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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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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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Why Kids Should Come With Disclaimers

It’s a longish title I admit but sometimes you have such a doozy of a week that you just need to get it out of your system and can’t be bothered by the aesthetics of formatting or “optimum” title lengths. Apparently blogging tip#1 is that one needs to keep the title ‘short and punchy‘ to attract more readers.

My kid is 10 years old. He acts half his age at times and then there are other times when I have no idea what he’s acting like except that it A-N-N-O-Y-S me.

Blogging tip#2- occasional allcaps in the midst of a post lends some gravitas and also attracts attention.

Anyhoo…for those who have arrived late onto this particular blog, I chiefly write about my kid. Why? Because he fills up my world rather like the John Denver’s Annie Song but in a less melodious way at times. Blogging tip#3- it’s easiest to write about what you know and see around you so I kinda didn’t have a choice when it came to my topic of blogs since being a M-O-M is pretty much all I do. Note: a effective use of tip#2 in the preceding line.

Another anyhoo- this past week TO and I have been butting heads quite a bit. It’s almost as if his agenda for the week was let’s see how much my mother’s head can swell before it explodes or how high she can screech before she hits a frequency only dogs and bats can hear. I think he hit his targets pretty often and that’s why there were loud popping noises coming from the direction of our house a few times this week and often dogs in the community were seen running around in a frenzied state looking for the source of the noise that left their hoomans mystified.

There is usually a good amount of push and pull when one wants to get a kid out of bed in the mornings. But being told off by a buck-toothed midget that I should come back later because I’m disturbing his dreams, isnt a way I like to start off my week.

This continued for a few days with TO shooing me off like I was a pesky bug on occasion as well. All of which my ego withstood admirably. Since my ego was coming a poor second to my eyes which were firmly fixed on the clock that was counting down the minutes till the school bus came.

Imagine this- you get a super reluctant kid out of bed only to have him lollygag on the livingroom couch as if it’s a weekend siesta. You then kick his butt into the bathroom only to see him stare off into space with gormless look on his face for another precious five minutes more.

You get him on the Express brushing schedule and drag his body to the dining table where his milk has been impatiently waiting for him. There he contemplates the glass of milk as one would the mysteries of the universe and then, after another irreplaceable 10 minutes have gone by, asks the one question you did *not* expect, “Ayu…how do you say the name for Thor’s hammer?”

You instinctively start to answer before you realize that in the next seven and a half minutes your kid has to finish his milk, poop, bathe and meet the bus-a short walk away.

That’s when your inner Hulk breaks loose and you think some rather painful thoughts about where Thor could stick his hammer and get into the shrieking banshee mode.

You think the weekend is going to be better however it’s anything but bereft of drama.

So for all the parents out there who aren’t always looking at your flesh and blood with undiluted love oozing from your pores; fret not. You aren’t the only ones who fantasize about having a catapult that would fling the brat to a galaxy far, far away.

S-I-G-H.

P.S: I haven’t even tackled the mad rush we get into when there’s just 2 minutes left on the clock and someone realizes that he hasn’t packed everything he needs for school day that. There’s not enough Xanax in the world to counter that.

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Saturday Morning Conversations

I crashed by myself last night…was listening to music, sorting out playlists…everything you need head space for and which can’t always be done effectively with someone staring at you with googly eyes and asking, “what are you doing?” for the millionth time.

I avoided weird bedtime conversations but couldn’t avoid them during the next morning when someone decided to wake up and smell the roses with unbounded enthusiasm before his mother got caffeinated.

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Imagine having slept off to music spanning the decades along with conversations with friends on and off till the middle of the night and then waking up to the most #dafuq question one can imagine first thing in the morning viz, “How old do you think De Villiers is?” And on seeing my glazed, semi-blurry vision starting to go the angry, snorting bull way, TO preemptively turns his face skywards and says, “Why me?!!” Nothing quite like having your angsty moment stolen and impersonated by the person who brought it on in the first place.

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So on we went with the good morning kisses and inane questions till my brain cried out for coffee once more. Red being the coffee guy at home was hollered at and he promptly went and made some for HIMSELF and not me. There’s only a few things a woman can say to her husband at such times and I tell back on Barb#1 aka ‘ I gave you a kid, can’t you even get me a cup of coffee?’

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We are fond of our drama in this household. Be it me trying to bury myself under the covers so I don’t have to hear my kid drone on about some ODI post which Tendulkar decided to retire from cricket

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or trying to bargain for more screen time or me giving the evil eye to the placidly coffee-sipping spouse who’s going to need me to find his stuff for him soon; this is just how we roll.

Slainte!

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Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

My kid thinks I’m blind AND dumb. If he didn’t, why on earth would he cut off a clump of hair that he couldn’t untangle instead of bringing it to his mother who’s so damn handy with a comb and also when we have a detangler spray handy as well? My face is going to have permanent indentations from all my facepalming.

Anyhoo, two days ago TO walks up to me very nonchalantly and asks for screentime access when I notice a lopsided part of his hair. On asking him what happened to his hair he goes coy and says “nothing” and then once I poke him on the bald spot he can no longer deny, he tells me how it was hurting him to comb his hair and he just cut it to make easier on himself. 🙄

After making it clear to him that a combover wasn’t something he should have to consider in this tender age, he agreed to get his hair cut so it would seem nice and even and less like male pattern baldness was setting in for a 10-year old.

At the parlor however, his desire to look funky had to be recalibrated because he didn’t have enough of floopy hair left on top to have a mohawk or even a mushroom cloud-like shape. What was inevitable was a bootcamp look. Ye Gods.

Am sure we’ll be visiting the stylist again, soon, for yet another hair dilemma. As I was telling someone yesterday, he went from pretty to butch in a single snip!

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Retroblogging

I occasionally got back and read stuff I’d blogged about earlier. Sometimes I can see an evolution in the style of writing and at other times it seems either pedantic or boring. But this one is relevant even today, hence the repost. It was written 8.5 years ago on a day when I seemed to have been rather prolific or just didn’t want to actively parent and just hide away in my beanbag and keep blogging.

I was worried that I’ll be fanning my ignorance quite a bit by forgoing the newspapers altogether but a quick glance at them has assured me am not really missing much.

It’s not quite so much as news as an announcement of the end being near. Take a look all around- honor killings up, scams are in they heyday, political parties are the jokers with the Indian Government providing the 3 ring circus. What does get the space in the papers are announcements of the Fresh Faces in the city colleges where self-proclaimed celebs go and shake a leg and lecture impressionable young’uns on personality and grooming. While their grooming and personality (or lack thereof) is highly suspect or airbrushed for the print media 🙂

I sometimes read my papers a day late since my son loves to paper our house and Red always takes off with the Sport pages first thing in the morning. While gathering the papers from last night’s yay-ness I came across a news feature of a German porn star who died after her 6th boob job went bust! Literally and please don’t excuse the pun. Hmm…that did grab my attention because the girl in question really was just a girl and 23 years old.

Hell at 23 if a person can generate that kind of income, why not live it up? What good would 800 gms boobs (each 800 gms mind you) do to a person except make them more susceptible to gravity a WHOLE lot more? And now she’s dead. Fatal beauty anyone?

This isn’t a homily on the evils of x,y,z. It’s been so long since I read the papers and found something genuinely informative. And felt up to date on the happenings around me.

It’s either the verbal skirmishes between the politicos in A.P that make the front page or the Naxals or the scams…and honestly all they make me think of is that people are inept. They do just enough to show that they have Johnsons and then they back off.
I get it, the machinery moves slowly. But for everything? The people who have the most influence and the potential to actually act seem to be mainly posturing and and everything is just for show.

Want to get something done, throw down and the gauntlet and see where that takes you and stand your ground! Things aren’t that stable anyhow whether it’s in the state or the central government. Or for that matter for most things.

The last few ‘newsworthy’ things I remember reading about my city and state either involve political fluctuations, political gripes, suicides, dogs mauling infants, slums, citizens grievances against the local governing bodies. And the list bloody keeps going on and on.

And it’s the same thing the next day. It’s a template of sorts if you will.

Small wonder then that I play escapist and read the comics, smirk at page 3 and get right back to my books.

Cynical but it works.

 

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Waiter..There’s A Fly In My Soup

Well…there may have been a fly and there may have been a waiter and there definitely may be some soup somewhere in this universe. But this morning it was just me and TO, sitting at the dinning table while it was still a bit dark out.

He was all agog about going to his cricket class after having a break of 4 days. I made him a quick breakfast of toast and jam and was just lurching towards the coffee mugs when suddenly this happened: “Ayu…come here please!” Ayu duly went and was faced with the crisis that would lead to humanity being at utmost peril…a portion of a bread that wasn’t covered with enough jam!

TO-” my bread is empty here. Me- it’s not empty..it just has less jam. TO- but it’s almost empty…that spot has jam but this corner doesn’t have any jam at all!”

Me (going back to the kitchen and gripping the butter knife the way Carrie’s mother held the cleaver)- “Shall I put more jam for you then? Why don’t you eat the rest of the other bread while I put more jam on this bit?” TO-” I want to eat it all together Ayu. I’ll wait till you put more jam. That’s it..a little more to the right, no..that’s going out of the bread! Yup..a little more to the left…perfect! The whole bread is covered now. I can FINALLY eat in peace!”

Me, bleary-eyed, sleepy and caffeine-deprived, ” Am so glad I could take care of your jam emergency baby. Nothing makes a mother happier than stuffing more sugar into her kid and being micromanaged into the art of spreading jam on a piece of bread.” And pat comes the reply- You’re welcome. Kissy kissy”

AAAAAAAAAARGHHHHHHHH!

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Myopically Yours

I have myopia. I inherited from both my parents. I helped it along but for the most part, it’s their fault. I also have TO..that’s all Red’s fault. And I’ll tell you why…not why it’s Red’s fault; that’s Biology 101 and I have no desire to relive it. But when my myopia and my child’s influence overlap with each other, it becomes like a 3-beer, 2-black coffees+3 beers kinda Saturday for me.

So my myopia is fairly severe. Minus my glasses and more than 5 feet of distance between and the object, everyone’s The Blob. I kid you not. And with the humidity post the rains last night, I took off the glasses to go wash my face and came out to look for my hand lotion. The tube was open, with the cap on one side and the tube lying a bit further away. Sign #1 of TO infestation.

I thought I’d put it back and lifted the cap to find quite a bit of lotion inside it. Sign #2 of TO’s presence. So I thought I’d give him my patented ‘Thou Shalt Not Waste Beauty Products’ spiel once he got back home and liberally look the lotion from the cap and started to smear it on the back of my left hand. Danger bells ringing yet? No? Well…it should!

The “cream” was heavier, stickier and didn’t seem to get absorbed into my skin like before. If anything, my skin was beginning to look rather albino-ish when I squinted at it properly. Being a mother, I sniffed at it for good measure. It was WHITE. POSTER. COLOR. I mean why wouldn’t it be? I found a dinosaur in my bra once so why not poster color disguised as hand cream? Totally in my wheelhouse. So I squinted a bit more and found the open bottle of color shoved haphazardly amongst his books on the bookshelf and then decided it wasn’t the little imp’s fault. It was my myopia. I should know better than to touch anything on any surface of his room that I can’t either clearly see, smell or what doesn’t set off a Geiger counter.

So this post is dedicated to my folks…because this morning’s “colorful” experience is all on them and their shortsighted genes! And am seriously tempted to go Buffalo Bill on someone’s little behind right about now!

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The Housewife Chronicles

Note: The author knows that women put up with the vagaries of the hoomans they live with whether they are working inside the home or outside of it but it does seem a little tougher to escape said hoomans when you’re chiefly inside the home. You either have to buy a ticket to the tropics (minus the drama of the song) or buy your hoomans one and get yourself some METIME.

So the latest hurdle to hit this cozy household was one of milk. Yup, that’s M-I-L-K. Why did milk become a crisis as it were? Well our earlier milk vendor who sent us yummy, delicious, thick milk in good quality glass bottles (yay for the eco footprint reducers!) was unable to provide the milk due to some operational hitches. And the milk delivery stopped abruptly.

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I got back home from a trip to my folks’ place to find my husband saying “fix this” and a child who’s a food critique par excellence in the making; his terse and discerning palates lead him to say, “Yuck, this is disgusting” and that particular item is deemed unfit and doesn’t cross his lips again. Ever.

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So a bit of a background about my two masters- they are fussy eaters. Not an extensive palate. Extremely limited fare goes down their gullet but that must be consistent and be the same-ish. And if you ever need a bit of a feedback about what may or may not be making the dish taste good or bad the answer comes back in a way that redefines being succinct for all eternity- “Doesn’t taste good” OR “tastes good”. And you’re left trying to decipher what the bleeping eff you’re supposed to take back from the exchange.

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So when I went back to an earlier brand of milk we used to have before our new favorite, Red came to me with a scrunched up face. And for an-almost constant poker-faced guy a scrunched up face can signal the beginning of the Apocalypse. This is how the exchange went-

Red- Is this the new milk? Me- Umm no..this is the old new milk..hee hee, we used to have this brand before we switched to the latest thing. Red- We did? Why? Doesn’t taste good. Me- You liked it earlier. Red- Don’t like it now. Too thin. M- OKAY…how does it taste though. R- I don’t like this..it’s too thin. M- $%@#$^@#^@$^. Red- get something else for tomorrow.

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Similar exchange with TO- “Ayu…the chocolate milk doesn’t taste good. Me- it’s the same as it always was. TO- No it’s not. Can I have juice? Me- No, we don’t waste food, finish this and I’ll get you something different later. TO- Add some chocolate sauce and put a straw in it like Ma (my mom) does. This is weird. Me- Weird how (because, yes…I’m that much of a masochist). TO- IT.IS.WEIRD.” Nuff said.

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So after having a couple of mind-boggling, eye-popping experiences by seeing the prices of the stuff out there and even contemplating buying a damn cow to please the two ogres I live with, I finally got a brand home that’s passed muster with OGRE#1. Am waiting for OGRE#2 to wake up and put me out of my misery and give me his trademark thumbs up approval for the new milk brand.

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If that doesn’t work I’ll just interview the milch cows of Hyderabad and see if anyone wants to generate milk customized to the taste buds of two (semi) high maintenance males who seem to get hungry and thirsty the moment they see my face. If that doesn’t work either they can live offa Soya milk because I’ll be saying MOO to you!

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P.S: how do people inherit food genes?! Baffles the mind.