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The Innocence Bloglet

When TO came home from school today we were discussing things that are going on in the world. I asked him if he knew what was going on in Australia and he said yes there were bad bush fires.

I told him a lot of animals were dying and it was a very difficult time over there for humans and animals both. He put on his sad face and said dingoes were dying and it was awful. I told him dingos, koalas when there was a firm grip on my hand and I looked up to see TO looking very grim and saying, “Koalas don’t die Ayu”.

So we left it at that…koalas don’t die. This from a kid who can sit and watch an anaconda swallow a cow on Animal Planet. Kids!

Image result for cutest koala in the world
Image courtesy reddit.com

 

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Oh God! You Ape!

The Offspring (TO) had his second brush with the Big Questions- where did all life come from, does God exist et al? The first one was when Red’s grandma passed away.

Apparently the child who can believe in different categories of dragons, is having trouble believing that a “Supreme Being” created Man.

He got off the bus one day, engaged in a minor aggressive strap fight (hitting someone with the strap of the bookbag) with a classmate. The reason? The classmate sided with another child who said God made the Earth and people and is R-E-A-L. TO took exception to all of the above and then the problem began in earnest.

Most parents tell their kids that God exists and He should be deferred to because he made the whole universe etc etc. For Hindus, we have a whole smorgasbord of Gods to choose from and we even mix it up depending on the days of the week or festivals or situation that’s on our radar. Might sound flaky but it isn’t. Just years and years of indoctrination in following and believing in a way of living that works for most of us.

Red and I discussed raising TO to either believe or not believe and decided that we wouldn’t stop him from getting exposed to religious practices that are a part of our traditions and surroundings but neither would we fill his head with stuff about Heaven and Hell.

However, we have not got around to taking him to temples or any places of worship either; proactively. If it’s happened, it’s been purely incidental. And in the process we have a child who has questions about a LOT of things but who essentially perceives the world mostly in black and white.

His thinking hasn’t allowed much of gray to seep into his cognitive palette (ooh that’s a nice example of a neologism) and he tends to be rather absolute as for the most part.

When I was listening to him talk about the “incident”, I asked him how he knew there was no God or that He/She hadn’t created the World and he said that he’d learnt in science that homo sapiens came from apes. And that all life started from small “things” in water and then they started to grow and change and we got reptiles, birds and dinosaurs. The conversation unfortunately lasted too long while being expounded on dinosaurs but that’s par for course. *rolls eyes*

Then came humans who were weird looking (am paraphrasing here) and who crawled and then they learnt to stand up and walk straight. Then we got apes and “normal” human beings.

I kept trying to ask him in as many lay terms as possible about the point of origin of creation etc and finally simplified it to stating that reptiles, birds, mammals are all different from each other so how did all these different forms get created. For example, where did the monkeys come from? And pat came the reply- from monkey parents. Can’t top that can you?

So cheers to you Darwin and whoever and whatever created the world. We’re sticking to our monkey parents, thank you very much!

P.S: Maybe when he’s 30 I can tell him my theory about the galactic amoeba who may be responsible for the whole kit and kaboodle!

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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!

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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!

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My Son: The Superhero Decapitator

I’d caught up with a friend for a belated celebration of her birthday at a kiddy place house-cum cafe. She’s specifically kept it in a child-friendly place so the moms would be able to take their eyes off their offspring and just kick back and relax. Erm…yeah. Sure. Why not?

It wasn’t a complete disaster I ought to point out. I ignored my inner paranoiac and thought that being on the play floor and having a brand new place to bounce around in.

This is was one the ingredients that contributed to the kookiness- there was a birthday party that was already going on in the same venue and without any kind of way to tell apart the birthday kids from the non-birthday ones. Either in terms of any clothing/ party accessories or even any cordoned off area.

The 2nd and most crucial element was that I took my eyes off him because there were helpers around to watch the kids in the play area (where parents weren’t allowed). And therein lay the disastrous element.

Our group of women was sitting right at the back of the room in full view of the door to the play area and that was deliberately done so we could keep an eye on our own brats. When the birthday party group started to sing the birthday song and heralded the cake cutting I mentioned to the other ladies in the group, I hope our kids don’t think it’s time for them to have a bite of cake. Phew! Talk of ill-timed prophecies. Within a few minutes of the singing stopping and the door to the play floor swinging open and shut with the kids streaming out, an angry woman stomped out and started talking to the servers in the venue and started pointing angrily at the play floor. And I thought, “uh oh”.

I walked as inconspicuously as possible to find out the cause of a human female turning into an angrily buzzing wasp and guess what I found…my darling son had somehow slipped in with the rest of the birthday party kids and while the cake was being cut he did SOMETHING.

The cake was blue with a fondant topping of Iron Man on it. It had been kept in the display case and most of the kids had eyed it longingly while passing it by. I hadn’t seen my son eye it much and hadn’t factored the cake in as any one of the potential “boo-boo” areas of everything that could potentially go wrong. Anyhoo…L-O-N-G story short…my son pinched the head off Iron Man and ran into the play floor and was nibbling bits off the noggin while the child’s mother gradually turned into a fire-breathing dragon.

This is a red-letter day in my life for sure…ohhhh boy. Next time I’ll salute the little paranoid voice in my head and tell Ms.Optimism to go take a hike.

I wish he wasn’t so cute. Makes it harder to stay mad at him and wish him inside a strait jacket!