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Talks With My Nutty One

TO often asks me trivia questions especially about animals. Today’s query was about a bird whose name starts with P and ends with an N and it lives on an island. I initially said penguin and got an eyeroll for my troubles. Actually I led with pigeon because where don’t those little poop machines live?

When I said Puffin a second later, a disappointed TO told me that he was sure I wasnt going to be able to guess the bird and dang it! I did and he missed out on a chance to tell me about the bird.

Since we were talking about something other than cricket, the coronavirus and screen time, I encouraged him to tell me more. And he did. His opening sentence was classic- “If you were a puffin, this is how you would look and walk and he proceeded to describe it in great detail.

Before 2009 I never would have had a thought like ‘if I were a puffin’ not even if I were profoundly drunk. And those who have seen me such will testify that barring the rare barf fest, I just show a tendency to get louder and maybe climb on tables. But be a puffin…naah!

Apparently you become a parent sentences like ‘I want to have teeth like a walrus’, ‘I want to grow up and be a dragon’ or ‘ if you were a puffin’ is all in a day’s work!

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The Gift

My husband isn’t a person who does a lot of things by himself for others. He doesn’t give “of” himself consistently unless it’s for his son. For TO this man does everything I expect and then some. But neither does he wait around for others to ‘do unto him’. He takes what comes his way, if he wants more, he helps himself; if he doesn’t then he doesn’t. It’s very cut and dry and without hidden messages to decipher.

A few weeks ago I told him that instead of the family road trip that we’d planned out in this month, I wanted a few days by myself. And he agreed. He did it gracefully is what I’m focusing on. ‘Me by myself’ would have meant either I go off for introspection, fun, vegetate in a place outside my home or stay put and have the home and hearth to wander around in. I chose the latter.

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T.O almost exclusively travels with me. I have more time on my hands and it’s easier to align my trips with his time off from school but I’ve been wanting to make TO more flexible about where he travels, with whom and basically not get too rigid about anything in life. And the first ever father-son mini-vacay took place. They’re in Goa right now, our-once-every-year-holiday-spot while I vacay at home. And it’s been blissful.

I didn’t need to be away from them. I needed to be with me. And that’s not any feministic, soul searching claptrap. Sometimes you really don’t want to have to do anything beyond what you want to do. And I did exactly that. My indulgences consisted of switching off the daily alarms (yes..I have more than one) and just potter around the house while listening to everything from this to this. And no, I didn’t get drunk out of sheer joy. Alchohol did not touch these gabby lips once. And it’s nothing to brag about. I just didn’t feel like it.

I cooked. I sang. I did my usual minimal housekeeping because let’s face it, I don’t go on a cleaning frenzy till my folks are due to arrive and I need to maintain appearances about being a tidy housewife. But it’s been lovely and I’m actually looking forward to having these two back and hearing all about their stag trip that’s been full of fun, grilled fish and loads and loads of chatter and most of all, bonding.

So while I type this out, drink my unsweetened coffee (in your face sugar!) and sigh contentedly as the lovely cool breeze flutters the curtains all around, I’m going to go on record and say that for his services to preserving the sanity of this mother, I’m going to ease off on the nagging front with Red for as long as I possibly can. I’ll crack in a week, if that long but such gestures need a get out of jail free card and this is his.

Salut!