Riding In The Car With A Boy

I don’t have to drive my kid around much since he started going to grade school 2 years ago. By the time he gets home it’s usually late afternoon and then he snacks, plays, does his homework or has play dates in the community we live in so we seldom step out during weekdays.

On the weekends Red usually drives because he’s afraid for his life with me in the driver’s seat and prefers to have me and offspring prattle away while he navigates.

This week I spent a bit of time driving MLM back from school and our conversations were the kind that would make David Attenborough happy.

This Monday I was lectured at about piranhas, where they live, how they’re caught, killed and how they have super sharp teeth. When I mentioned the only factoid I had with me about piranhas being able to pick clean a full human skeleton in minutes, I was pooh-poohed and told piranhas didn’t eat people because they were smaller in size and only bigger fish like sharks ate humans.

Trying to regain some part of the conversation, I told him that piranhas attacked in a group and that’s how they were able to overpower people; I was told with a snappish answer that people shouldn’t swim in the waters where the piranhas live if they didn’t want to get eaten.  Rather a simple and smart solution when one thinks of it.

Yesterday on our way back from school, I was again informed at great length about the Yeti Crab. My kid has a way of bombarding me with questions, seldom waiting till I answer them to shoot out the next one. And so there was a barrage of questions about the lesser-known Yeti crab and all I could think about was the Yeti and so I tried to tell him why the crab was probably named thus. I’m beginning to think that I should just keep my mouth shut because he just refuses to believe anything I say, preferring to hear the sound of his own voice, monologuing away to glory. Great career as a t.v. host on some nature channel droning on about chameleons or Tsetse flies…

Anyhoo, I tried to tell him about the Yeti and he just blew away my words and said that’s so silly and the crab was probably name Yeti because it sounded like a “cute” name. Talk about your empirical evidence!

All said and done, this kind of talk makes a huge difference from the “are we there yets” that he normally churns out every 2 seconds while we’re usually travelling. But imagine having a mini-naturalist inside your car who wants to educate you whether you want to be educated or not!

In the meanwhile, here’s to a good weekend from me and mine and all the animals that are there in my car!

After A Hiatus…

It has been 22 days since I last blogged or even created a draft.

I wish there was a reason for this kind of a gap but there isn’t anything except for me being unable to gather my thoughts. And now that the thoughts are gathering, it’s akin to a storm brewing.

So I had a long-ish summer holiday with the offspring. We traveled a bit and had new experiences. Defining experiences for me as a parent. Am more confident of being able to chalk out holiday plans for the family without necessarily opting for safe options like a place with access to a pool or a beach. That’ll always be the fallback option but I am happy to say that slightly longer journeys, altitudes are no longer off the table.

On the personal front, I was sluggish to say the least. Didn’t get much done. Took a fraction of pictures that I’d normally have taken on earlier trips and pretty much retreated into the Kindle while still looking for something fun to give me a little impetus.

Speaking of the Kindle, it’s become an extension of my hand and I’m eyeballs deep into authors who primarily write about the Midwest and the Pacific Northwest. To say that their books include the wilderness and dense forests and more than average snowfall would be to undersell it. But their tones are quite similar because these geographical areas of United States are very diverse from the sunny parts of the South or the West Coast. They are also quite different in the tone and nature of the people who are depicted in the novels based in the East Coast.

It’s bucolic but the climate, the geography is as much a character in the novels as the actual people themselves. Maybe it’s the weather that calls to me (crazy I know) or my mild yearning for Seattle based on years of binging on Grey’s Anatomy but I’ve had the words Puget Sound and names of small counties of Washington State and Minnesota tumbling through my head.

I’ve also discovered that I need to learn how to scuba dive because taking pictures of the husband and offspring underwater gave me a sense of peace and joy unlike anything in the last few years.

As basic the images were and while nowhere in the neighborhood of work such as this gent, it was still a lovely experience nonetheless and made me want to explore it further. In fact my list of places of hit (eventually) already includes this. Of course if we end up doing this, my main concern will be the offspring wanting to move undersea permanently or not coming back up till he spots all his favorite behemoths.

All said and done, long summer or not, it’s been an experience. Of growth, some backslides and lot of plans for the months ahead. Not a total washout in my book.

 

1-Desktop

Retroblog

7 years ago I published this bit of rant (scroll down) on Facebook notes. I was more than halfway into my first year as a mother and the mini muffin was an adorable individual who was just getting into his groove as a tiny human hurricane.

The text is all in caps to express my overwhelmed state of mind back in the day. Suffice to say writing etiquette was the furthest thing on my mind at that time!

AVE DIAPER! THOSE WHO ARE ABOUT TO PLUNGE HEADFIRST INTO DOODOO SALUTE YOU!
NOTE: THOSE WHO ARE ABOUT TO OR WOULD LIKE TO CONCEIVE/GIVE BIRTH KINDLY BEAR IN MIND PRODUCT COMES WITH A NO RETURN&NO EXCHANGE POLICY!!
1) YOUR CHILD HAS THAT ANGELIC-CHERUBIC FACE SO YOU DON’T SLAP THOSE CHEEKS INTO PERMANENT RUDDINESS.
2) YOUR CHILD WILL TIME THE EXPULSION OF FECES&URINE AT THE EXACT MOMENT WHEN YOU CANNOT GET THE DIAPER ON.
3) THE CRYING WILL BEGIN JUST WHEN YOUR BRAIN SIGNALS IT’S TIME TO REST.
4) WILL SPIT UP FOOD ON THE DAY YOU ARE FEELING MOST CONFIDENT ABOUT DINNERTIME BEING A NON-WWF MATCH.
5) YOUR CHILD WILL PRESENT THE AFOREMENTIONED ANGELIC SIDE TO OTHERS, LEAVING THEM TO THINK YOU’RE A LOON FOR CRIBBING ABOUT SUCH A CUTIE-WUTIE IZZUMS!
6) WILL MANAGE TO MAKE YOUR ANGER GO OUT IN A POOF! BY GOING TO SLEEP ON YOUR SHOULDER, MOUTH OPEN, TEETH SHOWING&CHUBBY HANDS HOLDING YOU TIGHTER THAN THEY’D HOLD ANYONE ELSE.
BOTTOM LINE: ADOPT A TEEN INSTEAD. THEY’RE LIKELY TO BE HOUSEBROKEN.
LIKELY.
ADIEU!

Of Deaf Leopards&Animal Scat

I’d overslept this morning and headed out to the gym midday, MLM in tow. Boy! That should have tipped me off exactly what would ensue while driving those measly 4 kms. But by all means, let me wax on and wax off Daniel-San!

Sorry, couldn’t help the last bit. Watched the original movie after ages and have been saying Wax-on, Wax-off in my head. Damn you Pat Morita!

Anyhow, among the less than pleasant traits that the offspring has inherited from moi is his urge to listen to the same song till he tires of it. Never mind others are already stuffing their ears with whatever they can to stop the earworm from advancing, but MLM and I remain oblivious to our surroundings and keeping blaring the songs.

After a few weeks of Fugly- Fugly ruling the roost in the car, I was finally given an opportunity to play something I wanted to listen to. A random selection brought up Vault and Hysteria came on. The little man instantly liked it (YAY!) and asked me who was singing. I often think about filtering my words before speaking to him but I was navigating through midday traffic and thoughtlessly said, “Def Leppard”. And we were OFF!

From laughing his hieney off about leopards being deaf to talking about big cats; I heard it all. I heard about animals marking their territory albeit in the uncensored version aka the leopard does “susu” on the tree and then kicks some sand on the tree with his feet backwards et al”.

Note: Anyone who doesn’t know how kids talk might think it was a very special kind of leopard or it was a mutated one, but “with his feet backwards just means with his back feet.

On we go…once he started talking about the big cats, I had to hear about each animal marking it’s territory, one by one. After the leopards came the tigers, lions, cheetahs, the jaguars, the ocelots, the panthers, the pumas and the snow leopards as well.

Just as he was running out of breath and I was pulling into the parking another thought meteorite hit him with a bang! “But why don’t they poop when they pee?” is the question he wanted answered.

As I herded him out of the car and up the steps I thought to myself, this kid is either going to be a naturalist a la Attenborough or he’s going to be a zookeeper! In any case ‘deaf leopards’ is a moment etched firmly in the annals of mother-son time.

Image result for leopard with headphones

The Non-Pathological Word Salad

Psych 101 introduced me to the notion of a word salad and initially I found it quite an interesting concept while it was still a theory in my books. Then over time I actually witnessed, heard rather, quite a few word salads while I was interning in various places; attempting to become a psychologist. And now, 19 years after I first came across the concept, I’ve discovered that word salads come in lots of shapes and sizes.

Well shapes are primarily humanoid but sizes depend on the age of the person and I also discovered that this condition can be non-pathological. How does that happen you ask? I’ll tell you! It happens when you come across a child of course! And spend rather loooong stretches of time with them. The exception to that rule would seem to be Sarah Palin but let’s not open that can of worms.

Take these snippets of conversations with my flesh and blood for example:

  • Yumm…this fish is delicious!!can you scratch my butt?
  • I can’t do subtraction, it’s too hard OOOOH! there’s a plane!
  • I promise I’ll be a good boy…HEY! there’s another plane!
  • I love you so much, you’re my best friend can I have popcorn chicken?
  • I don’t want to bathe because I’m not dirty and Africa has the most poisonous snakes in the world, did you know?
  • I’m getting scratchy all over from wearing clothes can I watch tv upside down?
  • I love Dumbo and his ears, will you make chocolate cake for me?
  • I love you because you have a squishy tummy and I want spasghetti for my lunch!

These are many many more gems of its ilk are a part of my daily diet. The offspring has a mind which is extremely pliable methinks. It changes from being like a sieve to a metal vault with the blink of his beautiful long lashes. The vault is for all sorts of trivia and the sieve-like stage is during my instructions to him. Without fail.

I frequently have these “wtf” moments when he opens his mouth. And my mind promptly hashtags them as #dafuq given the times we live in and I file them away under my “Crazy Mommy and Crazier Child” blog post fodder.

Images courtesy-http://www.patheos.com

 

Right As Rain!

I’ll be the first one to admit-my kid is a bit of a digital media junkie. He’s a tater tot who’ll transition into a full-blown couch potato unless Red and I nip it the bud!

When we travel, he like most brats..erm adorable children of his ilk, prefer to bury their noses in an iPad or a phone rather than look outside and see the landscape zip by.

Although blaming this generation isn’t fair by half….when I was his age if I didn’t look out the window or sleep, I’d go stir crazy and 3-4 hour car journeys were the norm rather than the exception. On train journeys, it was climbing up and down from the berths till my mom put a stop to it or I conked off. And it was a damn fine way to travel!

The offspring has been on planes since he was 4 months old so any journey that doesn’t get over in 4 hours max is like a life sentence to him. And even in flights he’ll usurp the window seat and *still* have the iPad on, playing his neverending dino games. God have mercy.

Today Red and I kibboshed his unending whines about watching something he wanted (his grandfather is currently alternating between the French Open and the Champion’s Cup) and wonder of wonders and miracle of miracles, Boy Whiner wanted to go and ride his bike in the rain. And not the blink and you miss it rains mind you. The halfway decent ones.

I saw him zigzagging from my window while Red walked behind him and he just came back thoroughly drenched, hair in spikes but damn! I really love that kid right about now!!

Life is made of little moments like this which make you feel that the little tater’s going to end up just fine.

So let it be written.So let it be done.” quoth Rameses.

Guilt-Free Goa

We have our own version of Vegas in India…G-O-A…what happens in Goa stays in Goa and Goa seems to be built for everything you’d do while you’re away from home, boundaries, restrictions and the humdrum of the everyday.

How else can one explain the most prim and proper of “aunties” who is carrying enough weight on her hips and belly to feed a colony of starving cannibals, strut around very confidently in rather iffy outfits that leave nothing to the imagination whatsoever!

Or the sudden craze the biggest beer bellies get for wearing Speedos and jiggling their way along the beach, without a care in the world? Or the most hirsute of men jumping into crystal clear water where the hair on their bodies is practically at par with the sea anemones one might expect from the fathoms? Those are some sights people were not meant to see and be able to unsee.

It’s not just about being more daring with attire, people leave their food dos and don’ts behind…way behind I might add! Stuff doesn’t have to be kosher, in a manner of speaking…it just has to look and taste good. And nothing tastes better than the forbidden fruit or the bacon!

This isn’t a critique, mind you. It’s interesting to see how people loosen up with their inhibitions and just enjoy themselves in a way that they normally wouldn’t on any other holiday destination…unless it actually was Vegas or the French Riviera maybe.

Years ago when I was working with a B-School, I remember the spring break-like fever descending on the students. The senior class wanted to go to Goa together but they also had exams coming up and had to prepare for the campus interviews for the placements etc. My job was to prepare them for those interviews and wouldn’t you know it? I had to do it during the time they were in the Go-Goa mode! So little by little excuses started coming my way…suddenly a whole bunch of parents had silver wedding anniversaries that their loving children just couldn’t afford to miss. So many grandmothers fell sick and apparently a glimpse of their beloved grandchild is what the doctor had prescribed above all things! It was quite fun to watch and I didn’t have the heart to say no to any of them because this too is a right of passage.

When I took a mini-vacay with some girlfriends I went to Goa. We ate, drank, slept, gabbed and frolicked in the utter Goa-ness. And that’s the beauty of it…it’s not just the beaches..it’s the place. It’s where you head to get drunk, it’s where you head to for a romantic weekend, honeymoon even and it’s where you take your hyper kid to cool off while you sip cocktails by the pool in the am without a thought for time of day!

Goa was made for relaxation- be it quick or a long-drawn one. It’s for gorging on seafood, eating spicy stuff your stomach can’t stomach and still having a great big smile on your face because it’s satisfaction all the way! So if you want to get high on sun, fun and the occasional dram…this place is a surefire fix!

Cheers!

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0351.JPG