After School Huffiness

The brat got off the school bus with two holes in the school uniform that hadn’t been there when he’d got on the bus in the morning.

When I asked him (with a slight frost in my voice) he told me that a “Screaming Death” had made the holes.

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For the uninitiated, a Screaming Death is one from the stable of Dreamworks Dragons. It’s an ultimate badass dragon ergo also the love of MLM’s life ever since he laid his dragon-loving eyes on it.

Anyhoo he flat out refused to tell me how his school uniform happened to get ruined in that holey fashion and kept saying it was the dragon who did it. I told him that because of his behavior the tv was off-limits and I wasn’t going to talk to him till he told me the truth. And he threw a tantrum. A typical one with the screeching and minor feet stomping.

And then it got atypical. He sat and watched me ignore him for a bit and got out his trolley bag. Then this is the conversation that took place between us:

MLM-“Ok Ayu. I’m leaving.”

Me- Bye.

MLM- I’m going to count to 3 and you are going to put the tv for me.

Me- snorts in derision. “Yeah…not going to happen kid.”

MLM- ONE. TWO. THREEEEEE! Ok. FINE! I leaving now.

Me- B-Y-E.

MLM- while making a show of pulling his suitcase along and grumbling the entire time, “I’m not going to be your friend,grumble grumble. I’ll go and live in Kolkata (where my parents live) and never come home again!grumble grumble. I’ll watch tv there every day because (mentioning his grandmother’s name) loves me and you are MEAN!!”

Me- So go already. Bye.

MLM- Going till the main door and struggling to open the lock. “Open the door! I can’t leave, it’s locked.”

Me- opening the door for him…”Don’t forget your shoes. Bye”.

MLM- Struggling to get his trolley over the doorway…Ayu help me. I can’t leave…”

Me- Helps him put the bag outside the door and leaves.

MLM- Comes back in a bit and says, “I’m hungry”. I want to be your friend again. Please give me peanut butter and jam sammich?”

Me- So when do you want to leave the house and go stay in Kolkata?

MLM- I’ll go tomorrow. After the birthday party (mentions a friend’s birthday party he’s supposed to attend tomorrow).

Me- rolls eyes heavenward and goes to make PB&J sandwich.

Two minutes later I get a hug and someone plants a kiss in the vicinity of my hip and says you’re my best friend. These sammiches are DE-LI-SHUS!

And life goes on.

Yet Another Epiphany

I had another Ah-HA! experience this morning while “attempting” to explain to MLM why something is desirable and why something isn’t. People (parenting experts, those whose kids are no longer a pain-in-the-ass and those who are blissfully childless) usually say that it sets a bad example to communicate with a growing child using largely negatives viz “NO”, “NOT”. “DONT” et al. However, given that the vocabulary of most children who aren’t prodigies or savants of some kind are largely rudimentary till the middle school years, it becomes a tough job navigating the world of communicating what you want with what your child can comprehend.

But I have finally realized the biggest challenge I face day in and day out while trying to bring this boy up- I have to be an adult in the face of his childishness. And therein lies the rub. I no longer know how to be a child and he’s not reached that stage where he knows anything else but how to be a child.

Just a few minutes back, I had another locking-horns session with my offspring. Reason? He’s been using a turtle stencil to draw outlines on an otherwise pristine ivory colored wall. Again.

The first time this was noticed and commented upon, he apologized. In a flash. And went off to do whatever it is he does when one road to mischief has been shut down. Today when I noticed the second drawing I called him to ask why he had drawn on the walls again when he knew it wasn’t appreciated at all. He simply replied that he wanted to. No defiance. No attitude. Just a simple statement of fact.

And that in nutshell is how children usually are. While some are more compliant, for reasons known only to them, others are more willful in the sense that they are guided largely by their whims. A state that many older people fall back into in their advanced years.

But try as I might, I couldn’t explain to MLM why I was upset. He finally came up with a solution of wiping it off with water. But the crux of the problem escaped him and it entirely escaped me how to clue him in.

As adults we live with and in cliches. We stay in the lines. It starts by learning to color in them, writing within in, standing in them and also driving in them. We don’t always turn into lab rats or hamsters in their wheels but we become regulated. And can also see the benefits of such a life for its opposite is chaos in some form or the other.

But a child, especially one right out of early childhood is all about seeing his or her environment as a giant canvas, playground or anything without boundaries. They want to color furiously all over the paper. Never mind that the dam fruit they were to color got buried under the strokes. They want to scribble on walls because that’s the largest unending surface that surrounds them everyday. They want to climb higher, use the bed as a trampoline because everything that gives them a sense of freedom, even briefly, is exhilarating. Never mind that you’ll be replacing the mattress or the bed springs will poke through before long. It’s just so much more fun than just calmly lying down somewhere and sleeping.

And this is why I blogged this. Right here and now. So when I’m about to have an aneurysm tomorrow or day after from whatever my son wasn’t supposed to have done but did so anyhow; I can take a quick peek at this post before my head blows up. Hell! I’ll have to clean up that mess too so I might as well read these pearls of wisdom and count to a 1000 and keep telling myself there’s always school and the next summer holidays are a year away.

Amen!

The Lure Of Online Retail

There is something fantastic about shopping! It’s akin to a discovery. No matter what you’re buying. I remember on a family trip years ago to Europe, my father was overjoyed on seeing a large, ripe, pumpkin in a supermarket where we’d gone to buy (and become disappointed yet again) water. I guess the pumpkin reminded him of the food he loves to eat and seeing it in a foreign land was quite the thrill for him.

But getting back to shopping…it’s more than just spending money although that does become an integral part of it; but there’re a lot of sensations associated with it that elevate it to more than just a girly thing to do. Whether you possess estrogen or not, some of us like shopping for the high it gives rather than the acquisitions that are actually just the byproduct. Shopping, believe it or not, actually releases the happy chemicals that give you a high and in many cases, take your credit card to Mach speed. Shopping has been pooh-poohed as a cathartic experience but honestly speaking, those who haven’t tried it out shouldn’t knock it because the looking for something specific, finding it and being able to acquire it gives a sense of accomplishment. That kind of high stays with you and takes you through a few low spots as well.

Personally? I love going to flea markets although in all these years I’ve gone to just one. The new-fangled flea market also called pop-up bazaars haven’t really taken my fancy because they seem to have a rehash of things from stall to stall. In a real flea market there’s no end to the kind of things people can think of selling- jams&jellies, quilts, old stuff, new stuff, really old stuff, barely new stuff and from books to bookends to spoons and tshirts…it’s ALL there!

When Red goes abroad for his work I ask him to go down to the farmer’s market for me…not for a vicarious thrill because let’s face it, I”m not going to “get” any thrill from more than 13000 kms away. And yes, I *did* look it up. I like to know what I’m writing about. Call it one of my nicer quirks 🙂

But getting back to shopping, clothes, shoes, jewellery (something I just don’t do unless it’s junk jewellery), the variety is what is so attractive. The colors, the shapes, and of course the prices. While a lot of people just love freebies, I personally love a bargain. Not the one you have to haggle over and feel like you won back the Earth from the invaders but a good bargain where you like what you see, you like the price tacked up on it and it’s something you’re actually going to use. I’m a bit of a hoarder but with a kid around, hoarding is possibly the worst thing you can go to yourself, OCD or not!

Now traditional shopping entailed having to go out and walk up and down sidewalks and then browse around but in this day and age of parking problems, limited me-time et al, online retail is the new king in town! You can shop from comfort of your home, your bed and your loo even!

And it feels so, so nice and comfortable. Sit on your favorite spot on your favorite couch, get your coffee/tea/alcohol (for the revenge shopping- an explanation will be forthcoming eventually in a new post) and start clicking. It’s convenience galore and that’s why it’s the new addiction. A term’s even been coined for it, well for the broader term actually viz Oniomaniaand we all know it’s just a matter of time before a specific term is coined for the online aspect as well.

But be as it may, this isn’t a post on the perils of it. Far from it. I encourage people to try it out at least once. The kind of insight I get about myself is amazing. Do you know you can be a window shopper online as well? It’s fun, it’s not harmful and it’s actually quite a distraction from the everyday humdrum.

As long as you know that caveat emptor applies everytime and everywhere…you’re good to go!

So log on, find out what’s new at Bergdorf, Barneys or Babyoye and maybe, just maybe cause a bit of ka-ching while you’re at it!

The Wild Kingdom…Right At Home!

I have ALWAYS wanted to go to the Serengeti. Snorkel in the clear blue waters of atolls in Maldives. Scuba dive and even be inside a shark cage and see makos and great whites glide by. I’d probably give up the ghost right there if such an opportunity presented itself, truth be told, but one has dreams. The whackier, the better methinks. Prosaic dreams can be realized but those elusive, funky, oddball ones make the bucket lists more interesting and keep one gunning for more.

But seeing that I’m a SAHM and will be one for some more time in the foreseeable future, an idea of embracing wildlife starts and ends with my kid. And occasionally my husband.

But my child has a kind heart. He loves to thrill his mother. Give her opportunities to flex the unused muscles her less than fit body and get her adrenaline rush at the same time. If I can’t go to the heart of Africa, then Africa will come to ME! Giving Mohammed and the mountain some stiff competition at the same time.

At any given day I can fully expect to step on a beluga whale while getting down from the bed. Roll over and find half of a giraffe staring at me with one beady eye. If you thought a whole antelope was fun, imagine half an antelope with one horn sticking up from its head and daring you to come and make it whole again.

Everyday, inane, prosaic activities get their dose of adrenaline as well! A hammerhead lurks in the waters of the washing machine, unseen, unknown. The mighty African rhino pokes your rump when you sit down on the couch and don’t get me started on the dinos with their claws, sharp teeth and spikes that jump out at you from the closets, trip you up while you go to take your bath and the great white which secrets itself away in your handbag, just waiting for those fingers to dangle above its jaws while you grope for the lip balm.

Talk about living on the edge! I guess the everyday urban life is no less fierce than a jungle with all these creatures roaming, swimming, slithering in my house. Who needs spelunking or bungee jumping for that hit of adrenaline? It’s a jungle out here, every single day.

Image courtesy-http://amarjeetsingh7.blogspot.in/2012/10/10-things-to-do-before-i-die.html

Image courtesy-http://amarjeetsingh7.blogspot.in/2012/10/10-things-to-do-before-i-die.html

Percy Jackson&The Olympians

I’ve been late as a rule in discovering books which are part of a series and have gained a lot of popularity. I caught onto the Anne of Green Gables late (actually not really since L.M Montgomery was long dead before I was born), the Harry Potter series, the Artemis Fowl series and the latest one, Percy Jackson.

I came across the first Percy Jackson book much after I saw the trailers for Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters while waiting for another movie to start. Greek and Roman myths have always interested me and just seeing the visuals I knew the actual book would be even more exciting and it was! They all were!

It is fantasy but it is fantastically readable and it’s funny. The author Rick Riordan is a truly talented wordsmith and one who possesses a cheeky sense of humor and as it is with quite a few of the “so-called” children’s’ writers, their works are eminently readable by adults as well. And whether we all have an inner child or not, we know to appreciate wit, humor and a style of prose that appeals to us and our sensibilities.

Percy Jackson brings together adventure, glory, bravery, angst, fantasy, magic and most of entertainment.

If you aren’t a snob about reading “mainstream” writing, pick up a copy today or try out the e-book.

It’s thoroughly enjoyable down to the last word and keeps you wanting more installments of the Greek and Roman pantheons and their lore.

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