Of Middle Fingers And Snakes

I recently changed my ride from a hatchback to an MUV. When I say recent I mean just a few hours ago.

I was picking up the offspring from school and he was happily frolicking in the backseat, bouncing with joy and making crinkly sounds in the plastic covers that I’d not had a chance to take out as yet. All in all he was a happy camper. And as the case is while he’s camping happily, he asks me a series of ‘Do you know’ questions. Today was no different.

We started with a question trap that I’d inadvertently fallen into when I told him I’d seen a monitor lizard cross the street very close to his school. After interrogating me about the size and the gaping maws and the venom of the said reptile, he gave me a disdainful look when I told him I’d only paused briefly while trying hard not to squish the lizard when it scurried off into the bushes. It, unfortunately, hadn’t stopped long enough to give me its life history and venom potency details.

Then began the story of reptiles and their offspring. We spoke of ovi and viviparous snakes; something I’d rather not have spoken of at all. All while I was enjoying the smell of a new car, listening to songs on brand new speakers…which apparently is the most apt time to speak of baby cobras.

Anyhoo, on special request he agreed to stop talking about king cobra babies hatching and killing grown people and then he threw me for a toss! Here’s how he did it-” Hey Ayu…do you know a boy in the 2nd grade showed someone the middle finger in school and then he got into trouble?!! Have you shown (he said showed but my grammar mode refuses to let me be ungrammarly) the middle finger to anyone?

And this is where you cross the realm from being a good, honest parent into one who lies to their kid because isn’t 8 too young to be flippin’ the bird?! Or talking about it?

I told him piously that NO I hadn’t and what did showing the middle finger mean anyhow? I was told very solemnly that it’s a very bad thing and kids can go to jail for saying it. And that’s when I had to know more about this oh-so taboo word that sent kids to jail. So I did a dramatic,” Oh no…really??!!” And pat came the reply-YES!! It’s worse than saying F***!! I never say F*** because you told me that saying F*** is a bad thing so I never say F***. Ever!!”

I think some days the universe has a smartass mode it activates just to give parents their comeuppance and to prevent them from being smug-knowitalls!

My Temporal Lobe Hurts

I have a great memory for useless trivia. I have a pretty good memory for remembering everything my husband didn’t do but should have.

I also have a pretty strong recall for little things with the help of even vague-ish associative cues et al…but getting to the fag end of my 30s, my (declining) memory for numbers is killing me.

And the person causing bats in my belfry is none other than the offspring. As usual. Sighs.

We keep quite a few things under digital lock and key to keep him from giving into temptation and over indulging viz- iPad, t.v, Kindle, laptop etc but I’ll be damned if that isn’t coming back to bite me on the hieney.

With passwords for the phone, the Wi-Fi, the iPad, the Firestick, certain channels, it gets to a point sometimes when I need to unlock things, I sit with a blank look on my face, desperately searching in the memory banks for some kind of a clue to help me find the elusive #s; and no help is forthcoming. Totally a case of GIGO.

Earlier I had passwords, codes, credit card #s everything memorized and it wasn’t tough to recall them when needed and without too much prompting.

Now, my brain plays a Hot&Cold game with while I sift through data. Of course the process would be easier if I didn’t have a kid draped over my shoulder like a boa (imitating reptile and an accessory both), hissing in my ear, “Do you remember it Y-E-T??!!”

What would be best is if I could keep it unlocked and trust that agreements about t.v. time, play time on iPads were stuck to but that’s a bit unfair to expect from a kid when his parents are binge-watching Criminal Minds or Suits even though its ostensibly done without him being in the know.

But the brat knows us so well, when he sees the last played item on the watch list, he gives me a tsk-tsk look and takes the name of the person who’d have been watching the program and says, ” Someone was watching t.v. after I went to bed!”

I can’t begin to explain how amusing and confusing it is to be chastised by your child in a manner which he’s clearly picked up from you and then having to show your contrition even if you don’t feel the slightest bit contrite!

The things we do set an example for our kids. And while I try and set the aforementioned example, there’s a mini-me tapping his feet impatiently and saying,” Ahem….I’m waiting.”

Ye Gods!

Parenting: The Stuff They Never Tell You

I am a semi-helicopter mother and not proud of it. Here are some things I’ve gleaned in the past few years of parenting. I’m not sure how helpful this is but for those contemplating marriage and eventually kids, do read this once. It may give you a different perspective (read abstinence or hardcore contraception) or it may reinforce what you see and hear in front of you everyday anyhow.

So..here we go!

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#1 Having a conversation with anyone else barring your child is like being in a boxing match. It goes like this- you speak 1,2,3 and someone jabs you. You try to regain your balance and speak again 1,2,3 and this time it’s an uppercut.

There are rare conversations that you can have without being interrupted; till you decide to give it up and just focus on the kid. And guess what precious nugget comes your way when you do? It’s quite possibly something along the lines of – (imagine it being spoken in all caps) “You know what? My poop is all orange from all the nachos I ate yesterday!!” And you nod helplessly because you hung up on an overseas call with your BFF to hear about your kid’s bodily function.

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#2 Farts are important. If they stink, how loud they are. If you’ve noticed the abovementioned smell and noise. If you haven’t they’ll probably poop their pants trying to squeeze one out that the whole neighborhood can be proud of.

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#3 You have to watch everything you say. Literally. Imagine becoming a psychotic with visual hallucinations where the words you think materialize in front of your face. You reject a few and allow the rest of them to be uttered. If you don’t, the next time you may be subjected to a bout of , ” Gimme a break or a ” Oh for crying out loud!” from a 1st grader because you cut off digital media or pool access at pre-agreed upon times.

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#4 Pool times are deadly. The child *never* remembers that staying for too long in the water causes their skin to prune up. When you tell them their time’s up, they mimic dolphins and scoot away from you.

Wading into the pool and dragging them out leads to yells and screams tantamount to child abduction with people looking at you and your offspring in distaste for causing ripples in their recreation or serenity.

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#5 Some part of the body always hurts during homework or DEEEEP sleep to rival Rip Van Winkle’s comes on in droves and it goes away only when the threat of homework does. And then, the recovery is more miraculous than the walking on water phenomenon! Faster too!

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#6 Waking the child up in the mornings is a drama par excellence. The hands flung over the eyes a la Scarlett O’Hara, the burrowing into the covers like a mole and coiling up smaller and smaller like a worm or a snake makes you gobsmacked! One child going through all these changes in a matter of seconds is nothing short of amazing.

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#7 Say goodbye to your stereo and tv and tablets. The kid rules all and owns all. You don’t come in second. You don’t come in. Period.

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#8 Holiday destinations are decided by where the wild things are. Literally. The continent with the most venomous snakes, biggest crocs makes the cut. Relaxing at a beach? Sure…but can you also see the Inland Taipan or the Tasmanian Devil? No? Then it’s a no-go.

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#9&#10– these two are probably the most annoying IMHO. Your bedroom and your bathroom time are no longer your own. And that’s mystifying because why on earth would someone want to spend so much time talking to you through the bathroom door, wanting to know what you’re doing, when you’re coming out and even going to the extent of shoving their ever-growing drawings of dragons under the door for you to peruse while you’re focused on something entirely different and faar more important.

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They creep you out by looming over you in the weekends; the one time you don’t have to run and bundle them into clothes and catch the school bus. They whisper slowly into your ears, distorting dreams with reality; often shoving tiny fingers up your nose to wake you thoroughly and even body flop on your sleeping, unsuspecting self just to tell you they LOVE YOU. And you feel compelled to reply in kind while you blindly kick out, hoping to connect with that tiny butt and get them the hell out of your sacred sleeping space.

Ah parenting…what a ride!

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The Prodigal Returns

Last weekend I went back to pray at the altar of the gym gods after a long, long a time. I know why I stopped going and it wasn’t a good enough reason then and isn’t one now either. But I like to give myself brownie points for attempting to get back on the horse/bike…you take your pick. Whatever it may be, hopefully it’ll continue to be a major factor in helping me keep up and increase the pace.

The frailty of people makes it so that it’s harder to keep doing things that take a lot of effort; breaking out in a sweat, dealing with aches and pains and still anchoring onto a reason to keeping at it. Stopping doesn’t take much doing at all so it’s usually the fallback option for many of us.

But jiggly fat, wobbly knees and jelly calves aside, the rush from doing something that pushes you ahead is quite fulfilling. However, it’s fulfilling in hindsight and hindsight usually kicks in an hour after you’ve had the whey protein and got some feeling back in the limbs. Till then you’re a slug and wondering why the world makes and endorses such instruments of torture like the foam (huh! Yeah right!) roller.

My glutes, which I thought were heavily padded and non-susceptible too much pain, were crying out for deliverance. As were my thighs, again courtesy the dreaded roller. But since the gym equipment is going to end up being a near-permanent fixture in my life I might as well make peace with it, grit my teeth and jump right in.

Here are some more instruments of torture…

Apparently we’re harking back to the medieval ages just for the fun of getting fit. Notice the rack to get stretched out on, the clubs to get…well clubbed with and the hoops to be hanged from. Bliss…

I was asked to do something called the ‘Hollow Body Hold’. But try as I might, I can’t approach “hollow” ever! Sigh…some of us were meant to be convex…we can’t concave if our lives depended on it.

 

PS: All the mentions of torture are in the overactive imagination and tired body of the author. There is *no* documented evidence of any kind of torture at all. Yet… *evil grin*

 

The Joys of Living Alone

I am not averse to sharing my living space with another person or other people. I’ve lived in a dorm, as a boarder and lived with my folks till I was an adult and those things really drill it into one’s head about the utter necessity of having your own space for your own shit. I mean, it’s critical!! Especially after a more permanent cohabitation starts with someone and they just leave their things all over the place like goat droppings. It can vex you like nothing else truly can.

Picture this- a smallish studio space or Praise Be To The Gods Of Personal Space, a loft…a few bean bags or bean bag chairs scattered around the room. A few non-skiddy throw rugs with vivid geometric designs on them. A large white wall designed a la Jackson Pollock viz this-  

There needs to be an island in the area designated as a kitchen for the cutting and chopping and sleeping is either a sleeping bag or a water-bed in a corner.

Not a very pseudo boho-chic manner but a messiness that gets into every living space but also one which is just short of a tornado-hit area.

Because at the end of the day it all boils down to this- my shit is my shit but your shit is just bloody annoying!

Burying The Hatchet

It’s inevitable that when people live together, work together, do stuff…again together, there’ll be occasions when there is acrimony.

Acrimony can get bumped up into enmity or also a severe case of I-don’t-recognize-your-existence yada yada yada. But in the whole scenario, the one thing that no one quite figures out how to do is burying the hatchet.

The question now comes- where the heck is it to be buried? In the head of the person you’ve had the falling out with or just in some neutral ground where it doesn’t bother anyone anymore?

Well till the hatchet is good and ready to be buried, we are ill-fated to carry it around like those unimaginative serial killers, dripping with blood and guts aka our angst and ill-will.

The hatchet bumps into things, nicking stuff, causing bleeds which are some extremely out there metaphors for saying it causes us harm in turn and growing heavier by degree since the ill-will hasn’t been washed away.

Laughter is an exceptional antidote for the hatchet. Either at yourself or at the object(s) of your derision. Laughter caused by the prolonging of a situation where even the absence of the provocative stimulus causing bile to surge up in your gut without any occasion for letting it out. Essentially at the futility of things.

Once the laughter bubbles over, a spot magically appears bearing the words, “bury hatchet here”. And thus it ends.

Till something or someone causes you to go medieval on their ass and again swing the hatchet.

Get Your Placebo Groove On!

“This is the follow-up post to this one. Both were written a while ago…am currently meandering down nostalgia lane at a less than sedate pace.”

I tried out a detox routine for a day. I did it all day yesterday and let go of my precious java (the drinkable kinds not the geeky one) as per the norms of the routine. And before I get to my observations on this I want to get on my soapbox for a few sentences and just say that our bodies are precious. We literally aren’t going to get another one. Might as well take care of the one you have or at least love the taste of the grub you put into it if you aren’t going to maintain it in a manner that gets you the most mileage. Because it’s no fun to be an adult and feel like you’re compromising on things on a regular basis especially highly personal things like food. It’s just NO FUN AT ALL!

Back off the soapbox and down to reality- I can’t lose weight. I can’t diet effectively. I need a whole new infrastructure and logistics around me to exercise in a manner that I want before my body becomes fit again. I have two adorable lumps at home- husband and child. They are lazy, complacent and very loving so me trying to be a hardass falls flat more often than not. The husband can’t be bothered to find stuff-essential stuff, on a regular basis and usually forgets things if I’m not around to marshal it all into place where he can trip over it and therefore remember to take it with him on his way to work.

The child needs work because he’s a child and doesn’t know a thing about the world. Loosening the reins at this juncture means he grows up to become his father, the less than attractive aspect of him i.e., and more work for me when I’m older and menopausal. Sounds like a recipe for murder at first glance.

Anyhow, various factors get in the way of my getting into the gym, working out, walking, dancing- whatever! On a regular basis. And while none of those factors are critical, I still haven’t been able to offload them courtesy the lumps I mentioned. So the looking better, feeling better has been taking a hit consistently and my perseverance has eroded over the years. Easier to be an overweight housewife in soft track pants watching tv while I fold laundry or vacuum the couches. Not a very sad or dreary existence. It needs to be done and I’m the one who has to do it. Period.

I thought trying out a detox might “fix” the problem, as it were. Give me a little edge or boost before I start the actual process of toning, slimming, getting fitter. But I realize that I don’t feel all  that different. More than anything else, the thought of actually doing something and getting off my cellulitey butt had me feeling better. Honestly, my body doesn’t feel so much lighter today than it did before. Whatever minute differences there are, are too slight for me to keep investing this kind of money (not cheap this treatment) on a regular basis.

But the fact that I tried something out has done more to release endorphins for me than a lot of stuff of late and that’s where the placebo factor comes in. I feel better without having done much to aid an existing condition of sorts. I took something akin to therapy and just the thought of it made me “feel better”.

We all need some placebos in our lives at times I guess. One less crap to flush out of our systems at the end of the day.

And what about my chubbiness aka lard? Well I’ve got a nice new playlist that makes me want to dance so I’ll get my jogging shoes on, pop the headphones in, ignore my kid and just walk. Not fast. Not slow but just walk.

You have to play with the cards you’re dealt. Mine is telling me to take a walk. And dump some dressing (low-fat) onto veggies next time rather than blitz them into a homogeneous mess of a juice that I tell myself is “helping me”. A honey-mustard piece of lettuce never hurt anyone 🙂