to teach young adults coming into their own, about how the subjects they will learn in college will end up impacting their lives in a more permanent way.

I have had teachers dazzle me with their knowledge, their passion, their kindness and also their love. I have (sadly) also seen people that made me cringe and made me promise myself that I would never submit to that kind of rigor, near aggression or mindless teaching in the name of education.

The adage from G.B Shaw, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach” has been proven wrong many times over. Those who can do, those who can’t, don’t or bumble along trying. It has *nothing* to do with teaching at all.

To all my teachers over the years…whether I reached wherever you expected me to or not, the lessons have been learnt. Some discarded, few forgotten but the ones learnt properly have resonated with me and continue to do so. Thank you…

The Exasperated Mommy Bloglet

Living with a teenager is quite like living with an overly opinionated, randomly emo, rather ignorant, squaking parrot who you love to bits but want to silence by throwing a tarp over.

The Mother’s Day Brouhaha

My family lived in the US briefly, many years ago. Prior to that life was smaller in many ways. There were no 75 channels on tv and there certainly was no Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Presidents Day and what have you.

We had Children’s Day where we most certainly did not get to escape from school; were “nudged” into elocution or essay competitions eulogizing the first Prime Minister of India. We had Teacher’s Day where the teachers got a break..sort of. The place I did my middle school from, had the 10th graders dress up in sarees or salwar kameez and the younger classes were allocated to us to manage while the teachers had a break for a day. Lunch was organized for them and there were no classes on that day for anyone. Good times all around. But the concept of Mother’s Day being a thing and a big one at that is something I got to know when I was in 3rd grade. Still a newbie of sorts to American life.

Our teacher who had an unfortunate way of looking strict while she wasn’t too bad in real life had us make little accessories for our mothers. Small pieces of what looks like particle wood to me now were available for us to color on and then a pin would be glued on the back and it would make a lovely brooch for our moms.

In theory so many things sound good. Doable even, but give a bunch of kids glue and craft products especially a goggle-eyed one from India who is new to the concept of pipe cleaners and googly eyes and you get something like this-

My mother in her infinite wisdom *never* wore this except for the time I gave it to her. Given that she had nothing which would offset this and she never went trick or treating either, this brooch was consigned to her drawer of special things, displayed prominently but sensibly not worn.

She preserved this, possibly as a reminder to herself that Art and her daughter were not intended to be friends. Over the years I’ve got a laugh out of jiggling the brooch so the eyes jump up and down but for the most part this work of art remains misunderstood and has more depth than anyone has possibly gauge.

Happy Mother’s Day all!

Eye Roll Blog Post#2

The car mats have got pretty dirty and I wanted to wash them out before we stepped out next. It’s a simple task actually…use a hand shower or a forceful spray to get the initial layer of dirt and dust off, sprinkle a bit of detergent on the mats, let them soak for a few minutes and use a hard scrub brush to get as much of the residual dirt off and let it dry out. Including soaking, the whole thing takes about 20 minutes unless you’re like my father who would probably want some bleaching agent to make the mats look clean and new.

Imagine me doing all of the above and asking TO for one teensy little help viz opening up the foldable drying rack so I could put the mats on it to dry out. But what is teensy in my world is unfathomable in his so our conversation went something like this: Me: “Baby please open up the clothing stand and keep the side flaps straight (they are adjustable in case we need some height).” TO: HUH?!! Me: Can you open up the clothes drying stand and keep the sides absolutely straight so I can dry the mats? TO: I don’t understand...Me: What don’t you understand (washing, scrubbing going on simultaneously)? TO: What’s the clothes drying stand? Me: (voice becoming slightly frosty) The folding stand where we dry our clothes? Everyday? It’s on the balcony? TO: Oh *THAT* thing? Why can’t you be more specific Ayu?Me: (icicles becoming to form on the bathroom surface) How could I have been more specific while describing it?! TO:You know, you could’ve said to me get that clothes thingie we put clothes on!” Me: “Oye ve!

83 days till school reopens…

Eye Roll Blog Post#1

My kid’s school suddenly announced an earlier closure to the school year due to rising temperatures yesterday. When TO found out about it, the joyous whoop he let out probably was audible a few blocks over.

So this is Day One of summer break 2022 and Mr.Zombie-During-School-Days got up on his own before 6 am, bathed, brushed, wore clean clothes, combed his hair, had his chocolate milk and is languidly spread out on the bed catching up on his Netflix To-Do list. He has an almost beatific look on his face and very graciously informed me I needn’t keep the morning alarm on for the next two months since he’ll be getting up when he wants to…Watch this space for more of his shenanigans and my frequent eyerolls…

The Dementia Diagnosis

One of Red’s cousins will be visiting us soon and I was telling TO about him. He’ll be meeting a brand new set of cousins and an aunt he’s not seen before so I was trying to give him some background while we set out for errands this morning.

This uncle of his is a neurologist and the moment I told him that, TO exclaimed in an excited manner that he was a doctor of brains and probably treated people for dementia. And that’s when the Universe intervened and turned it into an ” Why-Hast-Thou-Forsaken-Me” moment” from a “Man-My-Kid-Knows-So-Much-Awesome-High-Fives-All-Around” kind of moment.

It went something like this, ” TO: So this doctor can treat you and P also right? Me: Why would he treat us, we’re fine?!!” TO: No! You guys are old and you keep forgetting things! Me:We don’t have dementia. Sometimes people forget when they are distracted or they are doing a lot of things at the same time. Dementia doesn’t happen much in our age (yes it does, but he doesn’t need to know that!);it happens to older people. TO: I can see *ALL* this white hair on both your heads and you are really old. Not as old as Avva (his great-grandmother) but OLD! So you could get dementia. Ask this uncle when he comes home.” Me: I don’t have dementia but I will become demented soon baby! TO: What’s that? Me: Nevermind, we’re here! C’mon out of the car you little quack! (muttered sotto voce)

Ask And Ye Shall Receive

A few days ago I wondered to myself that the reptiles we are forced to share our home with are suspiciously MIA given how summer’s setting in.

That was really stupid thing to do because there are times when the universe answers questions, not always prayers but often questions and answers then with a BANG!

This morning while grabbing the life-sustaining can that contains the magic that is caffeine, a fairly healthy and aggressive specimen of the Bane Of My Existence Aka Wall Crawler Supreme In All Its Ickiness, came charging out at me, making me almost drop the coffee. Almost. Now *that* would have been a catastrophe.

Stupid tropical country with its tropical climate that’s optimum for creepy crawlies..

Accurate But Politically Incorrect

TO is learning about genetics and most things associated with them. I’m ashamed to say that barring being familiar with terms, I can’t recollect the definition without looking it up and most times I look them up with a keywords “for dummies” because they have the easiest definitions to understand. Unless I understand them properly, I can’t explain it to Mr.2000 questions aka TO.

Red on the other hand, remembers pretty much perfectly and can explain it to varied audiences without having to recalibrate his verbiage much. He’s really *that* good. *Grumble grumble about smartypants husband*

Anyhoo, today TO had an off from school because of a slight bug and with exams coming up, Red and I decided to use the time to quiz him a bit on the salient points of the science paper. And as always, it had it’s funny ha-ha moments, usually aimed at the unsuspecting parents. When talking about traits, we were going through the list of traits that are easily observable and asking TO to see which ones he could spot at home.

We chanced upon the free vs attached earlobes ones and after some amount of ear pulling to see if they were attached or free, mine were pronounced the ‘pudgiest’ in the whole world. Apparently it was a compliment but TO’s not yet familiar with the dangers of using the words chubby, chunky, pudgy and other synonyms of “being healthy” to a woman.