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.

2021…A Year In Retrospect

I usually end up thinking of a year in a particular manner towards its end. Like 2018 was “The Year Of Road Trips“. 2019 now in hind sight, is “The Year It Was All Fine Before Downhill Became The Norm” 2020 was “The Year The Pandemic Hit” and 2021 had been “A Hodgepodge Year” all the way through!

While I don’t like to dwell on death and anything morbid overly much; I don’t recall any other year where the phone rang so many times with the news of someone’s demise. It got to a point where I’d ask my folks each time they rang up,”Who is it this time?”. Needless to say, a lot of people went before their time and it takes a while to reflect and then try to move past it.

As a family, we had a few more downs than ups but we managed to sneak in some good times nonetheless- a nice road trip full of songs, ‘are we there yets‘, junk food, room service, a beautiful stone sunken bathtub that TO and I were fighting over while another instance had me scrambling to find footing in a 5.5 ft of water while TO frolicked like a little otter and laughed at his mother’s clumsy efforts to not drink up half the pool!

2021 had been so fluid that it was half over before I realized it. It feels like I sleepwalked through parts of it and other parts I wish I had. But the highs thankfully balance out the utter lows.

On a slightly more somber note- mental health has become the need of the hour now. Whether it’s due to a prolonged state of having been indoors or being in a state of flux about the state of the world around us, but mental health now occupies center stage like never before.

People are realizing the immense benefit of talking to someone who is a professional. They help you gain perspective, fight your demons and also help you keep a hold onto your reality and sanity at times. Especially in a society where going to a shrink is still somewhat of a taboo and therapists rarely get their due; mental health professionals have been busier than ever before with parents and children alike lining up to seek help adjusting to the new circumstances they find themselves in.

On the topic of health, traveling( while curtailed for many of us for a long time) has become a renewed stress buster which cannot be denied. Whether it’s on the back of a bike, in a car or just making plans for a sunnier day in the future; traveling has been the solace many of us have been seeking for the past year and a half. And I am profoundly happy and grateful that I got to meet a few of my favorite people multiple times this year although it was a challenge and a half remembering to not drink too much water so I didn’t have to use the loo while flying or the first time when I did travel and I wore gloves, two masks, a shield and had the disinfectant wipes ready to be whipped out at the blink of an eye!

Courtesy the “prevalent situation” (it’s my way of doing a J.K Rowling’s He Who Shall Not Be Named)2021 also became ‘The Year Of The Vaccine’. Whether it was the difficult faced while registering ourselves for it, waiting for it to reach us, the initial jab, the secondary jab and the debate around the booster shot, our lives had been centered around vaccines, their efficacy and all the hopes we’d pinned on them.

I think the message that rang in loud and clear during the past year has been to not necessarily wait for a rainy day and be in a more carpe diem mode. Also, celebrate little things more because waiting for the special occasions could leave you twiddling your thumbs for a good long while. And while I really detest platitudes, I have realised (yet again) how much I and my family have to be grateful for. We are far richer than I realised courtesy the people we have in our lives. Doesn’t matter if you they are a few continents or just a phone call away but seeing a beloved face over a cup of coffee has often meant the world to me in the last year.

I’ve also grown older. Sadly. Mainly in my head. I don’t see value in Roblox. I wish all the piggies would fall down a never-ending hole and never come back. I am also quite the hypocritical parent who has indulged herself thoroughly in a few things (eg: horror movies) but has serious reservations at the thought of her child watching them. Nevermind I was younger than him when I saw Jason and Meyers hacking their way through summer camps and small town America but the thought of my kid seeing blood and gore disturbs me. I am not chill. At all. I also have no patience for Hello Neighbor, Sonic the Hedgehog and cricket talk. Oh god! If I hear one more play being analysed by Red and TO I might cut the cable connection! Happily.

To sum up, I rang out 2021 with a laugh and started 2022 on the same note. Let’s hope it’s a sign of the times to come. Salut!

Just Saying…

Gratitude, being thankful is all fine and dandy. But if you still need something that helps you get more positivity, think about starting an Ingratitude Journal.

Rid yourself of your negativity. Don’t force yourself to be positive if it doesn’t come naturally to you. Vent it out, feel lighter and forget about your rant…if you can. Better out than in I always say! Because if feelings are legit, take notice of the ones tripping you up as well as the ones lifting you high.

Snark-A-Day Bloglet#6

Snark-A-Day Bloglet#3

How To Tell A Pre-Teen Lives In Your House

Here it goes in no particular order:

  1. He calls you Bruh..mom and dad have left the building and Bruh reigns supreme.
  2. Angst is the name of the game.
  3. Being contrary is also the name of the game.
  4. Tantrums are usually lurking around the corner.
  5. Flashes of brilliance (I use the term loosely) can be expected.
  6. Hugs and kisses are still accepted but otherwise you end up embarrassing them by stepping into the room during online classes with your mere presence.
  7. Growth spurt has kicked in and is still kicking butt- usually the parents.
  8. Advice about music is being shared- by the child to the unfashionable parents.
  9. Eyerolls are the accepted form of communicating.
  10. So are sulks.
  11. As-if, what-the, effs are all de facto modes of answering and are often complete sentences by themselves.
  12. Everything is BORINGGG!!
  13. Parents are UNFAIR!!!
  14. Global issues (like the present pandemic) have specifically come into being to make their lives especially hellish.
  15. Bathing is optional. Also, when it’s indulged in, one must have a reservoir at home to accommodate musical talents of child that peak while they’re in the shower.
  16. Bathing without looking clean is a newly cultivated skill set.
  17. Feeling hungry while eating the main meals of the day are another newly cultivated skill set.
  18. The opposite sex is no longer dumb. Cooties don’t exist any longer.
  19. Excuses for not doing homework or household chores assume epic proportions.
  20. Parents have turned into insensitive devils who routinely torture the child…erm pre-teen for their own amusement. Ergo reinforcing point#13.
  21. Screen time is a right more precious than Right to Life since life without screen time is no life at all.
  22. Selective hearing is firmly established.
  23. Very susceptible to sarcasm. It reinforces points #13 and #20 when indulged by the grown-ups of the house.
  24. Being largely unflappable in the face of parental ire and asking them to chill is par for course.
  25. Being a big baby about birthdays and gifts- still status quo.

Can’t imagine that age 13 will bring our way!

Gaah! A Pre-Teen Lives In My House

The brat is officially a preteen effective yesterday. He’s also officially a slightly bigger brat than he was before. I was telling Red that it’s as if I gave birth to a Valley Girl instead of a kid living in South India. But am told the rolling eyes, the general disdain for any parental advise and touchiness which goes from 0-100 in a nanosecond, is just a teaser of the years that will follow from next year onwards.

Harking back to my own tweens or teens- there wasn’t much of a differentiator there to be honest. It’s not that I was a model child but when I checked with my mom about the stuff that I did or didn’t do, she simply said that I did what was expected because there wasn’t any other option! And that seems heavenly for me now as a parent.

Our kids have OPTIONS! They shouldn’t. Not much anyhow. In a nutshell; I think keeping them alive, getting medical intervention when they’re unwell and basically making sure they don’t look like hobos looking for handouts is what’s needed. So the access to Netflix and every other kind of OTT, the choice of vacation locations amongst other new fangled expectations is the icing on the supremely expensive, uber rich and delicious cake that parenting the Get Zs has become.

Earlier a cake with a cherry on top was considered having arrived. Now there’s frosting (coloured), cherries, sprinkles (also coloured) and no nuts (allergies) on top of a triple layered chocolate layer which has chocolate ganache and chocolate flavoured butter cream frosting!

But seriously, it’s a mixture of difficulty+absolutely dafuqery parenting kids these days. TO’s taken to grumbling and mumbling snark at us more frequently these days. The ‘tude is crossing newer levels as well and I’m quite sure if these kids are not reigned in, we’ll all be facing a world there the adults have been taken hostage (properly this time around) and the small to mid-sized hoomans are ruling the roost and we’re all basically doing room service 24/7!

The plusses, if there are such things, are that you pretty much know what your kids are feeling. Not thinking, because thinking is all about screen time, games and self-indulgent things which make you want to slap them upside their head! The kids these days express A LOT.

Whether its angst, joy, anxiety, vulnerability..they express things at the drop of a pin. Sometimes while the pin is dropping even. Some more than others and as a parent from a generation where this level and extent of expression was relatively rare and therefore not encouraged much; it can take a lot of doing to have to discipline your child and then have a beady-eyed kid look you straight in the eye (yes, I am *that* short) and tell you that he’s very disappointed with the disciplining process and how it played out.

You try to take the moral higher ground only to have that smh-look leveled at you and before you know it the balance of power that was so firmly in your grasp is now slipping out like an eel and you are grasping desperately in front of a kid who’s poopy diaper you changed not so long ago.

So parents to Gen Z’ers…load up! It’s a bumpy road ahead but give thanks for the night when the imps…I mean our beautiful children sleep like they used to as babies and the remote is finally back in our hands. AMEN!

Color Me Vengeful!

TO and Red have their little skirmishes from time to time. It mainly arises from TO growing into his teenhood and Red being the perennial good cop who realises that he can also be the bad cop from time to time instead of punting it to me.

This morning’s conversation with TO brought to light a streak of vengeance that seems runs a mile wide especially when it comes to someone who done him wrong. We’ve been pretty strict in enforcing bedtime routines since TO has difficulty getting up in the morning and going for his online classes.

Yes, it does sound ironical that a child can get up without too much rancour and board the school bus at 7am for his in-person classes but treats getting up by 8 am to join a class that starts at 8:20 am, just a few feet awake from where he’s been sleeping as a task akin to that of the Labor of Hercules!

Anyhoo, Red’s had a slight sore throat since yesterday and we let him sleep late this morning. When TO got up, I asked him to go check in on Red and ask him if he wanted a cup of hot coffee to make his throat feel better and immediately the temperature fell a few degrees and a very somber and frowny child turned me to and said, “I don’t think he deserves his coffee! He was up till late watching tv when he should have gone to bed. He has his work in the morning too! He sent me off to bed saying I have classes and he stayed up late…that’s what gave him the sore throat probably too! Does he really deserve our loyalty Ayu?”

Whoever coined the phrase about hell hathing (yeah yeah I know what I wrote) no fury like a woman scorned clearly didn’t factor in children who have had their screen time cut down by parents who then binged on their own shows without thinking about getting caught! I mean to deprive one of coffee as a punishment…oh the agony!

The ODI Bloglet

India just beat England in the decider match of the ODI series. It was a couple of nailbiter moments but then India won. Red came and got me saying TO was a bit distraught. I went to the living room to see him alternatively shouting at the tv and holding his head in his hands.

He kept saying I’m so stressed out and rubbing his forehead and head. I happened to mention that the Indian captain may be a tad bit more stressed out than he was and pat came reply,” No! I’M MORE STRESSED THAN HE IS!!”

When an 11 year old starts to have a meltdown about a match with he’s not playing in, it’s time to give him a W-I-D-E berth!

MY LATEST PET PEEVE

A while back I’d written about a pigeon that had a less than satisfactory interaction with my car. The car didn’t feel too bad for sure and I felt a bit of annoyance but didn’t let it bother me much since there are way more pigeons than there are cars in this world. Or it seems to me.

A while back a flock of pigeons decided that TO’s window parapet was a good place to set up shop and play out the circle of life. They would coo to each other, mate, make a nest, lay their eggs, incubate said eggs, get hatchlings, some would die and the rest would fly off only to come back and replay the entire unchanging drama all over again.

In the process copious amounts of feathers were shed and poop was pooped. It was a not a place I was happy to call my own. We were majority hampered by the lockdown that was in place and couldn’t get a vendor to come and install pigeon nets for that area either. Over time the window ledge became guano central and had enough allergens floating around (literally) to make an allergist super-duper happy.

Let me tell you something about guano. It’s good as a fertiliser, sure, but it’s acidic in nature as well. It stinks and it’s not the most pleasing thing to set your eyes on either. It’s downright unpleasant and not something I want on my windows. And to top it all off the pigeons are no candidates for MIT since they kept doing their freaky round and round pacing even around the dead chicks and still managed to make their nests around the corpse and lay more eggs.

Facepalm GIFs | Tenor

Yesterday was another red letter day wrt said bird. One calmly sauntered, yes sauntered, into the dining room via the living room, through an open window and proceed to walk up and down the length of the hall as if it had paid the mortgage on the house. When I saw it and tried to shoo it away, it again proved how much of a brainiac it was by NOT flying through the large AND open balcony doors and out into the wide blue yonder. Instead it flew into the small kitchen and from there into the utility area outside the kitchen where we have pigeon nets to avoid the situation that was happening right then.

In due time Red, TO and our Favourite Girl#1 arrived on the scene and proceed to be unsuccessful in driving the then-panicked and still dumb bird away from the nets and towards freedom. It’s always fun being advised by a 41, 11 and 5 year old in rapid succession while I advance towards a scared bird that’s pooping all around the place where all the cleaning of the household goes on.

ᐈ Racing pigeons stock pictures, Royalty Free racing homer images |  download on Depositphotos®

Ultimately the said pigeon was captured with a sheet thrown over it and then released into sunny skies where am sure it did not head off towards safety. Knowing this particular bird, am sure it headed to the next apartment’s window and promptly started to explore how their house was set up.

Jokes apart, it is very difficult trying to get a firm grip on a squirming body. It was tough when TO was a baby who had enough mucus jammed up his nose to make me become nauseous and I had to go all octopus on him with the nasal aspirator. And it was tough yesterday with the bird with the super silky feathers and a brain that didn’t tell it to do anything but fly in circles and flap its wings uselessly.

I. Really. Don’t. Like. Pigeons.

They should confine themselves to pooping on statues, St.Mark’s Square and Trafalgar Square and just be happy. Anything more is just greedy; plain and simple!