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 Blessing Of Being A Daughter’s Mother

Now let me start off by saying that having a son isn’t a curse or a non-blessing either. Even if mine does make me long for Valium on most days, he is truly the light, noise…err..sound of my life.

But back to why a daughter specially, is a blessing. A friend and ex-colleague of mine whom I have unfortunately not been in touch with for too many years has a birthday coming up. A landmark birthday in fact but the number will not be revealed…a woman has to have her secrets after all 🙂

Her daughter got my number from her and called me up a few minutes ago to tell me that she’s making a memory jar for her mom with the same number of friends that the age her mom’s turning.

It’s a total surprise and all her mother knows is that her daughter has access to her phone book and is probably calling some friends over for a surprise party…NOT!

With my friend’s birthday falling on a school night for her and her daughter and a Ph.D looming up in the horizon, a party is totally out of the question on her big day. But she’ll be spending it reading all the stuff her friends have penned down for her.

Who else but a girl would have thought of something like this? And the child is probably all of 15 going on 16.

Jeez…people have got to have more girls! And this girl has one helluva mother!

There’s A Dinosaur In My Bra!

No. I’m not high. Yes, I wish I was. And yes, I have a child. Ergo the weird things ending up where they ideally ought not to.

Sitting down and finding a clothes pin jammed up in your butt crack is passe. Stepping on Batman and theoretically emasculating him when you get up to pee at 4 in the morning is also so-been-there-done-that.

Now, having a wee serpent stare at you balefully while you rub the sleep out of your eyes and cope with an imminent heart attack is the new definition of normal. And while your nervous system gets even more nervouser and tells you to flee, the mother part of your brain tries to calm it down by saying, “There’s a 5-year old on the loose. That’s all.”

Having kids is honestly an adventure. And for quite a while, you’re going in blind. It’s a war on some days but for the most part it IS fun. They can wake up one morning and tell you they want to see stingrays and whale sharks (making you think you have a mini-Animal Planeteer on your hands and feeling good that the boy is growing up) and by evening on the same day they are watching the television upside down because apparently Pink Panther looks better that way.

And that’s what I’m going to tell myself while I fish out the mini-extinct lizard from my cups and set it down carefully next to the Triceratops, the hotwheels car and the Batman who has his head on backwards.

Never a dull moment!

Zero. Dark. 2:37 AM

I wanted my first post in the new year to be witty, funny, tongue-in-cheek but I guess I’ll be falling back on my old form of ranting about my kid. My forte in life et al.

This morning my darling ray of sunshine switched on all the lights in my room at 2:37 am and tapped me on my face till I woke up; to tell me he could feel the germs in his stomach moving around. Yikes.

I thought it was time for a visit to the loo and suggested as much, while scrambling from the bed and trying not to fall over the Batman figurine that mysteriously ended up underfoot or getting tangled in the bed sheets. But no. Apparently it wasn’t about going to the loo at all. My brat couldn’t sleep and had been thinking about the rumblings in his tummy and decided that a middle of the night bout of calisthenics would ease his mind and body.

So there I was, puffy eyed and puffier-faced with a severe case of bed hair, trying to focus myopic eyes on a 5-year old who was exercising in front of me and who wanted to discuss his tummy germs at length.

After pondering about tossing him out of the window and eventually nixing the idea, I managed to get him back into bed so we could discuss the way ahead. It seems he knew the course of treatment- no doctors but quite a bit of medicine, the yummy kind. And of course, no school. NATURALLY.

Kids are funny creatures. Their minds work in mysterious ways. They process information, look at things in a manner which is unique to their ages and bent of mind. Those were the things I was trying to tell myself as the hands of the clock crept closer to 3:00 am and the verbosity of my kid kept increasing.

Finally, I did the only thing that made any sense. The only thing that was a viable and legal resolution to the entire situation- I woke up his father, passed the buck and went off to sleep in another room.

I think that’s what I’ll try to do in 2015 more and more- react less. Not fight against the inevitable or the inexplicable. I’ll figure out how to tackle things and if I don’t succeed I’ll pull in an unsuspecting person and pull an escape routine on them 🙂

But seriously. Happy New Year blosgosphere peeps. Have an excellent year. May your thoughts and words never fail you and may you end up on more and more people’s’ reading lists as time goes by.

Salut!

Halves&Wholes

People often introduce their spouses as their better halves. Or bitter depending on what time of the day you run into them or during which pet peeve they seem to be exercising; but the fact of the matter is that you do feel like something’s missing when someone in your family or your everyday existence is away.

During this summer holiday we spent a lot of time away from Red. Three weeks at my mom’s place and another three weeks while he was away on a work trip. And it’s been a long, long summer because of that.

I am the first to crib when he gets home since he works long hours; long undetermined hours truth be told. And my interaction with him is usually about two hours in the morning and hour or so at night when he returns. I crash before he does because the human hurricane zaps my energies by dusk and it’s an utter luxury for me to lie in bed in darkness and just not do anything before I drift off.

And I did all of those things during this summer vacation as well but the biggest change was Red not being there. The occasional IMs, calling him up to tell him about something funny that the offspring did, the on and off whine about coming home early for once etc etc just went POOF!

Instead we would catch up while he brushed in the morning and we ate dinner, while we were waking up here and he was about to head out for dinner there and the distance didn’t feel too much but somehow the time didn’t pass as quickly either.

I guess it’s about getting used to a person being in your life that makes the difference. The daily dance you do right from tugging sheets while sleeping to making space in front of the sink while brushing to waking up to the first hit of the caffeine…it’s a routine and a very good one. You want to be able to see the familiar faces everyday. You want to be able to open the door to the familiar face everyday too.

You don’t want to be limited to Skype to find out how each other’s days went and trips should ideally be taken together or for a short duration where the person’s back before you missed them.

Of course the goodies brought back help. Albeit slightly. What you’d much rather do is remind them to switch off the bathroom light, not leave the wet towel on the bed and come home early for once. It is what gives that stamp of yourness in your life and that’s what it is all about at the end of the day.

And now I will very generously wait till the jet lag leaves him to start up about our very own brand of ourness. Well…I’ll wait till tomorrow at least seeing that the man’s passed out and still in another time zone!

 

Red

That’s how I refer to my husband in digital media- Facebook, blogs, and in my phonebook. I don’t know how or why it started but it did. He’s not red at all- no communist tendencies lurking here and there neither does he have one red hair. He’s been a salt&pepper guy since we met nearly 9 years ago. He’s pretty young still, just hit mid 30s and is quite an interesting person. I mean I keep thinking about him so clearly his mystique hasn’t died down after 7 years of marriage and one preschooler.

Let me break it down for you- he’s quieter than I am and less likely to go and start off conversations with strangers but it’s taken me a few years to understand that he’s not entirely introverted. He’s more of what you call an ambivert- he’d like to socialize more, is capable of it but is choosy and would rather hold off on commenting or jumping head long into things till he’s more comfortable. Sensible to the core but can stumble onto domestic minefields with unfailing regularity. Or maybe that’s just him being a husband 🙂

We are quite different from each other in many ways- am round and short with the increasing roundness seeming to increase the lack of verticality and he’s slender and well taller than I am. I can and often do talk nineteen to a dozen and he talks when he wants to, precisely, doesn’t meander and doesn’t keep talking beyond a point. Quite well moderated in his ways. Extremely well moderated in leaving wet towels on the bed and leaving lights on irrespective of having exited a room or a bathroom but those are quirks ( to use the best possible euphemism).

He’s pretty smart too. But kind of a binary guy. Focused on child, work, home (in that exact order) and a very sweet person overall.

Now comes the big question- WHY am I extolling my husband’s good qualities without any provocation whatsoever first thing on a Sunday morning? Well…he and the brat are both asleep. Peacefully. And seeing them knocked out like that always induces a benevolence in me that usually starts dissipating soon after they both wake up. And mainly because I’ve been grousing about MLM practically from my first post here and I thought it’s time to direct my attention towards another who causes my world to tilt here and there and spin haphazardly.

And most importantly, unless he’s away on work, he gives me my coffee every morning; made just right. You gotta love a man who gives you your dose of sanity everyday 🙂

P.S: A blog post detailing the annoying stuff about him is already in the works!